Treasure hunters looking to find billions of dollars in platinum they say was loaded on a World War II cargo ship are getting ready to wrap things up without any sign yet that they have retrieved anything.
Sub Sea Research owner Greg Brooks, based in Portland, Maine, wants to retrieve at least one of the platinum bars he claims was onboard the 431-foot-long Port Nicholson when it was sunk by a German sub on June 16, 1942, approximately 50 miles northeast of Provincetown.
The ship lies in about 700 feet of water. As many as 30 boxes, possibly containing platinum bars, lie scattered around the ship, part of a haul worth as much as $5 billion, Brooks said.
Brooks wrote in a recent email response to the Times that he had "an exclusive proprietary agreement with another media source" and would not grant any interviews that could violate that pact.
Brooks gave numerous interviews earlier in the year before the Sea Hunter embarked from Boston in the summer to the wreck site.
At that time, the group was raising funds from investors to continue a search it said has been under way for the past three years.
The group already has spent $6 million on the project, and this past winter it put on a media blitz hoping to raise another $800,000 from investors.
Brooks' senior researcher, Edward Michaud, said in an earlier interview the group wants to get a bar on deck to convince skeptics and investors there is treasure on the freighter.
However, the remote-operated vehicle the group was using was not built to lift boxes weighing hundreds of pounds.
The crew took delivery last month of a beefier Super Mohawk ROV from the marine equipment rental firm Deep Down Inc., according to photographs on the Sub Sea website.