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Thread: Stealing from ghost towns and mines

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    Default Stealing from ghost towns and mines

    Originally posted by Grizzled Old Prospector


    : Has anyone ever stolen anything from a ghost town or mine? seriously.




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    Default Re: Stealing from ghost towns and mines

    Originally posted by David A. Wright


    : Just solitude and gorgeous sunsets. Stolen on film, of course.



    : There have been times I've found artifacts on the ground. I make a careful note of what and where, then let either a museum or other official know. I know of a couple of times that it sparked an archaeologist investigation. I also photograph the item for my records.



    : I was tought by my grandmother back in the '50s to take nothing but photos and leave nothing but footprints in ghost towns back in those days of bouncing around in the Great Basin and Mojave Desert in her late '40s Chevy. Something I still live by today. But I've seen the disastrous results of those who do not or have not learned this creed.




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    Default Re: Stealing from ghost towns and mines

    Originally posted by Yet Another Bob


    : Sadly David, there are many in this world who don't share your grandmothers wisdom. Like you, I would never disturb an historic or prehistoric artifact found in situ BUT several years of experience as an avocation archeologist allow me to discern between current litter and historic midden. I confess to removing lots of aluminum Budweiser cans, McDonald paper cups, and other clearly identifiable non-historic trash. I always leave those soldered cans and square nails but I'm a terror on aluminum My personal standard will leave in situ many artifacts not yet protected by the Antiquities Act like rusting 50s and 60s metal toy airplanes. I'm less charitable with misplaced signs like the AEC boundary sign I found nailed to a Juniper tree a good 400 Yards north of TTR in SilverBow (Caution, the TTR boundary passes through that town so unless you have very accurate locational information err on the side of caution.) If you remember the feeling you've had when discovered an abandoned charcoaler's cabin, entering it, and founding a 1895 newspaper, or an ore car still on the rails and rollable, you'll surely want to leave those items for the next explorer.



    :

    : : Just solitude and gorgeous sunsets. Stolen on film, of course.



    : : There have been times I've found artifacts on the ground. I make a careful note of what and where, then let either a museum or other official know. I know of a couple of times that it sparked an archaeologist investigation. I also photograph the item for my records.



    : : I was tought by my grandmother back in the '50s to take nothing but photos and leave nothing but footprints in ghost towns back in those days of bouncing around in the Great Basin and Mojave Desert in her late '40s Chevy. Something I still live by today. But I've seen the disastrous results of those who do not or have not learned this creed.




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    Default Re: Stealing from ghost towns and mines

    Originally posted by bad bob


    :

    : : Has anyone ever stolen anything from a ghost town or mine? seriously.



    : GOP, you must have been out in the sun a bit too long! People will steal anything not nailed down, and many times even if it is. And the size of an object matters little. In alphabetical order you have: collectors, entrepeneurs, metal detector nuts, souvenir hunters, swap meet vendors, traders, & vandals just to name a few that would like nothing more than to ravage an historical site for alleged profit, or just for the **** of it. Park rangers had to be permanently posted at Bodie, CA to prevent further loss. This is a STATE HISTORICAL PARK, with steep fines and/or jail time for convicted violators, etc. The thieves and vandals only scoffed at this, and continued to destroy Bodie until the rangers arrived. I'd guess that theft still continues at Bodie, since the rangers can't be everywhere, just on a much smaller scale. But small or not, it all adds up. Mines are no different, except people also steal dirt and rocks, thinking that there might be gold or silver in their booty. The truth is, the rocks are in their heads.

    : bb.

    :




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    Default Re: Stealing from ghost towns and mines

    Originally posted by Grizzled Old Prospector


    : :

    : : : Has anyone ever stolen anything from a ghost town or mine? seriously.



    : : GOP, you must have been out in the sun a bit too long! People will steal anything not nailed down, and many times even if it is. And the size of an object matters little. In alphabetical order you have: collectors, entrepeneurs, metal detector nuts, souvenir hunters, swap meet vendors, traders, & vandals just to name a few that would like nothing more than to ravage an historical site for alleged profit, or just for the **** of it. Park rangers had to be permanently posted at Bodie, CA to prevent further loss. This is a STATE HISTORICAL PARK, with steep fines and/or jail time for convicted violators, etc. The thieves and vandals only scoffed at this, and continued to destroy Bodie until the rangers arrived. I'd guess that theft still continues at Bodie, since the rangers can't be everywhere, just on a much smaller scale. But small or not, it all adds up. Mines are no different, except people also steal dirt and rocks, thinking that there might be gold or silver in their booty. The truth is, the rocks are in their heads.

    : : bb.

    : :



    : I see your point, but taking somthing from the bottom of a mountain creek that is rusting away is more like saving a historical relic than taking it for personal gain, which is exactly what I have done. And be serious how many times have you been tempted to save an item just to keep it from BEING vandalized?




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    Default Re: Rescuing is Still stealing

    Originally posted by Yet Another Bob


    : ...

