X Marks the Spot For Google Earth Treasure

The Google landscape program leads to ancient buried treasure, man claims

By Caitlin Millat
|  Thursday, Feb 12, 2009  |  Updated 1:34 PM PDT
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X Marks the Spot For Google Earth Treasure

Darrall Slater

A Los Angeles man says he's found buried treasure thanks to Google Earth.

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Captain Hook better get web-savvy - and quick. Someone's coming to steal his booty.

A Los Angeles man claims that Google Earth points to a lost treasure ship that sank off the Texas coast two centuries ago - but owners of the land the ship's buried under won't let him dig for gold, Fox News reports.

Nathan Smith, a musician and history buff, was fiddling with the program when he spotted an unusual pattern off the coast of Refugio, a small town near Corpus Christi.

On a whim, Smith grabbed a metal detector and headed for Texas. The detector pointed to a boatload of gold, silver and other treasure, Smith told Texas authorities of the December finding.

The buried treasure ship is likely an ancient Spanish boat that could be carrying billions of dollars in booty, Smith said.

Landowners on the coast, however, say there's no way Smith will be shoveling dirt from their ground anytime soon.

"It was offensive that somebody could go on Google Earth, look down and see what they think...and come in and say, 'I want to dig up your property," lawyer Ron Walker, who represents the owners, told Fox News.

"They have no proof anything is there and no experience," he said.

A judge will rule in March on whether Smith can ask the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to dig, despite the family's wishes.

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