"Mystery Cave" Report
By Wayne May
October 23rd, 1996, my youngest son and I left for western Minnesota to meet with fellow enthusiasts concerning suspected Viking contacts in the New World. It was a privilege to see Marion Dahm, Joe Egge and the Busey family, all from midwestern Minnesota. Readers will hear more about them in an upcoming issue on the Northmen in America.
While driving to Marion Dahm's home, my travel route was abruptly changed when I returned a phone call to Harry Hubbard. Just a week prior to my departure, I had been headed for somewhere near east central Illinois to meet Keith him and Paul Schaffranke for the first time. Things didn't work out and out meeting was canceled. Harry later tracked me down in Minnesota to set up a new time. I left Mr. Dahm at 1:30 a.m., and drove straight through to Centrailia, Illinois, arriving at 5:00 p.m. the following evening, October 24th.
Mr. Hubbard was diligently searching and excavating for the famous "Burrows Cave," which has caused such a ruckus among the diffusionist Camp that a major rift has seriously separated many former friends. He and Paul Schaffranke were complete strangers to myself, but both were adamant that I visit them in southern Illinois at the site. Harry also told me that if I came to the site of the "Lost Tomb" (his name for Burrows Cave) they would show me everything they found so far and give Ancient American a complete report for publication.
I was able to walk the valley in which Russell Burrows claims the cave is located. I stood at the alleged entrance to the "Lost Tomb." But in light of evidence and events since then, I now know that these sites were used as decoys to put cave-hunters off the scent. Hubbard's men excavated 8 feet straight down at the supposed Cave entrance and found solid rock. I have met the land owner; his name is not "George Neff' and he is not dead, if indeed his is the right property at all!
This cave business has been going on since 1982; a long time. Too long. As publisher of our magazine, I felt I owed my readers any new information about the controversy that might provide something of value. I was not disappointed.
Harry Hubbard revealed so many new insights and proof particularly concerning the often questionable dealings of this whole affair that I scarcely could take it all in. His sources of information cannot be revealed, but the documents, photographs and collection of letters in Hubbard's possession are without doubt genuine. Yet, all the wealth of materials presented in this issue represent only a small fraction of the many more photos and facts Mssrs. Hubbard and Schaffranke have accumulated over the past 24 months. The tremendous news worthiness of this research justifies a special issue dedicated almost entirely to their findings, In doing so, however, Ancient American remains steadfastly neutral. Our policy from the beginning has been to provide a free forum for investigators and their critics both inside and out of the Diffusionist Camp. We do not take sides for or against anyone. We want everyone to have their say . And anyone who believes otherwise is just as in-American as those Establishment academics who silence their opponents.
Our declared intention is only to promote the unhindered flow of information about out country's prehistory through a network of ideas available nowhere else. Persons with views contrary to those featured here will have an opportunity to publish their opinions in future issues.
I have spoken with Russell Burrows about his discovery on many occasions, but he has not shared anything with me approaching the volume if information supplied by Hubbard and Schaffranke. I often encouraged him to turn the Cave site over to Illinois authorities and let fate take its own course. I will state, for the record, that I personally believe the Cave is real. I do not have all the answers, especially as regards the human drama you will read about in the following pages. The facts Hubbard and Schaffranke for the first time make available here will undoubtedly result in more new questions than satisfying answers.
Russell Burrows told me he will turn the Cave over to the authorities in spring of 1997. I sincerely hope he does. Many of his faithful supporters have suffered ridicule for his lack of proof. The thousands of artifacts he retrieved over that last 14 years are of great worth, but out of situ they cannot be authenticated. Nothing further should be removed from the Cave. Whatever is left must be retrieved by professionals and assessed by them.
Many qualified persons have offered to authenticate the find but to no avail, because they were consistently denied access to the site. I recall the frustration of the late Jean Hunt, who demanded of Russel Burrows in her Louisiana Mounds Society publication, "put up or shut up." Russell, it's time to put up and support your friends who have stood by you for many years. Yours may be the greatest find of the century! Turn it over to the proper authorities and let's change the course of recorded history.
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