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Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea: The History and Discovery of the World's Richest Shipwreck Paperback – October 20, 2009
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Author Gary Kinder wisely lets the story of the Columbus-America Discovery Group, led by maverick scientist and entrepreneur Tommy Thompson, unfold without hyperbole. Kinder interweaves the tale of the Central America and her passengers and crew with Thompson's own story of growing up landlocked in Ohio, an irrepressible tinkerer and explorer even in his childhood days, and his progress to adulthood as a young man who always had "7 to 14" projects on the table or spinning in his head at any given moment. One of those projects would become the preposterous recovery of the stricken steamer, and the resourcefulness and later urgency with which the project would proceed is contrasted poignantly with the Central America's doomed battle in 1857 to stay afloat.
Thompson, who spent nearly a decade planning and organizing his recovery effort, emerges as one of the great unsung adventurers of these times (the technical innovations alone required for such a task produced a windfall for the scientific community and defined a new state of the art for deep-sea explorers and treasure hunters), and the story of the steamer's sinking is compelling enough to make any reader wonder why the Central America sinking isn't synonymous with shipwreck in this Titanic-happy age. --Tjames Madison --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Tommy Thompson has since published a coffee-table quality companion book, that shows numerous pictures and details of what he found. If anyone has read "Ship of Gold", this companion book is not to be missed! (can't think of the exact title offhand, but just search: Tommy Thompson)
This book would make a fine movie. I don't think a page went by without anything interesting going on. As a matter of fact I'm sure that by now a studio has bought the film rights.
And finally, this is the first book that comes to mind whenever anyone asks "Read any good books lately?" and is one that I wouldn't hesistate to give as a gift. Great, great stuff.
These survivor accounts alternate with the narrative of the life of young Tommy Thompson, a phenomenally inventive child who grew up in Ohio, studied engineering, became fascinated by the challenges of underwater engineering, and eventually worked for famed treasure hunter Mel Fisher, learning what kind of underwater equipment was needed but not available. In the early 1980s, Thompson, more interested in research than in treasure, decided to search for the SS Central America, with the backing of a group he convinced to underwrite his expedition. As the ship was thought to be in eight thousand feet of water, deeper than had ever been explored, Thompson would succeed only if he could design the necessary equipment.
The third story describes the search for the ship itself, a search which had two false starts before the site was finally located. Kinder develops almost unbearable tension as he describes how Thompson has to fend off rivals who are "treasure hunters," rather than scientists.Read more ›
First, the shipwreck. Anyone who, like myself, had ever visited the U.S. Naval Academy and watched plebes hopelessly trying to climb the impressive Herndon Monument will appreciate the true story of Capt. Herndon and his gallantry aboard the Central America, as he supervised rescue efforts to incredibly save the women and children in the deep Atlantic while valiantly remaining with his ship, laden with Gold Rush loot.
The other half of the story focuses on Thompson, a skilled engineer who managed to do something the United States Navy was unsuccessful doing, namely designing and building a workable, unmanned, deep sea salvage vessel. When one fully learns the difficulties presented in this task, and the monumental odds of even locating the Central America, the achievement becomes truly remarkable.
The book is not without its faults however. First, even though the salvage efforts struck gold in 1989, there were no photographs at all. I would've loved to have at least gotten a glimpse of the treasures brought from the ocean floor. ( I understand Thompson has now written a "coffee table" book which might be read as a companion to Kinder's book, complete with wonderful pictures).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love the book and the story. I periodically check up on Tommy Thompson. It is amazing how he accomplished salvaging the gold. There are many stories on the internet about him. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Jon Bordeaux
For me it was very interesting , That being said I was in the recovery business for many years and I was familiar with terms and tasked described in the book . Read morePublished 3 months ago by Steven G Kulp
Marvelous book - beautifully researched and eciotingly written. Worth reading!Published 3 months ago by David A. Kushner
I really enjoyed this book. I have always enjoyed hearing about lost treasures found. Especially the better written one's! Read morePublished 3 months ago by V P
Very well done. Great story of the sinking and even better of the recovery. Should be a must-read for all planners. Super good story. You couldn't make this stuff up.Published 4 months ago by Glenn A. Legge