I’m Looking at You, Paul Marshall

Today, January 27, 2018, Sky News has published an article under the headline “Revealed: City tycoon funds ‘final’ search for doomed MH370.” It begins:

A London-based hedge fund millionaire is helping to finance the “final” search for the missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft which disappeared nearly four years‎ ago, in a bid to solve one of modern aviation’s greatest mysteries. Sky News has learnt that Anthony Clake, an executive at Marshall Wace Asset Management, is the key figure behind Ocean Infinity, the subsea exploration company which won the contract to hunt for the whereabouts of Flight MH370. ‎Mr Clake, who ‎oversees billions of pounds of clients’ money at Marshall Wace, is understood to have invested in Ocean Infinity after being impressed by its advanced technology.

The piece goes on:

Mr Clake’s involvement ‎in the hunt for MH370 is restricted to a financing role at Ocean Infinity, and he has no day-to-day role in the operation. “Anthony Clake has made a private investment in Ocean Infinity and is one of a number of shareholders in the company,” the spokesman said.

Color me suspicious. Clake works for Marshall Wace, which was founded by Paul Marshall, who is also the owner of two companies which each of a sole other board member apart from him: the two listed directors of Ocean Infinity. Clake is described as a millionaire; Marshall is the tenth richest hedge fund manager in Britain. This story doesn’t say that Clake isn’t the sold investor, but one of several. It seems increasingly inconceivable to me that Paul Marshall isn’t another, and probably main, one–notwithstanding the denial given to me by his publicist. As to why he’s being so secretive, I can’t begin to guess.

UPDATE 1/28/18 12:10 EST: The remarkable @oceankoto has uncovered this gem from the Telegraph circa 2012:

Hedge fund managers Anthony Clake and Paul Marshall, a Liberal Democrat donor, told The Times they had invested in several shipwreck salvage companies, including some Robert Fraser firms, and in total had found 11 wrecks and a haul of silver.

59 thoughts on “I’m Looking at You, Paul Marshall”

  1. As I pointed out when I 1st started my own research. OI uses the same address in London as Prosperity UK. Prosperity UK has 2 named directors. Paul Marshall & Oliver Plunkett. So it’s not difficult to link the 2 together.

    Also when you look at the principles of Hedge funding & the concept behind OI they are actually the same thing. OI are gambling shareholders money in the hope that they will get a big pay day once Mh370 is found. That is to anyone that isn’t sceptical of the ISAT Data a sure fire certainty.

  2. Suppose OI in it’s current form has just been set up as a short term business initiative.

    It’s an investment. The concept is to design a new way of scanning the sea floor. It wouldn’t surprise me if the concept is proven to be successful that whomever is behind OI sells the concept to the highest bidder. You said it yourself Jeff. The industry is in a slump. If OI comes up with a way of scanning the Ocean floor in a time & cost effective way then this is worth big money. It is a way for any company that owns the right to the concept to be the most competitive in any contractual bids.

    Maybe Mh370 isn’t just a proving ground it is a way for OI to refund the concepts initial set up costs. With whatever money they make from it an additional bonus. If you was investing in OI I should imagine that it would be a very attractive sell.

    OI as we know doesn’t actually own any assets. It even appears to hire in it’s personnel. The HQs are fluid. As far as I can tell saying the company is Texan is just a way to distance the company from it’s true identity. Of OI claimed to be London based then it wouldn’t take long before people linked them to MWACE & Paul Marshall. It wouldn’t take much longer than that before people start asking questions about OIs true reasons behind it’s sudden interest in Mh370.

    I don’t doubt OI is a genuine company. I don’t think they are doing anything illegal. Although I would question the morality issue behind the business.

  3. @PS9

    I won’t take your bait regarding Blaine Gibson. You’ve got nothing to offer in return. Nothing positive, no (seen) knowledge, no credidable assumptions, no meaningfull data, no alternatives. Nothing. Only put-downs, negativety and paranoia that won’t help to solve this drama at all. It’s the attitude of many on Jeff’s blog for a long time now.

    I think it’s a waste for Jeff has done much better regarding objectivety and produced some great articles in the past.
    Sceptisism is a good thing. But paranoia kills every possitive effort from the beginning.

    So I’ll leave you with this comment.
    And leave you stick with your frustration.

