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Re: Monahans auction questions

I agree with Mike on this matter...

This situation is outrageous, unbelievable, boggles the imagination etc etc
etc. . . 

It has always been clear that Steve Arnold has botched this auction
(despite what may have been the best of intentions). I was personally
interested in purchasing this meteorite, but my 10 private emails to Steve
never resulted in a clear-cut response as to what were going to be the
procedures, methods, and timimg for the sale. After 10 emails I was never
even sure what exactly was going to be auctioned.

Then there was the delay in the sale --- and now this ...

I agree with Mike that there appears to be what I would call a CONFLICT OF
INTEREST. Michael Caspar is free to bid on the stone just as all others
are. Now in fact he is the bidder and auctioneer - in the worst case
scenario - a private auction.

The situation is further complicated by the fact that Steve has announced
he may take his "commission" on this sale in a section of the meteorite
rather than in cash. He will decide after the sale - which adds another
layer of complexity since then the buyers dont even know what they are
really bidding on.

I have decided to sit this one out.

I am willing to bet that whoever wins the sale will hype it to no end that
this is unique, great story, great value, the buy of the decade, etc etc
etc --- but the reality is that while it is a very interesting stone, it
will not be worth what looks to be a highly hyped HIGH price.

As I said - I will sit it out. I hope others do also. Only when buyers make
a concerted effort to halt the zaniness in the market will things be
brought back to any sense of normalcy.


At 12:22 PM 7/17/98 -0700, Michael Farmer wrote:
>Hello fellow list members, Today I pose an interesting question, one
>that should be raised and is perhaps being asked in other meteorite
>collector's/dealer's homes as I type this.  Today, I received a postcard
>announcing the upcoming Monahans meteorite auction on July 24th.
>The postcard reads as follows with nothing added or omitted:
>A unique auction event.....
>    We invite you to participate in a unique event: the auction of the
>Monahans, Texas meteorite which was retrieved by seven young men
>immediately after impact on the evening of March 22 of this year. This
>extraordinary specimen will be presented exclusively by
>NaturalHistoryAuction.com at 6 p.m. EST on Friday July 24, 1998 and will
>close at 12 midnight July 26, 1998. Bids will be accepted by email, fax,
>and telephone.
>                                            Please register before
>NaturalHistory Auction.com
>Post office Drawer J, Ithaca New York 14851 USA
>Email: Monahans@naturalhistoryauction.com
>Phone: 1-607-257-5349 Fax 1-607-266-7904
>This is the information on the postcard word for word.
>I pose these questions to the list and people involved:
>1. Who is auctioning off this meteorite? It is quite clear that this
>auction is now being run by Michael Casper instead of Steve Arnold.
>2. Why? How can the current high bidder also run the auction?
>3. How can we, the interested buyers, email or phone our bids in to the
>auctioneer if he is also one of the buyers?
>    It is not too dificult to see  that the contact information on this
>card all went to none other than Michael Casper. I just want to know
>what the true story is with this auction. WE ALL WANT TO KNOW!!! Has the
>outcome has already been decided on this one.
>I have conformed to the list protocol in every way. I have made no
>personal attacks and I use my real name to pose the questions here,
>unlike the cowardly Colonel Whithead, who is afraid to contact me about
>his accusation of conspiracy over the Portales fall. There is no
>conspiracy there at all , just business, but here, with Monahans, it
>seems that nothing is at it should be and we all should question ALL of
>those involved as to their intentions. The card clearly states that the
>Monahans meteorite is and I quote " This extraordinary specimen will be
>presented exclusively by NaturalHistoryAuction.com.." If Steve Arnold is
>the meteorite broker who is auctioning this meteorite for the children
>who own it, how can the high bidder be the one who EXCLUSIVELY offers it
>? Has it already been sold and is now being auctioned again?  If Michael
>Casper does not own it already and will simply be running the auction,
>How can it be a fair auction for anyone? Michael has already made his
>intent quite clear many times that he is prepared to offer BIG money for
>this meteorite. If he is now running the auction, it seems that the
>bidders must submit their bids to the high bidder for approval? Any
>logic here? I am truly confused on this one and invite everyone in the
>meteorite world to voice their concerns as well because this truly
>affects us ALL. Please reply directly to the list and not me, we all
>need to hear each other's thoughts on the very important issue at hand.
>Mike Farmer
>List Archives are located at http://www.meteoritecentral.com/list_best.html
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Mark J. Lerner
63 Wall Street
New York, NY 10005

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