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Lesser Known Mysteries: Enigmatic Inscriptions

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posted on Sep, 9 2014 @ 01:27 PM
I'd like to thank everyone for their kind support for my last thread, Lesser Known Mysteries: Mysterious People. In this second installment, I present to you a selection of enigmatic inscriptions not commonly mentioned in the popular lists found on the Internet.

Spider Rock Treasure Maps

Drawing of the first stone found near Clyde, TX (Wichita Falls Times, Oct 13 1963, PDF)

In northwest Texas, in the country where the Brazos river flows around the Double Mountains, there are legends of lost Spanish copper, silver and gold mines and hidden caches left behind when the Spaniards were forced to flee from Comanche raiders. As early as 1872, treasure hunting expeditions were launched to search for these legendary mines and stashed riches.

Between 1902 and 1910, three copper inlaid stone maps were found in three different Texas counties. All of them featured an assortment of glyphs, cryptic letters and numbers as well as the spiderweb like design from which their name is derived. The first two stones, the Clyde and Salt Fork stones, were destroyed in a fire (isn't that how it always happens?) but the third stone, found in Rotan, Fisher County, TX, is on display at the museum run by a college professor, Dr. Hale — the Lela Latch Lloyd Museum in Cisco, TX.

Here's a brief description of the stones from one of the few original sources for information on the web, a web article by Bill Townsley:

A second stone was discovered between 1902 and 1905 near Aspermont, Texas, in Stonewall County, near the Salt and Double Mountain Fork of the Brazos River. Then about 1910 the third stone was discovered near Rotan, Texas, Fisher County, in the proximity of Gyp Creek. All three rocks bear some of the same symbols. As example, a spider web design is found on either the front or back side of all three stones. Cut along the edge of the Rotan Spider Rock is the numeral "94", the same appears on the Aspermont Spider Rock. "71" written as an Arabic numeral on the Clyde Spider Rock appears as a Roman numeral on the Aspermont Spider Rock. Capital "F"s appears on all three stones. The numeral "29" appears on both the Rotan and Clyde Spider Rocks, as do the letters "PO". "CXF" appears on both the Aspermont and Clyde rocks. (4)

Dr. Duane Hale next to depictions he made of the first two stones
The Rotan, Fisher County stone

In his 2004 book The Spider Rock Treasure, long-time researcher Steve Wilson, director emeritus of the Museum of the Great Plains, details the discovery of several of the stones collectively known as the Spider Rock maps (excerpt from synopsis):

On dogged treasure hunter was Dave Arnold, who appeared in 1902 with an intriguing sheepskin map. After months of searching, he unearthed the stone map called the Spider Rock, with its tantalizing spider web-like design, Roman and Arabic numerals, and cryptic symbols. Nearby he found silver epaulets, a Spanish sword, silver crucifix and copper plates bearing strange tracery. In 1905 he moved his search to a wilderness sixty miles southeast, and once again unearthed a beautifully carved stone map imprisoned in the roots of a huge oak. Still later, moving sixty miles west-northwest, he uncovered yet another stone map, bearing the same concentric circles and symbols that appeared on the first two. Dave Arnold's bizarre quest unfolded over a decade, until he disappeared without a trace in 1914. The search was renewed a decade later by one of the original seekers. Then, in the 1930's, more clues were found, including crude smelter pits, small silver crosses and statuettes and nuggets of gold. The first two stone maps and many of the artifacts found near them were long believed destroyed in a 1909 fire at the Terrell Drug Store in Haskell, Texas. But the Terrell family had kept a secret for almost seventy years: that many of those ancient items survived. With them were map tracings, letters, and documents describing an extensive search. The third stone map turned up in Waco, where it had been used as a doorstop for more than half a century.

C. Ormin Duke's disc allegedly found near Kiowa Peak.

Further adding to the mystery, is the disc reportedly found by local Rotan resident, C. Ormin Duke in the 1960's. There are representations of the first two stones on either side of the disc and it was reportedly found near Kiowa Peak, not far from where the third stone is alleged to have been discovered. I found one other source for the events surrounding the discovery of the stones and the hunt for the Spider Rock Treasure, in the account of a local, R. E. Sherrill, from the book Coronado's Children: Tales of Lost Mines and Buried Treasures of the Southwest by J. Frank Dobie (2010).

In July, Eastland County Today reported that filming was taking place for a Spider Rock Treasure episode of the TV show, Myth Hunters, which is expected to air in January of 2015. I'm a fan of the show and I'm definitely looking forward to watching the episode!
edit on 2014-9-9 by theantediluvian because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 9 2014 @ 01:28 PM
Judaculla Rock

J.B. Parker with rock. He and his family filled the petroglyphs with chalk to make them more visible.(source)

The Judaculla rock is a soapstone boulder protruding from the middle of a man-made depression in what was formerly a cornfield. The tract of land within Nantahala National Forest, Jackson County, NC was donated to the county by the J.B. Parker family in 1959. The rock sits close to the Caney Fork Creek, a branch of the Tuckasegee River.

Amazingly, the rock's sloped face is covered with more than 1,500 petroglyphs. It is sacred to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, from who the name originates. In Cherokee mythology, Judaculla (also known as Tuli-cula/Juthcullah/Tsul?kalu) which translates to "he has them slanting" or "slant-eyed giant" was the master of all game animals and held power over the wind, rain and lightning. He's said to have been over seven feet tall with seven fingers on each hand and seven toes on each foot. One story of Judaculla and the rock can be found on the North Carolina History Project site:

According to the tale, Judaculla was a giant who had slanted eyes along with superhuman-like powers. He selected a bride from the Cherokee tribe, but the bride’s mother and brother wanted their sister back after Judaculla had taken her into the spirit world. To see the bride, both the mother and brother had fasted for seven days outside a cave in which their sister lived with the other god spirits. However, the brother was famished after six days, and he ate a piece of meat before the end of the seventh day. Judaculla came back into the physical world to punish the bride’s brother, and he entered through the Judaculla Rock, believed by the Cherokee as “the spirit’s stepping-stone into the physical world of mortal beings” (p. 52).

In his fit of anger, Judaculla killed the bride’s brother with a thrash of lightning, grieving the bride to the point that she wished to return to her earthly tribe. Yet, Judaculla refused to give up his wife and he compromised with the Cherokee to keep her in the spirit world. Judaculla allowed all brave and faithful tribesmen and women to enter into an eternal life in the spirit world after their deaths. After his deal with the Cherokee, the tribe discovered the markings on the Judaculla Rock, and they have since been believed to tell of how one can enter into the spiritual world.

Another Cherokee story holds that at least some of the marks are impressions left by Judaculla's leaps down from his mountaintop farm and yet another, that the rock contains written instructions from Judaculla for Cherokee hunters who were hunting his game. It has been alleged that there were at least two other, smaller rocks in the vicinity which bore petroglyphs — one is said to been buried in a mining accident and the other has either become obscured by overgrowth, removed or destroyed. Excavations of the site do seem to indicate that the boulder was in fact originally part of a larger complex.

The age and true meaning of the petroglyphs are unknown to scientists and theories abound. Some researchers have proposed that the markings may form a map of game and resources in the area. Others have theorized that the petroglyphs are an account of a great battle with the Creek in 1755 but this hypothesis has been largely discredited due to the apparent age of the site and the fact that the Cherokee are not known to have carved any historical accounts. Still other hypotheses hold that the carvings predate the Cherokee and were created by a tribe residing in the area at the end of the last ice age.

Speculation from authors on the fringe make claims such as this one:

Judaculla Rock tells of a time when giants and little people lived together in harmony and the children of the forest were taught their ways. The ancient language of the stone is a language of the Ginn (angels who were created 2000 years before Adam). The Ginn language was a language of Mother Nature and was kept hidden in the forest.

Whatever their meaning or purpose, the rock is universally believed to have been an important focal point for the Cherokee culture and the site of religious ceremonies — for possibly thousands of years — right up to their expulsion from the area in the 19th century. Some clues to a possible date range for the carving are outlined in the Wikipedia page:

Laser scanning of the rock by Univ of Kansas researchers in 2013(source)

Petroglyphs that occur within three of the hollow scallops suggest that the petroglyph production post-dates soapstone bowl quarrying at the site, a finding that is supported by similar overlaps at smaller soapstone boulders in western North Carolina (Brinkley Rock) and northern Georgia (Track Rock Gap and Sprayberry Rock).[1] Although numerous controlled archaeological excavation units in the area around the boulder revealed deposits that have been heavily disturbed in historic times,[2] auger sampling of soils higher up the slope suggest intact layers.[3] These layers, which contain soapstone and lithic fragments left by soapstone bowl manufacture, most probably date to the Late Archaic.[4][5] In terms of stylistic cross-dating, the similarity between the concentric ring and cross-in-ring petroglyph designs on the boulder with ceramic designs from the same region suggests that the petroglyphs on top of the Late Archaic soapstone extraction scars date to anywhere between the Middle Woodland and Late Mississippian periods.[6]

The Late Archaic ended about 2,000 years ago and the Mississippian was roughly 800 to 1600 AD. It seems likely that the carvings were added over the course of hundreds of years. In March of this year, Jackson County officials gave permission to producers of the TV show, America Unearthed, to film on location for an episode featuring the rock. This decision was met with criticism by at least one prominent archaeologist, concerned with the less than scientific nature of the show and the methodology of its host, Scott Wolter.
edit on 2014-9-9 by theantediluvian because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 9 2014 @ 01:29 PM
The Monte Video Inscription

Gene Wendt's 1975 photograph was the first formal documentation

In the Grand Canyon, on the Esplanade platform near the Bass Trail, there is a two word Latin inscription in sandstone, once dismissed by scholars as a modern creation. In recent years, following the publication of a new scientific hypothesis, it has become the topic of renewed scholarly debate.

