Alleged Screen Used Hero TOS Phaser up for auction

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Gregatron

Sr Member
It appears that HA is standing firm and backing Jein’s analysis of the piece in response to inquiries from some among us who have reached out.
 

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Gregatron

Sr Member
I’d like it to be an original. I just can’t buy the provenance. I do not believe it is vintage Velcro, (if it’s got any rayon in it it’s a fake and I’m not buying that particular hook parttern for the 60’s) and I really don’t buy the circled area. I am not aware of any screen-capped hero having this spacing. View attachment 1469325

Now, I’d love to be wrong. It would be cool to actually have a ‘new’ hero phaser as reference. Until someone can definitively prove it is a match to a screen cap or carbon date elements of this to the sixties, or match some vintage Velcro to the p1, I’m extremely skeptical.

I am not aware of any screencapped hero OR midgrade having this spacing.

As I have said, I suspect that the hole (or at least a scribed marking guide) for the side knob (as well as the black-and-white P1 power buttons/thumbwheel/sight, etc,) was a part of the shell molds, and therefore the knobs should not have any placement variance between props.

Of all the known surviving props, this auction piece would be the only one to include this placement variance.
 

USS Endeav

Sr Member
It appears that HA is standing firm and backing Jein’s analysis of the piece in response to inquiries from some among us who have reached out.
If they allow the action to conclude with a sale and that sale is later part of a lawsuit questioning the authenticity, Heritage will be on the hook. They have been provided with sufficient cause to either delay the auction pending further review or to cancel it entirely. If they do neither, a "Jonnie Cochran" will have no problem with a lawsuit. Fraud has six tenets which almost all courts use to decide if fraud has (or has not) been committed:

  1. The party makes a representation of fact
  2. The representation is false
  3. The representation relates to a material fact
  4. The representation is made knowingly, recklessly, or without belief in its truth
  5. The other party acts reasonably in relying on the misrepresentation
  6. The other party is actually damaged by the misrepresentation

Heritage will have little room to navigate. If I was the buyer, I'd have this thing carbon-14 dated the minute I had it in hand.
 

asalaw

Sr Member
If they allow the action to conclude with a sale and that sale is later part of a lawsuit questioning the authenticity, Heritage will be on the hook. They have been provided with sufficient cause to either delay the auction pending further review or to cancel it entirely. If they do neither, a "Jonnie Cochran" will have no problem with a lawsuit. Fraud has six tenets which almost all courts use to decide if fraud has (or has not) been committed:

  1. The party makes a representation of fact
  2. The representation is false
  3. The representation relates to a material fact
  4. The representation is made knowingly, recklessly, or without belief in its truth
  5. The other party acts reasonably in relying on the misrepresentation
  6. The other party is actually damaged by the misrepresentation

Heritage will have little room to navigate. If I was the buyer, I'd have this thing carbon-14 dated the minute I had it in hand.
I disagree. HA is relying on the opinion of a recognized expert and making its representations accordingly, so it can hardly be said to be on the hook viz. prong 4 of your analysis.
 

Stairstars

Well-Known Member
Your legal assertion presupposes we have come to a definite conclusion and can prove it in a court of law.
In spite of all the excellent observations of the differences, I do not think we have risen to that level. Even in a civil trial, where a "preponderance of the evidence" is the required benchmark, we are short of that.

Also, should that happen in the future, HA would only have to cancel the sale and refund the item. This has happened before with barely a ripple. There is no criminal intent to sell an item where a consensus of the experts cannot be reached. Most auction houses have had this happen.
 

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USS Endeav

Sr Member
I disagree. HA is relying on the opinion of a recognized expert and making its representations accordingly, so it can hardly be said to be on the hook viz. prong 4 of your analysis.
A single expert. An expert that was quite possibly duped in the past. Plus Heritage has not conducted a deeper physical test nor has it required the seller to either. Not being certain, I looked up carbon-14 dating and it can only be done on something which was once alive. So this prop can't be carbon dated, unless it has some part of it which is made from leather or wood. Where ever the prop used a battery, if that battery caused corrosion, it is possible to calculate the age of the corrosion. This is reaching, I know but dating it seems the best way to remove the most doubt about it's authenticity.
 

