Archaeology

PATRICK SINCLAIR; BUILDER OF FORT MACKINAC – BY WILLIAM L. JENKS in 1915


By far the most conspicuous object in the Island of Mackinac is the old fort which overhangs so protectingly the village below.

The thick stone and earth walls, the three old block houses, built, according to the cards upon the doors, in 1780, the old buildings within the enclosure, all force the attention of the visitor, resident or tourist, to the age of the structure, but to few is known even the name, much less anything of the career of its creator.

In the extreme northeast of Scotland lies the shire or county of Caithness; a large part of it low and boggy, it rises toward the south and west, and contains but three streams of any size, the Wickwater and the Forss and Thurso Rivers.

Most of the coast line is rocky and forbidding and good harbors are few.

Near the northeast corner is John O’Groat’s house, and south of that along the East Coast is a large bay called Sinclair’s Bay.

For several centuries the name Sinclair or St. Clair-they are in reality the same, the latter being nearer to the original Norman form-has been the leading one in Caithness; the first earl of Caithness, created in 1455, being Sir William Sinclair.

From this shire, forbidding in its natural aspects, but like so many other places in Scotland, furnishing an abundant supply of young, energetic, capable and courageous men, came Patrick Sinclair, the subject of this sketch, of interest to Michigan, not alone because of his connection with Mackinac, but because he was the first man to establish a permanent foothold in the way of occupation, erecting buildings and cultivating land along St. Clair River.

Patrick_Sinclair

This noble river should today bear the name of Sinclair as it did for many years a century ago.

The present name is derived from Arthur St. Clair, first governor of the Northwest Territory, the original name passing gradually through forgetfulness of the one and growing importance of the other to its present form.

It is a curious fact that both Arthur St. Clair and Patrick Sinclair were born in the same year in the county of Caithness, within twenty-five miles of each other, and they were undoubtedly distantly related.

Whatever the cause, temperament, roving disposition, hard and forbidding material conditions at home, certain it is that Scotchmen have proved through centuries the mainstay of British enterprise and glory in foreign lands, and Scotch soldiers and explorers have done much to extend England’s domains.

Patrick Sinclair mas born in 1736 at Lybster, a small hamlet on the east coast of Caithness about 11 miles southeast of Wick, the chief town of the County, and was the half son and oldest of four children of Alexander who had married a connection in the person of Amelia Sinclair, the daughter of another Alexander Sinclair.

His father was the fourth Sinclair of Lybster and the name Patrick was common in the family, his grandfather bearing it, and his great grandmother was the daughter of Patrick Sinclair of Ulbster.

We have no knowledge of his youthful education but it must have been considerable as his papers and correspondence evince facility in expression, clear ideas and a good command of language,

In July, 1758, Patrick Sinclair purchased a commission as ensign – practically equivalent to 2nd Lieutenant, a grade not then existing in the famous 42nd Highlanders, or Black Watch Regiment, but he may have had some previous service in some capacity as in a letter to Gen. Haldimand in August, 1779, he refers to his 25 years’ service in the army, which if not a rhetorical exaggeration would imply that he had entered the service in 1761.

At any rate he soon saw active service, as his regiment was sent to the West

Indies in 1759, and he participated in January of that year in the attack and capture of Guadeloupe.

Not long after with his regiment he went to New York and then to Oswego where they spent several months.

In July, 1760 he was promoted to lieutenant and in August his regiment joined the army which under the leadership of General Amherst invaded Canada and captured Montreal.

Later it went to Staten Island, and in October, 1761, shortly before his regiment left for the West Indies he exchanged into the 15th Regiment of Foot.

The reason for this exchange is not evident as the 15th Foot went to the West Indies the same Fall and in August, 1763 came back to New York and then to Canada.

One Company however of the 15th Regiment remained in America and it is possible that this was Sinclair’s Company, as there is some evidence that he was at Quebec for a year from October, 1761, then for a time at New York, and again at Quebec.

For a part of the time at least he was in Capt. Robert Stobo’s Company.

In the Fall 1763 or the Spring of 1764 Sinclair must have been transferred to or connected with the Naval Department of the Lakes, as in a petition to the Earl of Hillsborough in 1769, he states that he “hath servedhis Majesty near six years last past on the Great Lakes in North America where he had the honor to command his Majesty’s vessels on the Lakes Erie, Sinclair, Huron and Michigan,” and the inscription on a silver bowl presented to him by the merchants of Detroit in 1767 refers to him as Captain Sinclair of the Naval Department.

The 15th Regiment of Foot was stationed at various posts in Canada, but no part of it as far west as Detroit, which was garrisoned mainly from the 60th Regiment during the entire period Sinclair mas in charge (as he says), of the navigation on the lakes,’ his’ headquarters, however, being Detroit.

Sinclair’s duties were general but important; to maintain and provision the boats, see to their arming and protection against the Indians, who were numerous, and, for some time after 1763, largely hostile to the English, and so dispose the shipping as to serve best the interest not only of the various garrisons, but also of the Indian traders and the merchants, who of necessity depended upon these boats for the bringing in of their goods and the carrying out of their furs.

The boats then in use consisted of canoes, batteaux, snows, sloops and schooners.

The canoe was the famed birch bark canoe noted for its carrying capacity in proportion to its weight and admirably adapted to the carriage of persons but not freight.

The batteau was a light boat worked with oars, long in proportion to its breadth and wider in the middle than at the ends.

It was well adapted for carrying freight, and for some years after the English obtained possession of the lakes it was extensively used between the posts in transporting both freight and passengers.

Of necessity the shore was closely followed both with batteau and canoe.

The snow was a type of vessel long since gone out of existence, with two ordinary masts and rigged much like a brig, but having in addition a small mast near the main mast to which the trysail was attached.

All the sailing vessels were of small burden.

The schooner “Gladwin,” famous for her successful attempt in bringing aid to the besieged Detroit garrison was of 80 tons burden.

Up to 1780 the largest boat on the lakes was the brig Gage of 154 tons, built in 1774.

In the same petition referred to above Sinclair states that he is the only person on the lakes who has ever explored the navigation of the lakes for vessels of burden “by taking exact soundings of them and the rivers and Straits which join them with the bearings of the headlands, islands, bays, etc., etc.”

The beginning of the siege of Detroit by Pontiac was signalized by the murder by the Indians on May 7th, 1763, of Captain Robertson, Sir Robert Davers, six soldiers and a boat’s crew of two sailors while engaged in taking soundings near the mouth of the “River Huron” as the account states it, now called St. Clair River, to seeif the lakes and rivers were navigable for a schooner then lying at Detroit on her way to Mackinac.

As a means of facilitating his duties, especially in regard to the communications between Detroit and the upper lakes, Sinclair erected, in 1764, a small fort just south of the mouth of Pine River in St. Clair County, the buildings comprising two barracks, one for sailors and one for soldiers, two block houses for cannon and small arms, and a wharf for drawing out and careening vessels, all enclosed within a stockade.

This post, about midway between lakes Huron and St. Clair, enabled him to control the river as regards the Indians, and also furnished a place for trade with them.

This establishment was ordered and approved by Colonel Bradstreet who was in Detroit in August, 1764.

During the season of 1764 Sinclair had under his command the schooner “Gladwin” which had brought relief to the beleaguered garrison at Detroit in the siege of Pontiac, and at the close of that season’s navigation he put her in winter quarters at Pine River.

In connection with his duties while stationed on the Lakes he made a trip of exploration down in the Indiana Country along the Wabash River, thus acquiring considerable knowledge of the French settlements in that vicinity.

Sinclair seems on the whole to have got along with the Indians very satisfactorily, and to have obtained their respect and liking and to have established a widespread reputation to that effect.

He was not entirely free from troubles however, as in 1767 the Chippewas, or Mississaguas, murdered a servant of his near the foot of Lake Huron.

The murderers were apprehended and sent to Albany for trial but were finally released to his indignation.

In 1767 the system of operating boats on the Lakes was changed and delivered over to private contractors, and Sinclair’s duties and official position terminated but it required some time to close out his matters, and when in the early summer of 1768 his regiment returned to England he remained upon the Lakes, and did not return to England until the spring of the following year.

That his conduct of affairs while in charge was acceptable to the class with whom he came most in contact outside of his government relations is proved by the presentation to him in 1767 of a silver bowl-still preserved in the family-with the following inscription engraved upon it:

“In remembrance of the encouragement experienced upon all occasions by the merchants in the Indian countries from Capt. Patrick Sinclair of the Naval Department, not as a reward for his services, but a public testimony of their gratitude this is presented instead of a more adequate acknowledgment which his disinterested disposition renders impracticable.

Dated the 23rd September, 1767.”

The merchants of Mackinac also gave him a testimonial.

Sinclair had erected the buildings and made the improvements at his fort mainly at his own expense, and in March, 1769, he applied to Gen. Gage, then commanding the British forces in America., to be reimbursed for his outlay £200, but Gage replied that the Government had not directed the construction and therefore Sinclair could do with the improvements what he saw fit.

Proposed_outline_of_Fort_Mackinac

 

Perhaps in anticipation of such result and as a measure of self-protection

Sinclair had obtained from the Indians a deed to a tract of land upon the St. Clair River, 2 ½ miles along the river by the same in depth to include his improvements. This deed was dated July 27th, 1768, and was signed by Massigiash and Ottawa, chiefs of the Chippewa Nation, in the presence of 15 Indians of that Nation and of George Turnbull, Captain of the Second Battalion of the 60th Regiment, George Archbold, Lieutenant, and ensigns Robert Johnson and John Amiel of the same Regiment, also of John Lewis Gage,Ensign of the 31st Regiment, and Lieut. John Hay of the 60th Regiment, Commissary of Indian affairs.

 

In the deed the land is described as being “on the Northwest side of the River Huron, between Lake Huron and Lake Sinclair, being one mile above the mouth of a small river commonly called Pine River and ending one mile and a half below the mouth of said Pine River.”

The consideration stated is “the love and regard we bear for our friend Lieut. Patrick Sinclair and for the love and esteem the whole of our said nation has for him for the many charitable acts he has done us, our wives and children.”

The King of England in his proclamation of October 3rd. 1763, establishing the province of Quebec, had expressly prohibited the obtaining of deeds from the Indians except under special license, and through certain officials.Site_of_Fort_MichiliMackinac_on_Mainland

This deed, therefore, although executed with considerable formality, and in the presence of the highest British Officials in the vicinity, did not operate to convey any legal title and this was recognized by Sinclair himself in 1774, in a petition to the government to be reimbursed for his expenditures on the property.

The property thug obtained was of sufficient size and quality to entitle him to consideration among the land owners of his native home, and he improved it by clearing, by setting out an orchard on the north side of Pine River, and by additional buildings.

It included a considerable body of pine and it is a curious fact that this marked on the East side of Michigan the Southern line of the great pine section of the Lower Peninsula.

During the period of his station at Detroit, Sinclair used the fort, buildings and pinery, but it is not known who looked after it during his absence from this locality after leaving in 1769 until 1759 when he arrived at Mackinac, but in 1780 Francis Bellecour, the British Indian Agent at Detroit, mas in charge.

He evidently was not giving satisfaction to the Indians in the vicinity, as in July of that year Maskeash, one of the Chiefs who signed the deed, with his wife and ten other Indians from along St. Clair River, went up on one of the government vessels, commanded by Alex Harrow, to Fort Mackinac to ask that Baptiste Point de (or du) Sable, be appointed to take cliai.ge of the property in place of Bellecour. DeSable mas a free mulatto who had traded with the Indians at the lower end of Lake Michigan, and, as he was friendly to the Americans, had been captured in 1779 by a British force from Fort Mackinac on the ground of his being a sympathizer with the American Rebels, and taken to Mackinac and detained.

By his conduct after his capture he commended himself to his captors and to Sinclair, then Lieutenant Governor, and as a result he was released and sent down to look after this property and trade with the Indians.

He appears to have remained there more or less continuously until 1784 when his effects were taken to Detroit and he returned to Illinois and continued at Peoria and Chicago until his death in 1811.

