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  1. #1
    hu
    Gypsyheart~ Queen of Rust

    Nov 2005
    Ozarks
    12,686
    267 times

    Suwarrow Atoll New Zealand Hidden Treasure

    Suwarrow Atoll is now a New Zealand protectorate and is part of the Cook Island group. The atoll is barely two and a half square kilometres in area and lies 800 kilometres due east of Samoa and 3,200 kilometres north-east of New Zealand. It has no fresh water or fruit and because of this remained uninhabited for many years. It was uncharted on earlier maps and charts and gained its name during the visit of a Russian vessel, the SUVOROV. The atoll was a likely place to hide ill-gotten gains from plundered ships plying the trade routes across the Pacific Ocean. Lime fortifications and pottery, found in the sand by Sterndale, showed that at some previous time Spanish and Portugese ships had called there.
    It is on record, Sterndale related, that in 1850 a Tahitian schooner went to salvage oil from the stranded American vessel GEM and the captain had searched around the tall palm trees near the beach of Anchorage Island and dug up a small buried treasure chest containing gold and silver coin. He had heard of a German trader working in Apia, Samoa, who had become the next treasure hunter on Suwarrow after purchasing an old map from a drunken sailor. He found an old iron chest containing Spanish pieces of eight and silver of Mexican origin valued at US$22,000. The last known treasure find was in 1876 when the atoll was occupied by Sterndale, his wife and several Chinese workers. This particular adventure would have been very familiar to the author Robert Louis Stevenson and is echoed in his tale TREASURE ISLAND.
    Mr. Henderson carefully considered Sterndale's proposition of setting up a trading post and base on Suwarrow Atoll. It was well situated and could be used by small vessels to store the cargo of copra, shell, pearl and other commodities brought in from the other islands and atolls in the adjacent areas. Additionally, Sterndale's previous experience soon convinced Mr. Henderson that this could become a paying proposition. The partners agreed that Sterndale should become their Manager for the Pacific region and that he would be based on Suwarrow atoll.
    With the aid of the crew of the firms 85 ton brigantine RYNO, Sterndale put together the house in frames that they had brought with them from Auckland close to the beach on Anchorage Island, Suwarrow. They built a small coral wall in front to form a fortress and laid in the two cannons facing out into the lagoon to ward off unwanted visitors. Nearby they built a brick reservoir to catch rainwater and a long coral wharf out into the deeper water so vessels could load and unload provisions, supplies and cargo's. The operation began well and the partners in Auckland were well pleased with his efforts and organising abilities. An ambitious man, Sterndale convinced himself that he was now eligible to become a partner in the firm. This was disputed by Mr.Henderson who informed him that he was nothing more than an employee of the company.
    The dispute continued into 1876 and the partners decided they must end the matter once and for all and ordered Sterndale and his wife to return to Auckland on the first available vessel. He flatly refused to leave. By October, Mr. Henderson took matters into his own hands and dispatched the company vessel KREIMHELDA, under Captain Fernandez, with orders to sail to Suwarrow to bring them back. When they anchored off the wharf at the atoll, Captain Fernandez found Sterndale had barricaded himself, his wife and Chinese workers in the house. He appeared at the door, brandishing a revolver, and fired shots at Captain Fernandez as he approached the house.
    Retreating to the ship, the captain and crew placed the house under siege, firing rifle shots into the walls and into the water tank to try to force him to surrender. The Circular Saw Line brigantine RYNO was close by and arrived to find the position in stalemate. On board was a close friend of Sterndale named Captain Mair. Forbidden by the ships captain to leave the vessel, Mair slipped quietly overboard that night into the dark waters of the lagoon. He swam strongly for the distant shoreline, aware that in these waters lurked many large man-eating sharks. As he lay gasping for breath on the white sands, the faint sounds of a scuffle nearby caught his attention and he found a turtle digging frantically in the sand, having chosen this spot to lay her eggs.
    Hearing the sound of metal chinking, he decided to investigate further. Disturbed, the turtle scuttled away back into the dark waters, Mair dug around in the hole she had made with his bare hands. Finally he had cleared enough sand to see the dark outline of a rusty metal box, broken on one end, where necklaces and brooches in gold and silver lay in the sand in the pale moonlight. Glancing down he recalled he only had on his underclothes. He had nothing to carry it away in. Exposing the box, Mair dragged it along the sand, aiming to re-bury it at another spot so he could return on another occasion to claim his find. Into his vest he slipped a few gold coins and rings and having carefully noted the position he had re-buried the treasure, made his way to Sterndale's house.


    At first Sterndale thought it was some trick to get him out, but finally convinced of the identity of his night caller, opened the door and let Henry Mair inside. Mair was unable to convince Sterndale to surrender and the matter was finally brought to a conclusion when Captain Fernandez and his crew decided to smoke Sterndale out of the house with green pandanus leaves. Sterndale surrendered as smoke billowed through the small house. In the company of Captain Fernandez, Sterndale was placed on board the KREIMHELDA and she set sail for Auckland. Sterndale was later charged by the police with 'discharging a firearm with intent to kill', but Captain Fernandez spoke on his behalf in court, and the judge ruled the matter to be out of his jurisdiction. Sterndale and his wife left Auckland shortly after for the west coast of America.


    Henry Mair left his hoard on Suwarrow and continued to work around the Pacific islands. In a letter, dated 1878, to his brother Gilbert Mair in New Zealand, he wrote:



    "People have been talking to me about my plant on Suwarrow, but they all want the lion's share. I am not afraid of anyone finding it. A letter has been in my box for two years, to be forwarded in case I come to grief, giving an accurate description of the place, with the camp as bearings and distances from various points, so anyone with ordinary care could not fail to hit it......."
    The box was never to reach his brother. In 1881, Henry Mair was clubbed to death by the suspicious natives of Cape Lisbon, on the island of Espiritu Santo in the New Hebrides, where he had called there as a recuiting agent on board the Scooner ISABELLA. His box and its contents were never found.



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    I go a great distance,while some are considering whether they will start today or tomorrow

  2. #2
    us
    "WP"

    May 2005
    Saint Petersburg, FL
    White's IDX Pro, Vibraprobe 570, Minelab Explorer XS w/ Sunray X-1 Probe & Sunray Stealth X-12 DD Coil
    3,550
    136 times
    History, Metal Detecting, and Survival & Self-Sufficiency

    Re: Suwarrow Atoll New Zealand Hidden Treasure

    Quote Originally Posted by Gypsy Heart
    Suwarrow Atoll is now a New Zealand protectorate and is part of the Cook Island group. The atoll is barely two and a half square kilometres in area and lies 800 kilometres due east of Samoa and 3,200 kilometres north-east of New Zealand. It has no fresh water or fruit and because of this remained uninhabited for many years. It was uncharted on earlier maps and charts and gained its name during the visit of a Russian vessel, the SUVOROV. The atoll was a likely place to hide ill-gotten gains from plundered ships plying the trade routes across the Pacific Ocean. Lime fortifications and pottery, found in the sand by Sterndale, showed that at some previous time Spanish and Portugese ships had called there.
    Hey Gyps, thank you for posting this lead! If you find any more South Pacific or Oceanic leads, let me know!!!!

    I found the island... and also four VERY GOOD reasons why it might not be a good idea to hunt it. With that much action, I'm thinking drug smugglers.

    Bran <><
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    Rom. 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;

    Rom. 10:10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

  3. #3
    Charter Member
    nz
    Oct 2006
    New Zealand
    Minelab Sovereign GT
    3,543
    646 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Suwarrow Atoll New Zealand Hidden Treasure

    Gypsy Heart, Thank you for posting that fascinating story

    The Mair brothers and other siblings of theirs (12 kids in the Family) are prominent in our Colonial History, at least three brothers serving as officers in the New Zealand Wars of 1860 to 1872.
    Here's a pic of Captain Henry Abott Mair of the Opotiki Volunteer Rangers.

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    His brother Gilbert, who is mentioned in the story, won the New Zealand Cross for valour, an equivalent of the Victoria Cross and one of only 23 ever won. It must be one the rarest medals in the World.

