Osama bin Laden: Treasure Hunter Searches for Body

Bill Warren is now seeking to find the remains of bin Laden in the Arabian Sea.

ByABC News
June 13, 2011, 3:54 AM

June 13, 2011— -- Treasure hunter Bill Warren salvages history from shipwrecks, but he has a different sort of treasure in mind for his next quest -- he is now seeking to find the remains of Osama bin Laden in the north Arabian Sea.

"It is the most exciting and maybe dangerous project," Warren, 67, told ABC News of his latest mission.

After the United States proclaimed that bin Laden was killed in a Pakistani compound on May 2 and that DNA tests verified his identity, his body was placed in a weighted bag and buried at sea.

But photos of the corpse of the then most wanted man on earth were never publicized -- which some say breeds skepticism.

"I want to prove, one way or the other that he is, in fact, dead," Warren said.

Over the past 30 years, Warren, an entrepreneur and sunken-treasure hunter from California, says he has discovered 150 wrecks and recovered loot that totals several million dollars. Brushing off skeptics, he has attempted to uncover legendary wrecks such as the San Francisco Xavier, which sank in 1705, and a Spanish caravel called the Trinidad dating back to the mid-1500s, according to media reports.

The bin Laden mission may be the most far-fetched yet.

"If we are successful and find him with sonar and recover him with a remote-operated vehicle, we'll recover the body in the bag and take photographs, video, and a DNA test -- maybe of his hair or his beard."

Warren is still not entirely sure how bin Laden's DNA will be confirmed from what he potentially may recover, but wonders if a Bin Laden family member might confirm the DNA to bring an end to his quest for proof.

"I know his family lives in Arabia," he said.

Funded by money from associates, Warren says this hunt could cost nearly $1 million.

Money, it seems, is a big motivation for Warren.

"There is still a $25 million reward that no one has collected, and the reward says dead or alive, well, if -- in fact -- he is dead, then I could collect the $25 million reward. Why not?"

Unfortunately for Warren, the reward is no longer being offered. Though this was explained to Warren, he insisted that he's going to continue his hunt.