Kottman sued Margain in San Diego federal court in September 2003 for $4 million, the value of the sub and the Mary Margaret. No trial date has been set. Margain did not return a phone call from New Times to his office in Mexico. But Joseph Mirkovich, his attorney in Long Beach, California, scoffed at Kottman's claims. "If they faked the sinking, then where's the sub?" Mirkovich says. "This is an awful long time to be hiding it. A submarine would certainly be something that is not easy to hide. People are going to talk when they see this sub go by."
Mirkovich says he hasn't seen the satellite images, but he argues that the alleged statement from the Rosarita crewman doesn't add up. The insurance in question would cover Margain's costs if he were to be sued but it would not pay him for the loss of the ship. "There was no insurance money for this crewmember to get," Mirkovich says.
About two weeks after the sinking came the last ironic twist in Kottman's star-crossed relationship with the submarine. That's when Kottman got word from the Coast Guard that his request had been approved by Congress. He could now operate the sub in Florida waters.
"I'm not going to say this was cursed," Kottman says. "But I can see why somebody would say that."
If the sub really did sink off Baja California, there's no way to recover it, Kottman says. The spot where it supposedly went down is above a ravine that's more than 2,700 feet deep. The Looking Glass would have imploded on the way down. Kottman says he's not in a hurry to replace the vessel: "I'm kinda worn out on the submarine industry for right now."