Author(s): Gary Kinder
The riveting true account of the search for one of the world's most fabled shipwrecks, leading to the recovery of over half a billion dollars' worth of gold and the astonishing scientific breakthroughs that established man's first working presence in the deep ocean. In September 1857 the side-wheel steamer SS 'Central America', carrying 500 passengers and tons of gold from the California Gold Rush, sank in a hurricane 200 miles off the Carolina coast. Lost in legend for more than a century, its tragic story resurfaced in 1989 when Tommy Thompson, an ocean engineer, sailed into Norfolk harbour with over ten tons of pioneer gold. Using oceanography, computers and probability theory to sift through historical records and penetrate the ocean depths, Thompson's team had recovered, as LIFE magazine put it, 'the greatest treasure ever found'. This superb book is, firstly, a finely researched historical record of the initial disaster. It is also a chronicle of the technological breakthroughs in which deep-sea robots were developed to perform all sorts of tasks one and half miles below the surface. Finally, it is a terrifically exciting adventure story, telling how scientists and engineers battled storms, technological challenges and intrusive salvagers to find one of the world's greatest lost treasures. A superb non-fiction adventure story.