It’s been a little while in preparation (difficult things almost always are), but the project I mentioned a little while ago has now gone live for crowdfunding on Kickstarter (so I now have 30 days to convince you and a thousand other people to back it).


The documentary I’m planning to make is called Gold Beyond Your Dreams: the idea is to go to Mauritius and see if I can finally unravel some (though hopefully most) of the secret history of Bernardin Nagéon de l’Estang and his alleged pirate treasure, and tell the story. But I’ve included a 3-minute video (with subtitles) as part of the pitch which explains it all nicely, along with a project plan showing exactly what I’m aiming for: hopefully it’s specific enough.

Even though I think there’ll be enough source material for 120+ minutes, I’m aiming for a 45-minute final edit to keep it all tight and interesting.

What do you think?

14 thoughts on ““Gold Beyond Your Dreams” documentary, now crowdfunding live on Kickstarter…

  1. ‘Pledge £40 or more

    Can there be a better way to start a new day than drinking black coffee from an exclusive artist-designed black pirate mug?

    The phrase comes from H.L.Mencken: “Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.”‘


    Hoist the black flag? Begin slitting throats? Oh my…

  2. JP: …so presumably you drink herbal tea in the morning? 😉

  3. I’m just thinking that in this day and age it might be misconstrued,

  4. It was to be expected. Childish and extorting money.

  5. JP: it would be exceedingly hard to reconcile any kind of pirate (even literary or aphoristic) with contemporary political correctness, so please excuse me if I leave that mountain for others to climb. 🙂

  6. Gregory: thank you for sharing your opinion so candidly. Good luck with your own difficult endeavours in the future, whatever they may be.

  7. Nick,
    I see that Gregor has received a more polite reception for his comment here than he did at voynichimagery.

  8. As long as you can tell the difference between a tortoise and a green turtle. Key West, Florida had a turtle ‘kraal’. Previous to the huge discovery of the Spanish gold treasure ship, another tourist attraction was the ‘kraal’ — which was Key West’s attempt to keep the species alive (and to end the trade in tortoise-shell bracelets, Another use for the ‘tortoise-shell’ were fan blades tor the enormous flamingo and/or ostrich feather fans. I have, in my collection of artifacts that I inherited from my mother, the remains of one of those fans.

  9. ps: The Dry Tortugas (hangout for pirates — and later a fortress/prison for same – has recently (for a while, at least) been a tourist attraction. I’m trying to recall if President Kennedy (during the Cuban Crisis) came very close to a nuclear stand-off.
    Politics have never been my foremost interest. It took his assassination to make me realize just how dangerous a life many politicians live.

  10. So, the one place where you might get funding would be Mel Fisher’s treasure museum. When I was working in the book & newspaper store (Valladares), Mel’s divers would come in to pick up the New York “Times” Sunday newspaper. One man wore a gold coin on a heavy gold chain.
    “Somewhere” in the news, I’ve read that emeralds (green gems) were later being found near the shipwreck’s location.
    So, it would be of great interest to me if we were to discover that, perhaps, Mel and his crew had also gone treasure hunting on Mauritius — previous to exploring the Florida Keys.

  11. ps: you might find some funding from historians, museums, etc. in North and South Carolina (USA).

  12. SirHubert on September 25, 2016 at 8:53 am said:

    Interesting that Mel Fisher’s name should have come up, and I hope this won’t be completely off the point.

    I understand that Mel’s projects were funded by outside investors whose rewards were to be paid largely, if not completely, by receiving a share of treasure discovered.

    The difficulty then comes in how to value the treasure.

    Many of the objects found on shipwrecks aren’t unique, especially objects like coins which are of course mass-produced. So let’s say you can have a coin or bottle or even an emerald of a given type which was recovered from (say) the Atocha. Is that worth more than an identical coin, bottle or emerald which doesn’t have the wreck provenance?

    That’s a difficult question to answer. Let’s say, hypothetically, that someone like Mel Fisher sells common silver coins from the Atocha for $99 each in his museum shop. People buy them because they’ve enjoyed their visit and want an interesting souvenir. Would they care very much if they discovered that they could have bought an identical coin from a coin dealer for $25 instead? My guess is probably not, because the provenance and context is as valuable as the object itself in this context.

    But what about the investors? Let’s say I’m owed $99,000, and I receive 1,000 of these coins which are being sold to the public at $99 each. Is that a fair reimbursement? You can argue it is, because the salvor is selling them for that price in his own museum shop. But when I try to sell them on the open market I find that outside this context they’re routinely sold for $25 each and dealers will only offer me $15 each for them.

    And that’s the point at which the lawyers come in.

    So when you next read that a shipwreck has been discovered and its cargo valued at some astronomical price, it’s worth looking to see who’s done the valuation 🙂

  13. @ Sir Hubert: Besides the Nuestra Senora de la Atocha, and Mel Fisher’s enterprise, and at about the same time, another fortune in emeralds was being discovered “somewhere” along the North and South Carolina coasts. I’m planning on getting in touch with my brother-in-law to see if he is at all interested in Nick’s blog.
    And then there is the issue of (state and federal) taxation. Whew !!

  14. @ our host, Nick:
    Yesterday, I visited a website which was filming/televising the discovery of a ship-ful of emeralds off the “New Jersey” shore. I’m now going to back-track to the histories of New York State and New Jersey State as far as ‘precious cargo’ on sunken ships anywhere along those shores or inland.
    Another example of ‘precious cargo’ was the disappearance of a very famous explorer and his son; both of whom were never found — after being set adrift in a small boat. The Native Americans on shore have, however, passed down their several generations of ‘storytellers’ mention of seeing a very small boat drifting with the strong currents past their compounds/villages.

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