Darrell Miklos appeared to finally prove that late astronaut Gordon Cooper had led him to a historic shipwreck on Tuesday night’s season finale of “Cooper’s Treasure.”
The treasure hunter was ecstatic when, during a dive, he and fellow adventurer Eric Schmitt found a huge anchor buried on the sea floor near the coast of Turks and Caicos.
“It’s a period anchor! Just absolutely stunning! It’s fully intact! I love it!” Miklos radioed to their boat captain after the stunning find.
Miklos was convinced it was from a 1500s’ era ship in which Christopher Columbus’ partner, Pinzon, made a journey without the famous explorer. Pinzon’s ship sank and Miklos believed the anchor was from that ship.
“It’s 500 years old. This could be worth millions,” Miklos raved on the finale episode of the Discovery Channel series.
As show viewers know, Miklos, who befriended the late Gordon “Gordo” Cooper, one of NASA’s seven original Mercury astronauts, said that Cooper had observed what he believed were shipwrecks from low Earth orbit. He used Cooper’s charts, photographs, and maps all season to guide him to possible wreck sites.
In the Turks and Caicos, Miklos finally thought he’d hit pay dirt.
He knew that he had to have an archeologist verify the anchor’s significance, but told the cameras, “This validates everything…where there’s an anchor there’s a shipwreck. Where there’s a shipwreck there’s treasure.”
Miklos’ original archeologist was ill and had to leave the voyage unexpectedly, so he had to recruit Jim Sinclair, who had dived for the Titanic years before, to join his team.
Miklos and Sinclair dove to the anchor site together to see if they could raise it.
The Pinzon wreck story matched where the anchor was found, making the treasure hunter excited.
Miklos said, “That anchor is telling a sad tale….leading me to a Christopher Columbus shipwreck.”
Sinclair agreed it looked promising, saying the anchor had a natural bend which was a hallmark of the early Spanish ship period.
Miklos’ team had to get a barge and a system of air bags as a way to raise the anchor because it weighed almost two tons.
The “Cooper’s Treasure” star was worried the old anchor could snap in two, but it was successfully lifted to the surface.
Miklos was thrilled when Sinclair said the anchor was “hand forged.”
The treasure hunter told his crew his research had shown that a ship on Columbus’ fleet had its anchor hit the bottom of the sea, the anchor broke, and they lost the ship.
“The question is where is the rest of the shipwreck?” Sinclair said.
Miklos said he believed there was lots of treasure to be found if they continued hunting in the area around the anchor—and following his late friend Cooper’s charts.
So will there be a “Cooper’s Treasure,” season two? Discovery hasn’t yet announced whether the show will be coming back.