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We are moving ever closer to completing the first episode in the docuseries. Above you can view the work in progress. This edit has helped flush out the kinks in the editing process but will not be the final edit. It was sent out to a dozen trusted advisors for review and their feedback suggested numerous improvements to be made before it’s official release to the public.
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We Have Filmed In
— And More To Come —
We Explore Stone Sites
Honest to goodness, we are just regular people who happen to have an interest in what lies hidden all around us. Some call us rock nerds. I get that. But we’re also history buffs, and we’re definitely open-minded when it comes to who came to America and when. One thing that brings us together is our love for these sites, the history, and the wonder they bring into our lives.
Some Cool Facts About Us
Who We Are
Our success depends on the strength of our team.
We are curious explorers and passionate investigators.
We are diligent researchers eager to share our findings with others.
Host & Producer
Hiker / Photographer
The best way we can preserve the ancient past is to educate the people of today. By educating the public at large, they will support the preservation of these majestic sites wherever they are. It is only when people are unaware of the importance and significance of these sites will they support the efforts of preservation.
Site reports contain our findings at each site. Dig in below and discover what awaits you!
It is essential to record and share our findings with the world. Part of educating the public is to teach them about sites and the features that are there so when they see them at other sites, or even in their own backyards, they will know what they are.
In the pursuit of truth, we yield only in amazement of what we have discovered.
After each field trip a site report is written up documenting observations, research, new discoveries and other things about the site, such as any help or protection the site may need. Each site typically fits within one of the categories below. You can view all of the site reports by clicking “All” or filter them by feature by clicking one of the other topics. Some sites may take a while to load, especially ones with large photo galleries. Please be patient, it will load.
Sitting in a park now maintained by the city of Newport, RI, this stone tower is believed by most to have been constructed by the first governor of Rhode Island, Benedict Arnold. No, not that Benedict Arnold, his great, great, great grandfather. Believed to be built sometime during his ownership of the land, it would be the only stone windmill on the continent. But this makes little sense, and as such, there are numerous other theories that try to explain this historical oddity.
A friend of mine, Patrick Sheckelton, is doing an impressive amount of research into the Newport Tower. These posts are made by him to his Facebook page, Phippsburg History Center (referring to Phippsburg, Maine, where the Spirit Pond Rune Stones were found), and are listed here in reverse order. Starting at the bottom and working your way to the top is chronological order.
1. Cannon Rock - Due to blasting on the top of the ridge several hundred feet behind Cannon Rock, some years ago the small stones were reinforced and cemented in by the city to prevent an accidental toppling of the dolmen. Although this could probably be removed now, find someone brave enough to do it…
2. The drop off is about 25 to 30 feet and the boulder would likely hit the house if it fell.
3. Matt Adams films the dolmen up close.
4. Side view of Cannon Rock.
5. Matt tries with all his might to push the boulder off the cliff. Not happening.
6. Nancy found an observational stone seat.
7. And then she pondered the meaning of life.
8. Nancy also discovered a couple of wedge stones.
9. Wedge stone #1 close up.
10. Wedge stone #2 from further away.
11. Wedge stone #2 close up.
12. Another large boulder behind Cannon Rock.
13. Matt’s son Kai sits near Tripod Rock
14. Matt found a triangle carved into the cliffside behind Cannon Rock.
15. Kai looks out towards the ocean and enjoys the view.
This site has several names; Phaeton Rock, Arrowhead Rock, and Cannon Rock, as does the type of site it is; dolmen, perched rock, and balanced stone. But no matter what how you refer to it, it’s sheer size will leave you impressed and wondering. The history of this site goes further back than the written historical text does, so there’s no record of it being built by post-colonial people.
The tip of the balanced rock, the side that overhangs a 20 foot drop-off, faces due south, while the flat back of the stone faces due north. No solar observations to solstice or equinox events have been observed, and exactly what it marks remains a mystery. Cannon Rock isn’t the only perched rock in the area either, and it is actually a part of much larger network of stone workings, one that spans up to 6 miles across 4 towns.
To the locals, this stone chamber is known lovingly as the Acton Potato Cave, though it has never been used solely to house potatoes. In fact, one of the most persistent arguments about the stone chambers in the north east is that they are mere root cellars. Many counter-arguments have been raised for this explanation, such as why are many stone chambers facing south and why don’t they have any ventilation? If you wanted to keep food fresh, you wouldn’t aim the door at the sun, nor would you not have proper ventilation for the food to breathe. Both aspects would hasten the food to rot, the exact opposite of it’s proposed purpose..
