Joined: 10 Oct 2004
Location: New York
|Posted: Sun Oct 10, 2004 9:04 pm Post subject: How many past salvage attempts have there been?
|As for past salvage attempts, actual and rumored:
1. Salvors at the time indicated that the Republic was irretrievably lost, as a result of the technical inadequacies with which we're all familiar and which were prevalent until, at least, the 1950s.
2. Rieseberg writes: "... Only one known attempt has been made to bring this cargo to the surface, in 1919. It failed because of the depth and the inadequate salvage equipment. ..." Lieut. Harry E. Rieseberg and A. A. Mikalow, Fell's Guide to Sunken Treasure Ships of the World, Pg 123, Federick Fell Inc., N. Y., 1965.
However, Rieseberg may have been writing not about a 1919 attempt, but about a reported 1929 salvage attempt. Teddy Remick, in the January, 1976, issue of Lost Treasure Magazine, at Page 39, wrote:
"For almost twenty years, the wreck of the Republic remained undisturbed. Then a salvage crew from England located the wreck and began operations to recover the $3,000,000 in golden eagles. At a depth of 240 feet, it was a monumental task. Divers reported that the ship lay on her side.[? See comment below.] Slowly, the crew began to burn through the hull to get into the companionway that led to her safe. Once through her hull, they found the companionway cluttered with a tangle of steel girders and plates blocking their path. The depth the divers had to work in, the undependable weather, and the huge sharks infesting the water eventually forced the salvage crew to give up and return to England.
"The golden eagles still lie awaiting a crew with the technique and the courage to break through to the treasure. The task will be perilous and expensive, but the reward will be $3,000,000 in ten dollar gold pieces worth considerably more today than they were 67 years ago."
Incidentally, although the wreck actually lies upright with a slight starboard list, certain portside parts of the hull have collapsed inboard, folding over collapsed decks, giving the appearance that the ship is lying on her starboard side!
3. I have also heard rumors that the site was dived in the 1950s by US Navy divers trying out Heliox. This may explain the failure to find nameplates - forward or stern, or bell. The upper strakes of hull plate, where the name is displayed, are missing fore and aft, as is the bell. We spent a good deal of time looking for these, down to the sea floor. It is difficult therefore, without an intimate knowledge of the vessel construction, to identify this wreck. This may tie into the wreck's non-appearance on the ASW charts, and the whole area of "Concealment," which I discuss in detail within an entire section of the website, at: http://rms-republic.com/concealment.html
4. The one-month effort by the IUC-Marshshalton group, June, 1986. IUC had acquired my research under Confidentiality Agreement prior to this attempt. Also, A US Marshall was aboard their vessel for their entire operations (at my expense). In brief, Marshallton made assertions to the Court that they could do the entire salvage in 30 days, in contrast to our planned multi-year approach. The Court gave them that opportunity. Their assertions were proven false, at my expense. And, as you know, they did not discover the gold.
Marshallton ripped the main deckhouse from what was a formerly pristine wreck. The starboard side was peeled back. Picture an old beer can pull top with the superstructure as the pull-tab. The lower deckhouse deck (continuous with the Saloon deck) is exposed on this side for the length of the superstructure. Sections of the Saloon & Upper decks lie between the main hull and the inverted superstructure. Why they did this unnecessary destruction is beyond me; other than one purser's safe and the captain's safe, and ship accoutrements and passenger effects, the gold wouldn't be here. Perhaps they did this work to satisfy their investors that the two-million dollars that IUC collected was used to accomplish something. ...
One reason that I now make the research available on the Net (well, a good part of it) was derived from Marshallton's misadventure. As of 1985, I had delivered scores of my research, in hard-copy, to potential investors and interested contractors, all under confidentiality agreement. These reports created my own competition. Other salvors would use my "confidential" research, claim it as their own, present it to their investors (who would not know that the research was someone else's work) under their own confidentiality agreement, and raise money. My publication on the Net takes that tool away from potential competitors. Any investor would likely do a web search, and find my work.
(Another reason I've published my work is that it makes it available for critical examination. Investors, under confidentiality agreement, might be hindered in acquiring a professional opinion as to my conclusions. Now, they can ask anyone, "What do you think?")
Also, I don't desire to pursue a cargo that doesn't exist. So, if you can find a flaw with my work, please let me know. I'd be happy (well, let's say satisfied to blow away a rumor) to disprove the cargo's existence. It's a simple question: if we can account for the $3 million engagement in gold eagles, purchased by French banking interests on January 12, 1909, from National City Bank ($2 million, today's Citibank) and Goldman Sachs ($1 million) - for the Russian Loan which closed on January 22nd, 1909 - I can be satisfied that there is no gold aboard RMS Republic - at least not a sufficient amount of gold to justify an economic salvage. The only other gold cargo that may be aboard is the US Navy funds, but that, at $265,000 face value (compare this amount alone to the 1865 SS Republic's $400,000 face value) - would probably realize no more than $20 million to $25 million, with the costs of salvage estimated at $12 million. But, I believe that if one gold cargo is aboard, that they're both aboard. See The Navy Cargo, at:
5. Our 74 days on-site in 1987. See: http://rms-republic.com/sal05.html et seq.
6. After we left the site, another group associated with American Oilfield Divers (now Ceanic, chartered by a Wayne Childs, another acquaintance of mine) visited the site. They spent very little time there and had minimal impact on the wreck.
7. Not included in the above are my survey/recovery efforts, 1983, 1985, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2005.
Conclusion: The fact that the wreck was pristine when found (my early sidescans circa 1984 clearly show the main deckhouse in place), and the fact that Marshallton did recover one of the purser's safes (it was right where it should have been, in the purser's office - easy to find on an in-tact wreck) - a distinct target for any salvor, indicates that no-one had worked this wreck prior to the mid-1980 efforts. Our review of areas of interest, and the whole vessel in general, also indicated no prior salvage attempts.
In brief, RMS Republic had been researched by scores, if not hundreds, of researchers - both amateurs and professionals alike - who had researched only the US Navy and Italian Relief theories as to why a $3 million American Gold Eagle shipment (the Legend, see: http://rms-republic.com/story_rumor.html et seq.) would be aboard RMS Republic. No one became interested in this wreck until I developed the Third Theory of the Czar's gold - which can be supported. And, since I know that no one has looked in the areas of the ship that would most likely contain the gold cargos (IF they exist. Looking in these areas, as opposed to research, is a considerably more expensive and dangerous way to prove or disprove the cargos' existence.), I'm compelled to continue, particularly since - as research progresses - the information acquired continues to support, and does not contradict, the possibility of the cargos' existence.