RHS1 Connector – October 2009

RHS1 Connector – October 2009

  • Tommyknockers
  • Treasure…Odyssey Update…
  • Readers Question?
  • Earthwatch.. Planet in crisis



October just wouldn’t be complete without a tale of the macabre from our own neck of the woods – Mining. Now, it doesn’t matter where you go, if there’s a mine, there’s a ghost story that goes with it. Mining was a pretty hard life back in the heydays of the gold rush. It’s no wonder there are lots of folks who just aren’t resting as quietly as they might have liked. There is one type of little ghoul, though, that is fabled to be a resident of all mines and it doesn’t matter where you go, you’re going to find them. It’s these little guys that our story for this Halloween is all about.

There’s Tommyknockers in Them Thar Hills

Tommyknockers are small elfish creatures who made their debut to humans in Cornish mines. With the onset of mining in America,Cornish miners seeking their fortunes immigrated to the states, bringing the Tommyknockers with them. These little creatures have the ability to walk through walls and disappear at will and love to take advantage of their abilities to play pranks on miners. Their favorite mischief is stealing miners belongings but they have been known to pull more outlandish pranks such as releasing brakes on mining carts as well. While it could be assumed that such prankish natures would make Tommyknockers unwelcome by the miners, such assumptions are far from the truth. Tommyknockers, while mischievous, are benevolent beings and their residence in a mine is welcome by the miners, especially by Cornish miners who would sometimes refuse to work in mines which they felt had not been inhabited by Tommyknockers yet.

It has long been thought that the tappings and other such noises on mine walls, on beams, and in shafts are due to the Tommyknockers. Miners have long recognized these noises as the Tommyknocker’s way of signaling impending danger and most are very aware when they hear the familiar knockings of these sprightly spirits it is time go get out of the mine and to do so FAST. There are few, if any, mining areas which are free from legends of Miners who have heeded these warnings and been saved from disaster. Such vital warnings are worth the loss of a lunch or two here and again.

If you are ever wandering around in mining territory, and hear rapping coming from inside of a mine tunnel or shaft, you don’t need to be scared of the little fellows. It is a good idea, however, to vacate the area you when hear the rapping immediately as the local Tommyknockers might be trying to send you a warning.

Odyssey Reaches Agreement with UK Government on Dismissal of Admiralty Arrest and Salvage Award for Cannon from HMS Victory

Tampa, FL – September 18, 2009 – Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (NasdaqCM: OMEX), pursuant to an agreement reached with the UK Government, has filed a motion to dismiss and vacate the warrant for the arrest which was filed in the U.S. District Court on Admiral Balchin’s HMS Victory, a 100 gun ship of the line lost in 1744 in the English Channel (case number 8:08-cv-1045).

The UK Government has agreed to pay Odyssey a salvage award of 80% as compensation for the artifacts which have been recovered from the site and submitted to the UK Receiver of Wreck. A valuation of approximately $200,000 has been agreed for the two cannon recovered from the site, providing for a salvage award of approximately $160,000. The company will also be participating in the ongoing process of consultation to determine the approaches that should be adopted towards the wreck.

In 2008, in cooperation with the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD), Odyssey conducted an extensive archaeological pre-disturbance survey and recovered a 42 pdr and 12 pdr bronze cannon from the site. At the direction of the MOD, Odyssey presented the cannon to the UK Receiver of Wreck, and has been actively involved in their conservation and study.

“We look forward to cooperating with the MOD and other stakeholders in the archaeological management and preservation of Admiral Balchin’s HMS Victory,” commented Odyssey CEO, Greg Stemm from London, where he has spent the week meeting with UK officials. “I am pleased to announce that we have offered to forego part of our salvage award as a contribution of $75,000 to provide support to the National Museum of the Royal Navy to assist in realizing the historical, educational and cultural opportunities that the discovery of this important shipwreck offers to the public.”

“We’re thrilled that we’ve been able to return two cannon from Balchin’s Victory to the citizens of the United Kingdom, but these are just a small portion of the irreplaceable cultural artifacts that remain at the site,” Stemm continued. “We look forward to working with the UK Government and the archaeological community to help develop a strategy to protect this very significant cultural and naval heritage asset.”

“As the shipwreck has been positively identified as HMS Victory, a UK Royal Naval Vessel, we recognize the UK Government’s position is that the vessel has not been abandoned and therefore the shipwrecked vessel, its appurtenances and necessaries, and the personal effects of the officers and crew, are the property of Her Majesty’s Government,” commented Melinda MacConnel, Odyssey Vice President and General Counsel. “As such, in good faith, we have agreed to conduct any further activities relating to the shipwreck under the jurisdiction of applicable UK laws.”

