After discovering one of the greatest sunken treasure finds in history, treasure hunter Tommy Thompson has apparently disappeared. No trace can be found of the man and that has investors and law enforcement alarmed.
Thompson’s claim to fame was his dogged searching for a ship that had sunk during a hurricane 131 years ago with thousands of pounds of gold in inside. Many said Thompson was on a wild goose chase but in fact his methods panned out and he returned victorious to much surprise. His treasure trove worth millions of dollars, Thompson then began to withdraw from the limelight as court battles over the treasure ensued. From insurance companies to investors, to law enforcement and more, it appeared everyone and their brother wanted in on Thompson’s discovery and now the aloof treasure hunter is nowhere to be found.
Bulletins and posters of him are plastered all over. It’s been two years since Thompson vanished and no one knows what’s become of the gold and other treasures he’d recovered. So far all reports of the missing Thompson have turned up for naught.
Thompson’s disappearance is amidst a major court feud since 1996 when his company was awarded 92 percent of the treasure and the rest of the booty divided amongst his investors. As investors waited for their cut, Thompson stonewalled as he stated that the gold had to be marketed in a specific way. Then in 2000, Thompon’s company sold 532 gold bars and thousands of the coins recovered to the California Gold Marketing Group for an estimated $50 million.
The 161 investors as of 2005 still had not seen a dime of the recovered gold and some sued as well as several members of Thompson’s crew who had been promised some of the treasure’s rewards.
Amidst developing into a somewhat of a hermit and exhibiting eccentric behavior as well as suffering several personal losses, Thompson continued to withdraw from his investors, friends, and still the proceeds had not been dished out according to contracts. The ship, the Central America where Thompson found the loot is still being excavated and millions more in treasure has been recovered. As long as the wreck gives up its bounty the excavations will continue.
Although Tommy Thompson is somewhat of a folk hero in the eyes of many, his disappearance and the pursuit of riches by his colleagues, the lawsuits, criminal pursuits will keep this adventure tale one of the most watched in history.