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Thread: Bill Bowlegs loot (FL.)

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  1. #1
    Kentucky Kache

    Bill Bowlegs' loot (FL.)

    A Gulf Coast pirate who operated for almost 30 years and amassed a huge fortune in gold, silver, and jewels was William Billy Bowlegs Rogers. Rogers (nicknamed Billy Bowlegs after the Seminole war chief) was a member of Jean Lafittes Baritarian pirates as early as 1812. When Lafitte shifted operations to Galveston Island in 1818, Billy Bowlegs stayed behind and formed his own pirate fleet. From a secret base somewhere on the north Gulf Coast, Bowlegs and his small pirate fleet continued to prey on Spanish shipping in the Gulf until 1838 when the cartel of aging pirates officially disbanded. By this time, Billy Bowlegs Rogers had amassed a huge fortune which was disposed of in three places.

    After several hundred thousand dollars worth of gold and silver was stored in the hold of his personal schooner, Rogers hid a great number of gold and silver ingots on a sandy island on the north Gulf Coast. The general consensus among treasure hunters is that this cache was made on the north shore of Santa Rosa Island, but in reality a large number of islands in the area fit the same description.

    A large cache of coins and other valuables was secreted somewhere on the mainland. Possible locations for this cache outnumber the locations for the island cache.

    Billy Bowlegs stayed retired for two years. In 1840 he gathered together 27 of his ex-cronies and took up the pirate path again. They found there were still plenty of good prizes in the Gulf but soon ran afoul of a British man o war. The warship chased the pirates back to their base but could not cross the sand bar into the lagoon as the lighter pirate vessel had done. When the British started to lower long boats full of marines, Bowlegs scuttled the treasure-laden ship and took his men into hiding in the forest. When the British gave up the chase and sailed away, Bowlegs left the bulk of his crew to guard the lagoon and set out overland for New Orleans with promises to return with diving equipment to retrieve the treasure.

    By the time their captain returned with his personal schooner, the diving equipment, and his family, all but four of the crewmen were dead of fever or Indian attacks. The diving operations did not go well and, when another round of fever claimed Billy Bowlegs wife among its victims, he lost all interest in retrieving the treasure. Across the bay from the lagoon where the treasure ship was sunk near, lay the island with the cache of gold and silver ingots. Captain Bowlegs sailed across the bay and built a cabin on the mainland where he lived the rest of his life watching the treasure, but never spending it. Before he died at age 93 he supposedly gave directions for finding this hoard to a friend, but the landmarks had changed too much in the intervening years for the treasure to be found.

    The U.S. Treasure Atlas states that over the years a number of bags of gold coins and bars of silver have been discovered on Santa Rosa Island, lending credence to the general consensus that this is the site of the main cache. But there have been enough finds in other areas on the Choctawatchee Bay and on other sections of the north Gulf Coast to call this assessment into question. Some think that Bowlegs hid the treasure on the mainland in the Fort Walton Beach area; others place the hoard on various smaller islands in the Choctawatchee Bay. Some say the treasure was hidden along the Mullet Creek, while other sources site a secret cavern below Fort San Carlos. Yet another, under a palm tree at Bald Point.

    The locations given for Billy's cache of coins run the gamut from the area around Franklin in Franklin County to the Alabama side of the ferry on the Perdido River.

    Most sources put the lagoon where the pirate captain scuttled his own treasure ship somewhere on the Choctawatchee Bay. A few name the Apalachicola Bay, and one source moves the whole story south to the mouth of the Swanee River. In this last scenario, the treasure cache is hidden either on Bird Island ten miles northwest of the mouth of the river or Bird Key ten miles south. This last seems awfully far afield; however, the pre-eminence of the Choctawatchee Bay area in most researcher's estimation may have been partially influenced by the fact that, in times past, the Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce actively promoted the Billy Bowlegs story as an annual tourist event. The claims that silver bars and bags of gold coins found in the area have not, that I know of, been backed up with names of the lucky finders. Still, the descriptions of the cache site fit Santa Rosa Island quite nicely, and that was where I placed the treasure when I wrote the Bowlegs story for the 1995 Treasure Cache Annual. Incidentally, the sacks of gold coins are said to be buried only six to 12 inches deep, but the silver ingots a good six to eight feet under.



  2. #2
    us
    "WP"

    May 2005
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    Re: Bill Bowlegs' loot (FL.)

