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Re: Re: Portalis - fall out from Monahans

Dear Michael,

Thank you for taking the time to respond to my questions.

I have never been to Portales, and so cannot comment on Steve Arnold's
involvement (if any) in influencing the price of Portales meteorites. There's
not much point in using the phrase "the same individual," when referring to
Steve, as you've made it abundantly clear to whom you are referring. I also
think that a comparison with Nininger's famous $1 per pound rate is of little
significance here, since Dr. Nininger began this practice in the 1930s when
there was little, if any, public interest in meteorites. At that time, $1 for
a pound of rock was doubtless considered a fabulous and generous sum by half-
starved Depression era farmers.

Since Steve Arnold has been unfairly banned from this list I hope you won't
mind if I forward a copy of your post to him (it was, after all, a public
statement) and perhaps he'll care to comment to you in private. It is not my
intention or responsibility to defend Steve's actions, but I imagine he may
wish to do so.

There is, however, a serious reason why I questioned your statements, and it
is this: As well as being a writer and meteorite hunter, I am the owner of a
design firm. I have several clients and professional colleagues among the
subscribers to this list. One of them is International Meteorite Brokerage, of
which Steve Arnold is President. I am retained by IMB to design and manage
their web sites. Many list members already know this, as my company name and
my email address are clearly visible on that (and other) web sites. Since it
is my professional responsibility to manage the IMB site (regardless of my
personal opinion about Monahans or the auction), I feel that any claims of
impropriety at the site should be made clearly to me, and not veiled in
innuendo or quotation marks. If you believe there is some unethical aspect to
the IMB web site, or the auction that took place on it (and I don't believe
that there is), I should very much like to know about it. Any allegations of
fraud at this site are also, unfortunately, allegations against my company and
my professional reputation. You are, to me, clearly implying that the Monahans
auction was fixed: "no doubt the first few rounds of bidding involved numerous
individuals ... but look where it ended up & who stood to gain." Was that
really your intention?

It is not necessary for you, or anyone else, to convince me of Mike Farmer's
fine character, as I have been a customer of his (and yours). However, you
jump from a critique of the IMB auction to, "And then to attack Michael Farmer
... by someone using the alias of a retired military officer." I hope I am
mistaken, but I read that as a clear accusation from you that Steve Arnold is
somehow behind Colonel Whitehead's Portales boycott posts, and has also
verbally attacked Mike Farmer. Is that correct? Since Steve is a client of
mine, I happen to know for a fact that he has been traveling in Europe --
without internet access -- for over a week, and could not possibly have sent
posts to this list, or anywhere else. So, if you are in fact accusing Steve,
you are doing so in error.

I have no gripe whatsoever with you, Michael. But I do take the reputation of
my design company very seriously. If you believe that a web site that I manage
and maintain has been used for fraudulent activities (and again, I do not
believe that it has) I respectfully request a clear and concise presentation
of your evidence. 

Also, I've lived in New York City for more than ten years, so I'm not really
all that innocent. But thanks anyway.



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