ABC News Article

TheRealTim

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Who owns the past? Who owns the property? The answer is the same for both questions, with the exception of human remains and hazardous materials. I would argue that in many, if not most cases that artifacts in the hands of private collectors are cared for better than those in the hands of museums and university anthropology departments. Outside of those that are on public display, how many artifacts are degrading in basement boxes stacked to the ceiling and waiting for a government grant to be properly curated, studied or displayed? Ownership imbues responsibility. That's just as true for artifacts as it is for owning vs. renting a house.



You can click on the link I provided above and watch the entire episode of Secrets of the Dead. It's a pretty good story about how this tug of war plays out between the various entities across the scientific/private/government spectrum. In the end, the little kiddos win in this story. The crotchety paleontologist lost out because it was sold to a private collector. They guy who found it lost out when he had to sell it for a fraction of its worth because he needed money. The auction house won big because it sold for almost $8 million, close to 4 times what they expected. And the new owner put it on loan in a children's museum in Florida for 3 years. What happens after that? I don't know. That episode shows a lot of large dinosaur skeletons displayed in private homes. But your house would have to be pretty big to display the largest triceratops skeleton ever found. How many shipwreck/salvage hunters have the actual restored 16th century ship on display in their house as opposed to the bell, cannon or anchor? Probably not many. Those that do most likely have it in a private museum they own and work hard to draw in paying visitors and preserve their investment.


But it shouldn't be complicated at all. In international waters it should belong to whoever lays their briny hands on it first. That's a lot more straightforward and honest than trying to determine if a 16th century Spanish shipwreck carrying Aztec gold belongs to Spain, Mexico or the civilization that doesn't exist anymore. Who owns the past? The smiling dude who retrieved it.


Not really. It's a matter of a government entity and a quasi-government entity teaming up and working against the interests of a private entity. The same shipwreck/salvage hunters who are trying to make a living are paying taxes that are being used against their interests. They may get paid for doing the actual salvage work, but they are basically relegated to being the Grubhub and DoorDash folks in the equation. Universities with multi-billion dollar endowments shouldn't be getting government grant money to do what private companies are out there raising money and investing their own sweat to do. There is an entire filed called contract law that can sort this out. A university meets with someone who found, or is looking for a shipwreck. They negotiate terms. You sign. You dine. If terms can't be worked out, there are plenty of other universities and salvage companies out there who can take a whack at it. It's actually pretty simple.

I hear you. There's a lot in here about the way that you think it should be. I respect your opinion and agree with some of it. But for most of us, there's an ocean between the way things are and the way we'd like for things to be. Or what the laws are and what we'd like them to be.

I wouldn't argue with you about your opinions. I respect your right to have them, and we can disagree and that's cool. When it comes to the law (and particularly shipwrecks in international waters), it definitely IS complicated, whether we want it to be or not. The only effective way I know of changing laws is to raise money, hire lobbyists, and get cracking.
 

Red_desert

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When we moved, I left behind flint scrapers and other stone artifacts found on our property. There were a couple things I had donated to a small museum south of here (a 3-hour drive). I never sold any artifacts but returned them to the ground.
 

MiddenMonster

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A lot of Native American history is on private land.
A lot of everyone's history is on private land. Doesn't change what is right or wrong.
I wouldn't argue with you about your opinions. I respect your right to have them, and we can disagree and that's cool. When it comes to the law (and particularly shipwrecks in international waters), it definitely IS complicated, whether we want it to be or not. The only effective way I know of changing laws is to raise money, hire lobbyists, and get cracking.
It should only be complicated in terms of how governments deal with each other regarding international waters. In terms of how private entities play in the sandbox, it shouldn't be complicated. Governments are bound by treaties. Individuals shouldn't be. Now granted, when it comes to individuals and "laws", I agree that a lot of it boils down to whether the individual is a citizen, or a subject.

