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Warnings Issued About Theft of Shuttle Debris
Nacogdoches Sun-Sentinal ^ | Today | Staff

Posted on 02/01/2003 5:21:31 PM PST by Arkinsaw

Officials with the U.S. Attorney’s office, Eastern District of Texas, issued strong warnings Saturday afternoon to those who tamper with or attempt to take debris of the space shuttle Columbia.

United States Attorneys Matthew D. Orwig and Michael Shelby jointly announced that their offices will take “all necessary steps to ensure that the monumental investigative and recovery efforts following the tragic accident are not impaired by the actions of those who seek to obtain pieces of debris,” according to a press release.

While it was widely reported that debris from the accident could hazardous, and contact with that debris should be avoided, people should also be aware that it is a federal offense to “knowingly and without authority remove, conceal or withhold a part of the civil aircraft involved in an accident or property on the aircraft at the time of the accident ...” A conviction is punishable by imprisonment up to 10 years and a $250,000 fine.

As news that shuttle debris was being found scattered within the city of Nacogdoches and across the county, law enforcement officers found themselves dealing with not only securing and verifying debris, but also keeping people from taking the debris.

Dr. Paul Risk, professor of forestry at SFA and a volunteer with the local Skywarn organization, which was assisting officers in their attempts to document and secure the debris, witnessed one such incident the U.S. Attorney’s office warned against.

Risk said a group of five to six people were watching over what appeared to a PC board found in the passing lane in the intersection of Martinsville Road and University Drive when a woman in a 2000 blue Volkswagen stopped, jumped out of her car wearing a while plastic bag over her hand, scooped up the debris and began walking away.

“We asked her, ‘What are you doing?’ and she said, ‘None of your business,’ got back in her care and drove off,” he said.

A person in the group took a photo of the car as it left, including the license plate, and notified authorities, he said.

“We flagged down a police car, and they ran the information, found out who she was and where she lived,” Risk said. “I hope they pursue it.
“That sort of thing is ghoulish, to start with, and I understand that some debris showed up briefly on E-Bay earlier, before it was stopped,” he said. “People are funny.”

He said the woman appeared to be in her late 20s or early 30s and had three children in her vehicle.

Other similar reports could be heard over police scanner traffic into Saturday night.

According to Orwig and Shelby, there will be “zero tolerance” for any interference with the gathering of evidence to determine the cause of the space shuttle accident, the release said. Violators will be “vigorously investigated and prosecuted” by appropriate federal law enforcement authorities of the United States Department of Justice.

At one point Saturday morning, someone was trying to auction off a piece of the shuttle on e-Bay, but the site quickly pulled the item


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: columbiatragedy; feb12003; nasa; shuttle; spaceshuttle
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None of our business she said. I bet a court is going to say otherwise. For her attitude I hope she is the case they make an example of. $250,000 and jail time.
1 posted on 02/01/2003 5:21:32 PM PST by Arkinsaw
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To: Arkinsaw
E-Bay is jammed with Columbia memorabilia right now. Some of the coins etc are fetching over 1K.

MKM

2 posted on 02/01/2003 5:24:34 PM PST by mykdsmom ("...you can't preach tolerance if you pick and choose what you will tolerate.")
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To: Arkinsaw
Some people may find shuttle parts for years to come. Forests, meadows, vacant lots, and pig troughs in several states may contain millions of parts. It's not like everything fell in a small area.
3 posted on 02/01/2003 5:33:38 PM PST by NoControllingLegalAuthority
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To: mykdsmom
Dang, you're not kidding!
4 posted on 02/01/2003 5:43:13 PM PST by Ouachita
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To: Arkinsaw
wait until the law suits start rolling in regarding people getting 'sick' from touching these parts... libs will start to howl about what kind of experiments are going on in space that result in items being too 'poisoned' to touch
5 posted on 02/01/2003 5:44:05 PM PST by InvisibleChurch
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To: Arkinsaw
I do find the claims of "hazard" to be a bit dubious. What material (other than redioactives) retains hazardous properties after being seared through re-entry? Certainly not rocket fuel.
6 posted on 02/01/2003 5:46:57 PM PST by Atlas Sneezed
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To: NoControllingLegalAuthority
We were stationed in Germany when a C-5 (HUGE airplane) crashed just outside the base -- a few months later, the kids and I were biking along a trail near the crash site and we found some debris from the crash, mostly little bits and pieces, but also an intact indicator dial, we picked it up and turned it in to the base, but still, it was a little "tempting" to keep something -- human nature is hard to understand at times
7 posted on 02/01/2003 5:47:10 PM PST by twyn1 (God Bless America !)
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To: Ouachita
WOW!

