petroglyph theft eastside

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klk

Trad climber
cali
Topic Author's Original Post - Nov 18, 2012 - 10:32pm PT
first i've heard of this-- maybe i missed an earlier thread.

sounds like someone did a massive saw-and-haul theft of petrolyphs from the tablelands there above bishop.

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-petroglyphs-theft-20121119,0,6886011.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+latimes%2Fmostviewed+%28L.A.+Times+-+Most+Viewed+Stories%29

SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Nov 18, 2012 - 10:42pm PT

I hope they catch those bums.
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Nov 18, 2012 - 10:47pm PT
Here's the LA Times report.

Hope they catch and send to prison the as#@&%es that did this.

By Louis Sahagun, Los Angeles Times

November 19, 2012
BISHOP, Calif. — Ancient hunters and gatherers etched vivid petroglyphs on cliffs in the Eastern Sierra that withstood winds, flash floods and earthquakes for more than 3,500 years. Thieves needed only a few hours to cut them down and haul them away.

Federal authorities say at least four petroglyphs have been taken from the site. A fifth was defaced with deep saw cuts on three sides. A sixth had been removed and broken during the theft, then propped against a boulder near a visitor parking lot.

Dozens of other petroglyphs were scarred by hammer strikes and saw cuts.

"The individuals who did this were not surgeons, they were smashing and grabbing," U.S. Bureau of Land Management archaeologist Greg Haverstock said last week as he examined the damage. "This was the worst act of vandalism ever seen" on the 750,000 acres of public land managed by the BLM field office in Bishop.

The theft required extraordinary effort: Ladders, electric generators and power saws had to be driven into the remote and arid high desert site near Bishop. Thieves gouged holes in the rock and sheared off slabs that were up to 15 feet above ground and 2 feet high and wide.

Visitors discovered the theft and reported it to the BLM on Oct. 31. BLM field office manager Bernadette Lovato delivered the bad news to Paiute-Shoshone tribal leaders in Bishop.

"It was the toughest telephone call I ever had to make," Lovato said. "Their culture and spiritual beliefs had been horribly violated. We will do everything in our power to bring those pieces back."

The region is known as Volcanic Tableland. It is held sacred by Native Americans whose ancestors adorned hundreds of lava boulders with spiritual renderings: concentric circles, deer, rattlesnakes, bighorn sheep, and hunters with bows and arrows.

For generations, Paiute-Shoshone tribal members and whites have lived side by side but not together in Bishop. But desecration of the site, which Native Americans still use in spiritual ceremonies, has forced reservation officials and U.S. authorities to come together and ask a tough question: Can further vandalism be prevented?

"How do we manage fragile resources that have survived as much as 10,000 years but can be destroyed in an instant?" asked archaeologist David Whitley, who in 2000 wrote the nomination that succeeded in getting the site listed on the National Register of Historic Places. "Do we keep them secret in hopes that no one vandalizes them? Or, do we open them to the public so that visitors can serve as stewards of the resources?"

The easy answer is to police the site and others listed under the Archaeological Resources Protection Act. But that's not possible given the condition of cash-strapped federal lands agencies, authorities said.

Authorities said the petroglyphs aren't worth a great deal on the illicit market, probably $500 to $1,500 each. But they are priceless to Native Americans, who regard the massive tableaux as a window into the souls of their ancestors.

The site is one of dozens of such locations managed by the BLM office in Bishop. A small army of volunteers has stepped up surveillance of the area.

For archaeologists, the images carved into a half-mile-long volcanic escarpment depict the culture and spiritual notions of the ancient tribes that once populated the sage flats and river valleys of the Eastern Sierra.

Paiute tribal historic preservation officer Raymond Andrews observed sacred law by quietly chanting a traditional prayer when he approached the site earlier this month.

Standing beneath a panel of geometric renderings believed to have been carved by shamans, Andrews took a slow, deep breath and said, "We still use this sacred place as a kind of church to educate tribal members and children about our historical and spiritual connections. So, our tribal elders are appalled by what happened here."

Federal authorities and Native American leaders plan to mark each defaced petroglyph with a small sign pointing out that, as archaeologist Haverstock put it, "this damage was done by malicious, selfish individuals."

The BLM is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the thieves. Damaging or removing the petroglyphs is a felony. First-time offenders can be imprisoned for up to one year and fined as much as $20,000, authorities said. Second-time offenders can be fined up to $100,000 and imprisoned up to five years.
hossjulia

Trad climber
Where the Hoback and the mighty Snake River meet
Nov 18, 2012 - 10:52pm PT
This is awful. Low life scum. Sure hope they get them back and catch these f*#kers.
The Chief

climber
Climber from the Land Mongols under the Whites
Nov 18, 2012 - 10:56pm PT
BLM aint happy about that..... that aint gonna be good for them folks that boulder up there.
splitter

Trad climber
Cali Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
Nov 18, 2012 - 10:56pm PT
Find em & lynch em!!

edit: Just plain horrible, extremely selfish and downright lame! Humanity/human nature at it's worst (or close to it), imo!
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Nov 18, 2012 - 11:08pm PT
In my perfect world, an afterlife awaits thieves of antiquities in which they experience something akin to Sisyphus.

I can't imagine an individual who lacks a conscience so much as to destroy something so distinct that has existed for a great duration of time & clearly has deep meaning for some. Particularly if done in the name of making a few bucks.

I don't know this area but these thieves went to great lengths to remove the artifacts and deface the others. Could there have been witnesses to this crime? I would hope so.........
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Nov 19, 2012 - 12:20am PT
The BLM is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the thieves.

I don't know much about rewards in these situations, but $1,000 seems far too little. It's clear that the stolen things were worth much more to those who took them, or whoever was paying them, given the effort that they put into it.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 19, 2012 - 12:29am PT
You beat me to it, Mighty. The BLM is gonna waste far more than that in
bureaucratic hand-wringing and pseudo-self-flagellation. How bout they lay
some desk jockey off and put his salary towards the reward?
Gilroy

Social climber
Boulderado
Nov 19, 2012 - 12:33am PT
Monetary fines are not enough. Graphic torture description omitted.

Suffice it to say slow death while witnessing desert canids consume the perps' entrails would be nearly enough punishment for this assault on our cultural treasures.
Captain...or Skully

climber
Nov 19, 2012 - 01:14am PT
Madness.
ß Î Ø T Ç H

Boulder climber
bouldering
Nov 19, 2012 - 02:24am PT
The BLM is offering a $1,000 reward ...
Chump change as they say. The perps already had a buyer.
Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
Nov 19, 2012 - 02:33am PT
Wonder if there's another story beneath the primary text: for example, is the motive behind the desecration perhaps personal revenge or even something intra-tribal? Otherwise, all you can say is that it looks like the work of knuckle heads. I remember that the commander of the US South Atlantic fleet once told me to never underestimate the power exerted by stupidity in the affairs of men. Won't really find out though until these idiots are caught, the sooner the better. Better pony up a bigger reward than a crumby grand too. Who's going to snitch for that?
Capt.

climber
some eastside hovel
Nov 19, 2012 - 03:11am PT
This is so weak I'm kinda speachless.I'd been outta town and just heard about this.Didn't get the whole story 'til just now though.Wow!Awesome spot too.So killer to sit at those glyphs(and think)at sun up then do a little circuit.The history,the aura,the location---trashed!!I'm furious and sad.
Russ Walling

Social climber
from Poofters Froth, Wyoming
Nov 19, 2012 - 10:55am PT
Maybe the BLM did it themselves? It would be a good way to start the ball rolling on the closure of the Tablelands so their lazy asses don't have to patrol it anymore.
Batrock

Trad climber
Burbank
Nov 19, 2012 - 11:04am PT
Russ, I was thinking the same thing myself but hate to believe the govt. would do something like that to close an area. I know many of the areas I "used" to go exploring are now closed for good, as I drive the Inyos and Whites there are more and more trails and spur roads that have been closed off. Little by little.

Whoever did this wether govt. or private deserves to be hung up by the balls covered in honey over and ant hill.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
USA Moundhouse Nev. and land o da SLEDS!
Nov 19, 2012 - 11:13am PT
The ""govt" did not do this fer petes sake. All manner of things are being stolen and sold now.. Copper wiring - man hole covers, you name it. Lots of hurting people out there and this is just another avenue for cash.
kennyt

climber
Woodfords,California
Nov 19, 2012 - 11:14am PT
Must be Obamas fault Ron. Where can I pick up one of those black market manhole covers? lol
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
USA Moundhouse Nev. and land o da SLEDS!
Nov 19, 2012 - 11:17am PT
well im pretty sure he isnt hurting .. I doubt hes a suspect...



edit: Kenny,, what size do you need??;-)
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Nov 19, 2012 - 11:17am PT
That sucks. I hope the thieves are superstitious.
kennyt

climber
Woodfords,California
Nov 19, 2012 - 11:20am PT
I don't think the type of people who do this sh#t do it because they are hurting. It seems a little different than stuffing a pound of ground round down your pants at the local supermarket.


