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Nazi treasures hidden with Catskills, can anyone solve the clues that were left behind?

Ian Harvey

As stated by local lore, there is a secret stash of Nazi cash stored away inside a safety deposit box in a bank in the town of Liberty, New York – a treasure waiting to be found by whoever can solve the mysterious clues that were left behind by the original owner.

The tale of the Nazi treasure has the townspeople of Liberty perplexed, since the local paper first wrote about it about two decades ago, though so far no one has been capable of recovering the money. Myth has it that the treasure is hidden by a local eccentric, Otto Hillig, who stole the money from a German spy in the year of 1942.

About fifty years later, the local paper known as the Sullivan County Democrat first wrote about treasure in a series of articles that were published during the summer of 1992, starting off a scavenger hunt. The key to discovering the money is to locate a bronze coin engraved with Otto’s initials, and it is rumored to be buried within the Catskill Mountains.

Catskill Mountains Source:By English Wikipedia user Daniel Case, CC BY-SA 3.0,
Catskill Mountains Source:By English Wikipedia user Daniel Case, CC BY-SA 3.0,


The clues to Otto Hillig’s Treasure

The arch if the roots is by your boots.

She is as beautiful as her closest sister, who once left Skeetersburg.

William Ayers mourned Liberty’s first death.

The fish won’t bite at the Western part but begin the hunt, it’s OK to start.

‘Foul wrinkled witch, what makes thou in my sight?’

Blue Mountain Cemetery looks over Otto’s treasure.

Broadhead Points to.

Dr. Blake Wales knew it as two log houses.

Lucky me, I’m in the Queen’s back yard. If you can’t find me, you haven’t looked hard.

The Lennon Building holds a clue.

Grady’s horse kicked the spot.

The coin is in the open.

Liberty Public Service was there in my time.

From the inside of Manion’s Store the Mongaup will roar.

Mr. Manion’s home plate.

Ugly Acer rubrum on the rade, then 30 paces and you will have in made. Turn to the right if going at, turn to the left if walking back.

The municipal corner is basically nutty.

What once was Hortonville, now is not.

You are very close at number one, the plague is a spot which you should plot, go in and eat, and count the feet, from there to here, let’s have a beer. 

The lens of my camera has revealed the spot.

Now in its place is a restaurant which has food that is fine. Descramble the words on the bar and you will be one step closer to being the star.

As you pass by behold and see in a restaurant across from the old ‘Big G.’ My works live on and hold a clue to find the coin now known to you. Enjoy the food and have a ball, examine all the pictures on the wall.

O Tsuga Canadensis, protect me!

This is it, you have all the clues. If you do find me call the news. Fred will know what to do, he the treasure to give to you. 

Otto Hillig and Holger Hoiriis Source:Critical Past/youtube
Otto Hillig and Holger Hoiriis Source:Critical Past/youtube

If the legend is true, the coin is still out there, waiting to be found by whoever has the correct combination of patience and the brains necessary to decrypt the 25 clues. Hillig was a German who immigrated to Liberty in the year of 1895, there he opened a photography studio, built a castle, and became an early aviation enthusiast. Jointly with the Danish pilot Holger Hoiriis, Hilling turned into of the first people to cross the Atlantic Ocean in an airplane in the year of 1931. A little over a decade later, as stated by the 1992 Democrat newspaper article, Hoiriis and Hillig were seized by two German saboteurs during their flight.

The Germans formulating a plan to blow up the railroad trestle in Liberty in a covert operation to assist the Nazi war attempts, they then carried out a vast amount of cash. Hillig had taken the money after a mid-air endeavor that had left both foreign agents dead, as stated by the legend.

When Hillig reported the robbery to the federal government, he never said a word to anyone about the money until his passing in the year of 1954, when he entrusted an assistant with the objective to produce the tale of the cash. The tale has it that the government silenced the news of the 1942 robbery for security reasons, which conveniently enough for people who believe the legends, is difficult to fact check. There is no doubt that German spies were operating in the US throughout the duration of World War II. The FBI admitted that a group of Nazi saboteurs came to New York by submarine in the summer of the year 1942.

Archives for the Democrat newspaper online do not go back to 1992, but there was another publication in the year of 1996 guide to Liberty. Fred appears to be Fred Stabbert Sr, who was the publisher of the Sullivan County Democrat, who passed the control to his son Fred Stabbert Jr, when he passed away in the year of 1963. Stabbert Jr died and gave the newspaper to his son, Fred Stabbert III, upon his passing in the year of 2008.

Could this legend be true? Did Hillig really hide a treasure for someone to find? We will never know the truth until someone cracks the clues.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News