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Dinosaur 13 (T. D. Miller, 2014): what do you think about Larson?


donnie86dc

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Did you watch the "documovie" Dinosaur 13? What do you think of it? Was it slanted to an unacceptable level? What is the part of the truth that is not portrayed in the movie? Why were interviewed just two (or one?) witnesses on the part of the federal government in all the movie? What was really wrong with the activity of the BHI? 

I would like to know more about that story, about the wrongs of each of the parts interested in the trial. From the movie it seems that the federal government was the evil and the BHI was the good guy: is it a fair reconstruction of the reality or was it the other way around?

 

I am about to read the book of the story, Rex Appeal, because I want to know more about it, I want answers. Probably is not the best choice I could have done, as the book was written by Larson himself and Kristin Donnan, two victims of those events. The fact is, probably buying that book was the only choice, as there are no other books, to my knowledge.

 

Was Pete Larson really doing some illegal trading of fossils as people say? I mean, he seems a good guy, I have read comments by some of you that say so. And his passion is snarge clear: I can see it from his eyes, he is in love with his job. I cannot understand how is possible to convict someone like him of illegal trade of fossils, as he seems well aware of the importance of science and of dinosaurs on education. 

 

I know I am in a huge community and probably some of you have more information about that infamous story. That's why I am writing. 

 

Thank you guys!

 

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The book Tyrannosaurus Sue by Steve Fiffer is a good book detailing the subject :)

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Paleoworld-101

Interesting documentary film. That case is now pretty much the poster-child horror story of what can go wrong with collecting fossils. 

 

I felt bad for Larson and his team regarding what happened, and grew a strong dislike towards the land owner, going back on his word like that. I'm sure he knew he was selling it to them initially and then later lied trying to get it back, claiming the $5000 was only to dig it up and prepare it so he could then sell it himself. Why would anyone pay money to do all the work for someone else? Pretty shameful behaviour on his part. A discovery like that is amazing on one hand but on the other it really can bring out the worst in people. 

 

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I tend to side with Pete, the illegal trading was most likely done accidentally when little known laws that cover a broad range of things can be interpreted to include fossils as well. The whole sue thing was unfortunate, but may have been avoided with foresight (perhaps a legal contract). Always hunt on land you have permission to, and always make sure the owner is completely aware of what your doing. It's funny: Finding the dead things is rarely the problem, it's the living that get in the way.

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10 hours ago, Jesuslover340 said:

The book Tyrannosaurus Sue by Steve Fiffer is a good book detailing the subject :)

 

Oh, nice, so there is another book, actually! Thanks for the specification, I will take a look! The problem is that I will leave the US in few weeks and I have already bought 4 books (I had already 4 on my way here) since I am here: the suitcase will weigh some 30 tons and I will pay I do not know how much for it. :wacko: 

 

5 hours ago, Paleoworld-101 said:

I felt bad for Larson and his team regarding what happened, and grew a strong dislike towards the land owner, going back on his word like that. I'm sure he knew he was selling it to them initially and then later lied trying to get it back, claiming the $5000 was only to dig it up and prepare it so he could then sell it himself. Why would anyone pay money to do all the work for someone else? Pretty shameful behaviour on his part. A discovery like that is amazing on one hand but on the other it really can bring out the worst in people. 

 

 

I felt bad too, and I think is the general feeling after you watch the documentary. The fact is that I am not completely sure these feeling are 100% justified, because there are people that say the movie does not show all the facts. Which facts? Are there details that shed a bad light on Larson? I want to find out.

However, there is no doubt that Williams was not being honest. There is the recording of their talk about money and display of the fossil: he declared himself content with that. The only ingenuity by Larson was the contract. He should have insisted upon signing a contract with legal validity. In that case, I think, they would have kept the fossil. I am no expert, of course, I do not know in that case what would be the problem for Williams: his ranch was in the indian territory, under the legal point of you I think he would have had problems by signing a contract. So, my feeling is that he tried to handle the thing as we usually do in Italy (I am Italian, my fellow compatriots have given me plenty of opportunity to observe this type of behavior): without a trace that can prove that he had taken the money for a specific reason. At the moment he was probably not aware of what he was doing - giving away an incredible fossil - but when he realized... he started to complain. He should have been punished as well, though. He sold something that could not sell. 

