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A British explorer is heading to a deserted Pacific “treasure island” where nineteenth century pirates are said to have stashed a multi million pound hoard of gold, silver and jewellery stolen from the Spanish.
The site (a 9 square mile Island), credited by some as the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, is uninhabited and around 350 miles off the coast of Costa Rica, of which it is a part.
Shaun Whitehead is leading an archaeological expedition to Cocos Island, the supposed hiding place of the “Treasure of Lima” – one of the world’s most fabled missing treasures....
An original inventory showed 113 gold religious statues, one a life-size Virgin Mary, 200 chests of jewels, 273 swords with jewelled hilts, 1,000 diamonds, solid gold crowns, 150 chalices and hundreds of gold and silver bars.
The island, which is said to have been the inspiration for Jurassic Park, the book and film about an island on which dinosaurs are recreated, is home to hundreds of unusual species.
A further 350 tons of gold raided from Spanish ships by nineteenth century British sailor, Captain Bennett Graham, is also said to be there, while a Portuguese pirate, Benito “Bloody Sword” Bonito, also operating in the nineteenth century, is said to have hidden gains there to
...The team’s research will concentrate on the areas around three of the island’s four bays, which have been most used by visitors.
The team plan to use a small, unmanned helicopter, fitted with specialist cameras, to fly above the nine mile square island, which will enable them to make a computer-generated 3D map of the landscape.
They will then use a snakelike robot that can be dragged across the parts of island and, using ground penetrating radar, detect voids and cavities up to a depth of around 60ft. This data will be added to the 3D map to identify any likely concealed caves.
After this, a team will use a specialist “keyhole” drill, which can reach more than 100ft, to dig down into the cave. A probe camera can be sent down through the 1in diameter.
The 10-day expedition will also involve extensive archaeological, geological and ecological research and Mr Whitehead is at pains to stress they are not simply going there on a treasure hunt.
The team, of around 15, involves researchers from the University of Costa Rica and the Senckenberg Insitute – a natural history research organisation based in Germany. ...