Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Treasure Hunter Loses Bid to Find His Treasure

Treasure_chest Nathan Smith, a musician, was inspired by the movie National Treasure and began hunting for his own booty.  Using Google Earth, he thought he found the site of a sunken ship bearing $3 billion worth of Southwest of Houston, and confirmed it when he visited with a metal detector.  Smith filed a lawsuit seeking property rights to the treasure, claiming the ship lies beneath navigable waters.  The landowner where the waterway is located opposed. 

It appears that after two years of litigation in Smith v. The Abandoned Vessel, the district court ruled against Smith and his appeal to the Fifth Circuit has been denied. 

This setback may not stop Smith, however, who said in 2008 that for three years he had been seeking "the Lost Dutchman's gold mine, the Franklin Mountains treasure, Jesse James' buried treasure, Belle Starr's iron door, the Lost Peg Leg gold and numerous others." 

Mary Flood,Fortune hunter believes he has Googled gold, Houston Chronicle, Dec. 30, 2008; see also Justia.com on Smith v. The Abandoned Vessel

Special thanks to Boyd K. Johnson (attorney, Vest & Johnson) for bringing this interesting story to my attention.


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