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No. 11: Summer 1980

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Numismatic Ufos

Jeremiah Epstein has assembled an absolutely fascinating analysis of some 40 "discoveries" of Pre-columbian coins in the United States. The lengthy table detailing the finds and the long list of references are alone enough to make this article a classic. Epstein carefully scrutinizes each find with admirable dispassion. His conclusions: frauds, counterfeits, and recent losses of imported ancient coins suffice to explain all of the data. Supporting and disagreeing comments from researchers active in the field follow Epstein's article. The advocates of Pre-columbian diffusion naturally take issue with Epstein, claiming that there is a residue of cases not adequately explained.

(Epstein, Jeremiah, F. et al; "Pre-Columbian Old World Coins in America: An Examination of the Evidence," Current Anthropology, 21:1, 1980.)

Comment. Shades of UFOs, sea serpents, the Kensington Stone and of course ancient humans in America. It is all so familiar.

From Science Frontiers #11, Summer 1980. 1980-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987