Treasure hunting exploration company, Global Marine Exploration Inc. brings action against State of Florida DOS.
Bobby Pritchett CEO of Global Marine Exploration "You cannot trust the State of Florida, or at least the people whom run it, very dishonest and misleading. IMO
CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA, BREVARD, October 16, 2018 /EINPresswire.com/ -- THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE EIGHTEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT IN AND FOR BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA
Over a period of time, the Division issued GME six exploration permits with dig addenda for different three-square areas off the coast of Cape Canaveral. These turned up shipwreck evidence (anchors) but mostly resulted in identification of rocket debris.
12. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Division of State Lands, provided salvage easements for GME to use State-owned submerged lands for the areas and time periods for which the Division agreed for GME to explore for and recover shipwreck sites.
13. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Federal Corps of Engineers contemporaneously issued construction permits to GME for it to use the designated submerged lands and navigable waters above for exploration and salvage.
14. On August 14, 2015, upon detailed application by GME, the Division issued a seventh Exploration Permit (# 2015-03) for GME to explore another three-square mile area of State waters in the Cape Canaveral vicinity to locate and report information about shipwreck sites in that designated area.
15. In proceeding with respect to Permit # 2015-03, as amended, GME discovered at least five separate locations of apparently distinct shipwreck sites which GME reported to the State as agreed. The locations of the discovered shipwreck sites and the methods used to identify those locations were proprietary, confidential trade secret information, and there is no requirement or agreement for public disclosure of such information.
16. GME provided site locations to the Division only after the Division repeatedly assured GME that this proprietary information would be maintained confidential and not disclosed to third-parties or used without GME’s consent.
17. On August 19, 2015, the Division issued Amendment One of Exploration Permit # 2015-03, recognizing GME’s successful completion of sensing survey within the designated area, allowing activity to identify newly uncovered cultural materials and limited test excavation and diagnostic artifact recovery for shipwreck identification purposes, and specifying that recovered artifacts would be included in the pool of artifacts considered for transfer to GME if a recovery permit is issued in the future for the same area. This Amendment explicitly authorized recovery of shipwreck artifacts, and promised to pool their value with the value of all ultimately recovered objects to calculate 80% thereof to be paid to GME.
18. On September 9, 2015, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection issued Notice of Modification of its construction permit to include areas approved by Exploration Permit # 2015-03, reciting that the modification includes amendment of the easement for treasure salvage investigations to include the new approved area.
19. On December 7, 2015, the State executed a Modified Sovereignty Submerged Lands Cultural Resource Recovery Easement for Salvage Exploration and Operation Purposes, stating that it was “for salvage operations only,” that “any artifacts or materials recovered by the applicant shall be disposed of pursuant to the contract issued by the Department of State;” and that the easement was “valid only after the Department of State has issued a contract for exploration or salvage and shall remain valid only so long as the Department of State’s contract is in full force and effect.”
20. Copies of the Division’s Exploration Permit # 2015-03, Amendment One, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Salvage Work Permit Modification, and the State’s “Modified Sovereignty Submerged Lands Cultural Resource Recovery Easement for Salvage Exploration and Operation Purposes” for the approved area are attached as Exhibits A-1, A-2, A-3, and A-4, respectively.
21. GME recovered certain items and provided recorded identification of certain cannons and monuments to the Division by photograph and video.
22. GME made proper application for a recovery permit to authorize full recovery of artifacts from the discovered shipwreck sites.
23. The Division had never raised an issue nor made any negative response as to any work not having been done, or done improperly, in connection with any GME permit requirement.
24. GME became concerned when it learned that the Division considered that identified artifacts from one of the sites were from an old French naval ship and was negotiating the shipwreck finds with France for it to claim without GME’s involvement or consent.
25. GME filed a federal court complaint in admiralty in rem against “The Unidentified, Wrecked and (for Finders-Right Purposes) Abandoned Sailing Vessel,” seeking to establish its ownership under the Law of Finds.
26. Incident to its filing of this action, GME was required to deposit recovered artifacts under the federal court’s control.
27. The Division demanded that GME turn over those recovered artifacts, but GME could not comply because the federal court controlled the property.
28. The Division then suspended GME’s exploration permit and would not issue a recovery permit to GME, stating that the only cure was for possession of the artifacts recovered for identification purposes to be delivered to the Division.
29. The federal court transferred control of the identified artifacts to the Division, fulfilling this demand; however, the Division still refused or otherwise failed to reinstate GME’s exploration permit so it could identify artifacts at the other discovered sites, and refused to issue a recovery permit for it to complete recovery of the finds.
30. The Division’s actions caused GME significant loss and deprived GME from realizing compensation value from shipwreck sites and artifacts it discovered, contrary to GME’s investment-backed expectations in undertaking salvage operations
Global MArine Exploration Inc