petroglyph theft eastside

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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.
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
Hereís what I canít figure. Regardless if this theft/desecration was a contract job or done on speculation, what possible jollies can the buyer get? I just donít get it. Maybe Iím naÔve about this stuff, but WTF? The Ďconsumerí canít show it. Canít sell it. Canít 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.
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......
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