BY MARTIN VOGLTHE ASSOCIATED PRESS
SAINTE MARIE ISLAND, Madagascar — Barry Clifford brought up the heavy silver ingot from the bottom of a bay as the president of Madagascar waited to receive it.
The dramatic moment was just one in a lifetime of adventures that the American has experienced as he has scoured ocean beds for sunken treasure — but also another example of what critics say is his excessive hunger for the limelight.
Recorded by the gathered press, the moment off the coast of Madagascar last month was important for Clifford, who calls himself “an underwater Sherlock Holmes,” for he believes the bar once belonged to 17th century pirate Captain Kidd. Clifford, a fit 70 year old who dives regularly, has also roiled the waters among the marine archaeology community.
In a recent telephone interview from his home in Provincetown, Massachusetts, Clifford described the fascination that drives him in travels that have taken him from Uruguay to Venezuela, Scotland and elsewhere.
“You’ve got these incredible, intoxicating mysteries that are screaming at you,” he said.
“And I just think — give me a break, how can anyone not want to go looking for that?”
Clifford’s most well-known find is close to his home and the area where he grew up.
By Robert Trigaux
Tampa's Odyssey Marine Exploration, the treasure-hunting business whose bottom line can resemble the shipwrecks it is so good at finding, hopes to salvage its own future in a company overhaul.
Odyssey unveiled a complex financial deal that gives up control of the company to a Mexican iron and coal company. It's a sign of how precarious Odyssey's financial predicament has become.
Case in point: Odyssey on Monday said it lost $5.2 million in the fourth quarter, $26.5 million for all of 2014.
Worse, the sea exploration company's publicly traded shares dropped well below $1 last year and lately have hovered near 60 cents. In a business that requires lots of capital — it's expensive to search for small things deep under the ocean — Odyssey's need for more investor money has proved a constant struggle.
BY ERIC RUSSELL
A California businessman who last year partnered with Gorham treasure hunter Greg Brooks on the ill-fated salvage of a shipwreck off Cape Cod has ended the partnership.
Don Rodocker, CEO of Seabotix, a San Diego producer of remote-operated vehicles, said this week that he saw “no way to go forward” after revelations that Brooks’ chief researcher forged documents intended to prove there was treasure aboard the SS Port Nicholson.
“No one is ever going to fund him again,” Rodocker said of Brooks, who has been salvaging shipwrecks for three decades but has yet to find anything of substantial value.
Rodocker declined to say how much money he invested in Brooks’ enterprise.
A hoard of 22,000 Roman coins has been unearthed on land near Seaton in East Devon.
The “Seaton Down Hoard” of copper-alloy Roman coins is one of the largest and best preserved 4th Century collections to have ever been found in Britain.
The hoard was declared Treasure at a Devon Coroner’s Inquest on 12th September 2014 which means it will be eligible for acquisition by a museum after valuation by the Treasure Valuation Committee, a group of independent experts who advise the Secretary of State. The Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter, which already houses a large collection of local Romano-British objects, has launched a fund-raising campaign.
The discovery was made in November 2013 by East Devon builder and metal detector enthusiast Laurence Egerton who was operating under license on private land near the previously excavated site of a Roman villa at Honey ditches in East Devon.
This law is pending only a formality regulatory which is scheduled for January next year, giving way to tender to explore and then extract what's under the sea, said in an interview with Efe Colombian Culture Minister Mariana Garces. "Colombia has approximately 1,300 shipwrecks. Of those, according to historians, between five and seven can be galleons economic interest," Garces said.
The controversial law provides that the company that wins the bid to extract the wealth of the galleons can keep up to 50% of the objects of trade exchange value considered repeated: gold and silver bullion, coins, precious stones not intervened by man and industrial cargoes. Instead, all parts that do not meet this criterion will be considered repeat Colombian heritage and, therefore, property of the nation. 's greatest treasures seems to be the galleon San José, a flagship of the Spanish Navy ship sunk by gunfire in 1708 by English pirates off the coast of Cartagena de Indias with great wealth in their cellars. "Some say there are 6,000 million, others say there are 3,000 others say that San Jose has been looted, "said the minister, who also opened the possibility that the galleon is not in the place where it is believed.
And in 2007 the Supreme Court of Colombia ruled that U.S. treasure hunting company Sea Search Armada has rights to 50% of the treasure of San Jose if you are in the coordinates that the company claimed. "We're hoping to finish that ultimately judicial decisions (on San Jose), we are confident will be favorable to us, to establish the mechanism of exploration, "said the minister about this process that is still in court. Submerged Heritage Act, approved this year, also provides that the priority for extracting treasures submerged the Colombian State, but the minister acknowledged that the country "has technological developments in the field." Responsible for the public company would do Dimar (General Maritime) Garces acknowledged that they have not yet begun to work on developing a technology that permits it. The Minister also referred to the rest of sunken ships, nearly 1,300 that have no economic interest but scientific and heritage. "We would have underwater explorations for our history, not only with the only commercial mood. That's not our interest, not our priority," he said Garces.
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Greg Brooks of Sub Sea Research poses alongside the salvage ship Sea Hunter in Boston Harbor. Brooks will use the Sea Hunter to salvage the cargo of 71 tons of platinum now worth about $3 billion from the British merchant ship Port Nicholson which was sunk by a German U-boat in 1942.
