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No. 21: May-Jun 1982

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More On Those Chinese Anchors In California Waters

In SF#14, the discovery of Chinese-type anchors off the California coast was described, as it had been reported in the Anthropological Journal of Canada. The anchors, according to that report suggested a Chinese presence in America centuries ago. This is not a respectable notion among most archeologists, as we see in a strong rebuttal by F.J. Frost in Archaeology that begins by raising the"horrrible" spectres of Heyerdahl and von Dainiken. [Should these names be used to scare archeologists?]

First of all, the rebuttal's author, F.J. Frost, sinks the Land of Fu Sang legend by relating how Gustaaf Schlegel showed in 1892 that the ancient Chinese mapmakers knew perfectly well that Fusan was actually an island just off the northeast Asian coast. Next, Frost tells how a recent attempt to duplicate the voyage from China to America in a Chinese junk riding the Kuroshio Current was a dismal failure. If so, then, how about those stone anchors found in shallow waters off Palos Verdes, California? They are legitimate Chinese anchors all right, but they are modern, having been lost by local California fishermen of Chinese extraction. History tells how Chinese immigrants quickly applied the techniques of their native land to the California Coast. Finally, Frost does identify some genuine unsolved mysteries off Palos Verdes. It seems that some of the stones found underwater are most curious indeed. Near where the stone anchors were found are two grooved columnar stones over a meter long with drilled holes. There is also a ton-sized stone sphere with a groove around its circumference.

(Frost, Frank J.; "The Palos Verdes Chinese Anchor Mystery," Archaeology, 35:23, January/February 1982.)

From Science Frontiers #21, MAY-JUN 1982. 1982-2000 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