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   Gold/Mining/EnergyOMEX - Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc


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To: MJ who wrote (39)9/25/2011 10:57:13 PM
From: Glenn Petersen
   of 61
 
Divers Set Sights on Silver-Laden WWII Ship


Odyssey Marine Exploration
A deepwater robot took this photo of the S.S. Gairsoppa, which sank in 1941 off the Irish coast.
_______________

By WILLIAM J. BROAD
New York Times
Published: September 25, 2011

In 1941, a Nazi torpedo tore a hole in a British merchant ship carrying a fortune in silver to England from India. The ship was part of a convoy headed for Liverpool, but it went down about 300 miles southwest of Ireland, disappearing in icy waters nearly three miles deep, deeper than the resting place of the Titanic.

Now, divers say they have found the wreck intact and they estimate its cargo at up to 240 tons of silver — a trove worth more than $200 million. They plan to recover it this spring.

The recovery, if successful, would be history’s deepest and largest retrieval of a precious cargo lost at sea and highlight the growing power of ocean technology, according to Odyssey Marine Exploration, the company that found the ship. It is working under contract to the British government and says it verified the ship’s identity this month.

“We were fortunate to find the shipwreck sitting upright, with the holds open and easily accessible,” said Greg Stemm, chief executive of Odyssey, which is based in Tampa, Fla. “This should enable to us to unload cargo through the hatches, as would happen with a ship alongside a cargo terminal.”

Mr. Stemm added that a growing number of seafaring nations view cargo recovery as a creative way to increase revenues. In such arrangements, private contractors put their own money at risk in costly expeditions and split any profits. Odyssey, for instance, is to get 80 percent of the silver’s value, and the British government 20 percent.

“It doesn’t cost taxpayers a dollar and accrues right to the bottom line,” Mr. Stemm said in an interview. “Governments are waking up to the potential.”

The ship carrying the valuable cargo was the S.S. Gairsoppa, a vessel of the British Indian Steam Navigation Company that was named for a spectacular waterfall near India’s western coast. In December 1940, it sailed from Calcutta laden with tea, iron and tons of silver. In Freetown, Sierra Leone, the ship joined a military convoy headed to the British Isles and the contested waters of the North Atlantic.

The merchant steamship, 412 feet long, had 83 crewmen and two gunners on board, according to Lloyd’s of London, which compiles information about cargo lost in war.

High winds and a heavy swell soon forced the Gairsoppa to slow. As the weather deteriorated, the captain judged that the wallowing ship had insufficient coal to make it to Liverpool and broke from the convoy for Galway, in western Ireland.

Then, a highly decorated German U-boat captain, Ernst Mengersen, moved in for the attack. It was Feb. 17, 1941. A single torpedo ripped through the Gairsoppa’s hull and exploded, causing the forward mast to topple and the antenna to snap, cutting off the ship from the world. The U-boat opened fire as the Gairsoppa sank.

All 85 men died save one — the second officer, who survived 13 days in a lifeboat.

In recent years, the famous lost cargo of silver began to beckon as technological strides resulted in new generations of sturdy robots, lights, cameras and claws that can withstand the crushing pressure of the deep. At least one company tried, and failed, to find the shipwreck.

In early 2010, Odyssey won an exclusive contract from Britain’s Department for Transport to salvage the cargo. This past summer, it hired a Russian ship and performed a preliminary survey in international waters, finding what it considered solid clues.

And this month, the company took its main ship, the Odyssey Explorer, to investigate the area. Its tethered robot took three and a half hours to descend 2.9 miles through dark waters to the muddy seabed. Then came a eureka moment, when the robot found a gaping hole where the torpedo struck 70 years ago.

The hulk of the Gairsoppa was covered in rivulets of rust known as rusticles, which look like brownish icicles. But still standing bright and shiny on the deck was a waist-high compass used by the helmsmen. There, small creatures with long tentacles had made themselves at home.

Odyssey says it confirmed the wreck’s identity from evidence including the number of holds, the anchor type, the scupper locations and red-and-black hull colors that matched the scheme used by the British Indian Steam Navigation Company.

During the four-and-a-half-hour examination, the robot did not locate any of the precious metal, but it did observe that all five holds had lost their covers. Inside one, the robot spied tea chests whose shiny tin linings for a moment were taken as evidence of silver bars.

Mr. Stemm, Odyssey’s chief executive, said the British government had approved a news release announcing the discovery, which Odyssey is to make public on Monday.

Nobody knows how much silver may lurk inside the Gairsoppa. The wartime government, to avoid giving enemies information about valuable targets, deliberately kept its transportation records opaque. But Odyssey’s historical research indicates that the ship probably held a fortune in silver equal to 240 tons, probably in bars and coins.

