Monday, October 11, 2010

The New World?

The New World.
It's a phrasing one can't help but frequently stumble upon when researching the history of these United States. The image of our ancestors gazing wide eyed upon vast, unsettled tracks of virgin land that awaited the great utopian communities and social experiments that have characterized our founding myths has been engraved upon the national consciousness. To this day we take for granted the modernity of this nation, constantly striving for more technological advanced communities to erect over the aging ones. Newness in the United States, more than in any other nation in human history, is a way of life.
As such few Americans have ever considered the validity of the claims of the United States as the New World. But just how truly 'new' is this land of ours? How do we even discern between the new and ancient? When we think of old and ancient societies we typically imagine areas such as Europe, the Middle East, or China. Here we find the ancient palaces, temples, cities, roads and other structures that define the 'old world' to us. Certainly these things exist in the Americas -but further south than the United States. While we marvel at the Incan, Mayan, and Aztec cultures we still hold to the belief that the Indian tribes of the United States had never been more than the hunter-gatherer and primitive agrarian societies that we found them as. And we most certainly do not lend much credence to the notion that other races of humanity may have pre-dated these Indian tribes and even built vast civilizations across these United States.
The only flaw in this belief are the vast and ancient ruins that have been found all across these United States and even still co-exist amongst the ultra-modern, yuppie America of the early 21st century. They poise an incredible enigma to anthropologists -evidence of Chinese, Hebrew, Phoenician, and even Welsh and Vikings settlers exits among these ruins. In some cases these structures are every bit the engineering marvels as the Pyramid of Gaza and Stonehenge though in theory the peoples of ancient North America would have had neither the technology, nor the manpower to construct them. There is also ample evidence that the inhabitants of the new and the old world were aware of one and other and hand been for some time well before Columbus' 'discovery' of the Americas. However, as modern anthropology has no convenient explanations for these enigmas is has typically chosen to ignore them, or chalk them up to hoaxes forever being perpetuated on the noble anthropologists but the ignorant masses desperate to make a few bucks. But still the enigmas persist and as we go boldly staggering into a new century (and a New Age, if you're of a certain belief) these ruins and their mysteries seem to take on an even greater importance in our search for meaning in a world seemingly obsessed with eliminating it. 

Historian Peter Levenda notes of the old America:
"It's in our standing stones, our Anasazi ruins, our Indian burial mounds. It's the remains of the Old Ones, the original people, the deep ancestors of our forgotten history, the history before Columbus that is never taught in the schools because we don't know it ourselves.... because we don't want to know, don't want to accept what has proved so many times in the past: that this land of ours is haunted by the ghosts of races who lived and died on our land thousands of years before we came, and of races we ourselves exterminated with fire and sword and virus. There were vast cities here before us, huge temples dwarfing the Colosseum, the Parthenon, the Pyramids of Gizeh, some built long before any of these more famous structures were even dreamed. There were Norsemen here before us, bringing paganism and the worship of Nordic gods. There were Irishmen here before us, bringing a strange mixture of Catholicism and druidism, standing up their stones and sighting along the solstices years before the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria. There were Carthaginians here before us, Phoenician traders, perhaps even Buddhists from China. All the votes aren't in, yet. We don't know why there are stones engraved with ancient alphabets, buried in our farmlands. We don't know how they got there, so we file these petroglyphs along with tales of sea serpents and great white whales... in the land of fantasy that is the bull's eye target of our scientists. And we whisper ourselves to sleep like the voice-over on a late night talk show while the gloom gathers outside our windows and doors and the dead Indian, the dead Phoenician, the dead Norseman chant their ancient mantras to rob us of our dreams." (Sinister Forces -Book One, pg. 48)