    Quote Originally Posted by jbot
    A Gulf Coast pirate who operated for almost 30 years and amassed a huge fortune in gold, silver, and jewels was William Billy Bowlegs Rogers. Rogers (nicknamed Billy Bowlegs after the Seminole war chief) was a member of Jean Lafittes Baritarian pirates as early as 1812. When Lafitte shifted operations to Galveston Island in 1818, Billy Bowlegs stayed behind and formed his own pirate fleet. From a secret base somewhere on the north Gulf Coast, Bowlegs and his small pirate fleet continued to prey on Spanish shipping in the Gulf until 1838 when the cartel of aging pirates officially disbanded. By this time, Billy Bowlegs Rogers had amassed a huge fortune which was disposed of in three places.

    After several hundred thousand dollars worth of gold and silver was stored in the hold of his personal schooner, Rogers hid a great number of gold and silver ingots on a sandy island on the north Gulf Coast. The general consensus among treasure hunters is that this cache was made on the north shore of Santa Rosa Island, but in reality a large number of islands in the area fit the same description.

    A large cache of coins and other valuables was secreted somewhere on the mainland. Possible locations for this cache outnumber the locations for the island cache.

    Billy Bowlegs stayed retired for two years. In 1840 he gathered together 27 of his ex-cronies and took up the pirate path again. They found there were still plenty of good prizes in the Gulf but soon ran afoul of a British man o war. The warship chased the pirates back to their base but could not cross the sand bar into the lagoon as the lighter pirate vessel had done. When the British started to lower long boats full of marines, Bowlegs scuttled the treasure-laden ship and took his men into hiding in the forest. When the British gave up the chase and sailed away, Bowlegs left the bulk of his crew to guard the lagoon and set out overland for New Orleans with promises to return with diving equipment to retrieve the treasure.

    By the time their captain returned with his personal schooner, the diving equipment, and his family, all but four of the crewmen were dead of fever or Indian attacks. The diving operations did not go well and, when another round of fever claimed Billy Bowlegs wife among its victims, he lost all interest in retrieving the treasure. Across the bay from the lagoon where the treasure ship was sunk near, lay the island with the cache of gold and silver ingots. Captain Bowlegs sailed across the bay and built a cabin on the mainland where he lived the rest of his life watching the treasure, but never spending it. Before he died at age 93 he supposedly gave directions for finding this hoard to a friend, but the landmarks had changed too much in the intervening years for the treasure to be found.

    The U.S. Treasure Atlas states that over the years a number of bags of gold coins and bars of silver have been discovered on Santa Rosa Island, lending credence to the general consensus that this is the site of the main cache. But there have been enough finds in other areas on the Choctawatchee Bay and on other sections of the north Gulf Coast to call this assessment into question. Some think that Bowlegs hid the treasure on the mainland in the Fort Walton Beach area; others place the hoard on various smaller islands in the Choctawatchee Bay. Some say the treasure was hidden along the Mullet Creek, while other sources site a secret cavern below Fort San Carlos. Yet another, under a palm tree at Bald Point.

    The locations given for Billy's cache of coins run the gamut from the area around Franklin in Franklin County to the Alabama side of the ferry on the Perdido River.
    Gulf Coast pirate who operated for almost 30 years and amassed a huge fortune in gold, silver, and jewels was William Billy Bowlegs Rogers. Rogers (nicknamed Billy Bowlegs after the Seminole war chief) was a member of Jean Lafittes Baritarian pirates as early as 1812. When Lafitte shifted operations to Galveston Island in 1818, Billy Bowlegs stayed behind and formed his own pirate fleet. From a secret base somewhere on the north Gulf Coast, Bowlegs and his small pirate fleet continued to prey on Spanish shipping in the Gulf until 1838 when the cartel of aging pirates officially disbanded. By this time, Billy Bowlegs Rogers had amassed a huge fortune which was disposed of in three places.

    After several hundred thousand dollars worth of gold and silver was stored in the hold of his personal schooner, Rogers hid a great number of gold and silver ingots on a sandy island on the north Gulf Coast. The general consensus among treasure hunters is that this cache was made on the north shore of Santa Rosa Island, but in reality a large number of islands in the area fit the same description.

    A large cache of coins and other valuables was secreted somewhere on the mainland. Possible locations for this cache outnumber the locations for the island cache.

    Billy Bowlegs stayed retired for two years. In 1840 he gathered together 27 of his ex-cronies and took up the pirate path again. They found there were still plenty of good prizes in the Gulf but soon ran afoul of a British man o war. The warship chased the pirates back to their base but could not cross the sand bar into the lagoon as the lighter pirate vessel had done. When the British started to lower long boats full of marines, Bowlegs scuttled the treasure-laden ship and took his men into hiding in the forest. When the British gave up the chase and sailed away, Bowlegs left the bulk of his crew to guard the lagoon and set out overland for New Orleans with promises to return with diving equipment to retrieve the treasure.

