Joined: 10 Oct 2004
Location: New York
|Posted: Sun Oct 10, 2004 9:17 pm Post subject: Why haven't you recovered the gold to date?
|If only it could be that easy! But, of course, if it were that easy, someone else would have gotten the gold.
We are looking for about two (2) cubic yards of gold coins in the equivalent of a collapsed skyscraper - in the skyscraper's basement ... I often use the excavation of the Oklahoma Federal Office Building bombing - a ten story building collapsed to a pile of rubble. It took scores of workers, numerous cranes, bulldozers, jackhammers, trucks, 24 hour lighting, on dry land, etc. etc. - four months to excavate that site. Now, take an equivalent amount of debris, throw it under 260 FSW, put two men out a diving bell, have one 40 ton crane - and you get a feeling for the difficulties. And, unlike SS Central America and SS Republic (1865), we don't have the luxury of a predominantly wooden-ship decomposing and leaving the gold at or near the surface.
Equivalent salvages on record, the salvage of the Laurentic (1914-1919) and P & O's Egypt (the 1930s) were both multi-year salvages - and the techniques to excavate a wreck remain very much the same.
For our 1987 salvage, we were, simply, in the wrong part of this immense ship.
Since 1987? Research is always safer (and cheaper) than on-site salvage. It cost us $2.35 million in 1987 to conduct salvage, with the season limited to just July and August for that area of the North Atlantic. Our 2007 - 2009 salvage is estimated to cost approximately $14+ million.
But, it's just not only the cost of salvage. We wouldn't want to place our divers' lives at risk unnecessarily (nor would we want to put at unnecessary risk our investors' capital).
Today, I have a lot more information on both the cargo's existence (the good details are not on the public sections of the website, and we're holding the real goodies close to our vest), and it's location within the vessel. So, we plan to proceed this summer with an updated site-survey (our 2003 charter was cancelled due to a near uninterrupted period of adverse weather), finish our research (we're very close to the unequivocal "proof"), acquire funding (funding costs are directly related to "risk," and risk is inversely related to quality research) and, if, indeed, the cargo is aboard, recover it. So, as I say on our website, we will either have the Republic's gold, or prove that perhaps the greatest legend in treasure lore, is false.