FBI seizes trove of cultural artifacts at 91-year-old Indiana man's home

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posted on Apr, 3 2014 @ 06:38 AM
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INDIANAPOLIS – FBI agents have seized thousands of artifacts from Native Americans, Russia, China, and other nations from a 91-year-old man's private collection in rural central Indiana.

The items, which also came from Haiti, Australia, New Guinea and Peru, were collected by Donald Miller of Waldron over eight decades, FBI Special Agent Robert Jones said at a news conference.

"The cultural value of these artifacts is immeasurable," Jones said while refusing to disclose details of any of the individual items taken from Miller's property.

Some items were acquired improperly, but Miller, who traveled extensively, obtained others legally or before laws affecting them were on the books, Jones said. Federal authorities will attempt to repatriate items with their rightful owners, he said.

Miller told CBS News that he "absolutely" has rightful ownership of the artifacts and that he was cooperating with the FBI's investigation.

"I have been in 200 countries collecting artifacts," he said.

It was unclear whether he would face any criminal charges, Jones said.

FBI seizes trove of cultural artifacts at 91-year-old Indiana man's home

So the FBI in all their authority decide to come in and raid this 91 year old mans home and take all his stuff.....WHY?

Because they just think its ok for them to have it? Because they think he might have "maybe" come by some of this stuff illegally?

They say hes cooperating..........SURE he is, hes 91 years old and he wants to keep his STUFF!

This old man has been collecting these artifacts for YEARS, and from the looks of it, gathered many himself.


This has got to stop where the government can just see something they want and decide to come into your home and take it from you.......

This really ticks me off



+15 more 
posted on Apr, 3 2014 @ 06:47 AM
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We are living in a time where we the commoners can have nothing. We truly own nothing but our debt and it's how the controlling factions want us. We are slaves pure and simple and the older I get and the longer I live on this planet the more this becomes true to me.

I hope this elderly man who has spent his life collecting these artifacts gets to keep them, but I'm pretty sure anything of value will be taken under the premise that it's stolen. Ugggggh it just p!$$3$ me off to no end!



posted on Apr, 3 2014 @ 06:57 AM
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reply to post by ManBehindTheMask
 

The FBI says they will be giving the stuff to the rightful owner. Miller says he's the rightful owner so if that's true he should be able to keep it. Apparently the FBI suspects he may not be the rightful owner of all of it, but there is a court system to settle disputes like that, though it's probably not easy for a 91 year old to have to go through that.


+11 more 
posted on Apr, 3 2014 @ 07:02 AM
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This is CRAZY!


Nowhere in that article did they explain what law or authority they had to do this.
Sad thing is..one of his family, friends or neighbors probably turned him in.

And I'm quite sure there are 1 percenters with private collections that go unharrassed by the government...



posted on Apr, 3 2014 @ 07:08 AM
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Seizing the man's entire lot is unjustified.

Still, we don't really know what this stuff was...

Even if the man came by some of the articles by nefarious means
and it can be proven that they belong to someone else (read theft)
it still doesn't qualify ALL THE STUFF as being contraband.

We are slowly morphing the age old American paradigm of "Innocent
until proven guilty"...to the new age..."Guilty until proven innocent."

And the sad part is we are doing this to our own, vain, nosey-do-gooder,
holier-than-thou, selves
edit on 3-4-2014 by rival because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 3 2014 @ 07:09 AM
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We went fossil hunting in Ontario Canada a bunch of years back. I've got a kids beach bucket full of millions-of-year-old ocean floor fossils. I wonder if the Canadian Mounted Police are going to come knocking on my door looking to get their treasures back. (we rescued them from a quarry floor ... all the millions-of-years-old fossils were being ground into cement)

edit on 4/3/2014 by FlyersFan because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 3 2014 @ 07:11 AM
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This story makes me pretty angry. I cannot agree that taking stuff from an old man at this stage of his life is the right thing to do. Let the gaffer die ... and then make proper disposition if required.

What are they trying to do ... upset him into an early grave??
why don't they give Bernie Madoff a couple more years in the pen if they just wanna pick on someone?


+6 more 
posted on Apr, 3 2014 @ 07:12 AM
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reply to post by rival
 


Seizing is very unjustified in my opinion. Does the FBI have the right to come into my home and "seize" my furniture until I can provide sufficient proof that I aquired it in a legal manner?

No... so why do they have the right to seize this man's collection? It's the same premise, just because his are artifacts and mine is furniture does not make any difference... unless they can prove wrongdoing they cannot just seize every single piece, and wrongdoing on one piece does not mean every piece was acquired in incorrect manner.

The FBI cannot seize my stuff to "catalogue" it all and make me prove its really mine, so they cannot do it to this man either.

The Fourth Amendment
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The FBI can only seize what is in the warrant to be seized, specifically detailed. They cannot have a blanket, every artifact in this man's home...
edit on 3-4-2014 by OpinionatedB because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 3 2014 @ 07:23 AM
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Wait. Does the FBI not have anything better to do than mess up an elderly man's house and confiscate his travel souvenirs?

