Today I learned:
Banks are closed on veterans day. Lazy bum bankers.
Back in WWII, Britain set up many outposts for Anti-Air defense purposes, most of the outposts being on actual British soil. HM Fort Roughs, however, was situated six miles off the coast, which interesting put it outside of the 3 mile territorial waters claimed by the UK at that time. After WWII, the many bases were disassembled...but not Fort Roughs, which was merely abandoned and left to its own devices, as it were. A group of pirate radio broadcasters (ie: radio broadcasters operating without regulation and independently, not broadcasters who only play illegally downloaded music) had occupied the fort by 1967, when former Major Paddy Roy Bates gave them the boot to install his own pirate radio station. (Off shore broadcasts are the best for Pirates, as they fall outside of the jurisdiction of the country they are broadcasting too. This off shore affiliation would be one reason they are called pirates) After a year, a maintenance worker was servicing a navigational buoy and came too close for Bates' comfort, so he fired warning shots. The UK being as gun loving as they are asked Bates politely to come to court to deal with the charges of gun discharging. However, once in court, they realized that "Sealand" as it was now being called (by Bates and his family) was outside of British Jurisdiction, so their hands were tied. Bates took this to mean he was an independent country, and in 1975 wrote a constitution, which he followed up with a national anthem, flag,
currency, and passports issued to personal friends and supporters of Sealand.
In 1978, disaster struck the tiny nation. Bates and his wife were visiting Austria, and the self proclaimed Prime Minister of Sealand (German Alexander Achenbach) hired German and Dutch mercenaries to assault the platform with helicopters and speedboats, successfully taking over it in its ruler's absence. (They also kidnapped his son during this time.) Roy of Sealand however was not going to take that guff. He launched a counter assault and took the invaders captive, rescued his son, and won the war. He released the Mercenaries first, as the Geneva Convention dictates teh release of prisoners, but delayed on the mastermined Achenbach. Achenbach held a Sealand passport, but was charged with treason and was not to be released except for a price. A German diplomat finally visited Sealand to negotiate his release (a move that has been accepted by Roy as Germany's de facto recognition of their existence as a micronation) and he was finally let go. (Government Documents that have since surfaced reveal that britain was so embarrassed by all this that it nearly tried to demolish the small nation.)
However, Achenbach was not done. in 1997, it was brought to the Royal Family's attention that there were multitudes of falsified Sealand Passports circulating, estimated to be around 150,000, stemming from the traitorous dog Achenbach. Prince Roy, with heavy heart, terminated ALL Sealand passports, rather then let his country's good graces be tarnished by these imposters. (Largely emigrants from China) In 2006, there was a fire that ravaged the tiny nation, but with some hard work they repaired the damage and have fended off claims by "King Marduk" a delusional fool who claims that because of it's non mention in treaties after WWII, it is up for grabs by anyone. (Royal Prince Michael, son of Roy, has said that this is preposterous and anyone trying to encroach on their sovereignity will be dealt with appropriately)
--Flynn ("E Mare Libertas!")