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Modern revivals of the claims

In a press release of 28 August 2002, the “experts in ancient British history”, Alan Wilson and Baram A Blackett, announced that they had discovered “proof of Prince Madoc in America circa 560”. The first thing to notice is that they have pushed the twelfth-century Madoc back into the sixth century. According to Wilson, conventional historians “often give a false date of 1170 and this legend has replaced the facts. At the moment, there is a small group of wreckers trying to steal our research and to promote this misdating…”. It is unclear why they dismiss the (admittedly flawed) work of more than four centuries of historians as that of “a small group of wreckers”, but it perhaps suits the new version of the myth they are trying to create.

The Bat Creek Stone

The Bat Creek Stone: is it really written in Middle Welsh?

The Madoc they seek to identify as the European “discoverer” of America is one Madog ap Meurig, whom they make a brother of Athrwys ap Meurig ap Tewdrig, a sixth-century ruler of Morgannwg (Glamorgan). It may be no more than coincidence that Athrwys ap Meurig ap Tewdrig is Wilson and Blackett’s candidate for “King” Arthur, but I suspect not. This Madoc is not attested in any of the medieval genealogies, though, and there do not seem to be any medieval stories about him. Nevertheless, this does not prevent the authors from recognising his name inscribed on the so-called Bat Creek Stone, an object excavated in 1889 from Mound 3 at Bat Creek in Loudon County (Tennessee, USA) by John W Emmert under the direction of Cyrus Thomas (1825-1910), an ethnologist working for the Smithsonian Institution. While Thomas initially believed the inscriptions to be in Cherokee, later scholars such as Cyrus Herzl Gordon (1908-2001) identified them as Hebrew, dating from around 100 CE.

The Coelbren alphabet

The Coelbren alphabet: could this have been used on the Bat Creek Stone?

Wilson and Blackett identify the script as Coelbren, which they describe as “an ancient British alphabet known and recorded by historians and bards down the ages”. According to their translation, the inscription reads ‘Madoc the ruler he is’ (they do not explain why they have not rendered it in more idomatic English and it has to be suspected that it is to give an air of antiquity and authenticity to the text). Coelbren consists of thirty-one symbols, with twenty-one basic letters and a further ten for mutated consonants.

According to the press release, public bodies in the UK have “failed to engage with this vital research effort… they’re afraid that an independent group such as ours has made such progress. They prefer to ignore and neglect ancient British history rather than to deal with it. The Welsh people have suffered, and the opportunity to boost the economy, to bring thousands of jobs to Glamorgan and Gwent, where Madoc and his brother Arthur II ruled, has not been exploited”. The accusation that the work is being ignored and, worse, causing suffering is a typical pseudoscientific ploy.

In a similar way, Wilson and Blackett’s American colleague Jim Michael has complained that in “Britain and America the academics have been slow to respond… There is a theory that there was no European settlement here before Columbus, despite the evidence, but this is for political and theoretical reasons”. The recognition of the Viking settlement at L’Anse aux Meadows (Newfoundland, Canada) is thus passed over in complete silence. One can only ponder what the “political and theoretical reasons” of failing to adopt the unsupported speculations of Wilson and Blackett might be.

Wilson, Blackett and Michael have identified the main mound at Bat Creek as the tomb of Madoc. They tie in the date of ‘their’ Madoc of 562 CE with a radiocarbon determination, which is quoted as 32 CE – 769 CE (although not actually cited in the press release), from the mounds. Their talk of DNA analysis seems to have come to nothing; certainly, nothing has been reported, either in support or in refutation of their claims.

7 Responses to Contemporary claims

  • Linda says:

    I’ve seen those guys on edge tv. They seem to genuine to me. Something strange is happening with the promoted history. They only seem to show foreign history or conquerors. It’s as if to say we’re so weak as a nation and we’re always being ‘taken over’ by others. Nothing about any home grown heros. Even St George is not English. Is this why there’s such apathy aboun? They reckon they’ve got artifacts. How easy it would be have them verified.

    Also, if Madoc left the area then there wouldn’t be any stories about him.

    Theres alsorts of ‘skeletons’ our GOV only admits it when forced to. Look at all the Hillsbough stuff, the disgraceful lies of the police at the G8 event. If there had been no mobile evidence we wouldn’t have had the disclosure about that chap they murdered.

  • Sam Paellon says:

    You seem willing to believe a lot of implausible things without any evidence…….you wouldn’t happen to be a scietologist or mormon would you?

  • Kai says:

    Linda,and anyone else following her line of *logic*…
    Just because your Mummy and Daddy lied about Santa does not mean they lied about the Green X Code.
    What on earth is to be gained by suppressing any of this?
    I suspect behind most people who post such rubbish is the feeling that they are *Aborigional Britons* under threat from “Barbarian imigrents(sic) flooding the country,and mark my words the rivers of blood will be flowing soon blah blah blah de blah”.
    Put down the Daily Gildas and join the rest of us in the rational world please.
    ps, Sam,you missed a N in one word and added an M in the other…. :)

  • Dawn says:

    Does anyone seriously have to ask what is to be gained by suppressing British history for the past few thousand years?! Well, WEALTH, CONTROL & POWER are three things that come to mind.. It still goes on today – do you really think that the BBC gives us an unbiased view of events without propoganda? This is nothing new – it’s been going on for thousands of years… and we laughingly call it history. Every government has an agenda – surely that’s not difficult to understand? Use your common sense!

    As I know Alan Wilson.personally, I think you should know that he is a man of integrity who seeks only the truth. One day, if you’re lucky, you will discover that he was right about many things… but first you have to open your mind. Good luck with that!

    P.S – I’m an atheist married to a Polish immigrant.

    • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

      Why do people who disagree with me always accuse me of having a closed mind? If you read the site carefully, you’ll see that I often bend over backwards to try to give people the benefit of the doubt. However, when people use data that is so obviously fraudulent, I lose patience. Alan Wilson may be “a man of integrity who seeks only the truth”: it is not the person I am attacking, but the data, which do not stand up to critical scrutiny. Wilson and Blackett may claim persecution, but it is their ideas that are being questioned, not them as people.

  • Dave says:

    If we never ask why or how or question the facts authorities give us then Kai and Sam would still be living in fear of falling off the edge of the earth since the world is flat. They’d also believe the sun revolved around the Earth. I’m sure you also believe Columbus discovered the New World too.
    “Rational World” means that you question and explore every avenue. I’m not say Wilson is 100% correct but at least worth exploring and discovering truths before passing judgement. History is written by those who’ve survived not those persecuted and murdered.

    • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

      But real archaeologists (and I count myself as one) go out and do fieldwork to test their hypotheses. We do “ask why or how” and “question the facts authorities give us”: if we didn’t, we would never make new discoveries. The real difference between what professional archaeologists archaeologists do and what Bad Archaeologists do is one of testing: both types of archaeologists speculate about the past, but Bad Archaeologists never go beyond visting sites as tourists, standing awe-struck in front of the amazing accomplishments of past societies and then do nothing. They don’t go out and look for data that might confirm or disconfirm their speculations (I can’t in all honesty call them hypotheses).

      If you’ve actually looked at this site, you’d have no need to be so sure that I “believe Columbus discovered the New World”. Of course he didn’t, just in case you were wondering.

Agree or disagree? Please comment!