A Mostly Complete Piltdown Man Bibliography
Copyright © 1996-1997 by Tom Turritin
Hello and welcome to this attempt to present post-1953 literature on Piltdown Man in some sort of organized manner! Once you've located the references here that you wish to explore, jot them down, and then click here for the full bibliography. This web page was created in September 1996, although it had been originally compiled on paper in July 1995. This page was last updated in January 1998, and you can e-mail me by clicking here.
Other Piltdown Man Web Pages:
Introductory Notes: Important
information about this bibliography (now on a separate page)
Section A: Initial Piltdown forgery discussions, 1953-55
Section B: Piltdown whodunit literature (big!)
Section C: Post-1953 scientific tests and questions of origin
Section D: Other forgeries besides Piltdown
Section E: Fraud and forgery literature
Section F: General science literature
Section G: Anti-evolutionist / Pseudo-scientific literature (for and against)
Section H: Media and entertainment
and the bibliography itself, which has its own separate page.
The introductory notes have been moved to a separate page. If you're a researcher, please read it; if you're a casual web-surfer, you won't find it as interesting, although I do have a link to what my favourite articles are.
I have re-edited this section to make it more chronological and less confusing. A "~" sign means that the date is approximate. A lot of the dates in this section are based on newspaper announcements, and in many cases the "real" event happened earlier. There was also a great deal of letter-writing going on in scientific circles which is not documented here (but see Spencer 1990b: 196-251). Most of the newspaper articles in this section are from The Times of London and The New York Times. A number of other missing articles from this period can be seen in my wishlist.
Weiner conceives of the forgery hypothesis while returning from the Wenner-Gren "Early Man in Africa" conference.
~August 6 (and onwards)
Weiner takes his theory to Clark, his professor, along with a chimpanzee mandible he has experimentally altered. Clark contacts Oakley by phone and later that day Oakley agrees they need to investigate, and that the affair should be kept secret within the BMNH until they can do more research and come forward with an exposure. Oakley begins a series of new tests on the bones with other scientists.
August 17 (and onwards)
By this time, Weiner has made two excursions to Sussex to investigate the people originally involved with the discovery of Piltdown Man. Woodward and Keith are never considered as suspects. Most of the information that Weiner uncovers relates to Dawson and his suspicious practices, so most of Weiner's research focuses in that direction. His investigations continue for several months with the help of other colleagues. Aside from Dawson, Weiner investigates Teilhard, and Sussex locals such as Abbott. Although during his interviews Weiner tried to avoid voicing his own suspicions, some could tell he was implicating Dawson (Spencer 1990b: 220), while others could not (Spencer 1990b: 6.3.58).
Weiner has stated "quite unequivocally that before the public announcement of the hoax in November 1953, I had ... carried out my main inquiries ... without any prejudice whatever against Dawson. In fact until all the scientific work had been done I had not concerned myself with a possible perpetrator at all" (Weiner 1973: 25). This statement is probably inaccurate. Many of Weiner's interviews definitely focused around Dawson; although not out of prejudice but most likely because they were the "hottest leads". The scientific work on Piltdown continued well into 1954, and Weiner's suspicions about Dawson were quite strong before then.
Weiner and Oakley meet in person for a preliminary anatomical re-examination of the Piltdown bones.
November 21 (Saturday)
Weiner, Oakley and Clark release their article, The Solution of the Piltdown Problem (Weiner, Oakley & Clark 1953), officially announcing the forgery along with The Times (Anon 1953a) and BBC broadcasts. Other newspapers quickly picked up on the story which was soon heard across the world (Anon 1953b; Hillaby 1953). Oakley and Weiner visited Sir Arthur Keith in person that same afternoon to discuss Piltdown with him (Spencer 1990b: 207, 219). He was 87 years old and, along with Teilhard, was one of the few remaining individuals still alive who had been involved with Piltdown Man as it had first been discovered. Teilhard only gave a brief statement to the press (Anon 1953n) and entered into correspondence with Weiner and Oakley. Hinton wrote to The Times shortly afterwards (Hinton 1953).
The journal Nature was bitter at The Times, because the editors of Nature had been in on the secret of the forgery before it got announced and yet "the scoop" had not been granted to them, nor had a general press conference been called (Anon 1954b; Spencer 1990b: 203). Nature's article appeared a few days later (Anon 1953w).
When the Piltdown forgery was first announced, it is important to keep in mind that at that point the only publicly proven facts were that Piltdown Man's jaw and canine had been forged. The skull, on the other hand, was still considered to be a genuine fossil, of about 50,000 years of age. However, over the course of the November 21st weekend it was revealed that bones from the Piltdown II site were also forgeries, and that the flint tools and the bone implement were also suspicious (Anon 1953d). These latter thoughts received more confirmation the following month (see below).
The newspapers immediately seized upon Dawson as the most likely culprit behind the forgeries. Although Weiner, Oakley and Clark claimed they were keeping their personal opinions about the forger out of their published work at this point, their articles kept repeating that Dawson had been staining bones, and that some of the bones could not have become stained after they fell into Woodward's possession. The implication was obvious.
The press had many responses to the forgery. Numerous authors pointed out that other scientists such as Miller and Weidenreich had considered the Piltdown bones to be spurious well before 1953. People were also suspicious of Oakley's fluorine method, which although had now been made more refined and exact, it had not detected the forgery when it had been first applied to the bones in 1949. The public in general was unfamiliar with scientific dating methods. Others, especially scientists, argued about how incomplete human fossils could be more objectively interpreted in the future. There were also arguments about how accessible the Piltdown collection had been in the past for examination, and what the human evolutionary tree currently looked like, and the role of scientists. (See Anon 1953bcdefghkpwxy; Andrews 1953; Baker 1955; Berger 1953; Daniel 1953; Ehrich & Henderson 1954; Heizer & Cook 1954; Hillaby 1953; Hinton 1953; Hooton 1954; Lighthill 1953ab; Ovey 1953; Shapiro 1953; Stearn 1954a; Vallois 1953; Washburn 1953, 1954.)
The focus of research on human evolution had already switched to Africa some years before 1953, and the debunking of Piltdown had no discernible effect on that. The "presapiens" paradigm which Piltdown had once helped to support was on a decline, although it still had its followers such as Vallois. Zuckerman used Piltdown to argue for statistical analysis in human palaeontology, which since 1947 had been his ongoing method of rejecting Australopithecus (Zuckerman 1971 [orig. 1954]).
Only a small number of people were negative towards the news of the forgery. Among these were the zoologist W.C. Hill (Hill 1954: 148), and the American physical anthropologist E.A.Hooton, who was skeptical but willing to concede and move on (Hillaby 1953: 28; Hooton 1954; Spencer 1990b: 215). A few people denied the forgery entirely. One of these was Hans Weinert, a German scientist who had studied the bones in 1933 and who now thought that the mandible was human. I have an article by Weinert (Weinert 1954; mentioned in Vallois 1954: 353), but since it is in German I am unable to read it - I hope to put a copy of it online here at some point.
The other dissenter was Alvin T. Marston, a 65-year-old dentist who had discovered the remains of Swanscombe Man in 1935 and 1936 (which had now become Britain's oldest human skull, Anon 1953v). Convinced from early on that the Piltdown bones were those of two creatures, man and ape, and not a single combination of the two, Marston (who had harassed the scientific community before) embarked on a quest to prove that Dawson was not a forger and that the Piltdown bones were still genuine. Marston got his opinions presented in a large number of newspapers (Anon 1953cn, 1954a; Marston 1954ab; Spencer 1990b: 205 fn.1; Picture Post December 19, 1953: 41-3) and quickly embittered Weiner, Oakley and Clark towards him, especially Oakley. F.J.M. Postlethwaite also defended Dawson, who was his stepfather (Postlethwaite 1953.)
