Here’s an interesting story about an amateur researcher (an architect by profession) who suggested in a recent article that there may be ruins of a famous ancient Mayan city … in Georgia (the one famous for peaches and iced tea). Turns out an archaeologist he quoted in his book actually read his material and was pretty irked.
I’d love to see more of this (“unintentional peer review”). Other than Dan Brown in the wake of the DaVinci Code, it’s rare that scholars read any of this sort of amateur research. If they did, more of these sorts of enthusiasts would get called out. Most of the time they’d get embarrassed, but I believe that every once in a while they might get some help thinking differently about a topic (presuming the data are real). It’s even more interesting since the offended archaeologist had to read it in the Examiner (the online newspaper that sounds like the Onion at times but isn’t as funny).