Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Court to Decide If Man Can Keep His Moon Rock

samzenpus posted about 3 years ago | from the dark-side-of-the-moon-rocks dept.

NASA 390

Joe Gutheinz, a former senior investigator for NASA's Office of Inspector General, has made it his goal to collect all 230 moon rocks presented by the US to governments around the world, and put them in a museum. Deadliest Catch Captain Coleman Anderson wants to keep his little piece of the moon. Anderson says he found the rock in the trash mixed with debris following a fire at an Anchorage museum in 1973. He's kept it as a good luck charm ever since. "Our astronauts and their descendants are not permitted to have an Apollo 11-era moon rock to sell for their own enrichment and neither should a private citizen who acquired one in a less-noble manner," Gutheinz said. An Alaskan judge will now decide who legally owns the rock.

cancel ×

390 comments

Well... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36723240)

I have big ass moon rocks in my pants

Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36723792)

While I'm sure you're using it to try and attract little boys, Joe Gutheinz would like to speak to you...

"less-noble manner" ?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36723252)

This guy sounds like an Indiana-Jones type elitist.

So what if the guy found it in the trash; I'm sure Joe's mom came across his dad's sperm in a a less-noble manner.

CRANKY OLD MAN ASTRONAUT (5, Insightful)

Thud457 (234763) | about 3 years ago | (#36723608)

Buzz Aldrin should fly to Alaska, punch this guy in the nose, and recover the moon rock for the benefit of Mankind. And let a camera crew from the History channel tag along for the lulz.

Re:CRANKY OLD MAN ASTRONAUT (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | about 3 years ago | (#36723748)

Discovery channel camera crew vs History channel camera crew: FIGHT!

Good call (5, Insightful)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 3 years ago | (#36723256)

Maybe he should have let the thing go on in the trash, then where would your precious little moon rock be? But that's what you get for trying, sued

Re:Good call (1)

jjetson (2041488) | about 3 years ago | (#36723406)

And what exactly was he "trying". To save the precious moon rock from being lost forever? Doesn't sound like that's what he's claiming.

Re:Good call (5, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | about 3 years ago | (#36723590)

Why is such a selfless motivation necessary? No, he wasn't "saving it from being lost". He saw something cool and saved it FOR HIS OWN BENEFIT, but the reality is that that motivation is what saved this rock from being lost in the first place. In 200 years it will quite possibly still be known and cataloged - long after he's gone. If the government's response is to sue people for doing such things though, then why bother in the first place?

To put it more bluntly: would you rather it be in a private collection or lost completely? Those are your two options.

Re:Good call (1)

jjetson (2041488) | about 3 years ago | (#36723674)

Such a selfless motivation is necessary to constitute the OP's statement of "But that's what you get for trying, sued". Not sure the rest of your tangent was needed as no comment was made about it.

Re:Good call (4, Insightful)

mswhippingboy (754599) | about 3 years ago | (#36723952)

For gods sake dude, the guy found this in the debris from a fire at a museum. Don't you feel he had an obligation to return this to the museum? It's not like he was just strolling along the beach and found it washed up.

By your logic, anytime there is a fire or other disaster that damages a building, everyone is free to jump in dig for booty. I think the word for this is "looting".

Re:Good call (4, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | about 3 years ago | (#36724134)

The museum went right over all the debris, took what they wanted, declared the rest trash/unsalvageable, and rescinded ownership of it.

If anything they ought to have to pay this guy for doing what they were too fucking lazy to do: restore the piece to condition.

Re:Good call (1)

EdIII (1114411) | about 3 years ago | (#36724208)

Absolutely incorrect.

Anderson says he found the rock in the trash mixed with debris following a fire at an Anchorage museum in 1973

The museum, according to this, threw it away in the trash. I could quote The Burbs here, but I think the Supreme Court made it pretty clear AFAIK. Once you throw away something in the trash you have relinquished all claims of ownership.

IANAL, but comparing this to looting is just specious.

Should Anderson have been compelled to contact another Museum and tell them that he thought he had a piece of a Moon rock? Maybe. Is he morally wrong for not doing so? That's highly questionable.