Ron, I thought they were one size fits all.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
USA Moundhouse Nev. and land o da SLEDS!
Nov 19, 2012 - 11:28am PT
Youd be surprised what artifacts will sell for Kenny! A few NV historical buildings out in the middle of the state were torn down, stolen for the old barnwood- which sells in NYC for a premium!



edit: naw,, there are 12",, 18" 6",, covers to fit every hole you can think of!
kennyt

climber
Woodfords,California
Nov 19, 2012 - 11:32am PT
No, I wouldn't I would be suprised if this was a person that resorted to this because they couldn't find a job.
The Alpine

climber
Nov 19, 2012 - 11:41am PT
Definitely not good for future access...

Save us from ourselves Mr Government!
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
Nov 19, 2012 - 11:56am PT
The eastside is small..Sooner than later , word will leak out and the vandalists will be caught...Don't worry...
WBraun

climber
Nov 19, 2012 - 12:01pm PT
Looks like the works of some who really knew what they were doing.

Professionals.

I doubt these guys who did this will even try to unload this anywhere near the east side.
splitter

Trad climber
Cali Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
Nov 19, 2012 - 12:02pm PT
another avenue for cash
another avenue for ... GREED ... is more like it!!
Chaz

Trad climber
greater Boss Angeles area
Nov 19, 2012 - 12:05pm PT
Kenny T writes:

"No, I wouldn't I would be suprised if this was a person that resorted to this because they couldn't find a job."


No. Dude did it because he's a useless thief, nothing more.

Those 'glyphs have been there practically forever. They were there through every single recession / depression this country has ever seen. They were even there through the Great Depression and the Jimmy Carter Recession ( which was a hell of a lot more severe than what's going on right now ) when there were many more people looking for jobs.

The petroglyphs are gone now because someone is a useless thief with no goddamn morals.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 19, 2012 - 12:09pm PT
As Biotch noted the perps almost surely had pre-sold it as in a high percentage
of art thefts. This sort of desecration is very odd to me in that the buyer
will now have pieces that are rather 'challenging' to display, to say the
least. They would also be virtually impossible to establish a faux provenance
for as opposed to a looted pot or basket. I guess I have to admit the buyer
must be a strangely honed aesthete to want to sit and admire his new pieces
knowing how he came by them. He, almost surely, must also have a perversely
refined circle of friends. But I suppose this is just our American Wild West
version of the nouveau riche Russian oligarch buying a purloined Modigliani.
Chaz

Trad climber
greater Boss Angeles area
Nov 19, 2012 - 12:12pm PT
If they were religious symbols, they have no place on public land.

Maybe the A.C.L.U. did it.

Or these guys:

http://www.au.org/
rectorsquid

climber
Lake Tahoe
Nov 19, 2012 - 12:14pm PT
thief ... no goddamn morals

Sort of an oxymoron.

A thief who appears to have morals is just a thief who fears something. Morals require respect for your fellow man and thieves just don't have it.

It's a sad day when someone takes artifacts like that.

Dave
Jerry Dodrill

climber
Sebastopol
Nov 19, 2012 - 02:14pm PT
This really saddens me. Its hard to know the reasons for the theft, but it reminds me of the work done by "archaeologists" around the world, such as at the Bezeklik Buddha Caves in Xinjing, China. Many of their best frescos were gouged from the walls by European archaeologists and now live in museum collections in Chicago and London.
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
Nov 19, 2012 - 02:28pm PT
This sort of crime might restrict vehicle access to areas, making it harder to truck equipment in and loot out is a probable solution. I doubt they would want to restrict climbers walk in access, as climbers are the eyes and ears for the authorities.

I do not think climbers would be suspects, unless the high stuff was removed in good style, on lead.
Capt.

climber
some eastside hovel
Nov 19, 2012 - 03:17pm PT
Just rode out there.It's not the ones I was thinking of.As far as road access,it's already happened at one area.This just really sux.Let's all keep our collective ear open.
splitter

Trad climber
Cali Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
Nov 19, 2012 - 03:45pm PT
It's painful to watch that video. It's been there for 3,000 years, and some douche-bag comes along and chops it. Not only took that particular piece, but it desecrated the whole site.
aspendougy

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Nov 19, 2012 - 04:46pm PT
1st step in an investigation would be to fiure out what sort of equipment is needed. Possibly it can be traced that way.............it could be someone local, but it could be someone from out of the area, in which case it would be harder to trace.

It would be great if the East Side climbing community could help apprehend the culprits, as that might make the BLM feel we are part of the solution, not part of the problem.
klk

Trad climber
cali
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 19, 2012 - 04:49pm PT
it had to be someone who either is or was a local.

and it's pretty unlikely that it was done on spec-- more likely there was a buyer ahead of time. and yeah, it won't be part of a public exhibit-- more like, headed to a mcmansion near you.

probably multiple perps. at least one generator. the cuts themselves look sort of amateurish. and some of the damage looks gratuitous, like they were just smashing stuff to smash it. so either somebody really local who thinks they have a beef against the paiutes or else just a drunk tweaker.

so someone who either is or was local, who does at least some masonry or stone construction work, who owns or has access to a generator and a cut-off saw, but with some kind of relationship to a collector wealthy enough to want stuff like this for a mcmansion/private collection and who cares enough that he is willing to pay full dollar for the real deal rather than just having someone make copies.

the downside is that it may be someone from around bishop who has since moved off to tahoe or la and did a quick homecoming to source for a tahoe or la sale. but seems like there's also a chance that it was someone stupid enough to be involved in one of those local mcmansions. in which case, we might get lucky and catch the f*#kers.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
i WASNT ON THE INTERNET during bush years...
Nov 19, 2012 - 04:51pm PT
First thing i thought of as ive been through these things before,, was to do a quick search or new houses being constructed in the area.. Say a fiddy mile radius. I see it as part of a fire place mantle or some pillar feature. Looking for a custom home here. Not tract housing.
Jim Hefner

climber
La Verne, CA
Nov 19, 2012 - 05:38pm PT
I got another $1,000 for info leading to a conviction.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Nov 19, 2012 - 05:45pm PT
They need to put hunter's trail cameras around some of the best glyph sites. You know, hide them and they get set off by movement. Cheap. I would guess that the perps will lay low after all of this publicity.

Why would anyone even WANT petroglyphs? Is there a market for them?

The USFWS caught a rancher cutting his fence to let elk out of the Wichita Mountains and on to his land. The state allows Elk hunting on private land here, and those ranchers charge an arm and a leg for access.

So they cut the game fence around the refuge.

They set up some trail cams with video about ten years ago and caught one guy. Right in the middle of it all he pulls out his johnson and takes a piss. He was majorly busted over it.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
i WASNT ON THE INTERNET during bush years...
Nov 19, 2012 - 06:04pm PT
theres a market for ANYTHING forbidden...

Body parts , artifacts, anything..
bamboo

Trad climber
pike co
Nov 19, 2012 - 07:21pm PT
some of the cuts look like they were made with a diamond chainsaw ---whata mess those googans made--simply WRONG!!!
Psilocyborg

climber
Nov 19, 2012 - 07:52pm PT
All it takes is a lone tweaker with delusions of grandeur.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 19, 2012 - 07:55pm PT
Hardly a tweaker. There is a firmly established sub-culture of Indian culture
desecrators. A large ring was broken up a year or two ago in Utah.
Despite the guvmint spending millions on them they got off quite lightly.
MisterE

Social climber
Nov 19, 2012 - 07:57pm PT
May the spirits stolen haunt the choppers and buyers for eternity.

As stated: This is potentially horrible news for bouldering access, be very pro-active towards rangers and BLM people if you see them up there.

Meh!
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Nov 19, 2012 - 08:48pm PT
Many of us know Greg Haverstock, the archaeologist in the video, as an accomplished climber himself. It's funny, the other day I was wondering about Greg, no idea what happened to him. It's great seeing Greg in such a rewarding and in this case frustrating and challenging position.

If the stolen pieces are ever recovered I would be pleased to volunteer to help in their proper restoration.

What an awful and stupidly self destructive act for someone to commit...
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Nov 19, 2012 - 09:08pm PT
hey there say, klk,thanks for sharing...

you know, if the folks looking for this, take the time, and do internet
seaches on what kind of folks would actually go out there to steal this, etc, they most likely will find all kinds reasons that folks want to do it...

that would be the best way to find out... trying learning the
'why' first... then you learn of the type of 'who'...
and onward, it goes...




