SOMEONE IS STEALING LETTERS OF CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS

SOMEONE IS STEALING LETTERS OF CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS

This is one of those stories that has me scratching my head and wondering what, if anything beyond the obvious, might be going on. It was spotted by T.M. and passed along, so a big thank you.

Yesterday, recall, I blogged about Professor Yosef Garfkinkel of Hebrew University in Israel, whose archeological work has led him to the discovery of clay figurines which he believes might have been depictions of the Old Testament God Yahweh. Needless to say, it's an idea that has plenty of detractors. I mention here because this week one of the "themes" that emerged in the articles that everyone was sending me might be qualified as "historical revisionism."

So it is with this article shared by T.M., for it would appear that there is some sort of effort to steal the letters of Christopher Columbus and substitute forgeries for them. At first, when I read the title of the article, my reaction was, "so what? Some foul busybody billionaire (fill in your favorite pick here: _________ ________) wants the originals of Columbus' letters for his collection." But then an odd statement in the article jumped out at me, and made me think along my usual daily high octane speculation lines that something else entirely my be going on.

Who's stealing Christopher Columbus letters from libraries around the world?

When one reads the article, one quickly comes to the conclusion that this is "merely" about art forgery. Indeed, that's the most plausible explanation; art forgery, antique forgery, old manuscript forgery, forgery of diaries of famous (or infamous) people, is a multi-million if not billion dollar business. Indeed, we're in the forgery realm in the article ab initio:

In 1492, Christopher Columbus, of course, sailed the ocean blue. And on his journey home, he wrote a letter to his patrons, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain, describing his discovery of the new world, and in effect, asking for more money to make another trip. Columbus' voyage marked one of the great plot points in history. Upon his return, his letter was printed and distributed throughout Europe, making for blockbuster news. Columbus' original handwritten letter, penned on the high seas, no longer exists, but some of the printed copies do. As we first reported last year, most are housed in prestigious libraries, and for centuries, that's where they've remained. That is, until about 10 years ago, when authorities discovered some of these treasures had been stolen and replaced with forgeries. So began a modern kind of trans-Atlantic quest, as investigators in the U.S. and Europe worked to recover Columbus' missing missives and solve this most unusual international mystery. (Emphasis added)

Later on in the article, we read that it even happened to the Vatican library:

It was here in 2011 that Vatican officials first discovered that one of their prized items, a Columbus letter, had somehow been stolen and replaced with a fake.

Jon Wertheim: How do you think this happened?

Ambrogio Piazzoni (Translation): Look I do not know. I have no idea how and when it may have happened. Certainly it was an operation carried out as a proper theft. But I do not know when or how.

So note the pattern: original copies of Columbus' 1493 letter have been stolen from various libraries, and the libraries' copies have replaced with forgeries. Note also that Columbus' original handwritten letter is no longer extant. What have been replaced are not copies of forgeries of that hand-written letter, but rather, copies of the original printing of the letter.

Then,  further on in the article, we get this:

Jay Dillon is a rare book dealer in New Jersey. He ranks the Columbus letter as one of the most important documents ever printed.

Jay Dillon: This was one of the first bestsellers. It is probably the first contemporary account of anything to be published across Europe.

...

It was while researching Columbus letters on his home computer, back in 2011, that Jay Dillon first noticed something amiss. The National Library of Catalonia in Barcelona had posted photos of their Columbus letter online. What struck Dillon as odd: it looked exactly like a Columbus letter that he had seen for sale a year earlier, right down to the same smudge marks in the margins.

Jon Wertheim: And you're telling yourself what at this point?

Jay Dillon: I'm telling myself that one of them has to be a forgery.

Jon Wertheim: Why is that?

Jay Dillon: Because you cant have two books with the same random brown spots in the margins. It's just impossible.

Jon Wertheim: What confirmed your suspicions were these matching marks from these texts that were 500 years old?

Jay Dillon: That's right. Exactly

Jon Wertheim: That would not happen.

Jay Dillon: That cannot happen.

