Sunday, November 05, 2006

Okay, what the heck is the Oopa Loopa Cafe? It is a place where I sit and drink coffee (or top shelf tequila once in a while), eat sweet stuff, and ruminate about artifacts found in places they shouldn't be -- Out Of Place Artifacts, OOPA, or OOPArts. These items might include Norse axes in Minnesota, Egyptian heiroglyphics in Australia, Roman Coins along the Ohio river, stone depictions of Templar Knights in New Hampshire, gold chains in coal seams, the Ica stones, or the Burrows cave artifacts. The physical Oopa Loopa Cafe, for now, is whatever computer I happen to be using at the time.

Although the Glen Rose, Texas dino and human tracks are not technically artifacts (at least the dino tracks aren't), that type of scenario is also something I contemplate under the general heading of OOPA.

Now, having set that premise, I have to say that I have reservations about some OOPAs. Some of them seem to be too convenient and, indeed, probably are fakes. Others have surfaced with undeniable provenance and the archeologists either ignore them, try to explain them away (usually as a hoax, sometimes as a misinterpretation), or sometimes even rebury them so they don't have to deal with it.

Prime examples of OOPAs would be the Burrows cave relics, the Michigan tablets, the Newark Decalogue, the Kennsington and Heavener stones, and the Ica stones, among others, all of which have been labeled as hoaxes by "expert" archeologists. Most of those relics were never examined first-hand by any credentialed archeologist, but rather simply pronounced as fakes because "they couldn't possibly be real" under the "no one before Columbus" doctrine that is so prevelent in professional archeology.

I hope to address the hoax allegations on a case-by-case basis, even for some cases where I think the experts may be correct. I would do this seemingly contradictive analysis because, in those cases, the reason and logic used by the experts is all wrong. Why would I do this? Because these cases show that the "expert line" is so entrenched that they use it automatically, not even considering the evidence or their own logic and how it applies to evidence, but rather applying the line to any and all evidence that doesn't fit their pre-defined doctrine.

In many cases, there are photos available on the internet of the OOPAs I talk about and, when available, I will post the link. For Burrows' Cave relics, many of these photos appear either on the Ancient American Artifact Preservation Foundation (AAAPF) website or on the Ancient American Magazine website. Other items appear other places.

But I want to start with Burrows' Cave (BC). Russ Burrows story is one of mystery and contradiction. A few bloggers have concentrated on the man and his character and found both wanting. I've never met the man, and I don't have any pre-conceived notions of him or his character. I will try to concentrate, instead, on the relics themselves. Having said that, some of the story is inseperable from the man and his character.

Many of the BC relics were gold. As OOPA relics, ostensibly created by some pre-Columbian, possibly Euro-African immigrants, they were priceless; So much so that Russ and his partner, Jack Ward, couldn't sell them. As gold bars without any distingishing marks, they became liquid assets. So the two supposedly made molds of the relics and reproduced them in lead, then melted the gold down and sold it as scrap. And they sold the lead copies, too, and those are now in the hands of collectors. Perfoming some very basic math based on the reports of the number of relics that met this fate, Russ and Jack should have been millionaires. Jack died several years ago and his widow would now qualify for medicare and other "entitlements", so I don't think any great wealth went that way. I don't know how much the pair made in reality, but Russ does a lot of travelling, and I may be wrong, but his supposed Army retirement wouldn't support it (there is also considerable debate as to his actually having served, but that's not my concern here).

In all, some 7,000 BC relics are now in the hands of various collectors and Burrows has said there are at least twice that many still in the cave. If they are hoaxes, then Russ and Jack working together would each have had to produce a "relic" every 3 minutes of every waking hour for weeks. Two guys, each producing an engraved stone tablet from a polished blank every three minutes for a sixteen hour day with no breaks comes to 640 items per day. I have used flint to inscribe the same kind of mudstone and shale as some of these relics. It is possible. Polishing the blanks while leaving no evidence of advanced machinery would take longer. I've tried that, too. Hours for each one, large ones take tens of hours. Okay, maybe it's not impossible, but it is certainly less plausible than having found them in situ. Just polishing 7,000 blanks could take a decade without machinery (many or most were polished on both sides). I may have missed something in my experiments, but I fail to see how it is possible to produce more than about one a day per side.

Some of the aforementioned bloggers that disected Russ' character also sliced and diced Frank Joseph (editor/contributor of Ancient American Magazine). I wish to sidestep that one. I can't altogether, but I'm really not into analyzing the people, just the OOPA's. I have met Frank Joseph, and I have the same impression of him that I have of anybody who won't look me in the eye during a conversation. And that is all I have to say about that.

Frank put forth the theory that the relics are the result of the court of Ptolemy having escaped the invading Roman Legions and transporting themselves and the treasury to southern Illinois. He actually made a pretty good argument. Many of the BC relics seem to point to such an origin in northwest Africa. Indeed, some seem to commemmorate Hannibal by including elephants in the motif.

These depictions of elephants are very interesting -- and may be very telling as to the validity of the relics and Frank's theory. Here is one example. This is one of the reproductions of a gold relic and it shows the profile of an Asian elephant. The shape of the head is distinctive between Asian and African elephants. This is an Asian elephant, no doubt about. So why would an Asian elephant show up in a bunch of relics supposedly produced by north African refugees? The professionals would cite this as poor planning on the part of the hoaxers and definitive evidence of the hoax. I would rebutt that the professionals haven't done their research. Hannibal used Asian elephants. Which, by itself is evidence of long distance sea voyages, albeit still along the coasts of the old world. But those same professionals are loathe to admit that the ancients had even that capability. The reality is that although the Romans traded goods with India, the Romans merely imported and exported without going there themselves. Alexander DID go there, but he went overland. The Roman - Indian trade was by sea, but not with Roman sailors. The sailors were north African. During the first Punic wars, Roman-Indian trade ceased. After the Roman defeat of Carthage, that trade resumed with the sailors being slaves of Rome. Without the north Africans, Rome had very limited seagoing capability. Before the Punic wars, the ships were called simply "galleys". The post-Punic name is "slave galley".

Given the number of relics produced combined with "unique identifiers", such as the Asian elephant depictions, makes it very dificult to concieve that a retired military guy (RB) and a life-long arrowhead hunter (JW) could come up with all this on their own.


Lynn said...

are you going to address the Egyptian writing that was found in a cave off of the Grand Canyon. No much is known about it, but I once had an article about it. Can't find it anyore...

oz said...


I would love to address just such an OOPA. But in order to do that, I would need to see at least a photo. I have read about this supposed find (original story goes back to, I think, 1917), but no physical evidence has ever surfaced. It is very dificult to analyze such oopas on the basis of an account only.

The Australian heiroglyphs have been photographed and those photos appear on the web. I will get to those.

I f you can come up with photos of the Grandd Canyon stuff, I would love to see it.

Thanks for reading Oopa Loopa Cafe