1. The differences among lost, misplaced, and abandoned property are as follows:
Lost - Owner of property negligently, carelessly, or inadvertently leaves property somewhere
Misplaced - Owner of property intentionally put the property in a place but unintentionally left it there.
Abandoned - Owner of property leaves it somewhere with no intention of retrieval or gives up trying to locate it, or Owner disposes of property with the intent of relinquishing their ownership of it.
2. I believe that the plane was abandoned by legal definition, putting aside of course the special rule for federal property, because the Navy knew that the aircraft was located in the sea, however made no claims to retrieve it since its crash in 1943. To me, that shows that they had no intention for retrieval.
3. I believe that federal property should be treated the same as private property, with the same laws/rules/regulations as anyone else would have to abide by.
If I left my car at the scene of an accident, the local law enforcement will tow my vehicle away, making me pay towing and or storage fees for the vehicle. It seems to me, that although the value of the plane is much higher than that of a vehicle, the Navy did just that. They left an aircraft at the scene of an accident, and not just overnight. It has been there since 1943!
4. While I am of the opinion that Mr. Champlin should have consulted with the Navy before he spent his time and money retrieving the plane, just because he knew that it was previously their property. I do not however believe that he knew about the special rule applying to federal property, although he should have. I do not think it is right to give the government special...