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Author Topic:   Spaceflori moon dust declared stolen from NASA
datkatz
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posted 07-24-2011 09:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for datkatz   Click Here to Email datkatz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
Simplifying the scenario: You work in a company's mailroom. The mail is delivered one day and you're the first to see it. In the process of sorting it, one of the envelopes opens and cash falls out. No one but you knows about the cash, so you pocket it. The company doesn't know the cash went missing, so it doesn't report it stolen. So, are you in your legal right to keep the cash?
Not an analogous situation at all. NASA certainly knew of the dust that contaminated Slezak, as they quarantined him.

AusSpace
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posted 07-24-2011 09:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AusSpace   Click Here to Email AusSpace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Apparently Kennedy Space Center is fine with selling Kapton that Slezak was "allowed to keep".

Spaceguy5
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posted 07-24-2011 09:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spaceguy5   Click Here to Email Spaceguy5     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by datkatz:
NASA certainly knew of the dust that contaminated Slezak, as they quarantined him.
He was quarantined because they knew he was around moon dust, that doesn't mean they knew he was keeping some. As for the foil, that's completely irrelevant.

SpaceAholic
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posted 07-24-2011 09:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by AusSpace:
Apparently Kennedy Space Center is fine with selling Kapton that Slezak was "allowed to keep".
Private company (DNC Parks and Resorts Inc.) under subcontract to KSC it appears...

AusSpace
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posted 07-24-2011 10:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AusSpace   Click Here to Email AusSpace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just don't see the difference between this entity (who I assume is under some sort of license by NASA/KSC since they are "official") obtaining something from Terry Slezak that was once(still is?) NASA property, then selling it and Florian doing the same. Unless of course, Slezak was given permission to take the kapton and not the dust, but given the evidence posted here already, it seems very unlikely he was given permission for the kapton

Spaceguy5
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posted 07-24-2011 10:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spaceguy5   Click Here to Email Spaceguy5     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Perhaps once they realized he took the foil, they allowed him to keep it. That's what the description of the item implies. Just because they give permission for one thing, doesn't mean they're going to give permission all the time.

datkatz
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posted 07-25-2011 12:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for datkatz   Click Here to Email datkatz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Spaceguy5:
He was quarantined because they knew he was around moon dust, that doesn't mean they knew he was keeping some. As for the foil, that's completely irrelevant.
He wasn't quarantined because he was "around" moon dust. He was quarantined because he was contaminated by moon dust. And NASA certainly knew of the dust which contaminated him. The "cash" analogy above is thus not analogous at all.

moorouge
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posted 07-25-2011 02:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Why do lawyers complicate matters if not to increase their fees?

It really is, surely, quite simple.

  1. Does the US Government own the material? Yes it does. This is ALL lunar material/artifacts unless specifically signed off by NASA.
  2. Is it relevant that NASA didn't know it had it? No it is not.
  3. Was the dust in question removed without specific permission? Yes it was.
  4. Is this theft? Yes it is as it was removed without specific permission.
  5. Can this be applied to other 'flown' items such as kaplon samples? Yes it can.
Their remains one question which is a matter of opinion, not legal fact. Would NASA/US Government be wise to pursue recovery of items taken without permission? Probably not if they have no value other than to collectors. However, all those who have in their possession 'flown' items without those items being specifically signed off are guilty of being in receipt of stolen goods.

chet
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posted 07-25-2011 02:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for chet   Click Here to Email chet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by albatron:
For something to be "stolen" there has to be the INTENT to deprive.
BINGO! Thank you, Al, for pointing out the legal definition of "theft". There's a big (legal) difference between saying something's been stolen, or taken. I think it's shameful that Terry Slezak is being labeled a thief, and simply wrong to say any collector in possession of "Slezak foil or dust" is guilty of being a receiver of "stolen" goods (as Slezak maintains he didn't take anything unauthorized).

