home to everything from hidden pirate treasure to hidden World War II booby traps

The Adak at Islain Alaska, USAis a volcanic formation that was the home of the Unangan people and that sheltered from the myth of a great treasure of gold coins buried by piratesup to a base of USA during the Second World War which left the ground littered with hidden bombs.

This area attracted the attention of treasure hunters over the years and Netflix dedicated a documentary series to them, The gold of Adak Island.

The place is located in one of the most inhospitable regions of the planet. It is halfway between Seattle and Tokyo, and was developed as US Army strategic base after Japanese bombing of Dutch Harborin 1942, and the occupation of the Attu and Kiska islands.

The complex later became a naval air and submarine surveillance station of the Cold War, to monitor from there what was happening in the Soviet Union. Even at the time Adak was one of the largest cities in Alaska.

Treasure hunters on Adak Island. After the gold coins buried by the pirate, Gregory Dwargstof.

Some 6,000 servicemen and their families lived there in colored duplexes with schools, restaurants, a hospital, a ski center, a cinema and even a McDonald’s.

However, the island was abandoned and ended up practically in ruins.. And with a large part of its territory plagued by bombs and ammunition hidden a few meters deep. Despite everything, pirate gold continued to motivate the expeditionaries of the 21st century.

The Adak Island Treasure: Myth, Fact, or Netflix Hoax?

Legend has it that in 1892, a pirate named Gregory Dwargstof hid on the island $365 million worth of gold coins in 150 cans of food and milk. He was on the run and found this secluded territory as the best place to hide the treasure from him. But he died before she could go back to look for him.

Dwargstof would have been born in Russia, the exact date is unknown. According to the Netflix series, he was a captain who buried something priceless, although rumors have always circulated about lost treasures in Alaska. Above all, gold.

When on the island, during the Second World Warthe United States began to build a military base a group of soldiers, while they dug trenches, they found some old cans full of gold coins.

This is the closest starting point in time that serves as an incentive for the docuseries Adak Island Pirate Gold who follows the expedition team in search of hidden treasure.

The current seekers are Burke Mitchell, Jay Toomoth, Brian Weed, and the island’s mayor, Thom Spitler. They want to find the gold coins to alleviate the island’s squalid economy. And to get the best pay of their lives.

The background of a treasure hunter who died on Adak Island

In 2008 US Army veteran Samuel Dee Arrington returned to the military base to live there, but disappeared without trace.

Gold coins.  The main target of the seekers on Adak Island.

Gold coins. The main target of the seekers on Adak Island.

The newsletter of National Missing Persons Directory of the United States notes that he was last seen “in the Adak community” on July 15, 2008, just five days after arriving on the island.

Arrington, according to various testimonies from locals, was “in town buying camping gear and supplies and was last seen at the trailhead to Betty Lake”.

When the search was activated, they found “an expedition staging area” on the north side of the lake, with a camp to the south. “Both belonged to Arrington and appeared to be abandoned.”, specifies the missing persons bulletin.

Until the summer of 2014, there was no other clue as to where Arrington he could not find out what had happened to him either.

At that time, two employees of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, who were studying the behavior of local birds, They found the man’s remains in a ravine on June 18, 2014.

“We did not have the resources for the recovery of the body,” explained the current mayor of Adak, Thom Spitler, in the Netflix series. “For its extraction, there were only three boys. Me and two others… who knew this part of the island, one of the harshest”.

Spliter continued: “We didn’t know what to expect, really. The guy had been there six years, we thought there would only be a skeleton, but because he was wearing chest-high neoprene boots, there was still enough of his body preserved and it made him pretty heavy.”

At that moment, unable to transport the entire body, the three rescuers made a drastic decision: “We cut it into three parts to be able to take it to the top of the ravine… It was very difficult”.

The end of Adak Island in Alaska

Equipped for treasure hunting on Adak Island.

Equipped for treasure hunting on Adak Island.

Important earthquakes occurred on the island in 1957, 1964 and 1977. Something that made the tranquility of the inhabitants unstable.

The army gave up everything in the late 1990s, officially on March 31, 1997, leaving about $3 billion in military assets.

The people who stayed in the island hoped that its deep-water port would attract cruise ships or that its barracks would become a prison. Neither of those things happened.

Although the 2010 census recorded a population of 326, only about 80 full-time residents remain.who live among the ruins of a more prosperous age.

Today it is practically a ghost town and in ruins. The few locals still plan pirate treasure huntsalthough for this they must deactivate the hundreds of bombs that are hidden underground.

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