    Here's a cool link to Suwarrow and her history - you might want to browse the other Islands too
    http://cook-islands-escapes.com/suwarrow.html

    and Godisnum, how uncanny is that shot of all those 'drug dealers' being caught by a satellite
    actually - they might be but I doubt it.
    Interesting though because, I think they look like Inshore Patrol style more than anything else.
    I'll follow up some, on that.

    Cheers, Mike




  4. #4
    us
    "WP"

    May 2005
    Saint Petersburg, FL
    White's IDX Pro, Vibraprobe 570, Minelab Explorer XS w/ Sunray X-1 Probe & Sunray Stealth X-12 DD Coil
    3,550
    136 times
    History, Metal Detecting, and Survival & Self-Sufficiency

    Re: Suwarrow Atoll New Zealand Hidden Treasure

    Quote Originally Posted by trikikiwi
    and Godisnum, how uncanny is that shot of all those 'drug dealers' being caught by a satellite
    actually - they might be but I doubt it.
    Interesting though because, I think they look like Inshore Patrol style more than anything else.
    I'll follow up some, on that.

    Cheers, Mike
    Ha, ha... I was just messin' around. I have no idea if they are drug dealers or not. All the boats do look awfully similar though, and high-end at that. Would there be patrol boats around that particular island?

    Bran <><
    Rom. 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;

    Rom. 10:10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

  5. #5
    Charter Member
    nz
    Oct 2006
    New Zealand
    Minelab Sovereign GT
    3,543
    646 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Suwarrow Atoll New Zealand Hidden Treasure

    I think it is a bunch of fishing boats, probably tourists. Raft together to share a few G&T's over lunch.
    Mike

  6. #6
    nz
    Aug 2006
    Auckland
    Garrett 2500 GTI
    428
    19 times

    Re: Suwarrow Atoll New Zealand Hidden Treasure

    Hey gypsy, Thanks for the info, A story i had never heard before. great research. keep it up.

    Cheers Sasnz

  7. #7
    us
    Jul 2010
    pennsylvania
    5

    Re: Suwarrow Atoll New Zealand Hidden Treasure

    My name is Gary and Iím from the United States. I was wondering if there is anyone in New Zealand, particularly around the Lake Taupo area, who would be an amateur treasure hunter or metal detector user. I would also be interested in any organizations or amateur clubs of metal detector users either from this area or that held searches in this area.

    I am looking for the proverbial needle in the haystack. I lost a small gold band of great sentimental value there in late 12/1994 early 1/1995 and Iím trying to locate anyone who might have found it while searching for items with their metal detector. Thank you for any assistance you can offer.

    Gary

  8. #8
    Charter Member
    nz
    Oct 2006
    New Zealand
    Minelab Sovereign GT
    3,543
    646 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Suwarrow Atoll New Zealand Hidden Treasure

    Quote Originally Posted by drgary
    My name is Gary and I’m from the United States. I was wondering if there is anyone in New Zealand, particularly around the Lake Taupo area, who would be an amateur treasure hunter or metal detector user. I would also be interested in any organizations or amateur clubs of metal detector users either from this area or that held searches in this area.

    I am looking for the proverbial needle in the haystack. I lost a small gold band of great sentimental value there in late 12/1994 early 1/1995 and I’m trying to locate anyone who might have found it while searching for items with their metal detector. Thank you for any assistance you can offer.

    Gary
    I have sent you a PM Gary
    Cheers, Mike

  9. #9
    nz
    Aug 2010
    Fisher Gold Bug Pro, had; Minelab Eureka, Bounty Hunter, Garrett, Fisher and Whites.
    460
    60 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Suwarrow Atoll New Zealand Hidden Treasure

    Hi Gypsy, try to get hold of a book called "An Island To Oneself" Cannot The authors name is Tom Neale a New Zealander. He Lived on Suwarow or Suvarov Island In the 1950's and 60's. I recall some mention of treasure, though he doesn't say he found or even looked for it, though he spent many years living there. Either way it's one of my favorite books and I must try to get another copy, if you like a bit of escapist reading you could not do better.
    Love your posts. Nuggy


    Hi Gary, if you still want a detectorist from the Taupo area, try contacting "Des From Down Under" look on todays finds. He is a top guy and I'm pretty sure he will be willing to help if it's possible for him. Nuggy
    Seeking is what precedes finding Nuggy 2012

 

 

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