Talk:Principality of Sealand/Archive 3

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Actual and real definition

The Principality of Sealand is a fantasy micronation. Its squatter occupants who rarely exceed five, claim that it is an independent sovereign principality. It has no territory and it is not recognized by any nation. Its location is a sunken World War II Royal Navy barge situated upon a portion of Rough Sands sandbar off the coast of southeast England in the North Sea.

If anyone can find error with the paragraph above, please point out your perceived error and the factual basis for your statement that it is an error.

The fact of the matter is that this entity is a fantasy. It is occupied by squatters. It is a sunken Royal Navy vessel (barge). The entity has no territory whatsover. A mistake has been made by trying to equate territory or real estate which is a geographical fixed location of a part of the Planet Earth, with the coordinated buoy markings for the sunken vessel. A vessel cannot be a territory. The vessel rests on a sand bank called Rough Sands which the British dump on, drudge and fish around continuously. The buoys are all paid for by UK taxpayers. If there is no territory at all, then that fact must be stated. We are only discussing the use of a sunken barge. That is all. 20:42, 27 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Just because it is fantasy doesn't mean it isn't a legitimate article. The article clearly says that noone recognizes them, although they claim de facto recognition. --WisTex 11:36, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC)

The description of the structure as a sunken barge or vessel seems a little off. As far as I am aware this is in fact a purpose-built gun platform comprising two hollow cylindrical legs containing living quarters, surmounted and conected by a flat platform. Three or four such structures were built and positioned off the Essex coast. Lee M 04:04, 27 Dec 2004 (UTC)

It is actually a sunken barge - I've seen photographs of it being put in position. However, while it may have started out as a boat it was always intended to fulfill the functions of a permanent above-water structure, and those who say that it is something other than a permanent structure apparently find it hard to accept this fundamental fact.--Centauri 06:14, 27 Dec 2004 (UTC)

These are Facts in Evidence

The Principality of Sealand is a fantasy micronation that claims to be an independent sovereign principality. It is not recognized by any nation. It has no territory. Its actual location is a former Royal Navy barge that was sunk on Rough Sands sandbar off southeast England. The population on the superstructure of the barge rarely exceeds five.

That is a factual statement supported by the reality of observation, documented reports, photographs, historical record and international law.

It took some time for everyone to admit that this was a submerged Royal Navy barge and not a territory on this planet Earth. Let us all agree that this entity has no territory because those are the facts. By territory I mean a part of the real estate of the planet Earth. Gene agreed that territory was not important to this discussion. He maintained that it was a micronation that exists by virtue of news reports. The same is true of the Flat Earth Society.

It is time to state the actual facts: it is a sunken barge, it has no territory and therefore it could never be recognised as a country. It could not be recognized as a People, like the Kurds who have a history, a religion, a language and a population. If it is not a collective People then it is not a nation in exile.

It cannot be a principality because we know that the original claim was made in a pub by the person who bestowed ownership on himself. It was not awarded from a principal nation to a principality.

If anyone can dispute the facts as I have stated them without personal abuse, I would be very interested to read a contrary POV. I maintain that since what I have written is based upon documented fact, that it represents NPOV. MPLX/MH 04:19, 28 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Hmm. The thing is, even the nonfactual must be included in an NPOV article. If someone thinks a sunken barge does constitute "territory" then that POV needs to be included. The policy is clear. There is no correct POV. There are majority and minority views, and certainly yours is the majority view, but others do believe a sunken barge constitutes territory. If they did not, they would not be declaring it independent of everywhere else.Dr Zen 08:53, 28 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Maybe you can explain to me the difference between a "fantasy micronation", as you put it, and every other micronation in existence. - KeithTyler 06:41, Oct 28, 2004 (UTC)

I also would like an explanation of that. Although having a lot fewer "citizens" than many other micronations (including Atlantium), Sealand is to me the micronation, and way less fantasy than all other micronations (with the possible exception of Seborga). If Sealand is fantasy, then all micronations are, and the word is redundant. I also don't like "not recognized by any nation". Nations don't (generally) recognize the status of international entities. Countries (states) do. Please uphold this distinction. As to the "it has no territory" part, I suggest that is taken out of the paragraph. The fact that Bates bases his sovereignty claims on the assumption that Roughs Tower can be considered "territory" should be noted, and discussed, including any evidence for or against it (I guess most are against such a structure being seen as "territory", but obviously not everybody is -- there have been several attempts to build sovereign states on ships floating on international waters), but stating "it has no territory" in the introduction accomplishes nothing. Better to say what piece of junk it claims as its territory and let the reader think for himself. Ergo: With "fantasy" taken out, "nation" changed to either "country" or "state" (or possibly "government"), and "it has no territory" taken out, I think the paragraph would be a good introduction to this article. On the other hand, then it would be quite close to what's already there. -- Jao 10:23, Oct 28, 2004 (UTC)
The matter of territorial definition is already specifically addressed in a good amount of detail within the context of the section describing the Montevideo Convention and its application to Sealand.--Gene_poole 11:36, 28 Oct 2004 (UTC)
It's quite normal usage to call states in their dealings with one another "nations". Otherwise the supranational body would be called the "United States". Given that "micronations" don't call themselves "microcountries" or "microstates", your position seems a little weak here! How about "territory" in quotes? This conveys in one go that it is claimed to be territory and that some don't think it is. The discussion can follow in the appropriate place. Dr Zen 11:15, 28 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I would also like the poster to explain how one becomes a king or prince, and more specifically how the first king was created. I do not recall, for example, the book of Genesis endowing earthly kinghood on anyone, so I submit that royalty is fundamentally an arbitrarily created concept, by those who have effective dominion over an area. Therefore, declaring that Bates is not a prince is equally unfounded as Bates declaring himself to be a prince. Compare, for example, with Araucania and Patagonia. - KeithTyler 18:31, Oct 28, 2004 (UTC)

There is no reason to assert that a "sunken barge", which is, technically, a welded-together pile of metal resting on the sea floor, is not "territory". Nations with coastlines, generally speaking, claim "territory" well out beyond the shore, skyscrapers (welded piles of metal resting on the ground that happens to be above sea level) are "territory", piers, docks, etc. are "territory, artificial islands like the Jebel Ali Palm are "territory", and I'm relatively sure that the floating city in Hong Kong is considered "territory" for all intents and purposes. That Sealand makes a mockery of the common concept of a nation I don't disagree with; however the fact that it's so easy to do so makes me think that maybe the concept should not be considered as the starting point for an argument against Sealand. Variable 07:09, 24 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I will leave you lot to discuss this nonsense among yourselves

When I correspondend with Gene Poole and before he began hurling personal abuse my way, I thought that I was dealing with another contributor who wanted to help create an online encyclopedia based upon reality. Now I have just been informed that Gene Poole has another identity on Wiki in which he claims to rule a world empire from an apartment in Australia. I saw "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and I had no idea that this Talk page was composed of inmates. Goodbye Gene, I will close the door behind me. MPLX/MH 20:19, 28 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Legal opinions removed until verified

These are so poorly cited that they are useless. They are not verified and need to be kept out until they are, as per numerous requests. Also needs a balance opinion, perhaps from the US decision. 'Legal opinions regarding Sealand'

  • Bela Vitanyi (Professor in Public International Law, University of Nijmegen) ~1970, "Legal Opinion about the International Status of the Principality of Sealand". Professor Vitanyi is author of several books on international maritime law and is a highly respected authority.
  • Dr Walter Leisner
  • L. W. Conway, 27 March 1981

Once better verified and cited they would make a valuable addition to the article. Best would be if the actual text could be found and some objective information on the "highly respected" status of Vitanyi. - Taxman 15:17, Nov 1, 2004 (UTC)

When did we start demanding physical verification of cited references prior to publication? Unless you're suggesting the Vitanyi citation is a fabrication it should be restored - although the POV comment concerning his respectability should certainly be removed. The 2 other fragmentary references should not be restored until full details are made available by whoever it was who posted them. --Gene_poole 15:30, 1 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I am suggesting it is entirely possible it is a fabrication. I could find no information regarding Mr. Vitanyi at the University of Nijmegen or anywhere else. The only sources I could pull up for this guy is [1] that shows one book about river navigation. All other references I saw were either from wikipedia mirrors or a pro Sealand webpage. They do offer what they claim is a copy of the opinion, but their curious position as a claimant to being the rightful Sealand makes the claim regarding the opinion questionable. Without some more objective source for the opinions, they are highly suspect. Not to mention the fact that they are potentially entirely out of date and incorrect given current legal considerations and events in the last 25-30 years. That can simply be covered by an explanation. - Taxman 19:01, Nov 1, 2004 (UTC)
Sorry, but this conspiracy theory nonsense is really Twilight Zone stuff. If someone put a citation into the article in good faith then we must assume it is valid unless actual evidence to the contrary exists. If the professor has been dead for thirty years then it's unlikely he has any web references. --Gene_poole 21:12, 1 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Another nice red herring. There does not need to be any conspiracy to involve a fabrication of a legal opinion. A single person could have written it and placed the above verbage on this page. The only place this opinion is reproduced is on the "rebel" sealand webpage. Are you saying their claims are justified and they have no reason to exaggerate any claim? If so why do they have no mention in this article beyond an external link? If there is reasonable verification that this is a valid opinion then it should be included, perhaps with a proviso that it could be entirely out of date and innaplicable. But without that reasonable verification, anyone could create a legal opinion in the name of any dead or foreign lawyer. With a highly disputed article we need to take a bit higher standard for verification. If the opinions are legit, that should not be very hard, so no big deal. All I'm looking for is independent sources showing that this guy did exist and did write that opinion. - Taxman 00:35, Nov 2, 2004 (UTC)
I don't see how stating the obvious is a red herring, however I'm happy to entetain your contention if you back it up by doing the legwork necessary to either prove or disprove it. --Gene_poole 01:40, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)
That's my point. It is a completely unverified opinion only available on one questionable source. It needs to be verified to go back in, not the other way. - Taxman 13:48, Nov 2, 2004 (UTC)
Well we obviously disagree there; I contend that good faith inclusions should generally stay until disproven, while you say nothing should be included until proven. I look forward to further developments. Perhaps writing to Sealand an obtaining a source document might be a good start for you. --Gene_poole 00:16, 3 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Back to the left. Ok I did send that request. But in the meantime I am willing to compromise if the author of the opinion can at least be verified by an objective source to have written the opinion and has some evidence that he knows or knew what he was talking about. I think without any verification of the opinion it is not a good faith inclusion. That is the only point we differ on. - Taxman 04:21, Nov 3, 2004 (UTC)

A basic Google search shows that there was someone called Bela Vitanyi living in Nijmegen in 1939 [2]. I don't imagine there can have been too many persons by that (Hungarian) name, in that (Dutch) town. There is also a Paul Vitanyi listed here (along with his email address) as being a current employee of the University of Nijmegen. I would assume he is Bela's son.--Gene_poole 05:25, 3 Nov 2004 (UTC)
The library of the University of Nijmegen (see their catalogue) lists 20 titles by Béla Vetányi, including a retirement lecture in 1983. All the works are in law, mainly in relation to waterways. So, it seems likely to me that the claim that Vetányi is a professor there is correct; of course, this does not imply that he wrote an opinion on Sealand. -- Jitse Niesen 15:01, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

The Legal Opinions are genuine, and Sealand is a fixed structure in the seas (not a sunken barge....)

It seems that the commentators above are not able to use Google very well, and also not able to read the pages that Google gives them. Note that Google doesn't give too much information about pre-web people and events. Bela Vitanyi [1912-2000] was "Wetenschappelijk Medewerker", "Lector", and Professor of Public International Law at the University of Nijmegen from ca 1961 (after fleeing Hungary in 1959) until his retirement in 1984 at age 72. Previously he was Professor of International Law at Pecs University, Hungary. He was a highly respected prolific author of International Law research, and wrote the authoritative book and articles on international waters, see for example the Library of the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands [3]. He did indeed write an opinion about the Principality Of Sealand [4] or [5], and in fact told me he was rather amused by this. The fysical structure of the Principality (Roughs Tower) and its genesis are carefully described in there. I am his son Paul Vitanyi [6] and, to bolster my credibility, you can check my credentials as being Professor of Computer Science at the University of Amsterdam. Paul Vitanyi, 07:21PM Aug 10, 2005.

Principality of Sealand (merge) and redirect

At this discussion on the proposed deletion of Principality of Sealand the consensus was by far that either that page should redirect here or that this page should redirect there, once certain disputes had been sorted out. This is not support for either side of the dispute but, in an effort to clean up Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/Old, I have moved the contents of the principality page to Talk:Sealand/Principality of Sealand so that, when certain other disputes have been sorted out, whatever material that needs to be merged can be done so, in either location, and the resultant redirects sorted once and for all. -- Graham ☺ | Talk 00:04, 14 Nov 2004 (UTC)

PS - yes I know it's a copy and paste move, but the former page has a talk page which also needs preserving, and the page history hasn't been deleted, it's been turned into a redirect. -- Graham ☺ | Talk 00:08, 14 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Navigation template

I created a navigation template, which is prefereable to having an inline section devoted to navigation within Wikipedia. I would have made it a right-hand side template, but the Sealand infobox would crowd it down anyway. Please feel free to improve it in any way you like. Rhobite 18:48, Nov 22, 2004 (UTC)

Request for comment

Is it just my imagination, or does this article seem to be strongly promoting an opinion widely at variance with the generally accepted history of Sealand? There are a large number of claims being made here that seem not only contradictory (the comment about the 1990 firearms incident for example - how could someone be charged for an event that did not occur?), but which are being stated as facts using heavily biased language, and which don't seem to be supported by any reference sources. --Centauri 06:18, 18 Dec 2004 (UTC)

What opinion do you think it is promoting? What evidence do you have for the generally accepted history? Yes, this has a long way to go to get close to NPOV, so be bold and see what you can do. If you have reference sources that are reliable that would be ideal. I don't believe there are many, and that is part fo the problem. Very little, if any, of the material in the article is supported by a reliable source. - Taxman 13:51, Dec 18, 2004 (UTC)

The generally accepted history has been documented in the media for over 30 years. There must be hundreds of newspaper and TV reports that support it, and that is what the article should be based on IMHO. Any alternative/minority views should be acknowledged, however I don't think it's appropriate to imply, as the article does currently, that the whole thing is trivial, when obviously it isnt. Posession is 9/10ths of the law, after all, and there is no denying that Prince Roy has had full, unchallenged posession of Sealand since 1967. Aside from that, using loaded terms like "trespasser", "squatter", and repeatedly saying the same thing over and over (ie "sunken barge") etc is definitely not "neutral" as Wikipedia's article neutrality policy defines that term. Unless anyone has any objections I would like to make an attempt at making the article more neutral by removing any speculations that aren't supported by references. --Centauri 05:19, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)

The 1990 incident plainly states that Roy Bates was the offender. However, it was not Roy Bates who was charged with the offence and there is a web site that I have read before by the offender, who recalls the incident. But to discuss that is to get off topic. The article stated that Roy Bates did something that Roy Bates did not do.
The article is totally absurd because it is trying to prove a negative. If you read the history of the laws relating to this topic you will find that they date back to 1958 (at least) long before Bates.
Then there is the immediate statement that Roy Bates occupied an abandoned Rough Tower when Roy Bates freely admits that it was previously occupied by other squatters! So the question then is what was the status of the first squatters? If you buy in to the bogus nonsense about Bates and his claims then you have to address the German branch and their claims which say that Bates is an imposter. But you don't have to do any of that because all of the quotes about "territory" and international law are also bogus because there is no territory, only a sunken ship like RMS Titanic.
Then there is the nonsense about Bates having territorial waters which he enforced in 1990 when he did not enforce anything and there is photographic evidence to show UK authorities patrolling right under Rough Tower!
HM Crown Estate claim the sea bed under Rough Tower itself while MoD have no use for the Tower. It was never abandoned territory and it was not an abandoned wreck, but a UK marked wreck (by buoys) according to law.
Finally, the record shows that each time Bates tried to break UK law on Rough Tower he was stopped - contrary to all of the huff and puff from the dreamers. This is a silly article which really merits about three paragraphs to show that it is a media story and that is all that it has ever been. MPLX/MH 16:27, 18 Dec 2004 (UTC)

This is what I was referring to. I can't see much of an attempt (or any attempt, in fact) to write in an unbiased manner in the comments above. The current article seems strongly biased towards the views of MPLX, who seems to have a personal involvement in the subject, and as far as I can see a lot of the current content does not conform to the policies I've read here [7] --Centauri 23:42, 18 Dec 2004 (UTC)