    : : I see your point, but taking somthing from the bottom of a mountain creek that is rusting away is more like saving a historical relic than taking it for personal gain, which is exactly what I have done. And be serious how many times have you been tempted to save an item just to keep it from BEING vandalized?



    : Have done that a couple times and always feel guilty about it. I rescued a purple glass test tube from the shoulder of a paved state highway. The test tube had a seem so it would date around 1870. Rationalize, it is not in situ, it is not associated with anything but a modern highway, there had to be a cultural clearance to build that road, and it will get broken, etc.. Etc.. I rescued it and it disturbs me (It goes so against my principles) to the day. Some things just test your character harder than others. What would you do if you found a sack of gold coins secreted in a abandoned shack? I like to think I wouldn't give in to the temptation. Have I had friends that have purloined stuff from ghost towns, Yes. A friend purloined a large safe from Pioneer Nevada. They spent $100.00 to get it cracked only to find the only thing inside was a piece of paper with the combination of the safe on it. The $100.00 was well spent, the safe was worth several hundred even in the 70s when this theft occurred. While I don't condone such activity, I agree with Bad Bob on his general assessment of human nature, I just like to think that there are many like David who are above that. BTW: Giving the "rescued" test tube to a museum didn't ease my conscious one bit.




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    Default Re: Stealing from ghost towns and mines

    Originally posted by xplorrr


    : Ever read the letters in the Bodie welcome center (drugstore?) from people who have had some very bad luck since pilfering a doorknob (or whatever)from the town?

    : Ha ha! That's the answer. There is a terrible curse upon whomever shall steal from ghost towns.

    : Besides, name ONE ghost town you can still pilfer from.

    : No, don't do that, but you get the point...




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    Default Re: Saving relics from vandals!

    Originally posted by bad bob


    :

    : : :

    : : : : Has anyone ever stolen anything from a ghost town or mine? seriously.



    : : : GOP, you must have been out in the sun a bit too long! People will steal anything not nailed down, and many times even if it is. And the size of an object matters little. In alphabetical order you have: collectors, entrepeneurs, metal detector nuts, souvenir hunters, swap meet vendors, traders, & vandals just to name a few that would like nothing more than to ravage an historical site for alleged profit, or just for the **** of it. Park rangers had to be permanently posted at Bodie, CA to prevent further loss. This is a STATE HISTORICAL PARK, with steep fines and/or jail time for convicted violators, etc. The thieves and vandals only scoffed at this, and continued to destroy Bodie until the rangers arrived. I'd guess that theft still continues at Bodie, since the rangers can't be everywhere, just on a much smaller scale. But small or not, it all adds up. Mines are no different, except people also steal dirt and rocks, thinking that there might be gold or silver in their booty. The truth is, the rocks are in their heads.

    : : : bb.

    : : :



    : : I see your point, but taking somthing from the bottom of a mountain creek that is rusting away is more like saving a historical relic than taking it for personal gain, which is exactly what I have done. And be serious how many times have you been tempted to save an item just to keep it from BEING vandalized?



    : What I had attempted to do was merely answer the basic question you posed. Debates over semantics can be held from now until forever. If you're looking for justification to withhold an historic item, it won't swing. As noble as it seemed at the time, common sense should lead you in the right direction. "Rescuing" an item is most honorable, without argument, but the item must then be turned over to the proper authorities for final disposition.

    : bb.




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    Default Re: The curse of Bodie!

    Originally posted by bad bob


    :

    : : Ever read the letters in the Bodie welcome center (drugstore?) from people who have had some very bad luck since pilfering a doorknob (or whatever)from the town?

    : : Ha ha! That's the answer. There is a terrible curse upon whomever shall steal from ghost towns.

    : : Besides, name ONE ghost town you can still pilfer from.

    : : No, don't do that, but you get the point...



    : Interesting theory, but terribly flawed. First, I doubt that thieves and/or vandals take the time to stop by the welcome center to "discover" what happens to thieves, etc. Then, even if they saw the warning, they probably wouldn't believe it. If these people have the "cajones" to scoff at SHP theft/vandalism penalties, you can't possibly believe any outdated vodoo papers posted in the WC would be a deterrent. Personally, I hope the curse is still active, and that all violators suffer a slow and painful demise.....

    : As to your comment re: naming ONE ghost town which can still be pilfered, tell me. Do you and the Grizzled Old Prospector spend a lot of time together out in the desert heat, looking for the Lost Dutchman's Mine?

    : bb.








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    Default Re: Stealing from ghost towns and mines

    Originally posted by Yet Another Bob


    : ...

    : : Besides, name ONE ghost town you can still pilfer from.

    : : No, don't do that, but you get the point...



    : Explorr I could name you several dozen here in Nevada (some complete with heavy stuff like ore cars and machinery and other with "purloin and carry" items the size of doorknobs. The point is we all are reluctant to share this information because unless we think we really know the person we're telling, the next time you visit that special place, the thrill we be gone. I say you think you know cause I show a friend the remnants of a (I think F-105) jet spread across the desert and the next time I went by his house, the bent Gatling Gun (one of the largest pieces I could find) was on the wall in his garage.




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