Monday, September 14, 2015

Treasure Quest - Snake Island

Yes, it’s happened again. I got sucked into another treasure hunting show that was big on promises but weak on payoff. In this case a group of treasure hunters, who, using a map published in a newspaper in the 1930s and who believe that it shows an island off the coast of Brazil where a huge treasure might be hidden, have gone in search of it. This was Incan gold that had been moved across the continent to the coast of Brazil to keep it from the Spanish invaders but then had to be moved again to avoid pirates. There had been a map made back in 1524 or thereabouts that had disappeared until it was printed in a newspaper centuries later. Using modern satellite technology because where would a treasure hunting show be without modern satellite technology, they were able to find an island that matched that old map…

Well, sort of. There is a general shape that matches and it is off the coast of Brazil and that’s about it. I thought that if you looked hard enough you might find some other place, but these treasure hunters have decided that Snake Island is the right place.

This is the Treasure of the Trinity, which is supposed to be worth four hundred million dollars, or thereabouts, but I don’t know if that was sixteenth century money or modern money, which makes little real difference. Four hundred million is a pile of cash, or in this case gold and probably some silver and a few precious gems thrown in for good measure.

And the place isn’t called Snake Island for no reason. It seems this is the home of the Golden Lancehead Viper (Bothrops insularis), a highly venomous snake that has apparently wiped all mammalian life from the island so that the snakes now rely on migratory birds for dinner. One report claimed that the snakes were responsible for 90% of the snake bites in North and South America which struck me as odd since it is only found on that one island… other information suggests that other lancehead snakes (which include the Fer-de-Lance) in other areas do bite people but there isn’t a documented case of the Golden Lancehead ever biting a human (and here I qualify this by noting “documented” because it seems that a family that had been tending to a lighthouse built on the island were wiped out by these snakes sometime about a hundred years ago…)

Anyway, we are treated to the treasure hunters’ attempts to locate the treasure. Sometimes they are diving off the coast searching for clues and other times they are traipsing around the island while saying, “There’s a snake… there’s a snake” and there are a lot of them on the island.

This was beginning to remind me of Oak Island where we have lots of time spent with little payoff but in the last episode here it seems that they might have discovered the cave where the treasure was hidden. They had found old stone carvings that suggested where to look on Snake Island, but then Oak Island had those carvings and in two seasons they found what, two old Spanish pennies worth a few bucks each?

Exploring the cave indicated by their interpretation of the carvings and dodging the snakes (and a couple of ugly spiders) they find a partially buried box that looked as if it could have been used to haul treasure around a long time ago. After the obligatory commercial break, we come back to find that it’s not a box, but the lid to the box. Someone has been there first and the quest is now over…

Well, not really because they find a series of dots carved into the stone that look like a constellation and this might be a clue. Back on the boat, they decide that the dots refer to a Brazilian river and the treasure might have been moved there… I would think that having the snakes around to guard the treasure would be a real deterrent to anyone thinking of taking it (though no one on the expedition was bitten) but then, if that was true there is no treasure to find in the next season, or any reason to return to Brazil.


So, once again we have a big search that turns up little other than some clues carved in stone on an island that is out of the way and very dangerous. We have hints of something big, but in the end, we have nothing at all, other than those stone carvings and what looks like the top of a treasure box. But never fear, if the ratings were high enough, why next season, we’ll have them all mucking about on the mainland, with all kinds of new dangers as they search for the new location of this lost treasure. 

15 comments:

Funny Bart said...

Exactly what I was looking for, thanks for review.

Unknown said...

I'm questioning wether or not this whole thing is staged and scripted. Although it is a reality series and not a documentary but still just seems like everything is laid out to be filmed.

Chris Barrett said...

Wow ... that's a terrible perspective. This show is incredible! Of course they're not going to find one of the worlds most amazing treasures in 6 episodes. What could possibly be a better show than watching a team make their way through a jungle filled caves, spiders, scorpions, and pit vipers around every corner in search of treasure! Just the scenery is awesome. This show offers constant suspense, uncovers historical artifacts in every episode, and keeps viewers totally immersed with curiosity. If you didn't like this show maybe real housewives is more up your alley.

casey ash said...

It's clearly totally a staged show. I had to turn it off, it was so insulting, even to the point where you knew what was going to happen next, like a bad movie. The 'plot' doesn't even make sense, the acting is terrible, there's set-up stuntwork and the continuity is wrong (this programme is shot out of continuity, by the way, so it's not a documentary).