GuapoVino

Trad climber
All Up In Here
Nov 19, 2012 - 09:21pm PT
Base, I never heard that anyone got busted for that but I was aware it was going on. Several years ago (late 80's early 90's) I, I mean some guy but definitely not me, used to sneak into the special use area and sometimes spend a few days exploring and poking around. Normally the plan was to park outside the refuge and come in from the north and climb the fence. There were a few places where the 8' high fence was cut and pulled back, sometimes opening up a section 50' wide or more. The perimeter fence stretched for miles so there may have been several other places opened up like that. It was pretty obvious what the neighboring land owner was doing, letting elk out onto his property.

HighTraverse

Trad climber
Bay Area
Nov 19, 2012 - 09:23pm PT
Unfortunately there's a worldwide market for stolen works of art and antiquity and elephant tusks.......you name it.
Even for valuable pieces with no provenance (e.g. no valid paper trail).
Could be tweakers, more likely professional thieves. Until you also catch and jail the buyers the market will never dry up.
Really pisses me off. Almost makes me believe in capital punishment.
JOEY.F

Gym climber
It's not rocket surgery
Nov 19, 2012 - 09:27pm PT
Just plain rotten. I hope they get busted and have their family tombstones violated. Dickheads.
dave

climber
Earth
Nov 19, 2012 - 09:30pm PT
Being a local resident of 14 years I am really bummed. I always like taking my friends and family when they are visiting to see these awesome petroglyphs. I hope they catch these dooshbags, and then scalpel their f*#king tattoos off their body, and sh#t why not have the local Paiutes remove their scalps while at it.
Fletcher

Trad climber
Fumbling towards stone
Nov 19, 2012 - 09:38pm PT
This is just plain terrible and heartbreaking.

This is like stealing the Mona Lisa; difficult to hide and going to be all but impossible to sell, unless it's been pre-sold (as some have suggested) to some evil Bond villain type who is only going to view it in the privacy of his secret lair. I have a feeling these goons will be caught. Not a lot of signs of higher intelligence here. :-(

Eric
Stewart Johnson

climber
lake forest
Nov 19, 2012 - 10:26pm PT
good times before the white man
good times before the white man
Credit: Stewart Johnson
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Nov 19, 2012 - 11:06pm PT
Reilly,
don't ask me how I know but the two suicides had an unanticipated impact on certain federal employees.
David Plotnikoff

Mountain climber
Emerald Hills, CA
Nov 20, 2012 - 02:38am PT
Maybe, just maybe, these guys grow a cerebral cortex and get off meth and grow into adults. Maybe. And at that point it hits them: The collective and suffocating weight of 60 generations of Paiutes pressing on their conscience.

Nah.

Hunt them down. Cut their balls off so they cannot reproduce.
new world order2

climber
Nov 20, 2012 - 04:19am PT
Brutal! I remember visiting the spot some ten years ago. We were a group of around six, and I recall everyone being very quiet, not having much to say. That place definitely had some magic/spirituality about it, that rubbed off on all of us at the time.

Credit: new world order2
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Nov 20, 2012 - 04:52am PT
Fuggin' evil pigs.

May the fleas of a thousand camels infest their crotches!
martygarrison

Trad climber
Washington DC
Nov 20, 2012 - 09:37am PT
This has now been picked up by the international press. Authorities will track these bums down.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-20404856
couchmaster

climber
pdx
Nov 20, 2012 - 09:55am PT
So terrible....there's always rich Germans, Russians, Japanese ...whatever, looking to buy something rare and unique like this. Hope that the publicity stops that this time and a swift discovery of the criminals leads to convictions for the greedy low life's who did this.
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Nov 20, 2012 - 09:56am PT
The depravity of some people is unbelievable. These things survive the ages and it only takes a few hours for a greedy idiot to destroy it. There should be a special level in hell designed for these as#@&%es where they get buggered by Richard Attenborough for all eternity.

It's hard to believe that this sort of thing goes on still. Pre-sold or shipped abroad for sure... or the collector did the deed them-self, since the advent of the internet would make these pretty hard to pass along to a regular retail buyer without detection.

Hopefully publicity will keep the ball rolling. Often private parties will start to add to the reward $ and eventually it will reach a $ amount that someone rats them out.
Charlie D.

Trad climber
Western Slope, Tahoe Sierra
Nov 20, 2012 - 10:02am PT
Certainly a crime against humanity, been happening for thousands of years. Our contemporaries are just the latest of looters, bastards.
Burt

Big Wall climber
Blue Diamond, NV
Nov 20, 2012 - 10:20am PT
This story just crushes me. My girlfriend who is a archeologist for the BLM talked to me about the reward because I too was livid about the low amount. There is no money in the budget. The BLM gets next to nothing in the way of funding (I don't have the exact figures but will when she gets home) for managing the millions and millions of acres that they have. The USFS gets a minimal of triple to look over their land portion and get to charge outrageous rates to enter their parks (which entrance fees stay in that park) and yet the BLM still brings in more money then all of the USFS due to land leases for powerlines, solar, wind projects, roads, etc. look deep down I hate the "man" closing my land down, but when I go to an area that is kept free from trash, dirtbikes, gun targets, and other crap that every Budweiser drinking, NASCAR watching idiot Emerican thinks they are entiled to leave in the wild I am glad I have organizations out there to protect what I love.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Nov 20, 2012 - 10:26am PT
I hope that they pull the full CSI gig onto this. Tire tracks, evaluating the cut marks.

If it was very big, it would nigh take a winch to put it into a truck. A square foot of rock is very heavy.

Then when they catch them, they should stake them out on a red ant hill naked. Since cruel and unusual punishment is illegal, pull them off of the anthill after five minutes or so. That should do the job.

They can catch them if they can afford to put the resources into it. Hopefully they can afford it. If not, one of us should start a help and reward fund.
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Nov 20, 2012 - 10:28am PT
The punishment here is obvious...turn them over to the tribe.
Silver

Gym climber
Nov 20, 2012 - 10:33am PT
Dean good idea nothing like old Native American justice to cure the head of the idea of stealing history.
frank wyman

Mountain climber
helena montana
Nov 20, 2012 - 10:38am PT
Worked for years in oil exploration, when in the 4-corners area we always had BLM archeologist map out "arch sites" for us. They would tell us we could not even keep a arrowhead we found while they "pocketed" all the stuff they could. used their maps and raided all the sites on our daysoff.needless to say all the stuff that they mapped was already in their homes. another gov. agency...
10b4me

Boulder climber
member since 2002
Nov 20, 2012 - 10:48am PT
These types of people tend to brag about their deed, and usually to the wrong people. Add to this a reward being offered, and they will get caught.

splitter

Trad climber
Cali Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
Nov 20, 2012 - 10:57am PT
Cragman - The punishment here is obvious...turn them over to the tribe.
If ya ever get the chance, be sure and read, "Gunfighters, Highwaymen & Vigalantes: Violance On The Frontier!" by Roger D. McGrath! Its supurbely researched and written (he is a history prof for UCLA). It is the history of 'the eastside' from around mid 1800's to early 1900's! Talks about the development of the area, particularly the gold/silver mining towns of Bodie & Aurora, but all the area including Bishop, Mammoth etc!

Anyway, it tells this story of a black prospector who got caught up in one of the battles that the US Calvary had during 'The Indian Wars' @1860's! He was just traveling through to Bodie at the time, but pitched in/got caught up in one particular battle just outside of Bishop. The Paiutes lost a couple of their members, and were pretty pissed about it. Evidently they managed to catch the black prospector as he made his way up to Bodie a few days later.

A few years later, after they had surrendered and moved to the 'rez', they started telling the story of how they had captured him (black prospector) and the 'squaws' had torchered him for three (3) days & three (3) nights before he succumbed to the torture and died!

YIKES!!!
throwpie

Trad climber
Berkeley
Nov 20, 2012 - 11:49am PT
How old does graffiti have to be to be considered petroglyphs? I saw an article about slabs on the headwaters of the Ganges covered completely with ancient prayers carved into the granite. They are considered treasures. Try carving prayers on the slabs above Vernal falls and see how that's received. Will future archeologists who discover " Louie hearts Suzie" in an ancient subway tunnel feel the same as we do today about the petroglyphs? Perhaps. Please don't confuse my musings for support of the theft.
Too late for this...it has been painted over.
Too late for this...it has been painted over.
Credit: throwpie
Impaler

Social climber
Berkeley
Nov 20, 2012 - 01:19pm PT
Credit: Impaler

Credit: Impaler
Matt

Trad climber
it's all turtles, all the way dooowwwwwnn!!!!!
Nov 20, 2012 - 01:19pm PT
betchya these thieves aren't that smart-
probably recently used a credit card to purchase (locally or in Socal?) the necessary tools or blades.

this is one crime that i would think data mining software could help solve, especially if it gets enough attention. they'd just have to cross reference purchases of that sort of stuff with recent gas purchases on the eastside. betchya the list of matches with a criminal record is not that long.
10b4me

Boulder climber
member since 2002
Nov 20, 2012 - 01:29pm PT
photo not found
Missing photo ID#274715
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
Nov 20, 2012 - 01:36pm PT
A square foot of rock is very heavy.

