This wild story was told again by SFGate this week and is trending. When you find something in a muddy creek in San Rafael, could it also mean someone just made the story up?
"For centuries, historians had searched for Drake’s plate, the only physical evidence of Sir Francis Drake’s expedition to the California coast. The English privateer, fresh off raiding Spanish ships and towns along the Pacific coast, found safe harbor in the Point Reyes area in June 1579. While resting and restocking there, he claimed the territory for Queen Elizabeth I. He named it New Albion.
According to crew member accounts, Drake left an inscribed brass plate in the area to stake his claim. But in the 350 years since, no one had seen it.
Bolton was convinced it was still out there. Whenever his students said they’d be taking a weekend trip to the seashore, he asked them to keep an eye out for Drake’s plate.
Now, he had it. It was not what he expected, sure, but Bolton had explanations for everything. He told the assembled crowd and the media there was no doubt this plate was real. Its craftsmanship and writing (“BY THE GRACE OF GOD AND IN THE NAME OF HERR MAIESTYQVEEN ELIZABETH OF ENGLAND AND HERR SVCCESSORS FOREVER, I TAKE POSSESSION OF THIS KINGDOME,” it read in part) was consistent with the 1500s.
In addition, he said, a prankster would have left it near Drake’s Bay. It made no sense to leave it near a muddy creek in San Rafael. This could only mean one thing: Historians were wrong. Drake had entered San Francisco Bay, almost 200 years before Gaspar de Portolá “discovered” the area.""
FULL STORY: https://www.sfgate.com/news/editorspicks/article/drakes-plate-marin-francis-drake-history-15976470.php