RHS1 Connector – December 2009

RHS1 Connector – December 2009

In this issue…
  • Treasure…Odessy Update…
  • Earthwatch.. CO2


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From your politically incorrect pals at Rockhoundstation1.com To all of you who celebrate alternative holidays during this season:

Happy Holidays


For anyone who is not yet aware: Our forums and Photo Gallery are back online! Come on in and join the rockhound discussions! The more the merrier.

Odyssey Marine Exploration Acquires Stake in Venture to Pursue Exploration of Deep-Ocean Gold and Copper Deposits

Tampa, FL – November 20, 2009 –

Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (NasdaqCM: OMEX), a pioneer in the field of deep-ocean shipwreck exploration, has acquired a minority interest in SMM Project LLC, a company funded by a group of investors to bring together the exclusive licenses and skills of world renowned deep-ocean geologist Dr. Timothy McConachy of Bluewater Metals, the deep-ocean survey and exploration expertise of Odyssey, and the offshore coring and mining expertise of Robert Goodden.

SMM Project LLC recently purchased a majority interest in Bluewater Metals Pty Ltd, an Australian company with licenses for mineral exploration of approximately 150,000 square kilometers of ocean floor in four different countries in the South Pacific. The group will focus on the exploration and monetization of gold and copper-rich Seafloor Massive Sulfide (SMS) deposits through a new business entity which will acquire the remaining interest in Bluewater, in accordance with a memorandum of understanding concluded between the parties.

It is anticipated that Odyssey will dedicate certain marine assets, including a ship and related marine exploration technology to the endeavor, and will own approximately 40% of the new entity. In addition, Odyssey is expected to provide proprietary expertise and personnel management to the entity under contract, and will supervise operations to explore for deep-ocean gold, copper and silver deposits in areas covered by exploration permits currently held by Bluewater Metals.

“This is a natural extension for Odyssey and leverages our core competencies in an exciting new deep-ocean field. Deep-ocean SMS exploration and mining is where offshore oil exploration was 50 years ago, and the challenges to date have mostly centered on lack of technical expertise to find and recover these extremely valuable deposits that have high concentrations of gold, copper, silver and other minerals. We have been monitoring this field for years and have finally decided that the time is now right – and we have found the right partners – to make our move,” stated Greg Stemm, Odyssey Chief Executive Officer.

“The Bluewater Metals team has done an outstanding job building relationships with governments and securing exploration permits in some of the most promising areas in the world for deep-ocean mineral deposits. We look forward to working with their team to maximize the revenue potential from high-value mineral deposits on the ocean floor. The opportunities in this arena are a perfect complement to our pioneering shipwreck exploration work. Interestingly, looking for SMS deposits is a lot like looking for barely discernable shipwreck ballast piles, and I don’t think there is a better team in the world for this kind of work than ours, ” continued Stemm.

“We’re excited by the possibilities of this new deep ocean mining venture, but we remain committed to our core shipwreck exploration goals,” said Mark Gordon, President of Odyssey. “Although we plan to dedicate certain marine assets and personnel to this exciting venture, we’ve become highly proficient at mobilizing our technical gear on ships of opportunity and therefore retain our full operational capability for our shipwreck projects. We’re planning a full schedule of shipwreck exploration for 2010.”

“We’re looking forward to exploring our permitted areas with the Odyssey team,” said Dr. Tim McConachy, Co-Founder of Bluewater. “We’ve been successful in securing exploration permits in areas that we believe are likely to feature valuable SMS deposits based on previous expeditions and years of detailed geological research. The next step is conducting the deep-ocean surveys necessary to confirm these deposits. Partnering with Odyssey, a company with proven deep-ocean expertise and capabilities is the best way to ensure our success and with Robert Goodden and his team’s involvement we are confident of successfully proof coring anything we find.”

About SMS Deposits

Seafloor Massive Sulfide (SMS) deposits are naturally occurring deposits which contain high concentrations of gold, copper, zinc, silver and other metals in relatively compact areas. Although possible anywhere new ocean crust is forming, the highest grade deposits have been found at convergent plate margins, especially in the South Pacific. These deposits are formed as cold seawater moves down through cracks in the seafloor and is superheated by the molten magma deep within the crust. The hot hydrothermal fluid rises to the surface, dissolving and leaching metals from the surrounding rock as it rises. When the hydrothermal fluid encounters the cold seawater, the metals and sulphur precipitate and accumulate on the seafloor as a SMS deposit.