Jay suspected the library's letter had been stolen and put up for sale, which meant whatever was currently in their collection was a fake.

...

Jay Dillon: To my utter astonishment, a Columbus letter in the Vatican library was a forgery. And then I went to the Biblioteca Riccardiana in Florence and damned if the same thing doesn't happen again. Their Columbus letter is a fake too.

So again, the "forgery-and-resale" hypothesis is being pushed. And again, to this writer, that seems the most likely explanation...

... except that it was being done not just in one or two libraries with the original printed version, but all over. At the minimum, this reflects organization and intention, an important point to bear in mind for my high octane speculation. Then they brought in an expert named Paul Needham after Dillon had taken the matter to the Department of Justice to confirm what was being done:

They (the Dept of Justice) turned to Paul Needham, one of the world's foremost experts on 15th century printing. He runs the Scheide Library at Princeton University, home to one of the most valuable private collections of books on earth.

And now it was Needham's turn to travel to Europe to examine the letters. In each case, he determined the originals had indeed been removed and replaced with photographic facsimiles printed on centuries-old paper.

Paul Needham: The Columbus letter being a highly collected book it's just the perfect combination. Both very small and very valuable their value per leaf of paper is higher than for any other printed book.

Jon Wertheim: You're saying this is the perfect item to forge.

Paul Needham: It's the perfect item to forge.

But, as I mentioned, the scale of the thefts of the Columbus letter requires organization, intention, and something else: expertise. Note that according to Needham, the forgeries were being photographically reproduced on "centuries-old paper," implying one, or both, of two things: (1) a supply of centuries-old paper, which one might assume was kept in centuries-old-paper vaults so that "forgerers of the future" could dip into said vault and craft forgeries, or (2) the ability to reconstruct the process of creating the paper in the first place, which requires considerable expertise and very highly specialized knowledge. While I'm not discounting the first possibility believe it or not, it is the second, obviously, that is the more likely of the two. It's that "antique paper" issue that led the CBS reporter and author of the article, Jon Wertham, to contact a well-known Italian book forgerer, Massimo De Caro:

De Caro is not just a convicted thief, he's also an accomplished forger. He spent years making a fake Galileo book, which fooled the experts and sold for almost a half million dollars. He showed us another Galileo reproduction he made.

Massimo De Caro: you can see the quality of the paper. I used antique paper.

Jon Wertheim: You did this? This is your handiwork.

Massimo De Caro: Yes, it all. I am very proud about this.

Jon Wertheim: You're very proud of this.

Massimo De Caro: Yes.

Jon Wertheim: If this book were original, what would this fetch on the market? What would someone pay for this?

Massimo De Caro: $300,000 at least. (Emphasis added)

In one case, De Caro worked for several years to create one forgery, and that the forgery sold for half a million dollars.

It's precisely this little detail that has me scratching my head, wondering what may really be going on: several years' work, requiring very specialized knowledge in the recreation of antique paper, to recreate a book forgery that sells for only a half a million dollars? Granted, the Columbus letter is not a sizeable book, but I think you get the idea. The cost-to-profit ratio would appear to be rather low, especially when one adds in the risk factor that one, like De Caro, could serve several years in prison for being caught in an art forgery, as the article states. One would think that - oh I don't know - if you're going to forge something for that kind of risk, you'd at least forge something that would get you a tidy sum of money even at a sharp discount, something like billion dollar bearer bonds or something. Of course the Columbus forgeries are selling for at least an order of magnitude more than a mere $300,000, but I think the principle still holds: why go to all the trouble - and organization and expense and to procure the expertise - to infiltrate libraries all over the world, and substitute forgeries of the letter into the libraries, and pilfer the real ones?

These considerations lead me to the high octane speculation that we might be looking at something other or more than simple art forgery. What might it be? One answer might be that in an age of statue-toppling and book burning, it might be a subtle way to obfuscate primary sources to such an extent that they are no longer taken seriously as sources, and therefore, as history. In effect, it might be a concerted effort to call all of them into question so that a very different historical narrative can be created and substituted for the traditional one. And in the ways of power, that would be worth a substantial investment to create the organization, recruit the expertise to create the forgeries, and the people doing the pilfering of the originals and substitution of the forgeries. Nor should the cultural effects be discounted: if the world of art and literature is riddled with fraud, add that to the list of corrupted and infiltrated institutions.

Granted, that's a walk right off the end of the speculation twig. And indeed, there's a flip side to this argument, and that flip side is the forger's expertise. An argument might be made that a forgery of a Van Dyke or a Rembrandt is an indicator of the fact that these artists, who are usually portrayed as geniuses, if they can be forged, are therefore not all that remarkable. Except for one thing. The forger has to learn their craft, and learn it thoroughly and well in order to create the forgery. He literally has to put himself inside their mind, inside their technique, inside their insight and creative inspiration and reason, to understand well enough to create the forgery. It's easier said, than done.  And that point returns us  to the anomaly squatting in the middle of this story: who is behind this apparent organized effort to find and recruit the expertise, to infiltrate the libraries, and to fund the whole effort, and why?

See you on the flip side...

 

 

51 thoughts on “SOMEONE IS STEALING LETTERS OF CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS”

  1. Forgive me if this has been already mentioned in the excellent comments, I’m always weeks behind you lot. perhaps there may be information coded into his letter which has come to light to a few select well organised and funded individuals that helps complete the grand picture relating to paleo ancient knowledge / power?

  2. Didn’t Dr. Farrell mention that the act of writing itself had something to do with creation and it affects the fabric of reality?
    Could these letters be metaphysically tied to the reality of the new world and the new order of the ages?

  3. What if “they” are building a “hall of records” of sorts with the originals of important historical documents and artifacts of humanity? For their new (breakaway) civilization? Leaving us, the hoi polloi, here on Earth, for as long as we might still last, with forgeries, digitized versions and ersatz?

  4. It would take a long time, but I think along the same lines as Joseph – ‘In effect, it might be a concerted effort to call all of them ( the letters) into question so that a very different historical narrative can be created and substituted for the traditional one’.

  5. Loxie Lou Davie

    This might be a good place to interject about The Mud Flood??? What the heck?!! I had never heard about it until recently & pictures exist to prove an event happened that was NOT included in our “history”! It would seem this happened in the mid 1800’s.

    John Levi is exploring this avenue! Seems to me many cultures we are ignorant of took place on this planet & we are only scratching the surface in trying to understand our past!!

    Does anyone have any info on The Mud Flood???

  6. Forging a small, very-high-value item like the Columbus book, then switching it for the original, makes me think of some billionaire looking for an investment alternative to cash. Unlike any currency, the authentic book would be a portable, untraceable store of value not subject to inflation. But taking a year to forge a book that would fetch less than half a million? That’s another kettle of fish . . . Seems more like something you’d pay a forger to do if your goal were to rewrite history. (Reminds me of the Illinois state rep who recently called for schools to “immediately remove history curriculum and books that ‘unfairly communicate’ history ‘until a suitable alternative is developed'” [https://www.zerohedge.com/political/illinois-rep-wants-abolish-history-classes-racist].)

  7. Could not the paper be carbon dated? Or is it best we are left guessing.
    “Sorry” seems to be the hardest word, but “I don’t know” seems to be the hardest phrase.

    1. Carbon dating is proving fraudulent. Fact went public a couple years ago that variations in solar radiation speed up and slow down radioactive decay of all elements on Earth, including carbon.

      1. true enough (probably) , and we would still have to trust those that are using the PCR test for Corona madness , (whom’s tribe brought us the Anne Frank diaries), which the inventor of it said not to use it for…english doctor disbarred for saying so 2hrs
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbLV4UxPr0o
        https://www.change.org/p/genaral-medical-council-gmc-to-revoke-12-month-suspension-on-mr-muhammad-iqbal-adil-consultant-surgeon-uk-in-relation-to-covid-19-pandemic

    1. the movie could show the skills and techniques needed for the forgery, the greed and ego of the purchasers, and some of the actual history of how the voyages were funded.

