Shipwrecks Books

Excellent reference books on lost mines and treasures, signs and symbols, and shipwrecks. These books are required reading for the understanding of symbolism and how it was used by the Spanish to map the locations of their mines and shipwrecks in the New World.

“New World Shipwrecks 1492-1825 A Comprehensive Guide”

Authors: Robert & Jenifer Marx
Publisher: Ram Publishing Company, P.O. Box 38649, Dallas, TX 75238

“Shipwrecks in the Americas”

Author: Robert F. Marx
Publisher: Dover Publications, New York, New York

In 1623, a fleet from Havana was struck by a storm at the mouth of the Bahama Channel somewhere near the coast of Florida. “The treasure-laden galleon Espiritu Santo el Mayor, 480 tons, Captain Antonio de Soto, opened up and sank so quickly that only 50 of the 300 persons aboard her could be saved by other ships, and all her treasure — amounting to 1 million pesos, was totally lost.”
Such catastrophes at sea — among many described in this book — have long fueled dreams of finding sunken ships awash in gold doubloons and fabulous jewels, and have tantalized archaeologists with the prospect of recovering valuable historic artifacts. Now a noted marine archaeologist and salvage expert offers a detailed hands-on guide to would-be treasure hunters and explorers of sunken wrecks. Owner of a diving and salvage company, Robert Marx has spent years compiling data on over 28,500 shipwrecks, and has personally located and mapped hundreds of wrecks. He not only tells exactly how to go about locating a sunken vessel and what to do when you’ve found it but also offers a comprehensive catalog of 4,000 authenticated wrecks and their locations. The book is divided into two parts:
Part I offers a wealth of expert information on the history of salvage; locating shipwrecks; surveying, mapping and excavating a site; identification and dating of shipwrecks and their cargoes; preservation of artifacts, and much more.
Part II comprises a carefully researched guide to every major shipwreck in the Western hemisphere, from the time of Christopher Columbus to about 1825. Descriptive captions on each wreck include year, captain, ports of origin and destination, probable location, cargo, lives lost, and more. These captions amount to a treasure hunter’s guided tour of ships waiting to be discovered in the waters of Canada, the United States (including an entire chapter on Florida — a major location of shipwrecks), the Caribbean, and Central and South America.
In this edition the text is illustrated with 73 fascinating photographs of divers and technicians at work and artifacts of all kinds — coins, cannons, swords, iron chests, pottery, pewter, anchors, etc., salvaged by the author and his colleagues. You’ll also find a selected bibliography and an index.

“The Search for Sunken Treasure, Exploring the World’s Great Shipwrecks”

Authors: Robert F. Marx with Jenifer Marx
Publisher: Key Porter Books Limited, 70 The Esplande, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5E 1R2

A personal exploration of shipwrecks first published in Canada in 1993. Discusses the discoveries of famous shipwrecks such as the ‘Titanic’ and describes ancient and modern underwater exploration techniques. Lavishly illustrated with historical etchings and paintings and photographs. Includes a selected bibliography and an index. The authors are marine archaeologists who have jointly written over 30 books and over 500 scientific reports and popular articles.

OTHER BOOKS BY Robert F. and Jenifer Marx

“The Underwater Dig”

An introduction to underwater archaeology for the amateur, including the history, principles, techniques, importance, and future of this field.

“The Lure of Sunken Treasure”

“Port Royal Rediscovered”

This is the fascinating story of the exploration of the historic Jamaican port, Port Royal- in the 17th century, the home port of buccaneers. Today, Port Royal is a city of legends, legends of the 1692 earthquake and tidal wave that caused the city to sink beneath the sea, and legends of fortunes that may be buried there. Robert F. Marx, a marine archaeologist, undertook a two-and-a-half year exploration of the port. His expedition discovered thousands of perfectly preserved artifacts of life in the 17th century. Here is the story of that expedition, its trials, dangers, opposition to overcome, and the discoveries. 304 pages inc. index. 8.5 x 5.75 inches. Doubleday, New York, 1973.

