The FBI is looking for the rightful owners of thousands of artifacts and the resting place of thousands of human bones after seizing the huge illegal stock in a scientist who worked on the first atomic bomb.
Donald C. Miller ran a museum from his home in Waldron, Indiana, on objects he discovered during his travels to South America, North America, Asia and the United States. Indo-Pacific regions. Among the artifacts on display were Ming vases, Amerindian arrowheads and human remains. The FBI said Miller had collected more than 42,000 artifacts in about 60 years. He died in 2015 at the age of 91 years.
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Miller was "a renowned scientist who helped build the first atomic bomb" and opened his home to those who wanted to see the artifacts, the FBI said. He "for the most part kept hidden hundreds of human remains," the office said.
The FBI said it received information in 2013 that Miller was in possession of the remains, many of which are Native American, at his home. In 2014, Miller, a Christian missionary, agreed to "renounce items that he had probably acquired in violation of federal and state law and international treaties," the FBI said. The raid "resulted in no arrest of Miller or any charges," the Washington Post reported. However, until this week, much of what the FBI had found inside and the details of the case were not made public.
"He [Miller] "We cooperated with us throughout the investigation," said FBI Special Agent Tim Carpenter, who wanted us to recover these items and return them to their rightful owners, and that the ancestors of the Indians were properly reentered. "
In 2014, the FBI was able to seize 7,000 articles. Carpenter called the recovery operation "complex".
"We do not treat this material as mere evidence," he said. "These objects have historical, cultural and spiritual significance, and you must take them into account."
The FBI noted that Miller did not keep records of artifacts, which made it difficult for the FBI to return them to their rightful owners.
Carpenter told CBS News in an interview this week that 2,000 human bones, allegedly taken from Amerindian burial sites, were found at home and the FBI believes the remains "represent about 500 human beings" . by most artifacts illegally and revealed that he went to unauthorized archaeological excavations around the world.
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The FBI said it was working with the Native American tribes to bring the remains back to their gravesites. Carpenter said the restitution of the remains was the most important part of the mission.
"You have to treat these people with dignity – they are human beings and people – it's important – it makes sense for people today, for our children and their children," Carpenter said. CBS News.
As to why Miller would have so many bones, Carpenter had no answer to that.
"I do not know, I really do not know," Carpenter says.