(ORDO NEWS) — How boring we live! This was correctly noticed by the hero of Yuri Yakovlev from the “Irony of Fate”. However, there are still areas in the world where the spirit of adventurism feels at ease. And if you are a treasure hunter and a hunter of fortune at heart, then all is not lost.
Background: In Europe, the war for the Spanish Succession was in full swing and King Philip V of Spain really needed money for the army. The San Jose galleon was sent to the Spanish colonies in America for gold.
The cargo was collected within two years. As a result, the holds were filled to capacity with tons of gold coins, silver bars, emeralds and Inca jewelry that had not yet been melted down. On June 8, 1708, a 45-meter Spanish galleon, armed with 64 guns, accompanied by 16 ships, set off on the return journey.
The commander of the English squadron, through his spies, learned about the release of the Spaniards to the sea and decided to intercept the valuable cargo.
30 miles from Cartagena (Colombia) the Spanish caravan was ambushed. After an hour and a half shootout, a cannonball hit the San Jose’s powder magazine and the ship took off into the air. Of the 600 sailors and military, 11 people were saved.
Quest: The history of the “golden” galleon entered the cultural code of the Colombians. Nobel laureate in literature Gabriel Garcia Marquez mentioned San Jose twice in his works.
In 1980, the Colombian government awarded Sea Search Armada a contract to explore the Colombian continental shelf in search of shipwrecks.
After a year of searching, the remains of the San Jose galleon were found at a depth of about 700 meters. Underwater robots filmed the wreckage and even scattered gold coins.
How much it costs: 17-20 billion dollars.
Status: Treasures have not yet been raised. Reconnaissance is underway. For many years, Colombia, Spain and Sea Search Armada have been deciding in court how the treasures will be divided. Colombia intends to take everything for itself, since the San Jose was transporting gold stolen from the Indians.
Spain insists that the ship is its property, since the San José was the flagship of the Spanish fleet. The treasure-hunting company, in turn, accuses the Colombians of violating the terms of the contract.
At the start of the search, the authorities promised 65% of the value of the raised treasures, and now they are ready to give no more than 5%.
The sea took the son of the most successful treasure hunter in exchange for treasures
Treasure hunters haven’t gotten to the San Jose gold yet. Therefore, in the Guinness Book of Records, another sunken Spanish galleon flaunts as the largest sea treasure in history raised from the bottom.
It is called “Nuestra Señora de Atocha”, the ship was wrecked during a storm in 1622. On board were about 40 tons of gold and silver and 32 kilograms of emeralds.
The man who was able to find and get treasures worth 450 million dollars was called Mel Fisher. Initially, he had not the most romantic profession.
Fisher bred a bird on his farm. But at some point, he realized that he could not live without romance and adventure, so he quit the chicken business, moved to California and opened a shop for divers.
“Atocha” Fisher was looking for 16 and a half years. The ship sank at a shallow depth – 15-17 meters, but the shipwreck was quickly covered with sand. Fisher came up with an ingenious search method. First, the bottom was combed by divers with a highly sensitive metal detector.
Then, where a clear signal was recorded, search vessels were driven. A device was brought to the stern, which Fischer himself called the “mail box”. These were huge hollow pipes in the shape of an inverted Latin letter L.
The mechanic turned on the engine and the jet of water from the propellers instantly eroded huge pits at the bottom. After that, the divers descended again and looked to see if gold and jewelry glittered in the washed-out ground.
In 1975, Fischer’s eldest son Dirk found five cannons from the Atocha in this way, which means the ship itself must have been somewhere nearby. But apparently, the sea god did not want to give away the treasure.
A week after the landmark find, Mel Fisher’s son, his daughter-in-law and one of the divers drowned. The old tug was leaking, at night one of the pumps that pumped water out of the hold broke down. The ship began to take on water in the compartment, heeled to one side, and then turned over.
Fisher’s team reached the treasure only 10 years later – on July 20, 1985. About 200 gold and more than a thousand silver bars (each weighing from 15 to 37 kilograms), more than a hundred thousand gold and silver coins, jewelry were raised to the surface…
The authorities claimed only 20 percent of the value of the treasure, so Fisher, his family members and investors, financed the search, overnight became millionaires.
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