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Apr-28-2009 09:00printcommentsVideo

Expert Says Satellite Images from Space Reveal Sunken Treasure Ships (VIDEO)

It may be the final frontier, but satellites in space are allowing treasure hunters unexpected opportunities; how will the world deal with this?

Cannon from the HMS Victory
Cannon from the HMS Victory

(HOUSTON, Tx.) - Master Merchant Marine and salvage consultant, Captain Tom Williams pens tense tale of lost sunken treasure and asks the forbidden questions: how are all the lost and ancient shipwreck sites suddenly being found?

And should any international laws apply to deep water salvage?

Odyssey, a deep-sea exploration team based in Tampa Florida announced in May 2007 that they had found the shipwreck of a Spanish Galleon.

The “Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes y las Animas” which sank near the Portuguese coast in 1804, has reportedly yielded 17 tons of salvaged silver from the Atlantic Ocean seafloor.

The British warship HMS Victory was reported found by the same Odyssey group in February 2009, after sinking with all hands in 1744. This lost shipwreck is expected to yield 4 tons of gold from 330 feet below the English Channel.

Greg Stemm, co-founder of the Odyssey Marine Exploration team announced there is a secret warehouse somewhere in Florida that contains an undisclosed amount of recovered lost treasure.

With the discovery of the Spanish Galleon in 2007, and the subsequent find of HMS Victory, a simple question has surfaced; asked by the author of the breakout novel Lost and Found.

“Lost and Found” is an exciting new novel by Tom Williams that has been receiving many incredible reviews and national acclaim, but has someone really used a geological survey satellite and found all the lost shipwrecks that still contain silver or gold?

Does the ultimate treasure map now exist? Are all the lost treasure fleets undiscovered for centuries now identified and located with specific GPS coordinates? Can these wreck sites be salvaged legally, or can a US Judge make a ruling on undersea artifacts as in the pending case of the Titanic.

Some in the Spanish government have called the Florida based treasure hunters “21st Century Pirates,” but no one is asking the pertinent questions: How are these lost ships being found? Moreover, how many more have already been found and scheduled for salvage and will these continuing undersea operations be deemed legal.

Can the recent find of the Spanish Galleon worth 500 million, and HMS Victory with four tons of gold onboard be linked to a new and highly secret technology? Have all the other lost treasure ships around the world already been found by an orbiting satellite?

Could the price of precious metals plummet if suddenly every lost treasure ship undiscovered for centuries was available for instant salvage?

Could Captain Tom Williams’ novel Lost and Found be the fictitious thriller that has turned to fact? It certainly sounds like it.


Here is a Tom Williams interview on the FOX network:


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Jason February 15, 2017 6:56 am (Pacific time)

