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This book points that out BUT doesn't make us feel bad about all of our past diet failures. The author is one of us. I love her comic timing and her sense of humor. Aug 06, Lisa rated it it was ok. The usual from Jen Lancaster. It had it moments but when I am done with her books, I am mad at myself for having bought them. Oct 30, Roxanne rated it it was ok Shelves: memoir. OK, so I spent most of this book absolutely hating Jen Lancaster.

Here is a chick who doesn't have to go to work--she stays home and writes full-time--yet she can't get her ass to the gym. If I had the opportunity to stay home and write full-time, I wouldn't be wasting all my time looking at videos of sneezing pandas on the internet--I'd be working out or doing yoga every damn morning and writing all damn afternoon.

Just in case, you know, anyone wants to fund that or anything. So, I hated Jen Lancaster, because she has the time and opportunity to write that I would absolutely kill for and she's wasting it. Her dieting is also totally half-assed and idiotic. And, unrelated to the dieting, a lot of this book reads like an email to her buddies about what she did last weekend actual email messages are even included in the book , and, uh, I don't need to buy a book to read that kind of thing, so that was a little annoying too.

She realizes that she doesn't need to eat a mountain of food at every meal to be full, and that butter is not a food group all its own. She starts taking her health seriously and working out with a personal trainer, and she's much less damn annoying to read about after that. Good for you, Jen Lancaster. She actually gets her brain into a really healthy place about food, and I enjoyed seeing that in this kind of book. Jen realizes that she hates the "food is evil" mindset and she develops some mindfulness about her eating habits, which I think is full of win. The book gets two stars.

For the first pages I was only giving it one star, but then Jen's turnaround towards the end of the book was worth three stars, so I'm averaging.

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Oct 29, Anastasia Riebs rated it really liked it Shelves: my-reviews , memoirs , chic-lit , non-fiction. This is NOT a feminist memoir. Or is it? I'm a fan of reading books on women's issues and feminism, and I generally shy away from books that attack less-empowered women, but I have to say; Jen Lancaster's bitching definitely works in her favor. I've just finished re-reading Such a Pretty Fat, and, just like the virgin read, by the time I closed this book's cover, I felt both a vicarious giddy, ridiculous self-acceptance, and a also little smug. Such a Pretty Fat is a memoir chronicling the author's struggles with her own body image and weight loss.

Jen makes repeated conflicting statements about her comfort with her own body weight, yet, throughout the book, she hypercritically projects her insecurities onto other women- women she encounters who more closely resemble the idealized feminine form. Whatever flaws she may have, this great memoir reads to some degree like a pissy note passed in high school. Jen Lancaster feels like best-friend material. She's a myriad of inconsistencies; she somehow manages to come off as both dainty and foul, self-indulgent and overly-critical of herself.

It was a pleasure to share her journey through weight loss, and easy to root for her, even at her worst. I feel the need to defend her, to push the point that she is NOT a hot mess, only deeply insightful and multifaceted. This book is worth reading. Besides, in the end, even Barbie redeems herself. Life just doesn't get any better than that.

Such a Pretty Fat is a memoir written by author Jen Lancaster that documents her personal weight loss journey. I thought this book was hilarious and brutally honest when it comes to societal, family, and personal factors that contribute to weight struggles for some. I just loved this book! My favorite thing about this book: I found it refreshing to see the writer publicly laugh at herself and the whole health-changing journey she was on. Sarcasm is my favorite type of humor and this book is full Such a Pretty Fat is a memoir written by author Jen Lancaster that documents her personal weight loss journey.

Sarcasm is my favorite type of humor and this book is full of it! I was glad to see the author's confidence pre-weight loss was strong and her rationales for losing weight were health-focused versus societal pressures and poor self-image. My least favorite thing about this book: Such a Pretty Fat is a nonfiction memoir that follows the author's attempts to lose weight.

She tries various marketed diet fads and weight loss programs that at times seemed a bit like a commercial. However, I understand that the author would want the reader to know what aspects drew her attention to the various weight loss methods she considered. It was educational reading her personal insight as to why these various programs weren't effective for her. This made up for the initial "commercial" feel. My favorite quotes: I have way too many favorite quotes to list here but this quote is what sold me on this book And you know what?

Like now when I see my underpants in the laundry, I no longer think Soft! Instead I hear her say Damn, girl, these panties be huge. Jul 26, Kathie H rated it did not like it Recommends it for: Absolutely no one! What a slog. It was like being tortured. I stand in awe that Jen Lancaster could actually have gotten published. I have lost faith in American publishing if this manure could be published by any respectable publishing house.

