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A very serious wreck preservation issue has caused a BOYCOTT and letter writing campaign of Beneath The Sea and we are looking for your support.
Last fall an anchor (about 2,000 lbs.) was stolen from the Historic Wreck site of the Maggie L. The Maggie L is a 1889 three masted schooner that sunk in 1927 and sits on the bottom of the St. Lawrence Seaway in Clayton N.Y. The theft of this anchor is not in dispute as one of the participants (Louie Schriener) confessed on his own web site. During this theft his film crew recorded the whole process and plans to show it at BTS. It is a direct violation of New York State laws and completely unethical. It is also not in dispute that they were warned in advance that this is illegal in New York State.
Why boycott BTS? In order to protect the integrity of BTS and Wreck Preservation in NY, BTS was informed of the entire situation and was asked to remove this presentation from their show. BTS has chosen to tell us that they have NO responsibility to the dive community, New York State or Wreck Preservation, and therefore has refused to remove or even edit this program. Even though contacted by several organizations both in the US and Canada, including state agencies they have chosen to play games in order to deceive us. Their only concern is to how much MONEY the show will take in!
I have personally volunteered at BTS for a number of years and also have presented a program at the show, my wife has also been a room chairperson. We are appalled at the arrogant attitude and total indifference towards the dive community that BTS has shown and believe that the only way left is to hit them in the pocket which seems to be all they care about.
As many of us have already participated in trying to resolve this matter with BTS, we are now encouraging you and your group to take part as we are doing.
Send Letters and e-mails to BTS at info@BeneaththeSea.org and Zig4BTS@aol.com and also Boycott the Show. We think the Laws and Wreck Preservation are everyone's responsibility!
PLEASE HELP WRECK PRESERVATION AND FORWARD THIS MESSAGE TO AS MANY DIVERS AS POSSIBLE. Thank you.
Syracuse Scuba Club
And after that was sent out this is an example of what kind of response people receive from Zig….
As a result of your support of the theft of the anchor from the Maggie
L. in Clayton NY, I and my fellow diving friends have cancelled our
trip to BTS for this and future years. By allowing the film to be
shown at your show, you are saying that it is ok, well its not. Those
of us that support the take only pictures philosophy are appalled at
your greed. I will not be back. Dave Huntington
The State of New York has not yet taken any direct action, I know, I talked to them. In any case our position is known as stated in the attached. And, "the Anchor" has been removed from film.
You should direct your attention to the people that are currently in possession of the anchor - the ones that took it. They are in your backyard - not mine.
Executive Director, Beneath the Sea
495 New Rochelle Rd, Bronxville, NY 10708
Tel 914-664-4310 Fax 914-664-4315 www.BeneathTheSea.org
You Are Invited to Attend Beneath The Sea 2003
March 28, 29, 30, 2003
So Tom responds with this…
Zig/ Beneath The Sea:
Zig your reply to David Huntington has only continued to inflame and bolster our position. Like so many others he forwarded a message to us supporting our position and then a copy of your reply.
BTS's statement is an obvious attempt to deceive. Full of contradictions and playing games. This could have been settled right from the beginning, but you have chosen to be lacking in integrity. Sending the statement to NYSDA and leaving out the people who tried to resolve the problem. I attempted to resolve the problem quietly and YOU refused to even reply or acknowledge the e-mail. Escalating the resolution of the problem is a choice BTS has made by not acting in good faith.
Calling me names, banning me from the show and trying to deny BTS's responsibility does not help and will not stop the BOYCOTT. A simple clear statement Telling Louie Schriener and the rest of the dive community that BTS will not allow the showing of the theft of the anchor or any other artifacts is what is needed. NO games with the wording or content of the letter, sign it and fax it to me. YOU can put an end to this, but it is up to you and BTS.
So you be the judge of what is going on here, for more info please contact me here
Someone from BTS came to speak at my local dive club and this issue came up. I am not in any way related to BTS.
For the record, if I remember correctly, what was said was:
1) Someone entirely not related to BTS in any fashion and whom I believe lives locally to the Thousand Islands location where the wreck was located raised a large anchor and documented the wreck in general including the raising of the anchor.
2) The person who raised the anchor was invited to speak at BTS and display some film of the raising and possibly the anchor.
3) BTS was contacted about the incident as it upset many people. As well, any items raised in New York State waters is considered property of New York State.
4) BTS is in touch with the State Attorney General office to determine the proper legal course of action. As BTS was not involved in any way with the raising of the anchor or any other items, is not in posession of the anchor and will not ever gain posession of the anchor. BTS has NO ability to affect the providence of the anchor, nor are they involved in any possible legal issues concernnig the anchor with State or Federal agencies.
5) I have no idea if the person who raised the anchor is still invited to speak or if any film will be shown concerning the anchor.
As far as I know, BTS is only guilty of possibly having a session where the diver(s) who raised the anchor will speak and show some film. I did not read in their reply to you that they didn't have any responsibiilty to the diving community at large, they just said that they were the wrong people to speak to about the anchor.
If I am incorrect in this assumption, please feel free to let me know. Currently I don't think that the BTS having a speaker embroiled in contraversy is enough to make me boycott the entire show.