tv Stossel FOX Business October 14, 2017 7:00am-8:00am EDT
them and let them know water dealing with. lou: burgess owens great to have you here. that up it for us tonight. joining us tomorrow. >> a mysterious client pays her lawyer with an exotic object. >> maybe she was a spy. >> maybe. >> it becomes his son's strange inheritance. >> it is quite a stunning piece to look at. >> can he decode its past and unlock a fortune? >> it's the equivalent -- for us, as americans -- of owning something that may have been there with george washington. >> wow. >> "wow" is right. >> a small town, an ancient emperor, and a puzzle. >> it was a three-week auction, and nothing happened. >> nothing? no bids? >> you're thinking that "my gosh. this is terrible. oh, it's all out the window."
>> i'm jamie colby, and today, i'm visiting townshend, vermont. classic norman rockwell america. it's the kind of place where neighbors can still leave their doors unlocked and where a country lawyer can let clients pay him with food from their farm or dinners at a restaurant or gifts of some kind. in fact, that's how this "strange inheritance" story begins. >> my name is paul weber. my father was a lawyer in small-town vermont, who was always willing to help a client out. and that's how i ended up inheriting a really cool and really old chinese relic and a pretty strange story to tell. >> i'm jamie. i meet paul, a local math teacher, and his wife, sarah, at their home. >> come on in. >> thank you so much. the residence doubles as a bed-and-breakfast the couple have run for almost 30 years. i couldn't help but noticing, as i came in, you have a lot of
exotic art. >> my father was always interested in asian art and he dabbled in painting a little bit. and so that's why we have lots of things around the house. >> when paul's father, bruce weber, wasn't practicing his painting skills, he was practicing law in nearby brattleboro. what kind of attorney was your dad? >> well, as a small-town lawyer, you don't specialize. you do a little bit of everything. >> in the mid-1970s, a woman comes to bruce in need of legal services. whether she couldn't afford his fee or for some other reason, she offers him works of art instead of cash for his services. >> she had quite a collection, so i'm told, of asian art. and my father was interested in that. and so his fee for the services was to receive these pieces of asian art. >> how much was the fee? >> i have no idea. >> one of the items the mystery
client gives paul's father is this delicately carved piece of ivory. it's so intricate, i can actually make out the faces on the people. >> right. >> this is a single tusk? >> this is a single tusk. >> paul's father receives three more chinese artworks in the deal. >> there was a small piece of jade carved into kind of a mountain scene. and there was also a feather headdress. but the most amazing piece was a table screen. >> and here it is. screens like this have been used in china for centuries. a functional piece of art atop a desk. it blocks the wind and sun in an open-air work space. >> it had chinese calligraphy on one side and then, on the other side, a pastoral scene of horses, all held in a bronze frame. >> my first question -- who is
this client of bruce's, and how did these exotic items end up in small-town vermont? >> i really don't know anything about it. >> you must be curious. >> a little but. but i don't know the woman, and i'm sure she's long gone now. she'd spent considerable time overseas, particularly in china. maybe she was in the foreign service. >> maybe she was a spy. >> maybe. >> were they displayed in your home growing up? >> yeah. they were always conversation pieces, because they're pretty unique. >> when bruce weber passes away, at age 72, the artworks become paul's strange and still-mysterious inheritance. >> we tried to have the characters read by a chinese teacher. she couldn't read them. >> in 1997, the couple sends photos of the items to lark mason, the vice president of chinese art at the famed sotheby's auction house in new york city, to do an insurance appraisal. what was the chinese-art market
like at that time? >> the chinese-art market was dominated by western buyers who had a western perception of what was valuable. >> lark thinks those buyers will be most interested in the screen. he appraises it at $10,000 to $15,000. >> a lot of money. >> did you sell? >> oh, no. we weren't interested in selling at the time. we didn't send them down there with any other intention than just getting an up-to-date evaluation. >> so, for the next decade, the artworks just sit in paul and sarah's home, helping decorate their bed-and-breakfast. but the couple will look at these curious relics anew when, on an overseas trip, their lives take a joyous surprise turn. >> we did not particularly want children, but i just told paul, "i don't think i can leave that child here." >> that's next. >> but first, our "strange inheritance" quiz question.
