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Open letter to science editors





To the Editor of KRONOS:

Thank you for your kindness in drawing my attention to the article by McCreery [KRONOS V:3, pp. 71-79] and inviting my comment. I had no particular wish to be drawn into this discussion, which is apparently proceeding with vigour if not some acrimony. The tone of McCreery's paper, however, leaves me little choice but to take up your offer and to point out the misunderstandings and mis-statements in his writings. The more detached of your readers may then judge the position for themselves.

McCreery uses three quotes from a paper by Krumbein which, although 40 years old, is still a classic. The quote "Conventional petrofabric analyses cannot readily be used for direct comparison with other sedimentary characteristics because the data is not summarized numerically" - is followed by another sentence which McCreery conveniently omitted: "On the other hand, some statistical parameters fail to disclose details of sediments which may best be brought out by standard diagrams." In other words, both types of data presentation have their uses. I chose to present the data as a petrofabric diagram since I believe it better illustrated the points I wished to make. I was also comparing diagrams with diagrams, not with "other sedimentary characteristics", e.g. texture.

His second quote is drawn from a paragraph which Krumbein starts: "This discussion of graphic presentation is not to be construed as a criticism of petrofabric diagrams as interpretative devices"; it is noteworthy that McCreery's choice of quotation says that numerical data "supplement" the information obtained from petrofabric diagrams. They do not replace the diagram. Krumbein made the case for basic data to be shown in petrofabric diagrams: this was done in my diagrams. If McCreery wishes to confirm the conclusions I drew from the diagram statistically he can recover the data and do so.

With regard to McCreery's comments on the lack of measurement of a 'c'-axis, I refer him to Krumbein (1940, 1942). In analysis of data from San Gabriel Canyon and Arroyo Seco, California, he used data for long axes only, which he considers sufficient under normal circumstances. As Krumbein made clear in his 1939 paper, analysis of 'c'-axis is at its most useful for spheroids where long-axes are not clearly defined. This criterion is of little importance for the stone shapes (tabular and wedge-shaped) in this study.

McCreery's third quote from Krumbein is undoubtedly true and I shall return to it later. Unfortunately, he does not seem to have realized that comparing individual samples with a population of samples is a legitimate and widely used comparative technique. The diagrams used in the appendix to MacKie's paper were illustrative of types rather than exhaustive documentation: no editor would thank me for being exhaustive with such material!

McCreery does not like the manner in which the material was collected, and he quotes Harrison's paper as support. Apart from the fact that part of Harrison's errors resulted from removing the material from field to laboratory and difficulty with precise re-orientation (an alternative error to those inherent in the system used at Kintraw, not cumulative), the method I used is that adopted by most modern geomorphologists (e.g. Albjarr, Rehn, and Stromquist 1979; McCann 1961). It is an accepted method with a statistically sound basis and I make no apologies for using it.

McCreery's main misunderstanding of my approach is that he failed to realize that the first sieve in any comparison of samples is to examine the geomorphological contexts from which those samples are drawn. Fluvioglacial sediments have textural and landform characteristics that clearly differentiate them from till-deposits and from hill-slope deposits. The Kintraw context is that of hill-slope (MacKie 1974, appendix, p. 193) and it was thus compared with other hill-slope deposits. McCreery's comparison with Cary (fluvio-glacial) outwash has no validity within this context. Nor does he appear to understand that the stone horizon at Kintraw was being compared with other naturally formed stone horizons, since he chooses to take me to task on the fact that a totally different type of horizon with different genetic properties shows resemblances to Kintraw. I did not make the "statement that natural formations always show strong orientation relative to the slope in which they are situated"; this is a product of confusion in McCreery's mind. What I did attempt to show was that the Kintraw and Sheep Hill STONE PAVEMENTS gave very different results from other STONE PAVEMENTS in similar slope situations in the Scottish hill lands.

The only point in McCreery's paper that I can agree with is the amount of information on man-made stone pavements. This is restricted and thus not strictly statistically valid. I used the phrase "however tentative" in the appendix to MacKie's paper to indicate this clearly. The evidence of the orientations from the Kintraw platform is part of a whole body of evidence of distributional, structural, and geomorphological considerations. I believe that the evidence which is so far available supports the hypothesis that the platform is man-made, though I would not regard the matter as closed. I suggest it would be more productive to explore other avenues for information rather than indulge in destructive and ill-informed criticism.

J. S. Bibby,

Macaulay Institute for Soil Research
Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen, Scotland


  • W. C. Krumbein, Journal of Geology 47 (1939).
  • P. W. Harrison, Journal of Geology 65 (1957).
  • S. B. McCann, Geol Mag., Vol. XCVIII, No. 2 (1961).
  • W.C. Krumbein, Bull. Geol Soc. Amer. li (1940).
  • W. C. Krumbein, Bull. Geol. Soc. Amer. liii (1942).
  • G. Albjarr, J. Rehn, L. Stromquist, Geografska Annaler 61A, 3-4 (1979).
  • J. S. Bibby, "Petrofabric analysis" in E. W. MacKie, Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. 276 (London, 1974).

Thomas McCreery Replies:

My attention has been drawn to J. S. Bibby's response to my original article dealing with his use of petrofabric contours at Kintraw. I must confess to being disturbed by this reply which substitutes, for the most part, ad hominem rancour in lieu of rational or informed argument. By any standards it may be regarded as a minor masterpiece of deliberate obfuscation, for it does little to answer the defects inherent in Bibby's work at Kintraw; nor does it assure us of the ability of the technique to reliably distinguish between either a natural or a man made stone formation. In my original article, I had been more concerned with exposing the limitations of his interpretation of the petrofabric contours obtained at Kintraw, feeling that these arguments alone were sufficient to dispel any illusions that he had uncovered evidence showing that the stone layer was man made. However, the ill tempered tone of his response, which consciously neglects or confuses the arguments detailed in my article, leaves me little choice but to show that Bibby, besides showing scant regard for rigour in his work at Kintraw, is confused with regard to what petrofabric analysis can and cannot accomplish.

For this purpose I have prepared a separate work which amply demonstrates that petrofabric analysis cannot be utilised as a reliable archaeological tool. I would therefore ask the reader to evaluate the points presented in that work(1) before perusing my reply to the few relevant arguments raised by Bibby.

My attention turns now to Bibby's letter, discussion of which relates to the more general question asked of his work at Kintraw. Did it provide, in Catt's and Weir's words, the "fullest exploitation and the most careful evaluation" of the stone layer at Kintraw? No amount of personalised attack, nor misrepresentation of the contents of my initial article, will obscure the conclusion that Bibby's efforts at Kintraw were mediocre and did not properly evaluate the significance of the potential clue originally excavated by MacKie.

