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Nations Before Our Own
By Brad Steiger
In the mid-1950s, Mrs. Alleyne K. Ecker pulled a peculiar object from red clay fifteen feet down in a well workmen were digging on her farm in Guthrie, Oklahoma. After she had washed off the mud and clay, she found that she had retrieved a figurine that depicted a bearded, robed figure holding a lamb. A man who claimed to be an expert on woodcarving told her that the artifact had been shaped from a tree harder than ebony, a tree that had been extinct for centuries; but no one could identify the figure of the ancient shepherd.
After the object had been in her possession for some time, two Chinese students at a nearby college told Mrs. Ecker that they recognized the figurine as a representation of Shou Hsing, the Chinese god of longevity. The idol was considered by the students to be the earliest representation of the god, who was esteemed as a deity many centuries before Christ.
About 1910 a small boy playing in the tiny settlement of Flora Vista, New Mexico, dug up two slabs of carved rock and released a controversy that has raged unabated ever since. Among the symbols of an ancient language no one has yet deciphered are the figures of a number of indigenous animals--and two elephants. Clearly, unmistakably, with trunks and floppy ears and tusks, the figures represent elephants. The boy found the slabs in 800-year-old tribal ruins on the Animas River, opposite the village of Flora Vista.
Can someone draw a picture of an elephant without ever having seen one?
It has been postulated that if you put enough monkeys in a room with enough typewriters and provide them with enough paper, one of them will eventually reproduce Hamlet. If countless ancient Native American tribal artists had carved enough representations of animals on enough rock slabs, is it possible that one of them had eventually carved an elephant?
To examine the alternatives, we might say that one of the following explains the elephant slabs:
1. Mammoths coexisted in the Southwestern United States until eight centuries ago with men sophisticated enough to capture their image in art.
2. An invasion fleet launched by an Asian potentate reached the New World, complete with war elephants, and a Native tribal artist captured the event for posterity.
3. The slabs are the work of a hoaxster, who hid his fakes in the old tribal ruins so that sooner or later either an archaeologist or a small boy would uncover them.
4. The slabs found their way to New Mexico via the tradeships of Phoenicians or Africans between 900-200 B.C.E.
On September 13, 1924, near Tucson, Arizona, Charles E. Manier found the first of what would prove to be a series of unusual artifacts inscribed with what very nearly appears to be Latin. Among the twenty-seven artifacts are six crosses, nine swords or sword fragments, a spearheaded serpent cross, and a crescent cross. According to authorities, the language appears to be Latin of a style popular up to A.D. 900, and dates on some of the pieces bear out this supposition. But the Latin inscriptions strive to record a kind of history of settlement and provide a journal of exploration that makes no sense--and a few Hebrew words thrown in here and there add confusion rather than clarification.
Again, we are left attempting to explain bizarre hybrid artifacts:
1. The crosses and swords and their peculiar Latin inscriptions could be some incredible hoax.
2. A band of explorers, perhaps from the Mediterranean area with a knowledge of Christianity, Latin, and Hebrew, could somehow, circa 800 A.D., have gotten themselves to the American Southwest, established a colony, recorded their history, and then proceeded to pass into obscurity. Some of the Hebrew words found jumbled in with the Latin are "Jehovah," "Peace," and "Mighty Empire." Did the explorers consider themselves part of a mighty empire, or did they find themselves confronted with a mighty empire in the American Southwest?
The Scientific American for July 22, 1882, tells of a curious find of "Pre-Indian Relics from Virginia":
The objects [found between the ranges of the Blue and Allegheny mountains, near Mount Pisgah, North Carolina] are said to be of a type absolutely unique, consisting partly of human, partly of animal figures, either in the round or in various degrees of relief. Some are household utensils. They appear to have been sculptured by metal instruments, so perfect is their workmanship.
The correspondent for Scientific American comments further that the human figures were not fashioned in the likenesses of American Indians, and that the images were fully clothed in tight-fitting garments. Some of the figurines were represented as seated in armchairs; others were astraddle a most remarkable variety of animals--bears, prairie dogs, birds.
An imaginative artisan at work, one may comment comfortably. But then comes the zinger: Some of the riders are seated upon two-humped camels, rhinoceroses, and hippopotamuses. Either our artisan observed such African animals for himself, saw representations of such animals, or he was more than imaginative, he was clairvoyant.
The Scientific American hazards a theory that "the articles were made by an earlier and more civilized race, subjugated and partially destroyed by the Indians found in Virginia on the arrival of the white men." However, the specimens of the Old World animals were "obviously" made by a white man, the report concludes without further explanation.
Roman coins have been unearthed in tribal burial mounds as far west as Illinois.
An iron fork was found in a prehistoric tribal site near Eddyville, Kentucky.
Japanese pottery from the Jomon period (3000 B.C.) was found in Ecuador in 1966.
Viking rune stones continue to be unearthed throughout the United States and Canada.
The colossal stone heads scattered in the jungles of Veracruz display obvious Negroid features.
A clay tablet found along the Susquehanna River Dear Winfield, Pennsylvania, bears a cuneiform inscription that describes a short-term loan of an Assyrian merchant in Cappadocia around 1900 B.C. E.
