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Billion Dollar Wreck


Fifty miles off the coast of Nantucket, 250 feet beneath the Atlantic, lies the RMS Republic and her secret treasure. A famed White Star liner, Republic, set sail three years before the Titanic. Like Titanic, she met a similar fate at the bottom of the ocean. As soon as Republic sank, rumors spread of a precious cargo, but Republic has kept her secrets intact for over a century. Until now. Life-long treasure hunter Martin Bayerle has devoted the past 35 years of his life researching the Republic and proving the existence of her reputed cargo of 150,000 American Eagle gold coins–a bounty worth a billion dollars in today’s economy. The quest to recover the gold is a siren’s call he’s answered before. In 1987, Martin raised millions of dollars for an expedition to recover her gold, but searched the wrong section of the massive vessel and came home empty-handed. The failure left Martin broke, embroiled in lawsuits, estranged from his wife and, eventually, landed him in prison. Despite this, Martin’s obsession with Republic only grew stronger. Now, with the help of his estranged son, Grant, Martin is returning to Republic for one last shot at the gold. Armed with three decades worth of new research, Martin is convinced he now knows the precise location of the gold. Together, Martin and Grant will lead a team of salvage divers down the deep, dark and dangerous waters that have held Republic’s bounty hostage for a century.

Grant Bayerle

Grant Bayerle is the General Counsel for Lords of Fortune Shipwreck Recovery Co., handling the financial and operational aspects of the RMS Republic salvage operation. He is a graduate of West Virginia University with a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and minor equivalency in Accounting, and also holds a J.D. from the WVU College of Law. He is a licensed attorney in Florida and West Virginia. Grant recently celebrated the arrival of a newborn son, Maverick Giovanni Bayerle.

Martin Bayerle

Martin Bayerle has more than 35 years of experience with deep-sea cargo recovery, including multiple salvage operations on the RMS Republic. He is the Managing Member of Lords of Fortune Shipwreck Recovery Co. and the author of The Tsar’s Treasure: The Sunken White Star Liner with a Billion Dollar Secret, which details his exhaustive research on the RMS Republic and her secret cargo. He is also a PADI-certified Master Instructor who has taught scuba diving and previously owned dive shops in Brooklyn, NY and Martha’s Vineyard. He holds BA and BSc degrees from Fairmont State College in Fairmont, West Virginia and an MBA from West Virginia University. Martin is the father of Grant and Tessa Bayerle.

Tim Ferris

Tim Ferris is the Salvage Master on the current expedition for Republic’s treasure. Born and raised in New England, Tim was working on the water from an early age. Twenty years ago, he made the decision to pursue a career in deep-sea commercial diving, and began working his way up to the elite ranks of saturation diving. Tim was the project manager on the sinking of the USS Vandenberg, the second largest artificial reef in the world, as well as many confidential international salvage operations. After starting his own company, Tim and his crew played a key role in projects including the Deepwater Horizon oil spill cleanup, pumping out the New York City subway system after Super Storm Sandy, several salvage projects in the Middle East, and a salvage job in Egypt during the Arab Spring.

Billion Dollar Wreck

The Mysterious Treasure of the Republic

We'll take a special sneak peek at History's upcoming new series, BILLION DOLLAR WRECK, where treasure hunter Martin Bayerle and his son return to the wreck that nearly destroyed their family, on an expedition to solve the mystery of the RMS Republic and recover a billion dollars in gold.


Diver Down

Martin unravels more of the mystery behind the Republic's treasure. And, during an attempt to recover the gold a panicking diver has an accident that puts his life in jeopardy and threatens to shut the mission down.


Doomed to Repeat

When the ship's generator fails, and diver Mark's condition worsens, the crew must head back to port. And a devastated Martin recalls his failed 1987 Republic dive and the crushing effect it had on his life.


The Gold Chambers of Secrets

Martin follows the money trail through history and identifies a mysterious transaction with a Russian banker that may prove the gold is aboard the RMS Republic, while he and the salvage crew return to the wreck and zero in on her bounty.

23 March 2016, 10pm