Oh my goodness! I gave this woman my money! I am sick to my stomach. The writer book is written in the first person is completely unlikeable with no redeemable qualities. I should have known I would have a problem with this author's opinions when she said she wears Crocs. Hold my head somebody. She curses all the time. I believe that people who curse are too ignorant to know the proper words to use, so they just spew obscenities.

Jen Lancaster is a perfect example of my theory. She writes about being in shock that she actually sold a book. Here's an excerpt: "I know I've done this a couple of times before, but each time a book sells, it feels like a miracle. Because it is!

A horrible, nightmarish miracle! You're really interested in what I have to say? And you're willing to write me a check to do so? And then you'll put these thoughts - asinine as they may be - and put them in a format that will live on in the Library of Congress forever? Truly unbelievable! Because this book is garbage.

As my dear mother would say, its only use is to line the birdcage. Thank goodness those birds don't know how to read. At one point, the author says she didn't like a personal trainer because she had no sense of humor, which Jen Lancaster defines as someone who doesn't find her funny. She also uses words that are not words. My kingdom for an editor! She actually used the non-word "orientated. This woman is getting paid for being illiterate. I have so much more to say. Just please: Don't read this book. Life is too short to waste on this rubbish.

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Jul 28, Kate rated it it was ok Recommends it for: sarcatic, mean, snarky people. Shelves: memoirs , nonfiction , health-and-nutrition. I'm gonna steal this line from another review I just read: I wanted to like this book. I really did. But her writing just got on my nerves. She was a little too mean at times, recycled a lot of her jokes, and filled her margins with unnecessa I'm gonna steal this line from another review I just read: I wanted to like this book. She was a little too mean at times, recycled a lot of her jokes, and filled her margins with unnecessary and sometimes annoying footnotes.

And I could deal with that but what really got me was that a lot of her book was filler. For example, at one point, she goes thrift shopping with a few of her friends, and she spends about eight pages describing this experience, including how she's not a good driver and how her one friend is a perfectionist. Yet when she meets with her personal trainer, there's very little description about what she does. If this is a memoir about weight loss, I'd think that's a little more important than how she couldn't merge while driving or her friend's coffee habit.

And to be completely honest, I was thisclose to just giving up on this book after the first few chapters, but I persevered since I heard such good things about it. I guess if you like snark, maybe you'd enjoy this book. All I can say is that I'm glad I didn't pay for it. Apr 03, Monet rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites , humor , chick-lit , autobio-memoir. Absolutely every woman needs to read this book.

Sometimes I sit on the couch cross-legged because I don't feel like walking to the bathroom. The memoir of a woman on the adventure of weight-loss, that's hilarious and brutally honest when it comes to societal, family, and personal factors that contribute to weight struggles. Jen Lancaster has a gift with words and sarcasm. This book had me laughing from start to finish. It Absolutely every woman needs to read this book. It is relateable, lovable and enjoyable.

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Worth every second. Feb 16, Ivy Deluca rated it it was amazing Shelves: memoirs. I read this memoir when it first came out and loved it. Just discovered the audiobook on Scribd, so decided to listen to it on the way to work. Had to fix my makeup when I got to my parking garage because I laughed so hard I had tears in my eyes. Full review later, but The Bottom Line I can't recommend this book in any format enough.

If you're a woman and have ever struggled weight loss, or you just like funny books, check it out. Some people may find her offensive - I think she's really funny and it is getting me through the diet phase I am in right now I would definitely read something else by her. View all 7 comments. Jun 30, Elizabeth rated it it was amazing. If you like Jen Lancaster and you're a fattie, then you'll probably love this book.

Jul 09, Kathy rated it it was ok. Hard to get into with all of the footnotes.

Surprised because this reads like a fictional story of a made up character - yet it is about the author, so why the foot notes? Committed to finishing it though and am hoping it gets better. Wanted a funny beach read and so far this is not it! Jul 15, Grace rated it really liked it. This was the first book by Jen Lancaster I've read, and I'm not sure I would have enjoyed her caustically comedic style in either of her other books, but when used in discussion of dieting and the diet industry, it definitely worked, at least for me.

She loves and adore This was the first book by Jen Lancaster I've read, and I'm not sure I would have enjoyed her caustically comedic style in either of her other books, but when used in discussion of dieting and the diet industry, it definitely worked, at least for me. She loves and adores all three. In fact, she most likely would never have attempted a diet if her doctor hadn't used a scare tactic to make her picture a life of heart attacks and other health problems.

