I am a Washington DC public school retiree. I have studied and taught sciences in Washington DC since 1970.
I occasionally go to Iran. During a visit in January 2009, I was taking a walk near my home in Ramsar’s Katalom suburb, in Mazandaran Province. As I usually do, I analyzed sediments and rocks along the way. One day I noticed the existence of some rocks within the soft sedimentation of reddish soil (Aluminium Silicate). What caught my attention was the way they were positioned on the top of a hill. The rocks did not have earthly base, and all around the rocks was soft soil, and many of them had rather unusual shapes. [photo essay]
Then I noticed a shape which could have indicated remains of a living creature, perhaps some kind of joint, but quite unusual and big. As I examined it, I noticed it was a rock that looked like a joint, and big. I thought it could only be a fossil. I looked around and found several pieces of fossil shaped like human finger bone but many times larger. As I looked around during the next few days I found more fossils. I realized this area was most likely a dinosaur sight. The location is called Markooh. The ancient mountain there is famous because it was a hide-out for Hassan Sabbah about 800 years ago, also considered a strategic location by ancient dynasties all along.
I reported my discovery to the president’s office in Tehran and hired a lawyer to help me. The officials didn’t know what to do. They first registered my letter and referred me to the Environment Ministry. Then they realized that was the wrong place, so they changed the letter, and referred me to the Culture and Heritage Ministry’s office in Sari, Mazandaran Province. The head of the office knew something about dinosaurs and enthusiastically came to the sight.
I gave the officials three pieces of the fossils I had found. They took them to University of Tehran’s Department of Paleontology. After a meeting they told my lawyer they don’t have a vertebrate paleontologist, so, he better quit the case. They never returned my samples and they told my lawyer that I’m just a chemist and have no business discovering dinosaur remains.
The head of the Culture and Heritage Ministry’s office in Sari, who had cooperated with us, was given a hard time and my lawyer was threatened. At the same time officials tried to buy the land, but the deal didn’t go through, and finally they covered it up with stone and cement.
Perhaps a thorough scientific search will be conducted at a later date.