In the bigger picture, what we see playing out on the international waters stage is now on the cusp of playing out on the solar system stage. A treaty was signed back in 1967 that prohibits governments from claiming celestial bodies, and mandates a lot of other nonsense. There is a decent chance that the first people to reach Mars (or Venus) are going to be part of a private venture, and the same holds true for asteroids, comets, etc. If that turns out to be the case it would be absurd to hold the entity behind those projects to the provisions of that treaty. To do so would mean that the progress and future of mankind is subject to how government(s) want to dole it out instead of how the hopes, dreams and ambitions of individuals allow that future to unfold. If it is the former, then everything will come down to greasing the palms of those in power and who can afford the best lobbyists. And that would be a disaster.
 

TheRealTim

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In the bigger picture, what we see playing out on the international waters stage is now on the cusp of playing out on the solar system stage. A treaty was signed back in 1967 that prohibits governments from claiming celestial bodies, and mandates a lot of other nonsense. There is a decent chance that the first people to reach Mars (or Venus) are going to be part of a private venture, and the same holds true for asteroids, comets, etc. If that turns out to be the case it would be absurd to hold the entity behind those projects to the provisions of that treaty. To do so would mean that the progress and future of mankind is subject to how government(s) want to dole it out instead of how the hopes, dreams and ambitions of individuals allow that future to unfold. If it is the former, then everything will come down to greasing the palms of those in power and who can afford the best lobbyists. And that would be a disaster.
To my eyes these two private sector spaces are so fundamentally different that they're not analogous, but I see where you're coming from. It's an exciting time for space technology and exploration. I'm not educated enough on the subject to speculate on what will happen when humans eventually reach Mars, but I'm all but positive whatever governments are involved will have some pretty robust agreements in place with whatever company makes it there, for better or for worse (of course, you can't even test a rocket engine without FAA approval, much less launch a rocket from Earth to Mars, but that's a whole different ball of yarn).

It's one thing for international treaties to govern what happens in non-territorial waters on our own planet. On another one? Gees. Who is even going to enforce that, and how? In what court? It could be the true Wild West, all over again.
 

MiddenMonster

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I'm not educated enough on the subject to speculate on what will happen when humans eventually reach Mars, but I'm all but positive whatever governments are involved will have some pretty robust agreements in place with whatever company makes it there, for better or for worse (of course, you can't even test a rocket engine without FAA approval, much less launch a rocket from Earth to Mars, but that's a whole different ball of yarn).

It's one thing for international treaties to govern what happens in non-territorial waters on our own planet. On another one? Gees. Who is even going to enforce that, and how? In what court? It could be the true Wild West, all over again.
I agree. You can't test a rocket engine without FAA approval and you couldn't launch a rocket without not only FAA approval, but EPA approval and the approval of who knows how many other agencies. You could on the other hand, do all of that from a ship out in the ocean or from an island that gives you approval without the burden of regulations, i.e. they get a piece of the action.

Likewise, you could have a rogue ship that is not under the flag of any nation that roams the seas, salvages shipwrecks and keeps the booty, free from the encumbrances of any treaty. The problem is that your rogue ship has to refuel and restock, and governments would not only be able to prohibit access to ports, but also prohibit vessels flying under their flags from meeting up in international waters to engage in trade. That leaves a situation where you could have a bunch of rogue ships engaging in parallel sea trade, in essence becoming pirate vessels when they try to bring or take cargo to or from land, or sell what you salvaged. That then opens up the likelihood that governments would resort to force to stop it, and you have history repeating itself; it's deja vu all over again.

I would argue that the pirate age of the early 18th century was in large part do to government control of commerce. Empires, monarchies, mercantilism and all that. Had individuals been able to freely engage in commerce on the high seas the only real piracy would have been conducted by criminals (akin to muggers/robbers today) as opposed to those who wanted to conduct business (akin to purveyors of vice today). You can look through the posts here and see that most, if not all the people who do this for a living don't want to break the law, and in fact jump through hoops to comply with the law. They invest their own money, make sure all the "I's" are dotted and "T's" crossed, do the hard work and then get shafted by governments--and in many cases unelected bureaucrats who don't comply with the plain meaning of the law or interpret it after the fact.

