At 16:13 19/03/01 +0100, Paul Barford wrote:
>Ben Iznice refers to my assessment of the Alderley Edge gold website
> http://www.geocities.com/athens/troy/6253 ) which Janet Mitchell
>suggested we could look at. I did, and was disturbed by what I saw.
I know nothing about Alderley Edge. Nothing. However. I have a great deal
of experience with the fruitier (to be polite) side of the web.
The first photo I looked at (bar 2) looks like it was made out of modellers
clay [fimo (sp?)]. There is a translucency to parts of the object that does
not ring true as something made out of gold. The main part of it could be
of brass, but I am entirely unconvinced by the authenticity.
The weight of the bar is stated as being 101.2g. It should be easy enough,
given the use of a 10p for scale in the photo, to estimate the approximate
size of the bar and an approximate weight given the compositional analysis.
That would at least give a route to an obvious flaw.
The photograph showing the finding of the bar is also very suspicious. I
see no small pile of fill, and I see compession of the ground around the
object, so the bar looks as though it has just been pressed into the
ground. The soil appears damp. It is difficult to tell from a photograph,
but it doesn't look like there is much clay. Even so, the trowel
(gardener's variety, rather than a 5 inch, drop-forged, smith & jackson
pointing trowel) in the photograph suggests we are meant to think that they
used that to excavate the object. It is remarkably clean.
The website as a whole has the feel of a "kook". The spelling, the grammar,
the lack of concrete information, the insistence that this is "the truth"
that no one else will tell you, all point to a hoax, but I would point out
that it is quite possible that the author of the website is not the
perpetrator but also a victim of the hoax. I have found over the last few
years that are a remarkable number of gullible people producing web sites.
Research Student, IWE
Cranfield University at Silsoe