Have you seen Cooper Treasure on Discover Channel?
Darrell Miklos who when I retire am going to offer to dive with for a few week free of charge, as his enthusiasm and optimisum are infectious, has a reality treasure hunting show. Darrell was given a treasure map by his friend the astronaut Gordon Cooper. Darrell and a team of explorers (which in the future will hopefully include me) are on a quest to uncover the world’s greatest find.
This got me to thinking what treasure is out there waiting to be found?
A quick GOOGLE other search engines are available, and I found that United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization UNESCO to you and me, estimate that there are £60 million worth of salvage goods on around the three million shipwrecks scattered around the planet. With an ounce of gold currently worth, £1,197 for the millennial’s that is £38.48 a gram, or the divers £38,484 a kilo (and you thought lead was expensive).
I got to thinking where should I start looking?
I entered “highest value undiscovered shipwreck” into the search engine that we all know can diagnose illness, or the best way to boil an egg.
The following links are on the first page:
- 5 of the greatest undiscovered shipwrecks
- The greatest shipwreck till out there
- 8 valuable shipwrecks that will get you interested in sea exploration
- The 10 most valuable shipwrecks ever discovered (bit late that one Google)
- Battle begins over worlds richest shipwreck (and that one)
- List of missing treasure
- Top ten lost treasures of the world
So the reading began,
The five greatest listed, The Merchant Royal, Flor Du Mar, Las Cinque Chagas, USS Indianapolis (which I thought had been discovered) and the Santa Maria
The greatest shipwrecks still out there included, The Merchant Royal, SS Baychimo, Santa Maria, The Griffin, Flor del le Mar.
8 valuable shipwrecks, had the SS Garisoppa, Queen Anne’s Revenge (a pirate ship), HMS Sussex, Tortugas (another one I thought had been found), Titanic (I know this one has been found, I’ve seen the film), the Costa Concordia this one never even sank it just rolled over!
I skipped the next few and went straight to top tem lost treasures of the world, King John’s Treasure £70 billion, lost locally in the Wash. The Secret City of Paititi, the Missing Kruger Millions and the Treasure of the Copper Scroll are all lost on land. Flor de la Mar again which had 54,431kg of gold (very precise for a ship that was lost in 1511). The rest were all on land or of legend!
In conclusion my target is the Flor De La Mar as it’s loaded with gold.
Flor De la Mar, in the 16th century it is recorded as Frol de la Mar and translated to the flower of the sea, was a 400 tonne Portuguese four mast ship, at the time it was the largest ship of its kind. Built in 1502 in Lisbon the frigate was sailing back to Portugal under the watch of skipper Alfonso de Albuquerque after conquering Malacca and with gifts from the King of Siam. The ship was caught in a storm in the Straits of Malacca and was lost on 20 November 1511 on reefs of Sumatra.
The skipper who refused to go down with his ship was saved but the majority of the crew and the slaves it carried were lost. As the ship went down it split in two and the treasure was spilled. This treasure is reported to be the most elaborate ever to be lost at sea and included gold goblets, silver plate, and gold bullion.
The ship has not been found as the exact location of the shipwreck is confused, probably due to the inaccurate maps of the time. The Straits of Malacca is a narrow, 550 mi stretch of water between the Malay Peninsula and the Indonesian island of Sumatra so I think a metal detector and a few tanks of air should see me all right.
There have been a few serious attempts to find the wreck however disputes between Malaysia, Portugal and Indonesia over the legitimate clam have thwarted these and somewhere off a Malay reef lies gold waiting to be found. I’m off to Singapore in a few weeks and I may get a couple of dives in so who knows.