Wreck Hunting with proper resources - a question for the forum
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  1. #1
    Peter

    Apr 2005
    Vancouver BC
    35

    Wreck Hunting with proper resources - a question for the forum

    Folks;

    I have read SO many posts about looking for wrecks, and some observations. Here's a question for you.

    Who is doing this properly?

    Here's what I mean. With state of the art technology, i.e. a real sidescan with processor, differential gradiometer, sub bottom profiling sonar, your chances of discovering a wreck are excellent. . . provided you are looking in the right place.

    The problem is the gear is expensive. So . . . I have seen several groups go out, raise money to finance the gear and a search operation, only to see the whole thing degenerate into a stock swindle, 'salted' samples and all sorts of ungentlemanly behavior. Sad, because if you do this properly, you really can find what you are looking for. However the temptation to sell shares for an exploration mission, and then screw everyone, seems to be almost irresistible for so many people.

    I met one guy, Dorian Ball, who really seemed to have is act together. He did actually find what he was looking for.

    Question, is there anyone out there who is either doing properly funded exploration now, or trying to put a group together and 'do it right' ?. i.e. no dowsing rods, treasure sniffing dogs etc. I mean using proper oceanographic equipment, professional personnel and techniques to get the job done right?.

    Ping



    Underwater search & recovery consultant
    Sonar specialist

  2. #2
    us
    Apr 2004
    Tesoro Sand Shark, Homebuilt pulse loop
    2,704
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    Shipwrecks

    Re: Wreck Hunting with proper resources - a question for the forum

    I'm sad to say your post is dead on, Ping. I have dealt with my share of public companies and so far all of them are as you describe. I'm dealing with yet another one now, but so sar, it seems different. Time will tell. I get tired of signing NDs and giving my research away only to have promises of stock with no intent to recover.

    If I may toot our horn a little, ARRG is one of several groups I work with. We have numerous contacts with investors, own/lease tech equipment, and have some no-bs research on 7+ wrecks that will soon reveal its accuracy. We really desire to find the wrecks, not play games with investor's money. Some of the wrecks I have info on are more valuable than all Spanish wrecks combined. Yes, that's a hefty boast, but if you saw the evidence (not in treasure books), you'd be stunned. Time will tell, but we are one of several companies genuinely trying to find real treasure. 8)

    Good observation. Stay in touch.

    Darren

  3. #3

    Feb 2008
    11

    Re: Wreck Hunting with proper resources - a question for the forum

    or sell software services to suckers and take their money and run, eh Ping. Hypothetically speaking of course.

  4. #4

    Apr 2008
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    Re: Wreck Hunting with proper resources - a question for the forum


    You are right.. there are many companies out there that just take investors money and then disappear. I have seen a few that has all equipment needed for great surveys but know one in the company knows how to use the equipment. I have had nothing but problems working with large companies... seems all they are interested in is the ole might dollar.. like the one I worked for last year.....I would like to say that GoldHound is different, Its a very small company but I am dedicated to searching for and finding TREASURE! It took me many years but I finally got the right equipment and the right crew to do some great work. I have used the cesium Magnetometer more than anyone I know.. I have towed it for thousands of miles with great results... I have discovered areas on 1715 fleet that know one would have ever found otherwise... I am working on expanding my searches but the State has made it difficult. I also have HD sidescan and Subbottom profiler which help to make great maps but for finding Spanish galleons the Mag is the very best tool you can use along with GOOD Maps!
    I am not trying to toot my horn or anything like that just letting people know that GoldHound is a very serious Treasure Salvage firm and just because I like to keep it small does not in anyway reflect the kind of work i do.

    I would like to thank everyone that helped support the GoldHound in 2008... remember next year is the year!

  5. #5
    us
    Beach Cut wanted

    May 2006
    Treasure Coast (Vero Beach) to Sebastian
    Sov Elite, CZ20, Minelab Sovereign XS, Explorer II, My eyeballs to bloody fingers have done me well also.
    764
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    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Wreck Hunting with proper resources - a question for the forum

    Quote Originally Posted by GOHO

    You are right.. there are many companies out there that just take investors money and then disappear. I have seen a few that has all equipment needed for great surveys but know one in the company knows how to use the equipment. I have had nothing but problems working with large companies... seems all they are interested in is the ole might dollar.. like the one I worked for last year.....I would like to say that GoldHound is different, Its a very small company but I am dedicated to searching for and finding TREASURE! It took me many years but I finally got the right equipment and the right crew to do some great work. I have used the cesium Magnetometer more than anyone I know.. I have towed it for thousands of miles with great results... I have discovered areas on 1715 fleet that know one would have ever found otherwise... I am working on expanding my searches but the State has made it difficult. I also have HD sidescan and Subbottom profiler which help to make great maps but for finding Spanish galleons the Mag is the very best tool you can use along with GOOD Maps!
    I am not trying to toot my horn or anything like that just letting people know that GoldHound is a very serious Treasure Salvage firm and just because I like to keep it small does not in anyway reflect the kind of work i do.

