By Steven & Evan Strong
Special Thanks to Jon Wyatt
All of this comes down to determining if Frederic Slater is a man who is honest in character, and whether his claim that he is able to interpret stone-age picturegrams found all over the planet is actually true. If he is telling the truth then his written reports, in particular his major work Scribes of the Stone Age, changes literally everything we know about our evolution, history and reason for existing. If he is lying, as many recent critics insist, he is a rogue and shameful liar.
The fundamental problem is that all recent condemnations have nothing to do with what he actually wrote and everything to do with who he supposedly is. It has been claimed by present-day critics that Frederic Slater is “not an academic” nor is he a “scholar” and he was “not widely recognised.” In what only confirmed his lack of credibility and devious intentions was that his “family does not take anything he has done in archaeology (or many other areas) seriously AT ALL.” We cannot be certain as to whether his entire family communally yelled the words “at all,” or the author added the capital letters as a crude literary device. Regardless, through a combination denigration and disdain, the inference is that ‘All’ his written work, although totally unknown and unseen, is false and no more than a serialised journey into pure fantasy and deceitful fabrication.
What we do find as fascinating as it is contradictory is the second half of Richard Slater’s critique of his ancestor, while expressing “concerns about Slater’s credibility” he also openly admitted “that I am confident that he knew an awful lot about Indigenous people including their myths.” And it is at this juncture there is a need to pause and reflect upon the first actual mention of the content and research he undertook. To begin by insisting “he knew an awful lot” is a by any academic standard a recommendation that stands above everything else. Whether or not he is widely known and a scholar, as is the case with the amateur who discovered the ‘mythical’ remains of Troy, has no relevance in deciding the authenticity of any archaeology. What is undeniably true is that many great scientists of the past were often beset by insecurities, were lacking social graces and regarded as being awkward or even loopy. That is an incontestable historical scientific fact, but as to whether Slater had similar personal failings, we believe that allegation is clearly not true, it is no more than a carefully constructed lie of convenience through censorship. The underlying intention is simple, by sullying his character it inevitably taints all of his research, papers and books, and by association, the sacred sites and incredibly ancient wisdom he translated all becomes collateral damage.
What we now know to be utterly true, which is substantially due to the extensive investigation of a variety of sources by Jon Wyatt, is that Frederic Slater was an extremely intelligent, compassionate and highly connected person whose profession was based around a passion for finding and accurately reporting the truth.
The Real and Unreal Frederic Slater
According to the critics, Slater fails the credibility test four times over. They claim he is not an academic or scholar and does not have the observational or literacy skills to be taken seriously. He fabricated his results, he had no base or source upon which to make many sensational bogus claims. Because of these many character flaws he was neither “widely recognised” nor taken seriously by his colleagues. Their problem is they have not quoted from any pre-World War 2 publication written by Slater or anyone else who is complaining about his work. Asking family members over seventy years after he passed on just doesn’t measure up. What only adds to the intrigue is that even before Jon found so much more written about Slater, we already had plenty.
What Jon found primarily related to what his family dismissively referred to as “many other areas,” and in every instance he only got ticks and gold stars.
When assessing his academic prowess, it spreads all over the east coast of Australia for forty years. The first known publication written by Slater is mentioned in 1897, we are not sure of the content but assume when referencing the title, Sea Foam and Passion Flowers, it was either fictional or poetic. In the first decade of the twentieth century, he had two poems published in Rockhampton Capricorn along with composing two comedic operas (Nell of the Navy and Whirl of the World in 1908), but these are merely entrees for the main literary event. In another press clipping Jon sent us there is the mention of “another book” titled “Sins of the Father” being “published by Angus and Robinson.” His skills in writing were considerable and diverse and from just before the turn of the twentieth century till halfway through the 1930’s, Slater was the editor and chief journalist of four newspapers. Beginning in 1898 at Charters Towers, then Gulgong, followed by a longer stint at Gladstone, then another step up at Newcastle where he was publicly commended for doubling the paper’s readership, Slater’s career in being both an editor and journalist was in a constant ascent. So much so that after his success at Newcastle he was offered and accepted a post as a senior journalist in the Sydney Sun. In what was yet another surprise Slater also wrote for the opposing Sydney tabloid. This was yet another successful posting, as he was referred to in the press as a “well-known Sydney journalist,” and more importantly from our perspective, the public knew him as not just a journalist but also “the man who could interpret Aboriginal picturegrams.”
