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In 1851, Hiram de Witt, of Springfield, Massachusetts, accidentally dropped a fist sized piece of gold bearing quartz that he had brought back from California.
The rock broke apart in the fall, and inside it de Witt found a 2" cut iron nail, slightly corroded.
An "iron instrument" apparently resembling the bit of a coal drill, was found inside a lump of coal taken from an excavation in Scotland in 1852 (Scotland again! It was at first supposed that a miner had broken his drill while working the seam and had left the piece of metal embedded there.
But the surface of the coal was unbroken: it showed no signs of drilling or any present or former opening by which the drill might have passed into it's interior.
If such a thing were not quite impossible, according to every date in the geology text books, observers would have to believe that the coal would somehow have formed around the mysterious piece of metal.
How a stonemason's yard equipped with the kind of tools used in France in the late18th century, had come to be buried 50 feet deep under layer of sand and limestone 300 million years old is a question even more vexing today than at the time of the original discovery.Occasionally the "sawing cable" got stuck on one of the metal spheres embedded in the pyrophyllite.