No. It can vary from very light to very heavy. A cubic foot of stone is quite heavy.


In reading the story, it seems like a commissioned gig. Good luck finding the perps, or the buyer. These things happen on the DL for a reason. What high falutin buyer isn't going to cover his tracks when he commissions a theft?
Capt.

climber
some eastside hovel
Nov 20, 2012 - 01:51pm PT
10b4me-Yes,those were the ones I rode out to yesterday.Wanted to make sure they're still intact.All good(at that spot).Kinda surprised they weren't touched,the way access USED to be.A bike is the preferred approach vehicle now.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Nov 20, 2012 - 02:01pm PT
The BLM is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the thieves.

I don't know much about rewards in these situations, but $1,000 seems far too little. It's clear that the stolen things were worth much more to those who took them, or whoever was paying them, given the effort that they put into it.

The BLM and FS are so strapped for funds for even the most basic functions, I'm sure they have virtually no money for this sort of thing.

It wouldn't surprise me it they took up an office collection out of their own pockets.

I *am* surprised that the indian tribes are not contributing to this.
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Nov 20, 2012 - 02:08pm PT
The tribe has it's own way of contributing...

Scaphism.

The naked culprit would be firmly fastened within a back-to-back pair of narrow rowboats (or in some variations a hollowed out tree trunk), the head, hands, and feet protruding from this improvised container. The condemned was forced to ingest milk and honey to the point of developing severe diarrhea, and more honey would be rubbed on his body so as to attract insects to the exposed appendages. They would then be left to float on a stagnant pond (or alternately, simply exposed to the sun somewhere). The defenseless individual’s feces accumulated within the container, attracting more insects, which would eat and breed within his or her exposed (and increasingly gangrenous) flesh. Death, when it eventually occurred, was probably due to a combination of dehydration, starvation and septic shock.

Either that, or make them read Dr. F's threads incessantly for life.

Equally vile.
10b4me

Boulder climber
member since 2002
Nov 20, 2012 - 02:12pm PT
I *am* surprised that the indian tribes are not contributing to this.

come on Ken. Indian tribes contributing?
you know as well as I do that they don't have any money to contribute

edit: this is just another example of the Indians getting f*#ked over.
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
Nov 20, 2012 - 02:15pm PT
So, you're personally condemning the culprits to death Dean?

That doesn't seem very Christian of you. What gives?

An eye for an eye, right? Not death for a robbery.

I'd be stoked if they were caught, but death? How very reactionary of you.
Chaz

Trad climber
greater Boss Angeles area
Nov 20, 2012 - 02:20pm PT
"I *am* surprised that the indian tribes are not contributing to this."


Maybe they did contribute ... to the theft.

You gotta decorate those Indian casinos with something, and totem poles are getting kind of stale.

Inside job?
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Nov 20, 2012 - 02:21pm PT
Ah western Racism alive and well, way to go OleMiss!

DMT
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Nov 20, 2012 - 02:51pm PT
C'mon, Brandon....have a sense of humor.

:)
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
i WASNT ON THE INTERNET during bush years...
Nov 20, 2012 - 03:00pm PT
i wuz thinkin the same thing Crag,, thought yur descrip of the ant hill and honey was hilarious!


But i will ask the panel here,, how many of you have picked up a perfect arrowhead and snagged it for yourself?? I know i have. In the midwest,, when they turn the fields, its a veritable finders spree of arrowheads.
cowpoke

climber
Nov 20, 2012 - 03:03pm PT
What high falutin buyer isn't going to cover his tracks when he commissions a theft?
the same kind that hires guys that can't finish the job ("In addition to the four carvings that were stolen, one was defaced with deep saw cuts on three sides...) and drop some of the goods on the way out ("...and another was removed but apparently broke during the theft and was left propped against a boulder near the visitor parking lot.")

doesn't exactly sound like The Thomas Crown Affair.

either way, it is really sad.
Evel

Trad climber
Nedsterdam CO
Nov 20, 2012 - 03:30pm PT
What an incredibly heinous act.

Agree with earlier post: subject the perps to Tribal Law. Yikes!
Eric Beck

Sport climber
Bishop, California
Nov 20, 2012 - 03:38pm PT
From todays Inyo Register we learn that the Bishop Paiute tribe has also put up $1000.
kennyt

climber
Woodfords,California
Nov 20, 2012 - 03:39pm PT
maybe it's payback for the cave rock closure. sorry for my poor sense of humor
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
i WASNT ON THE INTERNET during bush years...
Nov 20, 2012 - 03:40pm PT
Any decent BLM LEO should be able to track this down. Heck, they may even get a little FBI help in SAT imagery who knows,, its been done before. Im willing to bet we see a solved case here, just time for the field and leg work..

And i would point out, that in THESE circumstances, everyone seems to be all for the FED leos in doing their jobs. Ya never need em until you need em. ;-) Heres a WHOOOWHAAAA to those LEOs working on this- a full felony violation. I can tell you from experience, they will get med-evil in their efforts.. And leave no stone un-turned.



ouwwch! Kenny-- wrong tribe.. Cave Rock is the Washoes.. Last thing on earth ya wann do is cornfuse the two lol!
kennyt

climber
Woodfords,California
Nov 20, 2012 - 03:44pm PT
I know but I couldn't resist. Indian casinos = good. climbing at cave rock = bad
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 20, 2012 - 03:47pm PT
Ron, having spent a good part of my youth digging for UCLA, LA County Nat
History Museum, and even under Louis Leakey* I can assert that there is no
dearth of specimens sitting in untold numbers of boxes in museums far and wide.
99,9% of those specimens are superfluous and/or will never see the light of
day. That said, putting one more into yer pocket isn't likely to be a big
deal but few of us are qualified to determine whether that one could be
of real value to our understanding. I don't condone the picking of wildflowers, either.
But I do take a lot of pictures. ;-)


*Yeah, that got me in with all the hot girls. ;-\
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
i WASNT ON THE INTERNET during bush years...
Nov 20, 2012 - 03:48pm PT
I hear ya Kenny. Maybe if the ACC were to approach them with $$$ we could re-do the cave? Im still quite sad over the whole thing- and especially disappointed with NDOT in that they dodged the whole affair and its THEIR property, bought and paid for when they blew the tunnels through.


Reilly,, true that- and of course many things were collected pre-antiquities acts.. One of my buddys retired from NDOT as an archaeologist- When they were putting the freeway extension through in carson, they went over the FIRST stage stop ever in the region- dug, cataloged and reburied it all and its now 40 feet under the freeway banks. I thought that odd- that they wouldnt take it to the state museum, but that was part of the deal i guess.

I have my small collection of NA artifacts- i think of them as reminders of who we are when it comes down to nature. My ancestors napped those heads out long ago too. I have a desert side notch out of pure white quarts that is nearly LASER straight,, thin as a dime and perfectly symmetrical. When i picked it up, i literally FELT the experience of the man who had created that. I nelt down in the ash and just held it - it consumed me for a bit.

The next camp over, the talent for heads was OBVIOUSLY still in the rookie stage and i began to get a feel for the camp, and its placement of people. Ive found Martis points extremely old in Dog Valley.

Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Nov 20, 2012 - 03:50pm PT
The USFS gets a minimal of triple to look over their land portion and get to charge outrageous rates to enter their parks (which entrance fees stay in that park)

The USFS does not administer parks. Your outrage is directed at a bunch of poorly paid public servants that have to do the almost impossible with nothing, and don't really deserve it.
moosedrool

Trad climber
lost, far away from Poland
Nov 20, 2012 - 03:55pm PT
thropie: "How old does graffiti have to be to be considered petroglyphs?”

Dino Rock in Carson City sports some “old" graffiti. If I steal it now it would be a community service. Should I do it before it becomes a national treasure and sell it later?

Just kidding. But it does put this kind of art into perspective.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Nov 20, 2012 - 03:55pm PT
It strikes me that this is an opportunity for the climbing community to be more than just takers and users.

I'm not familiar with the area, so have no first hand info, but are there climbing areas nearby? Common access roads? Anyone out there climbing might have seen something.

An effort by the community to help would probably be seen as a very positive act, both by the agency and tribe. Understand that the easiest action to take at this point is to restrict access. Various tribes could easily take this theft as a reason to keep climbers away from all of their land.

Anyone know anyone who might have been in that area? See something, say something.
10b4me

Boulder climber
member since 2002
Nov 20, 2012 - 04:04pm PT
I'm not familiar with the area, so have no first hand info, but are there climbing areas nearby?