About Bluewater Metals Pty Ltd.

Bluewater was co-founded by Dr. Timothy McConachy and Mr. Harvey Cook. Dr. McConachy is widely considered to be one of the world’s most knowledgeable geologists with respect to subsea mineral resources and exploration. He has previously served as Chief Geologist for one of the world’s largest mining companies, Rio Tinto, and as Head of Seabed Ore Systems for CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency. Mr. Cook is an Australia-based businessman with broad experience in the South West Pacific region.

Since its inception, Bluewater has been granted 46 exploration areas called “tenements” representing approximately 146,311 square kilometers of exclusive mineral exploration rights from the governments of Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Tonga and non-exclusive mineral exploration rights from Vanuatu.

About Robert Goodden

Robert Goodden, a mining engineer, is an acknowledged expert in deep-sea coring and mineral exploration. He founded Seacore Ltd in 1975 and built the company into a world leader in marine geological and geotechnical drilling. Seacore Ltd was sold to the Fugro Group in 2006. Mr. Goodden personally retained Seacore’s marine mining interests and renamed the division of the company Subsea Minerals Ltd. Mr. Goodden first became involved in SMS deposits in 2001 when he provided advice and oversight of the first two deep ocean drilling programs for Nautilus Minerals, a current leader in the SMS deposit industry. Since that time, Subsea Minerals has acted as a site consultant and drilling contractor to Nautilus. Goodden has been intimately involved with every commercial SMS core drilling project carried out to date, and together with members of his team, has amassed unique know how in remotely operated deep sea coring.

About Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc.

Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (NasdaqCM: OMEX) is engaged in the exploration of deep-ocean shipwrecks and uses innovative methods and state-of-the-art technology to conduct extensive search and archaeological recovery operations around the world. Odyssey discovered the Civil War era shipwreck of the SS Republic in 2003 and recovered over 50,000 coins and 14,000 artifacts from the site nearly 1,700 feet deep. In May 2007, the Company announced the historic deep-ocean treasure recovery of over 500,000 silver and gold coins, weighing 17 tons, from a Colonial era site code-named “Black Swan.” In February 2009, Odyssey announced the discovery of Balchin’s HMS Victory. The Company also has other shipwreck projects in various stages of development around the world.

Odyssey offers various ways to share in the excitement of deep-ocean exploration by making shipwreck treasures and artifacts available to collectors, the general public and students through its webstore, exhibits, books, television, merchandise, and educational programs.

Odyssey’s operations are the subject of a Discovery Channel television series titled “Treasure Quest,” which is produced by JWM Productions. The 12-episode first season aired in the US and the UK in early 2009 and is scheduled to air worldwide throughout 2009. Production on a second season is underway.

Following previous successful engagements in New Orleans, Tampa, Detroit, and Oklahoma City, Odyssey’s SHIPWRECK! Pirates & Treasure is currently on exhibit at Discovery Place in Charlotte, NC. Additional information is available at www.discoveryplace.org.

For details on the Company’s activities and its commitment to the preservation of maritime heritage please visit www.shipwreck.net.

Odyssey Marine Exploration believes the information set forth in this Press Release may include “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Act of 1934. Certain factors that could cause results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements are set forth in “Risk Factors” in the Part I, Item 1A of the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2006, which has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Odyssey Marine Exploration P.O. Box 320057 Tampa, FL 33679-2057 www.shipwreck.net



Emory Coons
As you probably know by all the ads you are seeing around RHS, Dragonsayeauctions.com, and elsewhere we recently published the first edition of the RHS1 Calendar. I sent a picture of the entries from Dragon (James Madej) back to him to show him how they looked on the page with the show listings. That’s when the fun started.

He had been out of town when Donna had sent the pictures to me and she had not realized quite what the project was. He promptly emailed back to me that there was some miscommunication about the project and Donna had accidentally sent a picture of a beautiful fire obsidian which he had bought from Emory Coons rather than finding it himself on his own trips to Oregon. The calendar did not state that James was the finder, but we wondered if Emory would be a bit hurt that the original owner had not been mentioned in the credits. It was still early enough to pull the calendar and change it, but it would have been a bit of a headache, to say the least. I didn’t want to see friends fighting over it, however. So I called James.

