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

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posted on Apr, 3 2014 @ 06:42 PM
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While many have apparently not read and absorbed the information in the thread before having knee-jerk reactions, let me just make a few points. One poster touched on the subject, Ivory. There is legally obtained, pre-ban ivory. It is legal to sell now, IF you can prove it was obtained pre-ban. He may have many artifacts of this ilk, that were legally obtained, but hard, or near impossible to prove their origination of sale and ownership, that would be illegal to sell without the aforementioned proof.

I, myself, have one piece of pre-ban ivory. I cannot sell it, as I can no longer prove how I obtained it. If pressed legally, I am sure I could spend much money, time, and effort to obtain those records, but it sure would not be worth it for me to attempt to re-sale the piece. In the event of my death, and were I to have no will, it would likely be seized.

Another point I would like to make. There are countries that we have laws against doing trades or sales of certain items, one was just removed in fact, with Burma. I know this because I am especially fond of Burmese rubies. Rubies, however, were not the only items from Burma it was illegal to sell or transport into the U.S. Again, if one were found to be in possession of these precious gems, and not able to prove they were legally obtained, they would likely be seized. However, since Obama has lifted that trade embargo now, it should no longer be an issue.

My last point will go to pointing out missing artifacts. In particular, from two countries, which many of you should be familiar with.

Firstly, the missing artifacts from museums and other places in Iraq, that were held by Sadam, and many that went missing during the U.S. war there. Many of these artifacts likely went to the black market, made it to overseas areas, where they could be obtained "legally", in a sale at a market or from private sellers.

Secondly, the same thing happened with many artifacts from Egypt, with the civil war there. Again, many artifacts simply disappeared into the black market, and to private collections resellers, etc. Obviously, the sellers.of these items knows they are illegal, but the buyer may be less able to make this call, or, if they are knowledgeable enough, may know they have a precious artifact, but not know it was stolen.

I am certain these are not the only two times in history that events like this have happened, and in his travels, this is likely how he happened upon some, or many of his artifacts.

The reason I point this out is also because there is also a long list of stolen, or plain "missing" artwork by the Masters, that has shown up at flea markets and the like. People milling in basements and atics just come across a long lost Picaso, or similar, to find out it is worth millions. It happens.

I think the owner simply, as has been pointed out, took responsibility for the collection, in realizing his advancing age, and wants to assure these items are given their due respect.

The reason no charges have been filed? It may be difficult or near impossible to prove he obtained any item illegally, pre or post ban, or any other such embargo limited items, especially if he was allowed to pass through customs.

Just a few thoughts I wanted to bring up. Some food for thought from the "other side" of the aisle, so to speak.

Rare items do belong to the people, for us to admire, inspect, and to appreciate, hence, why there are laws against private ownership.

Imagine had King Tut never been revealed, but instead, kept in a private collection, shuffled from one mysterious owner to another. Some things just should be given back to the people.

Whether you like it, or not, he did the right thing, especially if he has greedy, irresponsible adult children, with which he didn't trust these precious items to.

Please try to think in many directions. The government is not always out to get you, sometimes they do worthwhile things. I don't know about some of you, but, I know I appreciate being allowed to view King Tut, or the Statue of David, or many of the hundreds of thousands of other wonderful items that have been gifted to us by many governments of the world.

edit on 3-4-2014 by Libertygal because: (no reason given)




posted on Apr, 3 2014 @ 06:51 PM
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Blue Shift

Daedalus
he called the FBI...they didn't raid his home...what is wrong with you people?

The government and the FBI are jackbooted thugs invading a frail old man's home to steal his life's accumulation of cool stuff because they're meanies and don't want people finding out about the giant aliens from Nibiru.

That's what I gather.
edit on 3-4-2014 by Blue Shift because: (no reason given)


ROFL!

i suppose i can understand how the casual observer might get this impression..

holy christ, this thread is out of control..
edit on 3-4-2014 by Daedalus because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 3 2014 @ 07:43 PM
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Well I guess if the article says the 91 year old man who has been holding on the stuff his whole life - just called in and said, "Yeah, there is some stuff in my life's collection I want you to seize, come on over, tent it out and make the neighbor hood think a biological experiment happened at the property. Sure come on over!"

If the media say's it's so...it must be so.



CdT



posted on Apr, 3 2014 @ 07:53 PM
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CirqueDeTruth
Well I guess if the article says the 91 year old man who has been holding on the stuff his whole life - just called in and said, "Yeah, there is some stuff in my life's collection I want you to seize, come on over, tent it out and make the neighbor hood think a biological experiment happened at the property. Sure come on over!"

If the media say's it's so...it must be so.



