ERDNASE

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Kaufman » August 12th, 2011, 11:51 am

Hey Marty, good to see you here.

For those of you who'd like to meet Marty in person and take a tour of Wilbur Sanders' home, the Erdnaseum is taking place in Montana at the end of this month.

Go West, young man!
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Mike Vance » August 12th, 2011, 11:52 am

Richard Kaufman wrote:Hey Marty, good to see you hear.

For those of you who'd like to meet Marty in person and take a tour of Wilbur Sanders' home, the Erdnaseum is taking place in Montana at the end of this month.

Go West, young man!


Hey, that's North for some of us.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » August 12th, 2011, 11:54 am

Hi Marty,
Congratulations on a fantastic article, and all the renewed interest it's generated in Erdnase.

I applaud your research, and look forward to any further articles or books you might undertake on the subject.

Thanks for your hard work.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Mike Vance » August 12th, 2011, 11:54 am

I'd address the handwriting comments to Marty. Sanders handwriting was, I believe, a pain to translate. In one diary, he even turned the page upside-down and wrote in the spaces between lines.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby El Harvey Oswald » August 12th, 2011, 12:13 pm

"Nobody is disputing anything, but rather undertaking a critical questioning of the evidence provided by Marty in support of his article.

In this case, and as a result of the question actually being asked......that Sanders created a "packing list" and included six decks of playing cards on it does stand up to critical examination."


Fair enough. It just struck me as self evident that this would stand up to critical examination. However, it's probably a measure of how influential this article and its future manifestations will be that every detail is scrutinized. And by reinforcing how well researched and reasoned the article is, even the lock-down confirmation of facts beyond reasonable disput illuminates that this is first-rate scholarship, and quite possibly compelling enough to attract a broad audience.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » August 12th, 2011, 12:19 pm

Bob Coyne wrote:
Richard Kaufman wrote:I've wondered about [Erdnose] as well, however it could have been almost anyone who knew about the book playing a joke.


I agree. Though it would be a strange coincidence if such a joke just happened to occur when Sanders was in NY.


I think Richard Evans pointed out that Saram Ellison, founder of the Society of American Magicians, was also a founding member of the Caledonian club. While he doesn't show up as an attending member at this banquet, the line below "Erdnose" shows William B. Ellison, which was the name of Saram's brother.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Marty Demarest » August 12th, 2011, 12:21 pm

Everyone is invited to the Erdnaseum in Helena, MT, August 26 and 27. Mingle and meet with some of the best minds in Erdnaseana. The event is casual and open, with everyone welcome and encouraged to bring their insights, questions and opinions.

Among the planned events:

--A live presentation by Richard Hatch on the history and mystery of The Expert at the Card Table, followed by a live presentation by Marty Demarest on W.E. Sanders, including current developments and work in progress. (Wilbur played cards--but how did his friends want him to play? Why two titles? The mind behind the mechanics...)

--A symposium on Erdnase's shifts led by Jason England.

--A symposium about Erdnase's cheating led by R. Paul Wilson.

--A symposium about Erdnase's identity led by Richard Hatch.
Plus more! And surprises...

Visit www.erdnaseum.com for more information, or contact Mike Vance through this forum.

I hope to meet you in Helena!

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby aofl » August 12th, 2011, 1:40 pm

Ted M wrote:Also he seems to be paying around half retail price for the other items on the list.

5 pr Mitts 1.25 Retail 3.25
...
5 Undershirts 1.75 " 5.00
3 Drawers " 3.00
2 Undershirts 1.50 " 1.50

So paying 13 cents for a 23 cent pack of cards is in line with the other entries.


Maybe he bought them at Costco. I know that's where I get mine.

A

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » August 12th, 2011, 1:59 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:
Bob Coyne wrote:
Richard Kaufman wrote:I've wondered about [Erdnose] as well, however it could have been almost anyone who knew about the book playing a joke.


I agree. Though it would be a strange coincidence if such a joke just happened to occur when Sanders was in NY.


I think Richard Evans pointed out that Saram Ellison, founder of the Society of American Magicians, was also a founding member of the Caledonian club. While he doesn't show up as an attending member at this banquet, the line below "Erdnose" shows William B. Ellison, which was the name of Saram's brother.