Jintosh

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Both the seller and HA could be unaware of the real possibility that this is a replica. Both stand to make money on this. They're going to trust the expert, since they are not expert themselves. Expecting otherwise would be unusual. That would be like asking a defendant to defend themselves in court when they already have a lawyer.

Even if it proved to be a replica in the end, that doesn't prove deceit on the seller or HA's part.
 

phez

Sr Member
Wasn't it GJ that someone said has made mistakes in authenticating TOS props before?
You want to remember, that was before anyone knew there were fakes floating around and all he had to work with were probably video tapes for reference. He (and a few other collectors) were the ones who figured out how to identify the fakes (that cost them a lot of money) from comparing against the real ones (props that came directly from the the source as opposed to ones with a long convoluted story). I am guessing there were a lot of lessons learned from that.
 

asalaw

Sr Member
A single expert. An expert that was quite possibly duped in the past. Plus Heritage has not conducted a deeper physical test nor has it required the seller to either. Not being certain, I looked up carbon-14 dating and it can only be done on something which was once alive. So this prop can't be carbon dated, unless it has some part of it which is made from leather or wood. Where ever the prop used a battery, if that battery caused corrosion, it is possible to calculate the age of the corrosion. This is reaching, I know but dating it seems the best way to remove the most doubt about it's authenticity.
I doubt very much that HA is worried about GJ's reputation as an expert. They're entitled to rely on his opinon in good faith, and bald assertions to the contrary from the internet hardly rise to the level of constructive knowledge required to show fraud.
 

USS Endeav

Sr Member
Both the seller and HA could be unaware of the real possibility that this is a replica. Both stand to make money on this. They're going to trust the expert, since they are not expert themselves. Expecting otherwise would be unusual. That would be like asking a defendant to defend themselves in court when they already have a lawyer.

Even if it proved to be a replica in the end, that doesn't prove deceit on the seller or HA's part.
Nothing you stated disproves it either. Both do have motive however to not delve too deeply. I disagree with your analogy, a defendant in a court proceeding that is innocent will want to dig as deep as it takes to disprove the prosecutions case.
 

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asalaw

Sr Member
Nothing you stated disproves it either.
That's not the standard. The plaintiff in a civil fraud case would have to prove that the defendant(s) knew the item was a fake, or should have known, by a preponderance of the evidence. The defendant does not have to disprove the plaintiff's assertions.

Nothing on this board (or others) constitutes prima facie evidence that the item is a replica; indeed, opinions on the boards may be mistaken as well, given that we've only been looking at photos and have not subjected the piece to in-person examination.
 

Gregatron

Sr Member
Both the seller and HA could be unaware of the real possibility that this is a replica. Both stand to make money on this. They're going to trust the expert, since they are not expert themselves. Expecting otherwise would be unusual. That would be like asking a defendant to defend themselves in court when they already have a lawyer.

Even if it proved to be a replica in the end, that doesn't prove deceit on the seller or HA's part.

We don’t know all the details, of course, but I find it odd that they would (ostensibly) call in only ONE expert, presumably because he owns the only known hero. Considering that so many obvious forgeries of TOS props have sold for huge amounts of money in the past, and that it would not be difficult for someone with the means and reference to replicate a working hero prop, surely they’d want to take steps to safeguard both themselves and potential buyers.

Like, several discrete, independent studies by different experts, screencap matching, etc.


“Production made but not screenused” and “prototype” tend to be convenient phrases used to muddy the waters of verifiable authenticity. And, since neither term has been used in this case, and since the auction piece also not been matched to screencaps, well…

I doubt very much that HA is worried about GJ's reputation as an expert. They're entitled to rely on his opinon in good faith, and bald assertions to the contrary from the internet hardly rise to the level of constructive knowledge required to show fraud.

Exactly.

Mr. Jein’s reputation proceeds him, and there’s no reason to think he wouldn’t be giving his honest assessment.
 

Trekfan

New Member
I will be VERY interested to see what this sells for. If it sells high, it means that GJ and HA prevailed. If it sells low or fails to meet its minimum bid, it means the doubts about it could not be overcome.