This book is, however, more than a memoir. It is a candid and fascinating look at the world of the diet industry. As Jen tries first one diet and then another, she explains how they work and, more often, don't for a real person with real shortcomings. One especially well-written scene has her sitting in a Jenny Craig office, noticing that every other customer is either at a perfectly normal weight, or underweight. Jen also observes how the Jenny Craig employees try to encourage her to use their products, whether or not it's practical in the situation going out to a business dinner?

Take your frozen meal with you!!! Jen's description of her results as she begins working out with a personal trainer are also inspiring. As she begins to have more energy and more strength, the reader is reminded why it's a good idea to work out for a purpose other than merely taking inches off one's waist.

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A great read, and definitely recommended. Dec 16, Rebecca rated it really liked it Recommends it for: diet fanatics, fiiiine looking women everywhere, those that want to slap their personal trainers. Shelves: wickedgoodnon-fiction. Lots of women have the realization at one point in their lives that they are overweight or unhealthy.

Every single one of these women also has a story about the desperate attempts to lose weight and resemble Kate Moss. Usually the commen theme in all these stories is self-loathing of fat and a vicious cycle of binging and hating. What I found so refreshing and lovely about this book is the fact that Jen Lancaster never allows herself to sink into a pit of self loathing.

She will tell you herself Lots of women have the realization at one point in their lives that they are overweight or unhealthy. She will tell you herself in the first chapter that she looks "Fiiiiine. I think if a lot of women in the world would shift their focus away from "skinny" and instead emphasize "healthy" we'd find ourselves having a much more positive dialouge about food and body image.

I also realize that most people don't find obesity attractive. However, I feel that if I can come to terms with that, other people should be able to accept it, too. I did not come to this forum asking for advice about how to trim my waistline in Japan. I came to this forum to ask about social implications of obesity. I wanted to know how people are going to react to me so that I can understand how I need to present myself, and I intend to present myself exactly how I feel; Like a strong, confident person with a mind, a soul, and a personality.

If I drop a few pounds on my trip, fine. If not, that's also fine. If I wanted to solicit weightloss advice, I think there are forums better suited for such a venture, don't you? I'm insulted that anyone could find the audacity to imply that all fat people stuff their faces out of pure emotional duress, and I really think that it's unnecessary to imply that I view myself in a negative light just because I say that I'm fat.

I like to think of myself as a very body positive person. All bodies can be beautiful. Fat, thin, pale, dark, scarred, burned, freckled, whatever, and I think it's really disappointing that people have trouble believing that people who aren't conventionally beautiful can still consider themselves beautiful.

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Perhaps I'm being far too agressive. Perhaps I didn't make it entirely clear that I don't hate myself, or that I'm happy the way I am. Well, I'm doing that now. I'm enjoying my life very much, and I've never, ever felt at a disadvantage because of my weight except for times like this, when well-meaning? If this is the sort of atmosphere I can expect in Japan, then I'm certainly going to have to learn to tone down my incredulity because I can't do this every day. I like to think, though, that most people can believe someone when they say they're happy. I'd like to thank everyone who posted legitimate advice and an answer to my questions.

It's the reason I came here, after all. I take that back, you probably will. Walking around everyplace and not driving helps a lot. You'll probably shed some of it without realizing it. I wasn't trying to lose weight when coming here, it just sorta happened naturally. I had to walk a lot. Unfortunately, can't say the same for this time around. I do walk still, but the weight is coming off slower because every place I have to go, is close, including work. Before, I was walking, at a minimum, 2 miles a day.

Now, I barely probably get in a mile. I am in Japan every summer for about 1 month and I always lose weight. This is mostly due to the fact that I have to walk 15 minutes to the train station every morning and evening and the summers in Osaka are a natural sauna. Before leaving for Japan I highly recommend getting used to walking and have some comfy shoes. As mentioned above bring enough clothes to last the year. The most important thing is to enjoy the experience of living in Japan and learn as much as you can.

Good one, winterwolf!! I then saw some people choose not to answer the question, but to lecture on being overweight, like it was a problem to be solved? I know this comes from trying to be nice, but it's not what was asked, it's like me asking what J-Pop bands are good and getting a lecture on how I should listen to K-Pop. To be honest that might have happened on here somewhere I cannot but agree with every word above. They'll make any range of nasty comments about how big you are and how your size is a representative of America and all foreigners regardless of whether or not your actually American.

