Dozens of treasure hunters have been diving in New York's East River, on the hunt for a hoard of mammoth bones they believe to be in there – partly thanks to Joe Rogan's podcast.
In December, Alaskan gold miner John Reeves appeared on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast. During the appearance, Reeves told Rogan that he was about to "start a bone rush". Reeves claimed that in the 1940s, mammoth bones were frequently uncovered while digging for gold, during which "500,000 or so bones" were transported from Fairbanks, Alaska, to New York City.
The bones, according to Reeves, were destined for the American Museum of Natural History. However, according to a draft report read by Reeves, the bones were incorrectly deemed to be of unsuitable quality and were dumped into the river.
"I'm not going to tell people you're allowed to do this but if I was listening to your podcast and I happened to have a boat and I happened to have a little scuba equipment [...] I'm gonna tell them right now where the [bones were dumped according to the report]," Reeves told Rogan, adding that the "dump site was off the East River Drive at about 65th Street".
Following the episode, the American Museum of Natural History made it clear that they are not aware of this actually taking place.
“We do not have any record of the disposal of these fossils in the East River," a spokesperson told AP. "Nor have we been able to find any record of this report in the museum’s archives or other scientific sources."
However, this has not stopped several teams from attempting (and failing) to find mammoth bones at the bottom of the river. AP contacted one author listed on the report, archaeologist Robert Sattler, who told them that the bones story came from anthropologist Richard Osborne. Sattler said that Osborne, who was writing about the bones for a book, likely heard the story secondhand while spending time with his father, who worked digging in Alaska.
While remains did make their way to the museum for display, AP points out that major construction took place at the time the bones were supposedly dumped, while a highway that opened in 1942 would make dumping the bones somewhat difficult – at least without majorly disrupting traffic. No substantial evidence suggests there are mammoths living in the NY river, nor paying the extortionate rents that likely involves.