Costco hosts Outer Banks author signing of book about legendary Assateague Spanish galleon

Outer Banks author, John Amrhein, Jr., will be signing his book, The Hidden Galleon: The True Story of a lost Spanish ship and the wild horses of Assateague Island at the Costco Warehouse in Pentagon City, Arlington, this Saturday from 1-3pm.
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The Hidden Galleon
The Hidden Galleon
KITTY HAWK, N.C. - April 1, 2013 - PRLog -- The wild horses that roam Assateague Island, Virginia, became internationally famous after children’s author, Marguerite Henry, visited the isolated island of Chincoteague on Virginia’s Eastern Shore in 1947. She had come to see these wild creatures which legend says had descended from those that swam ashore from a wrecked Spanish galleon centuries ago. She heard first-hand about the legend from the Beebe family which was accepted as gospel among many of the residents who could trace their families’ beginnings back to the 17th century. She published Misty of Chincoteague which became an immediate bestseller and was made into a movie in 1961.

In 1983, maritime historian and former treasure hunter, John Amrhein, Jr., went in search of a Spanish warship called La Galga which ran ashore on Assateague Island, Virginia, in 1750. He had archival records that pinpointed the exact location of the wreck. But his searching in the ocean over a two year period he realized that the shipwreck was buried beneath the beach. It wasn’t until he met Ronnie Beebe in 1983, who was great nephew of Clarence “Grandpa” Beebe featured in Misty, that he was able to locate the wreck. Beebe not only told him the approximate location of the inlet which legend says swallowed the galleon, he said that it was this ship which brought the wild horses to Assateague. What little treasure that Amrhein had hoped was still aboard was of no consequence from that point on. It was all about the history.  

“It was easy work finding the shipwreck” says the author after deploying a portable magnetometer which detected the ship’s remains in a former inlet located in the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.

In 2007, he published The Hidden Galleon which is based on extensive research in Spanish, British, and American Archives.   La Galga was not alone when she left Havana, Cuba, on August 18, 1750. Included in the seven ships of the fleet was a treasure galleon called the Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe. This ship was driven into Ocracoke Inlet, shattered, but her million dollar treasure was safe—until it was stolen by Owen Lloyd and his peg-legged brother John. The treasure was buried on Norman Island in the British Virgin Islands on November 13, 1750. Exactly one hundred years later, on November 13, 1850, a man was born who would write a fictional account of returning to this island to dig up the treasure. His name was Robert Louis Stevenson. This amazing story is recounted in Treasure Island: The Untold Story which was published by New Maritima Press in 2011.

The Hidden Galleon will be available at the following Costco locations: Frederick, Glen Burnie, and Brandywine in Maryland; in Virginia, Newport News, Arlington, Woodbridge and Springfield; and Wilmington, Durham, and Raleigh in North Carolina. Costco Warehouse in Norfolk will be hosting the author on April 27 from 1-3 pm.


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