we'd love to hear it. send me an e-mail or go to our website -- strangeinheritance.com >> was he a lifelong hoarder or a shrewd collector? the answer lies inside this salvage yard filled with rusty old cars. >> did you know how many cars grandpa had? >> the locals say it's a worthless eyesore. >> whoo-hoo! >> his grandson calls it an "iron gold mine." [ auctioneer calling ] which is the truth? we're about to find out. >> sold it! [ door creaks ] [ wind howls ] [ thunder rumbles ] [ bird caws ] >> i'm jamie colby, and i'm just driving in to enid, oklahoma, which is about 90 miles north of oklahoma city. population -- roughly 50,000.
right here in enid, they have the third largest storage capacity for grain on the planet. but wedged in between enid's silos lies the tale of a cantankerous legend who left his grandchildren with a very strange inheritance. >> my name is stuart piontek, and in 2003, my brothers and sisters and i inherited something pretty unusual from my grandfather. his name was oliver jordan, and he died at 95. he was a child of the dust bowl. grandpa would hold on to just about everything that passed through his life, whether it was a tin can, an automobile, a piece of copper wire. >> and oliver jordan kept it all here. for 60 years. this salvage lot was his home, his sanctuary, his fort knox. hi, stuart! >> welcome to paradise. >> i found it! the rusted old cars in this shed -- some of them relics of the roaring '20s -- are a few of
the more than 200 that jordan accumulated over his lifetime. born in 1908, jordan was raised on a wheat farm. but his real interest was that fabulous new invention, the car. >> grandpa was around machinery all the time, and automobiles were just beginning to happen. he got interested, and it was just a lifelong passion. >> jordan grows up, gets married, and then, at 34 years old, abandons his wife and three young kids for a 16-year-old girl in town. >> when my mother and her brother and sister were still children, my grandfather left the family for another woman. her name was ruby, and that was quite a scandal. everybody was hurt by it. >> in 1946, oliver buys a salvage yard in enid, where he and ruby live, and where he makes money selling old cars and parts. oliver runs the salvage yard successfully for seven years.
but then in 1953, he gets into a nasty argument with the town of enid over zoning and regulations -- two words he detests. >> the city came in and told him he had to put in a bathroom and do some other things, and grandpa just didn't like to be told what to do. >> he was just not a rule follower. >> yeah, he was like, "then fine. i'll close the doors." and that's what he did. >> oliver continues to hoard old cars. he cuts himself off from most of his family and rarely lets another soul inside the shuttered salvage yard. >> pretty much everybody in this town would drive by grandpa's property and see all these old cars sitting right there. and some people -- they thought they were an eye sore, you know. >> enid native brad waken recalls venturing over to the old man's place as a very young car buff in the 1970s. >> i walked across the street. it was, "mr. jordan, i'm looking for a starter for a continental six-cylinder engine. do you have one?" well, after a long pause he basically said, "well, it's
gonna be $50." well, came back about a month later with my $50. he said, "nope. $75." [ chuckles ] i learned a little bit of horse trading at that point in time. >> as a boy, stuart never gets to know grandpa oliver. stuart's mom, oliver's daughter, dies when stuart is only six -- a tragedy that separates him further from his grandfather. >> we would come to town to visit my grandfather, and grandpa had all these cars out in front of his property. it's like a little boy's wonderland. and he had them protected with a fence and with big mean dogs. we couldn't get past the dogs. >> did you ever wish that he spent more time with you? >> you know -- >> were you curious about him? >> yeah, i was eager for the opportunity to get to know him. >> after his mother's death, stuart and his family move away. when stuart graduates high
school in 1984, he decides to take a summer road trip back to enid. >> i got a greyhound bus ticket and went out to enid on my own. he took me over to his shop, and for the first time, i got to spend some time with my grandfather. >> and with all those cars. sure, they look like heaps of scrap, but stuart comes to understand this was his grandfather's pride and joy, his collection. its centerpiece -- these two depression-era cords. >> grandpa had a fascination with the cord, because it was the first car that had front-wheel drive, and they had done some really ingenious things under the hood. >> after his high school road trip, stuart heads out west for college and then launches a successful furniture business in san francisco. then, in the fall of 2000, a call from out of the blue sends stuart scrambling back to enid. >> he opens the door [chuckles] and he's covered from head to toe in feathers.
