War has always seen two things: bloodshed and the transfer of wealth.
Any visitor to the Philippines who asks will readily learn that the nation is filled with rumors of buried World War II loot, commonly referred to as Yamashita Treasures or Yamashita Gold and The Tiger's Gold. In truth, the "Tiger of Malaya," Lieutenant General Tomoyuki Yamashita, commander of Japan's war effort in the Philippines, had almost nothing to do with the gold. It is mainly referred to as Yamashita's Gold because of his military prowess which enabled much of its spoilage on the mainland. Yamashita's plebian upbringing was not well favored by royalty. The red herring of Yamashita's name has misled many researchers in the past.
Recent stories of the late President Ferdinand Marcos' successful attempts to retrieve some of the gold are not without substance and have definitely rekindled gold fever throughout the country. Many recent finds have clearly been documented:
In the state of Hawaii, $22,001,405,000.00 plus interest (accruing to $43,518,812,967.69 plus $11,101,044.65 per day at judgement time) was awarded to the estate of treasure-hunter Roger Roxas in 1996 over Yamashita's Gold. The defeated defendant was the Marcos Estate. The case, won by the Los Angeles law firm of Magaña, Cathcart & McCarthy, was the largest single judgement in the history of civil law. Based on the 1974 price of $160 per ounce troy, the $22 billion equated to 4277 metric tons of gold. The centerpiece of the case was a Burmese-style buddha, solid gold except for a small compartment containing jewels accessed by unscrewing the head, less than 3 feet tall and weighing about one metric ton (2200 lbs.) The late Robert Curtis testified in the case that his research revealed that there were 18 such buddhas looted from temples in southeast Asia, distributed amongst a total of 172 major burial sites in the Philippines.
In 1997, an investigative team from Japan's respected Asahi Television filmed and verified core samples of 1800 gold bars. Although this was a minor find of less than 12 metric tons, it was valued at was valued at $150 million.
So, the story of the gold is no myth. Here is how it all began:
As far back as the late 1920s, Emperor Hirohito realized that a new world war was coming. He foresaw that to defeat the United States would require an extraordinary military backed by unprecedented financing. He organized a special team to confiscate the wealth of Asia. The project, entrusted solely to the leadership of the Royal Family (in particular to HIH Prince Chichibu [no miya] Yasuhito Shinno, Hirohito's younger brother) was code named Kin No Yuri, translated Golden Lily.
In the decade preceding the war, Japan introduced hundreds of spies into the twelve Asian nations they would eventually conquer. In guise as civilans from all walks of life, their mission was to locate and map the storehouses of wealth throughout the regions. Targets included museums, treasuries, banks, churches, temples, monasteries, shrines, mining operations and large corporations as well as wealthy families and organized crime syndicates. Detailed reports were sent continually to the royalty in Tokyo who wanted to have one basic thing: A list of whoever held the keys and combinations to the vaults who would shortly become candidates for interrogation and torture.
Their first major project, the December 1937 rape of Nanking, was only the tip of the iceberg. An estimated 6000 tons of gold were looted from Chiang Kai-shek's treasuries within a few days. As the Japanese Imperial Army swept through China and assimilated virtually all of southeast Asia, it thoroughly seized over 4000 years worth of stored gold, silver, precious gems, coins and works of art, including temple statuary.
In fear of Hitler, much of Europe's vast wealth had also been secretly located unsuspectingly into Japan's path. This included the national treasures of the Netherlands into the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), that of France into Indochina (now Vietnam), and that of Britain (with the notable exception of the Crown Jewels) into Singapore. By a seeming series of miracles, all fell to Japan; and Golden Lily agents silently and efficiently swept up the spoils, refined most of the precious metals, and began transporting them back to their homeland.
Much of this vast treasure never made it to Japan. With the Allied victory at Midway, Hirohito became reluctant to risk its transport through waters heavily patrolled by enemy submarines. Instead, it was diverted to the Philippines, most notably aboard the captured Dutch passenger liner Op ten Noort, amongst others disguised as hospital ships. So cautious were the Japanese that they made detailed communications to the Allied Forces of the exact schedules of these treasure-laden ships well in advance of their movements. Even before Midway, gold was taken to the Philippines to be smelted and stored in natural caves and caverns as well as in an extensive tunnel system that had been left by Spanish miners of old.
Headquarters now transferred from Singapore to Manila, the Golden Lily team fell under the direction of HIH Prince Takeda [no miya] Tsuneyoshi, Hirohito's first cousin, who oversaw most of the actual Philippine burial sites, yet still second in command to Chichibu. This is the same Takeda who later became an Olympic equestrian competitor and even president of the Japanese Olympic Committee, his son currently holding this position. The Emperor wisely foresaw Japan's eventual defeat. It was strongly believed that Japan would be able to keep the Philippines as a concession for peace, then use the vast wealth hidden there to rebuild their empire after the war.