    By the time their captain returned with his personal schooner, the diving equipment, and his family, all but four of the crewmen were dead of fever or Indian attacks. The diving operations did not go well and, when another round of fever claimed Billy Bowlegs wife among its victims, he lost all interest in retrieving the treasure. Across the bay from the lagoon where the treasure ship was sunk near, lay the island with the cache of gold and silver ingots. Captain Bowlegs sailed across the bay and built a cabin on the mainland where he lived the rest of his life watching the treasure, but never spending it. Before he died at age 93 he supposedly gave directions for finding this hoard to a friend, but the landmarks had changed too much in the intervening years for the treasure to be found.

    The U.S. Treasure Atlas states that over the years a number of bags of gold coins and bars of silver have been discovered on Santa Rosa Island, lending credence to the general consensus that this is the site of the main cache. But there have been enough finds in other areas on the Choctawatchee Bay and on other sections of the north Gulf Coast to call this assessment into question. Some think that Bowlegs hid the treasure on the mainland in the Fort Walton Beach area; others place the hoard on various smaller islands in the Choctawatchee Bay. Some say the treasure was hidden along the Mullet Creek, while other sources site a secret cavern below Fort San Carlos. Yet another, under a palm tree at Bald Point.

    The locations given for Billy's cache of coins run the gamut from the area around Franklin in Franklin County to the Alabama side of the ferry on the Perdido River.


    Most sources put the lagoon where the pirate captain scuttled his own treasure ship somewhere on the Choctawatchee Bay. A few name the Apalachicola Bay, and one source moves the whole story south to the mouth of the Swanee River. In this last scenario, the treasure cache is hidden either on Bird Island ten miles northwest of the mouth of the river or Bird Key ten miles south. This last seems awfully far afield; however, the pre-eminence of the Choctawatchee Bay area in most researcher's estimation may have been partially influenced by the fact that, in times past, the Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce actively promoted the Billy Bowlegs story as an annual tourist event. The claims that silver bars and bags of gold coins found in the area have not, that I know of, been backed up with names of the lucky finders. Still, the descriptions of the cache site fit Santa Rosa Island quite nicely, and that was where I placed the treasure when I wrote the Bowlegs story for the 1995 Treasure Cache Annual. Incidentally, the sacks of gold coins are said to be buried only six to 12 inches deep, but the silver ingots a good six to eight feet under.

    Most sources put the lagoon where the pirate captain scuttled his own treasure ship somewhere on the Choctawatchee Bay. A few name the Apalachicola Bay, and one source moves the whole story south to the mouth of the Swanee River. In this last scenario, the treasure cache is hidden either on Bird Island ten miles northwest of the mouth of the river or Bird Key ten miles south. This last seems awfully far afield; however, the pre-eminence of the Choctawatchee Bay area in most researcher's estimation may have been partially influenced by the fact that, in times past, the Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce actively promoted the Billy Bowlegs story as an annual tourist event. The claims that silver bars and bags of gold coins found in the area have not, that I know of, been backed up with names of the lucky finders. Still, the descriptions of the cache site fit Santa Rosa Island quite nicely, and that was where I placed the treasure when I wrote the Bowlegs story for the 1995 Treasure Cache Annual. Incidentally, the sacks of gold coins are said to be buried only six to 12 inches deep, but the silver ingots a good six to eight feet under.
    The red is the info that's copied twice. Good lead, thanks for posting it! I read that one in my Treasure Atlas too.

    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.

  3. #3
    Kentucky Kache

    Re: Bill Bowlegs' loot (FL.)

    Sorry about that.

  4. #4
    us
    "WP"

    May 2005
    Saint Petersburg, FL
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    Re: Bill Bowlegs' loot (FL.)

    Quote Originally Posted by jbot
    Sorry about that.
    It's cool!
    Just thought I'd help ya' out there.

    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
    us
    Pirate of the Martires

    Feb 2005
    Port Richey, Florida
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    Re: Bill Bowlegs' loot (FL.)

    "The claims of silver bars and bags of gold have not been backed up by names." Well, you didn't do your research very well. I found numerous names to back up the stories. In June 1958 Mrs Beulah Croaker found several treasure caches on Santa Rosa Is. She started buying up land to excavate. The folowing year F.L. Coffman and Bud Worth found and excavated Bowlegs ship, the Mysterio in the N.E. corner of Choctawhatchee Bay. They brought up over 117 bars of silver. In 1965 L. Frank Hudson found the gold bars on Santa Rosa Is. He was caught by the local authorities and the gold was confiscated. In 1978 Don Williams of Ft. Meyers found pirate graves on the east end of Santa Rosa Is. He dug them up and found silver coins, jewelery, a flintlock pistol and other artifacts. All the good stuff is gone.
    AARC likes this.