>> that's next. >> but first, our "strange inheritance" quiz question. the answer when we return. today we're gonna -hi. be comparing the roll-formed steel bed of the chevy silverado to the aluminum bed of this competitor's truck. awesome. let's see how the aluminum bed of this truck held up. wooooow!! -holy moly. that's a good size puncture. you hear 'aluminum' now you're gonna go 'ew'. let's check out the silverado steel bed. wow. you have a couple of dents. i'd expect more dents. make a strong decision.
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then, in the fall of 2000, his grandson stuart gets a phone call that opens the door to a new relationship and to a strange inheritance. >> ruby, his companion of 60 years, had fallen off a ladder and broken her hip, and she was in the hospital. she called worried about grandpa, because he was back at the house and he was 94 years old. and that was the open door. >> and it took till his 90s, really. >> yeah, because of who he was. he didn't want to need anybody. >> stuart hops on a plane to oklahoma, not knowing what to expect. >> so, here i knock on the door. he's 6'4", and even at 94, he has got quite a commanding presence. and he opens the door [chuckles] and he's covered from head to toe in feathers. he and ruby had a couple of dogs, and one of the dogs had torn up the feather bed. there was something about him that still just commanded respect, even covered in feathers. >> seeing oliver in such a
terrible state, stuart decides to stay in oklahoma for a while and take care of his grandfather. >> i was getting to know my grandfather through these cars. he was so proud to be showing them to me and me experiencing his life's work and his pride and joy. >> to stuart, two things become immediately clear. first, oliver knows he doesn't have much time left. and second, he's worried about the fate of those cars. >> at one point, he said, "thank god for you. thank god for you." and i think he was so worried about what would happen to his >> stuart's no car expert, but he does his homework and confirms that the centerpiece of the whole collection is indeed those cords from the 1930s, the ones he remembers from his high school road trip. what did the last cord sell for? >> i'm not sure, but maybe not more than 400 of these or 500 of these were ever made. >> best-case scenario. >> i'm thinking best-case scenario, restored, is probably $300,000, $350,000 maybe. >> thoughts like that lead
stuart down a road that will take him more than a decade to travel and cost him plenty. just for starters, he lays out tens of thousands of dollars to ship in secure containers and build a steel storage building to house the most prized cars. >> it's his life's work, but also if these things are so valuable, why are they just rotting away here, you know? and someone has to step in and do something about it. >> in august 2003, oliver jordan dies at the age of 95, leaving his enormous automobile collection to stuart and his siblings. >> the original windows that they would stick in the sides... >> stuart tells me this 1924 rollin touring car is one of his personal favorites. the model was popular among bootleggers during prohibition. >> so, there's toggle switches on the dashboard where they would turn off the taillights if they were being followed by somebody. >> to hide the booze. >> that's right. >> but these cars represent just
a snippet of oliver's vast collection. i've never seen anything like this, stuart. there are so many cars. >> it's quite a strange thing to inherit, isn't it? >> before he dies, oliver gives stuart some business advice. >> he said, "now, don't sell all of those cars and parts all at once. you sell them one at a time." 'cause you'd make more money that way. >> but after trying to sell a couple online, stuart realizes it would take the rest of his life to sell them one-by-one. turns out just getting the titles for all these old cars takes months. >> you had to get title to every single one of these cars? they're from the '30s. how do you that? >> let me show you. >> first, you have to find the cars' i.d. numbers. >> oh, my god. you can still read it! >> well, we had to polish it off. but we were able to actually get titles for the majority of the cars. >> the years click by like odometer miles. and stuart keeps spending more to authenticate and protect the old cars. a lot of plane trips from