The above is also how it will play out in space, but it's not really a new story. It's just the story of how the struggle for power has worked since the beginning of humanity. Same story, new technological stage. A parallel to that now is how AI is being debated. People are calling for treaties to regulate how AI is used and incorporated--all for "the good of mankind". I don't have a solid memory of this, but I think there was a similar debate when the "home computer" was first introduced, and how this new technology could be put to evil use and destroy us all. So from the hand axe and fire to the computer and beyond, the story is still the same.
 

dersegler

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This is an interesting thread demonstrating the mind-boggling controversy and interpretive conjecture as to laws and morals on rights and ownership of artifacts. The lines are often blurred between the law and human nature. For example, what ever happened to Tucker’s Cross? Was it possibly returned to the sea or were there other nefarious motives that would likely not be apparent for generations? In my previous post on this thread, I referenced my post on TN that vanished. It was surmised to be a violation of TN rules; I had nothing that would warrant deletion. It just happened very quickly. All I will say is that I had solid research-based evidence as to the whereabouts of a huge fortune (and the shipwreck itself) that has never been found despite tremendous searching and research by lots of people. The load was estimated to be about 3 trillion dollars even years ago - yes with a T. Certainly the information I suggested could be used to investigate and possibly implicate modern-day entities. The original culprits have been deceased for centuries and audits back in the day disclosed nothing. I did not mention names or modern-day entities in my post, rather I only suggested researching a location in regards to the treasure. The post was about 5 words in total. Historic details regarding this wreck are scattered and it is complex in that the mother lode was never supposed to be onboard - it had been switched for security and secrecy. I mentioned the details are scattered and confusing, the details I uncovered were from various sources but when placed in order the dots could clearly be connected. It was interesting that no historical details aside from the culprits being audited tried to steer you away from my possible conclusion. The facts were never presented in one source alone. In my earlier post on this thread, I also mentioned a book that had vanished from the library. I have a theory as to why this happened. I had learned that that book was being pulled from all sources and archives due to a proprietary legal battle. The library from which I located the book was in the same town where the author’s mother lived; later I learned that she had passed away and assumed her book collection had been donated to the local library. Before making the transfer, the library noted the book was to be pulled and shipped off for security. Incidentally, I sought the book as part of research on this $3T mother lode.

Just some food for thought. From my personal experience I find the jurisdiction to define “International Waters” varies depending on who and what you are referring to. As we know from modern politics, laws may be interpreted and bent to suit a purpose and it can get nasty. I want to interject the human element into this discussion. Let’s just suppose that you are offshore in a vessel and per the charts you are clearly in international waters. Your sonar beeps and you note a possible uncharted structure. You’re experienced divers and your buddies convince you to take a quick splash. It is a wreck and it is deep. You go beyond depth limits and discover some splendid goodies such as centuries old firearms, personal belongings etc. You think it is maybe just junk. Then you find a hold with dozens of unopened wooden crates. Your knife easily cuts the waterlogged wood and you discover a lot in just one or two boxes. There are many more crates left unopened due to time restraints. With the extreme depth, you must begin assent and decompression. Under the state of narcosis do you think “I better leave this and contact the authorities” or grab whatever you can bring up safely? (That all depends as I have left a most valuable piece behind due to narcosis). So as for human nature, once you regain your senses do you decide to report the wreck to the authorities to satisfy the laws or do you continue to visit and secretively salvage knowing the restorative work needed and the fact that you may never be able to disclose your find. What would you do…really? I already know what I would do.
 

MiddenMonster

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In my previous post on this thread, I referenced my post on TN that vanished. It was surmised to be a violation of TN rules; I had nothing that would warrant deletion. It just happened very quickly. All I will say is that I had solid research-based evidence as to the whereabouts of a huge fortune (and the shipwreck itself) that has never been found despite tremendous searching and research by lots of people...The post was about 5 words in total.

