The Legend of Don Abecco Monte Janeiro – Yerba Buena

April 6, 2015 | By | Reply More

ghost-ship-wreck-wallpaperAmong Yerba Buena’s other legends of treasure one has a particularly imaginative twist.

As it is told, it took place in the 1870s, when spiritualism was in vogue, and there were a number of practitioners of the art in San Francisco who claimed to be making regular contact with the Great Beyond.

Strangely, several of them had received communication from one Don Abecco Monte Janeiro, the ghost of a pirate who had preyed on the Manila galleons which had sailed down the coast before California was settled.

The buccaneer’s shade told the mediums that he had buried some $20,000,000 worth of Spanish doubloons on Yerba Buena.

Logically the spiritualists decided to pool their resources and hunt the treasure together. As might be expected, however, they had a quarrel as to hoe the anticipated spoils would be divided and spilt into two dictions.

In order to get the jump of the rival faction, one party worked to the island at night, made their calculations paced off the distances, and began to dig.

As they did so, out of a fringe of woods in the darkness appeared the ghostly figure of a pirate – presumably Don Abecco Monte Janeiro – who waved a cutlass at them and howled ferociously. Rocks where showered on them as they fled in terror to their boat.

Later they learned that the rival party of spiritualists had been on the island that same night, and it dawned on them that they had been hoaxed.

Neither party found old Don Abecco’s $200,000,000, however. The reason was volunteered by yet another medium to whom the ghost of the pirate appeared and confided that his treasure was still well hidden.

girl-using-ouija-boardHe had appeared to her on St. Patrick’s Day 1872.

He was a tall, thin man wearing a Kossuth hat and a cloak, and he carried a lantern in one hand and a machete in the other. The medium took down what he said by means of a kind of Victorian Ouija board.

 “What you call the Island for the Goats is mine,” he said. “Many, many years ago I have there buried mucho tesoro … I wish not they shall unearth my gold.”

Where did you get the gold?” asked the medium.

“We did battle for it under the black flag. They think,” added Don Abecco irrelevantly, “the rock on the island is solid and that it will long endure, but it is not so.”

He was evasive as to the location of the treasure, explaining that because the medium was not familiar with the island’s terrain, he could not describe to her the spot where he had buried it.

“Is it far from the shore?” she asked.

“Since it was buried,” he whispered from the Beyond, “the earth has shaken many times, and now it is deeper and the rock has closed over it.”

He concluded enigmatically:

“Under what appears to be a rock on the island are pools no man may fathom.”

Workmen digging the Bay Bridge tunnel evidently failed to disturb the hiding place.

And it is not inconceivable that on windy nights old Don Abecco still patrols the island, appearing only as a flicker of moonlight among the trees in the secluded dells far above the tunnel’s speeding traffic…

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Category: Curiosities, Fog City - City of Fog

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