Pursuant to Sixth Circuit Rule 24

               ELECTRONIC CITATION:  1997 FED App. 0038P (6th Cir.)
                              File Name:  97a0038p.06

                                    No. 95-1783

                      UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
                               FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT

        Fairport International
        Exploration, Inc.,
                                                                          On Appeal from the
                  v.                                                     United States District
                                                                          Court for the Western
        The Shipwrecked Vessel known                District of Michigan
        as The Captain Lawrence,
        in rem,

        The State of Michigan,


                        Decided and Filed January 30, 1997

             Before:  JONES, RYAN, and MOORE, Circuit Judges.

             RYAN, Circuit  Judge.   The  plaintiff, Fairport  International
        Exploration, Inc., filed an in  rem admiralty action seeking salvage
        rights against The Captain 


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        Lawrence, a vessel  that sank in Lake Michigan  in 1933.  The  State
        of Michigan  intervened under, inter  alia, the Abandoned  Shipwreck
        Act of 1987 (the  ASA), 43 U.S.C.   2101-2106, and filed a  motion
        to  dismiss.  Fairport  appeals from  the district  court's grant of
        that motion, arguing  that the  district court  erred in  concluding
        that The Captain Lawrence had been  abandoned.  For the reasons that
        follow, we will affirm.


             The   Captain  Lawrence,   rebuilt  from  a   yacht  originally
        constructed in 1898, first  sank in Lake  Michigan in 1931.  It  was
        towed into  the shallow water of  a Milwaukee,  Wisconsin, river and
        sold for $150  to Wilfred H. Behrens.   Behrens apparently did  what
        needed to  be done to  make The Captain Lawrence  seaworthy, and the
        ship  departed Milwaukee  for  Summer Island,  Michigan,  in  August
        1933, with Behrens as captain and a crew of four.

             According to  a  Record  of  Casualties  to  Vessels  filed  by
        Behrens in November 1933, The Captain Lawrence became stranded  near
        Poverty  Island,  Michigan, on  September 19,  1933,  and then  sank
        after a  "terrific wind  came  up"  and blew  the vessel  onto  some
        rocks.  The  Captain Lawrence was contacted  by the Coast  Guard the
        next morning,  but declined offers of assistance.  In  the Record of
        Casualties, Behrens declared  the estimated value of the total  loss
        to be  $200, and  reported that  the vessel was  carrying no  cargo.
        Testimony  in the  district  court  regarding the  value of  vessels
        during the 1930s indicated that comparable  vessels, when new, would
        have sold for $14,500.

             In arguing on appeal that Behrens  and his descendants did  not
        "abandon"  The  Captain  Lawrence after  this  incident,  Fairport's
        brief claims that

              Wilfred  Behrens,  owner  and   master  of  the  Captain
             Lawrence,  evidenced the  desire and  intention to salvage
             the  vessel,  building  a  cabin  on  Poverty  Island  and
             staying there for some time in the hope of 

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             salvaging  the vessel .  . . but,  because of  the loss of
             the  ship  and   his  equipment  and  strained   financial
             circumstances, was unable to do so. 

        The transcript page cited by Fairport  fails to support this version
        of events, as it simply recounts the following:

              There was an account that after the Captain Lawrence was
             wrecked  they stayed in a log cabin, and we went and found
             one and there was portions of  the wreckage that they  had
             used the  door off the Captain  Lawrence that they  hauled
             ashore, a door, a roof on this  log cabin, and they stayed
             there till they could get sufficient  help to get off  the

        To  the extent  this  testimony suggests  anything  about  Behrens's
        motive  for staying  in a  log cabin,  it  suggests  that he  did so
        simply  as a temporary means of finding shelter  after the ship went
        down; it  certainly does not suggest  that the  crew "stay[ed] there
        for  some  time  in  the hope  of  salvaging  the  vessel,"  and  if
        anything,  it contradicts that  assertion.  Further, we find nothing
        in our independent  consideration of  the record that could  support
        Fairport's claim  that Behrens "evidenced  the desire and  intention
        to salvage the vessel."