The company found that the British government paid out an insurance claim on about half that amount owned by private parties, and it sees the gap between the payout and the total reported value of the cargo as possibly alluding to the government’s hidden share.

The price of silver (along with gold) plunged on world markets last week, to about $31 an ounce. But even that relatively low price would mean a total cargo value of nearly $240 million.

Odyssey says it does not expect to find human remains, in part because no crewmen would have occupied the cargo holds. Still, it says the ship’s resting place nearly three miles down “deserves respect in recognition of the brave merchant mariners who sacrificed so much.”

Peter Cope, a former British submariner who researches shipwrecks for Odyssey and other companies, said in an interview that the world’s oceans were littered with valuable wrecks now coming into play.

“Technology is opening up a very big door,” he said. “Think of how many ships were sunk in the First and Second World Wars. There are millions of ounces of silver — and thousands of tons of tin and copper — down there.”

nytimes.com

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (40)9/26/2011 1:29:31 AM
From: MJ
   of 61
 
Your posting may explain the upward blip in the stock. I had not looked at it for some time until last week.

Also note the following------go to SI quote page for OMEX

Odyssey Marine Exploration to Hold Conference Call on September 26, 2011 Date : 09/22/2011 @ 11:25AM Source : GlobeNewswire Inc. Stock : Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (OMEX) Quote : 2.66 0.31 (13.19%) @ 8:00PM

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To: MJ who wrote (41)9/30/2011 8:56:52 PM
From: Glenn Petersen
   of 61
 
Odyssey was unable to hold its gains this week. The company has not yet figured out a business model that will allow them to make money. Too many revenue hungry governments looking for a piece, though it is pretty exciting to follow their efforts.

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (42)10/1/2011 1:37:43 AM
From: MJ
   of 61
 
Hi Glenn

Yes following the OMEX story is fascinating , exciting, educational and fun to follow.

Until I started reading the OMEX exploration stories, I had no idea about the international
intrigue in salvaging the old ships.

Best

mjl

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To: MJ who wrote (43)10/10/2011 11:08:59 AM
From: Glenn Petersen
   of 61
 
Another find for Odyssey:

Silver Treasure, Worth $18 Million, Found in North Atlantic


Odyssey Marine Exploration
Odyssey's ROV inspection of the SS Mantola site, approximately 2,500 meters deep, revealed the bridge deck accommodations with the promenade behind the railings and one of the cabins in the background.
____________________

By WILLIAM J. BROAD
New York Times
Published: October 10, 2011

Sea explorers announced Monday the discovery of a new sunken treasure that they plan to retrieve from the bottom of the North Atlantic.

Off Ireland in 1917, a German torpedo sank the British steam ship Mantola, sending the vessel and its cargo of an estimated 20 tons of silver to the seabed more than a mile down. At today’s prices, the metal would be worth about $18 million.

Odyssey Marine Exploration, based in Tampa, Fla., said it had visually confirmed the identity of the Mantola with a tethered robot last month during an expedition and had been contracted by the British Department for Transport (a successor to the Ministry of War Transport) to retrieve the lost riches.

In recent years, cash-strapped governments have started looking to lost cargoes as a way to raise money. They do so because the latest generation of robots, lights, cameras and claws can withstand the deep’s crushing pressures and have opened up a new world of shipwreck recovery.

“A lot of new and interesting opportunities are presenting themselves,” said Greg Stemm, the chief executive of Odyssey. The new finding, he added, is the company’s second discovery of a deep-ocean wreck for the British government this year.

In such arrangements, private companies put their own money at risk in costly expeditions and split any profits. In this case, Odyssey is to get 80 percent of the silver’s value and the British government 20 percent. It plans to attempt the recovery this spring, along with that of its previous find.

Last month, Odyssey announced its discovery of the British steam ship Gairsoppa off Ireland and estimated its cargo at up to 240 tons of silver — a trove worth more than $200 million. The Gairsoppa was torpedoed in 1941.

Both ships had been owned by the British Indian Steam Navigation Company and both were found by Odyssey during expeditions in the past few months. Odyssey said that the Mantola’s sinking in 1917 had prompted the British government to pay out an insurance claim on about 600,000 troy ounces of silver, or more than 20 tons.

Mr. Stemm said the Mantola’s silver should make “a great target for testing some new technology” of deep-sea retrieval.

The Mantola was less than a year old when, on Feb. 4, 1917, she steamed out of London on her last voyage, bound for Calcutta. According to Odyssey, the ship carried 18 passengers, 165 crew members and diverse cargo. The captain was David James Chivas, the great-nephew of the Chivas Brothers, known for their Chivas Regal brand of Scotch whiskey.