Ken, the picture I posted upthread is very near a climbing area
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
i WASNT ON THE INTERNET during bush years...
Nov 20, 2012 - 04:04pm PT
Moose,, at one time THE ONLY graffiti on Dino was the white peace sign- which was there as early as 1970. As for the other stuff, its punks and bangers.

may their makers help em if i ever catch em in the act.
kennyt

climber
Woodfords,California
Nov 20, 2012 - 04:18pm PT
Anybody wanna climb in the gorge thurs.?
frank wyman

Mountain climber
helena montana
Nov 20, 2012 - 04:22pm PT
Looking back on it now I was a real "DICK" I used my climbing skills to rappel into "unexplored" cliff dewelling near Cortez and Blanding. and take pots and various artifacts,(in my youth)I justified it by knowing that the real archeologists were doing the same thing and keeping all the good stuff for their private collections.never ever did we destroy or deface something, If it could not be removed easily we left it there.Someday I'll donate it all including my many Clovis points and pottery.
moosedrool

Trad climber
lost, far away from Poland
Nov 20, 2012 - 04:24pm PT
Ron, are you saying that because the peace sign is old it is more valuable than the younger “art”?
kennyt

climber
Woodfords,California
Nov 20, 2012 - 04:24pm PT
Wyman,we should put you in a row boat and make you eat honey until you sh#t yerself!


Moose, Ron probably smoked a fatty back then and installed it.;)

check your email
hillrat

Trad climber
reno, nv
Nov 20, 2012 - 04:43pm PT
Should make the guilty party restore/recreate what they,ve damaged- using authentic tooling, clothing, and diet.
moosedrool

Trad climber
lost, far away from Poland
Nov 20, 2012 - 04:55pm PT
Hillrat, that’s an interesting point. What if I steal/destroy Michaelangelo’s David? I think I can do it...

I know you are joking :-)
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Nov 20, 2012 - 05:03pm PT
Looting antiquities is as old as civilization. This has been going on for thousands of years. Sure there are diamond saw wielding tweakers / constuction workers with the 'skills' necessary to saw a panel out of a rock.

They built the pyramids without diamond saws. They looted them and then stripped them of cap stones, too.

Mayans... same thing.

On and on. It seems to me its amazing anything at all survives from the past.

DMT
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
i WASNT ON THE INTERNET during bush years...
Nov 20, 2012 - 05:11pm PT
hehe,Moose, Kenny, nope wasnt me,, but it had been there since prolly the sixties,, that and the sign up stream at the next road cut. It seemed somehow "fitting" there- a hippie arteefakt.. it was always accepted for some unknown powers of the rock. Just that though...;-)
hillrat

Trad climber
reno, nv
Nov 20, 2012 - 05:16pm PT
This is indeed a clear case of looting. There are plenty of folks who would argue against such smaller crimes like the occasional arrowhead find already discussed. And so it is the lesser actions where we have to define the line. And i was only half joking when i posted about the perp reconstructing it. Clearly that would be insufficient. But it would give them a clear understanding of what they destroyed and, id bet, a fair amount of misery as well.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
i WASNT ON THE INTERNET during bush years...
Nov 20, 2012 - 05:26pm PT
16 U.S.C. § 470ee(a): Excavate, remove, damage ... alter or deface an archaeological resource or attempt to do so

16 U.S.C. § 470ee(b): Sell, purchase, exchange, transport, receive, or ... offer to do so

16 U.S.C. § 470ee(c): Sell, purchase, exchange, transport, receive, or offer to ... in interstate or foreign commerce any archaeological resource ... in violation of any provision, rule, regulation, ordinance, or permit in effect under State or local law



the above will be their bad news..
Anastasia

climber
InLOVEwithAris.
Nov 20, 2012 - 05:33pm PT
1,000 reward???? That is not enough! No way!
Wow, and my deepest condolences. I can't imagine why anyone would do such a thing. Taking a picture is way more useful, portable and respectful.
splitter

Trad climber
Cali Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
Nov 20, 2012 - 05:34pm PT
...we should put you in a row boat and make you eat honey until you sh#t yourself!
I think a 'canoe' wud be more appropriate, perhaps!

;)
rincon

Trad climber
SoCal
Nov 20, 2012 - 08:35pm PT

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/thieves-steal-3-500-year-old-rock-etchings-article-1.1204974
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 20, 2012 - 08:38pm PT
Clearly a gas-powered cutoff saw with a diamond blade; no generator needed.
They woulda been pretty stoopid to buy it with a credit card unless they
bought it in LA.
phylp

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
Nov 20, 2012 - 08:40pm PT
This is a heinous act. I just sent a message to the Access Fund asking if they would consider offering help to the BLM to increase the reward, as a gesture of goodwill from the climbing community.
dave

climber
Earth
Nov 20, 2012 - 09:02pm PT
Nice phylp, i hope they do!!

Whats strange is that I live here and a few weeks before this incident there was a case of spray painting over by what we call the road side boulders up on the table land. There is also some petroglyphs close to the bouldering, that all the climbers have respected, so the BLM blocked the road off. Probably local kids being punks.
We all heard about this and were upset. But this latest, more heinous incident happened almost 3 weeks ago, and this is the first we are hearing about it. Why did it take so long for the word to get out? When was the article in the LA times?
Jim Hefner

climber
La Verne, CA
Nov 20, 2012 - 09:17pm PT
The Access Fund idea is a good one. I mentioned in an earlier post I'll put in $1,000 for an arrest/conviction. Anyone else interested in contributing to the 'reward'? I'll put up a bond, into escrow, or whatever is the best vehicle for this type of thing. Please, someone take the point on this thing...
TGT

Social climber
So Cal
Nov 20, 2012 - 10:16pm PT
On Drudge now via the Telegraph.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/9689548/Power-saw-wielding-thieves-steal-ancient-rock-carvings-in-worst-vandalism-ever.html
Captain...or Skully

climber
Nov 20, 2012 - 10:21pm PT
Ya don't hafta buy a tool like the one that did that. They rent them, too.
Just sayin'.
Chaz

Trad climber
greater Boss Angeles area
Nov 20, 2012 - 10:44pm PT
Buy them, rent them. A thief would steal one, which means there's probably a legitimate working guy somewhere who is missing a saw right now.
klk

Trad climber
cali
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 20, 2012 - 10:47pm PT
It seems to me its amazing anything at all survives from the past.

coming for you next.

i need a liver.

phylp

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
Nov 20, 2012 - 11:01pm PT
Jim Hefner, that is so generous of you. The Access Fund could probably coordinate that (an escrow fund) with the BLM for you and whomever else wants to contribute. I would chip in. I know they have an established relationship with the Bishop BLM.

I'll let you know what I hear back. It's the start of the Holiday period so if I don't hear anything I'll try to call them on Monday.
Phyl
10b4me

Boulder climber
member since 2002
Nov 21, 2012 - 01:46am PT
Thanks Jim.
dirtbag

climber
Nov 21, 2012 - 02:07am PT
Oh God, this makes me sick...
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Nov 21, 2012 - 02:55am PT
Jim, I'll match that.

Us old sailors have to stick together!

I've emailed the BLM on how to coordinate.

Ken Murray
Chinchen

climber
Way out there....
Nov 21, 2012 - 03:04am PT
Hey everybody, the access fund will be accepting donations through a fund started by a bay area climber.

http://www.facebook.com/groups/492810737418951/

The Bishop climbing community is very upset about this as all of you are. We hope this effort shows the BLM and locals that we (climbers) are able and willing to help protect the fragile area.


Edge

Trad climber
New Durham, NH
Nov 21, 2012 - 07:42am PT
I just received this in my inbox this morning:

"In the absence of the sacred, nothing is sacred, everything is for sale."
    Oren Lyons, ONONDAGA

The Elders often say that when something is sacred it has spiritual value. You'll hear, on the Earth there are sacred spots. You'll hear, our ceremonies are sacred, our children are sacred, marriage is sacred. When something is sacred it means it's so holy you can't attach a value to it. Therefore, it's not for sale. It's an insult to suggest buying something sacred. On the other hand, if we look at it differently, as there is no sacred land, ceremonies are not sacred, our children are not sacred, etc., then everything is for sale. Sacredness creates spiritual space. Sacredness makes things holy. Sacredness shows respect for God.

Great Spirit, let me honor things that are sacred.

Hoping that the vandals are caught and punished to the fullest extent of the law, they will have to atone for this on many levels.
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Nov 21, 2012 - 08:06am PT
What do they think they're going to do with these carvings? Do people buy this stuff like stolen art? If it were worth any amount of money, the buyer would easily see on the internet that its hot. Who would even want something like this? It's just evidence you committed a crime.
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Nov 21, 2012 - 08:45am PT
I knew people would start upping the ante with the reward money. I see the tribe has kicked in an additional grand already. This was just too big an operation to keep totally off the radar. Someone will rat out the chopper if the reward is big enough

Jason (or anyone).. you should re-post later with a direct link once they get the kinks worked out with Access Fund and there is a direct link.

Side story about rewards: A buddy of mine works here in the Santa Monicas tracking the native cats. One of their radio-collared mountain lions showed up dead with the head cut off and the collar missing. Locals were pissed and started chipping in reward money, which eventually got over $10,000.00. The irony was that the hunter could have made bank if they had a buddy turn them in. The penalty for killing the lion was only a $1500.00 fine.

By comparison, this theft at the Tablelands is a much bigger deal and has really hit a nerve with the general public. The media coverage is world-wide, so I'm anticipating a pretty fat reward fund once they get the ball rolling.
Jim Hefner

climber
La Verne, CA
Nov 21, 2012 - 09:48am PT
I'm happy to hear Access Fund is gonna help and this community is going to step up. Money, time, communications, word of mouth, etc.: It's all worthwhile.

Also, Ken, thanks for the assist!
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Nov 21, 2012 - 10:01am PT
I'm willing to bet the perps were some dirtbag locals desperate for cash.
James Wilcox

Boulder climber
The Coast
Nov 21, 2012 - 10:38am PT
Justthemaid pointed out the real issue. The reward the BLM offered is rather low, most likely because they know that even if the thieves are caught and convicted the penalties are rather low.
Chinchen

climber
Way out there....
Nov 21, 2012 - 11:07am PT
"I'm willing to bet the perps were some dirtbag locals desperate for cash."

You are kidding, right? That would be a big blow to the already strained relations of the local climbers with the community. I highly doubt it.
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Nov 21, 2012 - 11:34am PT
Chinchen...."dirtbags" is a common reference to skaliwags of all walks of life.

I wasn't thinking climbers.....more like some lazy ne'rdowells looking for dollars.
ruppell

climber
Nov 21, 2012 - 11:40am PT
Cragman

The point is none of us want to hear talk of it being locals. Do you really think that some rich collector made friends with some local scum then offered some cash for the taking of the glyphs? More likely out of towners. Either way it sucks and the chances of catching these guys is pretty low. Their is a five week window on when the thefts could have occurred according to the Register.
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Nov 21, 2012 - 11:42am PT
ruppell, I would certainly hope it was NOT locals...but the local economy here is SO desperate....it absolutely would not surprise me.
phylp

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
Nov 21, 2012 - 11:54am PT
I received a reply back from the Access Fund. They are already in communication with Bishop locals, the BLM, and the person who started the indiegogo account.

I can't speak for the Access Fund, but we should be hearing from them very soon after the end of the Holiday weekend about how this is all moving forward.

Stay tuned.

Phyl
ruppell

climber
Nov 21, 2012 - 11:56am PT
Crag

With all the theories floating around right now it could easily be turned into a b grade thriller/horror movie. lol Maybe we should write a screenplay. Get (insert washed up has-beens name here) to star and we could really help out the local economy.
kennyt

climber
Woodfords,California
Nov 21, 2012 - 12:12pm PT
Credit: kennyt
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Nov 21, 2012 - 12:41pm PT
I've talked to some climbers about contributing, and they brought up an issue I don't know anything about: If no one is caught, what happens to the money? Is it kept forever? does it just get rolled over into some operational account of the organization who has it?

I have no experience with this, so couldn't answer. Anyone know?
kennyt

climber
Woodfords,California
Nov 21, 2012 - 12:52pm PT
Hire a bounty hunter.
10b4me

Boulder climber
member since 2002
Nov 21, 2012 - 12:59pm PT
More likely out of towners

I hope you are correct, but how would they know where to look?

Even if the culprits aren't found and the money goes to the AF, it still goes to a good cause.
BCD

Mountain climber
Bishop, CA
Nov 21, 2012 - 01:05pm PT
It would be a shame if it turned out to be locals. But if there was any local involvement, that means there's a good chance they'll get caught. It's a small town. Everyone knows everyone. Everyone talks and gossips. Add to that a strained economy, and if there's any local knowledge, someone will certainly snitch for the reward money.

But the sad truth is that it was probably commissioned by a rich collector. And if someone is bold enough to pull off something like this, they've probably done enough underhanded sh#t to know exactly how to cover their bases.
klk

Trad climber
cali
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 21, 2012 - 01:10pm PT
it's always locals of some sort. only folks with local knowledge, and a level of comfort, are in a position to do that kind of work. doesn't mean they were all locals-- good chance the contract came from outside.

the last century of serious looting in greece, egypt, mexico and the southwest is largely a story of local insiders grabbing artifacts for sale to wealthy outsiders.

i haven't been to that site since the looting, but the article specifically mentions "generators" and at least one cut fifteen feet off the deck. the details could be incorrect, but the reporting suggests multiple folks at the site. it also suggests a level of damage you wouldn't expect from really skilled professionals.

not like pothunting is a new activity on the eastside or elsewhere. this case involved a former dwp employee who live sin the area:

http://www.inyoregister.com/node/1464
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
Nov 21, 2012 - 02:16pm PT
Why would you need a generator if you're doing the damage with a cutoff saw? They don't make 'em in electric models.

Once the cuts are made, it's a matter of chiseling off the art in question.

How do generators play into this? I know they were mentioned, but it doesn't add up.
klk

Trad climber
cali
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 21, 2012 - 02:34pm PT
How do generators play into this? I know they were mentioned, but it doesn't add up.

don't know for sure-- it could just be a mistake. early reporting, especially, is often squishy on detail. but a portable generator would've left tracks in the sand, so blm may well be confident about that detail.

but i'm glad to see folks are responding so quickly to this.
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
Nov 21, 2012 - 02:39pm PT
I was thinking tracks as well. But a 6k watt generator fits into 1/4 of your trucks bed (or the back of your Subaru for that matter). No need to tow.

The only thing I can think of is using a generator to run air chisels off of a compressor. But that doesn't add up. It may save time but adds a steady drone to the surrounding area that carries for quite a ways.

Cutoff saws are really loud, but they are portable and easily hidden. Not so much with a generator.

I'd make a great thief.
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Nov 21, 2012 - 02:57pm PT
I just heard a lengthy report about this on nationwide satellite radio. It's big news now.

This is beyond my ability to comprehend. As Werner might say...

Stupid Humans.
BuddhaStalin

climber
Truckee, CA
Nov 21, 2012 - 03:32pm PT
Was checking for developments, still none I guess.

Generators? I wouldnt even think generators would be necessary, a cordless circular (or gas powered, like a chainsaw) with an abrasive blade in the soft pumicey volcanic rock is unfortunately prime for a smash and grab, even with heavy noise. I imagine these douches were in there and out of there fairly quick given the nature of the task.

Let the Paiute/Shoshone have at em when theyre caught. Whoevers responsible, local or not, should be relieved of the burden of their kneecaps.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 21, 2012 - 03:35pm PT
From a mile away nobody would think a gas cutoff saw any different from
dueling dirtbikes. Besides, with a fresh blade that soft rock would only
take a few minutes.
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Nov 21, 2012 - 03:36pm PT
More than likely a rig like this....with a pinhead attached.


photo not found
Missing photo ID#274928
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Nov 21, 2012 - 03:46pm PT
Definitely the typical gasoline-powered 2-cycle circular cut-off saws we use in construction throughout the world. There are also special chain saws that are set up to cut stone too but they are more exotic and therefore less likely here. They have a wider kerf also.

If noise was a consideration, you just rig a muffler on the exhaust of any of these tools and get a very quiet machine. There were no generators nor hydraulic centers in this event. Just very simple tools and what is done everywhere in such work. These saws typically take 14" or 16" diameter dry-operated diamond blades and are terrifically quick and not hard to handle. They cost upwards of $800-$1100. They don't weigh much either and can be hiked in without much trouble. The bigger ones weight around 28 lbs dry.

Such a trashy event. It makes one rue the sharing of any secret places. I can't imagine that these crooks will be caught unless they get nabbed for something else, like drugs or other lame issues. My fantasy is these petroglyphs are going into a construction project, a private dwelling, but of course I haven't any real clue.










cutting frozen tundra:



Gene

climber
Nov 21, 2012 - 04:19pm PT
Here’s what I can’t figure. Regardless if this theft/desecration was a contract job or done on speculation, what possible jollies can the buyer get? I just don’t get it. Maybe I’m naïve about this stuff, but WTF? The ‘consumer’ can’t show it. Can’t sell it. Can’t brag about it. In spite of being repugnant on all levels, every aspect of it is on the wrong side of the risk-to-reward equation. Someone please explain to me why anyone would do or even contemplate doing something like this. Dumbfounded.

g
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Nov 21, 2012 - 04:39pm PT
The stone will likely end up in someone's fireplace rockwork in a big McMansion in Mammoth....perish the thought.



EDIT: From the pics, that chainsaw rig may be the more likely culprit....the cut seems pretty wide.....wider than what a diamond circular saw would leave behind.
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
Nov 21, 2012 - 05:02pm PT
A lot of work for rock, when out of its original environment has little value. Can not imagine anyone wanting this stuff after the publicity it has generated.