But at least the guy wasn't being morbid.
He put the coin up for auction January 26.

I bet he thought he'd get $25 or so.

(Bidding started at $9.99...now over $3000)

8 posted on 02/01/2003 5:49:01 PM PST by eddie willers
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To: Arkinsaw
What kind of inbred Jerry Springer trailer trash would steal Columbia crash debris?

Oh. Never mind.

9 posted on 02/01/2003 5:50:17 PM PST by martin_fierro
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To: Ouachita
Dang, you're not kidding!

OMG, that seller had one bid @ $9.99 before today...I bet he's looking at it today thinking he hit a jackpot. Wow.

10 posted on 02/01/2003 5:54:04 PM PST by kstewskis ("Love one another...")
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To: NoControllingLegalAuthority
Yep. I said the same thing to my wife. Pieces fell where no human eye saw them and will be found for years and decades to come.
11 posted on 02/01/2003 5:57:54 PM PST by Blood of Tyrants (Even if the government took all your earnings, you wouldn’t be, in its eyes, a slave)
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To: eddie willers
The date caught my attention too.

Jeez, it's at $5100 now.
12 posted on 02/01/2003 5:58:36 PM PST by Ouachita
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To: kstewskis
I hope he is a decent sort of person who will donate a large part to the sirviving families.
13 posted on 02/01/2003 5:59:54 PM PST by Blood of Tyrants (Even if the government took all your earnings, you wouldn’t be, in its eyes, a slave)
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To: Arkinsaw
Not a good idea to collect those parts anyway - God knows what they could be soaked in.

Regards, Ivan

14 posted on 02/01/2003 6:00:51 PM PST by MadIvan
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To: kstewskis; Ouachita; eddie willers
Went for just over $13K.
15 posted on 02/01/2003 6:03:50 PM PST by Xenalyte
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To: Ouachita
Ended over $10,000.
16 posted on 02/01/2003 6:03:53 PM PST by DAnconia55
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To: Arkinsaw
Ghouls are scum.

No one should profit from this disaster.

17 posted on 02/01/2003 6:04:26 PM PST by LibKill (ColdWarrior. I stood the watch.)
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To: Beelzebubba
Hydrazine is extremely toxic; it is absorbable through the skin.
18 posted on 02/01/2003 6:07:58 PM PST by Crusader21stCentury
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To: Ouachita
Final

Payment Details

Item price US $13,101.00
United States Shipping and handling US $5.95
Shipping insurance per item (optional) US $1.30

19 posted on 02/01/2003 6:08:39 PM PST by eddie willers
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To: MadIvan
FBI agent James Kallstrom kept a piece of TWA 800 for his personal collection but there has been no hint of fining him $250,000 or sending him to jail for 10 years.
20 posted on 02/01/2003 6:10:38 PM PST by Bub
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To: mykdsmom
There's also a backlash against some Ebay sellers. Check out this guy's profile. He began selling photos downloaded from Nasa's website this morning.

http://cgi2.aol.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewFeedback&userid=cadattack&page=1&items=25
21 posted on 02/01/2003 6:11:25 PM PST by flying Elvis
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To: flying Elvis
Wonderful. Especially since he's selling photos Nasa has for free on it's server.
22 posted on 02/01/2003 6:17:46 PM PST by Bogey78O (It's not a Zero it's an "O")
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To: Ouachita
Wow! The coin started at $9.99 and went for $13,101!
23 posted on 02/01/2003 6:19:32 PM PST by Blood of Tyrants (Even if the government took all your earnings, you wouldn’t be, in its eyes, a slave)
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To: mykdsmom
E-Bay is jammed with Columbia memorabilia right now. Some of the coins etc are fetching over 1K.

Is it just me or does this seem kinda ghoulish ??

