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Pieces Out of Time
All over the world, enigmatic artifacts have been found that do not fit the accepted geologic or historical timeline. Do they offer a radically different view of our world?

Of all the many unexplained phenomena, experiences, and objects in the world, ones that hold a great deal of fascination for me are what I categorize as "ancient anomalies." Also called "ooparts," these are objects that by scientific measure are very old, but in form or construction appear to be quite modern. They are impossible fossils, out-of-time technology, anachronistic artifacts. In other words, if our history of the world is correct, they just should not exist. And there are many examples - many more than geologists, archaeologists, and other scientists care to admit.

Why are they so fascinating? Many reasons. First of all, most of them are real and tangible. Unlike ghosts, mysterious creatures like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster, and phenomena like telekinesis, these unexplained artifacts have been seen, touched, and examined. There they are before our eyes, with nothing in our current experience or knowledge to explain them. Second, because they do exist and do not fit the standard scientific timeline or geologic and anthropologic chronology, they suggest, in their own baffling way, that either our dating techniques are wrong, geology does not progress the way we suppose it does, or there is far more to the history of life on this planet than we currently know about. In any case, these bothersome ooparts upset established, orthodox thinking. Here are a few, for your consideration:

Advanced Technology
These are the best kind of ooparts because they have been documented, often photographed, and examined by experts:

  • "Spark plug" in a geode. In 1961, the owners of a gift shop in Olancha, Calif. found a fossil-encrusted geode in the Coso Mountains. When one of the owners cut the geode in half with a diamond saw, however, he found an object inside that was obviously artificial. The object had a metal core surrounded by layers of a ceramic-like material and a hexagonal wooden sleeve. When X-rayed, the object seemed to resemble a modern spark plug or some other electronic component. Yet it had been completely encased in a geode that was covered with fossils estimated to be 500,000 years old.
  • Very old nail. In 1851, The Illinois Springfield Republican reported that a businessman named Hiram de Witt found a fist-sized chunk of auriferous quartz while on a trip to California. When it accidentally slipped from his hands, it split open, and out fell a cut-iron nail. The quartz was about 1 million years old.
  • Gold thread among the rock. The Times of London reported in 1844 that workmen quarrying stone near the River Tweed in Scotland found a piece of gold thread embedded in the rock eight feet below ground level.
  • Chain in coal. In 1891, Mrs. S. W. Culp, of Morrisonville, Ill. was fragmenting coal into smaller pieces for her kitchen stove when she noticed a chain stuck in the coal. The chain measured about 10 inches long and was later found to be made of eight-carat gold, and described as being "of antique and quaint workmanship." According to the Morrisonville Times of June 11, investigators concluded that the chain had not simply been accidentally dropped in with the coal, since some of the coal still clung to the chain, while the part that had separated from it still bore the impression of where the chain had been encased.
  • Ancient modern tools. While quarrying limestone in 1786, workers came to a bed of sand about 50 feet below ground level. In the layer of sand, however, they found the stumps of stone pillars and fragments of half-worked rock. Digging further, they found coins, the petrified wooden handles of hammers, and pieces of other petrified wooden tools. The sand in which the discovery was made was beneath a layer of limestone dated at 300 million years old.
  • Mysterious vase.Mysterious vase. In June, 1851, Scientific American reprinted a report from the Boston Transcript about how a metallic vase, found in two parts, was dynamited out of solid rock 15 feet below the surface in Dorchester, Mass. The bell-shaped vase (see photo), measuring 4-1/2 inches high and 6-1/2 inches at the base, was composed of a zinc and silver alloy. On the sides were figures of flowers in bouquet arrangements, inlaid with pure silver. The estimated age of the rock out of which it came: 100,000 years.
  • Too-old screw. In 1865, a two-inch metal screw was discovered in a piece of feldspar unearthed from the Abbey Mine in Treasure City, Nev. The screw had long ago oxidized, but its form - particularly the shape of its threads - could be clearly seen in the feldspar. The stone was calculated to be 21 million years in age.
  • Ancient nanotechnology. In 1991-1993, gold prospectors on the Narada river on the eastern side of the Ural mountains in Russia found unusual, mostly spiral-shaped objects, the smallest measuring about 1/10,000th of an inch! The objects are composed of copper and the rare metals tungsten and molybdenum. Tests showed the objects to be between 20,000 and 318,000 years old.

Maps and Drawings
Although mysterious, these findings are not quite as compelling because they could have been either forged or misinterpreted:

  • Piri Reis map. Piri Reis, a Turkish admiral and avid collector of old maps, compiled information he had gathered into a map of his own in 1513. Astonishingly, his map depicts the coastal outlines of North and South America - and Antarctica, which was not officially discovered until 1818.
  • Unexplained maps. Scholars aren't sure what to make of the maps etched on a rock. Do they crudely depict the continents of Earth as they appeared long ago - including the lands of Mu and Atlantis? Or, as some have suggested, do they show the lands of some other planet? To be impartial, however, they also could merely depict divisions of much smaller tracts of land.
  • One of the Ica Stones.Ica stones. In 1966, Dr. Javier Cabrera, a Peruvian physician and professor of biology, was given a rock for his birthday from a local peasant. On it was a picture of a fish, allegedly carved thousands of years ago. Upon further study, Cabrera realized the fish depicted was of a species that has been extinct for millions of years. Cabrera hunted down the source of the mysterious rock and found many others like it in Ica, Peru - thousands of them. On them were carved impossible ancient scenes: telescopes, open heart surgery, and even men battling dinosaurs (see photo)!
  • Egyptian helicopters? Discovered on the walls of a temple in Abydos, Egypt, are hieroglyphics that closely resemble modern aircraft in profile: a helicopter, an airplane, and some kind of hovercraft or flying disc.

Human Remains
Although intriguing and remarkable if true, these examples are mostly the stuff of legend and folklore, and therefore largely unverifiable:

  • Devilish discovery. Human skulls with horns were discovered in a burial mound at Sayre, Bradford County, Pa., in the 1880s. Horny projections extended two inches above the eye-brows, and the skeletons were seven feet tall, but other than that were anatomically normal. It was estimated they were buried around AD 1200.
  • Jaws. In 1888, seven skeletons were found in a burial mound near Clearwater Minn. They were anatomically correct, except that the skulls featured double rows of teeth in the upper and lower jaws and had been buried in a sitting position, facing the lake. The foreheads were unusually low and sloping, with prominent brows.
  • Grand Canyon mystery. In 1931, Dr. F. Bruce Russell claimed to have found strange underground tunnels in the Death Valley area. According to his story, he discovered winding tunnels containing artifacts that appeared to be a combination of Egyptian and American Indian. There were also mummies there, he said, that were over eight feet tall. As far as we know, no one has ever rediscovered Russell's mysterious tunnels.
  • Bones in rock. Ed Conrad has found impossibly old fossilized human bones embedded in solid shale rock in Pennsylvania. The bones look human, but the rock in which they were trapped is between 280 and 300 million years old.

There are dozens and dozens of examples of such anomalies - enough to give the traditional scientific disciplines a shake-up, I would think. But because they don't fit conventional theories, these exceptions to the rules are almost always rejected out of hand. Yet, it doesn't take dozens and dozens of exceptions to challenge established thinking. All it takes is one thoroughly examined, completely verifiable anomaly to say, "The world isn't quite what we think it is."


Do You Know of Any Other
Ancient Anomalies?

If you know of any other ancient anomalies or if you have links to any other sites featuring them, I'd like to hear about them.

You have a standing invitation to tell me your experiences with the paranormal and unexplained.

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