May 20, 2005 · Posted in: In the News, Media, Online Research

Anatomy of a hoax

LIKE any math enthusiast, my interest got piqued by a Manila Times report that was published on May 5, 2005 about Andrew Wiles — the British Princeton University professor who first claimed in 1993 to have finally solved the world’s most famous mathematical conjecture, Fermat’s Last Theorem (FLT) — eventually conceding to errors in his proof pointed out by a Filipino mathematician, Dr. Edgar Escultura.

My initial reaction was mixed — one of elation as it is not often that we get to hear stories of Filipinos outwitting the intellectual giants of the West, and the other, of doubt, since in not a few cases have such tales of accomplishments turned out to be patent hoaxes, the most recent one being Faye Nicole San Juan’s "feat" at the Intercontinental Science Quiz Net in Australia last year which was given prominence in the local media, no less than the Philippine Daily Inquirer among them.

Reading the entire Times‘s report, however, eclipsed the early excitement and eventually gave way to skepticism. Following the discussion threads in some mailing lists and the posted comments in blogs that carried the story only intrigued me and heightened my suspicion. As a journalist, I was compelled to conduct my own inquiry into the matter.

The way it was written, the Times‘s report obviously relied only on a single source — Dr. Escultura. But that one-sidedness seemed alright to the editors of the Times who, in a reply to a letter-sender, even defended the decision to publish the story because, as they wrote: "We didn’t have any reason to doubt him."

Among us mortals, I know that only the Pope gets to enjoy infallibility (although I don’t necessarily subscribe to the idea). But even if Escultura’s integrity as a source is unassailable as far as the Times is concerned (the math professor having been the paper’s one-time columnist, math and science section editor, and who even taught math at the Manila Times School of Journalism), shouldn’t it be second-nature to journalists to always verify, corroborate and counter-check the facts they gather?

As it turned out, Escultura’s claims regarding Wiles’s acknowledgment of errors in his proof of FLT are merely based on a guestbook entry in his website by someone purporting to be Andrew Wiles. I say that because there is no way to verify the authenticity of the message since "Andrew Wiles" did not provide any contact information, not even his email address. Some have even recognized the tone of sarcasm in the supposed Wiles’s letter as to give it much credence:

Also I’d like to have the address of the guy who let you get a PhD 30 years ago. I’d like to discuss few things with him… 

The logical thing to do next was to search for Professor Wiles in the website of the Department of Mathematics of Princeton University, from which I was able to obtain his official email address: I sent him an email on May 13 requesting for his comments on the claims made by Dr. Escultura in the Times‘s report. The following day, I got this reply from him denying authorship of the letter being claimed by Escultura:

Dear Mr Pabico,

The e-mail purporting to be from me is not only a fake but even as fakes go it is rather a feeble effort.


Andrew Wiles

Even that email message appeared to be dubious in light of email-perpetrated hoaxes (remember the ones purporting to have been written by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and much earlier, Kurt Vonnegut?). And as if to complicate matters further, two more guestbook entries under the name "Andrew Wiles" appeared in Escultura’s website on May 12.  This time, the messages were saying everything was meant to be just a joke.

This time, too, Escultura admitted as much about his cluelessness with regard to the identity of the "Andrew Wiles" poster in a reply to another site visitor who left a comment in his guestbook:

Dear John Doe,

I don’t know who the real Andrew Wiles in later mails, the e-mail addresses are not indicated.

I sent another email to Prof. Wiles to seek confirmation if the two messages really originated from him, and if so, how they now fare with what he earlier sent to me claiming that the "first letter" Dr. Escultura got was fake. This was his reply which I received today:

Dear Mr Pabico,

I don’t even know what a site guestbook is. I certainly have not posted any messages on his website.


Andrew Wiles

My sense is that Dr. Escultura and the Manila Times (and ABS-CBN Interactive which was the only other news site that carried the report) had been had here. And the writer of the report — Rony Diaz, the Times former publisher and now its CEO — and the Times editors could have spared readers this non-news, to put it mildly, had they only done their homework.

Besides the unverified claims and without going into the veracity of Dr. Escultura’s mathematical assertions (that’s for true-blue math wizards to validate, not mine), the report also contained factual inaccuracies that only serve to bolster the perception that this is a hoax. In a phone interview, Dr. Escultura himself pointed out that the surname of Bernard Zeigler, with whom he is currently working on a project, was misspelled. The report spelled it Ziegler which accounts for the lack of relevant information about him in Google search.

Zeigler, he also corrected, is an electrical and computer engineering professor with the University of Arizona, not the University of Texas at Houston as reported. Bloggers and members of mailing lists were quick to note that no such university exists in Houston save for three — University of Texas Health Science Center, University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, and University of Houston.

The report also claims that Dr. Escultura is a professor of mathematics at the University of the Philippines, which is also only partly correct. His stint with the U.P. Math Department lasted from 1986 to 1990. He retired from the university in early 1997, though he says he still teaches at UP Clark and the Kalayaan College in Abucay, Bataan.

The only positive thing in all this, a Philippine Science High School alumni list member says, is that it has rekindled interest in people, getting them to think about the foundations and nature of mathematics. As for journalists, who by common knowledge are mathematically challenged :-), I just hope this episode also reignites in us the strict adherence to journalism values of accuracy, authenticity, fairness and balance even as we grapple with the challenges of reporting in the digital age. Technology, after all, can be a journalist’s ally in getting the facts right and covering the right facts.

75 Responses to Anatomy of a hoax


Abe of Lincoln

May 20th, 2005 at 1:07 pm


Nice job. I’ll post a link to you on my blog.

You were more tenacious than I was. I checked the Princeton website for contact info for Wiles, but couldn’t find it. I sent an email to the head of the department, but got no reply.

I suspected the collaborator was Dr. Zeigler of Arizona, since I found his name with Dr. Escultura’s in a couple of conference documents.


Alecks Pabico

May 20th, 2005 at 2:30 pm

Thanks, Abe. I was actually about to give up on the search at the Math Department website since the information provided for Prof. Wiles in the faculty roster does not have his email address. What I did was to do a Google search within the site using these keywords: “Andrew Wiles” email.

