Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Sunken Treasure Ship Discovered Off Cape Cod

When I gaze out over the ocean, I often think of what's on the other side. Portugal, and further north, France. The imagination of some people does not reach straight across. Instead, it goes deeper. Professional treasure hunters scan the horizon, dreaming of sunken treasure. Modern technology facilitates locating it.

One such team had success off Wellfleet in 1984, with discovery of the Whydah. Some of the artifacts from that wreck are housed in a museum on Provincetown pier. Now another team is eager to bring up treasure from the Port Nicholson, a British merchant steamer that was torpedoed by the Germans off Cape Cod in 1942. The wreck, situated 50 miles off Provincetown, in 700 feet of water, contains an estimated three to five billion worth of platinum, diamonds, and gold. The cargo was listed as "automotive parts and military stores". Delivery of the platinum to the United States was to pay for military supplies provided to the Soviet Union during the war. The exact location of the wreck has not been revealed, and it's not yet clear what will happen to the booty.

The treasure hunters will be back this spring, and the whole world will be watching. What is it about sunken treasure that so fascinates the public? Have you ever found something that you considered treasure?