In the early morning of January 23, 1909, amidst a dense fog, an “unsinkable” luxury steamship called the RMS Republic collided with another ship.
The Republic soon sank to the bottom of the ocean. She was in treacherous, shark-infested waters 50 miles off the coast of Nantucket, beyond recovery.
Many lives were lost—along with a U.S. Navy payroll, a consignment of silver ingots, and a secret shipment of gold that was being delivered to the Czar of Russia.
The potential value of this sunken treasure?
At today’s prices, an estimated one billion dollars.
This summer, a crew is finally set to recover this real-world treasure…
And they’re inviting you to join them.
The “Millionaires’ Ship”
At 585 feet long and close to 16,000 tons, the Republic was one of the largest and most luxurious ships of her era. Because of all the wealthy passengers who preferred to travel on her, she was known as the “millionaires’ ship.”
After she sank, the hunt for her riches became many a treasure hunter’s obsession…
But attempting to find her in such a perilous part of the North Atlantic Ocean, below a heavily trafficked shipping lane, was a major challenge.
It wasn’t until 1981 that a sea captain named Martin Bayerle finally located her.
Captain Bayerle then spent 25 years researching the events surrounding her sinking and substantiating the value of her treasure. He scrutinized documents from sources including the U.S. State Department, Goldman Sachs, and the Bank of England.
Now, he’s finally ready to recover her riches.
But there’s one final challenge he must still overcome:
He needs to fund the diving expedition.
Lords of Fortune
You see, Bayerle can’t just sail out to the waters above the Republic, drop anchor, and then dive down and scoop up the invaluable cargo.
He’ll need millions of dollars for ships, a crew, and sophisticated equipment.
Typically, treasure hunters spend years gathering funding from a handful of extremely wealthy investors.
But Bayerle is taking a different tack:
He recently set up a “crowdfunding” website called Lords of Fortune...
This site allows investors like you to pool together your capital, invest it in buried treasures like the Republic—and get a cut of the profits.
But this begs the question:
Is the recovery of the Republic a smart financial move?
According to Bayerle, potential returns might range from 300% to 400%...
But he also admits that investing in a treasure hunt has been called “the world’s worst investment.”
So why do it?
You’d do it because it’s a great adventure.
As Lords of Fortune says, it’s like spending thousands or even millions of dollars to fulfill dreams like climbing Mt. Everest, traversing to the North Pole, or flying to the International Space Station.
And unlike those experiences, with this adventure, you might actually earn a financial return.
Investors have their choice of several different classes of stock, some of which include benefits that really let you “live the dream”…
For example, Class A stock has a $5,000 investment minimum, and offers an investment certificate signed by the leaders of this summer’s salvage expedition…
Class E, meanwhile, with a $1 million minimum, offers everything from 2 berths on the salvage vessel, a deep dive on a submarine to view the wreckage, and an appearance in the documentary that’ll be made of the expedition.
The world will be watching this summer as Captain Bayerle and his Lords Of Fortune attempt the dramatic recovery of the Republic’s vast fortune.
At the moment, the U.S. government only allows “accredited” investors to invest in private deals like this. (An accredited investor has at least $1 million net worth or $200k in salary.)
These rules are expected to change a few months from now… but in the meantime, here are two options for those who are intrigued, but not yet accredited:
You can invest in a publicly traded company that specializes in recovering underwater treasures: Odyssey Marine Exploration (Nasdaq CM: OMEX)…
Or you can read Captain Bayerle’s book about the tale of the Republic, “The Tsar’s Treasure."
Here’s what Publisher’s Weekly said about it:
Through meticulous research, contagious passion, and admirable candor, treasure hunter Bayerle explains why he's spent much of his life digging for gold buried on a luxury ocean liner that sank in the Atlantic Ocean more than a century ago. By reviving the story of a ship forgotten by history, he captures the political intrigue and human elements with the eye of a novelist.
Please note: Crowdability has no financial relationship with Lords of Fortune, Captain Bayerle, or Odyssey Marine. We’re an independent provider of education, information and research on start-ups and alternative investments.