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 Mel Fisher

Mel Fisher

Hobart, Lake County, Indiana, USA
Death 19 Dec 1998 (aged 76)
Key West, Monroe County, Florida, USA
Burial Cremated, Ashes scattered at sea, Specifically: Ashes scattered off Key West, Florida
Memorial ID 4281 · View Source
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Treasure Hunter. He is best remembered for finding the August 1622 wreck of the Spanish galleon Nuestra Senora de Atocha off the coast of the Florida Keys that yielded an estimated $400 million to 500 million in gold and silver coins, ingots, and artifacts, along with jewels, especially emeralds. A chicken farmer from Indiana, he attended Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana and then moved to California and opened the first diving shop in the state. He then became intrigued with looking for Spanish treasure off the coast of Florida and moved his family there to pursue his dreams, forming his salvage company, Salvors Inc. He read and researched about the Spanish galleon Atocha with its rich cargo of gold and silver that sank during a hurricane and after many years of hard times searching for the treasure, he finally located it in 1985. However, his search came with a personal toll, as his oldest son Dirk and his wife Angel and a diver died in July 1975 after their boat capsized while looking for the treasure. After a legal dispute with the State of Florida and the US Government over who had ownership rights to the recovered treasure, the case went all the way to the US Supreme Court who confirmed his ownership with a provision that his company donated 20 percent of the recovered artifacts to the state. In December 1992 his daughter Taffi Fisher opened the Mel Fisher's Treasure Museum in Sebastian, Florida. He died from cancer at the age of 76. The Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Museum in Key West, Florida is named in his honor.

Bio by: William Bjornstad

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 3 Jan 1999
  • Find A Grave Memorial 4281
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Mel Fisher (21 Aug 1922–19 Dec 1998), Find A Grave Memorial no. 4281, ; Maintained by Find A Grave Cremated, Ashes scattered at sea, who reports a Ashes scattered off Key West, Florida.