the answer when we return. ♪ can i kick it? ♪ yes you can ♪ can i kick it? ♪ yes you can ♪ can i kick it? ♪ yes you can ♪ well i'm gone ♪ can i kick it? ♪ to all the people who can quest like a tribe does... ♪ money managers are pretty much the same. all but while some push high commission investment products, fisher investments avoids them. some advisers have hidden and layered fees. fisher investments never does. and while some advisers are happy to earn commissions from you whether you do well or not, fisher investments fees are structured so we do better when you do better. maybe that's why most of our clients come from other money managers. fisher investments. clearly better money management.
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as warnings from the gods to flee. >> back in the 1970s, a small-town vermont lawyer named bruce weber does some work for a client and, in lieu of cash, accepts four pieces of chinese art from the mysterious woman. the artwork eventually becomes his son, paul's, strange inheritance. this is a piece of history. >> yeah, it is. >> this finely crafted table screen is appraised for $15,000. but paul and his wife, sarah, aren't about to sell. >> mostly, they were just pieces that reminded me of my father. >> then, out of the blue, life presents paul and sarah with something they neither sought nor expected, in a place far from their vermont home. it's 2005. they're on a volunteer trip to a rural village in northern tanzania. what led to your interest in africa? >> well, i'm a teacher, and i
took a sabbatical, originally to teach english. >> what was life like for the people there when you were there? >> it's a pretty tough life. there was no electricity at all, water by bucket. it breaks your heart. >> that's when a young boy named leyeyo steals theirs. >> every single time we turned around, there was leyeyo. >> sarah and i were walking down to watch a soccer game, and leyeyo somehow inserted himself in between us. and we were holding hands with leyeyo. >> and then we found out that he was sleeping outside under a tree and was literally starving to death. we did not particularly want children, but i just told paul, "i don't think i can leave that child here." >> a year later, sarah and paul are finally able to bring leyeyo to the u.s. and then adopt him.
why'd you feel you had to do more? >> because i could do more. >> the couple opts for private schooling so their son can get the individualized attention he needs. but that takes some serious cash. >> the amount we paid for private school was nothing that we ever had in our plans. >> it was a ridiculous amount of money. >> it probably averaged out for $15,000 a year. >> the couple uses money sarah had inherited after her father had passed away to fund leyeyo's education. but it only goes so far, and as their son reaches the end of high school, with college on the horizon, sarah and paul find themselves running out of money and answers. what do you think that college education is gonna cost you? >> well, you know, it could be about $50,000 times 4. it's a lot of money to put a kid through college these days. >> like millions of other american parents, paul and sarah
start scrambling. they'll need, somehow, to raise more cash. mortgage the b&b? maybe. but what about those puzzling chinese pieces? >> i thought, "well, you know, if they are worth $10,000, that would be a chunk of change for college." >> in 2014, they track down lark mason, the man who appraised the items all those years ago. he's no longer at sotheby's but running his own auction house. >> i sent him pictures in an e-mail, and he was very excited. >> excited because, lark says, a lot's changed since the '90s, when he appraised the screen for 15 grand. that's appropriate to the time frame? >> for that time frame, yes, absolutely. china's economy has grown dramatically from the '90s up to the present days. there's a lot more people with money, with ability to buy things. >> seems the swelling ranks of 21st century chinese millionaires have shifted the market for chinese art into
overdrive. two weeks later, sarah drives down from vermont and brings the artwork to lark's manhattan office. >> he said the headdress might go for a few thousand, and then the little carved piece of jade -- that might get a couple of thousand. >> and that might cover leyeyo's textbooks. but then there's the table screen. as before, lark is most intrigued by it. >> the quality struck me. the workmanship, the design -- all of it was just exactly what you would want to see in an object that would be coming up for sale. >> and now that paul and sarah are serious about selling, it's time lark zeroes in on the screen's past. exactly when was it made? where? by whom? for whom? the first clue -- its exotic materials, gold, turquoise, coral, white jade.