san francisco and back, too. by 2013, he says, he's invested $400,000 getting the collection primed for auction. ready or not, it's time to sell. >> hey, jamie. >> hi. how are you, yvette? stuart contacts auctioneer yvette vanderbrink to appraise the collection. so, is stuart sitting on a pile of junk or a potential gold mine? >> there's about 220 of them. they're mostly american cars, and they're pre-war, which is pre-1942. very rare cars, 'cause at the start of world war ii, they started limiting production. and you could only get one from a ration coupon. >> stuart and yvette make plans for a one-day auction right here on the salvage lot. word begins to spread about oliver jordan's old treasures. stuart soon learns that's not altogether a good thing. >> we arrived at the property and found someone had cut through the fence and then cut a hole in the side of this
building the size of a human body, and they stole over 250 antique radiators, tons of chrome parts, a lot of nice stuff. >> the antique radiators alone are worth nearly $40,000. but the biggest loss for stuart is the theft of oliver's rare and beloved 1904 harley-davidson, possibly worth several hundred thousand dollars. >> so, it really set us back, and we had to hire additional security and we had to move the auction forward. >> that entails some word-of-mouth advertising by him and some seat-of-the-pants hot-rodding by me. you have this thing insured? >> yes, i do. >> oh, good thing, because there's a tree right there. that's next. [ tires squeal ] >> here's another quiz question for you.
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>> stuart piontek is racing to auction off his strange inheritance -- hundreds of vintage cars. his grandfather's lifelong obsession has become stuart's own. he's invested 13 years and $400,000 in the collection. ♪ i catch up with him at the hot rod association rally in oklahoma city. >> hi, my name is stuart. did you know my grandfather? >> while stuart works the crowd, i'm gonna see if i can get behind the wheel of one of these souped-up automobiles. >> how are you doing? hey, i'm jamie. >> hello, jamie. >> how are you? >> hello, i'm steven. >> tell me about this car. >> well it's a '37 chevrolet, so it's 77 years old. so, i've had it quite a bit of it's life. >> part of the family. >> yes, it is. >> oh, my. i've just gotten the keys. >> we can do that. >> let's go. >> all right. >> you have this thing insured? >> yes, i do. >> oh, good thing, because there's a tree right there.
>> all right. hold on. whoo-hoo! now we're talking! [ tires screech ] this would work for me in new york. auctioneer yvette vanderbrink is here, too. so, yvette, you know, you see these shiny red cars, and, i mean, you can tell there must be some value here. but some of them look like junk. but they're not? >> no. they're not junk. you know, it's a different trend in the car-collecting hobby now. >> that trend is called patina. it refers to the factory-original paint that shows the ravages of time. some car collectors relish that vintage, barn-find look and spray a clear coat of varnish on top to preserve it. that could be good news for the rarest cars stuart has -- those two cords from the 1930s. but if you're like me, you're wondering what they might look like restored. i didn't have to go far to find
out. remember brad waken, who once tried to buy a starter from old oliver jordan? he's now a cord aficionado. he's spent over 30 years restoring this cord. it's a stunning example of what a cord looks like in all its glory. >> we went through the engine, we painted it, we fixed the interior. it's something that we looked at restoring history and not just putting on a nice paint job and chroming everything. [ indistinct p.a. announcement ] [ auctioneer calling ] >> on june 7, 2014, it's finally the big day of the auction. >> we're gonna have fun and we're gonna book and i just killed 10 minutes. >> auctioneer yvette vanderbrink welcomes a crowd of at least 300 people. >> hope i covered everything for you. all right? >> stuart's sister starla crosses her fingers. >> it's been a lot of hard work. i hope that stuart just at least
he gets back what he's put into it and that my other siblings, that what they've put into it, they get back. >> all right, guys! this was one of mr. jordan's favorite vehicles. >> stuart's put in 400 grand. will he get it back? >> $35,000. >> i have $40,000. >> $40,000. >> that's next. ok let's call his agent. i'm coming over right now.