I shall attempt to evaluate the points made by Bibby in the order in which he presented them.

a) Bibby appears unwilling to be drawn into discussion. I do not blame him, for his work at Kintraw left a lot to be desired.

b) The cheap jibe at KRONOS readership which follows, implying lack of objectivity, is in poor taste.

c) Bibby takes me to task for my "mendacious" use of quotes from W. C. Krumbein. It seems a pity that Bibby did not pay proper attention to Krumbein's words. The sentence Bibby refers to was omitted because it was redundant in the context of the next quote. I was making the obvious point that, by itself, a petrofabric contour cannot disclose all the petrofabric data that is obtained from a fabric. Neither can numerical data. Both types of presentation should be used. I note here that virtually all workers in this field, with the obvious exception of Bibby, display data in both forms.

d) I agree with Bibby that he was "comparing diagrams with diagrams". This, of course, is where he erred in methodology. But I cannot understand why he talks of texture in this context. At no time have I ever mentioned textures, so its mention here is a non sequitur. I should however point out that Bibby's comparison of the petrofabric data by visual inspection of the respective contours alone leads to error. I quote from R. P. Kirby:

"Although the point-scatter diagrams and rose diagrams usually represent the fabrics adequately, interpretation may be incorrect where the diagrams display isotropic or very weak linear distribution of the axial-plot points. It is then desirable to test for orientation statistically. The use of a statistical test has the advantages that it allows an exact amount of confidence in the results and also provides the basis for comparing results from different areas or different types of deposits. A summary of the more critical tests in this context is given by Miller and Kahn (1962). The most commonly used method is the chi-square test for a circular distribution described by Rusnak (1957) and Harrison (1957).

"The method is a simple one, not likely to lead to over interpretation of the data. The test decides whether there is a significant preferred orientation at a chosen level of significance and, if there is, derives the preferred orientation direction. The derived value of chi-square may be used as a crude index of fabric strength. Work incorporating this chi-square test has been published by Kirby (1961) and Andrews(1963)."(2)

As Bibby's argument centered on the visual resemblance between the two contours from Kintraw and the one from Sheephill Fort, and as they all show isotropic distribution of axis, statistical tests should have been performed. No tests were carried out by Bibby.

e) In response to my plea for statistical supplementation, Bibby assures us that he is still satisfied with his particular interpretation of the petrofabric data, and further opines that statistical analysis would only support his conclusions. If I wish to confirm these, he tells us, it is I who should recover the data from the published contours.

Two points must be made here. Firstly, it is impossible to extract all the relevant data from two of the five contours Bibby used since about 35% of the raw data is unavailable in each case. Secondly, if one wished to statistically compare the Kintraw fabric with the solifluction deposits, one finds that no raw data was presented in the earlier co-authored paper by Ragg and Bibby.

f) It would have fared better for Bibby had he not brought up the issue of the C-axes. He quotes Krumbein in the belief that this most eminent authority supports him. Let's examine what Krumbein has to say:

"Although the writer emphasized the need of two reference lines for the complete fabric of a pebble deposit, in special cases one or the other is adequate for a first approximation. Stream pebbles, for instance, usually lie with their maximum planes gently inclined, and with their long axis dipping upstream. Inasmuch as the long axis lies in or parallel to the maximum plane, the long axis alone may in ordinary circumstances be used to study imbrication. By observing the pebbles as they are measured, the need for more detailed analysis may be evaluated."(3)

Bibby miscalculated here, for he simply repeated McCann's restatement of Krumbein rather than referring to the primary source. McCann, for instance, noted:

"W. C. Krumbein (1939) has described methods of measuring and analysing the preferred orientation of pebbles in a deposit. The most common method is to use the dip direction and angle of dip of the longest axis and the maximum projection plane. However, in his analysis of the flood gravel of San Gabriel Canyon and Arroyo Seco, California, he used only the data for the long axis, which he considers sufficient under ordinary circumstances."(4)

Krumbein's position with regard to the use of the long axes, therefore, is different from the meaning imposed on it by Bibby. We accept that in routine investigations of pebble deposits, given the time limitations on the field geologist and the vast experience of geologists in this field, long axis investigation alone would suffice to show the direction of the streams depositing the pebbles, particularly when corroboration can be obtained from other sources. However these cases are totally different from that of Kintraw, which presents a unique situation. If Bibby does not think so, or does not think that all the available information should have been obtained from the Kintraw site, he is even more confused than I thought.

A further point should here be clarified, one which concerns the potential significance of the stone layer to European prehistory. Dr. MacKie had excavated the ledge at a point he believed to be the backsight of a "most important solar observatory". The total absence of any form of archaeological remains left him with the stone layer as the only potential clue. If this could somehow be proven to be man made, then European prehistory would have to be fundamentally altered. On his instructions, Bibby performed the petrofabric analysis under discussion on two sections of the layer. He then compared them visually with other contours believing, wrongly as we have seen, that this could prove the layer to be man made. Surely Bibby should have realised, given the potential importance of the stone layer, that a rigorous evaluation of the fabric was called for, rather than the incomplete and grossly inaccurate survey that was performed.

g) Bibby again tries to explain away the lack of C-axis measurements by alternatively suggesting that Krumbein's classic article implies that for the type of stone shapes found at Kintraw, C-axis investigation is not required. Krumbein, however, notes that

"Neither the long axis alone nor the maximum plane alone is sufficient to describe completely the position of the pebble in space, except in certain restricted shapes, as some disks and cylinders."(5)

The Kintraw stones, which, in Bibby's own words, were "tabular and wedge shaped", should therefore have been investigated for C-axis distributions. Consider the work in this field by another noted authority on the use of petrofabric techniques. In investigations of till deposits, P. W. Harrison placed great emphasis on the need for C-axis evaluation.

"The main elements of the microfabric selected for analysis and measurement are abundant disk- and blade-shaped particles ... These particles are of granule and small-pebble size. The main orientation parameter selected for measurement is the plane defined by the maximum projection area of a disk- or blade shaped particle."(6)

Bibby's explanation for his decision to investigate only long axes distribution at Kintraw has little to do with scientific reasons for Bibby cannot produce any. He was merely concerned with the fact that contours are essentially interpretative devices. They must be compared with other contours. Bibby wished to compare the Kintraw contours with contours obtained from soliflucted deposits, but as he had previously only obtained long axis data from these, he had nothing with which to compare the C-axes from Kintraw. So he had no reason to obtain any C-axis from Kintraw.

h) Bibby complains that I do not realise that "comparing individual samples with a population of samples is a legitimate and widely used comparative technique". But I do realise this; unfortunately it is Bibby who does not. One asks the whereabouts of Bibby's large population of samples? From his published work we read that he collected two contours from the Kintraw fabric and one from Sheephill Fort.

Bibby also claims that "the diagrams used in the appendix to MacKie's paper were illustrative of types rather than exhaustive documentation". This is total nonsense. Apart from the contour from Sheephill Fort, we are grossly ignorant of the types of contour that could be obtained from man-arranged stone horizons. It may well be that the Sheephill Fort contour is quite exceptional, being out with the general range of such contours, so any claim that the Sheephill Fort contour is illustrative of type is of the purest conjecture.

i) Bibby claims that editors would not thank him for being exhaustive with material. This is more nonsense, for Bibby has no exhaustive material on this subject. His statement is a pitiful apology for the abject lack of information proffered by him.

j) Bibby notes that I did not like the manner in "which the material was collected". The methods outlined and used by Krumbein are the most correct and rigorous procedures in evaluating petrofabric data. Other workers in the field follow Krumbein in referencing fabric material in situ before transporting it back to the laboratory for more detailed investigation. Bibby quotes two supposed sources in support of his isolated position, but reference to these shows that they are both quite ambiguous on the matter of whether the experimental work was carried out in situ. G. Albjarr, et al. state:

"Conventional surveying techniques were used to study the talus slope morphometry. The detailed studies on particle orientation were made within sample areas along the centre axis of the talus cones. In each sample area, a random sample of at least 50 particles was made. The dip and orientation along the a and b axis of the particles were measured. The true dip and orientation were later determined by plotting on a Schmidt net (Johansson 1965 p. 53). The particle size is expressed as the mean of the three perpendicular a, b and c axis of the particles."(7)

McCann notes:

"Measurements of pebble orientation were made at Corran, samples being taken at sites A and B in the main deposit, and at site C on the eastern side of the loch ... Dip direction and angle of dip of the long axes of individual pebbles are plotted on a polar co-ordinate grid, and the two properties are shown separately on histograms. The dip direction histogram is in the form of a 'rose' diagram, with the dip direction expressed as a percentage frequency within twelve classes of 30 degree interval."(8)

A reading of these leaves unanswered Bibby's claim that they did not utilise laboratory investigation.

k) I confess to a total inability at understanding the reason behind Bibby's claim that his methodology for obtaining petrofabric contours "is an accepted method with a statistically sound basis and [he] make[s] no apologies for using it". I have tried to examine this statement from a number of different viewpoints as follows:

1) If Bibby is trying to say that petrofabric contours based on sampling 100 items in each horizon is statistically sound, I would agree, for it is normal practice.

2) If he is trying to say that the method used by him in obtaining the long axis, and consequently the angle of dip, by reliance on visual inspection only is statistically sound, then this is a non sequitur, for it is quite meaningless.

3) If he is trying to assert that the way he compared contours is statistically sound then he is wrong, for as Krumbein has noted: "petrofabric diagrams are essentially interpretive devices"; and thus visual inspection of such contours cannot constitute a statistical method.

l) What Bibby considers my "misunderstanding" is actually his. As already indicated, one cannot compare contours in this manner. If Bibby wishes to quibble about the claim that he compared the Kintraw deposit with other hill slope deposits, it should be pointed out - as I did in my original article - that comparison of the Kintraw deposit with those from Broadlaw is not consistent with normal petrofabric comparisons, for both Broadlaw and Kintraw represent totally dissimilar geological environments. Had Bibby and MacKie wished to compare the Kintraw fabric with similar types, they should have excavated other stone horizons in the Kintraw area especially since this region abounds in ledges similar to the one overlooking the megalithic site.

I make no apologies for using the Cary outwash pebble contour in my original article. It is true that the Cary outwash was formed under different geological conditions from the stone layer at Kintraw, but so were the solifluction deposits at Broadlaw and the man-arranged fabric at Sheephill Fort. It is therefore agreed that comparison between any of these sites in the context of petrofabric evaluation is meaningless. But then I only used the Cary contour precisely in order to illustrate the errors in Bibby's criteria for determining whether a given fabric could be of natural or artificial genesis.

I do, however, offer one apology. Bibby did not state that "natural formations always show strong orientations relative to the slope in which they are situated". Those were my own words - but they merely paraphrase Bibby's:

"In the diagram derived from scree there is a marked association both with direction of slope and with its inclination; this trend is even more apparent in the diagram representing the structure within the soliflucted stone pavement."(9)

My paraphrasing is thus consistent with Bibby's text. My only error was to attribute the term "natural formations" to Bibby rather than to myself.

m) Bibby suggests that it would be more productive to explore other avenues than to indulge in "destructive and ill-informed criticism". I accept that my criticism was destructive - but only of Bibby's methodology (or lack of it). I would, on the other hand, claim that it is Bibby who is uninformed. I have explored other evidence in this field and the results indicate that the Kintraw stone pavement could not have been man-made. But first, consider the following petrofabric data which strongly conflicts with Bibby's interpretation.

The two figures presented below are rose diagrams. They show indications of long axis distribution and, following McCann, are taken as percentage frequencies within thirty degree segments. They clearly indicate that the orientation inherent in the No. 2 Kintraw fabric is markedly different from that of the Sheephill Fort fabric.

[*!* Image]

[Figs: The data for the "rose diagrams" presented above were abstracted from J.S. Bibby's article "Petrofabric analysis" (Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. A. 276 (1974), p. 192. Diagram (A) shows that the distribution of long axes in the Kintraw No. 2 fabric is nearly normal to the angle of slope of the ledge, whereas the distribution of long axes in the Sheep Hill Fort fabric is vertically parallel to the angle of slope. Thus the distribution of long axes in these two fabrics is markedly different, and shows that the forces arranging the fabrics were also different.

Labels: (a) from Kintraw No 2 fabric. Direction (angle) of slope, 240-degrees. (B) from Sheep Hill Fort fabric. Direction (angle) of slope, 163-degrees].

In the foregoing, as also in my accompanying article, I have demonstrated why petrofabric analysis cannot be used to distinguish between a natural or artificial genesis of the stone layer at Kintraw. I have, once again, exposed the numerous limitations in Bibby's methodology. Before concluding this somewhat lengthy reply, I wish to draw attention to new information which incontrovertibly proclaims the Kintraw platform as not man-made. I speak here not of the absence of archaeological material on the ledge, which itself is a strong indictment of the so-called importance of the ledge to the megalithic builders at Kintraw, but to the fact that the ledge could not have been used for the series of observations needed to establish Kintraw as an accurate solstitial observatory.

