I’m sure everyone’s seen the story about the high-rolling russian oil tycoons who are paying to go “pirate hunting” off of Somalia. Ananova has a version posted on the web that is pretty popular—except they decided not to run the entire story.
The story on Ananova cites the Austrian business paper “Wirtschaftsblatt” as the genesis for the story. Well lucky for me I speak German, so I clicked over to the Wirtschaftsblatt and uncovered the story. And sure enough there it was, only the last line struck me:
Anmerkung der Redaktion: Goldman Morgenstern & Partners gibt bekannt, dass es sich hier “vermutlich um Satire” handelt.
And even if you don’t speak German, the Austrians provided an english version of the article right below that line. An english version that is eerily similar to the one on Ananova, save for the last line which is translated as:
Comment of the editors: Goldman Morgenstern & Partners tells us, that “they believe”, this story is “satire”.
Some other details in the original German story, left out in the translation include the cost of a grenade launcher with three grenades ($175) and cost of using a deck mounted machine cannon ($475). So while this too-good-to-be-true vacation seems to be a big hoax, we’re keeping our eyes out for someone who may in fact decide offer this dream vacation, and right now it looks like only congress could offer this kind of fun.
So if you’re keen to go out and “get some” pirate, your best bet is to appeal to exercise your rights as a Privateer by asking Congress for a letter of marque, as outlined in Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution. Goodyear managed to get one and rigged their Blimp to drop bombs on warships and subs, so Tom Perkins, if you’re out there we’re working on the note from congress and we’d love to borrow the Maltese Falcon.