Family finds pirate treasure in grandfather's attic

This article is more than 12 months old

As children, Mike and Maria Lopez heard stories about their great grandfather Ernesto, who was said to have found the treasure of Florida's legendary pirate, Jose Gaspar.

But unlike other childhood stories, it seems like their grandfather was telling them the truth all along.

When Maria decided to clear out her grandfather's attic, she found a box.

It wasn't just any old box, however, as it contained an ancient map of Florida's Hillsborough River area, some old coins, a family photograph and a severed human hand.

Maria shared her discovery with her brother before the two siblings approached several antique stores in the Tampa area, which verified the items, saying they were "gruesome and authentic".

Mike said: "Once Maria said she found a hand in a box, I was totally blown away.

"Maybe my great grandparents were pirates."

According to USA Today, the coins are said to be from 18th Century Spain and Portugal while the ring found on the hand also comes from the same era.

The owner of the hand is a mystery, although the Lopez siblings suspect that it was once attached to the arm of none other than Gaspar himself.

While Maria admitted in an e-mail interview that there's no way to know if the box was an elaborate pirate hoax by her great grandfather or the real deal, the box and its contents look set to stay in the Lopez household.

Mike said: "We are not sure what we're going to do with it.

"Possibly keep it forever. It's part of our family now."

Sources: WTVY via USA Today

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