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"'Pirate Hunters' is a gripping account of two courageous divers' quest to uncover the shipwrecked vessel of Joseph Bannister, one of history's most infamous pirates"--
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY CHICAGO TRIBUNE • A thrilling adventure of danger and deep-sea diving, historic mystery and suspense, by the author of Shadow Divers Finding and identifying a pirate ship is the hardest thing to do under the sea. But two men—John Chatterton and John Mattera—are willing to risk everything to find the Golden Fleece, the ship of the infamous pirate Joseph Bannister. At large during the Golden Age of Piracy in the seventeenth century, Bannister should have been immortalized in the lore of the sea—his exploits more notorious than Blackbeard’s, more daring than Kidd’s. But his story, and his ship, have been lost to time. If Chatterton and Mattera succeed, they will make history—it will be just the second time ever that a pirate ship has been discovered and positively identified. Soon, however, they realize that cutting-edge technology and a willingness to lose everything aren’t enough to track down Bannister’s ship. They must travel the globe in search of historic documents and accounts of the great pirate’s exploits, face down dangerous rivals, battle the tides of nations and governments and experts. But it’s only when they learn to think and act like pirates—like Bannister—that they become able to go where no pirate hunters have gone before. Fast-paced and filled with suspense, fascinating characters, history, and adventure, Pirate Hunters is an unputdownable story that goes deep to discover truths and souls long believed lost. Praise for Pirate Hunters “You won’t want to put [it] down.”—Los Angeles Times “An exceptional adventure . . . Highly recommended to readers who delight in adventure, suspense, and the thrill of discovering history at their fingertips.”—Library Journal (starred review) “A terrific read . . . The book gallops along at a blistering pace, shifting us deftly between the seventeenth century and the present day.”—Diver “Nonfiction with the trademarks of a novel: the plots and subplots, the tension and suspense . . . [Kurson has] found gold.”—The Dallas Morning News “Rollicking . . . a fascinating [story] about the world of pirates, piracy, and priceless treasures.”—The Boston Globe “[Kurson’s] narration is just as engrossing as the subject.”—The Christian Science Monitor “A wild ride [and an] extraordinary adventure . . . Kurson’s own enthusiasm, combined with his copious research and an eye for detail, makes for one of the most mind-blowing pirate stories of recent memory, one that even the staunchest landlubber will have a hard time putting down.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review) “The two contemporary pirate-ship seekers of Mr. Kurson’s narrative are as daring, intrepid, tough and talented as Blood and Sparrow—and Bannister. . . . As depicted by the author, they are real-life Hemingway heroes.”—The Wall Street Journal “[Kurson] takes his knowledge of the underwater world and applies it to the ‘Golden Age of Piracy’ . . . thrillingly detailing the highs and lows of chasing not just gold and silver but also history.”—Booklist “A great thriller full of tough guys and long odds . . . and: It’s all true.”—Lee Child From the Hardcover edition.
From the author of the bestselling Shadow Divers, a gripping true story of bitter rivalries on the high seas, a briliant 17th-century pirate captain, and the two adventurous men determined to find treasure Captained by English nobleman-turned-pirate Joseph Bannister, the Golden Fleece was a pirate ship sunk by the Royal Navy in 1686 and was rumored to have taken with it many fortunes' worth of gold. Finding and identifying a pirate ship is the hardest thing to do under the sea, so when present-day adventurers John Chatterton and John Mattera hear of it, they know they have to risk everything to get their hands on it. In doing so they throw in their lot with legendary treasure hunter Tracy Bowden, who rejects sonar technology and searches only using maps and gut instinct. Their hunt takes them from a rumoured shipwreck site off the coast of the Dominican Republic, to Spain, New York, and Florida. On the course of the journey the hunters realize that to find the ship they must think like the Golden Fleece's devious pirate captain. In bringing their tale to its thrilling conclusion, bestselling author Robert Kurson not only recreates the break-neck excitement of their search for the lost ship, but also vividly re-imagines life on the high seas in the Golden Age of Piracy. Featuring a daring cast of characters from past and present, Pirate Hunters is true-life high adventure at its finest, and a treat for pirate enthusiasts and modern-day exploration buffs alike.
