Scientists Accuse BBC Of Manipulating Data On ‘Most Significant Fossils’ Ever Found


Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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The BBC came under fire in early January for appearing to try and manipulate data surrounding the discovery of a fossil discussed in a David Attenborough documentary.

The fossil of a pliosaur, a recently discovered underwater monster, was first discovered by fossil hunter Philip Jacobs, who was only briefly mentioned at the conclusion of David Attenborough’s latest BBC documentary “Attenborough and the Great Sea Monster,” according to Deadline.

“This particular find is being quoted as being one of the most significant fossils to have ever been found. It is unique. It is huge. It is significant. And yet Philip’s name is being effectively airbrushed from the historical record when it comes to this important find. Much of the global promotional media fails to mention him,” wrote Anna Morell, who started a petition to have the name of the giant sea creature changed to reflect Jacobs.

At the time of writing, the petition already has 2,285 of the necessary 2,500 signatures for Change.org.

“This sort of thing has happened before. Think of John Harrison’s clocks for longitude. Think of William Smith’s geological map. Think of Rosalind Franklin’s work on DNA. Time and again, those with power and influence reduce or delete the names of less well-known citizen scientists from the record,” Morrell continued. And she’s absolutely right.

The situation reminds me of the work conducted by Graham Hancock shedding light on the many missing chapters of human history. Without men like Hancock, dedicating their lives to do research that most scientists — archaeologists, anthropologists, geologists and more — won’t do, our understanding of the natural world would barely be out of its infancy. (RELATED: Dear Kay: I Watched ‘Ancient Apocalypse’ And Now I’m Scared We’re Going To Die Before 2025)

Shame on the BBC and all those involved for seemingly trying to eradicate Jacobs, and so many others, from the history books. I am shocked and appalled that Attenborough would do something like this, so heartlessly after decades of being one of the most famous faces in natural history and zoological research. I thought he’d be better than this.