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Yesterday there was a tough challenge to the readers of this blog – that of identifying some clues left by Conan Doyle as to his authorship of this fantastically important document.

The fake Drake Plate of Brass

The false foundation document of the British Empire found in Larkspur, CA.

Drake Plate of Brass with cleaned text

The Drake Plate of Brass easy to read cleaned text.

A cleaned up copy of the Drake Plate of Brass showing the text more clearly so it can be read and understood more easily. This is quite different from the usual copying out in a modern font which loses the spatial relationships.

The Drake Plate of Brass literally claims the western half of the North American continent as belonging to England. It was the first claim made in North America by the English and thus the foundation document of the British Empire, the greatest empire, to date, on planet Earth. Now that’s a fantastic claim. Unfortunately, the Drake Plate in the form found in 1936 on a hillside of Larkspur, California, is a fake. It was proven to be unquestionably a fake by the nano-chemist Walter Alvarez, famed for  his work on the Chicxulub meteorite impact that killed off the dinosaurs, by his chemical analysis of the rare earth components of the plate. Elements that should have been in the range of 300 to 500 parts per billion, as brass of the 1500s would have been, were in the range of 3 parts per billion as a modern process of making brass would produce. His work was being done about the time I was digging for Drake’s buried treasure, and I was using the plate as a fixed point on my self generated treasure map. It was then I stopped digging and spent a month trying to figure out who created the Drake Plate and it turned to be far more interesting than a well done student prank.

Drake Plate of Brass by Sir Conan Doyle

Here is Sir Conan Doyle written out snake-like.

People will argue that no one writes their name in a snake-like way and there is an extra stroke in one letter. The letter O in DOYLE is actually there it just doesn’t show very well in this un-doctored photograph. There is an extra stroke in the first E of FREELY which ideally would have been a C, but with the other problems of making all these letters arrange into Elizabethan English, it couldn’t be done. Also, it gives Doyle a way out if he were caught.

Drake Plate of Brass detail of top left cornor

Doyle begins his hoaxes with his personal name encoded

Doyle signs his hoaxes several times and in the most prominent places, such as the beginning, at the end and in the middle. There are many ways to encode a name, but they must be subtle enough that they don’t reveal themselves on ordinary casual viewing. Also, they must be obscure enough that seeing a single one of these will not cause a stir. It is only when there are several of these peculiar items all pointing to the same thing that it becomes obvious that they couldn’t have been there by chance and therefore had to be placed there with careful forethought. The beginning of the document in this case is BEE IT KNOWNE UNTO ALL = By Conan Doyle = say it phonetically and it works. The word following is MEN, which is not shown in this detail, but the king’s men are also known by the title Sir and thus we have By Conan Doyle Sir.

Drake Plate of Brass with the CC signature

Note the CC title before Francis Drake's name.

The CC wouldn’t mean a thing unless we were looking for links to Conan Doye and then it becomes obvious because C = see and that means to con, to look and the second C also means to see and that is what Doyle’s name means in French and thus CC also becomes Conan Doyle.

Drake Plate of Brass by the grace of god

By the grace of God ... but that isn't what it says.

There is the tiniest possible chin stroke on the letter G and thus this GOD becomes COD or, by your permission, COnan Doyle.

Drake Plate of Brass detail showing June 17 1579

Doyle's Sherlock goes to the local newspaper - The SF Chronicle, but when.

Several times Sherlock Holmes, Doyle’s creation, found a critical piece of information in the local newspaper. Could it be possible that there would be something in the local newspaper relevant to the Drake Plate? That would be the logical where, but when? That is obvious too, June 17th 1579, but is obviously wrong, so what would be the right date, June 17, 1957 or June 17, 1975? Fortunately, for me, the plate was discovered in 1936 so I didn’t waste much time on that thought, but then, just perhaps Doyle would have slightly encoded the date. Ah ha – the word THESE is sort of misspelled as THERE and that could possibly mean the number three. But we need another number. Could the BY mean the number two, like bi in bicycle? If we cross out the 57 which doesn’t work and continue with the 23 we would have June 17, 1923. Fortunately for me at the time I was in Berkeley and it was easy to go the the library and check the microfilm record of the San Francisco Chronicle for that date. On page one of the news was “Doyle” associated with “hoaxes” and “faking” – in a separate article it mentioned that a reporter was honored to have an interview with Doyle because he was exhausted from walking around Mt Tamalpais all day. It is near the base of that mountain where the plate was found thirteen years later.

Doyle Faking SF Chronicle

San Francisco Chronicle June 17, 1923. Click picture for bigger view.

Copied from the San Francisco Chronicle from June 17,1923, showing the article Doyle Can’t Show Dinosaur Hoaxes: Inventors quarrel over who originated faking, about Conan Doyle’s faking. That wording is indicative especially because of the use of the rare words hoaxing and faking. The term faking is a strange link because the word fake is the last word on the plate. CC Francis Drake = Look see frank is d fake. Also, there is a second article about Doyle from June 1st, Spirit Medium Defended by Conan Doyle, when he was interviewed, which includes his going to Mt Tamalpais where the Plate was discovered 13 years later.

As I have said repeatedly, any one of these strange relationships taken singly means nothing other than coincidence, but taken together they strongly imply intentional arrangement.

There is an article Who made Drake’s plate of brass? Hint: it wasn’t Francis Drake, in the California Historical Quarterly March 22, 2002 which is loaded with pomp and official bluster from once high ranking personages, but if read carefully there isn’t any testable evidence, only claims. If those prominent people really knew it was a hoax why did they let their friend Bolton pay Shinn, the discover of the plate, enough money for the fake Plate for him to purchase a new house? The obvious reason is that all of these conversations of so called proofs were based on hearsay.