Quest for the 1532 Spanish Armada Inca Gold
Gold and silver treasures were shipped to the Spanish Kingdom during three centuries. Initially gold objects from Inca temples were melted down and brought to Spain. Later the Spaniards modernised the mining industry andminted gold, silver and copper coins on site before shipping. The first leg was the Peru–Panama route, followed by a land transportation to the Caribbean Gulf and, then, entering another sea leg to Spain. Up to 25 per cent of all ships capsized, heavily loaded with valuables. Detailed documents are still in archives in Seville, Spain keeping record of all cargo, except for what was smuggled by sea captains. Notably, the smuggled goods were often as valuable as the official royal cargo.
North of Guayaquil, Ecuador on Santa Elena´s promontory, known as Mare Bravo (rough sea), has always been a dangerous obstacle for maritime navigation. Several wrecks are located on this coast strip. The ships sailed close to the coast in depths of only 15 meters with reefs and rocks. At the time ships were wrecked, some of the crew often could swim or otherwise rescue themselves bringing whatever valuables they could. If the whole crew drowned, mostly the wreckage was observed by the natives.
Diving conditions are there extremely difficult due to:
- The Pacific Ocean has depths of more than 4000 meters grounding up close to the coast and creating
enormous waves what makes scanning of the bottom from a ship very difficult.
- Strong forces of waves and currents on the sea floor swipe divers dangerously away, and make the poor
sight conditions near the sandy bottom.
- Sand covering the treasures by two meters where the keel is today.
- Scanning and rescue equipment must be developed and custom made.
Still, there are daring adventurers who would not hesitate to come across the globe, risking their fortune and lives with the aim to reach the mysterious sunken treasures.
|Australian International Research Institute Incorporated|