Thus, the relocation of the enormous shipments of war treasure to the Philippines was urgently seen as Japan's only hope of ethnic survival. At the close of the war, as Allied vicories were forcing sudden evacuations in the north, many of the complex burial sites were emptied and apparently relocated to the southern Philippines. The three major ports of the island of Mindanao in particular (Zamboanga, General Santos City, and Davao) were suddenly overrun with Japanese ships which frantically unloaded their cargoes into the mountains.
As the history is vastly more involved than can be presented here, interested parties are directed to well-researched published works such as Gold Warriors: America's Secret Recovery of Yamashita's Gold by Sterling Seagrave and his wife, Peggy, and Yamashita and the Gold by Charles C. McDougald.
Now, everyone seems to have a site in mind or have some zealous friend who is convinced of imminent wealth. Thousands of holes have been hand-dug in the Philippines in search of this treasure. Precious few have seen positive results. As many of these projects based on dowsing techniques and various forms of superstition have ended in failure, a side industry has emerged based on the fever itself. Foreign investors are often enticed into funding projects of digging holes which are known to be fruitless. In areas of high unemployment, workers are happy to dig meaningless holes for US\$2-3 per day. Con men claim to have recovered treasure but will only meet with buyers in secluded rural areas, abduction points for allegedly wealthy travellers. Others will actually try to sell gold-plated brass buddhas and fake bars for thousands of times their actual value.
1 Ounce Nugget found at Crow Creek Alaska in 1998 by Steve Herschbach
Wed, 04 Feb 98, Reader writes:
I browsed through your website and would like to ask you how I can avail of your services. I am currently engaged with some friends in looking for part of the fabled Yamashita treasures, in the Philippines. What do I need to send you to effect a long distance consultancy?
Wed, 04 Feb 98, Otherplane's reply to reader:
First of all, the Yamashita treasures is not a fable and you are actually targeting one of them, in the area you and your friends are interested in. The cavern that the treasure is hidden in has eight (8) entrances. Two of them are blocked and booby trapped. The other six (6) entrances were not known even to those (Yamashita's soldiers) and are still open. With the jungle growth over the years, locating even one of these entrances could be difficult. The treasure is still there and four (4) of the entrances will prove the shortest route to the treasure. As for fees, you and your friends decide based on the information we've given to you.
Before the United States declared war on Japan (WWII), Japan had long been engaged in exploitation and overthrowing of other countries governments throughout the Asian Continent and South Pacific Region. Like Germany, Japan was also set on a path to achieving "world dominance." And like Germany, an embargo was placed on Japan thus depriving them of critical oil shipments, steel and other materials that could have increased and sustained their war efforts.
The treasures and wealth of a country was removed and transported back to Japan to further finance its war effort. Treasures from the South Pacific Region was transported to the Philippines and put under the supervision of General Yamashita. The treasures were to move from the south to the north and finally to Japan. Since vast amounts of treasure were coming in to the Philippines, General Yamashita had to store much of the treasure until ships/planes were sent to take the treasures back to Japan. Eventually, the possibility of the United States entering the war slowed shipments of the treasures from the Philippines to Japan. General Yamashita was forced to find permanent locations for storing the treasures until the war ended.
Much is known about the "Yamashita Treasure" and fully documented. More than 50 percent of the total amount (720 locations - by our count), has been found, however, there are still approximately 260 locations (by our count) that remains - unfound.
We (of Otherplane) conducted a partial investigation of the Yamashita Treasure that still remain to be found and here is a partial list of our findings, of 10 locations:
Target 1 - is buried approximately 120 feet and is guarded with 16 booby traps (pressure and trip mines and gas canisters). There are 49 boxes of Gold Bars, 6 bars to a box, and each box weighs approximately 120 pounds. Also, 3 boxes of Gold Coins and each box weighs approximately 60 pounds. Finally, there are 2 boxes of Jewelry and each box weighs approximately 20 pounds. The stacked boxes are 15 feet high.
Target 2 - is in a cave, 45 feet up a mountainside and 75 feet from the entrance to the chamber (treasure). The 3 entrances are blocked and the chamber is guarded with mines and gas canisters. Seventy Eight (78) boxes of Gold Bars is stored there.
