This website was developed to preserve the history of the research vessel R/V Arctic Discoverer, the ship's history and its role in the recovery of the SS Central America and its contents.

Over the decades, I have followed with great interest the finds made by people like Tommy Thompson, Mel Fisher and E. Lee Spence. While I hunted gems in the mountains of Western North Carolina, they hunted treasures in the ocean. I was fortunate to get the opportunity to salvage and preserve some of the history of Tommy Thompson's expedition and bring it here to you.

To be clear, I had no involvement with the crew or the expedition that recovered the Central America. I am a big ship enthusiast, treasure hunter and a collector of historic artifacts. In July, 2013, I was searching the ebay site looking for a light for my own treasure hunting boat when I came across a mast light being sold. I noticed the name of the ship, Arctic Discoverer. I knew that it was the ship Tommy Thompson had used in the 1980s and 90s during his expedition, so I called the seller to learn more.

I was informed that they (Salonen Marine) won the ship at an auction in May, 2013. Salonen Marine is a salvage company and they intended to scrap the ship for its metal value. I purchased the light from ebay, then I called back and asked if I could travel to Florida to pick up the light, and if possible, visit the ship to take some pictures and video.

They allowed me to visit the ship. When I arrived, I was shown many more items. I learned a nautical museum in New Orleans had planned to travel to Florida to purchase the artifacts, but they never came, so everything was for sale. I bought many pieces on my first visit, then made arrangements to make additional trips in the months of August and September to remove and purchase more items. I am very glad I found out what was happening to this famous ship before it was dismantled for scrap.

Some of my friends laugh at me for collecting old ship parts. For me, it is the perfect combination. It is an old ship, which I love. But, what makes it different from other old ships is its history. It was the workhorse used to recover the greatest treasure in US history. Like I said before, I'm a big ship enthusiast, treasure hunter and collector of historical artifacts. This ship has it all!

The items posted on this website were purchased by me from Salonen Marine in July, August and September, 2013. If you have questions about the museum or any items I have for sale, feel free to contact me:

Richard Jacquot
Jacquot & Son Mining & Treasure Hunting
828-779-4501
rick@wncrocks.com

To see other historical items and treasures I have collected over the years, visit my website: www.AmericanRockhound.com