It is nigh on impossible to understand how it is that today it is agreed amongst his many critics Slater was an uneducated nobody desperately trying to attract attention by any means available. But the truth is he is four times an editor and six times a journalist of the highest calibre. We have more than thirty individual clippings mentioning his name, and not once is their doubt, critique or vilification to be found. It has to be remembered that the pre-World War 2 press in Australia was more focussed on passing on what really happened and less prone to blur fact, drama and opinion. He can only have reached this level of literacy skill and public recognition if he was educated, which means by association he was an academic and scholar, and well-known at that!
Then again, some journalists frequent seedy locations and deal with shady characters, so of itself his vocation and leisure time certainly confirms his academic authenticity, but what of his moral fibre? We are assured by the academics of today that this man did distort and manipulate. If so, we should next determine the calibre of Slater’s personal life, and one way of doing that is to find out who are his closest associates and friends. There is on old somewhat crude saying that states you cannot hang around dogs without getting fleas. The same applies here, if Slaters closest contacts have issues of propriety and integrity under question, then it is reasonable to assume the same applies to Slater.
An Archbishop, Headmaster, Architect, Chartered Accountant, Solicitor and ………..
Slater had many colleagues who all held positions at the highest level. That makes sense, as being a writer of poems and operatic comedy is not the province of the lower class, but exclusively entertained by those of standing and education. It is not so much the impressive roll-call of those mentioned publicly as his associates that is so striking, but more the controlling role he held in every press report, as they are doing his bidding. These people are giving their free time to spend countless hours collecting data and observations out in the bush while examining Original archaeology, and in particular the picturegrams, then sending it off to Slater for him to solely determine what it meant. They have no say in the content, Slater is ‘running the show’ from the comfort of his armchair and all these people regard him as the final arbitrator. There is no renumeration, it is all volunteer.
After the extremely positive reception he received from a gathering of scientists attending the 1937 Australian and New Zealand Science Congress when reading the academic paper, he and his close friend Roy Goddard co-wrote, he went out of his way to thank those who spent so much time compiling and copying picturegrams and symbols while trekking through some very sharp and thorny bush. In a published article written by Slater he praised Mr. W. J. Enright who was a solicitor and the President of the Anthropological Society of Sydney, Roy H. Goddard a chartered accountant and Carlyle Greenwood, an accountant.
All his interpretations and comparisons made at the Standing Stones site somewhere near Mullumbimby, solely came about due to months of extensive on-site observations and diagrams compiled by Fred Fordham. Fordham was the headmaster of Brunswick Heads Primary School, and once again his status in this country town would have been equal to that of a doctor or judge. As with the others, Fordham is an academic and certainly not prone to associate with people of dubious character. He sacrificed over a year of his free time at the site and reported back to Slater over eighteen months. We know this is true, as we have eighteen dated letters Slater wrote back in answering Fordham’s questions and often provided the meanings of symbols, lines and stone arrangements referenced from Eliza Dunlop’s Original First Language interpretative ‘how-to’ manual.
Why would all these highly educated academics waste their time, trust and respect on a liar and cheat? This is a pivotal contradiction if accepting the current denial of Slater’s virtue and academic skills, why would all these intelligent men be so naïve and blind to his devious intentions? Unless, all these men who are clearly well-off, acquired their wealth through deception and criminal activity. What if this came about through illegal or immoral activities kept secret, perhaps they were all in on this ruse. For whatever reason be it ever so infinitesimally remote, they may have conspired as a team in this charade. But for this to be true, there is still one more close associate and friend to Frederic Worral Slater that must be included in consideration before passing judgment.
The Black Bishop Tries to Capture the White King
In a fascinating and surely unexpected move in 1906 the Catholic Archbishop Moran who was based in Sydney released an extremely contentious document with an accompanying commentary he endorsed, but was certainly no less than co-written with Frederic Slater. It was called the “Discovery of Australia by De Quito in the year of 1606,” and central to its claims was that a Spanish Flag was raised at Port Curtis (present-day Gladstone) in 1606 and the entire continent was formally proclaimed to be the possession of principally the Holy Catholic Church and also included the current European Catholic patron Phillip-the-third of Spain. The full declaration of this continent being a Catholic protectorate of Spain was printed in the document, along with a very compelling historical and archaeological case which we have no doubt was assembled and written by Slater.
Their association begins in 1899 at Gladstone when the Archbishop of Sydney met Slater who “presented him with a commemorative edition of the Gladstone Advocate.” All of this was also extensively covered in the Catholic Voice. As to why Cardinal Moran met with Slater is never stated or hinted at the time, but within a decade it becomes crystal clear that Slater had no choice but to “take off his mask and carry the baton.”
Until Cardinal Moran died in 1911, he kept championing the notion that it was not a British Protestant Cook, but a Spanish Catholic by the name of De Quito who discovered and legally claimed this country to be a Spanish colony. There already existed a religious division of considerable degree within Australia, and the archbishop was certainly adding ‘fuel to the fire.’ Knowing he was getting on in years, we have little doubt he was tolerated in his personal crusade until his inevitable demise, and that should be the end of such inconveniences.
What they did not factor into their expectations was Slater’s contributions. In 1912, using the paper he edited as his media outlet, he started publishing his archaeological investigations in the Port Curtis area. He found the remains of “three Spanish cannons” and “a small galleon wreck.” What was also mentioned was the comparisons he made between Port Curtis and main inlet at the New Hebrides, which was part of the paper the archbishop released in 1906. The reason he made this comparison was simply because De Quito was the principal captain of three Spanish ships and in his written report, he made mention of the place they dropped anchor which was larger than all of Europe and Asia Minor and could supply safe anchorage for one thousand boats. He also made note of the abundance of black obsidian rocks and a large outcrop of marble. During his fifty-four day stay De Quito named this continent “The Holy Ghost of Australia” and actually proclaimed himself as the first king.
And that is where the troubles and lies began. De Quito had already offended his second-in-charge Albert Torres (Torres Strait was named by him). Torres wanted two members of his crew whipped for a minor indiscretion, but De Quito had a far more compassionate nature and refused, instead transferring both to his crew. Torres was to say the least miffed, and because the ships were separated by storms during the return journey and Torres returned first, he had the ear of Phillip and set about sullying De Quito and marginalising everything he did. It was Torres who denied De Quito found such a massive southern continent and it was Torres who first suggested it was not a huge land mass but the Islands of New Hebrides.
Even though the largest harbour in the New Hebrides could barely accommodate fifty ships, that there is no obsidian or marble anywhere and it is certainly not larger than all of Europe, or even half of Malta, Phillip never bothered to read De Quito’s diary or journal when he finally did return to Spain. What Slater did was to read his account then find the only harbour that could, according to the first British report on Port Curtis, have the capacity to provide safe anchorage for one-thousand ships. Every feature described could be ticked off at Port Curtis and was lacking at the New Hebrides. Slater mentioned all these glaring comparative inconsistencies in the original paper released by Cardinal Moran and in his commentaries.
He never let up, and even though for some time little publicity was given after the Archbishop of Sydney died, Slater made sure it was still bubbling somewhere near the surface. Then in 1936 the Mitchell Library bought and catalogued De Quito’s report (“Relecion de Don de Pito”). For the first time in any press clipping, we see the first printed evidence of another expert disagreeing with Slater. It needs to be pointed out this disagreement did not extend into his Original picturegram translations but was centred on one entry in De Quito’s journal where he referred to dwellings near the beach that had palm-frond thatched roofs. The critic was adamant that as Original tribes did not build houses or permanent buildings this truth disqualifies any notion he raised the Spanish flag in Australia.
