A freighter disappears with nine people on board after leaving Miami for Haiti.

Lisa Bishop


Height: 5’2”
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Brown


Florian Bourch befriended Lisa


Gender: Male
Height: 6’2”
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Blonde



The Freedom never made it to Haiti

In January, 1989, Falcon jets from the United States Coast Guard searched the Old Bahama Channel in the Caribbean for an 82-foot freighter called the Freedon. The ship was on its way to Haiti but had been reported missing. On board were seven Haitian crewmembers, a young sea captain, and a 23-year old American journalism student named Lisa Bishop. Lisa’s mother, Linda Bishop, said that Lisa had called her to say goodbye on the morning of her departure:

“I could feel something was wrong. Mother’s intuition, I guess you could call it. Lisa was to call me when she arrived. And that call never came.”

Lisa wanted to write an article about the contrasts between the wealth of America and the economic devastation of Haiti. Her voyage on the Freedon was the chance of a lifetime, even though it meant leaving behind her boyfriend of three years, Paul Cornwell:

“We had a long discussion the night before she left, that she had to make her own decisions in life, that I couldn’t follow her and take care of her wherever she went.”

Somewhere between Miami and Haiti, the Freedon simply vanished. No one has any idea what happened or why. People have suggested everything from pirates, to smugglers, and even the mysterious Bermuda Triangle.

A witness claimed he saw the missing ship

Lisa’s voyage began when she met a 28-year old German national named Florian Meyer Bourch at a nightclub owned by her boyfriend. Florian was a marine mechanic and sea captain who had sailed throughout the Caribbean. According to Linda Bishop:

“From what I’ve learned about him, Florian is a drifter, and he sponges off of people. Freeloads.”

A year after their first meeting, Florian told Lisa of an upcoming voyage from Miami to Haiti. He invited her to join him. Paul was upset when Lisa told him that she planned to sail to Haiti with Florian:

“I didn’t trust him with Lisa. Of course, I was concerned about Florian, you know, being a young guy. And she tried to tell me there was nothing to worry about, there was nothing romantic. I tried to discourage her as her parents tried to discourage her from going.”

Lisa’s father, Bill Bishop, said there was no talking Lisa out of it:

“I expressed my feelings about it, that I didn’t want her to go or anything, and Lisa was a very headstrong girl when she made up her mind to do something.”

On the morning of December 17 th , 1988, at 2:30 in the afternoon, tugboats eased the Freedon through the Miami River on its way out to sea. The Freedon’s planned route would take the ship 600 miles past the coast of Cuba to Gonaives, a small port on the western coast of Haiti. There were no storms and no distress calls, but the Freedon never arrived. When Lisa didn’t call on Christmas Day, her family became concerned. Lt. Cdr. Jeff Karonis was with the U.S. Coast Guard:

“The relatives of the people on board kept calling us, asking us for information. We kept in touch with the port authorities in the various ports in the Caribbean area, and likewise, down in Haiti. We sent several search and rescue flights in the most commonly traveled areas in the Old Bahama Channel, which is the area between the United States and Haiti. Still, it was unsuccessful.”

Linda Bishop and her husband traveled to Miami:

“We came to Miami hoping to maybe get some answers from some of Florian’s friends or just find anything we could. We were desperate.”

An actual photo of the Freedon

Finally, Lisa’s parents received a promising lead. An underwater salvager named Bob Nyberg said that he had seen the ship two weeks after it was supposed to have disappeared:

“I remembered that while I was working in Grand Cayman in January of that year, there’d been a boat that came in. We were working underwater, directly in the harbor area where the ships pulled up and tied up. When I heard the ship coming in, we came up, and as I was coming out of the water, we looked back and noticed that the name was Freedon. F-R-E-E-D-O-N. And I made a statement to my friend, that those guys need their freedom, they can’t even spell the word. They were there for some time that afternoon. The next morning the boat was gone.”

Nyberg saw the Freedon in Georgetown Harbor on Grand Cayman Island, over 500 miles from Haiti. It was the kind of news Linda Bishop had been hoping for:

“The fact that the ship was spotted, and that it had not gone down, brought me hope that Lisa was alive and had to be held against her will in order for her not to contact us.”

