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Re: Re[2]: Sue and the president



In a message dated 95-09-27 07:36:33 EDT, head@lust.isem.smu.edu (Jason Head)
writes:

>        Probably the best thing that could happen regarding that particular
>tyrannosaur would be if NOBODY tried to buy it, and Mr. Williams had to
>deal w/ having several tons of half prepared dinosaur sitting in his
>garage.   If someone pays upteen million bucks for the critter, do you
>think Mr. Williams will go out and prospect for more dinos' to sell?  Will
>anyone else interested in a quick buck start looking for dinos'?  The last
>thing anyone interested in learning more about dinosaurs needs is for there
>to a be healthy market for dinosaur fossils.  Let Mr. Williams wear "Sue"
>around his neck like the albatross that it is.
>
>

Absolutely right. The only problem is that if Mr. Williams is saddled with
the dinosaur for long enough and doesn't get what he wants for it, he'll just
bust it up for paving stone or something (a fate that has happened to more
than one dinosaur skeleton). Also, the last I heard, the skeleton was still
"garaged" at the South Dakota School of Mines at taxpayer expense, so it's
not yet the albatross around his neck that it should become.

What may also happen is a "Chinese auction" situation. Nobody bites at his
asking price, but then someone offers a bit less, and "poof!" Sue is gone.

The really stupid part of this situation is that Sue is actually valueless
without a proper scientific description--she's just a bunch of rocks. Anyone
who pays his walloping asking price better figure out some way of having the
skeleton described or risk losing that investment. Thus, it would behoove Mr.
Williams to protect his windfall by at least donating the material
temporarily to BHI (or whomever, if BHI is fed up with the situation) for
scientific description. I have little doubt that a financial arrangement
could be worked out between him and BHI that would allow his possession to
earn income while this work is done. He could also allow BHI to later mount
and exhibit his dinosaur under another financial arrangement without actually
losing ownership of the specimen (if that's what he really wants). There are
probably many other ways to handle Sue that could satisfy Mr. Williams, BHI,
science, and the viewing public that don't involve laying out huge sums of
hard-to-get cash.