You'll get looks of disgust at restaurants and even staff who are supposed to be professionals can be rude and gossip right in front of you and other customers. It was just really strange because as a not-fat person, I don't get treated like that when I go out, but when I was with him, it was so different, embarassing, and admittedly angering. I knew they could be rude but it was more than I expected. I think that's the difference, though: you may be okay joking about your weight with friends and acquaintances but those people may be laughing WITH you.

When it is strangers and staff who are supposed to be professional, can you still laugh it off? To me, it is worth pointing out to them that they're being rude in those situations They talk about weight all the time like it's no big deal.

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I know in the US, that wouldn't fly at all and that teacher would probably be approached by very angry parents for pointing out that their kid is fat or whatever, as that can come across as very cruel and mean. In my case, I ignore it. Usually, when traveling, I'm in my own little world anyway. The same goes when I'm back home too. No need to listen to other people's conversations.

Become a Patron. Follow us. From a near-death experience that shook a family to its core to a shocking proposition in a therapist's office, Believable explores how our stories define who we are. I n each episode of Believable , we dive into a personal, eye-opening story where narratives conflict, and different perspectives about the truth collide. These are complex and suspenseful audio stories that expand to say something larger about the role of narrative and identity in our lives.

Episode 1 of Believable , which is now live, is about a woman who bounced around state institutions and foster homes as a child, always wishing for the family she never had. Until one day she finally gets what she asked for — and then some. How a brilliant scientist went from discovering a mother lode of treasure at the bottom of the sea to fleeing from authorities with suitcases full of cash. Thompson had long insisted that he suffers from neurological problems and chronic fatigue syndrome, which impairs his memory, and that his meandering explanations were a symptom of the distress foisted upon him.

Thompson was genuinely sickened and overwhelmed, however, and he found it extremely frustrating that nobody seemed to take his condition seriously. In the 30 years since, the weight of the find had upended partnerships, ended his marriage, and set loose the specter of greed. What began as a valiant mission of science turned into something else entirely.

O n September 11, , about 7, feet beneath the surface of the Atlantic Ocean, a set of glowing orbs moved smoothly through the darkness and illuminated the mysterious world below. That far down there are few currents, the water is close to freezing, and it is almost pitch black. The only light typically comes from the bioluminescent creatures that float by like ghosts, but in this case the lights were from a six-ton, unmanned vessel.

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The Nemo , looking like an industrial freezer with two robotic arms, made a small adjustment to its thrusters and hovered above the scattered remains of a sunken ship. Video of the wreckage was relayed to a vessel bobbing above, giving the crew — and the world — the first look at a ship whose location had stymied treasure hunters for generations. It was the SS Central America , a massive side-wheel steamship that sank in a hurricane off the coast of South Carolina in Illustration of the S.

Central America before its sinking. Photo courtesy Library of Congress. The find was remarkable for many reasons. The artifacts eventually recovered from the ship were a window into a bygone era and gave voice to the hundreds of people who were pulled into the abyss. But the discovery was also a spectacular victory for pocketbooks — the ship was carrying gold when it sank, and lots of it: coins, bars and nuggets of every size surrounded the wreck and covered its decks and rotting masts.

And that was only what the crew could see — somewhere in the remains were said to be between 3 and 21 tons of gold, a haul some experts valued at close to half a billion dollars. For Thompson, the Edisonian genius who masterminded the expedition, the discovery was the first salvo of what looked to be a long, impressive career. He became an American hero, a mix of brains and daring in the tradition of the scientist-adventurers of yore. But Thompson was subjected to a legal hell storm as soon as he set foot on shore. Numerous people and companies were vying for their share of the gold, and the unending litigation was compounded by the lawsuits filed by investors who claimed Thompson had ripped them off.

In , long after the litigation had sidetracked his calling, Thompson went underground, allegedly taking with him suitcases full of cash and gold. Months later, Thompson was staying under an assumed name at a hotel in Boca Raton, Florida, trying to keep his faculties in check. He was unkempt, unwell and barely left his hotel room, as he had been on the run from federal authorities for the past two and a half years. From the witness stand in Columbus, Thompson disclosed startling information in a story already laden with tragedy and fortunes lost — and shed light on the mystery of millions in still-missing gold.

The pressure 8, feet below the sea is times greater than on the surface, and Tommy Thompson was squeezed by something even more intense for the better part of 30 years. He grew up in Defiance, Ohio, a small city in the northwestern corner of the state. He was always drawn to the water, and he enjoyed challenging friends to breath-holding contests. When he was a teenager, he bought and fixed up an amphibious car, and he loved pranking his friends by driving unsuspecting passengers into a lake. Rife with lore, the hunters spoke of ships sunken somewhere out in the ocean with more gold than could ever be spent.

However, nobody knew quite where to start looking, nor could they afford the technology necessary to undertake the search. Following his graduation from The Ohio State University with a degree in ocean engineering, Thompson went to work for the Battelle Memorial Institute, a prominent research lab in Columbus that has developed everything from kitchen appliances to nuclear weapons. There, he was able to work on deep-sea engineering projects, at one point developing technology that allowed the U.

Thompson wanted to work exclusively in deep water but was routinely warned that such jobs were hard to come by. So he began looking for other ways to pursue this heady scientific passion. It was actually the means to an end. One of the first orders of business was to find the perfect wreck to hunt. Thompson worked with Bob Evans, an equivalently intelligent polymath and professional geologist, to winnow down the list of candidate ships. The Central America ferried passengers to and from California at the height of the Gold Rush in the mid 19th century.

Six hundred people, and up to 21 tons of gold coming from California, were aboard the Central America when it disembarked to New York from a stopover in Cuba on September 3, Five days later, the ship found herself floundering in the middle of a terrifying hurricane. Passengers attempted a hour nonstop bucket brigade to keep the ship afloat, but the engines flooded and the storm ripped apart masts and sails. The ship was doomed. The vessel let out a final tortured groan as it sank on the evening of September 12, sucking souls down in a horrifying vortex.

The loss in gold was so profound that it was one of the factors precipitating the Great Panic financial crisis of Finding the Central America would be no easy matter — proportionally it would be like finding a single grain of sand in the floor plan of a four-bedroom house. The key, Thompson knew, was to undertake a logical and hyper-organized search. Bob Evans used every known detail about the fateful voyage, including passenger and crew accounts of the weather as the ship sank, and worked with a search theory expert to determine that the wreck was likely somewhere in a 1,square-mile grid miles southeast of Charleston, South Carolina, in part of the ocean that was nearly a mile and a half deep.

Each square on the grid was assigned a number based on the likelihood that the ship had ended up there, and the idea was to trawl a sonar apparatus up and down the grid and take in-depth readings of the most promising results. Obsessed with his work, Thompson was said to be indifferent to food and sleep, dressed in a thrift store suit and hair afrizz. As a result, the high-powered investors waiting in their upper-floor offices and elegant conference rooms were often skeptical of his bewildering presence. But time after time, Thompson would speak to them reasonably, thoroughly and intelligently.

He was realistic about the low probability of success, outlined various contingencies, and emphasized that the mission offered the chance for the investors to participate in a journey of good old American discovery. Investors soon found themselves chuckling in delight at the audacious fun of the project and the inspiring confidence they felt in Thompson. Wayne Ashby told the Columbus Dispatch in Thompson was the head of both. Under the aegis of these companies, Thompson outfitted a search vessel, put together a crew, and developed a seven-ton remotely operated vehicle capable of withstanding deep-ocean conditions.

They also conducted various other experiments useful to the recovery, such as purposely giving Evans the bends. As Gary Kinder writes in Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea, the deepest an unmanned submersible had gone previous to this was 6, feet. That vehicle had been difficult to control, with only one arm that could perform rudimentary functions.

The technology Thompson and his crew developed in secret streamlined and refined the submersible so that it was much easier to control and could perform the delicate tasks needed for the recovery of the ship. It was one of their secret weapons, and the mission to find the Central America was officially launched in June The mission was subject to numerous difficulties: seasickness, short tempers, errant weather, malfunctioning equipment, little sleep, and a stretch of time when the only food served was fried chicken.

Investors groused about the delays, but Thompson always managed to assuage their fears. In late summer , the crew sent the submersible robot down to check out an overlooked blip on the search grid. The control room aboard the ship, with its walls of monitors and technology that made it look like an alien craft from an old movie, exploded with profoundly human joy. Gold and artifacts were brought to the surface starting in fall , the beginnings of a haul that would grow to include gold ingots, 7, gold coins, and, at 80 pounds, one of the largest single pieces of gold ever discovered and at the time the most valuable piece of currency in the world.

Wayne Ashby told the Dispatch when the discovery was announced. When asked by a reporter to estimate the value of the haul, Thompson demurred. The first haul of gold was taken from the ship straight into armored cars by guards carrying machine guns amidst cheering investors, well wishers, and descendants of the survivors of the Central America wreck. But as it would turn out, that brief glimpse was the closest any investor would ever get to the treasure found at the bottom of the sea.

