The Lost Pirate Treasures of St. Croix

By John Boyd

Could you really find lost pirate treasure on St. Croix worth millions or even billions while on vacation?

Most experts on pirate lore rank St. Croix as the forth most important pirate island because of all the pirates who came here to work and play. Unfortunately, most experts also agree that pirates rarely buried any treasure unless there was a compelling reason.

Professional Treasure Hunters know that most major discoveries are made from information found in historical archives and not random searches. Before searching for treasure, professionals would verify that treasure is really on St. Croix and also try to find an approximate location.

In researching my book, “Lost Pirate Treasures of  St. Croix,” I found a high probability that there are several treasures still waiting to be discovered because few people ever looked for them.

The Kennedy/Martel gang were rather inept pirates who amassed a couple of million dollars in a short four month span. Half of that was recovered by British Pirate hunters, the other half was lost in the vicinity of Salt River. The story of Owen Lloyd was eventually expanded and retold over generations as “Treasure Island.” The portion of the treasure that was buried on Norman Island (Treasure Island) in the BVI was recovered shortly after being buried. In his travels, Lloyd secretly buried a portion in Salt River because he was a family man who wanted to freely live with his wife and children.

He used his separate stash to bribe the St. Thomas governor who allowed him to live free and protected him from the Spanish who wanted to hang him for piracy. He was eventually killed in a Christiansted bar, perhaps as his money was running low. But if even a few “pieces of eight” remain with a date of 1749 or 1750, they would be incredibly valuable because of the connection to “Treasure Island.”

Oliver Levasseur called La Bouse (The Buzzard) was arguably the most successful pirate of the Golden Era. He and Sam Bellamy, the Prince of Pirates, used St. Croix as their base in the winter of 1716-1717. La Bouse operated everywhere from the Spanish Main to the Indian Ocean and was known to stash buried treasure wherever he operated. Since he was French and St. Croix was an abandoned French island at the time, it is quite possible he kept a stash on the island in case his luck ran out on the Indian Ocean and he had to start over.

By far the biggest fortune that possibly remains hidden on St. Croix is the vast wealth amassed by Jean La Vasseur while Governor of Tortuga. During his reign, 1640 to 1652, he took a minimum of ten percent of all prizes captured by the buccaneers of Tortuga called the Brethren of the Coast. He also taxed all imports.

With the sudden death of La Vasseur, his fortune is lost in time. My research brings that vast wealth to St. Croix where it is probably still well hidden.

Could you find millions while on vacation?

You never know, but if you don’t look, the answer is definitely no!

John A Boyd Copyright 2013 used with permission . Contact John Boyd at

Photo: St. Croix beach. Photo courtesy of Denise Bennerson.

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