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>> now back to "strange inheritance." >> the buzz over oliver jordan's antique-car auction has brought collectors from all over the country to enid, oklahoma. some are just looking to buy parts, but others are here with plenty to spend for just the right vehicle. >> i came with a trailer and a pick-up, and if i have to, i'll run back and get a bigger truck and a bigger trailer to haul more cars. [ auctioneer calling ] >> you have to be quick to purchase in this game.
these cars can go in less than a minute. >> [ calling ] sold it! [ calling ] sold it! sold it! sold it! sold it! $9,600. >> people seem in good spirits, and things seem to moving pretty well, so it's going pretty good. >> stuart's cautiously optimistic as oliver jordan's two beloved cords are about to go up for bid. stuart thinks they'd each be worth six figures if fully restored. but how much in this condition? >> the 1937 cord 812 beverly supercharged. this was one of mr. jordan's favorite vehicles. it's going to need every little piece restored. okay. $35,000. >> i have $40,000. >> $40,000. >> yes! >> now $42,000. [ calling ]
sold it! $42,000. going to new york. >> what will the second cord fetch? >> tara, what do you got? >> i got $20,000. >> $20,000, and we're going. [ calling ] sold it! $22,000. >> it's over in seconds. the same anonymous telephone bidder pays $64,000 for both cars. stuart says he's not disappointed. >> in this condition, that's a great price for them -- as much as we could have hoped for. and it's really great because they're gonna move on. >> after an emotional day, the grand total for this auction -- $540,000. subtract the $400,000 stuart invested and it's a profit of
$140,000 to split with his siblings. add in all that time the family invested in this strange inheritance, and it's no windfall. >> so, here we go. >> whoo-hoo! >> that's a good one. >> all right. >> then again, watching the grandchildren of oliver jordan pop open the bubbly has to make you wonder -- was their 13-year-old enterprise ever really about turning rusted iron into gold? or was it about a different kind of alchemy -- one, perhaps, that restores broken and brittle family ties into strong, lifelong bonds? >> we lost our mother when we were rather young, and we didn't really get to know her parents that well, and so this brought us closer. >> would grandpa -- what would he say? he'd say, "stuart..." >> i think he'd say, "i'm proud of you," you know? >> would that be important for you to hear from your grandfather? >> yeah, definitely. and that's really what it was
about for me -- doing right by him and by my family. >> stuart sold all of his grandpa's cars, and he regretted losing only one -- the 1924 rollin touring car. it was a favorite of prohibition bootleggers, and on auction day, an 86-year-old woman came just to see it. she explained that her grandfather had driven it to the hospital the day she was born and then sold it to oliver jordan. of all the stories about this strange inheritance, this may have been stuart's favorite. so, stuart asked the man that bought the touring car -- for $4,800 -- to let him know if he ever resold it. stuart might want to buy that one back. i'm jamie colby for "strange inheritance." thanks so much for watching, and remember -- you can't take it with you. do you have a strange inheritance story you'd like to
share with us? we'd love to hear it. send me an e-mail or go to our website, strangeinheritance.com. [ cow moos ] >> a montana cowboy inherits a barren patch of prairie. >> this place isn't big enough to starve to death on. >> but beneath the parched soil, he finds prehistoric treasure. >> this is one of the most important discoveries in this century. >> i've got a year to try to see if i can survive with our ranch and selling dinosaur fossils. this is a jaw bone to a tyrannosaurus rex that i found. >> will this cowpoke's strange inheritance lead him to boom... >> whoo! >> [ laughs ] >> ...or bust? >> lightning doesn't strike the same place very often. [ chuckles ] maybe never. ♪
