I didn’t know it at the time, but an archaeologist working under Bill Lipe, then a professor at Washington State University, had also visited the site. He reported this vandalism to Dr. Lipe, who in turn reported it to the late Sen. Henry Jackson. There was a formal congressional inquiry, resulting in a real investigation and two arrests — the first made under the Archaeological Resources Protection Act.
Of course, everybody at BLM Monticello knew I was heading off to graduate school at Washington State that autumn to study under Dr. Lipe, and naturally assumed I spilled the beans. In truth, I never mentioned it to the guy. Still, I took full blame and the brunt of BLM’s anger. Other BLM rangers later told me the problem from upper management’s point of view was not the looting, but rather that their inaction was exposed and made into a public embarrassment. Nearly 30 years later, nothing’s changed.
Gales Ferry, Connecticut
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