And the hits just keep on coming. In chapter 3 of “Frank Joseph’s” anthology of Ancient American articles, Lost Worlds of Ancient America, Scott Wolter of American Petrographic Services, a company specializing in analyzing construction materials for failure assessment, declares the Bat Creek Stone—a century-old hoax—to be genuine for reasons that don’t make much sense to me. The first three are, in order:
- Skeptics of the Bat Creek Stone’s authenticity called believers naughty names, so this means believers must be right.
- Skeptics say the stone is like the infamous Kensington Rune Stone, which Wolter already declared genuine based on “mica degradation” in the carving. Therefore, skeptics “undermine their own argument.”
- Skeptics conducted character assassination on the 1889 discoverer of the Bat Creek Stone, John Emmert, so the stone must be genuine.
Finally… the science. Wolter looked at the stone under a microscope in 2010 and concluded that because the edges of the carved letters were rounded and did not contain any quartz silt, they were therefore weathered and “had to have been made prior to the excavation of the mound by John Emmert.” I’m not sure I follow why it is that the utter lack of orange-colored silt in the carved characters is proof that the stone had been buried in a red clay mound for hundreds of years. The argument seems to be that a fresh carving would have broken into the stone’s orange silt interior and left debris, but that greatly underestimates the ability of a hoaxer to do such simple things as carve carefully and wash and polish the stone prior to burying it.
Wolter contradicts his own assessment by asserting that the stone had been polished prior to being deposited in the mound. The more parsimonious explanation is that the man who faked the stone gave it a good polish to make it look old prior to depositing it. This is partially confirmed by Wolter’s own analysis that only the side with the inscription is polished.
Well, we are 0-3 so far in "compelling evidence" of ancient visitors to America. I'll grant that this chapter was a bit more rigorous than others, but it still hasn't made a very compelling case. A rewrite to make the analysis a bit clearer might have helped, and I should probably also mention that New Page Books' poor proofreading and page design doesn't help either. In just this chapter we have missing italicization, dropped letters (the year 2010 is misprinted as 10s, for example), and other typographical errors. An earlier chapter had a page (p. 29) with a large blank section due to what appears to be a computer program's automated page layout issues. These issues are distracting and don't help with the book's claim to professionalism.