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No. 34: Jul-Aug 1984

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A Demurrer From The Epigraphic Society

The following letter was received in response to an item in SF#32. Since it contains much information, we decided to reprint it with the writer's permission.

"I am writing to mildly protest the substance and style of your article 'Two Remarkable Inscribed Stones.' Of course substance and style are interrelated, but I'll try to separate them as best I can. First, let me address style. The condescending 'fragile hypothesis treatment' ('... which in his view...' 'Fell, however, considers them...' '...Comparisons... suggest...') is totally inappropriate when one considers the mathematical probabilities of thousands of petroglyphs possessing markings coincidently identical to those of ancient languages of the Old World. And one has to marvel at the cutting power and linguistic talent of certain plows.

"In the substance area vis-a-vis the alleged absence of artifacts: While it wouldn't be fair to expect the author to have been familiar with Professor Fell's three books on the subject, and the previous volumes of the ESOP, with their many references to artifacts (loomweights, amphorettas, Roman lamps, countless Roman and other coins, and various other Old World items) it would not seem unreasonable to expect the author to have been familiar with the articles about Roman artifacts in the same volume he extracted portions from. Concerning the glib question about '...what these old explorers or colonists did except carve symbols on rocks.' It's instructive to remember that while many Old World artifacts have been found, many artifacts were of a biodegradable nature -- wood, leather, fabric, etc. But perhaps the most cogent remnants of Old World visitors can be found in the numerous Indian languages which still use Old World alphabets and vocabularies."

(Radloff, David M.; private communication, April 16, 1984.)

Comment. Radloff is an Associate Editor of the Epigraphic Society. In a separate communication, Barry Fell concurred with Radloff's comments, adding that while the American archeological establishment ignores Old World artifacts in North America, European and North African journals do report them.

From Science Frontiers #34, JUL-AUG 1984. 1984-2000 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