Another argument worth noting here is that many of these stone chambers are not found near colonial foundations or homes, but are often secluded deep in the woods. In cases where a home or farm are found nearby, it seems more likely that the chambers were there previous to colonial or post-colonial settlement, and these structures were simply repurposed by people looking to use them to their advantage.
If there’s one thing that makes the stone chamber in Acton, MA stand out amongst the 700-800 chambers through the northeast, it would be its shape, which is that of an ‘L’. While the vast amount of stone chambers are round or even sometimes square, only 2 or 3 have an ‘L’ shape. The exact reason for this is lost to time and this chamber will always carry the mystery ever on into the future.
This site contains many faces carved in stone on a high cliff on the edge of the Connecticut River. There aren’t very many petroglyphs in the northeast, but the ones on the Connecticut River in Bellows Falls are by far the most pronounced, meaning some of them are the deepest cut into rock and are the most clearly visible. The petroglyphs are purported to be between 300 to 2000 years old, though no one knows for sure. The site has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1990 and it is considered to be a cultural heritage site of Native Americans. The area behind the petroglyphs is believed to be a Native American place of burial, where it was reported that a jaw bone pulled from the ground was so large that it could fit over the jaw of a large man. Not only that, but it had double rows of teeth..
The petroglyphs that exist in Bellows Falls today, were not the only ones around. An image of an article (seen below) tells of Indian Rock, upon which were 5 figures; 4 birds and a wolf (or dog). This rock is now below water, as a dam down river has raised the water level, completely submerging Indian Rock. All that remain of it’s existence today is a couple of hand drawn images and an old write up from an unknown source.
There’s an estimated 250,000 to 500,000 miles of stone walls in the north east United States. Some of these stone walls run for miles, some of them for less than 20 feet. Far too many miles of wall exist for the colonists to have constructed them all, and many of these stone walls are aligned not only with other stone structures on the landscape, but are aligned with solstices and equinox alike.
It is considered by some that some of these stone walls are actually snake effigies, a determination I have encountered numerous times myself. Often there are “heads” for the snakes. Sometimes the heads are small stones and other times they are large boulders, yet in both cases, the stones have been shaped by man into the head of a snake. Common traits include an eye, a mouth, a nostril, and a stone row coming out of the back of the stone.
Photo by: John Vigneau – Used with permission.
Blistered Butte is an amazing site in Western Mass. Unfortunately, the history of land owners since the 1980’s has been unfriendly and quite hostile to people wanting to know more about the site. No trespassing signs are posted all over the property and people are not welcome. You can see the standing stones from the road but if you want a closer look, you’ll need to bring binoculars. And beware, because you are likely to be watched closely by the owners. That said, there have not been many opportunities to study this site and discover if any alignments exist between the standing stones. It even appears as if some of the standing stones have fallen or been pushed over.
There are some amazing features all over the landscape in the immediate area. I noticed many stone walls running up and down the hills, many of which host other features. There was a small balanced stone not far from a wall on the opposite side of the hill. I also observed an abundance of quartz in the area, sometimes seeing piles of it off in the woods, or a nice large chunk of it embedded into the stone walls. One things for sure, this was definitely a site of significant importance to the ancient people who lived on this landscape.
In Salem, New Hampshire there is a large stone complex called Mystery Hill, but is now known as America’s Stonehenge. This is one of only two sites in the northeast that is available to the public for the price of admission. Sadly, much of the original stoneworks this site was sold off in the 1800 hundreds, and what remains today is but a fraction of the original complex. Some of the site has been reconstructed, and it’s possible that the “sacrificial table” was brought in from somewhere else in an attempt to attract curious tourists. It’s also been said that many of the solar alignments are not actually there.
But there is still plenty of reason to go there and look at what still exists today, as the site is still very intriguing to those interested. There are a few stone chambers which you can crawl or walk into, stone walls to follow, standing stones to locate, and a myriad of other interesting features in stone. Although the owners won’t say who they think originally built and occupied Mystery Hill, the general consensus is that the site was a Native American sacred site, and many features of the site can be cited as to why. If you’re looking for something to do on any given day, a trip to Mystery Hill is worth your time and money.
In the fall of 2018, I was researching in the NEARA archives for sites in Maine when I came across a folder about a small cairn field comprised of 8 to 9 stone piles. Also mentioned in the field report was a site simply named “Site 003217db”. Apparently there was a cairn field there too, but the GPS for the site was located just north and in an adjacent town. With GPS coordinates seemingly pretty close together, and there being the occasional wrong info in the archives, I wondered…
“Could this be the same site? Could the “Site 003217db’s” GPS coordinates be missing seconds?”
