Latest News 2011

Mel Fisher's Treasures Newsletter

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December 2011

Congratulations to Randy Morningstar of Sarasota Florida!

Margarita Pearls


He won our Win a Pearl contest at the Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show and is receiving an authentic shipwreck pearl from the Santa Margarita valued at $1,200.

Visit us at the Toronto Boat Show in January and the Miami Boat Show in February for another chance to enter, today's the day!

November 16, 2011

Scissors, Man-made artifacts found on Sterncastle Trail

Captain Andy Matroci came into the investor relations office today and gave us a first-hand account of his last trip on the Atocha trail. He was on site for 3 days before windy weather forced the Magruder back to port for a few days. Andy was working about 120 feet east of the discovery site of the Admiral's seal. While no high-end artifacts were found on this trip, the Magruder crew did find a large number of man-made artifacts that were once aboard the Atocha.

One of the coolest pieces to break water was a pair of scissors, shown below, before conservation, found by one of our investors, Ross Jacobs. Other artifacts found this trip include 2 silver coins, 2 pottery pieces, one that looks like the bottom of a bowl, 1 ballast stone, 1 square iron spike, used to hold the ship together and a half dozen encrusted objects, as yet unidentified. It is always good to see all these pieces coming on deck, confirming that we are still in a hot area of new discoveries.



Today, Wednesday, we have had a break in the windy weather, allowing Captain Matroci and his talented crew to be back on the Atocha site, excavating holes in the ocean floor.

November 2, 2011

Weather Permitting - Magruder Back on Atocha Sterncastle Trail, Dare on the Margarita 


JB Magruder

After two weeks of wind and rain things have started to dry out but the wind continues. As soon as we have a good weather window Captain Andy and his crew will take advantage of it. The Magruder and her crew will position themselves about 100 feet east of where they found the bronze seal belonging to Admiral Pasquier, the most senior officer in the 1622 fleet. The Admiral's seal was just recently found by Captain Andy himself, in September, 2011, and is believed to have come from the sterncastle section of the Atocha.

The last 5 holes Captain Andy and his crew have excavated in this part of the Atocha trail have all produced at least one silver coin. This is the same part of the trail that has given us, this year, the gold rosary, gold bar and the 9-carat emerald ring.

We believe that more of the Admiral's belongings and other artifacts from other sterncastle-quartered passengers will be in this area and we are chomping at the bit to get out there and find it! What amazing artifacts will come up next?

The Dare will continueto identify mag hits at the Northern end of the Margarita site. This area is in line with the Stern Castle of the Margarita which we found in 1980. Somewhere between these two points we believe we will find the main pile of the Margarita, which we expect on our research of the Margarita's Manifest and the Spaniards salvage records will contain up to 80,000 silver coins.

October 20, 2011
Gold Bars, Atocha, MSNBC Story


Sport divers go deep for trinkets and treasure...

Sport divers go deep for trinkets and treasure

Follow the link to the travel section
article about Mel Fisher's Treasures, and find out
how you can dive with the pros!


Click here to read story featured on

October 19, 2011

7 More Atocha Silver Coins Found!  Interview with Captain Andy Matroci

Andy Matroci

Captain Andy Matroci has the crew of the Magruder working the new sterncastle trail, about one mile north of the Bank of Spain. Seven more silver coins hit the deck this past week, adding to the growing cache of sterncastle-like artifacts we have found recently.

Everybody here at the home office is excited about the new trail, even Captain Matroci, who has a history of finding lots of treasure, including playing a big role in finding the Mother Lode of the Atocha back in 1985. It takes a really hot trail to get Matroci excited, but the Admiral's seal, the rosary, the gold bar and the 9-carat emerald ring has him speculating about what the next excavation will uncover. More of the Admiral's possessions? More gold chain from the wealthy passengers? More of the coveted dark green Muzo emeralds being smuggled?

Matroci talked about his upcoming trip to the Atocha site, to the hot spot of the trail. Of course, there are no guarantees, he said. This is a treasure hunt, and through the years we have had our expectations high, only to be disappointed.

