S609: The Treasure Hunter part 4
Play • 48 min

A real-life Indiana Jones? 

The word on the street is that Michael Torres is Ph.D. by day and a treasure hunter by night. Torres claims he has an aeronautical engineering degree from Duke University. Don’t believe him? He has a photo of his diploma. Michael Torres also claims to have taught at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. He has the library card to prove it. 

When he’s not in the classroom, Torres is out looking for treasure. He claims he raided catacombs in Turkey, he’s recovered one of Sir Francis Drake’s sunken ship. And most recently, he discovered what he believes is a pre-Incan Peruvian burial mask off the eastern coast of Florida. 

But like unlike Dr. Indiana Jones, some have accused him of stolen valor by exaggerating his military career. They say Torres falsely represented himself as a war hero with two Purple Heart medals. 

His critics say not to believe a word he says. For instance, Michael Torres says he discovered a mass Jewish mass grave in Savannah, Georgia. Is he a serious treasure hunter or just a hack who makes up stories in order to gain attention? 

As a spectator in the world of fraud, I allow myself to get sucked in towards the center of the storm of lies. I do this with great caution. The closer I get, the more believable the stories get. And unlike victims, who are emotionally and financially invested, it's easier for me to circle just outside the hurricane's eye wall. 

In today’s episode, I’ll let you be the judge. Is Michael Torres a war hero/treasure hunter? Or is he a con artist?


Story idea?

If you have a story to share, email Javier at info@pretendradio.org.

For more episodes like this visit pretendradio.org.

To get early releases and bonus episodes go to pretendradio.org/donate

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

More episodes
Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu