Friday, December 31, 2010
What is it with these guys (and gals) at the History Channel? When it comes to treasure hunting, especially something that allegedly involves the Knights of the Golden Circle, they seem to put the blinders on and ignore all the common sense in the world. Maybe it really is a conspiracy!!
I know, I can hear all of the big believers in the KGC mega bucks treasures now, “you’re just a sore loser”, “Brewer just proved on national television that he can read KGC treasure signs”, on a show I promoted even. Yea, yea, yea. Now, lets get back to reality can we?
I promised a friend of mine that when writing my review of the show that I would be kind. I intend to keep that promise but I am not going to ignore the obvious like the TV show did.
My observations won’t please some, will amuse others and hopefully, just hopefully will get many others to think and research before heading off to find the alleged KGC treasures.
First off, the show took a big leap of faith saying that Mr. Brewer was following “KGC treasure signs”. What signs are those? I wasn’t aware the KGC published a book saying “these are our signs”. Secondly, nobody even asked the question about the rest of the KGC treasures Mr. Brewer said existed “all over the United States” nor did they question the ability of the KGC to even do such a thing.
OK, lets get down to brass tacks here. A gazebo?? Come on, really? The KGC used a gazebo in a cemetery as a clue to hidden millions? The first question that comes to mind is; just when was that gazebo built? Was it there in the 1860’s so the KGC could use it as a clue? The second question is; a gazebo? Really??
And let’s not forget the infamous template. Lay that baby down on top of the cemetery map and presto, you have a KGC treasure layout. All be it one that spans EIGHTEEN MILES! Then there is the “dodge” as pointed out by Mr. Brewer, clues that aren’t clues but actually are clues because you find them with the template but then they don’t mean anything because they are trying to trick you into quitting so that you don’t search the whole 18 miles and find all of their clues that don’t really take you anywhere. Did I get that right?
About those Holly trees, according the Journal of Forest Research the average life of a Holly tree is 100 years and the maximum life of a Holly tree is 150 years. This means that the trees with the alleged carvings on them, and I say alleged because I’m not so sure about that “ghost” or even the dots for that matter, were, at the most, just twigs in the ground at the time the Confederate treasury went missing. This is being really generous since both of the trees shown would have to have lived the maximum life of the species. How do you carve an H or a ghost or an 8 or even the dots on a twig smaller than the circumference of your little finger?
Don’t even get me started with the “ghost” carving. I’m not sure that was a carving and if it was, you’re looking for a grave? In a cemetery? Imagine that!
I can’t really fault Mr. Brewer too much for this stuff. He truly believes in what he is doing and saying. You have to give him and Mr. London credit for sticking to their guns. But what happened to Brad Meltzer’s people? They just kind of rolled over and let this stuff pass right by without saying a word. What happened to investigating history and it’s conspiracies?
Maybe Brewer is a KGC sentinel, maybe he’s the head KGC guy and is out there spreading misinformation as much as possible and is using his vast conspiratorial connections to apply pressure to the History Channel to forgo any semblance of logic, knowledge or investigative skills.
What a disappointment. Am I a sore loser? I guess in a way I am. I thought this show had a pretty good reputation of asking questions, even some tough questions but they just let this one go by and didn’t even try. Maybe I’m not so much a sore loser as I am a sucker for thinking the History Channel had changed.
As for the Confederate treasury, I think at least part of it is still out there to be found. I especially think the silver is hidden somewhere simply because of the weight factor. It was too much to carry and the silver was worth the least amount at the time so it makes sense that they would hide it to retrieve later. I’m sure part of the gold is still hidden somewhere just waiting to be found but I also think the majority of it is long gone, scattered to the winds by people who had access to it before it had a chance to be a buried treasure.
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Lt. William Parker along with cadets from the Confederate Naval Academy guarded the treasure and took it as far south as Washington, ga. For whatever reason they turned back and on May 2, 1865 near Abbeville, S.C. they met up with Jefferson Davis. Lt Parker turned over the rebel gold, but kept out $1500 to pay his men.
It is from this point on that the many theories on what happened to the treasure kick in. Eight days after Lt. Parker turned over the funds, Jefferson Davis was captured near Irwinville, Ga. The treasury funds were not in his possession.
Theories include the money being buried in one of two cemeteries in Danville, hidden under the Stanford College main building, or being spirited away to Europe to pay some of the war debt the Confederate States had accumulated.
For a few years I have been reading threads on treasure forums about this topic. One person in particular has talked about locating this treasure but was repeatedly denied permission to search the cemetery in Danville by city officials.
If the decoded show ends up like the rest of them I watched so far, we'll have to wait for some future event to find out if anything is really in the cemetery. Expect some mention of the KGC and more than a few wild claims.
In an upcoming post I'll tell you about another Confederate treasure that was lost during the war. This one won't be making it on the tv, but was estimated to be worth $350,000 at the time.
Monday, December 27, 2010
This Thursday at 9:00 p.m. central time you may at least get some of the answers. Brad Meltzer's Decoded is going to take on the investigation of this myth/conspiracy/rumor/possibility to see what they can find.
I hate to keep giving the History Channel free advertisement but this show has captured my attention. Maybe they are trying to make up for that debacle of a treasure show they aired about Jesse James and the KGC.
The team of people on "Decoded" investigate the conspiracy theories of our history and they do so in a logical and straight forward manner. They don't always have a complete answer by the end of the show but they do seem to ask the right questions and come to a logical conclusion.
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Friday, December 24, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Booth descendants agree to brother's body ID tests
By Edward Colimore
Inquirer Staff Writer
In life, Edwin and John Wilkes Booth were brothers, ambitious actors, and bitter rivals. They ruthlessly competed for the limelight on stages in Philadelphia and across the nation.
Edwin became one of America's greatest Shakespearean actors, while John Wilkes achieved infamy in another role - as the assassin of Abraham Lincoln, at Ford's Theater in Washington.
Now, for the first time, Booth descendants have agreed to exhume Edwin's body, adding drama to the family's story and delighting historians who have speculated that John Wilkes escaped capture 145 years ago.
By using DNA comparisons, relatives from the Philadelphia area, New Jersey, and Rhode Island hope to learn in the coming months whether the lore of John Wilkes Booth's flight is true.
Is Lincoln's assassin in an unmarked grave at Green Mount Cemetery in Baltimore, as history records? Or did he elude justice, as descendants have been told for generations, to live 38 more years?
"I'm absolutely in favor of exhuming Edwin," said Joanne Hulme, 60, a resident of the Kensington section of the city who is the historian in the Booth family. "Let's have the truth and put this thing to rest."
"It's better to know," said her sister Suzanne Flaherty, 64, of Bordentown.
The sisters, with a third sibling, Virginia Kline of Warminster, have wondered about Booth stories that don't match accepted history, as did their late mother.
"John Wilkes Booth is probably loving this," added Lois Trebisacci, 60, of Westerly, R.I., whose grandfather was Edwin Booth's grandson. "Just being an actor, I'm sure he loves the controversy."
A matinee idol
At 9 p.m. April 14, 1865, John Wilkes Booth, son of theatrical parents, walked into Taltavull's Star Saloon next to Ford's Theatre and asked for a bottle of whiskey and some water.
"You'll never be the actor your father was," a customer reportedly told him.
"When I leave the stage, I will be the most famous man in America," Booth fired back, according to accounts.
An hour and a half later, the dark-haired actor - a matinee idol of his time - shot Lincoln in the State Box at Ford's and dropped about 11 feet to the stage, breaking his left leg.
History says Booth was cornered 12 days later by detectives and Union soldiers in a tobacco barn at the Garrett farm in Port Royal, Va. Shortly after 2 a.m. on a cool and cloudy Wednesday, he was mortally wounded in the neck.
Or was he?
Efforts by descendants to open the Baltimore grave believed to be John Wilkes Booth's were thwarted in 1995 by a judge who concluded its location could not be conclusively determined. The remains were supposed to be in the family plot, but reports placed it at an undisclosed location.
The family had hoped to use the skull and photographic techniques, along with other identifying scars, to make an identification.
Their best option now is to compare DNA from Edwin Booth, buried in Cambridge, Mass., with a specimen from the man shot at the barn, who experts agree is buried in Baltimore. Three cervical vertebrae from that body are in the collection of the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Washington.
Philadelphia's Mutter Museum has cervical tissue from the man, but the DNA was degraded by formaldehyde and alcohol.
The Booth escape "is a story that never seems to die," said Jan Herman, chief historian for the Navy Medical Department and special assistant to the Navy surgeon general in Washington.
"I have always been disturbed by the opposition from recognized Civil War historians" to uncover the truth, he said. "We have the means, and it's certainly worth solving an age-old mystery. Why wouldn't you want to do that?"
The questions over Booth's possible escape also have attracted the scrutiny of the History channel program Brad Meltzer's Decoded, which will air a one-hour segment at 10 p.m. Thursday that explores the evidence.
"There are certain incidents in history that raise enough questions that they're worth looking at," said David McKillop, senior vice president of development and programming for History. Booth's possible escape "is a mystery."
Probably no one wants to get to the bottom of it more than Nate Orlowek, a Maryland educator and historian who since age 15 has doggedly pursued Booth through the yellowing pages of books and period documents.
"If the man who killed our greatest president got away and a giant hoax was perpetrated on the American people, then we should know about it," he said.
Orlowek, 53, has trailed Booth through the reports of witnesses who claimed another man was shot at the farm: James William Boyd or John William Boyd, who bore a striking resemblance to the assassin and by some accounts was sought for the murder of a Union captain.
He's followed the trail of carnivals that exhibited the mummified body of a man the barkers claimed was John Wilkes Booth. And he's sought clues from descendants and interviewed forensic pathologists, authors, and lawyers.
His conclusion? Booth escaped 145 years ago to live in Granbury, Texas, as John St. Helen, then changed his name to David E. George and moved to what is now Enid, Okla. He worked there as an itinerant painter before poisoning himself.
