Gold Hunters: Fabled Shipwreck Still Holds Riches
SS Central America contains $86M in gold, Odyssey Marine Exploration believes
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2014 12:17 AM CDT
Updated May 2, 2014 2:00 AM CDT
A painting of the SS Central America's sinking in 1857.   (Wikipedia)

(Newser) – The SS Central America once held so much gold that the ship's sinking triggered a national financial panic in 1857, but is there any gold left among its watery ruins? Deep-sea exploration firm Odyssey Marine Exploration is betting there is, even though a treasure hunter brought $52 million in gold back from the fabled wreck in 1988 (and subsequently stiffed his team of technicians), Fox News reports. The company believes the wreck 160 miles off the South Carolina coast still holds $86 million in gold—as well as the bodies of 425 passengers and crew who went down with the ship. And Odyssey arrived at the site this week with an 8-ton remotely operated vehicle that will dive to the ocean floor.

"The SS Central America is one of the greatest shipwreck stories of all time," Odyssey’s CEO said in a statement. "We’re very familiar with mid-19th century paddlewheel shipwrecks, as well as the range of artifacts that are likely to be on the site." Skeptics, however, suspect the firm will come up empty-handed—unless rumors of a secret cache of military gold on board are true. "The only way it is a home run project is if they found this secret army gold," an investor who is selling Odyssey stock short tells Bloomberg. "Otherwise, they are literally picking coins out of the skeletons of 425 dead passengers." (Odyssey managed to make a major discovery in 2013 involving silver bullion.)

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Showing 3 of 8 comments
May 9, 2014 1:55 PM CDT
"Want to learn more about Odyssey Marine Exploration?"
matey yarrr
May 9, 2014 11:12 AM CDT
"Want to learn more about Odyssey Marine Exploration?"
May 8, 2014 12:03 PM CDT
From Meson Capital’s March report that fully and without question debunked the SS Central America: After extensive analysis of the SS Central America and the seeded claims of a secret Army gold cache, I conclusively know that no secret cache exists. 1. I spoke with credible deep sea archaeology experts directly involved with the SS Central America case for over two decades and they universally dismissed the notion of a secret Army cache. 2. Tommy Thompson’s best friend and expedition ship mate stated without question: there was never a secret army treasure on board. 3. Multiple Judges and official court documents conclusively dismiss the possibility of a secret cache. 4. Direct source materials from 1857 we obtained also clearly prove there is no secret Army cache. 5. SS Central America estate’s own internal expert analysts show the SS Central America has no Army cache. 6. Eyewitness direct quotes from 1857 of Captain Herndon of SS Central America also clearly demonstrate there is no Army cache. 7. SS Central America tried to both raise their own money to excavate this treasure with their own crew directly experienced on the site and were not successful. They also explored selling the project outright with no success as well. 8. Even if there was anything of value left below, it would have been long ago stolen by other salvors the SS Central America estate knows have been going after the treasure while their insolvency has left the site defenseless and without oversight for over 5 years. 9. Even if an army gold cache existed, it would lead to a repeat of the “Black Swan” fiasco as there is no statute of limitations on government property under maritime law and the shipment would be forfeit like in the “Black Swan” case.