That’s how I found this page — — containing his email address.



May 20th, 2005 at 4:04 pm

Thank you for this information. I posted the URL of the Manila Times story before. Now all I have to do is post this site too.I just wish others who spread the word will also be that responsible.



May 20th, 2005 at 6:16 pm

The Manila Times has some serious purging to do. It’s sad that this even saw print only because Dr. Escultura used to work for the paper. He practically manipulated the paper for self-promotion.



May 20th, 2005 at 8:23 pm


It seems Escultura has been peddling his counter-examples to Wile’s proof since 1998. Just search “EEE” and “FLT” in google groups. EEE stands for Edgar Escultura. The guys at sci.math are skeptic of the man’s claims. At first they thought he was first a troll, but when they found out that he is a columnist for the Manila Times, they even grew more skeptic.

Escultura is essentially creating a new number system by disregarding some of the axioms essential to Math to disprove Wile’s proof.

Refer to a recent discussion thread regarding Escultura where he was directly called a “moron”:


Oh, as regards your recent background check requests on two people, I haven’t quite dug anything yet as they seem to be john does among media practitioners here.

I’ll keep you informed if anything comes up.



May 21st, 2005 at 5:31 am

Being a professional mathematician, I’d be happy to comment on the mathematical assertions made by Mr. Escultura. From reading his assorted ramblings on various web sites, this is what I can gather:

For some reason he seems singularly bothered by the statement 0.9999…=1. It is one of those things that looks weird at first, but eventually most people accept it. What’s more, it is easily verifiable using either the trichotomy of the real numbers (which says given real numbers a and b, either ab) or the completeness of the real numbers (which says all Cauchy sequences converge, whatever that means). Therefore, according to EEE, both of these assumptions must be false.

The problem with ruling out these axioms is that you essentially throw out HUGE chunks out mathematical knowledge. You need to reinvent almost everything we know. You could do it, sure, but why bother? Math works well the way it is. What’s more, EEE is not claiming Fermat’s Last Theorem is false under the standard axioms. He is claiming the axioms are wrong, and under his new axioms, Fermat’s Last Theorem fails. But, like I just mentioned, a lot of things we take for granted fail under his new logic. I’m not sure why he singles out Fermat’s Last Theorem the way he does.

Anyway, hope this sheds some light on the subject. Thanks for reading my rambling.



May 21st, 2005 at 5:36 am

Shoot. Forgot about possible HTML tags.

What I was trying to say is that the trichotomy says given real numbers a & b, one and only one of the following is true:
1. a is less than b
2. a = b
3. a is greater than b

Hardly an assumption you would want to get rid of.



May 21st, 2005 at 10:23 am

and the saga continues, EE’s latest letter on manila times….maybe someone should just wake him up…..

…from Manila Times….

Was Wiles joking?

In view of the controversy generated by the May 5 news story by Mr. Rony V. Diaz based on my press release and his conversation with me I would like to make some clarification. Two more letters from Wiles apart from the one published on May 5 were registered on my website’s guest book to which I responded. They are reproduced below.

Thursday 05/12/2005 9:52:02 p.m. What I’m trying to say is, lighten up! Math is supposed to be fun! True, false—who cares? Stop being so analytical. A. Wiles.

Saturday 05/14/2005 4:51:49 a.m. You do, of course, realize I was joking right? I mean about FLT. Apparently, you’re the only one who took the whole thing seriously. A. Wiles.

Saturday 05/14/2005 4:51:49 a.m. Dear Prof. Wiles, I salute you for being forthright. The statement you made has acquired its own momentum regardless of your intentions. E. E. Escultura.

Unfortunately, only a linguist can match their contextual characteristics and linguistic structure with a sample from Wile’s other statements. A suitable computer expert can trace the source of this message. But, this is irrelevant. The central question is: is his work on FLT right or wrong? The headline of Mr. Diaz’s article hit the nail right on the head with a categorical answer: that I proved him wrong. Prof. Wiles may deny admission of error (in the first letter) to save his skin but the fact remains that I disproved FLT along with his proof with many counterexamples. They are published in three peer-reviewed journals. Unless Wiles is able to refute my construction and publish his refutation in a peer-reviewed journal my contributions prevail. Regarding the suggestion by Prof. V. Lakshmikantham, president of the International Federation of Nonlinear Analysts and editor in chief of several scientific journals (he can be reached at Florida Institute of Technology) that I publish a book on the contradictions of mathematics and my remedy, I countered by suggesting that I also invite the collaboration of a more advanced book. Prof. Lakshmikantham agreed and he would support us all the way including the choice of suitable publisher. Prof. Zeigler and I have come to a general agreement on this matter but this will still have to be embellished with details. Extensive discussions of the subject of FLT since 1997 can be surfed using a pair or triple of these key words at a time: escultura fermat wiles number theory nonlinear analysis refutation new nonstandard. Messages on this matter can be found also in the archives or websites of, Math Forum, Sci Math—not the Crackpot Files and Rusin Internet Luminaries.

E.E. Escultura
Blk. 1 Lot 1 Granwood Villas BF Homes, Q.C. 1120


Alecks Pabico

May 21st, 2005 at 11:12 am

I disagree that the authenticity of the guestbook entries made by the “Andrew Wiles” poster is irrelevant as far as the Manila Times story is concerned, especially in light of the repeated denials from Prof. Wiles himself.

Because having proven the messages to be dubious, to say the least, there’s nothing newsworthy to report here. There’s no story at all. Dr. Escultura’s refutation of Wiles’s proof to FLT is old hat. Diaz’s article even mentions it: “In 1998 he published his formal refutation in ‘Exact solutions of Fermat’s equations (A definitive resolution of Fermat’s last theorem)’ in the Journal of Nonlinear Studies, Vol. 5, No. 2, pp.227-254.”



May 21st, 2005 at 1:01 pm

Interesting investigation. Nice one Alecks!

By coincidence, I read this thread just as I finished reading a days-old issue of the Manila Times and seeing again the ad for their school of journalism. So my question is, have Mr. Rony Diaz and his paper retracted his article in light of your findings? if not, or if he continues to insist on the veracity of his story, I will never take any graduate from their school seriously.



May 22nd, 2005 at 4:38 am

Hi Alecks,

First, you did a great job. I chanced upon that supposedly news that a Filipino mathematician proved wrong Fermat’s theorem through a mailing list/egroups.

Secondly, I wonder what motivated the ‘perpetrators’ in inventing this claim, this hoax.

[ I met you (but I doubt 100% that you’d remember me) during one of the journalism seminars conducted by Collegian in Vinzons Hall. You were one of the resource speakers (I was from UP Engineering Logscript), my batchmate then was Jonathan Malaya. I didn’t join the Collegian though. ]

angelo ancheta


Alecks Pabico

May 22nd, 2005 at 2:38 pm

This one from the Sassy Lawyer:

PCIJ on Manila Times’ Escultura report

While we’re on the subject of reporting in The Manila Times…

A couple of weeks ago, I posted an entry quoting a portion of a report in The Manila Times regarding a controversial mathematical theory. The report said that a Filipino professor, Edgar Escultura, debunked a solution of one Andrew Wiles of Prince­ton University to Pierre de Fermat’s equation. I honestly admitted not understanding any of the math part. I didn’t then; I still don’t now. Nevertheless, it was an interesting article.

Well, it now appears that there was something wrong with the entire Manila Times report. Alecks Pabico of PCIJ left a comment in the old Escultura entry. PCIJ did a lot of digging to verify the Manila Times report.

Read on.


Alecks Pabico

May 22nd, 2005 at 10:10 pm

Thanks Angelo. I would have no idea what motivates perpetrators of online hoaxes. As I see it, Dr. Escultura was also a victim here.

BTW, I just hope my lecture during that journalism seminar you attended did not influence your decision not to join the Collegian. 😉


Abe of Lincoln

May 23rd, 2005 at 12:40 am

I couldn’t find Dr. Escultura’s new letter in the Manila Times (cited by N above). It’s hard to find things there.

It’s hard to believe that he is seriously asserting that entries on his website’s guestbook must be taken to be from Wiles unless/until proven otherwise. A quick visit to the site guestbook signin shows there is absolutely no verification.

I just added this entry with no problem:

Name: Richard M. Nixon
Referred By: Just Surfed In
City/Country: USA
Comments: I am not a crook.

Thus it is approximately equally probable that the previous notes were written by Andrew Wiles and that I am the late Richard Nixon.

It’s sad, really.


Don't Let Me Stop You

May 23rd, 2005 at 12:45 am

Wiles Note to Escultura Clearly a Hoax

Alecks Pabico at the PCIJ has confirmed that the note purported to be from Dr. Andrew Wiles is a hoax. The original message was not an email, but a note in a guestbook on Dr. Edgar Escultura’s website. Clearly that could have been left by anyone.



May 23rd, 2005 at 5:36 pm

Great Idea! I will soon log into his guest book for some scholarly banter. Still thinking of who I want to raise from the dead though. Will I sign in a Leibniz? Poincare?


PS. Dear Abe, EE’s letter appeared on the May 21 (yata) edition on Manila Times’ Letters Section….


Alecks Pabico

May 23rd, 2005 at 6:19 pm

Yes, Escultura’s letter was published on Saturday, May 21. The issue has not been placed in the archives yet but you can check out the letters’ page here. You have to scroll down as it’s preceded by the letter from Veterans Bank.



May 24th, 2005 at 2:47 pm

Thank you very much for your investigation, Alecks. I referred to your post in my new Escultura article. It’s a bit embarrassing to say, but shame on me because I did not make further research on Escultura’s claim, although I also have a fair knowledge of Math. :( Thank you very much. :)


Alecks Pabico

May 25th, 2005 at 12:13 pm

From the parser blog:

Update on FLT? The magic of the blogosphere’s self-correcting nature demonstrated this instant. Abe reports on the developments here and there, while Roy Choco posts what the UP Math Department has to say.

EDIT: Alecks Pabico’s post in the PCIJ Blog outshines the rest. (He was a speaker in the recent iBlog summit, BTW) He shows us what a journalist ought to do in verifying facts.

Aw, sayang. I had half-hoped there would be a flurry on this. That would have been such fun to watch. Math crumbling before your very eyes.

Enough dreaming. Let’s move on;


calmighty » Blog Archive » Escultura Fermat Wiles Debacle Update

May 25th, 2005 at 2:32 pm

[…] e to say on the subject after reading Alecks Pabico’s dust-up of the whole matter in Anatomy of a Hoax posted in his blog on the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism. Pabico sorts out the […]


Alecks Pabico

May 27th, 2005 at 11:14 am

Dr. Escultura’s still at it. Read his Manila Times column last May 24.



May 30th, 2005 at 8:15 pm

Fermat’s Last Theorem solved?

While on the subject of inaccurate stories in the press, I came across this story on ABS-CBN and the Manila Times:
It talks about a Filipino…


Don't Let Me Stop You

May 31st, 2005 at 10:13 am

Manila Times in CYA Mode on Escultura and Wiles

The Manila Times is doing its best to cover up the mistakes in its previous article about Dr. Edgar Escultura, Dr. Andrew Wiles, and Fermat’s Last Theorem (FLT). In particular The Times is still claiming in a recent column by Escultura that: 1. Escu…



June 15th, 2005 at 12:08 am

Hi Alecks,

EE wrote a new article in Manila Times slagging you off…:)
He still thinks the people who put messages in his guestbook are real. This time he puts a guestbook entry of Taylor as further proof that the mathematical world actually pays him attention. What a sad fellow.




June 19th, 2005 at 1:24 pm

maybe a followup story is needed. The Manila Times just published an article which says EE is nominated for the Nobel prize.



June 19th, 2005 at 6:31 pm

Dear Alecks:

Keep them coming.



Alecks Pabico

June 19th, 2005 at 7:09 pm

Thanks, N, Pancho. Already read that column of his. Will definitely write a reaction. But just for starters, the Richard Taylor (supposedly Andrew Wiles’s collaborator on the FLT proof) he quoted from an entry in his guestbook (in his column he spells it guess book, perhaps a more appropriate term) has replied saying:

The person who signed under my name is an impostor! It has been pointed out to me that you have quoted me in a paper. Well, it was not me who left an entry into your guestbook. You can be sued for this.

