Dating of burrows cave
To this day, the very existence of the wondrous cave portrayed by Burrows remains in doubt.
Its inner recesses have been seen by only one person, Russell Burrows himself.
Burrows responded with an apology, explaining that the nephew of the landowner indeed had carved the Elephant Stone and nine others, but claimed that the rest were authentic.
After the young man was killed in an accident, the confession was retracted by Burrows on the basis that the boy had copied a stone from the collection so that he could sell the original, and Burrows also maintained that the erroneously copied letter could have been a legitimate way of writing that letter.
A few people have been taken to a small shelter or entrance room, but have been shown nothing more.
Dangers such as snakes, flash floods, and proximity to the New Madrid fault are typical excuses for denying further access.
One researcher who traveled from New England in order to see the spectacle was allowed into the "foyer," where he saw some laid-up stonework but little else.
A suspicious secrecy was maintained, allegedly because of the importance of protecting the site.
Self-proclaimed cave explorer Russell Burrows asserts that in April, 1982, he discovered a hoard of Bronze Age artifacts in an Illinois cave.
But he admits that as of late winter, 1992, official study of the cave had not yet begun (Burrows and Rydholm 1992:3).
The Illinois version was the same, error and all, suggesting that it had been fabricated after 1976.
Other Burrows Cave artifacts seemed to have been based on Fell's publications also, and he characterized them as "meaningless pseudo-Ogam and Phoenician and Libyan letters, apparently copied from various papers I have published in ESOP or in my books, but so jumbled and utterly unlike the origianals as to imply modern incorporation of my results by other persons" (Fell 1991b).