About the property of the fossil, I want to understand the rationale of the decision of the judge. It is not clear at all to me. 

 

2 hours ago, WhodamanHD said:

I tend to side with Pete, the illegal trading was most likely done accidentally when little known laws that cover a broad range of things can be interpreted to include fossils as well. The whole sue thing was unfortunate, but may have been avoided with foresight (perhaps a legal contract). Always hunt on land you have permission to, and always make sure the owner is completely aware of what your doing. It's funny: Finding the dead things is rarely the problem, it's the living that get in the way.

 

Is it possible that they did not know that you need a permission to dig in a particular place? Is this, in particular, that I wonder. It seems impossible to me, they had had plenty of excavation campaigns during the '80s and I am sure they had permission every time. Otherwise, at the process, there would have been more than 14 fossils at the center of the indictment. 

About the illegal trading... from the documentary it seems that he was accused of just 2 illegal transportation of (big sum of) money in and out of the country, without the permission (or whatever) by the authorities. In one case it was in Peru (15k $ out of the US), in the other case in Japan for what I understand to be the sell of a fossil. What fossil it was it's not said in the movie, probably some dinosaur. The Japanese museum the fossil was given to signed a check: the prosecution could not prove the case for those money. So, my question is: all the indictments for illegal trading are reduced to one fossil sold to a museum? What? Where is the concern about the preservation of paleontological finds, if they couldn't demonstrate that the fossil were being sold to private collections or worse? I do not find any logic in this. 

At this point to me, there really seems that the federal government listed more than 150 indictments in the hope to find them guilty of something. That is mean and cruel. 

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3 minutes ago, donnie86dc said:

Is it possible that they did not know that you need a permission to dig in a particular place? Is this, in particular, that I wonder. It seems impossible to me, they had had plenty of excavation campaigns during the '80s and I am sure they had permission every time. Otherwise, at the process, there would have been more than 14 fossils at the center of the indictment. 

About the illegal trading... from the documentary it seems that he was accused of just 2 illegal transportation of (big sum of) money in and out of the country, without the permission (or whatever) by the authorities. In one case it was in Peru (15k $ out of the US), in the other case in Japan for what I understand to be the sell of a fossil. What fossil it was it's not said in the movie, probably some dinosaur. The Japanese museum the fossil was given to signed a check: the prosecution could not prove the case for those money. So, my question is: all the indictments for illegal trading are reduced to one fossil sold to a museum? What? Where is the concern about the preservation of paleontological finds, if they couldn't demonstrate that the fossil were being sold to private collections or worse? I do not find any logic in this. 

At this point to me, there really seems that the federal government listed more than 150 indictments in the hope to find them guilty of something. That is mean and cruel. 

This may be true, but I do not have a good enough knowledge of fossil export laws to confirm it. A good amount of it is opinion, which is hard with those who have little knowledge of the subject making the judgment. In my opinion, it's strange that it's land because your not buying land when you buy a fossil. I assume fossil legislation will evolve in the coming years. But what's done is done. I believe the institute is still going strong, and Larson is still there. Sue did at least end up in good hands, despite spending entirely too much for it. I don't think Larson is done yet, there are more tyrannosaurs to be found out there....

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4 hours ago, WhodamanHD said:

This may be true, but I do not have a good enough knowledge of fossil export laws to confirm it. A good amount of it is opinion, which is hard with those who have little knowledge of the subject making the judgment. In my opinion, it's strange that it's land because your not buying land when you buy a fossil. I assume fossil legislation will evolve in the coming years. But what's done is done. I believe the institute is still going strong, and Larson is still there. Sue did at least end up in good hands, despite spending entirely too much for it. I don't think Larson is done yet, there are more tyrannosaurs to be found out there....

 

Well, I hate to say this, but as fossils are rocks and rocks are part of land... fossils should be considered as land. It's a diminutive way to describe what a fossil is, especially when you think about the amount of information a fossil contains. But being the mineralized remaining of former living creatures, I think that for the purpose of the trial the definition of fossil was right. 

Thanks god BHI survived and Larson continued to do his job. I wish him the best and to continue to discover new fossils. 

 

In the movie, then, there is another part that the first time shocked me. The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology was against Larson and the deeds of the BHI. In a recent press release soon after Dinosaur 13 hit theaters, they reiterate their position regarding that story.