About HMS Victory

HMS Victory was lost in 1744 under the command of Admiral Sir John Balchin. The direct predecessor and inspiration behind Nelson’s flagship, Balchin’s Victory was the mightiest and most technically advanced vessel of her age. She was lost during a storm with all hands and was the last Royal Navy warship to be lost at sea with a complete complement of bronze cannon. Two of the greatest admirals in English history, Sir John Norris and Sir John Balchin called her their flagship.

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


In Loving Memory of Munchie 8/12/97 – 9/27/09

This month I have the sad honor of posting a memorial tribute to Munchie, my rockhound companion of 12 years. Munchie took his leave on the 27th of September – about 2 days before the weather changed. He always was smart in those ways.

For those of you who met and hunted with Munch and I, please know that his last summer was one of those lived like it’s your last day kind of seasons.

Munch went into congestive heart failure in April. It was my expectation when the vet contacted me after examining him that I would be told I had to put him down, there was nothing that could be done. We had spent a year in New York and had just gotten back to the wide open spaces of the West which we loved so much. I put every atom of energy in my soul into praying for just one last summer with him in the West. We got that summer. There was a new drug on the market and before the end of the week Munch was back to a younger, active self.

A Rott’s life expectancy is only 10 years. Munch was already half past 11. I knew he was on borrowed time in any circumstance. I think he knew it, too. I’ll be damned if we didn’t squeeze another year or two into the one last summer though. We explored, hiked, camped, and swam, and sometimes just drove to a nice spot in the mountains and trees and sat around a lake or stream in the beauty of nature and warm sunshine enjoying each other’s company in the great outdoors.

During the last month Munch started to get tired. He still loved to go but didn’t get too far without a rest and didn’t get anywhere very fast. He still loved being out, though. On Sunday, the 27th we went to Swan Falls Dam. The weather was gorgeous. Warm but not hot – and sunny. We walked along the river bank in a few of our favorite spots and sat on the grass of the park area watching people go by and occasionally he’d take a stroll into the river for a drink and to watch the boats and fishers. We came home and he slept for a time. We had just come inside from an outdoor break and I was working on the computer when he cried. I went to him and saw he was taking his last breaths. I held him, kissed him goodbye, and he was gone. He knew he was getting too tired to go much more, and he’d not have been happy just laying around the house – that would never be his way, so he decided it was time to leave. He couldn’t have chosen the time better.

It’s a sad thing when our best pals move on, but Munchie can’t be mourned. His life was long and full of adventures and excitement – and one heck of a lot of love and interesting friends along the way. He had the finest life and most amazing final months and days that any of us could even hope for – and the last thing he knew was love and a wish for a great beyond.

Munch’s final earthly frontier is the edge of a beach on a finger of the Anderson Ranch Reservoir – water, beaches, trees, and mountains. It was a stop of ours during many other long journeys – a place of beauty, joy, and peace.

For those of you with a best friend, please celebrate Munchie’s life and everything he meant to me and to all who knew him. Give your best pal or pals a big hug and take them somewhere that they can run free for awhile and explore. Take them home, pat them on the head and tell them they were good today, then give them a treat. It is the way I think Munchie would want it to be. There is no reason to mourn for someone who led such a blessed life – especially when those blessings can be passed to those who depend on us for any that they receive while with us.


Arrowhead from Millwood lake:
This month I have called in our local expert F. Scott Crawford to answer a question I received in my email from Dennis in Kansas who asked:

I love to hunt for arrowheads and have found a lot of them. They all look pretty different from each other. I know that there are people who do knapping now and wonder if some of the ones I am finding are new are really just ones that people are making now. How do I tell if the arrowheads I am finding are old or not.


I thought this was a pretty solid question – and one that I really didn’t have enough knowledge about to answer so I zapped a note off to Scott. Here is what he had to say about the subject:

Hi Sal,

A lot of the answer for how old an arrowhead is depends upon the type of stone the point in question is made from. Old flint tends to get coarser and turn lighter colors, towards white even, if it is exposed to sunlight and air and rain and freezing over time. However, if it is buried, sometimes there is very little apparent aging, unless the soil itself is chemically acting on the surface of the flint. I have found buried points and blades,which, after you wash them, are almost as smooth and unchanged as new materials. So, you then look for deposits of minerals from the buried condition. Also, if flint has been exposed to the atmosphere, often the exposed side of a flint point is quite discolored relative to the unexposed side. This is a good indication of age.