  4. @Ge Rijn, It’s pretty clear that your motive is to stir shit, rile people up, and add nothing substantive to the conversation. I’m going to put your comments on manual approval from now on.

  5. @Michael John, Interesting idea. I’m not tax expert, but I wonder if there could be a deal structure where Swire gets to write off its investment against the cost of the venture, and a couple of outside investors like Marshall get a leveraged wager…

  6. It might be technically speaking Jeff correct the Paul Marshall isn’t behind OI. Maybe you should ask a different question. Like is MWACE behind OI. As far I’m concerned a spade is a spade. You ask an indirect question you get an indirect answer. So If you asked for example Paul Marshall publicist of he was behind OI then if course the answer would be no. As a journalist you ask questions. Do you ask them for yourself or the company you are reporting for? Is Paul Marshall investing his own money or just money of other people?

  7. @Jeff

    I looked at the tax angle a bit when the whole concept of “no find – no fee” was initially proposed. What I found was that in the US you cannot write off costs incurred for a “no find – no fee” exercise i.e. bounty hunters cannot write off expenses incurred. Not sure about the tax laws outside the US.

  8. @Jeff Wise

    I don’t mind. I know you know what I’m talking about. I started on your blog few years ago. You had great sceptical articles based on actual information. And we shared a great deal of information and thoughts.
    You’ve lost yourself in more or less paranoia thinking afterwards IMO. I think it’s a waste still.

    Your knowledge, insights and skills would serve the current search effort much better if you had a different mind-set on the case IMO.

    But with respect, I acknowlegde your contributions.
    We’ll see how this search turns out and then speak again maybe.

  9. @Michael John, I’ll have to mull that over. My initial reaction is that what you’re talking about are distinctions without difference, but maybe I could have phrased things in a way that was more effective.

  10. You’re correct to focus on Sir Paul Marshall. What little of his bio is available raises lots of red flags. More info on his background is needed before jumping to conclusions.

    Regarding the Maersk Mariner, this is an almost brand new Starfish design and has a control room the it’s onboard ROV and heavy deep sea lifting crane with a underwater frame hold many remote ‘grasping arms’ for lifting heavy objects from the seabed. Could be a useful ship to have around should MH370 happen to be found.

  11. I’m actually hoping their motive is money…money may be the only motivator to finding this plane. Everyone else has given up, swept it under the rug—if not anything else at least we will get it out in the media again. Interesting nonetheless. I still think we accidentally shot it down, and covered it up, that’s why you never hear of the pieces that washed ashore….but I hope this interesting search proves me wrong.

  12. @Christine

    We all have our pet theories. Unfortunately most of them don’t meet the basic guidelines that the experts are working to. For instance the aircraft being shot down wouldn’t meet that criteria. Not would Jeff’s spoofing theory, not would my own belief that Mh370 came down off the coast off Northern Sumatra in the style of Ethiopia 961.

    It’s a shame. There are some really good theories out there. Jeff’s may not be to everyone’s flavour however it does present an interesting alternative view. With any luck OI will find Mh370 & Give the relatives some respite & the rest of us some answers.

  13. to fit the last one you have to combine intention with technical malfunction or more likely human error, which isn’t that far-fetched (at least not as other theories)

  14. @StevanG, @Michael John, @Christine, I think it’s worthwhile to clarify what’s going on regarding the status of MH370 theories.

    The ATSB has never tipped their hand regarding why they think the plane might have disappeared. Their search area is predicated on the idea that the plane flew without control inputs after turning south, but whether that was due to accident, hijacking, pilot suicide, etc, they’ve been avowedly neutral.

    It’s generally considered prudent to wait until one has assembled all possible data before arriving at a final hypothesis, but I think in this case their prudence is excessive, and it has caused them to consistently overlook the only feasible explanation for the plane’s disappearance.

    The central fact of this case: that the SDU was turned off, then turned on again. This is the key piece of evidence upon which everything else hinges. If it had not been turned back on, there would be no Inmarsat data, and there would have been no SIO search.

    A failure to grapple with this core clue is a failure to deal with the case in a rational way at all. Thus I would disagree with @Michael John’s theory that there are “a lot of good theories out there.” In fact, there are no theories at all out there (except one) that fits with this central fact. Even the one that has come to be the default — pilot suicide — fails on this account, because Zaharie would neither be motivated to reboot the SDU, nor know how to do so.