We in VISUP are greatly fascinated by these ruins and their implications having grown up around them in the Volusia County area for years, here in the form of the ancient shell mounds of the Timucua. But more importantly, they cut the heart of one of the great mysteries VISUP intends to explain, namely what exactly is the United States, in terms of both its history and destiny. Many Americans have a precise view of these things that are patiently false -namely that this is a 'new world' and that our ancestors were freemen seeking even greater freedom. As to the later, we know blacks and Indians would strongly disagree, but so to should whites as at least half if not two-thirds of the original colonists came to this nation in some form of bondage, much of it non-voluntary. But I digress, and should be getting back to the ruins.
The hidden history of the St. Augustine/Volusia County/Cape Canaveral will be examined in much greater detail in a later installment. For the sake of brevity I shall try to stick to some of the ruins found in Appalachia, specifically West Virginia, and some of the similar ruins found in the Ohio Valley in this installment. Hopefully this will be the first of many examining ancient America and the Fortean events and occultic structures that surround its ruins. Of course northern Florida, Appalachia, and the Ohio Valley are hardly the only regions of the country to possess such ruins -the Southwest is especially littered with them. However as we in VISUP are most familiar with these areas they will be the primary focus of our studies concerning the ancient United States. I also would like to extend an open invitation to our readers, if they in fact exist, to share any traditions they may be aware of concerning the prehistoric times of this land with us, either through the comment section or via email.
So, to West Virginia, a region of the country that is to many Americans the very definition of backwardness. Undoubtedly the state's national image played a large role in the decision to locate so many 'shadow government' type facilities within its borders, and across Appalachia and the Ohio Valley in general. Given the proximity to DC, the lack of creditability of the residents, and the general isolation, the black opts most have felt they found the closest thing to paradise outside of the Southwest. The most famous 'shadow' facility within West Virginia is probably the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs. Beneath the legendary hotel resides a series of underground bunkers built in the early 1960s for the US Congress in the event of national emergency that required their evacuation from Washington. This is one in a series of facilities, such as the legendary Mt. Weather in Virginia, built as part of the US government's 'continuity of government' plan that was whipped in the wake of the Cold War and the large scale protests of the 1960s.

A far more infamous and less well known installation is located near Sugar Grove. This installation is a part of ECHELON, an international system designed to monitor all electronic commutations around the world. The facility near Sugar Grove is responsible for monitoring the Eastern part of the United States specifically. Located nearby is the Green Bank Telescope, the largest steerable radio telescope in the world. It is used for monitoring radio waves from outer space. Both areas are a part of what is known as United States National Radio Quiet Zone, a 13,000 square mile area in West Virginia and Virginia run by the NSA.

West Virginia is of course hardly the only state in the area to receive such facilities. In Oak Ridge, Tennessee you will find the facilities the spawned the Manhattan Project and the atomic age. An Air Force base near Dayton, Ohio, known as Wright-Patterson, was home to Project Blue Book as well as the mysterious Hangar 18 which in urban legend was one of the sites where the debris from the Roswell crash was taken, along with Area 51.
As previously noted, there are a lot of practical reasons for locating such facilities in these regions. But as noted in a previous article on ley lines, these facilities seem to gravitate towards areas that had religious significance to the Indian tribes, or whoever predated Europeans. Many of the oldest Indian mounds in the nation are located in the Ohio Valley and parts of Appalachia. According to Peter Levenda in Sinister Forces -Book One: The Nine, when Europeans arrived in these areas and asked the Indian tribes that resides in these structures who had built them, they in many cases conceded that they did not know or spoke vaguely of the 'Old Ones' or 'First Peoples'. In the southwest they were called Anasazi, literally the 'Old Ones'. Ample shades of Lovecraft abound.

Modern archaeologists claim that the mounds were built by two distinct groups in prehistoric America: the Adena and the Hopewell. Of the two, the Adena are believed to be the oldest with carbon dating putting many of the structures built by them between 1000 and 300 BC. They are a very mysterious people, with links to the Aztecs. One would be the plumed serpent, crucial to the cult of Quetzacoatl in Aztec Mexico (as well as some Masonic readings, such as those of Manly P Hall, of the 'secret destiny' of America) as well as the religion of the Adena. Another would be obsidian flakes, found in the Adena mounds. Presumably they were used by the Adena for the same reason as the Aztecs and occultists like John Dee: for divination. Another mystery of the Adena is their remarkable height:
"Further, a unique characteristic of the Adena people was their extraordinary height. Analysis of skeletal remains at Adena sites show the men to have occasionally reached seven feet in height, with the women often over six feet tall.... What is lacking is a detailed analysis of some of the remains found in these mounds, which show a race that can only be described as a race of 'giants.'" (Sinister Forces -Book One, pg. 54)

