This is a scientific story without an explanation, called a “mystery” and an “enigma” in articles by the people who discovered it. Confounded by evidence they cannot explain by natural processes, these scientists implicate human beings.

One month ago in Eos, (June 7, 1988, p. 633), Wallace Broecker and Scott Stine reported abnormally high levels of radiogenic 14C in California's Mono Lake, now a National Historic Site. The only logical explanation, they proposed, is that someone secretly dumped a total of about 20 curies of 14C into the lake in two doses, sometime between 1952 and 1958 and again between 1966 and 1977. Broecker and Stine, geologists at Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory in Palisades, N.Y., called on readers for information on the source of the 14C.