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SA's Erich von Däniken?

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Description: Wayne Herschel
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« on: September 07, 2006, 18:16:13 PM »

Originally from Zimbabwe, Wayne Herschel now lives in Durban, South Africa, and gives the old "luminaries" like Erich von Däniken, Graham Hancock, Zacharia Sitchin, Robert Bauval, etc. a very crisp run for their money in terms of purveyed twaddle volume.  His book (The Hidden Records) is worth knowing about only insofar as it represents a nadir of critical thought.  It's a right royal pain to read not least because of its poor language.  Some of the reader reviews seen at the above link are worth reading, and it will be seen how polarised the book's readership is.

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« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2006, 16:44:36 PM »

Know it's a bit late, but at least von Däniken had a good writer...... Grin
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« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2006, 17:14:14 PM »

... at least von Däniken had a good writer...... Grin
Hmm, yes his prose is quite readable, but he, more than anyone else, is to blame for the prevalently sorry understanding of archaeology that one commonly finds today.  Herschel's book lists all three von Däniken books in its bibliography.  It is interesting to speculate what might have been if, à la Dan Brown and his Da Vinci Code, von Däniken had presented his ideas in works of fiction, rather than as established fact.  Certainly, no one would dare cite him as a factual reference, and that in itself would be worth much.

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« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2006, 17:37:04 PM »

Yes, I enjoyed his books tremendously when I was younger.. but lost interest when I found out about the fraud charges against him... The I found out that he did not write himself, but actually had someone doing it for him... could be because of language or something... nevertheless his books was well presented, albeit misleading.. - a pity...

In those days, I couldn't wait for the next Charles Berlitz book!!!!  He had no language problem..   Grin
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« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2006, 17:59:17 PM »

... I found out about the fraud charges against him... The I found out that he did not write himself, but actually had someone doing it for him...
Interesting.  I didn't know about that - I'll try Googling for a report.


In those days, I couldn't wait for the next Charles Berlitz book!!!!  He had no language problem..   Grin
Indeed, he didn't have a language problem.  Just about any language.  It helps when one's father is the owner of by far the largest publishing house of foreign language phrase books and traveller's companions.

After reading The Bermuda Triangle and being suitably intrigued, I delved into The Philadelphia Experiment.  This being before the days of the Internet, I searched multiple physics texts and encyclopaedias for the Biefeld-Brown Effect Berlitz mentioned in the latter book.  Not finding anything, I grew suspicious and, after further study and reading, concluded that Berlitz was merely a deluded sensationalist.  In fact, writing skill aside, Herschel has much in common with Berlitz also.

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« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2006, 18:19:43 PM »

http://www.softwareartist.com/philexp.html
http://www.crystalinks.com/phila.html


Found a link or two about the experiment....
He co-authored that one with Bill Moore http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Moore

I found Berlitz to be quite in line with other authors on the same subjects.... I'm gonna have a look around - might still have the book lying round.. Cheesy

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« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2006, 18:34:30 PM »


Thanks for the links - I'll look at them more closely soon (I fixed them in the above quote  Tongue).  Also, I've still got to search for the von Däniken story, but time is not on my side right now.

I've kept all my woo-woo books in a separate section of a bookshelf.  They can be very instructive in cases where someone shows a genuine interest in learning how to distinguish science from nonsense.

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« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2006, 09:18:08 AM »

Erich von Däniken's theme park in Switzerland is about to close down.  See here.

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« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2007, 10:11:17 AM »

Wayne Herschel and his wacky celestial woo-woo were featured in Cape Town's Sunday Argus recently.  Wayne's still punting his "star map" thingy - the one where, according to a reviewer of his book, any "any three-dot alignment must 'mean' something" - despite all contrary evidence and logical objections.  "Scale" and "orientation" are concepts that Herschel seems blithely unaware of.

Lately he's also chucked Stonehenge, Leonardo da Vinci (Dan Brown at least could distinguish between fact and fantasy, a skill that still seems to elude Herschel) and Vatican City into the mix as further "evidence," never mind that the Vatican is a few millennia younger than the 17,000-odd years he speaks of in his self-published book.  What is certain is that he'll have some way-out "explanation" for these additions to his curious mélange of claims that purports to show humans originated somewhere in the Pleiades from some ETs.  Simplicity does not seem to have a place in Wayne's cosmos, and Occam's Razor is good only for cropping colourful illustrations.