For which Escultura’s response was:

Thank you for the disclaimer. Messages are registered on my guest book, which is beyond my control, and it is the prerogrative of whoever is misrepresented to correct it.

It would be intellectually dishonest of him not to issue an erratum for his claims in that column.



June 19th, 2005 at 11:36 pm

EEE released the following names as his nominators:

Johannes Hieber
Member, The Swedish Academy of Sciences

Karolinska Institutet
SE-171 77 Stockholm
Nobels väg 8
Tel +46 8 524 864 60
Fax +46 8 33 89 66

Lars Jonhagen
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Karolinska Universitetssjukhuset, Huddinge, B84, 141
86 Stockholm.
Tel: 08-585 854 19, Fax: 08-585 854 70

Alexander N. Skrinskiy

Member, The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

Professor of Physics
Ac. Lavreniev Av. 11, Institute of Nuclear Physics,
Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences
630090 Novosibirsk
Phone (direct): +7 3 832 39 47 60,
Fax: +7 3 832 34 21 63, +7 (3833) 60-71-63

You may also conttact Steven Hawking and Roger
Penrose. You can find their e-mail addresses in their


Don't Let Me Stop You

June 20th, 2005 at 7:29 am

Escultura Still Riding Dead Horse

Just when we thought it was safe to go back on the internet, The Manila Times publishes another column by Dr. Edgar Escultura. Once again Escultura is claiming that he has refuted Dr. Andrew Wiles’ proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem (FLT). We have six pr…


Alecks Pabico

June 20th, 2005 at 9:25 am

Already did a little checking on the personalities involved. Only Alexander N. Skrinsky (not Skrinskiy) is listed as a member of the Committee on Physics of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Since his email address was available, I sent him an email inquiring into the matter of Escultura’s nomination. He replied saying he has no information about it.

Tried Googling the two other names but the search yielded no relevant information. One result showed a Johannes Hieber (1862-1951), a professor and theologian. Another one, still living, has a book dealing with ethics or philosophy. An email address was provided: which you may want to send email to verify. I already did but have yet to get a reply.

Karolinska Universitetssjukhuset is a university hospital. No Lars Jonhagen was listed in its directory. Also emailed the people concerned to inquire about him. Still awaiting a response.

These are just preliminary findings though.



June 20th, 2005 at 2:56 pm

Yup. I’ve verified the phone and fax of the person purporting to be Lars Johnhagen. It turns out to be a person by the name of Professor Lars-Olof Wahlund from the Geriatric Psychiatry Department. He has a colleague by the name of Maria Eriksdotter-Jönhagen. Putting one and the other together, he came up with the name Lars Jonhagen. Voila, another hoax is born.

By the way, the Karolinska Institute indeed does the selection of Nobel prize, not in Physics, but in Medicine and Physiology.



June 20th, 2005 at 3:08 pm

The award supposedly by Prof. J. Raymond was laso taken from the guestbook. Note that the Prof. J. Raymond seems to write like the sarcastic Prof. Wiles before:

Tuesday 05/24/2005 4:10:35am
Name: Jean-Luke Raymond
Referred By: Friend
City/Country: University of Luynes
Comments: Hello, great professor. My colleague Prof. LeSaGe has refered me to your wonderful site (and let me tell you that I respect you!). However, I have one small enquiry for you. Could you prove, assuming the normal real number system (in the ZFC axiomatic system, of course) that 0.999… is not equal to 1 or that the negation of that leads to a contradiction ? Also, I am at a loss for an answer when it comes to defining what an axiom is and, as you seem to be an expert on this, would like you to enlighten me. The second and main motivation for this message is that I believe your work is outstanding and deserving of an honorary University of Luynes Michel Prize. Would you be so kind as to accept this prestigious award ? If yes, I will provide you with the details of how to recieve it.

Your humble apprentice,
Prof. J-Luke Raymond
University of Luynes
Dept. of Rayology

Compare with the first article from Manila Times from Wiles:

Tuesday 04/26/2005 6:57:33am

Dear Sir,
Your work is incredible, I read all of it just yesterday and let me tell you I respect you. I am going to review all my ‘proof’ which I am sure is wrong (thanks to you!).

Would you like to collaborate with me in this work? I have noticed some imperfections in your perfect proof (that sounds like you), and I’d like to create a perfect proof with you, great professor.

Also I’d like to have the address of the guy who let you get a PhD 30 years ago. I’d like to discuss few things with him. . .

Very respectfully,
A. Wiles
Great professor? I respect you? I would bet this was written by the same person playing tricks with Dr. Escultura’s sanity and is probably rolling on the floor now laughing at his misdeed.


Alecks Pabico

June 20th, 2005 at 7:03 pm

And there seems to be no University of Luynes in France either. But I will still confirm with the French embassy here.

Also checked about the Michel Prize supposedy awarded to him. The only ones I encountered were references to the following:

  • Louise Michel Prize, an award granted by French Institute of Political Studies “for the defense and promotion of democracy, human rights and peace”;
  • Saint-Michel Prize, Russian acting award;
  • Michel Prize, awarded to an outstanding paper written by an undergraduate on a medieval topic by the Medieval Institute of the University of Notre Dame



June 20th, 2005 at 7:20 pm

The address and numbers supposedly of Lars Jonhagen were lifted from:
Lars-Olof Wahlund, prof
Geriatriska kliniken
Karolinska Universitetssjukhuset – Huddinge
141 86 Stockholm
Tel: 08-585 854 19
Fax: 08-585 854 70

The address is at the Karolinska University Hospital, Geriatric Clinic.
The other address and numbers supposedly of Johannes Hieber are from the Student Service
Student Service Campus Solna
Karolinska Institutet
SE-171 77 Stockholm
Nobels väg 8 (visiting address)
Tel +46 8 524 864 60
Fax +46 8 33 89 66

This guy is just unbelieveable. Does he think we readers can be insulted with such patent fraud?



