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To advise all meteorite collectors out there. An update on my partners dealings with BLM.

Last fall BLM seen a new source to make money & started a meteorite division.

The ruling reads, you can collect & keep up to 10 (ten) pound of meteorites. No permit needed.

Over 10 pounds you must apply for a commercial permit to have more then 10 pounds.

The government still owns your collected meteorites, they say.

A filed mining claim gives you no rights to any meteorites on the claim. Totally separate deal.

We filed the permit, and were told to sit on it till they decide HOW MUCH TO CHARGE US

FOR THE METEORITES !!!!! This has been a long wait, & one day a sherriff, & a BLM

'offical' (spelling?) show up with a arrest warrant !!!! for having more then the legal limit.

But, they said since a permit was applied for, the warrant will be 'put on hold'.

BLM counted & weighed every stone, gave a copy to my partner & left. They did not even

take a sample for their lab to check.!!!!!

More months go by, and on pressing BLM for an answer; they say it is out of their hands,

(Phoenix office) & that Washington DC has the paperwork now.

They requested a copy of all assays done, & a stone for there lab to check out. We complied.

2 months go by, & BLM wants to charge us $3700.00 for 2 rangers to come and pick up

the meteorites to be placed in "SAFE STORAGE". We questioned this & the subject was never

brought up again !!! Another month and the BLM lab in Yuma,AZ. request a sample to

check out. We inquired a week later, and were told "no test were done, it went to a local school"

They can not decide how much to charge us, "we're still researching it". We are, I beleave the

first people to go through this with them. Was told this 'new' division was started due to all

the prospecting shows on TV the last few years. WE ARE STILL WAITTING.

NOW HERES THE KICKER ---- All our reports say that some stones are meteorites,& some

are meteor wrongs. Hungery BLM wants to be paid on all of them. Told us we "would be arrested

if we threw any back in the desert, & you must go through with the deal" "we have a count on them".


AND SAY NOTHING TO NO ONE. BLM YOU CAN S------------------------.

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Don't have a clue what your talking about here. I just collect Hot Rocks.

Throw this at them! All Rocks are Space Rocks! How do they define a Space Rock. How long it's been on the ground?

Edited by homefire
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YOU an yer buddy must be running some kind of retail dealings to have gotten involved in registering and applying for permits and all.

Did you really expect to be treated like you walked into a retail business and had dealings with them on a normal basis ??? EXAMPLE the grocery store, a tire shop, Wallmart.

You made your 1st mistake by harvesting so much material apparently. And your 2nd by trying to do business with the gov't.

And I don't quite understand the WHOLE STORY ANYWAY. You didn't really go into detail and explain the how and why you were holding what must have been more than 10 lbs.
How much material are we talking about here ??
Are you a dealer ???collector ??? or just an interested hobbyist ???


I do have pity on you 2 even thou this whole story sounds like "BUNK".

You signed and applied for a permit you say without having the exact costs explained and on the paperwork.
That was like signing a contract with someone for work to be done without agreeing on a price ahead of time.
TO BE CONTINUED ...............................??????????????????????

Edited by frank c
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This is a really good reminder that everyone must resist the govt. all the time or you will give your goodies and, more seriously, your rights up willingly to a huge socialist agenda that's spread through this country like cancer! Unc

Molon Labe!

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This whole story sounds like a bunch of BS to me.

Not one part of it seems credible and zero factual anything to support it. Yuma BLM lab in Yuma! Really? You filed a claim! Really? For meteorites? Really?

A new BLM division!!! Really?

You collected 10 pounds of meteorites! Really?


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I posted my dealings with the BLM & meteorites as a warning for others to

be very careful with having any dealings with the government concerning

meteorites. The facts I stated are true, you don't have to beleave them, so

I won't bother replying to your remarks anymore.

Edited by Golden Ray
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You can do as you like, but you should have been more explicit when explaining the story you did.
Especially as to the details of why you considered applying for a permit
And your involvement with gathering meteorites, for what purpose in other words. You left alot of key parts to that story "untold".
Have a Nice Day an Happier Hunting in the Future :tisk-tisk:

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  • 2 weeks later...


This is the same information that they hand out to you in the BLM offices. I went to one in Lake Havasu and they told me that I could not use a metal detector at Franconia. I took the memo with me to my hotel room and read it. Then I found this:

Only surface collection of meteorites using non-motorized and non-mechanical equipment is allowed (metal detectors may be used);

I sent that office an email pointing out this line and they were corrected on use of metal detectors.

The 'effects' of the other provisions within this memo still have not been realized but for a casual collector or hunter there is really no change. There are not enough BLM people to enforce the regulations they already have on the books about mining let alone going after a few areas with meteorites.

I went to one BLM office in Nevada and no one had ever asked them about a meteorite. They were unconcerned but they also could not tell me an area where any would be found but they did tell me where there was lots of flower gold.

The employees I have met there are just 'working' at their jobs and getting a pay check and they are not involved with 'policy' or 'land use plans' so we need to 'fight' the regulation of the open lands as a political battle and vote for men and women who will let us keep our use rights.

Others on this forum maintain a working relationship with the BLM and share collection and field information about meteorites with them. Their greatest concern is to keep out any motorized car, truck or motorcycle.


