Joined: 10 Oct 2004
Location: New York
|Posted: Sun Oct 10, 2004 8:41 pm Post subject: Why were you unsuccessful in 1987?
|The great difficulty with RMS Republic's cargo is the lack of substantiation of the cargos' existence within the public domain. My research suggests that the cargos aboard the Republic were government cargos, part US Navy funds, but mostly Czarist gold. Governments self-insure their losses, and if political exigencies exist, conceal their losses. This is evident with HMS Edinburgh, a rumored cargo whose existence was not confirmed until only AFTER an agreement had been worked out between the British and Soviet Governments (the "owners") and the salvors; only then was the documentation released to the salvors that substantiated the Edinburgh's cargo.
Another good example is SS Central America, a well-documented cargo because most of it was non-government gold - and therefore privately insured. In the event of insured losses, both the insured and insurer acknowledge the loss. The insured does so because he wants his stakeholders to know that he will not suffer any loss. The insurance company acknowledges the loss, because it has to pay anyway and the insured has also publicly acknowledged the loss, so the insurance company might as well gain some publicity along the lines "Insure with us, because we pay promptly." However, SS Central American did have also a US Government shipment of gold aboard; that cargo was only rumored to exist, and was not confirmed by the Government until after salvage had commenced.
In RMS Republic's case, the US Government has filed a claim for the loss of their gold, but, they state specifically, that they have done so based only on "Mr. Bayerle's good faith research." The US Government claims, at this point, that they do not have supporting documentation. We had been in discussions with the Soviets, and have been in discussions with the Russians - but, apparently, documents of the Czarist Foreign Department of their Special Credit Office - the Czarist agency responsible for foreign loans - were destroyed at the outbreak of the revolution. So, apparently, they can't provide supporting documentation.
As for the 1987 effort, we are looking for about three (3) cubic yards of gold coins in the equivalent of a collapsed skyscraper - in the skyscraper's basement ... I often use the excavation of the Oklahoma Federal Office Building bombing - a ten story building collapsed to a pile of rubble. It took scores of workers, numerous cranes, bulldozers, jackhammers, trucks, 24 hour lighting, on dry land, etc. etc. - four months to excavate that site. Now, take an equivalent amount of debris, throw it under 260 FSW, put two men out a diving bell, have one 40 ton crane - and you get a feeling for the difficulties. But, you already know how difficult it is to work underwater. And, unlike SS Central America and SS Republic (1865), we don't have the luxury of a predominantly wooden-ship decomposing and leaving the gold at or near the surface.
In 1987, we were, simply, in the wrong part of this immense ship.
Since 1987? Research is always safer (and cheaper) than on-site salvage. We wouldn't want to place our divers' lives at risk unnecessarily, nor would we want to put at unnecessary risk our investors' capital.
Today, I have a lot more information on both the cargo's existence (the good details are not on the public sections of the website), and it's location within the vessel. So, we plan to proceed this summer ...