History Airs Sunken Ship Gold Quest “Billion Dollar Wreck” of RMS Republic

Have you always been fascinated by stories of ship wrecks and sunken treasure?  Well, you’re in luck as The History Channel will air an eight-part series on the quest to salvage gold from the RMS Republic that sunk in 1909.

The RMS Republic was one of the largest and most luxurious vessels of its time when it collided with another ship shortly after departing New York Harbor in the wee hours of January 24, 1909.  This White Star ship has remained at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean ever since.

The series will focus on treasure hunter Martin Bayerle’s search for the RMS Republic’s 150,000 American Eagle gold coins, which are worth billions in today’s market.  Martin is joined by his son, Grant in this search.

Original Productions and Platinum Dunes Productions have produced Billion Dollar Ship Wrecks. And Philip D. Segal, Sarah Whalen and Jarrod Harlow are executive producers.

Billion Dollar Ship Wrecks will premiere on The History Channel, Monday, February 8 at 10:oo EST.


  1. This show is a rip off british documentary TV series called “Billion Dollar Wreck Hunt”
    However, Billion Dollar Wreck, the one History Channel is airing is Very heavily scripted.
    Just listen to the dialogues – it sounds like if someone is reading a book.

  2. This show is a rip off british documentary TV series called “Billion Dollar Wreck Hunt”
    However, Billion Dollar Wreck, the one History Channel is airing is Very heavily scripted.
    Just listen to the dialogues – it sounds like if someone is reading a book.

  3. It doesn’t seem scripted to me, I saw the preview last week. The man, Martin Bayerle’s life seems very interesting, he definitely talks the talk and had a lot of misfortune. History Channel, Discovery Channel, et. al, specialize in these kinds of programs. It might be “edited” tight, but they have a full complement of camera crew, recording everything, it’s all the way it’s edited and narrated. Don’t think it’s scripted, per se….perhaps edited for continuity.

  4. Just a couple of points. The Republic took 37 hours to sink. For much of that time a Coast Guard cutter (Gresham) was at the site. Does anyone seriously believe that the U.S. government would have left 3 million dollars in U.S.Treasury gold aboard a SINKING SHIP rather than transfer it the Gresham? They had PLENTY of time to do so. And if that transfer was made, why would they leave a Navy payroll behind?

    And…given the relatively shallow depth that the ship rests in, why hasn’t the government ever tried its own salvage? Why isn’t the U.S. government claiming the gold for itself? Even if it wasn’t government gold, the wreak is well within our territorial waters, the feds could stake a claim. More to the point, if there was gold on board, it was insured, where are the insurance companies, demanding repayment for the money they paid out on the loss, as they did with the S.S Central America, and that ship went down in 1859!

    Maybe because….there ISN’T any gold, and there NEVER was? Or if there was, the government transferred it to the Gresham before the Republic went down.

    This whole thing reeks of “Publicity Stunt”

    1. You have not reported accurate info. True it took several hours to sink, but the Republic was in tow back to nyc. It was expected to make it When it starting to sink there was very little time before it actually did.

    2. Ed, that is something I constantly ask myself. I must admit I’m a sucker & enjoy watching this tv show. Maybe in hopes that they do actually find something. But I keep wondering, why, if it took THAT long for the ship to sink, would they NOT have removed the gold. I believe in an article I read, it says that numerous ships came to offer their assistance, but that the captain refused it & stated that a navy ship ( The Baltic, I think?) was on its way to help. I just can’t see the government allowing all that gold to simply sink to the bottom of the ocean for no good reason. And maybe I need to read Bayerle’s book, but I would like to know WHAT exactly caused him to come to the conclusion that all this gold was aboard the ship.

  5. So also misinformed about this. The technology to dive 275 feet is only occurred the past 35 years. Even today it is very difficult and dangerous. Please do your research before stating ignorant theories

    1. The Republic was struck by the Florida at 07:40, it foundered at 20: 40 the FOLLOWING day. 37 hours. It wasn’t taken under tow until AFTER numerous attempts were made to stop the flooding, this included the crew of the Gresham lending a hand with collision mats. There was NEVER any thought of reaching New York, they were trying to tow her to shallow water to facilitate salvage operations. The Republic was going down and everyone knew it. Please do your research before posting a reply

      You might also explain why the Feds are not laying claim to the “treasure” or why the insurance companies that would have paid off for the loss aren’t asking for their money back. Fact: The guy running this has NO DIRECT EVIDENCE that the Republic was carrying any “treasure” He openly ADMITTED this.. When asked about this he came up with “Top Secret Gold To Russia” theory.

      Why is there no evidence? Because it’s Top Secret! Or…because there is no treasure and there never was.

    2. Sorry black dog,,the u.s.Navy had that technology,i.e mixed gasses to go to 300′..in 1951…very few were capable of this technology…it wasn’t available to commercial divers ,,private companies for about 198x.

  6. One more point, the crew of the Gresham removed all the U.S. mail aboard the Republic. Hmmmm. They removed all the mail, but left behind 3 million in gold and a U.S.Navy payroll. Sure! That makes sense!

      1. “Shipwrecks In The Americas”
        By Robert Marx
        Dover Publications 1971

        “Falling Star”
        Misadventures of White Star Line Ships
        By John Eaton and Charles Hass
        W.W. Norton & company 1989

        There now, I’ve shown you my sources, you show me your sources that say the mail remained on board the Republic.

        As was posted earlier, if gold had been discovered the news would have gotten out…FAST. Everyone would know how this dog and pony show ended. How they discovered the gold wouldn’t be nearly as exciting as the discovery itself. That translates into…Boring TV.
        The only episode of this show anyone would have any interest in would be the one where the gold is discovered.
        The gold, for History Channel, is getting people like you to tune in week after week to boost ratings. It’s called…Selling Advertising Space.
        The gold for Patchy The Pirate is getting all those viewers to buy THE BOOK he wrote about his first expedition, and all his his half-baked theories as to why, this time around, he’s gonna find the “Lost Gold Of The Czar.”

        Watch the show, buy the book. That is where the REAL gold is. It’s a suckers bet. Have fun.

  7. I firmly believe it is a Flawed effort…..and the first show is badly,edited to try and keep you interested……Hunting Hitler was actually way more interesting!!….We already know they didn t recover the gold since that’s something no,one can keep,quiet…..Its not riveting enough…..Like Oak Is And it just gets old same old same old…….

    1. One thing I could not help but notice in the first episode, in their “war room” they have a clay model of the Republic in it’s current condition on the ocean floor. Remember, this is the second trip to the site, the first was done over a period of years in the “double aughts”
      In the first expedition, as the clay model clearly shows, they demolished the entire ship looking for gold. The superstructure and passenger cabins are GONE entirely, the cargo holds have been ripped open down to the keel and completely plundered. No gold.
      Then “The Capt” points to a hole in the model amidships and says that was the specie room, where something like gold coins would normally be stored. He “drilled into it” (his words) and found….nothing. Then…he “suddenly” remembers a story about a remodeling of the Republic and the specie room was…moved… to a part of the ship he hasn’t plundered yet.
      Well…of course! That’s it! The “top secret Russian gold” is in that one tiny part of the Republic he hasn’t ripped open yet.
      The graphic that they open the show with, that shows the Republic intact on the ocean floor, well. I guess that is a lot more “photogenic” than the pile of rusty scrap metal Martin Bayerle has reduced the Republic to on his treasure hunt.

  8. This is the worst edited show that I have ever seem. History Channel, you should be ashamed!! This should be called “Pete and Repeat”. The theme song should be ” Tell it over and over and over again”.
    So far they have found some plates and a beer mug. I could be wrong because I get so tired of everything being told over and over, I might have missed something. If so, it must have been a commercial.
    I have always loved the History Channel but whoever edits this program must be smoking dope!
    I have seen my last episode! If they do find something, I’ll probably be over a 100 years old before it appears on the show!
    Regards from a disappointed viewer!
    Glenn Whited
    Athens, AL

  9. This show is 95% fake. The 5% truth is the wreck exists and the murder drama exists. The first clue is when they show the pump which is to send air/gas to the diver. The 1 inch pressurized air hose is connected to the fitting with electrical tape! As an amateur diver for 40 years, that blew my mind. Next they send a diver down ALONE 275 feet using that damaged equipment on his very first dive using a helium/oxygen mix. For some unexplained reason (possibly the rigged air hose) the diver suddenly could not breath and the star of show didn’t care at all. On Episode 4, they send a new diver on a dive limited to 30 minutes. Nothing can get done underwater in 30 minutes. The diver then calls up to the boat to see how much time he had left, as if every diver doesn’t wear a very expensive dive watch, along with dive computers. Completely bogus. And then, of course, the boat’s anchor line is tangled in the wreck. What kind of incompetent captain lets that happen? The anchor line should never have touched the wreck, let along go in circles around it. Sadly, the “HISTORY” channel should be renamed the “FICTION” channel.

  10. I really love this show gold or no gold this is a man chasing his dream something not everybody gets to do I had a dream I was chasing just like martin but it was cut short I had a brain aneurysm but some people don’t get the chance to chase there dream. But no matter what you have to give Martin two thumps up the man deeply cares about his staff on board like he said the gold ain’t worth risking nobody’s life for which in the 35 years he’s worked on the republic there has been no deaths on his watch. But I love the show I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds.

  11. Yup they don’t find nothing and a complete waste of time. And why is H2 taken off ?? It had good shows like the universe and other space shows

  12. Well, I think you’ve collectively arrived at the reality of this reality show… it’s all a bunch of baloney!

    That guy Martin is a nut job, and I believe he got his kid in on the action for a paycheck, because the kid does nothing, except sit around and make comments about life with his nutty old man, while announcing the amount of dive time left for the divers… because nobody else knows how to read a bigass digital clock!

    I don’t recall who made the comment, but the idea that Martin Barelybelievable is cashing in on hawking his wares is the real lost gold he is trying to recover. His book sells on Amazon for $27.00!