He is manifestly wrong, as many quite elaborate stone buildings can be found at Lake Condah and Cook spoke of sighting a permanent building with a roof measuring seventy yards in length and four yards wide which was constructed at Shelley Beach (Ballina, N.S.W.). We believe this continued championing of the notion that the Protestant British Lieutenant did not discover Australia, but it was Catholic Spanish Captain who raised the flag over one-hundred-and-fifty years earlier, did Slater no favours and the time was soon coming where he would be held accountable.
In one press clipping it refers to a time when Slater was asked by archaeologists to come down to interpret a series of rock engravings at Maroota that had defied all attempts over the last twenty-years to be understood. According to the article it took Slater ten minutes to do so, and no-one at the site questioned the result or his credentials. The Manly Council paid Slater to translate some Aboriginal writings somewhere close to the main beach. Slater was invited to speak at the Royal Anthropological Society in 1934 and the Sydney Anthropological Society in 1935. He co-wrote the Burragurra paper in 1937 which was well received at the Science Congress in 1937, but twenty-two months later the same paper was censored by Sydney University and stamped cancelled.
What is fascinating is that the paper has three stamps, the front page detailing the contents has the cancelled stamp and the Sydney University faculty responsible, “Tropical Medicine and Public Health.” But when turning the page to the first section written by Goddard that describes the site, geology and setting but does not mention the interpretations, it is given a stamp of approval. However, further on where Slater steps in a second cancelled stamp covers the heading. One could question as to what expertise a medical faculty has in archaeology, and the answer is at best minimal.
In his personal Standing Stones correspondence to Fordham during 1939 he advises Fordham not to trust anyone from the Government, Australian Museum, or in particular, Sydney University. He has given up on all official channels in this country and reminded Fordham that the Carnegie Institute in America seem to be very keen, and we suspect if it wasn’t for the fact the Second World War began weeks after, they would have gone further. What is clear is that the Australian coast is no longer clear, and the mud is beginning to fly towards one target.
The Sins of Omission, Addition and Contrition
Until Jon’s research was sent to us by him, we had originally assumed that Slater’s talk of off-world beings coming to Earth and specifying that some were actually born elsewhere in the Cosmos was the main reason he was attacked and marginalised. However, with so much printed evidence at our disposal it is now one of at least six ‘transgressions’ Slater was responsible for, and in all probability, it would be ranked sixth.
‘First cab off the rank’ is most likely to be Slater’s decision to carry Cardinal Moran’s Catholic baton. In insisting Cook did not discover Australia, this raises legal issues that have a distinctly Spanish setting. Not far behind is Slater’s insistence that the Original people, who were tallied in the 1965 National Census as non-human fauna, were part of an ancient civilisation that was the pinnacle of human existence. He then adds more in including these people were the first on the planet and was the source for all global religions, the base for all languages, philosophies, numeration and so he continued. In adding to the cultural discomfort, he claimed he was able to read the meaning behind all Stone Age engravings and paintings as he had access to the ‘key’ that can unlock their hidden meanings. Slater then turned his attention to huge amount of Egyptian-linked archaeology in Australia, insisting that their culture, religion and hieroglyphs was also sourced from Australia.
Then past all of these uncomfortable comparisons mention is made of Aliens coming from distant constellations and then advising and guiding humans in Australia. Our take is that if this topic was not mentioned it would have made no difference, the other five indiscretions were more than enough to see him being slandered and vilified. At best, this Alien inclusion is merely ‘icing on the cake.’
There is ample evidence that Slater was undeniably a radical academic, regardless, his work satisfies the highest scholarly standards required and his sources were the best available. With the questions over his skill, intentions and character dispensed with, all that is left is to read his work first then make a decision as to whether he is correct. The problem is if he is telling the truth, then virtually everything we thought we knew about humanities past and purpose is not the truth.
*** All Quotes sourced from Jon Wyatt’s Research & References details are withheld for security reasons (forthcoming in a yet-to-be-published book)