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Letters to the Editor, August 2003


This a traditional letter column. You are encouraged to write a letter of comment on anything that you find worthy of comment. It will (may) be published in this column along with my reply. As editor I reserve the right to delete material; however I will not alter the undeleted material. E-mail to me that solely references the contents of this site will be assumed to be publishable mail. All other e-mail is assumed to be private. And, of course, anything marked not for publication is not for publication. Oh yes, letters of appreciation for the scholarly resources provided by this site will be handled very discreetly. This page contains the correspondence for August 2003.

Some of it is a little ancient; I'm slowly catching up - very slowly.

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Other Correspondence Pages


From: Gareth Thomas
Date: 7/31/2003
Subj: Piltdown

May I congratulate you on your truly outstanding website dedicated to the mystery of the Piltdown Man hoax.

Thank you.
I have been introduced to the subject by today's article in The Times newspaper focusing on the possibility that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was the culprit and that various clues are to be found in 'The Lost World'.

I am particularly intrigued by the suggestion that the cave map in chapter fifteen is a code or 'cryptograph' relating to the hoax. I have seen that Robert Anderson has written on this subject, but I was unable to access the web page linked on your site.

Apparently it no longer exists. It has been a while since I have checked all of the links.
Could you give me information on this question? Has a definite message been read into the symbols of the cave map, or is this pure speculation? Is there anywhere online that I can read Robert Anderson's work?
There doesn't seem to be any place online for it any more. I have the article and I may try to get permission to reprint it. Anderson says that the 18 lines in the puzzle are the 18 fairways of the Piltdowngolf course - it being, so to speak, a case of the missing links.
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From: Mark Ventimiglia
Date: 8/7/2003
Subj: Ventimiglia

Hello Mr. Harter... Let be begin by saying I stumbled on your website (http://richardhartersworld.com/cri/1997/ventimig.html) while doing a search. Yes, I was searching out my family. My name is Mark Ventimiglia. I am 38 years old and living in America (Illinois to be exact). Interestingly enough, I am also an author (and an artist). How excited I was to learn of a fellow book enthusiast with interests in Ventimiglia!

Years ago, my elder cousin did some research for a college project and discovered that we are directly related to the family of Counts di Ventimiglia. However, that was over 1000 years ago! HA! Now I am but a lowly struggling author and artist... and as poor as they come. Yet, I have been doing some research myself, but can find nothing interesting via the web. Except your site! Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks for keeping the legend alive!

Thanks for writing. It is a pity that your ancestors did not have the foresight to preserve the family lands for you. Have you ever managed to visit your namesake homeland? From what I have learned, it would be a trip well worth making.
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From: Tony Lewis
Date: 7/31/2003
Subj: Food for Thought

I just found out that one of Suford's relatives--a second cousin, four times removed, was Melvina Hereford who married Hudson Gentry. They were two of the survivors of the Donner Party.

Being a case, I suppose, of the Gentry being served, but no one serving the Gentry.
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From: Jason Frey
Date: 7/25/2003
Subj: Review of Lucifer's Hammer

I just came across your review of Luciferís Hammer and I agree with you almost completely. The vaguely sad part about the book was that I kept trying to enjoy it. The writing was fair, the science well-conceived and many of the characters interesting. The story, if not for the awful introduction of the cannibal crusade and attendant bigotry, was engaging. What frustrated me more than anything was that it just didnít seem necessary to turn the bad guys into cannibalistic demons who just happened to be the religious fanatics, blacks, and liberals that Pournelle and Niven seem so averse to. Some of the scenes including that painful, slow loss of civilization were very powerful and would have been without sinking to the level that the story did.

There was even a nugget of a really good moral point buried deep inside, where one of the characters says, "Society has the morality it can afford." Great line, I thought. Itís too bad that the authors chose to ignore so much of the morality they could afford when they conceived of the "Angels".

Your points are well taken. The Angels are, I suppose, Pournelle's invention. On his own, Niven tends to produce travelogues with no real plot, rather an account of interesting things that happen along the way. Pournelle is the better writer technically, in that he puts together well constructed plots. Too often, though, he is too self indulgent in his hatred and contempt.
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From: TheDorkQueen
Date: 7/22/2003
Subj: joke

I dont know if you have this joke but I got this from a friend and thought it was funny

 
 Money-†
 
 It can buy a House................But not a Home
 It can buy a Bed..................But not Sleep
 It can buy a Clock................But not Time
 It can buy you a Book.............But not knowledge
 It can buy you a Position.........But not Respect
 It can buy you Medicine...........But not Health
 It can buy you Blood..............But not Life
 
 So you see money isn't everything.
 And it often causes pain and suffering.
 I tell you all this because...........
 I am your Friend, and as your Friend I want to take away
 your pain and suffering..............
 
 †So please send me all your money......and I will suffer for you.
  
 †...cash only, please
The check is in the mail.
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From: Bailey James (Winnah_Tera@mindspring.com)
Date: 7/31/2003
Subj: Incoming funds transfer notification

Payment Notification.

Your friend has just sent $164.95 to you.

This email confirms that you have received a Payment for $164.95 from Luke Katherine (bydjgx@aol.com)

View the details of this payment online at: http://www.send-money-now.biz/

------------------------------
Payment Details:
------------------------------ Amount: $164.95
Currency: U.S. Dollars
Transaction ID: fgvefwuymi

Message sent by your friend: Thank you. You really helped me.

------------------------------
Withdrawal Details:
------------------------------

To withdraw this payment from "Send Money Now" account, please visit this link - http://www.send-money-now.biz/

Send Money Now - World Wide Payment System, Inc.

This letter is a scam; the send-money-now site looks legit until you click on all the links and discover that they are dummies. The text advising you that to collect you have to create an account with them. To do that you have to fill out a form containing your social security number and all of that other good stuff. Fill out that form and you will discover the hard way what "identity theft" means.

I would report the scam but to whom and where can one report such things? Bailey James almost certainly is a fiction, and the site could be anywhere.

In any event I hope that none of my readers will fall for such a thing if it pops up in the email.

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This page was last updated August 9, 2003.
It was reformatted and moved February 20, 2006

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