The problem with the world today is that people have forgotten the value of living by outlaw codes. Everywhere you look, the old values of high seas pirates go ignored. The youth are carelessly living their lives, disrespecting their hook-handed leaders and bragging about the spots where they’ve buried untold riches in the sands of tiny Caribbean islands.
They would do well to model themselves after Tommy Thompson, a research scientist who still respects tradition enough that’s he’s about to mark a sixth year in jail for refusing to tell authorities where he’s hidden a stash of gold coins he retrieved from a shipwreck.
CBS News explains that, in 1988, Thompson located the shipwreck of the S.S. Central America (otherwise known as the “Ship Of Gold”), which “sank in a hurricane off South Carolina in 1857 with thousands of pounds of gold aboard.” The gleam of treasure glinting in his eyes, Thompson apparently kept more of the gold he retrieved—namely 500 gold coins—than his expedition’s investors would like.
Since December 15th, 2015, Thompson “has been held in contempt of court” and fined $1,000 each day for refusing to tell authorities where his gold is being kept. He was first ordered “to appear in court to disclose the coins’ whereabouts” by a federal judge in 2012 and, in response, took off for Florida, where he hid for three years until his arrest.
Six years since his imprisonment began, Thompson still refuses to explain where the treasure is squirreled away. “Thompson says he’s already said everything he knows about the coins,” the article reads. It also gives us some excellent quotes from a hearing last year, that opened with a judge saying: “Mr. Thompson, are you ready to answer the seminal question in this case as to the whereabouts of the gold?”
Thompson kept mum and, just like the imperial sea powers of old, the American justice system has continued to punish him for adhering to a code they could never understand. Maybe, in time, Thompson will decide to relent ever so slightly while still keeping to his pirate morality and offer his captors a weathered map, covered in strange clues.
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