Two Long-Lost Maps Spark a Quest to Find Forgotten Pyramids in the Florida Swamps

The maps and letters fell out of an aging file folder in a dark corner of a room called the "Curious Vault" at the Patricia and Philip Frost Museum of Science. Printed on yellowing paper, they pointed the way toward remote locations somewhere near the Everglades. And in the long-faded text, they provided a hint about where they led: "Pyramids in the Everglades."

What were these curious relics? To find the truth required solving a four-decade-old mystery involving two enigmatic characters: a former science museum curator who once became a world authority on the lost city of Atlantis and a shadowy treasure hunter once arrested for plundering Indian mounds.

Their stories, and the backstory behind the maps, point toward an untold corner of Florida's wild history of treasure-hunting profiteers and fringe characters obsessed with the swamp ape and lost civilizations.

But where do they actually lead? And are there, in fact, long-forgotten pyramids hiding in the swamps?

In this week's feature story about two long-lost maps that spark a quest to find forgotten pyramids in the Everglades, we try to find out.

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Nathaniel Sandler