Only one way to find out. Go there! While we were really trying to contact the land owner of the small site (no contact was established), I certainly wasn’t expecting there to be anything at the “Site 003217db” at all. But since it was a no-go on the other cairn field, we instead headed a few miles north to locate the coordinates on file.
As we got closer to where the GPS was bringing me, we saw what appeared to be a recently logged site. Uh oh. After parking and walking up the street a bit to avoid a very muddy trek into the site, we started to see some small piles of stones. Some of them crushed by large machinery. Some of them appeared to be pillaged and possibly looted, for what, if anything, no one will ever know. There were 2 short stone rows/walls about 20-25 feet long and three feet high. The walls did not appear to be connected and appeared to go off in different directions, though if they continued toward each other they would have intersected not far from where the walls left off, meaning the angles at which they are aimed away from each other is minimal.
There were a couple of other stones worth looking at, though not much can be made of them other than speculation. There was also a larger stone wall at the end of the site. Well, at least the end that I made it to, though it could have been the middle of the site seeing as how the wall ran off further than we went to investigate. It was about 8 feet wide and at least 100 feet long. Shortly after spotting this wall we left for another site, as the day was still young and we had many sites to try to fit in. All in all, there were 30 to 40 cairns that we found at the site, and if we looked longer we might have found more. This site certainly needs more investigation and documentation and we hope to get back to it someday to do so.
The narration in the video says it all… 🙂
At the end of our trip to Vermont in the fall of 2017, literally just 5 minutes after we left our inn, we spotted this lime kiln off of the road and went to investigate. The use of lime kilns across the northeast is well known, so one might think that a lime kiln isn’t all that interesting. However, I have reason to believe that this lime kiln may have actually existed prior to its use as a lime kiln and that it was repurposed for such use. The reuse of pre-existing stone structures isn’t all that uncommon, after all, a farmer only had so much time and building a chamber out of stone on his farm probably was more time than he could afford, and perhaps beyond his skillset. Not to mention it would take at least multiple people to build one.
While reading Mavor & Dix’ book Manitou, I learned that the Native American would often use natural features, such as the notch or angle at which the landscape changes, to mark their observation points. Meaning, when the hill comes down and meets the plane of the earth, it forms an angle of approximately 140 to 150 degrees or so; more then 90, and less than 180. They also used 2 or more reference points to make alignments to solar events like solstices and equinoxes, amongst other celestial bodies (moon, stars, etc…). So when I noticed that what appears to be a man-made mound about 20 feet high and about 100 feet behind the kiln, and a boulder in between that mound and the kiln, I took out my Sun Seeker app to look for any alignments.
To my sheer astonishment, the mound, the boulder, the kiln, and the notch in the distance all lined up to mark the winter solstice sunrise! That’s 4 features in one alignment, what are the chances that this is a coincidence?? I’d say pretty slim after having used the Sun Seeker app to look for many suspected alignments and not finding them where I thought I would.
The first visit was cut short due to rain, so I made a second visit in the fall of 2018 to show a couple of buddies what I found and get their input. Not only did they see what I saw, but they started looking around and making even more discoveries and alignments! Unfortunately, there were still too many leaves on the trees and getting stills from inside the app showing the readings are not very useful, plus the fact that again it was raining and we were cut short again means and I need to return when there are less trees and less precipitation to do more thorough research. But for now, please enjoy the video and these photos.
In Westford, Massachusetts, just off the side of the road near a school there lies on a stone, the likeness of a knight punched into stone, the existence of which was first recorded in the town history in 1871. Much research has been done to try to identify this effigy, and the most prevalent theory is that the coat of arms, which seal seems to reveal it’s origin as that of the Gunn family from Scotland.
As it turns out, the Scots were detailed record keepers and not only that, but most of the royalty can be accounted for in burial places. Except for the Earl of Orkney, otherwise referred to as Prince Henry Sinclair, who had a friend named James Gunn. Discovered in the historical records of the time is mention of an expedition circa the late 1390’s, after which both Sinclair and Gunn seem to disappear entirely from the historical record and no trace of them has ever been found. Except for possibly this effigy.
It is worth mentioning that the authenticity of this site is plagued by a fake paper written by a Harvard professor in the 1950’s, who never visited, set eyes upon, or even touched the marking on the ledge. This professor later admitted to a local newspaper reporter that he wrote the paper “to make a name for himself” and yet to this day people will cite his paper as 100% absolute bona fide proof that the Westford Knight is anything but real. “Glacial striations” is the term so mischievously and dishonestly used by such a disgraceful professor who has forever stained the reputation of this site.
