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All Posts Tagged With: "Treasure Ships"

Odyssey Marine Exploration Challenges Claims by Spain in Its “Black Swan” Appellate Reply

Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. today filed its Reply to Spain’s Response in the “Black Swan” case, currently pending in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta, Georgia. This is expected to be the last round of written pleadings at the appellate court level. Odyssey’s filing is available for review at http://www.shipwreck.net/blackswanlegal.php

Odyssey is appealing the district court’s dismissal of the case based on the court’s finding of lack of federal jurisdiction. Odyssey’s Reply presents the following documented facts that debunk the misrepresentations made by Spain that contributed to the clear error in the district court’s earlier ruling and that have been repeated in Spain’s appellate Response:

  • there was no vessel and there were no human remains located at the “Black Swan” site
  • Odyssey acted legally and appropriately in the recovery of the “Black Swan” artifacts
  • evidence, including accounts from Spain’s “experts” and Spain’s own contemporaneous diplomatic communications, prove that the Mercedes (the vessel Spain associates with the site) was on a commercial mission on her final voyage — a fact that legally voids Spain’s claim of immunity under settled international law and conventions
  • a distinction between cargo and vessel is allowed and even required by settled admiralty law; and — according to the manifest of the Mercedes, the vast majority of cargo on board did not even belong to Spain — even Spain concedes the cargo was “articles of Spanish citizens.”

“The emotional and inflammatory language used in Spain’s appellate response serves to distract from the truth and the relevant legal issues. The story Spain tells mirrors the one it told at the district level, where the court made clearly erroneous factual findings,” said Melinda MacConnel, Odyssey Vice President and General Counsel.

“Spain’s filing has painted a negative portrait of Odyssey, but the company has always acted in full compliance with the letter and spirit of the law. We brought the artifacts to the U.S. courts for proper adjudication of claims, but we didn’t even receive a hearing on the jurisdictional facts. If the court did not have jurisdiction, it would have no legal authority to order transfer of the property to Spain, who did not have possession of the coins. (more…)

Odyssey Marine Exploration 2009 Financial Results and Status on it’s Treasure Hunting Projects

Odyssey Marine Exploration (NasdaqCM: OMEX), pioneers in the field of deep-ocean shipwreck exploration, today reported full year 2009 financial results.

For the full year 2009, Odyssey reported revenues of $4.3 million, compared to $4.1 million in 2008 while operating expenses decreased $6.4 million from $29.1 million in 2008 to $22.7 million in 2009.

The Company reported a net loss of $18.6 million for the full year 2009, compared to a net loss of $24.8 million in 2008. The net loss per share for the full year 2009 was $0.33, compared to a net loss per share of $0.50 in 2008.

“We are pleased with the results of our 2009 operations, which despite some interesting challenges, saw some key strategic opportunities realized that I believe will have a profound effect on our business going forward. Several significant announcements made in late 2009 and early 2010 represent outstanding new opportunities for Odyssey, including the intention to syndicate multiple shipwreck projects with Robert Fraser & Partners that will mirror the structure of the “Enigma” project already executed. Taking into account expected revenue from multiple sources including these syndicated projects, we believe our current cash position is sufficient to fund operating cash flows through 2010, barring unforeseen circumstances,” said Odyssey CEO Greg Stemm.

“Also in 2009, we acquired a stake in a venture to pursue the exploration of deep-ocean gold and copper deposits. By providing our technical expertise and certain marine assets, we believe this will provide a lucrative future opportunity and is a natural extension to leverage our core competencies in deep-ocean exploration,” stated Stemm.

“In 2010, Odyssey will remain focused on continuing to strengthen our relations with several governments to conduct shipwreck searches with no upfront cost to taxpayers while returning cultural heritage and economic value to the governments. In September 2009, the UK Government awarded Odyssey a salvage award for the two cannon recovered from HMS Victory, while discussions continue to determine future plans for the site. The UK Government also awarded the exclusive salvage contract to Odyssey for the cargo of silver from the SS Gairsoppa,” continued Stemm. “We have a very ambitious operational schedule planned for 2010, with seven separate projects planned, utilizing at least three ships as well as some outstanding new deep ocean assets we have just acquired. We also have some interesting new technology on the drawing board that will extend our capabilities to a depth of 6,000 meters.”
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