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Judge rules treasure-hunters must return sunken booty to Spain

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posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 08:11 PM
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Judge rules treasure-hunters must return sunken booty to Spain


www.rawstory.com

MIAMI — A Florida company that found sunken treasure from a 19th century warship must return more than a half-million silver and gold coins to the Spanish government by next week, a federal judge in Tampa ruled Friday.

In addition, Spain does not need to reimburse the deep sea recovery firm, Odyssey Marine Exploration, for its costs of preserving and storing the treasure, the ruling said.

Odyssey Marine Exploration is a Tampa-based firm that in 2007 found silver and gold from the galleon Our Lady of Mercy, which a British fleet sank in 1804 off the coast of Portugal. The ship was ret
(visit the link for the full news article)


Related News Links:
www.guardian.co.uk




posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 08:11 PM
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I am no expert on marine salvage law but this just seems wrong. If I lost something and a few hundred years later someone finds it why should my ancestors have any right to it? The Guardian story has more detail but does not say whose territorial water the wreck was located in.


And to top it off ... no payment for salvage costs ... If I ever find any Confederate gold or the Beale Family Treasure in neighboring Bedford County you will not know about it.

www.rawstory.com
(visit the link for the full news article)
edit on 17-2-2012 by fnpmitchreturns because: spelling

edit on 17-2-2012 by fnpmitchreturns because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 08:28 PM
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I was thinking the same thing. Not only is it hundreds of years later, but I'm gonna assume here (article did not specify, correct if wrong) that the find was in International waters meaning it belongs to whoever found it and brought it up from the depths. Although I may be wrong on that aspect.

But the 200+ year part still remains, Spain hasn't seen or touched any of that treasure in over two centuries and suddenly they think just because their ancestors LOST it, that they can have it back, not to mention after a US based treasure hunting company goes off and finds it...

Crazy world we live in...



posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 08:40 PM
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reply to post by fnpmitchreturns
 


The ship was off the coast of Portugal, in waters claimed by Spain/Portugal which from my understanding the salvage crew did not have a local permit to excavate?
en.wikipedia.org...


+13 more 
posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 09:00 PM
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i would ride out 100 miles of the coast and dump it back in the ocean and tell spain and portugal to go f-ck themselves and to start looking.



posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 10:01 PM
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Throw it back on the bottom of the ocean where you found it and let spain have what is apparently theirs.




edit on 17-2-2012 by Garfee because: oops



posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 10:04 PM
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Yeah because good ole amurican companies can go anywhere in the world and flout the laws, ripp off the resources and escape the consequences right?



posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 10:28 PM
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is this the same case?

U.S. secretly helped Spain fight treasure hunter
Diplomat turned over documents to aid legal battle over gold and silver, cables show


Suddenly, a great deal of international drama has touched down in Tampa and reads like a diplomatic thriller — with half a billion dollars in gold at stake.

For years, Tampa's Odyssey Marine treasure hunting company has been fighting with the Spanish government over a 17 tons of gold and silver coins that Odyssey discovered and brought up off the Atlantic Ocean floor.

Now, it turns out, Spain has been getting secret help since 2007 from an unlikely source: The U.S. government.

Among the thousands of documents released by WikiLeaks are several U.S. diplomatic cables describing how U.S. ambassadors were helping Spain in their cause — partly to help broker a deal to bring a famous painting in Spain to a U.S. citizen who claimed it was looted by the Nazis in World War II.

Specifically the U.S. offered to provide confidential customs documents prepared by Odyssey that Spain in turn planned to use in court to fight the company.

Odyssey officials are not pleased.

"The cables seem to indicate that someone in the U.S. State Department has literally offered to sacrifice Odyssey and its thousands of shareholders along with the many jobs created by the company in exchange for the return of one painting to one U.S. Citizen," the company said in a statement to the Tribune. "It is hard to believe that this really happened. It sounds like something out of a Hollywood script."



posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 10:29 PM
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And now people know.

If there is any possibility of a Spanish claim to any treasure that is found, keep it quiet...melt it down and sell the bouillon. Absolutely ludicrous to not allow them any reimbursement for the time, effort and cost of bringing the treasure up and storing it...let alone a finders fee.

I don't care WHERE it was found. It's been down there for 200 years and neither the Spanish or Portuguese made any serious effort to find or get it until someone else did the work for them.

I completely agree with the people who say that they should just dump the treasure in the ocean. If Spain wants it so bad they can put forth the effort to find it again and bring it back to the surface.



posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 10:30 PM
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reply to post by 1825114
 


Good find there! So the USA is helping Spain recover over half a billion dollars in Bullion in return for one Jews painting? Now there is justice..



posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 10:33 PM
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Originally posted by stirling
Yeah because good ole amurican companies can go anywhere in the world and flout the laws, ripp off the resources and escape the consequences right?


You might wonder if that gold and silver was stolen by the Spainards from the Mayan and other peoples of Mexico and further south. It is a good bet that it was.
edit on 17-2-2012 by Aliensun because: spelling



posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 10:33 PM
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reply to post by fnpmitchreturns
 


Maritime tradition and international laws / treaties classify military vessels as permanently belonging to the nation for perpetuity, regardless if the ship was sunk, either militarily or accidental. Special sections apply to the salvage of treasure, in addition to insurance companies / original stakeholders for monetary recovery.

Admiralty law - wiki - Salvage claims.
edit on 17-2-2012 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 10:48 PM
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Originally posted by Xcathdra
reply to post by fnpmitchreturns
 


Maritime tradition and international laws / treaties classify military vessels as permanently belonging to the nation for perpetuity, regardless if the ship was sunk, either militarily or accidental.