Some years later and not very far away from the Knight, a stone was found the bears the image of a 14th century ship, and arrow, and the number 182. This is aptly named the “Boat Stone”, and it now resides in the Westford public library for viewing.
First off we absolutely have to thank John Vigneau for the incredible almost 2-hour tour! He took the time to point out a TON of stuff, and he even jumped in the water waist deep to point out the most relevant part of the site; the triangles at the waterfall.
The stone walls were HUGE. The largest stone was at the top of one of the walls. Lots of the stones in the wall show evidence of being notched and worked to fit where they are. Tie stones are in the walls, as well as a couple of pieces of quartz.
There is a pathway that has been carved out of the earth that leads to the entrance of the kettle-bell area, where you first stand on a stone wall platform, only you don’t know right away because it’s covered with earth.
From there you can see the waterfall, along with its triangles, a stone path through the river to get to the waterfall, several small “caves” in the stone walls (likely for lighting the area at night), pool, pointed stones, and a boulder up river and directly behind the pointed stones.
To the right of the platform you can walk down to the river. In that area are many worked stones with notches, and a triangular stone that has been strategically placed to keep water, and likely fish, from flowing downstream.
When you get to the boulder on the other side of the pointed stones and look back, you see the altar area, which oddly enough appears when you are further away rather than on top of it.
To the left of the altar, when you’re facing the pointed rocks, there is a stone seat. My son Matty sat there and with his feet in the water remarked about how comfortable the seat was.
Someone must have been by recently and left several standing stone piles, one on top of the boulder at the back end of the site. Nice touch to such a majestic place.
I discovered what I think is a bird effigy on a stone made out of white quartz. The shape is almost identical to the bird Jeff pointed out to me on the Indian Grinding Rock last week.
I have an hour and a half of video on this site alone coming soon. If this comment is still here it hasn’t been posted yet. Will update with link later.
This place is AMAAAAZING!!! You need to get there. It’s open to the public, right off the main street, and isn’t very difficult to get to. There are some steepish inclines, but if you on a dry day you should do alright. It was wet when we went, but we were very careful and didn’t slip, so if you go on a wet day you may want to avoid walking on the rocks in the river entirely.
From time to time Matt has been interviewed on various radio shows. Here are his guest appearances.
Hosts Willy Hassell and Lynne Nickerson invited Matt on their radio show to discuss his ideas and research on the stones. Lots of sites discussed; Turtle Mound, Tripod Rock, America’s Stonehenge, Druid Hill, and many others…
Hosts Barbara DeLong and Mark Eddy discuss the stone work of the northeast United States.
Hosts Craig Ansell, Chris Harmon, Austin Burke live in the Central Florida area, and discuss the stone work of the northeast United States with Matt.
Host MICHAEL W. HALL, J.D., “The Paranormal Lawyer,” is an attorney, Doctor of Jurisprudence and former Superior Court Judge Pro Tem., and discusses the stone work of the northeast United States with Matt.
Snakes are a very common theme in Native American culture, and snake effigies are a very common design in Native stonework. There are 2 types to discuss here, the first is a singular row, with a head, scales and a tail, about 100 or so feet long. This one can be viewed from ground level and you can understand what it is when you know what to look for.
The second is much larger, and essentially consists of multiple stone rows that meet at different points to form not only one, but two snakes. Due to the size and scale of these entwined snakes, they can be much more easily understood when they are viewed from a high elevation. In other words, if you’re looking at it from the ground, you probably won’t understand what it is right away. You’d likely need to walk the entirety of it and even then you still may not understand it.
When a stone wall aligns to the Summer Solstice Sunrise at 58º on one side, and the Winter Solstice Sunset at 238º on the other, I question why anyone other than a Native American Indian would have built it. Neither 58º nor 238º are the kind of round numbers we’d think a surveyor would choose when creating a property boundary line, nor is plausible to think it was a colonial farmers lucky mistake. So when I discover that a stone wall possesses these alignments, I know I need to investigate further.
Following the “wall”, I first found an intersecting stone wall that went out perfectly in the direction of the Winter Solstice Sunrise. Yet another alignment that is highly improbable to have been done by a surveyor or colonial farmer. Close by and behind the 58-238º wall was a stone that resembles a bird. Further down was a propped stone that looks exactly like a bears head, and further along than that is a stone chamber. Less than a mile from this site was a small rock shelter that was excavated several decades ago before it was destroyed to put a highway through. The excavation revealed a bear skull purposely placed in a way that suggested it was ceremonial. Are these two bear heads connected in some way?