As a side note, the Timucua, typically identified as the mound builders of northern Florida, were also described as being unnaturally tall by the Spanish when they made contact in the 16th century.
The Adena seemingly disappeared as mysteriously as they appeared and were succeeded (and possibly absorbed/exterminated) by the Hopewell. The Hopewell built some of the most elaborate structures, including Serpent Mound, the Newark earthworks (which included a complex, Stonehenge-esque observatory) and a highway that connected several of these structures. It's also possible they built Ft. Ancient, one of the largest cities in prehistoric America that was partly enclosed by a wall nearly three and half miles long, though there's some debate that a later culture may at least have built part of the Fort. As an interesting side note, Fort Ancient is located about 40 miles directly south of the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

While the ancient structures of Ohio are the most well known West Virginia has more than its share of prehistoric, megalithic structures. By far the largest, possibly the largest prehistoric structure in the United States, are the earthworks ruins around Ben's Run, located about 45 miles south of Moundsville (a town much more will be written of further down) in the far northern region of the state, along the banks of the Ohio. It is believed that this structure was an ancient city with a total enclosed area of over 400 acres. The outer wall of this city was about 4.5 miles while the inner was a mere 1.875 miles. In their prime the walls were at least ten feet in height. There were at least two mounds within this structure and several outside of it. Also outside the structure were two massive stone platforms, one across the river in Ohio, the other located in WV itself, that may have been used for human sacrifices in earlier times. In total the various earthworks around Ben's Run and neighboring areas in Ohio cover an area of eight to nine miles. Sadly, many of the ruins were destroyed before the 20th century. The best descriptions of these structures that I've been able to find are from George P Riggs and his son Nikola, who surveyed the structures in 1927 and found them mostly destroyed even then. A full report by Riggs and his findings can be read here for those interested.
As baffling as the structures in Ben's Run maybe we are at least relatively certain of their builders, who were most likely Adenas. However there are many other mysterious ruins within the state of West Virginia with far more uncertain origins. This is further complicated back the fact that native tribes historically avoided West Virginia like a STD-carrying whore. In his cult classic The Mothman Prophecies researcher John Keel elaborates on the Indian view of one of America's most isolated states:
"The Indians must have known something about West Virginia. They avoided it. Before Europeans arrived with their glass beads, firewater, and gunpowder, the Indian nations had spread out and divided up the North American continent. Modern anthropologists have worked out maps of the Indian occupancy of pre-Columbian America according to the languages spoken. The Shawnee and Cherokee occupied the areas to the south and southwest. The Monacan settled to the east, and the Erie and Conestoga claimed the areas north of West Virginia. Even the inhospitable deserts of the Far West were divided up and occupied. There is only one spot on the map labeled 'Uninhabited': West Virginia
"Why? The West Virginia area is fertile, heavily wooded, rich in game. Why did the Indians avoid it? Was it filled with hairy monsters and frightful apparitions way back when?
"Across the river in Ohio, industrious Indians -or someone- built the great mounds and left us a rich heritage of Indian culture and lore. The absence of an Indian tradition in West Virginia is troublesome for the researcher. It creates an uncomfortable vacuum. There are strange ancient ruins in the state, circular stone monuments which prove that someone had settled the region once. Since the Indians didn't build such monuments, and since we don't even have any lore to fall back on, we have only mystery...
"The Cherokees have a tradition, according to Benjamin Smith Barton's New Views of the Origins of the Tribes and Nations of America (1798), that when they migrated to Tennessee they found the region inhabited by a weird race of white people who lived in houses and were apparently quite civilized. They had one problem: their eyes were very large and sensitive to light. They could only see at night. The fierce Indians ran these 'mooneyed people' out. Did they move to West Virginia to escape their tormentors? There are still rumors of an oddball group of albino people in the back hills of Kentucky and Tennessee. But  there are also myths and rumors of mysterious people living in the hills of New Jersey forty miles from Manhattan." (pg. 53-4)
The debate over whether there were European peoples in what is now the United States pre-Columbus is one of most controversial aspects of the hidden history of this nation. I will not attempt to examine the evidence in this present article but anyone interested in the topic is encouraged to search out the various theories on Welsh and Norsemen establishing trade routes and settlements in this land, the evidence of which is quite numerous in various states all along the East coast. I will however, with the aid of William Grimstad's epic Weird America, delve into some of Keel's mysterious, circular ruins within the interior of West Virginia.
Of these structures probably the most complex are the ruins atop Mt. Carbon, which is about 35 miles south-east of Charleston. Located about 2300 feet above ground level, a series of 'walls' (more precisely, domino-like rows piled rock slabs) that stretch north to south for nearly 3 miles. Within these structures, near the middle, are a series of rock and stone mounds, one formed into the shape of a turtle. Other wall like structures and earthworks are found nearby at Paint Creek (seven miles north) and Raleigh County (16 miles south) as well as throughout central West Virginia. The structures have proven to be especially baffling to archeologists as evidence of Indian occupation in central WV is extremely tenuous -there are simply no native traditions that I have been able to uncover concerning these structures. This may be why these sites aren't even considered state historical monuments and have been allowed to be strip mined by the local coal companies from time to time. It goes without saying these structures are an engineering marvel simply due to the builders' ability to transport massive slabs of stone 2300 feet above ground, along the side of a mountain.
Even in the regions archaeologists have supposedly categorized, mysteries abound. Consider Moundsville, WV, located about 15 miles south of Wheeling in the far north of state. Generally the structures here are presumed to have been built by the Adena. When Europeans first arrived here the native structures were quite complex. Grimstad notes:
"Early settlers discovered many curious structures, including an octagonal assemblage that looked vaguely like a fort, numerous rock 'wells' encircling the area like observation posts in the hills along the river. Just as at Newark, Ohio, there was a network of dike-shrouded 'ramps' running with a great causeway down to the river." (Weird America, pg.239)
These structures are now gone but Grave Creek Mound remains. Standing at 62 feet high and 240 wide, it is considered the largest of the Adena burial mounds. The inside of this structure was not unlike the Pyramid of Giza, with angular passageways leading to vaults at the center and base. Two skeletons, one male and the other female, were found inside with unusual dentition characterized by peaks of the molars uniting to conical points rather than diverging like those of modern man. There was also a third skeleton in poor condition.

