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Archaeological Hoaxes/ Treasure Hunting

Date Sunday - September 23, 2018
Host George Knapp
Guests Kenneth FederW.C. Jameson

Committed to the scientific investigation of human antiquity, anthropology professor Kenneth Feder joined George Knapp in the first half to look at archaeological hoaxes, myths, and mysteries. In regards to claims that the Smithsonian has hidden away the bones of giants over 10 ft. tall, he finds it unlikely that so many staff members would be enlisted in a conspiracy of silence around this. Speaking of the Piltdown Man, a relic presented in 1912 to be an early human ancestor or missing link-- half man/half ape, some scientists embraced it without looking carefully into it, he cited. Eventually, it was revealed to be a fraud composed of a cranium of a modern human rigged together with the mandible of an orangutan.

In 1869, a 10-foot-tall petrified "man" was discovered when workers were drilling for a well in Cardiff, NY. The so-called 'Cardiff Giant' was initially thought to be one of the giants referred to in the Bible, he said. The giant was moved into a tent and became a carnival attraction before it was shown to be a hoax in 1870. Feder also talked about various legends of antiquity-- he finds no evidence for the existence of Atlantis, or that Plato's account of it was based on fact. When it comes to the theory of "ancient aliens" helping build the pyramids of Egypt, he suggested this diminishes the skill set of the locals, whom he believes were capable of such construction.

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In the latter half, author and treasure hunter W.C. Jameson discussed his efforts to find lost treasures of North America and beyond, piecing together centuries-old histories through documents, maps, and stories passed down from one generation to the next. A lot of treasure hunting actually begins with research in the library, he noted. There are times when Jameson and his team inadvertently stumbled into dangerous situations and confrontations. In one instance, when they were treasure hunting along the Sierra Madre, a timber company was clearcutting into Indian lands and sent in mercenaries to remove the indigenous people. Often, he added, discovery of treasure is easier than recovery, as it can be difficult to transport heavy gold and silver from remote locations.

While on a route through New Mexico into Mexico, his team traveled over an area where a pack train escort was slaughtered, and during a heavy wind storm, bones of mules and horses were first uncovered, followed by the reveal of gold ingots on the desert floor. Jameson explained that the Indians behind the original attack would not have been interested in the gold and just left it behind. In another case, a woman hired Jameson and his crew to find her husband who had been harvesting silver ingots in Arizona and dropped out of contact. When they located him, the man threatened and shot at them, thinking they were trying to steal his treasure. He had blasting powder with him and ended up blowing up the side of the mountain-- Jameson and his companions barely escaped injury.

Bumper Music

Bumper music from Sunday September 23, 2018

  • Lodi
    Credence Clearwater Revival

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