Mystery of Prehistoric Cubes and Other Technology

About the mystery of a metal cube supposedly up to 70 million years old made long before man was around.

The Event: THE FINDING OF THE PREHISTORIC CUBE

When: 1885

Where: Austria

The Mystery: In coal beds belonging to the Tertiary period (12 to 70 million years ago), there was found a metal cube, made of iron, carbon, and a little bit of nickel. Many experts think it could have been made only by human hands. But there were no people then, and certainly no technology.

Embedded in the coal, the cube measured 2 1/2" by 1 4/5", weighed 28 oz., and had an incision that ran around it horizontally.

Discovered by a Dr. Gurlt, the cube created a minor sensation. Articles about it appeared in Nature, the British scientific magazine, in November, 1886, and in L'Astronomie, published in Paris, in 1887.

The cube was put in the Salzburg Museum. A few years ago, the Russian journalist G. N. Ostroumov decided to investigate the story of the cube. Officials at the Salzburg Museum said it was lost, probably sometime before W.W.II. The file for the period in which the cube was found was also missing. Ostroumov published articles saying the whole thing was a hoax.

Possible Solutions: There are experts who think the cube was a meteorite. However, if it had come from space, the cube would not have retained its form but would have assumed an irregular shape during its fiery descent through the earth's atmosphere.

Other people think the cube is from an earlier terrestrial civilization that was highly technological but which was wiped out by a natural disaster.

Could some intelligence from another planet have planted it here? If so, why? Some postulate that it might have been a data collector. If this were so, it might have stored a record of earth events, and perhaps--say those who believe this theory--the intelligence that planted the cube also retrieved it from the Salzburg Museum.

Perfect shapes do occur in nature. However, the cube did not have enough sulfur to be made of pyrite, the natural mineral that sometimes occurs in geometric shapes. Still, the idea that the shape did develop naturally cannot be entirely discounted. Very old cylindrical objects have turned out to be parts of petrified trees.

NOTE: Similar items that have been found are:

--A fossil screw with perfect spiral formation was found inside a rock from the so-called "Abbey Gallery" in Treasure City, Nev. "The stratum in which it was found is extremely old," experts say.

--Objects resembling bullets have been found in the bones of prehistoric animals.

--Perfect glass lenses, metal nails, chains, and batteries--all far older than the technology of the time they date back to--have been discovered.

The explanations? Take your pick: hoaxes, alien beings, or early, technologically advanced civilizations that disappeared leaving only traces are just some of the possibilities.

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