this is Heiko Bleher and i cannot believe what Mark Smith is saying here, those unbelievable lies.
First of all I want to tell you all, that I am writing up the entire story what exactly happened in Manaus in detail, one can read it (or not) in a few days on www.aquapress-bleher.com
the newspaper clips and comments are already there with the false and/or twisted accusations.
But I must tell here the following, because of Mark Smith' false accusations:
1. Axelrod stole all photos (over 8000) from me and from the photographers worldwide, and NEVER me a single one from him!
In Singapore he stole about 5000 the color separations (to print) in addition I personally delivered to him more than 3000 photos on July 14th 1988 (Dieter Vogt, the former editor of DATZ, was with me). for all these photos he NEVER paid the copyright to the photographers, but wrote to them lies about me in order to avoid paying. (I can show anyone interested the 14 thick files of court cases he made against me, his false allegations and lies.) And he did this with more than 100 photographers around the world (those i was able to interview and count). He lied and cheated people all his live, to the IRS, the Smithonian Institution, the New Jersey Symphony orchestra and Central Garden (to the company he sold TFH over-priced), just to name a few big ones. These are all very well known facts, also that he had to spend 18 month in prison and had to pay 49 million dollars to the IRS, Central Garden and others before they let him go back to Switzerland where he lives now a miserable end of his life in an apartment with an Austrian passport.
2. I had an written agreement with Axelrod to do a correct book (as in his Atlas's there were more wrong names than correct ones) with me as senior author called The Reference Book, on which I worked for 3 consecutive years (1985-1988) without getting a single penny from Axelrod or TFH. When I delivered the book and those mentioned photos in July 1988 it was to be printed before end of that year, but because I was to be the senior author (as he had done nothing at all, was only to print it), he changed his mind in September 1988, did NOT wanted to print the book and said "it would cost 100 dollars to the public and TFH will never sell such an expensive book..." and "all the photos you supplied will go to my Atlas's an, and I will add 500 each year and sell 50,000 every year anew...". here i was 3 years of work for nothing and he had all the photos and never paid for them I didn't mind my photo-rights, but those from the other photographers who had given them to me... I ended up paying for many of the photos he used out of my pocket although I did not have the photos and never used them... He never paid, also none of mine, at least 3000 or more, which he used year after year in all of his publications, mostly writing below "Photo by Dr. Axelrod" and the wrong species name...
3. He told me in September 1988 I should do the book I had worked on myself or with H. Beansch or anyone else. So I found distributors and presented a dummy at AQUARAMA 1989 aclled: BLEHER and I had orders for 21,000 copies. As he saw this (because we both had been invited for talks in Singapore), he flew back to New Jersey and swore under ought inn the Trenton court that I had stolen out of his pocket 50,000 dollars and copied his books. The judge gave him a restraining order against the distribution of my book in the US and he used it around the world.
4. From that moment on he sued me and lied in courts all over the world, in Singapore, Paris, Frankfurt, but knowing that his lies cannot last and that I would be able to prove it, he pribed the people of Scantrans in Singapore to get my almost 7000 color separations i had done to print my book and they gave those to him, which made it impossible for me to print and sell my book elsewhere, even once the court order was lifted, as it would take another year and I had not the originals...
5. From than on I was more in American courts and elsewhere than doing collecting and research or a book. He made one false allegation after the next. And to make a already long story short, he swore under ought "Bleher is doing a Reference Book of fishes, which I wanted to do all my life and have invested 2.5 million dollars in that project, but because he is doing it i cannot do it as there is no market for two such books..." This was several year later... and I never have done my book. But I will do it that i promise:http://www.aquapress-bleher.com/index.p ... &Itemid=44
only 100times better than 20 years ago...
6. The company who was to sell my book (UK based) has, as I heard from some, pre-sold some copies (in 1989) and than could not deliver as Axelrod sued them also in the UK and they went bankrupt. I NEVER RECEIVED OR HAVE EVER TAKEN ANY MONEY FROM ANYONE FOR MY BOOK. Not me, those are lies as well.
This just in (very) short to clarify Mark Smith lies, and anyone can ask Ross Socolof, Allan Levey or Glen Axelrod, also Rosario Lacorte, Rolf C. Hagen and others, they all know it very well this story – in detail – but not Mark Smith.
And last but not least, the only thing correct and true is: "what goes around comes around" and it happened to Dr H.R. Axelrod (for me unfortunately to late), because he cheated and lied all his life (that is how he made millions). He never collected a single fish, the cardinal tetra he bought in New jersey' Rainbow Garden (but still claiming he collected it in Degen's recent book, although his first visit to Manaus was in 1959...