Although not in chronological order the subsequent history of this tract may be here narrated.

Sketch_of_Fort_Mackinac

In 1783 Lieutenant Governor Sinclair was living on the Isle of Orleans awaiting a decision upon the allowance of his accounts.

A young man by the name of Nicholas Boilvin who was a native of the Parish of St. Nicholas near Quebec. decided to try his fortunes in the far west, and April 5th., 1783, Sinclair gave to him a power of attorney to take charge of 1iis.farm on Pine River, his “stock, houses, barns, orchards, gardens, timber and every other article thereto appertaining.”

The same instrument recommended Boilvin to the protection of the officers at Detroit, so that all other persons might be prevented from cutting timber or trading near the post to Boilvin’s detriment.

Boilvin, on reaching Detroit, decided to go still farther west and September 20th, 1783, he assigned his power of attorney to David Ross and shortly after went to St. Louis.

He there became an Indian agent of the United States, but later removed to Prairie du Chien, where he mas for many years a person of some consequence.

In 1788, Sinclair’s rights were sold at auction and bought by Meldrum & Park, a firm of merchants and Indian traders of Detroit who went into possession of the property, made improvements and erected two saw mills and a grist mill.

In 1795, as the Indian deed to Sinclair had never been registered, but taken by him to England. finally finding its way to the Public Record office in London, Meldrum & Park obtained another deed from twenty-six Chippewa Chiefs, purporting to be in confirmation of the former deed to Sinclair; but the new deed conveyed a tract ten miles along St. Clair River by four miles in depth or about six times as much land.

This seems to have been in accordance with the usual way of honesty and fairness with which the white men treated the Indian.

This deed was not recognized by the United States as a conveyance of title, but the possessions taken under it enabled Meldrum & Park and their grantees to obtain patents from the United States, in 1810, to nearly five thousand acres.

In 1768 or 1769 Sinclair petitioned the Earl of Hillsborough, then Secretary for the Colonies, for the appointment of Superintendent of Navigation upon the Lakes, pointing out his experience, his successful services and the great need of such an official to protect the interests of the government, but the petition was refused, much to Sinclair’s disappointment.

It is not known exactly when he returned to England and his regiment, but it was sometime in the spring of 1769 and he was engaged in recruiting for upwards of a year.

In May 1771 he applied to the Earl of Hillsborough for the grant of a house at Detroit belonging to the Crown in lieu of his buildings at Pine River.

The matter as referred to General Gage, then at New York, who promised to look into the matter and see if that could be done without injury but apparently the inquiry was never made and nothing came of the petition.

He was promoted to Captain April 13, 1772, and the next year retired with the provision that he would not lose his rank if he rejoined the army.

Upon his retirement Sinclair returned to his ancestral home at Lybster, but time moved slowly there to a man accustomed for years to the wilderness and freedom of the Great Lakes in America and to the power and influence which Sinclair had been wont to exercise and directly upon his retirement he began exerting influence to get back to this country.

On June 1st, 1773, Sir Charles Thompson who had been for seven years the Colonel of the 15th Regiment, and who was an intimate personal friend of the King, wrote Lord Dartmouth in his behalf, recommending him as a proper person for appointment in Pennsylvania, the Jerseys, New York and the New England Provinces, but nothing came of it.

The government had never recognized his title to his land in America, nor had it ever repaid his outlays upon it, and in December, 1774, he applied for payment not only of these charges, but also for £56 which he paid to the Indians in redemption of white captives.

In the same account he includes £27 for his expenses caused by his being detained in the west when his regiment was sent to Europe and £70 for two servants killed by the Indians.

In February, 1775, his same kind and influential friend wrote again to Lord Dartmouth recommending Captain Sinclair for employment in Canada.

This time the fates were propitious and prompt, as on April 7th, 1775, he was commissioned by King George III, as Lieutenant Governor and Superintendent of the Post of Missillimakinac.

By the Proclamation of 1763 the Province of Quebec was established with such boundaries that practically all the Great Lake region lay outside, and therefore without any established form of government, which remained essentially military, without courts or ordinary civil officers.

The Quebec Act, passed by Parliament and effective in October, 1774, greatly extended the limits of the Province so as to reach the Ohio on the South and the Mississippi on the west.

By this Act a form of government by Governor and Council was provided and the old French laws recognized.

Although the Act itself made no reference to or provision for the western posts, the King in April, 1775, recognized four western districts or posts, and appointed as many Lieutenant Governors or Superintendents, one each to the posts of Detroit, Missillimakinac, St. Vincennes, and the Illinois.

These appointees were respectively Henry Hamilton, Patrick Sinclair, Edward Abbott and Matthew Johnson.

There was no attempt made to define the limits of each district, but ordinarily no question could arise over conflict of jurisdiction.

There was in each case a fortified place, which formed the center of operations.

There was, however, a clear distinction between the Post or District, and the fortified place; thus in the case of Sinclair, his seat of operations was Fort Mackinac, while his post was Missillimakinac and extended to cover the territory of all the Indians who were wont to come to that point to trade.

In the commission appointing Sinclair Lieutenant Governor there was no definition of his powers but he was to hold the position with all its “rights, privileges, profits, perquisites and advantages during the King’s pleasure.”

The incumbent, however was required to obey such orders and directions as he might receive from time to time from the Captain General and Commander in Chief of Quebec.

As there was no statute or general regulation upon the subject, the relation of the Lieutenant Governor, a civil officer, to the military force stationed at his post was indefinite and at Detroit was productive of considerable trouble.

Anxious to arrive at his post of duty promptly, there being no direct shipping from Glasgow to Quebec, Sinclair sailed for Baltimore, where he arrived July 26th, 1775, and at New York August 1st.

His purpose then was to go up the Hudson to Albany, thence to Oswego, and from there by boat to Quebec, and he made all preparation to leave New York August 4th, but on that day the Provincial Congress of New York then in session, having learned the previous day of his presence in the city, and of his great influence with the Indians, thought it unwise to permit him to go to his post where he might prejudice his Indian friends against the Colonies, and took him in custody and sent him on parole to Nassau Island in Suffolk County, Long Island, where he remained

until the following March, when upon his application to be permitted to retire to Europe, the Continental Congress granted his petition and he returned to England that summer.

He remained in England about a year and, apparently, found it rather difficult to get passage back to America, as in May, 1777, we find Lord George Germaine, then Secretary of the Colonies, granting Sinclair permission in response to request to come over in the packet Bristol rather than as “an unwelcome guest in a man-of-war.”

He did not reach America until the fall of 1777, this time at Philadelphia where he went with letters to Sir William Howe who advised him that his best plan to reach his post of duty via Quebec was to go by way of the St. Lawrence River the following spring.

Accordingly he spent the winter with Lord Howe and when the English fleet and forces left for England in May, 1778.

Captain Sinclair went as far as Halifax, where he was again compelled to wait until he could obtain transportation to Quebec.

Communications between Halifax and Quebec were infrequent and slow and it was a year later, in June, 1779, that Captain Sinclair arrived at Quebec and was ready to present himself and his commission to the Governor and receive his instructions and proceed to his post, although he had sent a communication to the Governor from Halifax in October of the year before.

At this time Sir Frederick Haldimand was Governor General.

He was of Swiss birth and, after some years’ service in the Prussian army joined the British forces in 1754 and was rapidly promoted.

He was an efficient officer and a good soldier, but his character and training both emphasized the military over the civil power.

On more than one occasion he received severe reprimands from the English government because of actions due to this feeling.

The officer then in command at Fort Mackinac was Maj. Arent Schuyler DePeyster who had been there for five years.

He was a capable officer, quite influential with the Indians and tactful in his intercourse with others.

He was gifted in a literary way, and although of American birth had strong English sympathies, sewing in the English army during the Revolutionary War.

Upon his retirement from the army he went to Dunfries, Scotland, his wife’s native place, where he became a close friend of the Poet Burns.

For some time DePeyster had been desirous of leaving Mackinac, giving as his reasons that his health was poor and that his private affairs at New York where his family had long been established sadly needed his presence but his real reason was the distance of his post from civilization, as no further complaints were heard from him after he was transferred to Detroit.

It is probable that Haldimand and Sinclair had met before.

In 1760 Haldimand, as lieutenant Colonel, accompanied the British force from Oswego to Montreal and Sinclair’s regiment, the 15th Foot, was a part of the force. Although Sinclair arrived in Quebec early in June, 1779, and undoubtedly presented himself promptly with his commission and a letter from Lord Germaine, which stated that, as Lieutenant Governor, he would have command over the military force stationed there, as well as civil authority, the Governor General, who did not relish the idea of Sinclair’s exercising military as well as civil powers at his post, put him off on various pretenses for over a month-in the meantime writing to DePeyster that he intended to delay Sinclair until the ship’s arrival from England in mid-summer, hoping perhaps to receive by then some authority to reduce or negative the instructions in Lord Germaine’s letter.

The ships arrived, but nothing to favor his wishes: he thereupon wrote to England, commenting upon the union of the civil and military authority in one person; but the reply received the following year made plain that the action of the government in this respect was fully considered and not to be altered.

In the meantime Haldimand issued a set of instructions for Sinclair, in which, disobeying the express terms of Lord Germaine’s letter, he authorized Sinclair to act as Commandant only until a senior officer of the garrison stationed there should arrive, and impressed upon him that only such senior officer had power over the troops to be sent beyond garrison limits, and in addition the perquisites attached to the commander of the post were to go to the officer.

Naturally such instructions proved very distasteful to Sinclair who at once addressed a spirited remonstrance to the Governor.

After some vigorous correspondence, in which Sinclair proposed to return to England rather than occupy a position which might be humiliating, the matter was compromised;the instructions were somewhat modified, and it was represented to him that there was in fact no senior officer at the post and an early opportunity would be given to purchase a commission as officer which would entitle him to outrank anyone who would be sent to the garrison.

With these assurances he left Quebec the last of August, 1779, for his post, and arrived at Fort Mackinac October 4th, 1779, probably by way of the Ottawa River, four and one-half years after the date of his commission.

He had crossed the ocean three times and while, until this date, he had not been able to exercise any authority under his commission, he had not neglected one important part of his duty, to draw his annual salary of £200.

Three days after his arrival, Major DePeyster left for Detroit, and Sinclair was free to examine his empire.

The fort was on the mainland on the south side of the strait, and practically in the same condition as it existed in 1763 at the time of its capture by the Indians.

It enclosed about two acres and the ramparts consisted solely of pickets driven into the ground.

It was on the sand and so near the shore that the waves in time of storm dashed over the pickets.

The practiced eye of Captain Sinclair at once noted its insecure condition, its inability to resist any attack but that of small arms, and that it could not afford protection to vessels.

In a letter to Captain Brehm, aide to Governor Haldimand, written four days after his arrival, he suggested the removal of the fort to the Island of Michilimackinac, and pointed out at some length the many advantages which the island possessed in the way of easy construction of a defensible fort, the protection of vessels, and good building material “but for God’s sake be careful in the choice of an engineer and don’t send up one of your paper engineers fond of fine regular polygons.”

In another letter to Brehm a week later, he returned to the subject and urged prompt action.

“It is the most respectable situation I ever saw, besides convenient for the subsistence of a Garrison, the safety of troops, traders and commerce.”

Without waiting for authority from the Governor, which could not be expected to be received until the following spring, Sinclair proceeded to set men at work on the island clearing, making shingles, pickets, etc.

By February he had so much done that he set about moving the French Church over to the Island and persuaded the traders and Canadians (as the French were generally called) that the removal was not only desirable but certain.

In May, 1780, came the consent of the Governor to the change with the information that lie had so much confidence in the Lieutenant Governor’s engineering abilities that no other engineer would be sent.

Sinclair soon found, however that, with the limited means at his command in masons and artificers, it would not be possible to complete the new fort sufficiently to move into it during that season, and he accordingly took all steps to put the mainland fort into the best possible condition to repel attack which he feared might come from the “rebels” – friends and adherents of the United States and their Indian friends.