Target 3 - is in a cave and has 8 entrances. Two (2) of the entrances are blocked, with the remaining 6 entrances - open, but covered over by thick vegetation. Booby traps (mines and gas) guards the chamber. There are 46 boxes of Gold Bars and 4 boxes of Gold Coins.
Presently, there are numerous individuals and groups in search of the Yamashita Treasure. No doubt some of the treasure will be found, but a lot will remain unless someone has in their possession information (as mentioned above), or is able to seek outside assistance via paranormal meansHe was known as the “Tiger of Malaya.” A skilled commander in the Pacific War, Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita masterminded the quick capture by the Imperial Army of Malaysia and Singapore against a much larger force of Allied soldiers. Toward the end of the war, Yamashita’s forces tried in vain to repel U.S. forces retaking the Philippines.
Yet despite such an illustrious career as a battlefield commander, Yamashita’s name these days is most frequently connected to his purported “treasure” — a vast amount of gold, gems and currency looted from various Asian countries during the war.
According to treasure hunters and a few investigative journalists, Yamashita ordered some of his soldiers to stash the loot in various places in the Philippines during the closing stages of the war.
Treasure hunters are, by nature, a secretive lot, and that’s the case with the Japanese intent on grabbing a piece of Yamashita’s loot. The magazine, however, does some digging of its own on the lives and activities of some of these adventurers.
One, whom the magazine identifies only as “M,” had formerly searched for valuables left behind by the Tokugawa shogunate. “However, he got hold of some documents and maps of the Yamashita treasure. The prospects appeared good, so he went to live in the Philippines, where he has three trucks” as part of his search operation, says Akira Kittaka, the head of a Japan-based group of treasure hunters.
Others have given up conventional careers in Japan to devote their energy into tracking down the war-era loot.
“K,” a native of Saitama Prefecture, once worked for a small trading company. Then one day his employer sent him on a business trip to the Philippines in 2003. After becoming fascinated by the tales of the famous booty while in the country, he decided to quit his job and relocate there, where he has been snooping around ever since.
“T” once served in the Self-Defense Forces and worked as a Tokyo cab driver. He too quit his job several years ago to become a full-time seeker of Yamashita’s treasure.
He is apparently chasing a hot lead these days. “I have purchased some fresh information. However, it concerns an area that’s quite dangerous, as it’s under control of armed insurgents,” he wrote recently in a message to Yaeno.
So what would happen should any of these people actually find any of Yamashita’s cache? Surely, since the Japanese looted it from other countries, wouldn’t the right thing be to give all that money, gold and gems back to their rightful owners? Such concerns, however, seem to be the last things on the minds of the treasure hunters.
SUSPECTED JAPANESE WW2 TREASURE SITES (PHILIPPINES )
1.LUZON ISLAND (Estimated. treasure volume)
A. CAVE AND WATERFALLS TREASURE SITES
1) Dumagat Secret Treasure 1 (very large)
2) Dumagat Secret Treasure 1 (very large)
3) El Sombrero Treasure 1 (very large)
4) El Sombrero treasure 2 (very large)
5) Secrets of Digoyo (very large)
6) Mt. Billionaire (very large)
7) Gen. Tamaso Cache (very large)
8) Gen. Tanaka Treasure (very large)
9) Sinkhole Cave (very large)
10) PB Cave (very large)
11) Gen. Yakoko Treasure (large)
12) Secret Airstrip 1 (large)
13) Snake Cave Treasure (medium)
14) Padlock Cave (medium)
15) Caged Budha Cave (small)
16) 3 G. Budha Cave (small)
17) Underground Cave Temple (small)
18) 5 Lonely Tomb Cave (small)
B. BURIED / LAND TREASURE SITES
19) Tokyo 2 Tunnel (very large)
20) Japs Jungle Base Camp (large)
21) Callao Secret (large)
22) School Secret Treasure (medium)
23) Prado’s Court (medium)
24) Springfield Tunnel (medium)
25) Japs Plane Hangar treasure (medium)
26) Cargo Truck Tunnel (medium)
27) Church Secret Treasure (medium)
