In 1903, John Bernard built a house.
Not to impress a young woman. Not so he had a place to waste away his days. Not because he had nothing better to do. But because he needed a place to hide his treasures.
For John Bernard was a pirate.
And I don’t mean he was a part of the Pittsburgh Pirates. No, I mean John was a rough, sailing the seven seas, “swab the deck, matey”-type pirate.
Captain John, as he was called on his ship, sailed the Pacific Ocean with a crew of seven men. Together they captured ship upon ship, stealing and gathering all that they could.
Miraculously, they were never caught. No U.S. Coast Guard could get anywhere near them. They were an unstoppable force in the ocean. The great white shark of the pirating world.
Eventually, the crew had stolen enough treasure that they could buy the Buckingham Palace if they wanted. Because of this wealth, they decided that they needed a break. They sailed their boat to the coast of California, stopping in the small town of Orange.
As soon as the ship docked, John’s crew went searching for the local bars. Like any good pirate, all they wanted was booze and women. But John wasn’t like any good pirate. Instead of spending all his riches, he wanted to save it. He would have made a much better banker than a pirate.
He knew he couldn’t put his money in a bank. It’d be too suspicious. So, he had the brilliant idea of building a house for the sole purpose of hoarding his treasures.
He had never built a house before. He really didn’t know the first thing about building houses, but he did it anyways. It took him a ridiculous amount of time and the end product was nothing special, but he had done it.
John took the treasures that he had previously kept on his ship and stored them in the basement of his new house. No one would know they were there. No one would be able to steal them. It was the perfect hiding spot.
A couple of months after the house was built, John decided to go on another pirating stint. His crew was greedy for more riches and he had agreed to accompany them.
The crew was able to raid a couple of wealthy ships while sailing the ocean and they decided that they had enough stolen goods to last them for awhile. As they headed back to shore all seven members of John’s crew grew ill. John blamed scurvy, but many would see it as karma.
Because his crew was too ill to manoeuvre the ship, John had to do it by himself. And this wouldn’t have been a problem, except the ocean was growing rough. The waves tossed the ship to and fro, as if it was a toy instead of a gigantic pirate ship. John steered the craft as best as he could, but the waves grew higher and the wind speed increased to a hurricane-like force. John knew they were done for.
John grabbed the wheel of the boat and waited for the final and biggest wave to hit. Like any good captain, John went down with his ship.
It was the end of Captain John and his seven man crew.
But what happened to his treasure in his sunny Californian home? Well, it’s still there. Even after the house was remodelled and sold to new tenant after new tenant, the treasures stayed hidden. Maybe no one knows they are there. Maybe they are buried under 10 feet of concrete. Or, maybe, the ghost of Captain John is watching over them. Protecting them and saving them until he is able to get back.
Created: Jul 25, 2010Document Media