>> all that is something that not a normal person would have. >> so, it comes together, and you know it's special. >> exactly. >> another clue is how many different kinds of craftsmanship it displays. >> the people that were doing the bronze work -- you had the guilders. you had the individuals that were coming up with the different-sized stones here. you're looking at least 7, 8, 9, 10 different individuals involved in this. >> but who would have that kind of money to put into the materials even for this? >> a very important person. >> a very important person whose identity, lark believes, lies hidden in its cryptic imagery and symbols. the mission -- to crack the screen's code. that's next. >> here's another quiz question for you.
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>> it's "c." the cookies were made famous by a japanese-american immigrant who was the landscape designer of golden gate park's famed japanese tea garden. >> in the fall of 2014, auctioneer lark mason thinks that if he can decipher the imagery and writing on this antique chinese table screen, he can unlock the value of paul weber's strange inheritance. and now the appraiser suspects it's directly linked to some important figure in chinese history. what's on this side?
>> this side depicts the eight horses of wang mu. wang mu was the fifth emperor of the zhou dynasty, who boarded a chariot in search of the peaches of immortality in heaven. >> according to the myth, each of his magical chargers had a special talent. one galloped without touching the ground, while another ran as fast as the sun's shadow. now, wang mu ruled about 1,000 years before christ. lark knows the screen is not that old. but the myth becomes a popular subject for chinese poets and artists and a symbol for the later emperors. but which one? lark hopes the inscription on the other side holds the answer. his crack research staff soon has a translation of the ancient chinese. what does it say? >> well, the inscription's really interesting, because it
specifically mentions qianlong. >> emperor qianlong reigned during most of the 18th century, which is why lark is so excited by his next discovery. >> there's a date mentioned -- "30 years earlier, in 1743, when i commissioned a painting about horses." so that takes us up to 1773 or so. >> smack-dab in the middle of qianlong's reign. >> and so all that ties together here in this one screen. >> it's museum-quality? >> oh, no question. >> really? >> absolutely. no question. >> that hardly surprises the curator of asian art at the metropolitan museum of art in new york city, which has, on display, a number of works commissioned by qianlong. was he a proponent of the arts? >> he was absolutely a patron of the arts, someone who was very involved in using art as a means of self-expression, as well as to legitimize and maintain his
rule. >> like this hand-carved piece of ivory used to hold paintbrushes. they're pretty fancy for putting in paintbrushes. >> it's a pretty fancy one, yes. >> like most pieces commissioned by qianlong, the brush holder tells a story. >> this is about a young scholar who was so gorgeous that, when he went by, women pelted him with flowers. >> the detail is amazing. the number of people that look like they're on a balcony. >> isn't that wonderful? >> qianlong is revered in china today. he is the emperor to whom people look up as an example of the best of good government. >> so anything from this particular dynasty is considered very valuable? >> very valuable. the equivalent for us, as americans, of owning something that would have been there with george washington. >> wow. >> "wow" is right. >> betting that wealthy chinese buyers will bid high for something that could have sat on
qianlong's desk, lark jacks up his price a bit above his 15-grand appraisal in 1995. >> the table screen was now valued at between $60,000 and $90,000. >> six to seven times more than 20 years ago? >> that's right. >> it was more than we make in a year for sure... [ laughs ] ...which, to me, was more than i could ever dream about. >> 90 grand. an elated paul and sarah know that will go a long way to pay their son's college bill. but lark advises them to test the market by first selling one of the other pieces paul's dad received from that long-ago client. the result is positive. >> that jade piece that we thought would sell for about $1,000 ended up selling for $12,000. >> what?! >> and we were really stunned. >> tough to come up with the estimates in a very strong,
upward-trending market. >> so, then it became clear that we got to put this table screen in an auction. >> and then, just like that, the buyers vanish. >> it was listed on the featured items, but nobody bid on it. >> will a family's hopes be dashed... >> nothing happened. >> nothing? no bids? >> there were no bids. "what's going on here?" >> ...or will their prayers be answered? find out next. what's your strange inheritance story? we'd love to tell it. send me an e-mail or go to our website, strangeinheritance.com. [fbi agent] you're a brave man, mr. stevens. your testimony will save lives. mr. stevens? this is your new name. this is your new house. and a perfectly inconspicuous suv. you must become invisible. [hero] i'll take my chances.
