Historical Relic or Load of Crap -- You Make the Call

The Amazing Randi claimed the Miami Circle site was actually a septic tank, not an archaeological find. He's having second thoughts.

Carr maintains that he is honored to have his research scrutinized by the Amazing Randi and is not concerned by the slight of his work in the e-mail. "I don't feel particularly crucified in any personal way," he says.

Randi says that he has no reason to apologize. His observations, he notes, were speculation, not stated facts. "There's no backing down," he says. "I haven't said anything that I would withdraw."

Last week, however, after Carr's team got wind of Randi's missive, they contacted him to clear up some of the misconceptions. Randi then sent out a second e-mail to his subscribers, partly backing away from his earlier speculations but also shifting some of the blame to the media for reporting erroneous information.

After recounting four historical incidents of scientific miscalculations or outright fraud (including an attraction at a New Jersey mall in which a fur coat in a block of ice was passed off as a prehistoric human), the Amazing Randi closes the second e-mail on a contrite note.

"I have no doubt that the scientists in charge at the Circle are dedicated and honest. I am open to seeing evidence that this is a prehistoric artifact. I acknowledge that the media have 'run away' with the story and thus damaged the integrity of the event. And I have no agenda here.

"But the alarm bells are still ringing away in my skull. That's what skeptics are all about, but they can be wrong."

Contact Paul Demko at his e-mail address: Paul_Demko@newtimesbpb.com

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