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FBI seizes Native American, other artifacts at rural Indiana home

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posted on Apr, 3 2014 @ 03:39 AM

A team of FBI agents, archaeologists and other experts are confiscating Native American and other artifacts and relics from a collection described as having immeasurable cultural significance from a home in rural central Indiana, authorities said.

An FBI investigation determined that the homeowner, Donald C. Miller, may have knowingly and unknowingly collected objects in violation of several treaties and federal and state statutes, Special Agent in Charge Robert Jones said Wednesday.

"We know that some of the items were acquired improperly," Jones said.
The items, stored in several buildings on the property about 35 miles southeast of Indianapolis, are to be collected, identified and repatriated, he said. Those that properly belong to Miller are being safeguarded, he said. A number of statutes and law may not have been in effect when Miller collected some of the items, he said.

"The exact number of artifacts in the collection is unknown at this time but it's believed to be in the thousands," Jones said. "The monetary value of the entire collection and of its individual pieces is yet to be determined however the cultural value of these artifacts is immeasurable."

Nice, so if you are collecting artifacts over your entire lifetime, and manage to make it to 91 years old, just be sure and not tell anyone, k?

Cause the grubby paws will be on you, demanding you give them up. No, instead they will just come and take them, with the law at their side. Fricken BS!

Jones said that the extensive collection, which Miller amassed over eight decades, includes Native American artifacts and relics as well as items from the United States, China, Haiti, Australia, Russia, New Guinea, Italy, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Greece, Peru and possibly several other countries.

He said he could not comment on the nature of the items but said that Miller had traveled extensively. He said the team was trying to determine the exact time and method of each acquisition.

Larry Zimmerman, a professor of anthropology and museum studies, said he was overwhelmed when he saw the collection.

"I have never seen a collection like this in my entire life except in some of the largest museums," he said.

Miller, 91, told CBS News that he was a lifetime collector who had a museum of hundreds of artifacts in his basement.

Sounds to me like Mr. Grubby Paws Zimmerman was insanely jealous, that retard. Leave this 91 year old alone, for crying out loud!

He said he "absolutely" has rightful ownership of the artifacts and that he was cooperating with the FBI's search.

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

Miller has not been charged with any crime.

Television helicopter video showed a mobile FBI command vehicle, a moving van and several tents alongside a two-story home near the town of Waldron.

Some 200 people are involved in the process, which could take years.

Yeah well by then the poor old guy will be fricken DEAD!

This is total BS.

posted on Apr, 3 2014 @ 03:43 AM
reply to post by TrueAmerican

The way I read this, some of his items might be illegal. Just some, just maybe.

But somehow the guy's entire collection has been seized while it's sorted out! That's outrageous and unfair. Innocent until proven guilty! Yet he is being treated as Guilty until proven Innocent with regard to his things. HIS. Things.

I'll not be surprised if the stress of this kills him off. It's obviously very important to him, this collection, or he wouldn't have amassed a collection from all over the world starting in child hood. And just think, if you're old enough, how difficult it used to be to buy things outside the US before the internet!

edit on 4/3/14 by Ameilia because: Spelling =)

posted on Apr, 3 2014 @ 03:50 AM
It is just a simple reminder to ALL that the state already owns everything ... YOU own NOTHING and simply borrow that stuff from the state for the duration of your lifetime.

The state can, and will, take anything it wants to and will compensate you later in court ... if it gets that far!

This is the reality on the ground ok ... no point in arguing for or against ... it is what is!

I feel very much for this collectors predicament!

And yes this is a clear grab for his money ... his museum of artifacts is a dollar turner earner.

Maybe mercy needs to speak to justice in this case?

posted on Apr, 3 2014 @ 03:51 AM
Do they have proove and how many of thousands items were stolen, this case does ask question for example have there been previous allegations toward hes collection? Have any of these countries, where items originally belongs to ask for after them, will they ask for them now if not before? Becouse if many of those items are stolen or other ways wrongly acquired its quite offence against those couintries whos cultural heritages they are.

posted on Apr, 3 2014 @ 03:55 AM
...and then there is always the danger of having artifacts that don't match the approved version of History. Can't let that happen. I could write a whole book on the number of strange artifacts that have "disappeared" over the years even though there are pictures and newspaper clippings of them. I bring it up because the professor says he has "never seen anything like it".
edit on 2014 by Skyfloating because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 3 2014 @ 03:59 AM
What ever happen to finders keepers?

So lame... But that's what the FBI is for ,they are just tool pushers for the 1337 (elite).

Nothing anyone can do now,just another tally mark on the "civil liberties/rights violation wall".....



posted on Apr, 3 2014 @ 04:00 AM
Yeah well I wonder if this is critical testament to the old saying:

"Loose lips sink ships."

Glad I still have that old, old, very old... ummm.... Ha. Not going to say...

Yeah, you just TRY to come and take THAT from me by God.

posted on Apr, 3 2014 @ 04:29 AM

...and then there is always the danger of having artifacts that don't match the approved version of History. Can't let that happen. I could write a whole book on the number of strange artifacts that have "disappeared" over the years even though there are pictures and newspaper clippings of them. I bring it up because the professor says he has "never seen anything like it".
edit on 2014 by Skyfloating because: (no reason given)

Just think how many things like that are sitting in the Vatican vault...

