Treasure Hunters and their Expeditions to Cocos Island

Photo courtesy from Undersea Hunter

Since time immemorial, over 500 expeditions have already been conducted to Cocos Island to search for the treasure. These hunts range from the use of simple method up to the operation of sophisticated equipment. Here are some famous treasure hunters who set foot in Cocos Island to find the treasure:

John Keating (1841)

It is believed that the first person to do an expedition to find and recover the treasure in Cocos Island was John Keating whom he and Captain Thompson became good friends. Using a map given to him by Captain Thompson, Keating set sail to Cocos Island and was able to recover a small amount of the Treasure of Lima, just enough to be concealed in his clothes for fear that the crew might rise up in mutiny and take ownership of the loot.

Mary Welch

Claiming that she personally saw Captain Grahame and his men burying the so-called Devonshire Treasure, Mary Welch set sail to Cocos Island armed with a map given to him personally by Captain Grahame and a memory of the bearings and directions leading to the treasure path. But when she arrived at Cocos Island, she was surprised that all the markers and landmarks were gone and her expedition ended up in finding nothing.

August Gissler (1897)

Photo courtesy from

Armed with two maps all pointing to the same direction where the treasure can be found, this German treasure hunter lived in Cocos Island for 19 years in search particularly for the solid gold statue of Mama Mary and her Child Jesus.

It all started when the Costa Rican Government allowed him to establish a colony of German farmers in Cocos Island where he eventually became its First Governor. Over the years, Gissler has made a system of complex underground tunnels which can still be found today. But unfortunately, no treasure was found where they eventually left the island empty handed.

U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt (1935, 1938 and 1940)

Pres. Roosevelt onboard the USS Houston in Cocos Island. Photo courtesy from

Who would have thought that the Head of a Powerful State would engage in treasure hunting? Yes, this Acting U.S President went to Cocos Island for a high-profile treasure hunting several times. And guess what? They found nothing. So, as a sign of gratitude in honor of his visit, an endemic species of palm tree was named after him: Rooseveltia frankliniana or the Cocos Palm Tree.











You should note that none of these treasure hunters were able to find the mother load in Cocos Island. But someday soon, who knows, someone out there may find the treasure. We just hope that treasure hunter will use his instant fortune for the good of everybody. But just in case if that lucky treasure hunter is YOU, then please don’t forget about us where we will be happy to write a story about yourself and how you find the treasure . . . or perhaps a small share will do.

Book Cocos Island Journey


The Telegraph:


Old Shop Stuff:


video courtesy from SkipperAlC

You also might like these:

The Long-Lost Treasures of Lima, Benito Bonito and Devonshire
Treasure Island is Cocos Island
List of Treasures buried in Cocos Island

CY 2019 Schedule of Liveaboard Trips to Cocos Island

Due to high demand of liveaboard trips to Cocos island, as early as this year, we are publishing the CY 2019 trips for you to choose your preferred schedule and prepare for the ultimate diving adventure of your life. Travel Dates Name of Vessel Price (US$) Remarks Jan 2 – 12, 2019 MV Argo 5,295 […]