Tracking Treasure: In Search of East Coast Bounty


183 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Maps, Bibliography
ISBN 1-55109-229-8
DDC 971.5





Reviewed by Bob Forsey

Bob Forsey is the education officer at the Newfoundland Museum in St.


“Treasure hunting, at its best, is a sport, not a means of fulfilling
one’s greed,” writes the author of this book about “lost or
undiscovered treasures and the mysteries that surround them.” Crooker
recounts 16 tales of buried treasures and shipwrecks containing valuable
cargoes—tales replete with the tragic loss of lives and the cruel acts
of pirates. The outstanding characters include the fiendish pirate
Edmund Low, King William III’s privateer Captain William Kidd, Marie
Antoinette, Henry Sinclair, and the multimillionaire John Jacob Astor.
The most intriguing sites are the Oak Island Money Pit, Sable Island,
and Henry Sinclair’s Castle in New Ross, Nova Scotia.

The people who lug metal detectors around, dig deep holes at great
effort, and dive beneath the waves to search for treasures are an
interesting bunch too. Pity Robert R. Dunfield, who invested $131,000 in
a failed bid to unearth the fabulous treasure purportedly buried deep in
Oak Island’s soil. Try to figure out if Franklin H. Head’s tale
about the million-dollar lawsuit brought by the Olmsted family against
the heirs of John Jacob Astor in 1899 is fact or fiction; it says Astor
stole Captain Kidd’s treasure chest off Olmsted’s property.

Crooker’s investigations into Acadian gold, the Knights Templar
treasure, and the tragic affair between a cabin boy and an Indian maid
all support the assertion “Truth is stranger than fiction.” Tracking
Treasure is an intriguing yarn with many gems of interest and pearls of
wisdom for the attentive reader.


Crooker, William S., “Tracking Treasure: In Search of East Coast Bounty,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 14, 2024,