This new trail has grown over the past few months, Matroci continued. Now, the area from the rosary to the bronze Admiral's seal is about 1000 feet. This has been a very productive area, producing the gold bar, the emerald ring, the Admiral's seal, almost 100 silver coins, plus pieces of lesser value - the 4 gunpowder flasks, the intact olive jar, 2 silver spoons, lots of EOs. We found at least one silver coin in the last 5 holes we excavated last week.

To me, the most exciting find was the bronze seal. It was not gold or sexy, but it just had so much history attached to it; plus it identified the actual person it belonged to, and he was the highest ranking person in the whole fleet! It got me thinking, did the emerald ring also belong to the Admiral? What about the rosary? And what else will we find nearby? I think we will see emeralds and gold coins soon, probably gold chain, since all the wealthy people onboard had gold chain. The Admiral was living in the sterncastle. Where would he hide his valuables on the ship? Most likely in his own cabin, with a lock on the door.

Back before we found the mother lode, Mel Fisher would talk to us about emeralds. He said, when you find the main pile, you should also find emeralds. Mel said he saw a letter dated 1623 from a man who was being prosecuted in Spain for smuggling a few emeralds on one of the ships. He said, why are you upset with me, when last year I helped the Admiral on the Atocha smuggle 60 pounds of emeralds?

But here's what I think about when I excavate a new hole on the ocean floor and send my divers down into that hole. I daydream while I'm working on my charts, thinking about what we might find, and why. I try to analyze it, bringing some reason behind why I decide to work a certain area. And that's why this new trail gets me excited. The next hole we excavate could blow our minds.

October 12, 2011

Admiral's Seal in Original Colors Found in Archive

The now-famous bronze seal of Admiral Pasquier of the 1622 fleet has been further researched by our archeologist and the color version has been located. This beautiful artifact was found on the Atocha trail by the crew of the Magruder on September 10, 2011. It belonged to Don Pedro Pasquier y de Esparza, the most senior officer of the 28-ship fleet, who had his quarters on the Atocha near the Captain's quarters in the sterncastle section of the ship.

The sterncastle is the upper rear structure of a Spanish galleon where the passengers and senior officers lived during their passage back to Spain. This section of the Atocha has never been found and it is now the focus of our search for the remaining treasure. We believe that the remaining cargo of the Atocha is worth several hundred million dollars. Most of that treasure will be in the sterncastle.

Mel Fisher's Treasures Seal

The 2011 Division Party Theme

Investor's Division Week - May 21-27, 2012
The theme for this year's Investors Division Party is Shipwrecked! During this week of events investors from around the globe come to Key West to receive their share of all the treasure found during the previous year. The week culminates with a costumed extravaganza on Saturday May 26th at the Casa Marina Resort on the beach with live entertainment and very "Shipwrecked" décor.

This is simply to serve as an official announcement for the date and theme for this year's division party. Please do not call to make your reservations for any Division Week appointments. An official invitation will be emailed to you soon.

* Remember - there will be a $2,400 Atocha coin awarded for best costume!

Magruder and Dare on Atocha and Margarita Sites

Both of our salvage vessels, the Magruder and the Dare, are on-site today. Seas are unusually calm here in the lower keys for this time of year. The Magruder is working the Atocha trail near the area where we just found the Admiral's seal, the 9-carat emerald ring, the gold bar and rosary. They already found a coin, a ball lock and some EOs today. We are now calling this the "Sterncastle Trail."
The seas on the northeast coast of Florida are still too big for the Dare to do survey work for the Lost Merchant shipwreck, so today, the Dare is working the northern part of the Margarita trail. Gary Randolph points out that this area is promising because it has a large cluster of significant magnetometer hits (one reads 32 gammas) that have not been worked yet.

Margarita Chart, Mel Fisher's Treasures

October 7, 2011

Hello again!

Kim Fisher

Our summer season is coming to an end, and oh what a summer it was! We located more of what I like to call, "Top Shelf" artifacts than any year in recent history-gold bars, emerald rings, unique silver artifacts, including two silver spoons (these were found in my son Sean's mouth), and one of my personal favorites, the 4-foot gold rosary. Thanks again for all of your support because without it we would not be able to bring all of this history back to life.

