Sunday, November 23, 2014

Judaculla Rock and the Red Bird Petroglyph


Storyteller Tim Hall, Scott, and Nathan Queen in front of the Coffee Shop.
 
Colin Thrienen shoots overhead footage from a ledge above where the Red Bird petroglyph boulder fell from the wall and rolled onto the highway. 
 

After filming on the final day in Kentucky I was taken to the cave where Chief Red Bird was buried.


The Committee Films crew lights the Judaculla Rock for night time filming.

 
Two of our guests in this episode, Lisa Dawn Frady, and Tim Hall, are veterans who served with distinction in our Nation’s military.  Since we weren’t able to acknowledge and thank them for their service during the broadcast, I’d like to do it here.  Thanks to both of you, and to all of our veterans along with those currently enlisted who serve in our military.  Your sacrifice is greatly appreciated and it’s people like you that allow people like me the freedom to run around playing “Indiana Scott.” 
Both the Red Bird Petroglyph and the Judaculla Rock are sites I’ve known about for several years and was excited to do an episode on.  Leslie Kalen showed me the Judaculla Rock the first time and told me that her people’s ancestors, the ancient Cherokee, had carved the symbols covering the stone over a thousand years ago.  My first impression was that it was probably the most amazing Star Map petroglyph I have ever seen.  The one exception is the Peterborough Petroglyphs site in Ontario, Canada.  I had the pleasure of visiting this site this past summer and was educated about its history by an Ojibwe, Mide’win medicine man.  Geologically, the blue soapstone Judaculla Rock and the coarse-grained, high white marble in Peterborough are highly unusual rock types.  It seems obvious to me that the ancient Native people who carved these amazing glyphs understood that.  Both sites are considered very sacred as well they should be.   These sites were used to teach those deemed worthy knowledge about the heavens and the ancient stories.
The petroglyphs on the Red Bird boulder are different and seem to be more like an important sign post with mostly Native messages dating back to the distant past.  There could also be Old World script there as well, but I think the most of the symbols on the Red Bird petroglyph were carved by the Cherokee.    

Ironically, just as we were about to begin filming the episode, one of the people we contacted to be a guest, Pisgah National Forest Archaeologist Scott Ashcraft, declined to appear on the show and then tried to get our access to film the Judaculla Stone denied.  In what was clearly an attempt to control the public dissemination of information about what the Judaculla Stone is, Mr. Ashcroft called everyone he could, including the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, to try and derail our filming.  Fortunately, his attempts at sabotage were unsuccessful, but this is yet another example, that hit very close to home, of an academic being territorial to the point of taking disparate action that only served to undermine his own credibility.
I wonder what he thought of the episode?  I’d love to hear from you Scott.  

31 comments:

  1. Hi Mr. Wolter,

    I just finished watching this episode and I found the Red Bird Petroglyph to be of particular interest. After learning from the show that there may be as many as eight different languages, or shall we say "cultures", represented by the carvings on the rock, I immediately began to envision the possibility of a great meeting occurring. A sort of "United Nations" meeting taking place and being commemorated by the carvings on the rock. What are your thoughts on the possibility of meeting like this taking place? ...various nation's representatives being invited by Chief Red Bird to, what is now Kentucky? Yet another, "Would like to have been a fly on the wall." (or on the rock, as it were, moment indeed.

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    1. Frankie,

      There certainly could be Old World languages and symbols on the Red Bird petroglyph, but I'm not convinced with any reasonable certainty. Given the softness of the sandstone and the weathering exposure conditions when it was still in place on the cliff, I doubt thousand-plus years old carvings would survive in such good shape. Most of the carvings I saw looked to be Native America symbols to me.

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    2. Mr. Wolter,

      I understand. I'm not one to fantasize about such scenarios without some type of tangible evidence but it was a notion I thought I would share with you. I've been a fan of your show from the first episode and I appreciate the work you do.

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  2. I don't understand why anyone would try to block you from the Judaculla Stone. Do you think they feared you would try to discredit the Cherokee people?
    One thing that strikes me about that stone was how similar it looked to the ancient Pictish stones I saw at some of the sites I visited in Scotland such as the Clava Cairns. Do you as an expert see those similarities when examining sites like the Judaculla Stone?