  8. This has been going on since the beginning of recorded history. It all about controlling the people so they live only in the now or a holodeck world this straight out of 1984 ministry of truth. Take your pick the destruction of the library of Alexandria, the codex of southern and central America, the holders of myth among indigenous people being killed off around the World. The uber-rich which stands at the top of this trade are only the useful idiots of the shadow masters who wish to enthrall us all keeping us in perpetual ignorance.

  9. Lol…I don’t know whether to chalk this article up to “basin of attraction” or a “synchronicity”…I just started a novel yesterday by Arturo Perez-Reverte – The Dumas Club (which was later adapted to a movie – The Ninth Gate). In the story there is a kind of secret society or some such people in Europe, that are looking for encoded info in rare antiquarian texts to invoke a magical summoning. But the protagonist is sent by a client to authenticate a book he has acquired due to there only being one authentic copy out of three known copies still extant, two of which are obviously forged. And if his is not the authentic copy, the client wants the one that is at any cost necessary, by shady means or otherwise. Just a strange little parallel I thought I would throw out there.

  10. I recently watched the UFO video on netflix Above or Beyond Majestic. They made reference to the idea that some ancient species living on Earth a lot longer than humans has been influencing any and all writings throughout history tomake sure that nothing written is above or beyond the level of awareness that they want to keep human from knowing. NEVER heard this before. Reminded me of Tower of Babel a la JP Farrell.
    Just saying

  11. The young lady did recommend we own our culture, right? Brings to mind a couple tidbits found so far today.
    https://twitter.com/PatrikAouad/status/1290683486773415936
    Not a hollywood movie, not a science fiction scene, that’s Lebanon few minutes ago. Beirut totally crashed amid 1. Economic inflation and 2. Covid19 outbreak. God bless the people and keep them safe. I am shocked #Lebanon #لبنان_ينهار

      1. I have no info on Petritsch. He smells of controlled right opposition in Germany and Switzerland. What’s more interesting is that his theories sound as extreme as any I’ve heard and at the same time or consistently affirmed by criminals ruling the world. CV1984 among the less informed populous is the same as smallpox infected blankets given to native Americans. Censorship proves nothing about the censored and everything about the censors.

  12. David Irving is one of the few WWII historians worth reading and reading everything he has written. He was the one who called out the ‘Hitler Diaries’ as fakes back in the 1990s and was spot on. There are youtube videos where he discusses the difficulty of forging old documents and the work he does before he begins to trust a document.

    Mr. Irving has in his possession a stack of Hilter’s original stationary embossed with all of the artwork one would expect from the leader of the best dressed military the world has ever seen. This paper is quickly approaching 100 years old, so the idea that someone saved paper from the time of Columbus and his clearly semi-occult journeys is perfectly reasonable.

  13. Along with a financial reset it seems like they are pushing a cultural reset as well. -wear masks -burn the holy places -restrict going to community events -meteors flying everywhere -horde all important artifacts -stop education

  14. References and possibilities:
    1 There was never an original.
    2 It is like Lincoln’s letter in Tarantino’s H8ful.
    3 Looks like the Clifford Irving/Elmyr de Hory/Howard Hughes playout.

    1. I was thinking someone might want to “rewrite” the forgery with new and more “convenient” information that would (for instance) redate the discoveries Columbus made, etc. etc….to someone’s advantage….and that the originals would never be found so the forged data would become “history.”

  15. Most history has as much fiction as fact, tells narratives that are meant to steer the future, and to protect the identities of the real culprits who manipulated events in the past and present. This letter getting spread all over Europe as a best seller may have contained a very important coded message someone doesn’t want people in the present to discover. What if only a minor miss spelling in a word or two or a slightly different placement of certain marks make decoding and discovering this well kept secret impossible. Be interesting to see if something significant began to happen historically all over the planet or Europe soon after this letters mass publication.

