This week’s Cooper’s Treasure saw Darrell Miklos continue his hunt for an underwater fortune using maps drawn by astronaut Gordon Cooper.
He says what we’re all thinking as the episode starts out, admitting: “I may be on one of the craziest treasure hunts in history.”
The twist at the beginning of the series last week was that his estranged dad, Roger Miklos, has a vital key chart that connects the maps Darrell has to the physical locations.
“I don’t want to beg my father for a map,” he says this week as he pays a visit to Susan Cooper, Gordon’s widow.
Darrell says of Susan: “I’m not sure how much Gordon actually told her.”
But Susan is receptive to his visit and shows him where Gordon stored his materials relating to all of this space business.
As he is digging through papers, Darrell finds real historical gold as he discovers Cooper’s orbit charts, saying of his find as he points at the map: “Flight path! That’s freaking huge!”
In his hands are the Mercury 9 voice data recordings from May 15, 1963. He says: “I’ve got tapes of him talking while he’s probably taking photographs.”
This is the tether to unlock the secrets of the maps that Darrell needs, as silent moments in the recordings suggest that was when Cooper was photographing underwater wrecks and jotting down their locations.
Then he finds a chart with Roger Miklos’s name on it. Empty. He curses and knows his dad has something too.
Darrell sets out to meet flight supervisor Gene Kranz who fills the screen with buoyant recollections of Gordon, much to Darrell’s delight. He says: “Gordon was interested in flying fast airplanes and driving fast cars.”
B-roll of Gordon doing all sorts of daring stunts is spliced with footage of the actual capsule that took him to space.
Gene deflects any direct questions about Cooper’s “silences” and photographic equipment he had on board.
Gene clams up. He’s pissed and shuts down the conversation, then abruptly leaves.
Darrell could not finesse this man to give him any insight. “I definitely hit a nerve,” says Darrell. “I’m probably getting into dangerous territory.”
Back home, Darrell is at a wall, perusing his materials and realizing he has to make some sort of peace with his dad. He says: “My dad taught me how to be a bulls****er.”
Back to Florida. “I’m dreading facing my dad again,” he says.
His dad beats him up for not cutting him on the inception of the series, the production, and the treasure hunt. It’s all about the Benjamins for him.
Darrell lashes out, telling his dad: “Gordon and I became extremely close, he was like a father figure to me.” Ouch.
He pleads his case as his dad suddenly rises and whips out old charts — you guessed it, the missing links for Darrell.
Niagara falls time. “That was one of the weirdest exchanges between a father and son,” says Darrell.
We wind up with Darrell finding a spot close to where he is and the chase for treasure is on.
There is old B-roll of Gordon interspersed as a submergible magnet is employed to see if there is metal on the sea bed. Bingo!
Then, in the middle of an electrical storm, he dives deep. A wreck is found! Not a treasure ship alas, but this confirms that the sites Gordo marked exist and match up with the charts.
And that’s our lure to come back next week to see what else Darrell uncovers…
Cooper’s Treasure airs Tuesday at 10/9c on Discovery.