    I would like to thank everyone that helped support the GoldHound in 2008... remember next year is the year!
    Greg,
    You can toot your your horn about your work and efforts and most importantly your success while working on the 1715 Fleet as well as the other numerous projects you have been involved with and actually have worked on. You are indeed one of the few who can back up his work by actually having the experience plus results that you speak of...you have a proven track record.

    Your not just a salvage boat with a bunch of (Book Smart) guys wanting to get rich off of other peoples money, you do care about what you do and your investors.

    Trez


  6. #6
    us
    Apr 2004
    Tesoro Sand Shark, Homebuilt pulse loop
    2,704
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    Shipwrecks

    Re: Wreck Hunting with proper resources - a question for the forum

    Quote Originally Posted by GOHO
    ...GoldHound is a very serious Treasure Salvage firm and just because I like to keep it small does not in anyway reflect the kind of work i do.
    Keeping it small is why you can hunt so effectively, Greg. Making it larger only makes it more complicated with too many chiefs and no indians. I pray our group can pull off half of what you've done. Your work and ideas have certainly inspired us. All the best to you this upcoming year!

  7. #7

    Apr 2008
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    Re: Wreck Hunting with proper resources - a question for the forum

    Thanks guys....... I appriciate all the kind words......... means a lot to me....

    I hope all of us find piles of TREASURE!

  8. #8
    Peter

    Apr 2005
    Vancouver BC
    35

    Re: Wreck Hunting with proper resources - a question for the forum

    Thanks folks, nice to hear that there are actually some serious and honorable efforts out there.

    It's just too bad the gear is so expensive!. Not to mention a proper ship, crew, fuel, gear lease etc etc etc. Raising the money is tough, and the money seems to attract the riff-raff.

    Has anyone ever tried to gain sponsorship from an equipment manufacturer?. I know most manufacturers are reluctant to do this, given that so many of them have had very bad experiences with 'treasure hunters' as opposed to serious marine archeology missions. But has anyone ever been successful with this tactic?

    Ping
    Underwater search & recovery consultant
    Sonar specialist

  9. #9
    us
    Underwater Heritage Rescue Diver

    Jul 2006
    Tampa, FL
    AquaPulse AQ1B - AquaPulse DX-200 Magnetometer
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    Re: Wreck Hunting with proper resources - a question for the forum

    Hmmm, we've towed SSS ad Cesuim in 3 states and 2 countries in the last month...so we might qualify, eh ScubaDude? There aren't many, but there are a few out there. We still need tht sub-bottom profiler...I'm jealous Greg.

    Jason

  10. #10
    us
    Jul 2007
    Florida
    Aque Pulse
    233
    73 times

    Re: Wreck Hunting with proper resources - a question for the forum

    Ping: Partof the problem is exactly like you said, there are a lot of groups out there working on a shoe-string budget. They have the passion, but lack the resources to really do thing right. I spent 9 years with a company trying to locate one of the missing 1715 shipwrecks. We have recovered a lot of cultural material including gold and silver, but have not yet gotten a salvage permit. Meanwhile, the company is constantly running out of money, and the choice has often been spend something just to get by. Case in point, over a five year period we paid for three magnetometer surveys. These were mostly done by treasure hunters who happened to own a magnetometer. I think we paid something like $12,000; $18,000 and $10,000. All three surveys that are all a pieces of crap, none of the hits correspond with the other two surveys, we are finding large metal targets where the survys don't show anything and we are not finding ferrous material in areas where there are supposed to be large anomalies.

    About five years ago I contacted a professional survey area to get a quote to survey out 15 square mile site. The cost $45,000. Of course it is hard to justify to your investors WHY you need to have another magnetometer survey done when you have already paid to have three of them done. So of course nothing was done. Instead of doing things right, the first time, (paying $45,000 to have a top notch survey done by a professional survey company with the latest in technology) they have paid nearly that, $40,000 and have NOTHING to show for it. I am a firm believer in doing things right the first time, and also tend to believe that you usually get what you pay for.

    We also trid to get by one year by buying some econimic (cheap) metal detectors instead of buying Aqua Pulses, like we had been using. I think by the middle of the summer, noe of the three were still working. Still that is just one example of how, small, low udget operations often times don't have the funding to utilize top notch equipment and the latest technology.

    Galleon Hunter


  11. #11
    us
    Jul 2007
    Florida
    Aque Pulse
    233
    73 times

    Re: Wreck Hunting with proper resources - a question for the forum

    I have been working as a marine archaeologist for a company that does marine survey work professionally. We are using the latest technology in Geometrics 882 magnetometer, side-scan sonar, sub-bottom profiler etc. The company owns three $8 million AUV units. (unlike an ROV, an AUV is not tethered to a surface ship) We do survey work all over the world. Most of our equipment is state of the art, and the results are amazing, I found three "newly" discovered wreck last week. Most of this stuff is also out of the price range of 99% of most "treasure hunters." The problem is MOST of our work is for the oil and gas exploration industry, they are paying big money to have surveys done hoping we DO NOT find wreck sites. The last thing Shell or BP want is to have a delay in setting a platform or having to re route an underwater pipeline because of a shipwreck, but it is still work that needs to be done. Then again those companies have been having record breaking profits and can afford it.

    I have learned a lot and know for certain, if a regular mom and pop operation had the access to this equipment, it would be incredible what they would find. However, most mom and pop operations are trying to figure out a way to raise enough money to put more fuel in the boat and fill a few scuba tanks.

    Galleon Hunter

  12. #12
    us
    Apr 2004
    Tesoro Sand Shark, Homebuilt pulse loop
    2,704
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    Shipwrecks

    Re: Wreck Hunting with proper resources - a question for the forum

    I have been with them on a few excursions. They have found quite a few wrecks, but you won't see them posted here now. Maybe later.

  13. #13
    Peter

    Apr 2005
    Vancouver BC
    35

    Re: Wreck Hunting with proper resources - a question for the forum

    Galleon Hunter;

    Thanks for the informative reply. You are dead on. The technology exists, and it's possible to do very high quality surveys, but professional marine survey is bloody expensive, and the personnel (who must be scientists of engineers) are expensive too.

    Still, it's better to pay for a professional survey and have highly useful results than to go on the cheap and have to do it over again.

    Just an aside, has anyone ever used a differential gradiometer for a wreck survey?. For example, Marine Magnetics has a very high quality mag that can be configured into a differential configuration (Called SeaSpy) This negates the influence of the earth's magnetic field, and can reject geological magnetism. What you get is a 2 or 3d georeferenced map of any local magnetic anomalies only, which makes the data very easy to interpret. Seems to me this would be the ideal tool (with sidescan) to locate a wreck. Has anyone ever tried that?

    I'll bet if you had a professional sidescan, generated georeferenced sidescan mosaics and draped the magnetic gradient map over the sidescan mosaic, you would be nearly guaranteed to find a wreck as long as you drove over it.

    I have seen this used to find buried pipelines and defense work, but I have no knowledge of this being applied to marine archeology.

    Makes me wonder if a highly professional proposal was sent to a funding body, like National Geographic, if they would bite?. They may be timid however. I heard they have been burned before by unscrupulous individuals posing as marine archeologists who were just interested in a 'grab and go'. (not sure on this latter point, but I have heard rumors of this).

    Sure would be fun to use all of this state of the art technology and find out exactly what the 'Bimini Road' is all about?.

    Ping

    Underwater search & recovery consultant
    Sonar specialist

  14. #14
    us
    Jul 2007
    Florida
    Aque Pulse
    233
    73 times

    Re: Wreck Hunting with proper resources - a question for the forum

    Ping: The technology does exists. I have seen some incredible remote sensing data collected from a wreck in 10,000 feet of water. But you are right, it cost a small fortune to utilize such equipment.

    When Tom Gidus and I were doing some survey work off the coast of NC earlier this year we had to do pretty much everything, from setting up the equipment, running the equipment, repairing the equipment, interpreting the data, steering the boat, diving the targets etc. You pretty much have to be a jack of all trades.

    The survey company I work for now, I don't even have access to "touch" the equipment. They have operators for that, technicians to repair the equipment, data processors to collect the data, GIS people to record the data etc. My job is remote sensing interpretation and nothing else. I look at the data and look for shipwrecks. If there is an equipment problem, there are guys that that is their specific jo. Needless to say, with all the personal you are talking ig money. again. For us to mobilize and demobalize for a job you are talkiing $100,000 minimum, and that is without spending one day on the job site.

    Probably out of the league of most treasure hunters.

    Like I said, most of our business is with Chevron, Shell, BP etc. They can afford it, and still have record breaking profits. But when they discover new oil deposits, it makes it all worth while. I think of that everytime I fill up the ole gas tank.

    If I had the technology I work with, a good size boat and some competent divers, I think I couldas one book put it...go through the Caribbean "finding shipwrecks the way Jessie James went through banks and trains." There would be no limit to what you might find.

    The wrecks are out there, it is just getting the right mix of good people with the right skills and finances, the right equipment, the right research, the right technology and good weather. Mess up one anyone of those areas and your project will end up a disaster more ften than not. Most groups tend to get two or three of those things right but seldom do you find a group that can manage to put the whole package together.

    Galleon Hunter



  15. #15
    us
    Underwater Heritage Rescue Diver

    Jul 2006
    Tampa, FL
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    Re: Wreck Hunting with proper resources - a question for the forum

    Quote Originally Posted by SebastianSam
    That doesn't mean jack if you don't find anything.
    You must have me confused with someone else.

 

 

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