Next, I'd like to update everyone on our progress in the hunt for the Lost Merchant shipwreck. Over the summer we began surveying our search area with the Dare. She has made trips back and forth from Key West up to the wreck site which, as you know, is located off the northern coast of Florida (sorry, but we can't get more specific than that; you've got to hold your cards close in treasure hunting!). Since the wreck site is so far to the North, we've been dodging hurricanes and just plain bad weather all season up there. While most of the storms didn't make landfall they did wreak havoc on the seas and we have been experiencing 4 to 6-foot swells for some time now, which is too rough for us to work in safely, and makes it impossible to do survey work in.

Amazingly even under these circumstances we have been able to survey 40 square nautical miles of the ocean floor. From this survey we got several targets. We identified 8 of those targets and one of them was an early 20th century wooden hulled fishing vessel. This target fit the profile of the Lost Merchant - a large wooden sailing vessel, but it proved very hard to locate as we were diving with about 2 inches of visibility! While we haven't located our intended target yet, all systems are go and all our equipment is working well. Should we get a decent weather window sometime through the winter, we will head up and attempt to get some more survey work done. Unfortunately, unlike our year-round treasure hunting season in tropical Key West, our working season on the Lost Merchant site is far more limited. So it is likely that we won't be able to get back up there until next season. We will be putting a password protected web page up on that will be dedicated to the Lost Merchant. Please use this as a resource to see what we have done thus far and what we are looking at doing next. It will have a number of interactive ways to keep track of the project, including site maps showing where we’ve surveyed and what we have left, a blog that will be updated regularly during operational periods and more.

In the meantime, we will take this opportunity to rebuild the center engine on the Dare and get her back to treasure hunting on the site of the Santa Margarita.

Next week we'll be releasing the dates and themes for our annual Investor's Division Week, which will be here before we know it! I can't wait to see everyone and divvy up the booty!

Today's the Day!

Kim Fisher

Kim Fisher, CEO

October 4, 2011


Bronze Seal's Owner Identified, Admiral of Fleet, Quartered in Sterncastle, 5 More Silver Coins Found!

Our Historian and Archeologist have positively identified the owner of the recently-found bronze seal. It belonged to the Admiral of the entire 1622 fleet, Don Pedro Pasquier y de Esparza. There is no doubt that he had his quarters on the ship near the Captain's quarters in the sterncastle section of the ship.

Admiral Seal


This is exciting news! It gives more credence to our working theory that the other 3 gold and emerald artifacts we recently found were also from the sterncastle. The 4-foot gold rosary (found in March, 2011), the 2-pound gold bar (found in April, 2011) and the 9-carat emerald ring (found in July, 2011) all line up on our recovery chart. The Admiral's bronze seal continues that line on our chart, and now, we have identified the actual person it belonged to - the most senior officer in the fleet!


We believe we are on the edge of finding the sterncastle!

Needless to say, the Magruder will be back on the sterncastle trail this week, expecting more significant finds, including more of the Admiral's possessions and the really big emeralds believed to be kept in the Captain's quarters of the Atocha.

Five more silver coins were recovered by the Magruder crew last week.


September 21, 2011

29 Atocha Emeralds Found by Investors During Emerald City Week

Big emeralds were the talk of the town this past week, with cell phone photos being passed around to prove the size of each find. The biggest emerald was about 5 carats, with another handful in the 2 - 4 carat range. Many were the beautiful blue/green color, so typical of Muzo emeralds.

With all our investors in Key West for their trip out to Emerald City, we had 2 impromptu parties, one on Tuesday during sunset at the Boathouse Bar at the Key West Bight. This was the day when some of the biggest emeralds were found by investors Kamala Shaddock and Pat Williams, so the party was punctuated by photos, bragging rights and infectious high energy, especially for those investors who were going out to the Atocha site the next day.

Then on Friday evening, the Mel Fisher staff and visiting investors, a lively group of about 40, got together at the La Concha Hotel on Duval Street to view a new TV special made by a Miami TV station. The TV crew was actually on the Atocha site the day the 9-carat emerald ring was found. That kind of excitement and genuine facial expressions can't be re-enacted. It was a great show. Look for it on our web site soon.

Emerald Sifting on the Atocha






Emerald Sifting





  Sept, 2011 -- WPLG Local 10 will be airing a special on the June 2011 discovery of the Atocha Emerald Ring

Miami news station WPLG Local 10 will be airing a special on the June 2011 discovery of the Atocha Emerald Ring. The crew happened to be on the boat the day the divers recovered the ring and they have some incredible footage. They are very excited about the piece and have said it is the best one they have done. If you are in South Florida tune in at 8:30 PM Friday on channel 10. Anyone in Key West - we are gathering at the La Concha Hotel restaurant bar on Duval St. at 8PM where we'll be able to order food and drinks and watch the show on their two flat screen televisions. We have many investors in town sifting for emeralds this week so join us!

Click here to see the video 

September 2011

Bronze Seal from Atocha Found – Large Emeralds Found by Investor during Emerald City Week

Capt. Andy

Last week on the Atocha site proved, once again, that we are on the right trail.  Captain Andy and the Magruder crew went out on Friday and were able to dive a couple of days before they moved to Emerald City. In those two days they found two EOs (encrusted objects), two silver coins and an extraordinary artifact – a bronze seal in exceptional condition. 

The oval-shaped seal was found about 200 yards south of where we found the 9-carat emerald ring in July, 2011. This seal is a very important piece since it was found right along the same line as the gold rosary, the gold bar, and the beautiful emerald ring. There is a crest on it which may identify the owner and could possibly confirm that this is also the owner of the emerald ring.  It is another clue towards uncovering one of the many mysteries of the Atocha.





Captain Andy described the seal to us over the radio: “It is about one inch wide and 2 inches tall, with an intricate design around the outside edges.  There are two four-legged animals that look like llamas standing next to each other and a tropical tree, possibly a palm tree.  Other parts of the design include 3 arrows pointing upwards and a thick line similar to the icon on the silver coins that represents Austria.  This is a fabulous find, in great condition!” Matroci added.

Seals like this one were typically used to stamp their identifying mark into hot wax on a letter or official document.

Emerald City Update

At the moment, some of our adventurous investors are out on the site sifting for emeralds. The biggest emerald found so far is about 4 or 5 carats! A 3-4 carat emerald was found by investor Kamala Shaddock and a 2 carat one was found by investor Pat Williams. We will let you know in next week's email how everybody else did.

  Emeralds Found!   Emeralds  

Atocha, Margarita and Lost Merchant - Summer Treasure Hunting in Full Swing

Mel Fisher Expeditions is currently working 3 shipwreck sites on a daily basis - the Atocha and the Santa Margarita in the waters near Key West, and the Lost Merchant in north Florida.

Captain Dan Porter of the Blue Water Rose salvage vessel just returned from sea with dozens of artifacts from the Santa Margarita, including a pewter plate (tin & lead), many pieces of lead sheathing used to protect the wooden hull of the ship from teredo worms (tiny saltwater clams), and lots of iron EOs (encrusted objects.) 

The most important Margarita find this week was the neck of an earthenware jar called a Tinajas.  This large, globular, flat-bottomed, almost heart-shaped jar was used to store water around the ship for the long voyage back to Spain.  Mel Fisher divers have nicknamed these big jars "Ali Baba jars" a reference to the fictional character from medieval Arabic literature.



Example of intact Tinajas

Olive Jar

Olive Jar also found


Hot Atocha Trail continues...

Captain Andy and the crew of the Magruder continue to bring up treasure from the same area of the Atocha trail that has produced the gold rosary, the gold bar and the enormous emerald ring we just found last week.  Found this week are 13 silver coins, a cannon ball, a large olive jar neck and shoulder, two silver spoons, a silver lid (possibly to a jewelry box), multiple silver encrusted objects, and dozens of iron spikes and pottery sherds.  


