S A L V A G E R I G H T S - CHAPTERS
Steer your path through life by our GOLDEN COMPASS the quest for eternal happiness
John Storm and Dan Hawk at the helm of the Elizabeth Swann, under missile attack from the CIA
When Jamaica, Spain, Panama and the United Kingdom, discover by covert means that John Storm has found a ship thought to contain the cumulative and as yet undiscovered treasures of Blackbeard (Edward Teach) and Captain Henry Morgan, they ill-advisedly file suit.
This is on the basis of the discovery in 2011, of one of Captain Morgan's thirty-six ships, just five of which were lost off the Panamanian coast. When, no treasure was found in the many chests they found on the 'Satisfaction'. That left just 31 ships unaccounted for.
On that wreck John discovers a haul of gold and silver, and chests full of precious stones; diamonds, rubies, emeralds and others laden with pearls. A King's ransom.
John refuses to disclose any information as to the unsupported claims various, citing his Article 10 and 11 human right, as per the Universal Declaration, the right to a Fair Hearing, and the presumption that the claimants have to prove their case, not the respondent, disprove them (Presumption of Innocence). All this on the balance of probability. The test in civil cases. But, beyond reasonable doubt, where a criminal charge might be pursued in another arena.
Fortunately, CyberCore Genetica™ and Hal come to the rescue. Dan is called on to hack the computers of the Claimants covertly, knowing any evidence obtained by such means will be inadmissible. Whereupon, Hal's analysis of their machines, reveals conclusively that they cannot identify the precise origin, or the makeup of any treasure trove that may be onboard. Nor the location of the wreck, or identity of the ship. It turns out that John's hunch was right. It was John's Uncle Douglas, who taught him the basics of law. John was also able to call on the considerable experience of George Franks, at Swindles & Gentry. George, represents John, Dan and Patricia.
Though Hal, the AI on the Elizabeth Swann, notes the position of the wreck carefully, John does not have a record of that location in his written Ship's Log. According to marine salvage law, he is under no obligation to disclose any information as to the contents of a vessel that he cannot be sure of. Indeed, John does not have time to try and locate the rightful owner(s) of any part of the cargo, let alone conduct a detailed inventory, to even begin such a mammoth task. Even the ownership of the sunken vessel is not known for sure. And John did not conduct a dive survey, by himself, or working with any other organization.
John had contacted several nations with a view to them helping fund excavations and recovery should he find the lost treasure of any pirate operating in the Caribbean. These communications including negotiations for a finders fee, under treasure trove law. But, those nations refused to reciprocate, or cooperate at all. Instead, they demanded information from him, and tried to board his ship in international waters. To no avail, the Swann is designed to repel all unauthorized personnel. Warning them first as to the folly of their actions, and also filming them, should such piratical pursuits be needed in a court of law.
Regardless of the legal obstacles, several claims are filed against the adventurer, by Jamaica, Panama, Spain and United Kingdom, by way of SLAPP actions, hoping to get lucky, but none based on an substantiated facts. It is more of a fishing (phishing) exercise. Trying to get John to reveal the location of the treasure ship. John realises that this must be at the behest of his adversaries in the searching for clues stage of the quest for Blackbeard's treasure. Beginning with the discovery of Henry Morgan's casket at Port Royal. Raising the question, WHO is the main antagonist?
The unsubstantiated nature of the claims and unwillingness of the Claimant's to engage constructively, is part of the reason John wins that case. He proves, without revealing his source, that the Claimant's do not know the name of the ship, what is in the manifest, where it is, or who might own what treasure may be onboard. George seeks an Order for further and better Particulars. And when his opponents cannot supply even a shred of evidence to support their claims, they are struck out, with an Order for wasted Costs. George is ecstatic, he has not been active in litigation for over 10 years.
The Courts eventually rule in favour of John Storm, with all Claims struck out as being worthless, the Claimant's demonstrating no Locus Standi, when challenged. John vanquishes the pretenders, with the able assistance of George Franks, of Swindles & Gentry, Solicitors, Melbourne, Australia. The Court awards substantial sums to be paid to John Storm, against what can only be described as a prosecution laden with malicious intent, by way of a Wasted Costs Order. Court's do not like time wasters, or those who abuse due process. Nobody is above the law!
Whereas, it was true that in 2011, one of Captain Morgan's ships, his flagship Satisfaction, was discovered off the coast of Panama, that ship becoming the property of the Panamanian Government. But that was one of five vessels, known to be plundering foreign soil. In that case the 'treasure' was held to be the naval archaeology. Hence, the knowledge, coupled with some historical, but otherwise valueless artefacts.
Notably, Peru and Mexico, waived all rights to any claims of treasure trove publicly and prior to the Hearing, regardless of where the alleged ship may turn out to be resting. They were more than happy that John would do the right thing, as an adviser and sometimes sub-contractor to Blue Shield. And were prepared to stand as character witnesses if necessary.
Once the matter had been settled, John donated a large quantity of what he thinks is Aztec gold to the appropriate Sovereign States. He only keeps a percentage of the haul that is of no archaeological value, to help defray the costs of and otherwise support his ocean research, and to cover the costs of the (where necessary) delicate salvage/recovery operation. Such a percentage would have been awarded to him and his crew in any event. But he keeps Blue Shield in the loop, to avoid any possible conflict of interest.
The only way to protect the archaeological site and Captain Morgan's treasure, was to keep it off the charts. Otherwise, the pirates and hunters who'd proved they were capable of just about anything to get their hands on the gold, would be likely to trash the site, and smuggle the treasure - taking it out of reach of Museums, etc.
But, there are many items that cannot be identified, such as to know who the rightful owner(s) might be, if any. Since, time has a habit of cleaning the slate. The statute of limitations is six years. After that, even where a court has not been involved, bringing claim out of time would be likely to fail.
John decides to leave the unidentified items onboard for safe keeping. This includes a huge hoard of precious gemstones. John is reminded of the famous 'The Count of Monte Christo' story.
In this fictional episode of the ocean and climate awareness series, the claimed ship and treasure, does not exists in the location stated, or at all. So, please do not don your Scuba gear in earnest.
In the dock, John Storm giving evidence at the Hague in Brussels, accused of artifact theft: stealing pirates gold. A number of countries are making claims, unsupported evidentially.
THE HOLY COMPASS - CAST
When food shortages and the energy crisis really begin to bite, only gold, silver and gemstones might be trusted apart from barter. In a secure future, banks who trade in real coin of the realm, are the only ones who will be trusted. For this reason precious metal coins make a comeback. John Storm is in favor of a more stable form of international currency, over paper promissory notes. He has suggested that gold is index linked to energy, food, timber and other essential commodities.
TOP TEN NATIONS - WITH GOLD RESERVES
The United States of America, with 8,133.5 tons of gold
Please use our GOLDEN COMPASS to navigate this story, or revisit our BEGINNING OF THE QUEST
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