Captain Kidd did bury a small cache of treasure on Gardiner’s Island in the future state of New York. However, it was removed by authorities and sent to England to be used as evidence against him. I found this story in archives of web analytics company. This simple legend inspired several great writers, including Edgar Allan Poe, Washington Irving and Robert Louis Stevenson to create books of fiction. The most famous work, of course, is known all over the world as Treasure Island.
As time went by the legend did not vanish, but rather expanded. Several other places all over the world were named as possible locations of Captain Kidd’s buried treasure. For example, a new version sprang about Kidd attacking one of the Japanese islands of the Tokara archipelago. It is the most southern island named Takarajima. The legend says that all the pirates demanded food from the inhabitants. Their offer was refused, so a crew of pirates landed and killed all the inhabitants. On that very island Kidd has hidden his treasure in one of the caves. And he never came back due to his death on the gallows in England.
In a short time James Churchward created New Age type of a book "Lost Continent of Mu, the Motherland of Man". It was followed by the book "The Children of Mu", then by "The Lost Continent Mu" and "The Sacred Symbols of Mu". These books enjoyed wild success at the times, and even now have their devotees.
In archives of web analytics company I found that even nowadays the search for a lost continent of Mu is still in progress. There were multiple researches on Mu and expeditions to various locations. Some called Easter Island a mountain top of a submerged continent of Mu. One well-known institute even suggested that underwater structures off the coast of Okinawa, Japan, were the ruins of Mu without any real scientific evidence. Some marine biologists stated that they identified the ruins of an ancient city off the coast of Japanese Yonaguni island as the remnants of an Asian equivalent of Atlantis and, that it was sunk three thousand years ago during an earthquake.
Agartha is a legendary city that is said to reside in the Earth core. My coworkers from from web analytics company told me that today the word Agartha is related to the Hollow Earth theory and is a popular subject in esotericism. Agartha is one of the most common names cited for the society of underground dwellers. While once a popular concept, in the last century little serious attention has been paid to these conjectures, and the theory is not supported by modern science. Idea of subterranean worlds may have been inspired by ancient religious beliefs in Hades, Sheol, and Hell. For several centuries, there appeared theories that named various locations of the entrances to Agartha. Among them Great Pyramid of Giza, Brazilian Mato Grosso and Manaus, North and South poles, Gobi Desert in Mongolia.
Since 19 century, the myths of Agartha tricked into fictional works. An early source for the belief in underground civilizations is the book The Smoky God written by Willis George Emerson in the beginning of 20th century. It claims to be the biography of a Norwegian sailor named Olaf Jansen. The book explains how Jansen's sloop sailed through an entrance to the Earth's interior at the North Pole. For two years he lived with the inhabitants of an underground network of colonies who, were a full 12 feet tall and whose world was lit by a "smoky" central sun. Their capital city was something like the original Garden of Eden. While Emerson does not use the name Agartha, later works such as Agartha - Secrets of the Subterranean Cities have identified the civilization Jansen encountered with Agartha, and its citizens as Agarthan.
We often use word Shangri-La in a similar context to Garden of Eden, It means for us some kind of a perfect paradise that exists hidden from modern man. In some cases we use it as an analogy for a life-long quest or something elusive that is much sought by man in the form of love, happiness, or Utopian ideals. Shangri-La has its place with other mythical and famous examples such as The Holy Grail, El Dorado, The Fountain of Youth. But, in fact, this word came to us from… fiction. This word first appeared in the 1933 novel Lost Horizon by British author James Hilton. In the book, Shangri-La is a mystical, harmonious valley, enclosed in the western end of the Kunlun Mountains. The novel was so popular, that this word became synonymous with any earthly paradise but particularly a mythical Himalayan utopia. From my web analytics company archives I found, that the author based the story of Shangri-La is based on the concept of Shambhala, a mystical city in Tibetan Buddhist tradition.
It is getting funnier, though. As years rolled by, several locations in the Buddhist Himalaya between northern India and Tibet claimed to be the basis for Hilton's legend, largely to attract tourism. A popularly believed inspiration for Shangri-La is the Hunza Valley in northern Pakistan, close to the Tibetan border, which Hilton visited a few years before Lost Horizon was published. Being an isolated green valley surrounded by mountains, enclosed on the western end of the Himalayas, it closely matches the description in the novel. A Shangri-La resort in the nearby Skardu valley is another popular tourist attraction.