The Cydonia, Mars, "face" retains a central place in Herschel's array of extraordinary evidence, and NASA/ESA scientists are obviously still deluded some years after the "face" was scrutinised more closely a few times.  But thanks to Wayne's much clearer pictures, the truth is known, but he only says "image enhancement" about how he came by such clear photos.

The "vast collection of coincidences" Herschel talks about is overshadowed by a much more vast collection of known facts.  No one is contending that "we are alone" as an absolute article of knowledge, and few, I think, would venture such a claim.  However, to accept Herschel's "evidence" and "coincidences" as compelling is to "mock human intelligence."

Herschel will give a talk about his ideas at the MTN Science Centre, Canal Walk, Century City, on April 14 this year.  The organisers are obviously a bit out of touch with the meaning of the term "science," and vocal sceptics will, I expect, be unwelcome.

ETA: Why is it that black and gold always seem to feature so heavily with the astronomy/archaeology woo-woo brigands?

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« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2007, 12:12:14 PM »

Wayne Herschel needs a cash injection to perpetuate his fool's foray into the swampy lands of Selection Bias:
Quote
Our article last Sunday about Melkbos author Wayne Herschel and his theories about the origins of Stonehenge and the pyramids was preposterous, according to one distinctly underwhelmed reader.

Well, maybe not as preposterous as he thinks. For buried deep inside Herschel's website at www.thehiddenrecords.com is the following.

"More books need to be printed urgently and new investors are invited to join the quest. Each new investor will be entitled to a royalty ad infinitum.

"An investment share of $25 000 in the project earns the investor a 17c per book reward. The investment is treated like a bank loan with interest. The return of the 'loan' amount to the lender is being targeted within a 12-month period.

"The offer may sound too good to be true, and because of the unique nature of this project, will only make sense to those who have taken the time to read the book! Dan Brown has sold over 40 million books. Even if The Hidden Records were to sell only a fraction of such a figure ... imagine the reward!"

Maybe so, but there's at least one crucial difference: Unlike Herschel, Brown doesn't pretend to write factual accounts, a point he (Brown) is adamantly clear on.  He writes lightweight fiction with lots of one-dimensional characters nonceing about against historical backdrops.  In contrast, Herschel insists that his fairytale is true, lending weight to the idea that once you have a theory, all you find is evidence to confirm it.

Also, the columnist does not explain how an ostensibly lucrative deal offer resulting from an apparent upsurge in popularity can in any way diminish the preposterousness of Herschel's contentions.  It's a non sequitur, unless the implication is that it is okay to bilk people with dodgy facts and dodgier reasoning as long as someone - anyone - makes a buck thereby.

And that's hardly unique.

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« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2007, 15:31:52 PM »

Correction: Wayne Herschel's MTN Science Centre presentation is scheduled for 4 (not 14) April at 7:00 P.M.  R60.- at the door will get you a seat, though Barry Hilton would be funnier.

But only marginally so.  Grin

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« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2007, 07:47:12 AM »

A few days ago, I found an article on Wayne Herschel in the Wikipedia and inspected the entry's history, which I saved for quick retrieval.  It turns out that doing so was fortuitous for reasons that will become clear shortly.  The original entry read thus:
Quote from: Wikipedia
Wayne Herschel is author of the book 'The Hidden Records'. He is an amateur archeo-astronomist who has dedicated his life to discovering the true origins of the human race. His most famous discovery is the perfect correlation of the star map of the Pleiades-Orion region of the sky with the numerous pyramid layouts on Earth and Mars, such as Tikal, Egypt and Cydonia.
A link to Herschel's web site was given.

The entry was amended once to present a milder, and perhaps truer, expanded account:
Quote from: Wikipedia
Wayne Herschel is author of a self-published book, ‘The Hidden Records.’ He is an amateur archeo-astronomer who has dedicated his life to discovering the true origins of the human race. Originally from Zimbabwe and presently living in South Africa, he is best known for his controversial hypothesis that several ancient pyramid and monument sites on Earth were purposely laid out to mimic the positioning of prominent night sky stars in order to highlight one specific sun-like star near the Pleiades. This special star is humankind’s point of origin some 17,000 years ago, according to Herschel.

Hershel’s work draws on and extends some of the proposals of writers such as Erich von Däniken, Zecharia Sitchin, Graham Hancock, Robert Bauval and Richard Hoagland, and his conjectures about the correspondences between stars and the ancient monuments encompass, among others, ancient constructions of Egypt, Angkor, Tikal, Stonehenge, Vatican City, and the Cydonia “face” region on Mars. Mainstream scientists and historians are unconvinced that Herschel’s speculations are adequately supported by evidence to warrant serious consideration.

The article was subsequently deleted in its entirety two days ago.  The reason?
Quote from: Wikipedia
(a7 nonnotable content was: '{{db-bio|non-notable, self-published author of pseudoscience}} … ').

Reason code "a7" is the Wikipedia equivalent of a summary execution.  It is obvious, then, that a small measure of sanity prevails.

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« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2007, 09:15:43 AM »

Wayne the Brain is giving talks in Cape Town tonight, 6th June, and tomorrow night:
Quote
Cape Town - Peninsula Hotel - 4 course dinner - Star map Angkor night
                       Thursday 7th June 7pm.
                       Call Melissa for details and booking at 021 430 7777.

Cape Town - St George's Grammar School (Jenny Mallett Hall)
                       Richmond Rd, Little Mowbray
                       Wednesday 6th June 7:30pm

                       Tickets R40 at door or call 082 329 5277
In effect, this means that he's still soliciting support for his iffy fable from lay people instead of taking seriously others' criticisms and the fact that experts are still almost completely ignoring him after several years.  Also, it is telling that Wayne has dropped ticket prices by a third.  One suspects that this may have been done in response to attendance figures being somewhat less than crushing.

Perhaps ordinary people are also increasingly starting to wonder about your ideas, Wayne?

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« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2008, 13:26:05 PM »

Quote from: Wayne Herschel’s Sock Puppet
It was after reading this highly respected author’s [Robert Bauval] breakthrough finding [The Orion Mystery] that Wayne’s ideas became more focused, to the level where they became such an obsession that he eventually sat down to co-ordinate a manuscript of his own.
Bauval’s finding – i.e. the “correspondence” between the three stars of Orion’s Belt on one hand, and the three Giza pyramids on the other – is not respected by any scientific orthodoxy and is hardly “breakthrough,” being long on speculation and short on evidence.

Quote from: Wayne Herschel’s Sock Puppet
Wayne Herschel says his readers can rest assured: He has a very high regard for the source of all religious material and spirituality and he is highly motivated by what his years of research have moulded his belief into. There is without doubt an over whelming (sic) reality of the existence of an all knowing (sic) omnipotent Creator of the universe. Book one does not really explore this subject yet but a spiritual journey begins in his next book. It presents new research that reasons a single Creator as a spiritual life force nucleus in the universe and its mathematical design code. All life, exactly how we know it on Earth, seems apparently very abundant within the universe. It appears to be created within a very clever yet precise bio-diverse design code that is self adjusting to its environmental changes. We recognise the fundamental part of this as evolutional natural selection. Wayne will also focus on the commons of belief systems - highlighting equitable ethics, humility and purity, and above all, recognising the value that life is sacrosanct.
Source.

Despite stern disavowals of same voiced elsewhere on Wayne’s page, this smacks of an aspiration to some sort of hybrid New Age/traditionalist guruhood.  The jargon and “sciency” sounding prose coupled with touchy-feely smarminess add up to pure New Age drivel.  It seems that the less actual substance there is to an area of study, the more its proponents feel compelled to dolly it up with obscurantist claptrap.

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« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2008, 14:15:06 PM »

Quote from: News @ “The Hidden Records” website
Wayne Herschel will be presenting a large screen slide show/talk in Cape Town at the Pinelands library on Wednesday the 19th of March at 7pm.

Titled - "the star of the gods - Origins of humanity challenged".

Parking facilities will be available on the Post Office side of the Howard centre (library entrance). Regular parking tickets are issued at the boom entry, however the parking will be free and the boom will automatically be opened after 8pm to allow cars to vacate at no cost. (Howard Centre is off Howard rd in Pinelands Cape Town).

Recent discoveries will also be previewed involving the secret star map of the Vatican, the US one dollar bill and the Solomon Key that famous author Dan Brown is apparently using for his new book titled The Solomon Key.

Entry - R60 per person admission at the door. Duration approximately 1hr. Signed books will be available. Light refreshments and snacks will be served.

Call 082 329 5277 for more info or optional reservation of seats.
CaptainKlingon, a heads-up for you.

