WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) They've been overlooked as useless oddities for decades flat-backed stones with sunken eye sockets and gaping mouths carved into them stowed in bowling ball bags, left in barns or fashioned into candle holders by those who found them in the woods of central Massachusetts.
Now in the hands of retired state geologist Joseph Sinnott, the five stone faces found in Sturbridge and Southbridge are getting the attention of archaeologists and antiquity researchers throughout New England who are wondering whether they were sculpted by American Indians, prehistoric settlers or practical jokesters.
''I'm not saying I know who made these,'' Sinnott, 73, said. ''I'm looking for information on who made them. Nobody I've spoken to has ever seen anything like these.''