Skip to comments.How Heavy Were Those Gold Plates? [Mormon - Open]
Posted on 07/07/2010 3:31:19 PM PDT by Colofornian
Paramount in the story of the Latter-day Saints is the account given by Joseph Smith of a visitation he received from the angel Moroni on September 21, 1823. He stated that after he retired to bed, his room became filled with light. At his bedside stood an angel who called Smith by name and told him that God had a work for the young boy to do. Smith claimed to have been told how, "there was a book deposited, written upon gold plates, giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent, and the source from whence they sprang" (Joseph Smith History 1:34).
Smith claims that he was not allowed to retrieve the buried plates for another four years. In verse 54 of his testimony, he related that the day he was allowed to dig up the record came on September 22, 1827. Mormon historian Leonard Arrington notes that, "Sometime after midnight in the early morning hours of September 22, Joseph and Emma drove to the hill, obtained the plates and hid them in an old birch log about three miles from the Smith home. With neighboring ruffians seeking the plates, thinking they were of great monetary worth, Joseph changed the hiding place several times and managed to keep them from being discovered and stolen" (Mormonism: From Its New York Beginnings, Dialogue, Vol.13, No.3, p.122). Eventually Joseph Smith would bring the plates home to be translated. His mother, Lucy Mack Smith, remembered the day this way:
"The plates were secreted about three miles from home... Joseph, on coming to them, took them from their secret place, and, wrapping them in his linen frock, placed them under his arm and started for home."
After proceeding a short distance, he thought it would be more safe to leave the road and go through the woods. Traveling some distance after he left the road, he came to a large windfall, and as he was jumping over a log, a man sprang up from behind it, and gave him a heavy blow with a gun. Joseph turned around and knocked him down, then ran at the top of his speed. About half a mile further he was attacked again in the same manner as before; he knocked this man down in like manner as the former, and ran on again; and before he reached home he was assaulted the third time. In striking the last one he dislocated his thumb, which, however, he did not notice until he came within sight of the house, when he threw himself down in the corner of the fence in order to recover his breath. As soon as he was able, he arose and came to the house. lie was still altogether speechless from fright and the fatigue of running" (History of Joseph Smith by His Mother, Lucy Smith, pp.107-108).
Smith stated, "These records were engraven on plates which had the appearance of gold, each plate was six inches wide and eight inches long, and not quite so thick as common tin. They were filled with engravings, in Egyptian characters, and bound together in a volume as the leaves of a book, with three rings running through the whole. The volume was something near six inches in thickness, a part of which was sealed" (History of the Church 4:537)
Numerous LDS leaders and historians have concurred with Smith's description. As to the size and thickness of the plates there seems to be no dispute.
Paintings of Smith show him receiving the plates with outstretched arms or resting on his knee. Although these are just an artist's perception, these descriptions do cause us to ask, "If they really existed, just how heavy would those plates have been given the size and description by Smith?"
The answer to this question is varied. We do know that gold weighs about 1,204 pounds per cubic foot. Given the dimensions by Smith, some have concluded that the plates could have weighed as much as 234 pounds to as little as 100 pounds. The heavier weight is based on what would probably be the total weight of a solid block of gold measuring the size of Smith's plates. This weight, proponents say, would tend to be unlikely due to "air space" between the uneven plates. This argument becomes tenuous given the soft nature of gold. Plates of gold stacked in the manner described by Smith would easily flatten out, thus displacing any arbitrary "air space" suggested by LDS apologists.
Mormon metallurgist Reed Putnam estimates that if the plates were made of pure gold, they would have probably weighed around 100 pounds. Still, this is not at all a reasonable weight that can be carried by even the strongest of New York farm boys. In perspective, that would be like carrying a bag of Portland cement under one's arm.
The possibility of the plates being too heavy for Smith to carry has not escaped the notice of LDS apologists. To credit their founder with the ability to carry such a weight while running at "the top of his speed" would seem to conclude that Smith had no idea how heavy gold really was, thus making it appear that he fabricated this story.
Researchers for the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS) have attempted to come to Smith's rescue. In a bulletin cover (number F-15) they provide an explanation for this anomaly. Entitled "Where the Gold Plates Gold?" it theorized that the plates were not made of pure gold at all. Rather, they theorize, that they were composed of an alloy called tumbaga. This Central American alloy, the article states, is made up of 8K gold and copper. In other words, the plates would have been primarily composed of 66% copper and only 33% gold.