Could well be really dumb tweakers who thought these would be worth a fortune. They may well show up in an abandoned storage locker eventually.
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Nov 21, 2012 - 05:04pm PT
I'm guessing these nutjobs will be caught in a matter of weeks.
ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Trad climber
SLO, Ca
Nov 21, 2012 - 05:13pm PT
I think the idea of a secret rich collector is a little far fetched. Sounds more like some tweakers with a saw and a come-along.
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Nov 21, 2012 - 05:46pm PT
Has anybody thought of sending photos of the petroglyphs as they were when in situ to every real-estate agent in Mammoth ?

If the information of these artifacts possibly being part of stonework in a McMansion is out there, when buddy who owns the property comes to sell it, the artifacts will hopefully poison the sale of the property.

Why these idiots simply didn't COPY the petroglyphs into stone and make a replicate is beyond me.........must be somebody who really has no idea you can't brag about this shizz.
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Nov 21, 2012 - 08:06pm PT
I predict these nutjobs will be caught in a matter of weeks.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Nov 21, 2012 - 11:37pm PT
It's interesting to hear the speculation about the best tool for the job.

I don't think they used the best tool, from the BLM description. I think they made due with the tools they owned.

After all, would you go out and spend a thou on a tool you have no other need for, which potentially makes you traceable, and which you may have no skills with? Or do you "get by" with what you've got? I think the criminal mind works more in the latter way.....

Or, they bought the cheapest thing that might do the job......
Chinchen

climber
Way out there....
Nov 22, 2012 - 02:22am PT
DONATE TO THE FUND HERE!

http://www.indiegogo.com/Climbers-up-the-bounty
mountainlion

Trad climber
California
Nov 22, 2012 - 08:15pm PT
Who knows the motivation behind this. Hopefully it is tweakers because the liklihood they are caught goes up.

If it is a rich private person maybe they just get off on hurting native americans kind of like skull and bones having the skull of Geronimo. In this case it most likely won't be discovered.
Wildincognito

climber
Eastside
Nov 22, 2012 - 10:53pm PT
This thread has become a " how to" discussion and should be deleted.
Also stop making "non profit" funds that are related to climbing.
Nobody climbs where these were and the access fund should distance itself from this issue
There have been enough access issues in this region lately that climbers keep bring up and are in no way helping
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Nov 23, 2012 - 10:19am PT
Wildincognito, I could not disagree more. History shows that when climbers or any other group take interest in ANY land issue, good things happen.

We ALL need to be good stewards of the lands we have, and when shameful events like this happen, we can all play a role in seeing that justice is had.

Our lands deserve this.
Chinchen

climber
Way out there....
Nov 23, 2012 - 12:41pm PT
I also disagree. And being a Bishop local who is keen on improving the local view of climbers I have to say you are way off base. In light of some other recent issues in the tablelands this is a perfect opportunity for us to show that we care about the area and the Access Fund is the perfect non-profit to help us collect the money. Besides all they are doing is lending us their Tax I.D. number to accept tax deductible donations.

Secondly this is a nationwide news story and if the Access Fund is involved it can only improve their public profile. Seems like a good thing for everyone.
phylp

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
Nov 23, 2012 - 01:06pm PT
Chinchen, I am waiting to see some kind of an announcement from the Access fund about if and how they intend to be involved in all of this before contributing anything. What has not been made clear is whether this indigogo fund is set up as a donation (to what?) or an escrow fund.

What I would prefer to see is an escrow fund earmarked to the reward, to be awarded to person or persons who provide information leading to arrest and conviction of individuals responsible. There would need to be some time limit set for holding the fund.

Personally I would like to see funds for the reward and funds for "preservation" de-linked. What is the plan for "preservation"? The indiegogo account page seems to be combining both these objectives (reward and preservation), which I personally think overcomplicates things.

Phyl
Jim Hefner

climber
La Verne, CA
Nov 23, 2012 - 01:35pm PT
I too am waiting to hear word from Access Fund before sending off my money.

Yup, escrow of some type.
Tax deductibility is best.
Restoration should be separate issue.
A year or two max. Then funds returned.

Busting these vile people a primary goal. Possible collective goodwill is just a bonus.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Nov 23, 2012 - 02:54pm PT
Perhaps the money could be held as part of the reward offered for a reasonable period (six months?), and then if unclaimed, could go toward whatever restoration can be done.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
i WASNT ON THE INTERNET during bush years...
Nov 23, 2012 - 03:19pm PT
I WILL VOLUNTEER my expertise with faux rock to simulate or a restoration (if you will) of these art works IF this seems a good idea...

This just dawned on me- and im very good at simulating rock texture, color and grain. As a taxidermist, habitat is a major component, and ive been at that for forty three years.


All i would need is photo reference, the BLM and Tribal permissions. I will donate the labor and time and components..
I will send this to the BLM as well.
Ron Anderson,, 1/8 Choctaw.
ncrockclimber

climber
The Desert Oven
Nov 23, 2012 - 03:21pm PT
Good on you, Ron!
Dave Kos

Trad climber
Temecula
Nov 23, 2012 - 03:22pm PT
[...] the Access Fund is the perfect non-profit to help us collect the money.


I've been an Access Fund supporter for many years. A big part of my wardrobe is the T-shirts they send each year after I make a donation.

I am willing and ready to donate to charity that will help right this particular wrong, but I'm not sure the Access Fund should be the one to take this on. Although well-intentioned, this could open the door to "mission creep." Organizations are more effective when they are focused. The Access Fund should continue to focus on access.

I agree with Phylp's idea about an escrow slated for a specific purpose. If the Access fund does take this on, the money should not come from general funds.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
i WASNT ON THE INTERNET during bush years...
Nov 23, 2012 - 03:34pm PT
ive sent an email to the Bishop field office in regards to a restoration, including the local tribal members to do the actual designs!;-)

Who knows,, maybe this will fly..?


I explained who i was, what i can do- all at volunteer status- including footing the bill for the components and suggested they get with the Tribe to see if they want to do the actual designs into the mix while wet. I can recreate ANY texture of rock- in permanent waterproof materials that are "hard as rock"..;-)
Wildincognito

climber
Eastside
Nov 23, 2012 - 04:20pm PT
Yeah keep it up guys and we will have Hueco Tanks 2.0
Rob- I find that insulting, why not just use a 3-D printer and make exact reproductions of what was there! Come on.
This is the condition of these petroglyphs now and should be left as a reminder of how stupid and disrespectful people have become.
Chinchen

climber
Way out there....
Nov 23, 2012 - 08:14pm PT
The fund could not be set up without the Tax I.D. number I think. There will be an announcement after the holiday I was told.


Ron, while I appreciate your suggestions I do not think adding fake art would be acceptable. Restoration maybe....


"Hueco Tanks 2.0"........lol, yea right.


QITNL

climber
Dec 1, 2012 - 02:00am PT
http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/info/newsroom/2012/november/donation_fund_for.html

Donation Fund Established in Petroglyph Vandalism Case

The Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association is accepting donations following destruction of petroglyph panels at a major rock art site north of Bishop.

Donations can be mailed to the association at 190 E. Yaney St., Bishop, CA 93514. Those interested in donating also can call the association at (760) 873-2411 during normal business hours.

Donors should specify where they want to money to be used:
• Petroglyph vandalism reward fund;
• Interpretive opportunities (to show how the damage has affected the overall panel);
• Adopt a camera for continued site monitoring/surveillance;
• Fund archeological site stewardship training and volunteer opportunities.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Bishop Field Office and the Bishop Tribe are offering $2,000 in reward money, $1,000 each, for information leading to the arrest/conviction of the responsible individuals who damaged petroglyph panels at a major rock art site on the Volcanic Tableland north of Bishop. The perpetrators removed or damaged rock art at five locations within the site.

“The panels that were taken are irreplaceable,” said Bernadette Lovato, BLM Bishop Field Office manager. “Our top priority is to recover them intact.”

Greg Haverstock, Bishop Field Office Archaeologist, said “the damaged site was a pristine example of Great Basin rock art and hunter-gatherer domestic, religious and subsistence activities. The location of archaeological materials, feature remains, and the rock art clearly portray the activities that occurred at the site during the past 3,500 years.”

The site is protected under the Archaeological Resources Protection Act and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. This site is one of the most significant rock art sites in the region and is still used by the local Paiute for ceremony.

Convictions on ARPA violations can result in fines and/or prison terms. In addition, ARPA provides for civil fines, either in conjunction with or independent of any criminal prosecution, and forfeiture of vehicles and equipment used in the violation of the statute.

Anyone with information can contact Melody Stehwien at (760) 937-0301, or Eric Keefer at (760) 937-0657, both in the BLM Bishop Field Office.

