02/21/2005: Karen's Trivia Q Answer
What famous 19th Century author was "suspectd" in the biggest scandal in British Archeological History. What was the nature of this Hoax?
Hat's off to Len ---though as a confirmed "Sherlockian" I'd have been a teensy surprised if he didn't know this one--- (Back to the drawing board *sigh*)
For decades, a fossil skull discovered in Piltdown, England, was hailed as the missing link between apes and humans. Entire careers were built on its authenticity. Then in 1953, the awful truth came out that the "Piltdown Man" artifacts were compete fakes...But who done it?
Some scholars believe that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes stories, was the mastermind. Conan Doyle had a motive: desire for revenge against the British scientific establishment for ridiculing his spiritualist research. He also had the opportunity, since he lived just a few miles from Piltdown and frequently played golf nearby.
NOVA, a PBS series, had a wonderful special about this age old mystery called The Boldest Hoax. In "The Boldest Hoax," NOVA gets to the bottom of the greatest scientific hoodwinking of all time.
Karen on 02.21.05 @ 08:44 AM CST