Mobile // Mobile Applications
05:10 PM
Connect Directly
Security For the Internet of Things - The Missing Link
Oct 19, 2016
Whether your business makes connected cars, uses connected medical devices, or employs any other " ...Read More>>

Treasure Hunter Claims Google Maps Treasure Find

A 39-year-old musician and filmmaker from Los Angeles has been fighting representatives of an estate in Refugio County, Texas, for the right to excavate.

A treasure hunter testified in a Texas courtroom Tuesday that he used Google Maps to locate a shipwreck.

Houston Chronicle writer Mary Flood reported that Nathan Smith, a 39-year-old musician and filmmaker from Los Angeles, has been fighting representatives of an estate in Refugio County, Texas, for the right to excavate his claimed find.

Smith seeks to prove that the wreck lies in navigable waters rather than on privately owned land.

The case, Nathan Smith v. The Abandoned Vessel, was filed in March 2007. The significant documents, including the initial complaint, are under seal to hide the location of the supposed shipwreck.

In the publicly accessible depositions, much of the questioning has to do with the area in and around Melon Creek and Melon Lake, near the Mission River.

On Monday, according to the Houston Chronicle, Smith described the circumstances in 1822 by which the ship allegedly ran aground and sank in the mud near the Mission River while trying to avoid a hurricane. He claimed that half the crew died during the voyage and the remaining crew was killed by a local cannibal tribe.

Describing a seemingly implausible sequence of events, Smith testified that Comanche Indians found the ship's gold and buried some of it after encountering the cannibals and fleeing, the Chronicle reported.

The plaintiff's exhibit list mentions "Google Aerial photographs taken in 2007." Google has traditionally licensed its satellite imagery from companies like DigitalGlobe, GeoEye, and TerraMetrics.

The court exhibit list also includes Lost Treasures Of American History by W.C. Jameson. Presumably, the book has some relevance to the claimed shipwreck. The exhibit list also mentions a 1958 family manuscript, Nicholas Fagan: Texas Patriot, by Mrs. Tom O'Connor Sr.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Among 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Top IT Trends to Watch in Financial Services
IT pros at banks, investment houses, insurance companies, and other financial services organizations are focused on a range of issues, from peer-to-peer lending to cybersecurity to performance, agility, and compliance. It all matters.
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on for the week of October 9, 2016. We'll be talking with the editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll