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Miscellaneous thoughts and ramblings
Wednesday, December 08, 2004
World Cultures
In 1966, Paddy Roy Bates and his family occupied an abandoned military platform in the North Sea six miles off the eastern coast of Britain. The following year, Paddy proclaimed himself Prince Roy, ruler of Sealand. In the thirty-odd years that followed, Prince Roy and kin have been busy minting coins, printing stamps, issuing passports, and keepin’ British revenuers offa ther proppity.

In 1968, Michael Bates, son of Prince Roy and the heir apparent, fired upon a British navy vessel that sailed into Sealand’s territorial waters. Had the British navy come to evict the Bates family from its 550 square meters of homeland, or to repair a nearby navigational buoy? Who cares? What matters is that Master Bates was summoned to court over the incident and the court ruled that Sealand was outside British jurisdiction.

In 1978, Prime Minister Achenbach and a group of Dutch businessmen took Sealand by force at a time when Prince Roy was out of the country (that is, he was off the platform). Michael was taken hostage and held at gunpoint. Prince Roy returned by helicopter with a group of mercenaries and retook Sealand. The treacherous Achenbach and his minions were held as prisoners of war until the Netherlands and Germany successfully petitioned for their release.

Achenbach continued to plague Sealand in later years by selling phony Sealand passports. In 1997, the beleaguered Bates family revoked all of the passports that they had issued in the previous 30 years.

Nowadays the principality of Sealand hosts websites through HavenCo. Alas, there is no tourism. Only the Royal Family and HavenCo personnel are allowed to travel to Sealand.
Oven, you are the master of all things obscure and miscellaneous. Great post. I was tempted to think you made it up, so I looked. Lo and behold:


Just whacky.
I bow to your bloggity genius. Your posts are as brilliant as they are rare. First Slestacks, now this.

How in the name of all that is holy did you find out about Sealand?
What a weird and wild place. I'm reading about Sealand and it's major (only?) industry HavenCo, a web hosting company. This is from HavenCo's acceptable use policy:

"Unacceptable publications include, but are not limited to: Material that is unlawful in the jurisdiction of the server. For instance, if a customer's machine is hosted on Sealand by HavenCo, content which is illegal in Sealand may not be published or housed on that server. Sealand's laws prohibit child pornography. Sealand currently has no regulations regarding copyright, patents, libel, restrictions on political speech, non-disclosure agreements, cryptography, restrictions on maintaining customer records, tax or mandatory licensing, DMCA, music sharing services, or other issues; child pornography is the only content explicitly prohibited. At the present time, child pornography is not precisely defined; HavenCo is obeying rules similar to those of the United States, specifically a prohibition on any depiction of those under 18 in a sexual context."

So basically it's a great place to host your gambling sites, copyrighted book and music sharing, and libelous photoshoped porn pictures of celebrities. Great! Let me check with my Rabbi and I'll send them a check right away.
Are there any slestacks in Sealand? It would be pretty cool if there were.
I can't believe you guys were fished in on this story. Sure, it may be true, but the only reason Oven posted about it was to use the term "Master Bates."

And, hey, why didn't Roy proclaim himself King instead of Prince? Humility?
We may need to cut off all ties with Sealand. Check out the press release here: http://www.sealandgov.org/notices/pn02404.html

Starts with this line:

The Principality notes with great regret the loss of Yasser Arafat and extends its sympathy to Palestine, its citizens, and to the members of his family in this loss.
That definitely settles it. I declare Sealand a French protectorate.
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