             Steven  Libert, the  president  of plaintiff  Fairport,  has  a
        self-proclaimed obsession with "the legend of  a Civil War era  gold
        treasure allegedly lost  in northern Lake  Michigan in  the vicinity
        of  Poverty  Island."   His  research  on  the  subject  led  him to
        conclude  that  The Captain  Lawrence  had  been searching  for  the
        legendary   treasure  at   the  time   of  the   shipwreck,  and  he
        hypothesized that  the ship was "an  important key"  to locating the
        gold.   As a result,  Libert has  been diving intermittently  in the
        Poverty Island vicinity since 1983.  He has found two items that  he
        believes belong to The Captain Lawrence:  an anchor  and a propeller

             Fairport asserts  title to  the wreck of  The Captain  Lawrence
        based on its execution of a Salvage Bill of Sale 

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        with Gladys Nally, a surviving heir of Behrens who, in turn, is  the
        assignee  of  the  interests  of  all  the  other  surviving  heirs.
        Fairport filed  this in rem admiralty  action in  June 1994, seeking
        to perfect its title to and salvage rights in the wreck.

             The  State  of  Michigan intervened  and  moved  to  dismiss in
        August 1994, arguing that the wreck  belonged to Michigan under  the
        ASA.    Under the  ASA,  the  federal  government  asserts title  to
        certain historic wrecks, and then transfers  that title to the state
        on whose submerged  lands the wrecks are found.   43 U.S.C.   2105.
        A   shipwreck  meets  the   requirements  of   the  ASA   if  it  is
        (1) abandoned; (2) located on  the state's submerged lands; and  (3)
        either embedded  in the sea  floor or  eligible for  listing in  the
        National  Register of  Historic Places.    Michigan argued  that the
        wreck met  the requirements of the  ASA, and that the district court
        accordingly   lacked  subject-matter  jurisdiction  over  Fairport's
        claim;  that  is, the  suit  was  in  reality against  the  State of
        Michigan and thus barred by the Eleventh Amendment.

             Although initially noting its "very serious reservations as  to
        whether Plaintiff  has in  fact found  any evidence  of the  Captain
        Lawrence," the district  court assumed for  purposes of its analysis
        that  the   "evidence  [was]  sufficient   to  identify  the   res."
        Concluding that the  second and third  prongs of an  ASA claim  were
        satisfied because  the vessel  asserted to be  The Captain  Lawrence
        was  embedded in the  sea floor  of Michigan's  submerged lands, the
        district  court then reasoned  that "in  order to show  that the ASA
        applies, the State has the burden  of showing by a  preponderance of
        the evidence that the vessel was abandoned."   Such proof would give
        rise to the conclusion that Michigan  had a "colorable claim" within
        the  meaning  of the  ASA,  thus  divesting  the  district court  of
        jurisdiction.  The court concluded that  The Captain Lawrence had in
        fact been abandoned:

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             The  Captain Lawrence is  a relatively  recent wreck.   It
             did  not sink in deep  water.  It was  stranded on Poverty
             Island.   Assuming  the evidence  Plaintiff has  found  is
             from the Captain  Lawrence, the vessel  is in pieces close
             to  shore  in  only  40-60  feet  of water.    It  was not
             technologically unfeasible  to  locate or  to salvage  the
             Captain Lawrence  in the  1930's.   Modern technology  was
             not essential to the recover of the vessel.

              The    evidence,   although    circumstantial,   clearly
             demonstrates  Wilfred   Behrens'  intent  to  abandon  the
             vessel.    He valued  the  vessel  at  only  $200, had  no
             insurance on it, and wrote it off as a "total loss."   Had
             he wanted to salvage the vessel,  the best time would have
             been immediately after it was stranded  on the beach.  Yet
             there  is  no  evidence  that  he  attempted  any  salvage
             operations  immediately after  the  wreck.   The  evidence
             shows that Behrens  was offered assistance from the  Coast
             Guard immediately after the storm, but  declined it.   The
             evidence shows  that Behrens was  an experienced salvager,
             and  continued his salvage diving for over ten years after
             the shipwreck.   Yet  there is  no evidence  that he  ever
             attempted to  salvage the  Captain Lawrence  in the  years
             after the wreck.

              Behrens  did not  discuss  the location  of the  Captain
             Lawrence with his family.   He died intestate.  He did not
             leave  his interest  in the  vessel  to  his family  or to
             anyone else.   There is no  evidence that  his crew showed
             any  interest  in  returning  to  the  Captain   Lawrence.
             Behrens' family did  not seek  out salvage divers to  help
             locate the remains of the  Captain Lawrence.   They showed
             no interest in  finding the Captain Lawrence until  Libert
             told  them  of  the possibility  of  a  link  between  the
             Captain Lawrence and the legendary gold treasure.

