Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 June 2012 11:56
The Alaska Office of History and Archaeology estimates there could be as many as 3,000 shipwrecks lining the state’s 44,000 miles of coastline. Now, the multi-million-dollar mystery behind one of those wrecks may finally be answered, when a Seattle-based company attempts to salvage the remains of the SS Islander, which sank in 1901 while carrying Klondike gold rushers – and, reportedly, lots of their gold -- from Skagway to the city of Victoria in British Columbia.
A federal judge in April declared that Ocean Mar, Inc. and its president, 62-year-old Theodore Jaynes, could move ahead with plans to survey and possibly salvage the more-than-century-old shipwreck. The decision ended more than a decade of legal wrangling over the salvage rights to the ship, and could finally answer the question of just how much -- if any -- gold remains on the sea floor where the SS Islander sunk in Southeast Alaska.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 June 2012 11:33
**Recovery Vessel Seabed Worker En Route to Begin Operations**
Tampa, FL – May 31, 2012 - Odyssey Marine Exploration (NasdaqCM: OMEX), pioneers in the field of deep-ocean exploration, today announced that the M/VSeabed Worker has departed port and is on its way to begin operations to recover the anticipated silver cargoes from the SS Gairsoppa and SS Mantolashipwrecks. Historical records indicate the Gairsoppa was carrying up to seven million ounces of silver and the Mantola was carrying approximately 600,000 ounces of silver when each sank. Odyssey discovered both shipwrecks in Q3 2011 and conducted a series of reconnaissance dives to both sites in March and April 2012.
Both the Gairsoppa and Mantola projects are being conducted under contract with the UK Department for Transport. Under these contracts, which follow standard commercial practices, Odyssey will retain 80% of the net salved value of the cargoes after recovery of expenses. Both merchant ships torpedoed by German submarines, the Gairsoppa during WWII and the Mantola during WWI. At that time, the UK government insured privately owned cargo under their War Risk Insurance program.
Odyssey has chartered Swire Seabed’s 291-foot Seabed Worker for this recovery operation. The Seabed Worker is equipped with advanced deep-ocean capabilities, including the specialized tools necessary to salvage modern steel wrecks, such as redundant deep ROV systems and a 100-ton active heave compensated crane. Odyssey has also acquired advanced specialty tooling for the project that will provide exceptional flexibility in accessing the bullion.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 June 2012 11:17
Investors hoping for returns on millions they gave to treasure hunter Tommy Thompson decades ago got a jolt recently when they learned that Thompson’s company had filed for bankruptcy in late March.
But the worry was short-lived. By early May, Thompson’s company, Recovery Limited Partnership, had dismissed the bankruptcy filing in “the interests of all creditors,” court bankruptcy documents show.
Investors — many of them from central Ohio — have not received a penny of the estimated $400 million in gold that Thompson and his crew pulled out of the SS Central America shipwreck in 1988.
The steamer sank in 1857 off the Carolina coast with 21 tons of gold in its hold. Thompson’s crew was able to retrieve only some of the loot.
Thompson sold at least some of the recovered gold to California Gold Group in 2000 for $52 million, but none of the money went to investors.
In 2005, investors Donald C. Fanta and The Dispatch Printing Co., owner of The Dispatch, sued Thompson and his companies to obtain an accounting of the companies’ finances.
Legal maneuvers have delayed the case for years, and it has bounced from Franklin County Common Pleas Court to U.S. District Court in Columbus and back.
Last Updated on Monday, 04 June 2012 08:18
Scott Heimdal of Peoria studies a “conglomerate” artifact, a ship’s tool melded over centuries with other metals, pulled from a Spanish galleon off the coast of Ecuador. Heimdal, 49, has spent the past decade building a company that seeks sunken treasure, and which could soon see a $30 million profit. Photo provided / Terry Towery, ORRV inc.