The article debunks the notion that the plates could have been made of pure gold since "pure gold would be too soft to make useful plates." However, this argument overlooks Mosiah 8:9 in the Book of Mormon that mentions 24 Jaredite plates that were "filled with engravings, and they are of pure gold."
This argument also fails to take into account a photograph in earlier editions of the Book of Mormon that showed a "gold tablet found in Persia in 1961, dating to the time of Darius II (Fourth century B.C.), covered with cuneiform engravings." The caption went on to say, "This tablet is about the size of the gold plates of the Book of Mormon." In his book entitled An Approach to the Book of Mormon, Dr. Hugh Nibley also mentioned this parallel as evidence to the fact that Smith had plates of gold. If the plates deposited by Moroni were really an alloy made primarily of copper, why go to such lengths?
The FARMS' article supports the tumbaga theory by referring to William Smith, Joseph's brother, who was quoted in the Saints Herald (31, 1884, p. 644) as stating that the plates were a mixture of gold and copper. One can only imagine how William arrived at such a conclusion since there is no evidence to suggest that the plates were ever analyzed. Making William's statement even less credible is the fact that he admitted to having never seen the plates. He claimed, "I was permitted to lift them as they laid in a pillow-case; but not to see them, as was contrary to the commands he had received. They weighed about sixty pounds according to the best of my judgment" (A New Witness for Christ in America 2:417). FARMS insists that tumbaga plates would have weighed only about 53 pounds. In other words, it would be like carrying a sack of redi-mix concrete.
Despite the effort from FARMS to change LDS history, it appears that the tumbaga theory is not being taken too seriously. As recently as May 15, 1999, the LDS Church News ran an article entitled "Hands-on opportunity." Speaking of Joseph Smith, it read, "He had also been instructed by an angel, Moroni, who had met with him each year for four years. On his last visit, he was entrusted with plates of solid gold, which he had been translating by the power of the Spirit."
Keep this in mind the next time you stop at a hardware store. Pick up a bag of cement, tuck it under your arm, and imagine yourself carrying it for a distance of three miles running as fast as you can at least part of the way. For added effect you could jump over a display or two.
From the article: the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS) have attempted to come to Smith's rescue. In a bulletin cover (number F-15) they provide an explanation for this anomaly. Entitled "Where the Gold Plates Gold?" it theorized that the plates were not made of pure gold at all. Rather, they theorize, that they were composed of an alloy called tumbaga. This Central American alloy, the article states, is made up of 8K gold and copper. In other words, the plates would have been primarily composed of 66% copper and only 33% gold. The article debunks the notion that the plates could have been made of pure gold since "pure gold would be too soft to make useful plates." However, this argument overlooks Mosiah 8:9 in the Book of Mormon that mentions 24 Jaredite plates that were "filled with engravings, and they are of pure gold." This argument also fails to take into account a photograph in earlier editions of the Book of Mormon that showed a "gold tablet found in Persia in 1961, dating to the time of Darius II (Fourth century B.C.), covered with cuneiform engravings." The caption went on to say, "This tablet is about the size of the gold plates of the Book of Mormon." In his book entitled An Approach to the Book of Mormon, Dr. Hugh Nibley also mentioned this parallel as evidence to the fact that Smith had plates of gold. If the plates deposited by Moroni were really an alloy made primarily of copper, why go to such lengths?
Well, this addresses a few of the arguments in a recent Mormon Times article by Michael De Groote entitled, How gold were the golden plates? (July 7, 2010) From that July 7 Mormon Times:
Well this answers yet another claim from the Mormon Times: From July 7 Mormon Times: But the plates were not likely made of pure gold. The Book of Mormon merely says they were made of "ore" 1 Nephi 19:1. (See also Mormon 8:5.)
As it turns out, ancient Americans used an alloy of gold and copper the two colored metals. The Spaniards called this metal alloy "tumbaga." Properly made, a plate of this alloy would have the right properties for engraving and would also look like ordinary gold. But it would also weigh less. Source link: How gold were the golden plates?
Well, this is easily resolved.
Let’s just have look at those plates and weigh them and....
