Update on Burrows Cave

by Dr. Fred Rydholm 1995

co-author of Mystery Cave of Many Faces

The saga of Burrows Cave has been going on for well over a decade now and while progress seems very slow, things have begun to pick up a little recently.

Normally these preliminary legal and academic sparings are done behind the scenes as in the case of the Dead Sea Scrolls and King Tut's Tomb, each of which took nearly a half century to become known to the man of the street. Because of the fact that Russell Burrows and I made what some might feel was a premature announcement of the cave to the public in the book, Mystery Cave of Many Faces, it is necessary to have an occasional update.

Over three thousand rocks engraved with drawings and script were presented to the world in 1982 by Russell Burrows, who discovered them in a cave in southern Illinois.

There have been numerous articles about the findings in the cave, both pro and con, in various scientific publications and there have been several symposiums around the country. Two of these meetings that were strictly informational for the public were held at the Thunder Bay Inn in Big Bay. Both were well attended, I will bee giving a third such informational meeting at the same location on July 5th, with donations (suggested $2.00) going to Bay Cliff Health Camp.

The story of the cave and its contents is so bizarre that it is no wonder that it has been met by strong skepticism on all quarters. It requires a complete turn-about of our accepted history, and if it proves to be what it appears, a whole dogma will have to be thrown out. This will not come easy and the Burrows Cave arguments will continue for years to come.

Recently April, my wife and I attended a special meeting of the Institute for the Study of American Cultures (ISAC) held in the Patrick Auditorim of the beautiful Columbus (Georgia) Museum. Of course Russell Burrows and the entire Burrows Cave Committee were present.

The conference, called "Determining the Truth II," was chaired by Professor Kyle McCarter, Department of the Near Eastern Studies, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. It lasted two days and involved more than a dozen and a half speakers and many lively discussions, both for and against the validity of the cave.

While a few brief summaries of the conference are in print, the official publication has not yet been released. However, jumping the gun a little again, I felt there were three or four revelations that local readers who are knowledgeable of Burrows Cave would be interested in hearing.

First and foremost was the fact that two young men from Melbourne, Florida were successful in deciphering some of the Inscription on the stones from the cave. They are Paul Schaffranke and Harry Hubbard. Schaffranke and Hubbard recognized them as being in one of several Etruscan alphabets which translate into street Latin that was used around the time of Christ. While I understand a Few European scholars have had some success in translating Etruscan Inscriptions, Americans generally have been unsuccessful. The Florida men, both well versed in Latin, have been translating stones from Burrows Cave that the "great" epigrapher Dr. Barry Fell and others have said are just gibberish and could not be translated. (Dr. Fell died last year.) Bothe Schaffranke and Hubbard plan to visit Marquette sometime this summer as have many of the other principal researchers of the Burrows Cave project.

The second important bit of knowledge that was made clear at the conference is that the Egyptians were definitely world travelers and explorers from the very early days of the rise of the Egyptian Dynasties over 5,000 years ago.

Since it was known that they were not necessarily sailors it has always been assumed that they never went anywhere. However, in the early days of the dynasties there was a race known as Seapeople who must have known the world was round and who traveled everywhere by sea. Later this group became the Phoenicians who continued the traditions of seamanship. It was with these great maritime people that the Egyptians apparently explored the world. Recent reports have found their influences in both North and South America, and now for the first time, Paul White and Ray Johnson of Australia published descriptions of two huge walls of hieroglyphs there, telling of the Nefe-Djeseb Expedition, were two sons of Khufu, the builder of the Great Pyramid of Egypt, arrived in Australia between the time of 2779 and 2748 BC or 4750 years ago. It has long been speculated by a few remote scholars that at least part of the "Lost Race" who mined copper in the Keweenaw Peninsula between 3000 and 5000 years ago were Egyptians. (This is the only place in the world where pure copper can be found in its natural state in commercial quantities.)

A third discovery was reported on by Bill Kriesle, a retired civil engineer from Leavenworth, Indiana. He has spent more that thirty years working with the Army Corps of Engineers along the Mississippi River. A few years ago Bill was a scoffer of the Burrows Cave story until he started to study some of the stones that looked like maps. Several stones from the cave show the exact picture of what his studies have determined would have been the course of that river about 2,000 years ago. He says they show it with uncanny accuracy.

Another mapstone from the cave shows a river on the Iberian Peninsula (Spain) with the ancient city of Cadiz near its mouth. The linguist Paul Schaffranke recognized it as the river now called the Guadalquivir where he lived as a boy.

While even the location of Burrows Cave cannot be divulged yet because of the elaborate security measures that have to be set up on a full-time basis to prevent looting, plans are being readied and the many complex legal entanglements that always arise concerning something of this importance are being addressed.

To be sure, there are still a lot of unanswered questions. Even Hubbard and Schaffranke who say there is just no chance of fraud concerning the stones they have translated don't completely believe Russell Burrows story. Bizarre as it is, they think he is covering up an even more bizarre story.

As for myself, I partly believe Russell Burrows, he has held to his story. I am one of the very few now alive who has seen the almost 4,000 Burrows Cave stones and I feel that cave or no cave, the stones will speak for themselves. I am still satisfied that Burrows Cave is the Greatest and most Remarkable Archaeological discovery of all time.

Although I speak with caution, as it is too early to say for sure, there are many indications that the bodies in the crypts in the cave are the leaders of a colony of refugees from Ptolemaic Egypt including a contingent from Rome of the Kingdom of Mauretania. Dr. Joseph Mahan, founder and longtime president of the ISAC organization believes "they were secretly sent to America in ships provided by the Mauretanian King Juba II and his wife and co-monarch Cleopatra Selene, daughter of Cleopatra and Marc Anthony. Included among the refugees were the queen's two brothers, who disappeared from Rome and recorded history about 25 BC., Alexander Helios and Ptolemy Philadelphus. "

Graves of these people have been the object of a comprehensive search for 2000 years.

No one will know for sure until the cave is opened and studied, but from Russell Burrows description, they are certainly royalty of the highest order.

This article was published in the Marquette Michigan newspaper; it was also passed out free with a purchase of the book. Knock 'em dead Fred!

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