Dominican Republic: Companies Search for Treasure-bearing Shipwrecks

ship

Marine Exploration Inc. (MEXP) and joint venture partner Hispaniola Ventures, headed by legendary treasure explorer and salvager Burt Webber, have been conducting searches in the Dominican Republic to locate and recover historic shipwrecks containing valuable artifacts and treasure. At the core of MEXP’s mission is the recovery over $600,000,000.00 from Spanish galleons (and ships from other European countries vying for power and riches in the Caribbean) in ancient gold, silver, gems, and one-of-a-kind valuables. The company’s mission statement claims that by “employing the expertise of legendary explorers, renowned researchers, and skilled divers,” it is “at the forefront of exciting, ground-breaking oceanic expeditions to investigate, locate, and recover valuable treasure from historic shipwrecks throughout the world.”

Working under exclusive contract with this country since 2007, MEXP has plans to pursue multiple notable shipwrecks in Dominican Republic territorial and jurisdictional waters. The Dominican Republic has extended MEXP’s “in-country” contract for another two years. The company had previously led recovery operations in Serranillas and on the Silver Bank; the new contract expands the search area into other waters that are of high interest to the company.

webberThe Silver Bank yielded results for Webber this year, after a previous venture in the area thirty years ago, when he discovered treasure, including coins and porcelain from the late Ming period, from the Spanish ship Nuestra Señora de la Concepciòn. At that time (1978) the Dominican Republic agreed on keeping only half of any treasure recovered. With new historic research, and new underwater technological developments in the field of remote sensing survey and salvage (including a Webber-designed diver-operated magnetometer) the explorer and his team recovered a shipwreck within the first twenty days of surveying the North West Reef of the Silver Bank. “The artifacts recovered during the proofing excavations have proved to date the ship between 1725 and 1745. The nationality is believed to be British. All artifacts were inventoried and turned over to the Dominican Republic Sub-Aquatic Office in Santo Domingo.”

Marine Exploration`s president, Paul Enright said, “We are pleased with the vote of confidence the Dominican Republic has cast for us by extending our contract for another two years. With the addition of new search areas, we expect our chances of finding treasure-bearing shipwrecks to rise significantly.”

From http://www.caribbeannetnews.com/domrep/domrep.php?news_id=18821&start=0&category_id=18, http://www.send2press.com/newswire/2007-10-1010-004.shtml, http://www.mexp.biz/, http://thethunderchild.com/GhostGunsVirginia/TreasureWrecks/BurtWebber.html and http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/permalink/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20090615005445&newsLang=en

Image of ship from related article at http://www.dominicantoday.com/dr/local/2008/12/11/30378/Treasure-hunter-finds-workable-shipwreck-in-Dominican-waters; Webber’s photo is from Facebook.

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