In the meantime Sinclair had obtained the desired reinstatement, in military rank, so he was properly styled the Commandant (as well as Lieutenant Governor), thus uniting the military and civil powers of the post.

It so happened that Capt. George McDougall of the 84th Regiment, had been for some time anxious to sell out and retire on account of his health, but as he was an active and efficient officer, well-liked by the Indians, the Governor was loath to permit him to go.

However, in the spring of 1780, on the representation of failing health, permission was granted him to sell out and Lieut. Patrick Sinclair became the purchaser and a Captain again in the British Army, his commission being dated from April 1, 1780.

Sinclair received notice of his appointment July 8, and it evidently was a source of much satisfaction to him as he signed his letters for a time “Patrick Sinclair, Capt. 84th Regiment &Lieut. Gov.”

It was not long before an affair justified his insistence with Governor Haldimand upon the propriety and necessity of the provisions in Lord Germaine’s letter. Captain Mompesson of the 8th Reg., then at Detroit, was ordered by Maj. DePeyster to take a part of his company to Mackinac to relieve a company of Grenadiers.

Upon his arrival, Ang. 21st, 1780, he immediately refused to take orders from Sinclair and the next day issued a Regimental order that he expected obedience to his commands from the troops in the garrison.

Both officers wrote at once to the Governor who immediately decided that Captain Sinclair was in the right, that his former rank as Captain in the 15th Regiment had been ‘preserved upon his leaving that regiment, and he therefore clearly outranked Captain Mompesson.

The Governor in his letter to Sinclair about the matter added that he had at length obtained his Majesty’s decision upon the disputed rank of Lieutenant Governors of the post; this decision was, in fact, merely a confirmation of Lord George

Germaine’s letter.

Another episode happened at this time not calculated to soothe a somewhat peppery disposition and one regardful of the dignity and authority of its owner. Capt. Alex Harrow, of the Schooner Welcome, arrived July 29th, 1780, and assumed, as superior in naval command, to give an order to Captain McKay, of the Felicity, which had been plying chiefly between the post and the Island.

(Captain Harrow was a Scotchman who came to the Great Lakes in 1779 as an officer in the naval department and, in 1794, settled in St. Clair County on a large tract of land lying a short distance above Algonac and upon a part of which descendants of his are now living.)

The Lieutenant Governor resented this interference with his own authority and as both men were tenacious of their dignity, it resulted in Harrow being taken from his vessel and imprisoned in the fort.

After confinement of a month or two the authority of Sinclair was confirmed by the Governor, and Harrow, through the good nature of Sinclair, who, though quick to anger, was equally quick to relent, was released and reinstated in command of his vessel.

The command of a post so distant and isolated as that of Mackinac was a severe test of the qualities of promptness, decision, judgment and tact, and an early opportunity displayed Sinclair’s possession of the first two qualities in ample quantity.

After France embraced the cause of the United States she endeavored to get Spain to do the same; but the latter, though aiding the Americans in many ways, including the sale of a large quantity of gunpowder at New Orleans, made no formal declaration of war until May 8, 1779.

Lord Germaine either devised or adopted a plan to drive the Spanish out of Louisiana and on June 17, 1779, wrote General Haldimand, directing him in co-operation with Brigadier General Campbell to attack New Orleans and the other

Spanish posts on the Mississippi River.

Haldimand issued a circular letter to the Governors of all the Western posts giving general instructions.

This letter after passing from Colonel Bolton, at Niagara, to Major DePeyster, at Detroit, was forwarded by the latter Jan. 2, 1780, to Sinclair at Mackinac.

The day after its receipt Sinclair sent a war party to engage the Sioux Indians to proceed down the Mississippi River.

He also ordered Mr. Hesse, a trader, but formerly in the army, to collect a force of Indians and supplies in Wisconsin for the same purpose.

A few days later he dispatched a sergeant with Machiquawish, a noted Indian Chief, and his band.

The combined force made an attack on St. Louis which was only partially successful, and the project, as a whole, was a failure, the result being to leave the district South of Lake Michigan and as far West as the Mississippi River in American control.

Sinclair shows up, however, very favorably in the affair and, if the King had been as well served elsewhere, the result might have been very different.

The removal to the Island fort was made in the summer of 1781, although the fort was not entire1 completed.

When finally completed for occupation it contained four block houses, three of which are still standing; the fourth, which stood near the southeast corner was later removed.

The walls have since been widened and raised, and the roadway from the lower town brought nearer to the face of the hill and parallel to it, and lengthened so as to reduce the grade.

The officers’ quarters within the enclosure stand where they were originally constructed and the guard house, built in 1835, is on the site of the one built by Sinclair.

However, the general plan of the fort remains substantially the same today as when it was originally constructed 134 years ago, except that the North wall toward the West is brought in. thus contracting the enclosure by about one-fourth.

Sinclair proposed to call the new fort “Haldimand” after the Governor, but the latter decided that the fort should be called Fort “Makinac,” and the post should be continued to be called Michilimackinac, thus indicating that the post, meaning the civil jurisdiction, was more extensive than the fort, which included only the garrison limits.

The Governor’s spelling of the name of the fort was never carried out but the name of the post continued as long as the British retained control.

When they left and the Americans took possession, the post, as such, ceased, and both island and fort took the same name, Mackinac.

Sinclair, as a means of propitiating the Indians and securing their approval of removal to the Island, had negotiated with some of the Chiefs for a deed which he finally obtained in May, 1781.

By this deed five Chiefs of the Chippewa nation relinquished to Lieutenant Governor Sinclair, for the behalf and use of the English King, the Island of Michilimackinac, and agreed to preserve in their village a belt of wampum seven feet in length to perpetuate and be a lasting memorial of the transaction.

The consideration was £5,000 New York currency (equal to $12,500 in 1915).

The deed was signed with the totems of the Chiefs, also by Patrick Sinclair, Lt. Governor & Commandant, Captain Mompesson, Lieutenant Brooke and Ensign McDonall, and witnessed by six of the resident traders.

The work of completing the fort went on slowly as the Commandant could not get the necessary workmen.

Major Depeyster at Detroit was not feeling very friendly to Sinclair and when requested to send artificers reported that he could not spare any.

In August, Brigadier General Powell was compelled to peremptorily order him to send up two carpenters.

During the years of the construction of the fort an unusually large number of Indians came to Mackinac from all quarters to receive their annual presents from the British Government.

Sioux, Menominies, Sacs, Foxes, Ottawas and Chippewas, Winebagoes and all other tribes between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi, and even beyond, had become accustomed to make an annual pilgrimage to & Michilimackinac to meet the representative of their Great Father across the water and receive in return an outfit which would please their sense of display and enable them to support life until another season.

The coming of the white man and the introduction of strong drink and firearms had completely revolutionized the status of the Indians.

From an independent self-supporting people procuring their spare and difficult livelihood by the exercise of natural talents heightened by ever present necessity, they had become dependent for clothing and the means of obtaining food.

So longer were their own developed weapons sufficient.

They needed guns, powder and shot to kill the animals whose flesh gave them food and whose skins gave the furs the white man coveted and was willing to pay for.

The French had found it advantageous to give the Indians some presents to stimulate and maintain their friendship, but the English found it necessary to give far more.

The French, by their willingness to live the life of the Indians, to intermarry with them, and by their understanding and appreciation of Indian nature, were naturally regarded as their friends, and in the long French and English war the sympathies of the Western Indians were with the former and Pontiac found it easy to obtain the adherence of the most of the tribes.

When the English obtained possession of the western posts they thought it wise to conciliate the Indians by presents, and as time went on the number of Indians who applied for gifts and the extent of their demands increased until it became appalling to the British authorities.

An additional reason why during the period of Governor Sinclair’s station at Mackinac a larger amount of presents was needed than in ordinary times was that, owing to the Revolutionary War, the English feared-and with good reason-that the French were, in the main, friendly to the Americans, and would use their influence with the Indians to turn the latter against the English.

If this should happen all the Western posts would inevitably fall into the hands of the Americans.

The three posts on the lakes to which the Indians resorted in large numbers for supplies were Niagara, Detroit and Michilimackinac.

One of the articles most in demand was rum and, as an illustration, it appears that there was consumed during the year from June, 1780, to June, 1781, at the three posts, 19,386 gallons of this article euphemistically called “milk” at the Indian pow-wows.

This does not include the large amount used and furnished by the traders.

The nature of other articles sent by the Government as presents can be seen from the return showing that in 1781 there was sent to Lieutenant Governor Sinclair for Indian presents, 991 pairs of blankets, mostly 2% and 3 point, 102 dozen calico shirts, and 50 dozen linen ones, laced hats, feathers, looking glasses, knives, tomahawks, medals, needles and thread, axes, razors, brass and copper kettles, tobacco, powder, shot and guns, and a host of other minor articles.

It happened not infrequently that the supply of goods furnished by the government became low, or was very late in arriving at the post and, as the presents must be made when the Indians were there, the officers at the posts had been in the habit of buying from the traders such articles as they thought to be absolutely necessary.

In consequence they often were compelled to pay high prices.

These purchases as well as all other outlays were met by drafts drawn by the Lieutenant Governor upon the Governor General.

In order to prevent a further continuance of this practice and reduce, if possible. the great and Increasing expenses of the Western posts, on June 22nd, 1781, Governor Haldimand issued orders that the officers at Niagara, Detroit and Michilimackinac should, on no account whatever, after receipt of the order, purchase liquors or any other articles whatever for the use of the Indians from the trader, and that no circumstances whatever would he admitted a reason for not complying with the order.

Lieutenant Governor Sinclair did not observe this order very closely, evidently believing that this order was only intended for ordinary occasions, and that, as he was on the ground, he was entitled to use his judgment, even if it resulted in violating orders made at a great distance.

During the years 1780, 1781, 1782 the new fort was under construction, and in 1781 Sinclair drew on the Governor General drafts to the amount of £43,000 New York currency, for the engineering works and £65,000 for the Indian Department. This was an increase over the preceding year of £18,000 in the latter and nearly £35,000 in the former, which, however, was probably not unexpected as much more work was done on the new fort in 1781 than in 1780.

In 1782 the Lieutenant Governor drew for immense sums in both departments; in January one draft went forward for over £43,000 to be charged against the fort building, and to this no objection seems to have been made.

On the same day, however, he drew £11,450 on account of Indian expenditures, and when this draft was presented to Haldimand he refused to accept it, and referred the accounts to Mr. Goddard, general storekeeper and inspector of Indian presents, with instructions to charge out all articles he might consider presents to the Indians.

He later requested advice from his Attorney General upon the question whether he could legally pay part of the account, without acknowledging the whole.

Apparently he was advised that he might safely pay part as he did pay over £9,000.

In April Sinclair drew drafts to the amount of £14,500 of which £9,500 was on account of the fort and was paid, and £5,000 for Indian expenditures which was paid in part.

In July he drew for over £60,000 of which £40,000 was for the Indian department and the remainder for the Fort construction, about one-half of these drafts were accepted and the others refused and protested.

Although the Commandant at Detroit was at the same time also drawing heavily-in 1781, £162,000 and in 1782, £66,000 nearly all of which was on Indian account, none of his bills were refused.

In August, 1782, Haldimand alarmed at these enormous expenditures, which were affecting his own standing with the authorities in London, appointed Lieut. Col. Henry Hope, Sir John Johnson.

Superintendent of Indian Affairs, and James S. Goddard, to go to Mackinac and examine into the situation.

They arrived September 15th and found a number of irregularities.

There evidently had been looseness and carelessness in the keeping and checking of accounts, and the instructions of Governor Haldimand had not been followed with regard to the purchase of articles from the traders.

One of the perquisites which had been enjoyed and which though profitable to the Lieut. Governor, was detrimental to the public interests, was the reception by that official of presents from the Indians, generally in the nature of furs which naturally called for increased presents to the Indians, paid for by the Government.

It is apparent, however, that Sinclair’s actions had some justification.

Supplies ordered by him had not been sent, or were damaged in transit, or were so greatly delayed as not to arrive in time for distribution to the Indians, and the Commandant was obliged to choose between disappointing and alienating the Indians, a consequence of much importance until the Revolutionary War was ended – or purchasing goods from the traders.

