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Dear Listees,
	Just got off the phone with Michael Caspar. He asked me to say, "Hi" to
everyone and, "I've been off the list for several weeks now and its no
	On other fronts - many of us (dealers) are refusing to get into a
bidding war on Monahan. I, personally, was hoping for an accross the
board boycot in an attempt to cut short the abarent "syndrom" that has
broken out with rediculous field prices, however, it LOOKS like MC and
Darryl are lining up at opposit ends of town and will shoot it out at
high noon. (I have NOT spoken with Darryl, but that is the latest
"word.") If this does occur, at least the bucks will go for the
education of some kids (reportedly).
	Some old lady in Portalis turned down a consortium (sp?) of
universities which had offered several thousand dollars OVER $100,000
for a thirty some LB mass she has - now it looks like Portalis just
might NOT be a messosiderite, but an H chondrite! Wooooo ....Granny may
have shot herself in the foot BIG TIME.
We'll see how this turns out, but believe me, if a bunch of farmers end
up with dozens & dozens of LBs of common chondritic material, I will do
everything possible to see THAT gets big time newspaper coverage (a
tough job, as newspapers like to print HYPE). Nothing better could
happen right now, however. 
	I know many of you consider such postings "nonmeteoritical" but, in my
opinion, what happens in the next few months with field prices will
DETERMINE what every one on this list will & will NOT be able to afford
to put in their collections for years to come - AND higher prices will
DEFINATELY NOT be welcomed by the scientific community, and at least
SOME of them already want to blame the private sector for "the
difficulty" of getting new specimens - it is inverse logic, BUT the
issue of price is NOT unrelated to the private sector's behavior. 
	So, I consider this topic a CRUCIAL one - though, obviously, not as
pleasant as most other meteoritical topics. I will be making periodic
posts to the list -and before people start asking "why are we 'wasting'
time on this" - I get MANY private messages from list members who DO
recognize this as crucial - so, just as many on the list LOVE to read
great detail about NASA goings on and others of us screen such messages,
please do afford the others of us concerned about pricing the same
tollerance. (Thanks in advance)
	I will be doing everything I can to discourage inflated field prices
for the next several months - I consider this THE crucial issue and this
to be THE crucial period of time that will set the stage for years to
come. I invite EVERY dealer to leave that damned material in the hads of
the finders if it cannot be purchased at a price that will allow us to
continue to provide the collector good specimens at prices NO HIGHER
than they have been the last few years. Otherwise, this will VERY
QUICKLY become a very wealthy man's "hobby." and people who are in it
for the reasons expressed so elequently by Stuart the other day (and
which echoed in the hearts of all of us) will just be out of luck. 
	It is the business of all of us to see this doesn't happen - and
dealers owe it to EVERYONE to back away as quickly as possible from
farmers who sell a bushel of wheet for $2.40 and DO NOT piss & moan when
they see it turned into  $100 worth of bread on the market shelf - but
who, SOMEHOW think they are being ripped off if they don't get retail
(and sometimes much higher) prices for rocks!
	I talked with Steve Arnald at some length yesterday & we agreed to
disagree on this issue (he talked of "generating" 5,000 new collectors
out of the rank & file of the stock market investors - I talked about
the people already in it for reasons OTHER THAN investment) - these were
just 2 points upon which we dissagreed & I promised him I would fight
against his "cause" tooth and nail - but be BOTH of us agreed this is
NOT personal and there is no personal anamosity between us. I like Steve
- I just strongly dissagree with what his vision is right now. If the
"market" "self corrects" based on supply/demand at a level everyone can
live with, fine - I just happen to consider it my responsibility, and
DEFINATELY in my best interest as a collector, to see it stays
reasonable (I will make $ as a dealer eather way - probably more, if it
went to the "investment" rout Steve envisions - as a person, it makes me
gag and as a collector, it enrages me).
	I realized the irony here, as I wrote an article years ago on
"meteorites as an investmen" - many people went out of their way to tell
me they were NOT in it for investment & I finally wrote a fully REVISED
edition explaining that was what I told MYSELF every time I spent a lot
of $ on a meteorite I wanted - sort of an "excuse" to not give myself a
hard time for spending so much on something so "impracticle" - the idea
of anyone buying just for speculative investment is chilling. That is
just what COULD happen if this situation spirals out of control. I will
do what I can not to contribute to that. Hope other dealers (and
collectors invited to auctions) will too.
	Best wishes to all, Michael

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