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Treasure Hunter Finds Safe With Mysterious Royal Connection

Source: Instagram/BondiTreasureHunter

Treasure hunting is a hobby that, in modern times, provides more over-drinks stories than it does actual treasure. Modern technology has created many different ways that adventurous types can seek out ancient and lost “treasure,” from radar to magnets and everything in between. One particular treasure hunter has made a name for himself on social media, though, and has some fascinating stories to share.

Piracy Is An Important Precursor

The conversation of treasure hunting often goes hand in hand with another topic that is fascinating all its own: piracy. Pirates engaged in possession and robbery of ships going back as early as the 14th century BCE. Often they were out for whatever they could steal and resell on the black market, but sometimes they were out searching for specific items or treasure.

Source: Wikimedia/Grigory Gagarin

Beyond raiding ships on the open sea and searching for treasure, pirates engaged in a number of activities that struck fear in many who heard of them. Viking pirates often raided coastal towns, pillaging and leaving destruction in their wake. Vikings are the most famous of pirates that roamed during the middle ages, with many making individual names for themselves.

A Common Practice in the Ancient World

Piracy in the ancient world is a fascinating topic. It was an incredibly common way of making a living, and the ancient Greeks even went so far as to condone the act of piracy. According to writings of the time, piracy was a “noble” way of earning a living. There are references to the practice of piracy in ancient texts such as the Iliad and the Odyssey, supporting such ideas.

Source: Wikimedia/Mathiasrex

By the time the classical Greek period reigned, though, the public perception of piracy had turned. It was considered disgraceful to engage in piracy, though it was still common. By the 3rd century BCE, pirate attacks on the Greek city of Olympus had started to bring impoverishment on the city.

Treasure Hunting Provided Plenty of Booty for Pirates

Especially moving into more recent centuries, the conversation about piracy and treasure hunting is irrevocably entwined. In the late 17th century, English colonies in America and Bermuda were cash-starved by the English Navigation Acts, which restricted trade with foreign ships.

Source: Wikimedia/Aert Anthoniszoon

The scarcity of gold and other currency made traders in America far more willing to overlook trading with pirates, given that they were bringing much-needed gold to American shores. Around the same time, it was common for pirates to follow around Spanish treasure hunters who were looking for lost and abandoned gold, particularly along the Florida coast.

Piracy Came to an End…Briefly

The one-sided beneficial relationship between piracy and treasure hunting ended in the 18th century, when the Piracy Act of 1698 was passed. This law made it easier to capture, try, and convict pirates of their crimes when committed in English waters, and the crackdown on piracy by the British crown made the act of pirating significantly more difficult.

Source: Wikimedia/Chief Information Systems Technician Kenneth Anderson

Though it slowed some for a while, piracy has continued into the 21th century. Modern piracy often takes place on well-worn trade routes, such as those in the Indian Ocean. Instead of stealing merchandise to sell, well-armed modern pirates often will take the cash kept on board for payroll, as well as personal belongings of the crew.

Treasure Hunting Has Its Rules, Too

Where piracy has had a tempestuous relationship with the law, treasure hunting as a rule has never been made illegal. In modern day, though, there are specific rules regarding what can be found and kept. The Preservation of American Antiquities Act of 1906 states that individual departments within the government have jurisdiction over various forms of treasure.

Source: Wikimedia/Theodore Scott

Likewise, the countries of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland claim that any gold or silver finds older than 300 years are by default property of the crown. This law came into being with the Treasure Act of 1996, and it states that any treasure found in these countries must be reported to the authorities within fourteen days of recovery.

Modern Treasure Hunting for the Ages

Even within these restrictions, there is a lot of room for modern treasure hunters to have some fun and look for items that have been buried from the past. One such treasure hunter, Leigh Webber, who hails out of Australia, is one such hunter who has made his living by combining treasure and social media.

Source: Instagram/BondiTreasureHunter

In his own words, Webber’s adventure with treasure hunting started twenty years ago. He was snorkeling off Bondi Beach in Australia when he discovered a series of gold coins that had fallen to the sandbank and been buried. He realized that there could be more treasures found if he had the tools to retrieve them, and his treasure hunting journey began.

A Modern Treasure Success

Today, Webber has over one million subscribers on Youtube, where he posts videos of his treasure finds from all over the world. Webber engages in what he calls magnet fishing, where a magnet attached to a long rope is thrown into the water and Webber sees what he can find.

Source: Instagram/BondiTreasureHunter

He has quite a few remarkable stories from his hunting trips, and has ended up in the news several times. In 2021, he ended up in the news for having found an enormous safe filled with gold coins that had been stolen, which he returned to the appropriate authorities immediately.

A Significant Discovery, for Webber and Social Media

More recently, though, Webber has ended up in the news again with a much more significant find than any he’s had before. Last month, Webber, who posts under the internet moniker “Bondi Treasure Hunter,” revealed to his massive audience that he had found a safe hidden underwater in an undisclosed location.

Source: Youtube/Bondi Treasure Hunter

In the Youtube video that has now been watched over six hundred thousand times, Webber throws his magnet into the water and starts to pull out a safe that looks to be quite heavy. The video cuts to the safe out of the water and already opened, and what Webber found inside is truly extraordinary.

The Safe Appeared Ordinary, at First

On first glance, the contents of the safe appeared to be benign, and possibly even ruined. There was nothing metal inside, other than a set of keys. Upon further investigation, though, Webber discovered a passport, some foreign photographs, documents, and empty jewelry boxes.

Source: Youtube/Bondi Treasure Hunter

Webber was stunned, but knew that he had to make an attempt at returning the items to their rightful owners. It’s what he does with every treasured item that comes into his possession; though he still has many of the items that he found abandoned, he keeps them in the hope that one day, his platform will lead him to the rightful owners of the treasure.

Finding the Owner of the Passport

Due to this moral code and policy, Webber immediately searched for the name on the passport through social media. The video was bleeped out when he finally found the owner and called, asking if they were, indeed, the person who owned the passport.

Source: Youtube/Bondi Treasure Hunter

The reason for the censorship is revealed in the description of the video. Webber had unknowingly stumbled on the passport of a member of a modern Royal family! The person requested that Webber keep their name out of the video so as not to draw further attention to themselves, and Webber, of course, agreed.

The Contents Were Shipping Off To The Right People

Webber goes on to state in the description that he had taken the entire contents of the safe and mailed them off to the rightful owner, though at the time of posting the video, he hadn’t heard back that the items had been received. He did state that there was an ongoing police investigation into the items disappearance, though.

Source: Youtube/Bondi Treasure Hunter

The end of the video also shows that the safe with the Royal documents wasn’t the only one found in this particular river. Another safe, a larger one, was also found in this area, though the contents of that were posted in a separate video.

An Audience Enraptured

The comments in the Youtube video were stunned and delighted at the contents, and the way the story ultimately turned out. Modern treasure hunting can be quite a hit or miss, and many of the commenters told Webber that stories like this one were reasons to continue, even if there were more disappointments than goldmines.

Source: Youtube/Bondi Treasure Hunter

For Webber, his passion for treasure hunting is the reason that he continues. He makes his living from social media with his posts and videos, and it allows him to pursue his fascinating hobby in a way that he can share with the world.

More Treasure Hunting in the Future for Leigh

This is far from the last time that Leigh Webber will be heard of, it’s almost guaranteed. Webber’s treasure hunting activities have found him as an accomplice in police investigations in the past, as well as in possession of ancient treasures that he now keeps in a massive collection worth thousands of pounds.

Source: Instagram/BondiTreasureHunter

Where the modern treasure hunter’s next adventure will lead him is anybody’s guess. As well as posting on Youtube, Leigh also has an Instagram and Tiktok account that he uses to document his adventures. His audience, like all of us, will stay on the edge of their seats waiting for the next stunning treasure that he manages to pull from the depths of the sea.

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James Cross

Written by James Cross

James Cross, an enigmatic writer from the historic city of Boston. James' writing delves into mysteries, true crime, and the unexplained, crafting compelling narratives that keep readers and viewers on the edge of their seats. His viral articles, blog posts, and documentary-style videos explore real-life enigmas and unsolved cases, inviting audiences to join the quest for answers. James' ability to turn real mysteries into shareable content has made him a sensation in the world of storytelling.

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