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Mel Fisher
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Adventurer
    (August 21, 1922-December 19, 1988)
    Born in Indiana
    Treasure hunter
    Discovered the 1622 wreck of the Spanish galleon Nuestra Senora de Atocha (July 20, 1985)
    Recovered gold, silver and emeralds worth $450 million
    As a boy, he nearly drowned testing a homemade diving helmet fashioned from a paint can and a bicycle pump.
    He was a chain smoker.
    He claimed he had found Atlantis but 'I'm not at liberty to talk about it.'
    He admitted to selling counterfeit gold coins at his Key West gift shop and refunded $67,000 to purchasers (1998).
    He joined the Army Corps of Engineers in World War II.
    He opened the first dive shop in California.
    His oldest son Dirk died when a salvage boat capsized (1975).
    He fought off legal challenges from Florida and the Federal government over ownership of the recovered treasure.
    He hired archaeologists as part of his salvage team so historically important artifacts would be properly preserved along with the treasure.
    Asked why he chose such a risky career, he replied, 'For the fun, the romance and the adventure.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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