#55 – Dr. George Carter – 1988-89

Written by Russell Burrows:

On my first visit to Columbus, I met a man I really liked. He is a real down-to-earth guy for one who is respected as a scholar the world over. That man is Dr. George Carter.

I had spoken to him by telephone previous to our meeting in 1988, and I liked him just from our telephone conversations. Dr. Carter was a friend and confidant of Dr. Warren Cook and Warren Dexter. Those two worthies had spoken to Dr. Carter about the cave and, as I understand it, they had gone to visit him and shown him the photographs that Warren Dexter had taken on his visit to Vincennes.

It was reported to me by Dr. Cook that Dr. Carter was on our side and would be a very valuable asset.

Now, I really did not have a working knowledge of scholars at the time of the 1988 spring seminar of ISAC and, for that matter, I really had no idea what to expect at the seminar.

I began to get a very good idea of what I was in for when, after our talks had been presented, Dr. John Palanski, MD, who was acting as master of ceremonies, departed from the agenda and said that he believed that Dr. Norman Totten had something he wanted to say about the Burrows’ Cave artifacts.

Dr. Totten then began his dissertation about how the artifacts, or rather the fraudulent items, could be made to appear old. It was obvious that he was attempting to cast a shadow on our project. Just as he was getting into his summation, Dr. Carter stood up and, with just a few words, brought Dr. Totten’s denouncement to an end. I realized then that he had some clout and a lot of respect.

At some point in the 1988 conference, Dr. Carter requested that he be supplied with photos of ships depicted in the petroglyphs. Here is where the sad part of the whole story comes in. He did not ask me! Instead he made the request of the two Warrens and, as I learned better then a year later, the two Warrens agreed to supply the pictures he requested but inadvertently forgot to.

In the winter of 1989, Virginia Hourigan informed me that Dr. Carter had gone over to the other camp. I was flabbergasted.

“Why,” I asked, “has he done that?”

“Well,” said Virginia, “You promised to send him some ship photos and you didn’t do it.”

“No, I didn’t,” I said.

“Well someone did,” came back Virginia, “And you had better find out who it was.”

I figured that the best way to find out what ails the horse is to ask the horse. I called Dr. Carter and asked him what the problem was. I am going to repeat the conversation here as best I can.

“Good evening, Dr. Carter, Russ Burrows calling. What’s this I hear about you going other to the other camp?”

“Yes, I have done that because I was promised a photograph of a ship and I never got it. I must assume that if you don’t want me to see it….It must be a fake…. If that ship is a fake, then the whole thing is a fake.”

“Dr. Carter,” I said, “I didn’t know anything about you being promised a photograph, but I will get you one.”

“It won’t make a bit of difference,” was his reply. “Send it if you want and I will look at it.” Later, Dr. Carter claimed that it was several months before he received the photograph, but, in truth, it was days. I first had to contact Warren Dexter and have him send me the requested photograph and, as soon as it arrived, I sent it on to Dr. Carter.

He meant what he said about it not making any difference. After receiving the photograph, he claimed that the vessel depicted was not seaworthy and could not sail.

Why did this happen? To me it is very clear. A noted man feels that he was not given the key to the city, plain and simple. I wonder what would have happened if those photos had been sent when they were promised?