Saturday, November 23, 2019

Big Eye Small Snake Effigy (Morris CT)

Doug Poger photo 2019

Sunlight spoils the photo of brush covered row of stones above,
an overlay of just as dubious quality,
a smaller segment of stone that connects to larger structures...

...Mr. Dangermon and I walked back to the car, walking thru a brush covered entrance along the more massive and unusual undulating and curved row of stones which shows quite distinctly
in the LiDar image above:

Where 3 Rows meet:
Before and After Repaired Causeway:
Before photo from:

Friday, November 22, 2019

Repaired (Not Restored) Stonework

Tim MacSweeney
January 12, 2016

November 21, 2019:
"Washed away by one of those heavy rainstorms," the guy on the mountain bike said.

Causeway Collection
Causeway search on this blog:

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

A Snake Eye Hypothesis

A Snake Eye Hypothesis is a good question: “If a round/oval stone is incorporated into a stone construction, then can it be assumed to be the eye of a snake effigy?”  
Framed as a statement that yields a binary (yes/no) answer (for each attempt at falsification), it may be testable with observations, it may not always be true.

How about this hypothesis: “If a “New England dry stacked stone fence/stone wall” - loaded with terms often used to describe rows of stones assumed to be evidence of post contact field clearing and other European based agrarian reminders of our past - resembles a snake (composed of other snakes, turtles and other Indigenous Native American Iconography) – then it may be an Indigenous construction that recalls the Great Snake(s) or Horned Serpents - "usually very supernatural in character-- possessing magical abilities such as shape-shifting, invisibility, or hypnotic powers; bestowing powerful medicine upon humans who defeat them or help them; controlling storms and weather, and so on," as described in the entry at: .

Robert Thorson writes: “Hypotheses become stronger each time they survive a test, often tests from different angles using different data sets. Because science cannot prove something to be true, the best approach is to create a null hypothesis (the one you believe to be un-true), something that can be nullified by evidence.  Basically, you set it up to knock it down. Then you set up another, which you also try to knock down.  After a few trials, the one left standing is the one you suspected all along as being true.  You try to knock it down repeatedly.  If you can’t it’s accepted as being true.”

From Robert Thorson’s Keynote Speech to the 2010 Annual Meeting New England Research and Antiquities Research Association, “The Odd Stone Out: Theory and Practice in the Interpretation of New England’s Stone Ruins – with a Stone Strider Photo used in place of the missing photo of a “lace wall:”
      Image Removed at Request of Stone Strider: see 5/2020 addendum following original post.

“Let’s look at the lace wall above.  Below are the explanations I’ve heard from experts (so-called).
  • #1 – They’re built with holes to allow the spirits of Native Americans to pass freely over the land now bounded by stone “fences.”
  • #2 – They’re precariously built because sheep are intimidated by the appearance, which makes it a good fence.
  • #3 – The openings allow wind to pass through, preventing them from being blown down in gales.
 After thinking about his problem for some time, I’ve added four more, none of which are probably original with me.
  • #4 – The design is a pattern of folk art adopted by local farmers, copied from one to another fashion.
  • #5 – The goal was to reach the legal height of a fence – generally shoulder high – but there wasn’t enough wood to raise walls that would otherwise be thigh-high, and not enough stones to go around. Hence, the “stretching” of material supply, like making the last bit of the toothpaste tube last.
  •  #6 – Though they look precarious, many actually are not. The frictional bond of a point-on-a-plane is often stronger than the bond of a plane-on-a-plane.   For example, think of your stability on an icy driveway with skis vs. metal crampons or cleats). The former is a plane on plane. The latter is a point on plane.
  •  #7 – Perhaps the open-ness says more about a lack of small particles to chink the holes with, or with the difficulty of having small chinking stones stay in place in a single wall, being poked or blown out of place.
 There you have it, seven explanations for the same phenomena.  Some of these can be converted into excellent hypotheses. Some cannot.  Probably the easiest to test is the one about wind. We could literally try to knock them down using the wind, seeing if a solid wall stands up worse than the ventilated one. An artistic tradition could be the true answer, one that just happens to coincide with the aerodynamic explanation, and which is difficult to test. Another easy one to test is the hypothesis about frictional stability. Here one could get quantitative, summing the total friction. 
Most hypotheses emerge from “IF-THEN” statements. They result from predictions of hypotheses that have already stood up to many tests.   This “if-then” relationship explains why a hypothesis can – and should — be considered the footstep of science.  On a physical journey, every step moves you forward and depends on the previous step.  Likewise, every time you learn something, it generates a prediction that allows you to learn something more…”