>> i'm jamie colby. and today, i'm driving in the badlands of eastern montana. it's rugged, big-sky, cattle-ranching country. i'm on my way to meet a lifelong resident whose father left him a chunk of this land. >> nice to have you here. >> thanks for having us. >> my name's clayton phipps. and in 1997, my father passed away, and i inherited from him a small portion of the family ranch. and along with that came a few pretty exciting surprises. >> 41-year-old clayton phipps is like a character out of "red river" or "lonesome dove." [ horse neighs ] >> most of the time, i'm on my own. i'm happy that way. this ranch had been in our family since my great-grandfather homesteaded here. and it's a part of me that i just didn't feel like i wanted to ever part with. >> clayton grew up and learned to cowboy here on the ranch his
father shared with three brothers. he describes the operation as cash-poor but reasonably successful. >> my dad worked us hard, but that was a good thing, too. >> after clayton's father dies in 1997, the ranch is split up. at age 24, clayton inherits 1,100 acres and 30 cows. that may sound like a lot. but to make a decent living these days, clayton would need 10 times that much land and about 500 head of cattle -- at least 40 acres for each cow. >> [ whistles ] i always tell people this place isn't big enough to starve to death on. but it's every cowboy's dream to have their own place. >> okay, we're saddling up. >> just step on my knee with your right leg. >> okay. >> there you go. >> clayton insists i wear a helmet. >> yeah, that's pretty smooth. >> good girl! somebody must have told him i'm
a lawyer. ♪ i can see why clayton loves being out here. i also learn why he calls ranching a big gamble. >> there is a big gamble in ranching. wintertime can be hard. you can have some big storms. there can be death loss. you can buy a bull for $10,000, and he can go wreck himself or break his leg or something, and you may not get any return out of him. >> for years, clayton works a second job, hoping to make enough money to build up his own herd. getting the ranch to pay off becomes more urgent when he falls in love with lisa landwehr, who teaches at the local one-room schoolhouse. >> love at first sight. [ laughs ] my mom said she could see why i fell for him. my dad said, "are you sure you shouldn't wait?" [ laughs ] he's always been very good to me. we've had a lot of fun together. >> my wife's from minnesota. the whole thing's been a culture shock for her. [ chuckles ]
you know, it's 120 miles to the nearest movie theatre. the old timers would say, you know, "this country's hard on horses and women." >> in 1998, the couple's first child, julie, is born. she'll grow up to be a cowgirl, through and through. >> julie came along, and, yeah, there's another mouth to feed, and a little more responsibility. and you have to start, you know -- "what am i gonna do?" >> it all ratchets up the pressure on clayton to make the ranch financially viable... now. >> got to figure out a way to try to buy more land, enough land to raise enough cows to provide a living. >> then one day, clayton runs into a stranger who'd been prospecting in the badlands near clayton's ranch. >> he started pulling these things out of his car. he started saying, you know, "this piece here might sell for $500," you know, and it was a fragment of bone. and i'm like, "what?" >> they were fossils, remnants of giant beasts who lived here eons ago. clayton figures if there are that many valuable fossils on
the neighbor's land, there must be as many on his. could they help him keep his home on the range? >> as i was out fixing fence, or riding, or gathering cattle, i started watching, and, you know, started picking up fragments here and there, and then trying to learn more about it. it got me excited that, you >> it's everywhere because phipps' ranch sits right on one of the most important scientific areas on earth -- the hell creek formation. 65 million years ago, this was a warm, palm-studded forest. giants ruled the earth. peter larson runs the black hills institute, which prepares fossils for museums and collectors. >> the hell creek formation shows us the very end of the age of dinosaurs going up to the time that this giant asteroid 6 miles across crashed into the earth and actually caused the extinction of about 70% of life forms here on this planet.