The most shocking discovery was found with this skeleton, an engraved tablet featuring Punic writings:
"...carved with Phoenician characters in a style of writing  that was common in Spain two thousand years ago. This type of writing, sometimes called 'Punic,' was Semitic in origin, Spain then being controlled by Carthage, which in turn had originated in the previous millennium as an outpost of the Semitic Phoenicians. At the time the tablet was discovered, this type of script had not yet been deciphered, and would not be deciphered until the mid-twentieth century, thus ruling out the possibility of a hoax even if the discovery of the tablet under sixty feet of ancient burial mound was not enough to assure its provenance." (Sinister Forces -Book One, Levenda, pg. 55)

Naturally most mainstream archaeologist still dismiss the tablet as a hoax as clearly mountain folks had nothing better to do than decipher a language that has been dead for 2000 thousand years, make an engraved tablet of it, and bury it under one of the largest Indian mounds in the country, all to confuse and confound the poor archaeologists. But let us pretend that the tablet wasn't a hoax for a moment and consider its implications. Punic was primarily spoken on the Iberian peninsula during the first millennium BC -what is now Spain and Portugal. Thusly instead of being Carthagian (who were a Semitic/North African people) the tablet engraver probably would have been Celto-Iberian, who were the two made tribes in Iberia at the time. Iberians had a mortuary practice of burial mounds remarkable similar to those of the Adena, who are generally believed to have built the Grave Creek Mound. On the other hand Adena were described as being unnaturally tall and round headed, which does not jive with surviving descriptions we have of the Iberians, who were known as 'long skulls' or 'long heads'. But then the Hopewell tribe that succeeded the Adena, either by assimilation/extermination or a combination of the two, were said to be shorter than the Adena and had longer skulls. The rise of the Hopewell would also have roughly corresponded to the defeat of Hannibal and the end of the second Punic War (218-202 BC) and the final destruction of Carthage in 146 BC after the Third Punic War. It's been widely speculated that Carthage, especially during its peak years between 500 and 200 BC, established trading ties with the Americas. It's quite possible some high ranking Carthagians and their supporters in Iberia fled to North America once the tides turned against the Romans and established colonies there if they did not already exist. The major question seems to be what was their exact relationship with the mysterious race of giants that we call the Adenas.

