THE SEARCH FOR THE ATOCHA TREASURE by Fran & Bernadette Balcer O'Byrne-Pelham


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A triumphant account of Mel Fisher's long--and gloriously successful--search for sunken treasure. In 1622, Nuestra Senora de Atocha and another treasure ship sank off the Florida Keys, their cargo never found until a library researcher in 1970 uncovered clues that sent treasure-hunter Fisher to the Marquesas Keys. Fifteen years later, after repeated disappointments, money troubles, crushing monotony, the loss of Fisher's son and daughter-in-law, and attempted piracy, the treasure was recovered: $200 million in gold, silver and gems plus a fascinating collection of artifacts and archeological remains. Despite some invented scenes and dialogue, the authors have done a competent job of presenting this exciting story, basing their narrative on both published material and original interviews. The illustrations, mostly color photos, are clear and--aside from a notably confusing map--well-chosen: perhaps most striking is one of a tiny weed sprouting from a 350-year-old seed. Visually, this may pale next to Ballard's magnificent Exploring the Titanic (1988), but Fisher's story of ingenuity, stubborn determination, and glittering rewards certainly doesn't.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1989
Page count: 108pp
Publisher: Dillon