    If you look for attempts to address this key piece of evidence, what you’ll find instead is a lot of handwaving along the lines of “oh, there are any number of plausible explanations,” to which a response of “show me one” will be met either with silence or extremely feeble attempts along the lines of “maybe someone went into the E/E bay and started pulling circuit breakers randomly.”

    The looming total capitulation of SIO efforts begs to be addressed, and I blame to a very simple cause: the refusal to address the case’s main piece of evidence.

  15. By the way, the only explanation I can come up with for Paul Marshall’s secretiveness is that he antipates that if the search is successful, he will be criticized for profiteering from a tragedy.

  16. @Jeff Wise
    I would say the original 38S search area was essentially predicated on passive flight assumption. To me the new search area will tacitly encompass non-passive flight paths as well as passive flight paths.

    As far as “failure” to deal openly with possible explanations of the SDU reboot and flight path, obviously there are extreme sensitivities: political, NOK, aircraft industry, pilot profession, country sovereignty, etc. to deal with. It is really Malaysia’s job to discuss those options, and Malaysia is probably between a rock and hard place re: internal politics, needing to stay silent unless there is 100% definitive and agreed to proof one way or the other, which my guess is unlikely even if the crash site and black boxes are located.

  17. @Jeff Wise
    I agree with you that switching the SDU would clinch the cause as being pilot involvement but I take your point he would be unlikely to be able to do it.

    What if the intention was turn off everything possible to go 100% dark until he passed the northern boundary of Indonesian airspace and then turn on the radio intending to receive only to find out if he had been missed and where they where searching. He would have done that to reconsider the intended route south off the west coast of Indonnesia.

    What would he have been able to achieve that and how would he have done it to, as he thought, to turn off every conceivable transmitting source. I assume the SDU would alone remain on?

    Did pilots even know as the rest of us do now that the SDU is the single conduit through which all transmissions pass?

  18. @Vector-1, The issue of the SDU reboot is a whole ‘nother technical level above turning off and turning on radios. For one thing, it has nothing to do with radios–it’s part of the satcom system. Secondly, airline pilots have no idea what it is.

    Long and short, we’ve had this kind of discussion for a very long time, getting very deep into the technical weeds, and I don’t want to relitigate that all over again. For what it’s worth, it seems to me that over at Victor’s blog there seems to be an endless appetite for going around and around on speculation over arcane topics that tend to miss the point altogether. I’d really like to avoid that here.

    Having said that, I understand that a great many people haven’t been following along reading every single post for the last four years, so your question is entirely appropriate and welcome. The short answer, no, the SDU reboot can’t be explained as a byproduct of some other behavior or accident.

  19. Assuming that Mh370 did pass up the Malacca Strait (There is only a unidentified blip on a radar return to say it did) then Mh370 looks like it was flying to a precise flight plan. Taking this into consideration it would rule the aircraft disappearance as being intentional rather than accidental. At least that is my take on things. I believe that the aircraft was hijacked. I think that if the aircraft was suffering from malfunction then the pilots would have landed the aircraft sooner rather than later. Or at the very least found some way of attracting attention. I’m still baffled why if the attention was murder suicide as some experts imply then why was the aircraft not flown direct across Indonesia? Nearly 4 years in & we are still no closer to understanding what happened….

  20. @Michael John, I believe backgrounds were checked and cleared on all crew and passengers except the two Ukrainian and single Russian passenger., as there was no country of origin cooperation in doing so.

    @all I often think of those on Radiant Physics as the incredibly talented people who would rather construct ships in a bottle than engage with the larger world. Their ingenuity, the specialized tools they construct, their ability to problem solve—their talents are truly awesome. If only they’d put the models away and look out the window toward possibility.

  21. @Jeff Wise
    I’ve been desperately hoping someone would provide a list of all the possibilities for what could have happened between the plane disappearing from radar off Indonesia and the SDU reboot.
    Between yourself, VI, Duncan Steele & ATSB we can assign some constraints/limits to aircraft behavior but the best or most convincing I have seen is the SLOP maneuver resulting in a horse track pattern loiter over the Andamans.
    If that is indeed what happened then I don’t see why the perps couldn’t have rebooted the SDU intentionally and then jumped from the aircraft?
    This eliminates the need for spoofing the signal.

