As sometimes happen, I was just cruising around the TV dial (remember when there were dials on televisions?) and came across an episode of America Unearthed. They were looking at a stone covered in runes that suggested Vikings had made it to the new world and had actually gotten as far south as New England long before Columbus. Examining the stone, the guy said that because of the type of stone, he couldn’t tell if it was weathered enough to be from the proper time frame.
Now I believe that the Vikings reached Canada… that evidence seems to be solid. I believe that a group of Europeans, from southern France arrived about 2000 years ago and remnants of their settlement have been located in Florida. It also seems that the Clovis people, who might also have been related to those in Europe, have been found in Virginia, suggesting that these Europeans arrived much earlier than Columbus.
And, there seems to be evidence turning up in Oregon that suggests the Chinese arrived there some seventy or eighty years before Columbus. Or, in other words, a lot of people from a lot of different places arrived long before Columbus, and I haven’t even mentioned the people that all those others found when they got here.
But that’s not the point. It was something the geologist said after he asked the owner of the stones if she had contacted the Smithsonian. She said she had but their response was to ask her to donate the stones to the museum for display.
His response to her suggested that he didn’t think the stones would be displayed. He thought they would have disappeared into one of the warehouses holding all those things there were not on display. In other words, he thought they would be swallowed up and never seen again because, and here I’m speculating, the stones suggested an alternative to our accepted history.
That set me to thinking. How many other discoveries, how much other evidence has been submitted in good faith only to be hidden away by those who believe they know best? How much evidence has disappeared into classified files, been buried deep in an archives, how much has vanished into files and locations that are misnamed, and how many documents have been destroyed to keep those secrets?
There is some corroboration from the academic arena. During the “Dinosaur Wars” of the late nineteenth century, Edward Drinker Cope and his nemesis, O.C. Marsh, fought over the discoveries, the fossil beds, and even stole discoveries from one another. Marsh had the majority of his fossils confiscated by the government with them then being given to the Smithsonian. Ahh, nothing like having the federal government getting involved in science research and determining who would be the recipient of their generosity.
Yes, I know that the confiscation of fossils and then giving them to a museum is not the same as hiding the information away in their basements, but it certainly does suggest a precedent. It does suggest that information that should be in the public arena might be stored away where no one can ever see it, and if they can’t see it (or study it) then the status quo can be maintained.
I could apply some of what we know about the history of UFO research to this. There are some disappearing files that might have given us some interesting answers. As I noted in Government UFO Files, the U.S. government collected information on the Swedish Ghost Rockets, but those files disappeared when the official investigation began in 1947. There are hints that they existed once, but they are gone now, lost in the great bureaucracy that is the U.S. government.
This all was sparked simply by the suggestion that had the Viking runes been donated to the Smithsonian, they might have disappeared into the basement. Maybe the Smithsonian would have put the runes into a public display. I don’t know. I just thought it an interesting observation by a fellow who had worked with the Smithsonian in the past. I thought of it as an interesting way of hiding alternative history without having to deal with the problems such history caused. I thought of it as a way of maintaining written history as we all have been taught it was rather than updating it when we learn something new.
(And as a side thought, the Smithsonian probably would have attempted to vet the runes and certainly wouldn’t have displayed them if there was any doubt to their authenticity… which is not a bad thing.)
(Update - I have been given the real name of the series... as I say, I caught it as I was cruising around the cable. Thought I would make the change.)