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Franconia Meteorite Finds, Who Owns Them?


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All you folks that have taken shots at me and still are upset with me for revealing the train wreck issue at Franconia can now turn your attention elsewhere. The Smithsonian Institute owns all meteorite finds on Department of Interior Lands. If you are picking up authentic meteorites from the public lands at Franconia, they do not belong to you.

See the topic "Old Woman Meteorite" or ask a BLM law enforcement officer. Meteorites on Federal lands are objects of antiquity and are protected under Federal Laws

Pick up all the TOOT TOOT scrap you want but if you've picked up an actual meteorite from US Public Lands, you need to turn it over to the proper authorities. Failure to do so may be a violation of the Antiquities Act!

ASTROBLEME

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HEY, ASTROBLEMEATHEAD , :nutty:

Everytime I read a post of yours you're KNOCKIN DOWN one of the LAST things I have left in my life

to ENJOY.

Swingin a detector to me, huntin for gold, minerals, meteorites, relics of the past, coins, YOU NAME IT,

is one of the MOST INTERESTING AND REWARDING HOBBIES I HAVE EVER HAD.

I'd sure APPRECIATE it if you would GET WITH THE PROGRAM ON THESE FORUMS, and be a little more

constructive and enlighten folks about TIPS you might know to help others in the field or in the garage

working on their machines or gear, common man, listening to you is like havin a NAG on the forum

instead of enjoying reading the posts.

Think about it. :arrowheadsmiley:

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Enough is enough Johnny,

I gave you a chance here after you have been banned from other forums and yep I was warned about your possible upcoming insecure and well for lack of a better word stupid and insulting posts. I will not continue to let you insult other long time forum members and pout when others doubt your outlandish claims. Just because you can do a google search or two does not qualify you to call others that have done years of actual field work ignorant of the facts.

Play civil or I will be forced to deal with the situation as other forums have....

You are of course entitled to voice your opinions on a public forum, but not to force them down others throats! Please do not wear out your welcome here.

The outcome no matter what will be left up to science and is forthcoming....

Good hunting, Bill

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Enough is enough Johnny,

I gave you a chance here after you have been banned from other forums and yep I was warned about your possible upcoming insecure and well for lack of a better word stupid and insulting posts. I will not continue to let you insult other long time forum members and pout when others doubt your outlandish claims. Just because you can do a google search or two does not qualify you to call others that have done years of actual field work ignorant of the facts.

Play civil or I will be forced to deal with the situation as other forums have....

You are of course entitled to voice your opinions on a public forum, but not to force them down others throats! Please do not wear out your welcome here.

The outcome no matter what will be left up to science and is forthcoming....

Good hunting, Bill

Hello Bill:

The law has been around now for a century and can be viewed here...

http://www.cr.nps.gov/local-law/anti1906.htm

ASTROBLEME

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Just a newbie here BUT the way I understand it: meteorites are NOT manmade, therefore I intend to keep anything and everything that falls from the sky if it is not an antiguity,monument,historic or otherwise. :ROFL:

Just my :twocents: :twocents:

Aloha,

Stan :olddude:

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All you folks that have taken shots at me and still are upset with me for revealing the train wreck issue at Franconia can now turn your attention elsewhere. The Smithsonian Institute owns all meteorite finds on Department of Interior Lands. If you are picking up authentic meteorites from the public lands at Franconia, they do not belong to you.

See the topic "Old Woman Meteorite" or ask a BLM law enforcement officer. Meteorites on Federal lands are objects of antiquity and are protected under Federal Laws

Pick up all the TOOT TOOT scrap you want but if you've picked up an actual meteorite from US Public Lands, you need to turn it over to the proper authorities. Failure to do so may be a violation of the Antiquities Act!

ASTROBLEME

Good Evening Ladies, Gents and Astrobleme,

I'm going to take a few minutes and let you folks know what I know about this issue and express a few opinions.

Several years ago, I was up at ASU visiting my old friend Dr. Carleton Moore, who at the time was the head of the Meteorite Center. As luck would have it, Roy Clark Jr. from the Smithsonian was also there to visit Dr. Moore. The three of us sat down and had a face-to-face meeting about a subject near and dear to my heart.

Ownership of meteorites found on Federal Lands.

According to Dr. Clark, ALL meteorites found on Federal Land technically belong to the Federal Government. Actually, I think he might have used the term "me" or "us" when describing the owners of said meteorites, but I didn't record the conversation so I'm not sure. However, he did make it very clear that the Smithsonian technically owns ALL meteorites found on Federal Land. We were talking about the at-the -time, very productive Gold Basin strewnfield. He said that if "we" wanted to "we" could take possession of all the meteorites found at Gold Basin. Later, he backed off a little and said that "they" didn't have any interest in the Gold Basin meteorites because they were just common chondrites ( but "we" could still take them all if we wanted to).

