Two weeks ago I wrote a blog post about a newspaper report of a Pennsylvania man who claimed to have found unknown Native American ruins on his property, sparking a flurry of calls from the paper’s readers urging him to contact Scott Wolter of America Unearthed. The subject of that newspaper article took issue with my blog post, and he felt that I unfairly added “twists and nuances” to what he claims was erroneous reporting in the newspaper accounts. In a contentious hour-long phone conversation this afternoon, the man (whose name I am omitting so Google won’t pick up this post) explained that the original newspaper accounts contained inaccuracies, and he blamed me for failing to confirm the newspaper’s reporting before writing about the news accounts. I fully attributed all of the information to the newspaper, but the man is correct that I erroneously assumed that a local newspaper could correctly report on its own area.
This week, the original reporter of the newspaper story and its follow up blog post retracted parts of his reporting. Because some of the underlying facts were retracted, I have decided to remove the blog post in its entirety out of respect for the subject of the story. While I maintain that my analysis was fair and accurate based on the original reporting, because that reporting has been partially retracted, I cannot stand by the analysis and indeed would not have posted the article as I did had the original newspaper accounts been correct. I apologize to the subject of the blog post for the misleading analysis that emerged from the incorrect impression created by the false facts from the newspaper.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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