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Who Was John Emmert?

I'm a skeptic. Still, when a wild conspiracy that refuses to die originated in my own back yard, I had to find out more. It's a great story, really. Most of all, as a Bristolian, it's about our home-grown Indiana Jones — a hero of the community everyone wants to root for.

As forgeries go, the notorious Bat Creek Stone looks quite amazing to a layperson. In particular, the break seems very believable.

Wood found next to the object was carbon dated to be well over 1000 years old. A entrepreneurial geologist used "weathering" studies in 2010 and believes he has proved the stone's age as at least older than 1889, when it was discovered. Mr. Wolter is a capitalist and seems earnest yet sketchy. And definitely stepping out of his league in some cases. After reading Mr. Emmert's letters, he seems just earnest. As someone who lives in Bristol, I am deeply biased.

When academics begin to speculate about Mr. Emmert's integrity, is it fair (or do they have the proper educational background) to assassinate his character? So much huff and puff about science, yet tearing down a guy with pretty flimsy evidence is not just a rush to be foolishly unscientific, it seems defensive and insecure to me.

I do believe, however, it is even more foolish to argue with an accomplished language researcher, and the statement "the Bat Creek stone has no place in the inventory of Hebrew inscriptions from the time of the First Jewish Revolt against Rome," from Kyle McCarter is indeed a thunderbolt of damnation.

It would seem the two fundamentally basic explanations for the object are either Hemmert's (or his colleagues') quest for glory or something related to the Manifest Destiny propaganda machine. It is still an interesting story and part of history nonetheless.

How has this object raised all of these issues and questions? As forgeries go, it's not an exact copy of the Masonic book it was supposedly copied from which shows some real planning. It's held up to some science. It has mystery written all over it. The way academia, conspiracy theorists, and internet trolls froth around this little rock is more than a little fun.

So here's my wacky theory.

One of the 16th Century Conquistadors, Juan Pardo's (or possibly even De Soto's) was secretly Jewish.

He dreamed of a New Holy Land or something. I don't know. But what if he's responsible for this mess? Either he died in the 16th century and was buried in that mound or somehow a chief obtained something he new was spiritual and valuable to the invaders, so it was one of his prize possessions. I like the the idea of it being a war trophy.

Whatever the case, I do hope that we learn more, do more, and don't just write it off as a hoax when it "feels" like a hoax. While we can't go around believing everything we read, who wants to live life without a little imagination?

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