To me Anderson is without question the legal owner of the rock if it was thrown out in the trash.

That is my opinion, but to label the man a thief is hardly fair. Obviously he has some sentimental attachment to it and if everyone could be adults about it they could just come to an agreement that upon Anderson's death ownership is transferred to the Museum.

It would not be the first such arrangement either. Why the Moon rock all of the sudden gets special treatment is beyond me. Sure, it took a heck of lot more resources to obtain and makes it inherently quite valuable, but it was thrown away in the trash.

Re:Good call (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | about 3 years ago | (#36724012)

In 200 years it will quite possibly still be known and cataloged - long after he's gone.

Unless it gets "lost" in another fire or other misfortune.

To put it more bluntly: would you rather it be in a private collection or lost completely? Those are your two options.

No - there's a 3rd option. It is recovered and placed back in public stewardship where it belongs.

Re:Good call (2, Interesting)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about 3 years ago | (#36723768)

But that's what you get for trying, sued

So that's why after he rescued it he immediately returned it to the relevant interested parties rather than keeping it for himself? Oh wait...

Re:Good call (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 3 years ago | (#36723848)

and bragged about it to everyone he could find.

Re:Good call (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | about 3 years ago | (#36723868)

It was in the trash. Why, other than to be a nice and completely selfless person, would he have any motivation to try and give it back?

It is completely legal for anyone to pick through trash placed on public(ly accessible) property. The only legal question should be whether it was the museum or NASA that owned it at the time it was thrown away. The idea that just because the astronauts are not allowed to keep any that this individual should follow the same rule is ridiculous. It's a rule made up by NASA, not a law.

Re:Good call (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 3 years ago | (#36724028)

It is completely legal for anyone to pick through trash placed on public(ly accessible) property.

you SHOULD be right, but it depends on the locale. some believe that once you put it on curbside, the collections company (who you do NOT want to run up against) owns it.

Precedence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36723282)

There are other court cases where folks have claimed things that have been disposed of. All the cases I have read show that once a prperty owner has thrown something out that whoever physically claims it is the owner. Unless a good lawyer can showhow this case is different, I don't know that NASA has a valid case.

Re:Precedence (3, Interesting)

WillAdams (45638) | about 3 years ago | (#36723326)

The museum wasn't the property owner, but merely a custodian of an item which is owned by NASA and was on loan to them. That they improperly disposed of it, does not terminate NASA's ownership.

William

Re:Precedence (2)

blair1q (305137) | about 3 years ago | (#36723530)

It also depends on where the garbage was when it was rummaged through. And what sort of container it was in, since dumpsters are generally property of the hauling company, and putting something into one may be considered transferring ownership to them.

This case is all about ownership of trash, and not at all about what the item is. Since there's no law saying a private citizen can't own a moon rock, that makes it a moot rock.

Re:Precedence (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 3 years ago | (#36723830)

And if it has black & white spots, it's a moo rock?

Re:Precedence (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 3 years ago | (#36723878)

It doesnt matter the state of the garbage. All moon rocks recovered by the United States are legally considered property of the citizens of the United States. He has no claim to it, regardless of where or how it was found. If it is a lunar meteorite, that is another story altogether. If this rock can be proven to have been acquired through NASA, he has no chance.

Re:Precedence (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 3 years ago | (#36723628)

Except I didn't read anywhere in the article that it is the property of NASA. all I read that it was attached to a plaque but not if it was loaned to Alaska and not given to the state.

Re:Precedence (1)

tverbeek (457094) | about 3 years ago | (#36723568)

Sorry, but "finders keepers" is not actually a legal doctrine.

First, NASA could easily argue that the rock was not "disposed of", but "lost". Or even "taken without permission". Obviously, lost or stolen goods do not automatically become the property of the person who possesses them. Even the (legally inaccurate) expression that people like to quote only claims that "possession is 9/10 of the law".

Alternatively, if NASA could show that the rock was given with the understanding that it would be preserved in the museum's collection, the museum's failure to do so could result in ownership reverting to NASA.

Bottom line: there are plenty of legal precedents for situations like this, and they don't always favor the possessor. The court will have to determine which precedent applies to this specific situation.

