Artifacts : CAUTION!!!

This cautionary warning stood at the front of my page on Mike Molloy's website for many years. It still applies.

The activity of wreckchasing seems to have become popular recently. Perhaps it coincides with the 50th anniversary of the end of WWII or perhaps it is 'just one of those things.' Regardless, these wrecks are not just places where someone dumped some junk in the woods.

These sites are places where people died in accidents. In the case of the bomber sites, the crew were very young and had their whole lives ahead of them. They were the sons, brothers and husbands who, had they lived, would be grandparents and great-grandparents now. Sometimes their children and wives visit the place where their lives changed.

Some of us who visit the sites dig through the wreckage to see the details of what is there. Some of us occasionally find personal effects such as dogtags or wedding rings.

If you find anything of this nature, please have some respect for the memory of those crewmembers and do your very best to return the items to their families. If you don't care to make that effort, contact me and I'll put you in touch with Larry Carpenter in Estes Park. He has had remarkable success in returning items to families. Larry's success comes from incredible persistence. Larry's reward for the hard work is in seeing the faces of strangers as they are given closure to a loss incurred many years ago. Returning lost property is an honorable act. Please be honorable and respectful as you visit these places.

And by the way, Federal Law holds that anything on public land over 50 years old is protected by the Antiquities Act. Removal of items is a felony (no matter how worthless they are).

Note that there is a controversy amongst those of us who look for these sites as to whether the public should be informed of their exact location. Souvenier hunting, scrap metal salvaging and general pillage is what is feared by those who choose not to reveal locations. I am taking an optimistic view that by revealing locations that there will be family trips to these sites where hands-on learning and thinking about history will take place. If I learn that by my revealing locations of these sites that they are disrespected, I will delete the coordinates from my website and make them available only to those who are willing to email me their intentions and real names.  Please, please, be respectful as you visit.

Enjoy your day in the mountains.

Home Moggie!  

Last Modified: 1/1/2008