Serapis Project logo

No part of this momentous project would be possible without the contributions of the many talented people who share our passion.

To Our Benefactors, We Give Thanks.

Christian Aubry

Entrepreneur and Humanitarian- Logistical Support

Mr. Aubry provided excellent logistical support for the survey team in both Antananarivo and Isle Ste. Marie. His assistance and insight have been invaluable to the team. The Serapis Project highly recommends the Lapasoa and Bungalow de Vohilaua in Madagascar.

Barnett Cox & Associates

Advertising, Graphic Design and Public Relations agency; Web site design

In 2003 the marketing and advertising firm of Barnett Cox & Associates was called upon to redesign the Serapis Project website. Project Team members were impressed with the outstanding work BCA produced for its clients and knew the firm would be an ideal partner in the Serapis web effort. BCA's work on the Serapis Project website has greatly increased the professionalism and readability of the site. This effort was especially important because of the website's international audience - it is routinely accessed by governmental agencies, universities and potential benefactors to better understand the Serapis Project and its historical significance.

BCA is an award winning public relations, advertising, graphic design and marketing firm located on the central coast of California. The firm provides exceptional service to large and small businesses, non-profit and government organizations, universities and others. BCA's clients choose the firm for its creativity, marketing savvy and responsiveness.

To learn more about BCA's award winning marketing services, please visit:

Henri Bellon de Chassy

Owner of Bungalows de Vohilava hotel and Professional Diver

Mr. Henri Bellon de Chassy is the owner of Bungalows de Vohilava hotel on the Isle Ste. Marie. He is an invaluable resource to the Serapis Project. He and his staff managed the accommodations, food, boat and diving equipment for the past three expeditions. The Serapis Project cannot thank him enough for his friendship and efforts to coordinate and manage the many logistical details. The amenities of Bungalows de Vohilava are impeccable and certainly worth visiting.

To learn more about the Bungalows de Vohilava hotel, please send an email to

Dr. Clive Cussler

Author, Historian and Philanthropist

Dr. Clive Cussler and Richard Swete were long time friends who worked together on various shipwrecks. Ironically, Dr. Cussler is searching for the BON HOMME RICHARD, which is the ship that was in battle with the SERAPIS. When Dr. Cussler learned of Mr. Swete's passing and that the project would continue, he provided an extremely generous monetary donation. Without his donation the Serapis Project team may not have been able to return to Madagascar to finish the important work that sill lays ahead.

Dr. Clive Cussler is a world-renowned author with 23 consecutive New York Times fiction best sellers and has sold over 125 million books. In addition, he is an internationally recognized authority on shipwrecks and the founder the National Underwater & Marine Agency, (NUMA) a 501C3 non-profit organization that dedicates itself to American maritime and naval history. Clive Cussler and his crew of marine experts and NUMA volunteers have discovered over 60 historically significant underwater wreck sites. After verifying their finds, NUMA turns the rights to the artifacts over to non-profits, universities, or government entities throughout the country.

To learn more about Dr. Cussler and NUMA's important work, please, visit:

William Gilkerson

Artist; Provided use of his historically accurate and famous illustrations.

The founder of the project Richard Swete, like many historians and students of naval history, was a great admirer of the famed artist William Gilkerson. Mr. Gilkerson is known for his historical accuracy. He invested twenty years of research and collaboration with naval scholars to visually reconstruct all the vessels that played a significant role in John Paul Jones' career. Together with the U.S. Naval Academy Museum, Mr. Gilkerson published the book, The Ships of John Paul Jones. The original pictures are on exhibition at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

Mr. Gilkerson is generous enough to afford the Serapis Project the opportunity to use his famous illustration of the BONHOMME RICHARD and the SERAPIS's "deadly embrace" while in battle in 1779. This illustration is now the cornerstone and key part of the identity of the Serapis project. You will find Mr. Gilkerson's work included in the Serapis logo, stationary and throughout the website. Mr. Gilkerson's pictures are believed to be the most historically accurate. The Serapis project is honored and indebted to Mr. Gilkerson for sharing his famed work of art with the project.

To learn more about Mr. William Gilkerson please, write to:
RR2 Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada, BOJ2E0

Beth Gdowik


Stephane Lartizien

Entrepreneur and Professional Diver

Mr. Stephane Lartizien who resides in Isle Ste. Marie was an invaluable resource to the Serapis Project. He and his business partner Henri Bellon de Chassy managed the accommodations, food, boat and diving equipment for the 1999 and 2000 season. The Serapis Project cannot thank them enough for coordinating the efforts and managing the many logistical details.

Dr. Bruce Hector


Dr. Bruce Hector graciously supported the Serapis Project before the SERAPIS was even located. His generosity made it possible for the Serapis Project to launch from its humble beginnings. Without Dr. Hector the Serapis Project may never have been. He also sponsored a UCLA lecturer discussing the findings of the 1999 season.