    And what’s with the eye patch?? I know before the patch he had a screwy left eye, so what happened? Did he get into a prison fight and get it cut out? Now that would be a story!

    Lastly… Who’s paying for this gig? Who are the nutty investors fronting the cash to make this whole expedition possible? History Channel? Hmmmm?

    I think it’s all a bunch of crap, and that everybody’s getting paid no matter if they find the “lost gold,” or not!

    If you really believe in this whack-job Bayerle, and that the gold really exists, then break out that check book and send in your contribution for a cut of the treasure!

      1. I watched the last show of the season last night and was very disappointed that they did not even find a hint of gold or even get into a first class passengers cabin to find anything.
        The history of the RMS Republic was very interesting throughout the shows however it was repeated too many times.
        At the present rate it will take 10 years to even get near the gold. Martin Bayerle did not learn much from his salvage effort in the late 80’s. They should salvage whatever they can in the first class passengers cabins and any cargo that is easy to get at to help offset the salvage costs. If they could salvage a bunch of items first they could have a traveling mueseum like the titanic artifacts that have been exhibited to also help pay for continued salvage. The divers can only spend 30 minutes of bottom time to do any work. This process is too slow. ROV’s can work almost around the clock and divers can’t.
        The Bayerele’s need to contact a company like Odyssey Marine Explorartion that has experience with different types of salvage and give them a share for their efforts. If they can’t get to the bottom of the cargo hold they will need to consider cutting an exploritory hole in the side of the ship to at least find out if the gold is there. Time is money in this type of salvage efort and they need to get expert help or the ship will have crumbled to pieces in the meantime trying to salvage it their way.

  13. Please, please, please stop the family drama. 50 times is plenty. A 10 minute dive each week is nothing more than a rip off for the show. Give me a break and speed the nothing up please.

  14. History channel and Martin are making money off the murder of this guy. I thought that was illegal for Martin to do. The show is more about the murder and how he wasn’t guilty… Sorry buddy you shot someone 5 or 6 times basically with an audience, and spent 2.5 years in jail. And you are complaining about it? You are nuts in more ways than one.

    Quite frankly tired of listening to tapes of two crazy people talking on the phone.
    Stop with the murder angle. Of course what’s left a few minutes of murky waters
    gathering flatware, toilets, and bottles. That and unfowling anchor lines.

    As far as a plethora of gold coins to recover, that seems highly unlikely. Like
    others have mentioned, I think it it existed it was removed during countless hours before it sank.

  15. Just like the curse of oak island, the show goes round and round. Nothing ever really gets done and nothing is found. Why do they talk it up so much then give us nothing. Then they make it seem like they will find something in next weeks show, which is a total lie because they never find anything. Yes the research was interesting the first time I heard it but after hearing it ten times it gets old, and they show more of the guys messed up life then they do showing the ship wreck and cool stuff around the wreck. I don’t envy the camera crew for these shows, if this is the most interesting stuff that they can cram into an hour a week then it must have been insanely boring being on that ship 24 hours a day. History channel definitely doesn’t make me want to be a treasure hunter.

  16. One last point, If this “Top Secret Gold To The Czar” really existed why would it be sent on a commercial vessel? This was supposed to have been a government to government transfer, and “top secret” to boot!

    So…the gold is loaded by civilian dockyard workers (to keep it secret, Treasury agents doing it would have tipped off everyone) on board the Republic, she sailed to England, then the Mediterranean. Once it was in the Mediterranean, the only way to Russia is up the Bosphorus, past Istanbul, across the Black Sea to the Imperial Russian Naval Base at Sevastopol. Or, to a civilian port be off-loaded by civilian dockyard workers (again) then loaded onto a train for the trip to Moscow.

    The whole time the gold is in transit it risked discovery by all the civilians who would have handled it. And how tempting do you think 3 million in 20 dollar gold coins would have been to these guys? This is Patchy The Pirate’s theory.

    My view, if the gold existed, it is loaded by Treasury agents on board a Navy ship in New York, which sails to Reykjavic, Iceland to re-fuel, from there it sails to the Imperial Russian Naval Base at Severomorsk, to be off-loaded by agents of the Russian government in a secure military facility, then loaded on a special train to Moscow.

    Not only is the amount of handling minimized, ALL the handling is done by government agents in secure facilities, and the trip itself is thousands of miles shorter which means the transfer is that much faster. Why would our government entrust a “top secret” gold shipment to a civilian ship when it would be faster, cheaper and WAY, WAY, more secure to send it on a U.S. naval vessel? The answer is…they wouldn’t. And they didn’t. There is no gold. If there was a “navy payroll” on-board, it was taken aboard the Gresham before the Republic went down.

  17. Oh Dear…The History Channel pulled the plug on Patchy The Pirate. No “Top Secret” gold shipment to Russia, no “Navy Payroll” Just a scam artist trying to drum up interest in his bulls**t book and get the History Channel to pay his bills. So sad. Too bad.

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