Pirate Hunters

Treasure, Obsession, and the Search for a Legendary Pirate Ship

Robert Kurson

The idea of leaving¬† your day job and mundane life and heading out to sea to find pirate treasure can sound like a pipe dream. But there really are people whose business is to search for lost treasure. For centuries, the only way of conveying wealth was to literally transport valuables like gold and gems via ship. A myriad of reasons, including storms, disease, mutinous crews, poor navigation, battles – not to mention pirates and privateers (state-sanctioned pirates) –¬† could sink a ship laden with treasure. There was no way of salvaging this treasure until mechanically assisted diving became a viable option centuries later.

John Chatterton and John Mattera are two such salvage experts. While they had numerous incredible finds, they became obsessed with finding an intact pirate ship, The Golden Fleece. Kurson follows them and documents the painstaking research that two do, the vast amount of personal wealth they need to commit, and the often miserable and tedious work of the actual search. While this book certainly takes some of the glamour out of treasure hunter, it provides a fascinating glimpse into what it actually takes to find these increasingly rare treasures.