[meteorite-list] Ebay victims of fake moon and mars meteorite scam

From: Michael Gilmer <meteoritemike_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu, 7 Jun 2012 13:56:38 -0400
Message-ID: <CAKBPJW_3Y21RzN0wjr-1D0toZ86V3msdynw703xXdOJAEfsMwQ_at_mail.gmail.com>

Hi Daniel and List,

I really feel bad for the buyers of these bogus planetaries. Things
like this damage the integrity of the entire market. In the distant
past, I used to contact sellers and buyers of questionable specimens,
but I stopped doing it long ago. First, I hate being the bearer of
ill tidings. Secondly, people like to shoot the messenger and more
than once I received hostile responses.

Now that Daniel mentions it, I do recall seeing those "titles" for
lunar real estate for sale on eBay. I had no idea it was the same
scammer who ended up selling the fake planetaries. The phrase "buyer
beware" takes on all new meaning when shopping eBay. eBay is not
going to bend over backwards to police their own marketplace because
it's not in their financial best interests. They receive revenue in
form of listing and final value fees for every item sold, regardless
of whether it is genuine or not. And they are not going to willingly
reduce their own revenue in the name of integrity. Integrity in the
corporate world went out the window back in the 1980's and it hasn't
been seen since. The only reason they have stricter controls in place
for gemstones, precious metals, Tiffany items, etc, is because those
collectibles have larger collector demographics which are very
litigious. Under the threat of lawsuits, they have tightened their
controls over certain collectibles and commodities. We will not see
the same for meteorites because we are a small (by comparison) niche

But, be careful what you wish for. If eBay were to enact tighter
controls over meteorite listings, it could be a huge hassle for many
legitimate sellers. Do we really want corporate stuffed-suits and
bureaucrats sticking their noses into the meteorite market? That
would be a double-edged sword and once that Pandora's box is opened,
there is no closing it. Is that enough cliches in one paragraph for
everyone? LOL.

>From an ethical standpoint, the best we can do is to mitigate the
damage that has been done by this bogus planetary affair. We can put
all of this out here on the record for all to see. All it takes is a
simple Google search (or Bing) to reveal the truth. Also, we must try
to remove these bogus specimens from the market as we encounter them.
The danger here is that someone will remove the bogus specimens from
their easily-identified containers and sell them in another form where
they are less easily recognized.

For the record (perhaps Daniel can help answer this), what NWA numbers
are "tainted" by these bogus displays? Luckily, the scammer appears
to have limited himself to certain NWA numbered Lunars and Martians.
These numbers must be treated with extra scrutiny from now on, until
these specimens are removed from the market.

Again, kudos to Daniel for doing the sleuth-work and Dr. Korotev for
donating his expertise.

Best regards,


Galactic Stone & Ironworks - MikeG
Web: http://www.galactic-stone.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/galacticstone
Twitter: http://twitter.com/GalacticStone
RSS: http://www.galactic-stone.com/rss/126516
On 6/7/12, info at moonmarsrocks.com <info at moonmarsrocks.com> wrote:
> I like Shawn's idea of some kind of coordinated effort to contact all
> the victims of steelhorse1994's scam. This can be done by going to the
> flake's ebay feedback list where the buyer username and what they bought
> is clearly indicated. I believe Ebay has an anti-spam trigger that
> limits multiple messages to 10 or so per day per user. As I indicated
> before, ebay has no interest whatsoever in reaching out to the victims
> of this injustice. In fact they did not boot him completely off ebay, he
> is still selling other items like silver bars (are they real, who
> knows?). People should contact ebay and demand he be removed altogether.
> Do you think they will listen? His last rock sales were the first week
> of May so the bulk of his over 1000 sales are past the 45 day ebay
> protection window. Some of the victims may be able to get paypal or
> their credit card company to do something. By the way, most of the time
> he was starting the sales at a 1 penny auction and ending at very low
> prices relative to the large size of the rock (the one I got was at
> minimum 20-25 mg), which also was a tip off to me.
> More specifics: steelhorse1994 sold his fake moon and mars displays from
> about October 2011 to early May 2012.  However, as best I can tell for
> about a year before that (starting in October 2010 to Oct. 2011) under a
> DIFFERENT username: "spaceterrain4sale" he was selling them. He still
> has an ebay store but no items under that name and the feedback can be
> viewed. And yes, at that time he was also selling deed titles to land on
> the moon and mars and that dates back to Feb 2010. My theory is he got
> in hot water with ebay about the deed title thing in Oct 2011 and that's
> why he switched names and then only sold the rocks. It's so despicable!
> I had already tried to get ebay to kick the guy off back in March based
> on the bogus American Meteorite Collectors Society thing on his
> displays, but they did not act. So, a lot of thanks go out to Dr.
> Korotev who was willing to take the time to analyze the rock I sent him
> and provide the hard science evidence.
> Best regards,
> Daniel
> Daniel Noyes
> info at moonmarsrocks.com
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Received on Thu 07 Jun 2012 01:56:38 PM PDT

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