Researchers have found a “gold mine” in the sunken San José off the coast of Colombia – a wreck with gold, silver and jewelry worth billions of dollars.
On June 8, 1708, the Spanish battleship San José, after a bloody battle with four British ships, caught fire and sank to the bottom of the ocean. The British knew that the ship was full of gold and silver, so they wanted to take a part, causing the crew of the San José to fight for hours. The treasure ship was dug in Peru and the gold and silver were intended to be used to aid the Spanish and French wars against Britain.
After a bloody battle with 4 British ships, San José caught fire, sank to the bottom of the ocean with 600 crew members and treasures of gold, silver, and jewelry worth about $ 19 billion at current gold and silver prices . According to the History TV channel, San José is known as the “holy grail of shipwrecks”, due to its huge treasures.
Jerry Lee, a treasure hunter with Global Explorations, said: “The San José shipwreck is currently in Panamanian waters – famously a piracy zone in western South America – and it was there. for a very long time, so she hoarded a lot of gold along with several other ships. All of these ships sailed for Cartagena, Colombia at the same time.”
Jeff Kaeli, an oceanographic engineer who led the team that explored the area where the San José sank, said the ship was carrying a lot of Mayan gold, silver and emeralds.
For more than 300 years after the battle, one of the greatest treasures that ever set sail remained a mystery. Everything changed in 2015 when the Colombian government commissioned marine archaeologists and the US Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to find the wreck. The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution had previously found the wreck of the Titanic in 1985.
The first attempt was fruitless. However, on a second expedition in late 2015, San José was finally discovered. It was a great day for archeology and history, but also sparked a much larger dispute over who was the rightful owner of what was left of the ship and its treasures.
Spain claims possession of the treasure because it is a shipwreck that belongs to it, while Colombia says the treasure is theirs because it is in their waters.
Anthropology and communications professor Tok Thompson notes a third argument for ownership, saying that the gold and silver were taken from the Inca Empire.
Treasure hunter John Mattera said the Colombian government “probably has the strongest claim to the wreck” because it lies within the country’s waters.
The San José and its vast gold and silver became one of the most sought-after ships and treasures in history. Divers have yet to recover the treasure due to the ongoing legal battle. While the dispute continues, much gold, silver, and treasures are being lost in the harsh saltwater environment of the seabed.