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    1. Jenn,

      I think Ashcroft was concerned I'd say the inscriptions were make by Old World cultures that came to North America before "Chris." For him to decline to be a guest on the show is fine, albeit silly IMO, but for then actively try to get permission for us to film denied reflects very poorly on him and does everything to reinforce my argument that SOME academics try to suppress research they disagree with. It turned out we would have been on the same page.

      Because of him, the Cherokee missed out on an opportunity to share to a large group of people, information about their culture and beliefs. Everybody lost out on that.

      Native cultures around the world have been recording the interactions of the heavenly bodies by carving similar symbols in rocks for many millennia.

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    2. Nope, the Cherokees are doing jussst fine...it's boom time in Cherokee N.C. with the Casino...they don't need you coming in and throwing around all your half baked theories

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  3. I really enjoy the show. My idea of "entertainment" is learning about things that get me thinking. Being married to a Free Mason, I dont always agree with your suppositions/conclusions. But I really like the different views of history and the way your show keeps me contemplating everything around us!
    It saddens me when ideas are repressed or dismissed just because they don't follow the collective views on history and academics. And I commend you that you keep searching for the truth! I look forward to many more years of America Unearthed! Thank you.

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  4. Jenn,

    I don't expect everyone to agree with all the conclusions we draw; my main objective is to get people to think and consider other possibilities. So far, I think we've done a reasonable job with that.

    It is sad what has happened in the past with some areas of academia, but it's never too late to right a wrong. We are trying to do our part to fix that.

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  5. Keep up the good work, Mr. Wolter! :)

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  6. The Judaculla Rock reminded me of Nazca lines and the band of holes. Very similar.

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    1. I suspect they both have a lot to do with archaeoastronomy and the concepts of, "As above, so below."

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  7. Hello Scott. I am also a Minnesota person now living in Fargo, ND. After seeing the show tonight, I thought again of a place in northwest ND I had visited several times. It was called "Writing Rock". The first time I saw it it was just sitting in a small enclosure . The locals, Grenora, ND, Zahl, ND folks stated to me that this rock had never been deciphered. At that time they stated no one had been able to do so. I was wondering if you had ever been to that area and seen the rock. It would be great to know if you have seen or have information on this stone. There are so many interesting areas up in that part of the state. Thank you for any info you may have. I absolutely love the program. If I could start again , I would go into the field. it is so fascinating ! Cathi Knudson at moonchildbabys@aol.com

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    1. Cathi,

      I have certainly heard of the Writing Rock in your state, but haven't seen it yet or spent time looking at it. It's something I need to add to the list!

      I'm glad you're enjoying the show and remember, it's never too late to follow your passion. You might not make a living being a geologist, but you can certainly make a contribution.

      Thanks for sending me a note!

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  8. Hey Scott I like your work., is there any true to this statement that I copied;
    There will be a lot of you that say this is BS, but the fact is that history and all major religions talk about Giants on the Earth. Many are referred to as fallen angles, while others are referred to as Gods that came from the sky. With the recent discovery of what could well be a “human” skull by the mars rover, I started doing some digging and found all kinds of references to Archaeologists finding the remains of Giant individuals all over the world.

    The funny thing is that there appears to be a concerted effort to cover-up any information about the finds. One of the best examples of that happened right here in the United States and involves the Smithsonian Institute. Following is the story of a find of giant bones in of all places Wisconsin.

    It is unknown why scientists have remained silent about the discovery of 18 giant human skeletons which were found in burial grounds in the state of Wisconsin back in May of 1912. They were in mounds next to Lake Delavan, Wisconsin. The excavation site was supervised by Beloit College. The allegedly massive size of the skeletons and lengthened skulls did not fit into any scientific concept. They were massive and not believed to be any type of normal human beings.

    Giant-Human-Skeletons-Discovered-in-Wisconsin



    These alleged findings were first reported on May 4, 1912. It stated that these skeletons had heights which ranged from 7.6 feet up to 10 feet and the skulls were much bigger than the heads of any type of person who lived inside America today. The story also said the skulls had double rows of teeth, six toes on each foot and six fingers on each hand. It was also reported that these bones were believed to belong to beings that could have even been aliens.