The Smithsonian either doesn't have the time and/or resources to chase down everyone who is in possession of Gold Basin meteorites and confiscate them or they already have enough for their needs and don't want any more. The same goes for all other common material found every year in the USA.

Another question to him was about the incentive that meteorite hunters needed to spend their time and money out in the field hunting for new material. After all, if every meteorite hunter had to turn over his (her) finds to the Smithsonian, what would motivate folks to go hunting in the first place? His reply to me was quite simple. He said "IT all belongs to us"... send "us" all the new finds and "we" will give you some other meteorites we have extra of as a sort of reward. I asked for an example and he mentioned Canyon Diablo. I didn't see the equity in this proposal at that time and still don't. After all, who want to spend hundreds of hours/dollars searching for a new rare meteorite only to turn around and trade it to the Smith for a few small Canyon Diablos? I then told him that unless there was a program that allowed the finder to retain some of his new find, there would be no incentive for hunters to hunt OR report their finds. The conversation pretty much stopped at that point.

One thing I must make clear here is that Dr. Roy Clark Jr. wasn't speaking "officially" for the Smithsonian because he was, at that time, on emeritus status. Dr. Clark was from the old school that believed that "everything" belongs to the Government. The new, younger current leadership at the Smithsonian is more open minded and (I'm guessing here, based on phone conversations with some folks) willing to work WITH meteorite hunters. After all, how can the Smithsonian take possession of meteorites that folks find but never report? They can't. A program has to be worked out that is fair to ALL parties.

All said, the Smithsonian never confiscated any Gold Basin meteorites nor did they take possession (by force) of any Franconia meteorites that I'm aware of. I'm guessing they learned a hard lesson with the Old Woman meteorite. Maybe they've decided to change their game plan a bit and not create any negative publicity like they did with the Old Woman. They did try to take possession of Bob Verish's LA001 and LA002 several years back, but never could do it because Bob stuck to his story that the two Martian stones were found in a box of old rocks that had been in his side yard for years. Those twin Angels were an extraordinary, fantastic find, but the Smithsonian didn't have the fire power, trump card or ....what ever it would take....to take them away from Verish.

Do you (Johnny or anyone else on this Forum) really think they're going to spend hard-earned tax dollars to take possession of a pile of weathered common chondrites or a bunch of little irons found at Franconia? I bet not. However, if someone finds a new pallasite, lunar, martian or even a nice large fresh achondrite, they will probably hear from the powers-that-be at the Smithsonian. And, I'm betting that the Smithsonian Group will be very pleasant and willing to negotiate a deal that will make the event a "win-win" situation for everyone involved.

One final thing...and this is primarily for Johnny Tonko (Astrobleme).

If your claim of a huge find of cometary material turns out to be true, you can bet your sweet bippy that the boys at the Smithsonian will be knocking at YOUR door with a handful of official papers and a few attorneys in tow. Personally, I think your claims are all a figment or an over-active imagination fueled by a runaway ego. Having said that, I humbly add the following:

If Johnny Tonko's rocks turn out to be REAL cometary material( not make believe stuff, but REAL comet rocks), I WILL BE THE FIRST TO ASSUME THE KOWTOW POSITION, CONGRATULATE HIM AND BEG HIS FORGIVENESS ON THIS FORUM.

Best Regards,

John Gwilliam

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http://www.cr.nps.gov/local-law/anti1906.htm

"historic or prehistoric ruin or monument, or any object of antiquity""historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest ""Sec. 3. That permits for the examination of ruins, the excavation of archaeological sites, and the gathering of objects of antiquity upon the lands under their respective jurisdictions may be granted by the Secretaries of the Interior, Agriculture, and War to institutions which the may deem properly qualified to conduct such examination, excavation, or gathering, subject to such rules and regulation as they may prescribe:"

Hi guys,

just my :twocents: but from what I remember from history class....... The American Antiquities Act of 1906, was orriginally written to preserve (indian/ human history) archaeological sites, both known and yet to be discovered !!! I have yet to read meteorites are no longer considered the same as minerals on a claim and goverened by the mining laws.

