Washington Treasure Ship

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Bosun Dave

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Greetings All,
I'm a newbie to posting on this site even though I've been reading with great interest many of the threads for quite awhile. I don't really consider myself a treasure hunter, although maybe that's about to change. Over many months I've been researching the loss of the SS Pacific. She went down 1875 with at least 275 people, although some say as many as 500. Regardless she was, and, by all accounts still is, the "Titanic" of the West Coast. I've spent many long hours talking to Wells Fargo, who handled 90% of all gold shipments at the time, researchers and archeaologists. Wells Fargo can't confirm a gold shipment (records are spotty at best) but they can confirm there was an agent aboard. Anyway, by my research, I've been able to confirm approx. 4.8M of gold aboard (in todays dollars). Odyssey's research puts it at 13M. Odyssey ran two surveys in 1999 and 2000 and came up blank. They've left it alone for now since they have bigger fish to fry. I've read their reports on the project and KNOW their looking in the wrong place. So, can anyone out there tell me how I can secure funding to go out and find the wreck? I'd really like to beat Odyssey to the punch on this one since they seem to be the "Corporate Giant" of treasure hunting. If anyone's interested, I've got a lot more details I can share w/o giving too much away. I should also mention I've sailed for close on 30 years aboard research ships so I'm pretty sure how the search game goes.
Regards to all,
Bosun Dave
 

Doglips

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Jun 9, 2007
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Bosun Dave
I have a boat in Oregon w/surface supply air, E120 and towable cam. Sorry no sidescan yet.
Doglips
 

crzhors

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Bosun Dave, If you can divulge just a tad, How deep are you suspecting? In the BigGame zone or available to mere Mortal salvors? :-\
 
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Bosun Dave

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Hi All,
I'm convinced the wreck lies in < 100 fathoms.
Bosun Dave
 

mariner

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Apr 4, 2005
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Interesting. Good luck with the search.

Do records from the Orpheus give any indication of where the collision took place? I assume (with no great knowledge) that is the best way you could pinpoint the area where the Pacific went down.

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hmmm

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i know where the orphis is, it turned in past the light after it hit the pacific, and sank in a bay. my friend has seen a peice. just curious what ship the oddyssey had there.
 
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Bosun Dave

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Hi Mariner,

I'm still trying to track down the Orpheus' logs. I'm not too sure they'll be of any use, though. In 1875, the skipper or mate would take sunlines with a sextant to fix his position. If it was a starry night, he could take Lunars or star fixes. From his last fix he would "dead reckon" his position based on course, speed and time. Since the Washington coast is notorious for overcast, especially in November, I don't think the Orpheus' captain knew where he was. This is confirmed, somewhat, in the fact that they sailed past Cape Flattery light without seeing it and mistook Cape Beale light for Flattery. This must of happened prior to sunrise on the next morning since they turned right at the light and piled up on the beach in Barkley Sound. The crew got off the ship so I know the skipper would take his logs when he abandoned ship.

Of note: In his testimony, the Orpheus' captain stated that, prior to the collision he was standing in close ashore with his main and mizzen yards square and his foreyards braced hard-up by the stbd braces. This means he was VERY close to the beach, or thought he was, so he had his sails trimmed so that should the lookout spot anything, ie; rocks, the beach, or whatever, all they had to do was to turn the ship to port and the wind would catch the foresails and take her away from danger at a second's notice. Also of note; when the lights of the "Pacific" were first sighted by the 2nd Mate, they were on the Orpheus' port bow. The 2nd mate, thinking it was Tatoosh Light, turned to port (offshore) thereby crossing the Pacific's bows. The Orpheus was hove-to and the Pacific was backing down when they hit. All of which happened in less than a mile.

In Odyssey's reports, they said they searched in water from 500 to 1,000 feet deep. So, according to MY math they were looking either too far North, too far out, or both. Just somethin' to chew on.