If the point is obsidian, especially in a desert area, and it has been exposed on the surface of the ground, the exposed side many times is somewhat polished by wind and blowing dust or sand. The underside is more original in feel, or it is often coated with chemical deposits from the soil. In addition, in desert or normal weather pattern areas, obsidian is affected by rain and other moisture over time, and gets what is called a “hydration rind” on the outer surface. This tends to dull the originally shiny, slick appearance of the flaked stone. It makes an outer layer of changed material, due to the absorption of minute amounts of water, that is thicker depending on the length of time of the exposure to the elements. Archaeologists have even taken to calibrating the age of obsidian points or tools based on the thickness of the hydration rind in a known area. This is done by comparing a sequence of rind measurements to ages determined by other accepted dating methods, C14, tree rings, etc., to set up a scale to get a rough age for a piece based on the thickness of the rind. The rind thickness can be observed by cutting a slice through an expendable obsidian tool.

These are just the beginnings of the discussion of determining the age of an arrowhead. Authenticators also look at the edges of the points under high magnification to observe natural aging and use wear patterns vs. chemical aging or mechanical wear and tear with metal or other modern materials. There are also ways of observing knapped surfaces under special light to see the difference in the age of the present surfaces. This enables the detection of potential modern rechipping of old points to reshape them. These methods come into play after you examine the consistency and style of flaking patterns on the point. Mixed styles indicates possible reworking of a point, either anciently to re-use or refurbish it, or in modern times to reshape it.

Yet other indicators of possible age are the style, size and source location of a point. Many styles of points were unique to certain time periods, which enables the observer to position the point in a time sequence. Also, many specific styles were used in specific regions, which also helps to identify the cultural identity of a particular piece. And, the material from which a particular regional style of point is made is generally known, at least to experienced collectors. So, when a point made of an abnormal, atypical material for a particular style is exhibited, the likelihood of modern production increases.

In my e-magazine, Arrow Collecting On The Web, every month there are articles about these subjects and others which help collectors to make sure of what they are purchasing or trading for, and to help identify the culture and time period of the pieces which they find, in the field or through the various connections which are available to modern collectors.


Midnight Lace Obsidian — Knapped Of Stone From Glass Buttes

In Eastern Oregon. This “Dovetail” Style Blade Is Backlit To Demonstrate

The Clarity And Transparency Of This Volcanic Natural Glass. 2005 A.D..

Thanks Scott. That’s some interesting information. I might just be able to tell a bit about some of my own findings now. For our readers – Scott’s e-magazine, Arrow Collecting On The Web, really is a must for anyone who is an avid artifact hunter.





Typhoon Parma Oct3:
While a few strongly desertificated areas are still experiencing crop threatening droughts, in a growing number of locations around the globe, the days of drought are over. Unfortunately, after sustained drought the last thing anyone wants is rapid rainfall, especially in urban cleared and/or desertificating areas. Many of the areas pulling out of drought are getting just that and the results are being devastating. Looking at some of the stats below on current drought/flood conditions globally can be a real eye opener that the planet entering into a cooling stage and is in peril.

Southern Leyte Philippines: Mudslide 2006

August flooding in N. Pakistan threatens food security in that region. The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports that it is customary in that area to stock 6 months of wheat (dry rations). The flood swept away stored rations, killed livestock, killed 27 humans, and affected between 70 – 80,000 people. The human death toll has not been finalized at this time.

Food security is also threatened in West African countries of Burkina Faso, Benin, Guinea, Niger, and Senegal due to flooding. Grain stocks were stricken, 70 people killed, and 430,000 affected thus far. There are still three more weeks in the annual wet season. The flooding now threatens to assume proportions of that in 2007 when 300 were killed and more that 800,000 were affected. A severe shortage of fresh drinking water is threatening health there at this time as well. Humanitarian efforts are being hindered by bridges being washed out. 400 hectacres of crop land was damaged in one of the 15 Agadez commune areas alone.

In Bangladesh, late August flooding relieved drought, but damaged tens of thousands of hectacres of crops. Hundreds of thousands were stranded. No further information is available at this time. 1.5 million are affected by flooding in Northeastern India at the end of August. Crop damage has not been reported thus far. In the Bahraich district of Uttar Pardesh floods covered villages destroying “millions of rupees” of standing crops and stranding villagers with aid attempts falling short of needs.

Drought still rages in Somalia where livestock is dying by roadsides. The situation there is described by officials as critical. Water is being trucked into the worst hit areas, however, expect government ability to help to only reach 30% of those afflicted. If assistance does not arrive in the next few weeks the situation will take on catastrophic proportions according to officials there.