right in the heart of the was in his financial crisis, and saw his portfolio drop by double digits. it really scared him out of the markets. his advisor ran the numbers and showed that he wouldn't be able to retire until he was 68. the client realized, "i need to get back into the markets- i need to get back on track with my plan." the financial advisor was able to work with this client. he's now on track to retire when he's 65. having someone coach you through it is really the value of a financial advisor.
>> now back to "strange inheritance." >> in 2015, paul weber is trying to sell his strange inheritance -- enigmatic pieces of chinese artwork to help fund his son's college education. >> it was a question of, you know, how are we gonna come up with the money for him to go to college? >> his rare table screen, once
appraised for $15,000, is now valued at up to $90,000, after the appraiser confirms its connection to the revered chinese emperor qianlong. >> he is the emperor of emperors. he's exactly the one one wanted to have commission this object. >> in april 2015, the table screen is offered for sale in a two-week online auction. but despite being a featured piece, the screen is not an instant hit with bidders. >> it was at the top of the list, and nothing happened. >> nothing? no bids? >> there were no bids. i mean, two weeks, anyway, were gone, and we called and said, "you know, what's going on here?" >> on the final day of the auction, with just 30 minutes left on the clock, there is still no action on the table screen. >> it looked like nobody was gonna bid on it at all. >> they were nervous. >> auctions are horribly nerve-racking, because you're thinking, "my gosh. nobody's interested in this.
this is terrible. oh, it's all out the window." >> finally, with just minutes to go, a flurry of bidding. >> there were two bidders, that i saw, that were going back and forth, and it just started climbing and climbing. >> the price jumps from zero to $60,000 in about 5 seconds, well into the appraisal range, then surpasses lark's high estimate. he sends the auction into overtime. it passes 200k. the final bid? $250,000 to a taiwanese collector. >> "you've got to be kidding me." i mean, it was like "monopoly" money. >> what kind of difference will that money make for you, for sarah, and for your son? >> it'll make a big difference. >> i'm really grateful that i'm gonna be able to go to college and, like, feel very grateful for what my future holds. >> talk about a strange inheritance that ripples around
the world. a piece of art crafted in a chinese emperor's workshop somehow ends up in a small vermont town two centuries later. it then travels all the way back to asia, changing the life of a young man from africa along the way. >> my father never knew leyeyo, and that's a little bit of a bittersweet thing. he would have thought there would have been nothing better to spend the money on than to give him an opportunity to extend his education. >> his grandson. >> that's right. i think, for my father, it would have been the most meaningful fee that he ever received. >> the buyer of paul's strange inheritance is a wealthy taiwanese businessman on a mission to track down chinese artworks around the world, buy them, and bring them home. he says he's thrilled about his newest purchase, both for its immense beauty and its great historical value. i'm jamie colby for
"strange inheritance." thanks so much for watching. and remember, you can't take it with you. >> announcer: the heroes of the space race capture the imagination of a young boy. >> we choose to go to the moon. >> the world was fascinated. the astronauts were superstars. >> these are the nation's mercury astronauts. [ applause ] >> announcer: it inspires him to collect all kinds of nasa artifacts. >> that's one small step for man... >> it's one of america's greatest achievements, and i think it's something which will continue to inspire. >> announcer: but when he dies too young... >> i thought, "this can't be happening." >> announcer: ...he leaves his widow an inheritance that's out of this world. ♪
>> i'm jamie colby, and today, i'm driving through southern california, where so much of the groundbreaking work for nasa's moon missions was done. i'm going to los angeles to meet a woman who embraced the lifelong passion of her soul mate -- a love for all things outer space. >> my name is shelly cigel. and when my husband passed away, he left me with an incredible collection and a special gift from beyond the grave. well, this is just a few little things that i took out. >> these nasa artifacts belonged to shelly's husband, rick cigel, samples of a lifelong collection that includes everything from engine parts to autographs. >> and this is actually the flag that they had signed, and that was from apollo 12. >> are these control panels? look at this! can i touch this? >> absolutely. please. >> okay. here we go. can you imagine?
