The Lost Treasure of Cocos Island by Ralph Hancock and Julian A. Weston
New York : Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1960. Hardcover. 325 pages ; photographic illustrations ; 22 cm. $5.00 dust jacket with minimal wear. Pages are unmarked. Binding firm.
Cocos Island is the home of the biggest hidden treasure in the world—a vast hoard whose value has been estimated by the most authentic sources at $100,000,000! In this book two men who have covered Central America for some of the world's leading newspapers and who have collected information on Cocos Island for many years trace the history of the various treasures, tell how the booty came to the island and of the many expeditions which have tried to recover it.
The main Cocos Island treasure came from Lima, Peru, ancient capital of Spanish South America. It was stripped from the vaults, churches and palaces of the city at the approach of San Martin's victorious rebel armies in 1821, stowed aboard the British merchantman, Mary Dear, and finally buried on lonely Cocos by the treacherous officers and crew. This treasure alone has been estimated at $60,000,000 in gold and silver bullion and jewels, but Cocos had been a favorite treasure cache of the legendary free-booters who preyed on shipping when Spain's South American empire flourished, and many other treasures are believed to be buried there.
Stories of millions of dollars in jewels and bullion have sparked the imagination of hundreds of adventurers, led to the formation of syndicates and the outfitting of many expeditions. Some of these expeditions have been superbly equipped and headed by such names as Sir Malcolm Campbell and Count Felix von Luckner; others have been small and surreptitious. But no part of the treasure has ever been found.
Cocos Island (which belongs to Costa Rica) lies about 550 miles due west of Panama City. No other island lies between it and the mainland. It is small—about three miles wide by four miles long —and even today it is possible for a small expedition to wander for weeks in its vicinity and never sight it, for Cocos is a tropical island where it rains almost continuously for nine months of the year and intermittently for the other three. Even when it is not totally obscured by heavy rainfall, the island may be blanketed by fog. Somewhere in its steaming jungles lies the greatest treasure on earth!
Ralph Hancock is a well-known writer and specialist in Latin Amer-ican affairs. He came to know Julian Weston well when he was resident correspondent in San Jose, capital of Costa Rica. He has held the post of advisor and consultant on many intergovernmental groups concerned with Latin American affairs and is responsible for numerous authoritative articles on Central and South America in the Encyclopedia Americana, the Book of Knowledge, and other reference books. Among the twenty books to his credit, the most recent is Puerto Rico: A Success Story.
Julian A. Weston, a transplanted Briton, spent most of his life working in and writing about the countries of the Caribbean and Central America. Well known to foreign news editors in the United States and Great Britain for his dispatches from Latin America, he gave intensive coverage to the many Cocos Island expeditions. Highly regarded in his adopted country, Costa Rica, Mr. Weston's memory was honored by having one of Cocos Island's bays named Weston Bay after he died suddenly in 1956.
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