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I read Rays post,and he is just telling it like it is. He states that his buddy was a commercial

collector. He also states that a mining claim can not be used to claim meteorites .

Casually collected meteorites can not be bartered or sold,hence a commercial permit is

required. As this is a new area for the BLM,they are still trying to figure out what to charge,

hence delays. The BLM charges prices based on market value for all resource permits such

as sand ,gravel,and timber. I would imagine that they are still trying to figure out how to

charge for a meteorite.

Rays post sounds like a typical BLM ,way of doing things to me. I think an I am sorry or two

is in order.

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It may be their POLICY but it is absurd that the BLm thinks they can have perpetual ownership of recovered objects...it is either theirs or mine-not in my possession and under their control...

Rock and gem collectors have been finding/selling and trading forever...a meteorite is no different.


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Sawmill, thanks for seeing things as they are. I believe a new policy is

in order, so here goes.

I 'Golden Ray' by the power invested in me do hereby issue a new

executive order effective immediately. I will have no more dealings with

BLM. I know nothing, seen nothing, heard nothing,"what the hell are you

talking about"?

I believe my new attitude should go well with theirs. !!!!

After all, they know nothing, except "give me more money"

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I'm sure you have been to Barstow and seen the Old Woman Meteorite there. They have in GREAT detail the story of how they guys who discovered it could not own it. Briefly:

"Since the meteorite was on public land administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the prospectors filed a mining claim on the site. To their disappointment they learned that meteorites were not a locatable mineral as defined by the mining law. Instead, under the provisions of the Antiquities Act, meteorites found on public land were considered objects of scientific interest and therefore should go to the Smithsonian Institution."

This is the 'case law' that separated meteorites from mining law. Here is the BLM version:


It is very difficult to try and understand that the few meteorites I have found on BLM land are really not something that I own. And now under this new 'law' they want a fee if you get more than 10 pounds? Is that a 'use fee' or what does that fee get me?

When can I get title to one of these things? haha

The BLM makes it impossible for them to get the truth. I know in the future if someone asks me where I found something I will have to look for the nearest non-BLM land and say I found it THERE.

Golden Ray has it right. Are they going to give you back the meteorites so you can put them back where you found them and not owe a fee?


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It is very difficult to try and understand that the few meteorites I have found on BLM land are really not something that I own. And now under this new 'law' they want a fee if you get more than 10 pounds? Is that a 'use fee' or what does that fee get me?

Mitchel, if you found it then it is yours. Period. For ever and ever. There is nothing in BLM policy that says otherwise. A meteorite sitting on BLM managed land belongs to the people of the USA, until someone finds it, and if it weighs less than 10 pounds, then they can take it and it becomes their property.

It's not a law, it's a policy.

They want a fee only if you are selling anything you found.

You can only remove 10 pounds of meteorites per year. You cannot pay a fee and remove more.

If you have a commercial permit then you can both remove more than 10 pounds and sell them.

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Meteorites that are recovered under an educational/scientific permit remain property of the people of the USA (i.e. Federal property) and must remain in an official repository. Maybe that was what you were thinking of?

But as a "casual collector" you are free to give them away or trade them for other meteorites. You just can't sell them, but they are your property. I asked Lucy Kuizon, the BLM National Paleontologist who co-authored the meteorite policy, about just that right after the policy was unveiled and her response was:

"So, “non-commercial trading of meteorites” where (1) it is a one-on-one trade or exchange, and (2) there is no IRS reporting requirement for tax purposes, this is appropriately part of casual or hobby collecting. This is considered personal non-commercial use."

Edited by Mikestang
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If you know this individual and can speak with her again, and since she co-authored the policy, if you could get her to put that response in writing, and put it on Department (BLM) letterhead paper, I'm sure that everyone on this forum would like to have a copy to carry with us, printed from this forum.


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Mitchel; their version is BS...it is not case law...they will prattle away the hours inventing new ways to justify their position-that does not make anything any of them say true...most of those fools can't even read -as you should know from your previous attempts to get truth from morons and idiots...like religious fanatics all they do is spit out memorized mantras crapped out by their High Priests...

I know you want the law and every fact presented in a clear and logial manner- you will never get that from any 'Crat!


Edited by fredmason
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I'd like to add a few facts to this discussion.

The Old Woman case did not determine that meteor deposits could not be claimed nor did it determine that the U.S. or the Smithsonian own meteorites of any size. The case had nothing to do with the ownership of meteorites. The case was about museum permits - plain and simple. Nowhere in the case is ownership even discussed. Read the case for yourself.

Old Woman case

Meteor deposits can, and have, been claimed as placers and subsequently patented as mineral patents. The 640 acre Berringer Meteorite crater mineral patent was signed by Theodore Roosevelt. Here is the record from the Government Land Office:


I've read a lot of theories and rumors about meteorite ownership, including the new "policy" made up by the BLM, but they are just that - theories and rumor.

When the BLM or anyone else can bring facts to support their theories of how meteorites are legally any different than any other rock I will be listening. Until then it's all just supposition and agency posturing.

It's surprising how often government agencies try to fool people about the law by referring to court cases that actually don't support their supposed powers. I recommend verifying every agency claim before considering it to be fact.

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