Falling Into Burrows' Cave*
*Dedicated to the late Vincent J. Mooney, Jr.
By Richard Flavin
Warning: Foul language and hate-speech quoted below.
I cannot prove
Cave, its owner, the latter's munificent gift of $25,000,000, and the
of gold do not exist. In a world where men walking on the moon
been televised to Earth, where surgeons perfom heart transplants, where
the Berlin Wall came tumbling down, where the Cold War suddenly ended,
etc., who can say that other miracles can't happen? Maybe there
a tiny kernel of truth to the wild stories about Burrows Cave.
I have no time to search for it. I have other priorities.
of Olney, Ill.
"The artifacts may be as old as 726 B.C. to 10,000 B.C.," said Russell Burrows, Olney, who discovered the site approximately 18 months ago while looking for an Aztec site purported to be in this area.
"The pieces, which have been scrutinized by an anthropologist from a major western university, as well as the site are not ready for public perusal as yet," Burrows said.
He continued that the university will probably begin the dig next year. At that time, more information can be given.
"the site must be protected from mercenary scavengers, those who would
strip the site of these priceless artifacts. I want them
for history, since their creators definitely were here far before the
that we usually associate with prehistoric American history."
[Note: The phenomena of Burrows Cave is commonly understood to be a long running hoax involving the claim of a fantastic cave and the sale of inscribed stones. What follows concerns my investigation, involvement with others, and an attempt to provide information for the next sucker.]
Less than a week later Bill Rudersdorf, the editor of The Louisiana Mounds Society Newsletter (Burrows 1994; Covey 1991; Skupin 1994), made a similar inquiry. I reasoned that with my residence in Illinois, access to Chicago’s renowned Field Museum of Natural History and willingness to deal with the State Archaeologist, I could probably put together a comprehensive feature article with little effort. When I fell into Burrows' 'cave' I had no idea how long it would take to climb out.
An inscribed stone from "Burrows' Cave."
Photo by W. McGlone. Used with permission.
At the Field Museum I was told investigating the claims about Burrows Cave was a waste of time and the mysterious inscribed stones were laughable attempts at depicting antiquities. The state archaeologist was nearly as dismissive. However he put me in touch with a former state archaeologist who allowed the possibility of some 19th century secret society, The Knights of the Golden Circle, making the inscribed stones for either ceremonial or fund-raising purposes. I rejected the guess of a 19th century origin as improbable, as many of the inscribed stones have examples and combinations of ancient alphabets not well known or popularized until after the publication of America B.C. by Barry Fell (Fell 1976), which suggested the presence of various Old World scripts in the New World before Columbus.
Within a month of Gordon and Rudersdorf's inquiries, I’d spoken with a few professionals, a dozen or so amateurs, and even the source of the claims, Russ Burrows. Then, I happened upon a new magazine about possible pre-Columbian contacts between the Old and New worlds, The Ancient American, and noticed the name of the editor was “Frank Joseph.” I recalled from previous information provided by a Chicago-area bookseller six years before that “Frank Joseph” was the pseudonym of the neo-Nazi, Frank Collin. This infamous person threatened to march in the predominantly Jewish village of Skokie, just north of Chicago, and which sparked a legal battle which granted him the right to march (though he never did). He later wrote about the mythical continent of Atlantis after his release from prison for molesting young boys (Martin and Flavin 1995). And, coincidentally, The Ancient American publishes articles in support of Burrows' Cave (Flavin 1997a). Such a small world. The temerity of my investigation became frustrating and the tenor went suddenly from sad to sick.
As Bill Martin, the bookseller who told me that Collin marketed his first Atlantis book as “Frank Joseph,” had sold his half of the store and moved around Chicago a couple of times, it took five weeks for me to get a message to him. When I spoke with “Frank Joseph” three or four times on the telephone, I was Rick Flavin, a struggling sci-fi writer and amateur archaeologist, who’d taken Steve Williams’ “Fantastic Archaeology” course at Harvard and got the final paper in the course published as the cover article in ESOP #20 (Williams 1991; Flavin 1992). I was skeptical about many diffusionist claims, but interested in the debate, and had a couple of favorite enigmas which fascinated me. I didn’t tell “Frank Joseph” I was waiting for confirmation that he was the infamous half-Jewish, ex-neo-Nazi, and convicted pederast, Frank Collin. Our conversations were structured as those between a writer and the editor of a nationally distributed magazine. It was creepy. [Note: Two examples which immediately come to mind are the time Collin wasn’t home and I spoke with his mother for a while and she said that her knees bothered her from spending so many hours at prayer, and one weekend conversation when Collin said that a favorite pastime of his was buying white, unfinished lawn statuary of little boys and painting them in bright colors.]
While looking into Collin's past, I continued investigating Burrows Cave. I spoke with several people whose advice and friendship would benefit me for years to come, notably Lois Benedict (Emerson 1993) from Michigan and the late Bill McGlone (Whittall and McGlone 1991, 1992) from Colorado. I also began speaking with Russ Burrows on a regular basis. My initial conversation with him was straightforward, in that I was interested in his claims and he was trying to impress me with his fictitious exploits and fraudulent antiquities. When I told him of my suspicions regarding the true identity of "Frank Joseph," our conversations took on the pretensions of immediacy and justice, and research and truth. We were two guys trying to figure out something together. I had fallen into Burrows' 'cave' and Russ was setting me up to make sure that my stay was as lousy as possible.
I submitted an article to The Ancient American about Punt and Atlantis (or rather the legend of Punt and the allegory of Atlantis involving astronomy and myth) on Collin’s suggestion (Joseph 'Collin' 1994b). Burrows increased his affectation of concern with every phone call and suggested I attend an upcoming conference in Wisconsin. Then, Bill Martin got back to me and the question of “Joseph” being Collin was put to rest. Martin had interviewed Collin in his neo-Nazi heyday, published an article in Crawdaddy (Martin 1976), and even ran into Collin in his fallen period, when he worked as a messenger in downtown Chicago (later, a janitor at a suburban hospital), between being ousted for being half-Jewish from his neo-Nazi party and his arrest on child molestation charges. When Collin self-marketed his first Atlantis book in 1987, Martin recognized him (as did several other local booksellers), and was in a position to swear so in court. In one telephone conversation with Collin, I said “I’d heard a rumor,” in the next I informed him that some believed “Frank Joseph” was Frank Collin, and in a final conversation I asked his opinion how such a mistake, if a mistake it was, could have been made. They were polite conversations, though we were both engaged in a sad dance. Manners and decorum work well in most cases, but not when it comes time to deal with a sicko.
Rudersdorf, the LMS Newsletter editor, sent me some money to attend the upcoming conference in Wisconsin with Burrows. As I didn’t own a car at the time, I made arrangements with Burrows to pick me up at a bus station on the way to Wisconsin. [Note: To his credit, as the bus schedule was wrong, I was dropped off in a different town and had to leave word where he could find me. Burrows managed to get the message and follow through. I believe the bus company later gave me free tickets for the hassle.] The day I first met Russ Burrows was also the day of the Bronco chase with O. J. Simpson, an event I didn’t hear about until I returned to Chicago after the conference.
The “Indian Mounds and Other Mysteries of the Upper Midwest” conference was held on the University of Wisconsin campus at Richland Center, WI. It was sponsored by Scherz’s Ancient Earthworks Society and The Ancient American, though Burrows and his inscribed stones were the stars of the show (Scherz and Burrows 1992). Collin, as “Frank Joseph,” had been scheduled to attend, but something came up and he couldn’t make it. While it was understood I attended the conference because of Burrows and his claims, many were aware I also carried a folder of photographs showing Collin in full neo-Nazi regalia and these were to be shown to The Ancient American’s publisher, Wayne May, as well as to Prof. Jim Scherz, who had known and worked with “Frank Joseph” for several years.
Various pics of Collin and crew. © 1975 Tony Soluri.
I got nervous. Rudersdorf was putting together a brief article exposing the true identity of “Frank Joseph” for a future LMS Newsletter (written, but never published, as the newsletter folded), Martin was my only witness who had personally seen both Collin and “Frank Joseph,” and I was unsure of my reception among the diffusionists and crackpots in Wisconsin. Six days before the conference I sent out an affidavit which outlined what I knew to be true about Collin and what was speculation (Flavin 1994a). I shouldn’t have been nervous. It was Burrows, May, and Scherz who were on the defensive at that point. They were the ones working with a sicko; I was just doing background for a story.
My first examination of a Burrows Cave “artifact,” one of the inscribed stones, was in Burrows’ mini-van after he picked me up. It was a favorite piece of his, named “Charley,” and said to be magical and possessed by a spirit. I turned the stone over, saw a speck of purple paint on the back, asked Burrows about it, and he immediately snatched it out of my hands. Later, at the conference, I unloaded his artifacts and carried them to their display places. I also assisted John White with his sizeable collection of inscribed stones allegedly from Burrows' Cave. It was ironic as I had a check-stub in my wallet from the previous week for a four day in-and-out of a display of Mesoamerican artifacts at the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum in Chicago. Needless to add, the crates, top-of-the-line packing material, white cotton gloves for handling genuine artifacts, and other considerations were not shown to Burrows' “artifacts.” I humped them from Burrows’ mini-van and White’s car like I was carrying in groceries.
The theme of the conference, Scherz's suggestion that local Native American mounds have some connection to Old World travelers, was as disturbing as a speaker, Merlin Redcloud, who shared a claim of a “Winnebago Perspective” which told that Native elders have information about many mysteries, but aren’t talking. Right. During one presentation I joined Burrows outside for a cigarette. He asked if I was enjoying myself and I just grinned. Then, much to my later regret, I jokingly suggested that Burrows was conducting an anthropological experiment on popular gullibility, much like Carlos Castaneda and his tales of the Yaqui shaman, Don Juan Matos. He chuckled, agreed with me, and that was that. Burrows knew I didn’t believe his claims involving a discovery of a fantastic cave.
Saturday evening, as the sun was setting and I was bouncing from one dorm-room where Burrows, May, and Scherz were trying to get me to write something with Scherz, and another dorm-room where I was sharing beers with the bare-footed Buck Trawicky, who was responsible for the horrendous editing of The Mystery Cave of Many Faces (Burrows and Rydholm 1992), Bev Mosely (of The Midwestern Epigraphic Society) showed me two large collections of photographs of various Burrows Cave “artifacts” and inscribed stones. I sat cross-legged on a sidewalk and flipped through hundreds of photographs as the sun set behind me. All of the photographs showed items similar to those I’d already examined, that is ...crude, modern attempts to depict unknown antiquities.
Throughout the three-day conference Burrows was soft-spoken and said little. On the drive home, he began to show traits which demonstrated his true demeanor. When we stopped for gas Burrows got a free cup of coffee for telling the owner of the gas-station that he made a “damned fine cup of coffee.” As we walked back to the mini-van, I said “There’s no such thing as a good cup of coffee, and there’s no such thing as a bad blowjob.” Burrows thought for a couple of seconds and then replied, “As long as it’s not from Frank Joseph!” Later, on the highway, Burrows went into trucker-mode on his CB radio, talking and cursing to truckers on the road from the quaint confines of his purplish mini-van. Burrows is a strange one, I knew that much, but I had no idea how strange.
The day after I returned home a letter arrived from Collin about my affidavit. Collin wrote “My attorney tells me that should your affidavit be published in any periodical, you and the editor could be vulnerable to serious legal action (Joseph 'Collin' 1994c)." I was immensely pleased with this, as I’ve always abhorred frivolous, or less than serious, legal action. A week later a letter from a lawyer was delivered which recommended that I “seek the advice of legal counsel (Kano 1994)." The next twenty fours of laughing hysterically wasn’t wasted. It would be a while before I was able to laugh like that again.
Burrows telephoned one night and said he “could” have met Collin at Pontiac Correctional when Collin was serving time for violating young boys and Illinois law. and Burrows was a guard. Collin was in jail from 1980 to 1983 (three years on a seven-year sentence), started out at Joliet Correctional Center, but I had no way of knowing if Collin had ever been transferred to Pontiac. Joliet Correctional is a reception and classification center and many prisoners are transferred to other Illinois facilities. Burrows and the sicko? It was possible. However, it was apparent that Burrows had begun to play a game of disinformation with me and I'd have to take everything he said from that point on with several grains of salt. I was the enemy.
August of 1994 were busy
for me, as I was scheduled to move to Boston on September 1. Most
days were devoted to investigating Collin during his neo-Nazi period,
to Jewish organizations about the effects he had on the Jewish
local occult bookstores who knew him as “Frank Joseph,” and meetings
a representative of the American Indian Movement and discussing what
someone like Collin, with his racist past and in his position as editor
of The Ancient American, might cause (Joseph
1993, 1994a). My evenings were spent on the telephone
falling deeper into Burrows' 'cave' (as well as into debt with the
From: Engravings of Prehistoric Specimens from Michigan
I benefitted from my conversations with Lois Benedict and Bill McGlone during those months. Lois is a retired nurse and school teacher, as well as a tireless researcher into the so-called “Michigan Relics,” often referred to as the Soper-Savage frauds. These thousands of artifacts (estimates range from 20,000 to 40,000 items), were “discovered” between 1890 and 1912 in Michigan, with a few “finds” said to have originated in other Midwestern states. Though the “Michigan Relics” had their supporters (and still do), they were judged early on to be fraudulent and that position hasn’t changed (Williams 1991, pp. 176-186). The mystery, of course, remains who made them and why. Because of the sheer number of manufactured items, I argued to Lois that a group was likely responsible, probably a cult, and the only candidate which came to mind was James J. Strang (1817-1856). It was my suggestion the principals in the “Michigan Relics” hoax came upon extensive caches of Strang cultist items and attempted to pass them off as genuine archaeological finds. On the surface, there seemed to be many similarities between the “Michigan Relics” and the Burrows Cave inscribed stones–both groups were modern, a large number of items were involved, previously unknown alphabets were used in conjunction with apparent religious imagery, etc. Oh, and Lois was investigating Burrows as well. She even achieved “enemy” status before me.
Lois was in contact with Mildred Ward, the widow of Jack Ward, an associate of Burrows, who helped sell the inscribed artifacts at weekend arrowhead conventions between c. 1984 and 1990 (Allison 1994). [Note: Lois said Mildred told her Burrows first met Jack Ward in 1979, earlier than the claimed dates of 1983 and 1984.] From what she learned from Mildred, Lois passed on a few names, a lawyer, a couple of friends, and these in turn supplied more names of people to talk to. I must stress, at this time, that these were extremely sad telephone conversations. The senior citizens who had purchased the inscribed stones from Burrows and/or Ward were very embarrassed. They wanted to believe in something fantastic, but knew they’d wasted their money. Lois also suggested Burrows may have been involved with other incidents before the "cave," and often mentioned the tragedy of the Native American site of Slack Farm in Kentucky, and the wholesale looting that occurred. She maintained Burrows was one of those who had escaped arrest (Hayden 1993).
