HOUSTON (AP) - A California musician is fighting in federal court in Houston for the right to dig for treasure he believes to be buried along the Texas Gulf Coast.
Nathan Smith is relying on a lost treasure book, satellite imagery and a metal detector to pinpoint the location of what he believes is a treasure worth $3 billion.
He believes a ship carrying gold and silver sank in 1822 in the muck of the Mission River estuary, near Refugio
The story goes that the surviving crew fell victim to cannibals, and Comanche Indians found some of the booty and buried it before fleeing the cannibals themselves.
U.S. District Judge David Hittner must decide whether the secret location is within navigable waters of the Mission River and thus fair game - or, as Smith's opponents claim, on land belonging to the estate of Marie O'Connor Sorenson.
The family that owns the land doesn't think the wreck is there.
Information from: Houston Chronicle,
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)