Sunday, January 24, 2010

Undersea Explorer Part II

Just an FYI - the Undersea Explorer collection has 25 episodes... so be prepared for LOTS of these particular reviews. I promise to mix things up and not drone on forever.

Episode II - "Treasure Hunters"
First off, this program claims to cover: the discovery of the Atocha, Bermuda, the affects of saltwater on artifacts, the controversy over salvaging, and feature some treasures; that is just not plausible for a show that lasts less than an hour. The sites are interesting, and this is a great film if you are wanting to stir up a dialogue of controversy. Here are some, um, interesting things noted in the film:
  • Treasure hunter Mel Fisher discovered the Atocha, the "mother load" worth millions, and is still looking for more wrecks, in particular the Margharita
  • Henry Cox is an old salt who does his searching over coral reefs with his bare hands
  • These are often considered spectacular archaeological finds, but are treated as salvage expeditions
Are these "adventurers" greedy? Should they be considered grave robbers? Or are they salvaging/saving important parts of history? Think to how King Tutankhamen's tomb was ransacked and we still gleaned such valuable information about the culture... how should these historical sites that are lost without "treasure hunters" be treated once found?

But the documentary itself belongs on the History Channel, not Discovery, and bear that in mind while watching. It is way too short for the amount of material covered as well.
RATING: ~~ (2 waves out of 5); watch if you are bored

Take care and splashing in puddles isn't just for kids!

I have seen the Atocha exhibit as well, and the stuff is spectacular. I am fortunate enough to have found my own doubloon while spending time in the Florida Keys for a sea turtle rehabilitation internship. (I won't give the EXACT location, sorry) Just an FYI too- the crew that salvaged the Atocha used a system that blew the exhaust from their engines to remove the sand... and in the process scattered an estimated $50 million in emeralds all over the ocean floor.
Wanna go to Key West?

1 comment:

Andrea said...

My mom and I went to an Atocha exhibit at a jewelry store in Tulsa, do you remember them coming there? I can't remember the name of the store now. It had amazing and beautiful artifacts. And I don't know how to answer your question about treasure hunters. I suppose that there is a fine line that can easily be crossed; but the historian in me is fascinated and grateful that there are explorers out there to find these amazing sites.