There were a number of anti-evolutionists at this time who used Piltdown Man's downfall to support their cause (Drummond 1955; Himmelfarb 1959; Time and Tide December 12: 1646; Vere 1959; with reactions in Anon 1953y; Oakley 1955b; A. West 1959).
On the literary front, Weiner had briefly considered whether the Rudyard Kipling short story "Dayspring Mishandled" was a tangential reference to Dawson (Spencer 1990b: 249-50). Some publishers considered using the wave of interest in Piltdown to re-publish an earlier work of fiction called When It Was Dark, but then abandoned the idea (Anon 1953iq). However, the plot of a new novel called Anglo-Saxon Attitudes may have been inspired by Piltdown (Wilson 1956).
This was the first of three meetings concerning Piltdown which were held at the Geological Society of London. Marston caused some sort of disruption during the meeting, but the various reports of this have only vague and sometimes contradictory details (compare Anon 1954i with Weiner 1955c: 69). For reports of the meeting, see Anon 1953n; Cole 1955: 158-60; Marston 1954a; Weiner & Oakley 1954: 4-7; Vallois 1954: 353-4; Wendt 1956: 416. In more recent literature, the events of the meeting are discussed in Blinderman 1986a: 112-3; Millar 1972: 218-9; Spencer 1990a: 135, 229 fn.20; Spencer 1990b: 205.
Six members of the British House of Commons try to table a motion using Piltdown to affect the reputation of the trustees of the British Museum. (Anon 1953lmors; Ovey 1953). On November 27th, a member of parliament is interviewed about Piltdown on the BBC radio show "Any Questions" (Anon 1954a). The Nature Conservancy is also nervous around this time about receiving criticism for having formally recognized and preserved the Piltdown site in 1952 (Spencer 1990b: 6.2.8,9,13).
Punch publishes a cartoon of an ape-man sitting in a dentist's chair as the dentist tells him, "This may hurt, but I'm afraid I'll have to remove the whole jaw" (Illingworth 1953). Other jokes and political cartoons around this time can be seen in Anon 1953j; Kramer 1953; Spencer 1990a: 140.
The Natural History Museum in South Kensington opens a Piltdown Man exhibit (Anon 1953t).
~December 5 or 8
Vere speaks in a BBC broadcast called "Was Dawson Guilty?" in which he defends that Dawson was not the forger (Spencer 1990b: 226; Vere 1955: 11-2; Vere 1959: 16).
December 12 (and onwards)
Weiner's investigations into Piltdown Man's history during August had uncovered an accusation that the Piltdown flint tools had been chemically stained. Experiments proved this to be the case, and this was announced in Nature (Anon 1953u; Oakley & Weiner 1953; the article provoked a new attack from Marston the following February). Suspicion next turned to the other man-made Piltdown artifact, the elephant thighbone implement (or "cricket bat") which had been considered to be strange for many years (Montagu 1954; Reeve 1953). Investigations proved that this too had been faked. As the months went by, it was learned that many of the Piltdown finds had been altered and that none of them could have originally come from Piltdown - the whole site was a sham.
Marston confronts Oakley at a second meeting of the Geological Society of London, arguing about the Piltdown flints (Anon 1954c).
Weiner and Oakley make their first official statement on Piltdown for an American journal, (Anon 1954d; Weiner & Oakley 1954). There had been earlier reports by other authors in American journals, see Washburn 1953 (with reactions in Ehrich & Henderson 1954; Heizer & Cook 1954; Washburn 1954); Straus 1954a.
Eleven months since Weiner first thought of the forgery, a third meeting of the Geological Society of London declares that the entirety of the Piltdown site was a hoax. Marston was permitted to make a presentation at the beginning, but the speakers and exhibits that followed pretty much closed the book on the forgery (Anon 1954efgh; Oakley 1954; Straus 1954b; Vallois 1954: 354-6). The substance of this meeting later became Weiner et al. 1955, published in January of 1955.
Piltdown Man was a very significant event at this point because it proved how modern scientific technology could be successfully used in archaeology, especially for dating purposes. This was in agreement with the general post-WWII trend of encouraging scientific research and development. Among the techniques used on Piltdown Man were Oakley's improved fluorine analysis, two different X-ray methods, tests for organic content, and the presence of uranium and radioactivity. Although these methods had been in development before 1953, Piltdown helped to draw attention to them. Radiocarbon dating existed at this time but was not refined enough to use on the Piltdown bones; this did not happen until several years later.
Weiner has finished a rough copy of his book, The Piltdown Forgery. Teilhard visits England and discusses Piltdown with a number of British scientists, including Oakley and Weiner.
J. Manwaring Baines, the curator of the Hastings Museum, accuses Dawson of plagiarizing The History of Hastings Castle, as well as faking other artifacts. One response to this came from Downes, who was investigating Dawson's artifacts; and an anonymous suggestion appeared that Arthur Conan Doyle was behind the Piltdown forgery (Anon 1954kl; Downes 1954; Thorne 1954; Watson 1954; also see Salzman 1955; Weiner 1955b). Baines published the book Historic Hastings the following year, but his comments about Dawson have only reappeared in the 1986 edition (Baines 1986). (For more information about Dawson and forgeries, consult Section D.)
Sir Arthur Keith dies. Almost immediately a letter is published in which Keith had said he thought Dawson was behind the forgery (Anon 1955b; Hampton 1955).
January 9 (and onwards)
A three-week series of articles begin in the Sunday Times (Emerson & Weiner 1955abc) to promote Weiner's upcoming book, in which he openly accuses Dawson of being the most likely candidate behind the forgery. See Anon 1955a; Baker 1955; Drummond 1955; Hampton 1955; Oakley 1955b; Salzman 1955; Weiner 1955b.
The final conclusions of the scientific tests on the Piltdown assemblage are released in an article entitled Further Contributions to the Solution of the Piltdown Problem, under the name of 12 authors (Weiner et al. 1955). These are essentially the conclusions that were announced on June 30 in 1954. See Anon 1954m, 1955d; Burkitt 1955; Spaulding 1955; Vallois 1955: 297-8. A summary of this article appeared later in an American journal in October (Oakley & Weiner 1955, 1957).
Weiner's book, The Piltdown Forgery (Weiner 1955c), is released. See Anon 1955ef; Burkitt 1955; Eiseley 1956; Hawkes 1955; Shapiro 1955, Vallois 1955: 298-300. Responses were mainly positive, but Mabel Kenward had some disagreements with Weiner (Spencer 1990b: 246-7).
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin dies on Easter Sunday in New York.
Vere releases his book, The Piltdown Fantasy (Anon 1955g; Vere 1955).
Clark makes a definitive speech to the Royal Institute of Great Britain about Piltdown Man (Anon 1955h; Clark 1955bc). Oakley and Clark had given a number of lectures on Piltdown, see Anon 1954j, 1955c; Spencer 1990b: 6.3.26. After this point, Clark's speeches and publications only give brief, passing references to Piltdown without much discussion. Oakley and Weiner would occasionally talk about Piltdown as the years went by.
Sir Gavin de Beer proposes that the official entries for Piltdown Man be removed from the indices of Latin zoological nomenclature (de Beer 1955b). Marston had become quiet at this point but remained very disgruntled (see Spencer 1990a: 229 fn.20).
Weiner and Oakley appear on Glyn Daniel's show, Buried Treasure, on BBC Television (Anon 1955i; Pound 1955).
Robert Essex accuses Teilhard of being the forger (Essex 1977).
It is announced that the right parietal bone of the Swanscombe skull has been found, fitting in perfectly with the parts that Marston had found twenty years earlier in 1935 and 1936. The importance of the Swanscombe site was formally recognized in 1954 when the Nature Conservancy made it a National Nature Reserve, as it had done to the Piltdown site in 1952 (Anon 1953v, 1955jk; Wymer 1971).
Sonia Cole releases Counterfeit, a book about great cases of fakery, including a section on Piltdown (Cole 1955; Crawford 1956). Piltdown ceases to be a news item (until the 1970s) and for the next 15 years is referred to mostly in textbooks, usually briefly (some good exceptions are Howells 1967 [orig. 1959]; Wendt 1956: 405-17).
Because post-1953 literature on Piltdown Man is most often concerned with discussing who the forger could have been, a chronological table of Piltdown forger accusations serves to organize the evolution of the discussion. Some of the accusations listed below are fairly "small" and unnoticed, but caught my attention.
|Vere||1955||Labourer at the Piltdown site|
|Trevor||1967||Woodward & Dawson|
|Leakey||1969||Teilhard & Dawson|
|Miscellaneous 1956-71 articles||-------||------------------|
|van Esbroeck||1972||Butterfield & Hargreaves|
|Langham||1978||Elliot Smith & Woodward|
|Douglas & Halstead||1978||Sollas, Hinton, Dawson & other BMNH staff|
|Gould||1980||Teilhard & Dawson|
|Matthews||1981||Dawson & Abbott, then Hinton & Teilhard|
|Winslow & Meyer||1983||Arthur Conan Doyle|
|Costello & Daniel||1985||Woodhead & Hewitt|
|Grigson||1990||Barlow & Dawson|
|Langham & Spencer||1990||Keith & Dawson|
|Thomson||1991||Dawson, then Hinton & Teilhard|
|Tobias||1992||Keith & Dawson|
|Clermont & Thackeray||1992||Teilhard|
|Drawhorn||1994||Woodward & Dawson|
|Anderson & Milner||1996||Arthur Conan Doyle|
|Gardiner & Currant||1996||Hinton|
The dates on this table are not absolute. In many cases, the authors had been building their theories for several years, and sometimes had published it before the date indicated, but it went unnoticed. Although many of the authors seem to be accusing the same victims, they often suggest different motives and use different evidence to substantiate their claims. Where there are several people accused at once, I have tried to list them in decreasing order of alleged participation. Aspects of this table are subjective as a result.
There are also many vague accusations which have been made that are not listed on this table. Glyn Daniel's personal list of people who he had seen accused has some of the above names, as well as A.S. Kennard, Horace de Vere Cole and his circle of expert hoaxers, and an unnamed person on the staff of the BMNH (Daniel 1961; 1972: 263; 1974); a comment which had been made both by Hallam L. Movius and Herbert J. Fleure (see Daniel above, and Anon 1953e; Spencer 1990b: 211). For similarly vague reports, see Anon 1978b; Cave 1973; Daniel 1986: 59; and Spencer 1990a: 178, 237 fn.86; Spencer 1990b: 234.
"Announcement(s)" refers to the article or book which contained the Piltdown accusation which received the most attention. "Previews" are any articles which foreshadowed or promoted the announcement before it happened. In some cases, the Preview receives responses from other authors. Lastly, "Reactions" contains all articles which appeared in the wake of an announcement. This includes re-reporting of the announcement, reviews, and debates.
I make little attempt to discuss the details of the various whodunit theories, but I have tried to identify the profession of the accusers where possible. For brief descriptions of the people who have been accused, see Spencer 1990a: xix-xxvi.
Note that the chronological "groups" presented here are partially subjective. I have not mentioned every single time that an author has discussed someone's previous theory. Instead, I have grouped articles together according to the theory they were primarily concerned with.
Weiner (1955) accuses Charles Dawson
Weiner's book was the culmination of his research to find the Piltdown forger ever since he uncovered the forgery in 1953, and served as a springboard for all future accusations. It remains a standard reference work. Weiner has admitted that he wrote the book hastily (Blinderman 1986a: 105), to scoop Vere (see below).
Dawson had been implicated by the media right from the very beginning (Anon 1953a), but suspicion was not officially declared until January of 1955, immediately after the death of Sir Arthur Keith. See Anon 1955ab; Emerson & Weiner 1955abc. Reactions in Baker 1955; Drummond 1955; Oakley 1955b; Salzman 1955; Weiner 1955b.
The Piltdown Forgery became available on February 17, 1955, published by Oxford University Press (Weiner 1955c), and was republished in 1980/81. Reprinted passages can be found in Weiner 1963, 1971.
Weiner's book created very little published discussion, aside from book reviews. See Anon 1955ef; Burkitt 1955; Eiseley 1956; J. Hawkes 1955; Shapiro 1955; Vallois 1955: 298-300.
It is interesting to note that when Weiner was conducting research for his book, he was assisted by a colleague, Geoffrey Ainsworth Harrison, an Oxford professor in physical anthropology, who often went with Weiner during his interviews (see Spencer 1990b: 215, 217, 238-40). Harrison has occasionally reappeared in the Piltdown literature, but no author has mentioned how his interest in Piltdown originated. See Harrison 1983, 1990, 1992. Weiner began collecting evidence in Sussex within two weeks of first realizing the Piltdown bones were fraudulent. By August of 1954 he had a rough draft of the book finished (Spencer 1990b: 219, 250), and he wrote the preface in October.
The Piltdown story appeared again in 1955 in Counterfeit, a book by Sonia Cole, who later went on to be a biographer of Louis Leakey. See Cole 1955: 136-73; reviewed in Crawford 1956.
Weiner, in his later years, had been thinking of re-writing his book, but died before he could do so. Oakley and Daniel commented that Weiner was going to take into consideration the new data that had appeared over the years (Daniel 1982b; Oakley 1976: 13), but from his own words Weiner's opinions had remained very much the same (Weiner 1974). Weiner's last comments on the subject were recollections of how he had thought of the forgery, the reactions when he approached Clark and Oakley with the idea, and some of their early tests (Harrison 1983).
Vere (1955) accuses a labourer at the Piltdown site
Francis Vere entered the Piltdown debate originally to defend Dawson's name, but Vere was a pseudonym for his real name, which was Bannister (see Spencer 1990a: 239 fn.36). Vere's first appearance was in a BBC broadcast he made on December 5th or 8th, 1953, called "Was Dawson Guilty?" (Spencer 1990b: 226; Vere 1955: 11-2). After that point, a race ensued between Weiner and Vere to finish writing their books before the other did. Vere seems to have finished his earlier, but Weiner's managed to be the first to get published.
Vere 1955. Vere's book, The Piltdown Fantasy, was a point-by-point refutation of Weiner's The Piltdown Forgery. Vere's choice of the forger was one of the labourers who had worked at Piltdown, and he may have been implying Venus Hargreaves.
Essex (1955) accuses Teilhard
Robert Essex, like Vere, wrote to defend Dawson. Essex was a biology schoolmaster who had taught at Uckfield Grammar School during the time when Piltdown Man was found. Essex had approached Oakley and Weiner with his theory as early as January-February of 1954, but had been dismissed (see Spencer 1990b: 231-2, 235, 241). He went on to publish his suspicions anyway, but named Teilhard as "Mr. X". Essex's theories have since reappeared erratically in many Piltdown whodunit articles.
Originally appeared as "The Piltdown Plot: A Hoax That Grew", published in the Kent and Sussex Journal, July-September 1955, vol. 2.4: 94-5. Reprinted later, see Essex 1977. This appeared not long after Teilhard's death on April 10 of 1955.
Vere (1959) accuses Teilhard
Vere made a second unexpected appearance in 1959 with the publication of a small book, Lessons of Piltdown. This was essentially a book promoting Creationism, as it was published by The Evolution Protest Movement. Vere again defended Dawson, but changed his Piltdown accusation, placing the blame this time on the scientists who had been involved in Piltdown, especially Teilhard. The book also criticized Teilhard's work in Java and Peking.
