Book Review: “In Plain Sight”

Published in 1994, the material in this book was a result of 40 years of research from Gloria Farley. As I look in this book, I notice the familiar names from the era of the 1970’s and 80’s like Dr. Joseph Mahan (the ISAC Organization) Barry Fell (America BC) Cyrus Gordon and Henrietta Mertz (discovering the Hebrew of the Bat Creek Stone) and even Paul Cheesman all getting credited for material in this book.

What led me to this book was my research in the two tablets that have been found in America that are identical, the Chief Joseph Tablet and the Hearn Tablet, both written in cuneiform and both are a receipt for animals sold in 2040 BC. These topics led me to this book, which covers mostly about petroglyphs, hieroglyphs, coins or stones with writing and imagery, and her journey to decipher what she has found.

Gloria Farley had evolved into an “Epigraphic Explorer” searching for inscriptions on stones. She supposedly had a reputation for going to great lengths to finding inscriptions. One thing that I noticed from a lot of researchers, she states in the first pages of this book, is that the inscriptions being found in America could not be made by the American Indian.

This statement becomes one of the reasons there is a disconnect between archeologists at universities with tenure, and just plain researchers (as listed in the first paragraph) who have a desire to find the truth. When something of antiquity is found, some will say “this couldn’t possibly be made by these ignorant savages” while the university professors cry “racism” and then condemn the whole finding as fake BECAUSE of the racist claim.

If you watch the 7th episode of Hidden in the Heartland where we cover the Kinderhook Plates, I personally asked the historian from the Chicago History Museum (which did not make it in the final edit) what he thought of any evidence of pre-Columbian contact to America. His answer was that Columbus was the first and anything that denoted intelligence before was fake and a racist attempt to claim others came to the US before.

The Mormon view merges the two together (in my opinion): We believe the pre-Columbian artifacts that denote intelligence are made BY the “ignorant savages”, and that was there was an actual decrease in information and technology when people chose to stop following God. It should be considered very un-racist for Joseph Smith to actually hold up the Native American as a tribe of Israel as an effort to make them as equal to the Europeans that forced them off their land.

Back to Gloria. One of her lifelong pursuits was bringing validity to the Norse Runes Stone in Heavener, Oklahoma (where she was from) and her constant distain from scholars that claim it fake and so forth. The book is chock full of examples of inscriptions, whether it be pictures or signs or some kind of language, including Cuneiform, Olgam, Hebrew and Egyptian. And littered throughout are also examples of people who would call them fake, and her mission on how to bring validity to what she found.

I highly recommend getting this book and adding it to the collection of what is out there for pre-Colombian studies.

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