June 21st, 2005 at 9:34 am

Take note though that hoaxes like this (and the one of Faye Nicole San Juan) do not happen only in the Philippines. There’s this one in India which fooled even the president and the prime minister of the country.


Abe of Lincoln

June 21st, 2005 at 11:37 am

I’m afraid he really believes it on some level. He is certainly not making up these guest book entries, which don’t cast him in a favorable light at all when you look at what they actually say.

He now seems to have gone much to far. Putting a bogus Nobel nomination on the international wire is bound to have consequences.

Roy Chocco’s blog Random Thoughts notes: “A quick look in the Nobel Prize website states that: ‘information about the nominations is not to be disclosed, publicly or privately, for a period of fifty years'”

This means the “notifications” EEE received of his nomination can’t possibly be authentic. No notifications are ever sent.

At some point The Manila Times is going to realize what damage they are doing to their own credibility by publishing this stuff.


Abe of Lincoln

June 21st, 2005 at 11:54 am

Should be “too” instead of “to” of course.

On the “University of Luynes” reference: The poster is probably implying “University of Loons.” Loon is American slang for a crazy person. “Dept of Rayology” certainly refers to the way some crazy people wear metal foil-lined hats to protect their brains from “attack” by “rays” from some hostile source (usually the CIA is mentioned). Google for “rayology.”

His friend, “Prof. LeSage” (“Prof. The Wise”) referred him. He’s also baiting EEE on the contention that 0.99999… is not equal to 1.


Alecks Pabico

June 21st, 2005 at 12:42 pm

He does seem to believe anything that’s posted on his guestbook. He even has an ongoing exchange with a Dr. Zigtor S. Bolloxinion who claims to be from the Department of Escultural Studies (can’t Escultura take a hint?) at the University of Marabar, which appears to be nonexistent as well. The only reference to Marabar are to some ancient caves in India.

If you check his guestbook today, you’ll find that he’s just been conferred another award, the “Carl Friedrich Gauss Prize for 2006,” by the International Mathematical Union. Will check on this later.



June 21st, 2005 at 3:16 pm

obviously people are just messing with him and he’s just too dense. the thing that gets me is that Manila Times actually publishes his garbage. delikado kung mabasa ng mga bata. they might get the wrong impression about science/math. can’t the MT get a legitimate scientist to write a proper science column?



June 21st, 2005 at 8:49 pm

Btw, I got the list of nominators from an email reply addressed from:
escultur36 (at) yahoo (dot) com
I cannot assure that this is EEE’s reply.



June 22nd, 2005 at 10:39 am

prem, those are also the same names that left entries in his guestbook.


Alecks Pabico

June 22nd, 2005 at 4:02 pm

I received an email dated June 20, 2005 from Dr. Jonas Forare, science editor and press officer of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences replying to my inquiry (and that of Dewey Yoseph Yap) regarding the claim by Dr. Escultura that two “members” of the Academy, Johannes Hieber and Lars Jonhagen, nominated him for the Nobel Prize for Physics.

As we’ve suspected all along, Hieber and Jonhagen are bogus.

Dear Dewey Yoseph Yap and Alecks P. Pabico,

No, neither a Lars Jonhagen nor a Johannes Hieber are members of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. (emphasis mine)

The nominations are secret for 50 years, and none of the Nobel Committee members would ever comment on ongoing nominations. But from time to time people who have been invited to nominate leak to the press about whom they’ve proposed.

The deadline for nominations for this year’s prizes was February 1st . A new round, for next year’s prize, starts in September 2005.

Read more about the nomination procedure and who are invited to nominate at:

Yours sincerely,

Jonas Förare

Jonas Förare, PhD
Vetenskapsredaktör, pressansvarig/ Science editor, Press officer
Kungl. Vetenskapsakademien/ The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

Box 50005
SE-104 05 Stockholm

Phone +46 8 673 95 44, fax +46 8 673 95 83, mobil 0703-27 72 00



June 22nd, 2005 at 6:24 pm

I hope MT publicly apologizes for this fiasco.


jay cynikho

June 22nd, 2005 at 7:31 pm

ooops ang haba ng “escultura” issue. importante rin ito, pero kung ito peke, peke balita ay tactica lang para mapa iba ang pansin ng tao, smoke screen para matabunan ang kapakanan ng bayan, tila tagumpay na, dami ng blah blah tungkol kay eskultura.

mas importante ba ito kaysa sa nakaw sa boto ng bayan? ang galing naman ng nakadiskubre nitong issue ito. puede ba huwag ng sagutin ito, ayaw kong maging instrumento to divert attention to the real isssues of the here and now.



June 22nd, 2005 at 10:02 pm

i dont think its about fake letters or emails. I think its about whether the theory was correct in disproving the previous theory. What has Andrew Wiles has to say about it. And why hasnt any scientist and physicist of the world spoken? If this is indeed a joke… last time i checked, the manila times and abs-cbn: Edgar escultura is up for a nobel prize nomination in physics. Now you can try to disprove if this is wrong, true or false.



June 22nd, 2005 at 10:28 pm

Here’s another example of Wile’s proof that he is wrong. It seems that another prof disproved him a while ago. the link :

Re:Wiles’ Fermat Theorem disproved; ‘3’ went uncarried
Submitted By: Anonymous (Sun, 03 Apr 05 at 09:23:12 PST)
Submitted By E. E. Escultura

Andrew Wiles should be happy that Prof. Vincenza found only an error in his comptuation. Everyone commits such error. But, his error is quite profound: he constructed his proof in the real number system whose two axioms, namely, the trichotomy and completeness axioms, are false. Brouwer constructed a counteexample to the former (Benacerraf and Putnam,Philosophy of Mathematics, Cambridge U Press, 1985, p.52) and Banach-Tarski constructed acounterexample to the axiom of choice, a variant of the completeness axiom (Kline, Mathematics: The Loss of Certainty, Oxford U Press, 1980, p. 268). I also constructed countable counterexamples to FLT, showing that it is false, in Nonlinear Studies, Vol. V, No. 2, 1998, pp 227 – 254. For details of the construction see my websites:;

Re:Re:Wiles’ Fermat Theorem disproved; ‘3’ went uncarried
Submitted By: Anonymous (Wed, 20 Apr 05 at 18:16:05 PST)
> Banach-Tarski constructed acounterexample to the axiom of choice Um. No they didn’t

Re:Re:Re:Wiles’ Fermat Theorem disproved; ‘3’ went uncarried
Submitted By: Anonymous (Sun, 01 May 05 at 10:34:53 PST)
Submitted by E. E. Escultura

The key component of the proof of Banach-Tarski theorme called the Banach-Tarski paradox because it is a contradiction in R^3 is the use of nonmeasurable set. The existence of a nonmeasurable set is done using the axiom of choice (see Royden, Real Analysis). So, the axiom of choice yields this contradiction.


