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Offline ksightlerTopic starter
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« on: August 18, 2009, 11:47:19 pm »
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Some people log onto Google Earth and spy men sitting on the toilet. Others find buried treasures of a different kind.

At least that is the claim of Nathan Smith, a Los Angeles musician. Mr. Smith was noodling around on Google Earth one day, randomly examining parts of the Aransas Pass in Texas. Suddenly, his eyes darted to a shoeprint-shaped outline near Barketine Creek.

His suspicions and, presumably, his vast knowledge of history, were sufficiently aroused for him to believe that what he had found was the wreckage of a Spanish barquentine (think large boat with three or more masts) that supposedly met its final resting place south of Refugio, Texas, in 1822.

Mr. Smith scuttled off to consult a few experts and concluded the ship and its treasure was worth $3 billion. With all due promptness, he grabbed hold of a metal detector and drove all the way to the site. One small problem: the land appears to be part of a ranch owned by the late Morgan Dunn O'Connor.

You will feel palpitations in the deeper part of your throat to discover that this has all ended up in court. Mr. Smith's lawyers believe that the land beneath which the ship is submerged is navigable waterway. If they're right, U.S. law says the first person to find abandoned treasure gets first dibs on the spoils.


This is, apparently, a barquentine. Might Johnny Depp have gotten there first?

(Credit: CC Truello)
However, if the court decides it's land, then Mr. O'Connor's family gets first crack at the jewelry, trinkets and, um, those metal contraptions they hung recalcitrant sailors in.

The O'Connor family's lawyer, Ron Walker, was very forthright with ABC News: "It was offensive that somebody could go on Google Earth, look down, and see what they think is under the ground...and come in and say, I want to dig up your property. They have no proof anything is there and no experience."

Yes, but Mr. Smith has watched Nicolas Cage in National Treasure.

Please allow me to add some more characters to this wonderful tale of Google-eyed adventure, avarice, and advocacy.

The state of Texas also has lawyers. And they're pretty darn sure that there's no commercial waterway there. No, as far as they are concerned, if it's in water, it's in Texas's water. So the state has lodged its claim.

And, through all this, the precise location of the supposedly full vessel is being kept under wraps. (So come on, Google Earth obsessives, please find it for me. Perhaps we can stake a claim too.)

Next month, U.S. District Judge David Hittner will rule. In two months' time, Sean Penn will be asked to play Nathan Smith. With Billy Bob Thornton as Ron Walker. And, hey, how about Josh Brolin defending the state of Texas? I thought he played 43 rather well, didn't you?


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Offline stringfrenzy
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« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2009, 11:55:46 pm »
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Thanks for the post.  This has been going on for some time now.  Who knows when things will actually be settled.  Good read and thanks again.

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Offline farmdigger
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« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2009, 12:00:18 am »
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Wow, he sure handled that in the wrong way.

He should have....

-Told no one of the discovery

- If his own research proves it to be the real deal than he should have done anything and everything possible to acquire that land.



I mean 3 billion dollars.............wow!  Shocked

Some people just can't keep their mouths shut.


Time to log off and do some google earth hunting!  Grin

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Offline ksightlerTopic starter
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« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2009, 12:01:04 am »
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Poor guy... try to do things the proper way.... now caught up in legal turmoil... I'd just make a deal with the land owner... after I got some proof.... the shiny stuff speaks a million words...

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« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2009, 12:21:43 am »
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he did the right thing, after all hind sight is 20/20.  even if he did buy the land and than claim to find the wreck I'm sure the previous owner would have a case against him in some way or another.

How do they even know that this is the right ship? Have they removed some of the artifacts from the area and found treasure or proof of it being the ship they think it is?

The article is a bit vague... is it now dry land and the ships cargo is under soil or is it that the wreck is in shallow water therefore it was observable from satellites?

Thanks and sorry for all the questions  Smiley



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Offline salvor6
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« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2009, 07:32:07 am »
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Here is the original article:

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www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/side/6186388.html
. There was another trial last March where Smith lost his case. You can figure out the location from the map in the article.

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« Last Edit: August 19, 2009, 08:26:59 am by salvor6 »
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« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2009, 09:09:41 am »
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Yep...like I said been going on for awhile now.  Thanks for posting the link to the other story Salvor6.

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« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2009, 12:00:20 pm »
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THE MYSTERY OF BARKENTINE CREEK
Many are the stories of ship?s treasure buried somewhere on the Texas Coast, but
one story tells of ship?s treasure buried miles inland on the prairie in Refugio
County.
It was a Spanish barkentine, a three-masted ship, which had sailed from Veracruz
bringing a cargo of gold and silver coinage to the port of some struggling province.
In September of 1822, she ran into a hurricane and apparently sought protection by
turning into the mouth of a creek. The storm blew her far upstream, then out onto
the plains. No humans, dead or alive, were found with her.
Soon after the storm, a Comanche party happened onto the wreck. They removed
eight jars of gold coins, but when attacked and pursued by a band of Karankawas,
they hid the jars somewhere between present-day Refugio and Austwell. An aging
Comanche returned to look for the gold in the 1850s, but if he found it, he never
told anyone.
In the second half of the 19th century, the rotting hulk on the prairie became
something of a tourist attraction until her timbers were used to build a ranch house.
Nothing remains now of the old Spanish vessel, except the name of nearby
Barkentine Creek.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



I found this to be of interest - Go to Google Earth and type in Refugio, Texas.  Go southeast towards  Mission River and the Bay.
28 11'21.17"N
97 12'10.71"W  at around 630 feet
At least it is in the shape of a shoe a broken up shoe that is!
What do you think?

Jimi

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« Last Edit: August 19, 2009, 12:11:06 pm by JimiDPirate »
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« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2009, 12:42:06 pm »
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Quote:Posted by ksightler
Poor guy... try to do things the proper way.... now caught up in legal turmoil... I'd just make a deal with the land owner... after I got some proof.... the shiny stuff speaks a million words...


Hello ksightler . Thanks for posting this article again . It does not make sense that that the state of Texas has rights to someones "Private Property" . If the Treasure is right on top or in the middle of the Utility Trench [easement] then that is a different story , but I do not think that is the case . If they dug a trench for the power or telephone and did not hit any of that treasure then the state of Texas has no rights to anything . I think the Property owner Mr. O'Conner will Win if the Treasure is completely inside his property , Not Texas or Nathan Smith !!! I am surprised Spain has not joined the legal battle too . This is a real interesting legal fight here , 3 billion dollars is an amazing amount of money .
HH............Eugene

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« Last Edit: August 19, 2009, 10:59:55 pm by Eugene52 »
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« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2009, 04:54:14 pm »
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That is unless spain decides to claim its a military ship.. then get our supreme court to back them because of some old treaty concerning warships..... (We know them as pirate ships... oh did I say that aloud?? They have been plunding the new world for over 400 years).

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