        Based  on these facts,  the court  concluded that  Michigan had "met
        its burden of showing by a preponderance of the 

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        evidence  that  the  Captain  Lawrence  was  abandoned  by   Wilfred

             From  the judgment  of dismissal,  Fairport filed  this  timely


             In considering a motion  to dismiss for  lack of subject-matter
        jurisdiction  pursuant  to  Fed.  R.  Civ.  P.  Rule  12(b)(1),  the
        district court  may look  beyond the  jurisdictional allegations  in
        the  complaint  and consider  whatever evidence  is submitted.   See
        Moir  v. Greater Cleveland  Reg'l Transit  Auth., 895  F.2d 266, 269
        (6th Cir.  1990).   We then consider  de novo  the district  court's
        legal conclusion  that it lacked  subject-matter jurisdiction.   See
        United  States  v. Moncini,  882  F.2d  401,  403  (9th Cir.  1989).
        Likewise,  the  question  of  whether  Eleventh  Amendment  immunity
        applies  is a question of law, the determination  of which we review
        de novo.   See Williams v. Commonwealth  of Kentucky, 24 F.3d  1526,
        1543  (6th  Cir.  1994).    Whether  a  vessel  has  been abandoned,
        however,  is a  question  of fact,  to be  reviewed for  clear error
        only.  See Deep Sea Research, Inc. v. The Brother Jonathan, 89  F.3d
        680, 684, 688 (9th Cir. 1996).



             The  ASA provides  that  "States have  the  responsibility  for
        management  of a broad  range of  living and  nonliving resources in
        State  waters and  submerged  lands,"  including "certain  abandoned
        shipwrecks, which  have been  deserted and  to which  the owner  has
        relinquished  ownership rights  with  no retention."    43  U.S.C. 
        2101(a)  & (b).   To  implement  these congressional  findings,  the
        statute  provides  that  the "United  States  asserts  title to  any
        abandoned shipwreck that is  . . . embedded  in submerged lands of a
        State,"  as well as  to certain  other categories  of shipwrecks not
        implicated here.  43 U.S.C.  2105(a).  The ASA then 

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        provides  for a  transfer of  title from  the  United States  to the
        individual state  "in or on whose  submerged lands  the shipwreck is
        located."   43 U.S.C.   2105(c).   Finally,  the statute  provides,
        "[t]he  law of  salvage and  the law  of finds  shall not  apply  to
        abandoned shipwrecks to which section  2105 of this  title applies,"
        43  U.S.C.   2106(a),  although  "the  laws  of  the United  States
        relating to shipwrecks"  shall continue to apply in cases  involving
        wrecks that  do not meet  the requirements of  the ASA,  43 U.S.C. 


             The foregoing provisions  of the  ASA have been interpreted  as
        divesting federal  courts of admiralty  jurisdiction over claims  to
        embedded shipwrecks,  and  concurrently  vesting state  courts  with
        jurisdiction over  such claims, contrary  to the general  provisions
        of Article III that  "[t]he judicial Power shall extend . . . to all
        Cases of  admiralty and  maritime Jurisdiction."   U.S.  Const. art.
        III,   2, cl. 1;  see Zych v.  Unidentified, Wrecked and  Abandoned
        Vessel,  Believed to  be The  Seabird, 941 F.2d  525, 533  (7th Cir.
        1991) ("Seabird I").  This divestiture is analytically  accomplished
        through the  application of the Eleventh  Amendment, as  it is well-
        settled  that  when  the  Eleventh  Amendment  applies  to  bar suit
        against  a state,  federal  courts are  divested  of  subject-matter
        jurisdiction.  Estate of Ritter v.  University of Michigan, 851 F.2d
        846, 848 (6th Cir. 1988).

             Fairport first argues that the Eleventh  Amendment does not bar
        its suit  because the primary purpose  of the  Eleventh Amendment is
        to  avoid having monetary judgments rendered against states, and its
        suit  does not  seek a monetary  judgment against Michigan.   We may
        readily dispose of this argument.

