'A grossly misleading jumble of fanciful inventions'
Six years ago, I did my own survey of a site on Maunganui Bluff, north of Dargaville, where Martin Doutre claimed he foudn evidence of a 4000-year-old stone-circle astronomical observatory.
My measurements and map plotting identified clear examples of misrepresentation of what was on the ground. I concluded that one of his photos was faked and that his claims of astronomical precision were wrong.
The site comprises nothing more than a random configuration of large and small stones lying fairly much where the volcano dumped them 20 million years ago.
Mr Doutre's claimed network of ancient stone surveying sites is just a collection of rough chance alignments of mostly natural features. My detailed critique of his work was published in two articles in the Auckland Astronomical Society Journal, July and August 2003.
His work is a grossly misleading jumble of fanciful inventions and fabrications dressed up to look like careful science, and has sucked in many impressionable people. It cannot be taken seriously.
Bill Keir is clearly no stranger to the nutcrushing business. Besides dealing to Doutre, he's also made what is perhaps the definitive critique of Ross Wiseman's claims that Phoenicians once inhabited New Zealand.
As Edward Ashby has pointed out in this comments thread, Martin Doutre has lashed out at his growing army of critics, presenting them as 'politically correct' pawns in some sort of sinister conspiracy. The man's Christmas card list must be getting fairly short.
*For some inaccessible reason, the letters to the editor that appear in the hardcopy Herald don't make it to the paper's website - I'm trying, then, to reproduce them here. I'm not the most assiduous reader of the Herald - I try to scan it in the local cafe, rather than coughing up a dollar eighty for the increasingly limited job listings and the increasingly cantankerous columnists - so I urge anybody who spots interesting letters I've missed to type them up and post them in the comment boxes of this blog.