Conspiracy Nation -- Vol. 6 Num. 99

("Quid coniuratio est?")


Purport To Chronicle The Arrival Of Roman Jews There In 775 A.D.

[New York Times, December 13, 1925]

TUCSON, Ariz., Dec. 12 -- After investigation by a number of scientists, first announcement was made here today of the excavation near Tucson of cast lead swords, crosses and other objects bearing Latin and Hebrew inscriptions which, taken at their face value, are held to mean that Roman Jews crossed the Atlantic in the Dark Ages, penetrated to Arizona and founded a kingdom which lasted from about 700 A.D. to 900 A.D.

The cast symbols and the engravings on them include crosses, a crescent, a seven-branched candlestick and certain Masonic-like representations.

Opinions of scientists vary as to the authenticity of the objects. Neil Merton Judd, curator of American archaeology of the United States National Museum, said he believed that no hoax or fraud was involved, but he thought the date later than that of the Spanish conquest of 1540 A.D.

Dr. Byron Cummings, Professor of Archaeology of the University of Arizona, vouched for the reliability of the discoverers of the objects, which, he said, "show Jewish and Christian influence and bear dates of 700 to 900 A.D."

On the other hand, Dr. Bashford Dean, curator of arms and armor of the Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York City, when consulted about the excavations, branded the objects as crude and childish forgeries.

The first object to be found was a large metal cross, which was discovered by Charles E. Manier of Tucson, embedded in a limestone formation, five feet five inches below the surface of the land, near an old lime kiln. Further digging by Mr. Manier and Thomas W. Best uncovered the other objects. Analysis showed that they were made with lead mixed with antimony, silver and rome tin. This was described by Professor Cummings as a natural alloy.

-+- Noted Scientists Examine Objects -+-

The objects and site have been examined by Professor A.E. Douglass, noted astronomer and chronologist of the Lowell Observatory; Professor Frank H. Fowler of the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences of the University of Arizona; Dr. C.J. Saria, a geologist; Professor Cummings, Neil H. Judd and others. Descriptions of the objects and the texts of the inscriptions have been sent to scholars in many parts of the country.

The combination of Christian cross, Moslem crescent, Hebraic seven-branched candlestick and Freemasonry emblems has imposed a heavy tax on the credulity of investigators, but their appearance of having been covered and embedded in stone by natural processes has puzzled skilled archaeologists. Some have arrived at the opinion that, whatever their origin, the objects lay for centuries in the earth where they were found.

The inscriptions have been interpreted as describing the conflicts of the pre-historic Roman-Jewish kingdom in the Southwest with the Toltec Indians, forerunners of the Aztecs. From the inscriptions it has been deduced that the mysterious invaders called their land "Calalus." Using the texts as a basis for the work, Laura Coleman Ostrander, historian of Tucson, has sketched the history of rulers of Calalus, her dynasty consisting of Theodorus, Jacobus, Isreal [sic] the First and Isreal [sic] the Second.

Some scholars to whom the materials have been submitted have been slow to accept the finds as authentic because of the character of the objects and the frequency of archaeological frauds. The danger of indorsing another Cardiff [unclear] of a monument of the "Bil Stumpe His Mark(?)" type has generally caused investigators to be cautious, but it is alleged that those who have examined the site have come to the conclusion that the things were not planted as a hoax, but have been there for a considerable period of time. They were found in September, 1924, fifteen months ago -- a longer period than any motion picture press agent, as a rule, would allow for the incubation of a publicity dodge.

-+- Finders' Story of the Case -+-

A statement of the case in favor of the relics, as worked out by the finders and their co-workers, follows:

"A chance discovery by Charles E. Manier and subsequent excavation by him and Thomas W. Bent, near Tucson, Ariz., has brought to light many relics that indicate an expedition of considerable proportion of Roman Jews in America during the period from 775 A.D. to 900 A.D."

"The evidence unearthed appears to be the positive data for which scientists have been searching for many years. It is thought that these relics definitely establish the fact that European or other outside influence existed in America before the advent of Columbus and the Spanish conquerors. This influence was found in America among the Indians in their rites and ceremonials by the Spaniards, but until the present find no definite evidence had appeared to prove this theory."

"The first article, a large metal cross, weighing sixty-five pounds, was discovered on Sept. 13, 1924, purely by accident. Mr. Manier and his family were returning from a trip to the historic Picture Rocks, just north of Tucson, Ariz., and had stopped to examine an old lime kiln along the road. While doing this, Mr. J.E. Manier noticed a peculiar object protruding from the bank to the north of the lime kiln. On examining the object he discovered it to be of metal, and firmly embedded in the bank, 5 feet 5 inches from the top. Mr. Manier excavated the object and discovered that it was a large metal cross, consisting of two parts, that had been placed together and riveted with lead rivets. Between the two halves had been placed a wax preservative, and on the inner surface of both halves there was much Latin inscription. The cross was taken to the University of Arizona and the Latin translated by Professor Frank H. Fowler of the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences."

-+- Objects Embedded in Strata -+-

"Since the discovery of the first article in the present time there have been unearthed five complete crosses and one unfinished cross, all of which contain much Latin inscription, many pictures and numerous symbols of both a religious and historic nature. There has also been unearthed a cross with a crescent cross-arm, entwined with a serpent, upon which there is Hebrew script and many religious symbols. Another cross has a circle of metal, connecting the cross-arms, with a serpent entwined over all. This cross also contains the Hebrew script and several religious symbols."

"The remainder of the discovery is made up of swords and spears, many of which are scarred as a result of having been used in battle. All the articles are of metal, and of a natural alloy of lead, silver, gold and antimony, with a trace of tin, and are all in a perfect state of preservation. None of the inscriptions has been obliterated and the war implements still retain a sharp straight edge, and are well balanced."

"The articles have been found at about the same level, that is, between five and six feet below the surface, and in a well- cemented stratum of caliche, the caliche, or lime formation, being so hard that it is necessary to chop each piece out with a pick. There is no evidence of burial, either in recent or in historic times; in fact, the articles have been covered by a natural process of the washing down of the debris from above, until time has resulted in building up of from five to six feet of overhead."

"The many scientists who have assisted in the research are unanimous in the opinion that the covering-over process has taken many hundreds of years; in fact, their conclusions tend to place the age of the relics at about the eighth century."

"The placing of the articles in history is being done by Laura Coleman Ostrander, historian, of Tucson, Ariz. She has, through the Latin and Hebrew inscriptions and the many interesting symbols, woven a complete story covering the entire period of these peoples in America, or 'Calalus Land,' as they called it. It is a story that covers a period of 125 years, and is replete with hardships, wars and romance."

[ be continued...]

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