George's mummified remains were allegedly last seen at a carnival in New Hope in 1976.
"Society exists based on the knowledge of itself and the truth of its history," Orlowek said. "We believe in getting the truth no matter what it is. . . .
"If we are proven right," he said, "history will be set on its ear. This will teach us that just because something was blindly accepted in the past, that it is not necessarily true."
The Booth conundrum comes down to the DNA, say family members.
Once a sample is retrieved from Edwin Booth's body, the next obstacle would be obtaining a viable sample from a bone specimen believed to be John Wilkes Booth's, preserved in Lucite, at the National Museum of Health and Medicine.
A panel judges such requests, based on their merits and social, legal, and ethical implications, officials said.
"We do not approve destructive testing on nonrenewable historical artifacts," said Timothy Clarke Jr., a spokesman for the museum.
Possible harm to the artifact must be weighed against the benefits of the testing, said Sharon A. Smith, president of the Civil War Museum of Philadelphia.
"It's a question of preserving the physical evidence of history and not putting it at risk," said Smith, who believes the accepted version of what happened at the Garrett farm.
"If the preponderance of evidence is that this is a myth, then should we be investing scarce historic resources?"
Historians such as Herman, though, say the test "wouldn't destroy the sample." A tiny drill could extract what's needed.
"If it compares favorably, that's the end of the controversy," Herman said. "That was Booth in the barn, end of case.
"If it doesn't match, you change American history," he said. "Booth would have a fine time making headlines in the newspapers again. Someone else was shot" at the Garrett farm in that case, he said.
Booth descendants "always refer to that man as the 'body in the barn,' never John Wilkes Booth," Hulme added. "If historians are so convinced they're right, let them prove it."
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
I thought I would use the networking power of the blog to find any information that still may be out there. I'm working on a couple of leads at the moment, but I'm always willing to chase down new ones.
Once again, I would like to say this really annoys the crap out of me. This clearly shows that the U.S. government worked directly against a U.S. company and even went so far as to re-interpret a law just to screw over Odyssey Marine Exploration.
TAMPA, Fla., Dec 21, 2010 (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX) --
Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (Nasdaq: OMEX
PowerRating) a pioneer in the field of deep ocean exploration, was named in several U.S. State Department cables obtained by WikiLeaks and furnished to the media worldwide. Some of the released cables suggest that the State Department offered special assistance in the "Black Swan" case to Spanish officials in exchange for assistance in acquiring a French painting confiscated by the Nazis during World War II and now controlled by Spain. The cables indicate that the U.S. Government also provided confidential documentation on Odyssey to Spain. Other State Department cables contradict Spain's claims and support Odyssey's previously stated version of events relating to the company's activities in Spain, including the HMS Sussex project and the boarding of Odyssey's vessels.
"While we are obviously concerned about these implications regarding the "Black Swan" case, we are attempting to obtain additional information before taking any specific actions. I have personally sent a letter to the Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, requesting additional information and a review of the position taken by the U.S. in the 'Black Swan' legal case," stated Greg Stemm, Odyssey CEO. "The possibility that someone in the U.S. Government came up with this perfidious offer to sacrifice Odyssey, its thousands of shareholders, and the many jobs created by the company in exchange for the return of one painting to one individual is hard to believe. The WikiLeaks cables clearly show that we have worked cooperatively and transparently with both Spain and the State Department for many years, in spite of claims to the contrary. That fact makes the revelations all the more disappointing. The cables also make us wonder what other agreements may have taken place between U.S. Government officials and Spain regarding the amicus brief filed in support of Spain's position in the 'Black Swan' case."
"We've wondered why the United States changed its long standing position on sovereign immunity, which prior to this case was consistent with U.S. law, international law and U.S. naval regulations that in order for a foreign country's ships and cargo to be immune from the jurisdiction of the U.S. courts they must be engaged in military, non-commercial activities," stated Melinda MacConnel, Odyssey Vice President and General Counsel. "These released cables do call into question the motivation behind the amicus brief filed by the Executive Branch supporting Spain in the 'Black Swan' case."
Additional cables released support Odyssey's statements that, contrary to allegations of certain Spanish officials, the company always cooperated with the Spanish Government and that permits from the Spanish government were granted for work on the HMS Sussex project. The cables also demonstrate the obstructionist activities carried out by certain Spanish officials who had personal reasons for trying to prevent Odyssey from working on the Sussex. These obstructions took place even though Odyssey has an exclusive contract for the archaeological excavation of this UK sovereign immune warship (which was on a strictly military mission when it sank in 1694 off the coast of Gibraltar). Odyssey filed an affidavit in 2007 with a chronology of Odyssey's interactions with the Spanish Government since 1998. It can be accessed at http://shipwreck.net/pdf/ExhibitE.pdf. The document contains entries that are corroborated by information in the State Department cables, which directly contradict claims by some Spanish officials and the Spanish media.
