The Nuestra Senora de Atocha was the richest Spanish Galleon ever to have sunk in the western hemisphere. The Atocha's manifest listed over 47 tons of registered silver and gold, but estimates of the smuggled emeralds still being found on this ship are expected to exceed even the registered cargo. These valuable treasures, plundered from the New World by the Kingdom of Spain, was intended to bolster their world dominance through their naval armada. But instead, a ferocious hurricane would take the treasure galleons in this fleet of 28 ships to the bottom of the Florida Straits and set in motion Spain's spiraling downfall as a world economic power. Although the Spaniards continued to search for this lost wealth for over 50 years before abandoning them, they were unsuccessful in ever recovering the Atocha. The lost treasures of 1622, with their already legendary cargo of magnificent riches, would, over the centuries, slip into folk lure. It would take Mel Fisher, a former chicken farmer turned deep-sea explorer, over sixteen years of searching while encountering countless setbacks including modern day pirates, government intervention and the loss of his oldest son and daughter-in-law, before the richest sunken treasures in history would ever again see the light of day. The search for the Atocha would become one of the 20th century's most epic adventure story's that would ultimately catapult Mel Fisher into the realm of National Folk-Hero. Now for the first time, in a magnificent pictorial, you can follow the adventure, search and recovery of this fabulous Atocha expedition from its humble beginnings to its incredible ending with over 100, many never before seen photographs- along with a very personal behind the scenes insight into the Fisher Family's triumphs, treasures and tragedies which led to the largest sunken treasure find in history. Join us in the search that re-lives what Mel Fisher himself described as, The Fun, Romance & Adventure of this truly amazing adventure story!
By Pat Clyne