Media Solutions Inc. / Kevin O'Brien

Initial Website Content & Design

Kevin O'Brien had the daunting task of trying to pull all the pictures, historical information and personal accounts together in order to tell the very important Serapis Project story. Due to Kevin's commitment and talent, the Serapis Project received it's first website which was essential for establishing the project integrity. Thanks to Kevin for the untold months he dedicated to this important endeavor.

To learn more about Media Solutions, please contact:

Panamerica Consultants, Inc. (PCI)

Provided high tech equipment essential to locating the SERAPIS.

Panamerican Consultants have been a vital contributor to the Serapis Project since its inception. Not only did they supply the high tech remote-sensing equipment that enabled the Serapis Project team to find the Serapis but they also provided specialists to assist in the development of the remote-sensing plan, the processing of data collected at the site and report production. In particular, special thanks goes to Stephen James Jr., the founder of Panamerican Consultants, who believed in the project and provided his invaluable resources and expertise. Specific thanks to all the team members who pulled all the information together... Michael Ham for developing the pre-survey maps, Stephanie Gray for completing the post-survey maps and Kelly Blount who edited the 1999 report.

Panamerican Consultants, Inc. specializes in cultural resource management and archaeological research. Formed in 1989, PCI has successfully performed hundreds of individual cultural resource contracts, including terrestrial, maritime, architectural, and environmental, and ranging from small reconnaissance surveys to full scale archaeological mitigation. With offices in Tuscaloosa, Memphis, Buffalo and Tampa, PCI operates within the continental United States, the Pacific, and the Caribbean regions.

To learn more about Panamerican Consultants services, please, visit:

Xavier Pene

Owner of Maningory Hotel on Ille aux Nattes

Mr. Xavier Pene provided all the dive equipment on the 2004 expedition to Isle Ste. Marie. The service and quality of the equipment was excellent. The Serapis Project greatly appreciates Mr. Xavier Pene and his team's assistance.

To learn more about Maningory Hotel on Ile aux Nattes hotel please, visit

Plymouth State University and the Institute of New Hampshire Studies

Project Supporter / Fiscal Agent

In the course of planning the Serapis Project, the question arose of which academic institution it should be aligned with. Part of the answer sprang out of the history of Portsmouth, New Hampshire during the American Revolution and modern day connections. One of John Paul Jones' early services to the fledgling American navy was to supervise the building of the U.S. man of war the RANGER. During his shipyard stint Jones lived in a still standing house in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. So there seemed a natural connection between the Serapis Project and Portsmouth, New Hampshire. In addition, Mr. Swete's close friend and mentor Dr. Dave Switzer was the State Archaeologist of New Hampshire and a professor of History at Plymouth State University. It was this Portsmouth connection that led to the Serapis Project's academic home and 501C3 status, The Institute for New Hampshire Studies at Plymouth State University.

Established in 1871 as Plymouth Normal School, the institution became Plymouth Teacher's College in 1939, Plymouth State College in 1963, and Plymouth State University in 2003. A founding member of the University System of New Hampshire, Plymouth State now serves New Hampshire and the New England region as a comprehensive institution of higher education. The University confers Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, and Bachelor of Science degrees as well as Master's degrees and Certificates of Advanced Graduate Studies in selected areas.

To learn more about Plymouth State University, please, visit:

Captain Rick Rogers

Pilialoha Consultants, Hawaii

A special thanks to Captain Rogers for providing a replica of John Paul Jones flag.

Sharon Swete

Project Supporter

Sharon Swete, the widow of the Richard Swete, the founder of the Serapis Project, donated all of her late husband's research and equipment to the project. Most importantly without Sharon, Mr. Swete may have never found the Serapis. Her support, financial contributions and personal sacrifices enabled him to seek his destiny. Sharon continues to play a vital role in ensuring that Mr. Swete's work will be completed.

Correspondence to Sharon Swete can be sent to:

Kenny B. Swete

Graphic Designer

Kenny is the niece of Richard Swete, the founder of the Serapis Project, and generously donated her time to create the Serapis Project logo. She used William Gilkerson's famous illustration of the BON HOMME RICHARD and the SERAPIS locked in battle to create a historically accurate and appealing logo. In addition, Kenny designed the Serapis Project stationary and business cards. Through Kenny's generous gift of her valuable time and talent, the Serapis Project gained a professional identity.

Kenny is a graphic designer with Rademaker Designs and concentrates on corporate identity and packaging. She graduated from California Polytechnical University in San Luis Obispo, California with a B.S. in Art and Design. Her work has received recognition from the American Corporate Identity Annual.

To learn more about Kenny B. Swete's work, please, contact:

Technical Scuba Solutions / John Falcone

Provided much needed diviing equipment for Malagasy students

The Serapis Project is honored that Technical Scuba Solutions donated brand new top of the line scuba equipment for Malagasy student who will be trained to dive and work on the Serapis Project. They are known for producing top quality equipment for enthusiasts and professionals specializing in rebreathers

Technical Scuba Solutions / John Falcone
11495 Walden Loop
Parrish, FL 34219

Jacques Sylla

Prime Minister, the Republic of Madagascar