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« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2008, 16:21:00 PM »

I hope the light refreshments and snacks are worth R60 Grin
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« Reply #16 on: March 13, 2008, 11:31:18 AM »

I hope the light refreshments and snacks are worth R60 Grin
With the stuff Herschel dishes up and expects you to swallow, I quite doubt it.  On the other hand, I wonder whether the inherent comedy could perhaps be worth the price of admission…  Wink

Interesting, though, is the reference to the work of Dan Brown.  Maybe there’s some merit in requiring that, à la some US creationist school boards and evolution textbooks, Dan Brown’s books be issued with a prominent disclaimer on the cover that reads, “This is a work of fiction.  That means it is a made up story for entertainment only.  It is not historical fact.  It is not a reference work.  It is not an exposé of any ancient far-reaching conspiracy involving a cast of shadowy figures.  In short, it is imagination draped over a historical backdrop.

But it probably wouldn’t do any good anyway, considering how Wayne is still basically accusing both NASA and ESA of deceiving the public with their photos of the Cydonia “face” on Mars.

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« Reply #17 on: March 13, 2008, 12:18:59 PM »

Maybe there's some merit in requiring that, à la some US creationist school boards and evolution textbooks, Dan Brown's books be issued with a prominent disclaimer on the cover that reads, "This is a work of fiction.  That means it is a made up story for entertainment only.  It is not historical fact.  It is not a reference work.  It is not an exposé of any ancient far-reaching conspiracy involving a cast of shadowy figures.  In short, it is imagination draped over a historical backdrop."

Although a bit off-topic, I think that such a disclaimer is futile when the infamous "FACT" page is found in this book immediately before the prologue which reads:

Quote from: Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code
FACT

All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate.

But he seems to refine this on his website where he claims:
If you read the "FACT" page, you will see it clearly states that the documents, rituals, organization, artwork, and architecture in the novel all exist. The "FACT" page makes no statement whatsoever about any of the ancient theories discussed by fictional characters. Interpreting those ideas is left to the reader.


I wonder how many people who read the book and "interpreted" his FACT page incorrectly actually went to his website to find-out what he really meant by writing that.
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« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2008, 21:17:27 PM »

Wayne “I believe conventional archaeologists are dimwits” Herschel is planning his next book, eagerly awaited by a wide spectrum of New Age and other woo-woo adherents.  In it, he plans to reveal the source of his “knowledge” concerning human origins.



Ever since entering the public arena, Wayne Herschel has incessantly been challenged by scholars on the source of his material – especially since he proposes a very controversial and entirely alternative interpretation of a vast spectrum of earliest history.
And that is just as it should be.  After all, remarkable claims require remarkable amounts of remarkable evidence.  Herschel’s first book, The Hidden Records, offered a tedious litany of overly contrived and even invented coincidences instead of actual or direct evidence.  Its only value, apart from introducing Herschel’s odd notions about humanity’s origins to the world, was as an instructive study in how to avoid applying Occam’s Razor at all costs.



Since releasing his book not a single scholar has stood up to take the stand in front of the media, either to comment or evaluate the material.
This seems to intimate that relevant scholars are afraid to confront the material possibly because it destroys extant theories.  However, the truth is probably much closer to scholars not wanting to embarrass Herschel publicly and/or because his hypotheses are so farfetched as to defy a measured response.



Wayne has now decided it is now time to release the spiritual material his book was leading up to, he will take the stand himself by revealing his source and make most of the new material available in advance of his next book.
Would it be cynical of me to say that there’s little reason to be hopeful of a compelling defence?



Even though the disclosure of his source of material will no doubt spark an even greater controversy…

[Herschel] claims the source to everything he has found is not of this world.
That should clear it all up, then, assuming that one has already accepted Herschel’s basic thesis that we are the descendants of Pleiadean space travellers who came to Earth almost 20,000 years ago.



[The information] came with two conditions. One was the responsibility of presenting the material by securing it with copyright to prevent negative interference that will try and block it.
Funny how that plays directly and conveniently into the author/publisher’s hands.  Still, one might wonder why such copyright should be required if the information is of such allegedly cardinal importance to all of humanity.  Copyright doesn’t guarantee accuracy.  Nor does it guarantee that copy errors won’t occur or that the information will be widely dispersed.



The second condition was that since the complete presentation has enough evidence to enlighten humanity thus starting a ‘new’ belief system, it must be available for all to see freely on the internet and it must carry the name ‘Oneism’.
Giving it a new name and/or making it freely available doesn’t add to its plausibility.

All in all, Hershel’s new book is unlikely to make my birthday wish list once it is released.

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« Reply #19 on: November 21, 2008, 09:23:28 AM »

Sounds like he read too much LR Hubbard. If Hubbard can start a religion with aliens to make money, why can't Wayne? Cheesy
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« Reply #20 on: November 04, 2010, 19:58:21 PM »

Hello SA Skeptics.

