Odyssey Marine Exploration as Ragnar Danneskjöld

Recommended Posts

This was a post in my e-mail this morning from the New York City Ayn Rand Group and I thought it would be of interest to OL:

It was posted by an individual named Andy George, whom I have never met:

Odyssey Marine Exploration is already well known for their Discovery Channel cable TV show Treasure Quest. Odyssey has pioneered the locating and recovery of very hard to find lost and deep sea sunken treasure. They've also inadvertently rediscovered the ensuing legal struggles with regional local governments over salvage rights that have remained controversial since before recorded history. New advances in underwater technologies such as towed deep sea sonar scanning arrays and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) are now just beginning to make locating and recovering lost treasure possible and even profitable. So the historical unresolved legal questions and moral vagaries of salvage rights has now resurfaced with a vengeance, like the Kraken to ensnare in its tentacles all those who dare to succeed where others have merely waited for someone else to do the heavy lifting for them instead.

Somewhat similar to Ragnar Danneskjöld (and some John Galt) in Atlas Shrugged, Odyssey recovered the lost treasure of the Spanish Military ship Mercedes' wealth of gold and silver thought to be lost to the sea's enormous appetite for careless and/or reckless sailor's cargo, both government and private. Sunk off the coast of Portugal in 1804 and found at a very difficult depth of 3,600 feet, the Mercedes' early detection was actually missed at first by two Odyssey crew members until a supervisor caught it on the third pass. It seems particularly hypocritical for Spain of all countries to claiming salvage rights to what they call Odyssey's "plunder" of their lost military ship Mercedes, when Spain itself has a long and well established history of plundering other's wealth on a global scale that's unparalleled in all human history. So, they must be pretty upset when some modern day American capitalists come along with their sonar and ROVs and pluck their sweetest plumb from right under their water logged noses after all these years. And considering the excruciating bad economic conditions in Spain at this time, it's also not too much of a surprise that they'd want such an over sized percentage of Odyssey's recovered treasure.

I met Odyssey's president Mark Gordon at his recent Oceanblue Divers presentation in NYC about this dive and several others they had successfully accomplished. His video showed the actual Mercedes salvage operations and the ensuing stand off between Spanish government authorities. Mark was understandably nervous about their ongoing court cases since they were still unresolved, with the company something like 170 million dollars in debt at that time as a result. The underwater pressure at 3,600 feet depth was actually mild by comparison the international political pressure Odyssey was also experiencing. Odyssey is well equipped to handle the ocean's merciless physical torture and they're even excelling at dealing with it, as their results prove. And now that they've unfortunately lost this particular battle with the Spanish government over the Mercedes treasure, they've now learned a great deal more about navigating the even more murky waters of international salvage rights. They've now moved on to other even better commercial underwater opportunities while they still plan to continue exploring for the estimated three million sunken ships still to be located on the ocean's vast bottom. The world's oceans are still only about 1% explored, so Odyssey is just beginning to access what is still mostly an untapped resource for treasure, human exploration, and enterprise.

Please read the attached Business Week article below for the entire story:

Odyssey and the Lost Spanish Treasure


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now