Yep - and it is not something that is new either - Spanish shipwrecks in US waters have been explicitly found to still be Spanish property by US courts.

Similarly with UDS shipwrecks -


The Department of the Navy retains custody of its ship and aircraft wrecks despite the passage of time and regardless of whether they are lost in U.S., foreign, or international waters. These wrecks are not abandoned, but remain the property of the government until a specific formal action is taken to dispose of them and, thus, are immune from the law of salvage without authorization from the appropriate Navy authorities.

- www.history.navy.mil...

Any competent shipwreck diver should know it, and it looks like these guys got greedy by not approaching Spain ASAP to negotiate a deal.



posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 10:49 PM
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reply to post by Xcathdra
 


The link you provided states that treasure salvage awards would be paid to those who salvage a German U-Boat. I'm pretty sure that would count as a military vessel.


A pure or merit salvage award will seldom exceed 50 percent of the value of the property salved. The exception to that rule is in the case of treasure salvage. Because sunken treasure has generally been lost for hundreds of years, while the original owner (or insurer, if the vessel was insured) continues to have an interest in it, the salvor or finder will generally get the majority of the value of the property. While sunken ships from the Spanish Main (such as Nuestra Señora de Atocha in the Florida Keys) are the most commonly thought of type of treasure salvage, other types of ships including German submarines from World War II which can hold valuable historical artifacts, American Civil War ships (the USS Maple Leaf in the St. Johns River, and the CSS Virginia in Chesapeake Bay), and sunken merchant ships (the SS Central America off Cape Hatteras) have all been the subject of treasure salvage awards.



posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 10:53 PM
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Originally posted by Xcathdra
reply to post by fnpmitchreturns
 


Maritime tradition and international laws / treaties classify military vessels as permanently belonging to the nation for perpetuity, regardless if the ship was sunk, either militarily or accidental. Special sections apply to the salvage of treasure, in addition to insurance companies / original stakeholders for monetary recovery.

Admiralty law - wiki - Salvage claims.
edit on 17-2-2012 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)


This really an outdated concept .... and it needs to be curtailed by the world court ........ I wonder like another poster that Spain should have to give the gold and silver back to the Mayans
edit on 17-2-2012 by fnpmitchreturns because: add content



posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 11:00 PM
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Spain doesn't need anymore gold! They stole so much gold from other civilizations in the past that it ruined their economy. There was a time in Spain when a chicken had more value than a lump of gold.

Hernan Cortes is probably being dipped in molten gold repeatedly as his torture in Hell.



posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 11:02 PM
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Judge is a complete idiot and paid off too. How about the money spent to recover it store etc. Spain will never recover another treasure now either as no one will ever let them know now. Spain just gets it back free and clear when they would never get it had the treasure hunters not spent money to find and recover it....Sigh!

Let this be a lesson to anyone who finds gold and silver Governments know the party is all but over and the monetary system is collapsing world wide and they want any and all gold and silver.

If I was those treasure hunters that wharehouse house would have a robbery and fire before the 21st and the gold and silver would get stolen...
edit on 17-2-2012 by hawkiye because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 11:06 PM
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Originally posted by Aloysius the Gaul

Originally posted by Xcathdra
reply to post by fnpmitchreturns
 


Maritime tradition and international laws / treaties classify military vessels as permanently belonging to the nation for perpetuity, regardless if the ship was sunk, either militarily or accidental.


Yep - and it is not something that is new either - Spanish shipwrecks in US waters have been explicitly found to still be Spanish property by US courts.

Similarly with UDS shipwrecks -


The Department of the Navy retains custody of its ship and aircraft wrecks despite the passage of time and regardless of whether they are lost in U.S., foreign, or international waters. These wrecks are not abandoned, but remain the property of the government until a specific formal action is taken to dispose of them and, thus, are immune from the law of salvage without authorization from the appropriate Navy authorities.

- www.history.navy.mil...

Any competent shipwreck diver should know it, and it looks like these guys got greedy by not approaching Spain ASAP to negotiate a deal.


I have to wonder if a governemnt would claim responsibility if this torpedo would have exploded?

news.stv.tv...
edit on 17-2-2012 by fnpmitchreturns because: link



posted on Feb, 18 2012 @ 12:27 AM
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What ever happened to the law of finders keepers.


If this treasure was so missed by Spain why did they not seek it out themselves?
This is a horrible injustice. The cost for recovery should be put squarely on those that claimed it. There at least should be a reward offered to the finders of the treasure. I know if someone found my wallet I sure as hell would offer a token of appreciation.

The bullion was not even Spanish in the first place. It was plundered from the Native Civilizations of Central and South America.

Of course any gold or silver found anywhere should be kept a secret now because of confiscation by governments.



posted on Feb, 18 2012 @ 12:29 AM
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reply to post by musicjunkie
 


Check to see if Germany relinquished their claim (Germany has been reluctant to preserve anything dealing / linked to / attached etc etc etc the Nazi era of their history). If they did then it can be brought up / salvaged. The reason behind the maritime / international treaties is to preserve those sites as graves for people who didn't when the ship went down. Granted the Spanish issue has long since passed the body issue however it doesn't change the fact the ship belongs to the Government of Spain and her citizens.

What I see happening, and this is the flip side of a coin, are some countries monitoring these salvage expeditions and allowing them to do all the work, including retrieval of items (gold / silver / coinage / artifacts / etc) while not saying a word. The moment the items start coming out of the water they invoke the treaty.

If its a military vessel that has gone down with crew lost it should be left in place to honor the memory of the people who dies there - greed be damned.
edit on 18-2-2012 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)



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