In 1633 a ferry loaded with one fifth of the wealth of England capsized in the Firth of Forth and was lost with all aboard, as the horrified King of England, Charlies I, watched helplessly from shore.

Many believe this to be the world’s largest unrecovered treasure, and now there is a possibility that it has been found.

Acoustic scanning technology has been used to seek the remains of the Blessing of Burntisland in the firth, and members of the Burntisland Heritage Trust have located a number of possible resting places. “The acoustic sonar we’ve used is much more effective than its visual counterpart because it can actually tell us what is beneath the layers of silt to a certain extent,” former Royal Navy survey ship commander Matt French told the Edinburgh Evening News.

After the sinking, Charles I returned to London broke, and instituted draconian tax collection practices that made him one of the most unpopular monarchs in British history. He eventually lost his head in the Parliamentary Revolution.

Insight: One of Whitley Strieber’s mother’s ancestors was a supporter of Charles I who escaped to Virginia after the king was deposed. Maybe Whitley wouldn’t even exist if the Blessing of Burntisland hadn’t sunk!

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