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In light of the film Dinosaur 13, which describes the discovery and loss of the complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton known as “Sue” by the Black Hills Institute of Geological Research, the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology reiterates its strong endorsement of the U.S. Federal laws and regulations that protect fossils on public lands, which are fully consistent with the professional standards held by paleontological scientists and with the ethics of the Society.

Most vertebrate fossils are rare, many of them unique. The laws and regulations for collecting fossils on Federal lands help safeguard the scientific and educational value of vertebrate fossils by ensuring that scientifically important specimens are placed in public trust so that their story can be studied now and in the future.

Here, again, laws and regulations serve the scope of ensuring that specimens are placed in public trust. What if Sue had been bought by a private and not a Museum?

 

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The film Dinosaur 13 erroneously implies that the regulations impede paleontological science by placing onerous and confusing restrictions on field collecting. Not so. Federal law embodies the same principles and ethics adopted by professional paleontologists themselves.  These same principles are part of the Society’s Bylaws (Article 12, Code of Ethics). The Federal permitting process helps ensure that field collecting is well planned and professionally conducted, that the scientific context of fossils is documented, and that the fossils are placed in established research repositories with a demonstrated commitment to preserving them in perpetuity for scientific research and public enjoyment.

They clearly imply that BHI and Larson does not work according to the principles of professional paleontologists. So they consider Larson to be not a professional paleontologist. Has this anything to do with Larson being a self-taught paleontologist, someone that is not in the academic world? They consider Larson as a B-player, regardless of its experience on the field. For his work he deserves at least  the honoris causa in paleontology. Being without a Ph.D. does not mean to be ignorant at all in paleontology. The work of many years in finding, working on and preparing fossils has shown the american academia that Larson deserves a place among the best in the field. 

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41 minutes ago, donnie86dc said:

In the movie, then, there is another part that the first time shocked me. The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology was against Larson and the deeds of the BHI. In a recent press release soon after Dinosaur 13 hit theaters, they reiterate their position regarding that story.

Many are against the private collection of fossils.

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Jesuslover340
7 hours ago, donnie86dc said:

In light of the film Dinosaur 13, which describes the discovery and loss of the complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton known as “Sue” by the Black Hills Institute of Geological Research, the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology reiterates its strong endorsement of the U.S. Federal laws and regulations that protect fossils on public lands, which are fully consistent with the professional standards held by paleontological scientists and with the ethics of the Society.

Most vertebrate fossils are rare, many of them unique. The laws and regulations for collecting fossils on Federal lands help safeguard the scientific and educational value of vertebrate fossils by ensuring that scientifically important specimens are placed in public trust so that their story can be studied now and in the future.

The SVP fail to understand that in their push to eliminate amateur collecting and private collections, they suffocate the entire field of paleontology. Amateurs are what feed the fire of paleontology. Most major discoveries in museums were found and donated by amateurs and are funded by the same. Museums simply don't have the funding to go out and collect as much as they would like as collective amateurs do. One only has to look at the subforum Member's Contributions to see how much of a foundation amateurs provide the field of paleontology. It's just the blunt truth, and I personally think that, for paleontology to flourish, everyone should be able to actively contribute to the field. Not just professionals. Of course, means must be put in place to protect our prehistory within reason, but eliminating amateurs from the equation is not the solution. This even includes amateur commercial sellers. I have recently read a book on crocodiles and the conservationist author made a very valid point: humans have no interest in investing/saving something unless it benefits them directly. Despite the faults that come with it, I think this can include commercial sellers (another big topic the SVP are against and tangently related to this topic). If people are disallowed to own or sell fossils, public interest in them will be lost until the occasional dinosaur movie comes out. And even then, only dinosaur fossils will catch the public's interest and funding. There is quite a difference between seeing a fossil behind a public glass display and being able to pull it out of your own to examine it in hand whenever you like. This is just the blunt truth. The SVP wants everyone to appreciate and fund paleontology for its intrinsic good all the time, but mankind as a whole just isn't wired that way. Members have to benefit directly from it in a tangible way for mankind to work as a whole towards keeping paleontology afloat.

  In essence, there is an ugly side to each viewpoint, and the best option would be one of careful compromise between the two extremes. But in my personal opinion, eliminating amateurs and even commercial sellers is not the way to go if you want paleontology as a whole to survive and thrive. The trick is to find a happy medium between conserving fossils that need to be conserved in such a way as to serve the public interest and allowing amateurs to actively collect and contribute  to this wonderful science :) To me, this issue is clearly exhibited in the matter between the SVP and BHI.

