The Controversy about the Plate's Authenticity
The owner of this website had the opportunity to meet separately with Mr. Peter Hanff, President of The Bancroft Library and with Mr. Edward Von Der Porten, Former Head of the Drake Navigator's Guild. These two men were instrumental in creating the controversy surrounding the authenticity of the Plate of Brass. They conducted several press conferences since 1974 where they raised questions of the Plate's authenticity and they alone promoted the notion that the Plate of Brass was created as part of a hoax played on Dr. Herbert Bolton of UC Berkeley by the fraternal organization known as E. Clampus Vitas. There has never been any corroboration by anyone that their claims are true.
I met with Mr. Von Der Porten in the year 2000 at the beginning of the quest. I approached him in an effort to enlist his help in the recovery effort. Much to my surprise, he abruptly informed me in an almost threatening manner, that I shouldn't tell anyone about what I had discovered because they would think I was crazy. That was the end of the conversation!
I met with Peter Hanff in July 2002 to discuss my discovery of the "Tools" that could transform his "worthless fake" back into a "priceless artifact". After having a metallurgical assay performed on one of the "Tools" at his request, Mr. Hanff would never take my calls again! To make matters worse, in February 2003, Mr. Hanff and Mr. Von Der Porten held a joint press conference which promised to reveal new information about the Plate of Brass. In reality, their press conference was nothing more than a repeat of their same old story about the "hoax".
THE REACTIONS OF BOTH MR. HANFF AND MR. VON DER PORTEN ARE SUSPICIOUS AT BEST! STATE AND FEDERAL AUTHORITIES SHOULD INVESTIGATE THE CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING THE PLATE OF BRASS CONTROVERSY. PERHAPS THESE MEN HAD SOMETHING TO DO WITH THE SUBSTITUTION OF A "WORTHLESS FAKE" IN PLACE OF THE "PRICELESS ARTIFACT".
MR. ROBERT POWER WAS THE PRESIDENT OF THE CALIFORNIA HISTORICAL SOCIETY (CHA) IN THE 1970s. THE CHA CO-OWNED THE PLATE WITH THE BANCROFT LIBRARY AND MR. POWER WAS AWARE THAT FOUL PLAY HAD OCCURRED.
1976 Letter from Dr. Cyril Stanley Smith