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The Sussex Circle in British Paleontology

During April and May of 1996 while I was putting together the Piltdown Man home page there was a fair bit of discussion both in correspondence and in the talk.origins news group about Piltdown man, much of it centering on the various theories about the who the perpetrator might have been. In late May Nature published the article about Martin Hinton as the probable culprit. This inspired the following (rather silly) interchange.

I wrote:
I’ve read the article and bloody unfair I calls it. After 43 years you might expect an unsolved mystery to remain unsolved, but noooh. I do a web page on old pilty and within a month somebody comes along and cracks the case. Not only haven’t I finished writing up all the suspects but Hinton wasn’t even on my list!

Robert Parson commented:
Hey, look at my recent post re: Keith where I conclude by proclaiming, in portentous tones, that the mystery will never be solved…

However, my recent discovery of partially-erased graffiti on the wall of the first-floor men’s room at the British Museum shows that the Museum staff, terrified by the news that Richard Harter was preparing to expose the REAL culprit, hurriedly manufactured these specimens and planted them in Martin Hinton’s baggage. Beware, Richard – if you persist in these dangerous activities the Museum may find itself compelled to employ more direct methods…

And I replied:
Ah, it is a good thing that you warned me. I have in my posession an uncircumsized copy of The Sussex Amateur Paleontologists Guide wherein *The True Masters* lay out for aspirants the details of how they control the world through the masons, the Kansas City association of realtors, and the American Medical Association and the revealed true meaning of Piltdown man. It is quite old; it was used in error as the packing slip for a crate containing an unassembled Model T Ford. I acquired it by chance in a blind remnants auction held by the Royal Department Of Useless Antiquities which I had bid on in the hopes of acquiring the Ark of the Covenant.

I had supposed that the SAP’s were no longer active, that this vile conspiracy had gone the way of good British beer and good British beef. Alas, I see that they have implanted their tentacles into British Museum wherein the elder gods of Paleontology toss and turn in restless sleep, dreaming of awakening in an unsuspecting world when they can unleash new horrors.

So be it. I am prepared. I have placed copies of a curious volume in the New Age Shottle Bop chain of mysterious stores. They may get me; I fully expect to be consumed in broad daylight before a horrified crowd in a suburban mall by an invisible demon. It is the usual fate of those that tread too close to the forbidden line. But they can’t suppress the truth. It will come out.

British Paleontology Will Be Purged!!!

This page was last updated June 29, 1996