    1. Took the words right out of my mouth! I was thinking the same thing as I was reading the article. Coded message found in the letter…changing a comma, period etc would make it nonsensical.

  16. Robert Barricklow

    The Old World Order is desperately seeking a new façade. Going to get a high-tech face-lift; beautifying her [hair]do in a worldwide net; whose global socialized mirrors see only themselves in the best of lights. In this do-over; the pesky cultures and insti tu tional memories need to be deleted; for a new foundations re-set.

    1. Robert Barricklow

      Yesterday, it was off to the races visiting old gods riding somewhat back-of-steed, LOL horses. Gods that could easily ride faster than light; while cushioning themselves leisurely in comfy-white-billowed clouds. These makeover, perception management decisions occur throughout time to bring about Babel moments; no due to the crowds catching on to the bread & circus power games. But because the elites fancy themselves as Gods; and proceed to demonstrate their powers to the heavens above.
      This high-tech makeover will render many human beings obsolete. Hence, a drastic depopulation and energy and money and history and culture and just about everything has to be made a new. Memories are to be wiped clean. Easy with digital technologies. It’s the troublesome analogue that’s the problem.
      Take Columbus for example…
      White Rabbit

      1. Robert Barricklow

        Michael Angelo started out as a forger. In fact, the biz of “art” looks to be entangled in forgeries, a symbiosis between masters and forgers. So entwined are they; they look to belong to the same guild[thieves guild that is]
        In the 20th-worst century this becomes even more blurred; as the digital moves in on the analogue territory.
        Another transformation. Another rewrite for the new medium. Another historical agreed upon narrative/fable; where the first trip of Columbus was not televised[lettered for public knowledge]. The Queen winked knowingly, backing a sure bet.
        So today the false narratives are fact; the facts are conspiracy. And the art of forgery is knowing both sets of books.
        The real deal is that third copy;
        the masterpiece, w/no copy, nor forgery.

        1. Robert Barricklow

          Wouldn’t believe how long it took me to read this blog’s letters.
          Interruptions like no tomorrows!
          And I’m being interrupted as I write this.
          Nonstop…

  17. Even if they were printed and not manuscripts, that does not rule out the presence of watermarks or OTHER marks not immediately apparent. Indeed, virtually all paper at that time had watermarks.

  18. Archives are constantly being pilfered for rare documents and signatures. I was once researching in the French archives and called up a contract written by Colbert and signed by Louis XIV which someone was chagrined to inform me no longer existed.

    I think your first guess of a very rich collector with a Columbus “thing” is spot-on; high-end burglary rings also work this way and many rich collectors refuse to publish their interiors for fear of being burgled later on.

  19. In your Financial Vipers of Venice book you gave a very convincing case that Christopher Columbus may well have been part of a surviving Templar group within one of the other great medieval military orders. Some of these orders did operate as some sort of private state within a state for ecclesiastical reasons and purposes. They were definitely on the cutting edge of scholarship and related craftsmanship to pull off such a stunt. Because of their pedigree they would more than likely be granted access without question. Why would one suspect a wondering monk conducting research?
    As I read this my mind immediately seized upon this connection and wandered in the direction of a grand “recovery”. One or more groups may be sharing in the recovery of these priceless treasures because they consider them to be their property. Though either of these may not exist formally, they may exist within other formal organizations as a very tight network. These members would be tied ideologically. Members of this secret order would certainly have the means, the motives and the opportunities to do the replacement–and the stamina to perfect their craft until they are ready to spring. Having accomplished this with Columbus letters, what else might they have taken. And, when? How old is this practice, really? And, is it just one order or multiples sharing their expertise in order to recover their common property?

    1. What if these original copies of the letters are the closest to somekind of deeds to America and whoever has them owns the land?

