Judge King recently completed a bench trial in a fascinating case involving the discovery of priceless emeralds on the ocean floor off the coast of Key West.
Well, either that or the whole thing was possibly concocted:
When all is said and done, there are two options: Jay and Steve legitimately found lost stones on the floor of the Gulf, or Jay and Steve placed stones acquired elsewhere on the ocean floor in order to "find'' them and thereby establish an ancient provenance and greatly enhance the value of the stones and the reputation of the men as treasure salvors. There is just as much support for the theory that Jay and Steve planted the stones as there is for the assertion that they found them . The Court cannot simply accept the un-contradicted testimony of Jay and Steve that they followed a treasure map to the site, dove to the floor, and found the emeralds. Each story represents one possible interpretation of entirely circumstantial evidence, and neither persuades the Court. Even if the Court could determine that Jay and Steve did indeed find the stones on the first day, the Court has no credible evidence upon which to base a finding that the material was lost or abandoned by some other original "finder'' or owner.Moral of the story: If it wasn't "lost" in a marine peril, then the law of salvage does not apply.
BTW -- I like the novel use of first names though would have modified it slightly ("Jay and Silent Steve").