Josh Hazel passed away some 45 years ago but he’s still remembered.
Hazel was a treasure hunter; he spent much of his life following up the legends about pirate gold on the Bay of Fundy, and it appears he may have been one of only two or three people who actually found any.
Last week’s regional magazine carried my story on the treasure hunter who lived most of his life at Black Hole on the Bay of Fundy. In the article, I noted that Mr. Hazel made at least two finds of gold coins; while they weren’t big finds, Hazel apparently discovered enough coins to finance more searching and to purchase several motor vehicles.
While Mr. Hazel was secretive about his finds, people noticed his sudden wealth and started to talk. Hazel was soon part of local folklore as the man who found buried treasure. Even today, nearly half a century after he died, people still talk about Hazel and his find of pirate gold.
While researching the Hazel story, I was given the name of another man said to have found treasure on the North Mountain. Like Hazel, this man suddenly was wealthy. He moved off the North Mountain after his find and purchased a large farm. I’m still looking into this; to date, I’ve been unable to find anyone acquainted with this successful treasure hunter.
In the Hazel article, I mentioned that Josh concentrated his search for a time around Black Hole. There was a good reason for this.
One of the persistent rumours on the Bay of Fundy is that pirates of Norwegian origin used Black Hole as a base and an area to bury their loot. This seems unlikely since Black Hole is a long way from the shipping lanes. But oddly enough, the coins Josh Hazel found were of Norwegian origin; this was confirmed by his son, Lewis Hazel, whom I interviewed for the story. Lewis Hazel examined the coins his father found and was able to give me the dates on them.
One item I didn’t mention in my article is the treasure story on the Mysteries of Canada website. This story, “The Treasure of Black Hole Harbour, is rather far-fetched but in essence, it says that Norwegian pirates used the area as a bank to hide their gold. The story describes various unusual markings on stones and a strange mound near tidewater.
The story was written by a man who apparently visited Black Hole. However, natives of the area scoff at his description of Black Hole and say that some of the geographical features he describes simply don’t exist.
True or not, I’ve been told that the website story has attracted the interest of a Japanese firm that makes television documentaries on mysteries. The word I have is that the firm will be visiting Black Hole this summer to investigate the treasure story and make a documentary.
Getting back to Lewis Hazel, he’s hoping to produce a book on his father’s life of treasuring hunting. Mr. Hazel tells me his father was investigating other possible treasure hoards in this area of the Valley. Josh Hazel had read and researched intensively, Lewis says, and found clues pointing to other possible treasure sites.