Review Category : National News

Florida Sunken Treasure Discovery From 1715 Shipwreck Valued at Over $1 Million

1715 Fleet – Queens Jewels, LLC(FT. PIERCE, Fla.) — Florida treasure hunters hit the sunken treasure jackpot.

Brent Brisben — a co-founder of 1715 Fleet-Queens Jewels LLC, which has the rights to dive at the wreckage site where the gold was ultimately discovered — told ABC News that the 60 gold artifacts on the bottom of the ocean floor are valued at over $1 million.

The artifacts include 51 gold coins and 40 feet of gold chains with hand-crafted links, he said.

The centerpiece of the discovery is a single coin, given the nickname the “Tricentennial Royal,” which was destined to be delivered straight to Spanish King Phillip V, Brisben said.

This coin constitutes about half of the discovery’s expected value, with a price tag of more than $500,000, Brisben said.

The valuable find comes right before the 300-year anniversary of the 11-ship fleet sinking during a hurricane on July 31, 1715, off the Florida coast. The fleet had left from Havana, Cuba, on July 24, 1715.
Brisben said the discovery was made about a month ago, but he wanted to keep everything under wraps until the anniversary got closer.

“The work that goes on out there is not typical of what you see here today. I don’t want to call it an abrogation, but it’s what the dreams of every one of the people doing this are made of,” Brisben said at a news conference Tuesday.

The treasure discovery — caught on video — was found by one of the company’s sub-contractors, the Schmitt family, in 15-foot deep water off the coast of Ft. Pierce, Florida, according to Brisben.

“We’re very respectful of the people who lost their lives in these shipwrecks. Unfortunately, they didn’t make it,” Eric Schmitt said at the news conference. “We’re able to continue their story on by continuing to bring these artifacts up.”

Over the past two summers, the Schmitts have made national news thanks to their discoveries from the fleet of Spanish ships, The Orlando Sentinel reported.

In 2013, the family found several pieces of a solid gold chain — more than 60 feet in all — and last year Schmitt found the back portion of a handcrafted gold-filigree pyx, a vessel used to hold the Eucharist during the Christian observance of Holy Communion.

Brisben said up to 20 percent of the find goes to Florida and the remainder of the treasure will be divided between the company and the Schmitts.

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Cyclist’s Helmet Cam Captures Moment SUV Hits Him Then Speeds Away

Trip Volpe(SEATTLE) — A cyclist’s GoPro camera on his helmet caught his recent close encounter with a SUV at an intersection in Seattle, Washington, where the driver crashed into the cyclist and sped away.

The cyclist, Trip Volpe, was headed northbound on Dexter Avenue at Thomas Street when the SUV made a quick turn in front of him, ABC affiliate KOMO-TV reported. Volpe’s helmet cam captured the sound of his bike braking hard and the moment the SUV crashed into his bike and then fleeing the scene.

Volpe was knocked down and suffered minor injuries, KOMO reported.

“I was really angry at the guy because he pulled out in front of me, we collide, and he just flees the scene,” Volpe told KOMO. “I could’ve been seriously injured. Hell, he could’ve run me over if I had somehow slipped under his tire. That’s really not cool.”

A still from the video Volpe caught on his $400 GoPro also appears to show the SUV driver holding a cell phone, KOMO added.

“He was staring at his phone during the turn,” Volpe told KOMO. “If you’re driving, don’t look at your phone. Please. You’ll kill somebody.”

Seattle Police Department Sgt. Whitcomb told ABC News that the driver turned himself into police about an hour-and-a-half after the incident and that the case remains active under investigation. Whitcomb said he could not immediately identify the driver’s age or name.

Volpe did not immediately respond to ABC News’ requests for additional comment.

ABC US News | World News

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How a Car Salesman Allegedly Kidnapped During a Test-Drive Escaped

iStock/Thinkstock(CONCORD, Calif.) — A California car salesman was in for the ride of his life after a customer test-driving the vehicle tried to steal it with him in it, police said.