    BTW, on the issue of ownership of OI:
    If they are hedge fund types wouldn’t they have insider information that is nonpublic?
    Isn’t that how they typically operate?
    – The bigger question I think is who is their source?
    – And why wouldn’t that source not share this info with the original search effort lead by the Aussies?
    – And if the Aussies had this information all along why would they be hesitant to not act on it or publish it?

  22. Continued…..
    BTW, on the issue of ownership of OI:
    – Did the inside source approach OI based on their past history of funding treasure hunts?
    – Or did OI approach the source based on a tip from someone?
    – why would a search effort mounted by a private entity be more acceptable than a government lead search effort?
    – were there PR considerations that lead to a private search more palatable in the eyes of the world? If so could this search actually be successful?

  23. So the link between OI & Paul Marshall comes from here:

    PROSPERITY UK 2017 LIMITED

    Company number 10519995

    Follow this company File for this company
    Company Overview for PROSPERITY UK 2017 LIMITED (10519995)
    Filing history for PROSPERITY UK 2017 LIMITED (10519995)
    People for PROSPERITY UK 2017 LIMITED (10519995)
    Officers Persons with significant control
    Filter officers
    Filter officersCurrent officers
    3 officers / 2 resignations
    MARSHALL, Paul Roderick Clucas
    Correspondence address
    20 Eastbourne Terrace, London, England, W2 6LG
    Role ACTIVE
    Director
    Date of birth
    August 1959
    Appointed on
    12 December 2016
    Nationality
    British
    Country of residence
    England
    Occupation
    Investment Manager
    PLUNKETT, Oliver
    Correspondence address
    C/o Wpo Limited, First Floor, 6 Grosvenor Street, London, United Kingdom, W1K 4PZ
    Role RESIGNED
    Secretary
    Appointed on
    15 January 2017
    Resigned on
    19 January 2017

    Note it says OP resigned in the 19th of Jan 2017 however:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1VBR58–CqsT0yb7o4GELLmhQo3mg43jA/view?usp=drivesdk

    That link basically says:

    20 Jan 2018 Termination of appointment of Oliver Plunkett as a director on 19 January 2018.

    Prosperity has recently moved offices:

    Registered office address changed from C/O C/O Wpo Limited, First Floor 6 Grosvenor Street London W1K 4PZ United Kingdom to 20 Eastbourne Terrace London W2 6LG on 18 December 2017

    How I linked OI to Prosperity & Paul Marshall is by OIs London HQ address:

    Ocean Infinity
    Marine surveyor in London, England
    4+
    6 Grosvenor St, Mayfair, London W1K 4PZ

  24. As far as I know there is no certainty that Paul Marshall is funding OI. As Jeff has already pointed out PMs publicist denied it. Of interest is the official termination in January 2018 of OP from Prosperity & the company moving addresses. The suspicios minds of folks would think this is a possible attpt to separate the connection between OI & Paul Marshall…

  25. @Gysbreght, Fascinating. So correct me if I’m wrong, but this is a way that the plane could have been accelerating towards the water, but then not hit it right away?

    I guess the question #1 would be, how does the plane get so far from equilibrium in just two minutes? And #2, how far could it get in that kind of descent mode?

  26. @Michael John, Thanks for pointing out that Oliver Plunkett was removed from Prosperity the week before my piece ran. Worth noting perhaps that I reached out to Marshall Wace on January 11, and Plunkett was severed a later. So yes, it doesn’t take a tremendous amount of imagination.

  27. @CliffG, Regarding the “SLOP maneuver” theory, I agree that a strong case can be made that the plane made a right-hand turn at about 18:22. The SLOP theory arose as a way to reconcile this turn with the idea that the plane was really ultimately headed south. However, SLOP maneuvers are a way to avoid oncoming traffic along well-traveled airways. In this case, there was no conflicting traffic to avoid, and anyway such a maneuver would be needlessly fussy given that the plane wasn’t under air traffic control supervision anyway, it could fly any damn direction and altitude it wanted to.

    A much simpler and more plausible explanation of this turn is that the plane was turning north because it was headed north.

    Inter alia, I strongly suspect that if the DSTG used the 18:22 radar return and the 18:25 ping arc as their “last prior” they would have come up with a probability distribution that strongly favored an endpoint in Kazakhstan. I think that this is the real reason they decided not to use the 18:22 data in their calculation.

