Lost Treasures: 25 True Stories of Discovery


Over 80 real-life stories of amazing finds, from pirate booty and exotic coins to rare fossils and missing artworks, plus tips on finding treasure yourself.  


Shortlisted, Hackmatack Children’s Choice Award, 2008
Shortlisted, Rocky Mountain Children’s Choice Book Award, 2008
WINNER, McNally Robinson Book for Young People Award, 2007
Our Choice, Canadian Children’s Book Centre, 2007



Hidden in the pirate's desk, his sea chest and other pieces of furniture, Hubert Palmer found old maps. He was certain they held the secret to Captain Kidd's long lost treasure,if only he could decipher the clues.

Somewhere, possibly in your basement or attic, perhaps tucked in an old trunk or dresser drawer, maps may be hiding – old, likely tattered at the edges, crinkled and brittle. Hardly special-looking. Barely worth a second glance.

And that may be why the maps have seldom been found. Their ordinariness is deceiving. It’s difficult to imagine that the maps are valuable. It’s difficult to believe they may lead to something greater – a treasure hidden centuries ago.

Herbert Palmer, a British lawyer, was considered by many to be an expert on pirates. He had a massive collection of pirate objects. Old manuscripts, yellowed and crisp. Sails, tattered and soiled. Black flags stamped with skulls and crossbones. Rusty pistols, long daggers – weapons of all kinds.

But a particular desk that Palmer had purchased from an antique dealer in 1929 was the pride of his collection. The desk was large and heavy, constructed of solid oak, its surface scratched and worn from long use. It had numerous drawers and compartments, some of them cleverly fashioned and practically invisible. Inside the desk was fastened a tarnished brass plate engraved with the words:

Captain William Kidd
Adventure Galley – 1669

Palmer was convinced that the desk in his study once belonged to William Kidd, the notorious pirate captain. It certainly looked like it was made in the seventeenth century, and the words and date on the brass plate matched Kidd’s story perfectly….


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