When confronted with the above, Burrows called Mildred a “gold-digger,” who married Jack Ward for his money, referred to Lois Benedict in a term often used in animal husbandry when a female is mentioned, and ...sputtered and stuttered regarding allegations he was involved in the Slack Farm crimes. It was the only time I’ve ever known Burrows to be so mad as to be at a loss for words. In one of our next telephone conversations, he quickly recovered and attacked his past associate, Jack Ward, in a cruel and vile fashion. He claimed Ward was selling the inscribed stones without his knowledge, implied it was to support Ward’s secret homosexual lifestyle, and told me a disgusting story of going to Ward’s home after the funeral, meeting with the family, discovering a hidden cigar-box near the living-room, and finding a “shit-encrusted dildo” inside of it. Ouch! I knew then that any man who could spew such vicious lies about a one-time associate, was capable of much evil and deception. And, as these things go, it got worse.
My conversations and correspondence with Bill McGlone, a retired engineer and devout diffusionist, helped me immensely. He was critical of the amateur archaeology (and epigraphy) community and his challenging insights continue to inspire me. He’d previously put his time and talent where another’s deceit reigned by testifying in a New Mexico courtroom regarding fraudulent antiquities (McGlone, et al 1993, pp. 46-49). Bill took me to task for every wasted phone-call I made, scribbled notes that I couldn’t read the next day, and sharing of information with Burrows that wasn’t necessary. Unfortunately, my seeking Bill’s help was not without cost.
The amateur archaeology and diffusionist community had been split concerning Burrows Cave from its public beginnings with the talks by Jack Ward in 1984 at ISAC (The Institute for the Study of Ancient Cultures) in Columbus, Georgia, and by Ward and Burrows in 1988. For various reasons, some believed the claims of Burrows were true and the many inscribed stones were genuine, most did not. McGlone began his interest in diffusion allied with Barry Fell, but later became highly critical of his methodology (McGlone, et al 1993, pp. 27-40), a re-evaluation he also applied to Gloria Farley (best known for her investigation of the so-called "Heavener Runestone"). It became petty with Fell and Farley supporters rallied on one side, McGlone continuing his work with a small, but growing group on another side, and there were believers and nonbelievers in Burrows Cave sprinkled about in both camps. When Fell passed away in early 1994, the amateur archaeology and diffusionist community split further. I spoke with many at this time who seemed more concerned with my dealings with McGlone, than with Collin and Burrows. [Note: The Ancient American was continuing to publish articles in support of Burrows Cave (May and Burrows 1994, Scherz 1994, White and Mosley 1993, 1994), as well as a few letters indifferent (Coppens 1994; Godlewski 1993; Hart 1993; Petraitis 1994), and against (Lurio 1994).]
In the autumn of 1994 an extremist group of Burrows' 'cave' believers emerged, fronted by two young men from Florida (hereafter: "The Kids”), Paul Kelly (a.k.a. Schaffranke) and Brian “Harry” Hubbard (a.k.a. Horatio Rybnikar). Paul and Harry claimed they could read the hodgepodge of ancient alphabets on the inscribed stones as a previously unknown combination of Latin and Etruscan. They believed the inscriptions described a voyage from the Old World to ancient Illinois by various minor historical personages and which, perhaps, included the New World reburial of the revered corpse of Alexander the Great. Yup, The Kids claimed the “lost” tomb of Alexander the Great was located in southern Illinois, and that Burrows had discovered and subsequently plundered it. What made The Kids and their group extremist, beside their laughable historical reconstruction and silly attempts at decipherment, were their relentless attacks against anyone who disagreed with them and their constant solicitation of money. They appeared to spend the majority of their time seeking investors and peddling home-made video-tapes. Though a dysfunctional duo, Kelly seems to have done the geek work, with Hubbard playing the freak. Greed aside, the extreme arrogance and viciousness of Hubbard are his most defining character traits, unheard of before (at least to such a degree) in the amateur archaeology and diffusionist community, with the possible exception of Russ Burrows.
Hubbard also shares with Burrows a complete disdain for the opinions of interested amateurs and professionals. Their style of debate follows a consistent line. Whenever their fantastic claims are not greeted with total acceptance, they will question the doubter's education as well as his or her political and religious beliefs. They often challenge skeptics to disprove their fantastic claims and when that fails, they attack with vugar epithets and slurs aimed at sexual orientation. Annoyed with Hubbard’s arrogance during our first telephone conversation, I threatened to “bitch-slap” him up alongside of his head if ever we met face-to-face. Hubbard is a punk and has this effect on most people. I hung up on him, he wrote a letter (Rybnikar ‘Hubbard’ 1994), and continues to stay in contact with me. As with Burrows: keep your friends close and your enemies closer.
I’d spoken with several who’d purchased inscribed stones from Burrows, and all were ...not that smart. Sorry; but it’s a case of the classic “a fool and his money are soon parted” thing. Some believers in the claims of Burrows and a 'cave,' as well as in the authenticity of the inscribed stones as being from antiquity, became convinced independently and early on, such as Virginia Hourigan (Hourigan 1987; Burrows and Rydholm 1992, Sections 34-36 and 38-41), while others switched over to the 'Dark Side' after Ward and Burrows' talk at ISAC in 1988. Cyclone Covey, professor emeritus of history at Wake Forest College and author of Calalus, a book which argues for an ancient Roman-Jewish presence in Arizona (Covey 1975), was, and remains, a dedicated believer. Another was the late Joseph P. Mahan, founder of ISAC, and author of The Secret: America in World History Before Columbus (Mahan 1983), who, for reasons we still don’t completely understand, believed Burrows Cave was somehow connected with “sun-related semi-divine mortals [who] were the descendants of extraterrestrial immortal progenitors who had come to earth in fire ships, had resided for a while, had upgraded the humanoids they found here by modifying the genes of these children of earth thus producing a hybrid progeny (Mahan 1992).” Both Covey and Mahan bought into the claims of Burrows hook, line, and sinker after the 1988 ISAC conference. That faith was especially unfortunate for Mahan who also bought several thousand dollars worth of inscribed stones (Mahan 1994).
Mahan generated compassion and loyalty among his friends, strong feelings and traits which have enabled ISAC to survive his recent passing. That he was outgoing and cheerful is apparent after meeting anyone who knew and worked with him, however as far as his belief in Burrows Cave was concerned, his manner changed somewhat. I spoke briefly with Mahan on two occasions in 1994, and both telephone calls did not go well. He was reluctant, edgy, and seemed more annoyed than anything else. These where difficult times for Mahan and ISAC and it was to get much more difficult before things got better.
Besides dedicating a substantial part of my income to the telephone company, I kept the Post Office in business as well, with various drafts of a feature story about Collin passing back and forth between Martin and myself. As a writer, my main tool had been an electric typewriter for many years, though since 1990 I’d moved into electrics with the ability to save an ASCII file to a floppy disk. These personal word processors got more advanced with each new purchase, but it was time for me to move into computers. Bill Rudersdorf had offered me an old 356 PS2 IBM, which his wife, Toni, kindly carried to Boston’s Logan Airport, as she was in town attending a P. G. Wodehouse convention. I believe he also mailed a printer along at this time via Greyhound Bus, which I used a refund ticket to pay for from the Burrows mix-up from some months back.
As 1994 closed, I arranged for a three-way conference call between Bill McGlone, Tom Cullen, and myself. Tom was the son of the late Norman Cullen, a business associate of Jack Ward and an initial investor and believer in Burrows and his claims. Tom hated Burrows for separating his father from so much money, but despite the open animosity, he possessed a wooden bas-relief carving by Burrows which he displayed proudly in his home. Tom said the carving was top-notch and the work was quite lovely. Burrows had previously admitted to making cabinets and chests, but here was an example of detailed artistic work. It was more circumstantial evidence he was making the inscribed stones he was selling.
The end of January 1995 saw the publication of the first article naming “Frank Joseph,” the editor of The Ancient American, as the infamous ex-neo-Nazi, Frank Collin (Martin and Flavin 1995). Mahan used the article as a pretext to attack anyone critical of diffusionist claims, totally disregarding the basic theme of the article, that Collin is a sicko (Mahan 1995). I would encounter this position again and again among the amateur archaeology and diffusion community (Whittal 1995).
Of course things were different back in Chicago. Friends and family applauded my efforts. During a telephone conversation with a neo-Nazi about Collin’s past, I was asked for his home address so some skin-heads could be dispatched to beat him senseless for lying about his Jewish ancestry and his criminal record for child abuse. Needless to add, I didn’t provide the information, as I hate Nazis, whether they’re real, fake, neo, ex-neo, or any other form of Nazi. Art Golab, a Chicago Sun-Times staff writer, was aggressively pursuing an in-depth piece on Collin, pushing the idea to Playboy and other magazines, and even interviewed the late Vincent J. Mooney, Jr., for a diffusionist perspective and possible connection between Collin and Burrows Cave. It was Golab who gave me my first modem, a puny 14k, in 1995 and which allowed me to go online, exchange e-mail, surf the Web, and goof off for hours on end.
Burrows knew about my work and sent me a photocopy of a document he claimed was his separation notice from Pontiac Correctional Center. The photocopy shows a period of report from 1-23-79 to 10-3-80 and under “Type of Report” has “Seperation [sic] - No reinstatement rights.” Art Golab was able to verify Collin at Pontiac and Burrows gave me a photocopy of a document which placed him likewise at Pontiac, albeit for only a short while, but at the same time as Collin. Could Collin have given Burrows the idea for marketing inscribed stones and suggested some of the hodgepodge of ancient alphabets? The suggestion has always been a long shot, but I’ve never been able to get rid of it. It’s a strange coincidence. [Note: Burrows has said he joined Pontiac to qualify for retirement. He seems to have been trying to build a resume, but his outlandish military claims and less than two years service as a state employee simply didn't add up to 20 years of accomplishment. A better guess might be that as a self-employed worker and truck driver he hadn't paid much into Social Security. The eighteen months at Pontiac according to the separation notice falls short of Burrows' previously published estimate of "better than two years (Burrows and Rydholm 1992, p. 30)." ]
Dealings with Burrows began to get ugly. Rudersdorf, who edited articles of mine for ESOP and the LMS Newsletter, who sent me money and gave me my first ‘puter, lost his patience one day and said I was being a "whore” for continuing to speak with Burrows. Apparently Rudersdorf disagreed with the “keep your friends close and your enemies closer” approach. Burrows knew about my dealings with Native Americans and was in the process of trying to scam some cash from the Hochunk Nation (the Winnibago tribe). During one conversation his vulgarity reached a new low, as he described Native Americans as “prairie-niggers.” It was ugly, the lies were difficult to separate from bits of truth, but as long as he was out there causing trouble and taking people’s money, I tried to stay on top of things.
It’s not like I wasn’t trying. I telephoned the F.B.I. and got nowhere. The State Police in Burrows’ backyard knew of his controversial antics and told me, “It’s not against the law to be a liar.” Ouch! I filed a complaint with the Illinois Attorney General arguing the violations of Illinois law under “815 IL CS 505/1 Consumer Fraud and deceptive business practices” and “Article 17 5/17-1 Deceptive practices. Act 295/1a Untrue, misleading or deceptive advertising.” The matter went round and round for a few months between the Attorney General’s office, the Governor, and Sen. Paul Simon, whom I had contacted for help. For some reason still not clear to me, a case-worker attached the name of Collin to my complaint against Burrows (“Re: Frank Collin File No: CF95 05 0418") and eventually I got a letter saying the Attorney General was passing and recommended I go after Burrows privately in a Chicago civil court. It was small beer to them and Burrows continued to slip through the cracks.
The Kids had taken part in a special ISAC conference on April 21 and 22, 1995 which initially impressed those who were already believers in Burrows Cave. The late Vincent J. Mooney, Jr. critiqued the Latin advanced by Kelly ‘Schaffranke’ and found a too generous correlation near 80% between attested forms and transcriptions and translations made from inscribed stones purchased from Burrows (Mooney 1995), but ultimately rejected all associated work because of the lack of provenance for the inscribed stones. Covey and Mahan thought The Kid’s work was promising, but most everyone else regarded Burrows’ Cave as a hoax, the inscribed stones as fraudulent, and the claims of UFOs transporting the body of Alexander the Great to southern Illinois as ludicrous. Incredibly, though few could keep a straight face against these claims, The Kids were just getting started.
I decided to take a 'working' vacation in the autumn of 1995 and spend a week and a half with McGlone in Colorado. Originally, a director friend was invited along to assist me in making a brief documentary of the trip, but he backed out at the last minute. I borrowed a high 8mm video-cam and tripod from a Harvard film student, and gave it a go. The trip went fine, but the film is still raw, unedited, and sitting on a shelf behind me. I was challenged by what I saw during the trip, such as Anubis and Crack Caves, the so-called Sun Temple, and other interesting sites, however the conversations, arguments, and critical thinking were what I most benefitted from (besides breathing clean air). McGlone and his group had long been contemptuous of Burrows (Whittall 1990; McGlone, Leonard, and Gillespie 1995). I assisted McGlone in a follow-up piece critical of Burrows, which was rejected by The Ancient American for their letters-to-the-editor section, and was later privately distributed (McGlone 1996).
McGlone was concerned with why some believe and behave as they do. Burrows is a liar who craves attention. Like Collin, he has a uniform fetish (Burrows and Rydholm 1992, see pics on pp. 23 and 30, text on p.23). He also has a penchant for telling tall tales and once bragged “he was called in by the Air Force to interrogate UFO witnesses (Heck 2001).” His involvement in financial scams is well documented. A pathological liar? A master con-artist? In 1995, Burrows tried his hand at writing again and produced pieces suggesting Carthaginian pirates were responsible for Burrows Cave (Burrows 1995a), and a non-fantastic overview of the so-called “Black Hawk War (Burrows 1995c).” To suggest that Burrows likes to keep busy would be the grossest of understatements.
Ditto, The Kids. Hubbard and his group had interviewed people said to have visited the “cave,” though actually a rocky ledge and they were simply told that the “real cave” was somewhere nearby. Upon hearing of this Burrows declared he’d predicted just such an occurrence and that the area of the rocky ledge was the “decoy cave,” with the “real cave” being someplace else. With this information Hubbard tracked down the property and convinced the landowner that a fantastic cave was somewhere nearby and it would be in the landowner’s best interest to let Hubbard and his group start digging things up with a back-hoe. The Chicago Tribune did a full-page story on the claims and dismissed it all as silliness (Smith 1996). Unfortunately, the problem of Burrows’ 'cave' didn’t go way, it got worse. Since the beginning of the Burrows Cave hoax it’s been about separating fools from their money, getting investors, and moving on to the next series of ducks in a row. The Kids took lessons from Burrows and began the same scam. Others would follow.