I can't respond to the library book part of what you said, but as a practical matter, your statements about TreasureNet are easy to address. Take a walk on the wild side. If the post was only 5 words, try an experiment and repost it. If it disappears, we can all rise up together and ask why. If it doesn't disappear, the original disappearance would be just a fluke, or easily explainable. If there is a $3 trillion treasure out there just waiting to be recovered it would be the biggest treasure news in the history of the world, and I guarantee you that the people on this forum will respond exactly how you hoped they would when you first posted it.

Under the state of narcosis do you think “I better leave this and contact the authorities” or grab whatever you can bring up safely?

That's easy. I'd contact an attorney. Though I would also most likely recover something that could be used to demonstrate proof of concept/proof of life/whatever the correct term would be to push the process toward a favorable resolution. No one has ever gone wrong making the decision to seek legal advice for a complex situation involving large sums of money.
 

TheRealTim

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That's easy. I'd contact an attorney. Though I would also most likely recover something that could be used to demonstrate proof of concept/proof of life/whatever the correct term would be to push the process toward a favorable resolution. No one has ever gone wrong making the decision to seek legal advice for a complex situation involving large sums of money.
This. This is just good advice in general. Don't talk to the police without an attorney. Don't get a divorce without an attorney. Don't respond to someone else's attorney without an attorney. If you're signing a contract, consult an attorney. If your business is applying for an environmental permit, retain an attorney. Any time a situation is legally complex and involves money, there is an attorney who specializes in that area of law.

Though I recommend caution when it comes to recovering something from the seafloor. That could be a violation of one of several laws and recovery to demonstrate proof won't be helpful.
 

Red_desert

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Though I recommend caution when it comes to recovering something from the seafloor. That could be a violation of one of several laws and recovery to demonstrate proof won't be helpful.
Over a span of several years, perhaps a couple of decades by now... numerous treasure hunters have found wrecks hoping to get legal permits yet failed in the end. I think governments are also tired of the split of treasure deals. I believe some treasure should be put in museums for other people to see. What we really need is to have more museums built and managed by people who specialize in shipwrecks, the study and documentation of artifacts.
 

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ARC

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The same type of Doof-ass sitting spouting the same lame old armchair opinions that generalize and more importantly discriminate and slanders those WHO ACTUALLY MAKE history instead of just talking about it.
This is and has always been the jealousy driven modis operandi since day one of them hearing of someone other than themselves or a colleague getting any gain or glory.

They should get the glory though... of being masters at spinning BS to the public and retrofitting their lawmakers with blinders.
 

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Crow

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If there is a $3 trillion treasure?

And that is a red flag for me. lets assume the cargo is gold?

One trillion I had look up the see the number looked like 1000000000000. You claim 3 trillion.

Lets do a little math amigo. Say if we assume the cargo is gold?

Current rate per ounce 2029 USD. keep that in mind.

Now get back to the claim not just one trillion but 3 trillion? we divide current cost per ounce into that figure. it gives approximately 14778560867,42 ounces.

There is 35274 ounces per ton.

That adds up to 41916.45 tons of gold nearly 42 thousand tons of gold.

All the 4581.5 tonnes of gold in Fort Knox is entirely owned by The U.S. Department of the Treasury. Much of it is stored in standard bars measuring around 180 x 92 x 44mm each, similar to a standard house brick, and weighing 12.5kg

So you are claiming this absurd figure to ya lost me amigo.

You claim in your words not mine. The original culprits have been deceased for centuries and audits back in the day disclosed nothing.

No single ship centuries ago could carry 42 thousand tons of gold.

To me this is all seems a flight of fantasy of what if?