According to Thom, the ledge must have been used as the observing platform because the proposed foresight - i.e., the col between the mountains Beinn Shiantaidh and Beinn a'Chaolais - is obscured by the nearby ridge as seen from the actual megalithic site below. But even from the platform itself, terrestrial refraction effects coupled with the presence of this ridge make observation of the col very difficult. In fact, it may be visible or invisible depending on the observer's eye level. Nor is this the only problem. A more serious one exists for those who propose it as the observing platform on which the primary backsight at the boulder notch was established. For this purpose, a series of preliminary observations of the Sun setting in the col would have to have been made by Megalithic man on the days immediately before and after midwinter's day. It is a simple matter to calculate where these observations would have been conducted on the ledge. But on repeating the experiment, my colleagues and I found that, at these positions, the col is always invisible - irrespective of the observer's eye level. We noted:

"It is quite clear, therefore, that the series of observations which Thom's theory requires could no more have been made on the ledge than from the field beside the menhir itself."(10)

Thus the hypothesis that the ledge could have functioned as a prehistoric observing platform is in error. This leaves no known reason why the megalith builders at Kintraw would have been interested in constructing a stone platform on the ledge - thus Bibby's exercise on this ledge was merely one of futility.


1. T. McCreery, "Petrofabric Analysis: An Unreliable Archaeological Tool", elsewhere in this issue.
2. R. P. Kirby, "Till Fabric Analyses from the Lothians, Central Scotland," Geog Annaler 51 A (1969), p. 51.
3. W. C. Krumbein, "Flood Gravels of San Gabriel Canyon, California," Bulletin of the Geological Society of America 51 (1940), p. 653.
4. S. B. McCann, "Supposed 'Raised Beach' Deposits at Corran, Loch Linnhe and Loch Etive," Geological Magazine XCVIII 2 (1961), p. 135.
5. W. C. Krumbein, "Preferred Orientation of Pebbles in Sedimentary Deposits," Journal of Geology 47, 7 (1939), p. 679.
6. P. W. Harrison, "A Clay-till Fabric: Its Character and Origin," Journal of Geology 65 (1957), p. 275.
7. G. Albjarr, et al., "Notes on Talus Formation in Different Climates," Geog Annaler 61 A (1979), p. 179.
8. S. B. McCann, loc. cit.
9. J. S. Bibby, op. cit., p. 193.
10. T. McCreery, et al., "Observations at Kintraw," Astronomy in the Old World (Cambridge, 1982), pp. 183-190; reprinted elsewhere in this issue.


Dwardu Cardona Comments:


For those who might not be well acquainted with the debate at issue, it might help to reiterate that the controversy in question revolves around the nature of the rubble deposit that Euan MacKie excavated on the ledge of the hill overlooking the Megalithic site of Kintraw in Scotland.(1) The excavation, in two separate seasons, was conducted in 1970 and '71 in an effort to resolve whether any human artifacts remain as proof that the ledge was ever occupied or extensively utilized by ancient man. Such a discovery would have strengthened Alexander Thom's hypothesis that the Kintraw site was used by Megalithic man as a solstitial observation post,(2) an hypothesis which MacKie ardently believes in and which he has advertised and stressed in many of his writings since 1972.(3)

Of actual artifacts, nothing was ever discovered. What came to light, instead, was a rubble pavement that looked so much like a natural deposit that a petrofabric analysis was deemed necessary in order to ascertain whether or not it had, in fact, been artificially laid down. J. S. Bibby, of the Macaulay Institute for Soil Research, was asked to conduct the analysis. The petrofabric contours obtained at Kintraw were compared to one obtained from a known man-made formation, and the verdict was reached that the Kintraw platform was the work of man.(4) Thomas McCreery has since then criticized the validity of this analysis(5) and Bibby, quite naturally, has now returned to defend his position.

Bibby, of course, was not the only one to object to McCreery's criticism. It would have been surprising had MacKie himself remained silent. Writing in 1980, MacKie was still maintaining that the results of his excavations at Kintraw "supported" Thom's hypothesis of the site "as an advanced solar observatory".(6) Concerning the platform itself, he was still convinced that "there is really very little doubt that it is artificial".(7)

"This has to be stressed because of the importance of the discovery, which in effect has provided a decisive and independent verification of Professor Thom's astronomical hypothesis..."(8)


In response to Bibby, I will begin by stating that I find nothing wrong in pursuing the discussion "with vigour". In fact, I believe that all serious discussions should be so pursued.

Bibby has stated that he had no particular wish to be drawn into the discussion. This, however, is one of the burdens of science; it is also one of the responsibilities of scientists. Obviously, Bibby must have been aware of the controversial nature inherent in Thom's and MacKie's postulate. He must have been aware that, in the absence of discovered artifacts, his analysis would prove to be the pivot on which MacKie's archaeological test was to turn. From an archaeological point of view, Bibby's analysis was the last straw MacKie could grasp. It has been the verdict reached on the strength of Bibby's test that MacKie has since touted as the all-convincing proof of the solstitial nature of the site.

Be that as it may - Bibby's verdict rests on the efficiency of the method employed as well as the employment of the method.

In his original critique, McCreery repeated W. C. Krumbein's statement that: "Conventional petrofabric analysis cannot readily be used for direct comparison with other sedimentary characteristics."(9) Bibby himself accepts Krumbein as an authority and this statement, with which Bibby first takes issue, is not contradicted by Krumbein's following qualification of which Bibby saw fit to remind us. Let not the reader be deceived. That "on the other hand, some statistical parameters fail to disclose details of sediments which may best be brought out by standard diagrams"(10) does not invalidate the preceding statement. If Bibby's reminder was not intended to muddy the water, I, for one, remain at a loss as to why Krumbein's self-imposed but non-invalidating qualification was presented. It does not rebut, nor even weaken, McCreery's argument.

Both Krumbein and McCreery claimed that it is the lack of numerical data that prohibits the direct comparison of petrofabric analysis with other sedimentary characteristics. Bibby correctly reminded us that Krumbein did not view the reliance on graphic presentation as a "criticism" of petrofabric analysis. But all three agree that numerical data would "supplement" the diagrammatic information. Thus no one is arguing this point and, again, I fail to see why Bibby brought it up. It does not change the fact that petrofabric analysis remains limited to diagrammatic interpretation and comparison.


The comparison of diagrams with diagrams, as Bibby pointed out, is helpful but let us not generalize. At the same time, let us not be selective.

Bibby compared the diagrams obtained through petrofabric analysis at the Kintraw platform to two others obtained through the same method from a scree at Broadlaw in order to show their dissimilarity - and thus purportedly prove that the Kintraw platform could not be a natural formation.(11) But, as McCreery has already shown,(12) these were not the only diagrams obtained at Broadlaw. Those obtained at Sites II and IV are entirely dissimilar to the ones that Bibby compared with Kintraw and, in fact, are quite similar to the ones from Kintraw. Bibby might very well defend himself by stating that "no editor would thank [him] for being exhaustive" in reproducing too many diagrams; but (a) science should not be concerned with the problems of editors and (b) fairness demands that all of the evidence be placed on exhibit.

