Did astronaut’s treasure map lead to a Christopher Columbus ship?

Darrell Miklos appeared to finally prove that late astronaut Gordon Cooper had led him to a historical shipwreck on the season finale of “Cooper’s Treasure.”

The treasure hunter was delighted when, during a dive, he and fellow traveler Eric Schmitt found a huge anchor buried on the sea flooring 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 shocking find. Miklos was convinced it was from a 1500s’ era ship where Christopher Columbus’ partner, Pinzon, made a journey without the popular explorer. Pinzon’s ship sank and Miklos thought 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 program viewers know, Miklos, who befriended the late Gordon “Gordo” Cooper, one of NASA’s 7 initial Mercury astronauts, said that Cooper had actually observed what he believed were shipwrecks from low Earth orbit. He used Cooper’s charts, photos, and maps all season to guide him to possible wreck sites.

In the Turks and Caicos, Miklos finally believed he’d hit pay dirt. He understood that he had to have an archeologist confirm the anchor’s significance, but informed the cams,

“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 trip all of a sudden, so he needed to hire Jim Sinclair, who had actually dived for the Titanic years in the past, to join his team.

Miklos and Sinclair dove to the anchor site together to see if they might raise it. The Pinzon wreck story matched where the anchor was found, making the treasure hunter excited. Miklos stated, “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 needed to get a barge and a system of air bags as a method to raise the anchor because it weighed nearly 2 tons. The “Cooper’s Treasure” star was worried the old anchor could snap in two, but it was effectively lifted to the surface. Miklos was thrilled when Sinclair said the anchor was “hand forged.”

The treasure hunter told his crew his research had revealed 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 asked.

Miklos said he believed there was lots of treasure to be found if they continued searching in the location around the anchor– and following his late pal Cooper’s charts.

So will there be a “Cooper’s Treasure,” season 2? Discovery hasn’t yet revealed whether the show will be returning.

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