    I asked Neil Gordon if they ran their calculations with 18:22 included, and he said yes, and said that he would send it to me, but he never did, and didn’t respond to any further requests.

  28. @CliffG, PS, you wrote that if the perps jumped out of the plane then that would eliminate the need to spoof the signal. That’s true, but the point is that the SDU was rebooted, and the question remains: why, and how was it that the perps were sophisticated enough to do that?

  29. @Jeff Wise: Thank you for your comment.

    RE: “this is a way that the plane could have been accelerating towards the water, but then not hit it right away?
    Yes it is one way, but not the only way. There are many ways to recover from an 8 second dive at high altitude.

    RE: “how does the plane get so far from equilibrium in just two minutes?
    My aim was to produce something that could match the trajectory #3 of the simulations the Boeing conducted at the request of ATSB for conditions specified by the ATSB. I have asked the ATSB to provide more details for that trajectory but received no reply. My simulation starts about halfway down the trajectory shown in the AYSB’s Figure 6, much later than two minutes after fuel exhaustion.

    RE: “how far could it get in that kind of descent mode?
    The rate of descent in a phugoid can vary considerably as shown in my example, but on average is not much different from a steady descent that would allow gliding up to 100 NM from cruise altitude.

  30. @Gysbreght, I believe that if a plane had entered an uncommanded spiral dive, there would be no way to spontaneously recover. If there was someone at the controls, they could certainly recover the aircraft. Are there other options?

    Likewise, I think that 100 nm glide would only be possible with either an autopilot or a person at the controls.

  31. @Jeff Wise:

    RE: “if a plane had entered an uncommanded spiral dive, there would be no way to spontaneously recover”

    Agreed. However, none of those 10 simulations resulted in a spiral dive anywhere near the time of the final BFO’s, eventhough that was obviously the objective. Only the abnormal configuration simulations with one engine inoperative produced a spiral dive at the very end

    RE: “If there was someone at the controls, they could certainly recover the aircraft. Are there other options?”
    Not that I know of.

    RE: “Likewise, I think that 100 nm glide would only be possible with either an autopilot or a person at the controls.”
    Agreed. However, it would be wrong to posit, as some prominent posters do, that only a highly skilled pilot would be able to do that. All that is needed to get more than 25 miles beyond the 7th arc is someone who holds the wings approximately level on average, and the pitch attitude around -1.5 degrees on average (never mind temporary excursions from the target values).

  32. So….. IF Mh370 was under pilot control up until the end (ALSM doesn’t believe this to be the case though) then we have a bigger headache than we had before. A Ghost Flight with fuel exhaustion at the end & a spiral dive with flutter causing the separation of the Flaperon & I suppose the damage to the trailing edge was also allegedly caused by flutter. Maybe the pilot had a last minute act of self preservation? Before we carry in speculating does anyone know what sea state the SIO was in the night Mh370 came down… I’m curious to know what conditions the plane could have ditched in….

  33. @ Michael John – best recollection i have is that the water was rather benign …nothing too severe ( if you call 25ft ground swells and 30 knot winds benign ) but please check with a more accurate conditions…GL

  34. @ Anyone – have a question a little off topic concerning the 7 rings/arcs, may have been addressed in earlier years; but in the 3 1/2 some years i’ve followed this forum i don’t recollect….my understanding of the speed of light and distance needed to calculate the “estimated almost exact” locations of the pings using known factors Inmarsats I-5 F-1…and the GES near Perth….and the moving entity ( MH 370 ) resulted in the 7 arcs…. please bear with me….here’s where I’m a little ( a lot ) fuzzy. There were 4 legs involved in the computations: sat. to GES to plane ( 2 legs ) u turn response: plane to GES to sat.( 2 more legs) (i’m not counting the sat. info downloaded back to Inmarsat HQ in London )…has anyone, if at all possible, computed what the BTO arcs would look like if only 2 legs were used…GES to plane…plane back to GES…eliminate the sat. legs entirely….less moving parts so to speak, at least it might tweak the established 4 leg data…? ? Maybe it would only serve to re-enforce the existing findings. Hope I came across somewhat coherent in my frustation. Well I guess we’re all entitled to appear stupid once in while….thanks a bunch in advance..GL

  35. @susie crowd this is a small private limited uk company. The directorships are not elected and don’t have standard terms in that sense.

