As a native of Boca Grande, I find it ridiculous that certain local publications continue to perpetuate the totally false tales about pirates and buried treasure in and around the Charlotte Harbor area. But some people like to make up history to suit their own agenda.
There have been several extensive studies concluding that pirates didn't occupy this area and one of the reasons is simple logistics. If pirates had been the Charlotte Harbor area, the British navy would have them trapped and destroyed because they had no escape routes.
Many lies have been fabricated about treasure, especially on Cayo Costa island. My mother was born on Cayo Costa in 1913 into the Padilla family. At one time "treasure hunters" desecrated many of our ancestors graves looking for "buried treasure." They didn't find it then, and they won't find it now.
As a kid I was all over the islands on both sides of Charlotte Harbor and if there'd been anything to find, it would have been found. As for the man known as John Gomez, his real name was Juan Gomes. He was my mother's great uncle and although he often came up in conversations that my grandmother had, he was never ID'd as a "pirate."
You treasure hunters are "whizzing up a rope." Pack it up and go home. You're making yourselves look like fools. These tales are as phony as Jimmy Buffet calling himself a "pirate."