Meanwhile, if petrofabric analysis can only rest its case on diagrammatic comparison, what conclusion should be reached at Broadlaw where diagrams from one stratum do not even compare with those of another immediately beneath the first?

Bibby has rested his case on the fact that the diagrams from Kintraw compare favorably with that obtained at Sheep Hill Fort. But, as indicated above, they compare just as favorably with those from Sites II and IV at Broadlaw and also with one taken from a Wisconsin terrace at Cary, Illinois. While the Sheep Hill Fort pavement has been shown to be man-made,(13) the one at Broadlaw is a scree while the Wisconsin terrace is an outwash. The pavement at Kintraw, therefore, can be shown to be just as natural a formation as the ones at Broadlaw and Illinois - for that, too, would be comparing diagrams with diagrams.


It is precisely with the above that Bibby takes greatest issue, arguing that the comparisons should be limited to hill-side deposits in order to conform to the context at Kintraw. So also MacKie:

"McCreery has searched through the literature and he illustrates formations from several petrofabric diagrams which are strikingly similar to those obtained from the Kintraw platform. Thus he seems to have destroyed the main plank in my argument about Kintraw ... The problem here of course is lack of field experience. For example, great stress is laid [by McCreery] on the remarkable similarity between a diagram obtained from an outwash of gravels in a glacial terrace in Illinois and the two from Kintraw, it being said that this kind of evidence, since it could equally show that the gravel deposit was artificial, is thus useless. However, the Kintraw hill platform is 47 m above sea level and on the steep slope of an isolated hill in a situation where no gravel terrace could be; the local raised beach [at Illinois] is lower down and nearer the sea. The comparison is thus quite invalid since it is surely obvious that only natural deposits which could occur in the same situation as the Kintraw platform can legitimately be compared with it. However, it must be admitted that some of [McCreery's] other comparisons are more plausible."(14)

That no gravel terrace could have formed at Kintraw depends on what one exactly means by "gravel terrace". The Wisconsin terrace at Illinois is a glacial formation. That the Kintraw platform could also have formed under periglacial conditions was admitted by MacKie himself.(15) Such formations are very common in the Scottish hills and it was to eliminate such a possibility that MacKie commissioned Bibby to conduct the analysis in the first place.

But to return to the hill-side context at Kintraw: The real factor involved here is the slope of the hill - for whether slopes are long enough to be termed hills, stones still roll down them as they could easily have rolled down the one at Kintraw to come to rest on the ledge which is itself a natural formation. MacKie can still object, as he has already done, that a scree deposit, like a gravel terrace, could not have formed at Kintraw(16) but Bibby, who is the soil expert MacKie so much relies upon, is of an entirely different opinion:

"In the situation at Kintraw [the platform] could also have been formed as a scree accumulation."(17)

Which is another reason why a petrofabric analysis was deemed necessary.

Now McCreery has already pointed out that the Illinois terrace slopes at 12-deg. The Sheep Hill Fort inclination slopes at only 5-deg. If this 5-deg slope at Sheep Hill Fort is considered a legitimate comparison with the 10-deg slope at Kintraw, I contend that the 12-deg slope at Illinois is even more so. In all cases stones could have rolled down these slopes; in some cases they actually have. That the stones on one of these slopes were artificially laid down does not necessarily imply that the others were also so formed.

But even if Bibby does not accept this - and really he has no reason not to - he cannot, as he has tried, ignore the comparison of the Broadlaw diagrams. For, despite his selectivity in the diagrams he chose to present, it was he who included this site for comparison with Kintraw. In fact, it is probably this latter site that MacKie himself had in mind when he admitted that some of McCreery's "other comparisons are more plausible".


Finally, with how many diagrams of known man-made formations did Bibby compare the Kintraw pavement? As he himself acknowledged: "No information was available concerning patterns produced on fabric diagrams by data drawn from man-made pavements."(18) A visit to the Sheep Hill vitrified fort was thus inevitable; and it was with the one resulting diagram from this site that the Kintraw pavement was favorably compared. McCreery, however, again quoted Krumbein - whom, we must not forget, Bibby accepts as an authority - to the effect that "single samples are of limited value for genetic study". Bibby himself had to agree that the information on man-made stone pavements is scant to say the least. In the end, Bibby could only defend his position by stating that, in the Appendix to MacKie's original paper on the subject, he used the phrase "however tentative" in relation to the favorable comparison of the Kintraw diagrams with the one from Sheep Hill Fort. And yet, on an earlier occasion, when I had already pointed this out,(19) MacKie had the audacity to accuse me of misrepresenting the evidence.(20) Well we now have it, for the second time, from Bibby's own mouth.

In his reply to McCreery's criticism, Bibby was fair enough to concede that he does not "regard the matter as closed". It is unfortunate, however, that MacKie took Bibby's report as ipse dixit, presenting this flimsy evidence as a foregone conclusion, advertising it as the all-convincing proof of the site's solstitial nature. Consider, for instance, MacKie's words:

"This discovery has dramatically confirmed Professor Thom's diagnosis of the astronomical function of the Kintraw stones and, by implication, of many other similar sites also."(21)

How dramatic is a confirmation based on a "tentative check" - Bibby's own words(22) - by a soil expert who does not "regard the matter as closed"?

It might seem unfair, of course, to burden Bibby with MacKie's misleading statements. It should, on the other hand, be pointed out that the entire science of Megalithic astronomy has been based on nothing but a series of similar misleading statements concerning measurements and sight lines which, it is steadily being discovered, are found to be wanting when rechecked by unbiased observers.

As for the Kintraw platform, McCreery has again shown, this time more decisively,(23) that petrofabric analysis is useless in the absence of corroborating evidence - that, in effect, the method is only useful as a secondary tool. What this amounts to is that, unless the Kintraw platform can be shown to be artificial through some other means, petrofabric analysis can never prove it to be so.