“Sea Fever – Famous Underwater Explorers”

“Shipwrecks in Mexican Waters”

“Shipwrecks in Florida Waters”

Discusses the history of several ships that were shipwrecked. Some were raised with treasure and some were not. Great history of these ships.

“Always Another Adventure”

“Pirate Port: The Story of the Sunken City of Port Royal”

Reconstructs the history and civilization of a pirate city, most of which was pulled beneath the sea by an earthquake in 1692. Describes artifacts and treasures found through underwater archaeological excavation and tells what they reveal about life in this Caribbean city.

“They Dared the Deep: A History of Diving”

“The Battle of Lepanto: 1571”

“The Battle of the Spanish Armada: 1588”

“The Treasure Fleets of the Spanish Main”

Robert F. Marx has unearthed the most exciting episodes, the poignant and amusing personal accounts, and the ironies and tragedies and retold them in his vivid, entertaining style against the authoritatively researched background of the political, religious, and economic conditions of the era.

“Following Columbus: The Voyage of the Nina II”

The author recounts the building of a replica of the “Nina,” the smallest of Columbus’s three ships, and the re-enactment of the admiral’s first voyage across the uncharted Atlantic Ocean in 1492.

“The Voyage of the Nina II”

Chronicles the 1962 journey of the Nina II, an authentic replica of Columbus’ original caravel, repeating the historic event using the same fifteenth-century tools, techniques, and provisions.

“The Capture of the Treasure Fleet”

An account of the seventeenth-century Dutchman’s capture of a supposedly impregnable Spanish treasure fleet in the Caribbean, thereby signalling the demise of the Spanish empire.

“Buried Treasure of the USA”

This book is a basic manual for all treasure hunters. The author explains in detail how to locate hidden wealth and where these treasures are buried. More than half this book contains a comprehensive state-by-state listing of potential treasure sites. Chapters coer the who, what, when, and why of treasure hunting, historical background, the law, equipment and more.

“Spanish Treasure in Florida Waters”

“Quest for Treasure: The Maravilla”

The true story of Robert Marx’s unrelenting struggle against storms, sharks, political intrigue, and modern-day pirates in his effort to recover the lost treasure of Spain. Robert F Marx is known worldwide for his lifetime of daring, persistent, and successful underwater treasure discoveries. Quest For Treasure is the complete journal of Marx’s research, discovery and salvage of the Spanish treasure galleon Nuestra Senora de la Maravilla. The 1656 Maravilla treasure is believed to be the richest ever lost in the depths of the sea. Illustrated with black and white photos throughout.

“Sunken Treasure: How to Find It”

The fascination of the unknown… the lure of riches shrouded in history… these have long compelled man to search for such fabulous treasures as King Solomon’s mines and the golden city of El Dorado. In fact, these and other mythical hoards usually have a basis in truth… yet their legends have become so blurred by time and overactive imaginations that separating face from fiction has become impossible.

“Buried Treasures You can Find”

A book that every treasure hunter and metal detector hobbyist should possess. Lists over 7500 specific known sites of buried treasure in 50 states. Complete information about using the latest, most modern metal detectors.

“In the Wake of Galleons”

The general public has an insatiable interest in sunken ships, lost treasures, and the swashbuckling adventurers who go after them. The readers of In the Wake of Galleons will experience an actual treasure hunt, and share in the frustrations, dangers and disappointments that are a part of any expedition. They will also feel the adrenaline rush that comes when the hunter finds treasure. Contents include:

Columbus’ Shipwrecks, Shipwrecks of the 1715 Spanish Fleet,
The Sunken Continent of Atlantis, Montezuma’s Treasure, Panama’s Treasure, and much much more!