The story went that JSjr picked this thing up and ran hill and dale jumping over logs and stuff with this gold book slung over his shoulder .....
So, even the LDS Church News claimed in the link imbedded in the article -- you can also click here: article -- that these plates were solid gold in 1999.
Yet we still have the Mormon Times both trying to reduce the weight of these gold plates (From the July 7 Mormon Times article: That gives us about 100 pounds. Not impossible to move around, but still pretty heavy. Source link: How gold were the golden plates? )...
...as well ignore that Smith claimed he ran three miles at top speed carrying them!
Indeed, how would Smith know of the mixture? He never analyzed it! In fact, he didnt even see them! Yet the July 7 Mormon Times article still claims: William Smith said "about sixty pounds." William Smith also said the plates were "a mixture of gold and copper" the precise alloy that Putnam found was used by ancient Americans. Source link: How gold were the golden plates?
ROFLMAO. You can’t be serious. What’s that definition of insanity that Rush always uses....?
Well, this answers yet another claim from the Mormon Times: From July 7 Mormon Times: The individual plates were not perfectly shaped. "The unevenness left by the hammering and air spaces between the separate plates would reduce the weight to probably less than 50 percent of the solid block," Putnam wrote. That gives us about 100 pounds. Not impossible to move around, but still pretty heavy. Source link: How gold were the golden plates
And not just run, but at TOP SPEED per the History of the Church account: Joseph turned around and knocked him down, then ran at the top of his speed...
...And continued RUNNING for three miles hefting these solid gold plates around...
Oh, it's all so clear now.
So, enlighten those of use unfamiliar with these plates. What happened to them? Apparently they are not available for inspection.
Maybe the plates were pure gold and Smith didn’t really run at all, but just lugged them the three miles, taking many breaks along the way and fantasizing a story of running for his life which he told when he made it home.
Whatever the truth of the matter is, Smith was surely lying about something.
It couldn’t be the plates themselves, because that would mean that 8 other people would also have had to lie about seeing them. And we all know that it’s impossible to put together a pack of 8 liars. Liars just aren’t that easy to find.
I wonder why God didn’t think of this when He wrote the law on tablets of stone. If only He had thought of using solid gold plates using space-saving reformed Egyptian. If nothing else, it would have saved Moses a second trip.
When the gold plates themselves were a “miracle”, why not the rest of the things that’s got to do with it - such as one man lifting all of it, and running and jumping?
There is no end to the stupidity induced by such notions. If you can believe one absurdity, there is not reason why you can’t, another. This needn’t necessarily apply to Mormonism alone.
A typical car battery weighs 40 lbs.
Now imagine you live three miles from the auto parts store, so you tuck this golden-plates-sized battery under your arm and run for three miles though the woods before the store closes so you can get a replacement.
How many could make it?
Now increase the weight by triple (for golden colored plates made of copper/gold alloy). Not a man on earth would make it.
Thinking about these gold plates, I wonder why a poor uneducated budding con man didn’t just melt them down and sell the gold. Maybe that’s why they can’t be found.
“It couldnt be the plates themselves, because that would mean that 8 other people would also have had to lie about seeing them. And we all know that its impossible to put together a pack of 8 liars. Liars just arent that easy to find.”
Surely you wrote that tongue-in-cheek!
The 8 “witnesses” were anything but men of character...
I’ll take it as humor :-)
Yeah, it is pretty far fetched, but if you have been taught this from childhood.......... for me it is a tough sell.
You are correct. I was attempting to make my post drip with sarcasm. I guess I failed, at least for pennyfarmer.
And really nobody saw the plates with their own eyes ... they perceived they saw them with an inner vision .... sorta like the Demon-rats ‘deemed’ the budget to pass ......
Emma's [Joseph Smith's first of 33 or so wives] father, Isaac Hale, recorded the following in an affidavit:
"The manner in which he pretended to read and interpret, was the same as when he looked for the money-diggers, with a stone in his hat, and his hat over his face, while the Book of Plates were at the same time hid in the woods." (Affidavit of Isaac Hale dated March 20, 1834, cited in Rodger I. Anderson's, "Joseph Smith's New York Reputation Re-examined," [Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1990], pages 126-128.)