The salesman, from a dealership in Concord, California, 30 miles northeast of San Francisco, was on a test drive with a customer on Monday, according to the Concord Police Department. The dealership, Lehmer’s Concord Buick GMC, made a copy of the suspect’s driver’s license before leaving, police said.

During the test drive, investigators say, the customer told the salesman that he was stealing the car, according to ABC station KGO-TV in San Francisco.

When the car reached the city of Pittsburg, about 10 miles away from Concord, “the victim was able to escape from the suspect by getting out of the car while it was stopped” and called the police, according to the Concord Police Department. The salesman is shaken up but okay, KGO-TV reported.

The suspect fled the area and was later apprehended by Antioch Police Department, Concord Police said. There was a police chase that ended in a crash, KGO-TV reported. Lehmer’s Concord Buick GMC did not immediately respond to a request for comment from ABC News.

Concord Police and Antioch Police did not immediately respond to a request for additional information from ABC News.

“The suspect was arrested and later transported to County jail for kidnapping, resisting arrest and for stealing a car,” Concord Police said Monday. “The suspect’s identity has not been confirmed at this time and we are unable to release any identifying information. This is still an on-going investigation and no additional information will be released to the public at this time.”

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Convicted Spy Jonathan Pollard Granted Parole

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Convicted spy Jonathan Pollard has been granted release from prison by the U.S. Parole Commission, according to a U.S. official.

Pollard was sentenced to life in prison after being arrested in 1985 for stealing secrets for Israel. Laws at the time mandated eligibility for parole after serving 30 years, according to the Justice Department.

He is now set to be released on Nov. 21.

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Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo Pilot Recalls Chilling Moment of Accident

Virgin Galactic(WASHINGTON) — The Virgin Galactic pilot who miraculously parachuted to safety after SpaceShipTwo disintegrated over the Mojave Desert last year felt as though something was trying to rip his helmet off as he fell to the ground.

Peter Siebold’s interview was included in a release Tuesday by National Transportation Safety Board. Following a nine month investigation, the agency shared their findings in the Oct. 31, 2014 accident, saying it was caused by “premature repositioning” of the spacecraft’s tail wings.

The two tail wings of the spaceship are supposed to move when the vehicle hits a certain speed — a process known as “feathering.” The co-pilot unlocked the feather early at a speed of Mach 0.8 instead of the intended speed of 1.4, triggering what Investigator in Charge Lorenda Ward called “catastrophic structural failure.”

While co-pilot Michael Alsbury died in the crash, Siebold was able to share his harrowing story of survival with investigators, beginning at the moment of the accident when he recalled experiencing the jolt of a “very violent, large pitch-up with high G’s and grunting noises.”

As the cabin tore apart, Siebold recalled hearing what sounded like “paper fluttering in the wind.”

When Siebold was outside the spacecraft, he told investigators he remembers hearing a high frequency whistling noise and realized his helmet and mask were twisted. Opening his eyes, he saw the desert below as he continued to fall in a stabilized position.

Since SpaceShipTwo was a test flight, there was a great deal of data recorded by Virgin Galactic and its partner, Scaled Composites, which investigators were able to analyze as a part of their investigation.

Though the executive summary, findings and probable cause were released Tuesday by the NTSB, the full 200-page report will not be released for a couple more weeks.

ABC US News | World News

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Thief Picks Up $150K in Bag Accidentally Left on Lawn by ATM Delivery Workers in New Jersey

Ingram Publishing(MAHWAH, N.J.) — Two employees who deliver cash to ATM machines in the Mahwah, New Jersey area “inadvertently” left behind $150,000 worth of cash in a satchel on a lawn during a recent stop, according to police.

Surveillance video from the area showed that shortly after the ATM delivery employees drove away, a white van drove up and a passenger from the vehicle steeped out, took the bag of money and drove away, the Mahwah Police Department said in a news release.

Cops said they are now looking for the suspect.

The Mahwah Police Department did not immediately respond to ABC News’ requests for additional information such as the identity of the ATM delivery employees or what company they work for.

The employees who accidentally left behind the $150,000 told police they realized the cash-filled satchel was missing only 15 minutes after they drove away, police said, adding that when they returned to the location to try and recover the bag, it was missing.

