The Jesus Family Tomb: Book & Film {Pre-Release Discussion}

A well known polymath whose published works range far and wide, including (but not limited to) Archaeology, Paleontology, Astronomy, Space Propulsion systems, and Science Fiction.

Official Website: http://www.charlespellegrino.com

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The Jesus Family Tomb: Book & Film {Pre-Release Discussion}

Postby Mr. Titanic » Mon Nov 06, 2006 5:53 pm

An archaeological project Charlie Pellegrino has currently been involved in is starting (or perhaps has started) to leak out all over the world. This controversial find states that the bodies of the divine virgin Mary and even Mary Magdeline have been located. However, the heart of the true controversy is the claim that Charlie Pellegrino and Simcha Jacobavici may have found the remains of Jesus Christ himself. A book by the title "The Jesus Family Tomb" written by both archaeologists is set to be released by Harper Collins sometime between March and April of next year shedding some light on this significant find.

The following Article from Harper Collins should provide some detail.

{PDF Format}
Jesus Family Tomb

The front cover of the book is set to look as follows.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

I've heard of the possiblity of a spiritual ressurection rather than a physical one. However, I choose to believe otherwise personally. I have doubts about someone as divine as Jesus leaving behind his body (that "sacred temple"). But I suppose the idea that Jesus' body remains on Earth may just come to show how insignificant the body is compared to one's soul, and to what extent that Jesus was born as man. With all due respect, of course, I must say I am slightly suspicious of a Jewish archaeologist claiming to have found the body of Jesus.
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Postby Darb » Mon Nov 06, 2006 7:53 pm

Glad to see the story finally beginning to break - it's been brewing slowly for months.

It's sure to be a wild ride, and it'll be interesting to see the evidence involved, and where it all leads ... and what sort of scientific, religious, and philosophical tectonic shifts are in store for us. I'm looking forward to reading this one, as soon as it sees print.

On a slightly ironic note, it was amusing to hear indirectly (from Charlie) about scathingly negative book reviews, and denouncements by various talking heads, appearing in the media, before the manuscript was even finished and released to the publisher.

I'm sure it's also been interesting (from the point of view of the participants) to see the slow patterns of story leakage here and there around the world ... sort of like putting dye into a drain pipe, and waiting to see where and when the various blooms of color appear.
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Postby Darb » Mon Nov 06, 2006 8:03 pm

I must say I am slightly suspicious of a Jewish archaeologist claiming to have found the body of Jesus.


When I read that sentence, the first thing that came to mind was Charlie's joke about the Buddhist Monk who walked up to the NYC hotdog vender and said "make me one with everything."

Then my better judgement kicked in ... but not in time to stop me from typing this. :wink:

/~ Thread promoted to announcement status, and tweaked for spelling. ~/
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Re: The Jesus Family Tomb

Postby laurie » Mon Nov 06, 2006 8:15 pm

Mr.Titanic wrote:With all due respect, of course, I must say I am slightly suspicious of a Jewish archaeologist claiming to have found the body of Jesus.


I also question finding the Virgin Mary's tomb, as my Catholic upbringing taught me that she, too, was raised bodily to Heaven. (Not that it is necessarily true, but that's what most Catholics and many other Christians believe.)

How the heck can they verify just whose bodily remains they've found? If they're going by a name on the tomb(s), the name Mary (or Miriam/Miryam in Hebrew/Aramaic) was as common then as it is today. Why are they so sure this is THE Mary's tomb, or Mary Magdalene's for that matter?

The only way to "prove" the identity of human remains is by DNA testing, and The DaVinci Code's theories notwithstanding, that's impossible in this case. Any proof the authors may offer amounts to speculation on their part - and my cynical self says "headline-grabbing" speculation at that.
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Postby Darb » Mon Nov 06, 2006 8:23 pm

Laurie: that's Ascension Day.

Anyway, valid questions all - which is why, among other equally obvious reasons, this is sure to be such a fascinating ride. I'm sure all involved in the project realize what a firestorm will ensue from such claims, and it'll be interesting to see what sort of evidence they've armed themselves with in order to be willing to brave the proverbial lion's den.

Might be a good idea to don some foul weather gear, and batten down the hatches. I'll alert the mod team that things might get a bit squirrely in the coming months, depending on where the nexuses of conversation on this take root.
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Postby laurie » Mon Nov 06, 2006 9:46 pm

Brad wrote:Laurie: that's Ascension Day.


All Christians believe in Jesus' Ascension ("Feast of the Ascension", 40 days after Easter), but Catholics and some other Christians also celebrate the "Feast of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven" on August 15th each year. My parish church is named "St. Mary of the Assumption".
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Postby Darb » Tue Nov 07, 2006 2:20 pm

Brad wrote:
I must say I am slightly suspicious of a Jewish archaeologist claiming to have found the body of Jesus.

When I read that sentence, the first thing that came to mind was Charlie's joke about the Buddhist Monk who walked up to the NYC hotdog vender and said "make me one with everything."

Continuing the same philosophical joke - was not Jesus a jew who eventually found himself, and became one with everything as a result ? ;)
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Here we go again

Postby Aulus » Wed Nov 08, 2006 7:04 pm

*sigh*

I honestly don't know which exasperates me more, Bible thumping evangelical know-nothings or the Bible debunkers.

Whenever I see the phrases "greatest historical discovery ever", "history books will have to be re-written," "blows the lid off the Church's cover-up" and the like, the first thing I do is make sure my wallet is firmly in my pocket.

Jacobovici's "Exodus Decoded" has been repeatedly shown to be seriously flawed, if not flat out dishonest. I have little hope this will be any better.
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Postby tollbaby » Thu Nov 09, 2006 8:43 am

I'm keeping an open mind :) Dr. Pellegrino doesn't strike me as a sensationalist.
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Postby Darb » Thu Nov 09, 2006 2:47 pm

Aulus wrote:I honestly don't know which exasperates me more, Bible thumping evangelical know-nothings or the Bible debunkers.

Whenever I see the phrases "greatest historical discovery ever", "history books will have to be re-written," "blows the lid off the Church's cover-up" and the like, the first thing I do is make sure my wallet is firmly in my pocket.


Well said. I'm not keen on those things either. I can carry the same point still further by equating the pathos of people who cling blindly to points of dogma like creationism (despite hard evidence to the contrary), and self-appointed "scholars" who cling blindly, with equal fervor, to accepted theory, and refuse to read or consider anything that tries to shake things up and open new lines of fact and inquiry.

Over the years, I've seen how Charlie's repeatedly gone to the mat on one issue after another ... first it was being the butt of a campaign of censorship (see thread) waged by creationists in New Zealand bent on tyranizing local darwinists, then it was championing the truth about ladder 4 (see thread) at considerable cost to his career, and now this.

I'm looking forward to seeing the material for myself, so I can form my own opinions.
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Postby Darb » Thu Nov 09, 2006 5:17 pm

Snippet from a recent e-mail exchange with Charlie (posted with permission):

Charlie Pellegrino wrote:{snip}

I've been "sort of disappeared" for many months, and have been working on this for two years. Simcha wanted a "real Doubting Thomas" on this project - - and his prior investigation of my entire history including the damage done to myself, eyes wide-open, during the Ladder 4 investigation, convinced him that I would follow the evidence wherever it led, even if I did not like the answers.

As it turns out, aside from some revelations about Judas Iscariot, St Thomas and St Jude, most of what we found is consistent with the Gospels, the letters of Paul, the Epistle of Jude, etc. As for the question about the ascent of Mary, the Discourse of Saint John makes it very clear that the writers of the scriptural text certainly believed her spirit, amid powerful manifestations, left her body behind. Discourse ends with her being buried near Jerusalem in a family tomb.

The names and inscriptions are very specific. Much of my initial work centered on trying to prove that this material was something other than what it appeared to be. The work has been carried out in three DNA labs and crime labs around the world (only in New York did the director of the lab have the whole story).

There have recently been some small tests on people, given the evidence now at hand. Two were lapsed Catholics, who had really left the faith altogether. After seeing this, they regained their faith; but went back to the Church of England instead - whatever that is supposed to mean.

I will say that for me, this has been an investigation more all-consuming and more amazing than actually going down to the Titanic and launching robots inside. And that's saying an awful lot. I'm still as close to atheist as anyone can be and still call himself agnostic - but it is written that only Nixon could go to China.

See you later,
- - Charlie P.

And, no - - This is not a headline grabbing game: One of the things I have loved about writing is that you can do what you love and be read by a lot of people, but still be anonymous on the street. I truly wince at the thought of the too-much attention that this might bring.


[Mod note: commentary tweaked slightly by request of C.R.P. - Brad, 14-Nov-2006]
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Postby Aulus » Thu Nov 09, 2006 6:03 pm

Thanks for your kind private note, Brad.

I get a some criticism from friends and colleagues because I read a good bit of the "alternative" stuff, even the really off the wall crackpot stuff. In fact, I have a section of my library devoted to it.

There is always a chance there might be something, even a little bit to all this, so I read it, check the evidence presented and the sources then make my judgment. This runs from Erich VD, Martin Bernal, Julian Janes and the like to the real loonies, like the Roman Piso crowd.

Oh, and BTW, Ghosts of Vesuvius is not in that section. It is squarely filed in with my other books on Pompeii and Herculaneum.
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Postby Darb » Thu Nov 09, 2006 6:35 pm

You are very welcome.

I first cut my literary teeth on fantasy and scifi, but I'm mostly reading non-fiction these days, and i'm firmly in the literary omnivore camp.

Sometimes, the fringe reading ... even if it's more than a little off base ... offers the most bang for the buck, with regards to casting things in a new light, and shaking the ol belief system 'box of stones' into new and interesting patterns. I still fondly remember the first left-field book that came at me from unexpected directions, and I've grown to enjoy that, and to look for authors that take unconventional approaches.
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Postby Darb » Tue Nov 14, 2006 5:18 pm

Charlie Pellegrino, on 12-Nov-2006, wrote:Dear Brad,

A correction in the post -- what I wrote should have read, RE the death of Mary - - that the writers of the scriptural text certainly believed (RE the spiritual ascent). The way it is written might otherwise suggest that I too believe as the writers believed. [Note by Brad: done.]

I'll make sure you receive Galley proofs.

On the "Exodus Decoded," not all of the criticisms are correct. These have focused chiefly against the Thera date, near 1500BC, and one of the chief shouters against this, when presented with the evidence, has recently agreed that he was wrong to say we were wrong.

My only fault with the film (which, by the way, was a "Project Egypt" cover story to keep attention away from what we were really filming in Israel) - is that Simcha had a tendency to speak in certainties about things that were speculative in nature. The CO2 and first born deaths at Avarice is interesting speculation, but very problematic. Not as problematic, however, as the scientists who, arguing from centuries-old flawed interpretations from the Catholic catechism, place the Exodus events in the time of Ramses II because the name of the city (Avaris) had been changed to Ramese when the Testament was edited a thousand years later. This is where Simcha's WWII analogy became quite relevant.

BTW: There have been screaming Simcha moments throughout the current project - not the least of which includes my refuasl to include one of the ossuaries in the statistics despite a mountain of evidence that includes it beyond a reasonable doubt. To me, the standard of the evidence had to be, "beyond a shadow of a doubt." I'm glad to report that two of the world's top statisticians, having reviewed my work, came back reporting that my version of the so-called "Jesus equations" turned out to be too conservative. I'm happy with that response. I'd have been sad if either of them came back saying I'd been flying too loose with the data.

As for the "changing history" advertizing, I do not write that and I wince at it (bear in mind that I had begged the publisher not to put the "dirty A word in "Unearthing Atlantis" title) - but these people have invested a lot in the expedition series, and they're in it to promote and sell books, and they and Fox did make the research possible. I'm only just now coming to realize that this might get as much attention as the discovery of the Titanic, and I really do want Simcha's name first on the American edition of the book. I hope I really don't need to hide in March.

See you later,
- - Charlie P.


Brad wrote:Can I post all of this, or just the correction in your first paragraph ?


Charlie Pellegrino, on 14-Nov-2006, wrote:Dear Brad:

Feel free to correct spelling and to post all. See you later, Charlie P.

PS: I do note that when the various condemnations started flying out of the Vatican and St Patricks Cathedral during and after April 2006, one of the cautionary bits of advice - as evidence that the artifacts and texts people would soon be hearing about are being fabricated as an anti-Catholic hoax - centered around the fact that "at least two of the participants are science fiction writers." Repetitions of this "science fiction writer" party line have been brought to my attention no fewer than three times during the past month. The SF tarring seems to have become a theological magic charm, to be raised as if to nail down, as fact, or as a new standard, that no writer of science fiction can possibly be a serious or credible scientist. By this same standard, every one of my scientific mentors and co-authors (from Stephen Jay Gould to James Powell and Francis Crick), should henceforth be disregarded, because in the very least, each of them had a work-in-progress science fiction manuscript sitting in a desk drawer. Sir Arthur C. Clarke's designs (including the communications satellite and the concept of resource utilization to refuel at planetary destinations), should no longer be given any credibility. Ditto George Gaylord Simpson, for having written a novel about dinosaurs (and ditto Stephen Jay Gould for having written the Introduction with Arthur Clarke). Ditto Mary Schweitzer (now on the short list for the Nobel in chemistry), and NASA/SETI's Jill Tarter (sin-of-sins - played by Jodi Foster in Carl Sagan's "Contact"). Ditto Gregory Benford... and any contributions H.G. Wells might have made to the thought experiments that became Einstein's throry of Relativity (and while we're at it: ditto Einstein, Edison, and Astor). Any engineering contributions James Cameron made to the science of rocketry, while serving on NASA's advisory board for Advanced Preliminary Design, should be disregarded because he does, after all, dabble in science fiction (as did Werner von Braun, come to think of it). And by this same standard (sigh!) we must now throw Stephen Hawking overboard because he once dared to co-write a Star Trek episode, and to star in it. The list goes on... I've not known a single great scientist who did not also love the very field of literarture we've every right to love.

See you later,
- - Charlie P.
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Postby tollbaby » Wed Nov 15, 2006 8:33 am

hehe Brad, if Dr. Pellegrino doesn't mind, I'd like to send his last paragraph to a friend who is a junior colleague of Dr. Hawking's :) The man has a legendary sense of humor and will undoubtedly appreciate it.
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Postby Darb » Wed Nov 15, 2006 11:55 am

I don't even need to ask to be sure he won't mind. ;)

{snip}

Charlie Pellegrino wrote:Dear Brad,

One more to add: In addition to providing a basis for thought experiments in Special and General Relativity (though he greatly magnified the effect in "First Men in the Moon"), H.G. Wells wrote the United Nations Charter on Human Rights - which was quoted by the AAAS Clearing House on Science and Human Rights, in defense of me, during New Zealand's version of the Scopes Monkey Trial in 1982. But H.G. Wells was, after all, a science fiction writer and the U.N. should no longer take his Charter on Human Rights seriously... Ooops! Looking around, it seems they already have thrown the Charter out the window, haven't they?