CdT


well, as has been said before...the guy is 91...he probably figured he doesn't have a whole lot of time left...

if he did indeed call the FBI, and initiate this process, that's a hell of noble thing he did...he got his use out of the trinkets, and now he wants to give them back.....i can see no reason to disbelieve the article.

i'll be the first to call out a government agency when they do something awful, but i can't find any reason to suspect that anything is amiss here...if you've got something, by all means, let me know....



posted on Apr, 3 2014 @ 07:53 PM
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reply to post by CirqueDeTruth
 

While on the other hand, things always have to be some nefarious, stinking, rotten, dirty, subversive, controversy, simply because the words "media" and "government" are involved.

Throw those two words about, toss in a heaping tablespoon of anger and a dash of furious, and you have a steaming plate of controversy where there likely is none.

Then again, this IS ATS, so what is one to expect? A story that was largely wrong out of the gate, that gave the wrong impression from post one, and of course, the truth can never be as simple as.. the truth. What's the fun in that, afterall?

Hey. I could be wrong. Some FBI agent or snooping neighbour could have turned the guy in, threatened his life, held him over a barrel, and made his life difficult if he didn't cooperate, but seriously, what story do you really think makes more sense? His love and caring for this lifelong collection, and concern over it falling into the wrong hands, or, someone playing dirty, nasty games? I opt for the simpler, non-extravagant answer. Occam's Razor and all that.

Of course, if we all agreed, ATS would be a boring place.


edit on 3-4-2014 by Libertygal because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 4 2014 @ 01:19 AM
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MichiganSwampBuck
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.


In the article I first saw, this man was actually part of the Manhattan Project.

As for his collection, it was not secret. He allowed the local community to visit his house as if it were a museum. He was a researcher and archaeologist for at least 70 years.

Who knows what the FBI is searching for, but it definitely looks like a fishing expedition. I can't see how his rights aren't being violated if they had no probable cause to search his property.



posted on Apr, 4 2014 @ 01:25 AM
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Vovin
Who knows what the FBI is searching for, but it definitely looks like a fishing expedition. I can't see how his rights aren't being violated if they had no probable cause to search his property.
Did you even read the thread? He ASKED them to come to his property.



posted on Apr, 4 2014 @ 01:36 AM
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Arbitrageur

Vovin
Who knows what the FBI is searching for, but it definitely looks like a fishing expedition. I can't see how his rights aren't being violated if they had no probable cause to search his property.
Did you even read the thread? He ASKED them to come to his property.


Did you even read my post where I sourced the article I read before even logging into ATS?

And please, you're going to tell me that this massive FBI camp operation resulted from his request? Why wouldn't a university or a museum send a team to sort the stuff out? Maybe Mulder and Scully are on to something.
edit on 4-4-2014 by Vovin because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 4 2014 @ 01:50 AM
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The government will drag this through the courts till the guy dies then they will keep everything.

In the long run the guys family will get nothing from his estate and the government will ship most to museums



posted on Apr, 4 2014 @ 02:43 AM
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Vovin
Did you even read my post where I sourced the article I read before even logging into ATS?

And please, you're going to tell me that this massive FBI camp operation resulted from his request? Why wouldn't a university or a museum send a team to sort the stuff out? Maybe Mulder and Scully are on to something.
Yes I read your post and your linked article. I'm not the one claiming that he called the FBI, the article in the local newspaper stated that, and I haven't found a reason to doubt it, in spite of the fact the article you linked to fails to mention he asked them to come. After he called the FBI why did the FBI come instead of a museum? Maybe because he called the FBI instead of a museum? That's my guess.

www.shelbynews.com...

Northern said Miller had contacted the FBI about returning the items, but couldn't elaborate on why Miller was looking to repatriate the artifacts now.
As some have speculated, maybe the man is dying, which isn't unreasonable speculation, since life expectancy at age 91 isn't that long even if you're in good health, and most 91 year olds are not in perfect health.



posted on Apr, 4 2014 @ 04:25 PM
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Arbitrageur
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.


Are you one of those people who believes our court system is fair and equitable? I used to think that about 45 years ago, then I got wise to reality.



posted on Apr, 4 2014 @ 09:23 PM
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reply to post by ManBehindTheMask
 


What tipped the FBI off on this, thats something I would like to know. This man must love artifacts.



posted on Apr, 5 2014 @ 01:57 AM
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Arbitrageur
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.

And it can take years. What if he dies during the proceedings, and his heirs don't have access to his memories and can't prove it's legally obtained?



posted on Apr, 5 2014 @ 02:33 AM
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Vovin

Arbitrageur

Vovin
Who knows what the FBI is searching for, but it definitely looks like a fishing expedition. I can't see how his rights aren't being violated if they had no probable cause to search his property.
Did you even read the thread? He ASKED them to come to his property.


Did you even read my post where I sourced the article I read before even logging into ATS?