    His is a standout departure as he was also the company secretary for a short 4 day period after which he resigned as secretary and became a director. This stands out as it hasn’t been necessary in UK law for a company to appoint a secretary since 2008 unless their constitution says they must have one. As the company was formed after 2008 I wouldn’t expect to see this. This may just be a companies house processing issue but does seem strange. His resignation leaves only one director which is legally fine but fairly unusual for larger small companies.

    I have been a company director.

  36. Jeff Wise said:

    “The central fact of this case: that the SDU was turned off, then turned on again. This is the key piece of evidence upon which everything else hinges. If it had not been turned back on, there would be no Inmarsat data, and there would have been no SIO search.”

    Yes, and another pivotal piece might be that the flight ID wasn’t present on SDU re-login. Why not?

    “If you look for attempts to address this key piece of evidence, what you’ll find instead is a lot of handwaving along the lines of “oh, there are any number of plausible explanations,” to which a response of “show me one” will be met either with silence or extremely feeble attempts along the lines of “maybe someone went into the E/E bay and started pulling circuit breakers randomly.”

    “The short answer, no, the SDU reboot can’t be explained as a byproduct of some other behavior or accident.”

    ==================

    Here’s two scenarios that have been put forward to explain the reboot:

    1. The SDU went off because the left bus (both main and backup left gens) and bus tie were disabled. The left bus & tie were disabled in order to turn off an electrical circuit (not the SDU) that couldn’t be turned off from the cockpit in any other way, and the perp(s) couldn’t risk leaving the cockpit at that time since the passengers and crew were still conscious.

    As the aircraft left radar coverage whatever was intended to be turned off (or something else powered solely by that bus) was needed for the next stage and so the left bus & tie were enabled again, triggering the SDU re-login. The purpose of disabling the bus had been met by that time.

    The lack of flight ID on re-login could be due to a new flight plan being entered after IGARI/BITOD that purposely/accidentally didn’t include an ID. Entering a new flight plan would seem to be unusual since pilots apparently have nearby suitable alternative emergency airport diversion destinations already programmed in their FMC (on the ALTN page) that can be selected with a button press. Hence more indicative perhaps of a diversion to a completely different route/destination (ie waypoints not on the original flight plan) than an emergency diversion.

    ALTN page:
    https://www.theairlinepilots.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=756&sid=7c16c0bc5b8c6e6e08df8215f39ae4b5

    There would logically be no reason to disable the SDU to go dark between IGARI/BITOD and the Straits since the aircraft was being painted during that time by primary radar in any case. Other forms of communication (IFE, radios, ACARS) could, more obviously, be disabled separately without losing the left bus as well.

    The 777 AMM (Aircraft Maintenance Manual) would be needed to determine what is powered solely by the left bus – ie. what would be unpowered if the left bus (both gens) & bus tie were disabled. This doesn’t seem to have been determined yet even though people in other forums have a copy of that manual, or if so, I haven’t seen it mentioned anywhere.

    2. This scenario was suggested here (again) recently by DennisW: There might have been a second decoy aircraft that started transmitting (with the same aircraft code) just outside of radar coverage in the Straits, hence the lack of MH370 flight ID on re-login. The SDU in MH370 not being turned on again after IGARI/BITOD. This might suggest there could be two aircraft in the SIO, or one (the decoy) in the SIO and one somewhere else completely.

  37. Apparently, unless the UK law has changed recently, the tax angle, in fact, may be one motive for investment in OI. From a tip on the Veritas facebook group, via a more complete story I found in the Telegraph. Do read to the penultimate paragraph:

    11:20AM BST 08 Oct 2012
    David Harding, the Tory donor, Friends Reunited co-founders Stephen and Julie Pankhurst and adventurer Bear Grylls are said to be among those who have invested in the treasure hunts, the newspaper reported.

    HM Revenue and Custom is said to be investigating the tax break.

    Section 131 of the Income Tax Act 2007 was designed to encourage investment in high-risk companies. It allows investors to claim tax relief on losses. So if a higher-rate tax payer lost £30,000 in a year on the investment, they could claim tax relief on that amount.

    The amount of relief can be increased if investors top up their investment with a loan, as they get relief on the total amount. This could potentially be worth millions.

    The Times said that Robert Fraser Group, an asset management firm, has set up a number of marine salvage companies that have chartered ships to search for sunken treasure. Depending on how successful the dives are, investors can earn around five times what they put in.

