It was customary for pirate maps indicating buried treasure to have an emblematic letter X marking the spot, where one should dig to find said treasure. There would be a dashed line to the spot, avoiding all obstacles along the way. Maps were drawn this way for years but, as hiding treasures became a well-known practice, maps took on more cryptic approaches to help keep it hidden.
With time, treasure maps became decorated with symbols and jumbled words to help hide the true location. It was necessary to know of the treasure in order to find it. This practice also inspired lore of the maps themselves, with stories and legends told time and time again describing the location to buried treasure by aid of a map. There were times when the maps themselves became almost as important as the booty.
However, maps with cryptic symbols and confusing words became less desirable because they only inspired obsession to solve the puzzle. It is the degree of complexity that eventually becomes the most discouraging factor.
The strange Lue Treasure map, which appears to be a puzzle of Masonic symbols, possibly indicating some sort of direction is an example of such a map. The Lue map is a more modern rendition of an ancient treasure map, and to some researchers, it appears to be incomplete. There is an intriguing story behind it which creates a bit of a problem when it comes to deciphering. It is said that the map would lead to fourteen tons of gold buried somewhere in the United States. But is there evidence to support this?
The toughest economical period of the United State was between the two world wars. In 1929, the stock market collapsed, adding to an already troubled state. The Great Depression took place, and many countries around the world faced significant financial troubles over the next two decades. Foreign war campaigns attempted to devalue the American economy while it spiraled down during the depression.
Franklin Roosevelt signed a document, entitled the Gold Reserve Act of 1934, to prohibit private possession of gold, attempting to aid the situation. Some researchers believe that the Lue treasure map originates from this. Also, that the Gold Reserve Act is a direct response to German war efforts attempting to inflate, devalue, and destabilize the US economy by introducing large amounts of gold into the financial system.
German efforts included the procurement of treasures and gold from as many sources as possible, but a debatable question comes with those motives. While collecting a large amount of wealth in precious metals, would the Germans really choose to seed a foreign economy with it?
Perhaps yes, thinking it may be returned into possession if the effort was successful, or in that wealth truly held little weight into the regime’s moral. Yet the initiative also detracts from Germany’s self-empowering righteousness at the time aimed at eradicating anyone who didn’t meet their standardized guidelines. There is, of course, also logistics of the matter. How would they physically introduce fourteen tons of gold into the American economy at a time of war, without being spotted by Americans?
Sophisticated spy rings might be an answer to this curious question. The Duquesne spy ring and Operation Pastorius, for example, set up men on US soil for espionage and eventual sabotage. Participants in the spy rings communicated with hidden messages in attempt to bring back important information to Germany. Operation Pastorius provides some insight to how 28 thousand pounds of gold possibly landed on American shores by way of U-boats.
Knowing that German submarines were dropping off spies, it’s not unreasonable to consider gold may have been delivered in a similar way. Then it was time for injecting the money into the economy by simply spending it. According to the tale of the Lue treasure map, the gold was transported to a single location for later distribution, but with the collapse of Germany and the end of the World War II, it was left behind.
Years later, a cryptic map surfaced hiding a possible secret about gold buried somewhere on American soil. It must be taken into consideration that it is quite possible that the Lue treasure map points to a now empty location. In the height of the war, knowing that Roosevelt signed the Gold Act years prior, it would have been in the best interest of the American government to obtain the treasure before any attempt to harm the economy took place. Double agents working within the spy rings for America likely obtained information about such an operation, if it actually existed.
This would mean that chances of finding fourteen tons of gold buried by Germans on American soil in the 1930’s were slim to none. However, the Lue map is so complex that it leads researchers to believe that government agencies never really deciphered it – meaning that there could possibly be a substantial war treasure buried deep in the soil of America.
There is also another possible explanation for the Lue map. It is the complete opposite from the one stating that Germans deposited the gold in the US as means to deflate the economy. The 1934 Gold Reserve Act established that all private gold must be sold to the Treasury. All the gold that was possessed during this time was moved to secured facilities around the country. This included Fort Knox in 1937. German spies in the US undoubtedly learned about this and perhaps considered these depositories as targets to collapse the economy. After all, instead of introducing gold to hyper-inflate, removing it is much more effective.
From this comes the idea that spies learned of bullion depository locations and used ciphers, like the Lue treasure map, to relay the location back to Germany. During World War II, gold bullion in the depository reached an astounding 20 thousand tons before redistribution among other depositories took place after the war. The realistic impact of 14 tons of gold along with 20 thousand is negligible, but incentive to focus on depositories, much more tantalizing.