One night, I got a call asking me to appear on a Native American radio-program the next morning and discuss Burrows Cave. I had laryngitis at the time, but was more than willing to take part. Burrows had tried to lure in Native American investors, he’s a bigot and a racist, his ongoing scams take away from serious studies of Native American pre-history, and my speaking out was the right thing to do (Flavin 1996a). I wish I could do more.Lois Benedict had studied the so-called “Michigan Relics” for many years and, as mentioned above, had looked into the matter of Burrows Cave. She was old and getting older, her personal financial problems had required the unthinkable (selling parts of her book and ms. collection), and she regarded me as someone she could trust to help her gain a better understanding of those responsible for the “Michigan Relics,” and perhaps the inscribed stones that Burrows peddled. It was an extraordinary task, but I agreed to attempt it. The classes I’ve taken in archaeology, my dealings with professional archaeologists, museum workers, librarians, art critics, and the like, all went ...okay, as long as manners were exercised, intelligent questions were asked, and the impossible was neither asked for or expected. I believed I could interest professionals to take a hard look at some of the Michigan Relics Lois had collected over the years, as well as an inscribed stone said to be from Burrows Cave. Well... The awful skinny is as follows: Williams was long gone from Harvard, though he did provide the name of a hard-of-hearing fellow at the Peabody who directed me to M.I.T., as they were said to be doing dating experiments. [Note: The “hard-of-hearing” fellow was a senior North American archaeologist who heard me say “twisted history” extremely fast. He said “Twistory, I like that term for what you’re describing,” and ...I sort of appropriated the invented term from him for my subsequent usage.] M.I.T. lost its funding for any new dating experiments, and reaching out to private investors to contribute to dating had begun to take on a circus atmosphere smelling not that dissimilar to previous investing scams by others mentioned above.
Mooney suggested I talk with a West Virginia archaeologist, Robert Pyle, with regard to testing the Michigan and Burrows material. I’d known of Pyle since his work on the enigmatic Wyoming County “inscription,” believed by some to be an example of the ancient Irish alphabet, ogham, by others as “turkey tracks” or Native American symbolic petroglyphs, while a few suggest they could be natural (Pyle 1983). The West Virginia debate began my interest in diffusion theory in 1983, continues to intrigue me, and Pyle seemed a good suggestion. Besides, Pyle had spoken at The Mid-Atlantic Epigraphic Society (Buchanan 1994) and also at a meeting of ISAC and fooled Burrows and many believers by producing an inscribed stone which resembled those peddled by Burrows, but had been actually made by Pyle a few days before. One has to admire hands-on science and skepticism.
During a long talk with Pyle on the telephone, I apparently emptied an ashtray with cigarette butts that weren't entirely extinguished into my waste-basket and, in the middle of the talk, was informed the basket was on fire and the room was filling with smoke. Such things happen when one is devoting one’s attention to a given task. I hung up, dumped water in the basket, opened some windows, and then called Pyle back and finished the conversation.
Pyle the Michigan and
for him to test. I also, as my girlfriend had graduated from her
Harvard program and wished to pursue a professional acting career,
to New York City. Sigh. We do what we do.
New York City
Pyle wasn’t long in getting back to me about the Michigan and Burrows items I’d sent him (Pyle 1996). He deemed all of the material to be of a recent manufacture and not thousands of years old as alleged. Of the Burrows’ 'cave' inscribed stone he examined (see Pearson pic below), Pyle wrote:
“[The stone] ...displays grinding around the entire edge. The pictographs and symbols may represent a known text, therefore, may be translatable. However, the prepared polished surface has deposits of polish compound left within the grooves from that recent effort. Again the characteristics of the grooves indicate hasty manufacture causing fracturing along the top edge. My conclusion based on the surface preparation and line characteristics is that this piece is also of recent manufacture.”
As Pyle used it, “recent” could mean any date between c.1880 and 1980 or so. He ended his report with, “It is unfortunate that items of this nature are being passed off on the public as artifacts for the profit of a few individuals.” Unfortunately, the Burrows Cave scam involves more than a “few individuals,” and that number continues to increase as other opportunists join in.
Mrs. Benedict seemed about as pleased as I was with Pyle’s appraisal, to wit, it was okay, but could have been more in depth. McGlone chastised the testing because it disrupted the “chain of evidence,” as certain microscopic metallic fragments magnetically recovered from the inscribed grooves of the Burrows’ stone were not preserved and shipped back along with the tested stone. For privacy considerations, I censored Pyle’s name and “Archaeological Archives, Inc.” contact information on the report, made copies, and sent them to Burrows and a few of his supporters. Burrows wasn’t impressed, made a couple of guesses as to who made the report, continued to make guesses over the next couple of months, and finally hit on Pyle, as Pyle had prior experience with Burrows’ 'cave' inscribed stones and cared enough about diffusionist claims to test items, rather than summarily dismiss them as fantastic and fraudulent. Apparently, further testing was required.
There was a great deal of activity from both Burrows and The Kids during the end of 1996. Burrows was preparing to move his family to Colorado and tying up loose ends in double and triple knots, while The Kids were making a tremendous push to get anyone to pay attention to them. Hubbard was continuing to dig up some poor guy’s backyard in southern Illinois, yet had moved on to a new level of soliciting investor interest, with such claims (Burrows 1996b) that an archaeologist had been secured, and “...the firm Waterford Public Relations will handle the press conference which will be held at the Kennedy Space Center Main Press Room. The Radison Hotel of Cape Canaveral has been retained to host the 3-day press event of seminars and briefings of ‘A New History For A New Century’ Conference.”
The Kids thought they could spin a “friend-of-a-friend’s friend” connection with the former astronaut, Dr. Mae Jamison. Burrows e-mailed me (Burrows 1996c), that he’d “...finaly [sic] heard back from Dr. Jamison’s office today, Wed. and was told in no uncertain terms that Dr. Jamison is not associated with those crooks in Florida. I was told that she knows George Lodge’s wife from High School, but that is all. Those fellows can tell some whoppers.” I already knew this, as I’d telephoned NASA and Jamison’s office the week before. Calling NASA was cool, even if it did cost ten bucks at daytime rates. [Note: George Lodge was, at the time, young businessman in Florida who worked with Hubbard and Kelly (Raskin and Lodge 1996; Lodge 1997). Their ways have since parted.]
Toward the end of November, 1996, I walked into Brooklyn’s 94th precinct of the New York City Police Department and tried to file a complaint against Hubbard for telephoning and leaving obscene messages for me, and a couple of times, for my girlfriend. Hubbard’s punk behavior had steadily increased with those he thought he could get over on (though requesting Mooney to translate a Bob Marley album into Latin, before any discussion on epigraphy would be forthcoming, remains a plastic pink flamingo attesting to extremely low standards). It was bad. Here was a punk with a telephone leaving vulgar messages across the country and, also, sending threatening e-mail from his new computer. It was bad and wrong of me to waste the time of the NYPD. They said we should change our telephone number. We couldn’t do that.
On Thursday, November 28, 1996, I received an e-mail (Rybnikar 'Hubbard' 1996) which said, “I would like to wish all you assholes a Happy Thanksgiving!” It was sent to Burrows, with copies forwarded to me, Scherz, and Mooney. I suppose everyone faces hatred to some degree, though not believing Alexander the Great’s body was transported from the Old World to southern Illinois by a UFO and being harassed by a punk, probably doesn’t rate particularly high on the sympathy scale. The Kids were taking their shot.
Burrows sent out a two-page, “To whom it may concern,” letter (Burrows 1996d), which repeated prior dissociations with The Kids (as well as Virginia Hourigan, who’d sold them some pics and included a description of the “decoy cave”), but notched up the “Never! I will die before I tell you!” rhetoric. It was typed better than his usual correspondence, however was just more of his standard greased fluff. Burrows loves the game.
The Kids are said to have paid $3000 (Mooney 1998) to have their own issue of The Ancient American (Vol. 3, No. 16, January/February 1997). It was double-sized, labeled “Special Report,” the cover featured the headline “Ancient Gold in Illinois,” and featured a picture of Jack Ward with a small horde of fake gold coins and artifacts. The cover photograph boldly established a dichotomy of silliness and a disturbing thoroughness, which the rest of the issue continued. While articles in the issue sought to draw attention to Hubbard’s efforts at discovering the “real” cave (Rybnikar ‘Hubbard’ 1997a; May 1997), the translation illusions of Kelly (Schaffranke ‘Kelly’ 1997; May and Schaffranke ‘Kelly’ 1997) and the accompanying yarn about Alexander Helios (the lost son of Cleopatra and Mark Anthony, a sort of diffusionist Anastasia Romanoff), the story of the fake gold coins and artifacts was the only one worth telling. And, of course, The Kids took the story into The Twilight Zone.
The “gold” allegedly removed by Burrows from some fantastic cave has never been seen. Burrows has privately stated all pieces that have made it into private collections are reproductions, mere lead and gold paint, made by the “landowner” at a private firm in St. Louis. Oh, Burrows has said, at one point, that Ward sold some of the “real” gold, but the truth is probably that Ward was in on the scam, helped sell the fake gold coins and artifacts with Burrows at week-end arrow-head conventions, and feigned support for Burrows’ claims to divest (read: cheat) the other local investors. The Burrows Cave legend holds that many tons of gold were removed, melted down and sold as bullion, and the money is in a Swiss bank account. Traditions and opinions differ as to who has the Swiss bank account, i.e., the “landowner,” Ward, Ward and Burrows, Burrows alone, or no one at all. The Kids claim to believe the cover of AA #16 shows Ward with a small horde of “real” gold, which Burrows later sold (May and Rybnikar 'Hubbard' 1997). They also argue that the “landowner,” as described by Burrows, never existed and publish various signatures and letters purportedly from a “George Neff” (Rybnikar 'Hubbard' 1997d). The Kids’ scam follows the main Burrows Cave legend, then encourages all future investors to give them lots of money, as The Kids are in the best position to save the "cave," maybe some more gold, and rewrite history. Oh, and they’d like it if everybody bought their video-tapes. Others would soon seize upon and revise The Kid’s scam to further bilk investors.
In March of 1997, an auction to sell over two hundred “Burrows Cave” items was held in East Peoria, Illinois (Flavin 1997b). The items were represented as “The Olney, Illinois ‘Burrows Cave’ Stone Collection of Thelma McClain” and, according to Burrows (Burrows 1997), was a "fantastic success." McClain, the owner of an antique and curio store not far from where Burrows used to live in Olney, is on record for being the earliest known victim of the Burrows Cave hoax (Burrows and Rydholm 1992, pp. 12, 52, and 108-109), acquiring an estimated “fifteen or twenty” stones in 1983. [Note: “Victim” might be too generous, as McClain and her associates stayed in the business of peddling Burrows’ items for many years, and she possessed up to 1000 stones, at one time (Burrows 1991a). And, her dealings with Burrows began before the first newspaper account of the claimed "discovery" (Miller 1984).] I’d spoken briefly with Mrs. McClain a few months previously. She seemed annoyed that strangers were asking questions and bothering her about Burrows. Mrs. McClain said a young man had recently been in her shop and arrogantly demanded that she answer his questions. When she asked for identification, the only thing the young man could produce was a Social Security card. Apparently, Harry Hubbard didn’t possess a driver’s license at the time.
I began a weekly column for the online The Greenwich Village Gazette at the end of May, 1997. A month later, The Kids had their first website up, the long-gone ‘alexhelios.com’. It seems hawking video-tapes and photocopies didn’t keep The Kids busy enough, so for several weeks they would play Photoshop with my headshot pic from The Gazette, and offer prizes if any of their four or five readers could guess who I was. I don’t believe anyone won. The Kids probably wouldn’t have come through with a prize, anyhow (Raskin and Lodge 1997).
The Kids and their 'alexhelios.com' were soon joined by Burrows Cave Committee (now defunct) and The Ancient American web-sites. AA offered an online forum for the general readership, though it was mainly used by Burrows’ Cave combatants (myself, Burrows, Hubbard, Mooney, and five or six others; a line-up which also posted to the similarly useless 'alexhelios.com' online forum), with the publisher, Wayne May, and the editor, Frank ‘Joseph’ Collin, only posting occasionally. One bizarre post by ‘Joseph’ Collin at the end of June, 1997, which was yanked offline less than a day after it was posted, concerned Collin and May being taken to the “cave” by Burrows (Joseph 'Collin' 1997b). After the summer of 1997, perhaps inspired by the scams of Burrows and The Kids, May began to semi-seriously look for the “cave” on his own. His efforts were few and simple at first, but in the years since have become as slick and slimy as anything Burrows or The Kids could have come up with.
My time in New York City was coming to a close. I wasn’t impressed with the town’s bookstores, The Museum of the American Indian wasn’t interested in testing Mrs. Benedict’s Michigan and Burrows items, The Explorers Club wouldn’t let me run around their library because I wasn’t a member, and my relationship with the actress was cooling. It was time to return to Boston.
By 1998, the online forums at The Ancient American and ‘alexhelios.com’, the Hubbard-site at the time, favored vulgar and juvenile attacks against any and all who didn’t believe the claims of Burrows and/or Hubbard, over possible discussions of history and science. An honest appraisal of what I personally endured at the fingertips of diffusionist bigots consumed with web-rage could probably suffice with: “They called me everything, but a white man.” In one early salvo by Burrows (Burrows 1998a), I was called a “liar,” as far as my ever attending Harvard, described as making my “living hauling refridgerators [sic] up and down stairs for homosexuals in Boston,” and it was suggested my ex-girlfriend had found out about some “other life” of mine. After a few “liar,” bum,” and “leach” remarks, Burrows wrote:
“A good example of his LIEING and DECEIT is what he did to the little old lady in Michigan, Lois Benidict He sucked up to her, made her think he was her friend and convienced her to give him her Michigan tablet/Soper/Savage artifacts. All the while, he was telling me via telephone what a crazy old woman she is. Nice man.” [Note: All misspellings and punctuation mistakes in the above, as well as those quoted below, are in the original posts and quotations.]
Things weren’t going well with Mrs. Benedict. Her husband had passed away, her dog died, she got another dog and a new house, but she was later hospitalized a few times, and there were long stays in nursing and assisted living homes. She’d been calling collect for years, by then, but hadn’t called in months. At one point I got the State Police to go to her home to see if she was okay. My possession of Mrs. Benedicts’ Michigan and Burrows items became the subject of attacks by Burrows, Hubbard, May, and their fans. McGlone said to ignore the attacks, and even if I didn’t get any further testing done, keeping the items away from Burrows, Hubbard, and May would upset them, which could be regarded as a minor success all its own. May was offering Mrs. Benedict a lot of money for her items and she was often very tempted, though she’d long planned for her “Michigan Relics” to go to Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI (she had a history of dealings with the library department and even used a couple of student research assistants as interns in her home). Sometimes, I think, she didn’t call me for long periods because she felt bad about selling her books to May. She probably felt real bad.
Despite my public condemnation for his continued employment of Frank ‘Joseph’ Collin as editor, I still spoke occasionally with Wayne May, the publisher of The Ancient American. Usually about Burrows or Mrs. Benedict, but never about Collin. That is, until I got a call from Burrows one night encouraging me to telephone May and ask him about what he found in Collin’s bedroom closet. [Note: Collin was then staying in May's home.] I called May, he told me he'd discovered boxes of neo-Nazi newsletters and asked what he should do. He said he was concerned for his family. It was all lies to get me to write up something and embarrass myself. They weren’t even very imaginative falsehoods.