On a field trip to Vermont to explore a site with close to 200 stone piles, one of the very first ones I encountered looks strikingly like the representation of a turtle, particularly the stone that might be it’s head.
The turtle was an imperative part of the Native American world view, as it was the main animal in the creation story of the Algonquin and Iroquoian speaking people, and possibly others as well. Although the story varied some from tribe to tribe, the main tenet is the same; that Turtle Island (North America) was formed when a turtle came out of the water.
Some versions are that the turtle had earth on it’s back when it came out of the water, as many turtles are seen in the spring coming out of ponds, still carrying the mud on their backs from their hibernations in the mud, yet other versions have the beaver or beavers carry the earth onto the back of the turtle.
This Iroquoian version of the creation story is taken from Converse:
The Earth was a thought in the mind of the ruler of a great island floating above the clouds. This ruler was called by various names, among them Ha-wen-ni-yu, meaning He who governs or The Ruler. The island is a place of calm where all needs are provided and there is no pain or death. On this island grew a great apple tree where the inhabitants held council. The Ruler said “let us make a new place where another people can grow. Under our council tree is a great sea of clouds which calls out for light.” He ordered the council tree to be uprooted and he looked down into the depths. He had Ata-en-sic, Sky Woman, look down. He heard the voice of the sea calling; he told Ata-en-sic, who was pregnant, to bring it life. He wrapped her in light and dropped her down through the hole. All the birds and animals who lived in the great cloud sea were panicked. The Duck asked “where can it rest?” “Only the earth can hold it,” replied the Beaver—the oeh-dah from the bottom of our great sea—”I will get some.” The Beaver dove down, but never came up. Then the Duck tried, but its dead body floated to the surface. Many of the other birds and animals tried and failed. Finally, the Muskrat returned with some earth in his paws. “It’s heavy”, he said, “who can support it?” The Turtle volunteered, and the earth was placed on top of his shell. When the earth was ready the birds flew up and carried Ata-en-sic on their wings to the Turtle’s back. This is how Hah-nu-nah, the Turtle, came to be the earth bearer. When he moves the sea gets rough and the earth shakes.
(Converse, Harriet Maxwell (Ya-ie-wa-no); Parker, Arthur Caswell (Ga-wa-so-wa-neh) (December 15, 1908). “Myths and Legends of the New York State Iroquois”. Education Department Bulletin. University of the State of New York: 10–17.)
And this explanation of an Algonquin version is taken from The Canadian Encyclopedia:
Story of Turtle Island
The story of Turtle Island varies among Indigenous communities, but by most accounts, it acts as a creation story that places emphasis on the turtle as a symbol of life and earth. The following versions are brief reinterpretations of stories shared by Indigenous peoples. In no way do these examples represent all variations of the tale; they merely seek to demonstrate general characteristics and plots of different stories.
In some Ojibwe oral traditions, the story of Turtle Island begins with a flooded Earth. The Creator had cleansed the world of feuding peoples in order to begin life anew. Some animals survived the flood, such as the loon, the muskrat and the turtle. Nanabush (Nanabozo) (or Weesakayjack in some Cree tales) — a supernatural being who has the power to create life in others — was also present. Nanabush asked the animals to swim deep beneath the water and collect soil that would be used to recreate the world. One by one the animals tried, but one by one they failed. The last animal that tried — the muskrat — was underwater for a long time, and when it resurfaced, the little animal had wet soil in its paws. The journey took the muskrat’s life, but the creature did not die in vain. Nanabush took the soil and put it on a willing turtle’s back. This became known as Turtle Island, the centre of creation.
Many Haudenosaunee versions of the tale start in the Sky World — a land in the heavens where supernatural beings existed. One day, a pregnant Sky Woman fell through a hole under the roots of a tree and descended to Earth. Gently guided down by birds that saw her falling through the sky, she was placed safely onto a turtle’s back. Sky Woman was grateful to the animals for helping her. In some versions, her appreciation was so powerful that the earth began to grow around her, forming Turtle Island. In other versions, the animals brought forth mud from the bottom of the water, which grew on top of turtle’s back and formed a new land for Sky Woman and her descendants — Turtle Island.
Scholars tend to describe tales like Turtle Island as “earth-diver myths” — stories that in some way connect the origin of the world to beings (often animals) that dove into ancient waters to retrieve soil used to create (or recreate) the world as we know it. Such tales also often involve the presence of supernatural beings, such as transformers or tricksters, and a Creator.
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