Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Hoax in geology

Very recently, I went to a fieldwork with a few fellow lecturers and students (I might write that sometime in the future). It was there that one of the lecturer recalled one of his supervisor exposing a fraud by a certain Indian geologist.

Now, I think some are familiar with hoaxes in Paleontology (which seems to be rather common, as compared to other fields in geology... unless if I'm mistaken) such as the Piltdown Man, but this one is certainly a big one, in my opinion: I mean, it might not be so strange if you hear undergraduates or graduates who fudged some data - or, more commonly, plagiarize - but this Professor, Viswa Jit Gupta (not sure what happen to him now) apparently had published about seven books and a total of 458 publications, as mentioned by the accuser, John Talent.

(This article on the 'Himalayan hoax' is a bit old (OK, make that really old), but it highlighted all the points that indicate that a fraud is taking place; for a more recent version, this blog entry sum it up quite nicely)

Some of his method of faking the evidences are quite funny, if it was not for the fact that he's publishing all his 'findings': buying fossils oversea, planting it at a site and later dig them up; taking a picture of a fossil, placing it in a photocopying machine, do a bit of tweaking and claim that he found a new species... wow.

And you thought copy-pasting from a book for your geological report was bad enough...

And it seems that some of the people working under him were aware that he' s conducting frauds upon frauds, but, as you'd suspect, they're not ready to blow the whistle. Why? The best guess would be that they don't want to lost their position (or worse, their source of income).



  1. How sneaky of him! That's a pretty low thing to do. He pushed his luck by doing that. It was inevitable that he'd get caught. Don't revert to doing things like that, Faults!

    >"Gupta stormed out of the room and he came back waving his fists and obviously wanted to punch me up"

    Gupta's punishment should be a stoning. Dohoho~

  2. @Chiyo's Dad: Yeah, it's amazing what some would do to get their share of fame. I'm actually kinda amazed how people didn't catch up on the frauds quickly.

    But then again, there's that deal with Piltdown Man... so yeah,