♪ >> between chores, clayton scours the gulches and ridges on his land, searching for fossils. he finds plenty of fragments -- buckets full of them, in fact -- but nothing he could sell. these bones would not put meat on the table. then one day, something in the rocky soil catches clayton's eye. >> i looked, and there was a t. rex pre-max tooth laying there in almost perfect, museum-quality condition. >> so, this tooth, for example, is a result of your inheritance? >> it is. >> clayton shows me a casting of the tooth -- his first real find -- in the back room where he prepares specimens for sale. it's a combination man cave, research library, and trophy room. >> and i went home and sold that tooth that night to a collector for $2,500, and i was back in business. [ cow moos ] >> back in the ranching business, that is. >> i used that money to buy my first cattle to help supplement my other disease, ranching and
cowboying. >> right. well, that's what kind of actually was exciting about it. we were pretty proud of being able to start our herd with something that he found, you know? that was pretty cool. >> "pretty cool" -- sure. but could such prehistoric artifacts be the cash crop they need to help them build up their herd and make the ranch a success? it's another gamble. clayton's all in. lisa, not so much. >> paychecks kind of need to be steady when you're raising a family. and it was a gamble, you know? [ chuckles ] my wife was really skeptical. >> you ever sit there and dream of another life? >> [ laughs ] >> he's not listening right now. >> i have to confess, yeah, it's crossed my mind. i wouldn't give him up for anything, but, you know, i was nervous. >> as months go by with no significant finds, even clayton begins to have doubts. >> i got to one of my sites, and my tractor tire was flat, and that was gonna be a $500, $600 bill, you know? i was thinking, "i don't even know if this is what god wants me to do," you know?
i was broke. ♪ >> and then, as if by divine intervention, his luck changes. >> it was just the coolest little skull ever. >> that's next. >> but first, our "strange inheritance" quiz question. the answer when we return. [student] i can just quit school and get a job. [ex student] daddy's here. [wife] hi [dad] hey buddy [son] hey dad [wife] i think we can do this. [chancellor] adam baily. [chancellor] adam baily.
>> now the answer to our "strange inheritance" quiz question. the answer is "c," tiggeraptor. >> in 2003, cowboy clayton phipps starts to feel that fossil hunting on his montana ranch is a bust. it's been almost a year since he's found a marketable bone. then he hits pay dirt, in the form of a skull from a 65-million-year-old stygimoloch. >> i found that stygimoloch on my wife's birthday, and i named the skull "lisa's dragon." this is the most complete skull discovered to date of this particular dinosaur. >> unearthing this horned relic of the cretaceous period instantly changes clayton's outlook. >> it's the thrill of discovery, you're the first person to see it. it's a special feeling. it's hard to describe until you
actually are in that position. >> that's amazing. amazing. wow. the real thrill comes when a collector buys the skull, netting clayton more than $40,000. his strange inheritance is finally starting to pay off. >> it was about a year's wages for what i was making on the ranch. >> it buys him, among other things, more time to make his grand plan work. >> i told lisa, i said, "i've got a year to try to see if i can survive with our ranch and selling dinosaur fossils." >> meanwhile, the phipps family is expanding. a son, daniel, arrives in 2004, and his brother luke, 3 years later -- two acorns that don't fall far from the tree. by now, dad has acquired a reputation and a new nickname, "dino cowboy." professionals begin to respect his knowledge of dinosaur bones, and his ability to find them. >> the only way you can find
fossils is with your eyes. and the only way you can do that is get out there on foot and and walk the outcrops. a guy like clayton can invent. he can solve problems. ♪ >> clayton offers to show a new york gal how it's done. he starts with a safety lecture. >> any snakes? >> there's rattlesnakes. there's mountain lions. walking along the crest of a hill, there could be a cavity, and you could step on one of those and fall 30 feet down. looks great. if you move the dirt, you might find one. >> now, what is that? >> this is a little end of a limb bone to a little plant-eater. it's pretty cool. you can see the whole end of the bone. >> oh, this is definitely bone. >> yep. that's most like a rib. i can tell by the -- >> oh, the shape. i can see why they call him the dino cowboy. >> another piece of bone washed down there. >> and i can see how you could get hooked on fossil hunting. it's the feeling you get picking