Yeah, I remember that. It seems there are a couple different scenarios and variations. And it's probably the case that Sanders wasn't in NY at that time and someone else (maybe related to Ellison) was there as Erdnose/Erdnase. However, I still think that *if* (big if) Sanders was in New York at that time, then this would be a significant finding.

In general, it would be great if a timeline could be established for where Sanders was throughout his life. It would help rule in or out other location-related events like this. Maybe Marty can shed some light on that! :-)

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » August 12th, 2011, 2:42 pm

"Unshuffling Erdnase" -- that's a clever title. Maybe it was obvious to everyone already and I was just being dense, but I just realized that it refers not just to cards (shuffling) and unravelling the mystery (metaphorically putting back together the pieces of evidence), but also to unshuffling the anagram (i.e. permuting the letters from SW Erdnase to ES Andrews to WE Sanders).

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby IrishMagicNews » August 12th, 2011, 4:44 pm

Richard & Marty,

What a great read. Never really considered myself a history kinda guy but having read David Alexanders original piece about 10 years ago, watched presentation by Mike Caveny at EMC and now this I am getting more and more interested in the giants on whose shoulders we stand.

Thank you,

Brendan

PS An anagram of Demarest is Mastered. A masterful job on this Marty.
Brendan

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » August 12th, 2011, 7:14 pm

While David Alexander is receiving justly deserved credit for his preliminary investigation of Erdnase, we shouldn't forget that he had quite a bit of assistance from his research partner Richard Kyle. In his article, David writes:

After my preliminary investigation I sought the assistance of an old friend, Richard Kyle. Richard had been a successful writer for many years, was an expert on the pulps, comic history, and was the writer/publisher who had coined the term "graphic novel." For many years he owned Richard Kyle Books in my home town and I admired his insightful and analytical mind. It took both of us working on the case to come to the conclusions we have and Richard deserves as much credit as I do.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby SwanJr » August 12th, 2011, 11:40 pm

Does anyone know when Drake published their first book? Did they publish anything before 1903?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Hatch » August 13th, 2011, 1:02 am

SwanJr wrote:Does anyone know when Drake published their first book? Did they publish anything before 1903?

Drake was publishing books before 1900, though they re-organized in 1903. Many of their classic magic books were published in 1902 and are advertised on the back cover of the very first issue of THE SPHINX (March 1902). They sold first edition copies of Erdnase for $1 starting in 1903 and published their first hardback and paperback editions of it in 1905, keeping it in print as late as 1937 in various editions (hardback and paperback, 205, 190 and 178 page versions).

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby SwanJr » August 13th, 2011, 2:08 am

Thank you, Richard, for your prompt reply.

-Hurt

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Hatch » August 13th, 2011, 2:58 am

Hurt, am I correct in summarizing one aspect of your MCA talk by saying that anyone writing and publishing a book such as Expert at the Card Table in 1902 (which could not be classed as an anti-gambling treatise and therefore might be viewed as immoral literature) would have wanted/needed the protection that some level of anonymity provides due to the Comstock Laws?

If so, then I think the anonymity debate becomes one of whether the author wanted/needed strong (absolute) anonymity or whether his ego favored weak anonymity. The former case favors a candidate whose real name bears no relation to the pseudonym, S. W. Erdnase, the later favors the simplest relationship, E. S. Andrews. In between are the more complex decipherings of the name (M. F. Andrews, W. E. Sanders, etc.).

I would argue that the inclusion of the illustrator's real name on the title page, M. D. Smith, plus the proclamation that the book was published "by the author" and not some dummy corporation set up to protect his identity are either grossly negligent if the author wanted absolute anonymity or (more likely) indicate the author felt only a weak need for anonymity. The fact that no one bothered to track down Smith for 40 years or even recognize the backwards reading of the pseudonym for more than 20 are simply accidents of history which the author could not have anticipated.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Hatch » August 13th, 2011, 10:29 am

Richard Kaufman wrote:The only thing M.D. Smith remembered about the name of the man he met was that it was something with a "W."

Wilber Sanders' first name obviously begins with a "W."

