A giant bluestone erratic just discovered near Mumbles, on the south Gower coast, has been hailed as one of the most important glacial discoveries of the last century since it proves beyond doubt that the Irish Sea Glacier was capable of carrying large monoliths of dolerite rock from Pembrokeshire up the Bristol Channel towards Stonehenge."
"A STONEHENGE mystery has been solved, according to an expert, after a "smoking gun" discovery was made to provide the "missing piece" of the puzzle.
First discovered and photographed by Phil Holden on 5th January 2022, I believe the next day Dr Brian John was informed. Photos:
The photos' descriptions by Phil Holden state:"Hailed by (Dr) Brian (John) as the 'greatest glacial discovery this century'"
In an email of 2nd January 2023 Dr John writes: ""Hailed by Dr Brian John as the 'greatest glacial discovery this century'..." I have never made that ridiculous claim. Kindly withdraw that remark."
I am happy to make clear I believe him that he never made that claim, I am merely reporting what others have written. A hint: words reported in quotation marks are attributed to the source not to the reporter. There are resources aimed at Lower Key Stage 2, Year 3, for those struggling with the concept.
And on his blog he writes "I have never claimed this as "the greatest glacial discovery of the century". I may be enthusiastic, but I am not that stupid,"
The Press Release on Dr John's blog: STONEHENGE: GIANT GLACIAL ERRATIC HAILED AS "MISSING PIECE” OF BLUESTONE PUZZLE now has: "hailed as one of the most important "chance discoveries" of recent times."
But as reported in the press it originally said: (https://web.archive.org/web/20220127081903/https://brian-mountainman.blogspot.com/ ) "A giant bluestone erratic just discovered near Mumbles, on the south Gower coast, has been hailed as one of the most important glacial discoveries of the last century since it proves beyond doubt that the Irish Sea Glacier was capable of carrying large monoliths of dolerite rock from Pembrokeshire up the Bristol Channel towards Stonehenge."
It seems he has forgotten what was originally written, which seems close enough to the offending quote though to be fair it said "one of" rather than "the", and "important" rather than "greatest", and then it was later altered. If Dr John is not stupid enough to make that claim who wrote the Press Release? And why did he publicise it?
After all that hailing, or not hailing, we might echo a sage and say:
"A year is a long time in academic geology. Looking back on it, it's actually quite intriguing to see how this piece of academic intrigue was instigated by somebody with an unshakeable belief that one theory (relating to human transport) was dead and buried, and that the only other theory in town (namely the bluestone glacial transport theory) must therefore be correct. He believed that all he had to do was find the evidence."
The existence of the erratic was announced in a press release
This note was added later:"Phil's close-up photo of the sample taken from the erratic can be seen here: https://www.alamy.com/two-rock-samples-of-green-dolerite-with-thin-section-on-right-from-summit-of-foel-eryr-preseli-and-left-from-the-erratic-gower-boulder-eg-2hferaj-image455859195.html"
The photo is dated 6th January 2022
On 8th February 2022 Dr John wrote: "We have two samples from the boulder. We have been fortunate enough to receive sufficient financial support to pay for professional laboratory analyses, and the work is in hand. The results of the tests will be reported in a peer-reviewed journal in due course." (In the comments https://www.megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=56283 ) and a preliminary paper written:
And since then silence.
Dr John kindly informs me:I have no interest at all in withholding info about this boulder, and I don't actually care where it came from. The truth is perfectly simple -- we sent the Limeslade samples off for analysis to a geologist who -- for a variety of work and personal reasons -- has still not reported back to us, after almost 12 months. So in spite of many pleas, we still have no data. Rest assured that as soon as we get the info through, it WILL be published.
Is the "smoking gun" a damp squib?