No problem with me Centauri, I have no ax to grind here but I do have first hand and very current information which no one else appears to have. So here's my nice guy proposition: Tell me what you want to know and I will gladly give you an answer if I can and I will support my answer with documented proof. How's that? I am not contributing information to fuel a debate, a game or anything else. I do have first hand authentic and current information which no one else appears to have. So over to you. (You will find my replies to serious questions very friendly and civil.) MPLX/MH 00:21, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)

My point is that you (MPLX) in particular seem to be using strong language that is heavily biased towards one point of view, without giving any references, and the result doesnt seem to be in line with the neutrality policy. --Centauri 04:45, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)

  • Instead of discussing me with others, why not discuss me with me? I have invited you to do so. You object to words like squatters, tresspassers and silly. Let me address those but I am willing to address all. Just ask me.
  • First of all the article talks about territory when there is no territory. Is there territory on the sunken RMS Titanic, or is it a ship wreck?
  • The false claim was made that Roy Bates first occupied Rough Tower after it had been abandoned. But the record shows that this is untrue. First of all there were illegal tresspassers who became squatters (both LEGAL terms, by the way), who were there BEFORE Roy Bates - he threw them off.
  • The article talks about all kinds of laws, corporations, titles, constitutions when in fact there is no population only a single caretaker. Roy now lives somewhere else. HavenCo fell apart. Michael still lives in Essex, England. So is the article not silly in the sense of a Monty Python minister of Silly Walks? Are we not discussing sillyness?
  • I challenged you to challenge me. I have the proof and the answers - just ask. What are you afraid of - learning that after all that this is a plainly silly article? MPLX/MH 05:38, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)

MPLX my comment above was addressed directly to you. How is that "discussing you with others"? Sealand is obviously not a shipwreck in anything like the manner of the Titanic, and saying so is ridiculous. You have still not addressed the matters of contradictory statements, wording that is heavily biased towards your opinion, and the lack of any actual references in support of your bias. You might think the whole thing is "silly", however many others do not (certainly if the archived discussion is anything to go by your opinion is not the current concensus). Apart from that Wikipedia article neutrality policies state that it is inappropriate to promote one opinion above another, and that is what I am seeing here.--Centauri 12:19, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)

  • Centauri: What you wrote and what I read obviously did not have the same meaning, but now that I know that you were responding to me I will reply to you:
  • Is Rough Tower technically a ship wreck? My answer is yes it is and here is why. It was built as ship in a ship yard and it was floated with all men and equipement on board. It gently sank on top of the shallow sand bar when the hull of the barge was intentionally flooded. It was a Royal Navy sea fort. The British Army towers on Shivering Sands and Red Sands were constructed in a totally different manner and were never self contained floating vessels. Not only that but the ship is marked in the traditional manner of a wreck by sea buoys placed all around her by the UK Ministry of Defence under arrangement with UK Trinity House. The buoys clearly identify the wreck as Rough Tower (note spelling) and the UK Ordinance Survey maps also mark the location in the same way. Rough Sands upon which the vessel sits is owned by HM Crown Estate and the fishing and environment of Rough Sands has been administered for years by various Acts and provisions of UK Parliamentary legislation. Judge Chapman in Chelmsford sat in a local inland criminal court that lacked Admiralty jurisdiction. Colchester County Court had Admiralty jurisdiction. Judge Chapman said that he knew two things: 1) it was outside of the jurisdiction of his court and at the time outside of the three mile limit. 2) that no one had suggested that it was a ship, because if they had, other laws would have applied. So the case was tossed out of his court.
  • Now as for "my opinion" I have offered to answer any specific question (like the one above) and I am still waiting for the specific questions. How do I know the answers that I am giving are correct? For the following reasons: I have Roy Bates and Michael Bates and Joan Bates on tape giving answers. I have written answers from them. I also have the words of Ryan Lackey and the words of ICANN. I have court records. I have the Prime Minister's Cabinet transcript. I have answers from the Police and I have current answers in writing and by phone from the very government departments concerned. My information is as current as these words and I am currently waiting for a further point of clarification from the Home Office having already received answers from the HM Treasury and HM Crown Estate. How's that? Let me see your source of authority. MPLX/MH 17:19, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I do not have "specific questions". I have made an observation that this article appears largely to promote, a single bias - yours, and that your bias is almost totally unsupported by references. All but one of the references already listed at the bottom of the article promote an opinion different to yours, but it is your opinion that predominates in the article itself. That is not "neutral point of view", it is "MPLXs point of view". It seems to me that what you are actually writing about is "Rough Tower" - which is a different subject from "Sealand".--Centauri 22:17, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)

