Private Island Sold For Chump Change, There’s A Condition In The Contract



They hadn’t seen this coming, and their whole plan was ruined. The Elliots were understandably beyond upset, considering they had been sold a dream just for their dream to float away two days later.

The couple regretted having ignored all the warnings and huddled together as close as they could. The only thing they could do now was to wait for it all to be over.

The Perfect Couple

Confetti Daydreams

Brett and Georgia made the perfect couple as they tied the knot. The Elliots managed successful careers as writers who were fortunate enough to work from home.

The couple had spent time in a condo and soon realized that unlike other couples the same age as them. They decided they wanted to hold off on having kids so they could travel.

Lengthy Discussion


They were both born in Maine and had spent five years together before getting married. They had spent enough time living in a condo to realize they both had something in common: a preference for the outdoors.

They felt safe living in the condo but soon realized their life had become boring. The Elliots debated the matter for a while and eventually came to a decision they knew not many would agree with.

Unlike Any Other


The couple decided they didn’t want to be like the rest who took part in the “rat race” who were living for the weekend. The pair knew there was more to their life than that.

Despite their young age, the 26-year-olds were successful enough in their respective careers to put aside money for savings. They decided to use the funds for traveling for a few months. However, neither of them thought their decision to do so would change their lives forever.

Room For Change

Love and Road

Brett and Georgia managed to tour the country in the following weeks and spent weekend getaways in South America and the Caribbean.

They thoroughly enjoyed the moments they shared living in island paradises and came home to realize they had only one life to live. They looked around their condo and concluded their life had room for a considerable change.

Grateful For Their Jobs

Foundation House

The travels had Brett and Georgia searching for a new life, dreading the thought of returning to the city living they were used to. They knew they wanted to get as far away from the suburbs as possible.

They were even more grateful for their jobs then because they could work from anywhere in the world. It made it that much easier for them to start planning their future.

The Best Of Both Worlds

Boston Magazine

The couple believed their dream life to include the best of both worlds – the comforts of an ordinary home, nature, and wide, open expanses surrounding them.

Not many places offered what they were looking for, and it would not be an easy find, but they were determined to make their dream life come true. They spent months on the internet and finally found something that could work. The couple was beyond happy.

A Bargain

Architectural Digest

Maine had many beautiful islands, most of them accessible. However, the couple also knew of a few privately owned islands.

Private islands were more expensive to come by, so the couple hadn’t even given it a thought, but that was before they came across a listing described as a “bargain deal.” The couple was ecstatic, but they weren’t aware of the catch.

A Night On The Island

Apartment Therapy

They had seen in the ad that the entire island, including the 500-square-foot cottage, was just short of $350,000.00. They were lured in, their eyes glossed over at the thought of purchasing it.

The owner suggested that potential buyers had to “rough it out” by spending a night on the island, and the Elliots were thrilled. They saw it as a perk, but it wasn’t long before they thought differently about it.

Feeling Confident

Downeast Properties

The owner warned the couple that living alone on the island wasn’t easy, but the couple brushed off his warning. They considered themselves experiences after the many hiking and camping trips they had tackled in remote regions during their travels.

They agreed to spend a weekend on the island as a trial run, feeling confident about what they were getting themselves into. But once they were there, they wished they had heeded the warning and changed their minds.

Not What They Expected

Dean Tyler Photography

Reaching the island by boat, at first, the pair were thrilled with the size and untamed beauty of the island. The cottage also appeared to be more than sufficient for their needs. Noticing a document with a list of warnings and disclaimers, the couple soon realized that there were a lot of issues to overcome. 

Chief among these was the fact that with no indoor ablution facilities, they would have to brave the elements and use outdoor facilities. Things soon went downhill when the weather began to change. 

It Became A Nightmare


Before settling in, they decided to try exploring a bit, but the howling wind, rocky terrain, and choppy waters made it impossible to go very far. While outside, a terrible storm suddenly erupted, and as they rushed back inside, Georgia slipped and badly injured her leg. 

Back inside, the storm battered the little cottage. Their food and blankets were in an outhouse that they could not get to. The couple realized they were trapped for the night with no phone signal or means to communicate with the outside world. 

It Was A Huge Mistake

Apartment Therapy

Aside from Georgia being injured, the pair were soaked, freezing, hungry, alone, and afraid. They had no choice but to find a corner of the cottage, huddle together, and try to see it out. By the following day, the storm raged on.

Brett tried in vain to reach their food but had to abandon the trip due to the treacherous terrain and weather outside. Deeply regretting their choice to spend two nights here instead of one like the owner had advised, the couple faced another agonizing wait for help.    

Finally Over


After yet another full day of being trapped inside the cottage, the next morning they brought relief. The storm finally ended, and the couple managed to get some food. By the time the owner arrived to fetch them, they could not wait to get off the island. 

He helped Georgia nurse her injury with a first-aid kit. Apologizing for the horrific experience, he also reminded them that he had tried to warn them; this island, although beautiful, was far from being a comfortable place to live. 

Home At Last

The Hiawatha

After finally reaching home, Brett and Georgia suddenly had a newfound appreciation for the basic comforts that their condo afforded them. It was a harsh lesson, but they had learned from it. 