Emerald Ring

Emerald Ring


When the rosary, gold bar and emerald ring are plotted on a chart, they line up in a straight line, leading us to believe they came from the same section of the Atocha, as she broke up in the second hurricane of 1622.  The Magruder is excavating holes in the ocean floor in a systemic way, following this straight line of found artifacts. What lies ahead?  Virgin territory, a part of the Atocha trail that has never been explored before.

Large Emerald ring found!!!

Congratulations investors! Captain Andy Matroci radioed to headquarters in Key West today with news of a great find - an enormous emerald ring. This is the largest emerald box ring I have ever seen from the Atocha, "Matroci said from the Marguder.The more I look at it, the more valuable it becomes!"


Captain Andy Matroci explains, These artifacts were recovered within 300 feet of where the gold rosary and gold bar were found earlier this year. It is exciting because we are moving into virgin territory, an area of the Atocha Trail that has never been worked.

Sean Fisher, Vice President of Mel Fisher's Treaures, was on board when the ring was discovered and said, This is the most significant artifact I have personally seen them bring out of the water. Today is a good day for investors!

The nature of the artifact is very encouraging in the search for the remaining half of the Atocha. These types of ornate artifacts were likely owned by a member of aristocracy and would have been stored in the sterncastle of the ship. We can see the letters VRC engraved in the band of this ornate ring, most likely representing the owner of the ring.

Other finds today include two silver spoons, 4 silver coins, and two silver encrusted objects (one looks like a lid to a box and the other like a broach). This area has proven to be a rich source of treasure finds, raising speculation that these might be the first artifacts from the long-sought-after sterncastle of the Atocha.

24 Emeralds Found During Division Week

Our investors found 24 Atocha emeralds at the “Emerald City” site last week, sifting from the back of the salvage vessel JB Magruder. For 7 days, eight investors per day went out to the Atocha wreck site for a day of searching for and finding emeralds. We had one diver at the ocean bottom, operating our “airlift” suction device to bring the sand, shells and emeralds up to the back of the boat. The largest emerald found last week was ¼ karat, worth about $4,500. All the Atocha emeralds are from the Muzo mine in Colombia, South America.

During the daytime hours last week our Investor Relations team held one–hour meetings with each investor. This is where our investors received their share of the treasure found during the year 2010. Each evening, Mel Fishers hosted numerous fun events and gatherings where our investors could relax and get to know each other and enjoy Key West – a sunset sail, a scavenger hunt, tricycle races and classic movies of Mel Fisher’s adventures.

The high point of the week was our Saturday Night Extravaganza – a beautiful costume party on the grounds of the Waldorf Astoria Casa Marina Hotel in Key West, on the south lawn beside the ocean. An 11-piece Latin band provided energetic music for our 200 happy partners and their families. The gourmet food was delicious and the fanciful Cuban decorations and vintage 50s-era cars set the mood for a celebration of the past year of treasure hunting.

For those of you who weren’t able to attend the festivities, your division letters will be mailed to you by the end of June. Please call your IR representative to discuss options once you receive them.

Here are some photos of the events of Division Week.

Division Week

Division Week

Division Week

Division Week

Click link to go to more photos!

    UPDATE! March, 2011 -- Magruder brings in Treasure!
    Shipwreck salvors find antique gold chain

KEY WEST, Fla. -- Shipwreck salvors Friday evaluated a centuries-old 40-inch gold chain recovered from the sea floor during the search for a 17th-century sunken Spanish galleon off the Florida Keys.

The chain, bearing an enameled gold cross and two-sided engraved religious medallion, is believed to be from the Nuestra Senora de Atocha, which sank approximately 35 miles west of Key West during a 1622 hurricane. It was discovered by Bill Burt, a diver for Mel Fisher's Treasures seeking the Atocha's sterncastle.

 Read more and see photos here...