  • Now how does fact become POV and fantasy become NPOV? True I am writing about Rough Tower because in law there is no such entity as "Sealand". It does not exist. It exists on the Internet and it exists as a sign crudely painted on Rough Tower and it exists as a name on stamps which have no value and on passports which have no value. There is no territory and the object in question is a sunken ship. The land under the ship belongs to HM Crown Estate and contrary to what you are writing, if you go over to the Wikipedia legal page for all of this you will find that I have documented everything! How can I answer your questions when you do not ask any and instead make claims to belief in a fantasy. This is an encyclopedia dealing with fact. If you will ask me specific questions I will be more than happy to give you specific answers but what you are now writing is akin to religion. True I cannot defeat a belief, but I am not attempting to do so. I am only responding with facts about the real world. MPLX/MH 23:48, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Alleged facts become "POV" when they are presented in a strongly biased manner, and one thread I see running through your contributions to this and related topics is a desire to totally "rubbish" the claims made by Sealand and Prince Roy. Such a one-sided approach is not in alignment with Wikipedia neutrality policy. Go and read Wikipedia's policy on "neutral point of view" if this is unclear. I'm assuming that your comments above are ironic because on one hand you say Sealand "does not exist", and then immediately after that you talk about the physical evidence that proves that it does exist (stamps, passports, signs etc). How can something that does not exist produce physical evidence of its existencein the "real world"? I have read all of the articles associated with this subject - most of them, it seems, being written by you - and I can see no evidence of the "documentation" you keep referring to. Claiming that you had a conversation with someone in a pub 30 years ago is not documentation, nor is saying that "someone in the Foreign Office" confirmed such and such a fact. --Centauri 00:16, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)

  • Thanks for the questions. First use the "Legal History" link at the bottom of the article page to read answers to many of your questions. Second you can mint stamps and print passports if you want to, so can I and so can anyone. Of course they won't be of any value (except to collectors) because they will lack legal authority. There is no "Prince Roy" other than as a nickname. You can call yourself Prince Centauri if you want to. You can also call your home a principality if you want to or you could call it "Centauri Chambers" or anything else. That would be fine. Of course it would be meaningless in law but it might be a nice name.
  • Now where the heck did you get the idea that I had a conversation with someone in a pub 30 years ago? A conversation about what? With whom? I never made that claim. As for your "Foreign Office" reference, I think you are mixing apples and oranges. I stated on the legal history page that I had received a letter following phone calls from HM Crown Estate. I also mentioned that I was discussing this matter with HM Treasury Accountant and had discussed it with the HM Treasury Solicitor. I also mentioned that I had knowledge of legal actions and that I have recordings with Roy, Joan and Michael concerning all of this. You do seem to love this fantasy because that is all that it is. Check out the legal history page and then ask me some more specific questions - but not about a conversation is pub or reference to the Foreign Office, since I have no idea of what you are writing about. MPLX/MH 00:34, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)

MPLX, if you want to keep going around in cicles then that is your perogative. I do not have any "questions". I do not know you, and I do not see any evidence that you are an oracle or authority on this subject. I do not see any documented sources from you in support of the bias that you are promoting in several different articles relating to Sealand. Irrespective of who or what person or department you contacted, saying you got a letter is not a documented source. Saying you made a phone call is not a documented source. Saying you have a tape recording is not a documented source. Saying someone told someone else something in a pub is not a documented source. Until specific detail about such claims is provided, such allegations have exactly the same validity as a Hans Anderson fairy story. Apart from all that, the one crucial detail you seem to have totally overlooked here is that while Sealand may well not exist "in law", it may well actually exist "in fact". The United States didn't exist "in law" in 1776 either, but it certainly existed "in fact" - and nobody in their right mind would argue otherwise today. Posession, in great extent, defines law, and there is no denying that Prince Roy (and yes, if that's what he wants to call himself he is perfectly entitled to do so) has had unchallenged physical posession of Sealand for over 35 years.--Centauri 01:00, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)

