Sunken Treasure at Hell Gate, New York City: Legend has it that beneath the East River lies millions of dollars in gold.
In 1780, during the Revolutionary War, a British frigate called the HMS Hussar struck a reef and sank to the bottom of the East River. Many people believe that the ship carried an enormous amount of gold as payroll for British soldiers.
Despite its location in the most dangerous waters in the area, treasure hunters have searched for the Hussar in vain for years. One submarine inventor lost his entire fortune in the search for the treasure, while other salvagers have sunk millions into the search. If the treasure is there, it seems that it doesn’t want to be found . . .
• A loaded cannon found in Central Park in 2013
• Shipworms, aka the “Termites of the Sea”
• Hidden treasure maps found at the New York Public Library
• The inventor of the modern submarine
• The largest explosion before the atomic bomb
Pictures of the Hell Gate
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Sources consulted RE: Sunken Treasure at Hell Gate
Articles consulted RE: Sunken Treasure at Hell Gate
“HUSSAR GOLD QUEST RESUMED BY INVENTOR: SIMON LAKE IN ‘BABY’ SUBMARINE TO INVESTIGATE 3 HULKS FOUND SUNK NEAR HELL GATE.” New York Times (1923-Current file), Aug 06 1935, p. 19. ProQuest. Web. 8 Nov. 2020 .
LAKE’S SUBMARINE FAILS OF LAUNCHING: Mother Ship is Unable to Pull It … Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES. New York Times (1923-Current file); Oct 7, 1934; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times with Index
LACK OF FUNDS HALTS LAKE’S TREASURE HUNT: His Submarine to Be Auctioned if He Fails to Get $394 to Pay Deckhand. New York Times (1923-Current file); New York, N.Y. [New York, N.Y]21 June 1936: 23.
HUNT PIECES OF EIGHT.: Lake’s Submarine Retrieves Pail and Clam Shell in East River. New York Times (1923-Current file); Sep 27, 1935;
ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times with Index
LAKE THINKS HULK IS TREASURE SHIP: Inventor Believes He Has Found Wreck of Frigate Hussar in East River. CARRIED $1,800,000 GOLD Probing Reveals Hard Timbers in Indicated Position, and Treasury Is Notified. New York Times (1923-Current file); New York, N.Y. [New York, N.Y]26 Sep 1936: 17.
SIMON LAKE AGAIN SUED: Inventor Seeking $4,000,000 Gold In $1,800 Foreclosure Action. New York Times (1923-Current file); New York, N.Y. [New York, N.Y]11 Nov 1936: 2.
Simon Lake’s Home Is Foreclosed. New York Times (1923-Current file); New York, N.Y. [New York, N.Y]06 Mar 1937: 15.
SIMON LAKE GETS RESPITE: Court Grants New Delay in Foreclosure Sale of Milford Home. New York Times (1923-Current file); New York, N.Y. [New York, N.Y]18 Nov 1937: 18.
LYONS OFFERS GOLD TO BOOM THE BRONX: It’s Not His Gold and He Isn’t Even Sure It’s There, but He Believes in Hunting It AT BOTTOM OF EAST RIVER Book Says Frigate Hussar, With $4,000,000 in Bullion Aboard, Sank There in 1780 New York Times (1923-Current file); New York, N.Y. [New York, N.Y]12 Feb 1940: 18.
SIMON LAKE DEAD; INVENTOR WAS 78: Father of Modern Submarine Intended Craft Only for Use in Peaceful Pursuits HUNTED SUNKEN TREASURE Lost Fortune Attempting to Salvage Lusitania, Recover Millions in East River Built 100 Craft During the War Experimented in Baltimore Founded Bridgeport Concern Sought Lusitania Treasure Family of Welsh Origin. The New York Times, 1934.New York Times (1923-Current file); New York, N.Y. [New York, N.Y]24 June 1945: 22.
Ship of Dreams: Ship of Dreams
Vanderbilt, Tom.New York Times (1923-Current file); New York, N.Y. [New York, N.Y]17 Feb 2002: cy1.
Books consulted RE: Sunken Treasure at Hell Gate
Gotham Unbound: The Ecological History of Greater New York by Ted Steinberg
- Roosevelt Island By Judith Berdy
Websites RE: Sunken Treasure at Hell Gate
- Devil places: https://spookygeology.com/devil-places/
- Devil places map: https://gizmodo.com/hail-satan-a-map-of-all-the-places-named-after-the-dev-1456016654
- Current nautical chart: https://charts.noaa.gov/BookletChart/12339_BookletChart.pdf
- 1886 map: https://picryl.com/media/blackwells-wards-and-randalls-islands-and-adjacent-shores-of-east-and-harlem-31f143?zoom=true
- Hell gate charts:
- Removal of Hell Gate rocks:
- The conquest of Hell Gate:
- Hell gate map 1700s:
- Hell gate pics:
- Opening hell gate:
- Destruction of flood rock: https://picryl.com/media/destruction-of-flood-rock-at-hell-gate-2ef359
- Rev war map: https://picryl.com/media/a-plan-of-the-narrows-of-hells-gate-in-the-east-river-near-which-batteries
Listen to the Ouija board series:
- Ouija Boards Part 1 – Planchette and Automatic Writing
- Helen Peters and Ouida / Invention (Ouija Boards Part 2)
- William Fuld (Ouija Boards Part 3)
- 19th Century Ouija Board Stories / Early Ouijamania (Ouija Boards Part 4)
- Victorian Egyptomania (Ouija Boards Part 5)
- Ouija after World War I (Ouija Boards Part 6)
- 1920s Ouijamania (Ouija Boards Part 7)
- More 1920s Ouija Board Stories (Ouija Boards Part 8)
- Kill Daddy: The Turley Ouija Board Murder (Ouija Boards Part 9)
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