An Escalating Situation
It began with the American agency, but the situation quickly snowballed. Furious friends and workers called him day and night, demanding a piece of the discovery.
And then, there were the dangerous gangs who were trying to break into the guarded building to steal it. He was in the middle of it all and had no idea what to do. How had it come to this?
Carlos had always dreamed of running a mining operation. It had all started when he found an enormous pearl on the ocean floor in his hometown of Brazil. Now, he kept the pearl on his desk as a reminder that dreams could come true.
Things had been simpler then. His small operation was now his livelihood, but he never could have imagined what lay in store.
Inspecting The Damage
Carlos was a certified diver with years of experience. He loved his job, delving and digging deep in the earth in the hopes of uncovering riches.
One day, when an important tunnel flooded, he was the first to throw on his gear and go down to inspect the damage. Praying that the tunnel was salvageable, he swam through the murky water, his heart racing.
Carlos’ heart sank when he reached the end of the tunnel. He could see that there had been a cave-in that had sealed everything shut – an immoveable pile of rocks blocked his way.
This tunnel had so much promise, he thought sadly. Inspecting the rubble, he noticed one huge, strange-looking rock sticking out the heap. On the ocean floor was another, smaller chunk of the same stone.
Carlos picked up the chunk of rock without much thought and swam back up to the surface. He ordered the workers to seal the flooded section off and made his way to his office to get out of his diving gear.
Glancing at the lucky pearl on his desk, he chuckled and placed his new souvenir beside it. Then, he pulled out his phone and snapped an innocent picture. Of course, he had no idea that he was about to set something huge into motion.
Carlos uploaded the photo to his Facebook page, with the caption: “Proof that in life we find diamonds as well as duds. Might make a good doorstop?”
A few days passed and the post got a few likes. He used the rock to prop his door open. Two years went by. Then, he got the message that almost made him black out.
Carlos looked again in disbelief and took a deep breath. Somehow, the image had made its way to NASA! They informed him that they wanted to take a closer look at his “lucky” rock and run some tests.
Carlos’ fingers trembled as he shot back his reply: “Would I get anything?” The answer made his heart skip a beat.
NASA told Carlos that, if the rock was valuable, he would be financially compensated. He sat down and tried to steady his racing heart. Could this really be happening to him?
He imagined being able to send his kids off to a good college, buying his wife a new car, and all the other things they hadn’t been able to afford. Could this be his big break? He chipped off a small piece and sent it off. A few weeks later, he got an answer.
The Real Deal
After running tests on the sample, NASA confirmed that the rock he had found was actually a meteorite, and it was worth a lot of money!
Now he knew the rock on his desk was worth more than he ever imagined, but the larger piece that was still underwater must be worth a fortune! Even better, he was the only one who knew about it. He hatched a plan to bring it to the surface, unaware that it would be the biggest mistake of his life.
First, Carlos had offered his workers some decent overtime and hazard pay if they agreed to help bring the rock up. He also brought in extra oxygen tanks so he could oversee the operation personally.
The only thing he told people was the tunnel needed to be opened and samples inspected. After weeks of toiling and danger, it finally reached the surface.
It was like something out of an action or spy movie – and Carlos enjoyed every moment of it. He secretly moved the large meteorite to a safe room and locked it up.
According to NASA, he read that some space rocks had living bacteria on them. In a way, this thing was alive. Several days later, a new problem surfaced.
A Problem Arises
Somehow, news of the find had leaked out and the story spread like wildfire. And it wasn’t just America that wanted a piece of the discovery.
He was now getting calls from China, Russia, and other countries around the world. Everyone wanted it. …The workers also found out … and they weren’t happy at all.
Rage-filled masses stood below his office, screaming that they should have been paid more. Carlos tried to argue that they had already been paid handsomely.
Since he was the one who originally found the meteorite, and it was his mine, his equipment, and his company, it belonged to him – as did the forthcoming money. Right?
It Gets Worse
Everyone was seeing green. Workers threatened to quit, locals insisted that the money should be shared, and his family sat huddled and afraid in their home because people showed up on their own doorstep.
As if things couldn’t get any worse, an intimidating man with far too many tattoos barged into his office and demanded the meteorite.
Standing His Ground
Carlos mustered all of his courage and said, “No! You can’t have it. Get out now, before I call the police.”
Despite the gang member leaving without a word, Carlos still knew something was very wrong. He immediately hired a security team – it was a decision that would pay off a few days later.
As he sat at his desk and mulled over the many generous offers, a loud BOOM shook the office. Smoke billowed into the night air and wisps of fire bounced off part of the storage building.
The security guards rushed to put out the flames. The gang had set off an explosion and tried to steal it. Things were getting out of hand. Then, the FBI got involved.
Out Of Control
In less than a few months, Carlos and his family’s life had been turned completely upside-down.
Lawyers need to speak on his behalf, his family had to go into hiding, and the meteorite needed to be shipped to various secret locations. The situation was getting way out of control. Also, the gang wasn’t about to give up so easily.
Getting Rid Of It
As much as Carlos wanted to draw out the bidding to get more money, the top offer was already in the millions. He sighed. “It will have to do.”
He picked up the phone and called the first people that had contacted him – NASA. At this point, he just wanted it gone. But he did have one more question.
Sealing The Deal
“Can you name it after my son?” he asked. The rest was just precautionary steps – the official news would be a “donation” but the payment would be discreetly put into a new bank account.
The last thing he wanted was criminals to keep sniffing around. He leaned back and reached into his pocket.
Carlos pulled out the pearl – the thing that had started him on this path. He was now a multi-millionaire. He could do anything – diving expeditions, treasure hunts, maybe even another mine.
Despite all the drama, the “itch” he had since he was a boy had only grown stronger. What other life-changing finds would appear in his future?