Top 10 Hidden Treasures Rumored to Be Somewhere in America
VOICE OVER: Peter DeGiglio
WRITTEN BY: Whitney Wilson
Friendship may be the greatest treasure of all, but it isn't worth much compared to these elusive paydays. For this list, we'll be looking at the most elusive treasures that are supposedly buried in the U.S. Our countdown includes Jesse James' Loot, The Lost Treasure of Little Bighorn, Mosby's $6 Million Treasure, and more!
Top 10 Hidden Treasures Rumored to Be Somewhere in the United States
Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Hidden Treasures Rumored to Be Somewhere in the United States.
For this list, we’ll be looking at the most elusive treasures that are supposedly buried in the U.S. Although friendship is truly the greatest treasure of all, we will only be looking at treasures that consist of precious jewels, metals or money.
Have you ever gone treasure hunting? If you have, be sure to share your experience in the comments below.
#10: Jesse James’ Loot
Jesse James is one of the most famous outlaws in history, but he apparently left behind more than tall tales. The hunt for his lost treasure, believed to be worth millions in the form of gold, has been going on for decades. Jesse’s brother Frank searched the rocky formation of Buzzard’s Roost and rode around the Keechi Hills, following the mysterious carved clues left behind by Jesse. Thousands of treasure seekers from all over the world have followed in Frank’s footsteps in hopes of finding the hidden loot. While other artifacts from Jesse James’ adventures have been discovered around Buzzard’s Roost and in the Keechi Hills, his treasure has yet to be found.
#9: Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine
Superstition Mountains, Arizona
This mysterious goldmine is believed to be located in – get this – the Superstition Mountains. The mine is named after Jakob Waltz, who claimed to have found it in the 19th century. Waltz apparently carried the exact location to his deathbed, where he described it to his neighbor Julia Thomas. Since Waltz’s passing, Thomas and countless others have tried to find the fabled mine. In 1931, Adolph Ruth disappeared while searching for the treasure. His remains were eventually found. There were two bullet holes in his skull and a note in his checkbook where he claimed to have found the mine. Despite his unfortunate end, Ruth’s passing only fed into the lore of the treasure, and several other adventurers have since passed away while searching for it.
#8: Lost Union Gold
Elk County, Pennsylvania
The gold must be legit if the FBI gets involved. This treasure’s origins date back to the American Civil War. In 1863, a special Union detachment was transporting more than a thousand pounds of gold to the United States Mint. But the gold never made it to Philadelphia. Somewhere near Dents Run, the detachment was ambushed. The bars of gold were subsequently lost and buried nearby. Rumors of the lost loot have circulated for decades, even drawing the eye of the modern United States government. In 2018, the FBI spent several days digging for the lost treasure in Elk County, but they came up empty-handed… Or so they say.
#7: Dutch Schultz’s Hidden Treasure
Catskill Mountains, New York
The Catskills are full of gorgeous natural treasures, but legend says they are also home to a fortune worth millions. The notorious mobster and bootlegger Dutch Schultz passed away in 1935, but his story did not end there. After his passing, rumors swirled about the location of his gold coins, diamonds, war bonds and money. Schultz’s lawyer claimed all or most of the loot was in a lockbox, which would make for a nice payday if it were to ever be located. The enormous treasure has never been found, but explorers have traversed the Catskills for decades trying to solve the mystery.
#6: The Lost Treasure of Little Bighorn
Bighorn River, Wyoming
The Battle of Little Bighorn is one of the most famous battles to take place on American soil, but somehow the story of a lost treasure worth millions has slipped somewhat under the radar. The story goes that steamboat captain Grant Marsh was on his way down the river with a heavy haul of gold to resupply General Custer’s army. After learning of Custer’s defeat, Marsh picked up wounded soldiers and sailed off to get them medical attention. In order to lighten the load and travel faster, Marsh buried the gold along the banks of the Bighorn River. Marsh returned to retrieve the gold, but he never found it. Treasure hunters have carried on the search for decades.