:twocents:

Well with taking this link http://www.blm.gov/ca/barstow/meteorite.html into consideration, this is getting confusing :???: :shrug: :hmmmmm:

ASTROBLEME,

they're claiming objects of scientific interest.... not antiquity (ether way, a scarry ouch should they deside to persue the issue)

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Hi All

Early in the Gold Basin hunt Jim Kreigh and I had several meetings with the legal minds ( U of A Attorneys) and dept heads at the U of A :hmmmmm: . Many issues were discussed about our find and consulatations were done with those at the Smithsonian in DC. It was agreed by all that ramdom samples of our gold basin finds from BLM lands would be taken and forwarded to the Smithsonian institute by the U of A :( . Many samples from BLM lands were taken from our finds and forwarded to the Smithsonian. When we were capable of determining the north south direction of the fall the U of A applied for and recieved permits from the Parks services dept and the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. The permits were for David , Jim, Twink and I only. There were stipulations on the reciept of those permits :???: . That all finds within the rec area were turned into the Smithsonian and no map of the strewnfield would ever be published :( . Of all of us I spent the most time hunting the Rec Area and the Smithsonian has over 20 kilos of my finds from there ( including a couple whoppers) :) !! You would think they would at least send me a christmas card or something :( ?? Here's my take on the ownership issues of meteorites on private and on public lands. Many of you hunted some of my private property at our last gold basin hunt. While calling the larger land owners in the area to gain permission for us to hunt. The owner of that property expressed an interest in selling it so I bought it. Oddly we called or wrote and got permission to hunt many sections of private land in the gold basin area prior to the announcement of the meteorite find :brows: . Since my ownership of the land I purchased I've only had one inquiry to hunt it yet every time I'm there I see new digs and even drywashings :whaaaa: . I at one time put up no tresspassing signs which were great for others target practice :angry: . The entire gold basin area is a checkerboard of private and BLM owned lands. Here's the deal. Meteorites are not applicable to mining laws since they are not a locatable mineral and are a random event. Private land even without mineral rights the land owner owns the meteorites. All public lands the meteorites do infact belong to the Smithsonian unless some agreement has been made giving the finder legal title of ownership. To my knowledge there are only 3 of us that infact have legal meteorites from gold basin found on BLM lands. Jim, Twink and My gold basin meteorites are the only ones involved in the negotiations with the Smithsonian :shrug: . All others found on BLM lands belong to the Smithsonian or were stolen from private property (unless permmission was granted). Other than those that were found on my property by those I allowed to hunt there. I gave those individuals legal title and possesion of them :D . It is my belief and the consensus of those legal minds in the early days of our finds. That it would be very counter productive to the Smithsonian and other scientific interests to penalize or try to deter people from hunting meteorites on public owned lands. By penalizing them or confiscation of material found. The current procedure of institutions retaining and archiving 20 grams or 20% for future study seems to be an acceptable practice in the eyes of those at the Smithsonian. But if something of extrodinary value or scientific interest were found it may not be acceptable to them and the finder might loose it to confiscation :cry2: ??

Astro Bleme FYI the Smithsonian infact made a cash offer to the finders of the Old Women Meteorite. The offer was refused by them in an effort to get a bigger finders fee. They dropped out of the ownership fight and got nothing :shrug: ?? But I think the presidence is set for a payment of value if a confiscation were to take place. As for me I sell nothing and my finds will eventually end up donated to science and or education. But if even a small bit of the stories you been tellin are true you'll be screwed outa it :hahaha: !! Happy Huntin John B.

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John B thanks for the real deal.I alway,s think about what happened to the ones that found the old women iron.I was not aware that they were foolish and thought they could get more.Nice to know that there is some reasoning to large find,sAs for the other guy well :???:

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Enough is enough Johnny,

I gave you a chance here after you have been banned from other forums and yep I was warned about your possible upcoming insecure and well for lack of a better word stupid and insulting posts. I will not continue to let you insult other long time forum members and pout when others doubt your outlandish claims. Just because you can do a google search or two does not qualify you to call others that have done years of actual field work ignorant of the facts.

Play civil or I will be forced to deal with the situation as other forums have....

You are of course entitled to voice your opinions on a public forum, but not to force them down others throats! Please do not wear out your welcome here.

The outcome no matter what will be left up to science and is forthcoming....

Good hunting, Bill

Hello Bill;I think you are a very fair and generous person for the way you are dealing with this flamer.Most list owners would just censor him.My hat off to you and your methods.This is a special list of meteorite lovers and in the end i don't think this guy will sway one of them from their tradirional values,so,it is good of you to just let him rant on.I think.I am not supporting his opinions,i am just amazed at the fairness you show in letting him continue for a while after giving him a chance.Maybe he will come down and enjoy this hobby as much as all you great Franconia-Gold basin hunters do.and ,of course,all the rest of us collectors.Hope you don't mind my posting about this.My apologizies if you do.