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  • donnie86dc changed the title to Dinosaur 13 (T. D. Miller, 2014): what do you think about Larson?
11 hours ago, Jesuslover340 said:

The SVP fail to understand that in their push to eliminate amateur collecting and private collections, they suffocate the entire field of paleontology. Amateurs are what feed the fire of paleontology. Most major discoveries in museums were found and donated by amateurs and are funded by the same. Museums simply don't have the funding to go out and collect as much as they would like as collective amateurs do. One only has to look at the subforum Member's Contributions to see how much of a foundation amateurs provide the field of paleontology. It's just the blunt truth, and I personally think that, for paleontology to flourish, everyone should be able to actively contribute to the field. Not just professionals. Of course, means must be put in place to protect our prehistory within reason, but eliminating amateurs from the equation is not the solution. This even includes amateur commercial sellers. I have recently read a book on crocodiles and the conservationist author made a very valid point: humans have no interest in investing/saving something unless it benefits them directly. Despite the faults that come with it, I think this can include commercial sellers (another big topic the SVP are against and tangently related to this topic). If people are disallowed to own or sell fossils, public interest in them will be lost until the occasional dinosaur movie comes out. And even then, only dinosaur fossils will catch the public's interest and funding. There is quite a difference between seeing a fossil behind a public glass display and being able to pull it out of your own to examine it in hand whenever you like. This is just the blunt truth. The SVP wants everyone to appreciate and fund paleontology for its intrinsic good all the time, but mankind as a whole just isn't wired that way. Members have to benefit directly from it in a tangible way for mankind to work as a whole towards keeping paleontology afloat.

  In essence, there is an ugly side to each viewpoint, and the best option would be one of careful compromise between the two extremes. But in my personal opinion, eliminating amateurs and even commercial sellers is not the way to go if you want paleontology as a whole to survive and thrive. The trick is to find a happy medium between conserving fossils that need to be conserved in such a way as to serve the public interest and allowing amateurs to actively collect and contribute  to this wonderful science :) To me, this issue is clearly exhibited in the matter between the SVP and BHI.

I agree, the SVP does not like amateurs. The reason for that? Because it fears, so to speak, to endanger the scientific and educational value of the fossils by allowing uneducated people (= people without a Ph.D) to collect fossils. But that is easily mended: all we need is some qualification as "amateur paleontologist", accepted on a national level. All they have to do is to set up a system that involves the universities to instruct people and release the authorization, if possible with limited validity. This eliminates entirely the risk that exceptional specimens are destroyed/damaged by incautious people. People will pay a fee and attend the course for field preps; if the exam is passed they receive their 2-3 years qualification. After that period, they come back to attend the course again, pay their fee and go on. Universities can earn money, there will be more awareness of the practices, the risks of losing important fossils would decrease, everyone would be happy. But something suggests me that the real motivation behind the SVP enmity is another one, and this is why I hate the SVP opposition to amateurs: they do not accept that people without a Ph.D. could do what people with a Ph.D. can do. It's like we are special because we have 10 years of study behind us, your are peasants, you know nothing, you have no right to be on a pair with us. Bluntly put, amateurs are considered as useless a nuisance. As you say, I wonder where we would be without the amateurs. If anyone really loves paleontology, he/she should have the opportunity to give his/her contribution to the field. 

Different matter regards the sellers, because in that case sellers not always are interested in spreading science: there is just an economical interest behind their activity. And I am not sure that their contribution is relevant to the interest of people regarding fossils and paleontology, if not marginally. I mean, the bigger push to science is research and all the activities related to popularization of notions and theories, the public debates, events and so on. We have seen in Italy two sudden surges of interest during the '90s: the first was around 1993-1994 because of the success of Jurassic Park, while the second happened towards the end of the decade, because of the description of the first (and up to now unique) fossil of Scipionyx samniticus that was christened "Ciro". Ciro was discovered, again, by an amateur. Was it not for him, the specimen and an important paleontological discovery would be lost forever. That discovery was the center of debate and interest in the Italian community for years. All the events organized around it were successful. Recently, different displays have been organized, the most famous of which has been organized by a friend of mine and its called "Dinosauri in Carne ed Ossa" ("Dinosaur in bone and flesh"): its success has been so big that the display continues, after 6 years, to jump from city to city, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors. I think that what I have seen in these years in Italy is true also here in the US. The big interest is mainly triggered by events like this and activities turned to instruct people (of all age) about dinosaurs and fossil hunting. This said, the commercialization of fossils to me remains a controversial reality. I cannot see it as good for the field of paleontology. Maybe I am wrong, I don't know. I would be happy to change my mind if that is the case, really. 