As to the rightful possession of foil, dust, etc., that question boils down to what NASA knew about the disposition of that material, and what actions it has taken over time. There's no question that NASA once owned these items, but legal surrender (via acquiescence) is an open question; there's been no determination that NASA still owns any of these items, despite claims to the contrary. Adjudication would be the only way to make that determination, so as moorouge points out, we're back to the question of if seeking adjudication is a good and wise use of taxpayer funds; I submit that it is not.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-25-2011 07:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by chet:
...we're back to the question of if seeking adjudication is a good and wise use of taxpayer funds; I submit that it is not.
How large does an artifact need to be for it to be a good and wise use of taxpayer funds? What if the canister had scooped up a moon pebble instead of just dust. How big would the pebble need to have been before it was worth pursuing? Where do you draw the line?

moorouge
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posted 07-25-2011 08:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
How large does an artifact need to be for it to be a good and wise use of taxpayer funds?
With respect Robert, that is not relevant. The fact remains that the dust/pebble is the legal property of NASA/US Government. It doesn't matter what the size is. Whether they choose to to reclaim it is entirely a matter for them. And who can say what thought processes might be gone through before they arrive at a decision one way or the other.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-25-2011 08:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Eddie, I was asking Chet his personal opinion. My implied point was, as you stated, that there is no line to be drawn based on size and/or significance and therefore comments such as it's not a "good and wise use of taxpayer funds" are misplaced. You either choose to enforce the law or you do not, there is no middle ground.

datkatz
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posted 07-25-2011 10:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for datkatz   Click Here to Email datkatz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
You either choose to enforce the law or you do not, there is no middle ground.
Of course there's a middle ground. Part of a prosecutor's job is to decide whether or not to prosecute a case. Their offices would go broke, and the courts would be backlogged until the next century if they attempted to prosecute every one.

Schoner
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posted 07-25-2011 11:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Schoner   Click Here to Email Schoner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Humm...

Did those space flight techs "ask" for the kapton foil as well as some other pieces of hardware that "escaped" NASA's control including Mitchell's DAC camera, which if he had not stashed it in his personal flight bag would be in fragments on the moon?

As for the Apollo 11 moon dust that Mr. Slezak sold in a widely public auction back in 2001, (again, not on the "Black Market" or even "missing"); NASA flushed such "contamination" from the capsule and cleaned just about everything that came in contact with moon dust. As far as I know they never kept any contamination or archived it. It was all flushed into NASA's waste facility.

And that brings up another question...

How about the Apollo moon dust in other widely distributed items such as that flight bag that Mr. Noller bought in an auction over ten years ago?

NASA allowed the astronauts to keep their personal bag, and the items within, but they made no "allowance" or "permission" for moon dust or even rocks to be kept in that bag.

So can NASA now claim that the Apollo 15 dust that has been widely sold on the open market as "stolen" or "missing" and thus claim it as "illegal"?

Just as they are now claiming that Mitchell's DAC camera that he stashed in his personal flight bag was "stolen" and "illegal."

For "missing" how about "overlooked" just as the Slezak tape, the moon dust in that Apollo 15 flight bag, and particles on other items as well.

Not even counting the moon dust and particle contamination that NASA did notice and flushed down the drain and into their waste facility.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-25-2011 11:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As I have heard it explained, the Apollo 15 stowage bag is free and clear because NASA formally (with documentation) relinquished it to North American Rockwell. The space agency had up until the time it purposely disowned the bag to remove anything from its contents. Once transferred, NASA had no title over the bag or its contents.
quote:
Originally posted by datkatz:
Part of a prosecutor's job is to decide whether or not to prosecute a case.
And part of that decision is based on what precedent their inaction would set. Ignore (for example) documented examples of theft enough times and it becomes much more difficult for anyone to be held liable for the same crime.

moorouge
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posted 07-25-2011 11:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by albatron:
For something to be "stolen" there has to be the INTENT to deprive.
I don't know if this applies to US law but in the UK a definition of theft is -
  1. A person is guilty of theft if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it.

  2. It is immaterial whether the appropriation is made with a view to gain, or is made for the thief's own benefit.

datkatz
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posted 07-25-2011 11:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for datkatz   Click Here to Email datkatz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Key word? "Dishonestly."

