I have a couple of small things to share before I get to today’s topic.
First, Ancient Aliens pundit William Henry contacted me today to request a correction to my summary of events in my Fringe History Year in Review surrounding his accusation that his wife was unlawfully imprisoned at the Contact in the Desert conference last summer. I had misunderstood eyewitness testimony published by Robert Schaeffer, and I should have said that Henry was on the outside of the hall demanding that the doors be opened, not inside the hall. His wife was inside the hall. Henry also informed me that Schaeffer’s unnamed witness incorrectly identified the incident as occurring during David Wilcock’s speech. It occurred during Greer’s speech. While both Wilcock and Greer had security teams guarding them on stage, only Greer locked the doors during his presentation. I regret the errors and have made the corrections.
Second, for my anthology of ancient texts used by fringe theorists, I’m translating the legend on Oronteus Finaeus’s 1531 world map (if link doesn't work try here), which directly contradicts claims by Charles Hapgood and Graham Hancock that the map was based on prehistoric originals. But in so doing, I am stumped by a weird Latin parenthetical he used that is made up of a subjunctive and a bunch of datives. If anyone can help me figure out how to translate it, I’d appreciate the help. Here’s the translation with the parenthetical I haven’t yet figured out:
En tibi candide lector geographian hactenus non uisam, accurateq[ue] impressam Orontius Fineus Delphinates lepido uultu offert, quae quidem cordis humani faciem formamq[ue] obtinet (& prouide tibi cordi sit) atq[ue] etiam prouintias, insulas, maria, flumina, montes, hactenus non uisa, neque Ptolomeo, neque Eudoxo, neque Eratosteni, aut Macrobio cognita, sed que in tenebris in hunc usque diem iacuerunt tuo obtutui presentat. Tu igitur hoc munusculum (si sapis) ambabus ulnis suscipito boniq[ue] consulito.
Did “provide” change its meaning in the Renaissance? I can’t see how to make “foresee” fit into this sentence.
Now, on to today’s weirdness.
There’s a fascinating story posted over at Ghost Theory on Wednesday. According to writer Henry Paterson, a New Mexico man is asking for $500,000 for a rock he claims is evidence of extraterrestrial visitation on earth 100,000 years ago. The round rock features three small metal prongs poking out from the center of an indented perfect circle inscribed in the rock. According to John J. Williams, who claims to have found the object sixteen years ago, the rock is made of granite and was discovered in an undisclosed location “in rural America” that is either completely untouched by human settlement (in one version of his story given to The Viral Post) or in desperate need of protection from frequent human visitation (in the version on his website).
Williams charges $19 for a CD of photographs of his rock, but on his website he posted some x-rays that show that the three metal prongs connect to nothing and are simply embedded into the rock. If an actual electrical outlet had really been covered over in rock, we would expect that the metal would have corroded over the course of 100,000 years. Williams also compares the three prongs to a modern electrical component which is, conveniently, identical. He further claims that the rock is granite, but the image shows a porous rock, similar to limestone.
This could well be a modern hoax involving the purposeful embedding of a modern component in a rock. I’m no geologist, so I can’t say what the rock really is (especially from a blurry photograph), but one could, theoretically, form limestone caliche of quite similar appearance artificially in a few months. You can also find instructions all over the internet for how to use mortar or concrete to cast fake rocks. If the rock really does contain quartz and feldspar as claimed, the superficial appearance of “granite” could be created by using ground quartz and feldspar in the mortar to make the concrete.
There are of course other possibilities: The rock may be natural, and the electronic component added later as a hoax. Also, the rock could have formed recently around an electronic component, as occurred with the infamous Coso Artifact, in which a concretion of iron oxide solidified around a 1920s Champion spark plug, delighting creationists, who assumed rocks must always be old and that therefore the artifact proved a pre-Flood civilization existed.
Williams has apparently been promoting the rock, which he named the “Petradox,” since 2003 in appearances on Coast to Coast AM and in articles in fringe publications such as Nexus magazine. He also promotes other fringe theories, including the idea that Khufu’s pyramid was built with hydraulic power. Williams owns and operates Consumertronics, an Albuquerque-based fringe company selling survivalist and doomsday-prepping guides, as well as electronic devices. By his own admission, he says that he makes “nonfunctional” imitation electronic devices and “realistically-looking (sic) models, mockups, replicas and novelties.”
Williams claims that skeptics, scientists, the mainstream media, and “Hollywood” (!) have ignored his rock and are too “chicken” to reveal the truth because… wait for it… they don’t want to upset their paradigms! “I am particularly upset and sickened by the fact that the New Mexico ‘scientific community’ is so politically correct controlled (sic) that they are too cowardly to test my rock - even after years of global exposure. Shame on all of them! They have no scientific credibility.” This, of course, contradicts claims in the Viral Post that the rock was geologically analyzed and found to be 100,000 years old. In turn, that claim contradicts the claim that the rock is granite, since the youngest granite on earth is more than a million years old.
He is also upset because Syfy never got back to him about including his rock on one of their shows. I guess that means it was too obviously modern even for them.
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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