"A resident of Vladivostok, which is sandwiched between China, North Korea, and the Sea of Japan, was adding ordinary coal to a fire when he noticed a shiny metal object peeking through a piece of the friable black rock."
Brian Thomas reviews accounts of possible evidence of artifacts. He excludes no possibilities:
"Maybe some ancient coal melded around a piece of modern machinery from Khakasis. Maybe an old explorer dropped an even older bronze bell down a well for miners to later extract from the mountains of West Virginia. And it is perhaps conceivable that coal somehow enveloped a more recently manufactured iron cup. These and other apparent human artifacts embedded in coal need more investigation. ...
And such investigations should include the possibility that these artifacts were produced by people who lived at the same time that vast forests were catastrophically buried to become coal."