Thursday, May 14, 2015

Cthulhu Fhtagn! Broers Edition.

The talented Joe Broers returns to our pages with this intriguing piece.  Sadly, its historical significance has been tainted by the infamous "Piltdown Man" hoax.

Initially declared a great ‘archeological discovery’ the Piltdown Man, ‘found’ in 1912 in East Sussex County, England, turned out to be one of the greatest scientific hoaxes in history. Proclaimed to be the long anticipated ‘Missing Link’, it was ultimately revealed to be nothing more than a clever mixing of human and orangutan skull and jaw pieces.  Ironically, a real discovery, made in the same area only months later, was that of what is now known as the ‘Piltdown Cthulhu’. This small stone figurine, was unearthed by a laborer, James Simmons, at the gravel pits not far from where the ‘Piltdown Man’ had allegedly been discovered.  While the Piltdown Man hoax was sustained for over forty years, poor Mr. Simmons’ discovery was dismissed almost immediately as a fraud, considered to have been perpetrated by him in an attempt to cash in on then rampant ‘Piltdown mania’. Fortunately, a newspaper account published at the time eventually came to the attention of Sir Albert Arnold Mill, archeologist and authority on the Great Old Ones, and on Cthulhu, in particular. Mill met with Simmons, who had fortunately retained possession of the artifact, and established the authenticity of the man’s find. 

1 comment:

CoastConFan said...

That’s a tremendous backstory for the prop, but then again I have always been a sucker for classic gaffs like the Piltdown Man. I also like the vignetted period type photo, that adds a lot to the presentation. You can also do a little Photoshop and make it look like an photogravure from an old archeological journal. A strong backstory and good presentation always enhances your efforts.

Showing my age, I can’t think of Piltdown Man without thinking of the Mike Oldfield album, Tubular Bells with the track Piltdown Man. You know Oldfield was only 19 when he cut this album in 1973. Listen to the piece: Also you’ll remember that The Exorcist (1973) used some of this classic album as soundtrack.