regulator bleed valve open. check. m.o.m. open. check. >> looks like it says "mom" to me. >> mom. this is the button that tells mom we're about to lift off. but i heard you have a monkey chair. >> we do. >> i have to see this. because before humans went into space, primates were launched into orbit so scientists could investigate the biological effects of space travel. i hear they paid them in bananas. it looks small enough. you really think a monkey rode in here? >> absolutely. batteries and power switches. >> look -- the battery from sears. that's funny. was rick proud of owning it? >> he loved telling everybody he had a monkey mobile. >> rick cigel is born in 1956 in stevens point, wisconsin. five years later, in 1961, a russian cosmonaut named yuri gargarin becomes the first human in space. president kennedy ups the ante
and challenges america to be the first to put a man on the moon. >> this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth. >> alan b. shepard. >> i'm john glenn. >> walter m. schirra. >> to launch the space program, seven men are judged by nasa to have the right stuff and are enlisted into a program named project mercury. >> all systems are go. >> their goal -- to complete a series of manned flights around the earth and pave the way for the moon missions to come. >> that's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. >> human space flight is special, because you're sending people with human eyes and human emotions to truly alien places. >> keith haviland is a space historian as well as an
executive producer of a new film telling the story of astronaut gene cernan and the last voyage to the moon in 1972. >> oh, my golly! >> there's no substitute for human experience, human insight, and human ingenuity in exploration. >> and the awe and wonder felt that by that boy growing up in wisconsin back in the 1960s will last a lifetime. by 1990, rick is a successful l.a. lawyer with the money to start building an impressive collection of space artifacts. >> at the time, nasa was getting rid of all this stuff. they had warehouses of these things, and they were just throwing things away. >> rick tracks down big things and small, from a bottle of cocoa powder carried by astronauts on apollo 10 and a half-dollar flown on the 1965 gemini mission to a pair of soviet space-suit gloves and a
life-size space capsule replica he buys from a former nasa engineer. this is a space capsule. it's being taken off of a tow truck, loaded into his warehouse. >> he has the biggest grin on his face, and -- >> like a kid in a candy store. >> exactly. >> shelly is rick's next major find. actually, the 39-year-old milwaukee native found him on the jewish dating website jdate. what was it about rick that caught your attention? >> well, i had certain parameters i wasn't gonna go with. an attorney was one of the guys i would not date. but as i was looking through, i saw he was from wisconsin. and i sent him an e-mail that said, "you can't be that big of a jerk if you're from wisconsin." >> in 2007, rick and shelly move in together. did you want to marry him right away? >> i actually told rick i would never, never, never get married again. i was married once before. but as the years went by, we
were talking about it. >> then, at the age of only 56, rick cigel's health suddenly starts to fail. he suffers a stroke in 2012. the following year, there's more bad medical news. >> we were told he had stage 4 colorectal cancer. >> did your life change in that instant? >> yeah. yeah, it did. i was never so scared of losing somebody in my life. >> his days numbered, rick knows he must prepare shelly to deal with what will become her strange inheritance. he doesn't want her to keep it all but to sell it, hopefully to space nuts like him. that's when shelly comes to realize how vast and valuable rick's collection is. i heard it was enough to fill a warehouse. >> yes. >> there's a survival radio from mercury 9, a checklist from apollo 17, and this apollo hand controller for adjusting
altitude. then shelly clocks in this old camera, a hasselblad 500c. >> when i found it, i said to him, "oh, i used to take pictures with a camera like this in high school." and he laughed at me. said, "oh, no. you definitely didn't take a picture with something like this." >> that and a lot more is next. >> announcer: but first, our "strange inheritance" quiz question. in a radio transmission from apollo 8, the astronauts reported seeing an object flying near them. what did they say it was? the answer in a moment. this guy is upping his game by listening to an audiobook on audible. and this guy is just trying to get through the day. this guy feels like he can take on anything. this guy isn't sure he can take it anymore.
