[meteorite-list] Kenya police
From: Michael Farmer <mike_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2011 19:17:38 -0700 (PDT)
Ok, this is how the police thing went down.
Scared the crap out of me, you know after a stint in locked up abroad, I am not too interested in hanging out with police in foreign countries.
Greg and I were with my driver and workers, checking in the field on the 25 people we had hunting, taking them water and Fantas (they like Fanta there and most cant afford it, so I bought cases for the workers and kids:)
When we drove to a main dirt road, a man stepped out and flashed a badge, and yelled something at my driver. He stopped and the man held us for an hour, getting more and more demanding for a paper allowing us "Muzungus" spelling? Which means "White people" to be in the area. He then told us he knew we were buying stones, he showed photos of him on his phone with the colonel with the first stone, and said he was the top cop in the district. He demanded to know why we were there, and why we did not ask him permission to be there. After going back to confer with another big guy (cop)? My driver told us not to worry, it was'nt a problem. I told him for me it was a problem after Oman. He laughed and said he was Kenya all his life and knew how to handle police. Finally the guy told us good luck, where to hunt, to buy any stone we wanted and to have a good time and be safe, we drove about 100 ft, then my driver told me to give a few thousand shillings to one of
my other workers, they walked back to the cops and paid them.
I was told that the policeman demanded the money in Swahili, told the driver to get the money from the white people and give it to them. He would not ask us in english or take the money direct from us.
Typical African shakedown. Part of the business. Poor place, people could care less as long as they get their cut.
The locals have a right to sell their lotto ticket to the highest bidder.
It scared me badly, but have been through it in many countries.
> From: Michael Gilmer <meteoritemike at gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [meteorite-list] Kenya meteorite
> To: "Michael Farmer" <mike at meteoriteguy.com>
> Cc: Meteorite-list at meteoritecentral.com
> Date: Tuesday, August 23, 2011, 8:07 PM
> Hi Mike and List,
> I bet when the "secret police" arrived, everyone's
> tightened up a bit.? When men with hard eyes and
> AK-47's want
> something, the only reasonable thing is to give it.?
> Thankfully they
> only wanted money.
> 20 Questions -
> So, about how many individual whole stones were
> recovered?? Any stones
> with distinct orientation/flowlines?? Or, any stones
> with anomalous
> features????Has any of this material been
> cut yet (if so, what did the
> matrix look like)?
> I'll trade you six chickens, a canoe, and 10 cowrie shells
> for the
> main mass.? ;)
> Best regards and congratulations,
> Galactic Stone & Ironworks - Meteorites & Amber
> (Michael Gilmer)
> Website - http://www.galactic-stone.com
> Facebook - http://tinyurl.com/42h79my
> News Feed - http://www.galactic-stone.com/rss/126516
> Twitter - http://twitter.com/galacticstone
> EOM - http://www.encyclopedia-of-meteorites.com/collection.aspx?id=1564
> On 8/23/11, Michael Farmer <mike at meteoriteguy.com>
> > A little more background on the fall,
> > First want to thank Greg Hupe who went with me for
> trip #2 less than a week
> > after trip one. I wanted to get more money, get the
> first stones home safe
> > and in the lab and back to Kenya. I had to cancel
> another trip planned for
> > months with Greg, so only proper thing to do was
> invite him. He was most
> > accomodating of the rapid change in continents we were
> going to visit when
> > he saw the stones I got from the first trip.
> > Congrats to Robert Ward who also recovered a stone in
> the field, saving it
> > from sure destruction under tropical rains.
> > We had a lot of fun, we also worked our asses off,
> dawn to dark, endless
> > hours of every day stuck in traffic jams just to reach
> the strewnfield.
> > Cobras, yes, I am not kidding, Greg had close
> encounter with a Cobra that
> > stood up and scared one of our workers nearly to
> death, he ran from the
> > field, Greg went to see it but it went down a hole
> before he saw it. Place
> > crawling with snakes, I was of course in shorts:) so
> after the worker came
> > screaming to the car, I left the field myself for
> safer quarters.
> > The people were nice, the secret police found us,
> threatened us, got to the
> > point and demanded their cut of the payday to allow us
> to work. The usual in
> > Africa, another day, another shilling.
> > I paid great money to the locals, either for stones or
> for workers and
> > supervisors to monitor the workers, money none of them
> could refuse, most of
> > them got a year or years of salary for stone worthless
> to them, changed
> > their lives. For example the woman who sold me the 3.5
> kg stone bought cows
> > and pigs, went back to give her photos I promised her,
> she told me she
> > invested some of the money in livestock, she bought 4
> piglets and told me in
> > a year she would have 20 pigs. she could not afford a
> single pig before that
> > meteorite fell and like a gift from heaven, she got
> more money than she had
> > ever seen in her life. I will not sell it.
> > More than one month after the fall, hundreds of
> deperately poor people
> > searching, 11.8 kg has been found plus the ~2.5 kg
> original mass.
> > I thought more would be found, but not so easy.
> > I flew 39,224 miles, spent more than $28,000 on
> expenses, went on safari,
> > saw things I have never seen, and recovered a
> meteorite for science and
> > collectors alike.
> > Hopefully this is a good thing, but sadly I am sure
> some will try to destroy
> > my work.
> > Thanks for the support from those who like what I do
> to get you the things
> > in your collections.
> > Trying to work on a webpage, but my computer will have
> none of it, so giving
> > up for the day. Will try again tomorrow.
> > Michael Farmer
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Received on Tue 23 Aug 2011 10:17:38 PM PDT