Sunday, February 19, 2012


On September 17, 2011, I posted a column that I entitled VANDALISM OF ROCK ART - THEFT (this link should go to that month, the particular posting is the second down). In this posting I used the example of the famous orca petroglyph at petroglyph beach, Wrangell, Alaska. I had found it not on the beach as I had been led to believe, but in a yard next to the beach. Of this I stated "I went over to the fire ring (yes, I was trespassing) and found that one of the boulders in the ring had exactly the Orca petroglyph that I had been searching for on it. In other words the home owner had stolen it. They probably did not think of it as theft, after all they live there. They may have thought of it as protecting the art. The fact is, however, they took the petroglyph rock away from its location on the public beach and placed it on their own private property. Maybe it is better protected now."

On February 12, 2012, I received the following comments in two emails from Anonymous. "The family living there are the Barlows. Leo H. Barlow and his wife Neilly and three children lived for many many years in the home up untill Leo died July 1st 2004. The orca petroglyph has always been there where you found it. Just for your information. The chidren would make rock rubbings of the petroglyphs and sell to the visitors untill they made that illegal. So don't say they stole it never again or else."

"Oh by the way there is no fire ring in the yard this rock is just inside the edge of the yard by it's self where it's been for more then 80 years.
Thank You,
Mark Maynard"
So Mark, I want to thank you for the jog to my memory. It is funny that I still see a ring of boulders in my mind when I think back, but I do agree that you are correct, as I recall it now with your prompting the Orca boulder is by itself in the yard. I may have not expressed my point clearly enough. Please note that I wrote that "they may have thought of it as protecting the art" and concluded with the idea that "maybe it is better protected now."  In looking back I think that the problem is my use of the word "stolen" I agree that is too harsh a term. If it had at some point been moved perhaps I should have used the term misappropriated or something of that ilk. The point that I was trying to make is that even if it had been moved in an attempt to protect it most of today's laws and regulations would treat that as theft. But 80 years ago, who knows?  Your information about how long it has been in the yard certainly does counter my assumptions which had been based upon information that the Orca petroglyph boulder was on Petroglyph Beach. So I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to the Barlow family. Thank you for the new perspective and the additional information.

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