Sent: Thursday, 22 November 2012
Subject: RE: National Treasure removed?
Dear Lord Vaea
Earlier today I received a very distressing email and I have been pondering what best to do with it.
The email suggests certain activities may be taking place as we speak, that if true, show a blatant disregard to the cultural sensitivities of Tonga’s History and it’s Maritime Heritage. It also suggests archeological vandalism may be happening as occurred with the anchor. Certainly if the Tongan Govt. ever decided to sell valuable maritime artifacts, there are valid reasons to consider this…BUT…in each and every occasion there should be due process and documentation with archeological care. In the case of the wreck of the “Port au Prince”, such an integral piece of Tonga’s History, we believe all the actions surrounding this ship, more than any other, should be very carefully considered and planned, with the full and open knowledge of the Govt. and the people of Tonga.
We do not know what to think or say…but after careful consideration, we thought the best thing would be to pass this information to you, as pure speculation, with no proof. It may be that the Govt. has authorized these actions. If so there is nothing further to say.
Here is part of the text of the email that I received.
…..some more sad news unfortunately. Just an hour ago I heard from a Palangi that the Pulupaki has been in front off Ha’ano Island for two days, where there are allegedly more remnants of the Port au Prince and a second anchor. Divers were in the water this time again, so the chances are good they are plundering that place now, too!
Also, another source in Tongatapu told us that the first anchor has been sold to Britain for $500,000. Not sure if TOP or US$, but what does it matter?! It is only hearsay so far, I don’t have proof for this.
I fear what the people of Tonga may think “after the event”?
I thank you again for your interest.
Don McIntyre & Mark Belvedere
Directors; Tonga Blue Ltd.