Is this Australia's Stonehenge?
A LOCAL team of amateur archaeological sleuths claim to have discovered evidence which contradicts the accepted theory humans came "out of Africa", and instead - gasp - modern man emerged in and spread from Down Under.
Father and son team Steven and Evan Strong have combined the written testimony of a forgotten Australia archaeologist, oral indigenous history, and ancient Australian artefacts to sensationally conclude that Aboriginal civilization was far more advanced than our history books have us believe.
If that wasn't bold enough, an ancient site near Mullumbimby also known as "Australia's Stonehenge" was one of at least 35 "repositories" of this ancient civilization.
On Friday night the duo kicked off their "Forgotten Origin" lecture tour at the Byron Bay Community Centre, ahead of future seminars planned in Melbourne and Sydney.
Mr Strong said the three-hour event included legitimate science such as mitochondrial DNA studies, alongside archaeological evidence which proved the existence of a sophisticated Indigenous Australian written language and technology beyond what was considered possible at the time.
At the heart of the archaeological evidence are two engraved rocks dubbed "Ros's Rocks One and Two", which Mr Strong said had already been the subject of serious papers by at least three doctors of geology, in serious scientific journals, "not just new age magazines".
"The rock is one of the hardest rocks you will find in Australia, it is at least 10,000 years old and has been cut in two, and there is no chisel today you could (use) to even mark these rocks, and they've been chiselled, and cut, and engraved…" he said.
"It's not natural, we all agree on that, and it's thousands of years old."
"Even if it's 300 years old, it breaks the rules; because none of those technologies were supposed to be here before (James) Cook came."
Asked whether he was indulging in "pseudoscience" which supported sensational conclusions, Mr Strong said the "Out of Australia" theory wasn't his alone and had already been put forward by scholars.
He said the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC and the UK's National Geological Repository had shown interest in the artefacts and geologists working behind the scenes had built a consensus these rocks of this type had "never been seen before".
"Our advisers are some of the best geologists and archaeologists in the country."
"What we are is just the collecting point."
More evidence to inspire the theory came when the Richmond River Historical Society located correspondence from a former president of the Australian Archaeological Society from the 1930s - letters which featured a theory that Aboriginals had a written language which pre-dated most others.
Professor Frederic Slater had claimed that the Mullumbimby "standing stones" site was the most important site in Australia - even more important than Stonehenge.
Mr Strong said Slater even had an "interpretive handbook" given to him by Aboriginal elders which enabled him to understand the make-up of the very first language and the significance of the standing stone site.
"His letters were lost and found last year … what we've now found is archaeology that backs up his theory that this was the first language ever (and) was recorded there."
"The language is a combination of hand signs, letters, "sacred signs", and body parts … Slater had compiled over 28,000 words in this language."
Unfortunately, the Mullumbimby site was all but destroyed in the 1940s, ending any further investigation.
"They were going to set it up like Stonehenge… it was published all over Australia in major papers, then the site was destroyed, and once it was destroyed the whole thing disappeared, and all of Australia's notes from 1930 onwards disappeared too."
"All we're trying to do is prove that all the work he did is correct," Mr Strong said.