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Re: SUE



Mr. Bates and "friend of yours" CARL,

I suggest you climb into your flame-retardant asbestos suits, this is 
not going to be pretty...

What I'm about to do is refute your pack of falsehoods one-by-one and 
provide full references for everything. I can't tell if the tripe you 
posted is due to ignorance or some hidden agenda, so I challenge you to
provide the same level of documentation and adherence to facts as I do.
_____________________________________________________________________________

* Falsehood number 1 *
John K. Bates quoting "his friend" CARL wrote:
>JOHN, SUE WAS SEIZED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT BECAUSE
>IT WAS EXCAVATED FROM PUBLIC LAND, BLM I BELIEVE.  THE

SUE was seized upon the direct orders of acting U.S. Attorney Kevin 
Schieffer. SUE was not taken from public or BLM land. SUE was excavated 
from the privately-owned land of rancher Maurice Williams, which is located 
within the boundaries of an Indian reservation. The BHIGR purchased the 
fossil from Williams, and had secured the permission from him to extract it.
_____________________________________________________________________________

* Falsehood number 2 *
John K. Bates quoting "his friend" CARL wrote:
>THE ORIGINAL DISCOVERERS PLANNED TO SELL THE FIND TO THE
>HIGHEST BIDDER, PRIVATE OR PUBLIC,

SUE was *NEVER* for sale. She was donated to the Black Hills Natural 
History Foundation, which is a non-profit museum and paleo study facility. 
SUE was to be the centerpiece of the new museum. These facts are recorded 
in scores of newspaper stories and press releases from the time of SUE's
discovery until today.
_____________________________________________________________________________

* Falsehood number 3 *
John K. Bates quoting "his friend" CARL wrote:
>CHANCES ARE, WE, AS SCIENTISTS, WOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN ABLE TO
>STUDY THE SPECIMEN.

Where do you dredge up this garbage ??????
SUE was an open schoolhouse from day one. Scientists from around the world 
DID come and study SUE, as well as schoolkids and anybody who wanted to see 
her. Here's some quotes from Robert Bakker, who along with dozens of other 
scientists were invited by Larson to come to the Black Hills to study the 
specimen:

      "Peter Larson's organization is one of the most competent excavators 
       and preparators of fossils in the business, and his generosity to 
       scientists in allowing us to study specimens is well known. He keeps 
       meticulous records, he is better at mounting specimens than many
       scientists, and he has pioneered the development of special glues 
       for mending fossil bones. I believe the U.S. Attorney's persecution 
       of Larson is politically motivated."
                                         1

In a letter to Kevin Schieffer(who was the acting U.S. Attorney in charge 
of the raid on BHIGR), Dr. Bakker wrote:

      "Sue the Tyrannosaur has been an open schoolhouse, teaching scholars 
       and second graders alike about nature, geology, evolution and 
       science in general. From the very first day the specimen was 
       unearthed, the Black Hills Institute has been extraordinarily open 
       and generous - the skeleton has always been available to educators 
       of all sorts. Professors from universities, newsmen from around the 
       world and school groups from elementary grades have met Sue and gone 
       away enriched. To pull the skeleton out of circulation is to close 
       this wonderful schoolhouse to the public, and that's a tragedy."
                                                                     2

SUE was being fervently studied right up to the seizure in May, 1992.  
The BHIGR were the ones who discovered the stomach contents and are 
responsible for the wealth of public information available on SUE, 
some of which I posted previously. SUE was scheduled to go to NASA in 
Huntsville, AL (just 4 days after the seizure took place) to be CATscanned 
by the same machine which checks the Space Shuttle for defects. Despite 
requests from NASA and the BHIGR to allow the scan to take place in spite 
of whatever legal offensive was being prepared, acting U.S. Attorney Kevin 
Schieffer went back on his own promise and did not allow the scan to take 
place. IMAX films, National Geographic, and a world-wide scientific team 
of some 30 scientists enlisted by BHIGR were all poised for the history 
making scan, which would have yielded unprecedented knowledge about the 
T.rex braincase, and would have even allowed production of a 3-d computer 
generated cast of her skull's interior. All this was shortcircuited by 
one publicity-hungry acting U.S. Attorney (Schieffer), who was:
a)new to the job, b)had never even tried a case before, and c) was never 
actually confirmed as an official U.S. Attorney.
_____________________________________________________________________________

* Falsehood number 4 *
John K. Bates quoting "his friend" CARL wrote:
>ALL THIS SUPOSED SEIZURE DID WAS STOP A MONEY HUNGRY PRIVATE BUISINESS,
>IN THE BUSINESS OF SELLING FOSSILS (OFTEN SCIENTIFICALLY (I KNOW THATS
>SPELLED WRONG) IMPORTANT TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER, WHICH TYPICALLY
>REMOVED THE SPECIMEN FROM THE STUDY BASE.  THESE WERE NOTHING MORE
>THAN PSEUDOSCIENTISTS WITH NO INTEREST OTHER THAN PURE PROFIT, IT
>APPEARS THAT THEIR LATEST TACTIC IS MAKE THE GOVERNMENT OUT TO BE THE
>BIG BAD BOYS WHO INTERFER WITH OUR RIGHTS.