I n , the Columbus-America Discovery Group had secured its right in admiralty court to excavate the Central America site and retain possession of whatever they discovered beneath the sea. But this ruling was challenged almost as soon as Thompson set foot back on the shore. Thompson and his companies were sued by no less than separate entities, including 39 insurance companies that had insured the cargo on the original Central America voyage. Things got even more complex when an order of Capuchin monks sued Thompson, alleging he had copped the intel given to them by a professor from Columbia University whom they had commissioned to do a sonar search of the same area.

The estimated location of the S. Central America. Illustration by Yunuen Bonaparte. Recovery operations were suspended in because of the lawsuits, leaving the fate of the gold brought to the surface in legal limbo — and tons of gold still on the wreck at the bottom of the sea. The back-and-forth continued until and in the process established case law in admiralty court when Thompson and his companies were finally awarded Coupled with a significant devaluing of the rare coin market, a few investors wondered about the future of their investment.

The pressure mounted as Thompson attempted to balance his obligations to his crew, his companies, and his investors while being a dad to his three kids. He was right there, every time there was a hearing. He read every page of every brief, and a lot of times he was helping with the writing, too. Army, but this later proved to be a myth. Meetings with investors became less frequent, they said, as did updates and newsletters. Once lauded for his openness, Thompson appeared to go into a shell.

Thompson said that his silence was necessary to protect trade secrets. By , some of the investors were fed up with the way Recovery Limited Partnership was being run and made moves to establish another company, this time with the investors in charge. The companies were restructured, with the reworked Columbus Exploration as a partner company to Recovery Limited Partnership.

Thompson was again the head of both entities, though it was stipulated that he would draw a salary only from the former and not the latter. Much of it was sold to gold and coin dealers, and some of the treasure was displayed in a lavish traveling exhibit across the country, with Thompson sometimes making an appearance alongside his discovery. Photos courtesy Donn Pearlman. Thompson then allegedly told investors that they would not be seeing any of the proceeds, as all the money went to pay off the loans and legal fees that had accrued since the mission began.

Thompson took the coins without approval from the board, though his attorney Keith Golden maintains there was nothing clandestine about it. Nonetheless, in , two former investors filed lawsuits against Thompson for breach of contract and fiduciary duty: Donald Fanta, president of an investment firm, the Fanta Group, and the Dispatch Printing Company, owned by the family that ran The Columbus Dispatch.

Dispatch scion John W. However, he died and his cousin John F. Convinced that Thompson was ripping him off, the cousin pushed the lawsuit ahead. Thompson was next sued by a group of nine sonar techs from the original mission who claimed they had been duped out of 2 percent of the profits from the gold, plus interest.

The two cases were combined with a third into a mega-lawsuit in federal court, creating a labyrinthine legal situation with a rotating cast of attorneys and thousands of motions and maneuvers that bewildered even seasoned courtroom players. Missions to the Central America were once again put on hold as Thompson put his mind to work filing legal briefs and appeals.

Once having bragged of being the subject of more than 3, articles, Thompson had long since stopped talking to the press, and now spent half the year living in a Florida mansion rented under another name. Thompson began to show symptoms of the gilded affliction. In he was arrested in Jacksonville after a sheriff observed him hiding something under the seat following a routine traffic stop. In July , U. Organ had never actually met Thompson and claimed that he was out to sea.

But Judge Sargus shook his head and declared bullshit. The two were presumed to be together and, some of the investors speculated, in possession of millions of dollars in cash and the gold coins. On top of the civil suits against him, Thompson was charged with criminal contempt of court, and U. Marshals were tasked with tracking down him down. Marshal Brad Fleming told the Associated Press in the midst of the pursuit. Once the most successful treasure hunter in the world, Tommy Thompson was now the one being hunted. I n late summer , a handyman named James Kennedy walked up to the porch of Gracewood, a large home in Vero Beach, Florida.

Kennedy took out his cell phone and pretended to call the landlord. I picked up my cell phone and I said it real loud. He had been a handyman for decades, but even he was taken aback by what he found inside.

Thompson had been renting Gracewood since , a home away from the hassles in Columbus, and the mansion had become their home base when they fled Ohio two months earlier. As renters, Thompson and Antekeier had always been friendly but maintained their distance, Brinkerhoff said. He searched for Thompson on the internet and learned that the tenants were wanted by U.

