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Suing for Sue

At 09:22 AM 2/26/97 -0600, John Schneiderman wrote:
>I thought that the fossil T. rex "Sue" was the property of the United
>States, in trusted to Maurice.  Didn't Maurice give up the rights to
>anything found on his land, in favor of tax-exempt status?  Shouldn't the
>fossil be sent to the USNM?  He shouldn't be allowed to sale it?  Should
>"Sue" be sold in auction, the least that should be done is to turn over
>all proceeds of the sale to the Tribal Council for disturbution amongsts
>all the native-America people within that Reservation.

>  The short answer is that NO it is not the property of the US, no he
>didn't give up the rights to what was on and in his land, he cannot be
>barred from selling it, and the procees of the sale belong to nobody but
>Maurice Williams.

Unfortunately, the Nova special doesn't address the legal complexities of
the case, so don't expect it to have the answers to these questions. The
whole land ownership issue is very confusing to follow, as to what the
Tribal Council, Maurice Williams and the U.S. government have rights
to--it's just something too difficult to delve into on television. For a
quick summary, check out the GIST article on the Nova special at: