The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, September 12, 1985, Image 14

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Page 14AThe Battalion/Thursday, September 12, 1985
1M mii.u.. . 1 I i i"» im
Treasure hunting,
adventure prompt
business ventures
Associated Press
MIAMI — Jim Lindsey’s garage
needed a new roof and his kitchen
stove should have been replaced
years ago, but the Taylorville, Ill.,
coal miner put $ 1,000 of savings into
a treasure hunting expedition.
Jim Vonderhaar is a handyman
from Cincinnati. He sold his busi
ness, put off buying a home, good
car or new clothes for 14 years for a
chance to invest thousands of dollars
in Key West salvor Mel Fisher’s ven
Neither man says he has been dis
On July 20, Fisher announced he
had discovered the mother lode of
the Nuestra Senora de Atocha, a
550-ton flagship of a Spanish trea
sure fleet that sank in a hurricane in
The ship was buried beneath four
feet of sand and 53 feet of ocean,
about 40 miles west of Key West.
Nearby, Fisher’s divers reported
finding gold bars, silver bullion, be-
jeweled artifacts and treasure chests
crammed with silver coins.
Bleth McHaley, vice president of
Fisher’s Treasure Salvors Inc., says
investors such as Lindsey and Von
derhaar are going to be worth “a lot
of money.”
It is anyone’s guess, however, ex
actly how much they’ll share with
hundreds of others who bought into
Fisher’s search for the Atocha.
“It depends on what is totally re
covered,” McHaley said in a recent
interview. “Everybody will get some
Fisher, 63, originally estimated
the treasure’s worth at around $400
million. McHaley said $238 million
might be closer to the mark.
So far, 900 silver bars and an un
determined number of gold and sil
ver coins have been recovered, she
Norman Stack of Stack’s Rare
Coins in New York City cautions,
“The more coins they find, the less
they may be worth. The coin busi
ness is based on supply and de
All investors will receive treasure,
not cash. The small investor — most
of whom were in a limited, one-year
partnership — is likely to receive
coins. The larger investors will get
some of the more precious elements
of the booty, according to McHaley.
The treasure will be distributed
through a system in which every
coin, gold and silver bar or trinket
will be assigned a point value.
It will take two years or more be
fore all the treasure is recovered,
cleaned and documented, McHaley
said. She said a new lab will have to
be built, and divers may be unable to
work during parts of the Atlantic
hurricane season from July 1 to Nov.
Carl Paffendorf, president of the
Glen Cove, N.Y., investment com
pany of Vanguard Ventures Inc.,
said he’s glad he bought into the
Atocha deal, but wouldn’t recom
mend such a risky investment to the
general public.
“This type of investment is for
one who can afford to lose money. If
it hits — great, if not, then you still
had a piece of the action,” he said.
In 1980, when the galleon Santa
Margarita was located off Key West,
Paffendorf and a syndicate of 34
other investors each committed
$150,000 in exchange for a 10 per
cent permanent share of treasure
from the Atocha and the Margarita,
which also went down in the 1622
Paffendorf said he expects to
make more than $20 million for his
investors. So far, he said, he has $4.5
million in treasure locked up in a
New York bank vault.
The majority of Fisher’s investors,
though, are involved in the limited
partnership put together by Jerome
Burke of Underhill Associates in
Red Bank, N.J. Investors get what
ever is recovered in a particular
year, and Fisher gets help with his
estimated $1 million annual ex
In 1974, the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission investigated
Fisher’s stock-selling practices. With
out admitting guilt, Fisher promised
not to sell any unregistered stock.
The state is investigating whether
Fisher violated securities registra
tion, according to Bill Quattlebaum,
spokesman for the comptroller’s of
Treasure Salvors is a private com
pany and enjoys a “private-place
ment exemption” so it doesn’t have
to register securities with the state,
said Chris Anderson, director of se
curities with the comptroller’s office.
However, it cannot advertise or
sell securities to more than 35 non-
acredited investors, or those invest
ing less than $100,000, he said.
Lufkin woman holds hunting record
“This student in my class said that since tuition has tripled, he expects
me to be three time as good, or one third as hard. ”
(continued from page 1)
lieved dead had been riding in the
three front cars of the international
train and the two lead cars of the re
gional train.
“Eighty percent of the passengers
in the tnree front carriages must
have died,” ANOP quoted Azevedo
as saying.
Local news reports quoted hospi
tal officials as saying only 28 people
were confirmed dead, but ANOP
quoted railway officials at the site as
saying there were at least 150
charred bodies in one carriage alone.
The state televison, RTP, said it
was difficult to determine the num
ber of injured because they had been
taken to many hospitals.
