US Marshals Searching For Treasure Hunter Who Found ‘Ship Of Gold’

Tara Dodrill - Author

Jun. 15 2013, Updated 8:47 p.m. ET

US Marshals are searching for treasure hunter Tommy G. Thompson, the man who found the “Ship of Gold” and then reportedly stiffed his investors and crew. Tommy Thompson has a knack for unearthing sunken treasure and used his skills to find the 280-foot SS Central America off the cost of North Carolina. The Ship of Gold sank in 1857, disappearing from sight much like the treasure hunting Tommy Thompson himself.

A pirate captain who refuses to share his gold booty with the crew may sound like something out of a Johnny Depp movie, but the modern day ship captain is accused of doing just that in a recently filed lawsuit, according to Fox News. Treasure hunter Tommy G. Thompson allegedly promised his SS Central America search investors a huge payday in return for their financial backing.

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The SS Central America was dubbed the Ship of Gold due to the 21 tons of the shining metal on board when the ship sank, taking 425 souls with it to the bottom of the sea. A hurricane off the North Carolina coast prevented the SS Central America from completing its journey from Panama to New York.

Tommy Thompson and his Ohio-based treasure hunting crew found the Ship of Gold in 1988, momentarily delighting his investors and crew members. Both Thompson and an unknown amount of gold recovered from the SS Central America disappeared before the crew or investors received even a dime in payment for their efforts. Thompson sold $52 million in gold coins and bar to a California mint, presumably the bounty from the Ship of Gold.

An attorney for the treasure hunting lawsuit plaintiffs is confident the crew and investors will win the case if Tommy Thompson is ever found. US Marshals have been searching for Thompson, 60, since a search warrant was issued. The task of finding Tommy G. Thompson is extremely daunting due to the unknown nature of his current appearance. A photo of the treasure hunter in a Florida trailer park several years was the primary lead in the man hunt before the trail went cold. US Marshals are currently investigating new leads in the hunt for the Ship of Gold treasure hunter.


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