More info and you can donate via paypal here:
http://www.esia2012.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=50&Itemid=182
phylp

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
Dec 1, 2012 - 08:40am PT
Thanks qitnl.
Erik Vance

Trad climber
Berkeley, CA
Dec 5, 2012 - 02:31pm PT
You know, it occurs to me that the a@#holes who did this have to sell them somewhere, right? If the local cops kept an eye on eBay and the like, they may spot the thieves. I'm sure they could recruit some local climbers to help out. Certainly I would.
melski

Trad climber
bytheriver
Dec 5, 2012 - 07:02pm PT
i think we,all agree,the laws of this land won't be enough for the deed,,reminds me alittle of luke stong,,look you in the eye and deny juging your lines ,stealing your bags off the wall,,stashing it in camp 4 under a tarp,,maybe these idiots arn;t much smarter,,dont hav;to look too far,,i amagin,
Randisi

Social climber
Dalian, Liaoning
Dec 5, 2012 - 07:25pm PT
So when are the British going to return the so-called Elgin Mables that they sawed out of the Parthenon?
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Dec 5, 2012 - 07:36pm PT
Randisi I agree and with a smile too; we do have sort of a crude parallel here !
JNB2

Mountain climber
oakland
Dec 5, 2012 - 08:04pm PT
I expect the thieves had the rocks sold before they cut them.
The BLM won't catch them, but spirits will torture them forever.
atchafalaya

Boulder climber
Dec 5, 2012 - 08:25pm PT
I suspect that if you continue to speculate as to where the petroglyphs went, we will be no closer to catching the vandals.
RIP Canon

Sport climber
Westfield, Ma.
Dec 7, 2012 - 12:19pm PT
The BLM is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the thieves. Damaging or removing the petroglyphs is a felony. First-time offenders can be imprisoned for up to one year and fined as much as $20,000, authorities said.

That's a laughable punishment. An insult to the nation - the real one.
phylp

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
Dec 13, 2012 - 12:22pm PT
I finally had a chance to catch up with this - initially there was no paypal link but now it's very easy to donate with separate account buttons for each of the four objectives.

Phyl
rockermike

Trad climber
Berkeley
Dec 13, 2012 - 02:55pm PT
Credit: internet
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Dec 15, 2012 - 05:01pm PT
I added this to the SuperTopo Facebook page to raise awareness http://www.facebook.com/SuperTopo?ref=ts
BW

climber
Bishop, CA
Dec 15, 2012 - 07:58pm PT
Visited the site a few weeks ago. It's a well-known, easily accessible, part of the Tablelands petroglyph loop (in a lot of glyph guidebooks) and visible from highway 6. Not near any climbing areas. So it wouldn't necessarily have to be a "local" to know about it. I'm no expert, but it didn't look like a pro job. Looks like they cut with saw where they could then crowbarred the pieces out. Really sloppy. The area, like the other well-known sites along the road, has seen a lot of damage with a lot of stupid people trying their own hand at carving in the rock. That all said, keep the ones you know about secret. The Tablelands is a sacred place.
ECF

Big Wall climber
The Frayed End of Insanity
Dec 15, 2012 - 08:07pm PT
Really sad.
Compounding the tragedy is how insignificant any punishment would be...

Chinchen

climber
Way out there....
Dec 16, 2012 - 01:35am PT
Thanks Chris!
Gary

Social climber
Right outside of Delacroix
Jan 31, 2013 - 05:04pm PT
The goods have been recovered.
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2013/01/petroglyphs-stolen-from-eastern-sierra-site-recovered-.html

Petroglyph panels cut and chiseled off an eastern Sierra rock art site sacred to Native Americans have been recovered by federal investigators, U.S. Bureau of Land Management officials announced Thursday.

The suspected thieves have not been identified and the investigation is continuing into one of the worst acts of vandalism ever committed on the 750,000 acres of public land managed by the BLM field office in Bishop.

“Now, the healing can begin,” BLM Field Office Manager Bernadette Lovato said in an interview. “Recovery was a priority for me, and the public outrage intensified the need for them to be returned.”

Lovato declined to disclose details about the discovery, except to say, “We found all five panels by following an anonymous tip sent to us in a letter.”

“The panels are currently being held as evidence,” she said. “After a prosecution, perhaps they may eventually be put on public display somehow, but that will be up to Paiute-Shoshone tribal leaders.”

“I feels real good to have them come back home,” Paiute tribal historic preservation officer Raymond Andrews said in an interview.

Investigators believe the vandals used ladders, chisels, electric generators and power saws to remove the panels from cliffs in an arid high-desert region known as Volcanic Tablelands, about 15 miles north of Bishop. The thieves gouged holes in the rock and sheared off slabs that were up to 15 feet above ground and two feet high and wide.
The desecration was reported to the BLM on Oct. 31 by visitors to the area held sacred by Native Americans whose ancestors carved hundreds of lava boulders and cliffs with spiritual renderings: concentric circles, deer, rattlesnakes, bighorn sheep and hunters with bows and arrows.

The site, which is still used by the local Pauite for ceremonies, is protected under the Archaeological Resources Protection Act and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Authorities said the petroglyphs were not worth a great a deal on the illicit market, probably $500 to $1,500 each.

But they are priceless to Native Americans, who regard the massive tableaux as a window into the souls of their ancestors.

There is a $9,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the thieves. Damaging or removing the petroglyphs is a felony. First-time offenders can be imprisoned for up to one year and fined as much as $20,000, authorities said.

Second-time offenders can be fined up to $100,000 and imprisoned up to five years.

Anybody with information about the theft is asked to contact the BLM at (760) 937-0301 or (760) 937-0657.
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
Jan 31, 2013 - 05:06pm PT
Good news!
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jan 31, 2013 - 05:07pm PT
excellent.. now onto the perps.. They will see this to a conclusion..
labrat

Trad climber
Nevada City, CA
Jan 31, 2013 - 05:08pm PT
Great news of a very bad deed.
Erik
couchmaster

climber
pdx
Jan 31, 2013 - 05:20pm PT
Great news that they recovered them, divorcing material like they did is a terrible thing though and can never be undone. These asswipes should be beat with sticks by all the folks they offended....

Let the beatings commence....
ron gomez

Trad climber
fallbrook,ca
Jan 31, 2013 - 06:17pm PT
Hopefully the criminals will be prosecuted and dealt with appropriately. Can't repair the damage and to those that these lands are sacred, hope there can be some healing now.
Peace
10b4me

Boulder climber
Somewhere on 395
Jan 31, 2013 - 07:27pm PT
Good news!

+1
rockermike

Trad climber
Berkeley
Jan 31, 2013 - 07:47pm PT
Completely off topic, but did you know there are 1 million black men in prison right now? And that 80% of the black male workforce in Chicago have been in prison at some time in their lives (p 189). I happen to be reading a book right now - between Taco views - that draws out an ugly picture of US "criminal justice" system. "The New Jim Crow", important book.

But why do I write this here? Well, I'm appalled at the vandalism, but it strikes me as sad that the climbing community gets so twisted up over some rocks (albeit sacred rocks) but ignores much more important problems in the country. It wouldn't be too much to call it collective evil (talking about our country generally here, not picking on my climbing buds. ha) , IMHO. There are crimes of commission, and other crimes of omission - or turning a blind eye. We're all guilty.

OK, off my soap box. Carry on and flame away .... :)

(and I bet those rocks would fetch way more than $1500.)
dave

climber
Earth
Jan 31, 2013 - 08:28pm PT
Rad, I'm glad they recovered these, pretty amazing! Now I hope the guys responsible will get the maximum penalty, which sadly isn't that big compared to the damage done!

phylp

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
Feb 2, 2013 - 07:58pm PT
Looking forward to more news on this!
TMJesse

Mountain climber
Olympia, WA
Feb 2, 2013 - 08:14pm PT
Good catch! Glad the artifacts are recovered. Hope the perpetrators don't repeat the crime again.
dirtbag

climber
Feb 2, 2013 - 08:24pm PT
Yes...beat the f*#kers.
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
Feb 4, 2013 - 05:44pm PT
There is a piece on this on All Things Considered today. Glad to see that it's getting national attention.
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Feb 4, 2013 - 05:56pm PT
Damaging or removing the petroglyphs is a felony. First-time offenders can be imprisoned for up to one year and fined as much as $20,000, authorities said.

Second-time offenders can be fined up to $100,000 and imprisoned up to five years.

So can the theft of five panels be construed as first, second, third, fourth and fifth offenses? These jerks need to have the book thrown at them. One year and a fine of less than the cost of most cars??

(and I bet those rocks would fetch way more than $1500.)

Probably, but devaluing them makes them less attractive to thieves.
moosedrool

Trad climber
lost, far away from Poland
Feb 4, 2013 - 06:00pm PT
Now, those marks on Dino Rock in Carson City are they petroglyphs now, or we need to wait till Ron is dead ;)
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