Brooks blames his researcher, Ed Michaud, for fabricating the documents but refuses to give up hope that the ship contains enormous wealth, even though the genuine records show it was transporting nothing more than old auto parts, scrap metal, and tires. A judge has forbidden Brooks and Michaud from trying to salvage the ship ever again.
Brooks and Michaud had previously sought $3 billion in gold from a Spanish galleon Brooks claimed to have found and which Michaud pretended to discover cargo records for. Nothing had come of that attempt either.
A lawyer hired by the British government to lay claim to any salvage from the ship expressed his views on Michaud and his frequently changing stories about his research and “discoveries.” “It seemed to me, by the end of that day, that Michaud fit the profile of a pathological liar,” Timothy Shusta told Boston magazine. “He could instantly, without any noticeable difference, make up an answer that was an absolute lie that made no sense.”
You can read the entire saga in Boston magazine, but it is hard not to see a parallel to the frequently changing claims and outright fabrication of sources used by many fringe historians. At some point, lying simply becomes second nature, an in extremis one almost begins to believe the lies.
And, on a final depressing note, village workers in the Spanish region of Galicia mistook a protected Neolithic tomb for a broken picnic table and replaced the ancient cairn with a concrete bench.