As to what I think of attorneys I cannot say here as it will even make season pirate blush.:tongue3:

Over the years I have put their daughter through Harvard.:tongue3:

Crow
 

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dersegler

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i think it is appropriate in consulting with an attorney in many circumstances. If a person serendipitously finds something of value on an identified shipwreck or one with an exploratory claim certainly it would be advised to consult an attorney. From that standpoint I get where you are coming from. There are places in the world however that have a lot of metal under water. In some locations only about 10% of the wrecks have been identified to this day. Maybe I hang out with some yahoos but we have explored and researched many different wrecks for years and have seldom been seriously questioned. If asked about something we would just say that we are seeking clues to identify the wreck and that was the end of it. That being said, the tourist that might come do not engage in this type of activity and typically only explore known sites closer to shore. For us our dive weights consist of cutting tools and crow bars; the local boat captains (of which I am a member) know the locals and have always maintained a “don’t ask, don’t tell” stance . ( …believe that is a Clinton quote). What people do with anything salvaged is their responsibility. I do not know of anyone who has ever had problems donating items to a maritime museum. When asked where it came from we tell them a general location of unknown origin. Most of the items salvaged are trinkets however some very valuable pieces have been found and either donated or remain forever in private collection. We do protective treatments. I did have a very major find that turned into a fiasco with authorities. I had sought venture capital and private excavation engineering and word got out to the bureaucrats. We were invited to a dinner under the claim that they wanted to write a news article about our efforts; in reality they wanted to know what we found and demanded information. We were harassed for many months. The information remains a secret to this day and will likely go to our graves with us.
 

TheRealTim

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The same type of Doof-ass sitting spouting the same lame old armchair opinions that generalize and more importantly discriminate and slanders those WHO ACTUALLY MAKE history instead of just talking about it.
This is and has always been the jealousy driven modis operandi since day one of them hearing of someone other than themselves or a colleague getting any gain or glory.

They should get the glory though... of being masters at spinning BS to the public and retrofitting their lawmakers with blinders.
Are you talking about me? I'm not spouting armchair opinions. I can give you the actual statutory citations and the court decisions related to them. Those aren't my opinions. My opinion is irrelevant. I just pointed out that in many places removing antiquities from the seafloor is a crime. That's a fact.
 

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TheRealTim

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i think it is appropriate in consulting with an attorney in many circumstances. If a person serendipitously finds something of value on an identified shipwreck or one with an exploratory claim certainly it would be advised to consult an attorney. From that standpoint I get where you are coming from. There are places in the world however that have a lot of metal under water. In some locations only about 10% of the wrecks have been identified to this day. Maybe I hang out with some yahoos but we have explored and researched many different wrecks for years and have seldom been seriously questioned. If asked about something we would just say that we are seeking clues to identify the wreck and that was the end of it. That being said, the tourist that might come do not engage in this type of activity and typically only explore known sites closer to shore. For us our dive weights consist of cutting tools and crow bars; the local boat captains (of which I am a member) know the locals and have always maintained a “don’t ask, don’t tell” stance . ( …believe that is a Clinton quote). What people do with anything salvaged is their responsibility. I do not know of anyone who has ever had problems donating items to a maritime museum. When asked where it came from we tell them a general location of unknown origin. Most of the items salvaged are trinkets however some very valuable pieces have been found and either donated or remain forever in private collection. We do protective treatments. I did have a very major find that turned into a fiasco with authorities. I had sought venture capital and private excavation engineering and word got out to the bureaucrats. We were invited to a dinner under the claim that they wanted to write a news article about our efforts; in reality they wanted to know what we found and demanded information. We were harassed for many months. The information remains a secret to this day and will likely go to our graves with us.
Can't say too much about this in response without more details (and I'm not going to ask for them). My opinion is just that if someone wants to do any kind of work that is guided by complex regulations or laws by local, state, or federal governments, they should involve an experienced attorney early in the process.
 

ARC

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Are you talking about me? I'm not spouting armchair opinions. I can give you the actual statutory citations and the court decisions related to them. Those aren't my opinions. My opinion is irrelevant. I just pointed out that in many places removing antiquities from the seafloor is a crime. That's a fact.
No... not directed at you. (directed in general... with this Paul in mind primarily)
The U.S. should have adopted the U.K's stance / program on this a LONG time ago but instead of realistic change they continue on with the same ole same ole while our history disappears along with the opportunities for those who are willing to ACTUALLY work and get the recoveries done.

And instead of some form of change and implementing some sort of "guidelines" / "permits" (regulated of course) to see that this doesn't happen...
they would rather take the stance of...
"if its not us that finds it than nobody should find it" crapola...
WHICH...
will only lead to further losses.
 

ARC

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Hey people... its like this...
I am just a lowly metal detectorist scratching the sandy beaches from time to time...
I have no vested venture in this... meaning i am just a "bystander" watching and looking in on this whole dealio argument over the last 40+ years.

And its as stupid sounding now as it was then. heh

In fact... its not just stupid... but a shame it has only gotten worse without someone in position of smarts to figure out that it is in fact stupid and actually push forth a real change.
 

Crow

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I agree amigo.

Regardless of political system anywhere in the world we are all still slaves to the Feudal system. The name changes that is all.

There are lords and the serfs and just for good measure we have the peasants. The serfs aspires to become lords. The Lord's aspire to stay being lords having power over serfs and peasants.

The peasants aspire to be serfs! The serfs conspire to Keep the peasants, peasants. Chief king emperor president. The name really means the same. Laws are made for one reason and one reason alone 'Control.'

If the lords cannot control the serfs and peasants they are no longer the Lords

Crow
 

TheRealTim

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No... not directed at you. (directed in general... with this Paul in mind primarily)
The U.S. should have adopted the U.K's stance / program on this a LONG time ago but instead of realistic change they continue on with the same ole same ole while our history disappears along with the opportunities for those who are willing to ACTUALLY work and get the recoveries done.

And instead of some form of change and implementing some sort of "guidelines" / "permits" (regulated of course) to see that this doesn't happen...
they would rather take the stance of...
"if its not us that finds it than nobody should find it" crapola...
WHICH...
will only lead to further losses.
I don't see it as "if we can't have it/find it, no one can." I've never encountered that attitude, professionally. This might be presumptuous, but I think you're coming in at an angle toward a discussion about "in situ preservation," which is definitely a philosophy that some archaeologists and governments hold.

Personally, I'm not a fan of that approach as a general policy. It can be short-sighted when resources are in legitimate (and I stress the word "legitimate") danger of damage or destruction (looting, sea level rise, etc.). That said, resources have to be managed, conserved, and interpreted after they are investigated, and that takes a steady revenue or funding source that, itself, doesn't result in damage to or loss of a resource. Quite a balancing act. And money tends to run out, or promises aren't kept, or interest wanes...I've seen it many times.

There are also circumstances where leaving a resource alone to let nature take its course is most appropriate.

But, that's all kind of an abstract discussion. When the rubber meets the road, most sovereign nations that have lost ships in US territorial waters are opposed to the commercialization of their property/sunken heritage. The business model for treasure hunting changed because of the implementation of laws like the Sunken Military Craft Act, and the industry hasn't really adapted. There's a role for private sector research and recovery for these wrecks, and I'm sure eventually someone will be successful at partnering with the research arm of a sovereign government and working through the SMCA regulations to get an appropriate permit and eventually turn a profit. But, it won't be by selling artifacts. Those days are gone, save for a few grandfathered contracts adjudicated by courts that predate laws like the ASA and the SMCA. I'll probably catch hell for saying so, but that's how it seems to me. And remember, I don't have a dog in the fight. I'm a consultant now, working with the private sector (and others) to meet it's goals (though my day-to-day has little or nothing to do with maritime resources).
 

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MiddenMonster

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Though I recommend caution when it comes to recovering something from the seafloor. That could be a violation of one of several laws and recovery to demonstrate proof won't be helpful.

I'm speaking specifically about something pulled up in international waters, but I understand your point. That said, sometimes a trinket proffered is worth more in leverage than in illegality.