    In the News 2010
    Click here
    January, 2010 -- Sharon Wiley
    Ron Shore
    November, 2009 -- Sharon Wiley
    USA Today
    September, 2009 -- Sharon Wiley
    Gold Reliquary Makes Front Page News
    July, 2009 -- Sharon Wiley
    Today Show films with Mel Fisher’s Treasures!
    July 2009 -- Sharon Wiley
     Mel's Hands on the Move.
    June 2009 -- Sharon Wiley
     Artifact Check-In.
    May 2009 -- Sharon Wiley
     Mel Fisher's Treasures to assist in sinking the Vandenburg!
    April, 2009 -- Sharon Wiley
    Prince Sean in the News!
    April, 2009 -- Sharon Wiley
    Gary Hepburn Speaks to Metal Detecting Group!
    January, 2009 -- Ron Pierson
    17 New Friends in Olathe, KS!
    November, 2008 -- Sharon Wiley
    November, 2008 -- Sharon Wiley
    Captain Tony!
    October, 2008 -- Sharon Wiley
    Film Crew!
    June, 2008 -- Ron Pierson
    Mel's Story still Inspires!
    June, 2008 -- Sharon Wiley
    Atocha Visitor!
    May, 2008 -- Sharon Wiley
    Atocha/ Margarita 2007 Division!
    April, 2008 -- Sharon Wiley
    Adjudication 2007!
    April, 2008 -- Gary Randolph
    Dare Work!
    February, 2008 -- Sharon Wiley
    Taffi Fisher-Abt on GMA
    January, 2008 -- Sharon Wiley
    Post Electrolysis Conservation
    December 20, 2007 -- Sharon Wiley
    Pearl Update!
    December 3, 2007 -- Sharon Wiley
    The Dare Receives a Huge Lift!
    December 2, 2007 -- Sharon Wiley
    Lower Keys Medical Center Performs CAT Scans!
    October 25, 2007 -- Sharon Wiley
    The Conservation Process
    October 10, 2007 -- Sharon Wiley
    Interesting Artifacts Abound!
    September 15, 2007 -- Sharon Wiley
    Mel Fisher's Treasures Bike Wash!
    August 15, 2007 -- Sharon Wiley
    Mel Fisher's Treasures to "Go Deep"!
    July 12, 2007 -- Sharon Wiley
    Pearls Update: Assistance Requested From GIA!
    June 15, 2007 -- Sharon Wiley
    Blue Water Ventures Finds Gold!
    March 15, 2007 -- Sharon Wiley
    Montessori Elementary Students Visit Mel Fisher's!
    March 08, 2007 -- Sharon Wiley
    Mel Fisher's Middle School Visit!
    February 26, 2007 -- Sharon Wiley
    Miami Boat Show Appearance
    January 30, 2007 -- Sharon Wiley
    Magruder Makeover!
    December 13, 2006 -- Gary Randolph
    Cannon Unvailed!
    December 1, 2006 -- Sharon Wiley
    DEMA Cocktail Party at the Palms!
    September 28, 2006 -- Sharon Wiley
    Investors Donate Atocha Arquebus Barrel!
    September 27, 2006 -- Sharon Wiley
    The Dare Showcased on Telemundo!
    August 22, 2006 -- Sharon Wiley
    Comcast Spends a Day on the JB Magruder!
    July 31, 2006 -- Sharon Wiley
    Former Florida Governor Bob Martinez Visit!
    July 19, 2006 -- Sharon Wiley
    Monroe County School Recieves AED!
    July 24, 2006 -- Susan Rowe (Panama Foreign Correspondent)
    Mel Fisher days in Panama!
    July 10, 2006 -- Ron Pierson
    Deo Visits the Mel Fisher's Crew!
    June 15, 2006 -- Ron Pierson
    Shocking News!!! Sean Fisher -- ARRESTED!
    For a good cause.
    June 7, 2006 -- Sharon Wiley
    Mel Fisher's Crew and Investors to appear on Travel Channel
    May 17, 2006 -- Sharon Wiley
    Dateline NBC interviews J.B. Magruder Crew
    April 28, 2006 -- Sharon Wiley
    Mel Fisher's to air on Tonight Show with Jay Leno July 13, 2006
    October 7, 2004 -- Elishea Strickland
    Bid Adieu and an Auspicious Welcome
    September 3, 2003 -- Jean Thornton
    A First Visit to an 1800's Shipwreck

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