Come to find out, Emory has had some outright theft in the past, so James called him to explain the situation. Being great friends, Emory told him that it was all good – as long as James bought him one of the calendars, hahaha. While all was good on their turf I still thought it would be best if I called Emory and thanked him myself for allowing the oversight. Of course, it was a great excuse to meet him anyway. It seems he knows a few rockhounds in my list of contacts and I was starting to feel left out of a kewl friend.

Image by Emory Coons

Somehow rockhounds even from the small towns of back country America are usually just plain sharper than people often realize. I guess that just goes with the territory of being in tuned into and absorbed in so much earth science. On the phone with Emory, I found myself talking to a charming, witty. and intelligent person. It was a wonderful conversation. Emory will be at the Quartzville show throughout January, so I thought that you might like to know a bit about him, too and see some pics of some of what he brings in on his own hunts. If you go to Quartzville you will already know something about him when you meet him at his booth there.

Image by Emory Coons

Emory’s love of rocks started at the ripe old age of 5 when he started attending shows at Nyssa, Prineville, and Madras. His father also started the Obsidian Days in Hines, OR about that time. His family also have picture rock claims in McDermitt and High Plains and a partnership with Ray Larson on Disaster Peak.

About that time, he also got his start in flint knapping and silver smithing as well. So Emory had a very solid background in both rock hunting and the business end of the practice. His grandfather, Bart Coons, was a government trapper, working from Burns to Nevada, so Emory had a big backyard to rockhound, hunt, and fish in, too. Emory bought his first Gennie rock grinding unit 1979 and still uses it to cut his famous fire obsidian and other stones to this day.

Image by Emory Coons

Emory is a Jr. Forest Warden Instructor on lithics with the Calgery, Canada group and goes to a lot of knapp-ins (Aboriginal gatherings) and blackpowder shoots. He has been on OPB on knapping in The Caveman At Glass Buttes.

Image by Emory Coons

If you are going to the Quartzville show this coming January, you can find this interesting character at a booth with his friend, Don Hildebrant, located near Hwy 95 and 10. It will be the booth with the Fire Obsidian sign on it. If he’s not there when you get there, you can bet he’ll be out looking for that great fire agate the area is known for, so make sure to get back by there again before you leave.


You can also find him at www.paleoplanet.net where he “hangs out” at the flint knapping discussions as “copperbopkid”

Image by Emory Coons



Typical deserted habitation:
We’ve been covering some pretty interesting major treasure hunting company events in the Connector. While these stories of discovery and the feuding that accompanies the major strikes are exciting, they don’t do much for the everyday treasure seekers who can’t afford multi-million dollars of equipment, crews, and research to back their endeavors.

It’s pretty disheartening to search for something only to have someone walk in right after us and clean up with finds that we missed because we weren’t real familiar with some of the more discreet hiding places that we might not have missed with just a tad more experience. So this month we’re giving treasure hunters the gift of some tips that will make their searches of abandoned homes more productive.

First off, you will need equipment for a real search of the interior of any old home. While you may expect to use your metal detector in the outside regions of abandoned houses, they are not always the best tool for inside of an old house. Electric wires, plumbing, nails, and so forth that run throughout the houses can be confusing at the least, and actually misleading if your equipment is not scientific strength. The detector that works just fine to find coins on a beach or at a park can be completely useless inside of an old home. Old homes also often contain paper valuables such as money or certificates that the detector would not pick up at any rate.

When exploring an old home, you are best off equipped with a crowbar and a few screw drivers. A shovel will help in dirt cellars or crawl spaces as well. You might want to have other tools ready in your car for something v unexpected that takes more gusto to get to. A sledge hammer, regular hammer, and a chisel are good tools to have handy. Once you have a tool kit assembled that will allow you to take apart anything you might find in the home, you are ready to start exploring.

We’re going to start by taking the dangerous steps up to the rooftops of abandoned buildings. There’s no doubt that you can end your hunt very quickly with a wrong move on any rooftop. This fact is especially true when climbing on old abandoned buildings. Old abandoned rooftops can give way very easily and falling through weakened spots on a roof and breaking bones is not an experience you really want to pursue. Taking care on an old roof can reap some quite salable or collectible items, however. Old weather vanes can bring in a nice price in antic stores and some of the older lightning rods are showing some good trade value as well. Bricks in chimneys that are loose or seem different than the others might just be hiding a stash of old coins, safe from both the tax collector and heat of the fire. Cuplas are also a handy place to stash valuables, but don’t forget that the cupla itself can also bring a nice price on the antiques market. What about the rain gutters? Some of the old ones are made of copper and can be sold for current metal prices, which, as we have seen are rising rapidly.