Deciding to put the disastrous idea of living off the grid behind them, the couple eventually decided to stick with their comfortable apartment. They knew now that adventures were better suited for vacations and not everyday life. Not surprisingly, the island is still for sale. But it’s not the only prime piece of real estate that nobody wants to set foot on…

A Sinister Secret

Public Domain

When the summer rolls around in Massachusetts, thousands of Americans pack their bags and swarm to Martha’s Vineyard to enjoy the luxury resorts. 

But just three miles from the holidaymakers lies another island nobody dares to visit. Aside from the occasional rabbit or seal, this island is completely deserted. And there’s a frightening reason why.

Nomans Land

Public Domain

This island out in the Atlantic ocean is aptly named Nomans Land. In stark contrast to Martha’s Vineyard, you won’t find any restaurants, hotels, or resorts here. 

In fact, there are no human souls here at all. But just why is nobody willing to set foot on –  let alone develop – this prime piece of real estate?

Something Lurking

Public Domain

The houses just three miles away in Martha’s Vinyard are worth more than a million apiece. Nomans Land is situated in a prime position. Surely someone has tried to snatch it up over the years?  

Nobody wants to touch it. This seemingly idyllic island has been left to its own devices due to the terrifying truth lurking beneath the surface.  

Once Upon A Time

Public Domain

The eerie island wasn’t always deserted, though. Before the British Colonization, Nomans Land belonged to the Wampanoag people. In 1602, an English privateer named Bartholomew Gosnold arrived on the island’s shores. 

At that time, Nomans Land was controlled by Chief Tequenoman – that’s how it got its name: a contraction of Tequenoman’s Land. But now, even the descendants of the Wampanoag people are forbidden to set foot there.

Ancient Burial Sites

Public Domain

The modern descendants of the Wampanoag people have been fighting a legal battle to allow them access to the island for many years. 

You see, there are many Wampanoag burial sites on the island, but they are forbidden to visit or pay their respects to their ancestors. And there’s a horrifying reason for that.

Scattered Ruins

Public Domain

Today, a handful of scattered ruins are all that’s left of the people who once inhabited the island. Here and there, you’ll find a few crumbling stone walls that mark where the houses and farms once stood.

They are the only things left to testify that there was ever a human presence on Nomans Land. Where did they all go?   

A Dark Past

Public Domain

On the surface, the shores of Martha’s Vineyard, Nomans Land, and this entire part of Massachusetts look tranquil and inviting. 

But when you begin to dig below the surface, you’ll find that this area has a dark and troubling history. One such story is about the predators that roam these Atlantic waters.

Lurking In These Waters

National Geographic

In 2018, a 26-year-old man named Arthur Medici was attacked by a great white shark while he was surfing off the coast of Cape Cod. Indeed, the attack changed Cape Cod forever.

Fellow surfers observed a giant eruption, followed by the sight of a huge tail whipping out the water. The water turned red, and Arthur was gone. And there’s a great twist of irony to the whole tale. 


Public Domain

Ironically, Martha’s Vinyard was used as the set for the 1974 Steven Spielberg horror, Jaws. Since the movie premiered, the fear of the fearsome predators lurking in the waters became very real. 

The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries has been studying the migration of great white sharks for the last decade. Their conclusion? The number of these predators in Cape Cod has more than doubled in the last ten years. So, is it this fear that keeps people away from Nomans Land? 

A Rich History

Public Domain

As described by tourist brochures, Martha’s Vineyard is a haven of tranquility. Tourists are promised peace, serenity, quaint genteel towns, and vast tracts of pristine beaches lapped by gentle waves. 

After the island was colonized, it became a hub for whaling. Sailors trawled the surrounding ocean for valuable blubber until the whaling industry collapsed. After that, Martha’s Vineyard became a tourist destination for the wealthy and shot to international fame as the town depicted in Jaws as Amity. 

Something Worse

Massachusetts Dept. of Environmental Protection – Flickr

Still, thousands of wealthy Americans flock to nearby Martha’s Vineyard every summer – the fear of sharks does nothing to stop them from enjoying the luxury resorts and beaches. 

It’s not the fear of sharks that stops anyone from setting foot on the deserted island three miles away, either. It’s something much, much worse. 


U.S. Navy – Wikimedia Commons

In 1942, the island was embroiled in a different kind of conflict when Japanese forces launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. We all know what followed. 

As American soldiers swarmed to Europe to help their allies, the Navy built an airfield on Nomans Land’s southern shores. But this wasn’t destined to be a place just for planes to refuel… 

A Ticking Timebomb

YouTube – Green Mountain Film Company

Today, Nomans Land is littered with unexploded bombs. These sleeping giants are the reason nobody is allowed to set foot on the island. But that didn’t stop the occasional naturalist from exploring the strange abandoned place. 

One such naturalist, Gus Bed David, traveled to the island’s shores in 1973 – while the bombing range was still active. 

Abundant Wildlife

HarveyHenkelmann – Wikimedia Commons

Ben David continues to visit the island and is always floored when he observes the natural fauna and flora thriving there. 

Even though he’s spent more time on Nomans Land than any military personnel, the naturalist believes the island should be left alone – even an operation to remove the undetonated bombs would destroy entire habitats beyond repair. And other naturalists agree with him.

A Human-Free Zone

Flickr – Massachusetts Dept. of Environmental Protection

Biologist Stephanie Koch is fighting to keep Nomans Land a human-free zone. “I think it’s important to have a few places that are completely prohibited from the public,” she told 

But some other naturalists disagree. After all, the island is a ticking timebomb – and an ecological disaster waiting to happen.

In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.