Treasure hunting: recovery of 1804 "Spanish" shipwreck

This is a discussion on Treasure hunting: recovery of 1804 "Spanish" shipwreck within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Has nothing whatsoever to do with firearms/defense. From the news ... Spain Shipwreck Treasure Shown for First Time The haul: 16 tons, including 574,553 silver ...

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Treasure hunting: recovery of 1804 "Spanish" shipwreck

    Has nothing whatsoever to do with firearms/defense. From the news ...

    Spain Shipwreck Treasure Shown for First Time

    The haul: 16 tons, including 574,553 silver coins, 212 gold coins, valued at ~US$500M.

    The ship: apparently, a galleon named "Mercedes," bringing treasure from S.America to Spain.

    The interesting, unsurprising facts/claims:

    The metals were mined and the coins minted in the Andes, from places that are now in Bolivia, Chile and Peru.
    Spain overcame a last-minute effort by the Peruvian government to block the transfer of the treasure back to Spain. Peru did not gain its independence until 1824, but the country's lawyers argued it was more than a simple colony at the time because it was the local seat of the Spanish crown when the ship sank.
    International treaties generally hold that warships sunk in battle are protected from treasure seekers.
    Odyssey lost every round in federal courts as the Spanish government painted the company as modern-day pirates.

    What are your thoughts on such "treasure" galleons from the 17th & 18th C. era of the conquistadors? Is possession 90% of the issue? Survival of the fittest (legally speaking)? Is the original source of the bullion an issue? Anyone surprised Spain has possession? Anyone think the salvagers have any legitimate claims?
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
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    They found it as legal 'treasure' under current international laws..... granted, the fight from Govt of countries to controll....

    It's what they found!
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    If I was walking on the beach with a metal detector, and found all that crap, it would be mine.
    Why should the people who found it in the ocean be barred from their legal find?

    Spain stole the treasure twice. First from the countries where slave labor by the Indians produced the treasure then from the company that recovered it.



    They need to get Mel Fishers attorney


    This guy and his family endured bankrupcy, death, court battles and prevailed.


    Mel Fisher's Treasures - Historic Shipwreck Recovery

    Tribute to Mel Fisher


    The second link really gets into detail.
    From 2nd link;July 20, 1985 was "the day" at last when Mel Fisher, the world's greatest treasure hunter, found his dream of dreams, the priceless treasure cargo of the fabled lost Spanish galleon Atocha.

    At 1:05 p.m. that amazing day, Mel Fisher learned from his son Kane that his greatest dream had been realized. The marine radio crackled to life in the Key West, Florida office of Mel Fisher at Treasure Salvors, Inc. "WZG9605. Unit 1, this is Unit 11." From aboard the vessel Dauntless of which he was captain, Kane told his beaming father: "Put away the charts. We've got the 'Mother Lode'!"

    The dream that had consumed Mel Fisher for more than 16 years now came true before the eyes of the world. He had found the "rainbow's end" including stacks of silver bars, chests of silver coins, gold, jewels, and thousands of other unique artifacts from the Nuestra Senora de Atocha. Mel Fisher found what adventurous souls through centuries had only dreamed of finding!
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    MY feeling is that if you haven't made an attempt to locate and recover the treasure in over 200 years, you have no claim to it..
    Retired USAF E-8. Remember: You're being watched!
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    MY feeling is that if you haven't made an attempt to locate and recover the treasure in over 200 years, you have no claim to it..
    I agree. There should be a statute of Limitations on lost treasure, maybe 100 years. That way anyone who would directly have claim to it would have passed away and that gives the country of origin plenty of time to find it. After that, the goods go to the person who put the effort into finding it.
    msgt/ret and Rock and Glock like this.
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    Spain just trying to continue the heritage of theft started by the conquistadors.
    archer51, oneshot and OldVet like this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by msgt/ret View Post
    Spain just trying to continue the heritage of theft started by the conquistadors.
    Yup, IMO.

    But then, the same could also be argued of the "finders" of the wreckage, too. A case can be made that the rightful ownership is with those at the source where it was originally stolen, and those recovering it (the salvagers) know full well the history. Hence, keeping it, stuffing it in a "foreign" museum, selling it ... all are something other than returning it to the people from whom is was stolen in the first place. Little different than finding a wallet on the sidewalk and failing to return it to its owner, really, other than being under water and unrecovered for a longer period of time. Little different than, say, Iraq's attempt to erase Kuwait in 1990.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
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    What's the lesson? When finding something KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT, and slowly sell it off. Sure you don't get your picture in the paper BUT you do keep the find.

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    Just in case you were wondering...

    It is believed by reasonable sources the 1/3 of the worlds wealth (money/coinage) etc. Is buried... intentionally.

    Individuals with little trust for banks... You may know some.

    As for this treasure... I find it, I excavate it, YOU owe me all of my expenses AT THE VERY LEAST. If you ever find out I found it.
    All that said....
    It could be worse.
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    Well established (uninterupted/old) maritime law...Mercedes was a capitol spanish ship, not merchantman...sunk by English Navy..without official declarations of war....accounts say she blew up, with great loss of life..
    How somebody found the wreckage on the bottom would be a good read for me...why they would target a wreck that could never be profitable, (being constrained to a courtroom for "costs") and would color then almost automatically as "pirates",(thieves) this wreck lies in the old world, off Spain/Portugal, and was sunk by bellegerant England enforceing a blockade against France, with Spain being undeclared...((many many good "hornblower" type books about this period,and this very event..what where they thinking trying for this?))

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptSmith View Post
    Well established (uninterupted/old) maritime law...Mercedes was a capitol spanish ship, not merchantman...sunk by English Navy..without official declarations of war...
    ... carrying 16 tons consisting of at least a half million silver and gold coins. A very profitable "capital" venture for a "war" ship.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

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    Originally Posted by CaptSmith

    Well established (uninterupted/old) maritime law...Mercedes was a capitol spanish ship, not merchantman...sunk by English Navy..without official declarations of war...

    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    ... carrying 16 tons consisting of at least a half million silver and gold coins. A very profitable "capital" venture for a "war" ship.



    ^^^^^^^^^^^^YEP^^^^^^


    I agree ccw9mm, some have a way with spinning/obfuscating the intentions of what was REALLY going on.
    If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    Yup, IMO.

    But then, the same could also be argued of the "finders" of the wreckage, too. A case can be made that the rightful ownership is with those at the source where it was originally stolen, and those recovering it (the salvagers) know full well the history. Hence, keeping it, stuffing it in a "foreign" museum, selling it ... all are something other than returning it to the people from whom is was stolen in the first place. Little different than finding a wallet on the sidewalk and failing to return it to its owner, really, other than being under water and unrecovered for a longer period of time. Little different than, say, Iraq's attempt to erase Kuwait in 1990.
    But they're all dead now.
    Retired USAF E-8. Remember: You're being watched!
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... "For What It's Worth" Buffalo Springfield

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    A case can be made that the rightful ownership is with those at the source where it was originally stolen
    But they're all dead now.
    So are the 17c pillagers. Seems to me that the descendants of the robbed have a far sight more right to it than those of the pillagers.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

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    Here's to hoping Odyssey at the very least got recovery fees for their efforts!! bringing that stuff from the bottom was not a public service!!
    "The sword dose not cause the murder, and the maker of the sword dose not bear sin" Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac 11th century

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