PROPHETS are rarely recognised in their lifetimes, but Kilkivan’s Prophet Gold Mine owner John Parsons and his radical geological theories have suddenly achieved major international recognition.
Mr Parsons has built on the work of some of Australia’s leading geology academics and is now co-author of an article to be published this month in the highly-respected American professional journal, Geology.
The recognition was a long time coming for Mr Parsons, who was widely ridiculed for years when he argued that much of world’s nugget gold is an organic product, created by nanobacteria which extract gold from toxic gold compounds as a survival necessity.
And Mr Parsons says he owes much of his new recognition to The Gympie Times, specifically to the paper’s former sub-editor Anne Skinner and, more recently, reporter Jannette Parke.
JOHN Parsons attributes his long struggle for international recognition to a long tradition of scientific narrow-mindedness.
Pioneering diggers, he says, were ridiculed for saying that it seemed to them that gold “grew” in the ground, “almost like potatoes”.
Much later, Macquarie University geologist, the late Gunther Bishoph, suffered similar scorn over his theories on the biological formation of gold.
Then came Professor Alan Wilson of the University of Queensland and, more recently, encouraging correspondence from astro-biologist Philippa Uwins, a brilliant academic who first discovered nanobacteria, which she called nanobes, in ultra deep limestone layers off-shore from Western Australia.
She told Radio National Science Show host Robyn Williams in 2000 that her nanobes were “in a size range that’s argued, on a current understanding of biological theory, to be too small to exist.
“And another interesting aspect of the nanobes,” she continued, “is that they’re in the same size range as the controversial Martian nanobe bacteria that were found in a meteorite some years ago.”
Mr Parsons says Anne Skinner’s article in the ’90s was a turning point and Jannette Parke’s piece, published in March last year, finally stopped them laughing.
Parke’s article reported the interest of Adelaide University geo-microbiologist Frank Reith, along with at least two multi-national companies.
Mr Parsons says these tiny sub-bacterial nanobes have also been found in human and cattle blood, kidney stones and kidney cysts.
“It’s been a real change,” he said at his Rossmore Road mine yesterday.
“There’s no longer a problem of people just discounting the organic precipitation of lots of things.”
Now he says the article in Geology has brought the Gympie Region – and Kilkivan in particular – into a major international spotlight.
Mr Parsons is recognised as the article’s co-author, along with academics from the University of Adelaide, the CSIRO, flinders University, the Dutch FEI Company, the University of Western Australia, the South Australian Museum and the University of Western Ontario.
“Every geology student in the world will hear about it, every lecturer and researcher will be looking into it and every library will have a copy on their shelves,” he said.
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