Youll read about many that are hidden and a few that were found, so it can happen. Leading a group of escaped convicts, Gaspar with his stolen ship established a home base in 1783 in the area of Charlotte Harbor, north of the present day Fort Myers on an Island he named "Gasparilla." He is said to have also taken that name for himself as it means "Gaspar the outlaw." Mike Lopez tells WFLA that his sister was. Treasure hunter Stacey Hunt holds an old nail found under the ground on a wetland believed to have lost treasure. Most of the suspected locations are in and around the state of Florida. By booking through these links, the small commission we earn helps us bring you more Caribbean content so that you can save money and have a better island vacation. Some records give him the honor of being what we would call an admiral. Since the 1870s, treasure hunters have been trying unsuccessfully to crack this code you see below: Some say its Spanish. Mysterious box containing a map, coins and a mummified hand found in Tampa Bay attic. His work appears here every third Monday; the views expressed. Inside, bound to the box by copper wire, she found a dessicated hand wearing a ring with the word "Gaspar" on . As mentioned above one of the rumored locations for his treasure is on Woodland Beach in Delaware. was reading about Jose Gaspar aka Gasparilla Pirate and one story tells of his friend Roderigo Lopez wanting to leave the Pirate life and Gaspar helped him leave, so it seems Maria Lopez great great grandfather may have been Roderigo. The legend of Gaspar began making its way into other writings after that, without any other historical evidence to back it up. In the late 1600s a Scottish sailor named William Kidd came to America. . Just pick any island and start digging, because Gasparillas loot is buried on many of them, including Cayo Pelau. Is this the hand and treasure of Jose Gaspar? When Gasparilla requested that they accompany him and his crew on a raid, the two young lovers assumed they would be slaughtered. "Maybe my great-grandparents were pirates," Mike Lopez said. Jose Gaspar Treasure Co. 2119 N Oceanshore Blvd. Many believe it is Edward Teach, but some claim it is Edward Thatch. Some records give him the honor of being what we would call an admiral. Box allegedly containing Gaspars hand and related items Photo Credit. Josh is on a mission to find Jos Gaspar's hidden treasure. All of it is built around the story of Gaspar. What Became of Anne Bonny, Irish Pirate of the Caribbean? Leaving Spain at an early age, he sailed to the West Coast of Florida. Lafitte was wanted by the US government for they deemed his acts as piracy, not privateering. Once he was a few hundred meters away, the British flag came down and the American flag rose up the mast. There are numerous tales and stories of pirate treasures hidden thought the world, some of which are not attributed to any particular pirate. Plundering the high seas and ports alike resulted in vast riches for some of these ruthless criminals. Some say it reveals compass bearings around Lettuce Lake. CBS affiliate WPEC-TV reported that 43-year-old treasure hunter Jonah Martinez located the coins using a . In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, no pirate was more feared in the southern United States than Jose Gaspar. The Legend of Gasparilla and His Treasure is a gripping, heart-pounding action adventure that's akin to a modern-day Indiana Jones story.,, Mysterious Pirate Treasure Box Found in Tampa Bay Attic, February 17, 2023 - 9:45 pm by dEBRINA bLACKMOON. Decipher the code, and you might find some of Gaspars lost treasure but as fast as Florida changes, dont be surprised if you find a new shopping mall sitting square on top of it. This is extremely suspect as this is the same location rumored to hide the treasure of Billy Bowlegs Rogers. 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Michael Gattuso lends a hand to his wife Lauren as they dock on a wetland on the Peace River in Arcadia. It may not display this or other websites correctly. Supposedly a group of pirates traveled from the gulf inland via river to a spot in Indiana where they hid a bunch of gold coins east of the town of Freedom. He was wanted until 1815 when opinion of him changed. Over and out from somewhere south, RumShopRyan. You are using an out of date browser. Before we get to the treasure hunt, let's touch on the historical background of Jose Gaspar and how a now infamous fictitious pirate became a Tampa legend. One of the most popular pirates in Florida folklore is Jose' Gaspar. His death seems to come straight from Hollywood. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. Historic Mysteries is an Amazon Associate and earns from qualifying purchases. Rumors take on a life of their own and ultimately cause hurt or expense. Website. Tampa family finds pirate treasure in grandpa's attic Box found in Tampa attic has coins, a map, a hand and a mystery - WFLA News Channel 8 Share or comment on this article: Tampa family finds. "It's a bunch of heartbreak with little reward and a lot of imagination," said treasure hunter Erin Melcher. However there are several problems with the story which have led many to question whether Gasparilla as he was known was a real historical figure. Jos Gaspar, known by his nickname Gasparilla (supposedly lived c. 1756 - 1821), was a purported Spanish pirate, the "last of the Buccaneer s," who is claimed to have raided the west coast of Florida during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. He found a hillside where he buried 2 pirate chests filled with valuable metals and jewels. Source of the stories which became inspiration for the legend of Jose Gaspar. Upon returning he discovered that he had been labeled a pirate by the British government. It's a Small size geocache, with difficulty of 3.5, terrain of 5. The first recorded reference of Jos Gaspar was in fact over 100 years after his supposed career, in a short biography included in an early 1900s promotional brochure for the Gasparilla Inn on Gasparilla Island in Charlotte Harbor. Gaspar did not exist, but never mind that. He eventually retired and settled down on Shell Creek near Lettuce Lake in DeSoto County, where he lived for many years. He spent nearly 30 years plundering ships in and around the gulf coast. Tales of love and marriage, an aristocratic captain with nobility in his crew, a handsome and debonair adventurer: all these stories seem too good to be true. It seems the mythical pirate was a tall tale concocted by a man named Juan Gmez. Upon hearing this news, he unloaded his spoils and set sail for America (where he was later arrested and sent back to England). Jose Gaspar Treasure 2119 N Ocean Shore Blvd Flagler Beach FL 32136 (386) 439-3061 Claim this business (386) 439-3061 Website More Directions Advertisement Photos See More Hours Wed: 11am - 5pm Thu: 11am - 5pm Fri: 11am - 5pm Sat: 11am - 5pm Sun: 12pm - 5pm Website Take me there Jewelers Nice Shell Shop. You'll need a boat or kayak for this cache. Show more. A band of pirates in Wisconsin operated out of a cave on Hermit island. Seeing the writing on the wall, he decided to scuttle his own ship and hide with his crew in the forrest. He then tied himself to an anchor and jumped in the ocean disappearing for all time. He wished to return to America to retrieve this treasure after Kidds execution but he never made it back. These stories and locations presented are based on our research but should be taken with some skepticism. Mike Lopez said his sister was not expecting to find a human hand, a treasure map, and gold coins. However his name and supposed deeds are still celebrated to this day, not least with the annual Gasparilla Pirate Festival, which began in 1904 in Tampa, Florida, which honors his tale. The map is estimated to be from the 1930s and shows the Tampa area. In 1897, he purchased land at Boca Grande, an island outpost. If the legend is true, Gasparilla was extremely successful and plundered more than 400 ships. New details have emerged about the San Jose, a Spanish galleon sunk by British ships 300 years ago. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. . He has taken his place in local folklore and culture and has an annual festival in his honor. Some of the add-ons on this site are powered by, Jose Gaspar is not the only mythical pirate character that has. Save. Before deciding to pursue this ship, Gaspar left some of his men behind with the treasure. What year did Jose Gaspar invade Tampa? 3. But treasure hunters believe there is truth in his tall tale, and buried treasure is out there. He relocated to Galveston Island around 1817 where he set up a pirate empire. Starting in 1911, though, the event's founders, Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla, switched . The experts dont believe that their find is a real treasure map or that the legend of Gaspar is anything more than children story or a folk tale that adds to the culture of the area. The treasure: Slave-turned-pirate Henri Caesar stole a ship in Haiti to seek his fortune on the Spanish Main and Florida waters. $ 6 reviews. . This happened in the year 1782. The team searched the waters at low tide for a canon buried in the sand. Available at:, Sachs, S, 2022. Jose Gaspar Rodriguez de Francia: Politician: Capricon: 06 January 1766 AD . He quickly worked his way up the ranks of the Spanish Navy and became an officer. There have been many stories told of treasure Captain Kidd buried back in America. Caesar was forced to push his pirate pack north to the Gulf of Mexico. "Possibly keep it forever. Instead, he pursued a merchant ship and insisted that it convey Batista and Ann Jeffries to England and that its captain marry them on board after they were out of sight of his ship, the Jose Gasparilla II. Or show us love