Most of these drafts which were objected to were drawn in favor of George McBeath to be used by him in the payment of the various traders who had furnished articles.

McBeath had been sent up by Haldimand for the very purpose of taking charge of these expenditures and evidently thought them proper and necessary.

A few days after the arrival of the investigating board, Sinclair turned over the command of the post to Captain Robertson, the next ranking officer of the garrison, and left for Quebec arriving in October.

The fort was not yet entirely completed.

A careful survey made at the time by an engineer indicated the extent of the work done, and estimated that with 100 laborers and the necessary artificers, the fort could be put into a safe condition in about two months.

As nearly $300,000 had then been spent upon its construction without serious objection by the English authorities it may be easily conceived that they regarded the post as of high importance.

November 1st, Sinclair applied to Governor Haldimand for permission to go to Great Britain, which was refused on the ground that he was needed for the examination of his accounts.

He then took up his residence on the Isle of Orleans, awaiting action on this matter, and there he remained until the fall of 1784, when he finally obtained the desired permission and left for England.

In the meantime Haldimand wrote in October, 1782, to the English Treasury stating what he had done and that he would investigate and report.

In November, he followed this by an explanation of his reasons, which were in the main, that Sinclair had acted contrary to the order of June, 1781, in buying Indian presents from the traders.

He also promised to have the matter carefully looked into.

A year went by without any action whatever and in October, 1783, Haldimand wrote the Treasury that he was waiting with great impatience for instructions.

To this the Lords of the Treasury replied that he had failed to give them the information which he had promised, and which they needed before giving full instructions.

In January, 1784, the Treasury received remonstrances from the merchants whose bills were unpaid, and they wrote Haldimand that such parts of the bills as represented articles furnished and labor performed should be paid for at the usual rates.

In July, 1784, Haldimand wrote that he had offered £22,000 upon bills drawn for £57,000, and that his offer had been refused and he had been threatened with prosecution by the claimants.

In the meantime Sinclair was eating out his heart on the Isle of Orleans.

Prevented from going to England and meeting his family and friends, feeling the hostility of the Governor General, receiving the frequent importunities of the unfortunate traders who had parted with their goods, but had not received their money.

It is not to be wondered at that he fell into a state of deep and settled melancholy, and that even to his best friends his faculties began to seem impaired.

Representations were made to the Governor General and in August, 1784, he was allowed to return to England in company with Captain Erskine Hope and his wife, who was a connection of Sinclair.

The trip and his surroundings and his friends and relatives in Scotland, where he at once repaired upon his arrival in England, restored his health.

In November Haldimand himself left Canada for England, arriving at London in January, 1785.

As soon as Sinclair heard of this he left at once for London determined to have his affairs settled, and arrived there February 28, 1785.

He was delayed in meeting Haldimand, however, by being arrested at the suit of some of the holders of the protested Mackinac bills and thrown into Newgate prison, from which he was released on March 17th by his paying the bills.

He immediately demanded of Haldimand that the latter repay the amount at once, or he would apply for a Court Martial.

Apparently neither action was taken but early in April, Haldimand was sued for £50,000, he at once called upon the Government to defend him.

In the following year the action was dismissed, and the claimants appealed to Government for their pay.

The result of this application is unknown but the standing of Sinclair with the English authorities does not seem to have been impaired by all these proceedings. While at Mackinac he had advanced in military rank, having become a Major in 1782.

The next year his regiment, the 84th, was disbanded.

His absence from his post as Lieut. Governor did not affect his title or his salary except the allowance which he drew as commanding officer.

In August 1784, the Governor General was careful to impress upon Captain Robertson, then commanding at Mackinac, that his authority was merely in the absence of the Lieut. Governor.

In October, 1793, Sinclair was made a Colonel.

The post of Michilimackinac was transferred in June, 1796, to the Americans, and although Sinclair had not set foot in it since he left in August, 1782, he had continued to draw his yearly salary of £200 with great regularity.

According to modern ideas this would have been an unjustifiable sinecure, but that was an age of sinecures and it was acknowledged that an office was a vested right of which no possessor should be deprived without the payment of compensation.

Accordingly, it is not surprising to find that in April, 1797, Colonel Sinclair, then in London, petitioned the Duke of Portland, Secretary of State, that as he had been at great pains in fortifying and defending the post of Michilimackinac, and his Majesty had found it expedient to give it up to the United States, he flattered himself that this action would not be prejudicial to him and that his salary might be transferred to the general establishment.

This petition apparently seemed reasonable and his salary continued during the remainder of his life.

Not long after he was retired on half pay and withdrew to Lybster where he spent the remainder of his days.

Being still in line for promotion he was made a Major General on September 25th, 1803; he was made Lieut. General, July 25th, 1810, and at his death, which occurred January 31st, 1820 at the age of 84, he was the oldest officer of his rank in the British army.

From a consideration of all the evidence now available in the matter of the protested bills Sinclair was unfairly treated.

Haldimand, although a good soldier, was a stubborn opinionated man whose training as a soldier inclined him to be overbearing and impatient of anything except the most exact obedience to his orders.

In the face of the King’s commission to Sinclair with the accompanying letter of Lord George Germaine, which made the Lieut. Governor the Commandant entitling him to outrank any officer under a Brigadier General, he refused to recognize any military authority in the position.

Although admitting the great importance of placating the Western Indians, and having himself no personal knowledge of the difficulties of the situation, he thought his orders issued from a thousand miles away should be implicitly obeyed.

It is clear that Sinclair did not understand until the Board put in its appearance at Mackinac that he was doing anything more than the necessities of the situation required, in view of the fact that the government agencies were often so dilatory and neglectful as to leave the far distant post short or entirely lacking.

From his reply to Haldimand’s letter of June, 1781, it is apparent that he understood that his position as Lieut. Governor gave him discretion and this position was never contradicted by Haldimand.

His good faith is manifest all through, and even if Haldimand were justified in claiming that Sinclair had acted in contravention of his orders, that furnished no excuse for not paying the traders who had, in good faith, furnished articles actually used by the government and ordered by a representative they had no reason to suspect.

It seems probable that in the end the government paid the bills, as in 1786 the Treasury at London called on Haldimand to furnish information why the bills had been protested, and to explain why he had continued McBeath at Mackinac in connection with Indian disbursements after he had repudiated his actions in connection with Sinclair.

Sinclair married Catherine Stuart, of Invernesshire, and had four sons and one daughter.

Three sons died unmarried, and one married but left two daughters, who never married.

His only lineal descendants are through the children of his daughter, Susan, who married David Laing, surgeon, of Thurso.

A full length silhouette of General Sinclair taken after he had retired from the army shows a large handsome man of imposing presence.

Family tradition depicts him as an impulsive, warm hearted, as well as warm tempered individual, quick to resent and to punish, and equally quick to forgive; kindly and generous to dependents; philanthropic and helpful to the needy and improvident.

He lived to the good old age of eighty-four and his thoughts must frequently have gone back to this Inland Empire in which nearly a decade of his life was spent, and in which he had wielded a wide influence, and had erected a monument still enduring.

His name which was so closely connected with the early history of Michigan should be perpetuated and both Mackinac and St. Clair County should mark, by proper memorials, the name of Sinclair, as a most important one in their rolls of historic characters.

Categories: Ancient Treasure, Archaeology, artifacts, Legends, Michigan, Strange News, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Amelia Earhart Captured and Killed? New Evidence Debunks History Channel’s Crazy Theory….


A new theory about the fate of Amelia Earhart is seriously undermined by evidence obtained by The Daily Beast. The theory, to be aired Sunday in a History Channel documentary, claims that Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, were rescued by the Japanese after crash landing in the Marshall Islands and then taken to a Japanese prison where they died in captivity.

The pivot of the documentary’s case is a photograph, undated, of a wharf at Jaluit Island, one of the scores of atolls that make up the Marshall Islands. A forensic expert who specializes in facial recognition appears in the program to support the claim that Earhart and Noonan are among a group of people on the wharf.

Just beyond the wharf, in the harbor, is a Japanese military vessel identified as the Koshu Maru. The documentary suggests that after this picture was taken Earhart and Noonan were arrested and taken aboard the Koshu Maruand that a barge alongside contained the remains of their Lockheed Electra airplane.

According to the documentary, it is likely that the Koshu Maru then sailed for the island of Saipan where the two Americans were imprisoned and then killed.

The role of the Koshu Maru (maru means ship in Japanese) is therefore crucial to the theory that Earhart and Noonan are, indeed, the people in the photograph.

However, in 1982 a Japanese author and journalist, Fukiko Aoki, published a book in Japanese, Looking for Amelia. She found a surviving crewmember of the Koshu Maru, a telegraphist named Lieutenant Sachinao Kouzu. He told her that, like other Japanese ships in the western Pacific, they were told that Earhart had disappeared while over the ocean and were alerted to look out for any sign of the airplane and, if they did, seek to rescue Earhart and Noonan.

After a few days, said Kouzo, the alert was dropped. At no time did anyone on Koshu Maru set eyes on the Americans, alive or dead.

Aoki told The Daily Beast that her interest in the Earhart story was sparked when she read a story about four Japanese meteorologists who were assigned to a weather station on Greenwich Island in the South Pacific. As soon as they arrived at the station early in July 1937, they received a government message to look out for the aviators and, if they saw them, to organize a rescue operation. They saw nothing.

“The disappearance of Amelia Earhart looks so different from the Japanese and American sides,” Aoki told The Daily Beast. “One of the weathermen, an old guy called Yoneji Inoue, protested against the theory that Amelia was captured and executed by the Japanese.  I wanted to find out what really happened. I found and checked the log of the Koshu Maru, but of course I couldn’t find any description of the capture of Amelia Earhart.”

Aoki later moved to New York where she became bureau chief for the Japanese edition of Newsweek. She has written 12 books. Looking for Ameliawas republished as a paperback in 1995 but only in Japanese.

The four meteorologists were taken to Greenwich Island on the Koshu Maru, arriving on July 3, the day after Earhart disappeared. Greenwich Island is now named Kapingamaranji,and is 1,500 miles from the Marshall Island where the photo supposedly of Earhart was taken, which means that the vessel was nowhere near the Marshall Islands at the crucial time.

As Aoki’s research indicates, the assumption that the Japanese military was under orders to arrest and quietly kill Earhart and Noonan them shows little understanding of what was happening in the Pacific at the time.

The war in the Pacific didn’t begin with Pearl Harbor. It began on July 7, 1937, five days after Earhart disappeared, when a minor clash between Japanese and Chinese troops near Beijing suddenly turned into all-out war between the two nations.

The last thing the Japanese needed was to inflame American opinion by murdering the world’s most-famous woman. Although they had a formidable air force and navy the Japanese were distracted by Soviet Russia’s claims to Japanese islands and at that time they also feared American naval power in the Pacific. America, in turn, wanted no part of the war in China.

Just how anxious both the U.S. and Japan were to avoid conflict was revealed by an incident in December 1937. An American gunboat, the USS Panay, that was allowed to patrol the Yangtze River by international agreement, was called in to evacuate staff from the U.S. embassy in Nanking, as well as some international journalists as the Japanese carpet-bombed the city.

The Panay sailed upriver to what the captain thought would be a safe refuge and anchored alongside other boats laden with Chinese refugees.

But a swarm of Japanese bombers attacked all the boats, including the Panay. Two U.S. crewmen and an Italian journalist were killed. The Japanese claimed that the attack was an accident. President Roosevelt was so anxious that the bombing should not lead to calls for retaliation that he censored newsreel footage. The Japanese, alarmed that they might have awakened a sleeping tiger, paid $2.2 million in compensation.

Then there is how the Japanese treated Charles Lindbergh.

In August 1931,  he flew from Alaska across the Bering Sea to Japan in a seaplane with his wife Anne. Thick fog forced Lindbergh to make a blind landing using only his instruments. After touchdown, with the engine shut down, the airplane drifted dangerously close to rocks and was rescued by a Japanese boat that towed them to a safe harbor.

