News

Signum Ops has produced a new software developed for salvors of the 1715 Fleet along Florida's east coast, ready for release as DigTrakR 1.0.  The beta edition will be distributed to select operators in the first quarter of 2018.  Online help files for the application are now under development and are hosted at this web site.  That help file can be found here.

The software is devised especially to make use of the 1715 Fleet maps developed originally by the Fishers and devised by Bill Moore.  These charts, provided to sub-contractor salvors, are 2D drawings produced using AutoCAD and feature records of excavation over a period of more than 30 years. 

DigTrakR is a 32-bit Windows program, which will run on Windows XP Pro and on through the current release of Windows 10.  It is a product that has a developmental history reaching back more than 25 years to original versions written specifically for cadastral mappers, based on computer aided drafting engines created by Oleg Kolbaskin.  Over the years, the code has migrated through three releases of the dynamic link libraries produced by Oleg and had its most recent incarnation as MagTrakR, which was written privately to map magnetometry surveys.  With the newest version of Kolbasoft's LiteCAD 2D CAD engine, particular code was developed to handle the attribute data in the 1715 Fleet maps. DigTrakR 1.0 as currently designed is directed toward 1715 Fleet operations, but it can be adapted for use by the scientific community at large. The program is equipped with the means to use a number of earth coordinate projections and it has an NMEA 0183 GPS interface.

 

The Biography of Burt D. Webber, Jr. is now available!

Burt Webber circa 1964The complete authorized biography of Burt D. Webber, Jr., titled "A Master on the Spanish Main", written by T. L. Armstrong, PA of Signum Ops, is now available on Amazon.  Burt is one of the true 'Treasure Finders' of the 20th century, best known for his discovery and salvage of the Concepcion on the Silver Banks in the late 70's.  With a career spanning more than 50 years in the treasure salvage business, he was one of those men who took up the challenge as a real business and succeeded after many years of developing the technology necessary, along with the business acumen and diplomacy required to make it happen.  The volume is laced with many photos never before published along with Burt's official recollections under his own hand.  While he has been celebrated for his great work on the wreck of the Concepcion, he's been involved in many, many more projects including the Genovesa, the Quedah Merchant of Capt. Kidd fame, the SS Central America, the Jesus of Nazareth, and others.  The book contains profound information on the recent developments regarding the UNESCO challenge throughout the Caribbean basin.

Burt Webber circa 1964T. L. "Terry" Armstrong is a certified commercial diver who worked for more than eight years in offshore oilfield and commercial salvage operations. He is also a respected veteran of the 1715 Plate Fleet salvage efforts along Florida's 'Treasure Coast'. His professional career spans more than twenty years in IT management and GIS programming and analysis. He has numerous published articles to his credit in the fields of cadastral mapping, crime mapping, and facial composite illustration. In the genre of treasure and shipwrecks, he is best known for his production of "The Rainbow Chasers In The Great Florida Treasure Hunt". One of his most recent works, "West Of The Bull", deals peripherally with the French Huguenots in the vicinity of Cape Canaveral. He has co-authored "A Hundred Giants" with Dr. Robert H. Baer, and Gaetan Algoet, and in 2015 produced and co-wrote a follow-on edition of the "Rainbow Chasers" as the "Rainbow Chasers Tricentennial YEARBOOK".

"A Hundred Giants: New Discoveries" is now available!


The first settlement of Europeans in Florida occurred in 1564 in the vicinity of Jacksonville. French Huguenots attempted a foothold there and lasted a year before being wiped out by the Spanish. As the struggle between the French and Spanish developed, French forces were shipwrecked along the Florida coast and executed by the Spaniards in the vicinity of Matanzas Inlet. In 2008 the authors began translating a Dutch manuscript published by Pieter Vander Aa, circa 1705. The Vander Aa manuscript, previously unseen as an English publication, is used to drive on the investigation of new evidence found along the shore of Florida indicating where the Huguenots were killed and where at least one of their ships was wrecked. The book contains an exact reproduction of the Vander Aa manuscript, photos of artifacts supporting the new evidence, and more than twenty maps illustrating the subject locations. This revised edition of the original book, A Hundred Giants, published in 2014, contains an Afterword dealing with the discoveries of significant artifacts found along the north side of Cape Canaveral in 2015 and 2016 by Global Marine Exploration, Inc., with an analysis of the resulting federal court action along with illustrations of the stone monument and bronze cannons found at 'Site 2'. The book contains more than 20 maps, 70 photos, and 50 illustrations.

Upcoming Publications

Dr. Bob Baer is currently working on a book about the Padre Island wrecks of 1554.  The book is shaping up well with many photos never seen before, furnished by Billy Kenon, along with many specially constructed illustrations.  Additional information regarding here-to-fore unknown similar coinage salvaged in Hispaniola has come to light recently, thanks in part to Global Marine Exploration.  Dr. Baer is an archaeologist of record with GME.


Terry Armstrong sends