Hubbard, conversely, was able to generate very imaginative falsehoods when he took his show on the road. Speaking at a UFO, New Age, and dowser convention, Hubbard lectured on “Aliens from the Lost Tomb.” [Note: A video-taped version of this lecture is sometimes referred to as “The Cold-Blooded Video” or “The Lizard Flick.”] The gist of the lecture was that images on the inscribed stones from Burrows’ 'cave' suggest an ancient awareness of extraterrestrial lizards who killed off the dinosaurs and later liked to dress up in Egyptian and Roman garb. Of course, according to Hubbard, such an awareness continues in our own day, as government cover-ups, academic conspiracies, alleged evidential foot-prints of humans co-existing with dinosaurs, claims of alien abductions, and the ability of a roomful of people to sit and listen to Hubbard for forty-five minutes, all combine to attest to a greater mystery that could, perhaps, be better understood if one were to purchase a few videos from Hubbard. A lecture theme about reptiles from outer space is certainly one about which most would have a handy opinion, it makes the idea of a “lost” tomb of Al the Great in southern Illinois seem almost tolerable by comparison, and Hubbard’s allegations of numbered Swiss bank accounts filled with the spoils of the looting of this “lost” tomb are understood as harmless rambling. However, he did get someone to listen.
It was only a matter of time. Hubbard tried nearly every American media outlook he could think of from Reader’s Digest to the National Enquirer, but still couldn’t get anyone (outside of those few who buy his videos) to take him seriously or, at the very least, not openly laugh in his face. So, Hubbard took his theory, of Old World UFOs abducting the corpse of Al the Great and dropping it somewhere in the New World, across the Atlantic and found an audience. Right. Export American hoaxes to stimulate the economy and better understand European gullibility. It worked for Hubbard and, later, others involved with the Burrows’ Cave hoax.
Swiss author and journalist, Luc Buergin (also Bürgin), a specialist in paranormal, UFO, and related wacky-topics, published Secret File: Archaeology (Buergin 1998), which repeats information as provided by Hubbard about Burrows Cave. Jack Ward, gold, Swiss bank accounts, gold, UFOs, more gold, suppressed history which the public has the right to know, maybe some undiscovered gold, though the book didn’t include a plug for any Hubbard-produced videos. The publication demonstrated conclusively that gullibility may be found in the Old World, as well as the New. Burrows, naturally, felt left out of this trans-Atlantic extension of his hoax.
It was Ward, again. According to Burrows, Ward wrote innocuous letters to solicit responses from government offices, sold reproductions of the “real” gold for chump change, and conned local investors out of thousands of dollars, dying a painful, disgraced death, shortly afterwards. Burrows replied to online newsgroup comments about Buergin’s book with:
“Luc has made a very bad mistake. He has published material which he obtained from Harry Hubbard, who is now being sued by Dr. James P. Scherz for copyright infringment. Jack Ward may have phonied up something to appear as though he had Swiss bank accounts but, he did not. In fact, none of the gold in Burrows Cave was removed.”
According to Burrows, Ward was a bad guy, Hubbard sent Buergin bits of Ward’s con of local investors, and, most importantly, there was never any gold in the first place. Simple? Not with Burrows. [Note: Though few ever believed in the authenticity of "gold" items said to be from Burrows' Cave, recent testing suggests copper (Cu) and Zinc (Zn) in the pigmentation of the gold paint used to cover the crudely molded lead items (Chandler, Henson, and Totten 2001).]
A recent feature on Buergin’s book by the controversial revisionist periodical, The Barnes Review, (Tiffany 2001) didn’t include quotes from Buergin or Hubbard, but did include those of Burrows, May, and others. Burrows’ quotation begins with:
“TBR [The Barnes Review.] managed to reach Mr. Burrows personally at his home in Windsor, Colorado on August 15. He told us that Buergin got his information from Harry Hubbard and Rick Flavin, ‘both of whom are high school dropouts. Hubbard is trying to sell stock in a company called Ptolemy Pro ductions [sic], but has been on the run from the police for selling fraudulent stock for over a year. Flavin is a guy who stole artifacts from a woman in Cadillac, Michigan and who just likes to shoot his mouth off.’”
The feature goes on to include other quotes about Burrows Cave and why those quoted believe in such. Hubbard is never mentioned again in the feature. We are known by the company we keep, “wretched subjects” be damned (Neugebauer 1951), certain areas of investigation are uglier than others, and some might suggest I should appreciate Burrows for the undeserved mention. I won’t. I don’t. But, I’d gladly send him a buck and half to buy a cheap beer for himself at a local tavern and consider it from me. Burrows is a determined hoaxer and a cheap beer would be the absolute least I could do to acknowledge such.
I've never been in contact with Buergin, Burrows remains a liar, and the folks at The Barnes Review are invited over to my place (call first) for refreshments and some screaming at the top of my lungs. Burrows has been in touch with Buergin since 1993 (Bürgin and Hayden 1993).
Wayne May, on a rare visit to his The Ancient American online forum in early November of 1998, decided he’d focus on my possession of Mrs. Benedict’s Michigan and Burrows items. May posted:
“She wants you to call her immediately to arrange for the return of the artifacts she has sent you on loan. She wants to know why you have not responded to her letters. If you need her address let me know and I will e-mail it to you. Lois says, send her artifacts without delay!”
Letters from Lois Benedict? She was legally blind, at this time, and needed a magnifying glass to read. It had been almost two years since she’d written me and while her nurses and living assistants were certainly capable of producing letters in her name, I doubt any were composed and somehow lost in the mail on their way to me. We talked on the telephone when her health was up to it. May knew my home address, telephone number, and personal e-mail information. However, privately contacting me wouldn’t have been near as much fun as public innuendo.
I posted in reply:
“Wayne, I don’t know what you’re talking about. Lois has contacted you on a couple of occasions as part of her investigation of your Mormon-Nazi-Burrows Cave publication. Your pathetic attempt to move away from the LIES of Burrows, the neo-Nazi past of your EDITOR, and your disregard for manners (dude, ya could have called or e-mailed me), compels me to ...say, f*ck you. You, your queer, sick, nazi, mormon, asshole buddies... F*ck your lies... My family, my friends, my country will not stand for your stink... There... Be warned...”
Okay, not some of my finest work, but I tried. I was genuinely surprised at the continuation of the accusations that somehow my possession of Mrs. Benedict’s Michigan and Burrows items was wrong or illegal. I shouldn’t have been.
May took the time for a reply, posting:
“Dear Dick: Do you deny ever receiving these artifacts from your trusted friend Lois Benedict? You have spoken of these ‘fake michigan’ relics to myself about two conversations over the past year. Was this all a lie? Did you or did you not test a burrows cave artifacts also? Or is this a lie also?”
He then went on to request I never respond on his online forum again, promised to send a copy of my “denial” to Mrs. Benedict, and guessed “She will probably swearout [sic] a warrant for your theft and Lois and I know that you don [sic] indeed have the artifacts.”
After another reply of mine (a forgettable ditty ending with “I’m going to have the time of my LIFE cleaning up this crap...”), Burrows enjoined with:
"War! Well now, this could get interesting but, I think you are attempting to run a bluff. .... Mean time, how many more little old ladies have you ripped off, and them in nursing homes yet. I think you are just a slug and a bum who lives off of young women until they get tired of your mooching and run you off, Then you go rip off little old ladies in nursing homes. For shame, for shame. I guess I had better get in touch with Lois benedict myself and urge her to swear out a warrant for you. Yep! Like I said. Those cons in Jackson State Prison are just gonna love you. Heck, you might like that, from what I hear.”
It’s dedication like this that rates a cheap shot to go along with that cheap beer. Burrows’ mention of the Jackson prison, first built in 1838 (then billed as the world's largest prison) is interesting. So, according to Burrows and May, I’m a thief. One day, I’ll laugh about it.
Twenty-odd years earlier, Lois Benedict had acquired several “Michigan Relics” from the daughter of a principal participant of the hoax and, later, traded one to Wayne May in exchange for a Burrows’ 'cave' inscribed stone. [Note: The correspondence between Benedict and May about whose artifact was fake reveals the worst of diffusionist silliness.] May wanted the rest of Mrs. Benedict’s collection and, predictably, Burrows wanted to know exactly where all his handiwork was. It took three telephone calls (to an assisted-living nurse, a hospital, and a nursing home), before I got a message through for Mrs. Benedict to call me. She did, it was a nice and upbeat conversation, and I offered to send her items back, but said I might be able to arrange for more testing, if I had more time. Mrs. Benedict agreed I should hang on to her Michigan and Burrows items and do my best. I’m not sure I’ve done my best.
Since Leonard Nimoy’s syndicated televison series In Search Of... “Lost Vikings” episode, in 1978, diffusionists have been eager to work with film crews. Bill McGlone and Phil Leonard assisted in the making of History on the Rocks (Monahan 1985), a television documentary about their work in southeastern Colorado. Some have claimed (wrongly) that PBS science-editor, Evan Hadingham, was reprimanded after 1987's Nova: "Secrets of the Lost Red Paint People," which suggested early diffusion may have occurred in both directions across the Atlantic. Neil Steede, an archaeologist with strong diffusionist leanings, jumped at the chance to work on B.C. Video’s, The Mysterious Origins of Man, aired as an NBC Network Special and hosted by Charlton Heston (Cote 1996). And, as these things go, there’s always talk of this special or that documentary being done by this televison network or that cable company. Occasionally, short episodes with a diffusionist theme make it to a program on The History or Discovery Channels. Sometimes a production group can be a guy, a camera, a telephone, and a get-rich-quick scheme. It’s all about easier ways to make money and those involved with the Burrows Cave hoax have long sought the excitement of “Lights, camera; now film me while I count my money!”
Now, I can appreciate a nice check as much as the next person, and I wasn’t displeased (at first) when a co-author took a previously published feature, rewrote parts of it, and sold it for some respectable change in early 1999 (Flavin and Strubbe 1996). Historic Traveler was a top-notch publication (no longer printed separately--currently used as an “insert” in history-related magazines from its publishers), I worked closely with an editor in getting proper maps and directions to controversial sites, and the professional quality of production (paper and printing) made me proud to have contributed to a feature which favorably addressed diffusionist issues (though I later discovered some poor research on the part of my co-author). Burrows bought a copy at a local bookstore, congratulated me, but teased about my name being listed as second in the feature’s shared byline. He called a couple of days later and informed me of the passing of Bill McGlone. He said, “I’m sorry for the loss of your friend.” Things were starting to move quickly in early 1999 and Burrows wasn’t concerned with what I might write about his antics and the Burrows Cave hoax. He went about his business of separating fools from their money.
Burrows had been receptive to taking money from film production companies for many years. However, small, independent companies, like Najor Productions from Indiana (Heck 2001), lacked up-front grease, though Burrows often dropped their name like a teenager might brag about bumping into a celebrity at a shopping mall. Other companies approached Burrows, but were either too worldly and wily to advance Burrows any money for “exclusive rights” to a non-existent cave, or too wacky for even Burrows’ dysfunctional standards, i.e., the racist Christian preacher, Arnold Murray. Yet, perseverance often will out and Burrows finally got himself a few bucks from “Wayne May, Ralph Wolak of Fox Publications and three other investors” by taking them out into the woods and saying “This is the cave! (Uncredited 1999).” And, faithful to his nature, Burrows immediately denied revealing the “true" location of the “cave” to May and Wolak, and said the “real cave” was elsewhere. [Note: A curious antecedent to May and Wolak securing a signed agreement with Burrows, concerns the reporting in AA #25 of fantastic archaeological discoveries in southern Illinois caves. An article (May 1998) states that a landowner claims he discovered pottery which “suggested Phoenician manufacture,” a ‘magnificent, metal shield,” and a medieval metal axe, probably from “Western Europe.” Three accompanying photographs were copyrighted by “Ralph Wolak, John King Productions, Escondido, California, August, 1998.”]
So, to re-cap: Burrows claims there’s a “real cave,” which he discovered in 1982, there’s also a “decoy cave,” and then some spots he just out and out lied about. Hubbard is apparently digging up some poor guy’s backyard in the vicinity of the “decoy cave.” And now, with typical Mormon historical aplomb, Wayne May (May 1999a, p. 34) has a signed document from Burrows which alleges the existence of a “cave” somewhere in southern Illinois. Ralph Wolak is listed as “Advertising Manager” in The Ancient American credits from # 23, April/May 1998 through #29, October/November 1999 (thereafter, publisher Wayne N. May takes a nod for that position). The “three other investors”? Fools, would be the only safe guess.
At about the same time Burrows was leading May and Wolak around in the woods, The Ancient American had an issue on-sale (Vol. 4, No. 27, April/May 1999) which listed the “Ho-Chunk Nation, Dept. of Heritage Preservation, Cultural Resources Division, Black River Falls, Wisconsin,” as “Advisors” to the magazine. I deny reports of explosive diarrhea upon reading this, but will admit I was shocked at the apparent endorsement by the Winnebago/Ho-Chunk. I’d some prior dealings with the Ho-Chunk about May’s magazine, its blatant Mormon bias, its attempted manipulation of local (Wisconsin) Native American prehistory, as in the efforts of Scherz and his Ancient Earthworks Society and Joseph ‘Collin’ and his ongoing “investigation” of Rock Lake, as well as the involvement of a couple of its members in the Burrows Cave hoax. The representative from the Cultural Resources Division I spoke with remembered my previous calls, made arrangements that The Ancient American would never list the Ho-Chunk Nation as an “Advisor” again, and we commiserated about those “couple” of members who’d bought into the Burrows’ Cave hoax.
Hearing the sounds of another game about to begin, other gamblers joined May’s investigation. Glenn Kimball, a New Age revisionist author and dealer in photocopies of photocopies of alleged ancient manuscripts, spreads the good news that May has located a repository of mystical writings in southern Illinois, and Robert Ghostwolf (a.k.a. Robert Franzone), a New Age shyster and author who exploits Native American themes, believes May will soon re-discover a “cave of the ancestors,” or some such silliness. According to court documents, May was penniless in July of 1998 (Mooney 1998). A year later, May was macking with his crew (Rule Number Nine).
In April of 1999, I received a series of e-mails inviting me to a corner a few blocks away from where I lived. The e-mails were signed “Yuri Yurin” and sent from 'excite.com', a provider of anonymous e-mail accounts. Anyone who knew my mailing address, was computer savvy and capable of registering for an anonymous e-mail account, could certainly type my street address into a map-finder, which are easily found on many search engines. It was creepy. None of my friends would do such a thing. Enemies? Right. My guess was, and remains, Hubbard. And, I mentioned this to the police after they advised me to skip the meeting, though I went ahead, anyway, and wasted a half-hour waiting for someone to show up.
