Who took the photographs that Rick Norsigian bought at a garage sale for $45, and could eventually sell for $200 million? He says famous American photographer Ansel Adams. But some now claim either Uncle Earl or Pop Laval took them.

The family of Ansel Adams has disputed Norsigian's claim that the slides he purchased were actually taken by Adams. The manager of The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust, William Turnage, who holds 40,000 negatives known to have been shot by Adams, called Norsigian and his lawyer "a bunch of crooks."

On Tuesday night, 87-year-old Miriam Walton was watching a news report on the photographs when she looked "at the picture that's hanging on my wall and I knew that Ansel Adams didn't take them. I knew my Uncle Earl took them," she said according to CNN. Her uncle was an amateur photographer during the period Adams was photographing the same locations as Earl. The owner of a photography gallery in compared Earl's photo with the alleged Adams one and determined they were taken at the same time. "I betcha two cents that the case," Walton told CNN.

And another photographer from Adams's era, Pop Laval, may have taken them according to his family members, because handwriting on the envelopes that hold the slides. But the dates don't match, and Pop Laval was said to have been meticulous in his day. "I have to assume they were not his," Jerry Laval, Pop's son said.

Just a few days ago it seemed that Rick Norsigian was on the verge of being $200 million richer, but his chances of getting that much at auction are getting tougher by the day. Bummer, Rick.

[Image via AP]