Whatever Happened In Marion County?

In spring of 1925, a local resident, Orville Lowery, of Hickory Hill, in the southeast corner of Marion County Illinois, was busy with his two daughters removing rocks and debris from an area designated to be the family garden.  His eldest daughter, Fern, who was six years old, began to explore along the ledge of the ravine next to the garden spot.  Several feet away from the bluff, Fern discovered a hole cut through the sandstone by human hands.  She called her father over to investigate the hole which he determined was of ancient origin.  

Orville worked diligently for years attempting to get professional investigators from the state of Illinois out to the site to examine this entrance into the subterranean cavity.  Orville was met with futility as the Illinois experts sloughed off the idea that anything of ancient significance could possibly exist in the most remote regions of Marion County.  However, Orville was able to get Fern's discovery recorded in the WPA journals in Salem, the county seat.  Frustrated for lack of interest, Orville later sold his property and moved to Mt. Vernon about 20 miles away in the early 1930's, taking with him his two charming girls.  Fern and her sister grew up in Mt. Vernon, got married and moved to different states forsaking all prior knowledge of their family discovery.  Orville, likewise ceased to pursue attempting to arouse the bitter scholars who had neglected him so many times.

All was quiet for decades, until one balmy day in early summer of 1961 when Michael Paul Henson, the most famous treasure guide writer in the country, approached Orville after reading about the discovery in the Salem courthouse.  Excited at the renewed interest, Orville met with Henson and escorted him to the site of the ancient portal.

Henson, the respected writer of lost treasure books, published the information he had obtained in subsequent releases.  Others who often copied Henson's work also duplicated this twisted tale of discovery long after the death of Orville in 1974. 

In April of 1982, an ignorant Redneck from Olney, Illinois crisscrossed the coordinates of different treasure guides published years before in order to relocate the ancient portal.  Upon finding the location again, he entered the cavern system and looted it to the tune of untold billions of dollars.  The entrance was then filled in by the perpetrator of vicious crimes to cover up his misdeeds and hide the bodies of people he murdered in the early 1990's.  It is here that our story begins.

We became involved with the Lowery Cave Project in summer of 1994.  Since that time, dozens of people have been searching for the entrance that the former Olney resident covered up after removing precious artifacts for 10 years.  Today, these artifacts are sold on the antiquities black-market all over the world, commanding unbelievable prices.  The state of Illinois disregards the site as a hoax in order to remove themselves of any responsibility they might have had to recover the artifacts and prosecute the intruder who plundered this incredible ancient Mediterranean mortuary.  All the while, antiquities experts around the globe purchase the artifacts from Illinois unimpeded.  The state of Illinois, in its laziness, has stood by and watched the scenario unfold before them with not a care in the world.  We, however, will pursue this endeavor to whatever bitter end it leads us.