Re:Precedence (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about 3 years ago | (#36723632)

Sorry, but "finders keepers" is not actually a legal doctrine.

Not completely true. There's salvage rights [wikipedia.org] , for one example.

Re:Precedence (1)

tverbeek (457094) | about 3 years ago | (#36723758)

The laws regarding marine salvage are a bit more complex than "finders keepers" (or even AC's slightly longer version).

Re:Precedence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36724064)

I'd disregard legal opinions from anyone who does not spell "precedents" correctly.

Yes your honor... (2)

Average_Joe_Sixpack (534373) | about 3 years ago | (#36723332)

I would like to cite the case of 'Finders vs Keepers'

Re:Yes your honor... (4, Funny)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 3 years ago | (#36723402)

I think you mean 'Finders Keepers v. Losers Weepers'

Re:Yes your honor... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36723822)

You almost had it. The actual case is Keepers v. Weepers.

Re:Yes your honor... (1)

pluther (647209) | about 3 years ago | (#36724204)

Given the circumstances in this one, I think he was more accurate with the misquote.

Found it in the trash (3, Insightful)

sheehaje (240093) | about 3 years ago | (#36723338)

"Our astronauts and their descendants are not permitted to have an Apollo 11-era moon rock to sell for their own enrichment and neither should a private citizen who acquired one in a less-noble manner,"

The way I see it, the guy saved it from being buried in some landfill somewhere. I'm sure none of that matters to the courts, but I can't see trying to slander the guy for wanting to keep what he found. Also, it doesn't sound like he's trying to cash in on it (at least not yet), but is rather fond of his "good luck charm".

Re:Found it in the trash (5, Informative)

SEWilco (27983) | about 3 years ago | (#36723688)

The State of Alaska seems to agree that stuff in the trash is abandoned property (PDF) [alaska.gov] .

You should read that link (2)

brokeninside (34168) | about 3 years ago | (#36724086)

I do not believe any party to the suit is willing to admit that the moonrock was intentionally placed in a trash receptacle outside the building and curtilage of the museum and, thereby, abandoned.

And, even if that were the case, that does not mean that a finder has right to title if the object is found. If, as I believe the feds are claiming, the rocks don't actually belong to the museum but to the US government, then it doesn't matter if the museum did abandon the rocks.

That said, it's apparent that the government is being an asshat about the situation. What they should have done is graciously thanked Anderson for saving the rocks, offered to generously reimburse him for his time as steward of the rocks, and offered to put a commemorative plaque with his name on the new display. As it is, they're being petty bullies.

Re:You should read that link (-1, Flamebait)

Moryath (553296) | about 3 years ago | (#36724184)

As it is, they're being petty bullies.

Well that's what you get when you let Republicans take office.

Re:Found it in the trash (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | about 3 years ago | (#36723826)

If it were land filled in 1973 Anchorage, right now it would be under a property development between one of the airports and Muldoon, lost forever.

The Municipality of Anchorage and State of Alaska didn't care to recover the rock, the guy saved it, it's his now by state law.

Re:Found it in the trash (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36723922)

The astronauts were government employees being paid to (among other things) collect the rocks, so of course they weren't allowed to keep them*. This guy got his fair and square, as abandoned property.

*(Alan Bean acquired some moon dust which was collected from the outside of his suit, and incorporated it (milligram quantities) into the paint he used for the excellent lunar landscapes he's painted. He doesn't sell the originals.)

-- Alastair

Take it. (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36723382)

I don't like the gov't claiming any kind of eminent domain, or seazing any other property from individual owners. But in this case I dislike looters who go into a burned down structure and steal your property before you get a chance to return and get it. What he did was an act of looting and theft and should probably be fined for it. .

Re:Take it. (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 3 years ago | (#36723468)

What he did was an act of salvage, and the Government should be thanking him for saving this artifact. I don't know whether eminent domain applies here, but he's definitely entitled to either keep the rock or be compensated with its fair market value.

Perhaps on the seas ... (1)

brokeninside (34168) | about 3 years ago | (#36723932)

... but unless the state (or private owner if the property was leased) gave permission for a salvage operation, then this isn't a salvage operation.

