Vero Beach mother, daughter team find solid gold bird statue from 1715 treasure fleet off Fort Pierce
Wednesday, 16 February 2011 07:33
<VERO BEACH — Bonnie Schubert couldn’t believe her eyes when, about 1,000 feet off Frederick Douglass Beach near Fort Pierce, she came face to face with a solid gold statue of a bird that had lain under the Atlantic Ocean exactly 295 years and 15 days.
“I remember asking myself, ‘Is this real?’” Schubert recalled Wednesday as the 5.5-inch-tall statue she found Aug. 15 was revealed to the public at her home in the Vero Shores neighborhood of Vero Beach.
“The Bird,” as it’s come to be known, is real all right.
So is it’s $885,000 appraised value.
The statue was aboard one of 11 Spanish ships laden with treasures from the New World that were bound from Havana to the court of King Phillip V before encountering a hurricane July 31, 1715, and sinking off the Treasure Coast.
Treasure from 1715 fleet found; new stakeholder hopes to bring up more
Wednesday, 16 February 2011 05:39
The Treasure Coast is living up to its moniker.
A gold-rimmed portrait necklace, several gold and silver coins and numerous artifacts from a 1715 Spanish fleet were discovered in about 10 feet of water June 19 just off Indian River Shores in Indian River County.
SEBASTIAN, Fla. - Brent Brisben is a real estate developer from Cincinnati who just became a full- fledged South Florida treasure hunter.
"It truly is the adventure of a lifetime so it was not a hard sell to convince me to move from Cincinnati, Ohio to Sebastian, Florida to take over the operation," he said.
Brisben and his father just bought out part of the territory owned by famed treasure hunter Mel Fisher – the man who discovered 40 tons of silver and gold on the Atocha wreck back in the 1980s.
Most of the waters surrounding Florida are managed by the state, and that goes for the treasure found there, too. But not the stretch from Melbourne to Stuart and down in the Keys. Mel Fisher fought a Supreme Court battle to win the exclusive rights to these waters.
The Fisher family decided to focus its efforts on the Atocha in the Keys, allowing Brisben to take over the search for the lost Spanish Fleet of 1715 and the "Queen's Jewels," wrecks that gave the Treasure Coast its name.