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  • Odyssey Marine: Meeting Reveals Larger-Than-Expected SS CA Recovery [View article]
    Thx Ship. That's interesting. It also helps explain part of the CMH letter which states in one section: "The gold shipment was packed in wood boxes (1 each) and held together with wire."

    Earlier in the letter, the CMH noted that there were 600 bars at 50 lbs each. So, it may be that each bar had its own small box, and the boxes were bound together in bundles with wire.
    Jun 6 03:05 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Odyssey Marine: Meeting Reveals Larger-Than-Expected SS CA Recovery [View article]
    Thx Mykie. You're not alone getting longer!
    Jun 6 06:50 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Odyssey Marine: Meeting Reveals Larger-Than-Expected SS CA Recovery [View article]
    There would have no doubt been some protection guarding such a large shipment of gold. I doubt they would have protected a secret shipment with uniformed guards, however. If the gold was on board, maybe army guards were present but were not on the passenger manifest, or perhaps the army passed the gold off to the navy and Cmdr Herndon and his men had charge from Aspinwall to NY, or perhaps a private service was hired.

    In any case, I don't think we would have necessarily heard about anything regarding their fate. If there were "undercover" army guards aboard then relatives would have been notified but probably not told why the men were on board. Given the panic in the economy at the time, it's not difficult to imagine that the government would have done what it could to make sure the news of any deaths was not connected with the shipment.

    Again, just guesses. There may be nothing to all of this.
    Jun 6 06:49 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Odyssey Marine: Meeting Reveals Larger-Than-Expected SS CA Recovery [View article]
    Thanks for the perspective, Ship. It's an important datapoint. I agree that most investors are unaware, but that's okay. I like that there are a couple positive Black Swans lurking for omex.

    So, let's just all continue assuming that there's no army-protected gold. Let's also assume that the Victory will not get approved. The greater the element of surprise, the harder the stock will run on the news.
    Jun 5 04:08 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Odyssey Marine: Meeting Reveals Larger-Than-Expected SS CA Recovery [View article]
    It's a good question. Milt Butterworth was just recently appointed to the position of President according to people with whom I speak. Yet, he would be breaking the law were he to speak with Thompson, and I believe that the judge affirmed that no one related to CADG had any communication with the fugitive since he ran a couple years ago. Since CADG is 100% owned by Thompson, he would have to approve the elevation of the chief photographer to the level of President. No one else would have the authority. If Thompson made this decision then Mr. Butterworth is breaking the law by having some form of communication with him. If he didn't then it looks like he has illegally seized control of someone else's firm.

    BTW, this isn't the reason I think that CADG is doomed to fail. It's really just a side show.
    Jun 5 01:56 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Odyssey Marine: SS Central America Legal Win Expected [View article]
    Thx Gaspains, I'm not a lawyer so take this with a large grain of salt. CADG may appeal the case. If so, they'd have to post a sizable bond from what I understand. But I would assume they'd do that if there's real money behind them.

    There are a lot of things that could happen to prevent this from dragging on. The fugitive disentitlement strategy looks like it was designed with this case in mind. If the judge agrees, then I'm not sure there's a lot CADG could do. Maybe they would appeal that order, but given the circumstances, it's likely that a judge would grant RLP a stay and allow them to proceed with monetization.

    If RLP wins substitution or the new admiralty arrest stands and CADG appeals, there's also a good chance that the case is expedited at the circuit level given the circumstances. Everyone (including Judge Smith) knows CADG's game. They are making ridiculous filings (check out the wording in some of them), they were taken over illegally, and they are abusing the judicial system. They allegedly robbed RLP investors once before, and now it looks like they're trying to do it again. They probably want to hold up RLP until RLP gives them a little something. I don't think CADG is delusional enough to think they can win this.

    If you and I can figure this out, the judge knows it too. She'll do whatever she can to make it hard for them to drag this out. The absurdity that a fugitive's firm could hold up the investors who once backed him, and who he allegedly defrauded once already, is amazing.

    At the end of the day, CADG probably wants a cut. Maybe RLP will toss them a bone to get them to go away. Again, all conjecture.
    Jun 5 01:46 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Odyssey Marine: Meeting Reveals Larger-Than-Expected SS CA Recovery [View article]
    I apologize, Blue Ridge. You're right. I put some parts of this together pretty quickly. Those links are in my instablog on the subject. If you have trouble finding them, just contact me directly and I can help. The only one that doesn't have a link is Herendorf - that was based on a private conversation.

    Herendorf has a copy of the letter from the Army's Center for Military History which addresses the army-protected gold. He believes that gold is on the site. Personally, I'm unsure about it. I became a bit more inclined to believe it, however, when someone recently pointed me in the direction of a book written by a US Naval Historian, John Kemble, in 1943 titled "The Panama Route 1848-1869." In that book, Kemble asserts that the SS CA carried $8mn in gold (vs. the $1.2mn acknowledged commercial shipment), leading some to believe he was referencing the Army-protected shipment.

    That book reference is important to me for a number of reasons. 1) It tells us that the idea of a much larger shipment was around well before the 1971 CMH letter was written. To me, this makes it less likely the CMH letter is a fraud as we now know there was historical context around the inquiry. 2) It was written at a time before anyone dreamed it was even possible to salvage a deep water wreck. 3) It was written by someone who was, at the time, in the Navy and may have had access to sensitive/classified documents. 4) It was written by a highly accomplished Naval history scholar - someone who served on the Secretary of the Navy's Advisory Committee on Naval History.