The Freedon was supposed to dock at Haiti

Lisa’s boyfriend, Paul Cornwell, and Bob Nyberg went to Grand Cayman to pursue the lead. They met a number of witnesses who claimed to have seen Florian around the same time that Nyberg spotted the Freedon. Apparently, Florian was not alone during his mysterious visit to Grand Cayman. Some saw him with a short man with black hair.

Paul returned to Atlanta and questioned a woman who had been storing Florian’s personal belongings. There he found a picture of the man seen with Florian in Grand Cayman. The woman said his name was Phillipe. Paul later found out that it was actually Phillipe who had chartered the Freedon.

“The girl told me that he mentioned that he was involved in a large scale smuggling thing, and that something had gone wrong, and that they had gotten involved in something too deep that Lisa didn’t know about and couldn’t handle it. I feel that if Florian is out there, eventually, I’ll find out about it, and I’ll locate him.”

Authorities believe that Florian Meyer Bourch is the key to the Freedon’s disappearance.

Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season three with Robert Stack and in season five with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.




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    The ocean is the wild, wild West. I’m sorry this happened and I hope the friends and families find peace.


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    It definitely did not sink. I worked in the Georgetown Harbour, Grand Cayman from Dec 2006 and had seen it there as late as 2015 when I left the island. It was a regular sight to be seen tied up there. The name was painted over though but you could never forget a boat in that condition with that big of a spelling mistake (not for a spelling Nazi anyways).


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    One of the people on this thread stated that the FREEDON is now called the FREELIAINT. Has this been investigated? One woman also indicated that she has seen the FREEDON whilst conducting tours. Was this reported? Did anything come of it? Don’t forget Lisa. Don’t forget those crew members. Don’t forget Florian.


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    Apparently, the other men haven’t been seen or heard from either. Florian’s parents haven’t heard from him either. So the Freedon may have sank.


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    Emilia Dapena

    I saw the freedon cargo boat while working as a tour guide in Miami River and Biscayne Bay boat tours about 2years ago


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    i agree, there was definitely something more to Lisa’s and Florian’s friendship. She gave up her relationship of 3 years with her BF to go sailing with someone she hardly knew? Either they had something privately going on behind her boyfriend’s back or Lisa just really wasn’t into him anymore. I wonder if Paul had anything to do with her disappearance. I mean, we do not have confirmation that Lisa and Florian even got on the boat. Can her family or boyfriend confirm they watched them sail off? Are there any witnesses confirming they saw them on the boat? All the information we have is that the boat left dock…then we have reported sightings of the boat at different docks and one sighting of Florian after the boat was reported missing. I wonder if Lisa ever even made it on the boat. I think Florian and Paul were in on her disapperance. And Florian, being a drifter, was able to disappear so easily without a trace. I think Paul has something to do with it


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    Did Lisa have a daughter? There is a woman in the Tyrone/Newman/Peachtree City GA area that looks very similar, almost identical going by the same name yet claims to be in her late 20’s. This person is sort of a drifter/ shady/sketchy type. She matches the physical description but the similarities end there. Mugshots.com has a recent photo under the name Lisa Michelle Bishop…. Anyway, I also agree that the story sounds unlikely. No purposeful disrespect to the family but the whole “we are just friends” line sounds like a pile. No bf would buy that!!! No one could claim to be that naive. Any bf or gf in that situation would have either dumped her straight away or insisted on going. The bf should be fully investigated. Maybe he participated in “searching” for her to throw off any doubt that he had something to do with her disappearance. It just doesn’t seem like a legit account of events.


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    Did Lisa have a daughter? There is a woman in the Tyrone/Newman/Peachtree City GA area that looks very similar, almost identical going by the same name yet claims to be in her late 20’s. This person is sort of a drifter/ shady/sketchy type. She matches the physical description but the similarities end there. Mugshots.com has a recent photo under the name Lisa Michelle Bishop….


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    Lisa was my best friend when we were in high school. I was so sad when I heard about this happening I think that this story revolves her because the rest of the people were foreigners. She was very sweet never met a stranger and even though it has been a long time ago I think about her often and miss her as well. We went to Morrow High School together.