“Encyclopedia of Atlantic Shipwrecks”

From aerial survey to zoology, Part I of this two-part encyclopedia covers all aspects of underwater archeology, treasure hunting and salvaging. For example, entries are included for different types of artifacts, notable treasure hunters, the various salvaging equipment, and techniques in mapping and excavating. Part II covers the shipwrecks themselves, dividing them into 13 geographical categories. Beginning with the northernmost category (Canada) and ending with the southermost (South America), every known shipwreck – both identified and unidentified – receives an entry in alphabetical order under its appropriate geographical category. Entries are by name, such as Andrea Gail, Titanic, and Queen Ann’s Revenge. Unidentified is used when a shipwreck’s name remains unknown. Entries give the nationality (e.g., Spanish, British, American), type (schooner, frigate, brig are three), function (examples: slave transportation, piracy, fishing), location and history of the shipwreck.

Robert and Jenifer Marx have done extensive research on shipwrecks and land sites around the world. They are to be commended for their attention to detail. Excellent reference books for those divers who want to explore actual Spanish shipwrecks.

“Shipwrecks of Florida”

Author: Steven D. Singer
Publisher: Pineapple Press, Inc., Sarasota, Fl

Over 2,100 shipwrecks from the 16th century to the present; the most comprehensive listing now available. Wrecks are arranged primarily by geographical section of the state. Within sections, wrecks are arranged chronologically. Extensive and heavily illustrated appendices offer a wealth of information on topics of interest to divers and researchers alike.

Well researched, a good reference book. The author is very knowledgeable on proper recovery techniques.

“The Treasure Galleons”

Author: Dave Horner
Publisher: Florida Classics Library, Port Salerno, FL 34992

The fascinating story of the fortunes that were left on the bottom of the ocean by hundreds of Spanish galleons.

“Shipwreck: A Saga of Sea Tragedy & Sunken Treasure”

Author: Dave Horner
Publisher: Sheridan House

Readers’ hearts have long thrilled to gripping tales of golden galleons, tossed by gales and engaged in bloody battle, as heroes triumph and cowards are vanquished in frantic search for treasure. Incredibly, such fantastic stories are now eclipsed by the phenomenal true saga of Shipwreck.

In 1654, Padre Diego Rivadeneira watched the immense Spanish galleon Capitana, “Queen of the South Seas,” as she sank off Ecuador carrying treasures worth 10 million pesos. Later he was among 45 survivors when the 900-ton Maravillas sank on the wild shoals of Los Mimbres, Bahamas, burying 600 people as well as 5 million pesos in silver and gold.

Three hundred years later, diver and maritime historian Dave Horner discovered Padre Diego’s diary in the Archivo General de Indias, Seville. Twenty-five years of subsequent research led to the discovery and salvage of the Capitana, as well as a diving expedition on the Maravillas shipwreck site. Moreover, Horner has painstakingly forged an authentic historical context for the padre’s singular story. The result is an unparalleled account of real-life adventure on the high seas, and a stirring portrait of the riches that drove men across uncharted oceans to a new world, as men are still yet driven in search of treasures long lost at the bottom of the sea.


“Shipwrecks, Skindivers and Sunken Gold”

“Better Scuba Diving for Boys”

“The Blockade Runners”

Well researched. Good reference books.

“History Under The Sea, A Manual for Underwater Exploration”

Author: Mendel Peterson
Publisher: Smithsonian Institution Press, City of Washington, Distributed by Random House, Inc.

Great reference book on recovery techniques and the preservation of items recovered from the sea

“Florida’s Golden Galleons, The Search for the 1715 Spanish Treasure Fleet”

Authors: Robert F. Burgess and Carl J. Clausen
Publishers: Florida Classics Library, Port Salerno, Florida