Life-threatening levels of drought continues to plague areas of China. in 31 counties and districts 1.5 million people are in danger due to shortages of drinking water. Hundreds of thousands of hectacres of crops are being devastated. 414,000 hectares of cropland in Chongqing and more than 370,000 hectares Jiangxi Province alone are being wasted by drought. In the Hunan Province more than 1,120 reservoirs and 2,100 rivers have run dry. The government has resorted to attempts to save crops and populations there using artificial cloud seeding as situations continue to become more desperate.

Humanitarian efforts are beginning in Guatemala where President Alvaro Colom declared a State of Public Calamity in reaction to food shortages. 400,000 are facing food insecurity due to drought, poor soil, and global economy. The population of this country is 13 million.

Drought eased by adequate rainfalls in Afghanistan early this year has relieved the forecast of another year of crop failure and predictions of food insecurity into 2010 have been thusly rained on. So far this is a good thing.

Mild weather and adequate rain has put US corn production forecast at a record high yield – up about 8% from 2008. Soybean production is running at the third highest yield on record. California navel oranges yields are now predicted at up 45% from last year, however, last year was record low.

Floods in Shanghai Typhoon Wipha
What point is being missed when the UN discusses warming? The point that extreme wet can be expected during COOLING. Ice ages consisted more of extreme wet than they did of extreme snows. As the Globe continues to cool, expect to see more 1970’s style weather. It will very soon be too late to deny the cooling trend and in the US leaders are rushing to get energy taxes in place before it is too late for them to continue to perpetuate myths such as the one they constructed about 2007 and 2008 being record breaking hot years for the globe. While drought still remains life threatening in a few areas, desertificated areas now being hit with moisture and a decimated ability to sustain moisture are finding water is not necessarily a welcome fix for desertificated land.

Flood crop damage Iowa.
The controversial ice cover on the North Pole at the end of summer is getting some heightened attention thanks to NOAA data falsification. Politicians would have us believe that we are still getting warmer as we are actually in a cooling trend. Of course, cooling isn’t going to bring the revenue in that warming would. I am in the frame of mind to suspect that until the Cap and Trade bill produces a favorable vote, our world will continue to warm significantly despite ALL empirical evidences that the reverse is actually true. As I type this on a rather cool September morning, I actually can say right now in early autumn, I could use a REAL dose of warming, such as we had in 1934 and have failed to reproduce yet.

As NOAA is advertising warming sea-surface temperatures, they seemed to just have “missed” some current satellite readings when making the statement. In a recent article, by Anthony Watts of Watts Up With That, AMS Fellow and CCM, Joe D’Aleo of ICECAP was quoted with this comment:

Icecap Note: to enable them to make the case the oceans are warming, NOAA chose to remove satellite input into their global ocean estimation and not make any attempt to operationally use Argo data in the process. This resulted in a jump of 0.2C or more and ‘a new ocean warmth record’ in July. ARGO tells us this is another example of NOAA’s inexplicable decision to corrupt data to support political agendas.

If you have any confusion about mixing science and politics, it may be to your benefit to read this article in whole at: wattsupwiththat.com

Typhoon…A passenger bus is crushed by a billboard structure
along EDSA at the Magallanes interchange in Makati City.

My note: It is interesting to watch many of the current typhoons break up as they move into cooler waters this autumn. After listening to NOAA and the IPCC, I had assumed that there were no cooler waters left. Go figure. It’s also interesting to keep track of current satellite shots and attempting beyond the depths of my imagination to reconcile them with the figures being used to produce cap and trade taxes. And we can be sure of one thing at this point………now that cooling has begun in earnest, we will see politicians taking credit for stemming C02 and thus ending the warming. How they will justify damaging colds that are moving in on us is yet to be seen. I guess we’ll just have to wait for the sequel: “How to Create Tax Revenue From Freezing Crops” and starving civilizations.


Bluefin Tuna
Scientists are warning that the Atlantic Bluefin Tuna will succumb to industrial fishing in as soon as a few years from now if the fishing is not stopped until the fish populations are replenished. The EU has agreed to co-sponsor a proposal by Monaco to list the species as endangered under the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species in March and ban fishing for the species. Spain, Italy, France, Cyprus, Greece and Malta have refused the proposal, opting to voraciously wipe the species from the face of the earth for their short term profits — even though they will be left with no fishing just a few years from now.
Sally Taylor…RHS1 Earthwatch.

Image and info credits for this edition:

Wikipedia: Odyssey Marine Exploration: :

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Rock Hound Station 1

Global Rockhound Community