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NAVY MUSEUM SNARED IN LAWSUITS OVER SWAP, SUNKEN PLANE 04/26/99 The National Museum of Naval Aviation is snared in a pair of lawsuits over a barter deal involving surplus aircraft and the ownership of a rare warplane on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean off Miami. The museum at Pensacola Naval Air Station planned to pay for raising the World War II-era TBD-1 Devastator dive bomber with money from sale of 11 C-130 Hercules cargo plane hulks that are missing engines, wings and other key components. However, a two-year criminal investigation, the suspension of the museum's ability to trade surplus aircraft and parts for rare planes and services and, now, the lawsuits have put recovery of the sunken Devastator on hold, the Pensacola News Journal reported Sunday. The Navy Criminal Investigative Service last year cleared the museum and its director, retired Navy Capt. Robert Rasmussen, of wrongdoing by trading the C-130s to its private fund-raising arm, the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation, in exchange for the planned Devastator recovery. The foundation in turn had sold the C-130s, which were in an Air Force ``bone yard'' near Tucson, Ariz., to California aircraft broker Maurice Skinazi for $200,000 that it planned to use for the recovery. However, the Justice Department seized the hulks as part of the criminal investigation that focused on their sales price, which was based on their scrap value. In the meantime, the Defense Department suspended the bartering of surplus aircraft and parts by all military museums in 1995 pending the drafting of new guidelines by each service. The Navy regulations are expected to be approved later this year. The lawsuits, however, may keep the Devastator under 500 feet of water much longer that that. Skinazi has sued the museum and its foundation, also based in Pensacola, in Los Angeles. He contends that propellers, landing gear and expensive engine parts were missing from the C-130s once he got them. The suit could cost the foundation more than it received for the C-130s if Skinazi wins. ``We can't get the parts. The Navy has them,'' said retired Navy Capt. Ed Ellis, the foundation's secretary. ``We'll have to come up with monetary damages.'' The foundation, however, denies any liability. Ellis said the foundation had no control over the parts because the Justice Department interfered with the transaction by seizing the C-130s. The other suit is by Doug Champlin, owner of Champlin Fighter Aces Museum in Mesa, Ariz., who first brought the Devastator's location to the Navy museum's attention. He had purchased that information from a group of treasure hunters who found the plane while looking for Spanish galleons. Champlin is seeking outright ownership of the plane or compensation for more than $100,000 he contends he has spent on the project since 1991. He is challenging the Navy's longstanding claim of ownership to all of its ships and planes, even those that have sunk or crashed.
LAST KNOWN MEXICAN SURVIVOR WHO FOUGHT REBEL PANCHO VILLA DIES 04/26/99 Teodoro Garcia, believed to be the last surviving Mexican soldier who fought Pancho Villa's rebel forces during the Mexican Revolution, has died. He was 110. Born on Jan. 7, 1889, in Sacramento, Mexico, Garcia was among the Mexican ``Federales'' who fought for dictator Porfirio Diaz, who won several fraudulent elections for the presidency. Villa joined the revolution on the side of Francisco Madero, who in 1910 toppled Diaz. See also: http://www.swanet.org/discussion/message227.html
http://www.abqjournal.com/venue/day/heritage17.htm John Bourke in 1869 described it as "a lonesome sort of a hole." By 1879, the post had outlived its usefulness and was ordered abandoned. However, the troops had scarcely pulled out when the fort was reactivated to cope with an uprising of Victorio's Warm Springs Apaches. A year later, Victorio was dead, killed by Mexican troops in the mountains of Chihuahua, but Fort Craig would hang on for another five years as a supply point and troop-staging area. It was not until July 1885 that the Army pulled out for good.
http://www.abqjournal.com/venue/day/heritage16.htm Today, a handful of residents and a few scattered structures remain to mark the shell of the "liveliest town in the territory." A mile west, Cedarvale Cemetery is the resting place of many of the town's prominent pioneers -- William McDonald, New Mexico's first governor after statehood; Susan McSween Barber, hailed as the "Cattle Queen of New Mexico" in the 1890s; and attorney John Hewitt, one of the major builders of White Oaks.
http://www.deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,80000996,00.html? Grafton is one of the few remaining non-mining ghost towns in the West. It was started by Mormon pioneers in the late 1850s when Brigham Young sent families to colonize the area. But the silkworms and cotton plants meant to provide the region's livelihood didn't take, and now the place that was once home to more than 200 is uninhabited.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/WPlate/1999-04/27/000l-042799-idx.html The Marine Corps is scheduled to announce plans today for building a national museum for the corps at Quantico that eventually could include a research and conference center. The facility, which the Marines hope will become a regional attraction drawing as many as 500,000 visitors a year, will be called the Marine Corps Heritage Center. Plans call for it to include the museum, a welcome center, a conference center with a hotel and an IMAX theater.
http://www.eurekalert.org/releases/nsf-afm042799.html Preliminary findings by a three-woman research team funded by the National Science Foundation indicate that the westernmost Aleutians were settled roughly 3,500 years ago, or 1,000 years earlier than previously thought. West has obtained permission from the Aleut Corporation to remove bones that may be the remains of ancient Aleuts from a cave on Attu island. If the remains prove to be the bones of Aleuts, DNA sampling will allow for comparison with contemporary Aleuts and perhaps shed light on changes in nutrition and health as well as additional clues to the puzzle of migration patterns. The team also will take a first look this field season at what it believes are the first petroglyphs -- or stone carvings -- discovered in the Aleutians.
http://www.oregonlive.com:80/news/99/04/st042513.html Craftsmen from the United States and Europe met in Inverness, Scotland, to participate in a Nova public television project intended to find out if today's top timber crafters could replicate the great machines. Producers of the Nova series, "Secrets of Lost Empires," wanted to see if the weapons were as effective as described in the old texts. Hanney said the producers also wanted to see how well a group of people facing a difficult construction problem, for which none of them was an authority, would work together.
http://www.scmp.com/news/template/HK-Template.idc?artid=19990427010220036&top=hk&template=Default.htx&maxfieldsize=1882 The Disney theme park planned for Lantau threatens to destroy Ming dynasty heritage and 7,000-year-old plants, history experts warned yesterday. Hong Kong University academics said the Penny's Bay site earmarked for development was rich in history and a thorough survey would need to be done before Disney got the green light. "It's the only site in Hong Kong that has yielded significant amounts of Ming pottery," said William Meacham of the university's Centre for Asian Studies.
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E-mail from: Gary Navarre Gary.Navarre@az.usda.gov -- I am looking for a source of artifacts which can be loaned for educational purposes. Please contact me if you can assist.