Faithlife Sermons

Mel Fisher's Treasure


A pioneer in scuba diving, he became fascinated by buried treasure in the ocean. After spending several years discovering treasure from a Spanish treasure fleet that sunk in 1715, he became fascinated with the much richer promise of a Spanish treasure fleet that sank in 1622 in the Florida Keys. So in 1968 he began to search for the lost 1622 fleet.  He moved to Key West and lived in a house boat.

By 1971, the trail picked up.A young underwater photographer who had just joined the crew, discovered an 8-1/2 foot gold chain. It was not until two years later that Mel's son Kane found a silver bar inscribed with numbers that matched the Spanish manifest of the sunken boats. Over the next two years there were more finds large and small, valuable and ordinary, but not the mother lode.

On July 13, 1975, Mel's oldest son Dirk found 5 bronze cannons from the Atocha, but a week later tragedy struck. A salvage boat capsized during the night and Dirk, his wife Angel passed away. Over the next ten years, more exciting discoveries were made, including thousands of gold coins, magnificent jewelry, and in 1980 a large section of one of the 1622 boats, the Santa Margarita. The main cargo for the Atocha, however the Motherlode still eluded Mel and his team. They kept searching.

On Memorial Day weekend in 1985, 17 years after they began looking, they found a cache of 13 gold bars, 4 pieces of gold jewelry set with emeralds, a gold chain, and numerous coins.  On July 20, a magnetometer contact indicated a large target on the seabed. Divers went down and discovered  a reef of silver bars! During the next two years they uncovered the rest of the wreck.

Some estimates of the wreck’s value were set at a half a billion dollars. Among the discoveries were 127,000 silver coins; more than 900 silver bars averaging nearly 70 pounds apiece; more than 700 high-quality emeralds and roughly 2,500 lighter stones; over 250 pounds of gold bars, discs, bits, and lengths of heavy gold chain; and hundreds of items of jewelry, silverware, crucifixes, and gold coins.

Mel Fisher spent 19 years, living out of a houseboat, braving sharks and storms, lost the life of one of his sons, just to find a buried treasure here on earth. Jesus said, that the kingdom of heaven is worth infinitely more, and those who know where the treasure lies joyfully abandon everything else to secure it. Are you abandoning everything for a treasure that will last for eternity?


Related Media
Related Illustrations