24 posted on 02/01/2003 6:22:26 PM PST by Centurion2000 (The question is not whether you're paranoid, but whether you're paranoid enough.)
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To: Crusader21stCentury
"Hydrazine is extremely toxic; it is absorbable through the skin."

To be more exact Mono Mythel Hydrazine as used on the OMS engines and numerous pocket rockets on the shuttle. The white ammonia smelling vapor from Hydrazine is kool-aid compared with MMH. One would be suprised how this stuff can survive inside of small machinery parts weeks after a fire.

25 posted on 02/01/2003 6:23:04 PM PST by SSN558
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Comment #26 Removed by Moderator

To: Arkinsaw
... people should also be aware that it is a federal offense to “knowingly and without authority remove, conceal or withhold a part of the civil aircraft involved in an accident or property on the aircraft at the time of the accident ...”

I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV -- but pray tell, which civil aviation group owns the Shuttle fleet? If your going to bring charges, it had better be "theft of government property"!

27 posted on 02/01/2003 6:23:56 PM PST by brityank (The more I learn about the Constitution, the more I realise this Government is UNconstitutional.)
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To: Centurion2000
I could never buy something like that...it would haunt me the rest of my life.
28 posted on 02/01/2003 6:25:17 PM PST by Aaron_A
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To: Centurion2000
Check these out...official patches. I heard a report that someone found one of these on a Texas highway, singed but intact. Ironic. :(

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3205209119&category=13904


29 posted on 02/01/2003 6:28:19 PM PST by Aaron_A
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To: Aaron_A
Buncha damn ghouls ....
30 posted on 02/01/2003 6:31:19 PM PST by Centurion2000 (The question is not whether you're paranoid, but whether you're paranoid enough.)
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To: Aaron_A
I wouldn't shed a tear if one of those infamous internet stalkers tracked that guy down and ripped his testicles off.
31 posted on 02/01/2003 6:37:57 PM PST by Bogey78O (It's not a Zero it's an "O")
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To: Centurion2000
Since it was put up for auction several days ago I don't find it ghoulish at all. It's not like it went up today. Now those that went up today are obviously trying to cash in.
32 posted on 02/01/2003 6:39:55 PM PST by TXBubba
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To: TXBubba
That 13k coin is ok, it was put up 7 days ago...but a lot of stuff, like those patches above have been put up today. IMO that is sick.
33 posted on 02/01/2003 6:44:20 PM PST by Aaron_A
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To: Crusader21stCentury
Per MSNBC and the FNC, "souvenir" finders are now seeking medical attention by the dozens.

Everything from burnt hands to feeling "sick".

34 posted on 02/01/2003 6:44:29 PM PST by hole_n_one
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To: TXBubba
Yes, we can't have people cashing in on ebay. That might take away from all the senators attempting to cash in on this disaster.
35 posted on 02/01/2003 6:44:40 PM PST by Karsus (TrueFacts=GOOD, GoodFacts=BAD))
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To: Aaron_A
I find it absolutely reprehensible and sub-democrat for that one seller who was selling the pictures he got for free.
36 posted on 02/01/2003 6:45:07 PM PST by Bogey78O (It's not a Zero it's an "O")
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To: brityank
but pray tell, which civil aviation group owns the Shuttle fleet? If your going to bring charges, it had better be "theft of government property"!

Depends on how they interpret "civil". If they interpret it as "not military" then it might work. If they interpret it as "commercially owned" then it wouldn't. Theft of Government Property would work in either case. There may be Texas laws about removing evidence from the scene of an accident that might apply also.
37 posted on 02/01/2003 6:48:46 PM PST by Arkinsaw
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To: Bub
IMHO James Kallstrom kept the secrets of TWA 800.......and for that he deserves no respect. I was sorry that Pataki hired him to work for the state of NY.
38 posted on 02/01/2003 6:50:47 PM PST by OldFriend (SUPPORT PRESIDENT BUSH)
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To: Arkinsaw

Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster Archive ^

39 posted on 02/01/2003 7:00:52 PM PST by petuniasevan (RIP Columbia crew - you were the "right stuff")
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To: Karsus
It doesn't bother me if people want to sell memorabilia about Columbia..that happens with every historical event. I do think to jump in the very day seven people die is sick. The stuff will still be worth something at a later date if it is really worth something at all.
40 posted on 02/01/2003 7:14:16 PM PST by TXBubba
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To: TXBubba
My comment was more of a jab at the senior Senator from my home state who, live on Fox, was sounding like she knew nothing about the shuttle program. She made such comments as how shocking it was to lose a shuttle on landing because ALL the other shuttles we lost were on take off. There was also another Senator who, not knowing any details, insisted that it had to be a computer problem.

