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Benito "Bloody Sword" Bonito is the subject of a legend about a pirate who raided the west coast of the Americas. His career began around 1818 (supposedly because he could not sing) but from there on sources differ. According to one legend his ship was boarded by a British man-o'-war after Bonito exited Port Phillip Bay after hiding the so-called "Lost Loot of Lima" sometime in 1821. He was given a drumhead trial and hanged.
Another version of Benito's legend ends with Benito committing suicide by putting his pistol to his head rather than allowing himself to be captured by British pirate hunters. Yet another states that Benito was betrayed by two British crewmen he had taken on previously.
These legends of Benito Bonito are sometimes confused with those of the "Great Treasure of Lima" given over to Captain William Thompson to guard at sea from José de San Martín, a treasure with which Thompson made off and hid on Cocos Island. According to some accounts, both treasures are buried on Cocos Island.
According to legend the "captain's cut" of Benito's treasure, valued at over $300 million today, is still hidden somewhere on or around Queenscliff, Victoria.
Popular Australian legends relate that Benito hid his treasure in a cave near Queenscliff, Victoria (Australia) which was sealed by explosives and a later earthquake. Many excavations have taken place in the region without the treasure being uncovered.
- Lost Loot of Lima at Treasureisland.com
- Benito Bonito at pbs.com
- MacInnis, Joe (1975). Underwater Man. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company. p. 28. ISBN 0-396-07142-2. LCCN 75-680.
- "Australian Sea Mysteries" - Jack Loney
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