Thursday, May 26, 2011

Yamashita treasure found its way to Marinduque?

Gen.Tomoyuki Yamashita, the Tiger of Malaya.

It’s only natural to be skeptical of treasure hunts and finds, as I am, unless one has convincing proof of their existence in identified locations. But the story I blogged about during the last few days may not be just a wild and fanciful tale as I initially thought. Now people are talking about “at least three golden tables equivalent to a six-seater in size that really shone brightly when illuminated by lightning”.

However, you’d at once wonder how anyone could make such a description when you hear another account that tells you that nothing's been recovered so far. So, you go back to your skepticism. The diggings have been temporarily suspended, but the police has constructed a bunkhouse to secure the area day and night say informed sources. So you consider that again.

I have established that the Japanese did set foot on that property during invasion of this island in 1942. I did not appreciate that information’s full significance until I spoke today with someone in authority who had his own experiences and researches on treasure hunts. These were places elsewhere - outside Marinduque. He was curious to find out, he said, if that area was used as a Japanese garrison. Whatever signs that may have been found now usually associated with hidden treasures would confirm the presence of such treasures if the area had been used for Japanese activities, he said. In fact, it was, I said, and showed him my yesterday's blog.

Maniwaya Island, one more of Marinduque's small islands with a similar hidden treasure story

So the next question is, could those ‘treasures’ be part of the famous Yamashita treasure?

Yamashita treasure is the collective name given to all the gold, jewelry and precious items stolen by the Japanese forces of Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita, the Tiger of Malaya, from East and Southeast Asia during World War II.

The treasures were said to have been first shipped to the port of Singapore from the various Asian countries, then to the Philippines for final shipment to Japan. That final shipment did not come to pass as Japan lost that war, but Yamashita, it is said, had time to order the concealment of those treasures, divided into many treasure hordes, in caves and other locations not only in Luzon but across the country.

Map of the Island of Marinduque

After World War II, intrigued by stories or myths of Japanese plunder, many local and foreign fortune seekers have travelled to many parts of the archipelago to find those treasures that many people merely treat as urban legend. But there have been many documented accounts, usually treated with utmost secrecy, of real treasure finds that required an elaborate method of recovery, as poisons, bombs and booby traps are said to be protecting them.

After a number of recoveries it became necessary for the government to cover all treasure-hunting activities under close scrutiny and regulation purportedly to protect the nation’s natural and cultural heritage. Appropriate permit should normally be obtained, a surety bond posted, irrespective of whether the hunt takes place on public or private land. Government will then take ownership of finds determined to have historical value and a committee will determine the finder’s share.

From Internet sources, the latest books that dealt with this subject are two by Sterling Seagrave and Peggy Seagrave: The Yamato Dynasty: The Secret History of Japan’s Imperial Family (2000) and Gold Warriors: America’s Secret Recovery of Yamashita’s Gold (2003).

So, the Bahi-Cawit hidden treasure may not be just a wild tale after all, you see.

Let's see!