Far from the Columbia

The following paragraph was diverted into Akismet’s spam trap:

Mr. Owsley, then, may be right after all. The Kennewick case is about “American history.” But perhaps not quite in the way he intended. Our route to the ancient history of the continent is troubled by the history of the last five hundred years. Past relationships haunt the current dispute. Sometime this fall, Magistrate Jelderks will decide how best to dispose of the ancient remains. When the case is closed, Kennewick Man likely will have taught us nearly as much about who we are as a people as about who the people were who dwelled on the banks of the Columbia River nine thousand years ago.

This being far more coherent than the usual sort of comment-spam text, I suspected that it had been swiped, and in about 45 seconds I had the source: “Bones of Contention” by Ann Fabian, in the January ’01 issue of Common-place.

Its relevance to the post for which it was intended, which had to do with the Incredible Shrinking Paper Package, is of course nil. And a quick check of the intended link (on wordpress.com) revealed that the account in question had already been TOS’ed.

As for the remains of Kennewick Man, Wikipedia reports that they’re now in the custody of the University of Washington, and that the US Army Corps of Engineers, on whose land they were found, is considered the legal owner.


  1. Dick Stanley »

    29 June 2013 · 9:22 pm

    It is more sophisticated, cutting and pasting, than the usual, misspelled and grammatically wrong, tripe the spammers use. And it also takes time to read to make sure it’s not actually real. The Corps may hold the remains, but I have read that they are placating the tribes by refusing to let the scientists examine them.

  2. CGHill »

    29 June 2013 · 9:56 pm

    I’ve seen instances where random sub-Lorem ipsum garble has surrounded bits of plagiarized text, but I think this is the first I’ve seen — which doesn’t mean that it’s the first one that ever came in, since not reading spam is a priority around here — that went Full Swipe. (You never go Full Swipe.)

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