SpaceAholic
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posted 07-25-2011 11:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Agency has a very firm agreement with the Smithsonian on the turn-over of artifacts. Some of the Gemini spacecraft have been badly gutted of instruments and other small fittings.
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
As I have heard it explained, the Apollo 15 stowage bag is free and clear because NASA formally (with documentation) relinquished it to North American Rockwell. The space agency had up until the time it purposely disowned the bag to remove anything from its contents. Once transferred, NASA had no title over the bag or its contents.
These two positions are not consistent...

fredtrav
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posted 07-25-2011 12:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fredtrav   Click Here to Email fredtrav     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Moorouge, then by the UK definition this could not be theft as Mr. Slezak would have had no intention to permanently deprive anyone or organization of the dust. It was going to be washed down the drain so the intent to deprive NASA of it permanently could not be there. He knew it was waste and was going to be disposed of.

While it had not been washed away yet perhaps an analogous situation could be a PI or police going through someones trash. It has been ruled by US courts as acceptable to do this and take items from trash. The dust was going to be trash and washed away.

If he had filtered it out of the waste water there would be no question about it, it would be his.

As far as kapton foil, there is evidence that it was indeed taken without permission as stated above. It was definitely not waste and was not going to be discarded. If NASA were to go after anything, then this would be where they should be looking(not that I think they should).

Robert as far as the precedent inaction would set, I would say they have set the precedent. This was sold publicly multiple times. Their inaction in not doing anything before now has set a precedent of tacit acceptance. The same can be said for the kapton foil.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-25-2011 12:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SpaceAholic:
These two positions are not consistent...
Sure they are, assuming NASA first offered the bag to the Smithsonian and the institution turned it down. Or if the bag was turned over to NAR for engineering tests (for example), which would mean it was not yet classified an artifact (as in the case of the handrail that was removed from Columbia and turned over for testing).

There are a number of ways where the transfer could be in line with the agency's position as it applied to the Smithsonian and employees taking (unauthorized) souvenirs.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-25-2011 12:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by fredtrav:
It was going to be washed down the drain
Perhaps I've missed a citation for this, but can you share a reference for this?

Slezak, in his recent interview, states that the dust was carefully removed from the canister using towels and tape so as to not scratch the film. He then hung the tape in his darkroom. He makes no mention of washing it away.

datkatz
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posted 07-25-2011 12:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for datkatz   Click Here to Email datkatz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Carefully removed *so as not to scratch the film*. Obviously, they were recovering *the film* from a hostile environment. They were not recovering the dust.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-25-2011 12:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by datkatz:
They were not recovering the dust.
So that means the dust belonged to Slezak? How did it become his property?

datkatz
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posted 07-25-2011 12:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for datkatz   Click Here to Email datkatz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You know, Robert, if one doesn't invoke one's copyright or trademark rights, they are lost. (It happened to Dupont, with "nylon." By not insisting that "nylon" was a trademarked name, Dupont lost its rights, and it became the generic name.) That's why Disney is so hardassed about *anyone* using representations of their trademarked characters.

Since 1969, NASA has done *nothing* to show it had *any* interest in proprietary rights to the Slezak contamination dust. Had Slezak not removed the dust from his own hands with the tape, it certainly would have been washed away. (Further, although this has nothing to do with the question of rightful ownership, once the dust touched Slezak, it, too, was contaminated, and had no further scientific value.)

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-25-2011 01:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The dust in question (per Slezak) came off the canister, not Slezak's hands.
quote:
Originally posted by datkatz:
Since 1969, NASA has done *nothing* to show it had *any* interest in proprietary rights to the Slezak contamination dust.
But they have steadfastly pursued the return of other lunar material removed without permission, so I wouldn't say the agency has done "nothing." They've done quite a lot, to the great consternation of some...

chet
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posted 07-25-2011 01:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chet   Click Here to Email chet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
How large does an artifact need to be for it to be a good and wise use of taxpayer funds? What if the canister had scooped up a moon pebble instead of just dust. How big would the pebble need to have been before it was worth pursuing? Where do you draw the line?
For starters (in my opinion), the item should be valuable enough so if resold it would pay for the costs of the govt./NASA repossessing it. (I know the law says no such thing and makes no such allowances, but if I were a prosecutor that's one of the first things I'd consider; as datkatz noted, prosecutors must use discretion since they couldn't possibly prosecute every single "offense" they come across).

Second, I'd also take into consideration the utility of the item being sought. If it's of no practical use to NASA (other than as a museum piece) I'd be inclined to pass.