something out of the dirt and realizing it was part of a living, breathing behemoth 65 million years ago. >> there's spikes on this. look. >> we're gonna have a project here. >> i'm starting to think the whole phipps family has some kind of dino radar. >> looks like a rib. >> like the top of one? >> in just the first few minutes, clayton's youngest, 7-year-old luke, finds a rib. >> okay, i'm having a blast. can i get down here and keep looking? now, is this just wood or petrified wood? >> no, that's a bone. >> i found part of a leg bone. amazing! slowly but surely, this is a whole dinosaur. >> it came off this hill somewhere. you know, one of these layers is gonna produce, you know, hopefully, some more of this skeleton. >> so, we found a spot worth looking into. >> maybe. oh, for sure. >> clayton knows there is dino gold somewhere in these hills, and he aims to find it. >> the highest selling fossil that i know about sold for a little over $8 million. that was one single dinosaur. >> that $8-million find, a 42-foot long t. rex nicknamed
"sue," now stands in the main hall of chicago's field museum. >> it could buy a lot of cattle. >> it would help. [ chuckles ] >> fortunately, his reputation as a man who can find old bones leads an experienced fossil hunter named mark eatman to knock on clayton's door. >> clayton is a total modern-day mountain man or macgyver. i went to his ranch, where we started to look for fossils together. >> another chapter in this "strange inheritance" story is about to begin. >> you're always thinking, "right over the next ridge or over the next patch of badlands, it's gonna be there. i'm gonna find that big one." >> as it turns out, mark's words are prophetic. >> whoo! >> that's next, on "strange inheritance." >> here's another quiz question for you. the answer in a moment.
the oldest dinosaur arrived 100 million years later. >> as i listen to clayton phipps tell the story of the ranch left to him by his father, i can't help but think that his strange inheritance is not just about this 2 square miles of montana badlands filled with dinosaur bones. it's also the unexpected journey that came next -- from struggling rancher to hopeful husband to dad worried about being a good provider, and then to renowned dino cowboy who's still hoping to find a way to make it all work financially. he gets a boost when professional fossil hunter mark eatman knocks on his door. using clayton's ranch as a base of operations, they set out to scour not only the phipps ranch, but parts of the surrounding hell creek formation on which it sits. in june 2006, mark scans a rock
outcropping and spots fossil fragments from a triceratops, a 7-foot tall plant eater. this beast died right here more than 65 million years ago. [ roaring ] it's only about 60 miles from the phipps' ranch. but the remarkable journey launched by clayton's strange inheritance will transport him to a time and place he could hardly imagine. after cutting a deal with the landowner, who will get a share of any profits, clayton starts picking away, first with a shovel, then a jackhammer, and finally a backhoe. >> i realized that there was this arm claw in there, a giant meat hook -- killer, nasty-looking creature. >> clayton has uncovered another set of bones intertwined with the triceratops. >> "what the heck did we just find?" and, you know, i knew i had a claw, but that's all i really knew. so, i run down, and i start brushing away the dirt and the sand from where i was digging with the machine.
and i start to see an arm, and i start to see a leg below the arm. and, "whoo!" [ both laugh ] you know? "son of a gun. there's another dinosaur in here, and it wasn't friends with the one we just found." >> that's when i went ballistic with excitement, actually. >> it's a monster discovery. clayton's son daniel and daughter julie pose to give a sense of the enormous size of these two creatures -- predator and prey, apparently locked in a battle to the death -- one the plant-eating triceratops, the other what looks like a young t. rex. phipps calls them the dueling dinos. >> i was talking to to a fossil dealer, and he said, "clayton, you're the luckiest guy i know." he said, "who could go out in the middle of nowhere with a backhoe and dig up the best meat-eater from the hell creek formation ever?" [ laughs ] i guess god was watching out for us that day. [ laughs ] >> it's one of the most fantastic dinosaur specimens that's been found ever.
