Solomon Islands National Monuments Under Threat From Treasure Hunters

Illegal miners on Bloody Ridge search for reported buried 'treasure boxes'

By Teddy Kafo

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Aug. 10, 2017) – The safety of national monuments and public parks are being threatened by treasure hunters and their unlicensed mining activities.

Up at Bloody Ridge, it is obvious that the hills and grasslands are being mined by locals with hopes of discovering treasures buried by the Allied and Japanese Forces during their retreat.

Some locals believed that an enormous amount of treasure trove was left buried somewhere in these hills.

According to a popular account, there are some treasures boxes which were buried after the war.

To this day, caves and holes are etched on the hills but nothing was found.

Just next to the Bloody Ridge monument was a deep hole or gully.

One of the settlers said this hole was dug up by some of his wantoks.

“They are searching for treasures and other valuable items left buried in the ground.

“It took them three months to dig this hole.

“They gave up the work when they didn’t find any treasure,” he said.

The man said all the hills and valleys are dug up, not just on Bloody Ridge.

 “On the next ridges near the Japanese monument, they dug the hill-top too.

“And also on lower areas which the armies of both sides were stationed,” the man said.

“Only relics and coins were found but no treasure troves,” he added.

“I think the treasure hunters are being misled about treasure boxes and Samurai swords,” the man who attend the ceremony and also reside in the nearby settlement said.

Senior Statesman and Guadalcanal Chief Sir Paul Tovua in his remarks during the Declaration and Dedication ceremony of Bloody Ridge called on people living in the surrounding communities to respect the memorial site.

“Do not desecrate this shrine.

“Respect it as these are Holy Grounds of military personnels,” he said.

Bloody Ridge National Park covers 25 hectares of land. It was the original Queen Elizabeth Park.

It was expected that semi-permanent houses built within the park will be asked to be relocated.

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