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TOPIC: Old man resumes hunt for Japanese treasure

Old man resumes hunt for Japanese treasure 7 years 6 months ago #4207

  • wreckdiver
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VIETNAM - For the first time since 2003 the Binh Thuan Province people’s committee has allowed 96-year-old Tran Van Tiep to hunt for 4,000 tons of gold he claims was buried under Tau Mountain by the Japanese in 1945.

The Hai Phong native who lives in Ho Chi Minh City has 270 days from October 10 to look for the treasure and has to deposit VND500 million (US$24,000) to repair environmental damages.

The old man, who has spent 20 years searching for the treasure, was happy to learn of the decision since it may be the last chance for him to pursue his dream of finding the gold.

He plans to scour an area of 2,400 square meters after Tet (lunar New Year) in late January.

Tiep’s exploration team will drill to a depth of 50 meters at five places in the 100 m hill along National Highway 1A.

Tiep believes that if weather conditions are favorable, his team can find the treasure within 30 days.

“There is not less than 4,000 tons of gold and other precious jewels buried by Japanese troops.

“No gold has been found so far though I have spent thousands of taels (37.5 grams) of gold in the past 20 years, but I do believe that a gigantic treasure was hidden under the mountain.”

Several months ago he said the total value of the hoard could be more than $100 billion.

Tiep, who fought in the war against the French, says he obtained a lot of information about the treasure in 1957 from the wife of a Japanese military official, but was unable to look for it due to the war.

He was also provided some information by Le Van Buong, the head of Binh Tuy Province [a part of Binh Thuan Province now] in South Vietnam before 1975.

Buong said he once possessed a map of the treasure but one of his subordinates stole it in 1963.

Buong suddenly died later, taking with him the mystery of the treasure.

Tiep’s belief in the existence of the treasure got a boost in 1976 when a sunken Japanese warship was discovered off Lao Cau isle, three nautical miles from Tau Mountain, and nothing was found in it except 76 bars of antimony.

This reinforced his belief that the Japanese had taken the treasure from the ship and buried it under the mountain.

Le Van Hien, party secretary of Thuan Hai province (now Binh Thuan) in 1987, shared Tiep’s belief and began to collect information about the treasure and in 1993 he and Tiep jointly obtained permission to search for the treasure.

On the east side of the mountain they found an old Japanese sword with its sheath, a Nippon Bank 10,000-yen coin, a hookah, a metal insignia of the Kokuryu-Kai – also known as the Black Dragon Society, a stone compass, and two ancient Cham sculptures.

Tiep put them in a safe-deposit box in a bank and insured them.

But with the two men failing to find the gold for a long time, local authorities ordered a stop in 2003.

Hien died in 2009, leaving Tiep alone to pursue their dream.

In September 2010 Tiep hired the Geophysical Equipment Joint Stock JSC to survey the mountain.

The company reported finding an extraordinary underground geological structure that was 10 meters wide, 200 meters long, and 50 meters deep and containing natural or manmade metals.

Tiep got a 3D map made and submitted it along with an exploration plan to the authorities to seek permission.

Tiep, who lives in a large house on Nguyen Trong Tuyen Street in Phu Nhuan District, says: “I have hunted for the treasure not for my own benefit but because I don’t want to see a huge fortune belonging to the country disappear.”

“I have always considered the treasure a state asset. I have sought the treasure at my own expense and have not asked the government for a dong.”

In 1993 he mortgaged the house to get a loan of VND700 million to invest in his search. That year alone he spent VND2 billion.

This time the estimated cost of exploration is more than VND3.3 billion (US$158,000).

Tran Phuong Hong, one of Tiep’s sons, says: “Some others and I in our family will continue the hunt on behalf of my father since it is his greatest aspiration in life.”

All of Tiep’s children are successful businesspeople and one of them is now the general director of a large bank in the city.

Courtesy Tuoitre News
“Treasure – If it’s out there, we’re going to find it!” (Tommy Vawter)
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Re: Old man resumes hunt for Japanese treasure 7 years 6 months ago #4216

  • Au_Dreamers
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WOW Treasure hunting at 96!!!

I think I'd take my 100 billion in gold and go start my own country!
Last Edit: 7 years 6 months ago by Au_Dreamers. Reason: Billion
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Re: Old man resumes hunt for Japanese treasure 7 years 6 months ago #4217

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Au, that was 100 BILLION!
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Re: Old man resumes hunt for Japanese treasure 7 years 6 months ago #4218

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hehe yeah haven't had my coffee yet.
Also I'm not an elected official so it's hard for me to use the word billion!
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Re: Old man resumes hunt for Japanese treasure 7 years 4 months ago #5090

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:laugh: Reminded me of a joke.....

An advisor pulled the president aside at a briefing to let him know the 2 Brazillian soldiers were killed in an attack on Nato forces. The president thought it over a few minutes then turned back to his advisor and quietly asked, "How many is a brazillion?" :laugh:
Count your Blessings but Remember your Dreams!
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Re: Old man resumes hunt for Japanese treasure 7 years 4 months ago #5096

White Feather wrote:
:laugh: Reminded me of a joke.....

An advisor pulled the president aside at a briefing to let him know the 2 Brazillian soldiers were killed in an attack on Nato forces. The president thought it over a few minutes then turned back to his advisor and quietly asked, "How many is a brazillion?" :laugh:

:woohoo: now that's funny!
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Re: Old man resumes hunt for Japanese treasure 7 years 4 months ago #5097

White Feather wrote:
:laugh: Reminded me of a joke.....

An advisor pulled the president aside at a briefing to let him know the 2 Brazillian soldiers were killed in an attack on Nato forces. The president thought it over a few minutes then turned back to his advisor and quietly asked, "How many is a brazillion?" :laugh:

:woohoo: now that's funny!
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