That summer, Hubbard went on a road-trip with his cat. He said he had a lighting or sound gig for a week in New Jersey (?) with Ted Neeley (of Jesus Christ Superstar infamy), working on, I believe, rehearsals for Rasputin, The Musical. On his way to the rehearsals, he stopped at Mooney’s, in Virginia, for the night. Hubbard telephoned me in Massachusetts and invited himself for a visit after the gig was over. Mooney telephoned the next day and recommended giving the guy a few bucks for a room someplace. There was mention of a lack of hygiene and Mooney felt bad for the cat.
Over the next week, Hubbard called a few times. The conversations started innocently enough, banal banter about diffusion, how the rehearsals were going, when I should expect him, and so on. At the end of the rehearsals, he telephoned from somewhere on the road. Civility quickly degenerated into a screaming accusation that I'd stole Lois Benedicts' artifacts and he was driving to my local police station to have me arrested. I hung up. He called back a couple of more times that night, still screaming, then went away. An unbalanced punk, to be sure.
I spoke with Mrs. Benedict about Hubbard. She was enraged and very worked up as she described Hubbard’s rudeness to her on the telephone. Hubbard had apparently screamed something about her artifacts belonging to history and he could go to her local police and have her arrested. I conjectured that Hubbard probably got her telephone number from Wayne May. She suddenly sounded tired and asked that I call back the next night. She said she wanted to talk about Wayne.
The next night, Lois began by telling me about how May stole one of her books, forgetting we were speaking on the telephone at least twice a week, at the time of the incident. She’d, of course, told me the story several times previously; it was part of her repertoire. It was sad she also forgot about the conclusions reached by the state police. Of note:
“May did mention to undersigned that he was aware of an incident that had occurred with a Vincent Mooney, when he was accused of taking something from Lois Benedict, when in fact he hadn’t. He states apparently this is just another incident that occurred..
May states he was allowed to make a copy of ‘Ten Tribes of Israel’ the book in question, but again he only had a copy given to him by Benedict, which he bound up. This is the only copy he had and again, he did not see the original.” (State of Michigan Department of State Police Original Incident Report, Incident Number 076-1093-94, dated 5-24-94.)
She told me again about the computer and printer she'd given May’s kids at the time of the incident, and I, again, reminded her about the home-made “Thank You” card the kids sent back. Mumbling, she repeated that May probably did steal her book.
Her voice picked up as she told me of selling her remaining collection of books and ephemera to Wayne May for $30,000. Lois had often bragged about the size of her collection, she considered the construction of a large backyard shed at her last home, but thirty large? I asked her if she meant $3000 and not $30,000, and she agreed at first. Then, as if reading from a check before her, she went back to $30,000, and mumbled something about getting the check to a bank. She brought up her artifacts, I said I had a couple of favors in the works for possible testing, and we ended the conversation. For a guy who presented himself on paper as a candidate for Medicaid and food stamps, May was macking! [Note: Still legally blind, Lois could have been holding a check for $30 or $3. Mooney had to sue for his money from May. Another approach would be that May was acting on someone's behalf and the money wasn't his. Perhaps May's new partner, Glenn Kimball, bought the last and bulk of Lois' collection. If so, Kimball may be violating copyright law by selling photocopies of certain rare books through his internet bookstore, as many mss. in Lois' collection were copyrighted photocopies from major universities with printed warnings against further copying.]
Some weeks later, I got a call about Mrs. Benedict and her artifacts from Marshall Payn, a member of The Epigraphic Society and a mutual acquaintance. He’d offered to pay her airfare from Michigan to Florida and put her up for a couple of weeks. She agreed to come to Florida and asked a favor–would he arrange to have her artifacts mailed to Florida, so she could see them again. I’d spoken with him a few times in the past, usually about the “Michigan Relics” and Burrows Cave, and had even discussed the testing of Mrs. Benedict’s artifacts. Something felt wrong.
Marshall informed me that he was in touch with someone who might be willing and able to test the Michigan and Burrows items. He added a qualifier, saying he wouldn’t pass Mrs. Benedict’s artifacts on without my permission, were I to mail them to him. I then spoke of Lois’ health and frail nature, surprised at her agreeing to such a trip. Marshall was sincere in his offer to Mrs. Benedict, as he’s been known to invest in many diffusionist projects and bail certain groups out of financial straights over the years, but he couldn’t keep a certain uneasiness out of his voice, as he told of a chemist who was bouncing back and forth from the States to British Columbia, and that he’d only send the artifacts to this chemist, and not to Lois, were she not to come to Florida and only call in her favor, that the artifacts be returned to her. Something was wrong.
It was the autumn of 1999 and we favored change, moving toward the new millennium was on everyone’s minds, and tomorrow seemed closer than ever. Well, that’s my reflection; I’ve no idea how Lois Benedict remembers our last telephone conversation or even if she still lives. I called her about the offered Florida vacation, we chatted for a bit, and we ended the conversation casual, as if we’d speak again, soon, and often. Perhaps we'll speak again, one day.
Her health wasn’t good at the time and she admitted to me there would have been no way for her to grab a flight out of Detroit without some serious nursing and ambulatory assistance. I asked about the $30,000 check and the status of her collection. She brought up her artifacts, got misty for a moment, then said there was someone in Michigan who wanted to see them. My suggestion that Wayne May was putting pressure on her to get the artifacts back so he could buy them, may have been out of line. I don’t think so. Sure, Lois is regarded as a leading researcher of the Soper/Savage frauds (the “Michigan Relics”), as well as a family and career woman. Although, Lois is likewise regarded by some as an old, wacky broad.
"Dig ticket" from Lois Benedict's collection of "Michigan Relics,"
with mention of "North of Detroit" and the "Palmer Woods" area.
My many conversations with her about mundane matters made her seem like a member of my family. In her day, she liked to date and have a fun night on the town. She's Catholic and possesses a quiet contempt for Mormons. We talked about spoiled puppies and how to scrape off chicken fat for gravy, as well as general diffusionist issues and how some groups of inscribed artifacts (Michigan, Iowa, Ohio, and Burrows are easy examples) invariably consist of (poorly executed) religious iconography. She once taught at a high-school I briefly attended in a suburb of Detroit, and though this was more than ten years before I was there, I readily addressed her with a respect one might afford an old high-school teacher, yet also with casual Michigander honesty. I asked her again about Wayne May and what, if anything, he had to do with her recent concern for her artifacts and my continuing attempts (not the greatest; admitted) to get them tested. She mumbled off, told me again to do my best, and said she’d talk to me later. It’s much later and she still hasn’t called.
In the 1999 October/November issue of The Ancient American, May reported that spring rains had interfered with the Burrows Cave Project (May 1999b). He and his group used the time to tour nearby towns, as well as visit Thelma and Sherman McClain, to “view their collection of artifacts.” [Note: Though Burrows claimed the March 1997 auction was a “fantastic success,” apparently the McClains are still stuck with a number of Burrows’ carved and inscribed stones (Burrows 1997).] May told of meeting a local resident who had discovered a riverbed loaded with the same type of stone used in the vast majority of items alleged to come from Burrows Cave, and published photographs comparing blank stones to an inscribed Burrows Cave stone. The article introduces the owner of the property, who describes how Burrows often visited the site but always asked for permission first. May concluded he had identified the source of the “mudstones” and then rejected The Kids’ theory from AA #16 that the stones came from North Africa where they were originally used as ballast by ships. Hey, that’s stepping forward and being responsible with new information! Sure.
The stone used as an illustration for May’s piece was the same stone Joseph ‘Collin’ touted in AA #17 (Joseph ‘Collin’ 1997a) as evidence that Burrows’ Cave could no longer be handily dismissed. Joseph ‘Collin’ relies on the opinion of an Illinois lapidarist and gemologist who concluded the stone is “probably from Olmec, Mexico, judging from its characteristic 'were-jaguar’ facial features.” So, enquiring minds want to know; which is it? Is this “finished” piece, an “evocative, black, pendent-like stone sculpture,” which is said to have come from Burrows Cave, originally from Mexico? Or was it made in southern Illinois two thousand years ago? Or sometime in the 1980s? It doesn’t matter; The Ancient American was just getting started with their menu of choices.
The December 1999 issue of The Ancient American made me very sad. It featured a lead-story entitled, “An Ancient North African Treasure-Trove in Southern Illinois (Joseph ‘Collin’ 1999).” The cover announced “Hebrews in 1st Century Illinois,” an idea which must have appealed to the magazine’s Mormon publisher, as well as many of its Mormon readers. Joe Smith (the author of the Book of Mormon was murdered in Illinois in 1844, and Mormon doctrine holds that ancient Hebrews sailed to the New World. The story told by Joseph ‘Collin’ combined theories of Al the Great by The Kids (Schaffranke ‘Kelly’ 1997) and Cyclone Covey's speculation about King Juba (Covey 1997; 1998), yet no credit is shared. And, most disturbingly, Joseph ‘Collin’ draws attention to various items alleged to have been removed from Burrows Cave which he believes depict blacks who had undergone “ritual scarificaton.” Jews, blacks, and Illinois? Written by one of America’s most infamous neo-Nazis? In a publication put out by a Mormon? Right. It’s a coincidence...
The next issues of The Ancient American featured a steady stream of articles which either dealt with Burrows Cave or were written by those closely associated with perpetuating the hoax. [Note: Burrows 2000; Covey 2000a, 2000b, 2000c, 2000d; Kimball 2000; May 2000; May and Bennett 2000; Redcloud 2000; Scherz 2000.] No real surprise here. Burrows' 'cave' and The Ancient American have always had a close relationship. I'm thinking something a little closer than the concept of "kissin' cousins," as Burrows may have been one of the original investors who put up $5000 each (like Mooney) to launch the magazine. Or maybe he paid with his carved and inscribed stones.
In early 2000, I took Mrs. Benedict’s Michigan and Burrows items to have them photographed by Malcolm Pearson. One of the first and most influential investigators into American diffusionist theories, Pearson’s photographs were featured in The Ruins of Great Ireland in New England (by William B. Goodwin, Boston: Meador Press, 1946). He had owned Mystery Hill-America’s Stonehenge at one time and was instrumental in the founding of the Early Sites Foundation (later, the Early Sites Research Society) and NEARA. His classic photographs of New England enigmas like Dighton Rock and the Spirit Pond rune-stones are essential archival examples of diffusionist studies. Pearson didn’t think much of the workmanship of the Michigan and Burrows items he photographed. I gave him twenty bucks to cover the cost of the film and a copy of the current The Ancient American. Pearson did a nice job with the lighting and I got him to autograph my copy of the Goodwin book. Okay, so I got over on that one.
Both sides of an inscribed stone from "Burrows Cave."
Photos by Malcolm D. Pearson, © 2000.
The testing of Mrs. Benedict’s Michigan and Burrows items remained problematic. I struck up a correspondence with an associate professor in chemistry at Harvard, for whom investigating fantastic archeology claims was a hobby, and took him the items to examine. It was another waste of time, as the items were so blatantly fraudulent, most professionals wouldn’t invest a dime of time in testing. Well, that, and he only had a temporary, two-year appointment to Harvard and lacked the clout and connections to get things done. He said he once took his visiting mother to Widener Library, but as she wasn’t student or staff, and he was only a temp-prof, she was refused admittance.
Over the summer of 2000, I realized that I’d probably stay in the Boston area for the foreseeable future, and began scouting around for new digs. By Halloween, I’d moved into an apartment in Salem, and shortly afterwards had mailed Mrs. Benedict’s items to Neil Steede. I haven’t seen Mrs. Benedict’s Michigan and Burrows items since November 2000 and am unsure of their present whereabouts. It wasn’t supposed to happen like that.
I had my first chat with Steede in 1990 after Barry Fell recommended I contact him concerning some photographs of marked bricks from Comalcalco, Mexico. Fell had interpreted a series of marks and a sketch of a man to be Numidian for “Jesus, Protector” and the sketch to be that of Jesus (Fell 1988a). Oh, and another brick had marks which looked a little like Hebrew letters atop a series of tally-notations, suggesting use as a calendar or navigational device (Fell 1988b). My research into the Jesus Narrative and astro-myth (Flavin 1994b) was going full swing, so I telephoned Steede and asked to purchase copies of photographs of the two marked bricks. I got a long story about investors, copyrights, originals, dupes, and Fell’s filing habits. Not too long after Fell passed away in 1994, Steede received the photographs from Fell’s estate, and made me copies. [Note: After Fell, Steede is a little less confident the marks on the bricks at Comalcalco are inscriptions, and now suggests the “calendar” notations might have been used in a Native American game of some sort.]
In our five years of conversations prior to his 1999 passing, Bill McGlone always had good things to say about Steede. A student of Alexander von Wuthenau (Von Wuthenau 1975, p. 51), Neil worked on digs in Central and South America, often at sites where he believed he detected evidence of diffusion and some pre-Columbian contact between the Old and New worlds. Though a Reformed Mormon (RLDS, now “Community of Christ”), Steede doesn’t appear to be either practicing or a supporter of Mormon revisionist history. Jim Whittall also thought highly of Neil and, before he died in late 1998, handed over the reigns of the Early Sites Research Society (now called ESRS West). Since his success with the NBC program (Cote 1996), Steede has suffered substantial vision loss which qualifies him as legally blind. Nowadays, it seems he spends more time lecturing than in the field. He was often out of town when I called, but we stayed in touch on an irregular basis.
I’d also spoken with Neil on a couple of occasions about getting Mrs. Benedict’s Michigan and Burrows items tested, but he didn’t know of anyone to suggest at the time. Then, one day, I got a call from him concerning a chemist who was visiting Independence, MO (where Steede lives), and who might be interested in testing the items. I don’t remember clearly, but I believe it was the same fellow from British Columbia that Payn had in mind. Neil said the chemist would be around for five days. I thought about it for a couple of days (thereby wasting the chance to mail cheaply), then spent twenty-one bucks to ship the items overnight. Dumb move.
When I called the next evening to see if he’d received the items, Neil said that he arrived at the post office late, it was closed, and he would go pick them up the next day. I didn’t speak with Steede again for several months and, even then, it was about other matters and Mrs. Benedict’s items weren't mentioned. I kept waiting for him to call, tell me about the testing, and return the items. Wish in one hand and do what in the other?
Over the last year, due in large part to the many appearances on various crackpot talk-radio shows by Frank Joseph ‘Collin’, Wayne May, and Glenn Kimball, with even the rare interview with Russ Burrows himself, the Burrows’ Cave hoax has reached a wider audience than ever before. Apparently, radio-shows help sell books, magazines, and, among other things, also promote upcoming appearances at meetings, lectures, conventions, etc. In addition, due to the inherent nature of crackpot talk-radio, such syndicated wacky programs as Art Bell's "Coast to Coast" show, Rob McConnell's "The X-Zone," Laura Lee, Jeff Rense, and Peter Weissbach’s "The Quest," all assist in disseminating crap. It’s been a marriage from The Twilight Zone, this union of crooked, agenda-driven, extreme diffusionists and crackpot radio-shows. They were made for each other.
Much of the recent hype about Burrows’ Cave has originated with Kimball. Another crackpot and, like Austin Powers, an international man of mystery, as Kimball claims a Ph.D., says he taught at an Illinois university, cites a personal epiphany in South America and a revealed calling for selling crap books about fictional accounts of the childhood of Jesus, as well as any other wacky book or publication about unorthodox, apocryphal, or religious scam-theories he can make a buck on. He's said, "My job is to raise the consciousness of the world to the ancient texts." An e-mail (Kimball 2001a) from his internet bookstore announced:
“We are so excited we can't hardly stand ourselves. Wayne is leaving for the cave site with the mining engineers tomorrow. They will resurvey the site and pick the exact spot for the drill. On Aug. 29th they will drill a two inch hole to the cavern opening. Then they will use that two inch drill casing as a ruler for the heavy equipment to dig a six by six hole from the side into the cavern. They are using heavy mining equipment and not your run of the mill backhoe etc. They estimate it will take just a couple of days to get the hole opened. Then they will air the cave out with giant fans. Then we will use artificial mining oxygen masks to enter the site for a preliminary survey of the interior. We should know by the second week in September if we have struck paydirt or not. I just spoke to Art Bell's producer and they will be doing live updates once we verify the site's value.”
Clearly Kimball is easily excited. He claims he’s one of Art Bell’s most popular guests and to have sold more books because of his appearances on “Coast to Coast” than any other guest.
Some of Kimball’s appeal may derive from his attacks on others. Robert Ghostwolf apparently crossed paths with Kimball before Burrows’ Cave (I’m sure lots of cat-fights take place along the wacky circuit of convention appearances and radio-shows), but once Ghostwolf (admittedly of mixed descent) got involved with the Burrows Cave hoax, Kimball lashed out with:
“He claims he will have his ‘Indian buddies there on site for the cave opening. He knows darn well that we have already invited the representatives of the Indian nations long before he got involved. If he brings his closest relatives the Italians have nothing to do with the site.”
This is either a patently ethnic slur or a cryptic reference to the background of an early “landowner” of Burrows Cave, a gangster named “Tony” from Chicago and St. Louis, as claimed at one time by Burrows. It doesn’t matter. It’s a slam and contributes to his image. [Note: See Kimball 2001b reference below for a quote by Kimball about Hubbard. Also, Burrows has reported on the Ancient Lost Treasures/Burrows Cave ezboard forum that Robert J. Franzone (a.k.a. Robert Ghostwolf) passed away Dec. 21, 2005.]
Kimball is at ease with the Burrows Cave hoax and seems to be good buds with Wayne May, as they lecture and appear together in public often. His busy schedule must have kept him from a wacky-topic 2001 event in Austria which featured Burrows, Scherz, May, and Neil Steede. I knew about the conference months in advance, though it recently came as a surprise to learn Mrs. Benedict’s Michigan and Burrows items were also featured.
attended and spoke at the 2001
ISAC Annual Conference, met with Neil Steede, and learned the items
were on display in Austria. We smoke the same brand of
Menthol, and as we talked between lectures, I regarded him
a kindred spirit in flavored solanacea addiction. When he told me
of the whereabouts of Mrs. Benedict’s items (ignoring his earlier
to me not to do anything with or pass along the items without
me first), I was immediately angry. Neil’s a good-sized fellow
if he wouldn’t have been legally blind and at a disadvantage, I
would have reacted differently. I snubbed out one cigarette and
another. He told me of flying back and sitting next to Russ
on the airplane. After a few hours of silence, according to
he turned to Burrows and asked, “So, how long does it take you to make
one of those artifacts?” “About three minutes,” Burrows
Great gossip, but I was and remain enraged that Mrs. Benedict’s
and Burrows items went to Austria without my permission. Steede
with Burrows and his Boys, not testing Mrs. Benedict’s items, and using
them as lecture fodder at a wacky-con in Austria is just plain selfish
A stolen Soper-Savage artifacts and a engraved BC rock from the Unsolved Mysteries Exhibition Jun. 22-Nov. 4, 2001 in Vienna.
Used without permission.
At the 2002 ISAC conference I again approached Steede about Mrs. Benedict’s artifacts, as I knew they'd been returned from Austria. He didn’t answer directly until the day before the conference ended. Finally, Steede said that Marshall Payn had them. I sputtered a couple of questions, variations of how and why, and he just lowered his eyes and suggested I needed “...to speak with Marshall.” Great. I had to lean on some old rich guy in a wheelchair who had been suffering from polio or some such disease his entire life. Others had confidentially warned me about Steede and his lack of trustworthiness when it came to money or any endeavors which involve money, but I’d never heard so much as an unkind word said about Payn (except a warning from McGlone that with his cash reserves he shouldn’t be crossed). As the thirsty gathered at the hotel bar after the keynote address (given by Payn), I decided to let the matter go for the time being and informed Payn that I’d telephone him at his home in Florida in a couple of days. He smiled and said he was looking forward to the call.
NEARA’s “Across Before Columbus? Plus Ten: 1992-2002" conference took place a week after ISAC and many of the same speakers attended both. The night before the NEARA conference I picked Steede up at Logan airport and we stopped for steak and cheese subs before I drove him to the Waltham hotel. I told him that my telephone conversation the week before with Payn had barely lasted a minute, as Payn denied having Mrs. Benedict’s artifacts and suggested I talk further with the person I gave them to, Neil Steede. He said “Damn him” a couple of times and mumbled something about working things out. I was dealing with lying punks left and right. The good amateurs were just as pathetic as the bad amateurs. Could it get worse? I’d been so absorbed in Steede and the artifacts that I’d forgotten it was the night of Oct. 31st, Halloween, and driving home to Salem was going to take much longer than I planned. [Note: Someday I’ll find out what happened to Mrs. Benedict’s artifacts. As I have the “dig-ticket” she provided for the Michigan Relics it may be assumed that whoever bought them from Steede doesn’t care about history, just collecting. I’m sad, now. Soon, I’ll get angry.]
In a 2001 issue of The Ancient American, Wayne May announced that he’s no longer searching for “Burrows’ Cave,” as that name should belong to Burrows and any endeavor Burrows is involved in (May 2001). So, May has renamed the site he’s digging as the “Tombs of Embarras,” after the nearby Embarras River. He also distances his magazine and Wolak’s “Discovery Resources” (company number three?) from Hubbard and Robert Ghostwolf at the beginning and end of the article. A “Ho Chunk Elder” is mentioned as scheduled to be present when he enters the “tunnel system,” to represent Native Americans. Burrows Cave, whether known as “Pharaoh’s Cave,” “Mystery Cave of Many Faces,” the “Lost Tomb of Alexander the Great,” or the “Tombs of Embarras,” remains a hoax.
The often perceived heresy of cultural diffusion, or models which suggest transoceanic and inter-societal contact between the Old and New worlds before Columbus, continues to inspire its champions. Pre-Columbiana: A Journal of Long-Distance Contacts and the post-Fell ESOP both combine credibility with controversy. The diffusion model has received such popular exposure as the cover-article in a recent The Atlantic Monthly (Stengel 2000) and with the odd suggestion by Smithsonian archaeologist, Dennis Stanford, that Solutrean Europeans may have tip-toed across the North Atlantic and inspired the Native American “Clovis” culture. The continuing arguments put forth by Prof. Carl Johannessen about New World plants in an early Old World context, as well as Neilsen's ongoing work on the Kensington Rune Stone, are intellectually vibrant and challenging while showing promise of good work and debate to come. Burrows’ Cave? The efforts of The Ancient American? Talk-radio silliness, financially motivated fraud, outrageous religious agendas, and amateur historical revisionism is what this is all about. It's never been about history or science. It’s about fools. And, I've added to the foolishness by suffering the lies of Russell Burrows and his associates. It's time for me to climb out of Burrows Cave.
[Note: A recent story in the Chicago Reader (Huebner 2002a) about “The Waubansee Stone” featured Frank Joseph, editor of The Ancient American, who “didn’t actually view the Waubansee Stone till the early 1980s, when he embarked on a career in ‘cultural diffusionist’ studies...” Right. Frank Collin, neo-Nazi and pedophile, gets out of jail and becomes ‘Frank Joseph’. I wrote the Chicago Reader and expressed my disappointment (Flavin 2002). The author’s reply was pure wiggle (Huebner 2002b) and a columnist reasoned "that when someone starts out life as a Nazi, there's nowhere to go but up (Miner 2002)." Ouch.]
“So long as human nature remains the same, it may be presumed that men will be ready to believe what they wish to believe, and that no hoax will be too preposterous to be without a following.” From “A Persistent Forgery,” by F. Kelsey, American Anthropologist, Vol. 33, No. 1, 1911, pp. 26-31; quoted on p. 188 in Williams 1991.
As the twentieth anniversary of the Burrows Cave hoax passed without a notice, skepticism remains a whisper in a room filled with loud-mouthed believers and con-men. The continuation of the hoax and its real threat of becoming an inextricable bit of contemporary American folklore (like Elvis sightings), is due to the laziness of academics, professionals, and officials who could have long ago exposed the fraud and demonstrated the recent manufacture of the items. A cave? Go read Plato. The only cave Burrows discovered was in his mind.
It should begin and end with the thousands of items Burrows claims he removed from a cave, but it doesn’t. The items are modern and Burrows is a liar. If scholars like Cyclone Covey and the late Joe Mahan see a validation of their own diffusionist efforts in the Burrows’ 'cave' items, it shouldn’t matter, as the items are modern and Burrows is a liar. If The Kids claim to be able to read the various ancient scripts used on the Burrows’ 'cave' items as Etruscan or some form of Latin, it shouldn’t matter, as the items are modern and Burrows is a liar. If May and Kimball want to join The Kids and dig up backyards in southern Illinois looking for a fantastic cave, it shouldn’t matter, because there is no cave and Burrows is a liar. It shouldn’t matter, but it does.
Exploiting a common psychological need to believe in something other than the consensual, Burrows and his Boys have made strange bedfellows of certain cultural diffusionists, Mormons, Nazis, UFO-idiots, paranormal nuts, and some fools who have difficulty hanging on to their money. The hoax takes advantage of the steady growth of Christian fundamentalism and creationist pseudoscience in America. A significant byproduct of these movements (i.e., creationism and prayer in school, anti-abortion and anti-gay rights) has been their alignment with such extreme nonconformist groups as anti-government and militia organizations, historical revisionists, and racists. A typical comment found on various online message-boards after a mention of Burrows Cave on a crackpot talk-radio show, would be: “See, I always knew there was something we weren’t being told.” Belief in the fantastic, or our “demon-haunted world,” to quote the late Carl Sagan, should be receding in contemporary culture, but it isn’t. It seems to be more popular than ever.
The failure to put an end to the Burrows Cave hoax must be shared by many (as I can only handle so much). Though skepticism of pseudoarchaeological claims is being taught at a few colleges, several fine books remain in-print which deal with these topics, and the skeptic magazines sometime publish on pseudoarchaeology (though it’s often Old World), the standard “Every newspaper publishes an astrology column, but few publish a column about astronomy,” holds true. On television, radio, and in the print and electric media, the appeal is for what might be possible, not for what never could be. Of course, P. T. Barnum was right, but America should do its best to protect its fools from the likes of Burrows.
Extraordinary claims usually
proof, though in the case of the Burrows’ Cave hoax any proof would do,
if such a thing was possible. The items alleged to have been
from Burrows’ Cave are modern, there is no cave, and Burrows is a
Elvis must be somewhere having a good laugh.
further silliness, see: "Come Out of the Cave,
Wondering what Mendelssohn really
thought about Fingal,
Selected bibliography and references
AA -- The
Bailey, Charles W. 1988. “Forum: Burrows Cave Artifacts,” ESOP, Vol. 17, p. 16; reprinted as “The Burrows Cave Artifacts,” ESOP, Vol. 19, 1990, p. 99.
Barron, David P. 1997. “Letters to the Editor: Loved our cover photo!,” AA, Vol. 3, No. 17, March/April, p.26.
Barron, David P. 1998a. “Letters to the Editor: Burrows Cave ‘a cocktail mix of pebbles!’,” AA, Vol. 3, No. 22, January/February, p. 8.
Barron, David P. 1998b. “Letters to the Editor: No Confidence in Burrows Cave,” AA, Vol. 3, No. 24, July, August, p. 33.
Barton, Paul. 1998a. “New Evidence for Ancient Afro-Americans,” AA, Vol. 3, No. 22, January/February, pp. 22-26.
Barton, Paul. 1998b. “Letters to the Editor: Prehistoric Blacks in America,” AA, Vol. 3, No. 23, pp. 13 and 14.
Buchanan, Donal B. 1989a. “Burrows Cave Artifacts,” MAES Newletter, #2, May 1, p. 1.
Buchanan, Donal B. 1989b. “Heads Up!,” MAES Newsletter, #3, Nov. 15, p.1.
Buchanan, Donal B. 1990. “Ancient World Conference, MAES Newsletter, #4, Oct. 9, p. 1.
Buchanan, Donal B. 1991. “The True Believer Syndrome,” MAES Newsletter, #5, June 23, p. 1.
Buchanan, Donal B. 1994. “Robert Pyle to Speak at Mid-Atlantic Meeting,” MAES Newsletter, #10, Oct., p. 1.
Buchanan, Donal A. 1995. “Clinging to the Lie,” MAES Newsletter, #11, April, p. 2.
Buergin, Luc. 1998. Geheimakte Archäologie: unterdräckte Entdeckungen, verschollene Schätze, bizarre Funde. München: Bettendorf'sche Verlagsanstalt (In German).
Bürgin, Luc and Dorthy L. Hayden. 1993. Correspondence initiated by Bürgin for information about Burrows' Cave from Hayden's American Institute for Archaeological Research, dated 13.06.93; two-page reply from Hayden to Bürgin, dated June 24, 1993; follow-up letter by Bürgin, stating: "I am neither a supporter nor a debunker of Russell's claims and so I was a little bit astonished about your recent letter. I sent Russell and Prof. Scherz a copy of your letter just because I was so interested in their answers concerning your arguments. That's all. Sorry if you hadn't agreed with this," dated 13.08.93. Available by request.
Burrows, Russell E. 1989a. “Fraudulent Tablet (Letter to Fell),” ESOP, Vol. 18, p.326.
Burrows, Russell. 1989b. “Russell Burrows Answers,” LMS Newsletter, No. 28, pp. 1 and 2.
Burrows, Russell E. 1990a. The Discovery of Burrows Cave. Atlanta, IN: Seven Stars, Inc.
Burrows, Russell E. 1990b. “Russell Burrows Writes-Barry Fell Responds (Photocopy of a letter from Burrows to Fell, dated August 6, 1990),” ESOP, Vol. 19, p. 97.
Burrows, Russell E. 1991a. Quoted in Notes Taken at Meeting of Burrows Cave ad hoc Committee, 12 June 1991, Mahan,/Chapman/ISAC Collection at the Schwob Memorial Library, Columbus State University, Columbus, GA; "John Ward at present has 354 artifacts from the cave. He once had about 2000. He is believed to have sold a number of them. A lady friend of Russ's (antique dealer?) has 1000 which are 'safe' according to Russ."
