Known Treasure Wrecks undiscovered

JB Hunts

Full Member
Dec 21, 2023
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Mackaydon

Gold Member
Oct 26, 2004
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N. San Diego Pic of my 2 best 'finds'; son & g/son
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Tanneyhill,
For what it's worth.......years ago, I took my boat, the R/V Explorer (Roatan) , to the Serranillas , the Misteriosa Bank. and twice to the Swan Islands (there are two), north of Honduras. I've searched those areas (except the Columbian-garrisoned big island in the Serranillas). The Misteriosa Bank offered nothing less than a 50 foot depth so we disregarded any lenght of stay in that area . We did stay a week on the Swans and another week around "Sarah". Bottom line: no trace of the 1605s though many other modern wrecks were observed. Overall, it was an adventure and produced many great memories.
Don in SoCal
 

lukdiver2

Greenie
Dec 11, 2023
10
24
West Coast
Tanneyhill,
For what it's worth.......years ago, I took my boat, the R/V Explorer (Roatan) , to the Serranillas , the Misteriosa Bank. and twice to the Swan Islands (there are two), north of Honduras. I've searched those areas (except the Columbian-garrisoned big island in the Serranillas). The Misteriosa Bank offered nothing less than a 50 foot depth so we disregarded any lenght of stay in that area . We did stay a week on the Swans and another week around "Sarah". Bottom line: no trace of the 1605s though many other modern wrecks were observed. Overall, it was an adventure and produced many great memories.
Don in SoCal
Our reception at the 'big island at Serranillas' was pretty 'unfriendly' (only had 2 bullets shot over my head during conversation) so you didn't miss anything. We were told someone flew over it and saw some ballast piles inside the reef (it's pretty low reef structure so possible to pass over it in hurricane or when Trades are really blowing?).
 

Mackaydon

Gold Member
Oct 26, 2004
24,074
22,842
N. San Diego Pic of my 2 best 'finds'; son & g/son
🏆 Honorable Mentions:
2
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My first visit to the Serranillas was a flyover with a Honduran officer and with (the one and only) Robert Marx, who I had run into at Herbo's Holiday Inn the day before. Bob was on vacation with his wife and I offered him a seat on the plane to do the flyover and narrate what he saw and talk about his visit to the islands years prior.

The invitation was accepted (leaving his wife at the hotel) and during the flyover he pointed out what he believed were an assortment of (in his word, 'goodies') including a ballast pile and a pile of stacked canons. We also took pics and after seeing the pics of the garrisoned camp we realized the flag that was flying was (to the embarrassment of the Honduran officer) Colombian, not Honduran. A few days later, in my boat, we went to the islands but did not venture near the garrisoned island--for obvious reasons. At that time, the garrison was restocked periodically by a Colombian gunboat. We kept watch and at one time we were run off when that gunboat came over the horizon. The 'goodies' Bob referred to turned out to be natural formations; and our survey of the other islands in that chain also turned out to be without results--except for the excitement of exploration and the comradery with my crew. (RIP Capt. Pastor).
Don in So Cal

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Crow

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Jan 28, 2005
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I think that the total # of sunk ships that were holding precious bounty is FAR higher than records indicate. JB
Probably but if you want succeed you have to apply the Goldie locks assessment to them? Not to hot and not too cold! Treasure hunting is a dream!

There are many people out there more than happy burning through other peoples money chasing a dream. Marine Archeologists are a classic example? They survive in grants in a non profit business model. but the cold hearted reality is. That money is virtue signaling from companies posturing national patrimony. Who made vast fortunes by ripping off the general public and influence policy decision, legislating millions into poverty..

Money granted to archeologists would been better put into school, hospitals, roads, social housing for betterment of mankind instead for what is in essence abandoned garbage on the sea floor.

But if you want to achieve something more than just adventure retrieving that garbage. you have to treat it like business. You are putting time and effort in make money from that resource. To make money you have salvage that resource recovered for a profit. Virtual signaling and love of history aside ain't going to pay the bills.

If sums do not add up then many vessels for one reason or another will never be commercially salvaged. The deeper wreck the more costly it is to salvage. If you have shipwreck sites in territories that are assignee to virtue signaling UNESCO then you have no chance for permit. International laws on military vessels deemed the ships war graves. So the list of shipwrecks gets ever shorter.