In the tradition of Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air and Sebastian Junger’s The Perfect Storm comes a true tale of riveting adventure in which two weekend scuba divers risk everything to solve a great historical mystery–and make history themselves. For John Chatterton and Richie Kohler, deep wreck diving was more than a sport. Testing themselves against treacherous currents, braving depths that induced hallucinatory effects, navigating through wreckage as perilous as a minefield, they pushed themselves to their limits and beyond, brushing against death more than once in the rusting hulks of sunken ships. But in the fall of 1991, not even these courageous divers were prepared for what they found 230 feet below the surface, in the frigid Atlantic waters sixty miles off the coast of New Jersey: a World War II German U-boat, its ruined interior a macabre wasteland of twisted metal, tangled wires, and human bones–all buried under decades of accumulated sediment. No identifying marks were visible on the submarine or the few artifacts brought to the surface. No historian, expert, or government had a clue as to which U-boat the men had found. In fact, the official records all agreed that there simply could not be a sunken U-boat and crew at that location. Over the next six years, an elite team of divers embarked on a quest to solve the mystery. Some of them would not live to see its end. Chatterton and Kohler, at first bitter rivals, would be drawn into a friendship that deepened to an almost mystical sense of brotherhood with each other and with the drowned U-boat sailors–former enemies of their country. As the men’s marriages frayed under the pressure of a shared obsession, their dives grew more daring, and each realized that he was hunting more than the identities of a lost U-boat and its nameless crew. Author Robert Kurson’s account of this quest is at once thrilling and emotionally complex, and it is written with a vivid sense of what divers actually experience when they meet the dangers of the ocean’s underworld. The story of Shadow Divers often seems too amazing to be true, but it all happened, two hundred thirty feet down, in the deep blue sea. BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Robert Kurson's Pirate Hunters.
Blinded at age three, Mike May overcame his disability to become a competitive downhill skiier and a member of the CIA, and in 1999 undertook an experimental surgery in an attempt to restore his sight.
“Titanic meets Tom Clancy technology” in this national-bestselling account of the SS Central America’s wreckage and discovery (People). September 1875. With nearly six hundred passengers returning from the California Gold Rush, the side-wheel steamer SS Central America encountered a violent storm and sank two hundred miles off the Carolina coast. More than four hundred lives and twenty-one tons of gold were lost. It was a tragedy lost in legend for more than a century—until a brilliant young engineer named Tommy Thompson set out to find the wreck. Driven by scientific curiosity and resentful of the term “treasure hunt,” Thompson searched the deep-ocean floor using historical accounts, cutting-edge sonar technology, and an underwater robot of his own design. Navigating greedy investors, impatient crewmembers, and a competing salvage team, Thompson finally located the wreck in 1989 and sailed into Norfolk with her recovered treasure: gold coins, bars, nuggets, and dust, plus steamer trunks filled with period clothes, newspapers, books, and journals. A great American adventure story, Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea is also a fascinating account of the science, technology, and engineering that opened Earth’s final frontier, providing “white-knuckle reading, as exciting as anything . . . in The Perfect Storm” (Los Angeles Times Book Review). “A complex, bittersweet history of two centuries of American entrepreneurship, linked by the mad quest for gold.” —Entertainment Weekly “A ripping true tale of danger and discovery at sea.” —The Washington Post “What a yarn! . . . If you sign on for the cruise, go in knowing that you’re going to miss meals and a lot of sleep.” —Newsweek
The riveting inside story of three heroic astronauts who took on the challenge of mankind’s historic first mission to the Moon, from the New York Times bestselling author of Shadow Divers. “Robert Kurson tells the tale of Apollo 8 with novelistic detail and immediacy.”—Andy Weir, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Martian and Artemis By August 1968, the American space program was in danger of failing in its two most important objectives: to land a man on the Moon by President Kennedy’s end-of-decade deadline, and to triumph over the Soviets in space. With its back against the wall, NASA made an almost unimaginable leap: It would scrap its usual methodical approach and risk everything on a sudden launch, sending the first men in history to the Moon—in just four months. And it would all happen at Christmas. In a year of historic violence and discord—the Tet Offensive, the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert Kennedy, the riots at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago—the Apollo 8 mission would be the boldest, riskiest test of America’s greatness under pressure. In this gripping insider account, Robert Kurson puts the focus on the three astronauts and their families: the commander, Frank Borman, a conflicted man on his final mission; idealistic Jim Lovell, who’d dreamed since boyhood of riding a rocket to the Moon; and Bill Anders, a young nuclear engineer and hotshot fighter pilot making his first space flight. Drawn from hundreds of hours of one-on-one interviews with the astronauts, their loved ones, NASA personnel, and myriad experts, and filled with vivid and unforgettable detail, Rocket Men is the definitive account of one of America’s finest hours. In this real-life thriller, Kurson reveals the epic dangers involved, and the singular bravery it took, for mankind to leave Earth for the first time—and arrive at a new world. Advance praise for Rocket Men “In 1968 we sent men to the Moon. They didn’t leave boot prints, but it was the first time humans ever left Earth for another destination. That mission was Apollo 8. And Rocket Men, under Robert Kurson’s compelling narrative, is that under-told story.”—Neil deGrasse Tyson “Rocket Men is a timely and thrilling reminder of a heroic American achievement—three dashing astronauts and the first rendezvous with the Moon. It has it all—suspense, drama, risk, and loving families. We could use those days again.”—Tom Brokaw

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