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Searching for Biblical Treasure

Fifty miles off the coast of Nantucket, 250 feet beneath the Atlantic, lies the RMS Republic and her secret treasure. As soon as Republic sank, rumors spread of a precious cargo, but the ship has kept her secrets intact for over a century, until now. Life-long treasure hunter Martin Bayerle joined Connie Willis (email) for all four hours to discuss how he has devoted the past 35 years of his life researching the shipwreck and proving the existence of her reputed cargo of 150,000 American Eagle gold coins, a bounty worth a billion dollars in today’s economy, and his quest to recover the it on his second attempt at the Republic.

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Searching for Biblical Treasure

Show Archive
Date: Wednesday - January 15, 2003
Host: George Noory
Guests: Vendyl Jones

A veteran of 8 major excavations, Prof. Vendyl Jones, Wednesday night's guest, has spent years searching for the Ark of the Covenant in Israel. Following the inscriptions on an ancient copper scroll that he referred to as a treasure map, Jones and his team have made a number of discoveries. Entering a concealed entryway "we found a silo in the bedrock of the cave that contained over 600 kilos of the spices to make the holy incense," he said. Estimated to be over 2400 years old, the incense still gave off fragrance when burned and the anointing oil was still liquid, Jones stated.

He believes that the undiscovered tabernacle stands 60 ft.-high and is erected in a chamber under the columns of a cave. It is here where he thinks the treasures of the temple will be found which include a set of sapphire stones and a scroll of the Torah, written by Moses' actual hand. "This scroll will have a tremendous impact," he said.Seismic testing that will reveal information is being done in an area in Israel that Jones believes holds a good chance of being his long sought after location.

Meet the Gorgons

Vendyl Jones and his Institute have been involved in archaeological excavations in the state of Israel. Recently, evidence has surfaced that there was once a Greek temple in the city of Dor, which is on Israel's Mediterranean coast. The area, which has been home to eight civilizations dating back 3,000 years, may have had a Greek presence around the seventh century BCE.

The latest Biblical Archaeology Review analyzed the finds from a dig there. "Especially tantalizing was a huge clay mask, much larger than an ordinary human face. All that was preserved however, was a gigantic eye, with an eyebrow and part of the forehead," wrote Ephraim Stern. Eventually other pieces were located and found to form the heads of two Gorgons.

Gorgons are well known in Greek mythology (most famously Medusa) and have typically been depicted as monstrous beings with snakes for hair, fang-like teeth, and their tongues sticking out. In Greek culture representations of the Gorgon on shields, walls and gates became popular as a protective agent especially against "bewitchment." Because it was determined that one of the Gorgon heads from the Dor excavation was part of a roof tile this lent credence to the idea that there had once been a Greek temple at the site.

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