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Jesuslover340

I would agree that commercial sellers' contribution is more marginal than that of amateurs, but they do contribute, often indirectly. Because their livelihood depends on the sale of fossils, they are quick to inform the public about fossils to make sales, thus indirectly supporting paleontology by spurring public interest. They also often make rare discoveries; many of these discoveries go to museums (not all, but some. And I'd rather some than none). Perhaps most importantly, they do bring fossils to the public in a tangible way. Many of our members would not be able to participate so passionately in this field if it were not for commercial sellers, as some people are in situations wherein they cannot find fossils themselves.

 

Concerning the rest of your statement-I would agree.  The issue is getting the push to have something done in the interest of the whole public, not just a select few 'elitists'.

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On 1/10/2017 at 3:14 PM, Jesuslover340 said:

I would agree that commercial sellers' contribution is more marginal than that of amateurs, but they do contribute, often indirectly. Because their livelihood depends on the sale of fossils, they are quick to inform the public about fossils to make sales, thus indirectly supporting paleontology by spurring public interest. They also often make rare discoveries; many of these discoveries go to museums (not all, but some. And I'd rather some than none). Perhaps most importantly, they do bring fossils to the public in a tangible way. Many of our members would not be able to participate so passionately in this field if it were not for commercial sellers, as some people are in situations wherein they cannot find fossils themselves.

 

Concerning the rest of your statement-I would agree.  The issue is getting the push to have something done in the interest of the whole public, not just a select few 'elitists'.

 

I see your point guys. Thanks for your contributions. I agree that even small discoveries are important in the field as they represent a piece of information for the great puzzle of the History of Life. I know nothing about regulations, though. And I am sure there are regulations for the selling of fossils. Boring as they surely are, I suppose here in the US there are laws, of any sort that puts limits to the activity.

...right? :mellow:

 

However, I do not know any other way to delve into the story of Larson and Sue and all the mess that followed in the '90s. The book "Rex Appeal" and the book by Steve Fiffer that was counseled by good Jesuslover340 are the only two sources of information I have access to. Well, in the first case I do not know how slanted the story will be, as it was written by Donnan, Larson's ex-wife. I also hope it is one of those book that do not age quickly: this, I deem, depends on the amount of science it presents (paleontology books are old by the time they are published and Rex Appeal was published in 2002). Again, is the story that interests me in this case, and the reasons beyond all the choices that were made. 

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Just now, donnie86dc said:

 

I see your point guys. Thanks for your contributions. I agree that even small discoveries are important in the field as they represent a piece of information for the great puzzle of the History of Life. I know nothing about regulations, though. And I am sure there are regulations for the selling of fossils. Boring as they surely are, I suppose here in the US there are laws, of any sort that puts limits to the activity.

...right? :mellow:

 

However, I do not know any other way to delve into the story of Larson and Sue and all the mess that followed in the '90s. The book "Rex Appeal" and the book by Steve Fiffer that was counseled by good Jesuslover340 are the only two sources of information I have access to. Well, in the first case I do not know how slanted the story will be, as it was written by Donnan, Larson's ex-wife. I also hope it is one of those book that do not age quickly: this, I deem, depends on the amount of science it presents (paleontology books are old by the time they are published and Rex Appeal was published in 2002). Again, is the story that interests me in this case, and the reasons beyond all the choices that were made. 

Yes, but it is pretty straightforward. Don't collect anywhere without written permission, and know where it is legal for you to collect. If you plan to import/export fossils into or out of the country, be sure to read the law on doing such with fossils for each country involved.

 

I don't believe there was much bias in Steve Fiffer's book, but you could always consider contacting Pete Larson himself and asking him a few questions. I know the chances of asking any of the authorities involved are slim, but another thing you could consider is going to a local library and looking at newspaper records during the time and see how they portrayed the issue. If they are biased, take that bias into account and try to understand why it was biased. What was the perception of the issue among the general populace of the time? Biases can hint at character and can be quite revealing when you put it into social context.