Trevor (1967) accuses Woodward & Dawson
According to Spencer, a mostly unknown accusation had been made against Arthur Smith Woodward and Dawson by Trevor in 1967. "Jack" C. Trevor worked in the Duckworth Laboratory at the University of Cambridge, and died in the same year he was considering his theory. His work contained many suspicions regarding W.J. Lewis Abbott, the jeweler; Wynfrid L.H. Duckworth, a Cambridge anatomist and physical anthropologist; and Teilhard.
Unpublished, although he communicated his ideas to Oakley and was evidently planning to publish his theory in Nature. See Spencer 1990a: 232 fn.78, 240 fn.41; Spencer 1990b: 6.2.20. Marston had also been in contact with Trevor during 1967 (Drawhorn 1994a).
None; neither Oakley nor Weiner took Trevor's case seriously. But coincidentally, around the same time, the British author Ernest Raymond wrote a defense of Woodward, who had been his neighbour. Raymond accused Dawson. See Raymond 1969: 139-44.
W.R. Thompson (1968) accuses Teilhard
Thompson, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, made an accusation against Teilhard in 1968 in the context of discussing philosophy and evolution. This followed a period when Teilhard's philosophies had gained popularity during the late 1950s and 1960s. Thompson's theory bears close resemblance to that in Booher 1986.
W.R. Thompson 1968: esp. p. 367-78.
None; but it was brought to attention later in Dodson 1981a.
Leakey (1969) accuses Teilhard & Dawson
Louis Leakey, the famous palaeontologist, had had suspicions for many years that Teilhard was behind the Piltdown forgery. Although in his published works he never said so directly, he did not go to any great length to hide his beliefs in other circles.
Leakey & Goodall 1969: 90-100, 152-6, esp. 154-5; Leakey 1974: 22-3.
In 1970 it was leaked to the press that Leakey would be publishing his theory in an upcoming book. Strangely, the articles identify him under the name of James Leakey, see Anon 1970ab, 1971; Austin 1970. The articles brought back a consideration of Essex's theories, see Head 1971. The subject came up briefly again in response to Millar (see below), in Thuillier 1972: 1002; followed by Russo 1974 and Schreider 1973.
Leakey's suspicions were well-known enough that when he was invited to speak at a U.S. symposium in honour of Teilhard in 1971, he was not sure if his attendance would be appreciated; but he ended up going (contrary to the claims made in Johansen & Edey 1981: 80). Leakey later died in 1972. He had been working on a book about his theory, but after his death his wife Mary thought it best that it went unpublished. See Cole 1975: 374-7, 399; Daniel 1972: 263; Daniel 1975. Leakey's hypothesis was later brought back by Gould.
For other miscellaneous articles written about Piltdown around the 1956-71 period, see Anon 1969; Cockburn 1970; Cohen 1965; Daniel 1961; Oakley & Groves 1970; Oakley 1965: 12-4; Oakley 1971; and Weiner 1967. There are other articles from this time period - it's just that I wasn't able to easily categorize the ones in this section.
After the 1953-55 heydey on Piltdown was finished, Oakley's fluorine method for the relative dating of fossil bone established a firm place for itself in most archaeological textbooks, especially those dealing with chemistry (see Oakley 1963ab). Oakley went on in the 1960s to promote the study of prehistoric stone tools in Africa ("Man the Toolmaker").
Weiner occasionally wrote articles on human evolution during this time, but for the most part returned to his studies on human physiobiology and its relation to the environment, especially under conditions of high heat. For some of his statements on human evolution in the light of Piltdown's removal, see Weiner 1960: 741-6, 751; and (1962) "The Pattern of Evolutionary Development of the Genus Homo", in Ideas on Human Evolution: Selected Papers, 1949-1961, ed. by William Howells, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, pp. 522-5, 529-30. (Originally in South African Journal of Medical Science, 1958, vol 23: 111-20.)
Sir Wilfrid Le Gros Clark died in 1971, as did Alvan T. Marston. Martin A.C. Hinton died on October 3, 1961.
van Esbroeck (1972) accuses Butterfield and Hargreaves
Guy van Esbroeck was a professor emeritus at the University of Gand (Gent) in Belgium, and was also an anti-evolutionist (see Thuiller 1972: 1002). His book, Pleine Lumière sur l'Imposture de Piltdown (roughly, 'Full Light on the Piltdown Deception'), published in France, received little attention. His theory was that the Piltdown forger had been William Ruskin Butterfield (given the incorrect initials of C.S. in Weiner 1955c), the past curator of the Hastings Museum, who had the assistance of Venus Hargreaves, a labourer from Uckfield who had worked at the Piltdown site. The book relies heavily on letters written by Teilhard, and spends a fair amount of time attacking Teilhard's character.
van Esbroeck 1972.
Thuillier 1972 (see below).
Millar (1972) accuses Sir Grafton Elliot Smith
Although the Piltdown debate had been relatively absent and unnoticed by the public from 1956-71, Ronald Millar broke the ice on the silence in 1972 with the publication of The Piltdown Men. Millar identifies himself as a layman (Millar 1972: 11), but I believe his true profession may have been that of a playwright (see Anon 1972a; and "Parents' Day", The Times, July 13, 1972, p.11).
Millar's accusation came just in time for the celebrations of the centennial of Elliot Smith's birth (1871) in honour of the Australian neuroanatomist. Elliot Smith's reputation was defended by a number of eminent scientists. Oakley allowed Weiner to do most of the rebuttal (see Spencer 1990a: 234 fn.41), and commented neutrally on the Piltdown affair (Oakley 1973, 1976). Millar admitted to not having much concrete evidence (Millar 1972: 233-7). W.M. Krogman, having an interest in forensic anthropology, examined Millar's argument but concluded that Weiner's accusation of Dawson was more convincing.
With the renewed interest in Piltdown started by Millar, the palaeontology division of the BMNH put out a small leaflet on Piltdown in 1973 (later reprinted, see Anon 1975). Others took up the cause to discover other forgeries that Dawson may have created (listed later in Section D).
Millar 1972, published by Gollancz. Republished in 1974 and 1979 by different publishers in England and New York. Reactions:
Anon 1972ab; Cave 1973; Daniel 1972; Krogman 1973 (later expanded in Krogman 1978); Swinton 1976; Thuillier 1972 (followed by a discussion about Teilhard, see Russo 1974; Schreider 1973); Weiner 1973; Zuckerman 1972; Zuckerman 1973: 20.
Bowden (1977) accuses Teilhard
Malcolm Bowden's book, Ape-Men - Fact or Fallacy? used Piltdown to attack both Teilhard and the scientific theory of evolution. Bowden is an English civil engineer and creation scientist. His theory was inspired by Essex's claims in defense of Dawson, and he also briefly considered the case against Woodward.
Bowden 1977, especially pp. 3-43. Reprinted in 1981.
Bowden has more recently published another book (which I have not yet read) in which he has given Piltdown Man further discussion, called Science vs. Evolution, for which he has a web page.
Langham (1978) accuses Sir Grafton Elliot Smith
Ian Langham, a lecturer in the history and philosophy of science at Sydney University in Australia, was inspired by Millar's theory. Langham considered whether Elliot Smith had been unethically involved not only with Piltdown, but with the Australian Talgai skull, possibly with the assistance of other members within the BMNH such as Woodward. He was planning a book on the subject (Langham 1978: 183); however, a few years later Langham abandoned his theory in favour of accusing Sir Arthur Keith, but died tragically in 1984 before being able to publish his research. Frank Spencer, who had also been considering Keith as a suspect since the mid-1970s, took up Langham's work and published the Langham-Spencer case against Keith in 1990, which had been foreshadowed several years in advance (Bowler 1987; Spencer 1984: 21; Spencer 1988: 86, 115).
