How a NASA Astronaut’s Treasure Map Could Make History in treasure hunting TV series

by Luke Higgins

From Indiana Jones to National Treasure, Hollywood has always loved its treasure hunts. Who wouldn’t be captivated by the idea of fortune and glory hidden right under our very noses—or, you know, on the back of the Declaration of Independence? Sadly, these amazing expeditions rarely end up as successful in real life—but never say never. On the Discovery Channel’s new docu-series Cooper’s Treasure, professional treasure hunter Darrell Miklos is on the trail of an unbelievable discovery: a series of shipwrecks—hundreds of them, in fact—discovered by the late astronaut Gordon Cooper during a space expedition. And yes, there is a treasure map.

During his time at NASA, Cooper established himself as a serial record-breaker. He died somewhat suddenly in 2004 from heart failure—but not before he gave Miklos a life-changing piece of information: while on the Mercury 9 Faith 7 expedition, Cooper discovered a series of anomalies, which he deduced might be shipwrecks. When he arrived back on Earth, the astronaut began a decades-long research process, making a map of his discoveries and tracking down any information he could about which sunken ships might correspond to the locations he had seen. Now Miklos is picking up the trail where he left off.

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