Then selling historic and cultural artifacts require various permits to move over transnational borders. Even commodities such as silver and gold are relegated beyond belief. Why? because all countries and governments are Mafia economies bought and sold by the highest bidder.

Big corporations all have lobbyist who bankroll politicians into power who then act to shut out the little guy. That is how it works. Just like the early days of lords and serfs. The names has changed but the laws of the school yard still applies and things are pretty much the same.

The cold heart reality, everything is commodity to be bought and sold. Even our sorry pathetic asses. Controlling those commodities is power. Many years ago when salving shipwreck took off the powers to saw some people could make money from it?

And hey we cannot have peasants making money can we? We cannot have serfs fending for themselves? They might realize they do not need the parasites in charge that leach off them?

So under the flags of protecting cultural patrimony they shut out people from salvaging shipwrecks. treasure hunting, even gold prospecting. laws are there to inhibit you. Not just in your country but in all countries. It is same with farming fisheries all sorts of industries legislate and dictate.

With salvaging shipwrecks you are forced to become a thief in the night. So today you need a business plan for salvaging shipwrecks have include a massive investment in legal advise to navigate the red tape to achieve some thing. Trust me those legal parasites are not cheap.

So while there are perhaps many ships out there has value. there are only some that would be worth the financial commercial effort to recover.

Crow
 

PTid

Jr. Member
Nov 2, 2021
25
48
Forgive me if this has already been discussed. I was just wondering what major treasure wrecks have yet to be discovered? What would you say the top three are? Top ten? Gotta dare to dream right? Thanks!
One would be the Flor de la Mar lost in 1511 off the coast of Sumatra. Some have estimated value to be up to $3 billion.
 

Tanneyhill

Full Member
Mar 5, 2023
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108
One would be the Flor de la Mar lost in 1511 off the coast of Sumatra. Some have estimated value to be up to $3 billion.
The Flor de la Mar is debatable with some theorizing it was salvaged by survivors and locals as evidenced by wealth displayed by many locals in the years after the wreck. Perhaps it was partly salvaged with much still out there.

Anyone know of anyone actively searching for it?
 

enrada

Sr. Member
May 14, 2014
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Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
The Flo de la Mar.
A professional researcher friend of mine has some very good info on it.
BUT has the Crown Jewels of Malaysia on board which means they will want them back. Then you will have to pay off the Indonesian Navy. If that isn't enough then maybe the pirates in the Straits of Malacca might give you reason to look for something else.
 

Crow

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I think the Cinco Chagas might of been a valuable shipwreck worth searching for if it was not for Portugal signing the UNESCO agreement.

The alleged cargo of Cinco Chagas (along with the salvaged cargo from the two other ships) was worth well in excess of 2,000,000 ducats, and in addition there were twenty-two treasure chests of diamonds, rubies, and pearls estimated to be worth US$15–20 billion by 2017 values.

Estimates of the Cinco Chagas's location suggest that it lies in seas over one mile deep in the Atlantic Ocean eighteen miles south of the channel between Pico Island and Faial along with its precious cargo of diamonds and gems. The wreck has been searched for by treasure hunters in the past but no signs have been found partly due to the depth.

Crow
 

PTid

Jr. Member
Nov 2, 2021
25
48
The Flor de la Mar is debatable with some theorizing it was salvaged by survivors and locals as evidenced by wealth displayed by many locals in the years after the wreck. Perhaps it was partly salvaged with much still out there.

Anyone know of anyone actively searching for it?
Bob Marx looked for the Flor de la Mar, as did Michael Hatcher of whom I've met with a few times. Perhaps more people have searched for it, who knows. I've been to Indonesia more than a dozen times meeting with the Indonesian government. I've worked out an agreement and can proceed once we close our financial requirements. We will be using every tool available, new and old, for the survey. I am now exploring the use of AI in pinpointing three search areas. In all my travels there, I've done lots of face to face discussions and have found zero evidence of previous salvage. Looking for experienced project managers now. With any luck we should begin our search phase this summer.
 

lukdiver2

Greenie
Dec 11, 2023
10
24
West Coast
Oh and by the way Robert Marx claimed that he found it which he didn't. I sat beside a guy at a California Wreck Divers convention who told me that Robert bought the artifacts in an antique shop in Indonesia.
Twin brother was at the CWD Banquet when Bob Marx was there as key-note speaker. Bob gifted him two pieces, one was 'jade' colored and another brown stone (couldn't remember name). Said they were from the Flor. We were among the group lead by Paul Martino who tried to dive the 'Geldermelson' in 1988(?). That trip didn't end very well and most of us 'left' early, ourselves at 96 days. We stay local now.
 

