Sub Finds 'Holy Grail Of Shipwrecks' With Treasure Worth Billion - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

News

Sub Finds 'Holy Grail Of Shipwrecks' With Treasure Worth Billions

Posted: Updated:
Image courtesy of CBS News. Image courtesy of CBS News.

A 310-year-old Spanish shipwreck carrying treasure that might be worth up to $17 billion was discovered with the help of an underwater robot. It's called the Remus 6000 and it can dive nearly four miles and is loaded with sensors and cameras. 

Bronze cannons confirmed "the holy grail of shipwrecks" had been found at the bottom of the Caribbean Sea. They are engraved with dolphins – a telltale sign they belong to the Spanish galleon San Jose, lost more than 300 years ago.

CBS News

"I just sat there for about 10 minutes and smiled," said Jeff Kaeli, a research engineer with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Kaeli was alone in his bunk on the search vessel when he spotted the cannons.

"I'm not a marine archaeologist, but...I know what a cannon looks like. So in that moment, I guess I was the only person in the world who knew we'd found the shipwreck," he said. 

The exact location of the wreckage is still a secret, but it was discovered in November 2015 off the coast of Cartagena, Colombia. Its cargo of gold, silver, and emeralds could be worth as much as $17 billion.

The Remus 6000, operated by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Massachusetts, found the ship almost 2,000 feet below the surface. The underwater robot scanned the sea floor using long-range sonar then went back and took pictures of any objects that seemed out of the ordinary.

"You can take bigger risks with your technology and go to places where it wouldn't be safe or feasible to put a human being," Kaeli said. 

The Remus used the same methods to find Air France Flight 447, which crashed off the coast of Brazil in 2009.

British warships sunk the San Jose and its crew of 600 in 1701. For now, all of its treasure remains underwater.  Working with the Colombian government, the Woods Hole team also found artifacts like teacups and ceramic jugs.

"Everyone is focused on the treasure aspect….The whole thing is a cultural treasure. It's a piece of history that's sitting on the sea floor that tells a story," Kaeli said.  

The wreck has been shrouded in secrecy because of lingering questions about who owns it.

Colombia and Spain both say it belongs to them. The researchers at Woods Hole say they are explorers, not treasure hunters, and are not involved in the ownership disputes.

Special Features

Live Traffic

Get the latest road conditions on Green Country roadways.

iPhone App

Get breaking news, weather, sports & video directly on your iPhone.

CBS Shows

Watch your favorite CBS shows for free online.

Links

Looking for a website or event you heard mentioned on News On 6? Find it here!

TV Schedule

Need to know what's on TV? Check out our television schedule.

Live Radar

WARN Interactive

Special Coverage

  • Bridge Tracker

    How safe are Oklahoma's bridges? Use Bridge Tracker to find out now.

  • Fallen Heroes

    News On 6 honors our fallen Oklahoma heroes. View our interactive timeline.

  • Murrah Bombing Timeline

    Learn more about the events leading up to and following the bombing.

  • Storm Zone

    Watch tornadoes tear across Oklahoma and learn how to stay safe!

Powered by Frankly
News On 6
303 N. Boston Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74103
Newson6.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 KOTV. Oklahoma Traveler™ is a registered trademark of Griffin Communications. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.