InSITE--Going for the Gold...Underwater!

It's a story we've heard tantalizing little pieces of for months. But now, you can see some of it for yourself. It starts at National Geographic Magazine. You know they want you to buy the mag, and you might want to after you see this, but at least they give you a free taste of some interesting items.

If this doesn't get your attention, I don't know what will. Lost gold from right after the Civil War? Make it even better. Take a look at the map. The treasure, is right off, well about fifty miles off the Georgia coast. No, they won't be more specific, they don't want company. Here's why. The bottom is practically littered with gold coins like these. Take a good look at something you probably have never seen before. It's a gold double eagle that's sat on the bottom of the ocean for about 140 years.

Back to the big article, it's a good read about just how this treasure, and the ship, came to rest on the bottom of the Atlantic. In fact, the snippet of the article is a tease, it talks about the fateful day the Steamship Republic pulled out of New York Harbor, and worked it's way south, bound for New Orleans.

The ship never made it. Here's a look at one of the sidewheels, all those miles off shore and hundreds of feet underwater. Another view, to put a human perspective on things, one of the portholes, the bulkhead around it long gone, but a bottle trapped under glass.

How did they get all that? Here's a view from above, the small submarine doing the recovery work. You can read what it's like in the undersea workhorse. But this is where it gets cool. This is a composite image, 800 different digital photos of the wreck site stitched together with computer software. Take a good look, the sidewheels are at the top and bottom, with the rudder all the way at the right side of your screen. This is a little tricky, so bear with me, but you can zoom in very tight and pick up lots of details. The rudder. The side wheels. Bottles all over. Ship's boiler, exploded. Barrel of some sort. Fish.