What is the world coming to when you cannot trust Nazis? They may have been racist, murdering, imperialist, sociopathic, warmongering blowhards, but darn it all, they got things done! And they kept meticulous records, and THAT apparently was their downfall in this follow up to an earlier story:
Iron Nazi Buddha From Space
As it turns out there may have been some less than factual elements to this story in a wonderful example of how the internet can propagate a story and have it become “fact” by general acceptance before the actual facts can come to light.
From an article in Spiegel.De
Meteorite, yes. Ancient, no.
The discovery sounded like a sensation: A statue of a Buddha, allegedly 1,000 years old and collected by the Nazis in Tibet, had been carved out of a piece of meteorite. Now, however, it looks as though only the latter detail is true. The work is likely a fake produced at some point during the 20th century.
It was a story that rapidly circled the globe at the end of September. A statue of Buddha, allegedly collected by the Nazis during a late 1930s expedition to Tibet, had been carved out of meteorite. Referred to as the “Iron Man,” the 24 centimeter-tall figure with a swastika on its chest was thought to be 1,000 years old. The statue’s previous owner, researchers wrote in their Sept. 27 report, had said that it was brought to Germany by the SS expedition led by ethnologist Ernst Schäfer.
Many experts, however, have begun to doubt that version of events. For one, many elements of the carving are not consistent with Buddha statues created a millennium ago. Furthermore, Schäfer was nothing if not precise. While many of the objects he brought back have been lost, his list of the more than 2,000 items he collected remains — and the Iron Man does not make an appearance.
Beyond not being included in a list of objects brought to the Fatherland there are many stylistic inconsistencies in the statue including clothing and beard, but the lead researcher Elmar Buchner simply took the story of the Buddha’s origins on faith.
Buchner says that he had no reason to doubt the story told to him by the statue’s previous owner, adding that he was most interested in identifying the material out of which the statue was made. He also suggests that perhaps the best home for the statue would be in the meteorite section of a natural history museum. “There, the art historical aspect wouldn’t be so important.”
The fact remains that this statue is still carved out of meteoric iron and that is pretty cool. While it may only be at most one hundred years old, one day it will be a thousand years old, and when that day comes, well, the previous story will be out there, lurking in the ether of cyberspace, waiting for its day to proclaim itself as true.
Cue ominous music