➥ Loading Saint Helena Island Info




Anything that didn’t fit in elsewhere

Our world is a thing of utter inordinate complexity and richness and strangeness that is absolutely awesome.{a}

Relevant items that did not fit anywhere else


Why is this page called ‘Zzyzx’?

Well… Zzyzx is the last word that appears in the online dictionary ‘Wiktionary’. It is actually a place name in California and various other things. It seemed a more interesting name than ‘Sundry’ or ‘Miscellaneous’. We could have called it ‘ort’, meaning a small scrap of food left after a meal is completed, but we didn’t.

It should be noted that the contents of this page may be fluid. At the time we add an item here it may not fit in anywhere else, but as Saint Helena Island Info continues to develop, we may find a better place for it and thus remove it from here. So if this page is empty please don’t contact us!

A Treasure Hunt?

We were alerted to Life Magazine of 11th June 1971, which contains a treasure hunt set on St Helena! The hunt is set within an advert for Canadian Club whisky, and the proposition is that a case of the aforesaid whisky has been buried on St Helena and the first person to dig it up, gets it. The full advert is shown below:

In case you can’t read the text, here it is:

West of Africa, in the vast empty reaches of the South Atlantic Ocean, lies an Island forgotten by time. An island hidden menacingly from ships in the fog, with sheer cliffs jagging 9,000 feet out of the pounding currents that sweep north from the Cape of Good Hope. This is St. Helena. In 1815. a British man-of-war dropped anchor here and left as prisoner a man who, in twenty short years, had redrawn the map of Europe. When Napoleon Bonaparte set foot on St. Helena it was the last time he would see the outside world. It was the end of a long and bloody adventure. And it is here on this same forgotten island that a new adventure begins for anyone willing to take the risk. On January 30, 1971, under the watchful eye of Napoleon’s ghost, we buried a case of Canadian Club on St. Helena. Here’s how you might find it. The first problem is getting there. And there’s no easy way. St. Helena is 2,000 miles from South America. And to the east, 1,200 miles, lies Africa. When Napoleon died in 1821, the world’s awareness of St. Helena seemed to die with him. Now ships rarely call. There’s no air service. So getting there won’t be easy. Write the Union Castle line, 19-21 Old Broad Street, London, England, for schedules of their ships calling at St. Helena. Or if you like to gamble, fly to Luanda, Angola, and charter a fishing boat for a week-long trip to the island. Once you sight the Island, you may wish that getting there had been impossible. Si Helena’s looks are ominous. Cliffs rise forbiddingly to barren plateaus. The Island looks, as a lady in Napoleon’s landing party said, like something the devil dropped as he flew from one world to the other. But once you alight on the quay in Jamestown, you’ll find the atmosphere quite different. The Islanders are friendly and you’ll be something of a celebrity since few people ever visit here. First head for the Consulate Hotel and check in. Then look up our friend, H. R. Kennedy, for details on how to see the island. Try climbing the 699 steps of Jacob’s Ladder to the fort crowning Ladder Hill. Take a drive to the uplands of the Island to see lush fields of flax, incredible peaks and glimpses of the sea across hills that look like the wilds of Scotland. Be sure to visit Plantation House, built for officials of the East India Company. Don’t miss the only living witness of Napoleon’s Imprisonment on the island: a land tortoise that’s over 195 years old. On the day you look for the buried case, have someone drive you out to Longwood House where Napoleon died. Look for the peepholes Napoleon carved into the window shutters, so that he could use his spyglass to watch his captors without being seen by them. Now you should be ready to look for our buried case. Don’t forget your shovel. From Longwood House, proceed east, following a trail across Longwood Plain, turning southeast as you descend to cross the river bed at the bottom of Fisher’s Valley near Bradley’s Ruins. Then head due east, across Prosperous Bay Plain, toward the sea. After about a mile you should be standing on a bluff that rises sharply out of Dry Gut Bay. By this time your thirst for our hidden case should be really keen. Follow the coast north, keeping a lookout for the ruins of the Prosperous Bay Signal Station. From the north side of the ruin, continue 49 paces north. This should bring you to a spot that directly overlooks the King and Queen Rocks. It should also bring you directly on top of our treasure. Now start digging. And don’t look over your shoulder. Hovering in the fogs that often blanket this part of the island might be the ghost of Napoleon, watching you. But perhaps your thirst for adventure isn’t quite strong enough to lure you down to a forgotten island in the South Atlantic. If not, you’ll be glad to know there’s an easier way to find The Best in The House™ in 87 lands. Just pace off the correct number of steps to your nearest tavern or package store and ask the man for Canadian Club.

We have lots of questions, the first, and most obvious, being: Was it a real treasure hunt, or a complete fabrication just to advertise the product? We tend very strongly to the latter. We would also like to point out that:

We checked the island’s newspaper (the St Helena News Review) for the period up to 31st December 1972 looking for anything about the ‘Treasure Hunt’ but found nothing, although it should be noted that in those days ‘news’ in a government-published paper mostly consisted of official government announcements with very little space given over to life on St Helena, so if it happened the St Helena News Review may have decided not to mention it.

If you have any thoughts, or especially if you have any hard evidence that there was (is?) a case of whisky buried near the Prosperous Bay Signal Station, please contact us.

Of course, if the possibility of a free case of whisky is all you need to convince you to visit St Helena…

Crime of the week!

We were fascinated when we read the following announcement on the Government of St Helena website, also widely shared on Social Media:

Where else in the world, we asked ourselves, are there so few crimes committed that anybody would pay attention to what could at best be described as a petty theft?

It also occurred to us that, given the cost (in terms of person-hours) of creating and issuing this notice, it would have been cheaper for the Government of St Helena to have just bought the poor chap a brand-new hoe…


{a} Douglas Adams


Ⓘ zzyzx.htm⋅processforftp⋅fb:1.10.0⋅wombat2018⋅24.07