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Odyssey Marine Expedition’s eight-ton remotely operated vehicle (ROV), Zeus, is launched from the Odyssey Explorer, a 251-foot archaeological platform. Operators topside would direct the work of the ROV while it was deep on the ocean floor. hompson received two years in prison and a $250,000 fine for missing the 2012 hearing. The clock on that sentence won’t start until he answers questions about the whereabouts of 500 coins minted from bars of recovered gold with an estimated value of $2.5 million. He claims not to know where they are. While Thompson was on the lam, other court battles were going on to determine who had rights to bring up what remained of the treasure. The contract eventually was awarded to Odyssey Marine Exploration, which began opera-tions in April 2014. News releases on the company’s website say that by the end of the year it recovered more than 15,500 silver and gold coins, 45 gold ingots, gold dust, nuggets, jewelry and other artifacts worth “tens of millions of dollars.” Then, those efforts abruptly halted as yet more lawsuits made their way through the legal system. It’s uncertain just how much gold was recovered. Reports variously estimate the haul from $300 million to $500 million. There’s speculation that as much as $97 million more remains on the ocean floor, although McAfee doubts that. Thompson languishes in jail in Delaware County, Ohio. If there is anything left of the gold, it remains at the bottom of the sea. The court battles continue. It would be a shame if that became the enduring legacy of the tale of the lost and found ship of gold. McAfee hopes that is not the case. He is proud of his role in the expedition, and wants the focus off the gold and the greed and onto the incredible achievements — scientific and otherwise — of the team. “The opportunities I had, the people I worked with, it was absolutely terrific,” McAfee says. “I was promised $2.1 million to $2.3 million as my piece, and never saw anything and never will. I have no qualms whatsoever. I am satisfied with what I learned, and what I was able to do. On the technical side, it was a home run. On the business side, a dismal failure.” 42 Pelican Drive Waterfront 5 bedrooms, 6.5 baths, Wrightsville Beach with multiple boatslips. $3,950,000 31 Pipers Neck Road NEW LISTING THE lot on Figure 8. Dock in place, owner/builder can build to suit. Call Jill Painter Morris. $2,300,000 222 & 226 Williams Road REDUCED Sunset, waterfront lot with deep water dock for your dream home. $899,500 1302-A North Lumina Avenue Over 2,100 square feet of beach luxury, fully furnished and ready for summer vacations. $685,000 Margaret Collins • Owner/Broker in Charge 910-617-1154 • [email protected] Cindy Vach • Broker 910-622-5023 • [email protected] Melissa Stilwell • Broker 910-232-0931 • [email protected] Jill Painter Morris • Broker 704-806-6385 • [email protected] A Real Estate Sales and Consulting Firm 10 Marina St. A-4, Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480 66 WBM july 2016 PHOTOS COURTESY OF RECOVERY LIMITED PARTNERSHIP


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