By way of comparison, say my house burns down. You come and search through the rubble that used to be my basement and find something I missed. If you take it home, that's not salvage but theft. That the state owned the museum (or leased it) shouldn't make this much different.

But that's the legal perspective. It doesn't necessarily dovetail with what the right thing to do is.

Re:Take it. (1)

earls (1367951) | about 3 years ago | (#36723472)

Better yet, he should be forced to do the most deadly job in the world!

Re:Take it. (1)

mswhippingboy (754599) | about 3 years ago | (#36724016)

Better yet, he should be forced to do the most deadly job in the world!

And what would that be? Windows 7 Phone project manager?

Re:Take it. (2)

Zcar (756484) | about 3 years ago | (#36723488)

That's not how I read it. Per the article, "After the museum fire and cleanup, garbage trucks were sent in to haul off the remaining debris, and Anderson claims he was combing through it when he discovered the plaque, which was coated with a thick layer of melted materials."

It's not looting to go through trash.

Re:Take it. (1)

Thud457 (234763) | about 3 years ago | (#36723730)

It's not looting to go through trash.

ooohhhhh, I see how it is! When it's a white guy doing it, it's "finding".

Re:Take it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36723738)

It's not looting to go through trash.

yes it is actually, if it's still in the structure...

wow what a shame (5, Insightful)

digitalsushi (137809) | about 3 years ago | (#36723446)

we should just go get a bunch more rocks so that they are not valuable. it's a damned rock. but since we're apparently stuck on this one forever, they are worth more than gold.

did you people know the top of the washington monument is made of aluminium? cause that used to be precious too.

let the dude keep his pebble. lets be noble and go back to the moon. we used to be good at it.

Re:wow what a shame (1)

blair1q (305137) | about 3 years ago | (#36723618)

Until half the moon is moon rocks on Earth, they'll be valuable.

And the principle is about not owning anything gained from space exploration. It's international in scope, and is a big deal, because if you can own a rock, you can claim the moon for your country, and that's going to cause space wars.

Re:wow what a shame (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36723832)

Sorry, Houston annexed the Moon back in the 80's. You can't have it.

Re:wow what a shame (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 3 years ago | (#36723898)

Oh jesus no...

If texas lays claim to the Moon none of us will ever hear the end of it.

Re:wow what a shame (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | about 3 years ago | (#36723978)

Sorry, Houston annexed the Moon back in the 80's. You can't have it.

Yeah, General Zod took it back from Planet Houston, though.

Re:wow what a shame (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36724044)

I for one welcome smashing our moon overlord into the Earth...I imagine at least half of it would stay, right?

Re:wow what a shame (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36724066)

How the fuck does one go from "I found a rock in the trash, so now I can claim the moon for myself"?

Even a child would hear that and think (or insist) that you're joking.

Besides, if nobody can "own" something gained from space exploration, what kind of claim does the government have on taking it from someone else?

Re:wow what a shame (3, Informative)

dgatwood (11270) | about 3 years ago | (#36724078)

Actually, it had nothing to do with aluminum being precious, but rather that most metal manufacturing (until the advent of CNC milling in the 1950s) was done by casting, and pure aluminum doesn't cast well.

It was also a relatively expensive material because the technology to cheaply extract aluminum from aluminum oxide was still in its infancy (the modern Hall-Héroult process having not been invented until two years later, in 1886, with the previous technologies being either extremely expensive, difficult to use in large quantities, or both), but this was in large part due to lack of demand, which was in large part due to the fact that it was historically difficult to cast pure aluminum precisely and get yields comparable to that of other metals or aluminum alloys.

See The Point of a Monument: A History of the Aluminum Cap of the Washington Monument [tms.org] for details.

Still, the point remains that its cost was largely due to its novelty.

Geez (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36723464)

Let the guy keep his space-rock.

let him keep it until ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36723494)

... the rest of them are found.

Sounds like a good deal to me.

This is what should happen... (5, Insightful)

jzarling (600712) | about 3 years ago | (#36723504)

Coleman -
Give it back - sure you saved it and restored the plaque, but its a moon rock it belongs to the public.