Best Regards;Herman Archer.

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Hi James

I was understanding that the offer was $40,000.00 But they probably spent that much on the attorney who was representing them :( . They were holding out for the figure of one million :idea: with an all or nothing attitude :nutty: . But they ran outa money and got nothing but attorneys bills :angry: ?? Happy Huntin John B.

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Hi All

More interesting legal crap to ponder :hmmmmm: !! The train parts, bullets and other assorted trash at franconia area is protected under the antiquities act. If they are 50 years ( buy some interpritations ) or 100 years of age for certain :nono: !! Also forest service and BLM have bag limits for fossil and rock collecting :shrug: . With a maximum of 25 pounds and one piece per day or 250 pounds and one piece per year in possession :huh: . There also is no ownership transfer to the collector and rocks may not be sold bartered or traded :( . Legal title will transfer ownership after the collector is dead :blink: . The hiers will recieve legal ownership of the rocks collected :???: . If you ask BLM about what is thier interpritation of rocks. It's anything that is found on thier lands without a mining claim :angry-smiley-010[1]: !! A mining claim makes the legal transfer of rocks and minerals possible :D !! Ok now that I scart the crap outa you all, you can all just send me your gold, space rocks and gem stones :yikes: !! Ah what the heck , fossils too :lol: !! By Fossils I mean plant and invertabrate only :inocent: !! Bigger game like dinosaurs are great big no no :nono: !!Happy Huntin John B.

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Hi All

More interesting legal crap to ponder :hmmmmm: !! The train parts, bullets and other assorted trash at franconia area is protected under the antiquities act. If they are 50 years ( buy some interpritations ) or 100 years of age for certain :nono: !! Also forest service and BLM have bag limits for fossil and rock collecting :shrug: . With a maximum of 25 pounds and one piece per day or 250 pounds and one piece per year in possession :huh: . There also is no ownership transfer to the collector and rocks may not be sold bartered or traded :( . Legal title will transfer ownership after the collector is dead :blink: . The hiers will recieve legal ownership of the rocks collected :???: . If you ask BLM about what is thier interpritation of rocks. It's anything that is found on thier lands without a mining claim :angry-smiley-010[1]: !! A mining claim makes the legal transfer of rocks and minerals possible :D !! Ok now that I scart the crap outa you all, you can all just send me your gold, space rocks and gem stones :yikes: !! Ah what the heck , fossils too :lol: !! By Fossils I mean plant and invertabrate only :inocent: !! Bigger game like dinosaurs are great big no no :nono: !!Happy Huntin John B.

Dear John B:

Please accept my sincere gratitude for explaining this matter on the forum. You have credibility here and it would be wise for those that know you to take advantage of your knowledge. I've tried to help people working in the field understand why their specimens don't resemble meteorites but most folks are jealous of my accomplishments or in denial for their failures. You, however, are a very kind and well thought man whom has earned my respect.

I wouldn't be surprised that this reply gets me banned from the forum seeing as how some have reacted to my informational postings!

ASTROBLEME

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ASTROBLEME

What accomplishments are you referring to?

Dear JamesR:

I would have thought, from your previous attacks against me, in a personal nature, that you'd have been following my material rather closely and therefore know what I'm referring to. Stirring your emotions does not constitute an accomplishment?

ASTROBLEME

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Astroproblem I never did see any fact or documentaion only you tooting your own horn :*&$*(:

{ the empty wagon makes the most noise} Please spare us your great wisdom and vision. :bang:

Hi Denny:

I pulled all of the scientific documentation off of this forum due to copyright violations and concerns for theft/trespassing from illegal collectors. Sorry that you didn't see it but I must protect my interests.

ASTROBLEME

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Howdy JB and All,

Yep you are correct JB and these laws also include gold nugget collecting without filing a mineral claim if you read it right, but with the influx of recreational prospecting which the BLM does recognize allows this activity and also clubs for that matter which are sort of out of the legal zone if they ever wanted to get real nasty. My guess is this is also why they choose to ignore meteorite collecting and trust me they know about it.

I have two meteorites in my name right now one being classified and one already classified by the very folks one would expect to nail ya if it was illegle, but after I donated a nice portion they placed a value on it and I have sold some without any legal trouble as a result. I am also very public about it and well there you have it. This is nothing new and has been discussed many times at the forums.

