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Cooper’s Treasure Season 2: Discovery series finds historic artifacts on premiere using maps from space

Darrell Miklos
Cooper’s Treasure Season 2 began with some big finds for Darrell Miklos

Cooper’s Treasure Season 2 kicked off on Discovery last night — and it didn’t take long for the finds to start coming thick and fast.

The docuseries focuses on treasure hunter Darrell Miklos, whose mission, along with finding eleven ships believed to hold vast amounts of treasure, is to verify, honor and continue the hard work of astronaut Gordon Cooper, who while in space drew maps of the vessels’ possible locations.

Miklos admitted on the premiere that he has a tight timeline — just eight weeks to find any booty or be “finished” for good. Mortgaged “up to his eyeballs”, Miklos has hired a core crew and the best tools and technology he can muster to work hard, fast and smart.

The hunt comes after Darrell was given precious maps and notes made by Cooper while he orbited Earth, which have previously been kept secret for 40 years.

Cooper reportedly told Miklos to “finish what I couldn’t do”, urging him to explore the mapped shipwrecks and go for the gold, literally.

In last night’s premiere, Darrell and his crew made the first big discoveries of the expedition as, using Cooper’s maps, they recovered period-correct nails, deadeyes (part of a ship’s rigging) and a cannon.

The swath of ocean they were searching in the Bahamas is dubbed the “holy grail” by Miklos as regards the possible colonial-era shipwrecks it might hold.

The show revealed how Miklos was boarded by police in the Turks & Caicos islands and ordered to surrender the Columbus-era ship anchor he found in Season 1. He said on last night’s Season 2 premiere: “If I find just one of the wrecks, I can make up for all the losses in Turks & Caicos islands.”

In the premiere, Gordon Cooper’s daughter Colleen told how her father was a treasure hunter first and foremost, before he ever went into space. She also had evidence and ephemera like journals, photos and news clippings to back her claim up. At one point, Colleen showed Darrell the Spanish gold coin he took up into space with him.

Here are the highlights from last night’s Season 2 premiere:

Cooper’s Treasure: The Honey Pot

According to Miklos, the treasure-laden wrecks he is looking for lie in the waters off the Bahamas. “Gordo [Cooper] was obsessed with the Bahamas and mapped the biggest treasure-filled wrecks off the islands,” he said.

Miklos also has hundreds of photos that show Cooper’s mapping was accurate, confirming several of the “anomalies” that Cooper saw from space.

The old Bahamas had routes that ate ships alive in the treacherous shallows. On Cooper’s Treasure, Miklos maps out areas to focus each recovery dive
Darrell Miklos
The photos and the maps all link up, which is why the Bahamas has become the focus of Miklos’s hunt

Cooper’s Treasure: The players

Gordon Cooper

Darrell Miklos’s mentor and “second father”, Gordon Cooper was a treasure hunter and ground-breaking astronaut.

Gordon Cooper, Darrell Miklos
Cooper with a younger Darrell, who he bequeathed a priceless haul of maps and notes

Roger Miklos

Rogue treasure hunter, “snake oil salesman” and Darrell Miklos’s real father, Roger Miklos lived a fast and large life, and now has a contentious advisory relationship with Darrell.

Roger Miklos
Miklos is the colorful and interesting sidewinder of Cooper’s Treasure

Eric Schmidt

Recovery expert and Miklos’ right-hand man.

Eric Schmidt
Schmidt knows his stuff when it comes to a recovery mission.

Mike Perna

“Mad scientist”, survey and magnetometry specialist.

Mike Perna
Magnetometer expert Mike Perna is a steady, calming crew member

Jim Sinclair

Marine Archaeologist and part of Miklos’s crew previously dove on the Titanic.

Jim Sinclair
Jim Sinclair, who has a huge amount of previous experience, with Miklos

Lost, found and recovered

Lost: The anchor from a Columbus-era fleet that was found by Miklos on Season 1 was ordered by Turks & Caicos authorities to be returned to the sea.

A still showing the anchor being put back in the sea

Found: A crossarm anchor circa 1800s, which was discovered and left at sea.

Anchor on seabed
The anchor which they decided to leave on the seabed

Recovered: Square head nails, circa 1600s.

Two square-head nails
Two square-head nails after being brought to the surface

Recovered: Cannonball.

Cannonball on the seabed
The cannonball lying on the seabed

Recovered: A square-cut iron pin.

Diver with square cut iron pin
One of the divers underwater with a square cut iron pin

Recovered: A mast deadeye.

Mast deadeye
Deadeyes were used mainly in rigging for things like mast stays, and could also function as a pulley

Recovered: Cannon

The big find of the premiere confirms they are on right track

With so much evidence mounting up, it looks like the discoveries are set to keep coming as Cooper’s Treasure Season 2 continues. What will they find next week? Stay tuned!

Cooper’s Treasure airs Friday at 9 pm ET/PT on Discovery.

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April is an accredited entertainment writer, interviewer and television critic. She is a current member of the Television Critics Association (TCA), Gay and Lesbian Entertainment... read more
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