If they don't know what they are talking about I just wish they would shut up and let those that know something speak.
41 posted on 02/01/2003 7:20:29 PM PST by Karsus (TrueFacts=GOOD, GoodFacts=BAD))
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To: Karsus
Thanks. I thought you were aiming at the Senators but wasn't quite sure. I hadn't heard anyone other than our Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson. She was in Dallas and had some first hand info. I think it would be great if senators would just keep their mouths shut most of the time myself. Thankfully here in Texas our gov. only meets every other year and only for something like 160 days.
42 posted on 02/01/2003 7:33:08 PM PST by TXBubba
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To: Crusader21stCentury
This is all total baloney.

Any volatiles in contact with any part of a metal piece has been COMPLETELY vacuum cleaned by a combination of the high temperatures the parts experienced due to atmospheric drag - and the low pressure due to the near-vacuum found at 200,000 feet.

These are conditions similar to those we use to ultra-clean parts for processing in one of our manufacturing steps - we use a little higher vacuum, but these parts were subjected to MUCH higher heat AND the mechanical impact of the atoms of the atmosphere - after all the parts were heated by friction (impact) and not radient heat as in an oven.

These warnings are a canard to dissuade people from taking souvenirs. Actually there is NO toxic danger from any of the debris that was not totally vaporized on its way down.

Likewise, there is no clue in how the parts landed on the ground. Thus the "crime scene" treatment is rediculous.

There IS evidentiary value on knowing Where each part landed . Related parts that are closer together versus those that are separated by greater distance can be used to deduce the sequence of breakup and rate of dispersal, which may be of forensic help in backward engineering the destruction and determining the sequence of failure.

THUS all they really need to know for each part is, exactly where did it land. Other than that, whether it landed right-side up, left handed, skady-whumpus or whatever was determined by pure random chance and is devoid of significant information.

43 posted on 02/01/2003 7:39:51 PM PST by muffaletaman
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To: muffaletaman
This is all total baloney.

Perfect Analysis. To bad the American people cannot be trusted to have enough civic virtue to report and let lie.

44 posted on 02/01/2003 8:26:09 PM PST by Theophilus
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To: Ouachita
WHOA!!!!!!!!!!

When I checked it out earlier today it was only up to $1,200. I can't imagine that anyone would pay this much for a coin that probably isn't that rare, accident or not.

MKM

45 posted on 02/01/2003 8:55:26 PM PST by mykdsmom ("...you can't preach tolerance if you pick and choose what you will tolerate.")
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To: Centurion2000
Is it just me or does this seem kinda ghoulish ??

I agree, for the ones that were posted today, which I'm sure is most of them.

MKM

46 posted on 02/01/2003 8:57:18 PM PST by mykdsmom ("...you can't preach tolerance if you pick and choose what you will tolerate.")
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To: kstewskis
"thinking he hit a jackpot"

He did - according to e-bay - he got $13,000 for it.
47 posted on 02/01/2003 9:48:24 PM PST by CyberAnt ( Syracuse where are you?)
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To: CyberAnt
I have a dumb question: how is it that they found an intact helmet? I would have thought from that height and that speed everything would have burned up.
48 posted on 02/01/2003 9:50:57 PM PST by Howlin
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To: Howlin
Yeah, I'm surprised by that too - helmet was missing front glass shield, and the silver material appeared to be burned off the back of the helmet. Otherwise, it was completely intact.
49 posted on 02/01/2003 9:54:15 PM PST by CyberAnt ( Syracuse where are you?)
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To: CyberAnt
This is the one thing about it being over land as opposed to be over the sea; we're going to see a lot of stuff we missed last time, I'm afraid.
50 posted on 02/01/2003 9:57:01 PM PST by Howlin
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