    2. Priceless documents like these would be held in extremely secure locations. Those who would want to study the manuscripts would need difficult-to-get permission. Their visit would be logged, there’s be chain of custody, a constant observers (I mean, “Could I be alone for a few minutes with Christopher’s letter?” wouldn’t fly…lol)) and security footage would exist. The Vatican library is like Fort Knox. Inside jobs, something’s awry…

      1. Agreed. This was part of my calculus when I proposed the idea. Like I said, these collections could be considered someone’s property. Once in one of these ancient orders there was no claim to personal property per se–especially as a monk. The corporation was the owner. The person was granted fair use and was accountable for how it was used. An umbrella corporation within the Catholic Church is a reasonable place to begin speculation. We may not even be looking at a theft–but a legal claim exercised against the holder to ensure its recovery.

  20. anakephalaiosis

    It is long a term strategy, to gradually obfuscate the primary sources. And then decades, or generations from now, present a counter narrative.

    It is only papacy itself, that has five centuries corporation plans, so there is the smoking gun, that plans and instigates world wars.

    Columbus was fake, and – to fake the fake – is covering up, with a patsy document. Trail to papacy makes Vatican a nuke target.

    Primary source to Ryne-Stafas is already “torched”, like Notre Dame, for same reason.

    1. anakephalaiosis

      Copycats are usually obsessive about originals, and collectors are equally obsessive, about getting hands on desired objects.

      Both are traits of the criminal mind. The have-nots want to have, and their desire can be masterminded into a patsy.

      This is how the Jesuits manipulate and infiltrate, to divert attention away from the papacy, that fears exposure.

      The papal insect can only exist, in a crack between factions, by divide et impera.

  21. Strategically flip a word or two and the over all meaning of important wording can change an outcome or influence the ignorant toward an agenda before linguistic damage control can be carried out. The media types are keen to such twisting of words to drive narratives. Historical words and wording are easy targets to first create doubts and indecision. One would suggest that resources to gain access would be needed as well as funded expertise in league with such treachery. Save your hard copy prints, electronic files, items in carved stone, and do not tell where or how or how many. Such deviance. Certain online sources are not and have not been safe from tampering, Free or not. They sure are preloaded for AI sniffers.

  22. If I were writing the Time Travel novel (so overdone these days) I would have a “team” of “future historians” racing to either replace all the existing copies with the forgeries to prevent some great future destruction (for some reason) or to find all the existing copies to save them/use them for some reason or because they have some magical powers of their own.

    I’m afraid the idea of simply going back and redirecting Colombus has already used in such novels, more than once but replacing his letters is a different topic.

    But I am not writing a time travel novel so I am scratching my head on this one, and Joseph you could be right. There is so much going on when it comes to trying shape public ideas of the past to fit a narrative, that this won’t surprise me.

    This sure doesn’t make much sense from just an economic perspective, there are easier and more profitable crimes even in antiquities (my Dad used to be an Ancient Coin dealer)…

  23. Funny; I just saw the repeat 60 Minutes TV show on this topic, last weekend. (I also saw the original when it came out, say a year ago.) I wondered about the motivations at that time. It also brought-up memories of the 1984 page-clippers modifying history, one article at a time.

    I could see this type of thing being used to remove ‘originals’ from any viewing, in order to safeguard them. This, of course, would be accompanied by a push to digitize them and only have them online. In that ‘transition’ moment, it would be possible to modify any text and the public would never know it… (Other copies would be individually hunted-down and altered-in-place.)

    1. Weren’t Bezos’ first e copies of 1984 found to have sections removed from the original? It confuses me that everyone is so upset with how untrustworthy all the media and all the governments and all the corporations are proving all the time to be – and compliance is huge to the point with OTL’s (obey the law) are verbally abusing anyone questioning the narrative in any way. Meanwhile here in suburban Chicago, most of the saner folk I meet keep going with the mantra that this all goes away after 11/4/2020. Alot of these globalist goals that Rockchilds are ramming cv1984 through get ramped up by 11/4/2020.

      1. I just watched the news; a small protest somewhere with a lady holding a sign “Rent Forgiveness” …. And then her life will be ok again??? Many people were getting along pretty good with $600.00 a week unemployment.

        “They” know exactly how far they can push people. Too miserable and people push back and wake up a little bit more.

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