When the United States' paper of record prints an AP dispatch about a Colombian shipwreck under a headline that involves the phrase "world's largest sunken treasure," that's a story I'm going to be interested in:
President Juan Manual Santos on Saturday hailed the discovery of a Spanish galleon that went down off the South American nation's coast more than 300 years ago with what may be the world's largest sunken treasure. ... The discovery is the latest chapter in a saga that began three centuries ago, on June 8, 1708, when the galleon ship with 600 people aboard sank as it was trying to outrun a fleet of British warships. It is believed to have been carrying 11 million gold coins and jewels from then Spanish-controlled colonies that could be worth billions of dollars if ever recovered.
Even better, for the past 30-plus years the ship has apparently been the subject of a dispute between the Colombian government and a U.S. company called Sea Search whose investors included TV actor Michael Landon and convicted-felon, Nixon henchman John Ehrlichman. Sea Search says it more or less found the ship in 1981 and should get 50 percent of its treasure. Colombia says that number should be 5 percent.
CNN estimates that the goods aboard the sunken ship—the San Jose—are worth between $4 billion and $17 billion. The craft's remains have, as of yet, only been explored by remotely controlled underwater vehicles.
Seventeen billion dollars!