About the "Black Swan"
In May 2007, Odyssey announced the discovery of the "Black Swan," a Colonial-period site located in the Atlantic Ocean which yielded over 500,000 silver coins weighing more than 17 tons, hundreds of gold coins, worked gold, and other artifacts. Odyssey completed an extensive pre-disturbance survey of the "Black Swan" site, which included recording over 14,000 digital still images used to create a photomosaic of the site.
The coins and artifacts were brought into the United States with a valid export license and imported legally pursuant to U.S. law. Odyssey brought the artifacts under the jurisdiction of the U.S. District Court by filing an Admiralty arrest action. This procedure allows any legitimate claimant with an interest in the property to make a claim.
The Kingdom of Spain filed a claim to the treasure alleging that the coins originated from the Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes, a Spanish naval vessel which sunk in 1804. Spain claimed that it owned all of the coins and that the treasure was immune from the jurisdiction of the U.S. Court under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA). Although it has not been conclusively proven the recovered cargo came from the Mercedes, Odyssey presented clear evidence to the trial court (including the ship's manifest) that shows the primary purpose of the Mercedes' last voyage was commercial in nature and the vast majority of coins on board were owned by private merchants, not by Spain. The United States filed an amicus brief in the case changing its previous position and supporting Spain in the "Black Swan" case by setting forth a re-interpretation of the language in the Sunken Military Craft Act (SMCA) to allow government owned vessels on commercial missions to enjoy sovereign immunity.
A number of individual private descendants (whose ancestors were transporting goods on the Mercedes) as well as the country of Peru have filed claims in the case.
Without conducting a hearing, the district court sided with Spain and ruled that the treasure should all be turned over to Spain. The case is currently on appeal at the Eleventh Circuit.
For more information on the "Black Swan," visit www.shipwreck.net/blackswan.php.
Odyssey's significant legal filings in the Black Swan case can be viewed at http://www.shipwreck.net/blackswanlegal.php.
About Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc.
Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (Nasdaq:OMEX) is engaged in the exploration of deep-ocean shipwrecks and uses innovative methods and state-of-the-art technology to conduct extensive search and archaeological recovery operations around the world. Odyssey discovered the Civil War era shipwreck of the SS Republic(R) in 2003 and recovered over 50,000 coins and 14,000 artifacts from the site nearly 1,700 feet deep. In May 2007, Odyssey announced the historic deep-ocean treasure recovery of over 500,000 silver and gold coins, weighing 17 tons, from a Colonial era site code-named "Black Swan." In February 2009, Odyssey announced the discovery of Balchin's HMS Victory. Odyssey also has other shipwreck projects in various stages of development around the world.
Odyssey offers various ways to share in the excitement of deep-ocean exploration by making shipwreck treasures and artifacts available to collectors, the general public and students through its webstore, exhibits, books, television, merchandise, educational programs and virtual museum located at www.odysseysvirtualmuseum.com.
Odyssey's operations are the subject of a Discovery Channel television series titled "Treasure Quest," produced by JWM Productions. The 12-episode first season aired worldwide in 2009.
Following previous successful engagements in New Orleans, Tampa, Detroit, Oklahoma City and Charlotte, Odyssey's SHIPWRECK! Pirates & Treasure exhibit is currently on display at the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore. Additional information is available at http://www.mdsci.org/.
For details on Odyssey's activities and its commitment to the preservation of maritime heritage please visit www.shipwreck.net.
The Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=7185
Odyssey Marine Exploration believes the information set forth in this Press Release may include "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Act of 1934. Certain factors that could cause results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements are set forth in "Risk Factors" in Part I, Item 1A of the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2009, which has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
This news release was distributed by GlobeNewswire, www.globenewswire.com
SOURCE: Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc.
CONTACT: Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc.
(813) 876-1776 x 2335
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
We'd like to thank our source for the heads up, we are always looking for good information to supply our readers.
Monday, December 20, 2010
The Union stern wheel steamer "J.R Williams", along with a guard of 25 men from the 12th Kansas Calvary Regiment and its crew, traveled the waters of the Arkansas river from Ft. Smith to Ft. Gibson in the Cherokee nation.
Little did they know that on this ill-fated night that Col. Stand Watie's confederate Indian Brigade and a three-gun battery where waiting in ambush at Pheasant Bluff near the present day town of Tahmaha.
The confederate artillery sent shells into the night ripping holes into the upper works and smokes stacks. Having several of its members on board killed the Steamer became grounded on the opposite bank from the battery of artillery. During this time the confederate troops boarded the steamer and manage to capture a few more union soldiers as other union soldiers escaped into the woods. Now sitting on the south side of the Arkansas River the confederate's unloaded as much booty as they could carry and set the Steamer adrift down stream.
Now just so you know some of the cargo was 16,000`pounds of bacon, 150 barrels of flower, clothes, and other supplies needed to support a war effort. These things aren't high on a treasure hunters look list. How ever I think this would be a interesting site to find for the simple fact the site where the ambush took place could yield some great artifacts such as guns artillery rounds as well as if you could find anything of the steamer that might be left. There could even be some over looked loot or even some loot near by that was stashed by those who escaped.