it's one of the few instances where we can actually find the culprit. "well, how did this animal die, and what killed it?" >> we believe they killed each other. >> wait, in battle? how can you tell that? >> clayton explains, using this model of the dueling dinos. >> we have teeth from the predator embedded in the prey. some of them are embedded still in the pelvis area, and they're also in the throat area. i'd give anything in the world to go back that day in time and see what happened, you know, to watch that fight and see how it unfolded. >> for a cowboy and his family who have been just scraping by, the dueling dinos could be a life-changer. >> my initial thought was these things are somewhere around the value of maybe $10 million. ♪ >> that's even more than chicago's field museum paid for sue, the giant t. rex unearthed in 1990. clayton and his partners shop the fossils to a number of museums, seeking a multimillion-dollar deal that would permit access by both
scientists and the public. >> i would like to be able to take my grandkids someday to a museum that it's in, say, "your old grandpappy found that dinosaur." >> seven years pass, but no public institution bites. so in november 2013, clayton moves on to plan "b." >> bonhams auction company contacted us, and they said, "would you guys be interested in putting it up for auction?" >> that's next on "strange inheritance." with e*trade's powerful trading tools, right at your fingertips, you have access to in-depth analysis, level 2 data, and a team of experienced traders ready to help you if you need it. ♪ ♪ it's like having the power of a trading floor, wherever you are. it's your trade. ♪ ♪ e*trade. ♪ ♪ start trading today at etrade.com
>> now back to "strange inheritance." >> november 2013, 16 years since clayton phipps inherited this montana ranch from his father, 10 years since he dug up the $40,000 stygimoloch skull that sealed his reputation as the dino cowboy, and it's 7 years since he made one of the most fantastic discoveries in history -- two prehistoric beasts locked in combat. now they're up for sale in new york. the bidding starts at $3 million, hits $5.5 million... then stops. that may be a fortune to a struggling rancher, but it's far below the $7 million reserve price set by clayton and his partners. the result -- no sale.
unlike the folks who cashed in on the world-famous t. rex sue, clayton walks away empty handed. >> i hope i'm not out of line expecting to get paid for, you know, what we've got into it. >> clayton believes he'll eventually get that, and more. >> we all feel the fall of the economy really, really hampered things for us, for sure. ♪ >> so, back on the range, he continues to raise cattle, search for fossils, and tinker in his lab, still waiting for his big find to pay off. if one day, however, those dueling dinos -- or perhaps other spectacular fossils yet to be unearthed on his strange inheritance -- do make him rich, i'm betting the path of clayton phipps' life still circles back to this piece of montana. >> i'm living the dream. and because i can stay outside and have the thrill of discovery, the dinosaur hunting
fits into that just perfectly. it's my hope that i can do this for as long as i'm able to do it. >> those dueling dinosaurs are now part of a pretty fierce fight among modern-day paleontologists. there are some who think the small but vicious predator is simply a young tyrannosaurus. but there are others, including clayton, who think he unearthed a specimen of a newly discovered species, a nanotyrannus. well, either way, keep that word "small" in perspective. we're talking about a dinosaur that was 8 feet tall and 35 feet long. certainly, there's no dino that would have wanted to meet the likes of that in the ring. [ chuckles ] i'm jamie colby. thanks so much for joining us on "strange inheritance." and remember, you can't take it with you. do you have a strange inheritance story you'd like to share with us?
we'd love to hear it! send me an e-mail, or go to our website, strangeinheritance.com. d philadelphia, she lost the whole state. lou: president trump and speaker ryan pull the healthcare bill just minutes before a scheduled vote in the house. >> very close. a very tight margin. we have no democrat support, a giv difficult thing to do. best thing to do is let obamacare explode. lou: congressman louie golmert joining us, taking up why so many moderates and conservatives oppose the legislation. also, deep state rising, chairman of house intelligence committee recalling the fbi and nsa directors for a