             The Eleventh  Amendment provides:  "The  Judicial power of  the
        United States shall not  be construed to extend  to any suit  in law
        or equity, commenced or prosecuted against  one of the United States
        by Citizens of another State, or by 

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        Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State."   U.S. Const. amend. XI.
        The Amendment  presupposes "first,  that each State  is a  sovereign
        entity in  our federal system;  and second, that  it is inherent  in
        the nature  of sovereignty  not to  be amenable  to the  suit of  an
        individual  without  its consent."    Seminole  Tribe of  Florida v.
        Florida, 116  S. Ct. 1114,  1122 (1996)  (internal quotation  marks,
        brackets,  and  citations omitted).    The  Amendment  embodies  two
        distinct purposes:

             Adoption of  the Amendment  responded most  immediately to
             the States'  fears that "federal  courts would force  them
             to pay  their Revolutionary  War debts,  leading to  their
             financial  ruin."    More  pervasively,  current  Eleventh
             Amendment  jurisprudence emphasizes the integrity retained
             by each State in our federal system[.]

        Hess v.  Port Auth. Trans-Hudson Corp.,  115 S. Ct.  394, 400 (1994)
        (citations and footnote omitted). 

             "[T]he  Court  has  held  that  the  Amendment  bars  suits  in
        admiralty  against  the States,  even  though  such suits  are  not,
        strictly speaking, `suits in law  or equity.'"  Welch v. Texas Dep't
        of  Highways & Pub.  Transp., 483  U.S. 468,  472-73 (1987) (citing,
        inter alia, Ex parte  New York, No. 2, 256 U.S. 503 (1921)).  As the
        Welch Court  observed, "to  permit a creditor  to seize  and sell  a
        government-owned vessel . . . would be to  permit him in some degree
        to destroy the government itself."   Id. at 489 (internal  quotation
        marks,  brackets,  and citations  omitted).    Thus,  "[a]  judgment
        declaring  that  the  state  possesses  no  interest  in  particular
        property is  a  judgment `against  one  of  the United  States'  for
        constitutional  purposes."   Zych v.  Wrecked Vessel  Believed to be
        The "Lady Elgin", 960 F.2d 665, 669 (7th Cir. 1992) ("Lady Elgin").

             Finally, we  note that the majority  of those few  intermediate
        courts of appeals that have had occasion to  apply the ASA have held
        that the Eleventh Amendment 

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        bars a suit such as  this when a state has  a claim pursuant  to the
        ASA.   See  Zych v.  Unidentified,  Wrecked, and  Abandoned  Vessel,
        Believed  to be  The Seabird,  19 F.3d  1136, 1141  (7th Cir.  1994)
        ("Seabird  II");  Lady  Elgin, 960  F.2d  at 669.    But see  Sindia
        Expedition,  Inc. v.  Wrecked and  Abandoned  Vessel, Known  as "The
        Sindia",  895 F.2d 116,  119-20 (3d  Cir. 1990).  We  now join them,
        finding Fairport's initial argument to be without merit. 


             Accepting, then, that the Eleventh Amendment applies to  divest
        the  federal court of  subject-matter jurisdiction over this case so
        long as the  terms of the  ASA are satisfied,  the question  becomes
        whether its terms are satisfied.  In that regard, the sole  question
        before us  is whether The  Captain Lawrence  was "abandoned"  within
        the meaning  of  the  statute.   That  question,  in turn,  has  two
        components:  one, the substantive meaning  of the term, and two, the
        proper burden of proof.

             Fairport's  arguments   focus  on   the  preliminary  question.
        Fairport  contends that the district court erred in determining that
        the vessel was abandoned because abandonment  cannot be shown in the
        absence  of strong  and  convincing  evidence,  such as  an  owner's
        express declaration of abandonment,  and because the  circumstantial
        evidence relied  on was weak.   Michigan, in  turn, argues that  the
        district court applied the incorrect burden  of proof.  The district
        court, it asserts, should  have engaged only in  a cursory review of
        the merits to determine if Michigan's  claim was colorable,  because
        it  is  the  existence of  its  claim,  not  its  strength,  that is
        significant.   It contends  that because  it owns  the lands beneath
        its territorial  water,  and  because the  ASA transfers  to  states
        title  to abandoned  shipwrecks embedded  in state-owned  lands,  it
        necessarily has stated a "colorable claim."