When they reached Tokyo the Japanese gave the Lindberghs a welcome that one newspaper said was “one of the greatest demonstrations ever seen in the ancient capital.”

As for Earhart, there was no military intelligence value to the Japanese in getting their hands on her Lockheed Electra. The Electra was widely used by airlines across the world and held no technological secrets. By 1937 the Japanese were mass-producing a Mitsubishi bomber so far superior to the similarly-sized Electra that when it was converted to an airliner it flew a record-breaking round-the-world flight.

The theory that Earthart crash landed in the Marshall Islands is not supported by the basic rules of geography and navigation. It rests on the idea that, once Earhart realized she had missed a scheduled rendezvous with a U.S. Coast Guard cutter on tiny Howland Island, she reversed direction.

The Marshall Islands are 800 miles northwest of Howland Island, way beyond the range of the Electra as it was running low on gas at the end of a long leg from Papua New Guinea, over the Pacific.

Her only option was to look for a landing place that was much closer and, ideally, ahead of her rather than far behind.

Her last message to the cutter was at 8:43 a.m. on July 2.  It was that she was flying on a line of 157 337 – that is, the southeasterly course from her starting point that intersected Howland Island. Because of an unexplained problem with the Electra’s radio, the cutter could receive her messages but she couldn’t receive the replies.

As a result, in the 80-year search for Earhart there is nothing to go on to point to her final position beyond what was in that radio transmission. Yet on the basis of that one transmission we arrive at the next most prominent theory about Earhart’s fate.

This takes us to an atoll named Nikumaroro Island, 350 miles southeast of Howland Island, and to Ric Gillespie, chief executive of The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, TIGHAR.

Gillespie is the best funded and most persistent of all Earhart hunters. Since 1989 he has directed 12 expeditions to Nikumaroro, partly funded by National Geographic, and each expedition follows the same pattern: advance publicity that garners a gullible audience and funds, followed by negligible results, some bordering on the ludicrous.

Gillespie gave scientific credence to his theory by analyzing 120 reports of radio traffic in the area of Nikumaroro at the time and deciding that 57 messages were possibly transmitted from the Electra, beginning three hours after the final transmission picked up by the Coast Guard cutter.

To believe this demands two leaps of faith or, more likely, of the imagination. The first is that Earhart managed to land on the atoll and the second is that she did so with such skill that her radio remained able to operate.

Such a landing would have required a near miraculous feat of airmanship. Nikumaroro is a typical coral atoll sitting atop a volcano with a rocky reef looping around a lagoon with only a tiny appendage of flat surface. And although she did not lack courage, Earhart was not a pilot of natural intuitive skills, like Lindbergh, and the Electra was an unforgiving machine in a marginal situation like this.

TIGHAR / BARCROFT USA /GETTY

Satellite image of Nikumaroro Island.

Earhart, under the stress of knowing that her fuel was running out, would have had to align her approach over water at a shallow angle and make a finely-judged touchdown with no margin of error. Landing on an aircraft carrier would be much easier.

For the radio signal theory to have any credence the airplane then had to remain undamaged by water – for days.

For a fraction of the money that TIGHAR has invested and is still investing in its expeditions they could have commissioned a computer program to simulate the landing. All the necessary data about the handling characteristics of the Electra and the probable weather and sea conditions at the time are available. The trouble is, of course, that this would prove the impossibility of the idea.

Gillespie was, not surprisingly, dissed when told of the History Channel “revelation” about the Marshall Islands.

“This is just a picture of a wharf at Jaluit with a bunch of people, it’s just silly,” he said.

This happened when Gillespie had just sent another expedition to Nikumaroro, this time including four sniffer dogs trained by the Institute for Canine Forensics. The dogs arrived wearing life vests when the temperature was more than 100 degrees. They were looking for human remains – the latest spin of the theory being that Earhart and Noonan had perished there.

The Earhart saga will go on providing endless fuel for lovers of the classic vanishing airplane narratives. People in the grip of a pet theory will go to great lengths to believe in that theory on the thinnest evidence. Gillespie, for example, seized on the discovery of a jar of 1930s ointment for the treatment of freckles found in the waters near Nikumaroro as evidence that Earhart, famously freckled, had made it to the island.

Freckles would not have been of much concern as Earhart planned her flight. Nothing that was not essential was carried in the Electra. She was piloting what was virtually a flying gas station. In place of passenger seats the airplane was stuffed with six large extra gas tanks and had another six in the wings, as well as having to carry 80 gallons of oil for its hot-running supercharged engines.

There is, to be sure, no reason to stop looking for Earhart, Noonan and the Electra. The odds are that after a desperate search for land they ended up, out of fuel, ditching into the ocean, and then plunged as far as 17,000 feet down to the bottom of the ocean. They most certainly didn’t die in a Japanese prison.

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Crusader Shipwreck Discovered off Israel’s Coast, gold coins and more…


Archaeologists have found the wreck of a ship belonging to the Crusaders, dating back to their expulsion from Acre in the thirteenth century CE, off the coast of northern Israel.

The Crusader stronghold was destroyed in 1291 CE when the Mamluk Sultanate captured it, driving the Christian armies from the region. Golden coins dating to the era were found alongside the wreck, making it easy to pinpoint when the ship sank in the waters outside Acre, according to an article appearing in Haaretz.

Taking Acre was a major victory for the Mamluks, as Christian European forces had long used the site as a landing point for countless knights and soldiers. When Jerusalem fell out of Crusader hands after being recaptured by Saladin in 1187, Acre became the new Crusader capital in the Holy Land.

Marine archaeologists from Haifa University Prof. Michal Artzy and Dr. Ehud Galili spearheaded the investigation of the Crusader shipwreck. The ship itself suffered damage while the modern harbor of Acre was being dredged during its construction; the surviving wreckage includes some ballast-covered wooden planks, the ship’s keep, and a few sections of its hull.

Carbon dating has revealed the wood used to construct the hull dates to between 1062 CE and 1250 CE, firmly within the window for Crusader activity in the region. In addition to the associated golden coins found near the wreckage, marine archaeologists also discovered imported ceramic bowls and jugs from southern Italy, Syria, and Cyprus; corroded pieces of iron, mostly nails and anchors, were additional finds.

The biggest find, however, is certainly thought to be the gold coins found with the wreck. A total of 30 florins were found, according to the Israel Antiquities Authority’s coin expert Robert Kool; minted in the Italian republic of Florence – where the coins get their name – the florins were minted from 1252.

Speculation as to how the ship – and the florins – ended up on the bottom of Acre’s harbor is closely tied to the Siege of Acre, as historical eyewitness accounts from the event reported nobles and merchants fleeing from the besieged fortress by boat, often after bribing the owners of these boats with valuables. Many never made it out of the harbor, thought to have drowned there with their riches as the Christian defenders sought futilely to buy them some time to escape.

The Crusader fortress fell on May 18th, 1291, after more than 100 years of Frankish rule. The final defenders, a contingent of Knights Templar, refused to abandon their holdfast. As a result, when Mamluk sappers undermined the walls of the Templar fortress, the entire edifice collapsed, killing the remaining defenders – and around a hundred of the Sultan’s own soldiers as well.

The fall of Acre was the last gasp of the Christian crusades during the medieval era. Once the stronghold was taken by the Mamluks and summarily destroyed, the Catholic Church and the European nobles that supported it abandoned their quest to “liberate” the Holy Land.

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Categories: Ancient Treasure, Archaeology, artifacts, gold, gold coins, Legends, Lost Treasure, Middle East, Muslims, sunken ships, treasure, treasure diver, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ajanta Caves of India …


In 1819 deep in the jungles of India, a man is hot on the tail of a wild tiger. Suddenly, he spots something strange in the cliffs high above him. So he climbs up to investigate… and discovers, amazingly, a secret that has lain hidden for hundreds of years. This incredible scene took place in 1819. The protagonist was British cavalryman John Smith, and on that fateful day he was out hunting in what is now Aurangabad, a district of Maharashtra in western India. Close to the Waghora River, he noticed an opening in the rocks above. Realizing that the cave looked man-made, Smith and his party scaled the rocks to take a closer look. Then he fashioned a flaming torch from grass to light his way and tentatively stepped inside. Needless to say, Smith was in for a surprise when he entered the opening in the cliffs. Indeed, he found himself in a grand hall lined with columns, its walls decorated with paintings that were faded by age. Exploring further, Smith discovered a bodhisattva – a carving of a Buddhist devotee at one of the stages of achieving nirvana. Inconceivably, but with typical colonial carelessness, he scratched his name on the body of the statue. He was, therefore, the first of many to leave his mark on what became known as the Ajanta Caves. Located 280 miles to the east of Mumbai, the caves are thought to date back to the second century BC. They consist of 30 halls and feature religious structures hewn into the rock face up to 100 feet above the river below. Experts believe that the caves were created over a period of many hundreds of years. Indeed, after the initial construction in the second century BC, work began on a second group of caves some time around the fifth century AD. The structures here were built for Buddhist monks as a place in which to live and worship. There were, for example, caves allocated for different activities, such as sleeping and education, and many monks would have been trained at the facility. In fact, it is thought that at their peak the Ajanta Caves were home to several hundred men. However, over time, Buddhism began to lose its grip on the region, and Hinduism rose to become the dominant religion once again. Consequently, the caves, with their Buddhist significance, were abandoned, and nature began to reclaim the site. So, for more than 1,000 years, the Ajanta Caves remained buried in a remote corner of India as the world changed around them. Sadly, there was nobody to watch them fall into disrepair as the years passed – apart, that is, from a few local goat herders who used parts of the caves for shelter. But all that changed with Smith and the discovery that he made in 1819. In fact, after that day the fame of the caves spread quickly throughout the world. Certainly, the stunning architecture of the caves and the exquisite artwork found within them soon established the area as an archaeological site of note. In 1844, for instance, the Royal Asiatic Society commissioned Major Robert Gill to recreate some of the stunning paintings that lined the walls of the caves. His task was a difficult one: he had to slave away in intense heat while remaining vigilant to the threat not only from tigers, but also the hostile local Bhil people. Despite such difficulties, however, Gill and his fellow adventurers discovered some incredible treasures that still draw visitors to the Ajanta Caves to this day. Suffice to say, then, that the caves, with their complex system of halls and cells, represent an incredible architectural feat. Indeed, most of the caves are vihara halls, multi-purpose spaces once used for worship, sleeping and living. Each one consists of a central space featuring a Buddhist shrine, surrounded by smaller cells where the monks would go about their daily lives. Interestingly, the first caves to be built were adorned with simple columns and painted with figures from Buddhist teachings. Later, during the second period of construction, more elaborate architecture and artwork appeared. Meanwhile, throughout the caves, thousands of beautiful images recreate stories from the lives of Buddha. For example, men, women and animals are depicted in rich and detailed scenes, painted by skilled artists who studded their work with precious stones. In what’s known as Cave One, an elaborate façade is covered in detailed carvings and reliefs. In others, meanwhile, mound-shaped shrines known as stupas create focal points. Additionally, Cave Two features a series of paintings depicting women in significant and powerful roles – leading some to suggest that a woman may have been responsible for funding at least part of the site. Today, reaching the Ajanta Caves is less of an adventure than it was 200 years ago. Since then, of course, the ropes and ladders that Gill and his contemporaries were forced to climb have been replaced by a modern path, and the caves have firmly taken their place on the tourist map of western India. Indeed, in 1983, the caves won recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, furthering their reputation as a unique and fascinating slice of history. Meanwhile, their location close to the famous Ellora Caves boosted their popularity, and by 2010 the site was attracting almost 400,000 visitors a year. These days, then, a tour of the region isn’t complete without a visit to the Ajanta Caves. And despite the site’s popularity – so great that in 2013 a Mumbai designer launched four replica caves to ease overcrowding – the haunting magic of these vast structures carved into the rock so long ago endures.

Countryside around the Ajanta Caves…
Categories: Ancient Treasure, Archaeology, artifacts, Ghost Towns, Strange News, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Maya ‘snake dynasty’ tomb uncovered holding body, treasure and hieroglyphs…


Xunantunich, in western Belize, where archaeologists found a tomb and hieroglyphic panels depicting the history of the ‘snake dynasty’.
Xunantunich, in western Belize, where archaeologists found a tomb and hieroglyphic panels depicting the history of the ‘snake dynasty’. Photograph: Jaime Awe

Archaeologists have uncovered what may be the largest royal tomb found in more than a century of work on Maya ruins in Belize, along with a puzzling set of hieroglyphic panels that provide clues to a “snake dynasty” that conquered many of its neighbors some 1,300 years ago.

The tomb was unearthed at the ruins of Xunantunich, a city on the Mopan river in western Belize that served as a ceremonial center in the final centuries of Maya dominance around 600 to 800 AD. Archaeologists found the chamber 16ft to 26ft below ground, where it had been hidden under more than a millennium of dirt and debris.

Researchers found the tomb as they excavated a central stairway of a large structure: within were the remains of a male adult, somewhere between 20 and 30 years old, lying supine with his head to the south.

The archaeologist Jaime Awe said preliminary analysis by osteologists found the man was athletic and “quite muscular” at his death, and that more analysis should provide clues about his identity, health and cause of death.

In the grave, archaeologists also found jaguar and deer bones, six jade beads, possibly from a necklace, 13 obsidian blades and 36 ceramic vessels. At the base of the stairway, they found two offering caches that had nine obsidian and 28 chert flints and eccentrics – chipped artefacts that resemble flints but are carved into the shapes of animals, leaves or other symbols.

The excavation site at Xunantunich.
The excavation site at Xunantunich. Photograph: Jaime Awe

“It certainly has been a great field season for us,” said Awe, who led a team from his own school, Northern Arizona University, and the Belize Institute ofArchaeology.

The tomb represents an extraordinary find, if only for its construction. At 4.5 meters by 2.4 meters, it is “one of the largest burial chambers ever discovered in Belize”, Awe said. It appears to differ dramatically from other grave sites of the era. Most Maya tombs were built “intrusively”, as additions to existing structures, but the new tomb was built simultaneously with the structure around it – a common practice among cultures such as the ancient Egyptians, but uncommon among the Mayas.

“In other words, it appears that the temple was purposely erected for the primary purpose of enclosing the tomb,” Awe said. “Except for a very few rare cases, this is not very typical in ancient Maya architecture.”

Many Maya societies ruled through dynastic families. Tombs for male and femalerulers have been found, including those of the so-called “snake dynasty”, named for the snake-head emblem associated with its house. The family had a string of conquests in the seventh century, and ruled from two capital cities. Awe said the newly discovered hieroglyphic panels could prove “even more important than the tomb”, by providing clues to the dynasty’s history.

The third hieroglyphic panel discovered at the Mayan ruins in Xunantunich, in western Belize, with Awe holding a flashlight.
The third hieroglyphic panel discovered at the Maya ruins in Xunantunich, with Jaime Awe holding a flashlight. Photograph: Christophe Helmke

The panels are believed to be part of a staircase originally built 26 miles to the south, at the ancient city of Caracol. Epigraphers say the city’s ruler, Lord Kan II of the snake dynasty, recorded his defeat of another city, Naranjo, on the hieroglyph, to go with his many other self-commemorations. On another work, he recorded a ball game involving a captured Naranjo leader whom he eventually sacrificed.

Naranjo apparently had its revenge some years later, in 680AD, having the panels dismantled and partially reassembled at home with gaps and incorrect syntax – possibly deliberately, to obscure the story of the snake dynasties’ conquests. Fragments have been discovered elsewhere in Caracol and at a fourth site along the Mopan river, but Awe said the new panels could be “bookends” to the story of war and sacrifice in the ancient Maya world.

According to the University of Copenhagen’s Christophe Helmke, the research team’s epigrapher, the panels provide a clue for Kan II’s conquests – he appears to have dedicated or commissioned the work in 642AD – and they note the death of Kan’s mother, Lady Batz’ Ek’. The panels also identify a previously unknown ruler from the Mexican site of Calakmul, Awe said.

Helmke said the panels “tell us of the existence of a king of the dynasty that was murky figure at best, who is clearly named as Waxaklajuun Ubaah Kan” . This ruler reigned sometime between 630 and 640AD, and may have been Kan’s half-brother.

“This means that there were two contenders to the throne, both carrying the same dynastic title, which appears to have been read Kanu’l Ajaw, ‘king of the place where snakes abound’,” he wrote in an email.

The panels clarify what Helmke called a “tumultuous phase of the snake-head dynasty” and explain how it splintered between cities before dominating Maya politics in the region.

The panels identify the origin of the snake dynasty at Dzibanche, in the Yucatan peninsula of modern Mexico, and refer to the family’s move to their capital of Calakmul. Awe said Lady Batz’ Ek’ “was likely a native of Yakha, a site in neighboring Guatemala, who later married the ruler of Caracol as part of a marriage alliance”.

The nine eccentrics.
The nine eccentrics. Photograph: Kelsey Sullivan, courtesy Jaime Awe

The researchers have had their work peer-reviewed for publication in the Journal of the Pre-columbian Art Research Institute.

Awe said it was not clear why the panels appeared in Xunantunich, but the city may have allied itself with or been a vassal state to Naranjo. The cities both fell into decline, along with other Maya societies, around 800 to 1,000AD, for reasons still mysterious but possibly including climate change, disease and war.

The city was called Xunantunich, meaning “stone woman” in the Yucatec Maya, long after its abandonment by original residents. The name derives from folklore around the city about a hunter who saw a ghostly, statuesque woman, dressed in indigenous garb, standing near an entrance to a temple called El Castillo – a storytouted by tourist sites today. The site was also once called Mount Maloney, after a British governor.

The temple is impressive in its own right, a stone structure that towers 130ft above the city’s main plaza, adorned with a stucco frieze that represents the gods of the sun and moon

Categories: Ancient Treasure, Archaeology, artifacts, emeralds, Emperor, gold, gold chains, gold coins, hidden, jewels, Legends, Lost Treasure, silver, Strange News, treasure, Treasure Hunting, Treasure Legends, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

TWO GIANT UNDERWATER CRYSTAL PYRAMIDS DISCOVERED IN THE CENTER OF THE BERMUDA TRIANGLE….


Two Giant Underwater Crystal Pyramids Discovered in the Center of the Bermuda Triangle

TWO GIANT UNDERWATER CRYSTAL PYRAMIDS DISCOVERED IN THE CENTER OF THE BERMUDA TRIANGLE

With the use of sonar, oceanographer Dr. Meyer Verlag discovered giant glass pyramids at a depth of two-thousand meters. The use of other devices have allowed scientists to determine that these glass giants are both made of a crystal-like substance, and are nearly 3 times bigger than the pyramid of Cheops in Egypt

Dr. Verlag believes that further investigation into the secrets in the the pyramids center could reveal more information regarding the cases of mysterious disappearances associated with the Bermuda Triangle.  In a press conference held in the Bahamas, the scientist presented a report with the exact coordinates of the pyramids, and made note that the technology at use is unknown to modern science.  A more detailed study may bring results that are difficult for us to imagine.  Who knows what will be discovered about these underwater architectural anomalies – perhaps something of shocking significance.

Built on Land – Lost During Last Pole Shift?

There are several Western scholars who argue that the pyramid on the seabed may have been initially made on the mainland, after which a devastating earthquake struck and changed the landscape completely. Other scientists argue that a few hundred years ago the waters of the Bermuda Triangle area may have as one of the cornerstone activities of the people of Atlantis, and Pyramids on the sea floor may be a supply warehouse for them.

A more detailed study over time will give results that are difficult to imagine. Scientists have processed all of the data and concluded that the surface is perfectly smooth for it to look like glass or ice. The size of the pyramids are nearly three times the size of the pyramids of Cheops. This news was sensational, and was discussed at a conference in Florida and even reported to local Florida newspapers.. The journalists present in it, have a lot of pictures and high resolution computerized data, which show three-dimensional pyramids perfectly smooth, without being covered with a surface free of debris or algae or cracks.

Discovery Challenges Current Archaelogical Theory

A gigantic structure, initially identified by a doctor in the 1960s, has recently been independently verified by diving teams from France and the U.S.

The discovery has rocked scientists around the world. Will they rush to investigate it? No, they’re more likely to studiously ignore it. If pressed, they’ll officially position themselves as highly skeptical—especially in light of the potential ramifications.

The pyramid could confirm some engineers’ contentions that pyramids were originally created as massive power sources, support the claim that the ancient city-state of Atlantis did exist, or even provide answers to the mysterious goings-on that have been recorded since the 19th Century in the region of the Atlantic dubbed the Bermuda Triangle.

First discovered in 1968

According to the history, the pyramid was accidentally discovered during 1968 by a doctor of naturopathy, Ray Brown of Mesa, Arizona.

Brown was in the Caribbean on vacation and making dives with friends in a region off the Bahamas known as “the Tongue of the Ocean.” The area acquired that name because a tongue-shaped portion of the seabed extends out from the island before sharply dropping off into much greater depths.

When relating his discovery, the doctor explained he became separated from his diving friends underwater. While attempting to rejoin them he came upon a massive structure rising from the ocean floor: a black, hulking object silhouetted against the lighter sun-filtered water. The object was shaped like a pyramid.

Because he was low on air, he didn’t spend much time investigating the pyramid, but did find a strange crystal sphere.

He brought it to the surface with him and later when the ancient crystal was studied researchers were astonished by its properties.

Properties of Crystal Pyramids

Some theories of Atlantis propose the island city’s power pyramids were made of crystal, or their tops were capped with a crystalline substance.

Could such a thing actually generate, store, and distribute energy on demand?  Yes.

Experimenters discovered decades ago that pyramids do tend to act in some ways like a natural electrical capacitor gathering and storing energy around them. The larger the pyramid, the greater the capacity of gathering and storing energy. A pyramid’s composition is important too. Having one made of crystal, or an apex made of crystal, could vastly increase its power.

Crystal has long been known to have energy applications and exhibits natural piezoelectrical properties.

Early radio used germanium crystals to capture the radiowaves and convert them into electrical signals that could be processed and broadcast through headphones into soundwaves duplicating the human voice, music, and other sounds.

Pyramid power, say investigators, is intrinsic to the pyramid shape. It’s an architecture that’s proven to function as an energy accumulator and amplifier of energetic force.

As if to prove the investigators’ assertions true, recently some of the worlds pyramids began discharging beams of raw energy into space.

The bottom line? Pyramids are intrinsically natural generators of power.

Pyramids and the ‘Cavity Structural Effect’

Barry Carter calls attention to another property that pyramids exhibit called the “Cavity Structural Effect” (CSE) by its discoverer, Dr. Viktor S. Grebennikov. The scientist employed the CSE to construct a rudimentary anti-gravitic platform.

Carter explains that “Grebennikov also claimed that he could feel energies emitting from the apex of a pyramid: ‘You will soon pick up an active zone, a “clot”, where the Egyptians had their tombs. Another active zone (a “flame”) above the top of the pyramid is also well-perceived by the indicator if you drag its end over the top. The “clot” and the “flame” are well-felt by the finger inserted into the pyramid, or your palm moved above it after some practice. The pyramid effect, which generated many scary and mysterious stories over the centuries, is one of the CSE manifestations.’”

Another deadly phenomenon pyramids may create: an energy vortex

Besides the time and spatial anomalies reported in the Triangle, some survivors of terrifing incidents there have reported huge, swirling vortices suddenly appearing and disappearing .

Evidence exists that some missing ships may have gone missing because of this phenomenon.

Observations of some of the submerged pyramids reveals they sporadically generate intense vortices in the ocean water flowing around them. Those vortices may be caused by a discharge of internal energy.

If those submerged pyramids also discharge massive enegy through their apexes, that could account for the formation of deadly vortices on the surface of the sea that swallows up whole ships along with their doomed crews.

Future expeditions to these mysterious pyramids may finally uncover the truth and reveal amazing ancient technology.

Unfortunately, deep sea archaeology is very expensive and not well-funded. Most dives are to ancient wrecks that promise riches to risk-taking treasure hunters.

And, of course, the world’s universities are not especially eager to explore the idea that very ancient ruins containing high technology may exist that challenges virtually all of the foundations of their pet theories.

By: Lilya la Felore

Categories: aliens, Aliens and UFO's, Ancient Treasure, Archaeology, artifacts, Egypt, hidden, Legends, Lost Treasure, Strange News, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ancient Race Of White Giants Described By Native American Legends….


Ancient Race Of White Giants Described By Native American Legends

Several Native American tribes, all separated by some distance, have a similar legend: that a race of white giants once walked the Earth but were eventually wiped out.

These are the legends.

Comanches.

Chief Rolling Thunder of the Comanches, a Great Plains tribe, once gave the following account of a race of white giants in 1857:

“Innumerable moons ago, a race of white men, 10 feet high, and far more rich and powerful than any white people now living, here inhabited a large range of country, extending from the rising to the setting sun. Their fortifications crowned the summits of the mountains, protecting their populous cities situated in the intervening valleys.

“They excelled every other nation which was flourished, either before or since, in all manner of cunning handicraft—were brave and warlike—ruling over the land they had wrested from its ancient possessors with a high and haughty hand. Compared with them the palefaces of the present day were pygmies, in both art and arms.”

Rolling Thunder stated that the Great Spirit wiped out the white giants when they forgot justice and mercy and became too proud.

Navajo.

The Navajo also spoke of a race of white giants, called the Starnake people. Their legend describes them as a “regal race of white giants endowed with mining technology who dominated the West, enslaved lesser tribes, and had strongholds all through the Americas. They were either extinguished or ‘went back to the heavens.’”

Choctaw.

The Choctaw tribe told of a race of giants that once inhabited what is now Tennessee. Their ancestors fought against them when they arrived in Mississippi during their westward migration. Their tradition talks of the Nahullo, their name for the giant race, and their wonderful stature.

Manta.

According to the Manta people of Peru, there were once giants that lived among them. According to their legend: “There arrived on the coast, in boats made of reeds, as big as large ships, a party of men of such size that, from the knee downwards, their height was as great as the entire height of an ordinary man, though he might be of good stature. Their limbs were all in proportion to the deformed size of their bodies, and it was a monstrous thing to see their heads, with hair reaching to the shoulders. Their eyes were as large as small plates.” The natives believe that heaven wiped them out due to their sexual habits, which the natives found revolting.

Paiutes.

The Paiutes have an oral legend of red-haired, white cannibals that stood about 10 feet tall and lived near Lovelock Cave, Nevada. It’s hard to know for sure if this oral tradition is true or if the truth has been distorted over time and these were just normal sized cannibals that lived near Lovelock Cave.

Some similar Piutes legends feature the same story just without the giants. Archaeologists have found remains of people with red hair in the area, but black hair can turn red with time.

Source:  higherperspectives.com

Categories: Ancient Treasure, Archaeology, artifacts, Legends, Myths, Strange News, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Capt Carl Fismer..Book signing event..21 Feb 2016


carltitle

 

Tomorrow from 3 to 6, (Sunday 21 Feb 2016) Sam Milner and I will be signing our Book, Uncharted Waters,40 years of Treasure Hunting, at the Lor-i-lei Restaurant in Islamorada, MM 82, Florida Keys.

Uncharted Waters can be found at http://www.treasureexpeditions.com (PayPal accepted) or a check for 24.95 plus 4 dollars for shipping to, Spanish Main Treasure Co. P.O. Box 1733, Tavernier Fl. 33070. Outside United States add 17.00 for shipping.

http://www.treasureexpeditions.com/uncharted_waters_carl_fismer.htm

WHO IS CAPT CARL FISMER?

Carl Fismer is a world famous Treasure Diver, Cancer Survivor, World Traveler, Television Star and Dynamic Motivational Keynote Speaker.

With over 30 years of treasure search and salvage experience, Captain Carl Fismer is one of the most respected and knowledgeable diving professionals in the world.  Carl has worked with some of the leaders in treasure hunting. Carl has worked over 30 years with respected Treasure Historian Jack Haskins and worked with Mel Fisher on the Atocha.  His area of expertise is shipwrecks… especially Spanish shipwrecks. During his career, he has worked over 300 shipwrecks in the United States, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, the Indian Ocean and Central and South America. He has recovered millions of dollars in Spanish gold, silver, jewels and other artifacts. “Fizz”, as he is known to friends, directed part of the salvage diving of the Santa Margarita, sister ship to the Nuestra Senora de Atocha which was discovered by Mel Fisher. Then in 1986, he led an expedition to the Silver Shoals in the Dominican Republic, and there located the famed galleon, Concepcion which sank during a hurricane in 1641. In 1992, he traveled to Sri Lanka and dived with Sir Arthur C. Clarke of 2001: A Space Odyssey fame, in association with the Great Basses Reef Treasures. In May, 2010, Captain Fismer was awarded the Mel Fisher Lifetime Achievement Award for perseverance in following his quest for life, his motivation of mankind in the search for knowledge, discovery and the ambitions of the human spirit and the ability to achieve in life what others might only dare to dream.

SPANISH MAIN TREASURE COMPANY (SMTC) was founded by Captain Carl E. Fismer in 1980. Since its inception, SMTC has salvaged artifacts and sunken treasure from shipwrecks around the world. SMTC maintains a considerable inventory of treasure, coins, artifacts, books and video documentaries for perusal or sale to museums, collectors and history enthusiasts. SMTC specializes in producing treasure-related speeches, treasure-related exhibitions and displays for conventions, theme and entertainment parks, shopping malls, cruise ships and any special occasion. These presentations have proven to increase attendance and interest wherever we go.

 

Carl Fismer lives the life of an adventurer. The type of life that they make books, movies and video games about.  Carl Fismer, affectionately dubbed “Fizz”, is a treasure hunter that has dived on some of the world’s most famous shipwrecks.  He is often described as a real life underwater Indiana Jones.  Carl is an active treasure hunter who travels the world looking for treasure and artifacts.  He has worked with Mel Fisher on the world famous treasure ship, the Atocha.  Carl Fismer is often called in as an expert on shipwrecks and treasures of the Spanish Main when producers and writers want to add realism to their productions.

When Carl Fismer isn’t diving shipwrecks, he tours around the world as a motivational speaker.  Imagine your next conference with an inspirational speaker as electrifying as Carl Fismer as your keynote speaker.  The excitement of the crowd when they hear that a world famous treasure diver is is going to be featured.  Carl’s story is fascinating and will motivate and inspire the room.  Carl Fismer delights his audience with stories of shipwrecks, lost treasure, the Spanish Main, and treasure hunting. Carl is a motivational speaker like no other.  Unlike usual speakers who are business people or politicians, your audience will be intrigued and inspired by Carl’s unique story.

Carl Fismer is a motivational speaker who left an ordinary job to lead the life of a treasure hunter.  Carl has weathered hurricanes, starred in his own television series “Treasure Divers”,  looked for lost treasure and  found millions of dollars of sunken treasure.

Categories: Ancient Treasure, Archaeology, artifacts, emeralds, gold, gold chains, gold coins, gold crosses, gold ingots, Lost Treasure, Mel Fisher, silver, silver coins, Spanish gold, treasure, treasure diver, Treasure Hunters, Treasure Hunting, Treasure Legends, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Stunning treasures – and macabre slaughter – in Siberia’s Valley of the Kings


By Olga Gertcyk
11 February 2016

Pictured: the gleaming riches no-one was meant to see belonging to an ancient nomad potentate, and his queen…or was she his concubine?

In all, some 9,300 decorative gold pieces were found here, not including the ‘uncountable golden beads’. Picture: Vera Salnitskaya

The royal tomb known as Arzhan 2 in the modern-day Republic of Tuva – to many, the most mysterious region in all Russia – is some 2,600 years old but its valuables match any trove from any era anywhere in the world.

Here inside a mound 80 metres wide was buried a warrior tsar with a sway that plainly reached over a vast territory of mountains and steppes, and whose magnificent possessions indicated close contacts with other civilisations.

Forget the notion of barbaric Siberian nomadic tribes in this epoch: well, don’t quite forget. These ancient warriors used the skulls of their vanquished foes as drinking cups, according to no less an authority than Greek historian Herodotus.

And this queen or concubine was almost certainly sacrificed to that she could be buried beside the dead ruler. And yet, as the pictures show, their exceptional artwork predates the influence of the Greeks, and displays a high degree of sophistication.

Arzhan 2 excavations site


Arzhan 2 excavations site


Arzhan 2 modern look

Unknown warrior was found literally covered in gold alongside with his woman. Pictures: Konstantin Chugunov, Anatoli Nagler and Hermann Parzinger; Vera Salnitskaya

The unknown monarch – a Siberian Tutankhamun – was entombed in this ancient necropolis with 14 horses, a defining symbol of wealth in these Scythian times; each animal was from a different herd.

Alongside him lay the woman in his life, his queen or, as is suspected, his favourite concubine, but in any event a woman held in great esteem who was ethnically distinct from this monarch’s retinue also buried alongside him which included 33 others, including five children. She was in all likelihood not alone in being sacrificed  to accompany him to the afterlife…

The most breathtaking aspect of this Tuvan find are the contents of the burial chamber of this royal couple – pictured here – located by archeologists some two or three metres beneath the surface.

In all, some 9,300 decorative gold pieces were found here, not including the ‘uncountable golden beads’. Put in another way, there was more than 20 kilograms of gold, including earrings, pendants and beads, adorning the bodies of the royal couple all made in what is known as Animal Art style.

King's golden necklace


King's golden necklace


Gorit - Quiver

The ancient ruler was buried with a heavy necklace made of pure gold and gold quiver with fish scale decoration. Pictures: Vera Salnitskaya

Ancient robbers had sought to raid vast burial mound, just as they had successfully looted the neighbouring Arzhan 1 site, which was perhaps 150 years older. It could be that specially built ‘decoy’ graves threw these ancient looters’ off the scent.

Here in Arzhan 2, thieves had left a trail which archeologists unearthed but fortunately the raiders gave up shortly before reaching these treasures, which are made from iron, turquoise, amber and wood as well as gold.

So valuable are they that it is rumoured these wondrous objects – now held mainly in local capital Kyzyl but also in St Petersburg – cannot be exhibited abroad because of the cost of insurance.

The find has been described by Dr Mikhail Piotrovsky, director of the Hermitage Museum as ‘an encyclopedia of Scythian Animal Art because you have all the animals which roamed the region, such as panther, lions, camels, deer…’ It includes ‘many great works of art – figures of animals, necklaces, pins with animals carved into a golden surface’, he told The New York Times.

‘This is the original Scythian style, from the Altai region, which eventually came to the Black Sea region and finally in contact with ancient Greece. And it resembles almost an Art Nouveau style.’

Reconstruction of clothes

The reconstruction of the costumes made by the experts from Hermitage Museum. Picture: Hermitage Museum

Covered with two layers of larch logs, the royal burial chamber was carefully constructed like a blockhouse and stood inside a second, outer burial chamber of the same construction.

The four walls were presumably adorned by some kind of curtain. Long wooden sticks were found along the walls, which could have been used like curtain rails. The curtains themselves, as well as any other textile remains, were not preserved. On a carefully made boarded wooden floor – likely softened by felt – were the bodies of this sovereign and his companion.

The skulls had dislocated from the bodies because they had probably been placed on a kind of pillow, now decayed. The ancient ruler was buried with a heavy necklace made of pure gold and decorated all over with the carvings of animals.

His outer clothes, probably a kind of kaftan, had been decorated with thousands of small panther figures, each 2-to-3 centimetres in length, attached in vertical rows, also forming motifs such as wings on his back.

Queen's necklace


Queen's cup


Queen's cup

A gold pectoral in Animal Style decoration, golden earring with turquoise and a miniature gold cup. Picture: Vera Salnitskaya

On his boots, maybe originally of felt or leather, thousands of mini-beads – in diameter only about 1 millimetre – had been stitched; on the upper part they ended in golden turndowns. Alongside and under the skull were gold plaques with animal-shaped inlays: four winged horses and one deer originally attached to the headgear.

