Friday, December 5, 2008

Update on the "Stolen" Dinosaur Tracks

Here is an update on the "stolen" tracks...

Hi folks,

I have new information for everyone on this. First of all, thanks for everyone's comments, concerns, etc! Ive contacted the auction house, have spoken with the owner of this track slab, and will be contacting the land owner. Turns out that several loads of rock from land north of the museum (now SGDS property) were transported to another property about a mile away. SGDS staff and volunteers were collecting from these rock piles about two years ago. Since that time, the former land owner who is one of our foundation members and donors has sold the land. Tracks were found there by the new land owners while moving rocks around, and they have sold specimens. A paper trail is being provided, and I'm going to talk to people involved about donating the tracks to our museum for possible tax right-offs. I'm also hoping to obtain photographs of specimens they find so that I have a record of what they've found and no one is falsely accused of doing anything wrong. No one ever accused anyone in this case, although some may have misinterpreted/assumed I was saying otherwise.

Turns out I don't have photos of the specimen up for auction, although it does look very much like another example we have from the same stratigraphic unit. The specimen owner is going to email me photos of others that he has. I'm hoping that it might be retracted from the auction somehow. One of my growing concerns is that seeing tracks from SGDS properties for sale, even though in this case the specimen doesn't belong to the City of St. George and the owner has the legal right to sell it, will tempt people to steal more tracks and vandalize tracksites/specimens to make a "fast buck". As I mentioned before, this has happened on at least two occasions in the past year.

Anyhow, everything's good between all parties and no hard feelings. Happy to see that people involved clearly understand where I was coming from and my concerns, and they seem to respect it!

We do have a list of stolen tracks and I'm hoping to post those on the internet one of these days so we can try and "track" them down. ;)

Thanks for listening!

No comments: