Knife Found inside of Tree
is a hoax:
see notes at bottom)
30 Aug 2004
Individuals have been passing
the following item around, believing that it supports the issue of steel
in the Book of Mormon. However, as can be seen in the notes
at the end of this page, this item is a hoax. It should not be
passed around. There is no further need to contact CalState at
Fresno. The notes are self explanatory and come from authoritative
administrative sources at the University.
From: [left blank]
To: [left blank]
Subject: Book of Mormon Evidence Discovered in California
Date: Thursday, August 05, 2004
What is everyone's take on this? Is there a Mormon version of truth or
fiction . com where faith promoting rumors are researched?
Subject: Book of Mormon Evidence Discovered in California
This is really cool.† The "learned" people who made this discovery don't know what they really found, but we do.
UNIVERSITY RESEARCHERS PUZZLED OVER ANCIENT KNIFE
††††† FRESNO, Calif., July 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Researchers at California
State University, Fresno are puzzled over an ancient, man-made artifact discovered by forestry students on a recent field trip in the nearby Sierra Nevada
mountains. The artifact in question is a steel knife that was apparently
buried deep inside a Giant Sequoia tree and was found between growth rings in
the tree indicating that it had been left there around 350-450 AD.
††††† The tree in question is located in the Atwell Grove inside Sequoia
National Park. The tree fell in February of this year after several years of
erosion had weakened its root structure. National Park Service and CSU Fresno
Department of Forestry officials estimate that the tree had lived over 2,000 years at the time it fell.
The Park Service gave the university permission to dissect and study the tree, and students stumbled upon the knife while
using a metal detector to measure mineral content. The CSU Forestry Department speculates that the knife was left between two trees that later grew
together and buried it under centuries of further growth.
††††† The knife was removed and taken to the CSU Fresno campus, where
several experts from the Archeology and Anthropology Departments have examined
it. All of the experts agree that the knife doesnít match any other artifacts
from indigenous peoples in that area. To date, there had been no evidence of
Native Americans using steel tools and weapons at that time. The strangest
aspect of the story, however, is that the knife does seem to match artifacts
from about a thousand years earlier from the other side of the world.
The knife looks like weapons that were common in the Middle East around 500 BC,
and has faded engravings on the blade that appear to be Egyptian symbols.
Researchers canít find any meaning in the engravings, but say that the still
visible symbols roughly correspond to the phonetic sounds of MO-RO.
Ironically, one of Sequoia National Parkís most famous landmarks is a granite dome
called Morro Rock. Since Morro Rock wasnít named until the last 1800ís,
however, the similarity is pure coincidence.
†††† "Itís the damndest thing Iíve seen in my career," said CSU Fresno
Associate Professor of Archeology Curtis Johnson, Ph.D. "Iím sure weíll find
an explanation that makes sense sometime. I really donít think anyone is
going to believe that someone from the Old World wandered all the way to California a thousand years before Columbus."
Initial contact by individuals in
California have indicated that the response from the University is that
this report is a hoax. As we (SHIELDS)
obtain additional information we will add it here.
We contacted CalState University at Fresno
and received the following replies:
|Date: Mon, 30 Aug 2004 14:41:09 -0700
From: Tom Uribes <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Knife Hoax
for your inquiry. For now I can say that this is a hoax...we
don't have a Professor Curtis at Fresno State nor a Department of
Forestry. We will contact you soon with specifics.
And the follow up:
Date: Mon, 30 Aug 2004 15:19:16 -0700
From: shirley armbruster <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Knife Hoax
The posting to PR Newswire was indeed a hoax and we have informed
the agency of that. California State University, Fresno does
not have an Archeology Department, nor a Forestry Department.
We do not have a professor named Curtis Johnson. The chair of
our Anthropology Department calls the release a complete
Your help in quelling this hoax is appreciated.
Shirley Melikian Armbruster
Director of News Services
California State University, Fresno
Additionally, we received the following
from a person who contacted the PR Newswire:
|Chat start time
|| Aug 30, 2004 3:31:14 PM EST
|Chat end time
|| Aug 30, 2004 3:41:27 PM EST
|Duration (actual chatting time)
Thank you for contacting PR Newswire, a representative will be
with you momentarily.
info: You are
now chatting with 'Andrea'
Andrea: Thank you for
contacting PR Newswire. How may I assist you?
Andrea, I received an interesting item today in my email and
wondered if you could tell me if this is an actual release from
Rebecca: This is
UNIVERSITY RESEARCHERS PUZZLED OVER ANCIENT KNIFE FRESNO,
Calif., July 19 /PRNewswire/ --
Andrea: Hi Rebecca! Sure, I
will take a look....
you very much, Andrea
Andrea: Rebecca, That
headline is not from us.
Rebecca: hmmmm, I
was afraid of that. Any idea why such a thing might have been
circulated as being from PRN?
Andrea: We are researching it
though, because it has been brought to our attention.
Rebecca: by other
than myself then?
Rebecca: Is it
possible to be apprised of what you find out?
Andrea: I'm not sure if even
I will be aware of the findings.. but you are more than welcome
to inquire about it again on a later date.
you very much for chatting with me, Andrea
Andrea: No problem Rebecca,
have a great day!
Rebecca: You too
Andrea: Thank you!
you for contacting PR Newswire, your chat session has been
did a search of the faculty at CSU Fresno, and found no "CSU
Fresno Associate Professor of Archeology Curtis Johnson, Ph.D."
So as far as I am concerned, this is most likely a hoax.