Police in Mangualde said five for
eign nationals on the train were be
ing treated for injuries. They identi
fied them as a West German, a
Malaysian, a man from Luxembourg
and a couple from Italy.
Correia, who was emigrating to
Germany, described to reporters
what he did at the moment of the
collision: “I held on with all im
might. I felt that if I didn’t I wouH
surely die. I heard an explosionano
the fire started immediately af
terwards. God gave me strengthani
I jumped through the window. 1
managed to save a German coudt
It was luckier than winning thew
According to railway officials, tl*
accident occurred at 6:40 p.m.,whtt
the behind-schedule easttxaund ii>
ternational train hit a Coimb
bound local train between thetora
of Mangualde and Nelas in tht
mountainous Serra da Estrela rt
Alvaro Rodrigues, a ticket colb
tor on one of the trains, told ANOF
he managed to escape with two
women when the car they were rid
ing in tipped over.
“I could do no more becaust
flumes were spreading through tht
carriage, and I feared explosions,
he said.
Hospital authorities in Viseu, 18i
miles northeast of the capital, Lis
bon, appealed for donations (f
blood, and police asked people to
stay away from the scene to facilitatt
removal of the dead and injured.
Big-game hunting fun for couple
Associated Press
LUFKIN — Deb Saxton of Lufkin
holds the record for the second larg
est Asiatic Water Buffalo ever killed
by a woman.
But she did it with a borrowed
gun that knocked her down and she
certainly doesn’t plan to hang out
her shingle as an expert.
“I don’t want to give anybody the
impression that I am a macho, super
hunter,” she says.
She and her husband, Dr. James
Saxton, are big game hunters. The
skill and the impressive trophies,
though, she credits to her husband.
Her involvement began with her ac
companying him as a non-hunting
companion. She took advantage of
several opportunities to kill an ani
mal, and now she, too, is listed as a
hunter when they book their hunts.
Her kills include the water buffalo
in Australia in 1984; a fallow deer in
New Zealand in 1984; a Spanish Red
Stag in Spain in 1980; a sable ante
lope, an impala, and a zebra in Af
rica in 1975. Last but not least, she
names the “good white tail” deer
that she has bagged in Texas.
“There’s so much 1 love about it. .
. shooting animals is way down on
the list,” Mrs. Sayston says. “It’s
meeting people and seeing things
that you’d never see otherwise.”
She spoke of making lifelong
friendships, of discovering cave
paintings in the outback of Austra
lia, of buying damascene articles in
Toledo, Spam. Too, their hobby is
something that the couple can enjoy
She says she enjoys seeing the ani
mals in their natural habitats.
“Any kind of a stag is so majestic,”
Mrs. Saxton said. “They are regal.
I’ll get a chill watching them some
times. It wanned my heart to see the
kangaroo running across the fields
in Australia.
“Just imagine riding in a jeep and
you can actually see herds of zebra,
impala, sable antelope, and kudu.
They’ll graze and eat — just like
She sees the contradiction in an
animal lover hunting, but she says,
“There are a lot of misconceptions
about hunting. Hunting is not just
going out and shooting animals. You
wouldn’t be a hunter if you didn’t
love wildlife. Hunters are conserva
She and her husband are very
careful about which animals they
take, she says. They may kill an ani
mal from an area where that partic
ular species is overpopulated, or a
very old one. They do not seek out
the largest young buck, but instead
leave him to father future genera
“Big game hunters will go for the
trophy animals and the trophies are
the old animals.
“We honestly eat everything we
kill,” Mrs. Saxton says, though she is
not as enthusiastic an eater of wild
game as some. “I don’t eat every
thing whole hog, but I taste it.”
Not long ago, she cooked a moun
tain lion that Dr. Saxton had killed.
After their youngest son, Josh, 7,
had eaten his helping, she said her
husband asked him, ‘“Do you feel
like you can run faster and climl)
mountains? You just ate my moun
tain lion.”’
The Saxtons have two other sons,
Jamie, 25, and John, 17.
The trophy room in their homeii
filled with evidences of their con
quests. Two elephant tusks frame
trie fireplace. A “grand slam”displai
— the four types of large Norti
American sheep — are mounteil
over the fireplace. Two hearthsidt
stools are maoe of elephant feet cov
ered with zebra hide.
Josh puts his toys away into theel
ephant feet instead of a conventional
Guests rest their feet on zebu
hides w'hile sitting on the couch. One
chair is made of kudu hide. The
banisters beside the steps are inter
twined elk antlers. The bear rugii
complete with head and bared teetl
and all the walls of the high-cei
linged room are covered will
mounted heads, most boasting
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