Intrigue grows over reported hidden treasure on San Salvador
Sacrifices of animal blood must be made following the discovery of the pirate treasure, said to be buried at Fortune Hill in San Salvador, in order to dispel the curse over the hidden loot, according to legends on the island.
One San Salvador resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the legend of the treasure has passed around the island for years.
He contended that a group on the island searching for it was very near to finding it yesterday evening.
However, several San Salvador residents toldThe Nassau Guardianlate last evening that they had not heard of anything being found.
Zhivargo Laing, who as Minister of State for Finance should be notified if any treasure is found, according to law, said last night that he had not received any word of a discovery.
Almost as mysterious as the treasure, is the question of who holds clear title to the land where the treasure is said to be buried.
A battle ensued recently among three families who all claim they hold title to the land.
One of the individuals, Ellamae Rolle, grew up on Fortune Hill and said her family purchased the land where the treasure is reportedly buried, from the father of Dorothy Black-Beal.
Rolle contends her father watched over the cave where the treasure is said to be hidden, until the day he died.
But Black-Beal was recently declared by the government to have clear title to the land and she along with a group of excavators, were subsequently given permission to begin digging for the treasure. Calls to Black-Beal’s lawyer were not returned up to press time last night.
“My family was the last to leave that area(Fortune Hill),”said Rolle.”My father protected that cave for a long time.”
According to Rolle, she and her siblings played in caves surrounding the Fortune Hill property where they grew up.
She recounted a story of her brother finding an old pirate’s musket that he sold to a naval officer on the island.
“Treasures were removed from another cave in the general vicinity when I was 15 years old,”she said.
“We knew(about the treasure)as little children growing up.
“We heard of it and my uncle said to my father that he read in a library, that there is treasure buried in a cave on the property.”
Rolle said her family is now seeking an injunction to halt the excavation until the matter of the land dispute can be settled in court.
“We have been talking to our attorney and he told us to put the info out there and he also sent a letter to the minister of finance asking for a quick response,”she said.
The third claimant of the property, Dennis Bethel, is frantically trying to prove his family’s entitlement to the property and is also prepared to take Black-Beal and Rolle to court over the matter.
Bethel claims his great grandfather owned the land and that he and his family are entitled to whatever treasure is hidden on Fortune Hill.
San Salvador Administrator Perrece Bootle-Bethel said yesterday that police are guarding the excavation site and that a representative on the island has been appointed by the Antiquities Monuments and Museums Corporation(AMMC)to watch over the site.
“A representative is there at all times, directed by them(AMMC)to oversee the government’s interest at all times,”she said.
“They’ve(Black-Beal group)spoken with the police and have all of the documentation and permission and the police are seeking to protect Mrs. Black-Beal’s rights to the property.”