By Michael Smothers Pekin Daily Times
PEORIA, Ill. — Scott Heimdal of Peoria has spent decades searching for sunken treasure. He was on the hunt 22 years ago when a militant gang kidnapped him in the jungles of Ecuador and ransomed him for the $60,000 his hometown folk helped collect in bills and coins.
Ten years ago he formed a company that found but lost riches when a South American government broke a contract. When big overseas investments grew scarce, the hopes Heimdal had raised with his core of Peoria-based partners and investors began to sink.
Eighty pounds of raw emeralds now safe in U.S. storage, however, have a way of refloating hopes.
A federal judge in Florida will rule as soon as June 18 on a claim to the gems. Without commenting on details, Heimdal’s group thinks its case is strong. If they’re right, they can expect roughly $30 million as their share.
Last Updated on Saturday, 02 June 2012 10:36
It is a swashbuckling tale of a time when no ship travelling the high seas was safe from the Pirate King of Scilly.
In the mid-1600s, Captain John Mucknell's name was a byword for looting and kidnap which the King of England himself had been urged to stamp out.
Now the Western Morning News can reveal that a Scillonian shipwreck hunter's claim to have found the remains of the pirate's flagship, the John, has prompted a major investigation.
Maritime archeologists will later this month dive to the remains of the ship to start an analysis which could result in a rare protection order being issued.
Todd Stevens, who located the wreck, said the story of the John and its colorful captain read like the script of a Hollywood blockbuster.
"It's like a movie," he said. "John Mucknell wasn't even 50 when he died, but he lived an amazing life, any part of which would make a great film, but looked at together is almost unreal."
Last Updated on Saturday, 02 June 2012 09:44
A silver gilt coin, thought to originate from the 14th century, was found on land in East Keal. (Photo supplied).
UK – An elaborate silver gilt coin, thought to originate from the 14th century, was discovered on land in East Keal, a treasure inquest heard.
The priceless medieval seal was found by Mr. Devin Wormsley of Spilsby, while metal detecting on December 7, last year on land belonging to Mr. Bryan Bush of B Bush & Sons.
Speaking after the inquest, Mr. Wormsley said of his find: “It was a numb feeling when I found it. I thought about the person who may have lost it. I’ve found a lot of seals but most made of lead and this was made of silver, so very exciting.”
Last Updated on Thursday, 31 May 2012 08:46
By D. Chaitanya
In the month of May 2011 when first time world’s biggest mysterious ‘Ancient Divine Treasure’ of Sri Anantha Padmanabha Swamy was found in the Five underground secret vaults of Sri Ananta Padmanabha Swami Temple in Thiruvananthapuram in the south Indian state of Kerala, India the land of mysteries and treasures once again drew the attention of world Archeologists and Historians and also alerted International Smugglers and criminals to see what is the worth of that ‘Ancient Divine Treasure’. The finding out this ‘Ancient Divine Treasure’ hidden in the five underground secret vaults by the 16th century King Raja Marthanda Verma, also made the Indian Supreme Court to intervene into the matter, as the controversy erupted between the Travancore Devosam Trustees of the Temple and the government and others on the issue who has to own and control this Divine Treasure, as it contained highly valuable ancient gold ornaments, coins, jewelry, diamonds, and other diamond articles and weapons made with gold used in the festivals and services of the Lord Ananthapadmanabha Swami by the then King Marthanda Verma. The crucial point of the ‘Divine Treasure’ was, that the Gold ornaments, coins jewelry, and other articles were made with the Gold that was manufactured from, not the metallic Gold that is generally extracted from Gold mines of earth, but from the Gold manufactured with Bio-Chemical Metallurgy (‘parusavedi’) by the ancient Indian ‘Siddhapurushas’. So the Divine Treasure acquired special significance as the Gold found here cannot be compared with the present day gold existing in the world market. Qualitatively its worth is difficult to estimate as such gold do not exist anywhere. Therefore the Supreme Court of India seized the matter and massive special protection forces were deployed in and around the temple, and on the behest of the Supreme Court counting and assessments of the Treasure items, found in five secret vaults, is going on under the specially arranged CC cameras and special video coverage and protection inaccessible to anyone except to those specially appointed committee members of the Supreme Court of India.