Third, I'd consider the record/character/trustworthiness of the person possessing the item or artifact. (Again, somewhat irrelevant, legally, but I think a good case could be made for some collectors being better caretakers than NASA — how is it NASA doesn't have a clear paper trail for the Mitchell DAC, and whatever did happen to those original Apollo 11 broadcast tapes? I doubt there's a collector here on cS that would've misplaced those tapes for even a minute!)

As for making a distinction between moondust and a moon-pebble, the difference would seem to be clear enough to define by weight; if it's a swab of dust on a piece of tape it's probably of negligible weight (especially if deducting the weight of the tape, which should be factored in); if it's a pebble, it would probably be large enough for a non-chemical process to detect its weight. Of course such measurements would be irrelevant if an individual had a legitimate claim and deserved a fair hearing.

NASA isn't above the law, including property law, even when it comes to lunar material.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-25-2011 01:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by chet:
...whatever did happen to those original Apollo 11 broadcast tapes? I doubt there's a collector here on cS that would've misplaced those tapes for even a minute!
They weren't broadcast tapes; the location of the original broadcast tapes is known to this day. They were telemetry tapes and while they were originally thought to have been misplaced, they are now known to have been reused — saving taxpayer money (something you seem to be keen on promoting).

datkatz
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posted 07-25-2011 01:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for datkatz   Click Here to Email datkatz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
But they have steadfastly pursued the return of other lunar material removed without permission, so I wouldn't say the agency has done "nothing." They've done quite a lot, to the great consternation of some...
Robert, I stated that "NASA has done *nothing* to show it had *any* interest in proprietary rights to the Slezak contamination dust."

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-25-2011 01:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by chet:
For starters (in my opinion), the item should be valuable enough so if resold it would pay for the costs of the govt./NASA repossessing it.
Well then, one would think (hope?) that the Slezak case qualifies. The original presentation board sold for more than $25,000 in 2001 and the resale value of the tape alone was set at $949 per 3mm or $5,995 per 9mm triangle.
quote:
I'd also take into consideration the utility of the item being sought.
There was no practical use — other than educational display, which you seem to discount — of the lunar material stolen by the three Johnson Space Center coop students in July 2002. Should they have been allowed to just go scot-free?
quote:
I'd consider the record/character/trustworthiness of the person possessing the item or artifact.
If a moonwalker commits murder but it was his first offense, should he go free because of what he did for his country?
quote:
As for making a distinction between moondust and a moon-pebble, the difference would seem to be clear enough to define by weight
So the legal protection afforded the green soil returned by Apollo 15 and the orange soil returned by Apollo 17 should be judged based on its weight? A single grain of that glass is potentially one of the most scientifically valuable samples on Earth today (to paraphrase Harrison Schmitt speaking just last night).

Granted, I asked for your personal opinion, of which you are more than entitled, but I am thankful the law doesn't work as you desire.

chet
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posted 07-25-2011 01:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chet   Click Here to Email chet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
As I have heard it explained, the Apollo 15 stowage bag is free and clear because NASA formally (with documentation) relinquished it to North American Rockwell. The space agency had up until the time it purposely disowned the bag to remove anything from its contents. Once transferred, NASA had no title over the bag or its contents.
Going by NASA's claim to ALL Apollo returned lunar material, what's to prevent a prosecutor from claiming NASA relinquished the bag ONLY, but retains all rights to the dust that was "undiscovered"? And what if there were a small moon-pebble inside the seams that NASA missed?

These questions come down to the good sense (or lack thereof) of the prosecutor deciding to try a case, which is why NASA and/or its representatives have to prove their points by law, not by edict.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-25-2011 01:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by datkatz:
I stated that "NASA has done *nothing* to show it had *any* interest in proprietary rights to the Slezak contamination dust."
And I replied that by defending their rights to all unauthorized lunar dust samples they didn't necessary need to do anything specifically about Slezak's sample.