    Coincidentally, that is the calculated height of the individual that the “skull” on Mars would have been. Also you might want to think about this. The Christian Bible, mentions Giants from the heavens several times. Here are a couple of such verses from Genesis:

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  9. Sarge1,

    I have not looked into the "Giants" question other than the episode in Season 1 where I was stone-walled by the State Archaeologist of Minnesota. Scott Anfinson wasn't totally forthcoming IMO with information about the remains Roger Saker found on his farm.

    I do not have enough information to render an informed opinion about giants in North America and if there is a cover-up going on. The Smithsonian Institution is definitely trying to cover up the authenticity of the Bat Creek Stone, so I have no hesitation in believing they would cover-up evidence of giants.

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  10. You and your show, "America Unearthed", are a breath of fresh air! Finally, a credible person with common sense, who is willing to examine the scientific evidence of an object/subject/issue in order to find the correct history. Thank you for bringing these topics to national attention. An extra special thank you for giving the Cherokee people some well deserved recognition.

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  11. Bonni,

    I appreciate the kind words, but I'm afraid some will be disappointed I didn't fall on the side of Old World inscriptions in the cases of Judaculla and Red Bird. The evidence is consistent and clear and it supports the Cherokee this time.

    Believe me, nobody wants to see evidence of Old World contact than me. However, if it isn't there, it isn't there.

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  12. Scott, as a local we did not want you on the site either. I can tell you most of the people of Jackson County and WNC did not support you being near the rock, nor did the majority of Cherokees. We were glad Scott Ashcroft attempted to ban you from access, even if he wasn't successful. We released a collective breath after the show aired that you hadn't attempted to draw the rock into your conspiracy theory world...but we also have no doubt that if you had hung around long enough you would have attempted some looney connection

    Thanks

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  13. First, if you're so adamant to express your negative opinion and feel you can speak for a group of people, why don't you have the courage to use your real name?

    I'm sorry you feel that way.

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  14. Scott,

    If I had the money to do a professional poll I would do so tomorrow. If you would like, you and your show could offer up the money and we could place a bet. I bet you 70% of Jackson County residents opposed you at the rock. And I'll further bet 85% of the Cherokee's opposed you at the rock. Winner gets nothing, loser pays for the poll. This will be my last word, unless of course you would be interested in an independently hired poll, if so, we can exchange emails and make the results known publically.

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  15. I don't understand what your point is? Just what is it that everybody supposedly opposes? Is it because the show brought positive attention to the Judaculla Stone and the Cherokee people or that you appear to have some axe to grind toward me personally whoever you are?

    Enlighten me as to what the problem is?

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  16. The problem is we don't want unqualified hoaky theories stated as fact, especially as it relates to the essence of the Cherokee. The Cherokees know their story, they've been in the Southern Apps for thousands of years, and all evidence points to that. The Cherokee have suffered enough, from the days of early settlers speculating that a lost tribe of Israel must of built the mounds because the Cherokee must of been incapable of doing. Luckily the BAE report cleared that up in the late 1800s. And then the Cherokee were forced to go to boarding schools in an attempt to wash away oral traditions.

    You're Bat Creek theory is just a rehash of all of the things that went on in the uneducated days of the settlers. Since the "discovery" of the Bat Creek Stone, there have been thousands of digs and excavations. Their has been nothing remotely found that resembles any kind of writing or inscription that pre-dates Sequoyah. You guys look at symbols and draw inferences that simply aren't there.

    So yes, we let out a collective sigh after the TV show was aired. I bet you felt the degree of hostility in Jackson County...I find it hard to believe that a guy like you couldn't have made some kind of connection to one of the hundreds of symbols on the rock. It's nothing personal, it's the actions you take that infuriate people. In short, we oppose people that make large leaps of conclusion based on faulty evidence that has big implications for the national audience.

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  17. Frist, what gives you the right to call me unqualified? Second, we reached out to the Cherokee to have a representative talk to me on camera and they turned us down. Is this how you get the truth out about your people? You had an amazing opportunity to educate the world about the sacred stone and you blew it. Let's face it; you're trying to justify your actions and it was a huge swing and miss.

    The Bat Creek Stone is part of the ancient history of the natives in that area whether you like or not.

