Expediditions byGalleon Quest
Are led by World Renowned Treasure Hunter
Dr. E Lee Spence
The Adventure Starts
Dr. Spence is an internationally known expert on shipwrecks and sunken treasures. He received one of the first five doctorates (Doctor of Marine Histories, College of Marine Arts, 1972) ever awarded for marine archaeology anywhere in the world and he has long been considered one of the founding fathers of marine archaeology. Dr. Spence has discovered hundreds of treasure laden and historical wrecks.
Spence has salvaged hundreds of millions of dollars in valuable artifacts and has been responsible, through his archival research, for the location of the wrecks of the side-paddle-wheel steamers Republic and Central America from which over one billion dollars in treasure has been recovered.
He has authored more than two dozen books and has served as an editor for a number of nationally distributed magazines. He is also an award winning cartographer and has published a number of maps and charts dealing with shipwrecks and treasure.
Always an adventurer, Spence has traveled to a wide range of exotic places in the Far East, Europe, Central and South America. He has explored castles, palaces, shipwrecks, ancient ruins, secret tunnels, and subterranean and underwater caves. He has dived in the Great Lakes, the Atlantic, the Pacific, the Mediterranean, and the Caribbean.
He has been shot at, buried in cave-ins, tangled in fishing nets, pinned under wreckage, run out of air, lost inside a wreck, and bitten by fish while pursuing his quests.
Dr. Spence has discovered numerous historically significant shipwrecks, including the Civil War blockade runner Georgiana and the Confederate submarine Hunley. He also identified Charleston born banking and shipping magnate George Trenholm as the “Real Rhett Butler” upon whom the character was based.
The State of South Carolina’s claim of ownership to the Civil War submarine Hunley was based on Spence’s 1970 discovery of that vessel and his subsequent gift of his salvage rights to it to the State. Spence’s gift of his rights was made in September of 1995 at the official request of the Attorney General of South Carolina and the South Carolina Hunley Commission.
In 2013, Dr. Spence announced his discoveries at Cape Romain of the 1894 wreck of the SS Ozama and the 1881 wreck of the SS United States. Partnering with Galleon Quest in 2018, Spence has resumed dive and recovery operations on the Cape Romain site and will be conducting the expeditions to the Caribbean.