As I have said before, I would love it if this were real, but they have to prove it.
 

smithjohnj

Well-Known Member
I have been a ST fan from the very first original broadcast. I have followed the artists which have recreated props for decades, often on this site. Much of this thread has been of interest to me and has provided new information and analysis. My biggest fear is that whether this is authentic or a "big hoax" the result will be the same. Someone with deep pockets will claim this for the bragging rights. They probably will not care if it is authentic or not. They will still have "staked their claim". Then hidden away for a few more years there will be fewer people who can verify or refute any claim and fewer who will have the same passion which exists today. But probably even better replicas will be produced because of this. Either artists will work to prove their own expertise or criminals will work to defraud.
 

USS Endeav

Sr Member
That's not the standard. The plaintiff in a civil fraud case would have to prove that the defendant(s) knew the item was a fake, or should have known, by a preponderance of the evidence. The defendant does not have to disprove the plaintiff's assertions.

Nothing on this board (or others) constitutes prima facie evidence that the item is a replica; indeed, opinions on the boards may be mistaken as well, given that we've only been looking at photos and have not subjected the piece to in-person examination.
I wasn't speaking about legal requirements, I simply said that nothing you stated disproves whether Heritage or the seller is aware of any material reason to question its authenticity.

However, if it should come to pass that the buyer does bring litigation against the seller and/or Heritage, one can presume they will have what they believe is enough to meet legal requirements.


Something I'd like to hear from Heritage, GJ and the seller about is that list showing what the studio ordered. Without evidence of a second order, be it prior to or after, one can safely conclude there should only be four hero phasers, all of which (if I have understood this thread correctly) have been screen matched. This auction fits none of those. Isn't that like a fifth wheel?
 

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Gregatron

Sr Member
I wasn't speaking about legal requirements, I simply said that nothing you stated disproves whether Heritage or the seller is aware of any material reason to question its authenticity.

However, if it should come to pass that the buyer does bring litigation against the seller and/or Heritage, one can presume they will have what they believe is enough to meet legal requirements.


Something I'd like to hear from Heritage, GJ and the seller about is that list showing what the studio ordered. Without evidence of a second order, be it prior to or after, one can safely conclude there should only be four hero phasers, all of which (if I have understood this thread correctly) have been screen matched. This auction fits none of those. Isn't that like a fifth wheel?


To use the phrase, the thing which immediately put me on Red Alert is the fact that the auction piece has the P1 Velcro, no gem, and those specific numbers (6-12) under the power meter. These are all traits unique to the Jein hero, and which do NOT appear on any of the other heroes which have been identified in screencaps.

That one fact alone screams to me that someone just copied the specific details of the Jein hero without digging deeper into the differences between it and the other heroes.

Is it possible that Wah Chang repeated the power meter numbers on two heroes? Sure. But I find it highly unlikely. Assuming that the meter numbers weren’t a found item, that would mean Chang most likely typed up a list of numbers, cut it up into four strips, and glued them under the four hero meters. The Jein has 6-12 and the TMOST has 17-24. Sure, maybe he typed up two lists of numbers to avoid numbers going into the 30-50 range (…that’s a lot of power settings!), but to EXACTLY repeat the same numbers on two different props seems unlikely, to me.
 

Trebor

Active Member
I'm really curious to see the paperwork that goes with this. I don't think it's been made publicly available though, has it?
 

asalaw

Sr Member
I'm really curious to see the paperwork that goes with this. I don't think it's been made publicly available though, has it?
I suspect the only paperwork will be the COA signed by Greg Jein.

Scratch that. There are two LOAs, one accompanying each phaser.
 
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Jintosh

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Is it possible to challenge the auction website itself to have some of the pictures removed from the auction ?

If *THIS* can be reasonably concluded to *NOT* be the phaser in the vintage photos of TOS actors holding a phaser.....then the PHOTOS are fake regardless of whether the phaser is fake. If that phaser in the TOS photo is not the auction phaser, then showing auction pictures of some other object than the auction piece should be against auction rules.
 

Gregatron

Sr Member
Is it possible to challenge the auction website itself to have some of the pictures removed from the auction ?

If *THIS* can be reasonably concluded to *NOT* be the phaser in the vintage photos of TOS actors holding a phaser.....then the PHOTOS are fake regardless of whether the phaser is fake. If that phaser in the TOS photo is not the auction phaser, then showing auction pictures of some other object than the auction piece should be against auction rules.

Interesting. So far as we know, the auction piece has not been screen-matched to any TOS prop.
 

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