Kennedy himself had once found a mammoth bone and was similarly besieged with people trying to take advantage of his find. The U. Marshals erected a wanted billboard as they worked to track down Tommy Thompson and Alison Antekeier. Photo courtesy U. Marshals Service. So he called the Marshals. But by that point, Thompson and Antekeier had long since fled Gracewood, and law enforcement was once again unable to determine where they went. Marshal Brad Fleming said in an interview. Based on material found in the Pennwood cabin, the Marshals were alerted to the Hilton Boca Raton Suites, a banal upscale setting where the pair of fugitives had remained hidden since May 30, Marshals prepared to descend on the hotel.

Thompson was a brilliant mind and incredible strategist, but he was not suited for life on the run. One of the last times anyone had seen him, it was a worrisome sight: Thompson was in the backyard of a house he was renting, yelling into his phone in his underwear.

Think more along the lines of Dilbert in charge of the operation. But what had to be one of the most intense disappointments in the saga, for Thompson, was the fact that the excavation of the Central America would carry on without him. Kane in turn contracted a company called Odyssey Marine Exploration to finish the recovery of the Central America.

The goal was to bring the rest of the gold to the surface and ensure that the investors got paid. Thompson has significant holdings in the U. If there are dollars that he is hiding, I want every penny of it. The renewed excavation launched in April , with U. Marshals putting a wanted poster of Thompson aboard the ship in case he attempted to rejoin the mission.

The operation was quite successful, bringing up more than 45 gold bars, 15, coins, and hundreds of artifacts over the course of numerous dives, including a pair of glasses, a pistol, and a safe filled with packages. The sale of the gold was once again undertaken by the California Gold Marketing Group. O n January 27, , Thompson, then 62, was pale and sickly as he sat in his room in the Hilton Suites in Boca Raton, his body racked with the paranoid tics of a man on the run.

She took almost comically cinematic precautions when appearing in public, wearing big floppy hats and taking a succession of buses and taxis to lose anyone who might be on her tail. The hunt was led by an intimidating and extremely direct U. Marshal named Mike Stroh. He had been involved in manhunts all over the country, but the mission to find Thompson had special resonance with him as a professional person-finder.

After seven hours of following her, Marshals crashed their way into the hotel and surprised the two, screaming at them not to move. The Marshals would ultimately cart away 75 boxes of evidence from the room, but they came up empty-handed in one aspect of their quest. Investigators found boxes in the Gracewood mansion that looked a lot like those that had held the restrike coins, but the gold itself was nowhere to be found. Thompson tried to fight the extradition. Marshal Brad Fleming said Thompson was chatty as they made the journey back, perhaps relieved that he no longer had to hide.

Both pleaded guilty to criminal contempt. T he capture of Tommy Thompson made for a fairly pedestrian end to a story that had captivated Columbus for years. Other associates were wistful about the turn of events. But the notion that not even a brilliant mind could resist running off with gold was too salacious not to report, and the allegations of thievery became the dominant narrative. It was an unfortunate bookend to the legacy of someone who had long maintained that the historical and scientific aspects of the recovery were the most important point of the mission.

Gold ingots, pokes, dust and nuggets, all part of the exhibition showing the recovered treasure from the S. Central America Photos courtesy Donn Pearlman. Indeed, the non-gold accomplishments of the Central America mission are impressive and resounding. Michael Vecchione, a zoologist with the Smithsonian who briefly worked with the expedition, said the jerry-rigged technology of the Nemo is now standard practice for deep-ocean explorations. The mission took thousands of hours of video, giving scientists an unprecedented look at deep-sea life and revealing new species and their evolutionary adaptations, he said.

Deep-sea sponges were retrieved and studied for their antitumor properties. And the way in which they physically nabbed the gold was incredible in its own right: The robotic arms of the submersible gingerly placed a frame around a pile of coins and injected it with silicone, which, when solidified, made for a block full of gold that could be stored until it was ready to be brought to the surface.

Controlling all of this were systems less powerful than those contained in the average smart phone, Bob Evans said. The coins and other gold items recovered from the Odyssey Marine—led excavation debuted in a public exhibit in Los Angeles in February to record-setting attendance, and they were next seen in May at an NRA convention in Dallas. After administrative costs, court costs and creditor claims, there would theoretically be a distribution to the investors in Recovery Limited Partnership — the first time they would ever see a dime, 33 years after the initial investment for some.

The prison, an imposing but generic detention facility surrounded by razor wire, is about three hours from Columbus, and it is the place Thompson has called home for more than four years. It appears to be his home for the foreseeable future, as Thompson is serving an indefinite sentence in federal prison for civil contempt for refusing to divulge the whereabouts of the coins.