Burrows, Russell E.. 1991b. “Follow-Ups: Burrows Cave Correspondence,” LMS Newsletter, No. 43, November 15, pp. 2 and 3.
Burrows, Russell E. 1994. “Extremely Insulting!,” LMS Newsletter, Unnumbered, March, p. 5.
Burrows, Russell E. 1995a. “Ancient Pirate Treasure In Illinois?,” AA, Vol. 2, No 11, October/November. pp. 40 and 41.
Burrows, Russell E. 1995b. “Letters to the Editor: Burrows Of Burrows Cave,” AA, Vol. 2, No 11, October/November, p. 43.
Burrows, (Brigadier General) Russell E. 1995c. “The Black Hawk War,” MES Journal, Vol. 9, No. 1, pp. 63-65.
Burrows, (General) Russell E. 1996a. “Illinois State & Federal Laws and Burrows Cave,” AA, Vol. 3, No. 13, p. 19.
Burrows, Russel E. 1996b. E-mail fom Burrows to Richard Flavin quoting Hubbard, dated November 5. Available on request.
Burrows, Russel E. 1996c. E-mail from Burrows to Richard Flavin, dated November 20. Available on request.
Burrows, Russel E. 1996d. Personal correspondence from Burrows to Richard Flavin, dated December 6. Available on request.
Burrows, Russell E. 1997. E-mail from Burrows to Richard Flavin, probably forwarded to others, dated 97-03-16. After comments about Flavin being "deranged" and "dropped on his head when a baby," Burrows writes: "Remember also that this GREAT RICK FLAVIN has written about Frank Joseph and his unfortunate past. A past which he has paid dearly for. Renmember [sic] as well that the GREAT RICK FLAVIN has published what he considers the fact but which is infact [sic], the very looney idea that Frank Joseph and I became friends while I worked at Pontiac State Prison and Frank was an inmate. His claim is that Frank and I dreamed up the cave idea there and at that time. The GREAT RICK FLAVIN has a copy of my seperation [sic] papers from Illinois State Service. He knows well that I left there well prior to Frank Joseph’s arrival. Remember also that the GREAT RICK FLAVIN made many foolish statements in the past and be assured one and all that I will be sending all of those to you. As soon as I can put all of the foolish, nay, crazy ramblings of this supposed man onto a disc, I will forward that information to each and every member and supporter. The included e-mail (Flavin 1997b) was received AFTER my returning home from the refered [sic] to auction which was a fantastic success.” Available on request.
Burrows, Russell. 1998a. "Re: Dick Flaverin is heard from again," posted to the Ancient American forum, February 11. Available on request.
Burrows, Russell. 1998b. “Letters to the Editor: Burrows debunks ‘ancient bronze sword’,” AA, Vol. 3, No. 22, January/February, p.8.
Burrows, Russell. 1998c. “Letters to the Editor: Wannabes on the Edge of Science,” AA, Vol. 3, No. 23, April/May, p. 14.
Burrows, Russell. 2000. “Burrows Cave is Opened!,” AA, Vol. 5, No. 33, June, p. 8.
Burrows, Russell and Fred Rydholm. 1992. The Mystery Cave of Many Faces. Marquette, MI: Superior Heartland, Inc.
Burrows, Russell, et al (B.C.C. board). 1997. “Letters to the Editor: Permission Denied!,” AA, Vol. 3, No. 17, March/April, p. 26.
Chandler, Dana, Bart Henson, and Norman Totten. 2001. Analysis of Coins/Medallions from Burrows' Cave, Private Printing: Auburn, Alabama.
Coppens, Filip. 1994. “Letters to the Editor: Burrows Cave” AA, Vol. 1, No. 4, January/February, p.18.
Covey, Cyclone. 1975. Calalus: A Roman Jewish Colony in America from the Time of Charlemagne Through Alfred the Great. New York: Vantage Press.
Cote, Bill. 1996. The Mysterious Origins of Man, B.C. Video, Inc., a video documentary produced and directed by Cote, interviews with Michael Cremo, Neil Steede, and others, narrated by Charlton Heston.
Covey, Cyclone. 1991. “Follow-Ups: Burrows Cave Correspondence,” LMS Newsletter, No. 42, October 1, pp. 4 and 5.
Covey, Cyclone. 1992. "Preface" in The Mystery Cave of Many Faces(Burrows and Rydholm 1992, pp. xvii - xxiv).
Covey, Cyclone. 1994. “Reflection on Burrows Cave,” ISAC Report, Vol. 8, No. 5, pp. 3-6.
Covey, Cyclone. 1997. “Letters to the Editor: Responding to Hubbard,” AA, Vol. 3, No. 18, May/June, p. 14.
Covey, Cyclone. 1998. “Authenticating Burrows Cave: A response to Alexander P. MacGregor’s article in Issue #21,” AA, Vol. 3, No. 22, January/February, pp. 10 and 11.
Covey, Cyclone. 2000a. “Pre-Columbian Crucible: The Birthplace of American Civilization,” AA, Vol. 5, No. 31, February, pp. 2 and 3, 10 and 11.
Covey, Cyclone. 2000b. “Letters to the Editor: Bring on the caveats!,” AA, Vol. 5, No. 31, February, p. 23.
Covey, Cyclone. 2000c. “Pre-Columbian Crucible: The Birthplace of American Civilization - The Second of Three Parts,” AA, Vol. 5, No. 32, April, pp. 28-31.
Covey, Cyclone. 2000d. “Pre-Columbian Crucible: The Birthplace of American Civilization - The Third of Three Parts,” AA, Vol. 5, No. 33, June, pp. 29-35.
Deal, David Allen. 1998. “Letters to the Editor: ‘That’s religion, not science’,” AA, Vol. 3, No. 23, April/May, p. 13.
Dexter, Warren W. 1988. “Forum: Dear Editor,” ESOP, Vol. 17, pp. 16 and 17.
Emerson, Thomas E. 1993. “Burrows Cave (Reply letter from Emerson to Lois D. Benedict, dated October 19, 1992),” ESOP, Vol. 22, p. 20.
Etzenhouser, Rudolf. 1910. Engravings of Prehistoric Specimens from Michigan. U.S.A. (Detroit, MI?). Reprinted 1994, Columbus, GA: ISAC Press.
Fell, Barry. 1976. America B.C.: Ancient Settlers in the New World. New York: Quadrangle/The New York Times Book Co.
Fell, Barry. 1987. “Detecting Fraudulent Inscriptions,” ESOP, Vol. 16, p. 24.
Fell, Barry. 1988a. "A Christian North African Inscription from Comalcalco," ESOP, Vol. 17, pp. 283 and 284.
Fell, Barry. 1988b. "A Punic Calendar from Comalcalco," ESOP, Vol. 17, pp. 184-286.
Fell, Barry. 1990a. “Russell Burrows Writes-Fell Responds (Reply to a letter from Burrows to Fell, dated August 6, 1990), ESOP, Vol. 19, p. 97.
Fell, Barry. 1990b. “Epigraphy of the Burrows Cave Tablets,” ESOP, Vol. 19, p. 98 and 99.
Flavin, Richard D. 1992. "The Karanovo Zodiac," ESOP, Vol. 20 (dated 1991), pp. 37-42.
Flavin, Richard. 1994a. Affidavit concerning "Frank Joseph" and Frank Collin, dated June, 11. Click here.
Flavin, Richard D. 1994b. "The Zodiacs: Maps of Heaven and History," unpublished paper, privately distributed in 1994, with various changes through 1999. Click here.
Flavin, Richard. 1996a. WOJB's Morning Fire, hosted by Paul DeMain; interview with Richard Flavin concerning Burrows' Cave, 1-24-96.
Flavin, Richard. 1996b. "A Nazi's Progress: Richard Flavin peers into the changing face of Frank Joseph Collin," NewCity (a Chicago weekly), Vol. 11, No. 425, August 15-21, p. 8.
Flavin, R. D. 1997a. "The Many Faces of Frank Collin," The Greenwich Village Gazette (http://www.nycny.com), Feb. 21. Updated in 1999 as "Frank Collin: From neo-Nazi to Hyper-Diffusionist and Witch," Flavin's Corner (http://www.flavinscorner.com/collin.htm).
Flavin, Richard. 1997b. E-mail to Midwest Auction, dated 97-03-15. "Dear Sirs or Madams: My name is Richard Flavin and I may be reached at xxx-xxxx-xxxx, or by e-mail, at the address shown. This auction is one of impossibilities and you need to be advised of possible legal ramifications from any potential sales. Please be advised that the items you are attempting to sell are modern attempts at an imaginary prehistory for America before Columbus. Your published qualification of 'no guarantee as to authenticity’ may not protect you from State and Federal consumer fraud laws. Be advised–Illinois officials, museums, leading archaeologists, and expert validation scientists have dismissed The Burrows’ Frauds as very recent efforts, probably all worked after 1976. If you represent The Burrows’ Frauds as ‘contemporary folk-art,’ tax problems are your biggest concern. If you in any way represent The Burrows’ Frauds as being even remotely pre-Columbian, please be advised, I, and others, will see this mockery through the courts and require you, the sellers, and the buyers, to settle with State and Federal requirements for actions of Consumer Fraud. Simply saying something may or may not be ‘real’ is not responsible. The Burrows’ Frauds represent an impossibility of ancient confluence. These examples are merely the work of a crude copyist of vague and obscure images. Please don’t break the law any further than it already has been broken. Regards, Rick.”
Flavin, Richard. 2002. "Letters to the Editor: Secret Identity," Chicago Reader, Vol. 31, No. 16, Sect. 1, p.3. Unedited version: "To the Editor: Recently the Chicago Reader ran a story about a local enigmatic stone and featured comments by "Frank Joseph," an author, public speaker, and editor of THE ANCIENT AMERICAN magazine. "Joseph" is the pseudonym of Frank Collin, the half-Jewish, ex-neo-Nazi, and convicted pederast, who achieved infamy for, among other things, threatening to march in Skokie. Those who work with "Joseph" (his publishers, radio-talk show hosts, and others) know of his true identity and horrible past, but claim he's a changed man. Today "Joseph" deals with such fantastic topics as Atlantis, UFOs, and specializes in a revisionist history which seeks to minimize the accomplishments of Native Americans and argues for a significant influence by Europeans and other Old World people before Columbus. It's one thing for crackpots to overlook Collin's past, because his interests coincide with their own, and another for the Chicago Reader to use this sicko as an authority. It's a shame his homecoming wasn't better publicized."
Flavin, Richard and Bill Strubbe. 1996. "Old Stones and New Meanings," Spirit of Change, Vol. 10, No. 39, September/October, pp. 16-18. Rewritten as "Written In Stone," by Bill Strubbe and Rick Flavin, Historic Traveler, February 1999, pp. 30-35.
Godlewski, Steven. 1993. “Letters to the Editor: Burrows Cave,” AA, Vol. 1, No. 3, November/December, p. 28.
Gordon, Cyrus H. 1991. “Follow-Ups: Burrows Cave Correspondence,” LMS Newsletter, No. 42, October 1, pp. 6 and 7.
Hansen, Evan. 1995. “Letters to the Editor: Watermelon and Green Cheese,” AA, Vol. 2, No. 11, October/November, pp. 42 and 43.
Hart, Carl. 1993. “Letters to the Editor: Burrows Cave,” AA, Vol. 1, No. 3, November/December, p. 28.
Hayden, Dorothy L. 1992. “The Burrows Cave Book,” AIAR Newsletter, Vol. 8, No.’s 5 & 6, pp. 25 and 26.
Hayden, Dorothy L. 1993. “The Great Burrows Cave Scam,” AIAR Newsletter, Vol. 9, No. [Unknown], pp. 13-15.
Heck, Jeff. 2001. Personal correspondence between Heck and Richard Flavin. Available by request.
Hourigan, Virginia. 1987. “Advertisement: Photos From ‘Pharaoh’s Cave’, Illinois,” NEARA Journal, Vol. 21, No. 3, Winter, inside back-cover.
Huebner, Jeff. 2002a. "The Riddle of the Rock," Chicago Reader, Vol. 31, No. 14, Sect. 1, pp. 1 and 16-18.
Huebner, Jeff. 2002b. "Letters to the Editor: Jeff Huebner replies," Chicago Reader, Vol. 31, No. 16, Sect. 1, p.3. Huebner writes: "While I find his past indefensible, I can defend his right to espouse ideas about North American prehistory, as unpopular and far-fetched as they may be."
Hunt, Jean. 1989. “Artifacts Revealed,” LMS Newsletter, No. 25, July 15, pp.1-3.
Hunt, Jean. 1992. “Letter to the Editor, ESOP 21,” LMS Newsletter, No. 51, September 1, pp. 14 and 15; also in ESOP, Vol. 21, 1992, pp. 20 and 21.
Hunt, Jean. 1993. “Book Reviews: Rock Art Pieces from Burrows Cave in Southern Illinois,” LMS Newsletter, No. 54, January 1, pp. 8 and 9.
Joseph 'Collin', Frank. 1993. “A Most Controversial Site,” AA, Vol. 1, No. 2, September/October, p. 3.
Joseph 'Collin', Frank. 1994a. “Strong Evidence and Weak Opposition,” AA, Vol. 1, No. 5, March/April, p. 5.
Joseph 'Collin', Frank. 1994b. Personal correspondence between Collin and Richard Flavin, dated April 14, 1994. Available on request
Joseph 'Collin', Frank. 1994c. Personal correspondence between Collin and Richard Flavin, dated June 15, 1994; unsigned. Available on request.
Joseph ‘Collin’, Frank. 1997a. “Is Burrows Cave for real?,” AA, Vol. 3. No. 16, March/April, pp. 11 and 12.
Joseph 'Collin', Frank. 1997b. "Re: Posting number 2 for this date," AA online forum, June 23; "All I can share with our readers at this point is that it is far greater than I ever imagined and just could not believe my eyes. Of course, a special issue is presently being prepared to disclose what will probably be the final, most significant evidence establishing the site's credibility beyond question." Available on request.
Joseph ‘Collin’, Frank. 1999. “An Ancient North African Treasure-Trove in Southern Illinois, AA, Vol. 4, No. 30, December, pp. 2-4, 6 and 7.
Joseph 'Collin', Frank. 2001. "The Barnes Review devotes Entire issue to Cultural Diffusuin," AA, Vol. 6, No. 42, November/December, p. 25.
Kano, Kazumune V. 1994. Letter from Collin's lawyer to Richard Flavin, dated June, 23, 1994. Available on request.
Kimball, Glenn. 2000. "Giants of the Royal Incas," AA, Vol. 5, No. 34, August/September, pp. 36-38.
Kimball, Glenn. 2001a. E-mail to Kimball's Ancient Manuscripts list, "Glenn Kimball Update on the cave opening in Illinois," dated Thursday, 23 August 2001. Available on request.
