The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 18, Number 5, February 1, 2015, Article 9


The man who located the wreck of the SS Central America has been sought for two years by the US. Marshalls. Tommy Thompson was located and arrested in Florida. Here's a short Associated Press story. -Editor

Tommy Thompson with gold coin A treasure hunter locked in a legal battle over one of the greatest undersea hauls in American history was arrested in Florida after more than two years on the lam, authorities said Wednesday.

The U.S. Marshals Service tracked Tommy Thompson to a Hilton hotel in West Boca Raton and arrested him Tuesday, said Brian Babtist, a senior inspector in the agency's office in Columbus, Ohio, where a federal civil arrest warrant was issued for him in 2012 for failing to show up to a key court hearing.

Authorities didn't immediately explain how they were able to track down Thompson, whom they called "one of the most intelligent fugitives ever sought by the U.S. Marshals."

Thompson made history in 1988 when he found the sunken S.S. Central America, also known as the Ship of Gold. Much of the ship's gold was later sold to a gold marketing group in 2000 for about $50 million. The 161 investors who paid Thompson $12.7 million to find the ship never saw returns from the sale. Two of them sued. The legal battle is ongoing.

To read the complete article, see:
Fugitive treasure hunter Tommy Thompson arrested in Florida (

A later AP article provided more information. -Editor

A deep-sea treasure hunter who vanished during a court fight over his $50 million haul of gold bars and coins eluded capture by hiding in a two-room hotel suite under a fake name, paying for everything in cash and keeping a low-profile, authorities said Thursday.

When Tommy Thompson and his longtime companion did leave the hotel room, usually alone and her more than him, they would use a combination of buses, taxis and walking around to shake anyone who might be tailing them.

"That's all part of the whole tradecraft — trying to fly under the radar of law enforcement," said Barry Golden of the U.S. Marshals Service in Miami.

For more than two years, U.S. marshals in Ohio and Florida worked to track down Thompson. They did meticulous research, splashed his face on electronic billboards and ran down hundreds of tips from the public. They believed Thompson was highly intelligent and had been planning to disappear for some time.

On Sept. 12, 2008, he was arrested at a Jacksonville, Florida, gas station, carrying nine identification cards — eight of which police said were fake, according to an incident report.

After his disappearance four years later, authorities found more evidence at a Vero Beach mansion he rented between 2006 and 2012, paying the monthly $3,000 rent with cash and putting the utilities in the landlord's name.

Among the clues: A book called How to Live Your Life Invisible describing how to get by on a cash-only basis; bank wraps for $10,000; metal pipes that authorities believed were used to store money underground; and 12 active cellphones, each used for specific attorneys or family members.

Based on an unspecified lead developed by Ohio agents in December, Florida authorities started focusing on Thompson's companion and longtime assistant, Alison Anteiker.

On Tuesday, agents spotted Anteiker after fanning out over an area of Palm Beach County, Golden said. They tailed her for the next seven hours, watching her use buses and taxis to get to various destinations, an obvious attempt to lose anyone, Golden said.

Eventually, Anteiker unknowingly led agents to a Hilton Hotel in suburban Boca Raton area surrounded by golf courses, country clubs and gated communities.

Thompson and Anteiker were held without bond in Florida — she on a civil contempt charge, he on a criminal contempt charge. He hasn't been charged with a crime over his handling of proceeds from the gold.

To read the complete article, see:
Tommy Thompson, Florida treasure hunter, faces accusations over missing gold (

US Marshals coin

Many thanks to E-Sylum readers Arthur Shippee, Dick Hanscom, Phil Iversen Kerry Wetterstrom, John Kleeberg and others for passing along the news. Will all this publicity help sales of the new U.S. Marshals coin? -Editor

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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