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Treasurer Hunters Court Case

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"Underwater archaeological site"  means nothing more than a place where a ship met its untimely end and  hence forth to be "dissolved" by the corrosive effects of an incessant salt water bath. Better to be salvaged, relocated to a museum and enjoyed by humanity.

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Interesting article, thanks for sharing.

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   This case is still a thorn in my backside!!🌵 And obviously, more so to Odyssey Marine, to this day!!

   I had bought a large; (to me) amount of shares of Odyssey Marine for my kids, long before they found this huge amount of treasure! Than the carpet was pulled out from under them, and us investors, by our own courts!! Unbelievable!!

   That would have been a huge help for my daughters college fund! Thanks!! 🤬US Courts!!!

   This, and other more recent discoveries; being awarded to the "country of origin", are the reason why many salvagers have stopped looking for ships in US waters!!

   Other than Mel Fishers hard won case, and his "secured" leases, the vast amount of other's are out of luck! And those potential discoveries will be left to rot away on the ocean floor, where no one will ever see them!!

   Including ironically, the archeologists that fight salvage operations, but don't have the funding, resources, or knowledge, to find them in the first place!!👎👎

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I am always amazed that countries that did not even exist lay claim to treasure found that had been abandoned centuries ago.

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     If the truth be told, Spain shouldn't have been awarded the treasure either, as it was all stolen by conquering Spanish, melted down, and turned into coinage and other items, to be brought to the King of Spain! But because it was on a Spanish "War" ship, their "interpretation" of Maritime Law awarded it to Spain, with the help of our courts!!

   If nothing else, no matter what country it belongs too, the salvagers should get at least half of the value, for finding and recovering any treasure wreck, and leave the other half to be hashed out between whatever countries think they have a claim!! Unless, there was a deal, or collaboration beforehand, on a known location, so that the salvagers were, at least, compensated for their time, and expenses!! 

  There has to be an "Open Market" aspect involved, or else, who would bother to metal detect, if everything found had to be handed over to the government, with zero compensation! Same with Mining, and Fossil hunting! (Other than illegal/black market operations!)

   And on the archeological side, Museums would be nearly empty, if not for "Treasure" hunters finding most of "their" (publicly & privately funded!!) artifacts in the first place!! Which would also further their purchase from the Black Market, which none will admit to doing (but it happens!!), but all admonish! Including private collectors!! JMO!!

   I obviously have strong feelings, and support, for both sides! As not only do I want items to be sufficiently profitable (and legal) to discover, but that it is done in a manner to preserve, protect, and learn from those discoveries that are still in context!! As neither side gets anything, when NO discoveries are being made!! 😔👍👍

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I've never undersood the policy reasons for not letting treasure hunters get a percentage of the value of what they find. They only reason I can think of is that if something belongs to an owner, it always belongs to them unless some law or legal theory says otherwise. So I guess that b/c Spain owned the coins when they were lost, and no subsequent legal decision changed that, the newly found coins had to go back to Spain.

But if that reasoning is correct, didn't the article say that the coins were mined and minted from South America? In that case, shouldn't the current countries where that silver and gold came from be the "rightful" owners of the treasure? But I suppose that's opening up a whole 'nuther can of worms, given the level of imperialism and colonialism that many, modern-day nations are arguably guilty of.

Here's my proposal:

If you're a treasure hunter looking for a specific treasure, you take reasonable measures to contact the actual or possible legal owner(s) of the treasure. You let them know what your'e trying to do. They can either tell you:

a) "good luck" and go ahead and keep what you find;

b) "good luck" and give us a certain percentage of the vaue of what you find.

c) "I hope you have bad luck" but if you find anything, we get to keep anything you find.

If the owner elects for option C, you either: continue your hunt for the treasure and do it in secret so in the chance that you find it, you get to keep all of it. Or, you tell the owner, "ok, fine, I'm going to go look for something else, then. You enjoy hunting for a treasure where you not only don't know where to look, but you forgot existed until I brought it up."

As you can see, with option C, everyone loses. So it's in everyone's best interest to come to some sort of agreement on how to split the proceeds from any discoveries. Kind of like how the UK does it with certain treasures found on public and private land.

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