Petrofabric analysis is not the only issue at Kintraw. From the very first, Alexander Thom has posited sight lines and other alignments which he was forced to modify, time and again, and eventually discard. The remains of the smaller cairn on the site were mistaken by him for a standing stone ring; the remains of the kist which would have been buried beneath it were mistaken for astronomical markers; the solitary menhir was claimed to have "pointed" first to this and then to that astronomical moment; the all important foresight was blocked by the intervening ridge of Dun Arnal; the top of the larger cairn, from which the foresight would have been visible, did not allow for preliminary observations; and the ledge further up the hill from where such preliminary observations could have been conducted was unfortunately found to be the work of nature rather than man. It was at this point that Euan MacKie entered the picture to muddle it further with his archaeological excavations.(24)

The only indisputable factor at Kintraw is that retrocalculation has shown that the midwinter Sun did once graze the slope of Beinn Shiantaidh to disappear in the col between it and the neighboring Beinn a Chaolais as sometimes seen from the ledge. What must be stressed, however, is that Thom's former posited sight lines - through solid cairn, buried kist, etc.were all accurately aligned on this, as well as two other dubious phenomena. That the accuracy of these impossible and discarded alignments was due to fortuity is therefore beyond question. The one remaining alignment that both Thom and MacKie continue to hold on to can thus be surmised to be just as fortuitous since it is quite clear that a sight line to the col in question can be drawn through any number of existing stones on the site. It is in fact quite obvious that all the sight lines which have been posited at Kintraw are nothing but a stubborn attempt at finding some item which man erected or constructed that could be interpreted as an intentional "pointer" to one or another astronomical event - thus purportedly proving that Megalithic man recognized the phenomenon and took great pains to mark the spot for posterity.

As an example of this stubbornness - as also of Thom's and MacKie's perpetual modifications of sight lines and hypotheses - consider the following:

Besides the solar line we have so far discussed, Thom had also posited - and modified - a lunar alignment directed toward Dubh Beinn.(25) When I had earlier indicated the impossibility of this line, as laid out on Thom's own diagram, plus the fact that the path of the setting Moon does not follow the slope of Dubh Beinn,(26) MacKie retorted by stating that

"... the lunar lines ... are much more speculative and are not clearly marked by prehistoric features. They can safely be ignored."(27)

To which compare his more recent statement:

"These alignments were observing instruments ... not just crude orientations ... Their existence must ... clearly transform our ideas about the organisation and capabilities of British Neolithic communities. They must surely imply the existence of a professional class of observers and their existence must, moreover, make more likely that of the more controversial and sophisticated lunar alignment at the site..."(28)

As I once said of Thom's oft repeated modifications, a change of mind is acceptable but, since MacKie no longer wishes to ignore this sight line, he is reburdened with the previous objections I had raised against its acceptance.


The most prominent solitary component at Kintraw is the 12-foot high menhir. At various times and in more than one diagram, Thom has had this menhir as indicating the sight line to both Dubh Beinn and Beinn Shiantaidh.(29) It is now generally believed that the latter is its true target. According to MacKie, however, Beinn Shiantaidh is more correctly indicated by the boulder notch on the ledge, the menhir below thus merely serving "the useful function of directing the eye towards the foresight".(30)

The point to be stressed here is that if this tall menhir was meant to play such a minor role in the astronomical layout of the site, why did the so-called astronomer-priesthood go to all the trouble of selecting and erecting such a massive "pointer"? Or if such a minor function was thought worthy of a 12-foot high menhir, should one not expect the final and most important backsight on the ledge to be worthy of a marker just as, if not more, prominent?

Actually, MacKie does speak of this final marker as "a conspicuous observation point ... made from two massive boulders".(31) Unfortunately, this is a misleading embellishment, for the boulders in question are not much more than two feet high. Even Evan Hadingham, who was somewhat sympathetic toward MacKie's hypothesis, bemoaned the puniness of this marker.(32) The ruse by which MacKie has sought to deceive the unwary reader, however, remains unacknowledged since he continues to refer to this supposed backsight as "a revetment composed of two massive contiguous boulders" which form "a conspicuous and solid marker for the observation point".(33) Granted that massiveness and conspicuousness are relative qualities, it is hardly legitimate to describe a pair of two foot high boulders in these terms within the general context of Megalithic structures.


It is from between and behind these "conspicuous massive boulders" that the angular stones of Bibby's petrofabric analysis fan out to form the "artificial" pavement - which brings us back to where we started from. But now MacKie presents us with a new twist by informing us that it did not really require such an analysis to provide evidence of the platform's artificiality. According to MacKie's position:

"It should be stressed again that the artificiality of the boulder revetment and platform on the hillside at Kintraw does not depend entirely on the petrofabric evidence."(34)

It had seemed clear to MacKie from the start that (a) the boulders had been "carefully chocked into position with their pointed ends touching" to form a notch and that (b) the stone pavement had been "deliberately laid" behind these "massive boulders".(35) Again MacKie:

"I laid stress on these features in the original report because I hoped that the artificiality of the whole structure could be confirmed with quite independent evidence, as it was."(36)

Here, then, is the "other means" of identifying the platform as artificial which petrofabric analysis is now made only to corroborate - thus supposedly meeting McCreery's stipulation that fabric contours can only be used in comparative analysis if upheld by independent genetic evidence.

But when we do check MacKie's original report, we do not find the problem so expressed. On the contrary it is there stated that:

"There appear in fact to be only two plausible explanations for the stone layer [actually three, if we consider Bibby's scree accumulation]: it could either be a man-made deposit or it could be a natural platform formed under periglacial conditions."(37)

And was it not to eliminate the plausibility of the latter explanation that the petrofabric analysis was really conducted? So how dare MacKie now imply that the artificiality of the pavement had been evident from the start?

At this point one actually wonders why a pavement of loose angular stones was required on a ledge that would have been used once a year by, at most, two observers. None was deemed necessary on the actual site below, where the main congregation would have met.

In the end, of course, it does not really much matter whether the Kintraw stone pavement forms an artificial platform or not. Further tests conducted at the site by Patrick, Hastie, Moulds, and McCreery have shown that the all important solstitial notch on Jura is only visible from the platform on rare occasions under optimum atmospheric conditions. What is even worse, it still remains entirely obscured and at all times by the intervening ridge of Dun Arnal in the lateral movements which would have been necessary in the preliminary pinpointing of the actual moment of solstice sunset.(38) The position on the ledge, therefore, turns out to be of no advantage over the level site below, which originally had to be discarded in hopeful favor of the ledge above.

Quite a vicious circle.