And please, you're going to tell me that this massive FBI camp operation resulted from his request? Why wouldn't a university or a museum send a team to sort the stuff out? Maybe Mulder and Scully are on to something.
edit on 4-4-2014 by Vovin because: (no reason given)


" Why wouldn't a university or a museum send a team to sort the stuff out? "
I can answer that one. Because universities and museums have limited staff. Each staff member has duties to perform. A collection of this size will take months if not years to sort out.
What this "looks like" to you is irrelevant since you obviously have no clue about the complexity of the issue being discussed. One of the linked articles plainly states that the FBI had called in professionals. Those professionals have limited amounts of time on their hands since they have jobs to which they are obligated.
Again, this man asked the FBI to come in. What is it about that fact that you don't understand? If you don't believe it, perhaps you could give Mr. Miller a call and ask him why he did it?
I spoke today with three colleagues of mine from the area and a journalist friend from a nearby town. They all say that the man requested that the FBI come to his home for this operation. They don't know his motives because they haven't spoken with him directly.
Why do you have trouble believing that the journalist who wrote the "Seized by FBI" story was simply looking for attention? They do it all the time. It worked and apparently a lot of people fell for it, hook, line and sinker and are even now being pulled into the boat while the "reporter" chuckles.



posted on Apr, 5 2014 @ 03:11 AM
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reply to post by ManBehindTheMask
 


if i was him i would gave torched the whole lot of it before i handed one vpyece over. oh no the cultural artiacts would have been lost forever right they wanted his stuff for two reasons to make money off its display in a museum or b to make interested parties happy to garner their favor remember the episode of frasier where martin was made to give his antique bear clock to Russia because it belonged to the last czars family and their ancestor who secreted out of Russia when romanovs were executed. Russia had no legitimate claim but the state department made them hand it over why to gain favor,



posted on Apr, 5 2014 @ 03:15 AM
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reply to post by proteus33
 


You should probably read the whole thread before posting.

It won't take long and will prevent embarrassment.



posted on Apr, 5 2014 @ 03:58 AM
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hoghead cheese
reply to post by ManBehindTheMask
 


What tipped the FBI off on this, thats something I would like to know. This man must love artifacts.


um...he called them.....

this is what happens when you don't read past the thread title, before replying...



posted on Apr, 5 2014 @ 06:58 AM
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I'll just throw this out there to cover another potential angle.

He is old, he is well travelled and he is former government...

Of course...it makes more sense to me to think this way:

Miller probably called a few of his old cronies from the "war days" and asked them to help him secure his valuables so they wouldn't get leaked to the public.

The FBI doesn't typically give two cents about "Art"...At least, not enough to put up on-site tents and the massive staff on hand.

This story makes me think a former high level "spook" called up the younger guys and said "If you want this stuff, come and get it. You can do all the work for it, I got it here."

As a matter of fact, he probably threatened them! He's 91 years old and probably knows more secrets than we could imagine. He probably threatened to just start talking and showing off. Obviously, this is pure speculation...but someone needed to look at this from another angle.



posted on Apr, 5 2014 @ 07:22 AM
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diggindirt
Again, this man asked the FBI to come in. What is it about that fact that you don't understand? If you don't believe it, perhaps you could give Mr. Miller a call and ask him why he did it?
I spoke today with three colleagues of mine from the area and a journalist friend from a nearby town. They all say that the man requested that the FBI come to his home for this operation. They don't know his motives because they haven't spoken with him directly.
Why do you have trouble believing that the journalist who wrote the "Seized by FBI" story was simply looking for attention?


Huffington Post, April 3 2014 - FBI Seizes Native American Artifacts From Man's Home



from article:
FBI agents stormed a Waldron, Ind. home on Tuesday and confiscated a treasure trove of artifacts from all over the world.

The homeowner, Donald C. Miller, 91, hasn't been arrested or charged as investigators pore over thousands of items. It's unclear whether he'll be charged, but agents said he "knowingly and unknowingly collected objects in violation of several treaties and federal and state statutes," according to CBS News.


Why don't I believe you? Because the FBI doesn't seem to be saying that this guy called them out of the blue to come and raid his collection. Instead they are saying that he broke the law.


What this "looks like" to you is irrelevant since you obviously have no clue about the complexity of the issue being discussed.


Oh no, I'm obviously too stupid to understand. I forgot that having a degree in cultural geography means nothing here. Hell, even my ex-girlfriend was an archaeologist digging up aboriginal artifacts (that's kind of a big political issue in this part of Canada, and my other degree happens to be politics).

With that said I didn't come here to bicker. I came to this thread because of the incident itself and its connotations.
edit on 5-4-2014 by Vovin because: (no reason given)
edit on 5-4-2014 by Vovin because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 5 2014 @ 07:32 AM
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reply to post by Vovin
 


ok, so the OP has an article from fox news, and you have an article from huffpo....two MSM sources who LOVE to sensationalize, and make things up.....

on the opposite side of the spectrum, we have an article alphahawk linked to, from a local paper, who's more likely to have gotten the story right...

find some evidence from REAL sources, and then you can bang on about how this man is being victimized...
edit on 5-4-2014 by Daedalus because: (no reason given)





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