The total weight of his jewellery – including minute glass beads on his trousers – was 2 kilograms. The man’s weaponry consisted of an iron dagger, poorly preserved, on his right hip. This was connected to the belt by a strap, and both had been decorated with numerous golden adornments.

Beside the dagger was a miniature gold cup. On the left side of the deceased was a gold quiver with fish scale decoration. The wooden arrow shafts were painted in black and red. His arrow heads were made of iron, but also showed the remains of golden encrustation. The golden adornment on the belt – used for carrying his quiver into the afterlife – was extremely rich.

Below the quiver lay the wooden bow itself, studded with pieces of golden decoration. Between the quiver and the north-eastern wall of the burial chamber were two picks, one of iron with golden encrustation. To the left of the man’s head lay a bronze mirror.

Abudance


Close view

His outer clothes, probably a kind of kaftan, had been decorated with thousands of small panther figures, each 2-to-3 centimetres in length. Pictures: Vera Salnitskaya

A second, slightly larger bronze mirror was located to the left of the woman’s head, a little bigger and with a gold handle. Below the woman’s head were three gold plaques in the shape of animals – two horses and a mystical winged creature – associated with the woman’s headdress.

Beside her head was a pair of gold pins, decorated with carvings in Animal Art style. The decoration of the woman’s dress corresponded to the man’s kaftan: thousands of golden panthers form different motifs, again, notably, wings on her back. Around her breasts, archeologists found golden earrings and many small beads of gold, amber, garnet, malachite and other precious materials.

Near her feet were thousands of mini-beads made of gold, which must have been fixed onto felt or leather boots which had been inlaid with golden ribbons and granulation.

On her right hip hung an iron knife, poorly preserved but with numerous excellent gold belt adornments. Her wrists were adorned with gold bracelets. Here, too, lay two bronze kettles, seen as exceptionally valuable for these times.

In the western corner of the burial chamber were three large amber beads, a wooden cup with a golden handle, a gold comb with wooden teeth, and a heap of various seeds. Within the heap of seeds was a gold pectoral in Animal Style decoration and a small bronze cup, still inside a small leather bag.

Tiny details


Tiny details


Tiny details

‘It’s hard to imagine that these fine pieces were made by nomads living in tents.’ Pictures: Vera Salnitskaya

In other burials, which surrounded the prominent couple,  bronze knives, an axe-type weapon, known as a Raven’s beak, arrowheads, bronze mirrors, belts, and much jewellery – beads made of glass, stone, amber, and golden earrings – were found. So too were fragments of  cloth – felt, fur, and fabric.

Here too were discovered bridle sets made of bronze, mane ornaments and tail decorations cut from gold sheet.

What can we discern of the personal stories behind these ancient royals and their entourage found in Uyuk hollow, northern Tuva, and excavated by a joint Russian-German team between 2001 and 2004?

Professor Konstantin Chugunov, highly respected senior researcher at the world famous Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, who headed the project, said DNA analysis of the group indicated those buried here were from the Iranian ethno-linguistic group.

According to the analysis of strontium isotopes in the bones, all those buried were locals except for one person – the ‘queen’, and it gives reason to think about  dynastic marriage,’ he said.

Weapon


Arrow heads

Weapon: an iron dagger and iron arrowheads with golden encrustation. Pictures: Vera Salnitskaya

Totally 35 people – 16 men, 13 women, five children along with bones which cannot be identified by gender, were buried here, as were 14 horses.

The ‘king’ was between 40 and 50 years old and analysis of his remains revealed that he died of prostate cancer. ‘This is the earliest documentation of the disease,’ said Michael Schultz, a paleopathologist at the University of Gottingen. It is believed that in the last years of his life, this potentate could not have walked.

His female partner, accorded pride of place alongside him, was around 30 years old. Who was she?

We don’t know if the woman was a queen or a concubine,’ said Professor Hermann Parzinger, president of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, and a joint leader of the excavations, ‘but since their ornaments were similar, both must have had high status.’

No cause of death can be detected for her, leading to a theory that she could have been poisoned or strangled, to be buried beside her liege, and to travel with him into the next world: willingly or not, she was a human sacrifice, according to this version.

‘Maybe she was poisoned,’ said Chugunov, ‘or maybe she chose to die to be with her husband.’ We may never know how she died, by natural causes around the same time as her master or in more sinister fashion, but others in the tsar’s entourage certainly had gruesome demises.

Animals


Animals


Fish


Animals

Early Scythians were people who knew good artwork when they saw it, and used contacts to obtain, or commission, jewellery and decorations. Pictures: Vera Salnitskaya

The scene archeologists uncovered here appears to match with remarkable accuracy a description by Herodotus of the macabre Scythian burial rite.

‘Based on accompanying burials, we also found evidence of phenomena described by Herodotus when the living would follow the deceased,’ Parzinger has explained. ‘Herodotus wrote that when a military leader died, his close circle – wife (or concubine), bodyguards, advisers, servants – were killed. As they were the property of the leader, they had to follow him to the tomb. And we identified particular evidence of their murder.’

Herodotus, who lived later, from 484 BC to 425 BC, wrote: ‘The body of the king is laid in the grave, stretched upon a mattress. Spears are fixed in the ground on either side of the corpse and beams stretched above it to form a roof.

‘In the open space around the body of the king they bury one of his concubines, first killing her by strangling, and also his cup-bearer, his cook, his groom, his lackey, his messenger, some of his horses… and some golden cups, for they use neither silver nor brass.’

It is believed that when the king died, he was mummified and his body travelled for 40 days across all his lands. And all expressed their sorrow. Then at some sacred place a burial mound was constructed and his entire entourage were slaughtered and buried there.

Bowl


Bowl

Cups: wooden cup with a golden handle and small golden cup. Pictures: Vera Salnitskaya

Herodotus did not describe how the ruler’s entourage were killed. While the queen or concubine shows no sign of a violent death – the assumption is that she was poisoned – one woman’s skull in Arzhan 2 was pierced four times with a war pick.

A man’s skull still retains the splinters from a wooden club used to kill him. In some cases archaeologists see evidence of blows to the head with kind of poleaxe: in other case, they suppose strangulation or poison.

Separately, on these human remains was found evidence of ‘battlefield surgery’ conducted on these warriors during earlier conflicts. Next to the burial mound, to the north, was found a separate burial where ‘chipped’ human and horse bones were mixed.

A ‘guess’ is that this fits another Herodotus description of the burial mound being guarded by dead horses pulling wagons with their wheels removed on which were placed dead horsemen.

The Greek historian described 50 young men, who were set around the mound. Those, who made the burial, went away and the mound remained. The corpses of the horses and riders were pecked by birds, eaten by animals, and all this decayed.

'Chinese' style


'Chinese' style


'Chinese' style

Decorations on the akinak – or short sword – show similarities to patterns used in Eastern Zhou (Eastern China). Pictures: Vera Salnitskaya

More can be understood about these nomads from the riches lying beside this noble couple, although these ancient people left no written records, and hardly any sign of settlements that – some archeologists suspect – must have existed.

A royal burial such as this gives the ‘quintessence of information’ because the achievements of the culture at the time were laid to rest with the dead king, it has been said. As Parzinger has said: ‘It’s hard to imagine that these fine pieces were made by nomads living in tents.’ Chugunov concurs: ‘In Arzhan 2, the gold jewellery was clearly not made by nomadic artists.’

They fought and pillaged but as Dr Anatoil Nagler, from the German Archeological Institute, told National Geographic: ‘The people were excellent craftsmen. This puts the Scythian quality of life in a new light. It rejects the stereotype that Scythians were just wild horsemen and warriors, migrating and destroying other people. They had a high level of cultural development.’

Or so it seemed at the time when the discoveries were first made. Now it is seen as more likely that these early Scythians were people who knew good artwork when they saw it, and used contacts to obtain, or commission, jewellery and decorations that matched their needs and tastes. Not that anyone was meant to see these treasures encased in the burial tomb.

Golden details


Golden details


Beads


Golden beads


Golden deer

The gleaming riches no-one was meant to see. Pictures: Vera Salnitskaya

Some probably originated on the territory of what is now present-day China; others owe their origins to the Near East, with more seemingly made by Scythians in non-nomadic settlements. Some treasures came from a distance of between 4,000 and 5,000 kilometres from this burial mound, yet at this point there were no contacts with the Ancient Greeks.

Even so, the treasures suggest the lost civilisation of Scythians were culturally more advanced that was once supposed. The experts surmise that it was Scythian craftsmen who cast the daggers, arrowheads, and gold plaques found at this site.

Decorations on the akinak – or short sword – show similarities to patterns used in Eastern Zhou (Eastern China) at around the same period. Bronze jars found in Inner Mongolia are compatible to a small bowl with horizontal a loop-like handle from the main burial in Arzhan 2.

The same applies to methods used in embroidery and the manufacture of earrings, the latter resembling a technique used close to the Aral Sea, some 3,600 km distant. Remains of fruit and seeds of plants found at Arzhan 2 had also come from far afield.

Categories: Ancient Treasure, Archaeology, artifacts, gold, gold chains, gold coins, gold crosses, gold ingots, hidden, Lost gold, Lost Treasure, treasure, Treasure Hunters, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Crypt of Civilization….Do not open until May 8113…


HISTORY OF THE CRYPT

THORNWELL JACOBS: THE FATHER OF THE MODERN TIME CAPSULE

In 1935, while engaged in research on ancient historical materials in connection with the writing of one of his books, Dr. Thornwell. Jacobs, then President of Oglethorpe University, Atlanta, Georgia, was struck by the lack of accurate information regarding ancient civilizations. Determined to make an effort to preserve in a scientific manner every salient feature of present day civilization for the people of the future, Dr. Jacobs devised the plans for the Crypt of Civilization.

Dr. Thornwell JacobsBecause the first known date in recorded history, 4241 B.C., was 6177 years previous, Jacobs suggested that the Crypt be sealed until 6177 years have passed. The Crypt of Civilization was sealed on the 28th day of May, 1940, with instructions that it is not to be opened until the 28th day of May, 8113 A.D.

Oglethorpe Hearst Hall The Crypt, located under Phoebe Hearst Hall, is a room 20 feet long, 10 feet high and 10 feet wide (60 palms long, 30 palms wide and 30 palms high). The Crypt, resting on a bed rock with 2 feet of stone above it, is lined with porcelain enamel plates embedded in pitch. It is sealed with a great stainless steel door, welded in place.

In 1936, Dr. Thornwell Jacobs described his plan to create a permanent record – a time capsule – of what life was like on Earth for any future inhabitants, an article featured in the the November 1936 issue of Scientific American magazine. To assist him in this tremendous task, Dr. Jacobs sought the help of Thomas K. Peters, a scientist of versatile experience. Work on the Crypt commenced in August, 1937, and continued until June, 1940. During this period of thirty-three months, an astounding amount of knowledge was condensed: the accumulated knowledge acquired during the 72,000 months of the last 6000 years.

Jacob’s idea in 1936 created tremendous interest. Soon afterward the Westinghouse Company, which was building a pavilion for the 1938-39 New York World’s Fair, buried a project, which was not to be opened until 6938 A.D. It was called a “Time Capsule” and our language gained a new term almost overnight.

The encyclopedic inventory of items in the Crypt includes, in a swimming pool size chamber, over 640,000 pages of micro-filmed material, hundreds of newsreels and recordings, a set of Lincoln logs, a Donald Duck doll and thousands of other items, many from ordinary daily life. There also is a device designed to teach the English language to the Crypt’s finders. No gold, silver, or jewels are included to tempt vandals.

Inside view of the CryptThe Crypt of Civilization has been featured in stories by the Associated Press, NBC, ABC, CNN, National Public Radio, the New York Times, and other publications.

Watch a short video on the Crypt…
Categories: Ancient Treasure, Archaeology, artifacts, Government Secrets, Myths, revealing information, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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