New, Old Treasure Map Sparks Hunt For Caribbean Wrecks

We all know that Gordon Cooper was one of the original Mercury series astronauts, but did you know that he had a secret passion? It seems Gordon Cooper was also a want-to-be treasure hunter. I know, you’re going to say big deal, a lot of people would like to hunt for sunken treasure.

Well that may be true, but how many of them had the chance to view the “graveyard of ships” from the unobstructed vantage point of space? Only one that I know of, Gordon Cooper. It is just now coming to light that during his time in space, Cooper used some of his time to look for anomalies that he thought were shipwrecks in the Caribbean. Now that information that he kept secret for over 40 years is coming to light.


While in space, Cooper made his discovery, anomalies he believed were shipwrecks, and meticulously noted their coordinates, later transferring them to a chart of the sea. But for some reason, cooper never acted on the information. Had it not been for a friendship that started in the mid 1990’s, the maps may have been lost to time.

When Cooper fell sick with Parkinson’s, he gave his maps to his longtime friend Darrell Miklos, asking him to fulfill his explorations. Cooper passed away in 2004. Miklos said: I think he knew his demise was coming, so he gave me the information prior to his death and said, ‘Anything ever happens to me, you make sure you finish this.’ From the mid-’90s till his passing, we always talked about treasure, but [it was] not till 2002 that he revealed to me that he had all these files for decades,” Miklos said. “I’m privileged to be the only man with these files.”

Now, Miklos is cashing in on the maps, he is staring in a new series on the Discovery Channel entitled “Cooper’s Treasure.” The show focuses on the decoding of Coopers charts in hopes of uncovering hundred-year-old shipwreck material and treasure. Miklos says the maps were created while Cooper was navigating the globe on his Mercury 9 Faith 7 flight. That capsule was loaded with special equipment to look for nuclear threats during the Cold War.

They were utilizing some kind of long-range detection equipment to look for nuclear threats. With that, his acute vision [and] possible cameras, he started identifying things that looked like shipwreck material,” Miklos said. “Once he had written all the coordinates down, he went back to earth and put together this incredible treasure map from space on a sea chart.”

Miklos told reporters: “We cherry-picked five anomaly readings, did a search and identify mission, and we are five for five for positively identified shipwrecked material — and there are hundreds. So the first five, he was exactly right on the money. He had it right from the beginning.”


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