Frank Tubb was a building contractor in Santa
Ana with an interest in the archeology of Orange County. He
had already discovered a 17 million year old fossil Whale
in Mission Viejo during the construction of one of his housing
projects. He was intrigued by the Laguna Skull, and had contacted
Howard to see the skull for himself.
an odd coincidence, he was also an old friend of Dr. L.S.B.
Leakey, who, as it happened, was also in Newport Beach on
a lecture tour that week. Dr. Leakey was considered the dean
of contemporary Anthropologists, having discovered man's earliest
ancestor, 2 million year old Homo Habilis, at Olduvai
Gorge, Tanganyika in 1960.
Tubb called his old friend Dr. Leakey and asked
him if he'd like to see the skull too. Leakey, often inundated
by locals bringing old things for him to see during his tour,
usually would turn down such a request, but he decided to
look at the skull for the sake of his old friend.
Howard took the skull to Balboa where Leakey
was staying with friends and was told by an assistant there
that the DR's schedule was so busy and that he could only
spare 10 minutes. Howard entered the room and produced the
"He took one look at the skull and began
grinning 'Oh! Gee, that looks great!' he said. I thought
I'd never get out of there." said Howard later.
Leakey apparently instantly recognized the possible
significance of the skull, and became so interested in finding
out it's true age, that he asked Howard if he might take the
skull to the Geophysics lab at the University of California
in Los Angeles to have it dated using the now very precise
method of Carbon-14 dating.
In fact, it would be dated by the very scientists
who invented the C-14 method of dating, Dr. Willard Libby
and Dr. Reiner Burger. If anyone in the world could find the
most precise date possible, using the most accurate lab procedures,
it would be these two men. Howard agreed to the dating and
handed the skull over to Dr. Leakey, then went home to wait.
Ironically, just during the preceding year,
Howard had offered the skull to two prominent California Universities
for examination: Both had turned it down.
They would soon find out they had missed out
on the most exciting discovery in American Archeology.