David Whitmer was one of the three witnesses to the Book of Mormon. Most of the translating was done in his home. And he describes in detail the method used by Smith:
"Joseph Smith would put the seer stone into a hat, and put his face in the hat, drawing it closely around his face to exclude the light; and in the darkness the spiritual light would shine.
A piece of something resembling parchment would appear, and under it was the interpretation in English. Brother Joseph would read off the English to Oliver Cowdery, who was his principal [sic] scribe, and when it was written down and repeated to brother Joseph to see if it was correct, then it would disappear, and another character with the interpretation would appear.
Thus the Book of Mormon was translated by the gift and power of God, and not by any power of man." ("An Address to All Believers in Christ," page 12.) (Elder Russell M. Nelson, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, used this same quote in his article, "A Treasured Testament," Ensign, July, 1993, page 62.)
There is plenty of other evidence available, all along the same lines, that makes it clear that Joseph Smith "translated" the Book of Mormon by placing his head inside his hat and peering at his occultic stone. Not only did he not look at these elusive gold plates himself during his "translation," but nobody else ever saw them either. Those who had originally testified that they had seen them readily admitted that it had only been with their spiritual eyes, in a sort of a vision.
His ambushers were pretty good in knowing the exact zig zag path he would take through the woods.
With neighboring ruffians seeking the plates, thinking they were of great monetary worth...Two questions:
1. How did the neighboring ruffians come to find out about the plates?
2. The wording of this implies that the plates weren't of great monetary value. Weren't they?
Strangely, mormons would say stuff like that in all seriousness. I wanted to make sure!
Smith stated, “These records were engraven on plates which had the appearance of gold, each plate was six inches wide and eight inches long, and not quite so thick as common tin. They were filled with engravings, in Egyptian characters, and bound together in a volume as the leaves of a book, with three rings running through the whole. The volume was something near six inches in thickness, a part of which was sealed” (History of the Church 4:537)
Well that answers a question I had last week but forgotten.
How could you get all that writing on two plates but, indeed it was a book, maybe.
But now we come to claiming the “Plates” or pages were not of pure gold but were of a Central American alloy?
One is given pause to ask “Central American alloy?”. Really?
How did an alloy get from Central America to New York and why would the book of Mormon be inscribed on it?
I doubt it would be of the exact consistency of 66% copper and 33% gold as there is no evidence of metallurgy, anywhere in the Americas, that would exist at the time of the manufacture of the Book of Mormon.
With neighboring ruffians seeking the plates, thinking they were of great monetary worth.
How did the man know exactly the route that Smith would take?
How could he possibly not know he had a dislocated thumb?
An "angel" conveniently took them back to heaven.
Who was this "angel?" (The same "angel" that sits atop Mormon temples in place of any cross)
Who are angels according to Joseph Smith? And particularly who was Moroni?
Answer: "Moroni, who deposited the plates in a hill in Manchester, Ontario County, New York, being dead and raised again therefrom, appeared unto me, and told me where they were, and gave me directions how to obtain them." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 119)
Did you realize that this "angel" of whom the Mormon religion is based upon is a 'ghost'?
So who was Moroni per Smith? Why, he was a deceased spirit. A ghost. A ghost was the jumpstarter of Mormonism!
Also, why would Smith even need "gold plates" to translate anything? After all, he didn't have original New Testament manuscripts when he rifled through that and made hundreds of changes in the KJV? (Imagine that: translating a KJV English Bible into English -- and not simply paraphrasing it for a more "modern" rendering)
Everyone on this thread so far has ignored the obvious.
I wanna be the first to state: "God gave Joseph the strength of ten! You antis bing bang flipperdoodledoo!"
Surely you wrote that tongue-in-cheek! The 8 witnesses were anything but men of character... Ill take it as humor :-) [aMorePerfectUnion, post #16]
Well, aMorePerfectUnion did a good summary of the "character" of the "witnesses" -- many excommunicated (I believe over half of them); not including others who left the church.
Here, read AMPU's summary: Character of the 11 Witnesses Post #805
And what? They didn't know where their neighbors lived in those rural times?
The ruffians didn't follow them home? Or visit later?
Smith "outsprint" this ruffian (and any other) all three miles home, lugging the loot?
Mormons are powerful people. And don't you forget it.
