[meteorite-list] Final report on analysis of fake martian meteorites sold on ebay, revisited
From: info at moonmarsrocks.com <info_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Wed, 06 Jun 2012 15:57:22 -0700
My apologies to all for not deleting the previous digest's postings when
I replied earlier today, which clogged up the digest...thanks to Elton
for pointing it out.
I had trouble myself finding my posting in all that, so I am reposting
As was previously reported in this forum last month, ebay seller
steelhorse1994 was dumping fake moon and mars rock displays on
unsuspecting buyers through ebay listings for over a year. My
involvement started a few months ago when I recognized the displays were
suspect and made it my mission to uncover the fraud. I obtained one of
these displays and solicited the assistance of Dr. Randy Korotev at
Washington University to analyze it with neutron activation. His initial
report to me last month indicated that it was NOT a rock from space and
was indeed terrestrial. I immediately contacted eBay. Two days later,
the fraud was no longer selling his fakes on eBay. There is still the
occasional ebay seller "reselling" some of these fakes, an unfortunate
repercussion of over 1000 bogus items dumped on eBay.
Be on the lookout. The clear tell for ALL of his fakes is to observe the
reverse display side image. It will say in big letters: "American
Meteorite Collectors Society", which of course is nonexistent,
"Authenicity Guaranteed". NOT.
I followed up with eBay and inquired if they were planning to contact
all the buyers who bought the fraudulent material. Their response was:
"Oh no, they would have to contact us, and within 45 days of the
purchase". Are you kidding me? How self-serving is that!
I have just received the final data analysis from Dr. Korotev regarding
the display that I sent him and have reproduced his conclusions below.
If anyone is interested in seeing the hard data (1 page, primarily
regarding the REE), drop me a note, and I will forward it to you.
Dear Mr. Noyes:
Here are the final INAA data on your fake martian meteorite.
There appear to be no published data for NWA 4925, but according to my
colleague Tony Irving, NWA 4925 is a "depleted, permafic olivine
shergottite," of which there are several, including SaU 005 and the new
martian fall Tissint. Your rock is nothing like any of them. It's got
the geochemical signatures of a terrestrial rock - high alkalis, low Cr,
granite-like REE pattern.
Randy L. Korotev phone: (314) 935-5637
Research Professor fax: (314) 935-7361
Washington University in Saint Louis korotev at wustl.edu
Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences http://epsc.wustl.edu/
Received on Wed 06 Jun 2012 06:57:22 PM PDT