I quite agree with my friend Patrick Huyghe, who, in his book Columbus Was Last: From 200,000 BC to 1492, A Heretical History of Who Was First (Anomalist, 2005) presents enormous amounts of evidence to prove that numerous seafarers landed on the shores of North and South America before the earliest recorded sighting of either continent by a European. However, as I point out in Worlds Before Our Own (Anomalist, 2007), there are a great number of artifacts that have been discovered throughout this hemisphere that simply do not make any kind of sense on anyone's timetable. The evidence, plain and simple, appears to reveal that there were other great nations on these lands before our own.
An estimated two million pounds of copper were mined on Isle Royale in Michigan by some unnamed prehistoric mining empire that had the means of transporting the metal out of the immediate area.
Several bog-iron smelting furnaces have been found scattered over the southern half of Ohio. Farmers in that state occasionally turn up iron artifacts in their fields.
Speculation as to the identity of the ancient workers in iron has included the Vikings, the mysterious Mound Builders, or a long-forgotten civilization that once existed in America.
All that can be said with certainty at this time is that when the early settlers arrived in Ohio in the years 1790 to 1810, they found no less than 100 abandoned hills crowned with stone fortifications. Some of these remained for years at Fort Hill, Spruce Hill and Glenford Fort in Perry County. Similar fortified hills may be seen at Hill Fort, Georgia, and Manchester, Tennessee. At the Manchester fort the first settlers found bricks and a short iron sword.
In 1820 Caleb Atwater issued a report of a furnace surrounded by bricks in the central mound around which Circleville was built. With the furnace were what appeared to be a dagger and a plate, both of disintegrated iron.
In 1953 miners of the Lion coal mine of Wattis, Utah, broke into a network of tunnels between five and six feet in height and width, which contained coal of such vast antiquity that it had become weathered to a state of uselessness for any kind of burning or heat. A search outside the mountain in direct line with the tunnels revealed no sign of any entrance. Since the tunnels were discovered when the miners were working an eight-foot coal seam at 8,500 feet, the evidence is irrefutable that an undetermined someone conducted an ambitious mining project so far back in time that all exterior traces have been eroded away.
Professor John E. Willson of the Department of Engineering, University of Utah, was quoted in the February, 1954, issue of Coal Age: "Without a doubt, both drifts were man-made. Though no evidence was found at the outcrop, the tunnels apparently were driven some 450 feet from the outside to the point where the present workings broke into them. . . . There is no visible basis for dating the tunnels .... "
Jesse D. Jennings, professor of anthropology at the University of Utah, could offer no opinion as to the identity of the ancient miners, but he denied that the vast runnels and coal mining rooms could have been the work of any Native American people. "In the first place," he commented, "such works would have required immediate and local need for coal. . . . because before the white man came, transport was by human cargo carriers. . . . As for local use, there was no reported extensive burning of coal by aboriginals in the region of the Wattis mine."
The Morrisonville, Illinois, Times, December 24, 1851, reprinted an item from the Springfield Republican titled "A Nut for Geologists":
Hiram de Wirr, of this town, who has recently returned from California, brought with him a piece of auriferous quartz rock, of about the size of a man's fist. On Thanksgiving Day it was brought out for exhibition to a friend, when it accidentally dropped upon the floor and split open. Near the center of the mass was discovered, firmly embedded in the quartz and slightly corroded, a cut-iron nail, of the size of a six-penny nail. It was entirely straight and had a perfect head. By whom was this nail made? At what period was it planted in the yet uncrystallized quartz? How came it in California? If the head of that nail could talk, we should know something more of American history than we are ever likely to know.
In a letter dated December 5, 1879, a Mr. Hannibal Fox of Milton, Sullivan County, Missouri, wrote to The American Antiquarian(Vol. 3, p. 336) regarding his discovery of a silver and iron mask, which he had uncovered while plowing a field. The publication commented that "melting iron and silver in a crucible, and preparing a matrix by placing clay over the face after death, and pouring the metal so that the vessel tipped, do not seem to be operations which are usual among the aborigines, or, as far as we know, even among the Mound Builders."
On Tuesday, June 9, 1891, Mrs. S. W. Culp broke a lump of coal preparatory to placing it in the scuttle, an act she had performed thousands of times. However, the artifact that fell out of the lump was most singular.
"At first," according to the Morrisonville, Illinois, Times of June 11, 1891, "Mrs. Culp thought the chain had been dropped accidentally in the coal, but as she undertook to lift the chain up, the idea of its having been recently dropped was at once made fallacious, for as the lump of coal broke, it separated almost in the middle, and the circular position of rhe chain placed the two ends near to each other; and as the lump separated, the middle of the chain became loosened while each end remained fastened to the coal."
In the Creation Research Society Quarterly (March, 1971), Wilbert H. Rusch, Sr., Professor of Biology, Concordia College, Ann Arbor, Michigan, quoted a letter a colleague had received from a Frank J. Kenwood, who said that he had been a fireman in the Municipal Electric Plant in Thomas, Oklahoma, in 1912, when he split a large piece of coal and discovered an iron pot encased within.
"This iron pot fell from the center, leaving the impression or mould of the pot in the piece of coal," Kenwood wrote. "I traced the source of the coal, and found that it came from the Wilburton, Oklahoma, mines."
It is difficult to place the age of such items as coins, chains, silver masks, and iron pots. The radiocarbon-14 method of determining age can only be applied to organic materials, such as bone, wood, coal, and textiles.
On December 17, 1869, the Los Angeles News printed an account of an inscribed slate wall that had been supplied by a correspondent of the Cleveland Herald, writing from Wellsville, Ohio:
Capt. Lacy of Hammondsville, Ohio, had some men engaged in making an entry into his coal bank, when a huge mass of coal fell down, disclosing a large, smooth slate wall, upon the surface of which were plainly carved several lines of hieroglyphics. No one has yet been able to tell in what language the words are written. The letters are raised; the first line contains 25. It is probably that they were cut in the coal while in its vegetable state and during its formation into coal. The matter from which the slate is formed filled the impression and became solid, for since the removal of the coal we find the letters upon the slate apparently reversed.
The men discovered the wall with its undecipherable hieroglyphics about 100 feet below the surface. If the letters were cut into the coal in its "vegetable state," as the anonymous journalist suggests, then we are back in the Carboniferous Systems, approximately 250 million years ago.
The Scientific American for January 14, 1886, carries a report from the Lexington, Kentucky, Press that tells of a massive stone wall unearthed by workmen quarrying rock one mile from town on the Frankfort pike:
It had every appearance of having been built by human hands, the mortar seams and joints being very plain. Above it about ten feet of drift and twenty feet of rock had been removed by the workmen, and on the side exposed the men had advanced fully forty feet from where they first struck rock. Thus it was firmly embedded in a solid limestone quarry which certainly was formed about it since the wall was built. The face of the wall was well dressed, and its massive appearance gave evidence of the skill of hands perished long centuries ago, and could well be envied by the best of the stone masons of today.
On June 27, 1969, workmen leveling a rock shelf at 122nd Street on the Broadway Extension between Edmond and Oklahoma Ciry, Oklahoma, uncovered a rock formation that created a great deal of controversy among investigating authorities. To a layman, the site looked like an inlaid mosaic tile floor. Apparently looked very much like someone's inlaid floor to some of the experts as well.
"I am sure this was man-made because the stones are placed in perfect sets of parallel lines which intersect to form a diamond shape, all pointing to the east," said Durwood Pate, an Oklahoma City geologist who studied the site. "We found post holes which measure a perfect two rods from the other two. The top of the stone is very smooth, and if you lift one of them, you will find it is very jagged, which indicates wear on the surface. Everything is too well placed to be a natural formation [Edmond Booster, July 3, 1969],"
Dr. Robert Bell, an archaeologist from the University of Oklahoma, expressed his opinion that the find was a natural formation. Dr. Bell said that he could see no evidence of any mortaring substance. But Pate, on the other hand, was able to distinguish some kind of mud between each stone.
Delbert Smith, a geologist, president of the Oklahoma Seismograph Company, said the formation, which was discovered about three feet beneath the surface, appeared to cover several thousand square feet. The Tulsa World (June 29, 1969) quoted Smith as saying: "There is no question about it. It has been laid there, but I have no idea by whom."
On November 5, 1967, Frank Tolbert, columnist for the Dallas Morning News , wrote about a buried city under Rockwall, Texas. Raymond B. Cameron told Tolbert that the walls of the mystery city were about eight inches thick and that the stones had been formed, or placed, on top of each other with the ends breaking near the center of the stone above or below, just as a fine mason would build a wall. The stones gave the appearance of having been beveled around their edges, and the walls were too regular in appearance to have been formed by nature.
Cameron went on to say that there was a mortarlike substance between the stones. Then he dropped the biggest blockbuster of all: "Four large stones taken from wall segments appear to have been inscribed by some form of writing. This couldn't have been done by erosion, since the stones were underground."
Tolbert concluded his column by recalling the visit of a famous archaeologist, Count Byron Kuhn de Porok, to Dallas in the 1920·s. The count seemed to lean heavily on the theory that these were once the walls of an ancient city. He said the walls looked remarkably like those of buried cities he'd excavated in North Africa and the Middle East.
In March, 1964, Frank McNamara, Jr., digging in his cellar in South Boston in an attempt to plug a leak, unearthed a sculptured, ten-pound stone head. The artwork shows the hair in short curls; the eyes slant downward and are quite long; there is a rather primitive treatment of the ears.
This strange find in a South Boston basement has baffled some of the best archaeologists and anthropologists at Harvard and at a number of museums and schools. There is a consensus that the artifact is not the work of native American Indians. But from that point, no one is certain whether the piece should be ascribed to the Near East, Western Asia, or Egypt. One authority ventured his opinion that the style of the primitive head would suggest the Near East of about 700 B.C.
No one seems interested in speculating just how the artifact came to reside several feet below the earth in South Boston.
But, then, there aren't too many archaeologists or other members of the scientific community who appear very interested in determining the identity of the nations before our own that occupied the continents of North and South America.
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