The U.S. government has not weighed in on the court case yet, and Brooks said he doubts that will happen, since the Soviets eventually reimbursed Washington for the lost payment.
A U.S. Treasury Department ledger shows that the platinum bars were on board, Brooks said, and his underwater video footage shows a platinum bar surrounded by 30 boxes that he believes hold four to five platinum ingots each. But he has yet to bring up any platinum, saying his underwater vessel needs to be retrofitted to attach lines to the boxes, which would then be hoisted to the surface by winch.
“Of course there are skeptics,” he said. “There’s skeptics on everything you do.”
Maritime law is complicated, and there could be multiple claims on the ship’s contents.
After the sinking of the HMS Edinburgh, an English warship carrying Soviet gold bullion as a payment to the allies during World War II, England, the U.S. and the Soviet Union had claims on the sunken treasure, Marx said. A consortium that owned the salvage vessel was given 10 percent of the prize, while the rest was shared by the other parties, he said.
In other big finds, treasure hunter Mel Fisher made international headlines in 1985 when he discovered a $450 million mother lode of precious metals and gemstones from a Spanish galleon that went down off Florida in 1622.
In another case, a Tampa exploration company has been ordered by the courts to return $500 million worth of treasure from a Spanish warship to Spain. The ship was sunk by the British navy during a battle off Portugal in 1804.<< previous 1 2 3