petroglyph theft eastside


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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.

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.

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:


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.


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
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.

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.

Trad climber
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.

Social climber
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......

Way out there....
Nov 22, 2012 - 02:22am PT

Trad climber
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.

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

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.

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.

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.

Jim Hefner

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

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.
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