#59 – And Still More Trouble – 1990

Written by Fred Rydholm:

By 1990 I had became a good friend and supporter of Russ Burrows. I could see no way that a fraud could have been perpetrated. When I discussed the cave with doubters I realized they were all backing up thei doubts with the opinions of the experts. I had gone way beyond these experts to the source of every story and it always turned into “someone’s opinion.” Beyond that, there was never anything of a scientific nature (except Dr. Fell’s Elephant Stele). The opinions seemed to be based on preconceived ideas.

At the 1990 ISAC meeting in Columbus, Georgia, both Russell and Jack Ward were in attendance. I was asked to present the Lake Superior copper story (as I have done so often), but I would have attended anyway to hear what Russell had to say.

During the three day meeting only once did the local television station appear. It was during the Burrows’ Cave presentation. Russ was caught unawares and without notice. It appeared to have been planned that way, but he nonetheless did a fine job of telling his story in a very short time. I heard no more about it and I feel that, because of the skeptical attitude of many, this first public announcement fell on deaf ears.

I’m sure this attitude was partly due to a ninety-page booklet (selling for twelve dollars) which appeared on the scene of the conference; it was called The Myth Makers. It was published by the Early Sites Research Society of Long Hill, Rowley MA, and was edited by James Whittall.

About twenty-five pages of the booklet were devoted to Burrows’ Cave. This portion contained the writings and opinions of many scholars on both sides of the question, including Drs. Fell, Cook and Mahan.

The fact that the article appeared in this booklet at all was enough to imply that the publisher felt that the whole thing was a fraud, although Cook and Mahan stood by the cave’s authenticity and there were several other writers who seemed to maintain an open mind on the cave until a study of it could be made.

However, at a glance, it looked like the preponderance of opinion in The Myth Makers was that the stone tablets (which most of the writers had seen only in pictures or drawings, and only a small selection of these) were all made since 1976, when Dr. Fell’s America B.C. first became available. This conclusion was all based on the elephant stele already mentioned.

If this is the case, that is, that all these tablets were made since 1976, we must examine this possibility.

Unless some other completely invisible person or persons are or were involved, then it comes down to Jack Ward or Russell Burrows.

Jack did know about Fell’s book at least by 1977 or so. But he didn’t know about the cave until 1982, nor was he ever in his life at the cave. Even if he had been, it would have been a physical impossibility for him to get in it.

So, if there is a culprit it has to be Col. Burrows. But he hadn’t even heard of Barry Fell’s books until he met Jack Ward in 1984, and by that time had already found the Elephant Stele in the cave. Since then he has found others, and he thinks there is also one on a cliff along the Ohio River. Another similar one from the cave is on a gold coin or medallion.

No one else was involved except Norman Cullen. Even if these three men worked together, there is just no way that they could make even fifty tablets that have any degree of authenticity about them, and to think otherwise is terribly naive.

There are cases such as one in South America, where a fellow was making stone artifacts, firing them with manure and fooling the gullible public and even some of the experts. But in this case everyone close to him (his friends and neighbors) knew he was doing it; all anyone had to do was ask. And these were for sale. He could not show where they came from and hadn’t even a good story about how he obtained them.

He was exposed as soon as scholars began to investigate, but he did manage to fool a few unsuspecting experts for a time. This can hardly be compared to the situation at Burrows’ Cave.