Gordon Cooper - Discovery Channel
Gordon Cooper - Discovery Channel. Image: Vanity Fair.

A treasure map and hundreds of files gathered by astronaut Gordon Cooper have inspired a Discovery Channel show called Cooper’s Treasure. The series premieres on Tuesday, April 18 at 10 p.m. and it documents treasure hunters fulfilling his legacy.

Cooper reportedly noticed anomalies during his last flight onboard the Faith 7 spacecraft for NASA’s Mercury-Atlas mission in 1963. However, these anomalies were not the nuclear warheads he was looking for, but what he believed were shipwrecks in the ocean.

He kept his findings secret over four decades but ended up telling fellow treasure hunter and close friend Darrell Miklos all about his space charts shortly before his passing. Now, show creators have said five out of five shipwreck sites were found using Cooper’s map.

How did Gordon Cooper create his space map?

Mercury-Atlas 9 marked the last manned mission for the Mercury space program. Gordon Cooper was picked to board the Faith 7 spacecraft and complete 22 orbits around the Earth in over 34 hours of continuous flight.

The mission was pitched as a simple test flight, but the U.S. planned to take the opportunity to look for nuclear sites all over the world relying on Cooper to detect them.

However, the veteran astronaut had plans himself after a couple of orbits. Some weird sightings during his first few laps around the globe picked his interest, and he decided to jot down the coordinates for the mysterious locations.

At the time, he suspected these might be shipwreck sites, as they were in the middle of the ocean and instrument readings seemed to confirm it. Cooper dedicated himself to meticulously translating his discoveries to sea charts that pinpointed potential treasures in the area.

There could be over 100 shipwrecks waiting out there

All in all, the astronaut’s secret endeavors include over 150 locations, the work of 40 years of research, drawing, and documentation. Experts from the show have corroborated Cooper’s treasures might be the real deal.

Miklos became very close to Cooper during the 90s, but it was not until 2002 when the astronaut revealed to him his life’s secret work. Now that he has funding and support, the man has committed to finding the treasure and make it his own life’s work as well.

Cooper’s Treasure premieres at 10 p.m. on Tuesday, April 18 on Discovery Channel. Ample and Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television worked with Miklos to document his journey in a five-part documental series.

Source: Fox News