Thursday, April 7, 2016

4/7/16 Report - Odyssey Marine Exploration Business. Important Artifacts From Tortugas Shipwreck.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of


I haven't mentioned Odyssey Marine Explorations for some time.  They went through a period when they had a lot of financial losses and the price of their common stock plummeted.  That changed. OMEX stock recently went from around $3 per share to over $9 per share.  You don't often see moves like that.  I won't go into a complete analysis, but here is what they say about the shipwreck part of their business.  They are also into deep-sea mineral exploration and mining.  The following summary is from

In the fourth quarter of 2015, a third-party company contracted Odyssey to recover cargo from a shipwreck located in the Mediterranean Sea. Odyssey recognized $3.0 million of revenue in 2015 for these services. The recovered cargo is the property of the contracting party and was not part of the Monaco transaction summarized below.

On December 10, 2015, Odyssey sold certain intangible and tangible assets primarily related to its shipwreck business to Monaco Financial, LLC and affiliated entities for aggregate consideration of approximately $21.0 million. The company's shipwreck database and research library was acquired by Magellan Offshore Services, Ltd. ("Magellan"). However, Odyssey retained its vessel, equipment, tools, and specialized offshore team members. As part of the Monaco transaction, Magellan agreed to exclusively hire Odyssey on a "cost plus" basis for any shipwreck search and recovery projects conducted in the next five years. In turn, Odyssey agreed not to compete with Magellan in the shipwreck search and recovery business. Odyssey is also entitled to receive 21.25% of the net proceeds from any monetization of recovered cargo. As part of the Monaco transaction, Odyssey retained four pre-existing projects, including the HMS Victory 1744 and HMS Sussex projects. Magellan may participate in funding the recovery costs of these projects in the future, and will have the right to receive up to 50% of Odyssey's net proceeds, if any.

Monaco Financial, LLC acquired all of Odyssey's remaining coins, ingots and bars from the SS Republic, "Tortugas," and SS Gairsoppa shipwrecks, as well as an interest in the proceeds payable to Odyssey under the Master Services Agreement for the SS Central America project. Monaco Financial also purchased Odyssey's headquarters building and leased office space back to Odyssey.

Seascape Artifact Exhibits acquired Odyssey's artifact collection, exhibits, and all of Odyssey's shipwreck intellectual property and copyrights, including video, photos and publications.


Odyssey Marine is a company that produces a lot ov very good research.  One paper examines a couple of plates found on the Tortugas shipwreck.  At the top of the page is a photo of one of those plates.  Here are two paragraphs from a paper about those plates produced by Odyssey.

Given the Tortugas plates’ specific imagery and chronological context, it is plausible that their presence on the Buen Jesús merchant vessel in early September 1622 archaeologically reflects the presence of administrators or missionaries of the Sacred Congregation of the Propagation of the Faith returning to Seville on this Tierra Firme fleet ship. In this historical hypothesis their personal belongings stowed on an Americas-bound vessel earlier in the year would have included two plates freshly thrown under papal commission. Of humble service, albeit highly appointed, one might imagine that a single plate would have sufficed per individual. 

The two examples recovered from the Tortugas wreck could suggest the presence of two such missionaries gracing the ship’s deck. Within this context it is relevant to recall the other select religious artifacts found on the wreck, which included rosary beads, a Virgin Mary clay figurine, a brass medallion dedicated to St. Catherine of Sienna, and two Seville Blue on White bowls painted with ecclesiastic inscriptions, of which only the letters ‘CAR’ written above ‘MO’ are preserved on their interior roundels (Stemm et al., 2013: 82-3, 96).

This is a great example of how much an artifact can tell if it provides some clues and thorough research is done.

Here is the link to the paper if you want to read more.

 I do highly recommend reading this excellent paper.  You will learn more about the markings, symbolism and the history of the times.


The weather is beautiful today for anyone who wants to visit the beach.  I'm not expecting any improvement in beach detecting conditions though.

Happy hunting,