If this was not enough mystery for one town, there's also the building directly across the street from Grave Creek Mound to consider: The West Virginia State Penitentiary. Construction began on this structure in 1866 with the first phase being completed in 1876. What emerged was a building that more closely resembled a Medieval barracks than a prison. With its macabre Gothic architecture, the foreboding structure would go on to become one of the most violent institutions of its kind. It's estimated that at least a thousand inmates, the bulk of whom were murderers, died within the prison's walls. 94 total were executed, nine via 'Old Sparky', the rest by hanging. Countless other inmates and guards were murdered within the structure while some inmates even lived long to die of old age. Supposedly the structure was built directly on top of an Indian mound, one separate from the Grave Creek site. The inside the prison featured ample Masonic symbolism, much of it in the form of graffiti sprawled on by the inmates themselves. Some of the Masonic symbolism, specifically the 'Pentagram window', were built directly into the architecture. The window, which faces west and would have caught the fading rays of a setting sun, was constructed on the fourth floor, directly above the main stairway. Typically this was used as part of the warden's quarters until the early 1950s, thusly an area for people of prominence who may have had reason to visit the prison. While some have speculated Satanists may have been behind construction of the prison it's far more likely the Freemasons, especially the Order of the Eastern Star, were involved in some capacity. It's known several of the early wardens were Masons and most certainly would have approved of such additions. Further, Masonic lodges, which are supposedly built upon ley lines, have been known to pop up around Indian mounds.

Case in point, the 'Old Fort' mound in New Smyrna Beach, FL. Upon this Timucua sea shell mound are the mysterious ruins of either a fort built by the Spanish in the 17th century or plantation manor built by the English in the 18th. Directly across the street is a Masonic lodge belonging to.... The Order of the Eastern Star.

As previously noted, Masons are said to build their lodges along ley lines, energy waves that flow across the Earth. Supposedly holy centers built upon these sites are able to harness this energy. Many early Christian churches, and in general those belonging to the Catholic and Orthodox faith, were also built along these lines, many times upon pagan holy sites that already existed. For those interested in a more thorough examination of ley lines I suggest reading an earlier article I've already posted on them. For the purposes of this article I'm mainly concerned with the 'why', namely why build a facility that collected nothing but human misery, hatred and suffering for its 100+ years of existent? Why build a structure where men we treated like animals and where murder was a way life on what was theoretically sacred ground?
If this was not bizarre enough, we're confronted with numerous other curious structures built around these native sites. Another prison built near an Indian mound exists in Chillicothe, Ohio. The mound at Chillicothe was linked to the elaborate structures in Newark by the Great Hopewell Road, which seems to imply it was of special importance. Then there's the after mentioned Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and it's mysterious Hangar 18 located 40 miles almost directly north of Fort Ancient. In Florida there's Turtle Mound, the largest shell mound in the state, built across the gulf from Kennedy Space Center on the other side of Cape Canaveral.

A striking thing is the reoccurring presence of space exploration. As previously noted, both the Green Bank Telescope as well as the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base have been closely associated with it. But so to were many of the Indian ruins in this area. The Great Serpent Mound was likely used to study astrology, being oriented toward the solstices, the moon, the sun, and the constellations of Draco and Ursa Major. As previously noted, the earthworks at Newark also included a Stonehenge like observatory. It's quite possible the site at Mt. Carbon performed a similar function.
The search for signs from deep space, Indian mounds, prisons, the 'Old Ones' -truly Lovecraft must have been in contact with something during his legendary night terrors to capture so much of our hidden history in what he thought were nonsensical dreams. But still the question remains, what does it all mean? Hopefully we can find some answers in further installments.

1 comment:

  1. You have definately opened up some questions in my mind thanks steven

    ReplyDelete