Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Mystery Solved Here

So after the stock market closed Thursday, our favorite treasure hunters -- Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (OMEX) -- reported the company completed initial survey work in the search area code named "Symphony".

The press release sounded quite mysterious: "The work was conducted under a government permit in an exclusive claim area and in conjunction with a project partner. Results of the survey are being analyzed and compiled into a report which will be provided to the government before the next phase of work is commenced. Preliminary review of the data suggests that four shipwrecks have been located ... but at this point, none of the sites have been conclusively identified."

"This new search area has long been considered a target-rich environment for valuable shipwrecks and we're thrilled to have the opportunity to work here in cooperation with the government," said Greg Stemm, Odyssey CEO. "Research suggests that at least two shipwrecks in the 'Symphony' area are commercial vessels with significant cargoes of gold coins."

More mystery from the press release: "The expedition was conducted by the Odyssey search team on a chartered vessel. To protect the security of the search area, specific location details are not being released at this time."

Well, your intrepid treasure stock reporter has the answer. Earlier this month, OMEX reported another operating loss (they have to find treasure regularly if they want to survive. Operating costs on one big ship run close to $100,000 a month), and at the end of the earnings release, they commented on all their projects. Read this paragraph from that August 7 release:

"North Carolina Project -- Shipwreck exploration firm Intersal, Inc. has received a renewal of its exploration permit from the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources for a site off the coast of North Carolina and additional surrounding areas, some of which correlate with Odyssey's "Firefly" shipwreck project. Odyssey has an agreement with Intersal, Inc. to pursue operations under this permit and to share in substantial research and data acquired by Intersal over the years relating to the target shipwreck and the work completed to date in the permit area.

"The area covered by this permit and arrest is located near Odyssey's current "Firefly" project, which was acquired by Odyssey from BDJ Discovery Group in 2007 and includes one arrested site that has already produced a small number of gold and silver artifacts. The Intersal site and permit area may also be related to the high-value, Colonial-era merchant vessel believed to be located in the area. The agreements with BDJ and Intersal are similar but separate and the areas do not overlap. Plans are being developed to resume work in this area before the end of August 2009."

Sounds like a match to me. Government. Partner. Merchant ship. August timing.

The Symphony project -- 78% of the gross income goes to Odyssey -- looks like the unnamed part of Firefly, don't you think?

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