Infamous Shipwreck Hunter Captured
An infamous shipwreck hunter has been captured after two years of evading authorities. Tommy Thompson located a Gold Rush-era shipwreck, and then became involved in an extensive legal battle over the booty.
Thompson fled the authorities, but was recently captured in Florida. U.S. Marshal Peter Tobin said in a statement, “Thompson was smart – perhaps one of the smartest fugitives ever sought by the U.S. Marshals.” The U.S. Marshals Service also announced on January 28th that Thompson and his assistant Alison Antekeier, who is also believed to be his girlfriend, had been arrested without incident at a Hilton Hotel in their private getaway paradise of Boca Raton, Florida. They had apparently been living at the hotel for over a year, paying only in cash and using fake identities.
In the late 1980s Thompson accomplished a feat that many shipwreck hunters had fantasised about for decades, having located the wreck of the SS Central America off the coast of the Carolinas, at a depth of 2,200 meters (7,200 feet). The ship sank during a hurricane in 1857, taking 21 tons of gold to the ocean floor along with its 400 passengers. Thompson and his team of researchers poured over hundreds of documents before finally pinpointing the wreck’s location in 1988. Upon excavating the ship they recovered more than $50 million in gold bars and coins.
A long legal battle began in 2005, when Thompson was sued by a group of his investors who claimed they had not received the share of the profits promi....
• ocean floor • ship sank • central america • months later • august 2012