Many folks have found and had classified meteorites found on BLM lands and trust me the government is well aware dur to the large number of donations to government museums by folks like JB and others and yep they know we have some as well as sell some.

What would happen if ya made a BIG find? Anyones guess....

Should you cringe in fear and stop hunting? NO

I hunt for two reasons the first being what I can contribute to science and my record shows exactly that the second is for fun and a bit of profit. After all if a meteorite is classified and the finder is given the rest to keep isn't that with their blessing?

How about others hunting a known strewnfield :shrug: I think when they outlaw nugget hunting and rockhounding it will be time to worry....

Good hunting, Bill

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Hi Astrobleme and All

I have hunted franconia fairly extensively for a person that's 6 hours from there :) . It is my belief that you are incorrect in your assumption that the irons are train wreck remnents :nutty: . I'm resonably certain that some of the iron found in the immediate area of the tracks maybe human trash and a few oddities in the surrounding hills maybe schrapnel bits from pattons day :hmmmmm: . But the bulk of the irons found there will be proven to be from an extrateresstrial scource, probably the franconia or other falls in the immediate area :) . The piece that ASU tested not to be one was probably that hunters ugliest find of the trip boorb . Face it who wants to give up a goodie for science to slice and dice :whaaaa: ?? I know that Pale Face Jim has an iron composite makeup that's I believe deemed to be a meteorite :D . I know many of my smaller finds were primary iron with silicates attached with nice patinad crust :rasberry: . Many of the larger masses have small irons protruding from them leaving no doubt in my mind were these small irons come from :shrug: !! But a train wreck :nono: ?? Well considering it's 4 or 5 miles outa the strewnfield that original :???: !! Why not just UFO parts ;) ?? Happy Huntin John B.

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Hi Astrobleme and All

I have hunted franconia fairly extensively for a person that's 6 hours from there :) . It is my belief that you are incorrect in your assumption that the irons are train wreck remnents :nutty: . I'm resonably certain that some of the iron found in the immediate area of the tracks maybe human trash and a few oddities in the surrounding hills maybe schrapnel bits from pattons day :hmmmmm: . But the bulk of the irons found there will be proven to be from an extrateresstrial scource, probably the franconia or other falls in the immediate area :) . The piece that ASU tested not to be one was probably that hunters ugliest find of the trip boorb . Face it who wants to give up a goodie for science to slice and dice :whaaaa: ?? I know that Pale Face Jim has an iron composite makeup that's I believe deemed to be a meteorite :D . I know many of my smaller finds were primary iron with silicates attached with nice patinad crust :rasberry: . Many of the larger masses have small irons protruding from them leaving no doubt in my mind were these small irons come from :shrug: !! But a train wreck :nono: ?? Well considering it's 4 or 5 miles outa the strewnfield that original :???: !! Why not just UFO parts ;) ?? Happy Huntin John B.

John B:

I'll have to defer to your expertise on the outliers as I'm not aware of the 4 to 5 mile distance from the train wreck site. Much of the collection I'm aware of comes from much closer to the tracks. I still assume that those are train wreck relics. For those outliers, you’ll know best. Paleface's earlier posting on the Franconia Irons’ composition didn't seem plausible to me for iron meteorites. I'm hoping that someone somewhere can get a classification on this material. That would help sort meteorites from TOOT TOOT scrap.

Sincerely,

ASTROBLEME

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Hi Astrobleme and All

I guess I should have read your first post on this thread :( ?? You are completly incorrect on the antiquities act with only one exception :hmmmmm: !! That exception could be the Winona Az meteorite which was found in a indian jug in an indian burial :nono: !! I believe there were other space rocks found with native indian artifacts but that is the only one that comes to mind :???: !! Since meteorites are a very gray area of the law :) . I believe that as far as ownership of meteorites go once a find is made and turned into a university or other government lab for classification. The testing facility has the faduciary responsibility to archive and maintain 20grams or 20% for future study and turn in the info about the find to the meteoritical nomanclature committe. When the balance is returned to the finder so is ownership license also givin :) . I just don't know what the law would be on additional unsurveyed pieces of a find ?? In Gold basin we deluged the U of A with space rocks, They probably had to apply for a federal grant to puchase the baggies they returned them to us in :shrug: ?? I believe if our government or the Smithsonian wanted a rarity space rock it would be confiscated under the national treasures act :whaaaa: . Antiquities act would give our government the power to take everything you own and the ground your standing on without reservation since everything you touch, breath or eat's molicules are over 100 years old :huh: . That includes you, recycled molocules if your under 100 yrs old :nutty: ?? I Think :???: ?? Happy Huntin John B.

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