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                                    You decide - What would you do?

The question is easy for people to answer. The real test is when you find that item.

I was working with the BLM in the Sand Wash basin looking for artifacts and evidence of inhabitants in the area. It was my first volunteer project with the BLM. Totally by accident on the second day out we made a major discovery that had not been documented before. It took us several days to determine the size of the site and we found all types of structures and artifacts. My favorite was the small stone blind built along a game trail complete with peep holes and a place to launch spears and arrows.

Our project suddenly turned into one of documenting the location and size so an in-depth research project could be implemented. After finally flagging the area, taking GPS coordinates, photographs, and writing up descriptions we decided to take a break.

We split up and started surveying the nearby ridges. As I was walking along I began to see signs of activity. Small flakes, chert etc. Then my heart leaped. I thought I saw the tip of a large blade. As I got to my knees and started to carefully remove the surrounding dirt I validated my first impression. It was a perfect blade over 8 inches long.

As I laid it in my hand I saw that it stretched from the tip of my fingers past my wrist. I sat there all alone and the thoughts started to race through my mind. Could I put this in my backpack and nobody would know? Should I take it? How will I get it home? Will they search our bags before we leave?

I even rationalized possible reasons by saying things like, I have never found anything this perfect before, this is a once in a lifetime find, wait until I show all my friends. Could I hide it in the dirt somewhere and come back and get it later?  More rationalization.

This is better than anything Julie has found. Julie has hunted for years. Is anyone watching? If I don’t take it we will just photo it, GPS it, and bury it. I deserve this for all my hard work.

Still on my knees it became obvious to me that I had to decide. Hide it or flag it?

Now You decide.

Below is a nonscientific survey I conducted and the responses.

Take it or leave it?

Yes, I'd take it and add it to my collection of "stuff"    35.71%

Yes, I'd take it and donate it to a Historical Society or museum.   23.81%

No, I wouldn't take it under any circumstances.     26.19%

No, I wouldn't take it, but it would bother me knowing it was there 14.29%

I suppose I should tell you what I did. I planted a nice red flag.