History is literally filled with stories of lost treasures, gold mines, religious relics and the like. The story of the lost treasure of Tuamotu is just one of many that are very similar. However, unlike many of these other stories (such as that of the buried treasure of Captain William Kidd) the general location of this treasure is well known. Of course, it is unknown if the treasure truly exists. But if it does, it is sitting in the Tuamotu Atolls in Tahiti, just waiting to be found.
The Tuamotu Treasure reportedly originated in Pisco, Peru. A group of four mercenaries from Australia heard of a treasure that was hidden in a church’s crypt there. The four men were Diego Alvarez, Luke Barrett, Jack Killorain and Arthur Brown. They decided to steal the treasure by tricking a group of priests into believing that they would assist with guarding the treasure while it was being moved to a new location. The treasure consisted of fourteen tons of gold and numerous other items of value, such as gems, coins and magnificent jewelry.
After the four men had the treasure in their possession, they took the bulk of it and buried it in the Tuamotu Atolls. They then returned to Australia. They meant to come back and extract the treasure. However, luck was not on their side. Two of the men were murdered by aborigines. The other two were arrested and incarcerated for murder. Supposedly, Killorain told prospector Charles Howe about the treasure before his death. Howe subsequently went in search of the treasure.
Charles Howe left for Tahiti in 1913. After 13 years of digging, he supposedly found what he was looking for. He said that he had to bury the treasure again, because he didn’t have a means of transporting it, but that he planned to go back for it. In 1932, Charles Howe planned an expedition to Tahiti to reclaim the treasure. However, soon after the trip was planned, Howe went prospecting in the Outback and never returned. His disappearance and the Tuamotu Treasure do not seem to be related.
A diver by the name of George Hamilton was left in possession of Howe’s map. George used the map to direct the expedition, sans Howe. He reportedly found the Tuamotu Treasure, despite Howe’s map being inaccurate, but he could not extract it. He abandoned the project because of a lack of funding. He also said that he had been attacked by a giant moray eel and a giant octopus.
Since George Hamilton’s expedition, there have been no known attempts to unearth the Tuamotu Treasure. If the treasure does indeed exist, it is presumably sitting in the same place that Howe left it, 83 years ago. The location is reportedly a pear-shaped pool in the Tuamotu Atolls, near Raraka.