#5: Dillinger’s Suitcase
Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin
John Dillinger was a notorious outlaw who rose to infamy during a crime spree through the Midwest in the 1930s. Federal agents received a tip that Dillinger was at the remote Little Bohemia Lodge in Wisconsin, so they followed him there. A deadly shootout ensued, and in the confusion, Dillinger escaped with a suitcase filled with $200,000. He allegedly buried the luggage loot somewhere in the woods near the lodge. Dillinger passed away during another shootout with federal agents a few months later, taking the location of his treasure to his grave.
#4: ‘Black Sam’ Bellamy's Treasure
Samuel Bellamy, or ‘Black Sam’, was a generous and well-dressed pirate who lived in the 1700s. During his career, Bellamy ransacked dozens of ships in the Caribbean, accumulating a massive fortune that he split with his crew. Although Bellamy roved all along the east coast of the Americas, he and his men used the mouth of the Machias River in modern-day Maine as a hideout, and supposedly stashed loot there. In 1717, Bellamy met his end during a treacherous storm off the coast of Cape Cod, as did the vast majority of his crew. However, his ship, part of his treasure and human remains were discovered in 1982. Explorers have since searched both the shipwreck and the Machias River for the rest of his massive fortune.
#3: Blackbeard’s Treasure Trove
We go from one notorious pirate to another. Blackbeard and Bellamy crossed paths, but the ultimate location of Blackbeard’s treasure is even less certain. Blackbeard plundered his way around the Caribbean, accumulating a massive collection of gold, silver and other treasures worth millions. The pirate was notably secretive in regards to his riches, and he never disclosed any hints as to where they were buried. Blackbeard met his end in 1718, on Ocracoke Island in modern-day North Carolina, and took the location of his treasure to his grave. Blackbeard would travel up and down the Atlantic Coast, so his treasure could be buried almost anywhere, but many believe it’s located where the pirate took his last breath.
#2: The Beale Ciphers Treasure Vault
Bedford County, Virginia
This legendary treasure hunt started in 1885, when a pamphlet titled “The Beale Papers” was published. According to the pamphlet, a man named Thomas Beale and his group of adventurers buried a massive treasure consisting of gold, silver and jewels in Bedford County. He entrusted ciphertexts containing the vault’s location, contents and owners to an innkeeper named Robert Morriss before disappearing. After Morriss’ passing, “The Beale Papers” were released, containing the three ciphers, one of which has been decoded using The Declaration of Independence as a key. Of course, this cipher is the one that simply describes the contents of the multimillion-dollar treasure. Some cryptanalysts believe the last two cyphers are fake, but that has not deterred treasure hunters from trying to unscramble them.
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
Ted Binion’s Buried Silver in Pahrump, Nevada
His Nevada Ranch Supposedly Has Silver Worth Millions Buried on Its Grounds
Beeswax Shipwreck, Oregon
A Spanish Ship Sank Off the Oregon Coast, Possibly Leaving Behind Gold & Other Treasures
The Old Treasure Cave, The Ozarks of Arkansas
This Cave Is Believed to Hold Riches Buried by Spanish Conquistadors in Its Depths
Fabergé Eggs Made for the Imperial Family
Several Eggs Are Unaccounted for & Might Be Scattered Around the U.S.
Missing Gold & Silver, Georgia
A Large Part of the Confederate Treasury Gold Went Missing & Has Yet to Be Recovered
#1: Mosby’s $6 Million Treasure
Fairfax County, Virginia
During the American Civil War, John Mosby was the leader of a guerilla unit of the Confederate Army called Mosby’s Rangers. In 1863, Mosby’s Rangers raided the Fairfax County Courthouse and abducted Union General Edwin Stoughton and over 30 others. During the raid, Mosby dug through Stoughton’s belongings and found valuable gold, silver, jewelry and other heirlooms that Stoughton had looted from local homes. Mosby’s Rangers took Stoughton, several Union soldiers and the treasure. During their journey, Mosby and his men buried the treasure between two pine trees with a good ole fashioned ‘X marks the spot’. There are different stories about why Mosby never returned for the alleged $6 million in riches, but it’s still believed to be buried in Virginia to this day.