RMS TItanic Inc Seeks Permission To Sell Artifacts

Jan 29, 2001
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Hello:

The initial proposal of selling the coal was in fact to help fund the cost of $100,000 *per dive* of the French submersible NAUTILE. The Ohio firm which handled the sales on behalf of RMSTI guaranteed the authenticity by way of certificate endorsed by both Tulloch and Nargeolet. In addition, the purchasers name became part of a permanent list of contibutors to the coservation of the salvaged artifacts from TITANIC.

Buying from a second-hand party via E-Bay is anyones guess...

Michael Cundiff
Carson City, NV
 

Bill Willard

Member
Mar 24, 2001
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Teri,

"Material possession" refers to the salvor-in-possession status awarded by Judge Clarke in 1994. That means RMSTI has exclusive rights to salvage the ship. RMSTI agreed to certain stipulations to acquire those rights. It is those stipulations Geller is challenging now.

Geller, when he orhcestrated a takeover in November of 1999, allegedly desired to make more money for the shareholders. He even was quoted in July 1999 stating that the company could sell "items of non-historical value". (What items recovered from Titanic could be considered non-historic?) This prompted the Aug 1, 2000 order from Judge Clarke.

Geller now claims that the revenues generated by the company cannot meet expenses. (Maybe he should lower the expenses?) He stated in the 9/24 hearing that the company would like to sell artifacts to a foundation headed by Geller himself and his friends (I have his formation documents of the foundation.) He claims a museum in Northern Ireland has expressed interest in acquiring a small group of artifacts as well.

Here is the kicker. Geller wants the courts to approve him selling artifacts. If they approve sales, the he legally can sell to any buyer he wants, museum or not. If he is having so much trouble running RMSTI, what makes anyone think he's going to do better in the foundation? Those of us who are shareholders are appalled at this thought. Those of us concerned about the artifacts are terrified at this thought.

I look for SEC activity very soon, and the shareholders will choose new directors, and therefore new officers. (This is an opinion, for the record.)

Bill
 

Teri Lynn Milch

Senior Member
Apr 7, 2001
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Dear Bill,

Thanks for defining "Material possession."

<<He claims a museum in Northern Ireland has expressed interest in acquiring a small group of artifacts as well.>>

I could approve him selling to a museum, could you? The thing is, can he provide proof of this, that someone will in fact buy a small group of artifacts? Have you seen this in any of his formation documents?

In the original documents of material possession, was there ever any stipulation as to what would happen in the event of insolvency?

<<If he is having so much trouble running RMSTI, what makes anyone think he's going to do better in the foundation?>>

I couldn't agree with you more, Bill. By chance, have you seen a write up of what his plans are with the new foundation, if approved? Is his intent, to display the artifacts for public view?

<<Those of us who are shareholders are appalled at this thought. Those of us concerned about the artifacts are terrified at this thought.>>

Although I am not a shareholder I too, am quite afraid of what will happen to the artifacts. Is it safe for me to assume that the judge is well aware of the importance and historical value these artifacts hold, and more importantly, does the judge (I'm assuming there is no defendent involved) have all pertinent accounts and information he needs from say, the shareholders and others?

What is SEC?

My experience with shareholders vs owner is that a company cannot be sold or merged without the express majority vote of shareholders. So may I ask where Geller gets his idea that he can sell the company/artifacts without express the majority vote of its shareholders? Or has a vote been taken?

Very Sincerely,

Teri
 
Jan 29, 2001
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ATTN: Mr. Willard,

I hope that this finds you well Bill.

I had heard that during George Tulloch's tenure as President of RMSTI that a proposal was drafted
to secure a permanent home for the salvaged TITANIC artifacts in Belfast, North. Ireland.

Any chance of you expanding on this furthur?

I felt this to be an approriate measure when you consider the fact that Belfast manufactured the TITANIC...albeit the association with a tainted legacy. If this were to be a county undrtaking, it could only help gain tourist revenue for the debilitating firm of Haland & Wolff.