No candidate named E.S. Andrews has a name that would be remembered as having been something with a "W."

Just one more detail that makes Sanders fit.


When Smith told Martin Gardner that he did not recognize the name "Erdnase" and thought the name had a "W" in it, Gardner asked Smith if the author's name might have been "Andrews" (a name with a "W" in it). Smith immediately affirmed that the man he met was named "Andrews" and that is how they refer to him in the discussions from that point on. This is clearly a "prompted" recollection, not an independent one from Smith's memory, but Smith is very definite in confirming the last name Andrews. David Alexander's reconstruction of this has Sanders using the name "Andrews" in his dealings with the printer and illustrator (and possibly the bank) in order to preserve his anonymity. "Andrews" is another "ruse" of the author. I don't think Smith's recollection that the author's name had a "W" in it should weigh too much in favor of Wilbur, since Smith is referring to the author's last name, and is unlikely to have known the author's first name or recalled his initials 40 years later. Indeed, Gardner tells us that Smith did NOT recall the author's first name or initials, so Smith was clearly NOT thinking the "W" was one of the author's initials (later Gardner would claim in correspondence with the copyright office that Smith subsequently recalled the author's first name as "James"). How much weight should be given to Smith's recollection is a major debating point in the identity question, obviously. Personally, I favor sticking with those recollections Smith is clear on until compelling evidence to the contrary presents itself. He is our only credible eyewitness at this point, alas.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby SwanJr » August 13th, 2011, 2:24 pm

Thanks, Richard, for your query. My research is going to be published in the Magicana Erdnase issue, but in quick summary: by publishing in Chicago where the Comstock Laws were almost universally ignored, Erdnase would have much less need of anonymity than in most cities in the United States, including New York where the law was enforced vigorously. However for reason's of safety while travelling, it was prudent to use a false name, since you could be arrested anywhere in the States if you used the U. S. Mail to distribute your work; therefore almost everyone who sold gambling supplies from Chicago used a pseudonym to sell their wares. Most did not go to too much trouble beyond that to remain anonymous.

- Hurt McDermott

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby David Ben » August 13th, 2011, 2:29 pm

Hurt's article related to this subject is terrific, and will be part of the Erdnase issue of Magciol.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Marty Demarest » August 14th, 2011, 12:28 am

Brendan, I had no idea about my own name. Thank you for pointing that out, and for the compliment.

It's amazing what we often fail to notice, even when it's been in plain sight for so long. One of my favorite things about David Alexander and Richard Kyle's research was their willingness to reexamine details from a new perspective--re-annagramizing Erdnase and reading "Andrews artifice" on the title page for example.

I agree with Richard Hatch. I find no reason to abandon Marshall D. Smith's recollections, especially because they come from our only first-hand Erdnase witness. However, I do differentiate between the memories that Smith stated himself (in his letters to Martin Gardner), and those memories that come to us second-hand through Martin Gardner's notes.

From Smith's own letters (published in the Gardner-Smith Correspondence--thank you Richard Hatch and Charlie Randall!), we learn that Erdnase was relatively short, well-mannered and had soft, well-attended hands. He was a good dresser and Smith thought he was from the "East." He also politely discounts the picture of Milton Franklin Andrews, and, to my mind, fails to confirm the name Andrews at all. He discounts the names "Milton" and "Franklin," and often skirts "Andrews," using the phrases "The man I met..." "this fellow" and "that guy" when he clearly means Erdnase. When Smith does refer specifically to Andrews, he usually seems to be referring to M.F. Andrews, not Erdnase. In my opinion, Smith is politely declining to confirm "Andrews" as a name he remembered.

However... According to Gardner's notes, during his initial interview with Gardner, Smith remembered Erdnase's (possibly) real name as "something with a W." Gardner suggested "Andrews" and "his face lighted up and he was sure that was it. Does not recall first name or initials."

I put a substantial question mark next to Gardner's notes. As Richard Hatch has pointed out above, he contradicts himself by later stating that Smith remembered Erdnase's first name as "James." He also states that Smith remembered drawing only "twenty or thirty" figures, but he mentions that nowhere in the notes of his initial interview with Smith. As far as I can tell, the first time he states it is in his essay "The Mystery of Erdnase," published the following year. Why didn't he make note of it? What else did he omit? And what might have been mis-remembered during that time?

