Mike Gattuso and his treasure hunting team on the Peace River in the Desoto County area in 2018. The Sun was brought out during the search, but team members initially blindfolded the reporter so as not to disclose the specific search location.

The Real Treasure Hunters have come a long way from relying on social media to document their hunt for the treasure of Jose Gaspar in the Peace River.

"Gasparilla's gold" is said to be worth $30 million and stashed up and down the river. 

Michael Gattuso and his crew's search for it got a cable debut last week on Discovery Channel show "Expedition Unknown."

In 2018, Gattuso and his crew brought the Sun along for one of their searches where they did not yet strike gold.

Next, they'll also be featured on the Sept. 17 episode of the Travel Channel show "Code of the Wild" titled “Lost Treasure of Panther Key.” 

"It was definitely an amazing experience," Gattuso said. "They were doing a lot of stuff we never thought of. Everything was done really professional. The certain shots they took. They were very particular on how they tried to tell the story and being able to tell it through television was amazing."

Discovery was able to offer Gattuso whatever he and his team wanted − boats, helicopters. Everything, that is, but a way to dig out the actual treasure, which could be submerged under water and the ground beneath.

"We know where the treasure is," Gattuso said. "We've been able to pinpoint it, so I do wish that Discovery would have helped us dig the treasure out. They are out to tell a story. That’s the difference between us and all the other shows. They aren’t real. They host shows to tell a story. What we do is real − we're out to find the treasure, not just tell the story."

They were able to pinpoint what they believe is the treasure using ground penetrating radar, a system that uses radar pulses to locate objects underground, among other uses.

"Discovery called me first," Gattuso said. "We had located the treasure that we wanted to make sure that we gave them a story but they said they couldn't give us the equipment we needed to (actually) dig it out of the ground. They're out to tell a story, not to find treasure."

Gattuso said Travel Channel called him next and was willing to give them whatever they needed, but they withheld most of the details since that show doesn't air until Tuesday.

The treasure is still out there, Gattuso said.

He is currently in talks with the History Channel to continue the hunt.


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