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Jesuslover340

The book I mentioned is being sold by a fellow TFF member here:

 

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10 hours ago, Jesuslover340 said:

Yes, but it is pretty straightforward. Don't collect anywhere without written permission, and know where it is legal for you to collect. If you plan to import/export fossils into or out of the country, be sure to read the law on doing such with fossils for each country involved.

 

I don't believe there was much bias in Steve Fiffer's book, but you could always consider contacting Pete Larson himself and asking him a few questions. I know the chances of asking any of the authorities involved are slim, but another thing you could consider is going to a local library and looking at newspaper records during the time and see how they portrayed the issue. If they are biased, take that bias into account and try to understand why it was biased. What was the perception of the issue among the general populace of the time? Biases can hint at character and can be quite revealing when you put it into social context.

 

Yes, the best thing to do is to collect info from the newspapers. Unfortunately, I am leaving the US in few weeks and in these few weeks I have lab experiments going on for my project. Contacting Larson would be great, but I really don't want to be a nuisance to anyone. I will think about this, however. 

For the books, I will start with "Rex Appeal" as I bought it on Amazon last week. Fiffer's book will be a good point of view on the story from a - hopefully - totally unbiased side, I will read it in the next months. 

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  • 2 months later...
On 9/30/2017 at 11:22 AM, donnie86dc said:

About the illegal trading... from the documentary it seems that he was accused of just 2 illegal transportation of (big sum of) money in and out of the country, without the permission (or whatever) by the authorities. In one case it was in Peru (15k $ out of the US), in the other case in Japan for what I understand to be the sell of a fossil. What fossil it was it's not said in the movie, probably some dinosaur. The Japanese museum the fossil was given to signed a check: the prosecution could not prove the case for those money. So, my question is: all the indictments for illegal trading are reduced to one fossil sold to a museum? What? Where is the concern about the preservation of paleontological finds, if they couldn't demonstrate that the fossil were being sold to private collections or worse? I do not find any logic in this. 

At this point to me, there really seems that the federal government listed more than 150 indictments in the hope to find them guilty of something. That is mean and cruel. 

 


The issue with the particular dinosaur sold to Japan was how the BHI reported the value of the specimen on their customs declaration. They reported the value of the fossil as it was before preparation rather than after preparation (if I remember correctly). This significantly changes the value and thus the taxes. Money makes the world go 'round.

 

As for the SVP relating to "amateurs", I have never gotten the impression that there's a serious disdain collectively for amateur fossil collectors. There's a general bit of snobbery that can come out but that has developed due to the penchant of many amateurs (and commercial collectors)  for disregarding the rule of law as it applies to collecting. Federal lands are open to amateur collectors. All you have to do is file the correct paperwork. If you're collecting vertebrates, you just need to be willing to have them go to a museum for curation rather than your house. Follow the rules, do good science, put in the time, and you will quickly be regarded as a peer rather than an "amateur".

 

 

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22 minutes ago, Ptychodus04 said:

 


The issue with the particular dinosaur sold to Japan was how the BHI reported the value of the specimen on their customs declaration. They reported the value of the fossil as it was before preparation rather than after preparation (if I remember correctly). This significantly changes the value and thus the taxes. Money makes the world go 'round.

 

As for the SVP relating to "amateurs", I have never gotten the impression that there's a serious disdain collectively for amateur fossil collectors. There's a general bit of snobbery that can come out but that has developed due to the penchant of many amateurs (and commercial collectors)  for disregarding the rule of law as it applies to collecting. Federal lands are open to amateur collectors. All you have to do is file the correct paperwork. If you're collecting vertebrates, you just need to be willing to have them go to a museum for curation rather than your house. Follow the rules, do good science, put in the time, and you will quickly be regarded as a peer rather than an "amateur".

 

 

Is it true that federal lands are open to amateur collectors of vertebrate fossils? Where do you go to get the necessary paperwork?

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7 minutes ago, steelhead9 said:

Is it true that federal lands are open to amateur collectors of vertebrate fossils? Where do you go to get the necessary paperwork?

This is not the case in Maryland (with the exceptions being certain state parks along the cliffs and the Potomac).