State of Alaska -
Thank him for safe keeping a state treasure,
Display the Rock in a museum, and include the message of thanks to Coleman for keeping what you thought was junk, but was also historically valuable.
make sure you never loose this thing again.

All sides drop all lawsuits.

Everyone move on.

Re:This is what should happen... (3, Insightful)

Evtim (1022085) | about 3 years ago | (#36723776)

I say, give the man custody over the rock for the duration of his life if it is his "lucky charm". Make sure that all hell rains on him if he tries to profit. Include proper clause in his will. Collect after his death. If he dies in a manner that makes the rock non-retrievable (say a boat sinks with him on board), write it off as an act of God and write an article in Nature that moon rocks are not so lucky after all...

Re:This is what should happen... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36724200)

I guess there is a law on fair compensation, because of the other law of finder keepers.

Break it in half (2)

KPexEA (1030982) | about 3 years ago | (#36723520)

The best compromise is when both parties are not happy with the result.

Re:Break it in half (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36723598)

King Solomon would be proud.

Just one rule (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36723546)

Finders keepers.

Translation (0)

characterZer0 (138196) | about 3 years ago | (#36723548)

"found the rock in debris following a fire at an Anchorage museum in 1973" = "stole"

If it was not his and he took it without permission, he stole it.

Re:Translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36723638)

Is it theft for me to take the newsprint from your recycle bin to use in my gardening, or is it theft for the homeless guys to take the aluminum cans and glass bottles from public trash in order to recycle it for profit? I'd argue that neither are theft, as the original owner has indicated clearly that they do not wish to retain ownership of the property.

Re:Translation (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 3 years ago | (#36723928)

"Is it theft for me to take the newsprint from your recycle bin to use in my gardening,"

if my newsprint was in my kitchen waste bin and you broke in to take it? YES.

This is what he did. he Tresspassed to get to it.

Re:Translation (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 3 years ago | (#36723972)

yes, that is theft. Your argument holds no legal water. Taking newsprint from the recycling bin improperly takes material NOT INTENDED FOR YOU. Its not your property, dont fucking touch it. how hard is that? And I call the cops at least once a month to kick the homeless and other low lives out of our community garbage bins taking the bottles and cans. It is theft and trespass. That garbage belongs to our hauling company and us, not any third party. To be clear the main reason we do that is that i get sick of having to shred my mail because the homeless are going through my trash.

Re:Translation (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 3 years ago | (#36724206)

I'm not defending the trespassing, but one is compelled to ask what are recyclable bottles and cans doing in a garbage bin in the first place? Why aren't they being recycled?

Re:Translation (1)

akahige (622549) | about 3 years ago | (#36723646)

Even if he flat out stole the thing, 1973 was almost 40 years ago -- long past any statute of limitations. So where's the justification in trying to force him to return it?

Re:Translation (2)

hobo sapiens (893427) | about 3 years ago | (#36723650)

he found it in the trash. He didn't steal it. It was being thrown out and would have been put in a landfill. The museum was negligent; he didn't steal it.

Re:Translation (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 3 years ago | (#36723684)

I think the part where it was part of trash that was to be hauled away makes this a little complicated

Re:Translation (1)

Nadaka (224565) | about 3 years ago | (#36723852)

No, that is the part that makes it simple. You give up your right to trash when you put it out to be hauled away. That is why the police can go through it without a warrant.

Re:Translation (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 3 years ago | (#36724148)

You don't give up your ownership of things in the trash that you did not intend to put there. If you can show that the museum intentionally threw it out, then yes... he has a legitimate claim to it. If it ended up in the trash due to an accident... however negligent it may have been on the museum's part to allow that to have occurred, it was still their property.

Re:Translation (1)

brusk (135896) | about 3 years ago | (#36724154)

Not if you still have it on your property. The police can go through the trash bag on the curb, but not the bin in your back yard. It sounds like this was still on site when he went through it.

Re:Translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36723930)

As has already been pointed out, throwing something in the trash relinquishes any claim to ownership of it.

The moon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36723552)

Why would someone go to a museum to see a little bit of the moon, when all you have to do is wait until it's dark and you can see the whole thing...? A rock is a rock, once you've seen one you've seen them all.