And again, Mormons tend to ignore the most basic of issues:
* What evidence is there of "reformed Egyptian" even existing, especially in the Americas?
* Why would Jews in the Americas choose to write in the language of their enemies?
* So what if they needed to "save space" -- why not another language than selecting the language of their enemies?
* And if they needed to "save space" why do we have sentences in the BoM (4 Nephi 1:6) that's 57 words -- only to say that 59 years had passed!
Why would someone writing on a tight gold plate be so wordy?
In fact, if you look at the original 3 Nephi 21:2-7 (1830 version)...these six verses are actually all one sentence!
Why again does this matter?
Well, look at the way this Mormon apologist closed out his recent Mormon Times article:
When you take into consideration that the plates were engraved in space-saving reformed Egyptian, because, as Moroni wrote, "if our plates had been sufficiently large we should have written in Hebrew," there appears to be room to spare (See Mormon 9:33). (Michael De Groote, "How gold were the golden plates?" Mormon Times, July 7, 2010)
According to Colleen Ralson, in her 1988 booklet, "Color Me Confused," p. 49 (Watchman Fellowship)-- as she commented upon the original verbiage of 3 Nephi 21:2-7 written as just one sentence in the original 1830 version:
'Father' is used 8 times,
'Gentile' 5 times,
'shall come forth' 4 times,
'that' and 'which' 20 times,
and 'me,' 'I' and 'my' over 11 times.
This Mormon Jesus is a lot more expressive in his statements than the Jesus of the Bible, who averaged only 19 words per sentence.
The foundation myths of all religions are ridiculous to the non-believer. This one is no stranger than the notion of virgin birth or a talking snake and a magic apple. If one doesn’t believe, it all sounds literally unbelievable; if one does believe it sounds like gospel truth, literally.
I can never understand how otherwise rational people can believe in this stuff.
But, heck, that’s their business and not mine.
What if it wasn’t physical gold at all, but rather, share certificates of a gold Exchange Traded Fund?
I’ve read over and over, right here on Free Republic, that gold is easier to hold that way. And presumably easier to tuck under your arm and run with, too. Even a whole book of ‘em wouldn’t weigh that much.
Besides, you could write the gibberish on the back of the ETF certs in ordinary pen-and-ink. No engraving necessary.
Someone in FR mentioned Mark Twain’s “Roughing It” and the chapter on Mormonism. If you want true sarcasm, he was the master. He goes on and on about those 8 witnesses, and how they are mostly in two families and that he (Twain) doesn’t even NEED the other members of those families to swear they saw the plates... well, anyway, I’m not going to try to remember the details of his sarcasm. Read it. It is Epic Wit.
He would most likely have dropped them in a bog of some sort and they’d have dissolved ... then he’d have to come up with some other story like he found a metal scroll of some sort made out of gold ....
When Joseph Smith put on the magic spectacles, the plates transmographied into gold....bigger question might be...Does Glenn Beck believe this stuff?
Hmmm, something to think about. And funny thing - Glenn Beck, a Mormon, is always pushing buying gold.
Well, he believes Mormonism is true and that's what they teach. Do the math.
First of all, while it's true that "the foundation myths" of religions generally make it into that religion's "sacred documents," -- like as you mentioned, the virgin birth written about in the Bible...
...and yes, it's "so" that Joseph Smith's "first vision" account was later "canonized" within Mormon "scriptures"...
...but this account we're talking about on this thread made it "nowhere" into Mormon's official, canonized "scriptures..." -- so to place it on the same level as the "virgin birth" is a bit off-kilter.
The foundation myths of all religions are ridiculous to the non-believer. This one is no stranger than the notion of virgin birth or a talking snake and a magic apple. If one doesnt believe, it all sounds literally unbelievable; if one does believe it sounds like gospel truth, literally.
Allow me to quote Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason (& then apply his comment to yours):
Source of this excerpt: Miracles or Myths
This reminds me of a comment I heard yesterday in a discussion about religious issues on Dennis Prager's show here in Los Angeles, noting that Friday, yesterday was Good Friday and also Passover. He accurately pointed out that the Exodus and Resurrection are the defining events of two of the world's major religions. They are not the highest of holidays but they are the most defining events. Then he said something rather interesting. Dennis said that he has callers that talk about these kinds of things that are so pregnant with religious significance and meaning--the resurrection and the Passover--but have said to him, "I have a hard time taking these stories literally." Prager said, "So what? It is the meaning that is most important." This point of view reflects comments that were made a number of times in this article, that it is not so much whether the event actually happened or not, it's the story or the spiritual truth that is communicated through the message. I think this is a profound misunderstanding. It comes into play in my comments on the notion of myth.