The meaning of the text is unquestioned — it translates to "I see the mountains from this place" in English — the mystery lies in who carved it and why.

The first scientific survey of the site was done in 1980 by Grand Canyon National Park anthropologist, Robert C. Euler. After examining the inscription and the surrounding area, Euler conferred with colleagues, including B. L. Fontana. His opinion, based on the appearance of the script, a lack of historical context in which its origins could be explained and physical clues from the site (such a rusted tin can manufactured in style used between 1875 and 1920), were that the inscription was made sometime around 1900. This conclusion would point to that a hoax, presumably created by William Wallace Bass, a man who owned a tour operation in the area from 1885 to 1923.

However, in 2010, a new hypothesis was put forth by geologist Ray Kenny, in an article published in Park Science. Kenny believes that the inscription could have been made by a group led by Spanish explorer Francisco Vàsquez de Coronadois who are known to have visited the Grand Canyon in 1540. Excerpted from Park Science article:

The story of the first visitation is told in many books and is based upon interpretations from George Parker Winship’s 1892 translation of the accounts of Coronado’s journey written by members of the expedition (De Coronado 1892). As told by Winship in an introduction to the account of Coronado’s journey:

It was perhaps on July 4th, 1540 that Coronado drew up his force in front of the first of the “Seven Cities,” and after a sharp fight forced his way into the stronghold, the stone and adobe-built pueblo of Hawikuh, whose ruins can still be traced on a low hillock a few miles southwest of the village now occupied by the New Mexican Zuñi Indians. Here the Europeans camped for several weeks.… A small party was sent off toward the northwest, where another group of seven villages was found.… As a result of information found here [at the villages], another party journeyed westward until its progress was stopped by the Grand Cañon of the Colorado, then seen for the first time by Europeans.

Kenny argues that there is no real evidence from the historical account which conclusively identifies where in the Grand Canyon the explorers arrived and that based on the description of their journey and the terrain encountered, the area around the inscription is a reasonable fit. An excellent treatment of both sides of the debate is presented in a 2013 Park Science article by Johnathon Upchurch, a PDF of which can be viewed here.

Geologist Wayne Ranney has an informative blog post from 2011, about the debate, with newer pictures, that can be viewed here. To quote Mr. Ranney:

And so the Grand Canyon again leaves us with a wonderfully appetizing mystery. Let's see where this one leads us!

edit on 2014-9-9 by theantediluvian because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 9 2014 @ 02:39 PM
This is the type of stuff that brought me to ATS years ago

Now it's all doom n gloom with ww3,Middle East issues, disease it's nice to read something like this


posted on Sep, 9 2014 @ 02:57 PM
a reply to: theantediluvian

Very cool, I love reading and learning about this type of stuff

Star and Flag

posted on Sep, 9 2014 @ 03:31 PM
Ah great a new thing I didn't know about (the third one). Thanks

posted on Sep, 9 2014 @ 05:07 PM

originally posted by: Hanslune
Ah great a new thing I didn't know about (the third one). Thanks

Glad there was one in there you weren't already familiar with! It's difficult to put together a post of completely unfamiliar material for ATS users because as a group, we have a lot more exposure to mysterious subject matter than most.

posted on Sep, 9 2014 @ 05:39 PM
a reply to: Thefarmer

Thank you! I started reading ATS for the mysterious subjects forums as well. Recently I've been spending a lot more time discussing politics but I've been getting tired of having the same fake debate that American politics has devolved into.

a reply to: Banquo

Thanks! I have a ton of material to draw from and as long as people are interested, I'll keep posting.

edit on 2014-9-9 by theantediluvian because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 9 2014 @ 06:25 PM

originally posted by: theantediluvian

originally posted by: Hanslune
Ah great a new thing I didn't know about (the third one). Thanks

Glad there was one in there you weren't already familiar with! It's difficult to put together a post of completely unfamiliar material for ATS users because as a group, we have a lot more exposure to mysterious subject matter than most.

99% of what we get here is old stuff recycled but then I have been interested in this type of material since the late 1960's so I've seen a lot of it..........maybe I'm just forgetting stuff I read about 40+ years ago!

posted on Sep, 11 2014 @ 11:13 AM
I like how the story of the Grand Canyon inscription presents the 2nd hypothesis as something totally plausible. It may not be true, but at least it's not aliens! Great work OP.

posted on Sep, 14 2014 @ 08:43 PM
Awesome. Your threads have given me a lot to think about and a lot to look into. I love stuff like this and I appreciate the time you took to put together some interesting and informative threads.

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