State needs to back off Le Griffon expedition

By Benjamin Gohs Editor
May 14, 2008
- charlevoix courier

My old mother used to tell me patience is a virtue, but no amount of clichés could soothe my impetuous soul.

In my experience, good things do not come to those who wait. All ‘those who wait’ get for their virtuous behavior is a lifetime of sitting in lobbies sipping bad coffee from small paper cups.

This all brings us to the latest target of my ire: the State of Michigan; You didn’t really think you were going to get a morality tale about how I learned to be patient, did you?

Sure the state has angered me in the past with its oppressive legislation, absurd laws and inability to competently balance a budget, but when they start spending our money and years worth of man-hours fighting a private citizen, I get peeved; I mean talking-about-myself-in-third-person-angry.

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Gohs is getting real sick and tired of the state officials trying to prevent Steve Libert, head of the expedition to find 17th century ship Le Griffon, from reaching his goal.


Let us pretend for a moment our fine state had a budget overflowing with discretionary spending, even then they would have no business trying to sabotage citizen salvors.


No mere mercenary treasure hunter, Libert spent his own money for three decades searching for this vessel, and he has every intention of seeing its artifacts to museums.


Instead of working with Libert to realize all the cultural and financial good which would come from allowing his experts to unearth what may very well be the famed ship, the state keeps him tied up in court, works to sabotage his fundraising efforts and supersede federal law through its own state courts.


Two weeks ago Gohs, who is still very angry, wrote an update story on Le Griffon. Gohs made several phone calls and sent several e-mails to the Michigan Attorney General’s office. Per an AG’s office request, Gohs even sent a list of questions via e-mail to their press secretary. Two weeks has gone by and still no word from them.


Now, we understand that we are but a lowly community newspaper and perhaps do not warrant the basic respect one affords a tuna sandwich, but even mother dear knows when enough is enough.

Here is the press secretary’s e-mail address: hillsr@michigan.gov. Maybe he’ll tell you how much of your money the state has spent fighting Libert in this atrocious economy and while you’re at it, ask them if they have nothing better to do than stifle what could be the greatest archaeological find in Great Lakes history.

When it comes to Gohs’ virtue wish list, he’ll take justice over patience any day of the week.