The white van, which appears to be a GMC Savana, is believed to have pulled into a nearby auto repair business, where the suspect who stole they money also tried to take used tires but was asked to stop by employees, police said in the news release that did not name the auto repair business.

Police described the suspect as a “dark skinned male wearing a tee-shirt and long white athletic shorts with some type of dark stripe down the thigh area.”

Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Mahwah Detective Michael Grassi or Eric Larsen at 201-529-1000 extension 216 or 217.

ABC US News | World News

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NY Prison Worker Joyce Mitchell Pleads Guilty to Aiding Escapees

G.N. Miller – Pool/Getty Images(PLATTSBURGH, N.Y.) — Former New York prison employee Joyce Mitchell pleaded guilty Tuesday to helping two prisoners escape from a maximum security prison in June.

Mitchell, who worked in the tailor shop at Clinton Correctional Facility, was jailed shortly after Richard Matt and David Sweat escaped on June 6.

Following a three-week manhunt, Matt was shot and killed. Sweat was captured soon after and jailed.

Mitchell, 51, pleaded guilty to first-degree promoting prison contraband and fourth-degree criminal facilitation. She faces a prison sentence ranging from two-and-a-third years to seven years.

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NY Limo Driver Fired After Being Caught Texting Behind Wheel

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The driver of a limousine bus in New York was fired after he was caught scrolling and texting on his phone while behind the wheel.

Amanda Castellano posted a video to Facebook on Sunday appearing to show the driver texting while driving. She said she was among a group on their way to the Hamptons.

“I was furious,” she said. “I couldn’t believe that a man who had 45 lives in his hands would do something so serious.”

The company said the driver was fired after the incident.

“To all of our valued clients and followers. I want you to know that we take safety very seriously and it is our number one priority,” M and V Limousines Ltd. said in a Facebook post. “We have zero tolerance for texting/distracted driving as it is not only against the law but against our policies. When I was made aware of it the driver was fired immediately.”

In 2013, more than 3,000 people were killed in car crashes involving distracted drivers, which includes driving while eating, drinking, using a GPS, or adjusting the radio, according to Distraction.gov.

“Something can be established where you can’t do illegal things, text and drive, especially when you have these lives in your hands,” said Castellano.

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NY Limo Driver Fired After Being Caught Texting Behind Wheel

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The driver of a limousine bus in New York was fired after he was caught scrolling and texting on his phone while behind the wheel.

Amanda Castellano posted a video to Facebook on Sunday appearing to show the driver texting while driving. She said she was among a group on their way to the Hamptons.

“I was furious,” she said. “I couldn’t believe that a man who had 45 lives in his hands would do something so serious.”

The company said the driver was fired after the incident.

“To all of our valued clients and followers. I want you to know that we take safety very seriously and it is our number one priority,” M and V Limousines Ltd. said in a Facebook post. “We have zero tolerance for texting/distracted driving as it is not only against the law but against our policies. When I was made aware of it the driver was fired immediately.”

In 2013, more than 3,000 people were killed in car crashes involving distracted drivers, which includes driving while eating, drinking, using a GPS, or adjusting the radio, according to Distraction.gov.

“Something can be established where you can’t do illegal things, text and drive, especially when you have these lives in your hands,” said Castellano.

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Coast Guard Expands Search for Florida Teenagers Missing at Sea

U.S. Coast Guard press release(JUPITER, Fla.) — The Coast Guard has searched 27,000 square miles for two teenagers believed to be lost at sea off the coast of Florida.

An area roughly the size of West Virginia had been searched for Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen as of midnight Tuesday. The two 14-year-olds were last seen Friday when they left Jupiter, Florida, for a fishing trip.

Their boat was found capsized off the coast of the Ponce de Leon Inlet, about 180 miles from Jupiter, on Sunday.

Coast Guard Capt. Mark Fedor said on Monday that the two could likely survive about four or five days at sea based in part on survivability charts.

“I have a 13 and 14-year-old at home and this resonates with me,” Fedor said.

The Coast Guard’s search is now focused north of where the boat was found, Fedor said.

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