My response – with some “If/Then” questions I sometimes modify and update:
If the already understudied Indigenous Cultural Landscape is ignored, particularly in the case of Ceremonial Stone Features, then wouldn’t a person be guilty of passing off Pseudoscience as Science, substituting myths for truth, and Ethnically Cleansing away evidence of thousands of years of Traditional Ecological Knowledge by claiming, without further research, that the great majority of stonework in the Northeast is the result of field clearing methods of post-contact agriculture? 
If there are many free standing stone concentrations/constructions that either contain effigies or resemble animals both actual and legendary, as well as other designs and patterns (Indigenous Iconography) that figured highly and appear in the artwork in other media created by the Indigenous People of Turtle Island (Native Americans of North America) – the turtle, bear and deer etc. along with the Great Serpents etc., - then who was more likely to have the time and motivation to create this artwork - Indigenous People or farmers fancifully and whimsically "doodling" as Thorson calls it?
If those same techniques and designs found in Indigenous artwork can be found in those longer piles of stones most often called “stone walls” then again, who was most likely to have the greater amount of time and greater motivation to create this artwork especially when the stone wall ends in what clearly resembles a snakes head (as I once heard a panel member at a Roundtable on Stone Features and Ceremonial Stone Landscapes at the IAIS Research Center say in November 2014, as if reading my mind)?
If the Indigenous People of Turtle Island (Native Americans of North America) maintained the landscape with fire then how were those fires controlled, especially in areas of dense population, in times of increasing territoriality? Which would be a considered the more “dire need” to justify the labor required to create nearly a quarter million miles of stone walls – fuel breaks to control Indigenous burning over a great length of time or animal containment fences in the brief period of time known as the Golden Age of Stonewall Building that began shortly after the American Revolutionary War and ended with the invention of barbed wire. 
If Paleo-Indians (the Ancestors of the Indigenous People of Turtle Island) made “sophisticated prehistoric stone walls deep beneath the surface of Lake Huron,” the most recent find described as “two stone lines forming a lane about 30 meters long and eight meters wide which ended in a corral-type structure” with “hunting blinds built into the sides as well as other lanes and structures,” then why not elsewhere on Turtle Island? 
If the post contact period settler colonists found the stone rows of the Indigenous Ceremonial Stone Landscape then would they find it easier to either adapt them to European style “fences” – adding wooden rails to meet a requirement of new laws about ownership of property – or to quarry them for reuse?  Doesn't the Law of Parsimony apply not only to the time required for the building of at least a quarter million miles of “stone walls” but also to the reuse of already existing stone structures – or their removal from the landscape?
(If wooden rail fences did actually come first, then were fence laws created to culturally appropriate existing stone wall fuel breaks and/or petroforms in a quick and simple manner, adding rails to existing rows of stones to meet the , on average, “four and a half feet tall” legal height requirement?)

My Consulting Private Detective Sherlock Stones proposes an Eighth Hypothesis to test by observation of construction techniques, similar but not identical to #4:  
If the stones around an eye-like round stone are stacked to resemble the scales around the eye of an Eastern Timber Rattlesnake that appears to be the snake the Great Snakes or Serpents are modeled on, then is that stone construction a Snake Effigy?

Stones goes on to remark, "In Great Britain, 70,000 miles of stonewalls were built over a time period of 5,000 years by many people.  In New England, 250,000 miles of stone walls were assumed to have been built by Colonists over a time period of 200 years, more stonework than in all of the rest of the world combined, Gardner contends," he says. "Indigenous Peoples who lived on the same landscape since the glaciers retreated are usually not even mentioned as possible suspects, despite having been present for 97%  of the total time human beings lived on this same landscape.”

   Sherlock turns to me and asks:  "Who had more time in which to construct an estimated quarter million miles of stone walls? Who had the more "dire need" for all those (fire-proof) rows of stones on a Landscape that was fire-tended and most likely pretty densely populated by 1492? Who in the long run would have saved labor (travelling less for a more dependable and abundant resource outcome, not burning up your firewood or all the many sorts of "Ecological Resource Zones," whether it is a forest garden of fire resistant or dependent trees, or fire-pruning and maintaining just one of your blueberry fields or cranberry bogs, instead of all of them at once)?  Who is more inclined to make effigy petroforms (or geoglyphs) that resemble Great Serpents on a Sacred Cultural Landscape?"

"If the scientific (Anthropological, Archeological etc.) explanation of “stone wall-like rows of stone” on Indigenous Ceremonial Stone Landscapes, related to Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge, is too hard to understand, then make up - and keep repeating - a deceptively simple Euro-centric Stone Wall Myth or Fable."