I have to close this by saying that thanks to my old friend "Lefty" and the fact that we both are always searching for the next great clue to treasure, we both read a lot and I'm sure our wives blame us both for our ever growing library. With that, if this story interest you or you want to find a civil war shipwreck near you please find yourself a copy of "Encyclopedia of Civil War Shipwrecks" by W. Craig Gaines.
One of our readers, thank you Rick, has let us know that the History Channel will be airing a show on this Thursday, 23 December, at 9:00 p.m. (I believe that is central time) that will be discussing Lincoln and his assassination and the death of John Wilkes Booth. The show's name is "Brad Meltzer's Decoded". I have seen this show a couple of times and it is a little interesting and worth watching. For the most part, the people involved seem to be intelligent and logical in their thinking which might not sit too well with the big conspiracy believers but it's worth a look at least once, just to see what you think.
Just in case you are wondering, my personal opinion is Booth died when history says he did but I'm going to watch the show too, just to see what they come up with.
Friday, December 17, 2010
Thanks to Homer and his time on the internet we now know that there are a few government conspiracy theories that are true. Before I give you the story I’m going to add my own two cents worth on this. You didn’t really think you would get away without me giving an opinion, did you?
As far as the pin-head wikileaks guy goes, I have mixed feelings. I don’t know exactly how or where he got his info from but if someone gave it to him and he simply posted it then it would be my opinion that he is covered by the First Amendment. With that said, anyone that has any responsible bone in their body would understand that a government has to have secrets to properly protect it’s citizens and certain things aren’t for the consumption of the general populace. I dislike secrets as much as the next guy but for the most part, I don’t necessarily need to know who we are spying on or how we are doing it.
In my opinion, because of some of the information this guy posted on his site, he is a moron and should be considered dangerous. What do we do with him? I don’t have a clue but as much as I hate to congratulate the guy, I almost have to for a portion of the information he did post.
It seems good ole Uncle Sam is screwing his citizens, specifically treasure hunters, once again and using the cloak of secrecy do it with. Our government was/is supplying a foreign government confidential information on a US company and it’s activities. All for the sole purpose of brokering a deal for a single painting.
I find this to be despicable, unconscionable and a criminal act. The individuals within our government that were/are involved with this should be fired and prosecuted, not to mentioned sued by the Odyssey Marine treasure hunting company for everything they have now and will have for the rest of their lives.
Just in case you can’t tell, this aggravates the crap out of me! As treasure hunters the government has been giving us the short end of the stick for years and now you can’t even trust your own government to back you in court against a foreign government. Not only will they not back you up, they intentionally screw you just for their own gratification.
OK, I have put my soap box away. Here is the story.
U.S. secretly helped Spain fight treasure hunter
Diplomat turned over documents to aid legal battle over gold and silver, cables show
TAMPA — Sunken treasure, WikiLeaks documents and a priceless French painting.
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."
London's Guardian newspaper first reported the cables, as part of its ongoing digestion of thousands of documents released by WikiLeaks. The U.S. government has condemned the release and called for prosecution of WikiLeaks founders.
The Spanish were cool to the idea of returning the painting, the cables show, but were grateful after Department of Homeland Security staff in the U.S. embassy in Madrid handed the Spanish customs import documents that Odyssey had filed when bringing the treasure to Tampa.
"The information was confidential," the U.S. cable stated, "and to be used only for law enforcement purposes." The Spanish replied that they were "interested in obtaining the Odyssey customs information to provide to lawyers representing the [Government of Spain] in the Tampa Admiralty Court."
Odyssey found the treasure in May 2007 and has since argued that the treasure was on board a Spanish commercial vessel. The ship sank in international waters, possibly in 1804 while carrying commercial goods from Peru, Odyssey says, and was thus fair game for any salvage company that found it. Odyssey is now locked in a protracted legal battle with Spain, which claims the treasure was on a military mission at the time, and thus Spanish property forever.
A diplomatic cable a year later describes how the U.S. Ambassador to Spain, Eduardo Aguirre, suggested a deal.
He met with Spanish Minister of Culture Cesar Antonio Molina on June 30, 2008, who told the U.S. Ambassador that they should meet over the issue of a claim by an American citizen, Claude Cassirer, to recover a painting by Camille Pissarro. Cassirer claims the Nazis in 1939 forced his grandmother to sell them the painting and it passed through several hands before ending up in a Spanish museum.
"The [U.S.] ambassador noted also that while the Odyssey and Cassirer claim were on separate legal tracks," the cable states, "it was in both governments' interest to avail themselves of whatever margin for manouevre they had, consistent with their legal obligations, to resolve both matters in a way that favoured the bilateral relationship."
The Spanish official replied, the cable says, that there were many steps required before any movement on the painting, but that he had recently flown to Washington, in part, to meet with lawyers that Spain retained in the Odyssey case. He expressed "indignation" after a CNN interview where Odyssey CEO Greg Stemm aimed to keep the treasure and return only items of archeological value.