    I fact, I felt no hostility at in Jackson County. Everyone I met was cordial and helpful. Perhaps if we had received some assistance instead of your letting a territorial archaeologist influence you things might have been different.

    If you took the time to get to know me I think you wouldn't be as hostile and realize you missed out on a golden opportunity. That's OK; I'm quick to forgive and move on. It's not about you, or me, it's about trying to get it right. I think the conclusion I reached was the right one and so do you. It would have been nice to give the Cherokee more a voice.

    I can say that I tried; can you say the same thing?

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  18. First off, you are unqualified by definition. You are not a trained historian or archaeologist, you received a B.A. in geology. The Cherokee did not blow anything, the show that comes on after your show is called "Ancient Aliens", think about that for a second. It serves no purpose to rehash the Bat Stone, luckily most people accept the expert opinions that the Bat Stone is a fake. Excavations of the early 20th century were notorious for poor technique and oversight, really not much better then a guy with a shovel and a quest for finding cool stuff. Luckily the field has changed and they now have standards and much better oversight. Most of the archaeologists I know don't put much weight into old reports from that era, other then broad themes or survey type analysis. Frauds and hoaxes were also as popular back then as they are today. I suppose we can agree to disagree on much of this, you have a noted history for avoiding questions or using redirect tactics. I could not state most of the arguments agasint you any better then posters have already done so...at that point it is largely fruitless to keep trying.

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  19. First off, the age-old debunker technique of trying to win an argument by attacking or diminishing a person's qualifications isn't going to work on this blog. Second, what does the Ancient Aliens program have to do with anything? What was your point?

    Third, the other classic debunker technique is to claim the work of the past was somehow inferior and therefore should be dismissed is simply rubbish. Last, and arguably the most germane, is yet another debunker standard of claiming there was a culture of hoaxes in the early days of archaeology as if it has any relevance at all. Your neighbor is a thief so you must be too. That is your factual evidence you're going to run with? Seriously?

    Nowhere in this post have you presented any factual evidence to support your beliefs. You have demonstrated the exact mentality of academic arrogance that created the historical mess we are trying to sort out. By the way, what does it take to become an historian? Basically, to read a lot of books. travel to places of historical interest to learn firsthand, and of course share that knowledge by publishing and lecturing right? I've done all of that for many years so that must make me an historian?

    Try coming back with some real ammo and not arguments of deception that completely avoid the point at hand; the factual evidence that proves 100% the authenticity of the Bat Creek Stone.

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  20. Again, let's address this point by point. You questioned me for questioning your qualifications. I wrote this:

    "First off, you are unqualified by definition. You are not a trained historian or archaeologist, you received a B.A. in geology."

    You address this through redirection. This wasn't an attack on you, this is a fact. You do not have any kind of formal training in the field of archaeology or history. You admit this in other sections of the blog, so why do you conflate the above with an attack? How is it that the Cherokee themselves (a group that probably has every right to skip the academic process) meet all the standards of academia in order to explore their own history, yet somehow you feel as though you should be exempt from become qualified, meeting some basic criteria for discussing history or archaeologically. The Cherokee have an entire department of (see Cherokee THPO) of qualified archaeologists, filled with numerous individuals that have attained a minimum of a master's level education and some that have Phd's. I ask again, if the Cherokees feel compelled to do this then why can't you?

    Now to the second question. You write: Second, what does the Ancient Aliens program have to do with anything? What was your point?

    My point is that you are an entertainer first and foremost to which I think you would agree, but not only are you an entertainer, you are also unqualified (see above).

    Here is your third point:
    Third, the other classic debunker technique is to claim the work of the past was somehow inferior and therefore should be dismissed is simply rubbish.

    Somehow inferior?!? The field of archaeology was in it's infancy in the late 19th and early 20th century, this is a fact. An "archaeological" excavation of the late 19th century was really no different then a guy with a shoval looting Native American burials (with very few exceptions). What can an archaeologist take from this era? Mostly broad scale thematic work or basic survey work, but filtered with the reality that archaeology as we have we know it today, did not practice anything that remotely resembles standards of the late 20th century. Anthropologists today will freely admit this, it's in the literature over and over again and it remained a great source of the schism that Native Americans and Archaeologists experienced throughout the remainder of the 20th century. Go back and read some of the earliest 20th century reports and then read a report that post dates 1950.

