Today’s guest post comes from Virginia Williams. Over the last few year, Virginia has been publishing her grandfather’s manuscripts that he wrote in the early 1900’s. You can check out her blog at http://rosepointpublishing.com/ and Stanley McShane’s published works on Amazon.
It is said that Jacque Cousteau called Cocos Island the most beautiful island in the world, and the island is also on the short list to become one of the “New Seven Wonders of the World”. The island has long been declared to be hiding more than just natural beauty within its rugged landscape:
William Thompson loaded jewels, gold, silver, heavily adorned candlesticks, and two life sized gold statues of the Virgin Mary holding baby Jesus aboard the Mary Dear and left the harbor as expected. Thompson was overcome with temptation, however, and he and his crew killed the Spanish guards and changed their original course from Spain to Cocos Island, (Isla del Coco) located 340 miles off the pacific coast of Costa Rica where they buried the treasure said to be worth well over $160,000,000 (now known as “The Loot of Lima”. Whether buried above ground in the sand of one of two bays (Chatham Bay or Wafer Bay) or below the water, no one has yet recovered any riches.
But Thompson wasn’t alone in thinking Cocos Island represented a quick and safe haven for secreting away pirated treasures from the hapless ships sailing on the main shipping channels toward destinations many never completed successfully!
My grandfather, Patrick John Rose (pen name Stanley McShane who wrote “Cocos Island Treasure“), separately ventured to the island in the early 1900′s about the same time as John Keating spent nearly 12 years (from 1897 to 1908) searching for the treasures that so many pirates reportedly buried on Isla del Coco (Cocos Island). In total, it was reported that Keating eventually found 6 gold coins. (No information documented on the location of the find.)
But it was the buccaneer Edward Davis that was the subject of my grandfather’s book and goal of his trip to Cocos Island. Edward Davis was one of the earliest (1680) recorded (by writer William Dampier) buccaneers to have buried treasure on Cocos Island. According to Wikipedia, Davis with his flagship, the Bachelor’s Delight anchored in “Chatham Bay and supposedly left behind several chests containing ingots, pieces-of-eight and £300,000 in silver bar and plate taken from settlements in Peru and Chile.” They also go on to say that he may have been the same privateer to accompany Captain William Kidd to America after a meeting at St. Mary’s Island in 1697.
The jungle infested island described in the book by my grandfather also alludes to the waterfalls from almost perpendicular rocks and feral pigs deposited on the island by the many treasure laden visitors over the years. The shear cliffs testify to the uninhabilitability of the island though the island purportedly boasts fresh water, as well as the namesake, coconuts, lending a siren call to either bay whether for depositing ill-gotten gains or to find a safe haven from the frequent tropical storms that assail the area. The tropical trees and plants, choking vines and creepers apparently hide quagmires or deep crevices, which, following a misstep, can swallow a human whole. Millions of insects inhabit vapor laden air while the raucous cries of birds careen overhead. Patrick describes a stream west of the bay shore of Chatham Bay that they followed by laboriously hacking bushes and vines as they went. The party ascended up and over immense boulders where they eventually discovered a pool created from waters from above. It was within the pool that water also disappears into a hidden, underwater cave.
It is definitely the stories handed down from generation to generation and writers such as Dampier and my grandfather that lend themselves to the folklore of the romanticized pirate legends. That and the occasional find of a golden doubloon!
 http://www.new7wonders.com/ You can view the “new” 7 wonders as listed. There are continuous feeds on Twitter, Google, and Youtube.
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