free hit counter code Treasure hunt on ‘Holy Grail’ shipwreck BEGINS 300 years after galleon laden with loot of ‘incalculable wealth’ was sunk – Freeht.buzz

Treasure hunt on ‘Holy Grail’ shipwreck BEGINS 300 years after galleon laden with loot of ‘incalculable wealth’ was sunk

A MASSIVE treasure hunt on the “Holy Grail” of all shipwrecks has finally got underway 300 years after it first sunk by using clever robot technology.

The San Jose Galleon plunged over 3,000ft to the bottom of the Caribbean Sea in 1708 with some experts saying the entire value of the wreckage is incalculable.

Reuters

The masses of lost treasures including gold, cannons and swords sat on the wreckage at the bottom of the sea has an incalculable wealth[/caption]

AFP

The first part of the recovery operation on the wreckage will see robots being deployed underwater to analyse the treasures[/caption]

Samuel Scott

A painting of the legendary San Jose ship before it was sunk 300 years ago[/caption]

The recovery project is being done by the Colombian government alongside a set of underwater robots, says Colombia’s Culture Minister Juan David Correa.

He said the robots are being sent to extract items surrounding the shipwreck to see “how they materialise when they come out”.

The state-of-the-art machines will work at a depth of 600m to extract materials “without modifying or damaging the wreck,” according to Correa.

Although the robotic equipment will be submerged, it will be connected to a Navy ship that will use cameras to keep an extensive record of every movement.

This is just the first stage of a project that is set to cost the government more than £3.5million.

Dubbed a “characterisation phase” the bots will be deployed alongside remote sensors that generate images of the site.

This imagery will then build up a thorough list of all of the archaeological material left on the seabed, the Colombian Institute of Anthropology and History said.

The next phases of the recovery mission will be dependent on the results from this initial stage but it is hoped experts will gain a greater understanding into how they can recover the remainder of the wreck.

In English, the name of the project translates to “towards the heart of the San Jose galleon”.

Correa described the expedition as “unprecedented”.


The site will also be labelled as a protected archaeological area meaning it will remain preserved due to its “high scientific and heritage value”.

It is set to be the biggest, most costly, and most complex recovery mission completed underwater of all time.

Despite a number of sources debating the exact value of the sunken treasures, it is thought to be worth at least £12.5billion with some guesses catapulting the figure way past £20billion.

Navy researcher Captain Alexandra Chadid explained that after three centuries of being submerged in the sea, most of the treasure would have undergone physical and chemical changes.

Meaning the primary objective of the mission isn’t just to recover the items but to do it safely with them all staying intact.

The biggest fears are that due to the chemical differences the items may disintegrate when pulled out of the water.

Back in 2017, the Colombian Navy sent a remotely operated vehicle to a depth of 3,100ft to assess the wreckage.

Incredible images showed gold pieces, cannons and perfectly preserved Chinese porcelain cups scattered across the San Jose.

Trinkets were seen twinkling under the light of the cameras as bronze cannons, swords, and clay vessels were spotted on the seafloor.

Historians dubbed it the “holy grail” because it was carrying one of the largest amounts of treasure ever lost at sea.

What happened to the San Jose Galleon?

The San Jose was part of a fleet carrying jewels, precious metals and 11 million gold and silver coins from Spain’s South America colonies.

The cargo was destined to help Spain’s King Philip V fund his war against Britain.

But the British weren’t the only ones with their eyes on the galleons.

Frequent voyages by Spanish treasure ships had led to a golden age of piracy — with raiders sinking more than 1,000 Spanish ships off the coast of Colombia during three centuries of colonial rule.

The San José’s 600-strong crew knew the voyage would be fraught with danger.

But they were barely 16 miles out when they were tracked down by English

Commodore Charles Wager, in command of four British ships including HMS Expedition.

Wager’s plan was to seize the San José, the largest ship in the fleet.

But before it could be boarded, something went terribly wrong and the San José blew up.

Writing in his log, Wager described an explosion so intense that he could feel the heat from his own ship.

He wrote: “I believe the ship’s side blew out, for she caused a sea that came in our ports.

“She immediately sank with all her riches.”

Global fight for gold

Despite Colombia working on the ambitious mission to rescue the San Jose now, a fierce debate over who actually deserves the treasures on board has been ongoing for decades.

Due to this insane amount of riches sitting untouched a legal battle over who has the rights to the treasure started up.

A row between Spain, Bolivia and Colombia sparked fury over who owned the precious booty.

Spain claimed it as theirs as the San Jose was one of their ships when it sunk.

But Bolivia’s indigenous Qhara Qhara nation believes it’s theirs as they were forced to mine the precious metals on board by the Spanish.

But, Colombia has taken the lead in the race for the gold as they classed it as part of its cultural heritage as it was found in their territorial waters.

Another reason why Colombia led the hunt is as they claim to be the only ones who know exactly where it lies.

In 1981, US company Glocca Morra claimed it discovered the lost treasure as they gave Colombia its location in return for a big reward.

They were allegedly promised half of whatever was found and sold on but in 2015 Colombia announced they had found the wreck in a different spot and kept it quiet.

Glocca Morra — now called Sea Search Armada – sued the government as they think they are being unfairly left out of the hunt.

Under the US-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement, the company are asking for either half of the treasures or $10billion, according to Bloomberg.

The lawsuit values the treasure at anywhere between £3.1-£16billion.

Colombian Minister of Culture, Juan David Correa, described the expedition as ‘unprecedented’
AFP
AFP

The Colombian Navy managed to get images of the treasures by sending a remote controlled camera 3,100ft down[/caption]

AFP

Much of the treasure would have gone through chemical changes in the past 300 years making the recovery operation tougher than usual[/caption]

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