Monday, September 7, 2015

Grand Finale - Day Three - The Treasure Hunters Arrive

Grand Finale – Day Three – Continued – The Treasure Hunters Arrive

Image result for Metal detectors on the beach

As they do in the wake of every storm, the treasure hunters showed up just behind the winds that drove the rain away, bringing their metal detectors, binoculars and maps with them.

Usually looking for antique bottles, coins and wedding rings lost in the sand, this time they were hungry for bigger ticket items – the two missing nukes off shore were the Holy Grail, but also while at the shore, some of them got wind of the 16th century Spanish treasure ship that the Purple Dragon head came from, and still others heard the story of Dutch Schultz’s wallet and the map of Atlantic City that tells you where Dutch hid his loot.

The first inkling that the treasure hunters were getting out of control was the reported theft of Iron Mike, the deep sea diving suit from the Old Salt Shop on the boardwalk, while the shop was closed during Sunday’s storm. The thieves left a hand scrawled note; “We know where the nukes are.”

That was just a joke, a college kid prank, as the four Penn State students were caught trying to use Iron Mike over at Anchorage Point, where the treasure hunters had learned from local clammers that the Spanish ship had run aground at Anchorage Point, the north end of the inlet at Great Egg Harbor, where most if not all of the metal detectors in the state were searching for Spanish doubloons.

Dutch Schultz’s loot was another matter, as the rumors at the time of his death – murdered while eating dinner in North Jersey, his loot was kept in a safe but no one knew where the safe was, except Andrew and now David Brenner and Jim Croce and Tido Mambo, and Buck the Bartender, who were there when Andrew opened the safe for Brenner. Brenner also mentioned Dutch Schultz’s wallet, safe and map to his producer at CBS, so treasure hunters could have learned about these things from any number of people, most of who thought it was all a big joke in the first place.

But not the treasure hunters, who were even more serious and determined than the knucklehead college kids who broke into the Old Salt’s Store and got arrested for stealing Iron Mike, the deep sea diving suit. 

The key to the loot they knew was the map and Andrew wasn’t giving up the map, but then a tape recording surfaced of a Mrs. Coyle, the wife of the bartender who served Schultz when he brought the safe to the Anchorage, and got the wallet when he threw it behind the bar when the police raided. Schultz got away, but was murdered by the mob a few days later.

As mob lore and legend would have it, and popularly expressed in book and in film, "Shortly before his death, fearing that he would be incarcerated as a result of Dewey's efforts, Schultz commissioned the construction of a special airtight and waterproof safe, into which he placed $7 million in cash. Schultz then drove the safe to an undisclosed location and buried it. At the time of his death, the safe was still interred; as no evidence existed to indicate that either Schultz  had ever revealed the location of the safe to anyone, the exact place where the safe was buried died with them. Gangland lore held that Schultz's enemies, including Lucky Luciano, spent the remainder of their lives searching for the safe. The safe has never been recovered. Treasure hunters meet annually to search for the safe. One such meeting was documented in the film Digging for Dutch: The Search for the Lost Treasure of Dutch Schultz."

On the tape Mrs. Coyle confirmed all of the facts about the wallet and the safe, but also said that her husband had a parrot, who knew the secret of the map and Dutch Schultz’s loot. And the parrot was still alive and the object of search by some of the treasure hunters, beginning at the Anchorage Tavern, where they learned the parrot did exist and did talk, having an atrocious language from conversations it picked up at the bar, but that it was stolen some time ago. 

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