Even more so the TITANIC enthusiast on holiday could make a day of it. First scheduled stop, the grounds of H & W, then move on to the Thompson dry dock, and still later, down the lane for a visit to the holder of palpable remnants. Perhaps a hall designated for the ship's fittings, and furthurmore a vast area bespeaking of the apallling human loss. I thought of even erecting the "Big Piece" at the H & W gantry foundation, encised with the 1510 who met peril on the sea...15 April 1912.

All in a day's visit to Belfast, North. Ireland...:)

However I have yet to attend an exhibition of TITANIC artifacts, I approved of the general idea.

Less we never forget,

Michael Cundiff
Carson City, NV
( Keep your hope somewhere where it is safe)
 

Bill Willard

Member
Mar 24, 2001
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Hello Teri and Michael,

First for Teri:

If all the artifacts were kept together, for public view, by a reputable agency, then I could easily accept the transfer from that perspective. However, the amount of artifacts dicussed for this conveyance is a small number, 200 to 300, which is approximately 5% of the total number available.

Our fears as shareholders point back to what we believe is an intent to sell to any purchaser. We've seen phrases that allude to private interests being able to purchase artifacts with no obligations for displaying them to the public. This would be an option that would separate and privatize the artifacts. We are not in favor of this to any degree. Many shareholders agree with the original Tulloch intent of preserving these treasures and displaying them in public venues such as museums.

Insolvency has been a topic of speculation by disgruntled shareholders. Before the artifacts could be sold in an insolvency issue, other assets would have to go first, I would speculate, such as the archival video and still photo data base.

The foundation mentioned has raised several eyebrows. Most of the conversation about it, from transcripted testimony, is general and vague. Very few specifics drift out. In the foundation documents, it is a specific goal of the company to acquire the artifacts. As of 9/24, they hadn't been approved for non-profit status by the IRS, nor did they even have a banking account with funds in it. One key thought here is the authority of the Judges in Norfolk over the artifacts. If the artifacts are allowed to be conveyed outside of RMSTI, then the Judges no longer have authority over them.

SEC stands for the Securities and Exchange Commission. This agency monitors public company activities for many things, including compliance with Federal statutes. The takeover of RMSTI occurred in November of 1999 under questionable circumstances, in my opinion. At no time since the takeover, nor immediately prior to the takeover has there ever been a shareholder vote to confirm the takeover, or on any other issue. The CEO since the takeover has issued almost 5 million shares and share options to friends, bringing the shares numbers from 16 million to almost 21 million. And yet, shareholders have no say in the company.

For Michael: How have you been? I always look forward to your posts. Tulloch had explored an option to convey the entire collection to an Ireland museum in Belfast. It wasn't in stone, but discussions were positive. Both governments had to approve certain parts of the proposal, if my memory serves me correctly. The idea would appease the shareholders, who would receive an amount slightly more than their investment. The artifacts would be in a special environment and would be taken care of by professionals and displayed for perpetuity. The company itself would cease operation, eliminating the for-profit angle of the recovery and restoration.

The artifacts would have gone home.

As you, I approved of the general idea. I had questions had the idea gone farther. I also had a personal issue. If the artifacts were moved to Belfast, I would no longer get to see them unless I traveled far away.

The appellate hearing, if the court hears the case, would be in March now. The tentative date was rescheduled. We shall wait to see the next page of this saga.

Happy New Year to you, and to the others who are reading!

Bill
 
Dec 2, 2000
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G'Day Bill...been doing fine. Had a nice Christmas and a birthday where my maritime collection improved by six books. I have one on order from Amazon.com dealing with steam propulsion that Amazon finally got around to shipping yesterday. No doubt, I'll get a postcard from UPS saying they can't find my home on the same day they deliver something to my folks. (GRRRRRRR
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)

While I noticed in the past (Hell, who didn't?) that it was popular to bash George Tulloch, I would love to see him back at the helm. I hope that this mess can be cleaned up by the courts and the SEC. Frankly, the whole business of Geller and Co. selling millions of shares to his chums while stockholders in general have been left out of the loop certainly rates a sticky beak from the law IMO. Bluntly, it the whole thing smells!

And it sure would be nice to see the artifacts make it to Belfast. That's where all of this started after all.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

Bill Willard

Member
Mar 24, 2001
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Aloha neighbor!