On July 24, 1715, a Spanish treasure fleet sailed from Havana, carrying a cargo of 14 million pesos in gold, silver and jewels. In the Florida Straits, near present-day Cape Canaveral, the fleet ran into a hurricane, with the disastrous loss of ten ships and 700 lives. Little was salvaged at the time. For more than two centuries, sand and sea held their secrets well. Occasionally, however, tides and storms tossed blackened silver coins up on the beaches, tempting would-be treasure hunters. Among the most successful was the Real Eight Company, contracted by the state of Florida to recover the valuable treasure and historical artifacts under the supervision of state underwater archaeologist Carl J. Clausen. Spurred by the unique finds on the ocean floor and curious about the full story behind the tragic event that had scattered this fabulous treasure along Florida’s east coast, he and Robert F. Burgess determined to record the history of the ill-fated fleet. In writing their book, the authors needed the answers to hundreds of questions. What was it like to cross the Atlantic in the eighteenth century? What precautions were taken against pirates? What caused the delays that led to sailing at a particularly treacherous time of the year? What really happened the night of the hurricane? How much treasure was lost? How many people survived? The authors discovered that pieces of the historical jigsaw puzzle lay scattered all over the world. They examined hundreds of documents recovered from dusty archives: official statements, depositions, royal court orders, private and public letters, and ships’ manifests. After ten years of research, the authors finally had all the facts, which enabled them to reconstruct the story. Florida’s Golden Galleons is that stunning story, meticulously detailed and excitingly told, of the sinking of the great fleet and of the successful modern-day efforts to bring its treasure once more to the light of day.

Excellent book on the 1715 Spanish Treasure Fleet

“Thirty Florida Shipwrecks”

Author: Kevin M. McCarthy
Publisher: Pineapple Press, Inc. Sarasota, FL

Sunken treasure, cannibalism, prison ships, Nazi submarines, the Bermuda triangle–all are tied into the lore of shipwrecks along Florida’s coasts. There are as many shipwreck stories as there are thousands of Florida shipwrecks. This book offers thirty of the most interesting of them–from the tale of young Fontaneda, who wrecked in 1545 and was held captive by Indians for 17 years, to the story of the Coast Guard cutter Bibb, which was sunk off Key Largo in 1987 to provide an artificial reef and diving site. In between there is the Atocha, flagship of a Spanish treasure fleet, which sank in a hurricane in September 1622 and was found, along with its $100 million worth of gold and silver, by Mel Fisher in July of 1985.

Each shipwreck story has a map pinpointing its location and a full-color illustration by renowned artist William L. Trotter. There is an extensive bibliography and a foreword by Florida state underwater archaeologist Roger Smith.

Spectacular paintings of Spanish Galleons and various other shipwrecks by William L. Trotter throughout this book, along with exciting stories and general locations.

“The Atlas of Shipwrecks & Treasure, The History, Location and Treasures of Ships Lost at Sea”

Author: Nigel Pickford
Publisher: Dorling Kindersley, London, New York, Stuttgart

The first comprehensive illustrated guide to ships lost at sea and the treasures they have yielded, capturing the romance and the risks of treasure hunting. From Roman ships laden with bronze statues to the gold–carrying blockade runners of World War II, this highly illustrated historical atlas is the first comprehensive guide to ships lost at sea and the treasures that have yielded. Tales of shipwrecks. The Atlas features spellbinding accounts of 40 of the most significant shipwrecks of all time. These accounts reveal how and why the ships sank and describe the often extraordinary feats of salvage accomplished through the centuries. There are tales of Chinese junks lost in the shark–infested waters of the South China Sea; of Spanish galleons laden with jewels; of prospectors in pursuit of gold around the world. Salvaged treasure. The Atlas is sumptuously illustrated with photographs of treasure salvaged from the wrecks, including rare coins, precious porcelain, finely crafted jewelry, and even mercury. Illustrations of diving equipment through the ages explain the development of salvage and underwater archaeology. Exquisite thematic maps. Beautiful hand–drawn maps illustrate the seas and oceans of the world during the different historical periods. They highlight the trade routes and ports of an era, detail the cargoes carried, show the notorious black holes that have bedeviled shipping, and plot the positions of some of the most remarkable shipwrecks. Comprehensive gazetteer. Twenty full–color maps plot the sites of over 1,400 wrecks around the world, showing the depths at which they lie. Accompanying profiles give details of the date on which each ship went down, its cargo, and any salvage attempts so far. Many of the wrecks still lie there on the ocean bed, their treasure awaiting recovery. Expertly researched and lavishly illustrated, this outstanding world history of shipwrecks will fire the imagination of everyone who is drawn to the risks and romance of treasure hunting.

Exciting book, containing many detailed drawings, paintings and maps. Great reference material