In my opinion, we must be careful to note when we are dealing with Smith's (45-year-old) recollections and Gardner's second-hand, Andrews-oriented synopses of Smith's recollections. The two are very different types of evidence.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby El Harvey Oswald » August 14th, 2011, 12:39 am

"Google Books has Vol 8 of "The Caledonian". In the Jun 1908 issue, on p 115, is an account of the banquet of the Canadian Club of New York, held at the Hotel Astor on May 14. Among the attendees (p. 117) is S. W. Erdnose."

more likely that it was (1) the actual author of Expert at the Card Table (using his pseudonym) or (2) a fan of the book (also using a pseudonym) or simply (3) someone with that name? (2) and (3) are both more probable than (1).

an awful lot rides on the author's name being an anagram. but the first-level anagram-based inferences at least aren't absurdly attenuated the way aligning the German meaning of "erdnase" - "earth nose" - with "miner" is, by the unsatisfying construction that miners have their noses close to the earth. he could have chosen to re-formulate his name into an anagram, and even perhaps one with a deliberate palindromic message about "andrews" being a ruse in it. but it begins to sound like batman making rapid crime-solving associations and dubious logical leaps when the "earth nose" speculation is invoked. that's really where the alexander analysis went off the rails. demarest didn't have a great deal to work with, but he does seem to have brought to bear what available facts there are to make a reasonably compelling case. a deck of cards has at least been put if not in this candidates hands in his travel bag, and more than a casual supply of cards.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Marty Demarest » August 14th, 2011, 12:53 am

Bob, you bring up an interesting clue with the Caledonian Club. I was first informed about "S.W. Erdnose" by Bill Kalush. My research into that document has led me to make both a detailed timeline of Sanders' life (sometimes down to the hour, where train schedules can be obtained), and a database of his friends and acquaintances.

I did not include the Caledonian Club in "Unshuffling Erdnase" because I'm still not satisfied with the answers. However, I'm happy to share the news that W.E. Sanders WAS in the New York area April-May 1907. He was probably NOT in the New York area April-May 1908. (He was in Yubaland, California.)

I think the Caledonian banquet took place in 1908, but others might read the evidence differently. If so, it is unlikely that W.E. went from California to New York for the dinner, while skipping one of his class reunions six days earlier. But he was an eccentric, so...

There are some interesting names on that list. "But that is another story," as Erdnase wrote.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Marty Demarest » August 14th, 2011, 1:03 am

Bob Coyne very correctly observes that W.E. Sanders uses "scare quotes" as habitually as Erdnase. These are common not only in his published writings, but they're very abundant in the journals as well.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Marty Demarest » August 14th, 2011, 1:13 am

I may have to find some kind of prize for Bob Coyne (who figured out where the rock collection was), Chris Aguilar (who matched Wilbur's images) and Brent Cromley (who, as a good Montanan, recognized The Parrot as the setting for the office video). Good sleuthing, gentlemen. I hope it was fun.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby El Harvey Oswald » August 14th, 2011, 2:02 am

the mid-sentence insertion of parenthetical questions marks was a pretty compelling parallel

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Carlo Morpurgo » August 14th, 2011, 7:16 am

Marty Demarest wrote:I think the Caledonian banquet took place in 1908, but others might read the evidence differently.


The evidence says "Thursday, May 14". Hence, it cannot be 1907...(since it was a Tuesday).

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » August 14th, 2011, 9:30 am

Carlo Morpurgo wrote:
Marty Demarest wrote:I think the Caledonian banquet took place in 1908, but others might read the evidence differently.


The evidence says "Thursday, May 14". Hence, it cannot be 1907...(since it was a Tuesday).


Good thinking to figure out the year that way. Well that seems to pretty much rule out Sanders being there (given Marty's timeline).

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » August 14th, 2011, 10:07 am

Marty Demarest wrote:I may have to find some kind of prize for Bob Coyne (who figured out where the rock collection was), Chris Aguilar (who matched Wilbur's images) and Brent Cromley (who, as a good Montanan, recognized The Parrot as the setting for the office video). Good sleuthing, gentlemen. I hope it was fun.