  • Clearly you wish to argue and you do not wish to be reasonable. That is your right. However, stop remarking that I talked to someone in a pub. I wrote no such thing and claim no such thing and this is now the 2nd or 3rd time that I have drawn your attention to it. As for comparing the USA with Roy Bates that is about as silly as this discussion is going to get because I will not correspond with you any further. You obviously have no intention of reading the page dealing with the legal history and clearly you have no interest in anything that I may state. Therefore this is the end of the line as far as my discussion with you. You are entitled to your fantasy and I am entitled to dwell in the world of reality. Farewell. MPLX/MH 02:12, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I do not wish to "argue", I am being perfectly reasonable and as I already said above, I have read all the articles you have written about Sealand. My point is that while you claim that everything associated with Prince Roy is total nonsense, the strongly-worded claims you make to that effect are not only not presented in a neutral manner, they are totally undocumented. Furthermore, you yourself state on your own talk page that you will not reveal your sources. If you read through the archive on this page you will see several instances where you claimed that Prince Roy got the idea of starting a principality in a pub, inspired by the investiture of Prince Charles as Prince of Wales, which occured in 1969. Leaving aside the question of how a 1967 event could possibly be inspired by an event that took place 2 years later, your statements suggest that you were a witness to the alleged statements by Prince Roy. If you are in fact not a witness to events you present in support your thesis, then we are left with yet another totally undocumented claim with no known source apart from you. Now who is confusing fantasy and reality? --Centauri 02:41, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)

MPLX, you said "I do have first hand and very current information which no one else appears to have". Wikipedia doesn't accept original research. Please see Wikipedia:No original research. This policy would exclude most of the text you've added recently, since you claim it's first-hand information which you obtained through contacts in the British government. In addition your recent additions are strongly worded, present a point of view which is very critical and dismissive of Sealand, and does not cite any references. Frankly, what you have added needs to be removed soon. Rhobite 05:19, Dec 20, 2004 (UTC)
That has to be one of the most biased comments in favor of keeping this silly fantasy going. If you believe that original research means finding material that documents articles is not welcomed by you, then please DON'T tell me how you expect to document this article which only thrives on fantasy. The law, the facts, the documentary evidence all show that in fact the saga of Sealand is about to sink. Therefore I will not comment further upon your remarks which seem to be the height of POV aimed at personal attack in order to cover a failure to deal with reality. You are welcome to do whatever you want to do. When reality sinks in you might want to check with a reliable source to discover what the actual facts are. Until then, farewell. MPLX/MH 05:37, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Please stop being rude to me. I have never insulted you, but every time I ask you a question you resort to insults. To tell the truth, I really don't care about Sealand one way or the other. I'm just trying to keep people from using this encyclopedia as a vehicle for promoting their own opinions. I believe this is what you're doing, so unless you provide references soon I'm going to remove your recent changes to this article. Rhobite 05:46, Dec 20, 2004 (UTC)