Regards to all

Bosun Dave
 
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saltydog

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Bosun Dave,

I am new to this forum, though I have been interested in the SS Pacific for some time now. I am a licenced mariner, and have skills learned from working with a major dive and salvage company and the US Navy. I beleive that the key to finding the Pacific is deducing information that can be derived from the Orpheus logs if such logs exist. Also with research of other similar vessils of the time and there routes along the north coast of Washington. I would have to guess that the wreck lies within 10-20 miles from the shoreline even closer due to the navigational aids of the time, especially rounding the light off of Cape Flattery.
I am currently living in the Seattle area and work for Crowley marine services. I have extended amounts of time off due to my work schedule, and have been seriosly entertaining a new part time hobby of finding the SS Pacific. I have the use of an offshore charter vessil (my brothers) with all the nessesary navigational, sonar and postioning equiptment. Also have a collection of diving equiptment. I am currently looking into purchasing a towed array system that will work for the job. (Any suggestions would be appreciated)
So if you live in the Seattle area I would love to chat a bit.

Salty Dog
 

hmmm

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IF the orphis hit the pacific off cape flattery it would not have sailed all the way to copper island. when i was young goe garcia told me he believed he knew where it is. he said it sank off a different light.
 
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Bosun Dave

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Hey Salty Dog,
Good to hear from ya. What's your PM? Mine's DMinshall@comcast.net. I'm just N. of Seattle in Mountlake Terrace. Do you know Gray Randall? He's sailing Mate for Crowley. Me and him go way back. Anyway, let's talk.
Bosun Dave
 

Daryl Friesen

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Hello,

So how did the search for the Pacific gold go this year. I was once in contact with Odyssey about there search and was wondering why they seemed to lose interest but at least we know its still out there unless some pirate salvors got to it first.



Daryl

Here is one from the archives I wrote about the Pacific that you may be interested in. At the time my search was stopped by Odyssey getting permission first. Now perhaps it is time to get back in the hunt.

http://www.bc-alter.net/dfriesen/sspacific.htm
 

hmmm

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HMMM odyssey got iota then abandoned the search for the pacific's 5 million , in the pacific , then plundered 500,000 million from a un known ship. WHAT A STORY. my friend lives with in site of the orphis grave site.
 

Daryl Friesen

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I believe the main problem with the search for the SS pacific is that the wreck is located in what is now a marine sanctuary and the wreck can not be legally salvaged at this time. Would be very intresting the to search the shores near Cape Flattery near where the SS Pacific went down. The following pics are taken from the farthest point I could hike to on Cape Flattery. Somewhere out in these seas lie the wreck and the gold of the SS Pacific.

capeflattery.jpg



www.spindlequest.com
 

allen_idaho

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I realize this is a 3 year old thread, but since you've gone Dr. Herbert West on it, I figured I'd chime in.

I can confirm that the Pacific was carrying $78,801 in gold which was being transported by Wells Fargo from the banks at Victoria, BC to the banks in San Francisco, California. It was being kept in the ship's safe at the time of the sinking.

There was also an estimated $100,000 in gold being transported by private individuals onboard. This was confirmed by the ship's Quartermaster who survived the wreck. $40,000 of that belonged to the Captain of the ship.

So in total, you are looking at roughly $178,801 in gold at 1875 prices, which was about $15/ounce. So at today's prices that would be about $15,496,086 at $1300/ounce.

Now the problem is that this was a wooden hulled steamer which went down in a very active zone. Between 1875 and today, chances are it's been ripped to tiny pieces and spread over a large area.
 

PTid

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Bosun Dave,

I am new to this forum, though I have been interested in the SS Pacific for some time now. I am a licenced mariner, and have skills learned from working with a major dive and salvage company and the US Navy. I beleive that the key to finding the Pacific is deducing information that can be derived from the Orpheus logs if such logs exist. Also with research of other similar vessils of the time and there routes along the north coast of Washington. I would have to guess that the wreck lies within 10-20 miles from the shoreline even closer due to the navigational aids of the time, especially rounding the light off of Cape Flattery.
I am currently living in the Seattle area and work for Crowley marine services. I have extended amounts of time off due to my work schedule, and have been seriosly entertaining a new part time hobby of finding the SS Pacific. I have the use of an offshore charter vessil (my brothers) with all the nessesary navigational, sonar and postioning equiptment. Also have a collection of diving equiptment. I am currently looking into purchasing a towed array system that will work for the job. (Any suggestions would be appreciated)
So if you live in the Seattle area I would love to chat a bit.