Incidentally, I'll point out again, they still haven't done anything about Slezak's sample. They asked the consignor of one piece of the tape to return the sample, and the consignor agreed. The government is perfectly within their right to ask for cooperation and the consignor did nothing wrong by cooperating.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-25-2011 01:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by chet:
Going by NASA's claim to ALL Apollo returned lunar material...
NASA makes no such claim. They only assert control over all its property that wasn't transferred through proper channels. This doesn't apply to the bag (and by extension, its contents).

datkatz
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posted 07-25-2011 02:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for datkatz   Click Here to Email datkatz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
Granted, I asked for your personal opinion, of which you are more than entitled, but I am thankful the law doesn't work as you desire.
But, Robert, the law works precisely as chet desires. Prosecution is at the prosecutor's discretion, and he or she, in general, considers just those factors chet mentioned.

moorouge
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posted 07-25-2011 02:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What NASA intended to do with the dust is irrelevant. The fact remains that the dust was not disposed of and was then removed from NASA's possession without permission.

It was theirs to dispose of, not anyone else's. As has been pointed out, 'dishonestly' is the key word. The dust was removed with the knowledge that this permission had not been given, thus it was 'dishonestly' taken. At this point it's worth remembering also that ignorance of the law is not a defense.

datkatz
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posted 07-25-2011 02:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for datkatz   Click Here to Email datkatz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
And I replied that by defending their rights to all unauthorized lunar dust samples they didn't necessary need to do anything specifically about Slezak's sample.

What you are saying, is, on its face, absurd. Suppose my home is burglarized, and I report it to the police. A year later, I watch a friend walk out of my home with a scrap of wood which broke off a piece of my furniture. I watch him leave, fully aware that he has the scrap. I do nothing. Ten years later, for whatever reason, I decide that he stole it, and report the incident to the police. They, quite correctly, laugh me out of the station. I then turn around and say "But wait! A year before, I reported a burglary, and pressed charges." Would their laughter stop, or only increase?

chet
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posted 07-25-2011 02:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chet   Click Here to Email chet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
Granted, I asked for your personal opinion, of which you are more than entitled, but I am thankful the law doesn't work as you desire".
All I desire is that those enforcing the law do so with discretion and good practical sense. And I believe I included enough qualifiers (about the law NOT making use of any of the guidelines I mentioned) in my prior post to not have to be ridiculed about my views of such. (To ask if I think the three thieves who stole moonrocks from JSC should go scot-free, or a moonwalker be let off for murder, is just condescending, Robert, and goes against everything I've written so far about prosecutors using good common sense).

Also, the three guidelines I mentioned were meant to be considered together, not picked apart as stand-alone recommendations. I thought that was clear, but am sorry if it wasn't.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-25-2011 02:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by datkatz:
I watch him leave, fully aware that he has the scrap. I do nothing. Ten years later, for whatever reason, I decide that he stole it, and report the incident to the police.
For your analogy to apply, the highly precious and comparatively rare scrap your friend removed would not only need to have been out made of material that can only be found in your home but your friend would also be freely admitting he took the scrap.

Somehow I don't think the police would be laughing given those circumstances.

datkatz
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posted 07-25-2011 02:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for datkatz   Click Here to Email datkatz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Uhh... Yeah, they would. The point is, I let him leave, knowing full well he had the scrap, and then, didn't decide it was stealing until a decade (or four) later.

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 30714
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-25-2011 02:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by chet:
(To ask if I think the three thieves who stole moonrocks from JSC should go scot-free, or a moonwalker be let off for murder, is just condescending, Robert, and goes against everything I've written so far about prosecutors using good common sense)
It was not my intention to be condescending, but rather — at least in the case of the interns' heist — illustrate the problem with your thinking using a real world example. I probably should have done the same with the moonwalker example, choosing theft over murder, but to my knowledge, no moonwalker (let alone astronaut) has ever been charged with either crime.
quote:
Also, the three guidelines I mentioned were meant to be considered together...
Fair enough, but taking all three into consideration, I think the government wasn't acting improperly requesting the cooperation of the auction house and consignor. I might feel differently if this had proceeded to charges being filed, but it didn't.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 30714
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-25-2011 02:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by datkatz:
The point is, I let him leave, knowing full well he had the scrap, and then, didn't decide it was stealing until a decade (or four) later.
There is no reason to believe NASA had knowledge that Slezak left with the dust-stained tape. He applied the tape to the presentation board (along with the other flown artifacts) only after it was gifted to him.


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