1. E. W. MacKie, "Archaeological Tests on Supposed Prehistoric Astronomical Sites in Scotland," Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, A, 276 (1974), pp. 169-190; idem, "Megalithic Astronomy and Catastrophism," Pensée IVR X (Winter 1974-75), pp. 5-20; idem, "Megalithic Astronomy," SISR I:2 (Spring 1976), pp. 2-4.
2. A. Thom, Megalithic Sites in Britain (Oxford, 1974 corrected edition), pp. 154-156; Idem, Megalithic Lunar Observatories (Oxford, 1973 corrected edition), pp. 14, 36-38, 65, 107, 112.
3. E. W. MacKie, "Testing the Catastrophic Theory with Evidence from the Historical Sciences," read at the Lewis & Clark Velikovsky Symposium, Portland, Oregon, August 17, 1972.
4. J. S. Bibby, "Petrofabric Analysis," Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, A, 276 (1974), pp. 191-194.
5. T. McCreery, 'The Kintraw Stone Platform," KRONOS V:3 (Spring 1980), pp. 71-79.
6. E. W. MacKie, "Wise Men in Antiquity?" Astronomy and Society in Britain during the Period 4000-1500 B.C. (Oxford, 1981), p. 112 (emphasis added).
7. Ibid., p. 115.
8. Ibid.
9. W. C. Krumbein, Journal of Geology, 47 (1939), p. 674.
10. Ibid.
11. J. S. Bibby, loc. cit.
12. T. McCreery, op. cit, pp. 74-75, 77-78.
13. J. S. Bibby, op. cit, p. 193.
14. E. W. MacKie, op. cit, p. 116 (first emphasis as given, second emphasis added).
15. Idem (1974), see note No. 1, p. 183.
16. Ibid
17. J. S. Bibby, loc. cit
18. Ibid.
19. D. Cardona, "The Cairns of Kintraw," KRONOS IV:3 (Spring 1979), p. 51.
20. E. W. MacKie, "Ballochroy, Kintraw, and MacKie," KRONOS V:3 (Spring 1980), p. 81.
21. Idem, The Megalith Builders (Oxford, 1977), p. 102.
22. J. S. Bibby, loc. cit
23. T. McCreery, "Petrofabric Analysis: An Unreliable Archaeological Tool," elsewhere in this issue.
24. D. Cardona, op. cit., in toto.
25. A. Thom, "The Lunar Observatories of Megalithic Man," Vistas in Astronomy, 11, l (1969), Fig. 5; idem (1973), see note No. 2, p. 38.
26. D. Cardona, op. cit, pp. 40-43.
27. E. W. MacKie, see note No. 20, p. 82.
28. Idem, see note No. 6, p. 115 (last emphasis only added).
29. A. Thom (1974), see note No. 2, p. 156; idem, see note No. 25, Fig.5;idem (1973), see note No. 2, p. 38.
30. E. W. MacKie (1974), see note No. 1, p. 185.
31. Idem, see note No. 21, p. 102.
32. E. Hadingham, Circles and Standing Stones (N.Y., 1975), p. 113; D. Cardona, op. cit, p. 50; Idem, "Ballochroy, Kintraw, and MacKie," KRONOS V:3 (Spring 1980), p. 91.
33. E. W. MacKie, see note No. 6, p. 115.
34. Ibid., p. 116.
35. Ibid.
36. Ibid.
37. Idem (1974), see note No. 1, p. 183 (emphasis added).
38. J. Patrick, "A Reassessment of the Solstitial Observatories at Kintraw and Ballochroy," Astronomy and Society in Britain during the Period 4000-1500 B. C. (Oxford, 1981), pp. 211-219; T. McCreery, et al., "Observations at Kintraw," Astronomy in the Old World (Cambridge, 1982), pp. 183-190, reprinted elsewhere in this issue.


Some Additional Comments by Dwardu Cardona:

I did not wish to burden the scientific content of my previous commentary by the very unscientific matter to which I now wish to draw the reader's attention. But Euan MacKie's stratagem, in reverting to the age-old tactic of attempting to fault Thomas McCreery's work and mine by association, drives me to the abhorrence of having to lower my standard of ethics to his. Rather than contain the Kintraw debate within its scholarly bounds, MacKie attempted to disparage and vilify those whose criticism he wished to sweep aside. Consider the following quote from him:

"In America the followers of the catastrophic theories of Dr. I. Velikovsky (1950) also reject the Kintraw site deductively, but this time because it fits with a uniformitarian view of the solar system and therefore seems to contradict Velikovsky's ideas that the Earth was shaken by great convulsions in the 15th and 8th centuries B.C. Attacks on the significance of the site have appeared in Kronos, the propaganda magazine of the movement (Cardona 1979; McCreery 1980b)."(1)

I would have liked to have stated that the above bears close scrutiny - not so much by the so-called "followers" of Dr. Velikovsky but by MacKie's own peers and colleagues. It has come to my attention, however, that MacKie's unscholarly ruse did not go unnoticed by those who share his interest in matters Megalithic. Even Douglas Heggie, hardly a supporter of Velikovsky, but very much an authority on Megalithic science, was moved to state:

"In his own paper Euan MacKie laments at some length the careless way in which his ideas have been treated by some reviewers. And yet MacKie himself is not entirely scrupulous, a critical article on Kintraw being stigmatized for having appeared in the 'propaganda magazine' of the Velikovsky movement, a fact quite irrelevant to the arguments the paper uses."(2)

What if his own colleagues were to turn the tables on MacKie? For, after all, is not MacKie himself guilty of the very same usage of which he accuses McCreery and myself?

Did not one of MacKie's own articles, dealing with the very same issues, appear in Pensée?(3) And was not Pensée, before its demise, devoted to the reevaluation of the theories of the same Dr. I. Velikovsky? Does not MacKie consider Pensée to have been "the propaganda magazine" of the very same "movement" he accuses KRONOS of being?

Did not another of MacKie's articles, a shorter version of the one in Pensée, appear in the Society for Interdisciplinary Studies Review?(4) And is not this magazine also devoted to the re-evaluation of Velikovsky's theories? Does not MacKie consider the SISR another "propaganda magazine" of the same "movement"?

More than that, is not MacKie an actual founding father of the Society for Interdisciplinary Studies whose very aim was stated to be the encouragement of "a rational assessment" of the contribution to science by Immanuel Velikovsky?(5)

Was it not MacKie who wrote an article in defence of Velikovsky in the New Scientist in which he stated that "it is difficult to see how there can be any further justification for refusing to consider and actively to test [Velikovsky's] ideas - no matter how unpalatable they may seem"?(6)

Did not MacKie posit certain non-uniformitarian objections to his own work and did not his associates raise a hellish fuss in reminding this very writer of them?(7)

MacKie might retort that he has had a change of mind in all this - as notice his near-praise of Velikovsky's critics in his review of Scientists Confront Velikovsky.(8) But then why did he object so vehemently, as also did his associates, when I took him to task for having attempted to disprove one of Velikovsky's tenets through the use of Megalithic astronomy?(9)

So what does it mean to have one's work published by a periodical, be it KRONOS or the SISR, whose aim is the scientific re-evaluation of Velikovsky's theories?

MacKie's cheap swipe at KRONOS isn't even an original cop-out for he was merely parroting the words of John B. Carlson, Editor of The Bulletin of The Center for Archaeoastronomy: "Reader beware - the journal in which [McCreery's article] appears, KRONOS, is an avowedly pro-Velikovsky publication"(10) as if to imply that KRONOS is an unscientific journal of ill-repute.

