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In a message dated 7/23/98 9:54:22 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
BAALKE@kelvin.jpl.nasa.gov writes:
 Steve had cut off a 1.1 gram fragment piece of Monahans that had
 a "gorgeous blue crystal", but in doing so took the meteorite out of
 its protective bag.   


There you go again.  I did not cut the piece off and I did not take it out of
the protective bag.  As a matter of fact that piece was broken off the day the
meteorite fell and that particular crystal survived now 4 months of dozens of
people handling it all without much protection whatsoever, much less remaining
in a nitrogen filled case.  It seems to me that many irons seem to have a much
harder time surviving than these salt crystals do.
Curtis Howard, one of the Monahan's City Councilors, told me on the phone last
night that he will try to visit the rock in the morning and try to give a
report to the meteorite-list of its condition today.  He also informed me that
the City HAS NOT entered into an agreement with NASA nor with ASU!  He is also
not very happy with your and Dr. Gibson's intentional attempts to sabotage the
value of 7 of his citizen's property right before the auction, and the
intentional disregard of the City Council's specific request that NOTHING be
said about this until AFTER the auction.  The post you made last Sunday, could
have waited until the Meteoritical Society Meeting next week.  Gibson knew
very well that there would be NO institutions bidding on the rock, so it is
obvious that his remarks were made to discourage dealers from bidding on it,
by raising doubts as to what research interest there might be if the free
stuff would be available from ASU later. 

Curtis has made no promises to me as to what may or may not be done.  He is
going to report to me (and possibly the list at large) about what the
possibilities might be for the City to revoke their resolution to give 1/3 of
their rock to NASA/ASU.  Unfortunately, we won't know what the City Council
will decide until the next City Council Meeting.  It seems they really were
serious when they said "we want what is best for the boys."    

And before you run off and tell everyone I want the Science of Meteoritics to
miss out on this rock, you are wrong!  As a matter of fact, if the Monahans
City Council decides to stand up for the boys and NOT give the meteorite to
NASA/ASU at this time, and if for any reason the boys rock is damaged (which
it is not) OR if research institutions fail to acquire any of the boy's
specimen, say a year from now, you have my word on it that I will personally
drive to Monahans and  report this to the Council and strongly suggest that
they reconsider donating a portion to a reputable and honorable institution.

If you have a personal problem with me then you should deal directly with me
and not take it out on the boys at the same time.  Not only that, the City
Council that was more than gracious to Dr. Gibson, now faces the very real,
potential political back lash of the appearance that they may have "sold out"
the boys who they are on record as saying were their top priority.


Steve Arnold

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