My quest started with a book I read called "Treasure" written by  Richard Knight and it turned out that during a period of approx 20 years of his life he had been researching the life of Captain William Kidd, a notorious pirate of the mid to latter part of the 17th century. According to Knight another writer had a lawyer friend who collected artifacts, furniture, chests etc. of the era and when possible anything that was supposed to have belonged to Kidd. 

His story is that the lawyer disclosed to the writer that he had accidentally or purposefully broken a piece or pieces of furniture and or chests accredited as being the personal belongings of Kidd. These events took place during the very early thirties as Knight took a lot of his info from the book, which was printed about 1932/5.

 Knight then described how he was intrigued by certain charts which were found hidden in the furniture saying that his research of the charts which according to him had been verified by the British Museum which had taken photographs of the Kidd Palmer charts as they had become known, but could not now find any record of them. Obviously inferring that they were either lost or stolen, still Knight reproduced one of these charts in his book and it was this chart that he had been trying to research. He also goes on to say that many expeditions had, at great expense to themselves and their backers travelled to various islands throughout the world in search of the treasure that Kidd had, on pain of death or rather to avoid hanging, said to one of the war lords that he had during his seafaring activities lodged or secreted goods or treasure on some such island and that if indeed he was reprieved from his death sentence he would gladly lead whomsoever to the cache.

The letter that Kidd wrote is in fact genuine, copies of which can be found in various books etc. dedicated to his life and subsequent death by hanging. Incidentally Kidd had to be hung twice as the rope broke and Kidd was subsequently put back on the scaffold for his second and successful death, from the hangman's point of view. Much later in this story I will deal with Kidd in greater detail but this story of Kidd's treasure has intrigued many since the charts came to light not least Mr. Knight, who with his years of research had , so he says, pinpointed an island off the coast of Vietnam which, as most knew at that time since Knight's book was published about 1972, was not the best place for a western imperialist to be. But Knight was determined to see his theory through. No doubt as any person who had put in that much time would, and so with the help of a mysterious backer, whom Knight said came from Australia, he set about planning his journey, and possible excavation of Kidd's treasure

Click on the pictures for a close up view.

Knight was using the China Sea chart, which I have featured above. His research of his chart was based on the assumption that the latitude which reads 9* 16**N was true. Subsequently he rested his hopes on an island named Hon Tre Lon in the Gulf of Siam, Where he says he found and retrieved  part of Kidd's treasure. He goes on to describe how he reburied this find on another island to go back and retrieve the other caches which he believed the island contained. It was at this time that Knight says he was arrested by the Vietnamese authorities and imprisoned. To this day I have never seen a photograph or heard of any of Knights Treasure which he recovered , being sold or displayed. Where is it?

This question, prompted my own research of the China Sea Chart, which resulted in my finding anomalies within the chart which Knight had failed to notice or mention. Briefly, if you look at the words reef bottom left and right of the chart, you will notice that the words differ greatly, the left side reef conceals the words piece of 8 or similar. Whilst the lagoon conceals a picture of a river delta, with an island group off it. With a ship also concealed behind one of the islands in the group?

Following my research I narrowed the possibilities down to two island groups. One group off Burma (Myanmar). The other group off the Philippines. However to this day I have been unable to gain permission from these governments.

Following two years of frustrated waiting I turned my attentions to another supposed Kidd chart. Kidd's Skeleton Island, with some incredible results, as you will no doubt see


Author: Kevin Taylor

Copyright 2002 Kevin Taylor. All rights reserved.
Revised: April 2002.