Readers at large - and I do hope MacKie's colleagues take note of this - can judge for themselves which periodical functions under the better ethics, for when MacKie objected to the treatment of his work by this very writer, KRONOS lived up to its standards by printing MacKie's letter as well as that of his associates.(11) Not so with the Society MacKie helped to found for when I, in turn, objected to an SISR editorial review for the way they slanted the earlier outcome of the debate in question, the editors of that erstwhile periodical flatly refused to publish my letter.(12)

MacKie's attempt to slander the periodical on which I serve as a senior editor was only a smoke screen intended to camouflage the validity of the criticism levelled at his work. It will not do to label KRONOS a "propaganda magazine" of the Velikovsky "movement", for KRONOS has never shied away from publishing criticisms of Velikovsky by its readers, its staff, and this very writer. MacKie should be well aware of this for my very first effort in that vein was stimulated by his own remarks.(13) Besides, as I had already pointed out, I totally agree with him in his belief that Velikovsky's hypothesis needs to be modified(14)so that it was an intentional and vicious sin of omission not to take this into consideration when he attempted to fault my work by associating it solely with that of Dr. Velikovsky.

MacKie can argue that, although his articles on Kintraw appeared in Pensée and the SISR, they were not meant to further or corroborate the Velikovskian hypothesis. Lest he be laboring under a misapprehension, neither was my criticism of them. Even so, as I have already pointed out to him once, so shall l repeat now: If he expects Velikovsky's theory to be modified on the basis of Megalithic astronomy, he will first have to prove that this science is based on solid foundations.


On May 6, 1981, the following letter was sent to the editors of the SISR:


I have been an overseas member of the SIS from its inception. During this time I have held the Society's Review in high esteem. Granted, I have taken two of its contributors to task in the past, but this was done in the name of scholarship and without malice. It therefore pains me that I find it necessary to lodge the following protest.

In the "Horizons" section of SISR IV:4, it is stated that: "The 'Forum' section [of KRONOS V:3] includes letters from Dr. Euan MacKie and the editors of the SISR correcting the impression given by Dwardu Cardona in an earlier KRONOS that MacKie's work on megalithic observatories was an attempt to 'disprove' Velikovsky's theories; these are followed by ripostes from Cardona and McCreery."

I maintain that nothing of the sort appeared in KRONOS V:3. What appeared instead was an attempt by MacKie and the SISR editors to correct Cardona. Cardona's "riposte", appearing in the same issue, justified his original stand.

I do not mean to be harsh, so allow me to explain.

In the first place it should be pointed out that the original articles were mainly concerned with a criticism of megalithic astronomy where MacKie's attempted disproval of Velikovsky was presented as a side issue.

In the second, I believe I have shown, both in the original articles and in the above mentioned "riposte", that MacKie did in fact utilize his and Thom's megalithic discoveries in an attempt to disprove Velikovsky's theories.

Now I have already agreed with MacKie that Velikovsky's theories do need to be criticized - and severely. I have taken Velikovsky to task myself and I will continue to do so. But not on the basis of megalithic astronomy.

So what are we arguing about?

Let's put it this way. How would James and the SISR have felt had KRONOS stated that "SISR I:3 included an article by Alfred de Grazia correcting the impression given by Peter J. James in an earlier issue that Velikovsky's identification of Aphrodite as the Moon was incorrect" and that "this was followed by a riposte from James"?

In the issue at hand, I believe that the Review should have presented the facts and left it up to its readers (and those of KRONOS) as to who corrected whom.


Dwardu Cardona

On July 21, 1981, R. M. Lowery, Editor of the SISR, replied. Stating that the members of the SIS were "assumed to share [the editors'] prejudices", the editorial consensus of the SISR was that the above letter should not be published. Moreover, the editors' decision was to be considered final.(15)

MacKie's more recent swipe at KRONOS and Velikovsky not only vindicates my original accusation, it also tarnishes those editors of the SISR who continue to champion such cheap scholarship - as it must also tarnish any members of the SIS whose "prejudices" are allowed to be "assumed" by said editors without protest.

Final Note

In December of 1982 the refused letter was acknowledged by the SISR's sister organ, the SIS Workshop (labelled March 1982), through the publication of a second protest by this writer.(15) This was followed by a riposte from Lowery and James.


1. E. W. MacKie, "Wise Men in Antiquity?" Astronomy and Society in Britain during the Period 4000-1500 B. C. (Oxford, 1981), pp. 115-116.
2. D. C. Heggie, Review of the published proceedings of the Newcastle Conference, Archaeoastronomy Supplement to JHA, 4 (1982) 568-70 (Emphasis added).
3. E. W. MacKie, "Megalithic Astronomy and Catastrophism," Pensée IVR X (Winter 1974-75), pp. 5-20.
4. Idem, "Megalithic Astronomy," SISR I:2 (Spring 1976), pp. 24.
5. "Draft Constitution," item 2(k), Interdisciplinary Study Group (later, the Society for Interdisciplinary Studies) Newsletter 2 (September 1975), p. 3.
6. E. W. MacKie, "A Challenge to the Integrity of Science?" New Scientist (Jan. 11, 1973), in toto (Emphasis added).
7. R. M. Lowery and P. J. James, "Ballochroy, Kintraw, and MacKie," KRONOS V:3 (Spring 1980), pp. 83-86.
8. E. W. MacKie, "A Heretic in His Time?" New Scientist (Sept. 14, 1978), in toto.
9. Idem, "Ballochroy, Kintraw, and MacKie," see note No. 7, p. 80; R. M. Lowery and P. J. James, loc. cit.
10. J. B. Carlson, The Bulletin of The Center for Archaeoastronomy II:4 (Fall 1979), p. 22. (NOTE: This particular article by McCreery - "Megalithic Lunar Observatories A Critique" - appeared in KRONOS V:1 (Fall 1979), pp. 47-63 and V:2 (Winter 1980), pp. 6-26.)
11. See note No. 9.
12. R.M.Lowery to D.Cardona, July 21, 1981, official communiqué.
13. D. Cardona to E. W. MacKie, Sept. 10, 1973, private communiqué; E. W. MacKie to D. Cardona, Sept. 18, 1973, private communiqué; D. Cardona to E. W. MacKie, Oct. 16, 1973, private communiqué. (NOTE: This correspondence resulted in the writing of my first critique of Dr. Velikovsky - "The Problem of the Frozen Mammoths," KRONOS I:4 (Winter 1976), pp. 77-85.)
14. D. Cardona, "Ballochroy, Kintraw, and MacKie," see note No. 7, p. 88.
15. Idem, "Pots and Kettles," SIS Workshop 4:4 (March 1982), pp. 38-39.

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