Aug 2 02:42 PM US/Eastern
JAKARTA, Aug. 2 (UPI) -- Treasure hunters Martin Wenzel and Klaus Keppler say they may have found the sunken remains of a French pirate ship and its suspected cargo of gold.
Wenzel, 42, told The Sunday Times of London he and Keppler, 70, are awaiting a salvage license before attempting to retrieve any booty from the sunken ship they located off the coast of East Timur.
[Dili Insider note: Which Timorese Government Official will be involved in this so-called license??]
"We think we know where it lies exactly, near East Timor. We've found clues in shipping archives about its cargo of gold," said Wenzel, who didn't offer specific details about the wreck's location. "But we don't yet have the salvage license. They are extremely expensive and the political situation there is difficult."
Wenzel and Keppler estimate there could be 2 tons of gold worth nearly $83.6 million.
The treasure hunters located the wreckage of a British buccaneer, the Forbes, in December off the coast of Indonesia, The Times said. That discovery, which occurred while their team was searching for a different vessel, resulted in the discovery of $11.7 million worth of silver.
Copyright 2009 by United Press International