In one of my volunteer activities I help staff a small museum which has displays and artifacts about Ohio history. One of the amusing stories is about the Newark (Ohio) holy stones, 'discovered' in an excavation of an Indian mound in 1860, and believed by some at the time to be proof that the 10 Lost Tribes of Israel had come to Ohio and built the Indian earthworks in the Ohio Valley. Don't worry, it was a fraud, pulled off as a hoax by someone who no doubt had a big laugh. I had seen the pictures many times before over the last ten years, but for the first time I actually looked a little closer and noticed the tetragrammaton on one of the supposed 'artifacts'! LOL, there it is, plain as day!
Newark Holy Stones with the tetragrammaton
I wonder why people try to pull off these Hoaxes, but they must have a certain knowledge to do so.
It may be just to show up those. like the LDS/Mormons and their silly claims, but sometimes it seems that such people have an even stranger motive, they really believe the nonsense, and feel if they provide the "proof" it is helping their cause.
I am sure the above is true of the Christians who faked the entry in Josephus about Jesus of Nazareth. As there is no actual genuine contemporary writing about J. of Naz. they felt obliged to provide the "proof".
it seems that such people have an even stranger motive, they really believe the nonsense, and feel if they provide the "proof" it is helping their cause.
I in all honesty believe that is the case with some people, its weird but a phenomenon in religious cults.
In the case of the Newark Stones (way back in 1860) no one ever admitted to the hoax, so it is a bit of a mystery, and one of the interesting side-diversions on Ohio history. Thanks for the interest; I get a kick out of this old stuff.