petroglyph theft eastside


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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.

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.


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.

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

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!

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.

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.

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.

Nov 21, 2012 - 11:40am PT

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.

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 absolutely would not surprise me.

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.


Nov 21, 2012 - 11:56am PT

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.

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?

Nov 21, 2012 - 12:52pm PT
Hire a bounty hunter.

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.

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.

Trad climber
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:

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.
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