The whole lead-up to the article was super fun. Fortunately the clues you and RK provided were easier to crack and more definitive than the ones Sanders left behind :-)

btw, The key to finding the rock collection and the Sanders photo (which Chris Aguilar then nicely composited/aligned with the Genii cover) was working backwards from having confidence that the article was about Sanders=Erdnase (thanks to the "wiiilllbur" clue). A little online searching and reviewing of Sanders' writings turned up the answers.

One clue (?) that didn't seem to lead anywhere was the anagramatic misspelling of "erdnase" as "erdanse" and "erndase" in the "office" video. I guess that was just a generic clue as to the name being an anagram rather than anything specific...

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Kaufman » August 14th, 2011, 10:49 am

... or it could have been sloppy typing.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Marty Demarest » August 14th, 2011, 10:56 am

VERY sloppy typing. But they remined intentionally.
Sometimes a mistake is just a misteak.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Marty Demarest » August 14th, 2011, 11:59 am

Jeff, I too am interested in the history of Mutus Nomen. I've done some research, and while it seems to be a very old trick, it proliferated greatly during the early 20th Century.

Jack Potter compiled a good bibliography of it in the November 1955 Linking Ring (vol 33, no. 9, p. 78).

My main interest is in sources from which W.E. could have learned it. Based on the dates (pre-1881), he might have gotten it from one of the books listed below. I haven't been able to check/date them all. It's also important to note that the trick is not always "Mutus Nomen Dedit Cocis." Sometimes the words are in a different order. That helps narrow my search.

--The Secret Out, W.H. Cremer
--The Boy's Own Conjuring Book, Anon.
--Card Tricks and Puzzles, "Berkeley" Rowlands
--Hanky Panky, W.H. Cremer
--The Magician's Own Book, Anon. (Jonathan Green?)
--An Exposition on Games and Tricks with Cards, Jonathan Green

Of course, other magicians knew the trick, so books were not the only source.

The trick was common enough for Hilliard to write, in "Greater Magic": "But unfortunately it has been so widely publicized down the years--in books, magazines, newspapers, and the throw-out pamphets magicians have been peddling among their audiences since the time of Bosco and Pinetti--that he would be a bold performer who would attempt the feat today before even an unspohisticated parlor audience."

By 1938, that might have been true, though the publication of the effect seems to have been markedly rarer in the mid-to-late 19th Century.

I do think it is much more sophisticated than the 21 Card Trick. Hilliard's own presentation is remarkable, and I think there are none better than Jim Steinmeyer's variation, "The Tuzot Sensu Mystery" published in Genii, August 2011. Even in its plain form, however, "Mutus Nomen" takes a lot of work and attention, not to mention showmanship. As Steinmeyer wrote, "It looks complicated."

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Magic Fred » August 14th, 2011, 5:29 pm

Marty Demarest wrote:Everyone is invited to the Erdnaseum in Helena, MT, August 26 and 27. Mingle and meet with some of the best minds in Erdnaseana. The event is casual and open, with everyone welcome and encouraged to bring their insights, questions and opinions.

Among the planned events:

--A live presentation by Richard Hatch on the history and mystery of The Expert at the Card Table, followed by a live presentation by Marty Demarest on W.E. Sanders, including current developments and work in progress. (Wilbur played cards--but how did his friends want him to play? Why two titles? The mind behind the mechanics...)

--A symposium on Erdnase's shifts led by Jason England.

--A symposium about Erdnase's cheating led by R. Paul Wilson.

--A symposium about Erdnase's identity led by Richard Hatch.
Plus more! And surprises...

Visit www.erdnaseum.com for more information, or contact Mike Vance through this forum.

I hope to meet you in Helena!


No Wesley James then?

Image

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » August 14th, 2011, 9:38 pm

[size:11pt]Erdnose and Sanders[/size]

May 14 was a Thursday in 1908; this was the year that "Erdnose" attended.