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             We will  address  the latter  argument  first.   The  State  of
        California,  in Brother  Jonathan,  argued, just  as  Michigan  does
        here, "that  it  need not  demonstrate  by  a preponderance  of  the
        evidence   that  the  wreck  of  the  Brother   Jonathan  meets  the
        requirements of  the  ASA in  order to  make  a  colorable claim  of
        ownership and  qualify for  Eleventh Amendment  immunity."   Brother
        Jonathan, 89  F.3d at 684.   California basically  took the position
        that  it  simply  needed  to "assert"  that  the vessel  was  on its
        submerged lands, and that it held  title to abandoned shipwrecks  on
        those  lands.  Id.  at 685.   The state contended  that the Eleventh
        Amendment "limits the showing required to  make a colorable claim to
        ownership of an abandoned shipwreck."   Id.  Otherwise, it reasoned,
        if it had actually to prove the  merits of its claim, then  it would
        effectively  be robbed  of  immunity.   Id.  at 685-86.    The court
        rejected this argument:

             [A]  federal  court  has  both  the   power  and  duty  to
             determine whether a  case falls within its subject  matter
             jurisdiction.    Therefore, it  was  appropriate  for  the
             district court  to require the  State to present  evidence
             that the ASA applied to  the Brother Jonathan,  i.e., that
             it  was abandoned  and  either embedded  or  eligible  for
             listing  in the  National Register, before  dismissing the
             case.    Otherwise,  as DSR  points out,  the  State could
             receive immunity simply by asserting that it was  entitled
             to it.  For a federal  court to renounce jurisdiction over
             an admiralty  case on  the basis  of a  mere assertion  of
             entitlement  to  immunity on  the  part  of the  State  is
             inconsistent with  the court's duty  to assess whether  it
             has jurisdiction.

        Id.  at 686 (emphasis  added) (citations  omitted).   The court also
        reasoned that "`Eleventh Amendment immunity .  . . should be treated
        as an affirmative defense,' which `must be proved by the party  that
        asserts it and would benefit 

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        from its acceptance.'"  Id. at 687  (citation omitted).  In closing,
        the court noted that

             in addressing the questions of abandonment,  embeddedness,
             and historical significance of the  wreck under the ASA, a
             federal  court  does  not adjudicate  the  state's rights.
             The  ASA does not  vest title  to wrecks  that satisfy its
             requirements directly in  the state.  Rather, it  provides
             that  the federal  government  may assert  title  to  such
             wrecks.  Only after the federal  government takes title to
             the abandoned shipwreck  may title then be transferred  to
             the  state.   Thus,  a federal  court  may adjudicate  the
             question of whether  a wreck meets the requirements of the
             ASA    without   implicating   the   Eleventh   Amendment.
             Therefore, we hold that the district  court did not err in
             requiring the  State to  prove by a  preponderance of  the
             evidence  that  it  was  entitled  to  Eleventh  Amendment

        Id. at 687-88 (citations omitted).

             We agree  with  the  reasoning of  Brother Jonathan,  and  find
        Michigan's  argument, essentially  that it  should  not have  had to
        prove abandonment at  all, unpersuasive.  Brother Jonathan  provides
        an excellent analysis  of why it is  appropriate to require a  state
        to prove  the claimed lack  of subject-matter jurisdiction;  indeed,
        any other rule would  tie the hands  of the federal court, and  turn
        over jurisdictional determinations to the parties.  Michigan  points
        to no case in any other context where a court has simply accepted  a
        state's  assertion  of Eleventh  Amendment  immunity,  nor  does  it
        provide any rationale for why the  admiralty context should yield  a
        unique Eleventh Amendment jurisprudence.


             We turn  now to  Fairport's  argument that  the district  court
        clearly  erred  in  finding  that  The  Captain  Lawrence  had  been
        abandoned.   The  ASA itself does  not define the term  "abandoned,"
        but two recent cases articulate the 

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        conflicting views on what is required  to make an adequate  showing.
        The first  is Brother Jonathan, itself,  decided after the  district
        court decision in this  case, but supporting its reasoning.  A  very
        different  definition  of "abandoned"  is found  in Columbus-America
        Discovery Group v. Atlantic  Mut. Ins. Co.,  974 F.2d 450 (4th  Cir.

             The  Brother Jonathan  court approved  the following  test  for

             Traditionally,  maritime  law  has found  abandonment when
             title to  a vessel  has been  affirmatively renounced,  or
             when  circumstances give  rise to  an inference  that  the
             vessel has been abandoned; courts have found  abandonment,
             for  instance, when a  vessel is  "so long  lost that time
             can  be presumed  to have  eroded any  realistic claim  of
             original title."

              . . . .

              . . .  [The district court's]  holding that the  Brother
             Jonathan is  not abandoned rests  on the traditional  rule
             that a  wreck is not abandoned  unless either  1) title is
             affirmatively renounced or 2)  abandonment can be inferred
             from  the lapse  of  time  or failure  to  pursue  salvage
             efforts on the part of the owners.