Douglas & Halstead (1978) accuse Sollas, Hinton and others
This accusation was the first major media-frenzy on Piltdown since the 1950s, partially due to its melodrama and the rapid spread of the news through the Associated Press. Professor James Douglas, who had been head of the Geology department at Oxford University, died at age 93; but in a tape recording played after his death accused his predecessor, William Sollas, of being the Piltdown forger. L.B. Halstead of the University of Reading presented the tape and then supported Douglas' theory, in which the Piltdown forgery had involved Sollas, Martin A.C. Hinton, Dawson, and possibly others within the BMNH (Hinton, a zoologist and palaeontologist, had died in 1961). The ensuing debate took place mostly in two places, in the letter columns of The Times and Nature, and included a side-discussion of the Sherborne Horse's Head forgery, which for some implicated Woodward in the Piltdown affair. (The Sherborne forgery was finally verified in 1995.)
Anon 1978a; R. Parker 1978.
Halstead 1978ab, 1979.
Anon 1978b; Browne 1979; Farrar 1979ab, 1981; Gibb 1978; N. Hawkes 1995; Langham 1979; Molleson 1981; Oakley 1978, 1979ac; Pearce 1995; A. Sieveking 1980, 1981; Stringer et al. 1995; Wade 1978; Washburn 1979; Weiner 1979.
Gould (1980) accuses Teilhard & Dawson
Stephen Jay Gould, a teacher at Harvard, well-known as a scientific columnist and speaker, and for his studies in biology, evolution and the history of science, brought back Leakey's suspicions against Teilhard from the 1970s and thereby achieved even more media attention than Douglas and Halstead. Gould voiced his claim in his monthly column in Natural History in 1979, but it failed to attract attention until he published a more thorough accusation the following year. Like Douglas & Halstead, the news spread rapidly throughout international newspapers, in late July of 1980.
Gould received responses from two main groups of dissenters. The first group consisted of scientists and Piltdown historians, including the first appearance of Peter Costello. The second group was what Gould referred to as the devotees of the "Teilhard cult" (Gould 1983b: 201), whose comments appeared mostly in journals devoted to discussing Teilhard. Gould's accusation occurred around the centennial of Teilhard's birth (1881), for which a symposium was being held. The speakers at the symposium included Richard Leakey and Weiner, who spoke in Teilhard's defense.
While Gould's theory was being debated between 1979-83, a number of deaths occurred. Oakley died on November 2, 1981 (Daniel 1982a); Sonia Cole in May of 1982 (Daniel 1982b); and Weiner on June 13, 1982. (Daniel 1982b; Harrison 1983.) Commenting on Gould's article, Weiner had continued to believe in only Dawson's guilt. Oakley, however, was open to the Teilhard-Dawson theory (N. Hammond 1980; Oakley 1980b), which he had apparently expressed in the past (Smoker 1997), but in the course of the Gould debate Oakley changed his position and rejected the idea (Oakley 1981).
Daniel 1979; Gould 1979a, reprinted in shorter version in Gould 1979b, and in edited form with postscript in Gould 1980a: 108-24. Received one reaction, Oakley 1979b.
Gould 1980b. Reprinted with footnotes in Gould 1983b: 201-26.
Anon 1980abc; Costello 1981a; Daniel 1981, 1982b; Dodson 1981a; N. Hammond 1980; King 1983a: 159-69; King 1983b; King & Salmon 1983: 1-4, 56, 172; Le Morvan 1981; Lukas 1981ab; Lukas & Lukas 1983; McCulloch 1981; Oakley 1980b, 1981; Schmitz-Moormann 1981ab.
Another series of reactions (Dodson 1981b; Gould 1981; von Koenigswald 1981; Washburn 1981) was heavily re-edited to become Gould 1983b: 227-40. For lingering comments by Gould about Teilhard, see Gould 1983b: 241-50. A few years later in 1985, the United Nations held a Teilhard colloquium at which Mary Lukas had her last words to say on the subject (Lukas 1985). Other speakers included Ellen Lukas, Dodson, Thomas Berry, and Schmitz-Moormann. There is a web page by Mark Midbon that refers to the colloquium.
A number of the Teilhard authors often made reference to Peter Medawar and George Gaylord Simpson, both scientists, and that they had spoken in Teilhard's defense regarding Piltdown, even though they had criticized his evolutionary philosophy. Unfortunately the authors failed to provide references, but I believe I have tracked down the Medawar reference, or something that could be re-interpreted as one (Medawar 1982: 210).
Matthews (1981) accuses Dawson & Abbott, Hinton & Teilhard
L. Harrison Matthews, a former scientific director of the Zoological Society of London, wove a complex theory that the Piltdown forgery had been started by Dawson along with W.J. Lewis Abbott, a jeweler and amateur scientist. Matthews proposed that Hinton and Teilhard had discovered their scheme and created further forged artifacts to thwart and expose them, but the plan backfired. Matthews' theory, appearing gradually in 10 consecutive issues of New Scientist, was related in the form of a story and relied heavily on artistic license, which weakened its validity for many future authors. It received little attention at the time, but was brought back later by Keith Stewart Thomson (Thomson 1991a, see Spencer below), President of the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, who changed Abbott's role from a co-conspirator to being a dupe. Solly Zuckerman, a primatologist and once the chief scientific advisor to the British government, was also inspired to accuse Hinton because of Matthews' theory (see Spencer below).
Costello 1981b; Daniel 1982a; Oakley 1981; Townshend 1981.
Winslow & Meyer (1983) accuse Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The accusation made against the author of the Sherlock Holmes stories followed in the wake of Gould, but received less attention. The main instigator was John Hathaway Winslow, an American scholar and scientist whose exact qualifications were never clearly explained. He had been researching Piltdown for seven years, and had taught at the University of California and at Trinity College in Dublin. Retired and living near Ellicott City (a suburb of Baltimore), Winslow was described as: "among other things...a professor, researcher, museum preparator, and national park-ranger archaeologist" (Winslow & Meyer 1983a: 43), and having "a Ph.D. in geography from Cambridge University, earlier graduate work in archaeology and anthropology, and an abiding interest in the history of science" (Schrier 1983).
Winslow claimed to be working on a book about Piltdown, along with Alfred Meyer, an editor of Science 83 magazine, where the accusation appeared. Confusingly, this magazine was started in 1979 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and changed its name each year (Science 79, Science 80, Science 81, etc.), and ceased publication in 1986; but should not be confused with the more well-established AAAS journal of the same name, Science.
Among the responses that the theory received were the most recent comments about Piltdown from Gould and Langham. There were also reactions from other scientists and authorities on Conan Doyle. A number of comments were made to the effect that Winslow was looking for publicity for his book; but Winslow remained mostly silent except for a brief reply in Science 83 and The Baltimore Sun.
None; although the idea had been proposed before, see Watson 1954.
Anon 1983a; Winslow & Meyer 1983a; introduced by Schrier 1983.
Anon 1983b; Cox 1983; Doyle & Costello 1987; Edwards 1983; Elliott 1988; Erlandson 1983; Gould 1983a; Hansen 1983; Horton 1983; Jenkins 1987; Langham 1984; Moriarty 1983; Speck 1985; Winslow 1983; Winslow & Meyer 1983b. Glyn Daniel also made commentary in an interview with the Daily Telegraph (August 3 & 4, 1983), but I have yet to get a copy of this article.