Meanwhile, with all the Brown-esque talk about our team being da Vinci Code conspiracy theory enthusiasts, etc - such talk is really irrelevant. There might have been occasional misinterpretations over the course of centuries; but there is no evidence whatsoever that secret knowledge was hidden and lied about by the Vatican all these centuries. There's really nothing we found in this tomb that was not already written about plainly in the Books of Isaiah and Ezekiel, and in the four Gospels and the letters of Paul, the Epistles of Jude and Peter, and a few external texts, including Josepheus and several very, very old and recently discovered scriptures. And note also that two of these texts were discovered with the direct cooperation of a monastary and the Vatican. And, while it is true that Simcha is an orthodox Jew, Jim is an atheist, and I'm an agnostic sort-of-lapsed Buddhist - well, according to Roddenberry 6:2, it is written that only Nixon could go to China. The reality is that three of my own advisors on this project are in fact Christian, including a Jesuit and a scientist who happens to be a Jehova's Witness. They are also three of the smartest people I know, anywhere on the planet - which is saying a lot.

Now, granted that some people at St. Patrick's Cathedral have been sort of spitting blood at our team lately - but they've not seen the book. Some bad things are being said, but that's the extent of it. And for my own part, as bad as some of the spitting can get, there's always room to find some good-natured humor in it - right? No conspiracies of the Dan Brown kind, here... Although... if the Vatican does send a troupe of lesbian albino dwarves after me, I'll be sure to scream out and let everyone know - because next they're bound to think up something I won't like.

See you later,
- - Charlie P.
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Postby mccormack44 » Wed Nov 15, 2006 2:14 pm

Responding to the "science fiction is anti-science" type of label. Do the people who USE this label every read SF? Do they know anything about its background and the background of many of its authors?

I have long suspected (and have stated this here on previous occasions) that people who condemn SF and Fantasy on a wholesale basis are people who are afraid of ideas. I have also believed that the official version from the Vatican is that any idea that does not stem from the Vatican is automatically suspect. On given items that view will change, but the next new idea is still subject to it.

I believe that God created humanity with the power to think; I feel very sorry for all those people who do not choose to do so, and even sorrier for all those people who fear the people who think "outside the box."

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Postby Mr. Titanic » Wed Nov 15, 2006 11:02 pm

I think with the nature of the content, this book is certainly bound to draw a significant amount of attention, and sadly, despite Dr. Pellegrino's worries, it will eclipse even the Da Vinci Code itself -- that was fiction, and this is fact. As the cliché will have it, the latter is stranger than fiction itself. Speaking of fiction, I don't quite see how being in any way involved in SF (be it hobby or professionally based) could reduce the credibility of a claim based on facts. The evidence should determine that, and M44, I doubt others out there fear thought or those who think, perhaps it is just an excuse to debunk the idea - - or even the thought that a fantasy writer could ever measure up to the task of writing about something as serious as reality. Either way, it is ridiculous as far as I'm concerned.

SF writers, they don't just interpret science, they create it in separate worlds, and it takes a good grasp of reality and imagination to do that.

I've heard the Monk Hotdog joke stated on several occasions, but I dare admit that I've never really understood it. :P

Laurie: You are indeed correct, according to the Catholic faith Mary did ascend into heaven with both body and soul. This find then takes on many controversial characteristics, it is a trinity (pun intended) of complicated subjects: the finding of Jesus, Mary and Jesus' son (uh oh!). She's referred to as Miriam in Arabic as well. I've been asking myself (and perhaps I should wait until the release before jumping to conclusions) what justifies their claim as well. DNA testing requires more than just one sample, and what have they got to compare the find to? However, bear in mind that Jesus was a historical individual, and he did leave behind traces. I believe it was in Lebanon that I learned of the girl who still possessed the cloth she used to wipe his bloody face on crucifixion day. All the sweat, blood and dirt left the imprint of his face on the cloth itself. Coming from a long line of priests, my aunt owns a piece of the cross itself.

What I can't seem to wrap my mind around is why Magdalene was present in the same tomb as Jesus, in Israel? I showed this thread to my humanities teacher* (my favorite teacher ever!) and her and I thought Mary left to a distant place (France?) after Jesus' death. So, would the burying of Mary in the Family tomb justify a marriage between her and Jesus? I should think Jesus would have been buried in a tomb other than one the family shared if he was convicted and crucified.

* we both loved the lesbian albino troop :lol:

I'd also like to ease up a few degrees on the suspicion issue. I was on alert about the fact that Christians were not present on the excavation. But now that I look at the matter from a slightly different perspective, I notice that it is true the closest archeologists to the Christian faith were two lapsed Catholics.... but both returned to the Christian faith after the find. That says something. I never thought the find meant to contradict the bible, and the idea it is in accordance with it is convincing me to stand in line for this book. I've always kept an open mind from the start despite my suspicious tendency (due to religion being personal), and a spiritual resurrection never did sound that absurd. In fact, the disciples didn't recognize Christ when they saw him after the resurrection, was it a spirit? I don't know that science can answer that one, but it sure doesn't hurt to wonder anyway.

I, like Aulus do try to avoid inflammatory literature as well, but Pellegrino, the bible and Jesus? This time, it is getting tempting!

I probably have so much more to say, but I am tired and my rambling has tortured thee long enough.

So.... March.... how many months away was that again? :P
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Postby Darb » Thu Nov 16, 2006 6:45 pm

Too long. ;)
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Postby Mr. Titanic » Thu Nov 16, 2006 7:19 pm

True. In general though, I'm curious about the find, and I look forward to the evidence. One might say I'm playing devil's advocate with this one, and it is quite interesting. If Pellegrino is involved, the project is bound to deserve respect.
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Postby Darb » Fri Dec 01, 2006 2:12 pm

Excerpts from recent e-mails, printed with permission.

Charlie Pellegrino wrote:Dear Brad,

{snip, by Brad}

Simcha is being allowed a long letter in the Biblical Archaeology Review - and I'll be sending one too. The other archaeologists in Simcha's film support Simcha - not Dr. B. - and some of the things the critic denies having said are in the out-takes in much greater detail. On the dating of Thera - a key specialty with me, Haraldur Sigurddson, Daniel Stanley, etc., etc., this guy was definately stepping into rectal-cranial inversion weather.

Now that the book is finished today, I'll soon have time to write my own response to BAR - and to those advance review critics with their fraggin time machines! But I'm taking three days off with the kids, first.

See you later,
- - Charlie P.


BAR stands for "Biblical Archaeology Review"

Charlie Pellegrino wrote:{snip, by brad}

... I'm invited to send my own comments on "Exodus Decoded" to BAR; but I think I'll have Simcha just refer to your discussion group and my comments there. See you later, - - Charlie P.


That might generate some traffic and some interesting discussions around here. It's still early yet ... the book doesn't hit the stands til March 2007.

Also, now that the manuscript has been sent to the publisher, we might see Charlie visit from time to time, and participate directly. :)
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Postby Anastasia » Wed Dec 13, 2006 1:59 pm

ooh and what a powerful message would THAT suggest?? Having Sir Pellegrino appear in person to explain his rebuttals to misgivings suggested by nay-sayers from all angles!! These such postings will I most certainly will be around to read with eyes (and mind) wide open!!

I've always enjoyed Charlie's take on about every subject matter on which he has touched... he is truly gifted at the art of explanation!! ;)

(oh, and yes, I AM still among the living :D *giggle*)
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Postby Darb » Wed Dec 13, 2006 8:09 pm

Having Sir Pellegrino appear in person ...


I assume that's just a figure of speech. Charlie's never been knighted ... 'queened' in a game of checkers perhaps, but never knighted per se. ;)
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Postby Anastasia » Thu Dec 14, 2006 6:40 am

ohhh sure, I was just being silly Image
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Postby DocKurtz » Thu Dec 14, 2006 1:57 pm

Please excuse my ignorance, but having been misinformed before* - I'm trying to determine if this forthcoming publication is a non-fiction work based on real archeological (sp?) evidence or one of those "we're supposed to believe it's real" fiction works.


-Doc

* Long story, but I spent months declaiming that Blair Witch was real because - silly me - I was one of the few at the time with a good www knowledge and read a forum that insisted it was all a true story and the cameras had just been found. The forums read very similar to this thread - thus my caution.
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