On the evidence of this discussion it seems that MPLX can't keep to the point, but ignores valid concerns raised by others and simply insults those who take him to task for presenting biased, undocumented claims as if they were facts. First he insulted me, then he insulted you. I now notice he has done the same with others in the past too. It is disappointing that he feels he needs to behave in this manner. --Centauri 06:25, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Please note my ealier comments. I have decided to ignore this article for the reasons already stated. If others decide to ignore what I have contributed or even remove my contributions they are of course free to do so with or without my permission. However, I give you my permission to do so. The situation regarding Rough Tower is exactly as I have stated it to be. If others wish to verify what I have stated by going to the same UK governmental departments, the same UK and USA court cases, they are of course free to do so. The problem with the article is that to refute its claims is to refute a negative which is impossible. The only places that the name "Sealand" exists are on the Internet and as a hand painted name on a former Royal Navy sunken barge and bits of paper privately circulated which lack any legal standing. If others wish to tidy the article up I suggest that they begin by correcting the following: 1) it cannot be the smallest country since it has no territory (meaning land); 2) Roy Bates did not occupy an abandoned barge but one that was occupied by other squatters before he got there; 3) it is a totally false claim to state that the barge was outside of UK jurisdiction, because the laws of the 1950s had brought it within UK jurisdiction, but those laws had not been made domestically applicable. Regarding the question of "insults". I have no desire or interest to insult anyone over what I personally consider to be a misleading and totally absurd article. If you disagree with me and I disagree with you that is one thing. To be insulted is another matter. If you feel insulted please accept my apology. I do not wish to be drawn into further discussions on this matter. I will provide information if asked on my Talk page, but I will not debate the matter further and neither will I contribute to this matter on Wikipedia under the present circumstances. So with that, please accept my apology, take what you wish, delete what you wish and procede without me. Thank you. MPLX/MH 06:57, 24 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Coming into this from outside the debate, a few thoughts. MPLX makes some very good points about actual maritime law that speak directly to the legal issue of the status of Sealand. At the same time, Rhobite and Centauri have a legitimate interest in seeing the documentation. In an attempt to bring a little clarity to all this, would it be possible for MPLX to post the letters he cites on Wikisource? It could also be possible to make transcriptions of any tape recordings and post those as well, or even sound files of the conversations. (It is not original research to report the legal claims of an interested party, even if that claim was made to the wikiuser personally.) The Bateses do not claim that Sealand is a state of mind; they claim that it is an independent country. UK claims to the contrary are very much to the point, and if there is a legitimate way for MPLX to share his documentation of those contrary claims, that would improve the article immeasureable. JHCC 16:33, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I agree with you. The problem is that MPLX has refused point blank on his talk discussion page to cite sources, as he does not wish to reveal his identity. I assume this is either because he himself is a primary source, or because he is simply reporting hearsay from third parties.--Centauri 22:27, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I will cooperate with any reasonable request JHCCNow as to your request JHCC, just ask me what it is that you want to know and if I can assist I will do so. Please be very specific and I will be very specific and very friendly in return. I will not engage in any kind of "debate" regarding this article which I personally consider to be foolish to the extreme which is the reason for the separate heading. MPLX/MH 00:05, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)MPLX/MH 22:49, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)
MPLX, if you are going to contribute to this discussion please keep your comments to the point, and do not start insulting and making false accusations about other writers again. This behaviour does not help your case. You've been asked over and over again to cite your sources, yet you have consistently refused to cite them, and simply keep repeating over and over that people should ask you "questions". The only "question" here is do you, or do you not have documented sources that list names, dates, times and word-for-word transcripts in support of your various allegations. If you have them, then provide them to Wikipedia. If you do not have them, please stop making these allegations. --Centauri 23:16, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Agreed. Provide the sources or stop claiming they exist. As asked multiple times before. - Taxman 02:27, Jan 1, 2005 (UTC)


I revised my comments only to have them twice obliterated. It was because of this kind of silly behavior on this page that I quit the first time. I should have known better and stayed away. I am now disappearing again. However if anyone would like to ask me a specific question relating to matters that I have stated before, feel free to send them to me - but not on this page. I will not respond to further debates, etc. about this topic and I will not add further comments to this page. (Please do not remove this footnote!) MPLX/MH 02:44, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)

MPLX I've asked you once already today not to make false accusations about other writers, and now I see you've done it again. Nobody "obliterated" your comments. I simply put them back in their correct order after you moved them out of order for no aparent reason. Let me advise you that if you continue behaving in this way I will be forced to report your behaviour, because it is agressive and highly inappropriate. --Centauri 03:12, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Legal history?

The legal history of Sealand article is a big mess. Now that User:MPLX has gone away [8], perhaps it can be fixed. Should it even be a separate article? Dbenbenn 05:43, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)

As far as I can tell the only reason Legal history of Sealand exists is because MPLX didn't think the content of Sealand was sufficiently biased against Sealand to satisfy him. The useful content of the legal history article should in my opinion be merged into this article. Someone probably should write an article about the Maunsell Sea Forts at some stage, and that should certainly cover the early non-Sealand history of Fort Rough as a defensive facility.--Centauri 10:59, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Nation or article?

Most of the above discussion seems to focus on whether Sealand can be considered a country. Surely the issue at hand is whether or not Sealand can form the basis of an interesting and factual article?

Hmm, 42k of discussion. Sounds interesting enough to me.