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Search for Sunken Treasures (2010)

51 minutes
Not released
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Much of the west coast of Australia was discovered by accident, when Dutch treasure galleons ploughed into its fringing coral reefs and left chests of gold and silver on the coral floor. Ben dives on two of these treasure ships, silver guilders can still be recovered from under the sand. Two Dutch treasure ships are yet to be found. Their wealth is enormous. Millions of dollars worth of gold and silver coins in a dozen chests lie somewhere along the West Australian Coast. A lucky diver will one day stumble upon these riches. Australia's first shipwreck was English, the Tryal, lost in 1622 long before Cook sailed our shores.
She carried 500 golden royals and gold spangles as a gift for the King of Siam. Ben dives this ancient wreck but the treasuries not yet found. Ben discovered hundreds of shipwrecks, including the famous Pandora of Bounty fame, but there are thousands more still hidden in a watery grave. There are legends of Spanish galleons, invariably not true, but some of these lost ships are known treasure ships and Ben searches for them. The 'Sun' went down in 1826 with 40,000 silver dollars in the eastern Torres Strait. Ben finds this ship, but not the mother lode, except for a few scattered coins. He believes the coins were found by one of Frank Jardines pearling luggers, and became known as the famous Jardine Treasure. The 'Ann' was lost on Cockburn Reef in the northern end of the Great Barrier Reef, Her rich cargo of coins were lost. Ben locates this wreck and searches for it's treasure. Australia's greatest lost treasure is the ship Madagasca. She left Melbourne for London in 1853 with 68,390 ounces of gold, and was never heard of again. That treasure is worth $27 million today. Not all Australia's lost treasures lie under the sea. It's believed the Japanese pirate Yamada Nagamasa buried his enormous loot on Magnetic Island. It's rumoured to be worth $100 million, and has never been found. Ben finds a strange symbol carved in a prominent rock on Magnetic Island, opposite the only bay a ship could safely anchor in. Is this symbol the proverbial 'X' marks the spot! Australia's great gold rush of the 19th century added greatly to the list of lost treasures on land and in the sea. Queensland's great cyclone of 1899 destroyed some 70 pearling ships and drowned 300 sailors. Bathurst Bay is littered with these wrecks, now buried in the sand for more than a hundred years, with diving helmets and pearls strewn over the sea floor. So what became of all the gold and silver that fate, so cruelly in many instances, snatched from its rightful owners? Some was recovered, some lost forever, but much still remains for the intrepid treasure hunter who is prepared to research the facts, sift through the legends, and give it a try. Ben's film will take us around Australia to where these hidden treasures should lie.
Documentary, Special Interest
Release Date:
Not released
Run Time:
51 minutes

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