Tragic consequences of an April Fool - bis repetita placent - [Le site d'Irna]

Tragic consequences of an April Fool - bis repetita placent

Article published on 1 February 2014

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After his first expedition to the Bosnian “pyramids” in the summer of 2013, Mr. Dominique Jongbloed, a French self-proclaimed "Explorer" or "Adventurer", is now planning a second expedition to take place in April 2014. Meanwhile, the association he chairs, NordSud Institute [North-South Institute], offers help with transport arrangements and room reservations to future volunteers wishing to participate in activities at the site. The association also organizes voyages of discovery to the "valley of the pyramids” at Visoko, for the modest sum of 1,148.16 euros per week.

On his Facebook page, the “Explorer” offers a teaser for the “voyages of discovery”, a series of photos of “monuments” accessible to tourists. Amongst these photos, I found this one:

Capture d’écran du 8 janvier 2014
Screen Capture 8 January 2014 - Source

accompanied by the following text:

The Pyramid of the Dragon (detail) – the fifth "monument”. This would have been the location of discoveries of traces left by fishing communities during an era when the valley would have been partly submerged. © 2014 All rights reserved for all countries. – At Visoko, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Mr. Jongbloed does not give the source of the image, but I am in a position to provide him with the relevant information. The image he uses is this one:

Source

which comes from the French Wikipedia, where it appears on the "Rock Carvings at Alta" page of the French Wiki. Alta, in Northern Norway, is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage site, and has more than 5,000 rock carvings dating from the 5th to the 1st millennium BC, depicting scenes of hunting and fishing. So what Mr. Jongbloed presents as a rock carving from the “pyramid of the Dragon” at Visoko is actually a fishing scene from Alta, complete with boats and fish.

But however did a Norwegian rock carving scene come to be illustrating a “pyramid” in Bosnia? It’s a long story, that begins on 1st April 2007, a day on which I thought I would indulge myself by concocting a spoof entitled "The pyramid fishermen", in which I described the discovery by the Osmanagic Foundation on the hill of Buci (known to the pyramid supporters as the “Pyramid of the Dragon”) of a series of carvings and artifacts in the forms of fish [Trans.: in France, an April Fool is known as a “poisson d’avril”, an “April Fish”]. My little April Fool gag was illustrated with photos of genuine artifacts, either from the Alta site, or from various French Palaeolithic sites, including the Abri du Poisson [Fish Rock Shelter] at Les-Eyzies-de-Tayac. The origin of the artifacts was given at the end of the article, which in any case was written in such a patently tongue-in-cheek manner that it would have been quite obvious that it was not to be taken seriously ….

… or, at least, so I thought at the time, having quite failed to take into account some web-users’ gullibility and inability to read more than two consecutive lines of text! And so it was that I later found on various forums – this one for instance - my 2007 fish presented as a real artifact found at Visoko. At one time, there was even a Bosnian page, now defunct, which, although omitting the parts that were completely over the top, reproduced word for word the text of my article!

We move on to the next episode of the saga, where we enter another dimension altogether, no longer the domain of mere ignorance or credulity, but perilously close to out and out fraud. In May 2010, on an Italian forum, the account of my April Fool fish reappeared once more. Although it was still described in terms of a genuine discovery, the author on this occasion was a certain Nenad Djurdjevic. Now, Mr. Djurdjevic was in no position to plead ignorance of my article really being intended as a spoof. In actual fact, he is a friend of Mr. Osmanagic, has been following the latter’s work right from the beginning, and is well aware that there have been no finds of any fish-related archaeological treasures, whether on the “Pyramid of the Dragon” or on any of the other "pyramids”. This did not prevent him from stating the following on this Italian forum: “Sono state scoperte delle arti rupestri che raffigurano uomini in barca che vanno a pesca, raffigurazioni e manufatti a forma di diverse specie di pesce oggi sconosciute." ["There are reports of a discovery of rock art depicting fishermen in a boat, and images and artifacts in the form of various species of fish today unknown"]). The full story, which leaves little room for doubt about Mr. Djurdjevic’s credibility and integrity (he also has two pro-pyramid blogs, http://www.bosnian-pyramid.org/ and http://bpblognews.blogspot.fr/), is told here.

To return to Mr. Jongbloed: I cannot begin to imagine how the photo of the Alta site found its way onto his page. Could he have found it whilst Googling “Pyramid of the Dragon”? Could it have been sent to him by a member of the Bosnian Pyramid Foundation, namely, Mr. Djurdjevic himself? Or some ordinary web-user? No matter: the fact is that he repeats a completely invented piece of information (even if he takes the precaution of using the conditional tense: “This would have been the location of discoveries of traces left by fishing communities during an era when the valley would have been partly submerged”), especially since he includes an image of the so-called “Pyramid of the Dragon,” all without the least attempt at checking the facts. Hardly a demonstration of professionalism from someone presenting himself as an expert in “antediluvian“ civilizations, who has travelled through Scandinavia, and who claims to be revealing to his audience “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth!"


Update - January 14, 2014

As might be expected, Mr. Jongbloed (who is obviously no stranger to covering his tracks) has today [1] removed the image of the so-called “Pyramid of the Dragon” from his Facebook page. Although his teaser ad still announces photos from “six monuments",

Capture d’écran du 14 janvier 2014
Screen Capture 14 January 2014

the album in fact contains no more than five such images, together with three photos of the Visoko hotel:

Capture d’écran du 14 janvier 2014
Screen Capture 14 January 2014

whereas, a few days ago, the same album certainly included the reference to “evidence of fishing communities":

Capture d’écran du 9 janvier 2014
Screen capture of 9 January 2014
Notes :

[1The original article in French has been published on January 9.


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