I am not sure if it is a hoax or real, but it is an interesting story. Way back in 1896 two lumberjacks were hired to clear some land for a farmer near the Upper Peninsula town of Newberry. They happen to stumble upon two small clay figures and a tablet. The 19 x 26 inch tablet had 140 characters carved into a grid pattern. No one knew what to make of them so photos were sent to the Smithsonian and University Of Michigan. The experts at the time could not recognize the writing and they deemed the tablet as a hoax. Some modern experts believe the text is similar to Minoan writing. The Minoans lived from about 3000 BC to about 1100 BC on the Greek island of Crete.
The tablets remained somewhat of a local curiosity. Eventually, they ended up at a St. Ignace tourist destination called Fort Algonquin. ( you can see my post about the fort HERE) The fort was built by Vaughan Norton in the 1920s to look like an old fort from Michigan’s fur trading days. Somehow Vaught acquired the mysterious tablet to display for the tourist.
Eventually, the tablets and figures were purchased by Dr. Donald Benson. A doctor from Lansing who moved to St. Ignace. He loved to collect odd and historic artifacts and displayed them in the gift shop he owned. After his death, the artifacts went on display at the Fort De Buade Museum in downtown St. Ignace. The tablets, or more like what is left of them because they have been reduced to a couple of crumbling pieces with none of the writing remaining, is on display with the worn-down figures.
One theory is they have to be a hoax because if they are supposed to be hundreds or even thousands of years old, from the time of the Minoans, how did they survive for so long only to be eroded away in a short amount of time after they were discovered. Like I wrote at the beginning of the post, I am not sure it is real or a hoax, but it is an interesting story.
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