  6. #6
    Kentucky Kache

    Re: Bill Bowlegs' loot (FL.)

    Quote Originally Posted by scubasalvor
    "The claims of silver bars and bags of gold have not been backed up by names." Well, you didn't do your research very well. I found numerous names to back up the stories. In June 1958 Mrs Beulah Croaker found several treasure caches on Santa Rosa Is. She started buying up land to excavate. The folowing year F.L. Coffman and Bud Worth found and excavated Bowlegs ship, the Mysterio in the N.E. corner of Choctawhatchee Bay. They brought up over 117 bars of silver. In 1965 L. Frank Hudson found the gold bars on Santa Rosa Is. He was caught by the local authorities and the gold was confiscated. In 1978 Don Williams of Ft. Meyers found pirate graves on the east end of Santa Rosa Is. He dug them up and found silver coins, jewelery, a flintlock pistol and other artifacts. All the good stuff is gone.
    Okay, rude dude. First of all, this is not my research. People find leads for various areas and post them here for those who might be interested. Also, whoever wrote this story, you missquoted them. They said, AS FAR AS THEY KNEW, the claims had not been backed up by names...

    I'm sure you know more than I do on this lead, but it was posted here for those who might NOT know about it. This is not a contest.

  7. #7
    us
    "WP"

    May 2005
    Saint Petersburg, FL
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    Re: Bill Bowlegs' loot (FL.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Cache Crazy
    "rude dude"
    Rude Dude... lol!

    Bran <><

    P.S. Sorry, I saw the movie and your comment reminded me of this song... lol

    T-Pain - Church (Step Up 2 Sountrack)
    [youtube=425,350]VehCcE5anUs[/youtube]
    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.

  8. #8
    Kentucky Kache

    Re: Bill Bowlegs' loot (FL.)

    Now there's some mixed up dudes.

  9. #9
    us
    Feb 2007
    East Central Florida WP
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    Re: Bill Bowlegs' loot (FL.)

    Quote Originally Posted by godisnum1
    Quote Originally Posted by Cache Crazy
    "rude dude"
    Rude Dude... lol!

    Bran <><

    P.S. Sorry, I saw the movie and your comment reminded me of this song... lol

    T-Pain - Church (Step Up 2 Sountrack)
    [youtube=425,350]VehCcE5anUs[/youtube]
    Is the name of that bad The Annoying Dudes ?
    Ray S ECenFL

  10. #10
    us
    "WP"

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    Re: Bill Bowlegs' loot (FL.)

    Could be, I suppose... lol

    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.

  11. #11
    us
    #BigCypressSwamp

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    Re: Bill Bowlegs' loot (FL.)

    Not too bad Godisnum1. Racially mixed, clean words, no sex, no drugs, no guns, no cop killin talk. Better than most hiphop that I have seen. 8) Rude Dude.

  12. #12
    us
    "WP"

    May 2005
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    Re: Bill Bowlegs' loot (FL.)

    Quote Originally Posted by bigcypresshunter
    Not too bad Godisnum1. Racially mixed, clean words, no sex, no drugs, no guns, no cop killin talk. Better than most hiphop that I have seen. 8) Rude Dude.
    I can't take credit for it... it just made me think of it when Cache Crazy said "rude dude" in his post. lol
    It's just one of the songs from the Step Up Soundtrack that I remembered when I saw it in the theaters a month or so ago.
    Unfortunately, I do believe there are bad lyrics to the song... that just happened to be the edited version. I haven't heard the normal version, nor do I really care to.

    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.

  13. #13
    us
    Your Only One Swing Away From Discovery

    Dec 2006
    Florida
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    Re: Bill Bowlegs' loot (FL.)

    Quote Originally Posted by scubasalvor
    "All the good stuff is gone. "
    Nah it still only one swing away from locating

    Just some is on "federal protected" sands
    AARC likes this.
    Your Discovery Has History Count On It
    Enjoy the dig, treasure the time

  14. #14
    us
    Jul 2008
    florida and everywhere....
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    Re: Bill Bowlegs' loot (FL.)

    I was out swinging and a older fella came up and started talking to me about this today.Interesting indeed.He started losing me when he started talking like a pirate a little bit..
    He was saying he was leagues away from a find and talking about I should go out into the woods a couple more paces....I dont know if he is vetran MD'er or he has been around pirate info TO MUCH !!
    sphillips likes this.

  15. #15
    us
    Oct 2007
    Pascagoula Ms.
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    Re: Bill Bowlegs' loot (FL.)

    Scubasalvor? Could you show me the area/spot they talk about in the book ..Maybe give me a X on the map..I have found some spanish stuff in my area ,but would love to find some more...Thanks,relic
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