First, a question: What is a pirate's favorite letter? (answer below)

One point for you: Geller didnt sell shares to his friends. He GAVE them away. Where you or I would have to pay for shares and a commission to the selling institution, Geller's friends received almost 5 million shares and share options at no cost.

For example, Graham Jessop received 600,000 shares in exchange for "intangible assets" which we strongly believe to be treasure maps to 10 to 12 shipwrecks. Jessop also purchased the 'rights' to Carpathia from the Receiver of Wreck (correct term) in England for what we believe to be less than $250, then traded the Carpathia rights to RMSTI for another 1.1+ MILLION shares and his "intangible assets" back.

So, at the time of the "takeover", Geller's side had 50.1% (+/-) of the 16 million shares, and has lost support from that group, but has added several million shares to his side GRATIS.

Answer to the pirate question: Aaaarrrrrgh! (R)

Have a wonderful one! Just 359 more shopping days til Christmas!

Bill
 
Dec 2, 2000
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ARRRRRRRRRRR Matey, this be Capn' Blood speakin'. Givin' away the shares, 'ay matey? Me thinks the smell is getting riper still. About time we cleaned out the bilges...and maybe a few rats lurking within.

ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!
Capn' Blood
 
R

Robert W. Collier

Guest
Mike, quick, go get the whip, and I'll get the line so he can "marry the gunners daughter". :)
Robert
 

Adam Leet

Member
May 18, 2001
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Aye, sounds like a'keel haulin' is in order. You of all people know, Mr. Standart, that's serious on a big steel ship. >:D In my opinion, if they can't give the collection in one piece to a museum collection with the proviso that it remain intact indefinitely, it would be nice to see Geller personally finance the safe return of most, if not all, the artifacts to the wreck site.

Of course, that's just me.


Adam
 

Teri Lynn Milch

Senior Member
Apr 7, 2001
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Hi Bill,

Am I correct in assessing that there are two separate entities here: Tulloch's proposal and Geller's appellate hearing? What weight does Tulloch's proposal have in the appellate hearing, if any?

The judge would HAVE to see the fact that Geller's other "new" organization has no basis for foundation and no funds attached to it. I can't see a judge allowing an empty organization without non-profit status and without funds to take over preserved historical artifacts. He should be banned from practicing law if he does allow this to happen. I am not a vengeful person by any means, but justice should be served in the event the judge allows a basically worthless "non-profit" organization to take over precious artifacts.

And the next topic is the shareholders. From what I gleaned in your last post, the shareholders of the company have basically been ignored and been given no status-quo of the company. They must be outraged too, by now.

It is really a terrible feeling to be sitting here reading all this taking place and me being powerless to do nothing about it. Yuck. If there is something I could do, let me know and I'll get on it right away.

I do hope the year 2002 shines brightly on the artifacts and that they remain in the public's view wherever their new home is.

Michael Standart,

I fully agree, this whole thing smells badly.

Sincerely,

Teri
 

Teri Lynn Milch

Senior Member
Apr 7, 2001
1,053
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To Mark Taylor:

Since I have not seen your name here before, I looked at your profile. You are the moderator of a Titanic list I am not a member of. (And I thought I had checked out all Titanic lists. Well, guess I have a little more searching on the web to do, huh.)

Upon reading the index page of your site, I found your RMS Titanic Inc Quarterly Income Statement:

http://biz.yahoo.com/fin/l/s/sost.ob.html

It is very nicely laid out. I am not a financial analyst, but the figures do appear staggering.

Anyways, nice to meet you, Mark Taylor.

Sincerely,

Teri

P.S. George Behe, I see this one particular photo (always says photo courtesy of George Behe) of the ship on practically every other Titanic website I visit. We must be collecting such a profit on that one picture!
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Dec 2, 2000
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Adam Leet said; "Aye, sounds like a'keel haulin' is in order. You of all people know, Mr. Standart, that's serious on a big steel ship."

Aaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrr laddie, this be Capn' Blood here. Aye, tis true that keelhauling with a steel ship is a serious matter, but me "fishies" don't mind. I just hope they don't get indigestion!
proud.gif


Aaaaarrrrr,
Capn' Blood
 

George Behe

Member
Dec 11, 1999
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Hi, Teri!

No money was involved -- just friendship. Mark is a good friend of mine, and I sent him a scan of one of my old Titanic postcards so that he could use it on his website. I was happy to help out.

Please contact me privately and I'll let you know how to join Mark's Titanic Discuss mailing list. It's an excellent historical resource, and you won't be sorry you joined.

All my best,

George
 

Bill Willard

Member
Mar 24, 2001
272
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Teri,

Tulloch's proposal was in the discussion stage while he was President of RMSTI. It was a raw proposal with merit, but needed work and government approval from two governments.

Tulloch was ousted in a definitely-hostile takeover in November of '99. Tulloch's idea wasted away, I surmise, due to the fact Geller had other ideas for the artifacts.

Geller, as the now-CEO (his title) of RMSTI wants permission to sell artifacts and/or transfer them to his foundation, formed in Georgia with himself as CEO.

The two Judges involved are the Honorable Judge J. Calvitt Clarke and the Honorable Judge Rebecca Beach Smith. Both have been involved together for over a year now, as Judge Clarke is aging and Judge Smith will be his successor.

Both Judges have taken little quarter to attempts to circumvent the straight-lined orders from the bench. In three hearings now, Geller has brought up transferring/selling/conveying the artifacts to his foundation. The Judges have repeatedly said they will not approve any deal until they see it in writing and examine it. And then Geller never presents a specific deal. It's happened three times now. Judge Smith and Judge Clarke are, in my opinion, acting very responsibly toward protecting the artifacts.

This is where an interesting dance is occurring. No proposals are submitted. Geller is appealing the authority of the Judges to oversee these artifacts. It is speculation that he has no particular deal, he just wants the freedom to do what he wants with the artifacts. Again, that is speculation.

The appellate court has moved the tentative date for the hearing to March.

As far as Geller's foundation, according to the 9/24 transcript, his foundation has applied for 501-3-c status, but it hadn't been granted at that time. It may have been approved since then.

>>And the next topic is the shareholders. From what I gleaned in your last post, the shareholders of the company have basically been ignored and been given no status-quo of the company. They must be outraged too, by now.

Yes. Only the very close friends of Geller are involved. No shareholder meetings have occurred to my knowledge. We have been outraged for over a year now. Several members of a message board called 'Raging Bull' have been discussing our displeasure for some time. As of today, there are almost 2700 posts. Now also the members are using freerealtime.com as well. Both boards are under the stock symbol SOST.

Here's something you maybe didn't know. In April of last year, Geller, acting as an officer of RMSTI, filed suit against 7 people on the board. Three were sued by name, and four by aliases, for $1 million dollars each. The Raging Bull 7 were victorious because the case had no merit and was thrown out. So Geller, instead of giving his shareholders a voice, tried to silence one of the voices they used instead.

As far as anything you can do, we first must wait to see if the appellate court will hear the appeal. Thanks for thinking of the artifacts. With enough of us, the right thing will be done.

Bill
 
Jan 29, 2001
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Please excuse this belated response. Actually according to a reliable source...one who is an experienced wreck diver himself, and very fond of the "Empress of Ireland" (You know the one I mean
happy.gif
The expeditioners who applied (and won)
for the incipient salvage of S.S. Central America had more than a photograph in-hand that day. In the other hand were a chunk of the Central America's coal!

Michael Cundiff
 

Bill Willard

Member
Mar 24, 2001
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The latest update on the appellate court hearing:

The tentative date for oral arguments is now March 2.

Bill
 

Jason D. Tiller

Moderator
Member
Dec 3, 2000
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Niagara Falls, Ontario
Thank you Bill for all your info. I would really like to see George Tulloch back at the helm, since he cared about the artifacts. I sincerely hope that they go to Belfast, even though the traveling is long. As long as they are away from greedy collectors, keeping them safe is all that matters in my opinion.

Hopefully this mess will be sorted out and I agree with Michael, it does smell!

Best regards,

Jason
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