Re:The moon (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 3 years ago | (#36723994)

But you cant lick the moon. you CAN lick the rock though.

And no it does not taste like cheese...

Precedent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36723560)

I believe there is precedent; I remind the court of the case of Finders VS Keepers.

law rarely favors finders-keepers (3, Insightful)

v1 (525388) | about 3 years ago | (#36723672)

It's a chain-of-ownership issue here. If NASA loaned the rock to the museum for display, and they accidentally tossed it out, NASA still owns it, all the way to the dump and beyond. Just because you lose track of something doesn't mean you don't own it anymore. You have to give it away, sell it, transfer it, abandon it, or have it confiscated, to lose ownership over it. Valuable things are rarely donated to museums, they are more often put on exhibit on a temporary or permanent basis.

Right now that's looking like the case. But further details could emerge. Maybe NASA gave them 11 rocks along with other stuff, and asked for "all 10 rocks back and you can dispose of the rest of the exhibit", which would transfer ownership of rock #11 to the museum, which threw it out (abandoned it) and then in the trash pile it does become finders-keepers.

Re:law rarely favors finders-keepers (2)

pavon (30274) | about 3 years ago | (#36724130)

NASA didn't loan it. President Nixon gave it to the state governor who had it placed in a museum. Many other governors who received them just displayed it in their office. At that time no one thought these would be the last rocks to be brought back from the moon for generations to come.

Re:law rarely favors finders-keepers (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | about 3 years ago | (#36724144)

It's a chain-of-ownership issue here. If NASA loaned the rock to the museum for display, and they accidentally tossed it out, NASA still owns it, all the way to the dump and beyond. Just because you lose track of something doesn't mean you don't own it anymore. You have to give it away, sell it, transfer it, abandon it, or have it confiscated, to lose ownership over it. Valuable things are rarely donated to museums, they are more often put on exhibit on a temporary or permanent basis.

My understanding is stolen property is returned to the original owner where possible. It doesn't matter if it was sold 2 or 3 times down the line already, if that car was stolen from someone then those poor buyers are SOL and the owner gets the car back.

Here, it's murky. On one hand the guy saved a priceless artifact from winding up under a few metric tons of trash. NASA should be grateful for that fact alone.

AND typically trash is the wild west... if it was left on public property (the curb) and in regular trash bins then anyone can pick through it. Cops, homeless, stalkers, ANYONE. It sucks, but those are the breaks.

So if the rock was still NASA's then it's probably still there's. I really doubt they simply "gave" the rock to a museum, things tend to be "on loan" to museums.

You can bet this is about money (2)

elrous0 (869638) | about 3 years ago | (#36723690)

If you've ever watch the crab captains on Deadliest Catch, you would know that there never existed in the universe a more greedy, money-obsessed group of cold sonofabitches than those guys. They LOVE money. They don't hesitate to risk the lives of their own families for money. They think about money from the second they get up to the moment they go to bed.

If this guy was a crab captain, you can bet that he's holding out for more money. All that sentimental value crap is just his way of bargaining. I guarantee you that the only thing that has stopped him from selling it before was his questionable title to it. If he wins this case, he'll be auctioning it off the next day.

Re:You can bet this is about money (1)

OzPeter (195038) | about 3 years ago | (#36723934)

If you've ever watch the crab captains on Deadliest Catch, you would know that there never existed in the universe a more greedy, money-obsessed group of cold sonofabitches than those guys

You do know that its just a TV show don't you? That is edited by other people in order to create drama that is intended to get people to watch the adverts so that the advertisers can make money? You do know that don't you?

In general TV is not about truth, it is about being a vehicle that places Ads in front of eyeballs. You just have to follow the money and see who pays who.

What about moon shit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36723726)

Do you think that had the Apollo astronauts brought back their shit from the moon to the earth that people would be arguing over ownership of it?

Their loss, his gain (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36723742)

If they did, indeed, throw the baby out with the bathwater, then it's their own loss.
As far as I am aware, there are no laws preventing you from acquiring something from someone else's garbage.

Maybe next time they should double check their stuff before throwing it out?

