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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Monday, January 21, 2019

Monday, January 14, 2019

winter fish

This time of year I like to explore and look at new pieces of local streams.  I've had this pay big dividends in the past come springtime. So tonight I was checking out an outflow pipe from a large factory. The pipe itself was small only about a foot across and only had three or four inches of water running out of it. But it was warm. You see a little patch of steam rising. The pipe itself was set back in a little notch in the bank  maybe seven feet across and ten or so feet long and a couple feet deep at its deepest. Out in front it was shallow and the rivers current hit it pretty hard. In other words I wasn't going to find a wintertime  bass hideout here. But there were some big carp milling around and I'd walked a ways thru snow to look at it, might as well try it. I flipped a 1/8 ounce jighead and a curly swim up the little notch right to the pipe. Wham! first cast and the rod bent into the cork and the six pound line was taxed to the limit as the fish tore all around the outlet before shooting out into the river. Turned out it was a dandy channel cat that had hammered my jig. Not bad for a quickie exploratory trip after work in the snow.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Mysterious Miamisburg

Okay lets look at the coolest tallest most mysterious mound around. The giant Miamisburg mound. Either the Miamisburg Mound or the Graves Creek Mound in West Virginia is the tallest conical burial mound on earth. Which mound is actually tallest is kind of hard to tell since the tops of each were scalped off in the early 1800's by treasure hunters. Whether the Miamisburg Mound is the tallest conical mound in the world or only the second, one thing is certain, this thing is hugemongous. Seven stories tall and well over 800 feet in circumference, the thing holds 54,000 cubic yards of earth. I think I remember reading somewhere that's like 3500 dump truck loads of dirt. In addition to being seven stories tall the mound was built atop the highest ridge around overlooking the Great Miami River and you can see for miles and miles in a complete 360. The view from the top is amazing and nothing like you would expect when standing at the mounds base. The site was partially excavated in 1869 when a vertical shaft was sunk from the top to the base, with two horizontal tunnels extending from it. The investigators found one skeleton covered with bark eight feet down; a second "vault" 36 feet from the top surrounded with logs was discovered. Throughout the vertical shaft various layers of ashes and stone were encountered implying that the Mound was built in several stages. The entire Miamisburg mound has never been systematically excavated. Such a project would take several years of careful, scientifically-controlled work.
Okay now for the far out nearly unbelievable stuff. The stuff of everything from government conspiracy coverup theories to bigfoot, Nephilim or fallen angel myths, to a missing race of giants. I'm not endorsing any of this mind you, just telling you what you can find written about the mound.
The skeleton found inside was described as including a giant jawbone and “ bones of unusual size ,” but it was the discovery half-a-mile away that became a national sensation and was reported in The Middletown Signal, January 17, 1899 with the headline: “ Bones of Prehistoric Giant Found Near Miamisburg ”:
“The skeleton of a giant found near Miamisburg is the cause of much discussion not only among the curious and illiterate but among the learned scientists of the world. The body of a man more gigantic than any ever recorded in human history, has been found in the Miami Valley, in Ohio. The skeleton it is calculated must have belonged to a man 8 feet 1.5 inches in height.
Professor Thomas Wilson curator of prehistoric anthropology at the Smithsonian Institution, said the following after examining the find: "The authenticity of the skull is beyond any doubt. Its antiquity unquestionably great, to my own personal knowledge several such crania were discovered in the Hopewell group of mounds in Ohio. 
And from there it all goes south fast. The internet is riddled with stories that the Smithsonian destroyed the giant skeletons along with others from all over ancient native american sites all over the country. Others hold the Smithsonian has the skeletons but is still actively withholding evidence of an ancient race of giants. Other theories say the skeletons were buried under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation act. One thing is true, the majority of Adena and Hopewell skeletons were all found in the mid to late 1800's. A period during which the Indians were being relocated and settled. Wounded Knee was less than a decade before the skeleton was found, the Battle of the Little Bighorn less than twenty years before. A period when the US government was less than willing to admit any grand sophistication on the part of any native Americans, living or dead, giant or normal sized. The internet is full of articles from supposedly mid 1800's newspapers about giant skeletons. Are these all fake made to support bogus claims and even more bogus books? Is the government withholding proof of ancient giants? Ancient aliens? Who the H#!& knows, but it is a great incredible mound, if you are ever in Miamisburg check it out and be prepared to be impressed. Why it is in a dinky little city park and not one of Ohio's biggest attractions is beyond me.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

The Horrible history of Buckeye Lake

A bit of background first. I'm just going to cut and paste a couple sentences from Wikipedia:

