PLAIN CITY, Utah (News4Utah) Thieves swiped important research on Utah’s vast military history from a museum director’s car.
Many of the stolen documents hold historical value for the Fort Douglas Military Museum.
“It’s just an amazing loss. You just can’t replace something like that,” said Fort Douglas Museum/Curator Beau Burgess who spent years gathering the paperwork.
Over the weekend, Burgess took work home including hand-written notebooks, loose papers, and binders in a black Swiss carrying case.
While house-sitting in Plain City, he believes thieves took off with research information thinking there was a laptop inside. He noticed his car window broken and the bag missing Monday morning.
“There is no monetary value in it at all. It’s that preservation value, that education value, that work a historian does. So yeah, my heart just sunk,” Burgess said.
The way in which the information was gathered prevented Burgess from transferring the research to a computer. There was information regarding historical accounts, military ancestry, even ghost stories dating back to 1862 and the Civil War.
Burgess hopes the people who stole the bag to do the right thing or someone will find the missing bag. He says it’s critical for Utah’s history to get it back.
“It’s really devastating to think what gaps there are now in the history or what could have been. What other stories could we have tied together or finished off,” Burgess said.
Some personal and financial information was also in the stolen bag, but Burgess said he’s most worried about the whereabouts of the research.