14 September 2007

Arrrrrrrg... Buried Treasure in Arthur Kill?

In 1903, a barge carrying about 8,000 silver bars belonging to the Guggenheim family spilled the precious cargo in the Arthur Kill, a busy shipping channel between Staten Island and NJ.

Most of the silver bars were recovered, but it's believed about 1,400 bars are still beneath the water. Each bar worth about $6,000 to $7,000 each.

"Now Aqua Survey, an NJ company which specialises in environmental research and (uh, lost treasure bounty hunting) is trying to locate them, using advanced technology to map the waters." Oh yeah, I bet.

The silver bars were being taken from the Port of New York to the Guggenheims' smelting facility in Perth Amboy when the cargo went overboard some 100 years ago.

A rogue five-member team was out last week in a small boat in the harbour's Story's Flats, just north of the Outerbridge Crossing and south of the Arthur Kill landfill on Staten Island. They probed the murky bottom, but only came up with thick mud and sediment they've nicknamed "black mayonnaise.'' Oh, yum!

Ken Hayes, president of the Kingwood-based company, said they do not fancy themselves treasure hunters but rather scientists with curiosity. Surrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrre. $980,0000 worth of curiosity!

The team has used advanced global positioning software, electromagnets and sonar equipment to locate about 270 potential targets. The software is designed to locate silver but not iron, making the search easier -- "though we could also just find a car battery,'' Hayes said as he piloted a motorboat on the relatively calm water last week.

staten island pirate

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