The newest addition to our website, The Honor Roll, is dedicated to those men and women who have contributed to our collective knowledge of the 1715 Fleet.
The Honor Roll recognizes those individuals whose efforts in discovery, recovery, archaeology, writing and research have enriched our lives and given us so much to appreciate. In the coming months we will be listing our honorees by category, such as Education (which includes the sub categories of writing and research), Archaeology, and others.
The list of potential inductees is large and over time we are sure that the list will grow. For now we focus on those brave souls who risked their lives and fortunes to introduce to the world the treasures of the Spanish galleons lost in the terrible hurricane of 1715.
As a result of their efforts, the State of Florida has acquired a world-class collection of Spanish Colonial cob coinage. Museums in Florida (and elsewhere) have displays of jewelry and artifacts worthy of a king’s ransom. We would have none of these things but for the efforts of those diving pioneers who discovered and recovered the treasure of a lifetime.
1715 Fleet Salvager Honor Roll (see note)
Since the 1950s and 1960s, thousands of individuals have been involved in the recovery of coins, jewelry, and other artifactual remnants of the shipwreck disaster of 1715 along the reefs off Florida’s east coast. From beachcombers to full-up salvage divers and teams, hundreds of these people have felt the “thrill of the find” and brought back treasures that millions of others can only dream about.
To list all the casual and dedicated persons who have added to our general knowledge of the ships, people, and ways of life in 1715 —at sea and ashore— with the treasures recovered in the past 40-50 years would be impossible to fairly and thoroughly research. And it would take a book the size of the Fort Pierce telephone directory to list all the names.
Following are some of the more notable “treasure finders” who readily come to mind. To them we dedicate this “Honor Roll” with hopes that it will be continued and augmented as the years pass and more of the fleet’s minutiae are brought to light.
REAL 8 CORPORATION
Kip Wagner (1906 – 1972) was instrumental in the formation of the team that later became the Real Eight Company and one of the greatest salvage groups that ever explored the 1715 Fleet wrecks. He ...
Dan Thompson (1920 – 2005) Was a diver and original member of the Real Eight Company. Born in Savannah, Georgia, he was an electrical engineer and had a distinguished career in the U.S. Air Forc...
Louis J. (Lou) Ullian (1932 – 2010) Was a diver and original member of the Real Eight Company. A native of Worcester, Massachusetts he served in the U.S. Navy, Naval Weapons Station from 1956 – 19...
Demostines “Mo” Molinar1
CROSSED ANCHORS SALVAGE
NOTE: Those who recovered treasure worth more than $10,000.
- Worked for Fisher on the Atocha and Santa Margarita, then ran his own operation, HRD.
- Worked for Peninsular Salvage before launching his own successful group, Crossed Anchors Salvage.
- Worked for Treasure Salvors on the Atocha and Santa Margarita, then as Head Captain for Fisher’s Treasure Coast operation.
- Worked for Queens Jewels, LLC.