By the early 19th century, Spain's South American colonies were in revolt. In 1820, the city of Lima in Peru was caught up in the revolution, and officials worried about fate of the city's treasures, which included gold and jewels, and also two life-sized statutes of Mary holding Jesus, which were made of solid gold. The treasure was valued at some $60 million and filled 11 ships. Captain William Thompson was hired to take the treasure to Mexico. Unfortunately, Thompson murdered the Peruvian guards sent with him and made off with the treasure. Thompson's ship, the Mary Dear, was captured, and the crew, except for Thompson and his first mate, were hanged; Thompson and the first mate had agreed to lead the Spanish to where the treasures were hidden. On reaching the Indian Ocean's Cocos Islands, where Thompson claimed the treasure was buried, the two escaped into the jungle, and the treasures of Lima were never seen again. After more than 300 unsuccessful expeditions, it has been theorized that the treasures are not in the Cocos Islands at all but in some other unknown island off the Central American coast.
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