Back in September, I noted what was on my nightstand for reading. Lost Gold of the Republic was on top of the stack. Well, I finished the book a few weeks ago and have been wanting to put up a full review, but just haven't taken the time. I hope to finally post that review by week's end. In the meantime, I would suggest readers and lovers of history and adventure read this piece about the book's central character, Greg Stemm. After becoming familiar with Stemm through the book and the Discovery Channel's Treasure Quest program, I've come to be a great admirer. Philosophically, Stemm and I have a lot in common. I'll talk more about that in the book review. Here's a couple of excerpts from the bio piece about Stemm:
A fusion of Jacques Cousteau, Ernest Hemingway and Donald Trump, the 52-year-old is Chairman of Odyssey Marine Exploration (OME), which specialises in finding treasure-laden wrecks. Stemm has the precise handshake and manners of a Southern gentleman, but when we meet in London he is itching to get back to his diesel-smelling dive ship Odyssey Explorer in Cornwall, and what he calls “mucking about on the ocean”. And while he denies being a bounty hunter, he admits having no problem “marrying archaeology with a business model”.
Ah, yes, "mucking around" - one of my favorite pass times - although I do most of my mucking on dry ground.
And . . .
“The deal is this,” he tells me. “We pay for all the exploration and recovery costs, conservation and publication and then 80 per cent of the value of everything we find up to $45 million comes to Odyssey, then it’s 50-50 up to $500 million then 60 per cent in favour of the British Government above that. If they want the entire collection, then they write us a cheque. It’s a very good model. It’s not unlike if you find something with a metal detector in your backyard.” [Definitely another reason to admire Mr. Stemm.]
Stay tuned for the book review.