There are places in the world however that have a lot of metal under water. In some locations only about 10% of the wrecks have been identified to this day.

So why not post the 5 word post once again and see where it leads? I'd bet that it doesn't get deleted.

There's a role for private sector research and recovery for these wrecks, and I'm sure eventually someone will be successful at partnering with the research arm of a sovereign government and working through the SMCA regulations to get an appropriate permit and eventually turn a profit. But, it won't be by selling artifacts.

Then how will it be? Government saying, "Because of our benevolence thou have been deemed worthy of a 2% profit for thy service..."? A lot of treasure hunters already eek out a living. But for treasure hunters, the name of the game is to strike it rich, with some balance between the thrill of the chase, eye-popping wealth, glory and the recovery of history. Why would treasure hunters invest the time, staggering amounts of money and effort, not to mention risk to partner with a government for some undefined return on their investment? And don't forget that such a partnership would require actual trust in said government. Is such a trust warranted? Hmmm...ask those Dent's Run guys. Whether or not gold was really found, the government shafted them, broke the agreement and ran them off the site. Do they have a case? Maybe. But it's pretty hard to go up against an opponent that literally has the right to print the money they will use against you.
 

ARC

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I don't see it as "if we can't have it/find it, no one can." I've never encountered that attitude, professionally. This might be presumptuous, but I think you're coming in at an angle toward a discussion about "in situ preservation," which is definitely a philosophy that some archaeologists and governments hold.

Personally, I'm not a fan of that approach as a general policy. It can be short-sighted when resources are in legitimate (and I stress the word "legitimate") danger of damage or destruction (looting, sea level rise, etc.). That said, resources have to be managed, conserved, and interpreted after they are investigated, and that takes a steady revenue or funding source that, itself, doesn't result in damage to or loss of a resource. Quite a balancing act. And money tends to run out, or promises aren't kept, or interest wanes...I've seen it many times.

There are also circumstances where leaving a resource alone to let nature take its course is most appropriate.

But, that's all kind of an abstract discussion. When the rubber meets the road, most sovereign nations that have lost ships in US territorial waters are opposed to the commercialization of their property/sunken heritage. The business model for treasure hunting changed because of the implementation of laws like the Sunken Military Craft Act, and the industry hasn't really adapted. There's a role for private sector research and recovery for these wrecks, and I'm sure eventually someone will be successful at partnering with the research arm of a sovereign government and working through the SMCA regulations to get an appropriate permit and eventually turn a profit. But, it won't be by selling artifacts. Those days are gone, save for a few grandfathered contracts adjudicated by courts that predate laws like the ASA and the SMCA. I'll probably catch hell for saying so, but that's how it seems to me. And remember, I don't have a dog in the fight. I'm a consultant now, working with the private sector (and others) to meet it's goals (though my day-to-day has little or nothing to do with maritime resources).
Guidelines in place... upfront realistic agreements with training required for permit. (with updates).
Assigned Archie upon location / discovery.
After timely documentation / assessment of value... initial reward awarded to finders with residual payment(s) if amount surpasses initial monetary or historical values are surpassed.

Something along these lines STARTS to make sense.

Archies would be so busy it wouldn't be funny ........ wait........ maybe that's it......... they don't want to be "busy"... perhaps they like talking and social blah blah half the time and milking it...
OR... Its the ole take your time and drag feet until they ALMOST pull the funding plug or we have fully exhausted it ? ? ?
OR... Who's in a hurry anyway... we all are going to be around forever... don't want to finish then we have nothing to justify what we are getting paid for / doing .. ? ? ?
OR... We have to study it until all eyes are crossed and everyone else has grown bored ? ? ?
OR... God knows it will be a long time until we find something else to ride at the snails pace ? ? ?

Seems like THE ONLY time the fuel gets pushed on a project is when fear sets in of losing something for one reason or another... then all hands on deck !

Just being "funny"... but....... heh... :)
 

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