Unfortunately there is not a magic treasure map produced by a satellite, finding shipwrecks takes tons of time and money. Academics don't have the equipment, knowledge or funding to do it, so it takes public companies like Odyssey to foot the bill. Of course, a public company answers to it's investors so it needs to sell some of the recovered material to remain a good investment. This upsets the academics when you "sell history", no matter how redundant the artifacts may be or how many of them exist. Rarities and exemplary artifacts should always be in a museum, but when you find a half billion nearly identical coins, I think a large percentage of those can go to private collectors to recoup the enormous bill of searching for them. Unfortunately the academics in elected positions, especially at the state level, honestly believe that it is better to leave these artifacts on the bottom of the sea rather than to let private companies locate and recover them. This is a very flawed plan, the sea destroys artifacts at an alarming rate, and it doesn't stop until everything is gone. In effect, these academic archaeologists are squandering a disappearing, non-renewable resource and they are using our tax dollars to do it. Apparently they no longer teach simple logic in universities, they just spout tired old mantras about "history not being for sale". Apparently it is OK to let it rot on the seafloor while you do nothing about it, but only if you are a degree holding academic. Bringing it up and sharing the history with the world just isn't an acceptable option to these geniuses. What these academics never tell you is that salvage groups DONATE between 20 and 50 percent of their hard-earned recoveries to museums and government collections. The state of Florida where Odyssey is based holds one of the largest collections of Colonial artifacts in the world, and nearly all of it was donated by PRIVATE salvage groups working in Florida waters on their own dime. Up until the 1980's, the entire world used and agreed on the "Abandoned Shipwreck Act". It deemed that if a ship was not actively being searched for by its owner, that is was considered abandoned and could be salvaged by whoever found it. Once Spain's treasure galleons loaded with the stolen silver and gold of the Inca, Maya and Aztec empire started being discovered, Spain worked to have the act removed and put the United Nations in control of the world's heritage via the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which is the group behind the idea that leaving cultural deposits on the bottom of the sea untouched and unseen is the best way to managed our cultural heritage. So, what to do we do about these private salvage companies who risk life, limb and fortune to bring our world's heritage to light and rescue it from the perils of the sea on their own dime? I say we let them continue their incredible work, and maybe let them use the salaries of those elected cultural officials who have never left their desk in search of any culture in their life. Note - If you would like to know how these shipwreck sites are actually found (hint - it's not via a secret satellite map) look up large scale marine survey and read about the magnetometer, Sub-bottom profiler, and side scanning sonar. These instruments are expensive (30K + EACH), require an extremely technical mind to operate them and they must be towed back and forth very slowly in a large grid to search for iron and things upon and under the sands. Lots of fuel, lots of expensive technical man-hours, lots of wear and tear on vessels, etc. This is just to FIND the shipwrecks. Once found, you have to bring everything up slowly and carefully, spend years conserving it to reverse the damage done by the sea and then research and identify everything. Now, decades and hundreds of thousands of dollars later, you can sell and artifact to recoup some of your losses....unless someone sues you or deems your operation illegal. People think you just sail out and swim around picking up gold coins. Most shipwreck artifacts are under an average of 10 feet of sand. Just some thoughts from someone who actually knows what is happening.

ed shull July 9, 2009 3:14 pm (Pacific time)

Sounds like "Weak Stone Bridge" gold frequency stuff. Simple-the opera singer hits a certain frequency shattering the glass. Two frequencies cannot exist in the same place "Shattering" the glass and finding the gold. Something like 200 ft. -Talk radio told me this. (

Chris Dempsey May 3, 2009 10:28 am (Pacific time)

There is nothing wrong with the fact that this guy plugs his own book in an interview on FOX. He was not interviewed as an expert, but instead as an author that has written a fictional story that could very well turn out fact. Technology is not standing still... it is leaping forward with incredible quickness. If we can find, using technology, that the Congo River is the deepest river of the world, why couldn't someone find shipwrecks at the bottom of the ocean? Now anyone with funding will be sending "Mega-Mag" satellites into orbit. The person of technology that I am celebrates an idea like this... for a minute or two. Then the historian/archivist/diver-want-to-be-underwater-archaeologist in me is put off by the potential damage that could be done to these historic sites by anyone rich enough to get richer, with the historic value not even on the back burner. It is my nightmare that all will be found before I get to look. I'll probably check out the book... As a side note, Tom Williams' next book should be called "Finders Keepers" Great article!

Scott April 28, 2009 7:21 pm (Pacific time)

This guy is possibly the biggest idiot that FOX has ever interviewed. They really need to better screen those who they're going to give valuable air-time to. This guy's any embarrassment.

Editor: Oh come on Scott, that is a seriously prestigious award at FOX; there is a long list of contenders and I hear it takes an extraordinary amount of time just to evaluate the list of idiots who qualify. 

So seriously, why the negativity on this guy?  I have to tell you this comment is an example of what we are asking people not to do. Stimulate dialog man, don't just use this space to pronounce your judgement; qualify it.  You insult the guy, say it's the worst thing FOX ever did, and leave it at that, why?  Why don't you enlighten us ?

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