There is no reason to think that Sanders would attend the Canadian Club banquet that year (or any other year). The society was for people of Canadian Heritage, and Sanders was born in Ohio, and his parents were born in New York and Ohio. His paternal grandparents were both born in New York, and his maternal grandparents were born in Connecticut and Pennsylvania. Any links he had to Canadian society were weak, at best.

I've searched the other issues of the Caledonian, and found no reference to Sanders (although an anonymous writer in vol. 19 mentions having done some mining business with Wilbur Fisk, W. E.'s father).

As for who "Erdnose" really was, I think the fact that Saram Ellison was a founding member is telling, and that his brother attended the same year is also worth considering.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » August 14th, 2011, 10:22 pm

El Harvey Oswald wrote:an awful lot rides on the author's name being an anagram. but the first-level anagram-based inferences at least aren't absurdly attenuated the way aligning the German meaning of "erdnase" - "earth nose" - with "miner" is, by the unsatisfying construction that miners have their noses close to the earth.


Sanders was not a miner, he was a mining engineer. One of his chief jobs was to figure out whether a particular deposit of ore was of sufficient quality that it could be profitably mined. He did have to "sniff out" the quality veins and seams of gold, silver, etc.

The construction is a figurative one, not a literal one, but it holds true because of Sanders' occupation.

The analysis of the name "Erdnase" often starts with the pseudonym, and works back to a particular candidate's name. This is backwards, to my way of thinking. We should start with a candidate, and find a train of thought that would lead to "S. W. Erdnase". If the train of thought is logical, don't eliminate the candidate from contention.

For anyone who is "E. S. Andrews", that train is logical a simple reversal.

For "W. E. Sanders", the reversal is "S. R. Ednasew", which is even more cumbersome than "S. W. Erdnase". But if you are a mining engineer, and used to scrambling the letters of your name, then "S. W. Erdnase" is a logical choice compared to other scramblings such as "Dr. Weenass" or "S. N. Sarweed" or "Ned Sarwess".

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Kaufman » August 14th, 2011, 10:25 pm

I met a Dr. Weenas once ...
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Magic Fred » August 15th, 2011, 9:03 am

One piece of evidence that seems to be universally swept aside is the comment made by Vernon on the Revelations videotapes.

Perhaps the Professor had been known to mix up his stories, especially in old age, but have we any reason to doubt his claim regarding Sprong's visit with Drake?

Drake, who knew the identity of the author, apparently told Sprong simply and directly that if you spell the name backwards, you have your author.

This is one of the reasons I still lean strongly towards a James Andrews or E.S. Andrews.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby mrgoat » August 15th, 2011, 9:45 am

Richard Kaufman wrote:I met a Dr. Weenas once ...


That's nothing, the tech on one of my servers is called Rommel Suganob.

True story. Really.

Jonathan Townsend
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jonathan Townsend » August 15th, 2011, 9:51 am

Magic Fred wrote:...
Drake, who knew the identity of the author, apparently told Sprong simply and directly that if you spell the name backwards, you have your author...


How do we know that Drake knew the identity of the author?
And what verification do we have of Sprong's report?

Magic Fred
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Magic Fred » August 15th, 2011, 9:57 am

That's basically what I'm asking. If Vernon is to be believed, Drake promised the author directly that he would not reveal his identity.

It seems to me that there is not much motive anywhere along the trail of this particular anecdote for anybody to make things up.

The only question, for me, is the accuracy of Vernon's recollection.

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Ryan Matney
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Ryan Matney » August 15th, 2011, 11:29 am

It's third of fourth hand heresay evidence. You have to believe Vernon's accurate and Sprong was accurate and Drake was accurate.

Something may likely have been lost in the retelling and the passage of time.

It's likely that Drake knew the name S.W. Erdnase was an annagram but may have been confused later as to exactly how to descrmable the letters.

OR, the simplest explanation of all: if David Alexander's thinking was correct and the name Andrews was intentionally left as a red herring. (Andrews Artifice) then it's likely that Sanders TOLD Drake something like "Don't tell anyone but my real name is Erdnase reversed."

I personally think that is believable, espcially if you believe that Sanders left the clues about Andrews being a false lead intentionally.

I previously thought this was David Alexander reaching for evidence but now...I'm inclinded to believe it.
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