For crying out loud. I can't hardly believe it, but I do, and it blows my mind. The cost to the taxpayers for this ridiculous raid?
I won't be suprised if they keep all his stuff, send out an FBI team to find the origins of each one, this drags on for years - and then, if they gentleman is still alive, bill him for the FBI work (subtract it from the value of his things)....

seriously? This is all they can come up with??
Disgraceful. Stupid. Irrelevant. They should raid all of the big bank CEO homes/yachts/planes, seize everything, and freeze their assets - putting all of it toward the national debt.

Good gawd this country is ill - perhaps terminally. Ridiculous.


+14 more 
posted on Apr, 3 2014 @ 07:23 AM
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FBI seizes cultural artifacts from 91-year-old Indiana man's home


its about time,,,,good job,,,,once their finished with this guy ,they can head on over to Vatican City in Rome and seize the cultural artifacts they have stolen over the centuries....



posted on Apr, 3 2014 @ 07:39 AM
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Maybe they still think that the grail is a real item



posted on Apr, 3 2014 @ 07:44 AM
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This is so revolting.
I can't even.

So how about my ancient coin collection? If they find out about that *waves at the fbi* will they take that too? Or my ancient manuscripts and stuff? How about my 2000 year old Roman key ring, still has patina on it. Is that to be taken as well?

would you like my old worn out shoes? they're old but really comfy and i love them.

can't have things we love after all. or enjoy.



posted on Apr, 3 2014 @ 07:50 AM
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FlyersFan
We went fossil hunting in Ontario Canada a bunch of years back. I've got a kids beach bucket full of millions-of-year-old ocean floor fossils. I wonder if the Canadian Mounted Police are going to come knocking on my door looking to get their treasures back. (we rescued them from a quarry floor ... all the millions-of-years-old fossils were being ground into cement)
Not to worry, this thread is about cultural artifacts, not fossils (and archaeologists don't dig up dinosaurs...but I digress). Provenance matters.



posted on Apr, 3 2014 @ 07:57 AM
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ManBehindTheMask
So the FBI in all their authority decide to come in and raid this 91 year old mans home and take all his stuff.....WHY?


That's the $64,000 question. I searched for more stories about this because I wanted to see how the FBI came to be aware of Mr. Miller and what he had been charged with. Here's something from the local paper:


The aim of the investigation is to determine what each artifact is, where it came from and how Miller obtained it, Jones said, to determine whether some of the items might be illegal to possess privately.


www.indystar.com...

Allow me to translate, they're on a fishing expedition. Mr. Miller hasn't been arrested or charged with anything, the FBI won't even say how they came to be aware of the collection and they are occupying not only Mr. Miller's land but apparently all buildings on the land, removing property, and they're not even sure he did anything wrong. This is shameful.



posted on Apr, 3 2014 @ 07:57 AM
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"Vee heff vays of mehkink you talk."

Amerika, land of the free, home of the nightmare.



posted on Apr, 3 2014 @ 08:10 AM
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reply to post by ManBehindTheMask
 


This is extemely interesting to me. They never even name any of the items. I suppose there are items which i would agree should not be in any private collection. Especially if they are not being taken care of (i.e. Very old manuscripts, paintings, idk, other things)
I assume this is one reason folks turn things over to museums or private restoration firms.

I am also going to assume that some of these items are known or at least claimed to be stolen or otherwise wrongfully acquired. He may not have stolen them, he may have bought them from someone who did though.

Another thing is even if you take items out of the ground, if the area is a registered archeological site, then those items are stolen.

Im sure most here can imagine some things that are so important culturally, they should not be taken from the country and people that it is relevant too.

All that being said, i think its important to know what kind of items we are talking about. My guess is some of these things came from registered dig sites. That could put the whole collection up for scrutiny.



posted on Apr, 3 2014 @ 08:19 AM
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When I saw the title I thought he must have been a Nazi and they had been following leads on stolen art, that's not the case here at all it seems.

I bet they'd like to go through my step dad's artifact collection. He's a a surface collector of Native artifacts and is involved with the local archeology society, he's been collecting for years. Antiques and such as well, all related to the local history of his area. He goes to all the estate sales so who can verify the provenance of what he purchases unless he does somehow.

The bottom line here is what does the guy have that is possibly illegally obtained and what evidence or testimony is being used to pursue this "case"?



posted on Apr, 3 2014 @ 08:40 AM
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reply to post by ManBehindTheMask
 


Howdy, as I posted in the other thread on this, Mr Miller contacted the FBI so they can assist with repatriation of the curios.

www.shelbynews.com...



posted on Apr, 3 2014 @ 08:51 AM
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WoodcarverIm sure most here can imagine some things that are so important culturally, they should not be taken from the country and people that it is relevant too.

All that being said, i think its important to know what kind of items we are talking about. My guess is some of these things came from registered dig sites. That could put the whole collection up for scrutiny.


I think most people share your view regarding stolen property but the culturally significant thing here is that Mr. Miller's Fourth Amendment rights are being trampled. If the FBI had named even one suspected stolen item and then discovered others in plain sight that would be one thing but they haven't named anything, in fact they're on record as saying that they have to go through the collection in order to determine if anything is illegally present in the collection. They're literally camped out on his land, allowing civilians onto the property who have no business being on the property because Mr. Miller hasn't been charged with anything.



posted on Apr, 3 2014 @ 08:53 AM
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Everyone please disregard my above post, I just read the link in AlphaHawk's post and this is a non-issue.





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