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    I am not being disrespectful, I have a wife and daughter too. I know if this would have happened to me, I would spend the rest of my life searching for them. Is it possible that a sinister spin was placed upon this that need not be? Is it possible that the ship just sank? I looked at pictures of that ship, it did not look that sea worthy. I just find it hard to believe that no one has spotted them, the ship is very noticeable it would have been spotted by now. I just think the ship sank and they have passed shortly after they set off on the trip and nothing underhanded happened. I could certainly be wrong, but it is just hard to keep hidden this long, unless you are on the bottom of the ocean. I have worked in Law enforcement and have seen reports that have sighting of individuals all over broad areas, they can be very convincing and appear to be accurate, later to find out that they were completely wrong. That maybe what happened here with the sightings of the two men.


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    There are many, many conjectures as to the fates of Ms. Bishop, Mr. Fourche, and the crewmen. Why would the total focus reside mainly on Ms. Bishop when it can be interpreted as a relationship between the two. She left her partner, he left his, (the belongings, I don’t believe were ‘stored’) and the following story was wrapped around it. How did Paul know the lady who was in possession of abandoned items? Why does Paul say that he ‘will’ find him? Hmmm. Paul easily traveled abroad-could she just as easily have done the same? Florian was younger and better looking-by society’s standards-than Paul-he mentioned it-and that in itself lent credence that something else is afoot. The ship sank. The ship was repainted and renamed. The ship was sighted. The cargo was a smuggler’s paradise-by hearsay. What’s the real story? If none of the people have actually been seen, except for the purported views of Florian and Felipe/Philippe(st?) yet information is relayed by Paul… For one to vehement about leaving for places unknown does not come lightly. They had known each other for a year-as stated-and if nothing happened onshore during that period, is it a given that she actually made it beyond the shore? Something’s fishy.


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    Jaime Britten

    I don’t think this case will be solved, to many twists and turns, though somewhere down the Iine I believe she was taken from that freight trailor by pirates or even sold, I think this will stay as a mystery.


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    Obvious this woman was having a fling with this guy. Women don’t just jump up and proclaim they are traveling with a guy and tell family and their BF who are begging them not to go to basically mind their own business if they are not romantically involved with the person.

    Find me one woman who would go anywhere with a guy they are not sleeping with and I’ll show you an ostrich that eats bologna sandwiches.

    This is a strange case no doubt but this was not some innocent little journey she was taking.


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    @UnsolvedMysteries Is there an investigating agency assigned to this case?


  16. Avatar


    So many speculations! I think it simply sank…


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    hi how are ya


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    Read the New Times (Miami) article on the Freedon case. It is the most comprehensive account of what was known at the time of the vessel’s disappearance. Of note was the poor (rough) weather right after the vessel departed Miami, it’s lack of communications and survival equipment, and poor condition. A tragic event for sure. The most likely outcome is that the vessel sank before it was ever reported missing.


  19. Avatar


    Dont docks have log book was the bout actually there or any were with that name or even that type of bout.??


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    Wow look at that boat. It’s obvious she was having some sort of fling with this foreigner. Some females get swept away by the mysterious type. She trust this man with her life. Maybe she wasn’t happy with bf or bored so she wanted to test the waters. So sad because this cost her life.


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    Is it possible that she was smuggled and sold? Is it possible that Paul allegedly is involved.
    Maybe she ran away from Paul. Has anyone checked to see if she is in a sex ring? Something I saw on a show that people are sold. Scary. Maybe paul got rid of them both. This is tragic. I am so sorry for the family of Lisa Bishop. Anyone, if you are seeing this. Know that your family will never stop looking for you. Prayers to the bishop family. May you have an answer and a safe return of your daughter.


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    When i was stationed in Miami beach with the Coast Guard, We were going up the Miami River and I remember seeing a Haitian freighter tied up. I can’t remember the name of the boat, but what really stuck out at me was there was a different name that had been painted over underneath the name. It was back in 1990. I am not 100% sure, but I really believe it said Freedon. Sorry, but I wasn’t aware of this mystery at the time and I realize I could be wrong but it has always bothered me.


