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No. 15: Spring 1981

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Basques in the susquehanna valley 2,500 years ago?

Back in the 1940s, Dr. W.W. Strong assembled about 400 inscribed stones from Pennsylvania's Susquehanna Valley. Called the Mechanicsburg Stones, they seemed to bear Phoenician characters -- at least Strong interpreted them as such. Naturally, Strong was ridiculed, for the Columbus-first dogma was dominant then. More recently, however, B. Fell claimed that the Mechanicsburg Stones are the work of Basque settlers circa 600 BC. The Basque theory has fared no better than the Phoenician. Now, a noted authority on the Basque language, Imanol Agire, has strongly supported Fell's conclusion that ancient Basques carved the stones.

(Anonymous; "Noted Basque Scholar Supports Claim That Mechanicsburg Stones Were Cut by Ancient Basques," NEARA Journal, 15:67, 1981.)

Reference. For other enigmatic inscriptions, see our Handbook Ancient Man. This volume is described here.

Inscription on one of the Mechanicsberg Stones
Inscription on one of the Mechanicsberg Stones

From Science Frontiers #15, Spring 1981. 1981-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987