The treasure now sits in a vault warehouse in an undisclosed location. The legal case already went through federal court in Tampa, and now rests in the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta. However the case is decided, observers expect it to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Another two cents of my opinion, if I were Odyssey Marine I would move every bit of that half billion dollars worth of gold and silver to my own island somewhere and tell everybody, especially Uncle Sam, to kiss my . .
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Do Hidden Letters in Mona Lisa's Eyes Reveal a Real da Vinci Code?
(Dec. 13) -- "Mona Lisa" -- that smile, those eyes, the mystery of her identity. And now, new clues emerge over what is perhaps the most famous painting in history. An Italian researcher claims the eyes of the enigmatic woman in Leonardo da Vinci's 16th-century masterpiece contain a secret code.
Highly magnified images of the painting reportedly reveal tiny letters embedded into the "Mona Lisa's" eyes, reports the U.K.'s Guardian newspaper.
"Invisible to the naked eye and painted in black on green-brown are the letters LV in her right pupil, obviously Leonardo's initials, but it is what is in her left pupil that is far more interesting," said Silvano Vinceti, chairman of Italy's National Committee for Cultural Heritage.
"It is very difficult to make them out clearly, but they appear to be the letters CE, or it could be the letter B," Vinceti added.
In what could be a chapter out of Dan Brown's book (and the 2006 film) "The Da Vinci Code," more mysterious letters and numbers are found on the "Mona Lisa." Vinceti believes these are deliberate hints as to the actual identity of the model who posed for da Vinci's masterpiece -- a mystery that has puzzled art historians for centuries.
"Under the right-hand arch of the bridge seen in the background, Leonardo also painted 72 or L2, another possible clue," Vinceti said. "Two expert painters we consulted on this tell us that all these marks, painted using a tiny brush and a magnifying glass, cannot be an error."
Earlier this year, French researchers, using X-ray technology, determined that da Vinci used as many as 30 layers of paint to achieve the subtle shadows and light on the beguiling Mona Lisa face.
While that technology helped solve the mystery of how the "Mona Lisa" was created, her identity is an ongoing mystery, even though some historians are convinced she was Lisa Gherardini, the wife of a prominent merchant of Florence.
Vinceti, who will offer his conclusions about this new research next month, said it all began after a colleague found a decades-old book that referred to the letters in "Mona Lisa's" eyes.
"Leonardo was keen on symbols and codes to get messages across, and he wanted us to know the identity of the model using the eyes, which he believed were the door to the soul and a means for communication," Vinceti said.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
I have said it many times on a few of the forums and to hunters I meet in person but I will say it again; there are very few absolutes in treasure hunting.
I am always hearing people say that things are a certain way and that there were rules about putting down treasure and hiding mines. Ain’t so I tell ya, it just ain’t so.
When it comes to the outlaws and how they put down their treasures the way they did it was varied and mind-boggling. Even the same group of outlaws or an individual outlaw put down treasures in different ways and marked them in different ways. If you did a study of the treasure maps in existence known to have belonged to and been made by just Jesse James you will quickly see that he had several styles of maps. One may be a pictograph type map, another may have the terrain drawn on it with different spots marked and yet another may have an actual code on it that you have to decipher.
Keep in mind there is a BIG difference between deciphering an actual code and interpreting symbols on a map. They are completely different in the way you approach them and solve them.
This is where the big believers in the KGC mega-million dollar myths (which I am not one of) fall short on there theories. Thinking logically now, if you have a group of several individuals and they all need to be able to get back to the same spot by themselves then you have to have a code, an actual decipherable code, that anyone with the key can read. If the different individuals are wondering around the woods trying to interpret symbols on a map then they will very likely never find what they are looking for. This could be attested to by the late Frank James who spent many years trying to find all of the treasures Jesse had hidden.
I would say that this is one of the very few absolutes in treasure hunting. If you have an organized group putting down several treasures then there has to be a way for all of the members with the proper authority to find the treasures. This is done with actual codes and not interpretation of symbols.
If you are looking for Spanish treasure then you have the people that will tell you the King had rules about marking mines and treasure trails. This is somewhat true but not to the extent that everyone says.
The Spanish traveled in groups and each group had it’s own way of marking things. This “way” may follow the general rules of the King but not be the same way that another group would mark a trail. How can this be you ask?
The map makers had the power. They were the ones in each group that determined how something was marked and where. Each group had their own map maker and they took direction from him as to how and where to place a marker, carving or map.
This means that although the general rule of the King may have been followed in that they marked the trail, the trail was marked based on how each individual map maker thought it should be marked, using his own style of markers and symbols. This is kind of like the current day politician who interprets a law so that it fits his needs the best.
I can guarantee you that if you hunt enough Spanish trails you will see a pattern but rarely will anything be exactly the same. This is partly due to the map makers themselves and the rest to the terrain and what they had to work with at each site. There are sites where very specific measurements will come into play and there are others that are general in nature and will get you really close to the hole but not give you an exact spot.