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    test comment


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    It seems Paul knew Florian a great deal. How did he know where Florian stayed. Paul returned to Atlanta and questioned a woman who had been storing Florian’s personal belongings. A witness claimed he saw the missing ship, but no sightings of the passengers. This story just doesn’t add up Florian invited Lisa along on the voyage to Haiti, knowing she was in a relationship with Paul. Lisa accepted his offer she had known him little over a year. It seems that Florian or someone else took the ship in another direction and not the direction toward Haiti they led people to believe. The ship was painted and renamed why? Paul said I feel that if Florian is out there, eventually, I’ll find out about it, and I’ll locate him.” it sounds like he knows more about Florian that he is saying. This must be devastating for Lisa’s parents their daughter vanished without a trace, not knowing what happened to her is too much for any parent to bear. My prayers goes out to this family.


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    When I Google the name “Floridan Bourch” it has 2 images that pop up. One is the photo that you have of him before he went missing. The other photo is a recent photo of a older man, probably around his current age, that appears to look very similar to him??? Has he been found?


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    any updates


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We rely on you to update and correct your Personal Data.  If you are a user of our Sites, subscriber to [CMP product], purchaser of CMP products and services, you can review, update and correct your information directly on CMP’s website or by contacting us using the information in the “Contact Information” section below.


Typically, we retain your Personal Data for the period necessary to fulfill the purposes outlined in this Privacy Policy, unless a longer retention period is required or permitted by law.  This may include retaining your Personal Data indefinitely, even after you are no longer a CMP member, in order to provide you with future marketing opportunities and other purposes, as well as to comply with our legal obligations, resolve disputes, or enforce any of our agreements.  


Please note that you can request, at any time, that we delete your Personal Data.  All requests must be directed to the contact in the “Contact Information” section below.  We can decide to delete your Personal Data if we believe that the data is incomplete, inaccurate, or that our continued use and storage are contrary to our obligations to other members, individuals, or third parties.  When we delete your Personal Data, it will be removed from our active databases or anonymized so that the data is no longer identified with you, but the data may remain in our archives if CMP determines that it is not practical or possible to delete it.

Your Personal Data is processed in the United States, where privacy laws may be less stringent than the laws in your country and where the government, courts, or law enforcement may be able to access your data.  By submitting your Personal Data to us, you agree to the transfer, storage and processing of your Personal Data in the United States.

You, as the data subject, have the right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority, in particular in the Member State of your habitual residence, place of work, or place of the alleged infringement, if you believe that the processing of your personal data does not comply with legal requirements.

In the event we determine the occurrence of a data security incident, we will notify you by email, US mail, telephone, or other means as permitted by law.

If you have questions, comments, or complaints concerning our privacy practices or if you wish to change, access, or remove your Personal Data, please contact us as indicated below.  We will attempt, where practical, to respond to your requests and to provide you with additional privacy related information.

Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. is the owner of this Website and retains all ownership rights to the information collected at this Website. Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. reserves the right to change, modify, add, or remove provisions of this Privacy Statement. Any changes to this Privacy Statement will be posted here, and we encourage you to check back from time to time. In addition, Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. will notify registered users of changes as they occur.

We allow third-party companies to serve ads and/or collect certain anonymous information when you visit our web site. These companies may use non-personally identifiable information (e.g., click stream information, browser type, time and date, subject of advertisements clicked or scrolled over) during your visits to this and other Web sites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services likely to be of greater interest to you. These companies typically use a cookie or third party web beacon to collect this information. To learn more about this behavioral advertising practice or to opt-out of this type of advertising, you can visit networkadvertising.org. Your use of the site constitutes your agreement to accept cookies, beacons and third-party advertising. Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. assumes no responsibility for third-party ads.

ARTICLE 1. Personalization
1.1 We may use the contact information you give us to better tailor your Website experience to your interests, and to send you information about Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. and its services as well as promotional material on behalf of some of our partners. We may use other information that you provide to us to show you content in which you may be interested and to display the content according to your preferences. We will also share this information within Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. in order to enhance your experience on this and other Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. Websites.
1.2 In addition, we may share this information with advertisers or other third parties that are not part of the Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. family on an aggregate or other basis that does not disclose your identity or contact information.