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♪ >> announcer: so, what did the apollo 8 astronauts say was flying near them? take a listen to command module pilot jim lovell. >> the stars align all too briefly for soul mates rick cigel and shelly lokietz. at the age of 57, rick learns he has stage 4 cancer and may only have months to get his affairs in order. in his life before shelly, rick amassed a huge collection of space memorabilia, now destined to become shelly's strange
inheritance. it includes hundreds of items you'd expect to find in a nasa warehouse or a museum, like, for instance, the udvar-hazy center in virginia, part of the smithsonian's air and space museum. i asked curator jennifer levasseur how all those artifacts could end up in the garage of a guy like rick cigel. and nasa just let astronauts take home stuff from their missions? >> that tended to happen quite a bit more up and through the end of the apollo period. astronauts often took home memorabilia. afterwards, shuttle astronauts had to give everything back. >> for example, those cameras from the mercury missions. >> the first astronaut to take one to space was wally schirra on his mercury mission. he was an amateur photographer, and they got some more in order to train with them and then, of course, take them to space. >> how important was photography in space? >> it's really fundamental to everything that we understand as people who can't go their ourselves. it's a tremendous value to
scientists who started to study weather from space. so, this is kind of the early phases of learning about the earth. >> now they're sought after by collectors, some selling for six figures. so, looking to provide shelly a cash cushion and a crash course in selling space memorabilia, rick cigel asks his friend, a new hampshire auction executive, bobby livingston to unload his rare hasselblad. >> that's the first time he told me that he -- he was dying, that he had cancer. i'll never forget it. >> livingston knows rick's anxious to complete a sale quickly but must verify the camera is an original that flew into space. turns out it isn't that simple. rick bought it from mercury astronaut gordon cooper in 1995 for $19,000. and he gives the auction house two letters of authenticity to prove it, along with actual photos that the astronaut said
were taken from space with that camera. "i took the photographs with a hasselblad camera. the serial number on the camera body is tv 45279." but when the auction house submits the camera for expert analysis, the results surprise everyone. did it end up being gordon cooper's camera? >> it did not. >> uh-oh. that's next. >> announcer: here's another quiz question for you. how many of the original seven mercury astronauts walked on the moon? is it... the answer in a moment. today we're going to talk about trucks. which of these truck brands do you think offers best in class hd horsepower and the
most capable off-road midsize pickup? i'd go ram. i would put it on ford. let's find out. noooooooo. chevy. that's right, it's chevy. they look amazing. wow. chevy's killin it. yeah, definitely. trade up to this light duty silverado all star and get a total value of over eleven thousand two hundred dollars. or during truck month, get 0% financing for 72 months on our most popular chevy trucks. find new roads at your local chevy dealer. money managers are pretty much the same. all but while some push high commission investment products, fisher investments avoids them. some advisers have hidden and layered fees. fisher investments never does. and while some advisers are happy to earn commissions from you whether you do well or not, fisher investments fees are structured so we do better when you do better. maybe that's why most of our clients come from other money managers. fisher investments. clearly better money management. whentertaining us,es getting us back on track,hing?