Abe of Lincoln

June 23rd, 2005 at 7:33 am


The MathForge thread you cited is a joke. Notice that the original post in the thread is dated “April 1,” the day of tricks and jokes in the USA. Also, “forgetting to carry the three” is the kind of mistake a young child would make, hence the gag in attributing that to WIles. Most of the other posters in the thread understood that it was a joke.

I wrote a pretty long post on my blog about the question of whether Dr. E has proved what he claims. Go ahead and read that, and if you want to discuss it further we can do so here or there.

Note that when Dr. E says the axiom of trichotomy is “false” he is making a claim that practically no other mathematician agrees with. Trichotomy says that for 2 real numbers “a” and “b” one and only one of the following statements is true:
a equals b, or
a is less than b, or
a is greater than b

If one doesn’t accept that (i.e. holding that more than one of the statements can be true or that all can be false), there are many proofs in the standard math system that would not hold. Imagine trying to balance your checking account in that kind of system. :^)

Best regards,



June 23rd, 2005 at 8:22 am

Dear Joel,

You ask “Why hasn’t any scientist and physicist of the world spoken?” and the answer is “Because no scientist/physicist can really be bothered to take him seriously”. EE publishes in “Journals” (if they can be called that) of which he is the Editor or a member of the Editorial Board and in all his papers, his citations point to his own works as well. He is definitely a mathematician who has gone completely off-tangent, but he is definitely NOT a physicist. You only have to read as far as the abstracts/introduction of his so-called “Physics” papers to realize that his Physics fundamentals are severely lacking. As far as his “Math” papers go, he has a basic misunderstanding of what an “axiom” is.

As a fiction writer, EE is at the top of his game though. His papers are highly imaginative and very amusing if you suspend disbelief.

Now, what is the basic issue here? Clearly he has held hostage the Manila Times for his self-promotion and the Manila Times (who has a “School of Journalism”) have been very sloppy in verifying their story and getting their facts right.

And if anyone has a paper copy of the June 19 Edition of the Manila Times, they should keep it. Because it will soon be a collector’s item. It is rare to have a hoax as a headline story if the date is not April 1.
In fact, every Journalism school in the country should get a copy of that edition because it is the best example of “How to screw up a paper 101”.

Escultura’s B*tch,



June 23rd, 2005 at 8:47 am


Naiintindihan ko ang kagustuhan mo na mag concentrate ang mga tao sa isyu ng tapes ni Gloria pero ang assumption mo na dahil sa pinagtutuunan ang isyu ni Mr. Escultura at ng Manila Times ay hindi na iniintindi ng mg taong nagdi-diskusyon dito ang isyu ni Gloria Arroyo ay walang basehan. Kung nabasa mo yung main PCIJ blog site, makikita mo na active din sa pag-submit ng mga artikulo tungkol sa nasabing isyu. Sa aking palagay, hindi maiiwasan ng kahit na sinong Pilipino ang isyu ng Gloriagate tapes.

Ang isa pang punto ay hindi lahat ng tao ay pareho ang iyong pananaw, hindi porke para sa iyo, pinaka-importanteng isyu ang isyu ni Gloria ibig sabihin dapat lahat ng tao ganon din ang pananaw. Iba-iba ang “values” ng mga tao, iba-iba ang kanilang sitwasyon, iba-iba ang kanilang magiging pananaw.


I don’t really care if Dr. Escultura wants to claim that he has disproven Fermat’s Last Theorem (FLT), and please read Abe’s blogpost for the reason why he has not. What is important to me is that a Philippine newspaper is printing Dr. Escultura’s claim without checking up on the relevant details. We trust newspapers and other new sources to deliver us truth, at least as much of it as they possibly can, but the Manila times did not even try in this case.

Somewhere in the Philippines a little boy or girl is telling a story about how a Filipino has disproved FLTand that he is now nominated for a Nobel prize (please read the comments before yours to see the proof that he has not been nominated) when both stories are not true. How can this be good?




June 23rd, 2005 at 11:48 am


Great investigative work, I hope the rest of filipino journalists are as equally hard working and professional. My initial reactions to Escultura’s articles on FLT were more of cynicism (they actually got me to grin). Like you I went to research on the current state of the proof of FLT and I found it to be actually still in good order. So I did not take any of EEE’s claims seriously and concluded that he was just naive and clueless, albeit, harmless.

However, after reading the most recent articles concerning his alleged Nobel Prize Nomination, and his report of his supposedly Nobel prize worthy work (Manila Times, June 22, 2005: Part I – “Grand Unifies Theory a 5000-year-old puzzle” and in June 23, 2005: Part II – “The Theory of Everything finds order in chaos”), I’ve concluded that EEE seriously needs a psychiatric evaluation. His discussions or ramblings on his supposedly “great physics” are incomprehensible and are totally BS. I believe he suffers from delusions of grandeur and actually manufactured ALL the “scientific” attention that he has reported. His latest “product” is a report that his Nobel Prize nomination is in peril due to claims of plagiarism by a certain Prof. Betrand Rice (I doubt this professor of physics even exists).

How or when will his suffering end? Unfortunately, he continues to harm himself. However, I also place significant blame on the editors and reporters of Manila Times for allowing this to unfortunate events to happen. I only have pity for him now, and only contempt for Manila Times.