Addendum 5/2020:
Stone Strider writes: "Hello Tim. I recently discovered that you are using my pictures to push a narrative of 'indigenously (sic) constructed stones' at the Heath Alter (sic), Massachusetts, at "Waking Up At (sic) Turtle Island". You need to remove those pictures please. As an academic, and peer-reviewed analyst, I need you to ask permission to use my 'Rights Reserved' images. Addressing your particular narrative; I am contacting you directly, letting you know, that from a geomantic (sic) perspective, the stones-linings, inundated with quartz, could circle the earth roughly six times. Besides the fact that Native Cultures do not claim these works in the Northeast, Native tribes were distinctly, culturally nomadic; Meaning: building stone strongholds, directly up the sides of mountains for each and every Summer, would have been absolutely repugnant to Native Tribes, making very little logical sense, with what we understand about the beautiful Native tribes of the North East.. Moreover, the tools Natives use in the Northeast were pragmatically simple, not for megalithic work. Where are those millions of tools for building these "walls"? It would've taken, perhaps, hundreds of thousands of hours, of brutal work. Where ate the tools for this brutal megalithic-scale work? Please understand: After surviving the long Winters, Natives did not go straight to the Mountain-sides to build 'walls', which is what they literally would've had to do, in order to accomplish this feat. These "walls" keep nothing "in", and no one, "out". Even the concept of dividing the land with stone, would've been absurd to Native Chieftains. Although your vernacular shows that you are familiar with academic works on the subject, your leap to crediting Natives with these constructs, which appear with: advanced dynamic characteristics, memes, symmetry, interlocking fixtures, and directionality, with feats of massive strength and mental acuity, in no way aligns with your Native-credited narrative. These concepts are prevalent in other places where megaliths exist, yet the Natives do not claim constructing them. The primordial and intrinsic mathematical principles show up consistently, from Glen Coe Scotland, to Sonora California, and so much in between, as displayed on my website. If this were psychological' projection', the evidence would not be mounting with literal, physical, consistent identical themes, and from different locations. Also, other researchers would not concur in the numbers they are now concurring, ACROSS THE GLOBE. I would appreciate it if you would remove my images from your critiquing website, or pay for the permissive Rights to use them directly, as a proper academic. This is also the Law. Since you chose not to write me, to ask my name, and simply said "whoever wrote this at" My name Tim, is John P. Vigneau; I attended The George Washington University, and hold a Degree in Western History and Philosophy, as well as completing a Master's Degree in Landscape Ecology and Geological Anthropology, at Unity Environmental Engineering College in Maine. My developed data and perspective indicate this: Try to think of the landscape as a synergized space, a connected grid utliizing (sic) the geomantic (?) qualities of quartz, and granite, as well as the subtle electric production transferred through the specifically placed stones; They are connected to points of force, like flowing water to mountain tops.The Sun charges the stones on high, while the streams charge the stone below. Synergy. The properties of quartz are found in energy transfer engineering in your Cell Phone, computers, and it is the same concept on the primordial landscape. It is engineering; A broader, and more developed perspective, than the limited logical proposition that Natives, with stone pics, and hammers, spent all their time carrying rocks up mountains. By utilizing the geomantic qualities of the Earth itself, this earliest group of megalithic-capable builders, attempted to claim, and synergize (?) the space, to the fullest. The Native American Culture of course has instances of stone mounds, and minor statements (?) in the Ohio River Valley, expanding out to the Anastazi (sic) in the great South West, but these wonderful statements are not a justification for attributing the Northeastern mountain-stones. Why are none of the Native tribes called: "The Stone Builders", or "Mountain stone workers" ? Not one of the tribes in the Northeast is so named. Not one. They were fishers, and hunters, agrarian practitioners, living in huts and teepees (sic) in the River-Valleys. I will also add that the Native Tribes of South America, particularly the megalithic areas of Peru, DO NOT claim to have built those megaliths. The megaliths were there BEFORE they arrived, and they acknowledge this directly. It is more likely that the stone-linings in New England were there BEFORE the Natives arrived. I'm not sure why you are s determined to attribute these works specifically to Nomadic Native American Tribes? Why do you ignore the limits of the logical aspects of your perspective. Is it because you are an atheist, and perhaps have aversion to the possibility of Biblical relevance to the megaliths? Anyway, please remove the images, or we can discuss a price for the usage. And most importantly, stay well during this pandemic. I have attached more evidence with my latest article, containing hundreds a connective memes and engineered statement from across the Western Hemisphere. Be well. John"

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Just had to say it...

I can't believe he says, "I haven't dug into it" - and then dislodges several stones including a half white/half dark obvious Manitou Stone - that I think he tosses from hand to hand toward the end of the video, while blathering on about Mysterious Unknown Civilizations...

I had to come back and paste this into this post after someone suggested it was a glacial kame:

"The Glacial Kame Culture was a culture of Archaic people in North America that occupied southern Ontario, Michigan, Ohio and Indiana from around 8000 BC to 1000 BC. The name of this culture derives from its members' practice of burying their dead atop glacier-deposited gravel hills..."

