"Smith's legal claim is an attempt to get at what he estimates to be $3 billion in a buried treasure. He said he was inspired by the Nicolas Cage movie National Treasure to try to fund his artistic endeavors with treasure hunting.
On Monday, Smith recounted how he'd read that the ship laden with gold veered away from the hurricane and sunk into South Texas mud. He said half the crew died on the way up the river and the other half died at the hands of a cannibal tribe.
Schwartz argued that Smith found the ship under marshy land that can be navigated by boat and is thus subject to federal maritime laws about abandoned vessels. He said the law would allow Smith, the first claimant, to seek the treasure once he gets a pending permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers."