Originally sent via e-mail, the statement read, in part, Regrettably, despite the best efforts, the refereeing process cannot be 100% effective. made it through the review process even though, in retrospect, it does not meet the standards expected of articles in this journal...The paper was discussed extensively at the annual Editorial Board meeting ...They have the right to have their work recognized with a diploma, which is nothing much these days." Niedermayer suggested that the Bogdanovs' Ph. theses and papers were "spoof[s]," created by throwing together string theory and theoretical physics jargon: "The abstracts are delightfully meaningless combinations of buzzwords ...which apparently have been taken seriously." Copies of the email reached American mathematical physicist John Baez, and on October 23 he created a discussion thread about the Bogdanovs' work on the Usenet newsgroup sci.physics.research, titled "Physics bitten by reverse Alan Sokal hoax?Rumors spread on Usenet newsgroups that the work was a deliberate hoax intended to target weaknesses in the peer review system employed by the physics community to select papers for publication in academic journals.The story spread like wildfire in public media, prompting Niedermaier to offer an apology to the Bogdanovs, admitting that he had not read the papers firsthand.The validity of their work was supported after independent reviews by several physicists such as Jac Verbaarschot of Stony Brook, Roman Jackiw of MIT, and Robert Coquereaux.
One of the scientists who approved Igor Bogdanov's thesis, MIT's Roman Jackiw, spoke to New York Times reporter Dennis Overbye.
In May 2001, the journal Classical and Quantum Gravity (CQG) reviewed an article authored by Igor and Grichka Bogdanov, titled "Topological theory of the initial singularity of spacetime".
One of the referees' reports stated that the article was "Sound, original, and of interest.
Some physicists have also treated this as evidence of the fallibility inherent within the peer review system.
The debate over whether the work represented a contribution to physics, or instead was meaningless, spread from Usenet to many other Internet forums, including the blogs of notable The authors have Ph. degrees from the University of Burgundy; Grichka Bogdanov received his degree in mathematics, and Igor Bogdanov received his in theoretical physics (in 19 respectively).