The question of Arthur Conan Doyle's guilt caused a flurry of reaction in fan clubs and small press publications devoted to Doyle's work, a number of which I have listed above and which may be difficult for others to track down. For these I have to thank the curators of the Arthur Conan Doyle Reading Room in the Metropolitan Toronto Reference Library. A bibliography for further discussion on this accusation can be found in De Waal 1994.
I have also found an article in Spanish (Fernández 1987) which looks as if it is accusing Doyle, but I am unable to read Spanish so I can't be sure. The article mentions Winslow & Meyer, but whether it is re-hashing their argument or adding a new twist to it, I don't know. Click here to read my transcription of it.
Costello & Daniel (1985) accuse Woodhead & Hewitt
Peter Costello, a biographer and literary historian from Dublin, entered the fray with an accusation of Samuel A. Woodhead, a chemistry instructor and later a college principal. This was contested by Woodhead's surviving son, Lionel, on the BBC television show Newsnight on November 22, 1985. Glyn Daniel, the editor of Antiquity, then received additional evidence that John Theodore Hewitt, another chemistry professor, could also have been involved in the forgery with Woodhead. Both Daniel and Costello had been long-term observers of the Piltdown debate, especially Daniel. Costello was working for many years on a book detailing his theories, but it has not appeared. Daniel died in December of 1986.
Costello 1985, 1986; Daniel 1986.
L. Thompson 1986. Daniel might have been interviewed by the Observer and the Daily Telegraph (Daniel 1986: 6), but I haven't been able to verify this.
Booher (1986) accuses Teilhard
This accusation has gone unnoticed by other Piltdown authors, but it bears close similarities to W.R. Thompson's 1968 accusations. Harold R. Booher had been a psychologist on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in Washington D.C., but had recently become a senior executive for the Department of the Army. (See Booher 1986; as well as the front cover and p.496 of the same issue.)
Blinderman (1986) accuses Abbott
Charles S. Blinderman, a professor of English and Biology at Clark University with an interest in the history of Darwinism and Thomas Henry Huxley, published The Piltdown Inquest in 1986, the first book exclusively on Piltdown to come out since 1972. For his victim he chose Abbott, the jeweler, but admitted his case was circumstantial and could be poked full of holes (Blinderman 1986a: 102, 214). Although he received almost no newspaper coverage, he did get a number of book reviews. Unfortunately a number of the reviewers (such as Spencer) incorrectly identified Blinderman's choice of victim. Blinderman's book was at the end of the slowing 1980s heyday on Piltdown.
Blinderman's book follows one of his other interests besides Piltdown: anthropological controversies as they relate to the Evolution-Creationism debates; see Blinderman 1985; 1986a: 235-42. Blinderman abandons the whodunit debate completely at the end of his book and uses Piltdown to try to prove the ultimate rationality of science.
Blinderman 1983, 1986b (both amusing).
Boaz 1987; Bowler 1987; Jenkins 1987; Levine 1989; Spencer 1987.
Grigson (1990) accuses Barlow & Dawson
Caroline Grigson, the curator of the Odontological Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons, proposed that the Piltdown forgery had been made by Frank O. Barlow, a staff member of the BMNH who had made the plaster replicas of the Piltdown skull, and who had conspired with Dawson. Unfortunately her theory was immediately eclipsed by the release of the Langham-Spencer hypothesis which accused Sir Arthur Keith, also of the Royal College of Surgeons (see below). Grigson debated with Spencer, but did not mention her own theory. Note that another member of Royal College, A.E.W. Miles, also took part in the discussion (see below).
Langham & Spencer (1990) accuse Keith & Dawson
In 1990, Frank Spencer, a palaeontologist in Anthropology at Queens College in New York finished his work on Langham's accusations of Sir Arthur Keith and Dawson (see Langham and Grigson above), and published two large books, Piltdown: A Scientific Forgery (Spencer 1990a) and The Piltdown Papers 1908-1955 (Spencer 1990b). Most of the former book is concerned with an excellent detailed history of the theoretical and paradigmatic debates which surrounded Piltdown, only turning to discuss the whodunit towards the end (Spencer 1990a: 141-208), but Spencer also wanted to do justice to the role that Weiner had played in the uncovering of the forgery. The latter book is an organized and annotated selection of letters between the people involved in Piltdown, which Spencer provides as a reference guide for future research. Both books are large and thorough, but hide significant extra details in labyrinthine notes and footnotes. Still, regardless of drawbacks, they rank as the best reference material available, especially for any Piltdown literature published before 1953. Spencer had been interested in Piltdown and Keith for fifteen years: early aspects of his books can be seen in Spencer 1984, 1988.
Anon 1990ab; Greig 1990; Nuttall 1990; Stringer 1990a; Wilford 1990. For reactions to the previews, see Anon 1990c; Keith & Smith 1990; Levin 1990 (reprinted in Levin 1992; Levin's knowledge of anthropology was criticized in Daniel 1985b); Stringer 1990b. Spencer's books were touted from June 5 onwards, four months in advance of their release on October 2. Most of the discussion and repeated plugging at this stage was in The Times.
Spencer 1990ab; Tait 1990. Foreward and Introduction by Ball 1990; Tobias 1990.
Anon 1990d; Bowler 1990, 1991; Boxer 1990; Chippindale 1990; Costello 1990; Grigson 1990b, 1991; Harrison 1990; Keith 1990; Kennedy 1991; Langdon 1992a; J. Marks 1992; A. Miles 1991; Murray 1994; Salter & Kolar 1993; Saunders 1990; Shipman 1990; Spencer 1991b; Wade 1990.
Among the various counter-arguments made in the discussions, there was a resurrection of Matthews' (1981) suspicions about Hinton, put forward separately by Thomson and Zuckerman, both of whom received reactions from Spencer. See Spencer 1991ac; Thomson 1991ab (reprinted in Thomson 1993); Zuckerman 1990ab, 1991. Thomson's theory was a slight modification of Matthews', while Zuckerman proposed that Hinton alone had been behind the forgery. Matthews had died in 1986, and Zuckerman died later in 1993. Lastly, John H. Langdon, a biologist at the University of Indianapolis argued against Spencer and reiterated the strength of the theory against Dawson (Langdon 1991).
Tim Murray's 1994 book review of Spencer appeared quite late; this is the same Tim Murray who was a colleague of Langham at the University of Sydney who invited Spencer to help salvage Langham's research after his death (Spencer 1990a: xv).
Tobias (1992) accuses Keith & Dawson
Phillip V. Tobias, a professor of anatomy, human biology and palaeoanthropology at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, added more fuel to the Langham-Spencer fire. His theory was that if Keith had been behind the Piltdown forgery, it explained why he had refused to accept the validity of Raymond Dart's find of the australopithecine Taung child. The question produced a flurry of debate (thankfully confined to the pages of Current Anthropology), as well as two more accusations of Teilhard being the forger by J.F. Thackeray, a palaeontologist at the Transvaal Museum in South Africa, and Norman Clermont, an anthropologist at the University of Montreal.
Tobias' main purpose for talking about Piltdown is to remind the scientific community that Dart (his predecessor) had been right all along about Australopithecus and as such needs to be recognized for that fact. More recently, Tobias has been re-using the same arguments to prove to the scientific community that he himself has been right all along about Homo habilis and as such also needs the recognition (Tobias 1996).
Tobias 1985: 36-8; Tobias 1992a: 1, 11-3.
Tobias 1992b: 243-60. Reappeared in a much shortened form in Tobias 1994a.
Bowler 1992; A.T. Chamberlain 1992; Chippindale 1992; Clermont 1992; Dennell 1992; Drew 1994; Fedele 1992; Graves 1992; Grigson 1992; Harrison 1992; Harrold 1992; Kennedy 1992; Munizaga 1993; Nickels 1992; Rolland 1992; Runnels 1992; Spencer 1992; Stringer 1992; Tappen 1992; Thackeray 1992; Tobias 1992b: 277-93; Tobias 1993, 1994b; Tobias & Kennedy 1993; Trigger 1992; Washburn 1992; Wright 1992.
