Dr. E. Lee Spence (Photo courtesy of TSR)

TSR Obtains Magnetometer to Aid in Treasure Hunting

Posted by Michelle Howard

Treasure & Shipwreck Recovery, Inc. ("TSR"), currently trading on the OTC market under the ticker symbol BLIS, announced that its brand-new cesium magnetometer was delivered.

The following is an explanation of what this means by TSR chief operating officer and internationally known shipwreck expert Dr. E. Lee Spence:
"This isn't an off-the-shelf item that you can buy at your local dive shop or treasure hunting store. It's a state-of-the-art piece of scientific equipment, costing almost $40,000.

"Our new magnetometer is a model G882AR/4, made to special order for us by Geometrics in San Jose, California. To my eyes, it's a real beauty.

"Underwater magnetometers, which are simply known as 'mags' to those in the shipwreck treasure business, measure anomalies (variations) in the Earth's magnetic field, which are caused by the presence of iron and other items with magnetic properties.

"Although a 'mag' can't detect gold or silver, it can detect the iron cannons, cannon balls, muskets, pistols and cutlasses that, for centuries, were used to protect large shipments of coins and bullion, as well as other valuable cargos that could range from precious jewels to exquisite porcelain.

"Of course, magnetometers can also detect the iron spikes and other iron fittings that were commonly used in the construction of the above-water portions of wooden sailing vessels. So, even if all we have after is the payroll or cargo receipts of a merchant ship that we have researched, we have a good chance of finding it.

"In fact, a mag is one of the main tools that archaeologists routinely use when searching for or around shipwrecks. We do so because some of the shipwrecks are so broken up and buried that they can be extremely difficult to find with side-imaging sonar, which is another useful device that treasure salvors often use in their work.

"Our mag has two add-ons, which I believe will be extremely important to TSR's expected success. It has a sensor that measures the depth that the mag is being towed below the surface and an altimeter that tells us the mag's precise height over the sea floor. When combined with the mag's standard readout, these numbers can allow us to get a more accurate feel for the size and location of the objects being detected, even if they are buried.

"Because of the added expense on what is already an expensive piece of equipment, most people in the treasure salvage business choose not to buy these add-ones. But they probably should, as they are really needed for accurate mapping of the debris fields surrounding the shipwrecks. By debris fields, I don't mean debris as in useless trash. It's just the way that underwater archaeologists describe the resulting scatter pattern as the artifacts are washed out from the shipwrecks by the action of the sea. Don't forget, such debris fields can and often do contain extremely valuable cargo and other treasure, and that is exactly what we are after.

"With the extra precision that we expect to get from our mag's proper use, we should be able to better determine how the ship broke apart, where the parts went and, thus, where to concentrate our digging efforts. It can be an amazing time saver. And, when you come right down to it, time is really the most expensive part of the treasure recovery process.

"Since such debris fields can extend over a great many square miles, using this particular magnetometer should give us an extra degree of accuracy that we need and want while simultaneously saving us money and better securing the success TSR anticipates."