It's hard for me to imagine what sort of audacity it takes for someone as 
apparently clueless as you to refer to the Black Hills Institute as 
"pseudoscientists". The BHIGR are among the best scientists in the world 
and their successes have no doubt aroused alot of professional jealousy
among the likes of you. The fact that they have contributed so much to 
science in spite of being economically self-sufficient and not dependent 
on taxpayer dollars to fund their work is to their credit. Anyone truly 
interested in paleontology should applaud these people. BTW, the business 
they run is not a particularly profitable line of work. It's primarily a 
labor of love for them and for the hundreds of dealers you are likely to 
see at the annual Tucson Gem and Mineral show.
_____________________________________________________________________________

 * Falsehood number 5 *
>John K. Bates quoting "his friend" CARL wrote:
>ASK THE PREEMINENT PALEOENTOLOGISTS JIM BAKKER ETC. WHAT THEY THINK OF
>THE SITUATION, IF THEY BELIEVE THAT THE SEIZURE IS WRONG I WILL CHANGE MY
>CURRENT VIEWS.

Well then, CHANGE THEM NOW !!!!!!!

If the Bakker quotes above have not yet convinced you that he believes the 
seizure was wrong, here's some more facts to ponder:

    - Dr. Bakker testified in court _on behalf_ of the BHIGR. He strongly 
      recommended that SUE be allowed to remain at the BHIGR for scientific 
      reasons. He used an analogy of a medical patient and how it can be 
      important to have a continuity in the care of the patient. He has
      made it public on many occasions that the BHIGR have some of the best 
      experts in the world and are eminently qualified to spearhead the 
      study of the specimen. They are the ones who have invested countless
      thousands of hours taking exquisite care of SUE from excavation
      right through to meticulous lab prep. They know the minutest details 
      in a way that no other scientists ever can or will.

And here's one more quote from Dr. Bakker:

     "[Black Hills Institute technicians] are better trained, have more 
      technical skill, and clean and glue bones better than 98 percent of 
      the University Museums I know."
                                   3
_____________________________________________________________________________

 * Falsehoods number 6-8 *
John K. Bates quoting "his friend" CARL wrote:
>CURRENTLY I BELIEVE THE GOVERNMENT ACTION SAVED A VERY VALUABLE PIECE
>OF THE PUZZLE. PS THE SKELETON WILL BE RELEASED FOR STUDY AS SOON AS
>THE INDIVIDUALS WHO MADE THE FIND STOP APPEALING COURT DECIUSIONS
> UNTIL THEN IT IS IMPOUNDED AS COURT EVIDENCE AND BY LAW CANNOT BE
>TAMPERED WITH UNTIL APEALS ARE EXHAUSTED.  CARL

The government's role in this fiasco has been to seize, lock away, and 
deny any and all access to the specimen for scientific study. How you 
can construe this as "SAVED A VALUABLE PIECE OF THE PUZZLE" reveals much 
about your credibility (or lack thereof). In this particular case, the 
government has been _prohibiting_ scientific research, not promoting it. 
I should note that many government officials are appalled at the senseless 
and undeserved persecution of the BHIGR, but after 30 armed FBI agents and 
the national guard are sent to seize a fossil at the behest of a loose 
cannon acting U.S. Attorney, and over 3 million taxpayer dollars are used 
in an attempt to build a case, the momentum becomes virtually impossible 
to stop. The legal aspects of this case are very complicated. To keep this 
post a reasonable length, I will address the legal stuff (in detail) later.

-Paul
_____________________________________________________________________________
 Sources:

1) Science Times; A Dinosaur named Sue Divides Fossil Hunters
   by Malcolm W. Brown, July 21, 1992.

2) The Missouri Basin Rider; The Strange and Terrible Saga of
   Kevin and the Dinosaur. by Bob Newland, Aug. 1992

3) The Missouri Basin Rider; Excerpts from the Appeal filed to 
   the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of the Black Hills 
   Institute of Geological Research 7/20/92.
   by Mark F. Marshall and Patrick Duffy, Bangs, McCullen,Butler,
   Foye & Simmons, Rapid City SD

4) The Guardian; Digging the Dirt on a Dinosaur
   by Peter Smith, Oct 9, 1992

5) Newsweek; Fossils Are for Everyone
   by Greg Retallack, Jan. 11, 1993

6) The American Lawyer; Tyrannosaurus Lex
   by Alison Frankel, December 1992