Four days out of port, a German submarine fired a torpedo and the ship sank with minimal loss of life.

In an expedition last month, Odyssey lowered a tethered robot that positively identified the wreck. The evidence included the ship’s dimensions, its layout and a display of painted letters on the stern that fit the words “Mantola” and “Glasgow,” the ship’s home port.

Photographs show the hulk covered in rivulets of rust known as rusticles, which look like brownish icicles. One picture shows a large sea creature poised near the ship’s railing.

nytimes.com

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (44)10/10/2011 12:05:46 PM
From: MJ
   of 61
 
80% for Odyssey is a good percentage----British will get 20%

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From: Glenn Petersen2/26/2012 9:32:14 AM
   of 61
 
Shipwreck treasure returns to Spain from Florida

By DANIEL OCHOA DE OLZA
Associated Press
February 25, 2012

MADRID (AP) — Two military planes carrying 17 tons of silver and gold coins scooped up from a sunken Spanish warship landed in Madrid on Saturday, ending a more than 200-year odyssey that took the treasure from an ocean floor to Florida courtrooms.

The planes landed with the 594,000 coins and other artifacts retrieved after a five-year legal wrangle with a Florida-based salvage company, which had taken the haul to the U.S. in May 2007.

Deep sea explorers found the treasure in a shipwreck, believed to be Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes, off Portugal's Atlantic coast. British warships had sunk it during a 1804 gunbattle as it approached Spain as part of a fleet that had traveled from South America. The Mercedes was believed to have had 200 people aboard when it exploded and sank.

Once the treasure is offloaded from the planes it will be transported to an undisclosed location, state broadcaster RTVE said.

A detail of 30 officers from Spain's paramilitary Civil Guard force protected the coins once they landed. Civil Guard spokesman Miguel Tobias said everyone had breathed a sigh of relief at having the treasure back safely on Spanish soil.

"There were some storms on the way over," said Tobias, explaining why the two Hercules C-130 transports had landed at Torrejon de Ardoz military air base late.

The trove was transported to Spain despite a last-ditch claim to the treasure by Peru, the South American country from which the coins first set off more than two centuries ago.

"The coins were made from raw material obtained from mines that are currently on Peruvian soil and were struck at the Lima mint," according to a Peruvian foreign ministry statement from Friday.

In 1804, Peru was the local seat of the Spanish crown in South America and documents held in Spain's archives show that Mercedes was commissioned by King Charles IV to transport and protect a shipment of coins and bullion at the request of a noble family in Lima.

Peru said in the statement it would maintain its claim despite losing an appeal Friday and the rejection by U.S. courts of previous claims by descendants of the Peruvian merchants who had owned the shipment.

Odyssey Marine Exploration made international headlines when it discovered the wreck, estimating the trove to be worth as much as $500 million to collectors, making the haul one of the richest ever. The Tampa-based salvage outfit had used a remote-controlled submersible to explore the depths and bring items including cannon balls and other metal fragments to a surface ship, and argued that it was entitled to the treasure.

The Spanish government challenged Odyssey's ownership in U.S. District Court soon after the coins were flown back to Tampa, relying on documents from its naval archive which listed Mercedes as a naval warship.

International treaties generally hold that warships sunk in battle are protected from treasure seekers and the Spanish government successfully argued that it had never relinquished ownership of the ship or its contents.


A federal district court first ruled in 2009 that U.S. courts didn't have jurisdiction, and ordered the treasure returned.

Odyssey then lost every round in federal courts trying to hold on to the treasure, as the Spanish government painted them as modern-day pirates plundering the nation's cultural heritage.

___

Associated Press writer Harold Heckle in Madrid contributed to this report.

news.yahoo.com

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (46)3/5/2012 9:26:55 AM
From: TideGlider
   of 61
 
Did Hillary's state department sell out Odyssey Marine for a painting?

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To: TideGlider who wrote (47)3/8/2012 2:07:49 AM
From: MJ
   of 61
 
John Edwards had stock in OMEX several years ago. Don't know if he sold or
still holds and if it would have any connection. Doubtful, but who knows.

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To: MJ who wrote (48)3/8/2012 7:21:17 AM
From: TideGlider
   of 61
 
I don't know much about Edwards other than his trial stunts, haircuts, cheating etc. I don't know what family supposedly was forced to sell the painting for a few hundred dollars, but it certainly isn't the state departments job to attempt to retrieve it at the cost to other citizens that may have invested in Ocean Marine. The stock jumped from l;ow 2.90s to 3.11 yesterday. I am thinking of buying it. Just a few K shares.

Edwards was one of Kenney's pics lol Figures.

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