28) Skull Tunnel Treasure (medium)
29) Masoc / Grandfather Treasure (medium)
30) Egg Cave Treasure (medium)
31) Zapote Tree Secret (small)
32) Mango Tree Secret (small)
33) Santolan Tree Secret (small)
34) Tamarind tree Secret (small)
35) Lamp Light Treasure 1 (small)
36) Lamp Light Treasure 2 (small)
37) Peroz Road Treasure (small)
38) Triangle Bridge Treasure (small)
39) Japs Flag Treasure 1 (small)
40) Japs Flag Treasure 2 (small)
41) Japs Execution Camp Treasure (small)
42) Mango Hill Treasure (small)
43) Japs Cargo Plane 1 (small)
44) Japs Cargo Plane 2 (small)
46) Eagle Rock Treasure (small)
C. UNDERWATER TREASURE SITES
46) 2-Metal Box (small)
47) Underwater Golden Budha (small)
48) El Diablo Island Secret (small)
2. MINDANAO / VISAYAS ISLAND
A. LAND TREASURE SITES
49) Seven General Treasure (very large)
50) Three Gen. Treasure of Tagurano (very large)
51) Gen. Yamashita Treasure at Mundo Hill (very large)
52) Gen. Yamashita Treasure at Panabo (large)
53) Gen. Sakura Treasure (large)
54) Gen. Toyogoshi Treasure (large)
55) Gen. Kutamura Treasure (large)
56) Gen. Teruya Treasure (large)
57) Gen. Yamada Treasure (large)
58) Gen. Murakami Treasure (large)
59) Adm. Nakone Treasure (large)
60) Adm. Igie Treasure (large)
61) Col. Oshihiro Hansawa Treasure (large)
62) Col. Yamaguchi Treasure (large)
63) Lt. Ohata Treasure (medium)
64) Secrets Of Carmen (small)
65) Secrets of Cuyo Island (small)
66) Secrets of Dalirig (small)
67) Secrets of Dagat K Dabaw (small)
68) Secrets of Lake Sebu (small)
69) Secrets of Lake Venado (small)
70) Secrets of Lipadas (small)
71) Secrets of Makilo Ranges (large)
72) Secrets of Mt. Apo (large)
73) Secrets of Namnam (small)
74) Secrets of Pangantucan (large)
75) Secrets of Raware (medium)
76) Secrets of Silae (small)
77) Secrets of Sinuda (small)
78) Secrets of Tamugan (medium)
79) Secrets of Upian 1 and 2 (medium)
80) Nubos Treasure (medium)
81) Takahashi Butai Treasure (very large)
82) Kashibaora / Tanaka Treasure (very large)
83) 10th Buntai Treasure (medium)
84) Horse Cave Treasure (small)
85) Crocodile Cave Treasure (medium)
86) Giant Lizard Cave Treasure (medium)
87) Madapo Hill Treasure (small)
88) Kiakol Treasure (small)
89) Todaya Treasure (medium)
90) Crown of Cambodia (medium)
91) Djakarta Tunnel (very large)
92) Medusa Tunnel (small)
93) Tunnel 9 (very large)
94) Lying Lady Mountain (medium)
95) Golden Budha of St. Francis (small)
96) 3 –Chained /Wired Tomb (small)
97) Lonely Tomb of Talomo (small)
98) Lonely Tomb of St. Ines (small)
99) Lonely Tomb of Luban (small)
100) Sea Tomb of Luban (small)
101) 15 lonely Tomb of Wao (medium)
102) Samurai Tomb (small)
103) Sinkhole Tomb and Box (small)
104) Mysterious Jungle Steel Crate (small)
105) Waterfalls of Block (small)
106) Foxhole of Umayam (small)
107) Swimming Horse of Kisawi (small)
108) Underground Horse of Mt. Magolo (medium)
109) Tabokno Falls treasure (small)
110) Gandara Secret (small)
111) St. Vincent Secret (small)
B. UNDERWATER TREASURE SITES
112) Siwa Maru,D Island Ship(very large)
113) Tikang Maru (large)
114) Sakima Maru (large)
115) Maru of the Orient 3 (large)
116) Capt. Kimura 6 ships (very large)
117) Mini Submarine (small)
118) Camouflage Submarine (medium)
119) Cliff wall Submarine (medium)
120) Underground Submarine base (large)
121) Runway Edge Sea Vault (small)
122) Daibatsu of Ginoog and Davao Gulf (large)
1) Treasure volume: small (1-10 tons), medium (20-50 tons), large (50-100 tons), very large (above 100 tons). Estimated volume of treasure may change.
2) These are the treasure leads and information we have accumulated thru more than 20 years of extensive treasure research, exploration, actual operation, interviews of Japs / Filipino veterans, maps, live pointers and natives.
3) These are the combination of different type of treasures sites….buried (shallow/deep), tunnel, caves (open, closed, waterfalls, underwater), ship and submarine wrecks, tombs, statues, school, church, etc. In different kind of terrain in the Philippines…town, mountains, jungle, waterfalls, caves, rivers, sea…etc.
4) These suspected treasure sites have different stages of operation: for diggings, exploration, recovery, relocation…etc.
5) Its our team that names these suspected treasure sites for easy reference