    If you buy a copy of the book, you'll find the reference on page 142.
    Jun 5 12:14 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Odyssey Marine: Meeting Reveals Larger-Than-Expected SS CA Recovery [View article]
    Thx, Rbob. I think Morris actually lost credibility with the market long ago. You can see it based on the way the stock reacted to each of his articles after the first (with the exception of the last one which just happened to be timed right). I don't attribute the recent declines to him or to any other short for that matter. Management got too close to the edge and the stock cratered due to the rebalancing.

    The market knows that Morris's "facts" don't add up and that he has little regard for the truth. In my opinion, Morris is a PR agent for a large fund or two that are probably doing some of their own work and then feeding him.

    Just look at some of the "research" he has put out. How can you take anyone seriously who tells you that historical documents "confirm no army gold"? When the SS CA set out from Aspinwall did the Army hand out leaflets stating there's no army gold on board her? The whole point of a secret cargo is that it's not printed in a public record.

    Of course Morris also told us that if there was anything left at all on the SS CA, it was just "scraps." That was insightful.

    Morris told us that OMEX's auditor had been investigated when they hadn't. He told us that the CEO stated the company would run out of cash this year but this never happened. He told us Oceanica is worth zero which is utterly false according to the qualified person doing the technical assessment. He told us John Morris is still a consultant with the company which was fabricated. He also told us that Odyssey lied about its fees on the Gairsoppa recovery. I could go on for much longer but we all understand the pattern.

    The market is paying attention to OMEX and the balance sheet. I don't think the market pays much attention to Morris. Why would it?
    Jun 4 03:41 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Odyssey Marine: Meeting Reveals Larger-Than-Expected SS CA Recovery [View article]
    Tincup, I think you should write an article about the strategic and practical benefits that Oceanica will provide to Mexico. I'm serious about that. You are much better informed than I am, and you've got a lot of material in your head.

    Regarding JPM bankers - you're telling us that they aren't clerks at the local Tampa JPM commercial branch office? That's what Ryan Morris's "due diligence" uncovered, if you remember.
    Jun 4 02:26 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Odyssey Marine: Meeting Reveals Larger-Than-Expected SS CA Recovery [View article]
    Thank you, Papa, Ship, and Eugene. Appreciate the feedback.

    The next few weeks are going to be interesting for all of us shareholders. We should get updates about salvage progress, bank line draws, court rulings, environmental filings, potential Oceanica/mktg rights financings, and possibly an HMS Victory go-ahead. Never a dull moment with omex.
    Jun 4 01:59 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Odyssey Marine: SS Central America Legal Win Expected [View article]
    Gas, I do think that the legal issues may hamper what omex management is able to say.

    These legal issues should be decided fairly quickly. Judge Smith is known to have a "rocket docket" -- one of the recent filings even cites this fact. Also, it makes sense to have these issues ironed out early in the recovery process, before RLP needs to begin monetizing some assets to take care of the various interests it represents. Reading through the judge's orders you get the sense that she doesn't have a lot of tolerance for CADG's position.

    I don't think OMEX's finances would be jeopardized even if Judge Smith decided to take a 6 month vacation beginning tomorrow. They will expand the amount of the line and the collateral under the line, and through that conduit will be able to draw $5mn for every $25mn-27mn or so in gross wholesale salvage value. They'll also do a debt piece to monetize marketing rights for future salvages or an Oceanica deal. I am not concerned about liquidity at all.
    Jun 3 08:25 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Odyssey Marine: SS Central America Legal Win Expected [View article]
    Teklord, if you google the fugitive disentitlement doctrine you'll see that it fits this case almost perfectly. Why should TT's firm be able to command the resources of the court and of RLP when he is a fugitive of the court and the federal justice system? Doesn't make a lot of sense.

    RLP can win this battle on the merits of its case - there's little doubt about that. But as you see from CADG's memorandum in opposition to RLP's Motion for Extension of Time, RLP's lawyers think that CADG's objective is purely to delay resolution. If that's the case, then the fugitive disentitlement strategy makes sense.....just get the nut cases tossed out of the court house.
    May 30 10:17 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Odyssey Marine: SS Central America Legal Win Expected [View article]
    I think that CADG doesn't want RLP (or OMEX for that matter) to be able to demonstrate any success in salvaging the SS CA.

    Unsure about when the court will take action.

    The gag on news from this operation is creating a big discrepancy in the share price of OMEX vs. the underlying fundamentals. Hopefully that gag comes off soon and the stock will price in the good news.
    May 29 11:51 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Odyssey Marine: SS Central America Legal Win Expected [View article]
    NJTGK, No. The recent motions are just CADG's lawyer making the expected arguments. The judge has made it known that she intends to deal with this quickly. As noted earlier, RLP wins regardless, so none of this matters. CADG knows this too, so it seems that they are likely going through this process not in an effort to win, but to try to add uncertainty to OMEX's business.

    If the shorts are behind this, it could raise some legal questions. I'm wondering if the judge can compel CADG's lawyers to specify who is paying them. Will be interesting to follow.
    May 16 06:45 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Odyssey Marine: SS Central America Legal Win Expected [View article]
    Robol's M.O. seems to be to try and delay and stall at every opportunity. I'm wondering if that isn't his intent here too. He knows he doesn't have a chance of winning, but he can try and delay and complicate OMEX's recovery. The strategy would make a lot of sense, especially if the shorts were behind it. However, it looks like the judge is onto the whole scheme and won't tolerate it.

    A couple people asked me today if the Explorer came into port a day or two early because of the legal proceedings. I don't think that would make much sense at all. The judge just gave omex the free and clear to operate a few days ago. Since then, the only docs filed were omex's letter to the US Marshal on handling the material brought up, and a memo from RLP's attorney's supporting the motion to substitute.
    May 14 08:49 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
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