Cláudio Viola said...

The Real History in a New Book - ILHABELA AND THE TREASURE OF THE TRINITY
The Mystery that challenged generations!

The TREASURE OF THE “TRINDADE” was protected for a long time by mysterious circumstances that hindered its location. So close and at the same time, so far from men, became legend and remained hidden in the darkness, waiting for a light to come at the right time.

In the XXI century, a historical saga of nearly two hundred years continues to unfold in Island of Ilhabela, São Paulo, on the coast of Brazil. Their precursors, still unknown, traced the outlines of a great mystery that has puzzled archaeologists and researchers around the world.

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See more in:
http://www.facebook.com/ilhabelaeotesourodatrindade/
http://platon-jeannis.blogspot.com.br/2016/04/ilhabela-e-o-tesouro-da-trindade.html
https://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesouro_da_Trindade
www.sportmar.com.br

jenmaidme said...

I do think that the treasure hunters especially the boat captain seem to be reciting lines from time to time. I wish it were a real treasure hunt because I'd be hooked. These nagging doubts have me disappointed however. Is this the same network that had the mermaid hoax?

Michael Hamilton said...

The giveaway that this was staged was the whole thing with the boat. i.e. do serious treasure hunters set out with holes in the bottom of their boat when they are "so careful" about everything else. Also the whole drama about the storm and getting back to the boat before the storm and the coincidence of the radios not working at that specific time so they needed to send out a drone which just happened to find the teams exact location. Totally staged! I suspect that some of the stone carvings might not have been real and might have been placed by the elite treasure hunters before-hand.

DaMuse1000 said...

What a crock. A 12 year-old might buy it but it is so staged that there is nothing real about it.

Missadventure~1 said...

CONSTANT SUSPENSE?!!? NO.constant suspicion about the veracity of ANY of this clearly staged and insultingly hokey production.over and over again they do this! Why not a REAL reality show about this subject?

Kevin said...

It's a bummer because it could be so exciting. It seems so staged at times down to the part where the pretty diver connects with the swashbuckling survival expert. We all crave a real treasure hunt but this is not it.

Kevin said...

It's a bummer because it could be so exciting. It seems so staged at times down to the part where the pretty diver connects with the swashbuckling survival expert. We all crave a real treasure hunt but this is not it.

GET MCKENZIE! said...

Unfortunately it is staged and scripted which destroys any credibility the participants have. Even the story is totally made up because the original one is for the island of Trinidade which is 600 miles off the coast of Brazil. Just look at the 'treasure map' they show. It shows Trinidade Island and the name of that island 'TRINIDADE' is written in capitals on it.

GothBoyUK said...

Just watching the first episode from Series 2 & I'm more sceptical than ever. Not only that but it is leaving me annoyed at times with ridiculous statements like "a group of 70 people were attacked last year by piranha & lost body parts in seconds" & also the lack of basic knowledge. They also seem to be the least scientific archaeologists I've seen outside of similar "treasure" programming; poor/no documentation & excavating with all the care of a 17th Century grave robber.

Not impressed.

Rory Paul said...

Season 2 is absolute rubbish... dunking artifacts in acid to clean them off. They probably broke laws regarding destruction of antiquities. Also their drone thermals were a crock....guy falls down a hole and discovers markings...next thing it will point to the treasure being burried under a church in Spain....

Russell Roesner said...

I agree the show seems to be scripted as at the end of each one, they find a new clue to take them to a new place. Season II they have not stayed in the same place for more than a couple days. A few comments.
1) They act like they are the only people on Earth who had ground penatrating radar, metal detectors, scuba equipment, and drones. (well maybe drones)
2) These "clues" that guide them from place to place are pretty random, especially the illegal antiquities dealer who tells them a silver bar was found at a certain Jesuit Mission. Why would that guy tell them the truth as he seemed pretty pissed off? Plus, if I was the guy who sold him the bar, I wouldn't tell him where I found it right?
3) They leave a relatively expensive boat unguarded after being followed? Then the boat gets broken into and we are to believe that nothing was stolen in one of the poorest countries in the world? Right....
4) Now they found a map on the floor of a hole in the jungle which is perfectly laid out with symbols in actual feet?
5) Ok I have to say I want to know if they find a cave 50 feet in the air on the side of a waterfall.
6) Last thing...if they really found a treasure, this TV show would be the last thing on their minds and it already would have made international headlines. Thus, I think we can deduce they didn't find anything this season.