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Robot sub finds 'holy grail of shipwrecks' with treasure worth billions

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Black Dog Sun, the End of the Ancient World, Antediluvian X
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« on: May 23, 2018, 10:17:18 am »



Robot sub finds 'holy grail of shipwrecks' with treasure worth billions
 


47 mins ago
 


http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/robot-sub-finds-holy-grail-of-shipwrecks-with-treasure-worth-billions/ar-AAxGkxe?ocid=ientp
 

 

 

 

 




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Bronze cannons discovered the Remus 6000 at the bottom Caribbean Sea

 
a man wearing glasses: Jeff Kaeli, a research engineer with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

 
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A more than 300-year-old Spanish shipwreck carrying treasure that might be worth up to $17 billion was discovered with the help of an underwater robot. It's called the Remus 6000 and it can dive nearly four miles and is loaded with sensors and cameras.


Bronze cannons confirmed "the holy grail of shipwrecks" had been found at the bottom of the Caribbean Sea. They are engraved with dolphins — a telltale sign they belong to the Spanish galleon San Jose, lost more than 300 years ago.

"I just sat there for about 10 minutes and smiled," said Jeff Kaeli, a research engineer with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Kaeli was alone in his bunk on the search vessel when he spotted the cannons.

"I'm not a marine archaeologist, but ... I know what a cannon looks like. So in that moment, I guess I was the only person in the world who knew we'd found the shipwreck," he said. 

The exact location of the wreckage is still a secret, but it was discovered in November 2015 off the coast of Cartagena, Colombia. Its cargo of gold, silver, and emeralds could be worth as much as $17 billion.

The Remus 6000, operated by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Massachusetts, found the ship almost 2,000 feet below the surface. The underwater robot scanned the sea floor using long-range sonar then went back and took pictures of any objects that seemed out of the ordinary.

"You can take bigger risks with your technology and go to places where it wouldn't be safe or feasible to put a human being," Kaeli said.

The Remus used the same methods to find Air France Flight 447, which crashed off the coast of Brazil in 2009.

British warships sunk the San Jose and its crew of 600 in 1701. For now, all of its treasure remains underwater. Working with the Colombian government, the Woods Hole team also found artifacts like teacups and ceramic jugs.

"Everyone is focused on the treasure aspect ... The whole thing is a cultural treasure. It's a piece of history that's sitting on the sea floor that tells a story," Kaeli said.   

The wreck has been shrouded in secrecy because of lingering questions about who owns it.

Colombia and Spain both say it belongs to them. The researchers at Woods Hole say they are explorers, not treasure hunters, and are not involved in the ownership disputes.















 










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Danielle Gorree
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« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2018, 06:55:50 pm »

Archaeologists Find 'Holy Grail of Shipwrecks' Carrying Stash Worth Up to $17 Billion
By Laura Geggel, Senior Writer | May 22, 2018 02:42pm ET

https://www.livescience.com/62638-san-jose-shipwreck-cannons.html

Archaeologists Find 'Holy Grail of Shipwrecks' Carrying Stash Worth Up to $17 Billion
The San José's cannons, photographed in November 2015 by the REMUS 6000
Credit: REMUS image, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

In 1708, the San José— a Spanish galleon ship carrying a stash of gold, silver and emeralds — sank during a fierce battle against the British in the Caribbean Sea. Now, after sitting at the bottom of the ocean for 310 years, the San José's shipwreck has finally been officially identified, thanks to an analysis of the distinctive bronze cannons that sank with the ship.

These bronze cannons still have ornate dolphins engraved on them, according to recordings made by the REMUS 6000, an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) that got within 30 feet (9.1 meters) of the shipwreck in 2015, according to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). 

Although WHOI has known these details since 2015, only recently did affiliated agencies — Maritime Archaeology Consultants (MAC), Switzerland AG and the Colombian government  — give the researchers permission to release the details to the public. [See Photos of the San Jose Shipwreck]
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Fiery end

The San José was equipped with 62 guns, but it was no match against the British. Warships would have escorted the San José and its treasures on most of its trips from the New World to Europe every year. In fact, when it sank, the San José was carrying a treasure mined in Peru that, today, is worth between $4 billion and $17 billion, Live Science previously reported. These riches were intended to help fuel the long-running War of Spanish Succession, a conflict the Spanish and French were fighting against the English.
The REMUS 6000 as it is deployed off the Colombian Navy research ship ARC Malpelo.
The REMUS 6000 as it is deployed off the Colombian Navy research ship ARC Malpelo.
Credit: Mike Purcell, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

But in 1708, the warship escorts were delayed, and the Spanish commander, Admiral José Fernandez de Santillan, count of Casa Alegre, decided to set sail anyway. That was a big mistake. Four English ships confronted the San José and its crew of more than 500 men. After a bloody cannon fight, the San José erupted into flames and sank to the bottom of the ocean.

Treasure hunters and archaeologists have been trying to locate it ever since.

That goal was accomplished on Nov. 27, 2015, when an international team of scientists found a shipwreck while aboard the Colombian Navy research ship ARC Malpelo, WHOI said. The wreck was found about 2,000 feet (600 m) underwater in a search that was approved by the Colombian Ministry of Culture.

However, at the time, it wasn't clear whether the wreck was actually that of the San José or of another ship. So, in 2015, WHOI sent the REMUS 6000, which had helped initially locate the shipwreck off of Colombia's Barú Peninsula, to take a closer look.

"The REMUS 6000 was the ideal tool for the job, since it's capable of conducting long-duration missions over wide areas," Mike Purcell, WHOI engineer and expedition leader, said in a statement.

The AUV's recordings showed that the ship was partially covered in sediment. The decorative carving on the cannons, filmed during a subsequent dive, allowed Roger Dooley, the lead marine archaeologist at MAC, to confirm that the wreck was the San José, WHOI said.
Teacups at the shipwreck site
Teacups at the shipwreck site
Credit: REMUS image, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

The San José has considerable cultural and historical significance, as it holds artifacts that will help historians learn about Europe's economic, social and political climate during the early 18th century, WHOI noted. The Colombian government plans to build a museum and conservation laboratory to preserve and display the shipwreck's contents, including its cannons and ceramics.

The REMUS 6000 is owned by the Dalio Foundation and operated by WHOI. The vehicle has also played a key role in other deep-sea missions. In 2009, it helped find the wreckage of Air France Flight 447, the plane that crashed when it was flying from Brazil to France. And in 2010, the AUV helped map and photograph the Titanic's wreck site, WHOI said.

Original article on Live Science.
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