June 24th, 2005 at 12:10 am

The Manila Times (June 24, 2005) just reported that Dr. Escultura was just awarded the Carl Freidrich Gauss Prize. If you check the International Mathematical Union’s website, that particular award will be given for the very first time in the year 2006. There is no mention of Dr. Escultura’s name in the website at all.



June 24th, 2005 at 2:02 am

This takes the cake, ladies and gentlemen. The Manila Times editor should be fired! They essentially copied and pasted the entry in EE’s guestbook!



June 24th, 2005 at 5:40 am



June 24th, 2005 at 11:35 am

The Manila Times’ wanton subservience to Escultura’s delusions has reached an intolerable breadth.


Abe of Lincoln

June 24th, 2005 at 2:13 pm


Definitely will be hard to top, but let’s wait a few days. I hear George W. Bush is about to award Dr. E. the Medal of Freedom, and Jacques Chirac has him up for the Legion of Honor.

It’s shocking the way so many media outlets are ignoring his accomplishments.


Alecks Pabico

June 25th, 2005 at 1:28 pm

Escultura receives yet one more award — the “Potiron Récompense prize for outstanding achievements in the field of cosmology for the year 2005.” Of course, this is again taken from his guestbook. News of the award was relayed by a certain Dr. Jacques R. Fou of the “Département de la dépendance mentale de santé et de substance L’organisation mondiale de la santé.” Translated to English using Google language tools, the French phrase says “Department of the mental dependence of health and substance the World Health Organization.”

I don’t know whether to laugh or to take pity on the man. But when I saw his comments (where else but on his guestbook) why only the Manila Times has been breaking out stories about his awards:

Some folks are wondering why only the Manila Times is picking up the news about the unraveling of the new mathematics and physics. Among journalists it is called SCOOP, a measure of a paper’s ability to be at the right place and the right time.

somehow I don’t find it laughable anymore.



June 25th, 2005 at 2:16 pm

Abe —

Tama ka. eto, Nobel Prize nomination naman, on the ABS-CBN website. Amazing! Journalism at its finest.

Kudos to ABS-CBN and the Manila Times!



June 25th, 2005 at 6:17 pm


The babelfish translation of Fou from french to english is insane. Maybe Dr. Jacques Fou is trying to give Dr. Escultura a hint?

Sometimes, when I’m feeling overly conspiratorial, I think the Manila Times is printing all these stories about EEE to drive traffic into their site. :)



Abe of Lincoln

June 26th, 2005 at 7:43 am

The French word “fou” is indeed the word for “crazy” or “insane.” The phrase, “Département de la dépendance mentale de santé et de substance L’organisation mondiale de la santé,” doesn’t sound like it was written in French. It sounds more like it was originally written in English (or some other language) and machine-translated (Babelfish or Google) into French. It’s not the way a human would say it. It comes out “Department of the mental dependence of health and substance.”

My guess is that it was supposed to be a French translation of “Department of Mental Health and Substance Dependence of the World Health Organization.” In fact when I put my phrase into Babelfish, I get this:
“Département de la dépendance mentale de santé et de substance de l’organisation mondiale de la santé”
An exact match.



June 28th, 2005 at 8:04 am

It’s funny how EEE, PhD seem to actually believe these guestbook entries. He discusses the three curious letters from Andrew Wiles in this article.



June 29th, 2005 at 1:35 am

Congratulations Alex. I love this part of the PCIJ blog. Hehehe.

Below is the latest from the Manila Times (Letter to the Editor)

Dear Sir,

In your June 24 web issue, you reported that Prof. Edgar Escultura won the “Carl Friedrich Gauss Prize” for his work on “Countable counter-examples to Fermat’s Last Theorem on June 21” from the International Math Union

If you check the website of the International Math Union
( you will discover that the Carl Friedrich Gauss Prize will be awarded for the first time in 2006. I hope you will amend and integrate this fact in your story.

Roy Choco
Valenzuela, Metro Manila


(In reply to Mr. Choco’s query, the following letters are apposite—Editor)

Tuesday 06/21/2005
0:20:50 a.m.
Name: John Gardiner

Dear Professor Escultura,

It is with great pleasure that I announce that the Carl Friedrich Gauss Prize for 2006 has been awarded to you for your work on “Countable Counter-examples to FLT.” You were given multiple nominations by 10 members no less of the International Mathematical Union and by 23 members of the Deutsche Mathematiker-Vereinigung. This number of independent nominations is unprecedented in the history of Prize-giving administered by both mathematical unions. You are a worthy winner!

We shall accomplish the formalities of the investiture very soon but for the meantime we give you our warmest congratulations.

John Gardiner
International Mathematical Union, Institute for Advanced Study, Einstein Drive, Princeton, NJ 08540 USA.


Thursday 06/23/2005 8:20:51 a.m.

Name: Imgul L. Bel
Homepage: http.//

Dear Professor Escultura,

First of all, let me congratulate you for winning the Carl Friedrich Gauss Prize from the International Mathematical Union and the Deutsche Mathematiker-Vereinigung. We would like to publish a short introduction of your work including your biography in the upcoming edition of Who’s Who. Would you kindly send a light-hearted description of how you came across the solution to your prize-winning work including a brief description of what you do in your spare time?

Your unprecedented nomination for the First Carl Friedrich Gauss prize should be a very worthy headline.

Best wishes.

Prof. Imgul L. Bel
Member, Deutsche Mathematiker-Vereinigung
Yale University
25 Park Street, Rm. 613
New Haven, CT, 06519 USA
(for all correspondence)



June 29th, 2005 at 2:38 am

I found this blog because our local Filipino newspaper here in Montreal carried the Escultura story.
I understand Jay’s concern that this issue may not be as important as Gloria’s phone conversation. However, I would say that internationally, Escultura does not help our image as Filipinos. It strikes at our credibility as a people, particularly when a national newspaper with a long tradition such as the MT seemed to have forgotten (intentionally set aside?) essential principles of journalism. All that said, I do admire the tenacity of the folks in this blog who have taken the effort to get at the truth. Thank you that there are still those of you, fellow Fillipinos, who are concerned for the truth.


jay cynikho

June 29th, 2005 at 6:07 am

to catgav

thanks for giving a bit of thought to my comment. May kasabihan ang mga ninuno ko, seguro wala na rin yun, but
there, inspite of the passage of time, seems to be some wisdom in them: “Nakikita ang butas ng karayum pero hindi makita ang butas ng palakol.

