[meteorite-list] Prospectors, Scientists Vie for Rocks More Precious Than...

From: MeteorHntr_at_aol.com <MeteorHntr_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Mon Feb 27 03:34:29 2006
Message-ID: <15.54590f23.3134138b_at_aol.com>

In a message dated 2/27/2006 12:58:14 A.M. Central Standard Time,
baalke_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov writes:

This worries some scientists who study meteorites for clues about the
early life of our solar system. They wonder how many new finds they'll
get access to before the space rocks are sliced into collectible
fragments and disappear into private collections.
Historically, and even in the present, it seems to be it is the "scientists"
who have been guilty of slicing up meteorites.
Personally, I don't disagree with this process as that is how one gets
inside a meteorite to find out the information it contains. (Imagine if there was
an uproar over the fact that rough diamonds were being destroyed while being
cut up for those who collect them?)
I am not sure whose fault this is that the stories are being reported as
such? But having a little experience with the media in the last few months I
know that often what is published or broadcast is exactly what is spoon fed to
them. And on the other hand, all too often they come up with misstatements
all on their own.
The fact that we have seen these comments show up in multiple articles makes
me wonder what their Meteorite Center's press release is actually putting
I know with the Monahans story in 1998, the AP reported that the Fire Chief
had confiscated the 7 boy's rock while it was in fact the Police Chief that
did it. A minor error, one might think, but one that got copied and repeated
over and over again because the reliable AP ran the mistake from the start.
If there is an element of controversy, then they present themselves as the
heroes with a white hat coming in to save the day, then it might make a little
more interesting story, one that might get printed more. But it does seem
to be slightly insulting that the hunters and dealers are made out to be bad
guys because they are doing the same thing the scientists have been doing for
centuries, and still do today.
Has anyone asked Kilgore if this really is his position, or if he is being
I wonder if any of the people at other institutions are insulted by the
presentation that until the Southwest Meteorite Center came along, there was no
institution available to catalogue and preserve meteorites for science?
Steve Arnold
Received on Mon 27 Feb 2006 03:34:19 AM PST

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