Kimball, Glenn. 2001b. E-mail to Kimball's Ancient Manuscripts list,"A Message From Glenn Kimball,: dated Wednesday, December 05, 2001. Quote concerning Hubbard: “That also goes for Harry Hubbard. He is a local treasure hunter in Southern Illinois who thinks that all sites are his. He has his own site that he is excavating. Why he would be concerned with our site is beyond reason. He has nothing to do with our site. His childish critique betrays his character. He merits no further mention. What would he say if we followed him around and published the owners of the ground upon which he is digging He would scream bloody murder. I don't worry about me, but his lack of character could very well hurt the innocent property owners. If he wants a fistfight, I could use ten seconds of exercise. It wouldn't be my first time bouncing a bully. This man not only has no manners, his information is seriously flawed. I have watched this gold sickness affect some otherwise fine people. If any of these men had come to contribute advice or legitimate help we would have listened. The fact that they aren't getting the headlines and are throwing fits all around the country is disgraceful. If there is quantifiable damage inflicted by these men we will suit them. You must all understand that I will never get a coin from the site. My gold is in the film. Some very famous people have bombarded Wayne of late. If you listen to Art Bell you would recognize their names. However, these people don't have anything to do with the site either. Wayne has suggested to them all that they should call me. Linda M. Howe has attempted to get exclusive interviews with Wayne. Wayne told her to call me. She refused to call me. I can only conclude that she wants a story for herself and has no interest in understanding the site itself. This is a competitive business. However, I don't publish stories about crop circles so they shouldn't need to publish articles about caves in Illinois.” Available on request.
Kreisle, Bill and Marilyn. 1995. “In Search of Hard Evidence: Ancient Stone Maps,” AA, Vol. 2, No. 11, October/November, pp. 2-7.
Lodge, George W. 1997. “The Business of Discovery,” AA, Vol. 3, No. 16, January/February, p. 16.
Lurio, Eric. 1994. “Letters to the Editor: Burrows Cave” AA, Vol. 1, No. 4, January/February, p.18.
MacGregor, Alexander P., Jr. 1997. “The ‘Lost Tomb’ of Alexander the Great and Other Problems,” NEARA Journal, Vol. 31, No. 1, Summer, pp. 51-54; reprinted in AA, Vol. 3., No. 21, November/December, pp. 29-31.
Mahan, Joseph B. 1983. The Secret: America in World History Before Columbus. Columbus, GA: ISAC Press.
Mahan, Joseph B. 1992. "Historical and Ethnological Context of Burrows Cave," in The Mystery Cave of Many Faces (Burrows and Rydholm 1992), pp. 209-220.
Mahan, Joseph B. 1994. “President’s Notes,” ISAC Report, Vol. 8, No. 4, July/August, p. 1.
Mahan, Joseph B. 1995. “An Expostulation,” ISAC Report, Vol. 9, No. 2, March/April, pp. 2 and 3.
Martin, Bill. 1976. "The American Reich," Crawdaddy, August, pp. 43-48.
Martin, T. B. and Richard Flavin. 1995. “Twisting History: The lies of The Ancient American,” News From Indian Country, Vol. 9, No. 2, Late January, pp. 6 and 7; reprinted in Ethnic Newswatch, January 1995.
May, Wayne N. 1997. “Publisher’s statement: Why a Special Report on Mystery Cave,” AA, Vol. 3, No. 16, January/February, pp. 25-27.
May, Wayne N. 1998. "New Tomb Discovery in Southern Illinois," AA, Vol. 4, No. 25, September/October, p. 17.
May, Wayne. 1999a. “Christ in North America?,” AA, Vol. 4, No. 26, January/February, pp. 2-4, 6, 7, 34-39. On p. 34, May writes "I have known Mr. Burrows since 1993, and I have compiled a photographic library of some of his items, which I number over 2,000 such stones. I personally examined about half of them, and have concluded they are authentic artifacts." Later, May continues with, "Mr. Burrows telephoned me two years ago to say that he had purposely withheld some inscribed stones from sale because of the imagery they featured: namely, identifiably Christian scenes, mostly Old Testament. He was uncomfortable with these items, because he feared critics would use such obvious themes to further debunk his discovery."
May, Wayne. 1999b. “‘Mudstone’ Source for Burrows Cave Found,” AA, Vol. 4, No. 29, October/November, pp. 37 and 39.
May, Wayne. 2000. “An Update from Illinois on Burrows Cave Site,” AA, Vol. 5, No. 32, April, p. 17.
May, Wayne. 2001. "Update on Southern Illinois Site," AA, Vol. 6, No. 42, November/December, pp. 38 and 39.
May, Wayne N. and Joshua M. Bennett. 2000. “North America’s Pale Prophet,” AA, Vol. 5, No. 36, December, pp. 36-39.
May, Wayne and Russell Burrows. 1994. “An Ancient American Exclusive: Russell Burrows speaks out on the Mystery Cave,” AA, Vol. 1, No. 4, January/February, pp. 30-33.
May, Wayne N. and Harry Rybnikar 'Hubbard'. 1997a. "Interview with Harry Hubbard, the Man in search of a Lost Tomb," AA, Vol. 3, No. 16, January/February, pp. 28-33.
May, Wayne N. and Paul Schaffranke ‘Kelly’, 1997b. “Translator of the tablets: Interview with Paul Schaffranke,” AA, Vol. 3, No. 16, January/February, pp. 38-41.
McGlone, William R. 1996. Cover letter with enclosures: McGlone, Leonard, and Gillespie 1995; Hansen 1995, Burrows 1995b, Smith 1996, and "Belief in Action: A Challenge to Believers," an original article by McGlone, June (no day given). Available by request.
McGlone, William R, et al; Phillip M. Leonard, James L. Guthrie, Rollin W. Gillespie, and James P. Whittall, Jr. 1993. Sutton, MA: Early Sites Research Society.
McGlone, William R., Phillip M. Leonard, Jr., and Rollin W. Gillespie. 1995. “Watermelon, Green Cheese and Smoke: The Power of Belief,” AA, Vol. 2, No. 10, July/August, pp. 26-29.
Miller, Sue Oiler. 1984. “Artifacts predate Christ: Archaeological find unearthed near here, Olney Daily Mail, Friday, July 27; reprinted in MES Newsletter, Vol. 12, No. 5, December, 18, 1995, pp. 9 and 10.
Miner, Michael. 2002. "Hot Type: News Bites," Chicago Reader, Vol. 31, No. 16, Sect. 1, pp. 4 and 5. After mention of a "spirited letter to the editor (Flavin 2002)," and discussing a past assignment involving Collin, Miner writes: "My view is that when someone starts out life as a Nazi, there's nowhere to go but up. If today Joseph is peddling the wacky theory that the Waubansee Stone -- the mysterious carved boulder that was the subject of Jeff Huebner's January 4 Reader cover story -- was sculpted by visiting Phoenicians 3,000 years ago, that's a lot less odious than the racial theories Collin pronounced back in the 70s. But Flavin sees a line from then to now. On his website, www.flavinscorner.com, he asserts, "The current rhetoric of Frank Collin is familiar to any reader knowledgeable of his past, as when Collin writes of an 'Aztec holocaust,' or discusses 'misegenation,' and 'racial identity.'" Flavin tells me, "In fact, some of his magazine articles and books are actually being marketed in some skinhead catalogs." Flavin, who describes himself as a "struggling novelist," lived in Chicago until 1994, when he moved east. He's a fantastic-archaeology buff himself but takes it far less seriously than Joseph: "If a couple of Romans did come over here, who cares?" As a writer, he's turned Frank Joseph into a cottage industry. He tells me he's had at him in the Greenwich Village Gazette and New City and the CD-ROM database Ethnic Newswatch, as well as his own Web site. I reached Joseph by phone and inquired about his unusual path through life. "I have nothing to say about that," he responded." Any reader, but a Chicago reader, it seems.
Monahan, Scott. 1985. History on the Rocks, TransVision Corp., a video documentary produced, written, and directed by Monahan. Online transcript available here.
Mooney, Vincent J, Jr. 1995. On a video-tape of selected ISAC speakers on April 22, edited and privately distributed by Rybnikar 'Hubbard'. This is probably the "ISAC Excerpts Presentation: Classic Spring '95 ISAC conference" video-tape advertised on the back of AA #16.
Mooney, Vincent J., Jr. 1998. Photocopy of correspondence, dated May 1, between Mooney and his lawyer regarding Case No.: 98SC000440, State of Wisconsin Circuit Court at Dunn County, "Vincent J. Mooney Jr vs Wayne May." Available on request.
Mosely, Beverley H. 1993a. “Burrows Cave Art,” LMS Newsletter, No. 56, March 1, pp. 1-3.
Mosely, Beverly H. 1993b. “From the President of the Midwestern Epigraphic Society,” MES Journal, Vol. 7, No. 1, p.2.
Mosely, Beverly H. 1993b. “Recognizing the Quality of Burrows Cave Art,” MES Journal, Vol. 7, No. 1, p.3.
Neff, George. 1997. “Letters to the Editor: Long Time, No See,” AA, Vol. 3, No. 17, March/April, p. 26.
Neugebauer, O. 1951. "The Study of Wretched Subjects," Isis, Vol. 42, June. Reprinted in Astronomy and History Selected Essays, New York: Springer-Verlag, 1983, p.3.
Payn, Marshall. 1990. “Meatball Mines,” ESOP, Vol. 19, p. 96.
Petraitis, Paul. 1994. “Letters to the Editor: Burrows Cave” AA, Vol. 1, No. 4, January/February, p.18.
Pyle, Robert L. 1996. Personal correspondence between Pyle and Richard Flavin, dated September 16. Available by request.
Raskin, Marilyn and Lodge, G. W. 1997. E-mail exchange between Raskin, legal council to The Greenwich Village Gazette, and Lodge. A cease and desist request was made by Raskin and Lodge replied, "You are the first respondent to correctly identify Dick Flavir as our Mystery Guest!" A prize was promised, but never sent. Available on request.
Redcloud, Merlin. 2000. "Wisconsin River rock Art," AA, Vol. 5, No. 34, August/September, pp. 2 and 3.
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Rybnikar 'Hubbard', Horatio. 1994. Personal correspondence between Hubbard and Richard Flavin, dated December 16. Available on request.
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Rybnikar ‘Hubbard’, Horatio. 1997b. “John Ward: Curator of the Secret,” AA, Vol. 3, No. 16, January/February, pp. 34 and 35.
Rybnikar ‘Hubbard’, Horatio. 1997c. “Doctor of Decipherment, Warren Cook,” AA, Vol. 3, No. 16, January/February, pp. 36 and 37.
Rybnikar ‘Hubbard’, Horatio. 1997d. “Pay no attention to that man behind the Curtain!,” AA, Vol. 3, No. 16, January/February, pp. 44-47.
Schaffranke ‘Kelly’, Paul. 1997. “Why Alexander’s Tomb is in Illinois,” AA, Vol. 3, No. 16, pp. 48-55.
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Scherz, James P. 1994. “The Kingman Coins,” AA, Vol. 1, No. 7, pp. 32-38.
Scherz, James P. 1997. “Letters to the Editor: The Burrows Cave Blues,” AA, Vol. 3, No. 17, March/April, pp. 23 and 24.
Scherz, James P. 2000. "The Stone Face at Mummy Mountain," AA, Vol. 5, No. 32, pp. 1, 2, and 6-11.
Skupin, Michael. 1991a. “Follow-Ups: Burrows Cave Correspondence,” in LMS Newsletter, No. 42, October 1, pp. 5 and 6.
Skupin, Michael. 1991b. “Follow-Ups: Burrows Cave Correspondence,”LMS Newsletter, No. 43, November 15, p. 2.
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Tracey, Andy. 1997. “Letters to the Editor: Doing business with Gangsters,” AA, Vol. 3, No. 18, May/June, p. 13.
Travis, Gar. 2000. “Letters to the Editor: Fake Gold ‘Coins’?,” AA, Vol. 5, No. 35, October, p. 7.
Uncredited. 1999. “Find of the Century Revealed?,” AA, Vol. 4, No. 28, June/July, p. 29. Later incorporated into May 2001, with the significant change of the name of Ralph Wolak's company from Fox Publications to Discovery Resources.
Von Wuthenau, Alexander. 1975. Unexpected Faces in Ancient America 1500 B.C. -- A.D. 1500: The Historical Testimony of Pre-Columbian Artists, New York: Crown Publishers.
Ward, John A. 1984. Ancient Archives Among The Cornstalks. Vincennes, IN: MRD Associates.
Ward, John A. 1985. A Study of the Origin of Artifacts Found in a Cave by Russell Burrows in a Remote Area of lllinois. Vincennes, IN: Privately printed; later expanded version c.1990.
Ward, John A. 1990. The People of Burrows Cave: Who they were, where they came from and when. Vincennes, IN: Burrows Cave Research Center.
White, John J., III. 1997. “Letters to the Editor: Sharing a foxhole at Burrows Cave,” AA, Vol. 3, No. 17, March/April, pp. 24 and 25.
White, John J., III. 1998a. “Letters to the Editor: A $100 to $1000 Question,” AA, Vol. 3, No. 23, April/May, p. 13.
White, John J., III. 1998b. “The Moundbuilder Myth: What Did Squire and Davis Actually Say?,” AA, Vol. 3, No. 23, April/May, pp. 16-18.
White, John J., III. 1999a. “Ancient Serpents of Southern Illinois,” AA, Vol. 4, No. 26, January/February, pp. 22 and 23.
White, John J., III. 1999b. “Mystic Symbol and Jesus: Another Piece to the Burrows Cave Puzzle,” AA, Vol. 4, No. 30, December, pp. 18-24.
White, John J., III and Beverley H. Moseley, Jr. 1993. “Burrows Cave: Fraud or Find of The Century?,” AA, Vol. 1, No. 2, September/October, pp. 4-15; rewritten and later published as “Burrows Cave, Find of the Century! Do Stone Portraits found in Illinois document Visitors from the Ancient World?,” AA, Vol. 5, No. 33, June 2000, pp. 2-4 and 6-8.
White, John J., III and Beverley H. Moseley, Jr. 1994. “Was the Voyage of Hanno’s Story told at Burrow’s Cave Campfire? [sic],” AA, Vol. 1, No. 7, September/October, pp. 14 and 15.
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Whittall, James P. 1995. “Letters to the Editor: Enough Said,” AA, Vol. 2, No. 9, p. 29.
Whittall, James P., Jr. 1997. “Letters to the Editor: Still no cave,” AA, Vol. 3, No. 18, May/June, p. 12.
Whittall, James P. and William R. McGlone. 1991. “Put Up or Shut Up,” LMS Newsletter, No. 41, August 15, p. 3.
Whittall, James P. and William R. McGlone. 1992. “Follow-Ups: Burrows Cave Correspondence,” LMS Newsletter, No. 44, January 1, p. 6.
Williams, Stephen. 1991. Fantastic Archaeology: The Wild Side of North American Prehistory. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.