Crow

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Bob Marx looked for the Flor de la Mar, as did Michael Hatcher of whom I've met with a few times. Perhaps more people have searched for it, who knows. I've been to Indonesia more than a dozen times meeting with the Indonesian government. I've worked out an agreement and can proceed once we close our financial requirements. We will be using every tool available, new and old, for the survey. I am now exploring the use of AI in pinpointing three search areas. In all my travels there, I've done lots of face to face discussions and have found zero evidence of previous salvage. Looking for experienced project managers now. With any luck we should begin our search phase this summer.

I wish you luck in your venture. the Indonesians are notoriously fickle. Especially when you succeed in salvaging treasure.

Crow
 

Crow

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There is a list of WW1 and WW2 shipwrecks about 700 that was carrying commodities. either gold, silver and other precious metals. Many of these was cargo ships. Not officially deemed historic shipwrecks or war graves as they was merchant ships sunk during the war. Even if only 10 percent are commercially viable there was be at least 70 vessels worth salvaging.

During World War One and World War Two, the British Government shipped gold bullion to pay for munitions and supplies. During the two world wars approximately 13,551 Allied and Axis merchant ships were sunk, more than 700 of which have been identified by research teams as carriers of gold and silver bullion. After inflation, the current value of these lost shipments is estimated to be in the region of 300 billion.

But it is big business needing big money and big backers that have political influence. Able to navigate the legal hurdles working with the knowledge, approval and/or co-operation of relevant Government authorities and Merchant Marine Charities.

The list of vessels is of course propitiatory information amigos.

Crow
 

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Crow

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In addition to the high value cargo on these ships and integral to any salvage effort, is the presence of non-irradiated steel, otherwise known as low-background steel.

Vessels sunk prior to the detonation of the first nuclear bombs in the mid 1940s are the last sources of non-irradiated steel on the planet. Because the steel was produced during pre-nuclear times, these vessels have become a valuable resource for the industries that require low-background steel.

Devices that require non-irradiated steel include:
MRI machines and other medical apparatus. Geiger counters. Aeronautical and space sensors. Photonic devices

non-irradiated steel sells for or around $1,930 per ton. Since degrading steel shipwrecks are leaving heavy oils and fuels from the sea floor contaminating the environment, the food chain via fish then on to humans. then perhaps there is strong case for commercially salvage these vessels?

Crow
 

Crow

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For example the Titanic was a massive ship—883 feet long, 92 feet wide, and displacing (or weighing) 52,310 long tons
52310 x $ 1930 dollars per ton = $ 100958300 dollars. Jut over a billion dollars in non irradiated steel alone.
Think of gross tonnage of merchant ships sunk during both words wars?

The Germans in WW1 sank 14,200,000 tons. X 1930 Dollars per ton of non irradiated steel is worth = 27406000000 that is roughly 27 billion dollars

The Germans sunk in WW2 21000000 ton s. X 1930 Dollars per ton of non irradiated steel is worth = 40530000000 that is roughly just over 40 billion dollars. in non irradiated steel alone not counting commodities these ships was carrying copper silver, gold, tin, tungsten nickel etc....

Crow
 

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Crow

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Here is the hypocritical nature of governments and society in general. When a aircraft crashes on land or in the ocean and kills some time hundreds of people they clean up the wreckage and retrieve whats left of the bodies yes?

A ship sinks and drowns passengers and no one gives a Sh.. as it become a grave? Do you see the hypocrisy in the double standards? If governments and countries want protection on these 20th century shipwrecks? They have be accountable for pollution and environment damage leaking into out food chain.

Benzene concentration of crude oil can be up to 4 g/L Both the International Agency for Cancer Research and the EPA have determined that benzene is carcinogenic to humans.

Ticking Time Bomb

And not just in Poland but around the world.

Are archeologists going out up their grant money for conservation of these shipwrecks? An inconvenient bill no government or country wants to pay for an estimated 25 million tons of crude oil.

So an argument for commercial salvage and clean up has merit rather than to leave in archeological in-situ and non commercially salvage leaving these vessels to pollute the environment.

Crow
 

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