Re:Their loss, his gain (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 3 years ago | (#36724032)

There are plenty of laws preventing you from going through and stealing garbage, especially on private property. Designated for trash does not automatically mean its free for all.

Intolerable! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36723800)

That rock rightfully belong to Lord British [slashdot.org] ; the thieve should return it at once!

I didn't give one to him, so you can't have one. (1)

SEWilco (27983) | about 3 years ago | (#36723804)

"Our astronauts and their descendants are not permitted to have an Apollo 11-era moon rock to sell for their own enrichment and neither should a private citizen who acquired one in a less-noble manner," Gutheinz said.

In what way is it relevant what NASA chose to give to the astronauts? If NASA didn't give a rock to astronauts, does that also mean that NASA shouldn't keep any of the rocks? Does NASA own the rocks which it gave away to governors and other countries? If it was NASA's rock, what did it do to recover it after the fire? Did NASA think that a rock can't survive a fire?

That's no moon... (1)

madhatter256 (443326) | about 3 years ago | (#36723814)

That's no moon....

Right...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36723820)

So let me get this straight, First a museum burns down (probably due to some form of negligence), they apparently don't properly sort through the debris for salvageable relics. This guy spends his own time, effort & money finding and restoring the plaque containing the moon rock pieces that they carelessly forgot about. Now they want it back and "restitution" for its loss??? This is like a guy throwing out an antique toy and then filing theft charges later when he finds out its worth some money and someone else picked it up and restored it.

Finders keepers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36723834)

...losers Litigators?

gimmie a brake (1)

luther349 (645380) | about 3 years ago | (#36723854)

you knoe are courts have gone downhill when they are fighting over a rock and they acully took the case. nasa needs to chill the f out what abought all those little placks they sold with moon rocks on them.

Re:gimmie a brake (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36724056)

Congrats! I think you spelled ten words right but I still didn't understand a word you said.

Holy, begging of the question Batman! (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 3 years ago | (#36723874)

Nice title.

Ever wish... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36723884)

You just kept your mouth shut about the fancy rock you found?

Looting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36723890)

Hm, so a museum burns down. This guy start combing through the garbage to see if they missed anything after the tragedy. He finds what he *knows* is a valuable piece of property from the museum that they missed in the debris. He then decides to keep it instead of returning it to the rightful owners. He knows it is valuable, he knows who it belongs to and he decides to walk off with it instead.

When you know that someone has suffered a tragedy you should step up to help them recover rather then hunting around hoping that they've miss placed something that you can walk off with. That behavior is called 'looting'.

What a slime bucket this guy is.

Re:Looting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36724100)

Uhm, when MY house burned, I went through MY OWN garbage and salvaged everything of value. What I took to the curb I considered irretrievably lost to me and if somebody else found something valuable in it, that's my own fault for putting it in the trash.

If he broke into the museum and rooted through the debris, then sure, that's looting. But they aren't accusing him of that. He claims they threw it away. If so, that's their own fault.

Theft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36723938)

He's lucky all that is happening is a lawsuit, that's grand theft, the black market value(only tangible value at current) is 5 million.

abort, retry, fail? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36724010)

break the rock in two and both parties will have what they want, a piece of history.

Offer him FMV... (4, Insightful)

HogGeek (456673) | about 3 years ago | (#36724020)

According to the TFA, the item was "presented to the state of Alaska in 1969 by President Nixon".

If the museum was run by the state, then they tossed it, and he owns it...

Other moon rocks (1)

scharkalvin (72228) | about 3 years ago | (#36724132)

There are probably many moon rocks on earth other than the ones brought back by project Apollo. Just as meteor strikes on Mars sent rocks on a collision course with earth, so did meteor strikes on the moon. The hard part would be in proving that a particular rock came from the moon.

Why does it matter? (1)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | about 3 years ago | (#36724164)

Joe Gutheinz, a former senior investigator for NASA's Office of Inspector General, has made it his goal to collect all 230 moon rocks presented by the US to governments around the world, and put them in a museum.

Seriously, what's the difference if the museum contains 229 or 230 moon rocks? It sounds like without this guy, the rock would have been lost forever. Really, who is going to be harmed by allowing him to keep the thing?

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...