Sitting far away from the eyes of the public on a dusty shelf, in the backroom of a museum in Cluj Napoca is a mysterious object. So mysterious in fact that even though it was discovered nearly fifty years ago, scientists still can not tell us how old it is. This is because this small lump of metal has had academics and conspiracy theorists scratching their heads ever since it arrived.
The confounding object in question is the Wedge of Auid. Excavated from a trench in Romania in 1974, this twenty-centimeter-long trapezium was found next to the bones of a Mastodon. If this is to be an indicator of how old the object is, Mastodons roamed the earth 11,000 years ago.
So, you may ask why all the speculation about the age?
This is because when the object was examined further, it was found to be constructed out of aluminum, which wasn’t invented until 1889. Therefore, the origin of this odd chunk of alloy has remained elusive up until now. Inevitably many people have submitted their own theories about how such a strange phenomenon came about.
Time Travel – The staple science fiction style conclusion to jump to. Many people believe that the object has purposefully or accidentally traveled from the future into the past and has lay dormant under the earth waiting for us to find it. This idea is often supported by claims that fragments of a great machine, or devices meant to be found and used by modern day humans have been sent back as tools. Which seems very close to the Terminator storyline. Although the wedge is not the only ‘out-of-place’ artifact to be discovered, thus adding some weight to this claim.
Alien Technology – The idea that extra-terrestrial beings have visited us throughout time is a widespread one. People often look to hieroglyphics and other man-made drawings that show shapes appearing similar to alien craft. It is believed that there are a race of overseers who keep a close eye on the planet and the happenings of humans from somewhere else. The Wedge of Auid is another entry into this idea, allowing theorists to propose the notion that the wedge is a part of a spacecraft that had fallen off. If you look at the shape and structure of the wedge, it does resemble the ‘foot-like’ shape of landing gear. The existence and place of the notches and holes allude to the fact that this piece of metal was once connected to something else.
Despite testing, today we still have no conclusive evidence to support what the wedge is or where it came from. Skeptics however are convinced it is simply a piece of modern machinery that had fallen into the trench. The most common example used to debunk the myths is that it is a tooth from a digger, although this hasn’t stopped others comparing it to aircraft pieces or automobile parts. Until some other evidence comes along, or our ability to time-stamp metals improves – this strange wedge will remain a mystery.