‘The Goonies’: Real-Life Shipwreck That Inspired One-Eyed Willy’s Treasure Discovered Off Oregon Coast

by Megan Molseed

We may be one step closer to discovering the elusive treasure of One-Eyed Willy! Explorers on the West Coast believe they have now discovered part of the actual ship that was the inspiration for the hit 1985 film, The Goonies. It’s an exciting discovery that comes just after the film’s 37th anniversary on June 7.

National Geographic reports that timbers of the 17th-century Spanish galleon vessel were discovered in Oregon sea caves earlier this week. Bringing the legend that inspired legendary filmmaker Steven Speilberg’s hit 1985 film to life.

Steven Spielberg Brings A Legendary Wreck To The Big Screen In The Classic 1985 Hit The Goonies

In 1985, Steven Spielberg hit box office gold with his hit film The Goonies. The hit family comedy film is full of adventures; as well as exciting legends as a group of kids set out to unearth a sunken ship. According to legend, this sunken ship houses the undiscovered treasure of a pirate named One-Eyed Willy.

The popular film was inspired by a newspaper story Spielberg saw about the mysterious ships. As well as the legendary treasures housed within them. Many remember this box office hit for its memorable stars, including a very young Sean Astin, Corey Feldman, and Josh Brolin.

Spielberg’s The Goonies Inspires Treasure Hunter Who, In Turn, Discovers The Legendary Ship That Inspired Film In the First Place

It was a newspaper article that inspired the popular 1985 film featuring a group of young treasure hunters who call themselves The Goonies. Fans of the film remember this motley crew of amateur sleuths searching for a legendary treasure.

However, in an ironic turn of events, it was the film that inspired Craig Andes’s interest in searching for similar treasures. An interest that has now led the commercial fisherman to discover the original shipwreck.

According to Andes, he “belonged to a ‘Goonies gang’ of kids” while growing up. Then, in 2013, the adventurous treasure hunter picked up a piece of Timber he thought may have had an interesting history. He sent the piece of wood to the Maritime Archaeology Society (MAS) to be examined.

“I was convinced it was driftwood,” notes MAS president Scott Williams in a discussion with National Geographic. However, Williams’s initial thoughts were way off. It turns out that Ades’s timber had some impressive history. The lab analysis confirms that the wood is a tropical Anacardiaceae hardwood. This, coupled with the sample’s age, suggests that it likely came from a 300-year-old ship, the Santo Cristo.

“To think that 300-year-old ship timbers could survive the Oregon coast was just crazy,” says Williams of the discovery.

The Santos Cristo de Burgos is a 17th-century Philippine ship that was set sail in 1693. The cause of the ship’s wreck is still unknown. However, there are theories that the ship met its fate when running into storms along the Oregon coast. However, the continuing discovery of pieces from the wreck will likely lead to more definitive answers about how the ship came apart centuries ago.