Tobias also delivered the 1992 John Irvine Hunter Memorial Lecture at the University of Sydney, which was entitled "The Piltdown hoax and human evolution : new light on the impact of Sir Arthur Keith, Ian Langham, Raymond Dart and Australopithecus".
Drawhorn (1994) accuses Woodward & Dawson
On March 31 of 1994, a case against Arthur Smith Woodward was presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists in Denver, Colorado. The paper was by Gerrell M. Drawhorn, a physical anthropologist from the University of California at Davis (although as of 1996 he is now with California State University in Sacramento).
None, although a brief abstract to the paper may be found in Drawhorn 1994b. A full version of the paper (Drawhorn 1994a) can be read by clicking here.
None, but Walsh has commented on it briefly (Walsh 1996: 257), and there has been an unrelated recent comment about Woodward (Garner-Howe 1997).
Anderson & Milner (1996) accuse Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Robert B. Anderson and Richard Milner, from the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, renewed the case against Conan Doyle that was started by Winslow & Doyle in 1983.
The Spring 1996 issue of Pacific Discovery (Journal of the California Academy of Sciences), pp. 15-20, 32-3. I have not read this yet, so I have no commentary. Anderson made the 1996 accusation, and Milner, his associate, renewed it again in March of 1997 in a debate staged by the Linnean Society as part of National Science Week. Anderson's father has portions of the original article on the web which can be seen here, and an additional comment by Anderson can be read at the bottom of this page.
Barwick 1997; Elliot & Pilot 1996; Highfield 1997; McGrory 1997.
There is also a web page review located here. The 1997 debate not only included Milner's case for Conan Doyle, but other competing theories as well. Grigson presented her case for Barlow; Currant (see next entry) argued for Hinton; and Herbert Thomas, from the Laboratoire de Paléonthropologie, argued for Keith. There might also have been two other theories presented; and the BMNH was intending to mount a new Piltdown exhibition.
Gardiner & Currant (1996) accuse Hinton
In the mid-1970s, a trunk belonging to Hinton was discovered in one of the towers of the BMNH and was brought to the attention of Andrew Currant, a specialist there in fossil rodents, who then brought it to the attention of Brian Gardiner in 1988. Why this took so long to happen has not been explained. Gardiner, a professor in palaeontology at King's College in London and President of the Linnean Society (of which Currant is also a member), then conducted studies on the stained bones found inside and determined they were stained in the same chemical proportions as the Piltdown fossils. Gardiner went public with this information (eight years after learning of the trunk) in his presidential address to the Linnean Society on May 24. Although touted as a "smoking gun", there have been a number of skeptical responses. Gardiner has not yet published any chemical data from his experiments, and the Nature article has some inconsistencies with the rest of the Piltdown literature. This development failed to produce the media excitement reached previously by Spencer and Gould.
None, although a fascinating comment appears in Costello 1981b: "Even so [Matthews] misses some items: he makes no mention of the stained bones found in Martin Hinton's office at South Kensington after his retirement [in 1945 -ed.], along with all those old tobacco tins. As nothing is thrown away at the museum, they are still preserved by Theya Molleson."
So it looks like someone might have known something about it well before 1988, which makes it strange that no one acted upon it, since that was the most intensive period of the whodunit debate.
The day before Gardiner's speech, the news was announced officially in Nature (Gee 1996), and in The Times (Hornsby & Jones 1996).
Dempster 1996; Hall 1996; Highfield 1996; Lutes 1996; Lyall 1996; Menon 1997; Musty 1996 (with reactions concerning other suspects in Clements 1997; Garner-Howe 1997; Smoker 1997); Sharp 1996; P. Sieveking 1996. Gardiner also appeared on National Public Radio for five and a half minutes to talk about his theory.
A 1997 telephone interview with Gardiner by Roy Goss Jr. (Goss 1997: endnote no.9) revealed the following: the exact date and circumstances behind the discovery of the trunk are not known. The trunk was not catalogued when it came to the attention of the museum, and it was stored for a period of ten or more years in an unsecured storage area. Andrew Currant, who opened the trunk and removed its contents, did not make a record of the trunk's contents, nor how they were situated. The trunk has been discarded and does not exist today.
Walsh (1996) accuses Dawson
John Evangelist Walsh, an American historian/biographer, renewed the case against Dawson as the sole perpetrator with the publication of the book Unraveling Piltdown. A significant portion of the book sheds light on Dawson's career, and Walsh closely examines the many other forgeries attributed to Dawson (see Appendix D). Most illuminating is Walsh's use of a long-unavailable text by D.L. Downes.
In 1953, Downes was a graduate student at Birmingham University who began researching Dawson's career upon hearing of the Piltdown hoax. Downes passed on his research to Weiner to add to the book The Piltdown Forgery, but Weiner only used a small portion of it. Downes then began turning his research into a book of his own, but was unable to attract any publishers. His materials eventually ended up with the Sussex Archaeological Society where they became available for study in 1993.
Walsh 1996. The book was released during the Fall.
Bernstein 1996; N. Hammond 1996; S. Jones 1997. There are also reviews on the web by Orson Scott Card and John Schmidt.
The original scientific tests made on the Piltdown materials, their results, and discussion can be seen in:
de Vries & Oakley 1959; Hall 1955; Harrisson 1960; Hoskins & Fryd 1955; Montagu 1960a; Oakley 1954, 1955c, 1960; Oakley & Weiner 1953, 1955, 1957; Oakley, Weiner & Clark 1953; Vogel & Waterbolk 1964: 368; Weiner & Oakley 1954; Weiner et al. 1955.
An analysis of these tests for numerical has appeared in Ashmore 1995. More recent tests and commentary are: Hall 1996; Harrison 1983; Lowenstein 1985: 545; Lowenstein et al. 1982; Spencer & Stringer 1989: 210. Oakley has spoken of how he had applied the fluorine method in many of the above articles as well as in Oakley 1963ab, 1980a. Another dentist (besides Marston and Lyne) had once concluded that there was something amiss with the Piltdown jaw and teeth, and republished his findings (Taylor 1978 [orig. 1937]).
Occasionally authors have offered ideas on where the source materials for the Piltdown hoax could have originated from, in Clements 1997; de Vries & Oakley 1959; Drawhorn 1994a; N. Hammond 1997; Harrisson 1960.
There has been considerable debate over fraudulent items or unethical activities that Dawson and his associates may have been involved with besides Piltdown, either independently or in collusion with one another. This began when Weiner was researching the negative relations between Dawson, the Sussex Archaeological Society, and the Castle Lodge incident. Additionally, in 1954 it was announced that Dawson (amongst other things) might have committed plagiarism when writing The History of Hastings Castle.
The plagiarism claim has been repeatedly challenged by later authors, and the debate has continued to the present (see Lutes 1996; Walsh 1996: 84, 92-3, 186-7, 250). On this topic, one article that should be consulted is by Peter Miles (1993), a bibliographer who examined some of Dawson's long-lost source materials and annotation methods that he used in preparation for the editing and publishing of Hastings Castle. Miles concludes:
"The annotations also testify to a certain energy if also a
limitation in the depth of Dawson's methods of working, and to some
problems caused, arguably, by over-ambition and by loose scholarly
method. While they suggest no fraud on the scale of Piltdown, they do
perhaps suggest a man not afraid of taking a short-cut or two.
