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article imageA Drop in the Ocean Worth $500 Million -- But Where Has it Gone?

By Michelle Duffy     May 19, 2007 in Environment
Millions of dollars worth of gold and silver coins have been unearthed from the bottom of the Atlantic ocean in one of the greatest finds in seafaring history.
Just when we thought there were no other fascinating shipwrecks at the bottom of the sea, or at least off the coast of the UK, some American hunters have come across the kind of discovery that was once only found in Disney films.
The US team have uncovered a treasure trove full of coins worth $500 million in the Atlantic ocean. Just like in Peter Pan, the bounty is set to be the most expensive in the world. Yet there is a ironic twist to this unbelievable story of hidden treasure. The Marine exploration vessel, Odyssey team simple will refuse to tell anyone exactly where the treasure is now.
The American coin expert, travelling with the team, Dr Lance Brunner says the wreck is out there somewhere and just off the west coast of England.
Yet there are clues accoding to a report which was handed in to a US federal court last year. Dr Brunner said,
"They told a judge at that point that they had found the wreck of a seventeenth-century merchant ship in the Atlantic Ocean, just outside the English Channel - about 40 miles off Lands' End. So all we can do is add two and two together. It would seem logical given the timing and everything that could be the site."
As far as historians know, the English ship named the Merchant Royal was believed to have sunk at around the same location where the treasure made be hidden under the sea. This happened around 1641. The wreck has been rescued by Odyssey, according to rumours. The coins are said to be have come from Mexico. It is apparent that the rescue vessel has kept the location quiet because of legal reasons.
The treasure is said to be around 17 tonnes of silver coins and a few hundred gold ones although it is not known exactly how much of these. The hush hush story of the treasure has been given the code name of 'Black Swan.'
The treasure is now in the hands of experts in the US since being uncovered by the underwater robot, who are looking into exactly how much it is all worth and who exactly it now belongs to.
Not only has this extraordinary finding been uncovered but it will also give historians a chance to discover how it was to sail in those days. Sea fairing will question about this particular century could finally be answered.
The co founder of the underwater robot, John Morris said of the find,
"Our research suggests that there were a number of colonial period shipwrecks that were lost in the area where this site is located, so we are being very cautious about speculating as to the possible identity of the shipwreck. We have treated this site with kid gloves and the archaeological work done by our team out there is unsurpassed. We are thoroughly documenting and recording the site, which we believe will have immense historical significance."
I wonder what Captain Jack Sparrow would have made of this...?
More about Wreck, Cornwall, Coast
 
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