Artists will often purchase the old shingles for their paintings, so don’t hesitate to take some of those on your way back down the ladder.

As you move through the house, remember to always check the tops and bottoms of all boards, shelves, drawers. Taping valuables to the underside or above vision level is a common practice. The tops of doors and door frames also are usual hiding places for coins and bills. Sometimes the top of the door frame or the door itself will reveal small panels which can be slid or pried off. Make sure you check for boards that appear to have been removed or seem newer than the rest of the boards. Check window moldings and sills thoroughly. Any crevice holds a possibility of stashed or lost items.

Door moldings or the bottom strips can conceal cache cavities. The baseboards of walls can also conceal treasures. Are there loose spots? What about spots that just aren’t flush with the floor? How many coins may have accidentally been lost underneath the baseboard? Are there other places in floors that have openings small enough to have lost coins or jewelry in? Are there carpets left on the floor. Many a carpet can be pulled up to reveal money stashed in little pockets here and there.

Fireplaces offer many hiding places. Does the hearth pull up easily? Is there a mantle which may be pried up or bricks that look loose or different from the others? Any area of a fireplace that looks as if it has been tampered with since its installation is a good place to check for caches.

Does there seem to be a lot of walled space in any area of the home? There might be a walled up closet or room behind there somewhere. Many a room has been walled over with items no longer wanted still inside during remodeling. Be especially aware of areas such as these in basements and attics. Many stairways have, or once had closets beneath them. When exploring these closets, notice weather there is any space walled that might indicate cubby holes underneath the steps. Stairways sometimes have steps with hollows underneath. Check to see if the boards come up easily. The bottom step is the most often used for hiding goods, but any step may reveal a cubbyhole beneath. Even the posts of the hand rails may hide caches. Do the tops screw off of them?

Exploring a inside a house is a much larger undertaking than most often realize. Even the home that has had people rummaging inside for decades can produce very unexpected caches when the knowledgeable and well equipped hunter begins a tour.


Dedicated to all the rockhounds who know how special it is to find the treasures of the earth and make our own private treasures from them.

– The Christmas We Had To Make

When I was about five years old my grandparents bought a home in Florida to spend the winter months away from the hostile winters of the north. My parents decided that it would be fun to escape the frigid Michigan winter, too, and visit them for Christmas that year. While we were all very excited about the trip, Mom and Dad secretly worried that Christmas would be spoiled for my sister and I without the white blanket of snow that always accompanied Santa’s visit. With true pioneer spirit, we braved the journey into the world of warm weathered Christmas’s with the faith that Santa would still find us in the land of sunshine.

My grandparents had not transported their Christmas decorations yet and had waited even to get a tree until we arrived. I overheard my Mother and Grandmother talking. Mom was a bit upset about the lack of decorations but Grandma just told her “Never mind Dona, it will give them something to do.” I didn’t understand what she meant, and am not sure if my Mother did at the time either, but it wasn’t long before we both found out.

The next day my Father and I took a walk into the woods nearby the house. We picked out a great little tree, cut it down and dragged it back home behind us. We then all packed up and went to the Gulf coastline which was only a short drive from their Fort Myers homestead. There the whole family experienced the fun of collecting seashells for the first time. There were more kinds of shells than I could have ever imagined existed. My little bag was stuffed with perfect and beautiful specimens as we headed for the car to return home. What an exciting and wonderful day it had been.

Back at home, there was still much more work to do. We painted, glittered, and glued the shells transforming them into festive ornaments for display on the beautiful little pine. Bowls of popcorn and cranberries were turned in to garlands and wrapped around the branches. A glittering golden starfish was placed on top . Though I never wondered about this phenomena in my younger years, a box of tinsel just happened to be handy to put a final touch to the little tree that had been transformed into a family created work of art.

Christmas morning we all sat at the table eating our traditional Christmas breakfast of sausage, orange slices, and graham muffins before opening gifts. Santa had found us just fine and we children were impatient to get the meal over with. Gathered around the tree after breakfast, we all admired the work of art we had created as we passed around the presents. No one seemed to notice that outside there was green grass instead of a blanket of white. The snow was never missed.

