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Re: Sue and You



>Concerning the pledge drive to "Save Sue for Science".
>My response to Stan Friesen, Tamira, 'Dino' George Olshevsky, etc... is that
>if you are serious, let people contribute as much or as little as they feel
>able to- somewhere between $10 (as a student rate) and $50 (as a gainfully
>employed adult paleo wanna-be rate) sounds about right.  Maybe you could even
>have a corporate rate; there must be some company executives on this list that
>know a little about corporate charity contributions, either as employee
>matching or as outright gifts for tax write-offs.  Stress that it would/should
>be a one time only thing, and that the fossil will be donated to the Smitty.
>Maybe the museum would even entertain the idea of a small plaque listing the
>names of some of the donors (say $1000 and up).... or rename the fossil for
>the highest donor- we saw Candlestick park in San Francisco change it's name
>to 3-Com park for a cash incentive, so why not the 'Standard Oil Tyrannosaur'?
>Can you see mobs of children in schools across the country throwing coins into
>an internet-sponsored fund-drive for this beast?  If concerned people want
>this badly enough, I believe that it can be made to happen.  That being said,
>I will gladly donate $50 to the cause if it becomes real, and since my pal
>George is feeling a bit squeezed at present, I'll put in a little extra for
>him as well.

I have mentioned previously about a saga that occurred over here that is
similar in some respects to the Sue senario and may offer a way out.

In 1988 an opalised pliosaur skeleton was dug up from Coober Pedy, South
Australia. The estimated opal value of the specimen was $Aus25,000 but,
being a skeleton of an unknown pliosaur, the unprepared specimen was sold
to a Sydney property developer for $Aus125,000, much more than any museum
could muster for such a purchase. The specimen was cleaned and reassembled,
in all another $25,000 was spent on it, but this extra work effectively
doubled the value of the specimen.

All was fine until 1993 when the property developer went bankrupt and the
receivers were going to sell Eric (my nick-name for him that seems to have
stuck) to the highest bidder. Alex Ritchie at the Australian Museum
contacted Quantum, a weekly science magazine-type tv programme, and they
not only did a story on Eric and his plight, they organised a champaign to
save him by public donations. Within one month around $450,000 was raised
including $50,000 from Akubra Hats. Of this money, $320,000 secured Eric
and the remaining funds were held for future purchases of opal fossils
(including the recently despises Hotcrossbunodon from Lightning ridge).

So, to translate the story to Sue, is there a similar science magazine-type
programme in the States that could be approached to publicise the story and
act in trust to manage a champaign to purchase her?

Cheers, Paul

pwillis@ozemail.com.au