“Internationally, Escultura does not help our image as Filipinos..” Butas ng Karayum

Ano ba ang ginagawa ng mga lider natin sa Executive Branch, sa Congreso at sa Judiciary tulad ng Korte suprema at ang mga pinuno ng lakas sandatahan? Butas ng Palakol.

hindi ako kampi kay Escultura. Kung lamabag sa batas, kasuhan at pag nagkasala ikulong. Pag ang batas ay umiiral,
kunti lang ang blah blah.

Anong image, internationally? Yung Pinoy OFWs, mas meron yatang pakiramdam. workers lang sila. Alam nila ang image ng Pinoy. Yung mga emigrants better watch the body language of other Asians and other foreigners. Yung image ng Pinoy noon 1950’s. Wala na yun.

Wala na yung butas ng karayum Na ang makikita ay sina Quezon. Roxas, Osmena, Laurel, Quirino. Magsaysay at C. Polistico Garcia.

Napalitan na ng butas ng kuweba Na ang makikita ay sina Macapagal, Marcos, Cory Aquino, Ramos, Erap at Arroyo. –

Noon hindi tayo number one sa pagpatay sa mga journalist, hindi tayo number two sa corruption, hindi tayo number one sa nagugutom na mga bata, hindi tayo number one sa paglilinis ng kubeta ng mga airport at restoran world wide,
mga doctor natin hindi nag aaral ng nursing para maging nursing attendant, wala rin noong mahigit na dalawang libong Pinoy ang umaalis araw-araw.

Ngayon world class tayo sa kahihiyan. kulang ang spacio kung itutuloy ko. Mahirap magmahal sa bayan kung ikaw ay nasa ibang bansa Example: marami di nakakaalam na wala na ang integridad ng MT mula ng mawala si Chino Roces.

Anong magiging tingin nila sa Pinoy kung yung mga pamilya ng mga politiko at mga armado ay mag e emigrate din. Pano naman yung mga emigrant na trabaho lang at tahimik na buhay ang gusto? Pati image ng Pinoy emigrant,
masisira na rin ba?

salamat naman at marami pa rin ang concern sa image ng Filipino. Pag wala na itong concern na ito marami sa atin maginhawang nabubuhay na lang kaya sa dirty money? Hindi kasama doon ang mga OFWs na nabubuhay sa puhunang dugo.



June 29th, 2005 at 11:24 am

Thanks Mr. Pabico. Your work is greatly appreciated.

Now that Escultura is through with mathematics he’s training his sights on physics. Hilarious!



June 29th, 2005 at 7:50 pm

At the risk of drifting from the subject, please permit me to extrapolate/editorialize on this Escultura tragedy.

Whichever way one looks at it, fast-paced communication in the global village has made image more important than perhaps it should be. What I found positive in this Escultura affair is that the Filipino community itself (in the Philippines and elsewhere, electronic mostly) sought to get at the facts – documented facts. As a member of the science community, the Escultura hoax brought up once more in me the ghost of the Elizalde-Tasaday hoax that fooled even the National Geographic. I had the impression then that we as a community were not so vigilant in smelling a rat. Perhaps not so anymore. That is what is encouraging. If Filipino journalists, such as the people in this blog, are willing to sniff out the details and not take anything for granted, if they can check their emotions at the door and write incisive but fair/objective/accurate reports, then we are many steps ahead.

The Escultura story might truly be a single rotten tree in the forest, but if we were to always set aside the details in favor of the search for the holy grail of the big picture, then we enter the risk that our forest might eventually degenerate into mostly rotten trees.


Abe of Lincoln

August 4th, 2005 at 10:25 am

“Prof. Imgul L. Bel”

LOL. Read that as “professor I’m gullible,” as that is what the writer is saying. I can’t believe the Manila Times fell for that one. Well, I guess I can believe it…



August 20th, 2005 at 8:10 pm

…and the saga continues, behold, a new entry from our favorite professor….

Name: E. E. Escultura
Referred By: Just Surfed In
Comments: Gentlemen/Madames,

For those who missed my recent statement, allow me to state it again.

The Nobel nomination is on. My previous assessment that it was a hoax was wrong. The error was stems from a conspiracy to make me believe that it was a haox. I hsve since then been contacted by my nominators to explain the situation and confirm my nomination.

E. E. Escultura


Random Thoughts

October 5th, 2005 at 8:50 am

Nobel Prize in Physics

The Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded today and the winners are…

Roy J. Glauber
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA

“for his contribution to the quantum theory of optical coherence”
John L. Hall

JILA, University of Colorado and Natio…



June 13th, 2006 at 9:04 am

The problem I have with E. E. Escultura’s claims is that the Annals of Mathematics is one of the most respected mathematics journals and he seems to be uninformed about the fact that six offical referees under the supervision of Barry Mazur worked on the papers. Who cares about Fermat’s Last Theorem when Andrew Wiles and Richard Taylor were the first to prove infinitely many j-invariants are modular. E. E. Escultura is not a good mathematician and is un professional. He plays the games Andrew Wiles did when he was trying to prove Fermat’s Last Theorem before he began his studies as a research mathematician. By the way it took most professionals in algebraic number theory a week to a month to read both Fermat papers whereas E. E. Escultura’s was read in a day. E. E. Escultura, if you are as a good a mathematician as you tell you us, try getting a job at the New York Times. You remind me of Dan Brown and I hate it work, because it is junk compared to that of Neal Stephenson. One man tries to destory the public’s understanding of 8 years of work by one of the modt remakable people in mathematics using elementary school mathematics. E. E. Escultura you should go to hell for this. You have wasted our time just which is just about as bad is it can get. I want you to pay for this crap!


mom work from home

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December 6th, 2011 at 3:32 pm

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Alex Peralta

March 19th, 2015 at 2:01 am

Dr. Escultura was our Math 1 professor in 1993. UP Los Banos.

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