by sharing articles and leaving great comments. This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. He was most likely a sailor for the English Navy who became unemployed and turned to a life of piracy. (5) The first written version of Gasparilla appeared in an advertising brochure of the Charlotte Harbor and Northern Railroad Co. printed in 1900. The allures of Jose Gaspar's mythical treasure and Tampa's giant pirate parade have pulled strongly on producers of reality television lately. Powell showed us museum exhibits full of gold coins recovered from shipwrecks and explained how the legend of Jose Gaspar launched the Gasparilla Pirate Festival we know and love today. The treasure on Money Island is said to hidden in the crevice of a large rock that is only visible during low tide. The parade that follows is one of the largest in the country, drawing hundreds of thousands of people to Tampa Bay. May 4, 1904Gasparilla Pirate Festival / First event date. At The Jose Gaspar Treasure Co. visitors and locals can find treasures of all kinds. "Either my great-grandfather made the best, most elaborate pirate hoax ever and never shared it with anyone or he really did find some treasure on the Hillsborough River. However, he spotted a British merchant ship and could not resist one final prize. Do you think there's buried treasure out there? Okay, that was. Was there really a pirate named Jose Gaspar? A Net Inceptions project. I love searching for all types of "treasures" with my family. Michael Gattuso and his crew got a cable debut Wednesday night in an episode of Discovery Channel's show "Expedition Unknown." He was said to have been extremely active for many years, attacking merchant ships and evading justice, and in this time he won himself a huge fortune. Kidd set sail for England and was commissioned as a privateer by the English government. In all, he buried 13 casks and chests of treasure in the vicinity of his headquarters. We're back to the hotel brochure. Some of the add-ons on this site are powered by. I have never found any real evidence he lived. Strap yourself in for a wild ride and buy this international bestselling book today! He weighed in on the treasure map as well and believes it was a blueprint for the area during the 1920s and 1930s, but nothing more. We have one with Gomez's name on it. A few years later, he fell out of favor with the government and turned to a life of piracy. A treasure said to be worth $30 million. This was to prove his doom as the ship he had targeted was no harmless cargo ship but in fact the USS Enterprise, a heavily armed and very dangerous pirate hunter. The legend states that Gaspar terrorized the western coastal waters of Florida in the late 18th to early 19th century. will support that mission. Location & Hours 2119 N Oceanshore Blvd Flagler Beach, FL 32136 Get directions Edit business info You Might Also Consider Sponsored Purple Haze 22 23.4 miles away from Jose Gaspar Treasure Marcus E. said "Hand crafted glass smoking utensils. When you go in the attic you expect to find something old. The Real Treasure Hunters have come a long way from social media in their hunt for the treasure of Jose Gaspar in the Peace River. The most famous Florida pirate was Jos Gaspar, known by his nickname Gasparilla. It was a simple wooden box, but inside were fascinating (and macabre) clues to a family mystery. . The legend of Gaspar was first recorded in promotional materials for this Boca Grande Hotel. Tyrons Landing located between the towns of Wethersfield and Naubuc. They bribed the owner with some of the treasure to not divulge their location. A fortune worth $1 million when it was hidden in 2010 is waiting to be picked up somewhere in the Rocky Mountains just a few miles from Santa Fe, New Mexico. It's part of our family now.". And indeed there are serious problems with the stories of Gasparilla. First of all there was a Spanish Catholic missionary named Gasparillo that had a mission on the island that bears his name. Many of the stories about Gasparilla were attributed to Juan Gomez. Pirate Photo byScott UmstattdonUnsplash, Lafitte Photo By Anonymous Rosenberg Library, Galveston, Texas, Public Domain, Skully Photo byLuke SouthernonUnsplash. The items found by his sister were neatly packed inside a wooden box. Just . There are many differing versions about the pirates origins and life, but there is no real historical evidence that he ever existed. 