Home Page Science Frontiers

No. 77: Sep-Oct 1991

Issue Contents

Other pages

Other Interesting Sites











Anthracite man?

It is not surprising that the discovery described below has not made its way into mainstream scientific literature. Most mainstream anthropologists would shy away from human bones reputed to come from anthracite coal measures hundreds of millions of years old! Our source is a small newspaper in eastern Pennsylvania.

Scientifically acceptable hominid fossils are no older than a few million years at most. So, when anyone cognizant of prevailing paradigms enters the Greater Hazelton Historical Society Museum, he is astonished to find an:

"...elaborate display of rock-like objects found in the anthracite region by Ed Conrad who insists, based on his 10 years of exhaustive research and scientific testing, that he possesses undeniable evidence that they are petrified bones.

"Society officials undoubtedly are impressed because a small sign displayed on a front window carries some very large words: 'This is the only museum in the world where petrified bones, found between coal veins, are on display.'"

The photos accompanying the newspaper article certainly portray objects that "look like" human skulls. E. Conrad also asserts that he had also found hominid jawbones, teeth, a femur, and even a petrified brain! (Anonymous; "Bone Display Draws National Interest," Hazelton Standard Speaker, December 8, 1990. Cr. L. Farish.)

Comment. From the newspaper article it is impossible to learn what professional geologists and anthropologists think about these purported fossils. So, caveat emptor.

Actually, hominid fossils have been reported from coal veins before, notably the "Abominable Coalman" found in an Italian coal mine. See Ancient Man.

From Science Frontiers #77, SEP-OCT 1991. 1991-2000 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