I am always surprised when what I write, which I believe to be clear and unmistakable is misunderstood. For example, I was not suggesting that the Masons were running around the world planting OOPARTs (see the following article) but that they might have planted this particular article, or they inserted Tubal Cain’s name into it for some private reason.
I also understood who Tubal Cain was, or was supposed to be. I’d read the various articles on the Internet. It was quite clear to me that Tubal Cain was not an early resident of Dorchester county, but an ancient blacksmith.
And thinking about it, maybe the misplaced "L" was not the letter slipping out of alignment, but was purposefully put there as just one more way of "hiding" the true name so that it looked like Tuba Cain rather than Tubal Cain.
And for those of you keeping score at home, I too have had a long interest in OOPARTs, or the name that I prefer, OOPTHs for Out Of Place Things. I did not invent the term. I think Ivan Sanderson came up with it three or four decades ago.
But, since this article struck a chord, let’s take a look at some other examples. In an account given before the British Association for the Advancement of Science, Sir David Brewster said that a nail had been found embedded in solid rock. About an inch of the nail was protruding and the rest was lying along the stone and projecting into a layer of ground, where it had rusted. The report suggests that the nail was partially in the stone but had not been driven into it. In other words, the nail was part of the sedimentary material that had congealed into granite so that it was part of the rock. That would mean that the nail had been manufactured millions of years earlier if all aspects of the report were true and the observations about it accurate.
Many more such objects seem to have been found in coal. Brad Steiger, in Mysteries of Time & Space reported that Wilbert H. Rusch, Sr., Professor of Biology, Concordia College, Ann Arbor, Michigan, quoted a letter from a friend had received from Frank J. Kenwood (yes, this sounds like the old friend of a friend), who said that he had been a fireman at the Municipal Electric Plant in Thomas, Oklahoma in 1912 when he split a large piece of coal and found an iron pot encased inside.
Quoting from the letter, Steiger wrote, "This iron pot fell from the center leaving the impression or mold of the pot in this piece of coal. I traced the source of the coal and found that it came from the Wilburton, Oklahoma, mines."
Others have made similar discoveries in lumps of coal. Mrs. S. W. Culp, according to the Morrisonville, Illinois Times, published on June 11, 1891, found an artifact when she broke a lump of coal as she was preparing to toss it in a stove. According to the story, "Mrs. Culp thought the chain had been dropped accidentally in the coal, but as she undertook to lift the chain up, the idea of its having been recently dropped was at once fallacious, for as the lump of coal broke, the middle of the chain became loosened while each end remained fastened to the coal."
The coal was identified as coming from mines in southern Illinois. Steiger suggests that the coal is from the Carboniferous era.
I queried the Smithsonian about this and several other like reports a number of years ago. They suggested, "… manufactured items… would not normally be found in rocks or coal since the latter were formed before the advent of man. The only such inclusion would be the rock material had been broken, and the artifacts had gotten lost among it and then moss had recemented it by sedimentary action."
This is certainly a conventional explanation and is, of course, possible. It is also possible, as in the case of the metal vessel from Dorchester (see the following article) that it had not been embedded in the rock, but was associated with material around the rock. That means, simply, that it could have been something buried in softer ground that was uprooted by the explosion and fell in among the debris of the quarry where it was found giving the impression that it was blown out of solid rock.
Some support for that conclusion comes from the study of the history of OOPARTs. Info Journal, #59 reported that about 1900 an Englishman found a coin embedded in a lump of coal. The coin was clearly dated 1397. So, we have an artifact that was found in coal that was clearly dated long after the coal was formed unless we are willing to believe that some ancient, unknown or alien civilization used a numbering system just like ours. We have seen, since the beginning of written history a variety of numbering systems so why believe the ancients would use the same system we do. Why wouldn’t they have invented their own? And would they have a base ten?
There is further information that sheds additional light on this and we don’t need philosophic discussions of numbering systems to understand it. After Mount St. Helens blew up a group of scientists discovered that peat deposits had developed in an unexpectedly short time at the bottom of a lake. It suggested that some coal beds could theoretically form in far less time than conventionally believed.
What all this tells us is that there are some interesting enigmas out there and that there seem to be some rational explanations for some of these strange finds. But, and this is critical, those explanations rely partly on speculation. Further study is required on this before we can either accept the data as proved, or reject it as flawed.