A Jailed Treasure Hunter

A jailed treasure hunter refuses to say where the 500 coins are concealed ?

Ex-treasure hunter marks fifth year in jail for contempt of court over location of 500
Slide 1 of 27: In February 2018 a spectacular array of gold ingots, coins, and more went on display – and for sale – in Long Beach, California. The treasure was part of a 9.1 metric ton cargo of gold worth millions of dollars that went down with the SS Central America in 1857, in what remains America's worst disaster at sea. Click or scroll through to discover the incredible story behind the sinking of the 'Ship of Gold' and salvage operation, and why the treasure hunter who discovered the ship in 1988 is now in jail. 

How it all began…

Slide 4 of 27: The massive paddle wheel steamer, which was captained by the illustrious William Lewis Herndon, set sail on calm waters and made a stop-off at Havana, Cuba on schedule and without incident. Several days into the voyage, the wind ominously picked up and the sea began to get choppy.

It was during the California Gold Rush, that at least 21 tons of gold destined for the financial institutes and banks were loaded onto a ship with Captain William Lewis Herndon in charge, the ship set sail on calm waters, & with his paddle steamer making good time made a brief stop at Havana, in Cuba, & with everything on schedule, set sail again, it was after a few days into the voyage things turned nasty with the winds picking up and the seas starting to get rough, before long the winds were starting to get up to hurricane speed, it was on September 9th in 1857 that the ship SS Central America sailed right straight into a Category 2 hurricane off the coast of the Carolina’s, for two days and nights the ship fought gallantly on with the sails having been ripped from the rigging and the bow of the ship was taking such a pounding that she started to take on water, with an ever increasing feeling that disaster was not far away, it seemed her fate was sealed by the failings of her boiler, with the crew desperately trying to mend the boiler & the other damage, but to no avail, with the ship listing it was looking quite desperate…

Slide 5 of 27: On 9 September 1857, every seafarer's worst nightmare came to pass, and the SS Central America sailed right into a Category 2 hurricane off the coast of the Carolinas. The tempest raged on relentlessly. By 11 September, the furious winds had severely damaged the ship.

An attempt the following day was made by a passing ship, to rescue the men on-board, many of them on board the ship were miners who were now rich and taken the easy route home, but due to the ferocious weather it failed, by 8pm that night all was lost and SS Central America sank, all in all, 425 souls perished in the sinking that night, making it the worst disaster at sea in American history, a mere 53 people survived, three of whom were plucked from a lifeboat a week after the tragedy….

Slide 8 of 27: On top of the devastating loss of life, the sinking contributed to the Panic of 1857, a run on the banks and ensuing financial crisis that the ship's precious cargo was meant to prevent. The impact of the downturn was felt worldwide, and the Panic of 1857 is considered the first real global economic crisis.

Apart from the human cost of the disaster some considered this to be the first global economic crises, it was this direct action of the sinking that contributed to the Panic of 1857, creating a run on the banks and ensuing financial crisis that the ship’s precious cargo was meant to prevent, The impact of the financial downturn was felt worldwide, and the Panic of 1857 & is considered the first real global economic crisis.

Enter left of stage our hero & Treasure Hunter – Tommy Gregory Thompson;

Fast forwarding to the late 20th century, our shipwreck-hunting-treasure hunter Tommy Gregory Thompson, entered the fray looking for the ship of gold, some say Thompson became obsessed with finding the ship, and its gold content, Thompson was an ocean engineer from Ohio & spent years analyzing the route of the vessel and developing the technology to find her, it was around about 1988, the team Thompson had got together were 100% convinced they’d worked out a rough location of the area the ship had sank, next on the list for Thompson was to persuade investors to part with their money to the tune of $12.5 million to finance the operation which included an extensive search and salvage operation… Once the operation which lasted from 1988 to 1991, and about $50 million dollars had been recovered, Thompson and his companion disappeared, living under a fake name, Thompson at the age of 62, was now wanted after he failed to appear in an Ohio courtroom in 2012 in a lawsuit about the gold he brought up in 1988 from the 19th-century shipwreck, two investors who had funded Thompson’s attempt to find the shipwreck were suing him as was some of the team members of the original crew who alleged they had been cheated out of their share of the bounty….But it does not stop there, because this is a tale worthy of a film enter stage right another salvage company, who then found a further $ 50 million dollars worth of gold…

So basically it was in 1988 that Thompson became every treasure hunters hero whilst making history, when he located the S.S. Central America, known as the Ship of Gold… But this is the problem he says he cannot remember where he hid the remaining gold, although he remembers a lot about his discovery, Thompson says he can’t remember where he hid the remaining gold he didn’t sell, with the authority’s handing back his confiscated papers, to try & jog his memory, the papers were confiscated in 2012, but it does not seem to be working, as he firmly believes he does not know where the gold is…. lost again after all these years…

4 thoughts on “A Jailed Treasure Hunter

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  1. Thanks to Mr. Thompson, he has made it impossible for me or any other treasure hunting company to raise money to treasure hunt. Although I don’t believe he should be in jail still, he needs to be held responsible for the irresponsible act(s) he has committed.

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      1. Mr. Tommy Thompson has made investors steer clear of ALL treasure hunters due to his antics.

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