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>> announcer: so, how many of the original seven mercury astronauts walked on the moon? only one -- alan shepard during the apollo 14 mission. >> it's 2014 in los angeles. shelly lokietz and her longtime boyfriend, rick cigel, are stunned when rick is diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. >> rick said he felt like charlie brown with lucy and the football. and i said, "you're not gonna die. we're gonna -- we're gonna get this -- you're gonna get better." >> but rick seems to know the end is near, and he's determined to give shelly a head start on dealing with the strange and valuable inheritance he'll leave her -- a huge collection of space memorabilia. it took him decades to amass, and he may only have months to live. >> he really saw his mortality. he wanted these items to go to people that would appreciate them like he did.
>> of the hundreds of items, rick zeroes in on this hasselblad camera for a quick and easy sale. he bought it from astronaut gordon cooper, who stated, in writing, that he used it snap some of the earliest pictures from outer space in 1963. but it now appears that couldn't be true. the auction house gets a confusing report from the authenticator. what was the news? >> it's not authentic. >> a fake? >> it's the proper period, but this camera was not gordon cooper's. >> how did you know that it wasn't gordon cooper's? it came with a letter saying it was. >> this scratch right here -- that's the smoking gun. >> houston, we have a problem. it takes precious days to solve the mystery. the key clue comes when the auction house compares rick's camera with the one wally schirra took into space the year before cooper's flight.
>> our forensic expert, with photographic evidence, was able to find scuff marks that matched exactly to schirra's camera. this is schirra's camera, taken in 1962, and it matches exactly to the one that rick bought. >> so, rick thought he was buying gordon cooper's space camera, but he was really buying wally schirra's. but how could that be? >> they took home each other's things, but both astronauts sold their cameras believing that this was schirra's and this was cooper's. >> far from being a problem, it turns out to be a good thing. schirra was the first guy to take it up in space. this is the most famous hasselblad there is. >> so, wait a minute. that sounds like it's worth more. >> it is worth a lot more, not only financially but historically. i mean, this is the most important hasselblad ever made. >> when the auction is announced online, it's no surprise the camera catches the eye of
filmmaker and space historian keith haviland. >> it's the first such device that captured images of the quality necessary to give a sense of the world as it is -- the blue, fragile planet on which we live. >> then comes the live auction in boston on november 13th, 2014. >> our first item is the first hasselblad camera in space. >> haviland makes the winning bid, a whopping $275k. >> sold! >> when it arrived, i mean, that was a magic moment, holding it in my hands for the first time. >> there will be one more strange twist involving that hasselblad. but not before, back in los angeles, rick's health worsens. he has time to get just one last thing done. >> he said, "would you still want to get married, knowing that you could be a widow so soon?"
>> mm. >> i said, "i would rather be your wife for one day than to be your, quote, girlfriend of eight years." >> you ever regret the decision to marry with him being so ill? >> no, because i have his name. and that was the other thing i said to him. "i want your name." >> the doctors remove his breathing tube for a few moments, and a justice of the peace marries the couple. >> right before he died, he opened his eyes one last time. he looked at me, and he squeezed my hand. and that was it. his heart just stopped. >> on the same day she is a bride, shelly is a widow. and soon, she will have to deal with her strange inheritance. >> there's no way i could go through everything. i think there were things that rick forgot he even had. >> but there's one thing rick did not forget. you get a call that he has
another little something for you. >> yes. >> that's next. what's your strange inheritance story? we'd love to hear it. send me an e-mail or go to our website, strangeinheritance.com. ♪ can i kick it? ♪ yes you can ♪ can i kick it? ♪ yes you can ♪ can i kick it? ♪ yes you can ♪ well i'm gone ...has grown into an enterprise. that's why i switched to the spark cash card from capital one. now, i'm earning unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase i make. everything. what's in your wallet?
