Apparently a ship with “Ocean Lady” painted on it delivered some illegal immigrants to Canada some time ago, and we want to charge the owners with fines for each of the illegals plus storage and other costs.
However, we can’t find out who owns the ship.
We do know who got it into or out of a port at one time, but that was just a consulting firm and has no idea who owned the ship. They seem to say they had an agreement, did work, got paid, but can’t seem to recall by whom.
Maybe I read too much, or believe too much of what I read: there was a tale some time ago of a ship whose name had been repainted several times. The names chosen were easy to alter and the changes moved the name a long way in an alphabetical sort. You replace an S with a Z or a T with an I and, voila, you are on a whole new page of any report.
I also recall that there are ways of scanning the ship’s side and in effect reading the variations on the names painted there over the past. I believe this can also be done with important oil paintings, and is done to verify authenticity, and often shows earlier versions underneath that were painted over (and over).
So, how come we can’t follow any paper trail and identify the ship’s owner? And, how come we can’t have a better look at the ship and see if it has other names painted on it?
It’s a pretty big object. Our neighbours have spy satellite images of all the earth for at least the last decade, why can’t they tell us its exact route and where it came from?
Why can’t we identify a ship?