Jose Gaspar (aka: Gasparilla) was a quasi-mythical Spanish pirate who roamed the waters of Tampa Bay, Florida. Born in 1756 in Spain, Gaspar served in the Spanish Navy until a mutiny in 1783.
Afterwards, he sailed his ship, the Floridablanca, to the Gulf Coast and set up a pirate base on what is now known as Gasparilla Island in Southwest Florida. Gaspar robbed over 400 ships until he died in 1821 during a battle with the USS Enterprise, a U.S. Naval warship.
In April 2015, Ernesto Lopez was digging in his attic in the Ybor City neighborhood of Tampa and made a shocking discovery. Lopez found a box of his Grandfathers containing a preserved severed hand, hand-drawn map and several Spanish and Portuguese coins from the 1700’s.
Lopez said that his Grandfather always claimed that his father found the treasure of famous Spanish pirate Jose Gaspar. However, upon inspection, the newly discovered treasure has yielded inconclusive results. The hand may be a monkey hand and the coins and map not older than 100-years or so. But the legend continues!