The Sunken Treasure of Poverty Island with Richard Bennett

Richard T. Bennett, Master Scuba Diver Trainer presents the legendary story The Sunken Treasure of Poverty Island, a treasure that has haunted diving treasure hunters since the first documented report in 1904. Travel with Bennett from the Civil War days to Lake Michigan’s cold and frigid depths in his decade long quest for the reported $300,000,000 in lost gold.

Bennett, a professional diver and author of ‘The Poverty Island Sunken Treasure Brief’, has spent over forty-five years and $100,000 of his own money searching for the Civil War treasure. His belief in the treasure has been bolstered by Steve Harrington, a maritime historian, but another historian, Chuck Feltner, debates the veracity of the treasure since there is no record of a ship sinking there despite flawlessly kept records of ships lost on Lake Michigan. However, Richard believes that there would be no record because the treasure was brought during a clandestine operation.

Despite that belief, there is a story that a group of sailors might have accidentally snagged one of the trunks in 1929. They discovered the trunks while pulling up anchor, but before they could get it aboard, the anchor chain snapped and treasure and anchor were lost in the water. A few years later, Karl Jesson, the son of the Poverty Island lighthouse keeper, reported watching a salvage crew that seemed to make an exciting discovery in Lake Michigan just before their ship was sunk by a storm. The sunken salvage ship Captain Lawrence from 1933 was discovered in 1993 and found not to contain the gold. Nevertheless, Bennett is quite confident that he is very close to the treasure.

Poverty Island is a small island in the U.S. state of Michigan. The island is within Delta County in Lake Michigan and is home to the Poverty Island Light Station, an abandoned lighthouse which is in disrepair. Poverty Island is currently owned by the federal government.

Bennett is the author of: 1) Deep Quest – The Entry 2) The Sunken Treasure of Poverty Island 3) Island of Bones and the award recipient of:
The Our World Underwater Award 2017
The PADI 50 year Contributions Award 2016
The PADI DIVING Excellence Award 1994
SSI Platinum 5000 Diving Award 1993


Oct 09 2021


9:30 am - 11:30 am


Plymouth Arts Center
520 East Mill Street, Plymouth, WI


Research Center
(920) 467-4667

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