ARTICLE 2. Online Surveys/Contests
2.1 From time to time, we may conduct online surveys and contests. These may ask you for contact information (like name or email address) and demographic information (like zip code or age).
2.2 We may use this contact information from our surveys and contests to provide you with information about our company and promotional material on behalf of some of our partners, and to contact you when necessary.

ARTICLE 3. Shopping/Commercial Services
3.1 This Website may offer shopping services, which may be offered by us or by a firm that operates a store under contract with us. If our Website offers shopping or other commercial services, you will use a customer order form to request information, products, and services. The order form will ask you to give us contact information (like name or email address), financial information (like account or credit card numbers), and demographic information (like zip code or age).

3.2 We will use the financial information that you provide to bill you for products and services. By giving our Website your credit card and related personal information, you are authorizing our store to give that information to the merchant and credit card company in order to confirm and fulfill your order.

3.3 We will use contact information from the order form to fulfill your orders. We may also use contact data to get in touch with you when necessary. We will not otherwise use or distribute your financial information without your prior approval.

ARTICLE 4. Public forums
4.1 This Website may make available chat rooms, blogs, forums, message boards, and news groups. Please remember that any information that you disclose in these areas becomes public information and you should exercise caution when deciding to disclose your personal information. Information disclosed by you or by others enters the public domain and may be freely used by any other persons or entities using the site.

ARTICLE 5. Information Sharing With Third Parties
5.1 From time to time we may enter into a special relationship with another company that is not owned by Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. to provide additional features at this Website. These special relationships may include “powered by” partners, business partners, sponsors, and co-branded sites (referred to here as “co-branded pages”). These might include, for example, pages that share our name and that of another entity. You should look for a specific privacy statement on any such co-branded page. Any personal information that you provide when signing up at one of those co-branded pages may be shared with our third party partner. You should also check our partner’s website for information regarding its privacy policies.

5.2 Also, the nature of some features of our Website may require that we share personal information about you with persons or companies outside of Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. For example, this may occur at a feature that enables you, via our Website, to ask questions of persons or entities that are not part of Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. By responding to those features of the site, whether by email or direct entry of information on our Website, you are consenting to our transferring that information to such persons or entities.

5.3 With respect to specific registration modules, like contests, we may disclose personal information collected, and we may post a conspicuous statement on the registration module to the effect that we will be disclosing the information collected with third parties.

5.4 Finally, we may share any of the information collected from you with these other non- Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc companies in an aggregate basis. The aggregated information is not linked to any information that can identify you.

ARTICLE 6. IP Address and Log Files
6.1 We may use your IP address to administer our Website, to help diagnose problems with our server, to analyze trends, to track users’ webpage movements, to help identify you and your shopping cart, and to gather broad demographic information for aggregate use.

ARTICLE 7. Cookies
7.1 This Website may use a standard technology called a “cookie” to collect information about how you use the Website. Cookies reside on your computer and help our Website to recognize your computer’s browser as a previous visitor. This information allows us to customize delivery of information. For example, our Website may use cookies to save and remember registration information or preferences that you may have set while browsing the Website, to keep track of your shopping cart, to ensure you don’t see the same ad content repeatedly, to deliver content specific to your interests, and to save your password so you do not have to re-enter it each time you visit our site. We use cookies only to gather information as indicated in this policy.

7.2 In addition, on occasion our site may also set a “session cookie” which helps us administer the Website. The session cookie expires when you close your browser and does not retain any information about you after it expires.

7.3 Finally, we may also use an ad network provider to help present advertisements on this and other Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. websites. This ad network provider, like other advertising service vendors, uses cookies, web beacons, or similar technologies on the hard drive of your computer to serve you advertisements tailored to interests you have shown by browsing on this and other sites you have visited, and to determine whether you have seen a particular advertisement before and to avoid sending you duplicate advertisements. In doing so, the provider collects non-personal data such as your browser type, your operating system, web pages visited, time of visits, content viewed, ads viewed, and other clickstream data. The use of cookies, web beacons, or similar technologies by these ad network providers is subject to their own privacy policies, not ours, and Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. assumes no responsibility for the collection or use of such information.