    Hedge fund founder reveals his £34m tax bill 30 Sep 2012
    Tax change could hurt the vulnerable, experts say 21 Sep 2012
    According to The Times, an investor putting in £250,000 could borrow an additional £750,000 through a bank owned by Robert Fraser. If the search failed, the investor could claim tax relief on the full £1m.

    But rather than repaying the loan to the Robert Fraser bank, the investor could “assign” the debt to third parties such as a spouse, who could return it to him tax-free the next day.
    Hedge fund managers Anthony Clake and Paul Marshall, a Liberal Democrat donor, told The Times they had invested in several shipwreck salvage companies, including some Robert Fraser firms, and in total had found 11 wrecks and a haul of silver.

    They strongly denied that they have invested to gain tax relief.

  38. I have always scratched my head on why a company with a British CEO is based in Texas. I think I understand it now.

    OI has been around for a fair few years. Oliver’s appointment has been relatively recent however. I think that the company was originally spear headed by Jake Klara. Jake is from Lafayette which is a short distance from Houston. OI have been looking at the current concept for a few years now & clearly with Paul Marshalls past investments as discovered by OceanKoto it seems a no brainer that they would approach him or his firm for investment. It would seem that the appointment of Oliver Plunkett & Melanie Smith was part of the deal. I couldn’t initially work out why a company like OI that is made up with people with vast experience in the industry should suddenly employ a tax man as it’s CEO. It may be worth noting that OI were or are officially a company that “Maps” the seabed. Quite clearly it would seem that the current concept for the multiple AUVs would speed that process up & time is of course money.

    So we come back to Mh370. Whose idea was that? Personally my gut feeling is that it wasn’t OIs original intention to search for the plane. My gut tells me that Paul Marshall obviously saw the potential profit in a successful search & that the multiple AUV concept would be perfect for that.

    I’m not trying to smear anyone but my whole interest is knowing the details. OI came out of nowhere with it’s proposal. I think we are now getting some understanding of how it came to be.

  39. Apologies because I’m sure there are good intentions here. But I don’t understand the motivations in going after OI like this. Instead of greeting it with skepticism, I greet it openly. Without them, at this moment, nothing would be happening. I’d have to keep reading about advanced math and aviation problems that I don’t understand. And I’m sure that the friends and families of the victims are glad that at least somebody is doing something. If someone gets a tax break, or has some other ancillary benefit – who cares. Focus on that later.

    That search out there is a difficult and dangerous one. I wouldn’t want to do it. The searchers are working hard and at great peril, while we are just sitting around like a bunch of armchair quarterbacks. I believe that they are there to do a great job, and those that hired them are doing so with good intentions.

    anyway that is the way I feel about it.

  40. The best way I can summarize it Billy for me is it’s like eating your favorite meal. Some people are content with the fact thefood tastes good & it satisfies the hunger. Other people go firther, they want to know how the meal is made & what ingredients it contains & where itall comes from & maybe the history behind it.

    Curiosity is a trait that affects most humans. Would people hunk that knowing more about your meal is ill intended? Probably not so why should curiosity about OI be viewed so negatively?

  41. @Michael

    “Before we carry in speculating does anyone know what sea state the SIO was in the night Mh370 came down… I’m curious to know what conditions the plane could have ditched in….”

    the more you go to the south the worse conditions become…they call 40th parallel “roaring forties” for a reason

    that’s why I don’t belive there was intention to crash the plane there because it doesn’t make any sense

    what we do have is intentional divert through Malacca and going around Sumatra towards Australia coupled with independent drift studies that position the likeliest crash place just right to the CI… why people can’t or won’t derive quite an obvious motive/outcome stays perplexing to me

  42. @ Billy, in this case motivation could speak to the possibility of search success.

    Are the people behind OI making an investment based on the science and data we know and perhaps additional information we are not privy to because they see real potential for millions in returns from Malaysia?

    Is the investment purely a humanitarian effort? Sadly, living among such people, for better or worse, as those who seem to be funding OI, I know that kind of one-off philanthropy is rarely the case.

    Or is it good publicity and a good way to test a new technology that could be used better and more lucratively elsewhere all wrapped up in a tax dodge that essentially cancel’s out the costs of the effort or a percent payable to the treasury on other gains?

    If we understood the answers to these questions we might better understand the potential for the expedition’s success.

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