FUN Show Wrap-up

Greetings Fleet Society members,

As previously reported (see our post of December 31, 2022, here) the Florida United Numismatists (FUN) Show took place in Orlando last week from January 5-9. After an absence of two years (due to Covid issues), the Fleet Society was back with a table on the bourse floor in the Foreign and Ancients Section. In this area, one can find all of the experts on numismatics associated with shipwrecks.


On Day 1 (Thursday, January 5) we had few visitors. Advisory member Charlie Winn (Society member #136, New Smyrna Beach, Florida) arrived to offer his assistance in staffing the table to allow me to move around the bourse floor and talk to old friends. Doug Goethel showed us his beautiful 1714 Mexico eight escudos which was pedigreed to the famous 1967 Parke-Bernet sale which was one of the first significant sales of Real Eight Company coins and artifacts. (NOTE: The famous Dragon Whistle was sold at that auction for the then princely sum of $50,000.00. See our Treasure of the Month for July 2013, here.) Also, Advisory Board member Dave Crooks (Society member #7, West Palm Beach, Florida) stopped by to say hello. Dave serves as the Society’s Librarian.

Doug “Tripp” Goethel
From left to right: Dave Crooks, Benjamin Costello, and Charlie Winn.

Also, there were a number of public attendees that stopped by to ask about the Society, our goals, and our mission. We also received an anonymous donation of $600.00.


Day 2 (Friday, January 6) was a bit busier. Stopping over early was Advisory Board member Jorge Proctor (Society member #10, Pompano, Florida) who spent time discussing some of his latest research projects.

Jorge Proctor
Robert Crooks
Mike Yorio (left) and Dave Crooks (right)
Jerome Blackwood
Rick Schmitt (left) and Eric Schmitt (right)
Alan and Sandy Sadwin
Robert Westrick

In addition to Dave Crooks who was back again for another visit, was his son Robert, Mike Yorio (with Dave Crooks), Jerome Blackwood, and Eric Schmitt with his father Rick Schmitt. (NOTE: Eric is famous for finding what has become to be known as the “Tri-Centennial Royal” which he recovered near Fort Pierce, Florida on June 17, 2015. See our Treasure of the Month for August 2014 to learn more about his remarkable find.) Society members Alan and Sandy Sadwin (Society member #’s 15 and 14, Wantagh, New York), Rob Westrick (Society member #154, New Iberia, LA), Steve Hodges (Society member #4, Vero Beach, Florida), Robert Lewis Knecht (Society member #121, Port St. Joe, Florida), and Tom Uram (Society member #23) also stopped by. (NOTE: Tom is currently running for President of The American Numismatic Association).

The Sunken Treasure Coin and Book Society (Dave Crooks, President) had its annual meeting at 1:00 pm. I gave a brief report to those in attendance regarding the status of the 1715 Fleet Society, our past accomplishments in 2022, and our plans for 2023. Overall, a very busy day.


Buddy Martin (left) and Benjamin Costello (right)
Tracy Newman (left) and Captain Henry Jones (right)
From left to right: Captain Henry Jones, Tracy Newman, and Buddy Martin

Day 3 (Saturday, January 7) was also very active. Our first visitor was Buddy Martin (Society member #39, Stuart, Florida). He, along with his wife Cathy spent the morning talking and interacting with the members of the public that stopped by our table. We were pleased to have Captain Henry Jones and Tracy Newman pay us a visit as well. This dynamic duo’s claim to fame was finding the missing gold wing that was part of the iconic “Pelican In Its Piety”, a famous artifact found by Bonnie Schubert (Society member #111, Vero Beach, Florida) at the Douglass Beach wreck site near Fort Pierce in 2010. This gold statuette (a pelican) was missing its right wing. That tiny wing was found ten years later in 2020 by Henry and Tracy. The mere fact that such a small item could be found in the immense ocean is, in itself, a remarkable story. (NOTE: For more about the discovery of the “Pelican In Its Piety” and its missing wing see our Treasure of the Month for December 2015 and August 2020).


Overall it was a very good show and a lot of fun. It was great getting back to the Show after our covid absence. We did manage to sell 18 of our latest publications Treasures of a Lost Fleet II. These books are going fast so if you would like a copy let me know. Also, we are in the process of getting a second edition of our first book, Treasures of a Lost Fleet, published. More about that later. The FUN Show was a great start to 2023. I met a lot of people who were very interested in the Fleet Society. As previously mentioned we also received a $600.00 donation. With that, I will conclude my report. If I left anyone out of my report, I sincerely apologize. Things were moving so fast at times that I may have neglected to make a note for my report.

Ben Costello
President, 1715 Fleet Society

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top