I realise this topic is a couple of years old and so do apologise for it being brought back up again however the information I have is pertinent to the Wayne Herschel hoax and should be shared to make sure the truth gets through.

Wayne, in May of this year, brought up on his Facebook account that proof of intelligent alien interstellar communication had been found by a friend of his called Judy Fältskog via a radio telescope. The fact that the signal was in the UV band brought many people to attention of this being a hoax.

There is an ongoing thread about this Wayne Herschel hoax over at ATS (AboveTopSecret).

The short and simple fact of the matter is that Wayne is using knowingly falsified information in order to sell his book The Hidden Records and is trying to profiteer from those naive enough to fall for it. I cannot for the life of me accept these lies as anything but a shove against genuine research and science and so must let you know here. The full story goes almost into hyperdrive with the ridiculous, yet provable, operatics of it all. Read it if you want to have an enjoyable 10 hours. There will be a summary available freely shortly.

He is having 2 confirmed conferences very shortly. 1 in Cape Town and 1 in Johannesburg, details of which can be found here (or here in case it changes on his site).

If it is possible I'd like people to feedback on either the locations, Wayne himself or the event if they attend.

I am open to the fact that I consider him to be a low down dirty liar to be wrong and am willing to reconsider (I am a sceptic after all!). However I would like to know as much about this, and the potential for a balloon with a nasty advert on it, as possible.

Thanks for your time and I will be checking back to reply to any updates.

Take care my fellow sceptics!

-m0r
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« Reply #21 on: November 04, 2010, 20:17:44 PM »

Hello m0r1arty, and welcome to the forum.

If I may ask, how did you find out about Herschel?  And where are you from?

Herschel’s nonsense is so completely ridiculous that it is a wonder anyone buys into it.  A well-meaning relative gave us his book a few years ago and that’s how we got to know of him.  I’ve also debated one of his fans once and can tell you that these people are not reachable by reason.  It’s best just to laugh at their stupid ideas whenever an opportunity arises.  Arguing with them is a frustrating waste of effort.

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« Reply #22 on: November 05, 2010, 11:02:16 AM »

Hello Mefiante and thank you for the welcome.

I came across the shyster Herschel by way of a post on a conspiracy website known as ATS (AboveTopSecret).

A fellow member posted a thread in earnest about a statement Wayne had made on his Facebook account regarding a 'good' friend of his who had allegedly picked up an intelligent extraterrestrial message in the UV band on a radio telescope.

The claim, of course, was torn to shreds by reasonable minds and would have fallen into the ether of other hoaxes had it not been for the appearance of the twit himself.

Through his gauding account of what occurred further motivation arose and a plethora of further information about both him and his accomplice Judy Fältskog.

The evidence presented, including legal documents and prior court cases against Judy Fältskog, seems to conclude that they are, or were, aspiring to start a religion.

This is only the surface of it all. It has escalated into Wayne posting on his web sites that there are conspiratorial overtones to his being found out and that he is going to take on these 'disinfo' agents.

I, being one of these so called (and cited) agents, have upped my game to include knowledge of this fraud shenanigans to others who have noted his dealings in the past.

If you wish you can rad about the Wayne Herschel fraud here.

It is a very long thread though and would recommend looking at this singular post to get a brief overview of the first 30 pages.

The fact that he's giving a talk in 10 days, where he is charging people for the privilege, in South Africa grinds my gears and I hope that someone can hold him to account for his corruption and blatant abuse of those who are of a particular, and perhaps vulnerable, mindset.

Again, thank you for the welcome Mefiante and I hope my statements are in accord with your own outlook on the matter.

-m0r
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« Reply #23 on: November 05, 2010, 11:35:42 AM »

i'm a sucker for a good alien story, but i really have an issue with people going around being militant about spreading the 'word'.
if you are making money out of you story-telling, then all forms of alarms ring for me.
if you really have information to tell, then do it for free?
i do have a good chuckle though, seeing that the alien end of things are being punted as vigorously as the christian end of things.
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Mefiante
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« Reply #24 on: June 12, 2012, 09:09:47 AM »

Looks like Herschel’s paranoia is now beginning to develop into a full-blown persecution complex.  I’m left wondering whether the person who penned the TO ALL THOSE WHO INVESTED HEART AND SOUL IN THE BOOK piece was drunk, stoned or brain-damaged — or some novel combination of the three.

'Luthon64
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