A Graffiti Artist has warned fossil hunters to beware of legal loopholes after a dispute over an 140,000 year old Walrus Skull.
Brett Thomson, aged 36, owns a Leeds graffiti supplies store (Artofficial). He made a discovery of a lifetime while hunting on Yorkshire cliffs near Reighton Sands caravan park, between Flamborough and Filey.
This particular area is a known area for fossil hunting as many guided walks take place for amateur fossil hunters. On the other hand, in previous years, no fossil hunters have ever a bigger discovery than the graffiti artist from Leeds.
Whilst Thomson was on hunting adventures, he encountered a Walrus Skull later dated at 140,000 years old, this is therefore one of the oldest examples of an Obodenus rosmarus ever found (In Yorkshire!).
Brett Thomson took his remarkable Yorkshire discovery to the Rotunda Museum in Scarborough for advice. He was told that scientists from all around the world would be interested in the find. His discovery created a chain reaction and inspired museum staff and even non-fossil hunters to go out and hunt for further bones belonging to the skeleton on the site.
The graffiti artist claims that the museum have not only, given Mr. Thomson no acknowledgement for his find but have said that there were no other fossils at the location. However, when he returned it appeared this was not the case, as he had found more bones belonging to the Walrus Skull. He also discovered that the Walrus Skull found could have been valued at more than £70,000. The museum told Brett Thomson that he should have sought permission from the land owner before removing the fossil, and that he could not have it back.
The Graffiti artist is now facing major disappointment after no commendation for his discovery. He is also encouraging other amateur fossil hunters to be aware of land ownership regulations in order to avoid legal action and potential fines.
Brett Thomson has officially said: ““Obviously my experience was very disappointing. The skull I found is a once-in-a-lifetime find, and it’s sad that the outcome has been less than satisfactory. But I want to use the experience to help others know their rights when they’re out looking for these things.”
It is amazing how 140,000 year old fossils can be found in the county that you live in and it makes you feel proud of where you come from.
What are you thoughts on the fossil being taken from him? Do you think that is was right of him to take his discovery to the museum in the first place?
Let us know!
Credit: Yorkshire Evening Post