In some rare cases the treasures have been partially restored or but in most of the cases they have been lost forever. In modern times, quite a number of artifacts are secretly in possessions of the world’s elite and many of them have found their way into the black market. Here are 10 famous lost treasures that have disappeared over a period of time.
10. The Wright Brother’s Patent
The patent papers of Wilbur and Orville Wright describing the design of the first airplane in 1900 was kept in the national archives. It was stolen by an unknown crook and till 2003 no one even realized the patent was missing. The whereabouts of the patent will never be known until someone tries to auction off the hand drawn designs.
9. Tanto Mei- Kunimitsu
According to the agency of cultural affairs in Japan, 109 valuable items have been marked as stolen or missing the possession of private collectors. Apart from several paintings and sculptures lost was a 13th century old “Tanto Sword” signed “Kunimitsu. The sword became an item of high value when the owner died but the agency was not informed immediately for its safe custody. The whereabouts of this sword was thus lost forever.
8. City of Paititi
Legend has it that the city of Paititi was an area where the ancient Incas hid all their jewels and gold from marauding Europeans. Due to its intended obscurity and difficult location the city gradually became synonymous with the Lost City of El Dorado. Though explorers are still busy combing through the jungles of Peru to locate this enigmatic city, only time will reveal whether it really was El Dorado or a city in its own right.
7. The Patiala Necklace
This exquisite necklace made by Cartier was a gift to the Maharaja Sir Bhupinder Singh. Besides being encrusted with precious gems, it was famous for its Burmese rubies and the centre piece a 234.6 carat DeBeers diamond which was the world’s 7th largest diamond. The necklace disappeared in 1948 and was last worn by the son of the Maharaja himself (Maharaja Yadavindra Singh). It was recovered by a Cartier representative in London 50 years later but the most important jewels were all missing including the Burmese rubies and the DeBeers diamond. It was believed that the jewels were sold off by the Maharaja and his family members and would have been worth 20-30 million pounds today.
6. The Mahogany Ship
Among all the lost treasures this has to be the most peculiar one as this ship did not sink in the middle of any ocean but was lost in the harbor, beneath the sand dunes of Southwest Victoria, Australia. The Legendary ship was made of beautiful dark wood, believed to be mahogany, hence its name. It was originally sunk in 1522 as a part of some secret Portuguese naval mission to explore Australia but the wreckage wasn’t spotted till 1847. It was then forgotten and virtually erased from public memory. All recent accounts of its existence are all conjectural but the existence of the ship couldn’t be proven or disproven either.
5. Victoria’s Parliamentary Mace
According to the British constitution the famous Victorian mace was the symbol of the office of the speaker as well as part of the public jewels for exhibition. It disappeared on October 9, 1891 and the chief suspect of theft was the Parliamentary engineer Thomas Jeffery as he was seen running from the building carrying a suspicious looking package. The police also found tools in his home which matched the markings on the display case that had been forced open during the robbery. Yet due to lack of concrete evidence Thomas was never arrested. Though the mace in itself had low intrinsic value, the reward for its return was set at 50,000 pounds.
4. The Crown Jewel of King John
Although the English crown jewels were always kept safe in the tower of London, King John had no such luck. While attempting to cross The Wash, a bay in Lincolnshire, he miscalculated the incoming high tide and lost his entire luggage including the Crown Jewels. The
3. Dutch Schult’z Stash
American mobster Arthur “Dutch” Flegenheimer created a vast fortune of nearly 20 million dollars a year through his various crimes and thefts. When hounded for tax evasion he packed his huge fortune in a metal box and buried it in Catskills! Dutch kept the location a secret intending to dig it out once he got out of jail. Unfortunately he was gunned down by his rivals in a local eatery as soon he was released. His ill-gotten treasure is still unfound and buried somewhere in the vast wilderness of upstate New York.
2. The Lost Dutchman
This is perhaps the most dangerous and infamous of all lost treasures in the world. The Lost Dutchman was an assumed Gold mine discovered way back in 1840s in the Mountains of Arizona. A small family worked this mine and supplied the gold to Mexico until they were allegedly slaughtered by a group of Apaches. Thereafter whoever tried to find the mines were also mysteriously killed? In 1870, a German immigrant named Jacob “The Dutchman” Waltz rediscovered the mine through a descendent of the original mine owning family. His partner was then killed by the apaches or as it’s rumored by Waltz himself to keep his find safe.
Ironically ill health caught up with Waltz who described the location of the mines to a lady called Julia Thomas of Phoenix in 1891. According to her account the mines had to be in the vicinity of Weavers Needles, famous formations outside phoenix which is now a part of national park and still dangerous for its treacherous terrain. The mines have never been actually found out till this date.
1. The Atomic Bomb Maps
Two extremely important maps created by Army Air Corps in June 1945, showing the details of the planned coordinates of bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki went missing from the National Archives. What’s more interesting is the fact that these documents also had detailed aerial shots and pictures of the target land with all the strategic points mapped out. Surprisingly, No one is sure when exactly these documents went missing or how the theft was conducted which left the investigators baffled.