RMS TItanic Inc Seeks Permission To Sell Artifacts

Bill Willard

Member
Mar 24, 2001
277
4
148
Kyrila,

I agree with Michael. The appellate court analyzes what Judge Clarke has said versus the law.

I have no idea what direction this will take until I analyze the briefs (boy that sounded strange!) filed in December. I have been told an amicus briefing is due very shortly, and that may be one of our side stepping in.

With fingers crossed,

Bill
 

Mark Taylor

Member
Mar 18, 2005
52
0
76
>The problem here is that courts have to make their decisions based on what the law itself says regardless of whether or not it's popular. <

This is true. And it should be pointed out that this appeals court has upheld the salvage award but did reverse two of his findings. Originally Clarke gave RMSTI control over the images as well as a navigation exclusion zone. But the company that does the tourist dives challenged and won so you can now dive and take pictures of the wreck without their permission (but you cannot take anything from the wreck). All you need is around $35,000 + and calm seas. :)

Mark Taylor
titanicnewschannel.com
 
May 8, 2001
1,359
2
166
Hello again Bill. I believe that what is going on now is the exact reason why so many people were against salvage in the first place.
I recently purchased a video called "Explorers of the Titanic" in which George Tulloch has much of the speaking parts. It has a more personal feel to it, and really for the first time I felt I understood this man's mission. There are several parts in particular where
1. they are looking over the dives film footage, and they come across a beautiful lead glass window, and you can see his face light up and the kid like excitement when he says, "it's so beautiful, people are going to love this".
2. He goes on a dive, and starts talking about the items he recovered and says "The people, you know will love seeing this on exhibition."
3. How choked up and speechless he became when they recovered binoculars.
4. The hugs and smiles when they recover a 3 ton ballard and he says "When they get to touch this, they know will be touching Titanic"

Anyhow, I do hope this turns out for the best. I would like to see Tulloch back, caring for this again.

Merry Christmas to you as well! Colleen
 

George Behe

Member
Dec 11, 1999
1,265
0
0
Hi, Colleen!

>4. The hugs and smiles when they recover a 3 ton ballard ....

Has Ballard really put on that much weight? (Pat Cook maybe, but Ballard?) :)

All my best,

George
 
May 8, 2001
1,359
2
166
I did spell that wrong huh..... I've just enrolled in the "David G. Brown landlubber ABC nautical spelling course" and am anxiously awaiting the second book to be sent to me.
(Hey David, can we skip over to book 12 so I can find out where they came up with the term "landlubber"? I am an impatient student...)
smile.gif

P.S. George. They don't call him COOK for nothin'. Betcha he can put on a big ole Texas BBQ as well as the next man! He originated the idea for the campfire scene in "Blazing Saddles"... You didn't know that? That was his thirty seconds of fame.... Kinda makes you want to treat him with a little more respect huh??? But, don't ask him about it... I fear he likes to relive his fame when reminded...
laughing too!!!
proud.gif
Colleen
 
Dec 4, 2000
3,234
480
213
Lubber -- nautical for someone of dubious value, especially at sea. A "lubber" is one step above a "sojer" (often misspelled "soldier" by prissy copy editors).

A "lubber line," however is a critical part of the mariner's most important instrument--the magnetic compass. It is the line used to read the ship's heading.

Now, for a fine meal of lobscouse and crackerhash before I have to polish Charlie Noble.

-- David G. Brown
 
May 8, 2001
1,359
2
166
SSSOOOOO..... I just insulted myself...
Well, I really had to search this one... So, an hour later, and peals of laughter, I am back bellowing the tune "Leave her Jonny". Tonight, my kids demanded their whack of Dandyfunk and Dogsbody. Tomorrow they will get Burgoo.

Thank you, I promise you weren't Whistling Psalms to the Taffrail:
proud.gif

Colleen
 

Mike Bull

Member
Dec 23, 2000
515
1
146
I too have the 'Explorers...' video, and have to say that I took Tulloch completely the other way-he was sounding to me like a greedy salesman who had just got in some really juicy stock to sell 'the people'. Although dear George has received a LOT of unfounded criticism, and now in the light of Arnie Gellar he looks positively saintly, he did speak an awful lot of rubbish about Titanic-his coal explosion theory on this very video being a good example.
 
Jan 29, 2001
1,282
0
166
Hello:

Interesting as it is, the folks who were bashing Tulloch when he opted to sell pieces of the salvaged coal, must have been entirely unbeknowst to this "more intimate" portrait of Mr. Tulloch.

Yes indeed the "Explorers of the Titanic" video which, at an additional $10.00 (And well worth it) acompanied early purchases of the coal. In fact there is brief footage of the coal salvage. Matt Tulloch can be seen handling a very large piece of coal in the video. My curiosity beckoned as to the weight of such a piece. In a letter response Matthew told me the heaviest piece he handled was 75 lbs!

For those who have not seen the video. Mr. Tulloch was quick to take up defense of character for Captain Lord as well as Smith. All the while he was being slandered a "graverobber".

Michael Cundiff
Carson City, NV
 

Teri Lynn Milch

Senior Member
Apr 7, 2001
1,053
2
0
Quoted from the link Mark Taylor posted Friday, December 7, 2001 - 03:57 am

<<Until now, R.M.S. Titanic has not sold anything it has raised from the great luxury liner except for thousands of lumps of coal found on the ocean floor. They spilled from the ship as it sank. The company said it wants to sell more than 1,000 small, unidentifiable pieces of the Titanic to collectors. It also wants to sell an entire traveling exhibit of about 300 artifacts to an Irish museum. The remaining artifacts would be sold to a non-profit foundation created by the company's president, Arnie Geller of Atlanta.>>

The article doesn't state to whom/what they sold the coal pieces to, but my guess would be they were sold to museums and the like. I guess there's nothing wrong with selling the pieces to museums, except for the fact of what did they do with the profits.

Also, if the remaining artifacts are sold to Geller's non-profit org, than it appears that the artifacts would still be in the hands of Geller, only in a different organization. Don't know Geller, but what is he, a self made millionare to be able to buy his own artifacts. It will be interesting to see what he states in court of his plans are for the artifacts with his non-profit organization. I have not read what his plans are for the artifacts on the site. One small point in reference here. I am reading that Geller/RMST only wants to sell SOME of the artifacts and ONE traveling exhibit, not the rights to salvage any future artifacts. If I am wrong please post correction.

And anyways what "material possession" does RMST have over the wreck. That's a good question.


Teri
 

Dave Hudson

Member
Apr 15, 2011
503
0
46
Hi Teri!

"The article doesn't state to whom/what they sold the coal pieces to, but my guess would be they were sold to museums and the like."

The pieces of coal have been sold for quite a while now. They are sold for between $10-$30 (depending on where you get them from) to regular everyday people. I have 3! The lumps are nothing huge, they average between dime and nickel size. They're on Ebay all the time.

Didn't you know?

David
 
May 8, 2001
1,359
2
166
Mike Herbold brought a piece to our little Queen Mart get together. I was jealous because my piece at home was smaller!
smile.gif

Colleen
 

Teri Lynn Milch

Senior Member
Apr 7, 2001
1,053
2
0
Hello David,

Yes, I know they're on sale on eBay because I've seen them, but I never paid attention to who was selling them, I just assumed they were being sold by other people, not by RMST. Did you buy yours directly from RMST?

Teri
 
Jan 29, 2001
1,282
0
166
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
277
4
148
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
1,053
2
0
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
1,282
0
166
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
277
4
148
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
58,584
376
283
Easley South Carolina
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
angry.gif
)

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