N.C. man's search for history lies in finding the La Galga
By Diane Tennant
John Amrhein wants to hunt on Assateague Island for a Spanish ship lost in 1750, but government stands in his way, both here and abroad.
It's a complicated matter, wrapped up in a lawsuit that awarded Spain ownership of two wrecks - Juno and La Galga - off the island's coast.
But Amrhein believes La Galga is actually buried on the island and that he should be granted a permit to explore a marsh on the national wildlife refuge.
Amrhein has been pursuing the cause since the early 1980s, and he's not about to give up now. He recently presented a scale model of La Galga to the refuge visitor center, and he took a small group that included U.S. Rep. Glenn Nye, D-Norfolk, to visit the marsh.
"I think we're going to make progress this year," Amrhein said afterward. "I'm not a bad guy. We're just trying to get to the truth."
The Kill Devil Hills resident said that an archaeological firm working with him applied more than a year ago for a federal permit to explore the marsh but has heard nothing.