        89 F.3d at 688 (emphasis added)  (citation omitted).  This reasoning
        accords with the vast majority of  decisions that have discussed the
        issue.  See, e.g., United States v. Steinmetz, 973 F.2d 212,  222-23
        (3d Cir. 1992).

             The opposing view is expressed in Columbus-America.   The first
        important fact to  note about Columbus-America, however, is that  it
        is  not an  ASA  case.   Rather,  the  court  engaged in  a  lengthy
        discussion  of the law  of salvage  and the law of  finds, and their
        conflicting  policies.  The  law of  salvage is  aimed at preserving
        title  in  the  original  owner,  allowing   a  salvor  a  right  to
        possession and an award, but not  the title itself.   Application of
        the  law of finds,  however, can  result in  the actual  transfer of
        title to the 

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        salvor.   Thomas J.  Schoenbaum, 2 Admiralty  & Maritime  Law  16-7
        (2d  ed.  1994).   Abandonment  can  occur  in  either context,  but
        because  of   the  differing   results,   different  standards   for
        determining abandonment are  imposed.   In any event, the  Columbus-
        America court's interpretation of these  doctrines led it  to reason
        as follows:

              Today, finds  law is applied to  previously owned sunken
             property only  when that  property has  been abandoned  by
             its  previous owners.   Abandonment  in this  sense  means
             much more  than merely  leaving the property,  for it  has
             long been  the law that "[w]hen  articles are  lost at sea
             the title of the owner in them remains."   Once an article
             has been lost at  sea, "lapse of time and nonuser are  not
             sufficient,  in  and   of  themselves,  to  constitute  an
             abandonment."  In  addition, there is no abandonment  when
             one  discovers  sunken  property   and  then,  even  after
             extensive efforts, is unable to locate its owner.

              While abandonment has been  simply described as "the act
             of  deserting  property   without  hope  of  recovery   or
             intention  of returning  to it,"  in the  lost property at
             sea  context,  there  is  also  a  strong  actus   element
             required to prove  the necessary intent.  "Abandonment  is
             said  to be  a voluntary  act which  must be  proved by  a
             clear and  unmistakable  affirmative  act  to  indicate  a
             purpose to repudiate ownership."   The proof  that need be
             shown must be "strong . .  ., such as the  owner's express
             declaration abandoning title."

        Columbus-America, 974 F.2d  at 461  (citations omitted).  The  court
        acknowledged,  however,  that  "'[i]n the  treasure  salvage  cases,
        often  involving wrecks  hundreds  of years  old,  the  inference of
        abandonment  may  arise  from  lapse  of  time  and  nonuse  of  the
        property,  or   there  may   even  be   an  express  disclaimer   of
        ownership.'"  Id. at 462 (citation omitted), 

        Page 14
        Fairport Int'l Exploration v.
        The Shipwrecked Vessel, et al. 
        No. 95-1783

             This court  will follow  the lead  of  Brother Jonathan  rather
        than that of Columbus-America.  The approach of Columbus-America  is
        premised  entirely  on  its  policy choices  involving  the  law  of
        salvage and  the law  of finds, neither  of which applies  under the
        ASA.   The only question under  the ASA is  whether a  ship has been
        abandoned so  as to  give the  state a  claim.   Common sense  makes
        readily  apparent that  the statute  did not  contemplate a  court's
        requiring  express abandonment;  such  explicit action  is obviously
        rare indeed, and application  of such a rule  would render the ASA a
        virtual nullity.

             We find it unnecessary to undertake  an analysis of whether the
        Columbus-America court  correctly  interpreted the  laws of  salvage
        and finds and  their varying  approaches to  abandonment; we  simply
        note that  there is ample authority  that abandonment  may, for some
        purposes at least,  be inferred from the surrounding  circumstances.
        And here, there is no question  that the district court's finding of
        abandonment was not clearly erroneous, as  there was an abundance of
        circumstantial evidence justifying an inference of abandonment.   In
        fact,  apart  from its  argument that  there  must be  a showing  of
        express  abandonment,  the only  support  Fairport  offers  for  its
        position  is its  completely unsubstantiated  claims about Behrens's
        salvage  attempts.   In  short,  Fairport  has  not  shown that  the
        district court's conclusion was clearly erroneous.


             The district court's judgment is AFFIRMED.