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Lost Treasure: The Hunt for Hopson's Diamonds

One of the greatest treasure hunts in Pennsylvania history took place in October of 1928, after airmail pilot "Wild Bill" Hopson suffered a fatal crash near the village of Polk in Venango County. Hopson had been transporting more than $50,000 worth of diamonds (a treasure worth nearly $720,000 in today's currency), and although more than 300 diamonds were eventually recovered, it is believed that nearly one hundred of the valuable gemstones are still out there waiting to be found.

On Thursday, October 18, 1928, the luck of veteran aviator William C. Hopson finally ran out. Hopson, known to friends as "Wild Bill", had been a night flyer for eight years, delivering mail between New York and Cleveland. He had flown the famously dangerous Bellefonte-Cleveland route over the Allegheny Mountains countless times without incident, though many of his colleagues had not been so lucky. And so, when a shipment of 900 pounds of mail and a fortune in jewels had…

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