[meteorite-list] Some thoughts on find coords
From: Count Deiro <countdeiro_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2012 12:23:44 -0400 (EDT)
Marc Fries has asked, "...is it really necessary to hide the find locations?"
The answer should be obvious when one consider's the following; in many foreign countries, it is illegal to take a find out of the jurisdiction, let alone sell it, even if it was found on private property. In the USA, if found on federal land, you will get the "Old Woman" treatment and if found on private land you will have to satisfy the property owners and the finder may still not resolve claims that can be made by other parties, including Native Americans.
Plain simple greed and avarice amongst competing dealers and collectors force many to hide the co-ordinates. I would hazard a guess that hundreds of reported find locations in the MetSocBull are phony. One famous example, is a rare carbonaceous chondrite's published co-ordinates placing it in a vacant lot in the middle of a housing tract. When profit is being sought, skulduggery proliferates
The embarrassing shennanigans in Battle Mountain were, in the main, caused by intentional location misinformation being distributed between competing collector/dealers.
Information as to finds is now for sale...Got forty bucks to spend...Here's where they fell. If accurate fall information wasn't so valuable then there would be no market for it. I know, putting the data together takes time and effort, and a person who uses their access and knowledge to compile a possible strewn field, might want to be compensated, but that also answers Marc's question.
>From: Marc Fries <chief_scientist at galacticanalytics.com>
>Sent: Sep 7, 2012 8:12 AM
>To: Meteorite List <meteorite-list at meteoritecentral.com>
>Subject: [meteorite-list] Some thoughts on find coords
> I've been talking with a few people about logging the Battle Mountain meteorites, and I'd like to start some discussion on the topic of find coordinates. This is NOT directed at any one person, but I would like to editorialize a bit. I'm getting a lot of push-back about printing find coordinates and I'd like to open the topic to general discussion.
> Historically, the locations of found meteorites have been a closely guarded secret. That made a lot of sense when meteorite hunting relied most heavily on eyewitness reports. A hunter could easily put in many, many miles of walking before coming across a meteorite. For finds that are made with weather radar, however, I don't think its the same situation. When I post radar analyses, it is like posting a treasure map that says, "Go Here". At that point everyone knows where the meteorites are, and it seems to me that the locations of individual stones aren't nearly as important as they were in the past. (Strewn fields without detailed radar data are another matter, of course.) Where those locations do matter are to A) the science behind describing the meteorite fall, and B) the value of the individual meteorite since a well-documented meteorite should be worth more than a random stone from a given fall.
> I am a scientist, and my first instinct is to collect, analyze, and -share- data. I understand where that is at odds with the level of secrecy needed in the past, but I think that that level of secrecy is no longer needed and actually works contrary to the value of meteorites, both monetary and scientific. On the Galactic Analytics website, I'm willing to go against my better instincts and hide find locations, at least until a scientific paper is released describing the fall. But to be honest, I think that's a little silly - I'll basically have a table showing meteorites with the find locations redacted, and then you can scroll down the page a bit and see a map showing where the meteorites are.
> So let me throw this out there as a general question - is it really important to hide the find locations?
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Received on Fri 07 Sep 2012 12:23:44 PM PDT