Last Updated on Sunday, 27 May 2012 10:27
By Allen Rowe
In the last few years, we have seen a trend of resourceful people out digging. We have seen an increase in miners, metal detectors, pickers, and people just digging through their possessions for something to sell. This trend has become so big that there is even a host of reality (or reality-based) shows about such activities. All of these popular activities are geared toward adding cash to the bottom line.
Gold mining is the purest form of digging. In tougher times or in times of higher gold prices, the number of people seeking gold climbs. For those that have been lucky enough to find a great place to work the ground, the rewards have been ample in the last few years. We have regulars who bring in a few ounces a week, some who bring in an occasional piece and a lucky few who have brought in hundreds of ounces. But even with high gold prices, digging for gold is nearly always hard work and we still have people bringing in the ever easier to find fool's gold (iron pyrite).
Metal detecting is another popular way to work the ground for hidden treasures. Some seek gold in the form of nuggets. Others seek lost relics from the past. Those who seek things like coins have to get lucky in two ways.
Last Updated on Monday, 21 May 2012 09:59
Angela Pownall, The West Australian
AUSTRALIA - Shipwreck hunters will make a new expedition to the Abrolhos Islands in a bid to solve the 300-year-old mystery of the lost Dutch ship the Aagtekerke, which is thought to have gone down along the WA coast.
Hugh Edwards and his team believe the Aagtekerke struck Half Moon Reef in the archipelago off Geraldton when it disappeared en route to Indonesia in 1726.
Next month they hope to find some of the three tonnes of silver coins the ship was carrying between the Cape of Good Hope and Jakarta that could prove the wreck is in the Abrolhos Islands.
In light of the growing evidence gathered by Mr Edwards and his team, WA Museum maritime archaeologists are now also planning to survey the archipelago.
In 1968, Mr Edwards was among the finders of the Zeewijk, which sank on Half Moon Reef in 1727.
But the discovery of elephant tusks, which were not listed on the Zeewijk's inventory but were part of the Aagterkerke's cargo, has led experts to believe the reef could be home to both wrecks.
"We have looked all over the archipelago for the other ship but have never been able to find it," Mr Edwards said.
"So we have come to the conclusion there are two wrecks at that site."
Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 May 2012 11:58
by Paul Suart
UK - A Hednesford man could have stumbled across the next Staffordshire Hoard after finding hundreds of rare Roman coins with his metal detector near Stoke-on-Trent.
Dad-of-three Scott Heeley found 211 silver Roman coins and 69 fragments dating back to the first and second centuries on farmland.
“It’s so exciting – my feet have not touched the floor since,” said the 50-year-old.
“I found an old penny and told my mate Jack ‘this penny will bring me luck’ and I put it in my pocket.
“Moments later my metal detector started beeping and I found three silver coins in a hole.
“The detector carried on bleeping so I dug deeper and pulled out loads of silver coins from the hole.”
Scott found the coins in a field during a trip with Castle Bromwich-based metal detectorist club Timeline Detection.
They have yet to be valued but Tom Brindle, find liaison officer at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, said it was an important discovery.
- 'American Diggers' look for slavery artifacts in Aiken area; show airs tonight on Spike TV
- Tool maker hits States with metal detecting kit
- US COURT REJECTS ODYSSEY APPEAL
- Odyssey Marine searches will be subject of TV specials
- Amateur treasure hunter finds 14th century gold brooch worth £25,000
- Odyssey Increases Available Capital by $8 Million for 2012 Recovery Operations
- Butcher uncovers 3,000-year-old axe in Flintshire village
- TreasureWorks Launches Honduras Treasure Expedition
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