♪ >> announcer: and now, the conclusion of "strange inheritance." >> in 2015, shelly cigel inherits the daunting task of dealing with her late husband, rick's, enormous space collection -- thousands of relics accumulated over a lifetime. >> i think there were things that rick forgot he even had. >> having just watched a space camera rick bought for $19,000 bring in $275k, she reaches out to rick's friend bobby livingston for help. >> there's no way i could go through everything. we had so many different things, even from the astronauts themselves. >> she starts small and puts 20
items on the auction block. shelly follows the action from what is now her home in brentwood, california. >> what was that like for you? >> that was the first time i watched an auction by myself, without rick. >> among the artifacts, a buzz aldrin-signed life magazine cover goes for $530. a piece of mercury 4 cable fetches $1,300. an apollo light meter -- $1,700. michael collins' slide rule -- $3,000. gene cernan's apollo 17 checklist -- $4,800. gordon cooper's command wings -- $6,000. a soviet cosmonaut's soyuz 17 film cannister -- $13,000. and prices keep going up. take cooper's survival radio. >> in case he needed to communicate with nasa, should he be lost somewhere, if he crashed out in the desert.
what do you think this sold for? >> $10,000? >> very close. a little under $15,000. >> and this apollo altitude controller fetches $74,000. >> i kept saying to rick, "we did it. we did it." >> how much did you get? >> um... >> a lot. >> a lot. yeah. >> shelly's final tally for the auction -- over $100k. but a big part of shelly's strange inheritance remains, like that monkey chair, nasa instrument panel, autographed photos, and full-size replica space capsule, plus hundreds more artifacts. shelly hopes to find a buyer for them someday. and who knows what it all might be worth? do you feel that you fulfilled rick's wish in having the items you sold recently get into the hands of other people who will appreciate them as much?
>> oh, absolutely. you realize that these are people who know what they're buying. these are once-in-a-lifetime items. these things don't come up again. >> and now, that final twist we promised was coming. you get a call that he has another little something for you. >> yes. >> it was just a few days after her husband's funeral. an e-mail appears in shelly's in-box. it's from an auction house telling her that, before he died, rick had bid on a rare wedding ring. >> an e-mail popped up that said, "congratulations. you won the ring by proxy bid." when rick was in the hospital, he put a secret bid in. where everybody should be thinking about him, he was always thinking about me. >> someone still had to pay for it, but it seems rick thought of that, too. remember that space camera rick
was so anxious to sell? bobby livingston wires some of that cash, and just like that, a package arrives. >> i opened it up, and it was more beautiful than i imagined. >> rick had good taste. >> yeah, he did. >> now, that's a "strange inheritance" story. one look at shelly and you can tell she's over the moon. roger that, mission control. it is kind of amazing that more than half of americans living today weren't even born when man last walked on the moon. will we ever go back? well, at least one space-tourism company is taking reservations for a to-be-determined blast-off date. shelly wishes rick would have lived to see such a day. he would have done anything to get one of those boarding passes and no doubt return with some incredible photos and souvenirs for his collection. i'm jamie colby for "strange inheritance."
thanks so much for watching, and remember -- you can't take it with you. >> i'm bob massi. for 32 years, i've been practicing law and living in las vegas. i help people with all sorts of real-estate problems, from trying to save their homes to closing major deals. 8 years ago, 6,000 people a month moved here looking for employment and affordable homes. little did anyone know that we would become ground zero for the american real-estate crisis. now, it's a different story. the american dream is back. but even today, i still get over 300 e-mails a week from people. they just want to know how to navigate the new landscape so they can live the american dream. we're gonna meet real people who face the same problems as millions across america, and we'll dive d
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