ARTICLE 8. Banner Advertising
8.1 We have contracted with an ad-service to place banner advertising on our Website. All of the data provided and generated by the ad-server software remains in our possession. This feature of our Website may, on occasion, set “cookies” on your computer. Any information collected or stored by the ad-service or the cookies is treated in the same manner as other information described in this statement.

ARTICLE 9. Children’s Personal Information
9.1 Consistent with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act:

9.1.1 This site does NOT collect, use, or disclose personal information (including online contact information) of children under the age of thirteen (13).

9.1.2 In the event that a child under the age of 13 attempts to register on our site, we will NOT accept the registration and will delete information received from the child.

9.1.3 In the event that a child posts personal information in a public forum such as a chat room, we will attempt to delete that information once we become aware of it.

ARTICLE 10. Security of Your Personal Information
10.1 Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. employs reasonable security measures consistent with standard industry practice, for information collected through this Website. We believe that we have adequate security measures in place in our physical facilities to protect against the loss, misuse, or alteration of the information we collect on our Website. We also use internal protections to limit access to users’ personal information to only those employees who need the information to perform a specific job.

ARTICLE 11. Sale or Merger
11.1 If this Website is sold to, or merges with, another company not owned by Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc., you should expect that some or all of the information collected from this Website may be transferred to the buyer/surviving company. If so, CMP will seek to obligate the acquiring company to use any personal information transferred by this Website in a manner consistent with this statement, but cannot guarantee that it will be able to impose that requirement or that the acquiring company will comply.

ARTICLE 12. Legal Process
12.1 You should be aware that Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. may be required to disclose your personal information to the government or third parties under certain circumstances, such as in court or regulatory proceedings.

ARTICLE 13.  Contacting the Website

13.1        If you have any questions about this Privacy Statement, the practices of this Website, or your dealings with this Website, please contact us at: unsolved@unsolved.com.

ARTICLE 14.  general information

14.1        Choice of Law:  This Agreement and the Additional Terms shall be governed by, construed and enforced in accordance with the laws of the State of California , as it is applied to agreements entered into and to be performed entirely within such state, without regard to conflict of law principles.

14.2        Choice of Forum:  You agree that any cause of action you or Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. brings to enforce this Agreement and/or the Additional Terms, or in connection with any matters related to this Website and/or the Privacy Statement, shall be submitted to arbitration in the County of Los Angeles, State of California, United States of America in accordance with the commercial rules and regulations of the American Arbitration Association then in effect (as amended herein), provided that said arbitration shall be heard before a single arbitrator, who shall be a retired judge, selected pursuant to such rules and regulations, and shall be conducted on an expedited basis and in confidence. The arbitrator’s decision shall be controlled by the terms and conditions of this agreement and any other agreements I may enter into with you, and shall be final and binding, and shall provide for each party to bear its own costs of arbitration and attorneys’ fees.  Each party expressly waives any right to a jury.  Judgment upon the award of the arbitrator may be entered or enforced in any court of competent jurisdiction. 

14.4        If any provision of this Agreement, or the application thereof to any person or circumstances, is held invalid or for any reason unenforceable then such provision shall be deemed superseded by a valid, enforceable provision that matches, as closely as possible, the original provision, and the other provisions of this Agreement shall remain in full force and effect.  The failure of either party to insist upon strict performance of any provision of this Agreement shall not be construed as a waiver of any provision or right.  Unless expressly provided otherwise, this Agreement is the entire agreement between you and Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. with respect to the use of this Website and shall not be modified except in writing, signed by an authorized representative of Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc.

ARTICLE 15.  European Union and Other Foreign Nations

15.1        This Website is governed by and operated in accordance with the laws of United States of America and is intended for enjoyment of residents of the United States.  Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. makes no representation that this Website is governed by or operated in accordance with the laws of other nations.  By using this Website and submitting any personal information, visitors from outside of the United States acknowledge this Website is subject to U.S. law, consent to the transfer of personal data to the U.S., and waive any claims that may arise under their own national laws.