For a child, Christmas is a special time of year every year, but looking back to my childhood, I only really remember one Christmas in particular with any clarity. I remember the Christmas in Florida that didn’t just happen. We had to make it.


Writing this, I am remembering that Valentine’s day that my ex bought me the folding shovel with the little carrying case. All his friends did the little RCA dog head tilt when he told them what he had gotten me. It was the first gift from him I can honestly say I was thrilled with, though.

Whether you have just a few dollars to spare or are more interested in a great item at any price for your rockhound – Here are some suggestions that might make your life easier choosing the right item for the avid rockhound, gold prospector, or treasure hunter.

Classifiers good for more than gold prospecting. They are the perfect gift for anyone who hunts garnets, sapphires, or other stones which are found in creeks or concentrated in sands around gem bearing rocks. I was extremely glad to have my classifier with me when I visited the Herkimer mines in New York. My bet is your favorite rockhound would be pleasantly surprised with a classifier, or one that has a size of mesh that they don’t have. Great for small budget gifts.


Black Cat has a little gadget that allows you to see under water so you can see what you are doing when trying to get to gemstones or all that trapped gold that can be so tempting but such a headache to get to. My bet is your favorite rockhound or gold prospector hasn’t got one of these handy little tools.


The sand scoop is an awesome gift for any metal detector who explores beach areas where they are constantly sifting through beach sand to find their target. This scoop really takes the work out of getting to the goods.



For those looking for a little more upscale gift, The Desert Fox Automatic Gold Pan is a very popular item with gold searchers. It can save one heck of a lot of work – and if you have ever panned gold, you know that WORK is what it truly is, even if it is fun work. You also lose less gold using a Desert Fox than with traditional pans.


If you have a jewelry maker on your shopping list and just have no clue what they need, wire-sculpture.com has gift certificates you can purchase. They also have an extremely diverse line of findings, wire, tools, instructional videos for all skill levels, and a whole lot of other neat things that a jewelry maker would be delighted to see under the tree.


In the Midst of Climategate, it seems that most of what is being heated up are bogus facts about warming aimed at drawing us into a multi-national control system, that may just do much more harm than good.

Real scientific evidence has been shown over and over by scientist after scientist that C02 levels rise as a result of warming rather than being the cause of warming. While we do spew some carbon into the air, all eras in which the Earth warmed saw high levels of C02 resulting from the heat. This heightened level is good for plants and protects them in warming periods.

Scientists are now finding that some trees are responding to the high C02 levels with rapid growth rates. A study by scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Minnesota at Morris reveals that the elevated levels of carbon dioxide during the last 50 years has caused a 50% boost in the growth of natural strands of quaking aspen. These aspens and the related species the poplars are considered foundation species of the forests of Minnesota, Canada, and Wisconsin – about 48.5 million acres in all. They have a strong influence on those forest ecosystems and it is not clear how this growth rate will effect slower growing plants.

Considering that trees do absorb C02 from the atmosphere, however, and considering the main ecological effects and the severe harm now being done by land clearing, urbanization, and farming which all lead to desertification, our most pressing crisis to date, I can’t help wondering why all of our politicians are worried more about taxing us on emissions and grabbing further control instead of worrying about the very cause of so many of our current issues. It would seem that their time in Copenhagen may be more well spent figuring out how to reforest desertificated areas our planet and replenishing rain forests. Not only would rekindled forestry take C02 from the air, but replanting on a global basis would stabilize the growth of forestry growing more rapidly than normal due to raised C02 levels, no matter what their source. Many of our dwindling species would also benefit from this form of reconstitution of the natural ecosystem. If trees take the C02 out of the air and and urbanization heats the planet and damages ecosystems why are we worried about emissions that there is no proof are cause of warming instead of replanting?

We may have to wait to find the root of this bizarre focus on fossil fuels, the use of which actually could have been rendered almost significant if these people had allowed scientists to pursue some of the alternative energies which have been developed and suppressed over the years. It seems we will only know the truth of the real issues if the investigation into Climategate is kept clean enough to provide us real answers to the reasons that we are about to see global action taken over issues for which there is apparently a lack of any real statistics to back. I wish it had gone this easily for me when the dog ate my homework.

Sally Taylor… RHS1 Earthwatch.

Image and info credits for this edition:

Wikipedia: Odyssey Marine Exploration:Emery Coons:

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