Spurred on by childhood tales of pirates and adventure, Dr. E. Lee Spence, built his own diving gear and found his first shipwrecks the year he was twelve. That was 1959-1960. He has since found hundreds more wrecks and has worked on everything from Spanish galleons and pirate ships to Civil War blockade runners and twentieth century freighters. He remembers the exciting dreams of his youth and is still making them come true. One of those dreams was eating off the dinner plates and drinking wine recovered from the shipwrecks. Another was finding gold and silver coins, cannons and swords. He has lived all of those and lots more.
Vice magazine described Spence as "a pioneer in the field of underwater archaeology, a world-renowned treasure hunter, and just about as close to an actual living, breathing Nathan Drake (in the Uncharted gaming series) as you’re ever going to find." Some think he is the “real Dirk Pitt” (the protagonist of the Clive Cussler novels), while others refer to him as the "Indiana Jones of the Sea."