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The Treasure Trove of the Trinidad : New Attempt to Hunt for Fabled Galleon Off Oceanside

January 08, 1987|GORDON SMITH

Weber has also expressed skepticism that Ulloa would have loaded a fortune on board his vessel and then sailed north from Mexico, rather than back to Spain. Other historians have documented Ulloa's return to Mexico and Spain after his voyage on the Trinidad, which further undermines the notion that he died near Oceanside. But Warren said he is convinced that the man who returned to Spain is not the same Ulloa who commanded the Trinidad.

Talking to Others

Warren conceded that his research has consisted primarily of talking to others who searched for the wreck, including Markey.

"I met (Markey) at his house in Oceanside, and at his office, several times. He was a gruff man, very defensive about his findings," Warren said.

"But he shared information with me--I think he wanted me to find the Trinidad. He was older and couldn't do much himself (to locate the ship), I guess."

Warren said that, rather than furnish all the equipment needed to uncover the ship himself--an expense that could top $500,000--he hopes to get professional salvors to donate equipment and time in return for a share in the treasure. One local resident has already donated an old 40-foot boat that can be used as a diving platform, and Warren is trying to arrange private financing for a film he plans to make of the salvage effort.

The work will take only a few weeks, he said.

"One way or another, it will be a relief to find out what's out there under the ocean. If we bring up the loot, I won't have to struggle any more as a singer," he said with a smile.

"If we don't find it, then I guess I'll go to the Philippines," he said. "There's a Japanese ship that sank out there during World War II with $1 billion to $2 billion in gold that belonged to the Philippine government."

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