Admittedly, as far as his role at Piltdown was to be concerned, such a
characteristic qualified Dawson as much for the role of hoaxed as for
the role of hoaxer." (P. Miles 1993: 370)|
Aside from Charles Dawson, other people involved in unethical activities who have been suggested are W.J. Lewis Abbott, George Bristow, William Ruskin Butterfield, John Lewis, Edward Simpson (a.k.a. "Flint Jack"), and Henry Willett.
The original claims made by Baines and Weiner, and further comments and reactions can be seen in Anon 1954kl; Baines 1986; Cole 1955: 162; Emerson & Weiner 1955ab; Rieth 1967: 48, 77-80; Salzman 1955; Weiner 1955b; Weiner 1955c: 169-88. For various defenses against these claims, see Blinderman 1986a: 110-1; Downes 1954; Kermack 1974; P. Miles 1993; Spencer 1990a: 231 fn.70; Thorne 1954; and Vere 1955: 99-110.
There is also the case of the Sherborne bone, a British fossil bone with an engraving of a horse on it, which several people had considered to be a forgery. Since one of the original people who inspected and interpreted it was Woodward, some authors have tried to make a link between Sherborne and Piltdown. For articles on this debate, consult Section B: Douglas & Halstead. Recent tests in 1995 have verified that the bone is genuine, but the carving is indeed a forgery.
In August of 1962 it was revealed that a significant portion of exotic and rare birds which had been "collected" in the Hastings area between 1903 and 1916 were forgeries, in the sense that they had been secretly imported from all over the world in refrigerated conditions and then claimed to have been locally shot. Various people implicated in the affair may also have been involved with Piltdown. See The Times for August 10, 1962 (p.8), August 11 (p.4) and August 15 (p.11); British Birds 55.8 (August 1962): 281-384, and 55.10 (October 1962): 425-7, 453-9; mentioned in Blinderman 1986a: 119; A.P. Chamberlain 1968; Rieth 1967: 31-3, 48; and van Esbroeck 1972: 48-50.
With the development of the Thermoluminescence dating technique in the early 1970s, Glyn Daniel took an interest in the method and allowed Antiquity to publish articles on forged Roman brick-stamps which Dawson had "found". See Peacock 1973. Around the same time, a claim was made that Dawson had also made a fraudulent map (Andrews 1974). This led to a heated debate in the letter columns of The Times on Piltdown and Dawson. See Howard 1974; with reactions in Ball 1974; Daniel 1974; Kermack 1974; Scheuer 1974ab; Steer 1974; Weiner 1974. It is interesting to note that this sudden resurgence of interest in Dawson took place shortly after the silence on Piltdown had been broken by Millar's book (Millar 1972).
Since then, the most recent wave of Dawson-forgery claims has been in 1977-81; see Combridge 1977. After an article by Heal (1980); and other independent articles (Holden 1980, 1981; McCann 1981); a response came from Combridge (1981). John Clements, a member of the Hastings Museum Association, has recently proposed a theory about where Dawson could have acquired his materials from if he was the culprit (Clements 1997; N. Hammond 1997).
Piltdown occurs in books and articles about fraud and forgery, of two general types. This is not an exhaustive list, but gives a wide variety of examples.
Type 1: Fraud/forgery in Art, Antiquities, and Archaeology.
Cole 1955: 136-73 (reviewed in Crawford 1956); M. Jones 1990: 93-6; Mills & Mansfield 1979: 28-31; Rieth 1967: 38-49.
Type 2: Fraud/forgery in the Scientific discipline.
Blanc et al. 1980: 858, 864-6; Bobys 1983: 44; Broad & Wade 1982: 108, 119-22, 228; de Mille 1979; Kohn 1987; Rosen 1968 (with reactions in A.P. Chamberlain 1968; Oakley 1968); S. Jones 1997: 24; Ziman 1970: 996.
Please note that the books in this section are NOT a definitive list, as a mentioning of Piltdown can be found in almost any book on human evolution, the history of palaeoanthropology, or physical anthropology. The lists below are semi-subjective groupings of books and articles which offer a wide variety of examples of the emphasis and meaning that authors have chosen to ascribe to Piltdown.
During the 1956-71 period, the only real place that Piltdown ever got mentioned was in books. Many authors, including Le Gros Clark, preferred to give Piltdown only a brief passing reference, usually ignoring the role it had played in shaping theories for decades.
Other books gave a more thorough description of Piltdown. Most authors
completely avoided the question of the whodunit, while the few who did
bring it up mentioned the possibility of Dawson's guilt but left room
for doubt. For examples, see:
After 1972, when the subject of Piltdown was being discussed more
frequently, some books still gave it surprisingly little attention, and like
their predecessors delegated the subject to a short paragraph or a footnote.
But with the growing number of finds of fossil man in Africa, there was
now a better awareness of the role that Piltdown had played in shaping the scientific
evolutionary paradigms from 1912-1953, especially as it had related to
Africa. Piltdown has also figured in various histories and biographies.
Aside from books, the importance of Piltdown in the context of
historical paradigms can be examined in a number of articles, the ones
most recommended being by Michael Hammond and Frank Spencer. See:
The 1994 fossil tibia discovery of "Boxgrove Man" caused a
resurgence of British nationalistic pride (at least, in the editorial
staff of The Times; they broke the story without permission
one week before the official press conference), pride which was
frighteningly similar to the announcements
of the discovery of Piltdown 80 years earlier. This time around,
however, the attitude has been thoroughly criticized by the public.
Many authors have commented on how hyper-nationalism in Europe around the turn of the century had caused British scientists to look for a major discovery of fossil man on their own soil. Piltdown Man fulfilled that desire perfectly. Roy Goss Jr. (firstname.lastname@example.org), an anthropology major at the University of Hawaii at West Oahu, has taken this one step further. Not only did the British scientific community want a discovery, but the British people as a whole were looking for a new source of nationalistic pride for themselves.
In 1895 Britain's empire had been at its height, but upon entering a conflict with the United States (a frontier dispute between British Guiana and Venezuela), Britain began a long and gradual period of political decline. The disagreement with the U.S. was quickly interrupted by the Boer War in South Africa, in which British soldiers suffered high casualties. In 1901, Queen Victoria had died; and in 1912 the British explorer R.F. Scott lost the race to be the first to reach the South Pole - dying in the attempt along with his entire expedition. Coupling these facts with the lack of British human fossils and the atmosphere of nationalism that blanketed Europe, shows that Piltdown Man came just in time to cheer up the British populace (Goss 1997: section IV).
Again, this is not a comprehensive list, but just some examples. Almost any book by Creation Scientists discussing human evolution has a discussion of Piltdown Man or Nebraska Man. For some examples which use Piltdown, see Bowden 1977: 3-43; Gish 1974: 91-2; Himmelfarb 1959: 355-7 (but see A. West 1959); Lubenow 1992; G.E. Parker 1987: 153-60; Sanderson 1961: 62-3, 354, 363-5; van Esbroeck 1972: 55-69; Vere 1959. Nickell & Fischer (1992) included a section on Piltdown in their book which discussed paranormal, historical and forensic mysteries.
There are also Piltdown-using retaliations to anti-evolutionist and pseudo-scientist claims, as well as articles that deal with Piltdown as an example of the scientific process. See Blinderman 1986a: 235-42; Feder 1990a: 40-56; Feder 1990b; Langdon 1992b; Ostrom 1994 (an article questioning the reliability of the HIV antibody test); Williams 1993.
These are rather difficult to track down and find references for, so I'm pretty sure this list is not a great reference guide. In most cases I have very few details and have not been able to verify content.
I'll start this with the documentaries, and then work down towards the smaller material.
This section is in chronological order.
There's quite a bit of this, strangely enough. I tracked all of this down on the web.
Anything else that didn't fit. Most of these are minor miscellanea.
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