The Influence of Sacred Rock Cairns

and Prayer Seats on Modern Klamath and Modoc Religion and World View – Patrick Haynal (2000)
Photo by a Friend
“TRADITIONALLY, ethnographers have been brief in their discussions of the ritual importance of rock cairns to the Klamath/Modoc (e.g., Gatschet 1890; Spier 1930; Ray 1963; Stern 1966), and prayer seats receive no direct mention at all. This article focuses on determining the importance of these two categories of sacred sites to the practice of modern Klamath and Modoc (hereafter Klamath/Modoc) religion and the shaping of their contemporary world view.' To accomplish this, interviews were conducted with several Klamath/Modoc individuals selected from a list approved by the Klamath tribes. Rock cairns and prayer seats and their relationship to various rituals and practices, such as the power/vision quest and funerary rites, are integral features of the Klamath/Modoc sacred cultural landscape...
...For the purposes of this article, rock cairns are defined as any stacked rock feature…Cairns come in two general physical forms: the stacked rock column, constructed by placing one rock directly atop another in sequence to varying heights; and the conical cairn that has a variable number of rocks forming the base and there after built up with additional rocks until a conical (or mound like) shape is achieved. Occasionally linear “s” shaped or “wall-like” rock features were constructed as well…

...Virtually every unique rock feature, mountain, cave, body of water, meadow, or any other distinct location within the land had a spirit and everything with a spirit had power. The animals of the land had power as well. From the Klamath perspective, all the cosmos, both animate and inanimate, was alive and everything alive had both spirit and power...
Photo by a Friend
...Loubser and Whitley (1999) interpreted rock art from eight sites in the Lava Beds National Monument as having several religious connections, including vision questing (by both shamans and nonshamans), mythic associations, hunting magic and other ritual specializations, and mortuary associations. They reached their conclusions by careful application of the ethnographic record and recently obtained data on the manner in which the brain processes and recalls visions received during a hallucinatory state (Loubser and Whitley 1999; also see Whitley 1998). If rock art is associated with the power quest, what is the spatial association between rock art and cairns?
...Even a single rock had power. A rock from Mt. Shasta carried a portion of the great power of the mountain itself (Spier 1930; Ray 1963)…Interviewee 3, a young Klamath man in his twenties, explained that [a] rock cairn is basically the same thing as a church, people go there to pray, men go there for puberty to put on vision quests, it's just a very spiritual place...

Interviewee 4 made a similar comment about rock cairns, stating: To me those cairns are no different than a church. We know how our people would go on a vision quest or power quest and be up all night long building the cairn as a method of prayer.”

Interviewee 6 also described the cairns as sacred altars: “When our people went out to seek God…seeking the truth, seeking power, seeking direction, seeking guidance . . . whenever they went there and received an answer or confirmation or received a power . . . they built an altar saying "this is where the Creator spoke to me" and this is now sacred.”
In noting the power of cairns, Interviewee 6 added that [t]he thing about cairns is, if you knock them over or if people destroy them with malicious intent . . . somehow the spirit of the place or of this person who put it there could come back on you…”
With that statement, Interviewee 6 voiced a commonly  held  cultural  belief  that disturbing  a  rock  cairn, either inadvertently or deliberately, can result in serious supernatural consequences.  Interviewee 3 told the following  story about the power of cairns: We were  going up to locate a site,  it  was a vision  quest,  and  a tree  had  fallen  down  on  top of this  rock.   The  rock  was probably  10 inches tall and weighed about 7 or 8 pounds. A tree fell down on the rock  and the rock didn't move.  It was just sitting on another rock, it didn't budge it.  They're  definitely powerful, there's definitely some kind of spirit there, I believe..."
With that statement. Interviewee 6 voiced a com-monly held cultural belief that disturbing a rock cairn, either inadvertently or deliberately, can re-sult in serious supernatural consequences. Inter-viewee 3 told the following story about the power of cairns: We were going up to locate a site, it was a vi-sion quest, and a tree had fallen down on top of this rock. The rock was probably 10 inches tall and weighed about 7 or 8 pounds. A tree fell down on the rock and the rock didn't move. It was just sitting on another rock, it didn't budge it. They're definitely powerful, there's definitely some kind of spirit there, I believe.
With that statement. Interviewee 6 voiced a com-monly held cultural belief that disturbing a rock cairn, either inadvertently or deliberately, can re-sult in serious supernatural consequences. Inter-viewee 3 told the following story about the power of cairns: We were going up to locate a site, it was a vi-sion quest, and a tree had fallen down on top of this rock. The rock was probably 10 inches tall and weighed about 7 or 8 pounds. A tree fell down on the rock and the rock didn't move. It was just sitting on another rock, it didn't budge it. They're definitely powerful, there's definitely some kind of spirit there, I believe.
(Some of this was condensed from a previous post: )