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Abstract– The Old Woman meteorite, discovered in March 1976 by two prospectors searching for a fabled lost Spanish gold mine in mountains ∼270 km east of Los Angeles, has achieved the status of a legend among meteorite hunters and collectors. The question of the ownership of the 2753 kg group IIAB meteorite, the second largest ever found in the United States (34°28′N, 115°14′W), gave rise to disputes involving the finders, the Bureau of Land Management, the Secretary of the Department of the Interior, the State of California, the California members of the U.S. Congress, various museums in California, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Department of Justice. Ultimately, ownership of the meteorite was transferred to the Smithsonian under the powers of the 1906 Antiquities Act, a ruling upheld in a U.S. District Court and a U.S. Court of Appeals. After additional debate, the Smithsonian removed a large cut for study and curation, and for disbursement of specimens to qualified researchers. The main mass was then returned to California on long-term loan to the Bureau of Land Management’s Desert Discovery Center in Barstow. The Old Woman meteorite litigation served as an important test case for the ownership and control of meteorites found on federal lands. The Old Woman meteorite appears to be structurally unique in containing both hexahedral and coarsest octahedral structures in the same mass, unique oriented schreibersites within hexahedral areas, and polycrystalline parent austenite crystals. These structures suggest that different portions of the meteorite may have transformed via different mechanisms upon subsolidus cooling, making the large slices of Old Woman promising targets for future research.