Same idea popped in my head when I read the story. Seems like something might be in that collection that was greatly sought after, or perhaps sought to be kept secret.
edit on 3-4-2014 by boncho because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 3 2014 @ 04:31 AM
Don't forget how the FBI shoots pregnant women in the back and sets kids on fire too, so this seizure of artifacts or "How the FBI absconded with artifacts not belonging to them" isn't that surprising. Also remember the idiots that are appointing leadership positions to their criminal supporting friends, are why this trend of tyranny is escalating exponentially.

The FBI allows garbage in, and now they are producing low life type acts like this while hiding behind the American flag.

posted on Apr, 3 2014 @ 05:12 AM
reply to post by Ameilia

I am with you on the innocent until proven guilty statement. Unless they have actual proof of a crime that was committed when he acquired a particular object, then they should only be able to confiscate that object... NOT the entire collection and not BEFORE they have proof of wrongdoing.

posted on Apr, 3 2014 @ 05:38 AM
reply to post by TrueAmerican

If Donald C. Miller has Native American artifacts, he should rightfully return them to it's respective native tribe, particularly if human bones are involved. I'm sure people don't like their ancestors being dug up or not given a proper ceremonial rest. A New York museum returned several totems to Natives in British Columbia, Canada a few years ago. If that institute can do the right thing, than Mr. Donald C. Miller can also.

posted on Apr, 3 2014 @ 05:43 AM
Without gathering further information, I'd like to say this reminds me of the raping of the National Baghdad Museum, just after the U.S. troops entered the capital.
There must be at least one artifact this guy is not supposed to have, and It'll never be seen again. Thrown in a crate in a Smithsonian basement. That's just wild speculation though.
My mother said I have a great imagination.

posted on Apr, 3 2014 @ 05:45 AM
reply to post by TrueAmerican

It's so easy to be a keyboard warrior and slander people online these days, isn't it?

Calling people retarded for doing their job, maybe you should see what he's about before slinging mud, eh?

Illegal trading of raided archeological goods is big business, look at the Sevso Treasure as an example.

If the collection was on the level, why did the FBI get called in?

Yeah innocent until proven guilty, but they have to take the objects to inspect and catalogue them.

Would you rather they do that in his home?

No doubt that if they did that, you'd be whinging about the FBI occupying his house for months on end.

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

posted on Apr, 3 2014 @ 07:04 AM
On one hand, I'd jump at the chance to have a piece of ancient history all to myself. On the other hand, that's the problem with private ownership of artifacts -- all to one's self. The greedy inner me would absolutely love to horde artifacts all to myself from a variety of ancient cultures I'm enamored with, but my logical side says this is 100% wrong and utter theft from humanity. Not that museums have acquired their artifacts entirely properly over the ages. Just because they've done it and squirreled our history away in a storage room doesn't mean we regular folks should, too. The worst possible thing, IMO, is to do that. It's first and foremost the physical history of the descendants of the areas the artifacts originally came from. Ones stolen or cheated out of their homelands should indeed be returned without question. Artifacts on display in other countries, I have no problem with them being loaned out, the world's history is the WORLD'S history, everyone is entitled to look into the past and see where we've come from.

I feel really bad for the guy, but...IDK, private collections, as enticing & alluring as they are to aspire to, they just seem as wrong as the Vatican's vaults do.

posted on Apr, 3 2014 @ 07:11 AM
You guys keep talking about the Vatican's vaults... So why doesn't the law show up at THEIR vaults and raid THEM? Huh? They're probably holding on to more history than the world ever dreamed about. Oh. I forgot. They're "special."

posted on Apr, 3 2014 @ 07:14 AM

They're "special."

The hell they are. Governments need to get out of the Vatican's bed & pockets and vice versa for a multitude of reasons. I realize the artifacts of non-religious value in their vaults are speculation at best, but if true, they hold a lot of artifacts that are not theirs to keep.

posted on Apr, 3 2014 @ 07:32 AM
reply to post by AlphaHawk

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. They must have probable cause for what they take, and it must be laid out in a detailed warrant.

Blanket warrants are unconstitutional, therefore before you call other people keyboard warriors, I would look at myself a little in the mirror first. The constitution protects us, and we must follow it or be lost as a society.

posted on Apr, 3 2014 @ 07:43 AM
reply to post by OpinionatedB

Well, like I said, the alternative is them tracking through his house for months.

posted on Apr, 3 2014 @ 07:58 AM
reply to post by AlphaHawk

Here is my question to you:

If they had probable cause to believe that my television, and only my television, was stolen property that I had obtained by purchasing it from someone I met, and while they were there with a just warrent to confiscate my television could they then:

See that I had a stereo, and seize that, see that I had a coffee pot, and seize that, and see that in my bedroom I had an alarm clock, and seize that, and see that in my basement I had my laptop, and seize that... on the "off chance" that since those were electronic devices too that they may have been stolen property at some point, and keep them until which time I could somehow prove their purchase was legal?

posted on Apr, 3 2014 @ 08:16 AM
reply to post by OpinionatedB

Nice Strawman argument.

A television and coffee pot is just a little bit different to thousands of curios.

Look, we have bugger all information and we have people going off half cocked, calling people retards and the like.


It appears we have more information, helps to look at other news sources..

The FBI had been communicating with Miller for several months and they want to identify those items, and if necessary, return them to their places of origin. "We are reviewing certain artifacts and items that are in his possession.
Donald C. Miller, who lives in the address behind me. We sought and obtained his cooperation in this matter.

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

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