A myth is not the same as a fairy tale. You need to know this. Oftentimes, we think of it that way, but that is not what a myth is. A myth is a story. It's not true in the same way that a fairy tale is not true, so they are similar in that way, but they have a different purpose. A fairy tale is simply meant to entertain. A myth is a story meant to communicate a truth of life. The message has deep significance for the mysteries of the meaning of life.
So it seems that people are not concerned about the historicity of the events in the Bible because what is more important is not that they happened, but that they teach this deep life truth. The resurrection teaches about new life in Jesus. The chances of new beginnings. Power over death. Life after death. That's what the message is. Whether Jesus rose from the dead or not is quite incidental to the message of the resurrection story. The message is paramount. I think this is a false view. Certainly the apostles didn't have the belief that the message was more paramount than the history itself. In fact, the message was in the history. Without the history, there is no message. That was their point. So this view ignores the statements of those who wrote the Bible themselves.
Before this, Koukl was commenting on a Time Magazine article describing miracles of the Bible, and Time presented these miracles as a "mystery" -- prompting Koukl to essentially ask why Time didn't simply ask whether these miracles happened or not? Why were they presented as a mystery if they really happened? Isn't it at least important to raise the Q if they occurred or not?
So...let's ask that Q as applied to these two accounts:
(a) Did the virgin birth occur in history?
(b) Did Smith run three miles at top speed hauling a few hundred pounds of solid gold around? And then did he "translate" a nobody-heard of language that he didn't know?
In answering (a) the series of Q are:
(1) Did the Biblical writers present the virgin birth as a historical account? (Answer: Yes)
(2) Did the Biblical writers seamlessly attribute the virgin birth to divine intervention? (Answer: Yes -- the Holy Spirit "overshadowed" her)
(3) And: was the virgin birth written in the same mythical religious style as other indigenous religions? (Answer: no)
(4) Do even Mormon "scriptures" like the Book of Mormon claim the Virgin birth to be true? (Answer: yes)
Now let's compare these same similar series of Q to answering (b)...the series of Q being:
(1) Do the Mormon "scriptures" talk about Joseph's account of running with these gold plates -- the subject of this thread? (Answer: No...it was in other Mormon documents that even Mormons don't elevate as special sacred status)
(2) Does this "History of the Church" account attribute divine intervention for Smith that allowed him to run that fast carrying something that heavy -- hence giving glory to God and not man? (Answer: No)
(3) And: was this Mormon account written in the same mythical religious style as other indigenous religions -- as Irish leprachauns who were competing for buried treasure? (Answer: Yes: Traveling some distance after he left the road, he came to a large windfall, and as he was jumping over a log, a man sprang up from behind it, and gave him a heavy blow with a gun. Joseph turned around and knocked him down, then ran at the top of his speed. About half a mile further he was attacked again in the same manner as before; he knocked this man down in like manner as the former, and ran on again; and before he reached home he was assaulted the third time. Source: History of Joseph Smith by His Mother, Lucy Smith, pp.107-108).
(4) Do even Christian historical documents provide any reinforcement to Smith's claims about these gold plates? (Answer: no)
There ya go: You've got to dig deeper muir_redwoods if you're going to start comparing the foundation of Christmas to this Smith myth.
Was Moroni once a man, as we are?
picky, picky, picky...
So Smith said.
Trick question and you fell for it!
You fell victim to one of the classic blunders - The most famous of which is “never get involved in a land war in Asia” - but only slightly less well-known is this: “Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line”!
So in Luke 16:19-31 we learn that “...No one can cross the great Divide....” and that God has set it so as “`If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if some one should rise from the dead.’”
LOL, LOL, LOL, LOL, LOL, LOL....
I read a quote once by Mark Twain, about those "witnesses" but can't find it again.
I first heard this story over 25 years ago. Sounded far-fetched then, and still does. Too many questions.