Pirate Billy Bowlegs

Pirate Treasure in Ft. Walton Destin area Might Be Right Under Your Feet!

Pirate Ship

Unbelievable Treasure Hidden in Ft. Walton Destin Area

The bay area near Ft. Walton Beach and Destin, Florida is named ‘Choctawatchee Bay’ and is home to at least a dozen of pirate shipwrecks, holding gold and treasure that can only be imagined. Treasure, both intentionally hidden, and from shipwrecks, has been found. Most experts agree that it still exists in and around our favorite beach areas. Yes, there is likely treasure in Ft. Walton Destin area.

The U.S. Treasure Atlas states that over the years, several bags of gold coins and bars of silver have been discovered on Santa Rosa Island, home of Ft. Walton Beach, lending credence to the consensus that this is the site of a major cache of gold and silver.

Some think that the pirate loot may be hidden on the mainland in the Fort Walton Beach area; others place the hoard on various smaller islands in the Choctawatchee Bay. Some may be found on the various shipwrecks in the bay itself.  Map of Wrecks

Shipwreck on google earth

Shipwreck on Google Earth in Choctawatchee Bay. There is a story of a pirate Captain scuttling a fully-laden pirate ship of gold in the Bay. Most sources put the lagoon somewhere on the Choctawatchee Bay, which runs from Ft. Walton Beach to past Destin.  Some wrecks can be seen on Google Earth.

Billy Bowlegs was the most famous of all – and the one thought to have lost or hid the most gold. Several “Billy Bowlegs” are known to have exist. Perhaps the most famous was a man named ‘Bowles’ from Maryland, who later went by “Billy Bowlegs.”  He British loyalist who  came to Pensacola with his regiment after the Revolutionary War. Flamboyant, rebellious and commanding, he was dismissed from service for insubordination and befriended by the Creek Indians.

His pirating began in 1781 after the Spanish took control of Pensacola.

Gold bars have been found on several occasions – either buried or from wrecks.  According to sources at the time, in June 1958, Mrs. Beulah Croaker found several treasure caches on Santa Rosa Island near the present-day Ft. Walton Beach. She then started buying up land to excavate. The following year F.L. Coffman and Bud Worth found and excavated a pirate ship, the Mysterio in the N.E. corner of Choctawhatchee Bay. This is slightly past the present-day Mid-Bay Bridge. They managed to locate and bring up 117 bars of silver.

Again, in 1965, Mr. L. Frank Hudson found a cache of gold bars on Santa Rosa Island. He was caught by the local authorities and the gold was confiscated. In 1978, Don Williams of Ft. Meyers, found pirate graves on the east end of Santa Rosa Island, just before the military base. He dug them up and found silver coins, jPirate Map of Carribeanewelry, a flintlock pistol and other artifacts

The area is also home to shipwrecks of Spanish Galleons and Pirate Ships and other vessels of all sorts. Underwater, the whole bay is littered with shipwrecks. Today, it makes up part of the Intercostal waterway, where tugs and other vessels of commerce traverse. Pleasure Boaters from “Crab Island” to fisherpersons of all sorts crisscross over untold riches.

Ft. Walton Beach also hosts its annual “Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival commemorating the most famous pirate thought to have buried or lost gold in the area.  This year, its next month, June 2 & 3, 2017. 2017 Ft. Walton Beach Pirate Festival

injuredGo.com Law Firm represents injured seamen (yes, even perhaps pirates!) and offers free consultations.  On the River or Offshore we want to help you recover your own treasure commensurate with your personal injury claim.  Call us at (225) 933-1500 or visit injuredGo.com.




Wrongful Death: Electrocution Fall into Marina Water Admiralty or Not?

Wrongful Death Ruled Admiralty Claim

A professional malpractice case will continue in 13th Circuit Court against a lawyer who represented the family of a man who was electrocuted and drowned after jumping into water at Clinch Marina. The judge ruled that this wrongful death claim was properly governed under admiralty law.

Judge Thomas Power on Monday denied a motion from attorney Geoffrey Fieger, who argued admiralty law didn’t apply to the personal injury lawsuit at the center of the malpractice case against him. Fieger represented the family of Michael Knudsen, an 18-year-old who died after jumping into electrified water in Clinch Marina in 2011.

“There was admiralty jursidiction in relation to this tragic drowning,” said attorney Richard Goodman, representing Michael J. Long in the malpractice case.

The City of Traverse City and Clinch Marina were dismissed from the Knudsen family’s personal injury suit. They also were dismissed in a similar suit, in which Fieger represented Zachary Allen Kott-Millard, who said he was shocked when he jumped into the marina’s water to help Knudsen. The city and marina were granted immunity based on state law.

Michael J. Long, representing Knudsen’s estate, argued Fieger could have avoided the dismissals had he filed the original case under admiralty law instead of state law. He filed a professional malpractice suit against Fieger in 13th Circuit Court in February.

Kott-Millard in February also filed a professional malpractice case against Fieger.

Admiralty, or maritime, law applies to cases involving navigable waters, according to Cornell University Law School’s Legal Information Institute.

Goodman said an incident has to have three elements in order to fall under admiralty law: it must happen on water, involve maritime activities and have the potential to interfere with maritime commerce.

Knudsen’s death and other incidents that could have stemmed from the electrified water could have disrupted businesses such as the tall ships that dock in the marina, said Kathleen Kalahar, an attorney representing Long.

“The potential impact is much greater,” Kalahar said. “There’s electrified water … . This was a disaster waiting to happen.”

Clinch Marina rules prohibit commercial activity in the harbor, Fieger’s attorney Theresa Asoklis said Monday. She argued the evidence Kalahar submitted isn’t admissible in court.

“(It’s) anecdotal hearsay evidence that simply isn’t part of the record,” Asoklis said.

Asoklis said admiralty law didn’t apply to the Knudsen family’s personal injury case.

Long is an estate lawyer representing the Knudsen family, Goodman said. He will distribute reparations to the family should he be successful in the malpractice suit.

“Ultimately we hope the case will be tried before a Grand Traverse County jury,” Goodman said. “We’ll present our case and they’ll decide it.”  Story Here.

Attorney Ed Kramer is experienced in offshore and river injury claims. Contact him at the InjuredGo.com Law Firm (225) 933-1500 for a free consultation regarding your case.