    This sums up our entire debate Scott.

    Scott wrote: "By the way, what does it take to become an historian? Basically, to read a lot of books. travel to places of historical interest to learn firsthand, and of course share that knowledge by publishing and lecturing right?"

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    1. There has been no debate; you have run off on tangents to avoid the crux of the issue; the scientific facts that pertain to the discovery and research of the Bat Creek Stone. Let's talk about what really matters shall we?

      John Emmert's report on the excavation and discovery of the remains and artifacts in Mound #3 are detailed and well catalogued. Would things have been done differently today? Perhaps, but other than taking in situ photos instead of drawings, and making a few more detailed measurements, there is absolutely nothing different with regard to the veracity of the artifacts. This is the most important point and you have nothing to say about it.

      Why is it you feel it's appropriate to question Emmert's integrity in this case yet the hundreds of other digs he conducted are apparently OK? You and all the other debunkers want to have it both ways and I'm not going to let you.

      This discussion is wasting everybody's time. Although, the readers are getting a good sample of the strategies used by debunkers and protector's of the paradigm of trying undermining people's qualifications and credibility, using evasive arguments to distract and dismiss, and do anything else to avoid talking about the relevant facts of the issue at hand.

      The general public who reads this blog isn't that stupid pal, and neither is this lowly geologist. It's time to put up or shut up.

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  21. Scott, historical context is never irrelevant. This is why it's frustrating to engage with you. Archaeology is not a bumper sticker, it's a complicated field. a field in which it is vital to understand the historical processes that have lead to it's inception. You are trying to pin me down by creating a false dilemma. You pose the question that archaeologists can't have it both ways. The real answer is that it is complicated as to what information we accept and what information (pre-1950) we reject. But guys like you love that answer because you know you can conflate the answer and spin it to the general public. When you come up with theories you need to understand the totality of the field, archaeology is not just about digging. You need to learn how to decipher and analyze hundreds of technical reports, extract meaningful data that is relevant to the research you are conducting. In 1889, these guys had not established any sort of body of work, nor had they established any sort of standardization. Does that mean I reject all the pre-modern archaeology? No of course not, but I do need to filter that work through the lens of historical context (you learn this in intro but it becomes more relevant the further up you go in the discipline). For instance, I am more willing to accept survey results of that era, where mounds or surface collections indicated an important site existed in XYZ location, including measurements of such mounds or sites. For some of the digs I consider the dig as a case by case basis, and even then, I am likely to be limited as to what I can draw from the best of these cases because the methods of the time were so poor. Have you ever participated in a Phase 2 or Phase 3 excavation of an archaeological site? If yes, when and where? If no, how can you conclude that today's methods were similar?

    Let's say I had an idea that I felt like Geology has misapplied some principal or theory, missed something obvious. The first thing I would want to do is have my work triple checked by a geologist and enroll in school. Why would I do this? Well first off, I would consider the probability that I, a guy with no formal training in the field of Geology could have figured something out that trained geologists have spent their entire life looking at, is in and of itself a low probability. I would start from this mindset not the opposite. I find it troubling that you start from this premise.

    You are right in one regard, I am unwilling to discuss the point by point reasons you are wrong on the Bat Stone. Others have already gone round and round with you in this blog. I could not add to what's already been established by the University of Tennessee report or comments that have been posted here. I wanted to approach this debate differently and I think I have. As I stated earlier, it's frustrating to debate with you because you seem like a genuinely nice fellow which is also why I can't understand why you would approach this question with the belief that you don't need formal training to discuss Anthro or Historical related topics. If you are a reasonable person (as you come off) then surely you see the value in being trained in a discipline in which you have such profound theories in. I think most reasonable people would say the same. And it's why I don't go to the Surgeon and tell him how I want my open heart surgery done.

    But I appreciate you posting my comments and letting the folks decide.

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    1. Sorry for the delay in responding, I was in Africa and didn't have internet for nearly a week.

      Please don't patronize me OK? Obviously, historical context is always important in an investigation of any period, even in today's ever-changing world. I get it.

