Recap

'Cooper's Treasure' recap: Will Darrell Miklos find sunken riches from Christopher Columbus' ships?

In 1492, he sailed the ocean blue, but Christopher Columbus' ships went on other voyages.

And on Tuesday's episode of "Cooper's Treasure," Darrell Miklos' hunt for shipwrecks took him on a trail that involved the man who discovered America.

Miklos, who knew the late Gordon "Gordo" Cooper, one of NASA's seven original Gemini astronauts, said that Cooper had observed what he believed were shipwrecks from low Earth orbit.

Cooper left Miklos maps and other information about possible sites and the adventurer was determined to use it to find long-lost treasure.

On the Discovery Channel episode, Miklos decided to consult the professional shipwreck hunting company, The Fisher Group, about Cooper's charts.

In 1985, Mel Fisher found the lost Spanish ship called the Atocha that had sunk in the 1600s off the Florida Keys. About $450 million worth of items, including gold and jewels, came out of the sea from the stunning discovery.

But Miklos showed Mel’s son Kim Fisher how, 22 years prior to the Atocha find, astronaut Cooper had mapped that area as a possible shipwreck.

He showed Fisher the chart where Cooper had noted anomalies, and Fisher found it fascinating and urged him to continue his work because there are 1,000 Spanish wrecks still unaccounted for.

Later, Miklos decided he should be looking in the Turks and Caicos Islands, known as one of the main routes of the Spanish treasure highway.

Miklos couldn't understand what the late Cooper was trying to tell him in one of his notes, then it made him realize that Columbus had sailed to the new world four times.

Years ago, Miklos' dad Roger, also a treasure hunter, believed he'd found the location of Columbus' ship the Pinta but the dive ultimately fizzled.

Roger advised his son to go to Spain to find the manifest of Columbus' ships.

Miklos' wife, weary of his treasure hunting, warned him, "This is your last chance," as he set out for Seville, Spain.

There, an archivist helped him figure out that the Pinzon brothers who had sailed with Columbus had indeed traveled through Turks and Caicos in 1501.

Miklos took a copy of the manifest document to a woman who translated it from Castillian Spanish.

According to the translator, the Pinzons went to Haiti and traveled north, when a storm hit and some ships sank, including the Santa Maria. The Pinta and the Nina traveled on.

But the translator noted that these were considered "minor voyages" because Columbus didn't go along although they were his ships.

Still, Miklos is thrilled to hear on this 1501 voyage, according to the Spanish manifest, the ship was carrying gold, silver, treasure, and precious stones such as emeralds.

"I want to dance," Miklos raved, thinking Cooper's map could lead him to it.  "Millions and millions of dollars."

The translator agreed, "Follow that lead!  You're on the right track."

Miklos told the cameras that the expert had confirmed that "Columbus …had other ships sent [to the new world] and the Pinzon brothers came back."

And the adventurer was ready to follow the clues to their sunken ship as the episode ended.