When the gold rush kicked off in Alaska during the 1800s, several prospectors traveled there from all over the country to try their luck at finding gold. But not everyone succeeded, with multiple stories of lost treasures coming up over time. Netflix’s ‘Pirate Gold of Adak Island’ has a team of hired experts trying to find more than a hundred cans of gold on Adak, Alaska, that were supposed to be buried by a pirate captain, Gregory Dwargstof. So, if you’re curious about these legends and Gregory’s exploits, here’s what we know!
History of Lost Treasures in Alaska
There have been several stories doing the rounds regarding long-lost treasures all over Alaska. Whether it’s buried gold in the mountains or a cache of gold ore, Alaska seems to be home to many such tales. One is the story of how three men found a sand bar full of gold nuggets in a lake over the St Elias Mountains in Alaska. The men stayed there for a while, collecting and storing the nuggets, but were then attacked by an Indian tribe.
One of them was said to have made out alive with about 1000 ounces of gold, and another was killed. Legend has it that there could be a golden bar near the mountains with the rest of the gold nuggets. Another tale describes the exploits of the Mad Trapper Johnson. The police killed him in 1932 after murdering gold prospectors and robbing Indian trap lines. Johnson is said to have cached gold near the border shared by Alaska and Yukon, Canada.
Then, a man named Frank from Pennsylvania had heard of the gold rush happening in Klondike, Alaska, and resolved to travel there to try his luck. It worked out splendidly for Frank because a few years later, he returned with jars full of gold. Frank was known to have told people that what he brought was just a sample, and he returned to Klondike again. However, his family later received a letter saying he had died of an illness.
Frank’s sister tracked down his cabin and found him frozen to death, and his room ransacked. The family believed that he hid the gold somewhere else, but that gold has never been found. In another interesting tale, a plane crashed into Mount Sanford, Alaska, in 1948. The aircraft was en route to Shanghai, China, and it was rumored that the crew members carried Chinese gold bullion with them. Despite efforts, that gold has not been recovered.
Who Was Captain Gregory Dwargstof? Did He Really Bury Gold on Adak Island?
Gregory Dwargstof was the captain of the Hitslop back in the 1800s. At the time, Gregory worked for an illegal seal poaching ring. They killed these animals for their skin and oil. He eluded authorities for several years, spending most of the 19th century evading capture. But as per the show, that changed in 1892 when United States warships caught up to his fleet.
So, Gregory took all the gold from the Sealing Association and placed them in empty tin cans and other canisters. According to the series, there were 3000 pounds of gold. Then, Gregory set sails to a remote place and ended up on the island of Adak. There, he buried these cans across the terrain and left behind clues that only he could decipher. A few of these cans were found during World War II and then in 1959, but as per the show, there could be 148 more such cans, amounting to about $365 million.
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