Pirates, Arggggggg! (I just can’t help myself) bootleggers and the like were more in line with the outlaws. They had more than one method of hiding and marking a treasure. A lot of their methods were based on the terrain around the treasure location.
Don’t get me wrong here, if you are going to be successful at treasure hunting you need to learn as much as you can about your chosen line of treasure hunting. Each type of site, be it outlaw, Spanish, French, pirate Argggggg!, etc. will work a little to a whole lot differently than the other.
I personally prefer to hunt outlaw and Spanish sites because I am more familiar with how they did things and let’s face it, there weren’t too many pirates sailing around the middle of Oklahoma!
You have to keep in mind that for the most part, there were no rules. Everything will change some to a lot from site to site, even if it was the same group at each site. It’s a learning experience and eventually you will have the kind of knowledge that will help you move quickly (weeks instead of years) through a site to the end.
Think logically, keep past experiences fresh in your mind and don’t be afraid to think outside of the box every once in a while. I also think you should keep the K.I.S.S. theory in mind. Usually, although it seems difficult at the time, a site turns out to be fairly simple once you get to the end and completely understand what was going on. This always helps you in the future.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Sunday, December 5, 2010
During the twelve day manhunt for Lincoln's killer, Booth and his accomplice hid themselves in a pine thicket for five of those days. It was during this period that the horses, that J. Wilkes Booth and David Herold had ridden to make their escape from Washington D.C. after the murder of President Lincoln, were put down. The horses were killed still wearing the saddles, bridles, and bits used during the daring get away. While the leather has more than likely rotted away, the metal parts should still be intact. These items would be of immense historical value!
In a quicksand morass about a mile from the pine thicket lay the skeletons of the two slain horses. The question is where do you start searching? Well for our fellow treasure hunters in Maryland you can get a quick head start on the rest of us. The pine thicket was located about a mile west of Rich Hill which was the farm of Colonel Samuel Cox. With some internet searching I'm sure the farm and thicket can be located and a quick study of a topo map should narrow the search area down to manageable size. A quest of this sort might even be made into a History Channel show.
Now for you KGC conspiracy guys who believe that Booth didn't die as history records, but was killed Jan. 14th 1903 in Enid Oklahoma by none other than Jesse James aka J. Frank Dalton. I suggest you you read Manhunt by James L. Swanson. After reading this very well researched and written book I think you will come to the conclusion that Booth really did die as history says. The death of David E. George who was the Booth impostor who committed suicide in Enid in 1903 was colorfully woven into one of the many lies that Orvus Lee Houk told during his many years as a Dalton promoter.
I would be happy to help anyone interested in searching for the remains of the horses to narrow down the search area. I haven't taken the time to look for it myself, but I would enjoy the challenge. The exact spot Booth hid out in the pine thicket would also be a good spot to search. This could also be narrowed down to within 50 yards or so just from clues found in the book.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Have you ever found that great lead to lost Spanish galleons, buried pirate gold, Wells-Fargo robberies, the rediscovery of long, lost mines, or the mattress-hordes of an eccentric old prospector? Then you run into a hitch in your giddy-up. The town or place that you need to find is no longer on any map? I myself have ran into that problem more than once. Now one of your best resources are the “old timers” in your area. They probably have more stored back for a rainy day conversation than you can shake a stick at. If you have that resource, use it. If you don’t though here is a great resource that I myself have used at my desk in my house while drinking a cup of coffee. This can save you hours if not days of foot work in the field. It’s a hobby that even some treasure hunters may have. It’s called “Geocaching”.
You can think of it as a modern-day hunt for treasure. It starts out with satellites above the earth. Using a GPS, they can tell you where you are within a few feet. A few years back, someone took that technology and started hiding things to find throughout the world and posting those so-called treasure coordinates on the Internet. Now, anyone can search for these geocaches.
I discovered through a good friend of mine that these folks where hiding some of these geocaches in old forgotten places like ghost towns, old canyons, creeks, and caves. What’s great about this is that they have posted the coordinates to these place on the internet and with the use of a hand held GPS ,or heck even now a day’s your cell phone probably has a application for it, you can probably find the place you’ve been looking for. I have even emailed the person who had hidden the geocache near the particular area I was looking for and he was able to give me exact location of a building I was looking for in the old ghost town.
You can take it a step further and enter the coordinates into the mapping program of your choice and probably get a bird’s eye view of the place before you even head out into the field. You can also share your research this way with your hunting partner if needed through email.What it boils down to is when you are searching for a treasure site, don’t be afraid to think outside of the box a little and use resources that you might not normally consider. Mix a little old tactics with some new. Along the way you may even pick up a new hobby or two
Thursday, November 25, 2010
I promise to get back on schedule with some regular postings this next week. It has been a busy time around here with the nice weather. We have been working on a few different outlaw and Spanish sites and were beat to one by somebody else. That happens in this hobby/business. There's always somebody else that has looked for what you are looking for and sometimes they find it.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Winter is fast approaching and we will be once again thinking up stories to post and researching next years sites to work. I'm working on some new tools to aid us in treasure hunting, so I'll be busy out in the work shop. Watching Meteorite Men on tv gets me motivated to add to our treasure toolbox. Those guys are always coming up with new tools to hunt space rocks.
