The Golden Galleon Prank

The Lake Cities Sun is a local newspaper that circulates to the residents of Corinth, Lake Dallas, Hickory Creek and Shady Shores. Every year, the paper plays an annual April fools trick. In 1995 they might have gone too far!

They concocted a bogus story about a 17th century Spanish galleon being discovered in Lake Lewisville.

According to the writer, Bill Arnold, the ship was the product of the famous Copenhagen shipyard, one of a fleet of “Golden Galleons” built for King Phillip. He even conjectured that the cargo of jewels and gold might have been in payment for a flask containing waters from the legendary “Fountain of Youth.” They quoted an expert who speculated that the flask had been taken to America and was guarded by New World mystics.

When the story hit newsstands, it became the buzz of Denton County.

The Dallas Morning News reported the phone lines at the small newspaper were jammed for a week. People were making plans to dive down and get a look at the golden ship. By week’s end Bill Arnold was the one regretting the joke. He feared that someone might get hurt trying to scuba to his imaginary vessel. Never in his wildest imagination did he think that anybody would actually believe that cockamamie fable.

Lake Lewisville is located on the Elm Branch of the Trinity River in Denton County. That’s about thirty miles northwest of Dallas. The Gulf of Mexico is 350 miles away. The Elm Branch of the trinity, like most North Texas Rivers, dries to nearly a trickle in the summer.   In addition, the rivers in that area flow north to south, and the lake is 522 feet above sea level! How could a Spanish Galleon sail uphill, against the current in a creek for three hundred and fifty miles to sink in a lake that wasn’t made until 1954? Apparently, nobody stopped to think about that.

Hey, before you cluck your tongue and swagger with pride think back on some of the silly things that you’ve blindly believed. The Bible says that we are to think with discernment.

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; (1 John 4:1)

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