By Doug Fraser
Treasure hunter Greg Brooks has burned through at least $8 million of investor money in his hunt for a supposed fortune in platinum, gold and jewels on a sunken World War II freighter 50 miles northeast of Provincetown.
But now he is considering ending his hunt and selling off expedition assets, including the main salvage vessel.
According to his own records and status reports filed with the court, Brooks spent less than 80 days at sea in his first five years attempting to salvage treasure from the S.S. Port Nicholson, which sank after being torpedoed by a German submarine. He gained wide publicity but now appears to be quietly giving up, despite insisting there are billions on board the ship, according to documents filed in a court case contesting ownership of the freighter's contents.
By Chuck Brittain
A former Westmoreland County man who made national headlines claiming to have found lost treasure off the Florida coast was found dead Tuesday in Ligonier Township after suffering a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
The Westmoreland County Coroner's office identified the victim as Jay E. Miscovich, 54, of Key West, Fla.
Deputy Coroner Joshua Zappone said Miscovich was found in the yard of an unoccupied house owned by Dr. Donald Ray of Greensburg.
Zappone described Miscovich as a “drifter” who once lived in the house. Coroner Ken Bacha pronounced him dead at the scene at 5:15 p.m. Miscovich shot himself with a 12-gauge shotgun.
Miscovich, a self-proclaimed “thrill seeker,” claimed that he discovered 154 pounds of emeralds worth untold millions in the Gulf of Mexico, about 40 miles off Key West, Fla., in 2010, according to court documents.
Miscovich, a Latrobe native, his partner and their company, JTR Enterprises, were awaiting a court decision from a federal judge in Florida after they were sued for fraud by rivals for the shipwrecked treasure.
TAMPA, FL - A Florida based treasure hunting firm has discovered a 450-year-old ship that wrecked off the Dominican coast. Among its valuable cargo -- the single largest cache of 16th century pewter tableware ever discovered. The ship was also carrying extremely rare Spanish silver coins from the late 1400's through the mid 1500's and several gold artifacts. This unprecedented find of 16th century pewter will re-write history books, as many of the maker's marks stamped into the fine pewter have never been seen before. While the value of the gold and silver recovered is easily determined, surprisingly, experts place the value of this four and a half century old pewter collection into the millions. The collection includes plates, platters, porringers, salts and flagons in an array of sizes and styles.
Divers from Anchor Research and Salvage (a Global Marine Exploration, Inc. company) working with the Punta Cana Foundation painstakingly excavated the wreck site under contract with the Underwater Cultural Heritage division of the Dominican Minister of Culture.
Anchor Research and Salvage has recently completed surveying operations on their southwestern coastal lease area off the Dominican Republic, revealing numerous previously undiscovered shipwrecks. Noted shipwreck archaeologist and author Sir Robert F. Marx estimates that there is several billion dollars of submerged treasures in the southern coastal area alone, and ten times that amount waiting in Global Marine Exploration's future target areas. Investigation and recovery operations in the Dominican Republic continue.
CEO Robert Pritchett said, "Sample artifacts from these newly discovered wreck sites indicate that we may have found an entire fleet of early Galleons that wrecked on their way back to Spain carrying the riches of the new world." Pritchett also mentions that negotiations are well underway for GME and its companies to provide artifact rescue and excavation services in other countries as well. "GME's unique business model opens up a new age for cost-effective and archaeologically sensitive shipwreck exploration. Other countries are seeing how well we document and record the archaeological evidence in the Dominican Republic, and we are in talks with other nations in the Caribbean and beyond," said Pritchett.
Courtesy; e Turbo News
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By Desiree Stennett, Orlando Sentinel
Most treasure hunters go a lifetime and never take home a single piece of silver. But one Sanford family is now among the divers who struck gold — and a lot of it.
The treasure-hunting Schmitt family uncovered this weekend what could be $300,000 worth of gold chains and coins off the coast of Fort Pierce.
"This is like the end of a dream," said Rick Schmitt, who owns Booty Salvage.
The discovery came about 150 yards offshore and only 15 feet down. Schmitt's family — along with diver and friend, Dale Zeak — said they found 64 feet of thin gold chain that weighed in at more than three pounds, five gold coins and a gold ring.
Brent Brisben, co-founder of 1715 Fleet – Queens Jewels LLC, the company that owns the rights to dive on the wreckage site, came up with what he called a conservative estimated value of the haul.
"To be the first person to touch an artifact in 300 years, is indescribable," Brisben said Monday. "They were there 150 years before the Civil War. It's truly remarkable to be able to bring that back."
Fishermen in the central province of Quang Ngai have found another old sunken boat near the shore, the third old shipwreck spotted in the waters recently and only 100 meters from the second one found last September.
Though it was near midnight on Thursday, around 30 fishing boats had rushed over for a treasure hunt upon hearing of the discovery, which happened around 100 meters off Chau Thuan Bien Village of Binh Son District, and around 1.5 meters under water.
They were jostling around above the boat’s location, around 100 meters to the west of one that was salvaged last July, when more than 4,000 intact antiques were recovered and some were believed to come from the 13th century.
Boats also dredged the sea bed around the area in hopes it would stir up some antiques.
Many people used axes and crowbars to take the antiques quickly, only to break many pottery plates and bowls.
Nguyen Van Thinh, a more gentle hunter, said: “There are many antiques in the boat, but people fought so much for them, smashing them… What a waste!”
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