Stay tuned for some interesting stories!
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Thanks to the readers who brought this to my attention. I hate to look stupid but sometimes it just happens. OK, maybe it happens more than just sometimes!
I guess I won't be winning the big money on Jeopardy any time soon.
Friday, November 12, 2010
Just in case there are those out there that feel this way I have something different for you to look for. You will have to travel to Smith County, KS to look for it but that may not be too far for some of our readers.
Located about two miles from Smith Center, KS is what used to be an Indian trading center where different Indian tribes would come to trade with each other. The Indians spent a lot of time in this area and while there some of them spent their time making flint arrowheads and knives that they could trade to the other tribes.
This site is also known as “Sitting Bull’s Fort” and “Plaster’s Castle”. The “fort” was made of stone and existed for a long time. It is said that Chief Sitting Bull used the location in 1867 as his own personal bank to hide knives, arrowheads and “illegally obtained weapons”. Illegally obtained weapons? I can’t imagine!
Winter is coming and the grass will die down soon and make it easier to see the ground. If you've never found an arrowhead it can be almost as fun as digging a hole at the end of a treasure trail.
So there you have it. If you are bored with looking for shiny metal then maybe you should venture to Kansas and see if you can find a few arrowheads. Those “illegally obtained weapons” could be worth a lot of money if they happen to be rifles.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
According to the UN convention it will still be legal for the archies to do their thing but anyone wanting to actually hunt for a profit will be banned from doing so. They say they are trying to protect the underwater artifacts for future generations however if nobody is looking for them then they won’t be very protected as they sit on the bottom of the ocean and slowly dissolve away with time.
In my opinion the pinheads don’t care about cultural heritage. If they did then the different countries that have joined this convention would spend a lot more money each trying to locate and recover these “cultural” artifacts but they don’t. They just sit like vultures waiting for someone who has spent their own hard earned money and time to find them and then they swoop in and try to take it all away. Do I sound bitter?
I agree that some laws are needed to govern the unscrupulous treasure hunters but they always go overboard and I sure don’t think there should be some international law defining what each country can and cannot do.
Nova Scotia is the latest country to jump on board with the U.N. convention, banning all commercial underwater treasure hunting beginning 1 January 2011.
If I were a lawyer I think I would come up with a new interpretation of “commercial treasure hunting” and find away around this stupid law. Governments are notorious for not looking for these so called cultural artifacts and the majority of them are only found by pure accident or by professional treasure hunters. I think this will drastically decrease the amount of the “cultural heritage” found in the future.
As far as I can tell our own pinheads in D.C. have not joined this convention, not yet anyway, but you might keep your eyes open for any kind of legislation in the future. How long will it be before they decide that the ground we walk on contains “cultural heritage” and ban us from any type of treasure hunting? They have done this in some areas already but the pinheads are notoriously ignorant of real life so one of these days we may all be fighting to keep our hobby/profession from being killed off by these morons.
Monday, November 1, 2010
Here is another tale of modern day outlaws where the loot was never found. Our story begins in sunny California in a little city called Los Angeles. In 1997 a regional safety inspector for “Dunbar Armored” decided that he would mastermind a little heist of the “Dunbar Armored” facility. He then decided to recruit five of his childhood friends to help. Lots of planning and timing went into this heist. The safety inspector timed the cameras and determined how they could be avoided. He also knew how many personnel would be on duty at the facility. They waited until they knew that the facility vault was open due to the large quantities of money being moved. On Friday, September 12, the safety inspector and his little gang of childhood friends entered the facility using the safety inspector’s access key. They then proceeded to ambush the guards one by one from the staff cafeteria. Once they had the security personnel down to a minimum, they rushed the guards in the vault before any alarms could be sound. They spent the next thirty minutes loading a U-haul truck with nearly $20 million in non-sequential bills. Well the police soon figured out that this had to be a inside job and a short time without any leads they finally got a break. One of the childhood chums that helped in the robbery gave a stack of bills from the heist to another friend. Well this guy wasn’t real bright because the stack of bills still had the original cash straps on it. Once this little piece of evidence was turned over to the authorities the rest of the gang was picked up along with the mastermind safety inspector. They were all given 24 years in prison. Only $10 million of the money was every accounted for. Nice little payday when parole day comes in 2021? Maybe not if you can find it first.
Now if I was a treasure hunter(hint hint) I would probably start out researching our safety inspecting mastermind (did I mention his name was Allen pace?). Then I would find out where he and his friends grew up. Maybe start looking around some area that was familiar to him and his childhood chums. Maybe a place they all hung out as kids or maybe a place they all might have spent weekends together. Chances are they might have hidden that nice little haul in a place they all knew well and a place that felt safe to them. Don’t we all have memories of some place that we like to return to every now and then and treasure in our minds?