Keiser, whose treasure-seeking effort on the island the past 12 years has cost him an estimated US$2 million, is reportedly in the process of shelling out another US$100,000 dollars for this latest effort, which includes highly sophisticated mining video technology.More details on the story of the treasure and new developments in the quest are available at Death by 1000 Papercuts. See also my two posts in 2009 about archaeological digs on the island, here and here.
But Keiser’s expenses will be well covered should he find the treasure: Chilean law will provide him 25 percent of any booty he discovers, and Keiser estimates the treasure’s value at US$10 billion.
According to legend, the treasure originated in the Incan Empire and was stolen during the Spanish conquest of Peru in the 16th and 17th centuries. When the treasure was en route to Spain around 1715, the navigator in charge of the ship landed on Robinson Crusoe Island and buried his cargo. Before he could return to unearth the booty, an English pirate named Cornelius Webb uncovered the Incan treasure and reburied it elsewhere on the island. The legendary stash is reported to contain 800 barrels of gold, including precious pieces of gold and jewelry.