It has been hard to deduce his motivations, even for those who know him well. His intense concentration and extreme focus found the Central America , and the same focus applied to trying to find an answer to his current predicament is taken as unwillingness to play ball. Only two of the hundreds of investors in the mission have sued Thompson because they knew it was a gamble to begin with, she said. Moreover, as Bob Evans explained, the actual value of the gold was highly speculative in the first place.

The inventory has been published. There is no other gold that has been recovered. Perhaps the math is not simple, but it is not beyond the talents of the most elementary minds, or at least the reasonably educated. But according to Quintin Lindsmith, attorney for the Dispatch Printing Company, recouping the supposedly missing returns is not the point. Thirty years and two months after the treasure was found, Thompson was driven the long three hours from Milan, Michigan, to Columbus, Ohio, to stand trial and answer questions many people had been waiting a long time to ask.

The missing defendant suggested a repeat of previous events. Had he somehow fled? Thompson, in a navy sport coat and light-colored plaid shirt, was momentarily nonplussed, and his eyes, behind his black, thick-framed glasses, registered a small amount of surprise. Most damning, however, was alleged evidence that he had stashed gold at the bottom of the sea, presumably to be retrieved later on: When the receivership went back down to the Central America in , they found coins and gold bars that had been neatly laid out on trays.

Thompson also admitted that he had made off with the gold coins as a form of remuneration he felt he was due. In her testimony, Alison Antekeier said that between and she moved them from California to a safe-deposit box in in Jacksonville, and then to a storage facility in Fort Lauderdale, where she gave them, in a handful of suitcases, to a man who was supposed to transfer them to an irrevocable trust in Belize. This was the point Thompson was trying to make all along.

As his attorney Keith Golden explained, an irrevocable trust means that once the trust is set up, the person who opened it cannot access it without the permission of the named beneficiaries. Who was supposedly named as beneficiaries on the trust is unclear. The ruling was later overturned on appeal. Finally, after weeks of testimony, the attorneys made their closing arguments and the jury reached its verdict.

Thompson sat in his wheelchair, legs shackled, as the official paperwork was handed from the foreman to the bailiff to the judge. After the decades of science, discovery, stress and flight, it all came down to this. In the matter of the civil case against, it was determined that defendant Thomas G. Thompson sat expressionless while everyone else gasped. However, the jury declined to award any punitive damages or court fees, indicating that there was no evidence that Thompson acted with malice. Either way, Lindsmith said the victory is once again about the principle. Like the cost of the litigation itself, the financial cost is immaterial to the larger point.

The receivership is fielding offers for a multitude of items from the Central America and the recovery missions. Available for sale are bits and pieces of scientific and historical ephemera , including silicone molds with gold coin impressions, and even the Nemo , the remote underwater vehicle that was the first human contact with the Central America since They have tickets from the passengers. Gold bars and coins at the shipwreck site in Golden adds that the relentless litigation torpedoed an opportunity that would have made the Central America recovery look like chump change.

Thompson was working with the Colombian government in the mids to recover an old galleon whose estimated value is legitimately a few billion dollars. The next steps for Thompson in the case brought by Dispatch Printing include an appeal of the judgment, with the hopes that the award will be diminished or overturned. Separately, Thompson has filed an appeal in federal court to be let out of prison. Thompson is currently awaiting the ruling of a three-judge panel about whether or not his is valid. What little time he has to use the phone is spent speaking with lawyers, business partners, and his family; ditto for the days he can have visitors.

And after decades of developing new technology, going after hidden gold, and having to fight in court, Thompson is used to secrecy and has no reason to talk about the case to anyone. Alison Antekeier still lives in Columbus, keeps a low profile, and is still reportedly very sympathetic to Thompson. Numerous attempts to contact her went unanswered. In Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea , Gary Kinder includes chilling survivor accounts of the Central America disaster, including men and women screaming maniacally as they dumped out purses and emptied hidden pockets of gold as the ship sank.

The vacated wealth was something they otherwise would have killed to protect. It was mania wrought by the plague of gold, a crippling infirmity that afflicts humans alone. These Syrian children survived attacks that left them burned beyond belief. One program thousands of miles from home is offering them life-changing treatment. W inter was on its way in northwestern Syria when Hana Al Saloom awoke around 6 a.

There was a chill in the air. Her 5-year-old daughter, Aysha, was asleep near a gas heater, as her brothers and sisters slept in other rooms. Hana blinked. The blast knocked her down. Then screams. She swiveled on her knees.