Salty Dog
I have research on the SS Pacific that may be of interest. A few years ago I spent months on the coast, La Push, to the Columbia River, meeting with commercial (and some non-commercial) fisherman. I would ask them for information regarding hangs and snages. I was able to collect positions on several hundred positions. Some were Loran A...many, many in Loran C and hundreds in GPS. I plotted all these in a Nav. program. I worked on solutions after solutions. Studied books and papers on Davidson Current. Finally, I met a commercial fisherman who snagged and recovered coal. I have the coal and I have the GPS position. I'll offer it all to anyone who can and will mount and expedition to locate it.
 

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Doubter in MD

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So... Bosun Dave and Salty Dog are both listed as the OP. Is he talking to himself?

Oh, and the thread is 15 years old. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

EDIT: One more thing. My extensive 7 minutes of research indicates that we are talking about the Pacific, which collided with the Orpheus on November 4th, 1875.

Per Wikipedia"

"The S.S. Pacific was a wooden-hulled, sidewheel steamer built in 1849 for transatlantic service with the American Collins Line."

"On January 23, 1856, S.S. Pacific departed Liverpool for her usual destination of New York, carrying 45 passengers (a typically small number for a winter voyage) and 141 crew. After S.S. Pacific failed to arrive at New York, other ships were sent to conduct a search, but no trace of the vessel was found."

I will say that the wiki pages for each of these vessels referred to them both as "Pacific" and "S.S. Pacific" so who knows.
 
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PTid

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Nov 2, 2021
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So... Bosun Dave and Salty Dog are both listed as the OP. Is he talking to himself?

Oh, and the thread is 15 years old. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

EDIT: One more thing. My extensive 7 minutes of research indicates that we are talking about the Pacific, which collided with the Orpheus on November 4th, 1875.

Per Wikipedia"

"The S.S. Pacific was a wooden-hulled, sidewheel steamer built in 1849 for transatlantic service with the American Collins Line."

"On January 23, 1856, S.S. Pacific departed Liverpool for her usual destination of New York, carrying 45 passengers (a typically small number for a winter voyage) and 141 crew. After S.S. Pacific failed to arrive at New York, other ships were sent to conduct a search, but no trace of the vessel was found."

I will say that the wiki pages for each of these vessels referred to them both as "Pacific" and "S.S. Pacific" so who knows.
Re: SS Pacific. Something to look at.
 

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Mackaydon

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Several captains who attended the insurance inquiry said there were three routes the vessel could have taken after rounding Cape Flattery. If the captain chose the near-shore route, that, along with the Davidson Current, would indicate the vessel did not travel as far south as it would if futher offshore. The Davidson Current may also have been a strong factor in why the Orpheus completely missed the entrace to the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

I spent some time on the water out of both Neah Bay and LaPush trying to find the vessel--without success.
But the adventure was a blast.
Don........
 

PTid

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Nov 2, 2021
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Several captains who attended the insurance inquiry said there were three routes the vessel could have taken after rounding Cape Flattery. If the captain chose the near-shore route, that, along with the Davidson Current, would indicate the vessel did not travel as far south as it would if futher offshore. The Davidson Current may also have been a strong factor in why the Orpheus completely missed the entrace to the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

I spent some time on the water out of both Neah Bay and LaPush trying to find the vessel--without success.
But the adventure was a blast.
Don........
Pacific appears to have been located. https://mynorthwest.com/3737542/sunken-ship-lost-150-years-ago-found-off-wa-coast/
 

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