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1 hour ago, steelhead9 said:

Is it true that federal lands are open to amateur collectors of vertebrate fossils? Where do you go to get the necessary paperwork?

 

Lands held by many federal agencies like BLM, Army Corps, etc. are open to amateurs for collecting with restrictions (places, etc.). The forms can be obtained at the local agency office or online. I’ve only collected on Army Corps of Engineer property in the past, so my experience there is limited.

 

It is a rather simple form. I kicked around a collecting trip on some BLM land a few years ago but couldn’t work the schedule. Their form was a bit more complex, requiring documented excavation experience among other things.

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28 minutes ago, Ptychodus04 said:

 

Lands held by many federal agencies like BLM, Army Corps, etc. are open to amateurs for collecting with restrictions (places, etc.). The forms can be obtained at the local agency office or online. I’ve only collected on Army Corps of Engineer property in the past, so my experience there is limited.

 

It is a rather simple form. I kicked around a collecting trip on some BLM land a few years ago but couldn’t work the schedule. Their form was a bit more complex, requiring documented excavation experience among other things.

I do not think that works in California.

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11 hours ago, ynot said:

I do not think that works in California.

 

That’s why it’s the collector’s responsibility to do his/her research, a step many collectors skip or many in the past have skipped. 

 

I’m not trying to say all federal lands are fair game and open for collecting. I’m simply making the point that there is federal land open to people other than PHDs for collecting. :D

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snarge... I just had a several paragraph reply to add, but I accidentally erased it all.  

 

Wrap up....

Pete got screwed.  

SVP is more anti commercial, more than anti amateur. 

steelhead9-no, amateurs cannot get a permit to collect verts on federal lands.  inverts and plants do not even need a permit unless you plan a major excavation.

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On 9/29/2017 at 10:06 PM, donnie86dc said:

Did you watch the "documovie" Dinosaur 13? What do you think of it? Was it slanted to an unacceptable level? What is the part of the truth that is not portrayed in the movie? Why were interviewed just two (or one?) witnesses on the part of the federal government in all the movie? What was really wrong with the activity of the BHI? 

I would like to know more about that story, about the wrongs of each of the parts interested in the trial. From the movie it seems that the federal government was the evil and the BHI was the good guy: is it a fair reconstruction of the reality or was it the other way around?

 

I am about to read the book of the story, Rex Appeal, because I want to know more about it, I want answers. Probably is not the best choice I could have done, as the book was written by Larson himself and Kristin Donnan, two victims of those events. The fact is, probably buying that book was the only choice, as there are no other books, to my knowledge.

 

Was Pete Larson really doing some illegal trading of fossils as people say? I mean, he seems a good guy, I have read comments by some of you that say so. And his passion is snarge clear: I can see it from his eyes, he is in love with his job. I cannot understand how is possible to convict someone like him of illegal trade of fossils, as he seems well aware of the importance of science and of dinosaurs on education. 

 

I know I am in a huge community and probably some of you have more information about that infamous story. That's why I am writing. 

 

Thank you guys!

 

 

No long after the whole "Sue" affair, the legal case was published as a document you could order.  A friend bought it.  He had dealt with lawyers his whole life so he could read legal documents and make sense of it all.  What he said in summing up the document was "They (Black Hills) expected justice but they got the law."

 

 

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On 12/5/2017 at 11:55 AM, jpc said:

snarge... I just had a several paragraph reply to add, but I accidentally erased it all.  

 

Wrap up....

Pete got screwed.  

SVP is more anti commercial, more than anti amateur. 

steelhead9-no, amateurs cannot get a permit to collect verts on federal lands.  inverts and plants do not even need a permit unless you plan a major excavation.

 

Totally agree with Jean-Pierre.  Pete got screwed.  Amateurs don't get permits to collect vertebrates on federal lands.

 

The rules for federal lands should be anti commercial and not anti amateur. The commercial guys ruin it for everyone.

 

Marco Sr.

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On 12/5/2017 at 9:55 AM, jpc said:

snarge... I just had a several paragraph reply to add, but I accidentally erased it all.  

 

Wrap up....

Pete got screwed.  

SVP is more anti commercial, more than anti amateur. 

steelhead9-no, amateurs cannot get a permit to collect verts on federal lands.  inverts and plants do not even need a permit unless you plan a major excavation.

:dinothumb:

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