1. Maybe you can find one and claim the fame and wealth that will ultimilty accompany your successful efforts. Enjoy. Gasparilla seized her ship, and the hostages were brought to his hideout on Gasparilla Island. This endeavor lasted only about 5 years when the us army came to visit Lafitte, asking him to leave. We" more 2. Later that fall, he captured a large French slave ship bound for some sugar plantations. When he was captured and offered the option of going to prison or joining the navy, he chose the latter, serving with distinction for several years before organizing a mutiny against a dictatorial captain and fleeing to Florida with a stolen ship. Despite his brutal reputation, Gasparilla was supposed to have a soft side as well. This particular lost treasure consists of a bunch of silver coins, ingots and even pieces of jewelry. It's light on history and heavy on action, suspense, and intrigue. Deleware holds one more possibility around Woodland Beach. Overview. Born in 1756 in Spain, Gaspar served in the Spanish Navy until a mutiny in 1783. The race of the old buccaneer was nearly run, but all through that night, he told a story of piracy that could scarce be believed, yet it was a dying man that was clearing his soul before his Maker., Its gonna be really f*cking cold in Florida; impending snow, death, mayhem, Andrew Van Sickle assigned as prosecutor in the infamous shark case, Lets Make Florida Slightly Less Fucked Up, Alligator attacks Peace River swimmer in Arcadia, Florida Man Cuts off Gator Tail to Impress Girlfriend and Tries to Sell it to Neighbors, Traffic stop leads to meth arrest in Silver Springs. St. Vincent Island off the coast of Florida is said to have been an island frequented by early pirates. Subsequent retellings of the Gaspar tale are based on this imaginative account, including the unintentional inclusion of Jos Gaspar in a 1923 book on genuine pirates, which has created ongoing debate regarding his historical veracity. Legend states they marked a tree by driving a sword into it. The Choctawatchee Bay is an area of a lot of speculation of the location of some of Bowlegs hidden treasure. The pirate is one of the most notorious in the history of pirates. The final and perhaps most intriguing possibility is around the Spanish Fort San Carlos in Pensacola. And to this day, Jose Gaspar returns on board his pirate ship every year to capture the city.". Named for legendary pirate, Jose Gaspar, who terrorized the coastal waters of West Florida during the 18th and early 19th centuries, Tampa Bay's destination-wide annual Gasparilla celebration kicks off each January with a full schedule of exciting pirate-themed events. While doing some spring cleaning a few weeks ago, Maria Lopez made an unusual discovery in her grandfathers attic. It seems the mythical pirate was a tall tale concocted by a man named Juan Gmez. Latest Blog . This action helped turn opinion of Lafitte from villain to hero. " Mar 2021 We really enjoyed shopping here! Jose Lopez's sister, Maria, was cleaning out the attic of a home owned by her great-grandparents, Eve and Ernesto Lopez, in Tampa's historic Ybor City area, when she stumbled upon the box, WFLA-TV reports. However, perhaps the most famous story of Gaspar concerns his death. (3) The Spanish kept meticulous records and there is no mention of Gasparilla in the archives. A team of treasure hunters could be on the verge of unearthing the "world's largest treasure hoard," said to be worth over $20 billion. His ship was scuttled in the battle sending the valuables to the bottom of the ocean. Here Lafitte had a very fair treasure distribution policy that everyone seemed to like. He soon picked a good spot in Charlotte Harbor, and began to build his pirate kingdom. Florida at this time was in its Second Spanish Period which runs from 1783 to 1821. JOSE GASPAR: Kern County makes history, and in a good way Dec 18, 2022 The 8-year-old student was curios so she wrote a letter. What he thought was a British cargo ship turned out to be the USS Enterprise, on a mission to end piracy. The most notorious and successful pirate was Jose Gaspar, better known as Gasparilla. As promised here is the start of your Pirate Treasure stories. Paluska and ABC Action News photojournalist Reed Moeller took a 20-minute ferry ride from Pine Island to Useppa Island, the location where Gaspar is said to have beheaded a Spanish Princess. We thought that was awesome. He told where the body would be found and a sketch was prepared under his direction, and in recent years in the exact location as described, the skeleton of a beheaded woman was found.". Gattuso leads a a small group called the The Treasure Hunters who spend their weekends hiking the wilderness near the Peace River in search of lost treasure believed to have been left behind by Jose Gaspar. Contributing columnist Jose Gaspar is a news anchor/reporter for Telemundo Bakersfield and KGET. Blackbeard captured an estimated 40 different ships and vessels in a little less than 2 years off the east coast of America and across the Caribbean. 2009-2021 Historic Mysteries. The family thinks the hand belongs to famous Tampa Bay pirate Jose Gaspar. These recommended links below will help you save money and book your trip: We use all the companies listed here or on the resource page. After that, they searched his cabin and found a jar of gold coins and a small sheet of copper engraved with a code indicating the location of buried treasure. Analytical cookies are used to understand how visitors interact with the website. The parade that follows is one of the largest in the country, drawing hundreds of thousands of people to Tampa Bay. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Performance". "You'll hear more of us, you know; we'll do this until we're old and, you know, can't do it anymore.". Many ship captains and pirates alike came to Lafitte and could sign articles to become a part of his pirate fleet. The legend of pirate Jose Gaspar, or Gasparilla as he is sometimes known, is shrouded in mystery. His piratical career always starts with an injustice and he is seen as a lovable rogue rather than a murderous monster. The Search for Florida's Lost Pirate: With Josh Gates, Shamus Warren, Rodney Kite-Powell, Michael Gattuso. (2) Most of the islands around Charlotte Harbor were named by the Cuban Spanish fishermen that lived there since the 1600's. Treasure hunter Michael Gattuso digs a hole in front of treasure hunters Stacey Hunt and Erin Melcher in an area where metal detectors notify of gold on a wetland believed to have lost treasure on the Peace River in Arcadia on Sunday, January 13, 2019. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. Another report states that he hid several chests in a small river somewhere in the vicinity of the Bay. The pirate is one of the most notorious in the history of pirates. In it, she introduced herself and wrote that her parents were. The gold coins were too thin and too old to pass as authentic Spanish treasure. Who created the man who is now a legend? Cleaning the dreaded attic turned up a darling wedding photo of the Lopezes grandparents, but it also uncovered some interesting but creepy finds. Jos Gaspar allegedly lived between 1756 and 1821 and was based on southwest Florida, on the edge of the Gulf of Mexico. There is a new book out "Pirates of Southwest Florida, Fact and Legend" by James F. and Sarah Jane Kaserman that debunks some of the stories of Gasparilla. The story states that Rogers discovered these lost tunnels and used them to store his treasure. According to the story, Gaspar had underestimated the USS Enterprise as an easy target. Pirate Blackbeard entered the history books in the early 1700s. Jean Lafitte. One of his ships has been discovered in the waters off of North Carolina and definitely proven to belong to Blackbeard. Gaspar's legend is one of a murderous, bloodthirsty swashbuckler who stole money from Spain, stole a ship, kidnapped a Spanish Princess, and left a trail of death and gold throughout the high seas. So that's why we believe that it was Juan Gomez. A Florida family may have discovered some unusual treasure belonging to legendary pirate Jose "Gasparilla" Gaspar. Gaspar realized in this moment that he had found the treasure he was searching for. The brochure relied heavily on the stories told by John Gomez. Jose Gaspar Treasure Co. Is this your business? So it would seem that Gasparilla is a fiction, no more real a figure than Mickey Mouse. Our Florida pirate "Jose Gaspar enters history's scene in Spain where he was born in the year 1756 and started adult life with a career in the Spanish Navy, serving aboard the warship Floridablanca. Josh Gates sets sail for Florida chasing the long-lost treasure of bloodthirsty pirate Jose Gaspar. again not sure of the thought process of choosing a tree as a landmark for millions of dollars in treasure, but that is how the story goes. Gaspar was a rebel from an aristocratic upbringing. JavaScript is disabled. TAMPA, Fla. - Docked in downtown Tampa, the Jose Gasparilla II is one of the most iconic parts of Gasparilla and a year-round reminder of Tampa's biggest party and quirkiest tradition. However, this treasure is also attributed to the infamous pirate Blackbeard. Leaving soon? According to other versions of the narrative, Gaspar was a nobleman who rose through the ranks of the Spanish Royal Navy and became a councilor to King Charles III of Spain. You are using an out of date browser. In or around 1806 the brothers arrived in New Orleans Louisiana and were licensed privateers operating in the Gulf of Mexico. No contemporaneous mention of his existence or achievements has ever been found in Spanish or American ship logs, court documents, newspapers, or other archives, and no tangible items associated with Gaspar have been unearthed in the area where he is said to have operated. While in Florida, Caesar palled up with Jose Gaspar, better known as "Gasparilla.". Sarasota's Michael Gattuso and members of his . Charlotte Harbor is an ideal spot to go treasure hunting. Not being able to pass up this giant score, he pursed the ship that was flying a British flag. They used Barataria Bay in Louisiana as a hub for their enterprise. We will discuss a few of them here. This treasure as well as the tunnels remain lost.