Update on Southern Illinois Site

The June/July, 1999 issue of Ancient American published exciting news concerning the disclosed location and planned excavation of the controversial "Burrows Cave."  It allegedly contains thousands of inscribed and illustrated stone tablets deposited by Old World visitors to southern Illinois almost 2,000 years ago.  Discovered by Mr. Russell Burrows in 1982, the precise whereabouts of the Cave, has caused a great commotion among the many participants including Harry Hubbard (his site is in Marion or Wayne County) and Robert Ghostwolf who claimes to have a site somewhere in the midwest.

Since our announcement three years ago, representatives from Ancient American and Discovery Resources (a California-based research organization) have joined forces to identify and open the Cave site Mr. Burrows identified to them in 1999.  Early in their joint venture, they were surprised to learn that the landowner of the site had no  previous contact with Mr. Burrows.  They were subsequently forced to enter into a new agreement with the landowner, before they could even attempt an entry.

After 42 months of painstaking fund-raising and arranging for the professional participation of specialists in geology, archaeology, excavation, metal detection and ground penetration radar, we are finally ready to proceed with opening the Cave. 

We were additionally surprised to discover that its known openings seem to be deliberately collapsed and filled in sometime during the recent past.  What we now feel reasonably sure is the main entrance comprises a 20 to 30 foot horizontal tunnel with a 110 foot drop to the floor of the corridor.  The formerly open spaces are filled with collapsed rubble, and there are indications that the doorway to the site was collapsed intentionally."

We were surprised yet again by a statement from Mr. Burrows.  He now claims that the underground site we have identified is not his, which, he insists is more than forty miles away.  According to Burrows, the location we are working was revealed years ago to him by local Indians as a Chickasaw treasure trove, which he hs never visited.

Of course, we will honor Mr. Burrows' request that the location which has become the focus of our labors will no longer be referred to "his" site, and henceforth be known, not as "Burrows Cave," but as Tombs of the Embarras (pronounced "Ahmbrah").

Mr. Burrows has made an announcement that "his" site is currently being excavated by an anonymous archaeology team from an unidentified "major" university.  He claims that work at this undisclosed location is presently taking place.  Artifacts removed, examined and photographed by the unnamed professor in charge will be allegedly turned over to him as his personal property because the landowner has deeded the site to him in some fashion.

Meanwhile, Ancient American Magazine and Discovery Resources are bringing to bear virtually every kind of high-tech equipment to "our" site.  Results have been encouraging.  Ground Penetration Radar read-outs from the summer of 1999 scanned by members of Wisconsin's Ho Chunk Nation from Black River Falls, Wisconsin are presented in Figure A.  The main tunnel system was surveyed electronically and ("coincidentally"?) proved to be a very close match to the map purporting to be "Burrows Cave," published in Ancient American volume 1, issue number 4.  According to Mr. Burrows, five 8-foot tall, anthropomorphic statues stand in the main tunnel passageway.

He further stated that these objects have what appears to be gold metal encircling the neck and continuing down to the feet (See figure A).  Following the g.p.r. discoveries, a megotomer specialist from Utah, Gary Hewlett, went to the site with his sensitive instruments.  Mr. Hewlett has been and still continues to locate subterranean features, as far as 200 feet beneath the surface.  He made three passes across the site to verify its underground tunnels and cavities.

Amazingly, Hewett's survey revealed that the subterranean openings were virtually identical to those indicated on the map provided by Mr. Burrows years before.  We also understood then that the site was much larger and more complex than previously imagined.  G.P.R. uncovered four cavities in a row at uniform depth and size (Figure B).  In his professional opinion, Mr. Hewett stated that these cavities are highly probable non-geologic spaces.

Discovery Resources brought in a special metal detector able to differentiate between smelted metal and ore.  Burrows always described the underground location as filled with precious and semi-precious metals.  Our detector did indeed show that large metal objects, some of copper and gold, were in verticle piles, or standing upright like statues.  Burrows said that anthropomorphic artworks were common at the site, and our detector seemed to have identified verticle metallic objects.

Later, Gene Storm, a mining engineer from Reno, Nevada, brought along a piece of mining instrumentation new to us.  Linear Radar projects a signal through the ground sideways, and is especially effective on hillsides.  He showed us how the main underground "door" of the site runs for 20 to 30 feet, but with a verticle down-turn of 110 feet to hit the tunnel floor.  This space was filled with collapsed rubble, so we had to find another place to dig a verticle hole, using a well-drilling rig.

Thanks to his expertise, Mr. Storm found the only area that rises within 30 feet of the surface, ideally suited for the entry we will attempt in the coming weeks.  We plan to enter this tunnel system as soon as possible, probably soon after Christmas, 2001.  Ancient American readers will be the first to get an inside look at this challenging discovery.  On-site will be a licensed archaeologist, a mining engineer and a Ho Chunk Elder to represent Native Americans.  Be sure to read our next issue for the latest ground-breaking news!  Figure C.

Let it be known that Ancient American Magazine and Discovery Resources have no involvement or business connection with Harry Hubbard or Robert Ghostwolf.

Note from Harry Hubbard: All misspelling and punctuation errors have been left as they appear in the genuine magazine.  

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