Buried treasure on Galveston

January 21, 2009 9:27:26 PM PST
A Georgia man found some buried treasure on Galveston Island on Wednesday, but it doesn't belong to any pirates that roamed the Texas Gulf Coast. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

The treasure could be worth a lot of money, but the man who found it told us why he doesn't plan to keep any of it.

Michael Pate showed us the treasure he found while helping clean up Galveston Island.

"This is an old army ammo box. You can see the seal is air tight," said Michael Pate.

The ammo box sat buried underneath sand and Hurricane Ike debris at Galveston Island State Park. Pate noticed the box and thought he might like to keep it.

"When I jumped down to get it and picked it up, I noticed it was heavy," he said.

Pate got a bigger surprise when he opened it.

"I opened it up, lo' and behold it was full of everything that's in it," said Pate, "Couple of diamond rings, some bracelets, war pins, lotta old money, a wallet and it just looked like somebody's valuables."

Pate did some research and found that many of the items are indeed valuable. Pate found a wallet in the box that showed the items belonged to a John Sidwell. He's currently serving jail time for intoxication assault in connection with 2004 car crash on the Galveston seawall.

Pate says he wants to put that box right in Sidwell's hands, regardless of Sidwell's past.

"You know they asked me does that change your mind and I said, 'Nah it's his stuff.' Regardless of what he did in the past it's still his stuff," said Pate.

Pate told us that Sidwell will get out of jail in April. Pate says even if he's no longer working in Galveston, he will get that treasure into Sidwell's hands.

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