Where all the world is a database, one must be selective in their pursuit of history.
There are two categories of pursuit by this historical investigator:
Historical Assets Recoverable (HAR) – Intrinsic and Monetary
HS investigations are selected from personal interests, to support HAR, and/or to rationalize complex or egregious historical cases where this investigator positions that the documented history to date on the subject is incorrect, has appreciable gaps, or is mis-leading in regards to the accepted conclusions, and/or has value to the greater good to the value of history.
Certainly then rationalizing the plausibility and veracity of these pursuits are a fundamental requirement.
There are necessary exclusions, one cannot be everything to everyone, therefore HAR pursuits by this historical investigator have exclusion zones, the topics or categories excluded include:
Mines and Mountains (MM)*
Marine and Underwater (MU)**
The focus therein has been primarily in the U.S. with emphasis on Texas, and secondarily Europe, thus setting boundaries for research and investigation.
Various databases, archives, repository information, news articles, etc. have been compiled into a HAR spreadsheet or database, and from there, the vetting process starts. Research is conducted in phases, the basic starting phase (Level1) is also referred to as Ground Coverage (GC), which means an initial broad sweeping but short term investigation on the historical subject. This then is vetted (via a filtering and reduction process) and engaged through a similar industrial project stage-gate process, to determine if the initial plausibility and veracity conclusions merit further investigations, or to terminate and archive information.
This decision process is not always a logical metric, as information at this stage may not be comprehensive enough for decisive reasoning, it may take several phases to rationalize a go-no go decision. It is not a perfect world.
While intuition can play a role at times in the go-no go process, one cannot “out intuition” a HAR potential lead or subject, it is not possible.
While prioritization is certainly a factor, the continued discovery of critical information and documentation manifests at times the priority of investigations, as well as the ability to rationalize conclusions and therefore directions based upon imperfect and incomplete information. The learned and experienced “craft and methodology” of historical investigations plays a key role in this type of pursuit.
* It is recognized that the Peralta Stones investigations are included in the MM category, but it was the rationalization of the true purpose of the stones, hence the veracity of this set of specifics to clarify history, and not a recoverable asset, which was the focus.
**It is also recognized that the shipwrecks covered fall in the MU category, but again the pursuit was clarity of history, and not a recoverable asset.