      However, to make the claim the late 1800's being a time of hoaxes is in itself incorrect, in part, because you and most archaeologists base this on including things like the KRS, Bat Creek Stone, and the Tucson Lead Artifacts which is simply wrong. To let yourself be bias by other real hoaxes is unprofessional and is what led to the problem we are now discussing. Things like the Cardiff Giant? Any fool could see that was made of gypsum and it wasn't even a bad hoax; it was just plain stupid. Each investigation of anything must be conducted on a case by case basis and the investigator is bound to fair, objective, thorough, unbiased with the conclusion reached based on the consistency of the facts.

      The comments by the University of Tennessee (Mainfort and Kwas I assume is who you are referring to) are nonsense and would be laughed out of court if subject to cross examination. The reason why you don't list specific facts that support your "belief" is there simply are no facts to support the artifact being a hoax. And how could there be since the factual evidence says it's obviously genuine.

      There is no reason now, nor has there ever been any reason to question the veracity of the discovery until 80 years later when the Smithsonian realized what it really was. They assumed it was paleo-Cherokee from the beginning and therefore wasn't a threat to the historical paradigm of the time, i.e., nobody in NA before Columbus. If they had known at the start it was a Hebrew inscription, it would have disappeared forever. How many others that they did recognize as something pre-Columbian are hiding in the bowels of the institution? They are no different, and indeed have strong financial connections to the Vatican that is hiding plenty of historical artifacts and documents that will never see the light of day. Or do you think I'm over-reaching here too?

      It's a classic attempt at a cover-up and it's criminal in my opinion. To be quite frank, it's people like you who enable this kind of travesty to history to continue by defending this corrupt institution who have exposed themselves with the Bat Creek Stone for all the world to see.

      Sorry to be so tough on you but here is what you said, "I am unwilling to discuss the point by point reasons you are wrong on the Bat Stone. Others have already gone round and round with you in this blog. I could not add to what's already been established by the University of Tennessee report or comments that have been posted here." This is deliberate avoidance to discuss the alleged contrary facts you must know do not exist.

      I will ask you and anyone else out there yet again; what facts exist that are consistent with the Bat Creek Stone being a hoax?

      My guess is most "folks" understand there is a cover-up of our real history and like me, they simply want the truth. What they are tired of is an endless parade of nameless defenders of the sacred paradigm that you and all the other anonymous' apparently belong to.

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  22. Scott,

    The reason I brought up the historical overview:

    "Third, the other classic debunker technique is to claim the work of the past was somehow inferior and therefore should be dismissed is simply rubbish."

    "...They assumed it was paleo-Cherokee from the beginning and therefore wasn't a threat to the historical paradigm of the time, i.e., nobody in NA before Columbus."

    The second quote, in particular, underscores why you think I came off as patronizing. The paradigm of that time was that a lost tribe of Israel was responsible for building the mounds of North America, because Native Americans were not capable of such feats ie wild savages. The Bat Creek stone was unearthed in 1889, the paradigm above was shattered in a BAE report by Cyrus Thomas in 1894. This is how elementary Anthropology was in the days of the excavation of the Bat Stone. People honestly believed these things and you could certainly make a case that archaeology didn't exist until the 1930s.. Your quote is not just a mistake, it clearly shows you have very little understanding of the field and general context of the time period that the Bat Stone was unearthed. This is problematic on a lot of levels.

    I will address the bulk of the post when I can I find the time.

    Much Thanks





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  23. You wrote; "The paradigm above was shattered in a BAE report by Cyrus Thomas in 1894." I agree that pre-Columbian Native American's were certainly capable of incorporating the astronomical alignments within the various earthworks, but that's irrelevant to the point of this thread. The central question is how did the iron-oxide concretion with a Hebrew inscription, two brass bracelets, and wood that C-14 dates to between 62 and approximately 700 C.E. get under the skull of a nearly two millennia old body buried in an undisturbed, or intruded, Cherokee burial mound in Tennessee?

    That is the question you refuse to seriously address with anything other than it must be a hoax because there were other hoaxes at that time. To not even have the intellectual curiosity to consider the possibility means you are not serious and your opinons are meaningless. A true scientist takes the factual evidence at face value until you have legitimate reason not to. There are no legitimate reasons to question the Bat Creek Stone or its discoverer, John W. Emmert.

    The Smithsonian Institution owes John Emmert's living descendants a public apology. No, I won't hold my breath for that...

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