"The Ohio and Erie Canal was a  canal constructed during the 1820s and early 1830s in Ohio. It connected Akron with the Cuyahoga River near its outlet on Lake Erie in Cleveland, and a few years later, with the Ohio River near Portsmouth. It also had connections to other canal systems in Pennsylvania. The canal carried freight traffic from 1827 to 1861, when the construction of railroads ended demand. From 1862 to 1913, the canal served as a water source for industries and towns. During 1913, much of the canal system was abandoned after important parts were flooded severely."
So anyways back to our horrible story. Reservoirs were created in places to provide water for the canal. Buckeye Lake was one of these. Prior to this a great swamp sat where the lake is now. So the engineers decided they could build a dike or dam and turn the swamp into a lake. So where to get material for the dam? Well about a mile away from what is now the upper end of the lake now was a great stone pyramid or mound. What???? A stone pyramid in Middle America??? No way there is no such thing!!! Well, not any more that is. In 1831 thru 1832, 75 teams were hired to haul stones from the mound to create the dam. 75 teams pulling wagons of stones for two years. The newspaper records say they hauled up to 15,000 wagon loads of stones from the mound to the dam site. 15,000 wagon loads of stones! 
The base of the mound was 182 feet in diameter with a shallow trench surrounding the base and then a wall surrounding the mound with an opening on the east end of the enclosure and an open field on the west side of the mound within the enclosure. Early pioneer accounts mention the large number of rattlesnakes that inhabited the stone mound. The mound was at least 57 feet high but reports say some early pioneers threw stones down from the top looking for artifacts and probably ten feet was already missing from the top. 
After all the stones were removed  it was discovered the stones were covering 16 smaller mounds of earth around the outer circumference of the mound. Once the stones were removed, the exposed mounds were left alone until 1850 when a some local farmers dug into one of the mounds and uncovered a burial site and a number of artifacts. The burial site was covered with some remarkably preserved logs laid side-by side creating a wood slab. Over time the smaller mounds have been reduced by farming till they have sunk and disappeared into farmland. 
Imagine that, a stone pyramid or mound in Ohio! So I've never heard of such a thing and I've always been interested in Ohio history. How could anyone much less the government financing the canal destroy such a national treasure. Never looked at by anyone trained in archeology just loaded up and hauled away and dumped for a dam. Then the small mounds underneath just plowed under till they too are gone. Again never looked at by anyone. This could have completely changed everything we think we know about ancient Ohio history, what a disgrace. 
Here is a lame drawing of the mound from the time...

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

The Great Mound

The Great Mound. Crossing the Great Miami River on Liberty Fairfield Rd you travel thru low flat bottomland for a couple miles. The entire time you can see a high ridge rising in front of you. When you finally climb the ridge on your right sits the Great Mound.  88 feet tall and a circumference of 511 feet and a total volume of nearly 825,000 cubic feet!  Built by the Adena Culture, the Great Mound has been reduced by multiple instances of unofficial diggings. In 1879, locals removed a small portion of the mound's summit, finding artifacts such as bones and the remnants of fires. Later years saw the destruction of a more significant part of the top; today, only about 75% of the mound is free from disturbances. But that's 75%, why with Miami, Ohio, UC and UD universities so close such an amazing place hasn't been properly examined is completely beyond me. Instead it just sits, a forgotten overgrown hill in an old field. I'm sure not one person in a thousand driving by even knows what it is. Even though it probably pulled double duty as a burial mound since bones have been found there it has long been theorized it was used as a signal mound. Not only can you see long distances down the river valley a group of volunteers back in the nineties proved you could signal others atop the Hall-Kinder Mound in Franklin which is something like 12 miles away and from there then signal others atop the Miamisburg Mound towards Dayton upriver of that. Early warning system of some invasion and war that we don't know of? I also included along with the photo I snapped a satellite photo image so you can compare the size of the mound to the houses across the road. What hidden history and secrets this place must contain. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Another earthworks...

So I guess we won't name todays Indian earthworks, they aren't really open to the public and well aren't exactly eyepopping. Located on a plateau above the Great Miami River buried in the woods there is a small mound eroded down to a couple feet high with a foot and a half tall spiral around it and one to two foot tall walls extending out to each side barely noticeable in the heavy woods. They show up even less thru the camera lens. My first impression when finally finding them in the woods was "well, Ft Ancient it aint". But still like any Native American site it does get the imagination going. Plus one side of the walls ran right along a very very steep ravine that ran back to the river.
Unfortunately it had taken a bit to find the earthworks after work and this time of year there just isn't much time till dark after work. So there really wasn't much more time left than to just walk too fast down the creek back to the car. But I'm excited about the possibilities of coming back with more time and walking the creek slowly. Who knows I might just find some tools or an arrowhead. I did spot some cool fossils while walking out so I'll have a nice walk in the creek either way

Monday, January 7, 2019


So my hunting property lies in Scioto County and this fall with a few zigs and zags on the way there and back I've been visiting some of the amazing native American sites along the way. I posted yesterday the amazing petroglyphs from Leo Petroglyph and Nature preserve. Today I'll post another. I think Southern Ohio and around Chillicothe especially has more mound builder sites than anywhere on earth.
One of the most impressive was the huge Seip Mound. This is the largest part left of what was once an incredible complex. Not only did it rival Ft. Ancient in size with over two miles of walls but it also included several huge mounds. Unfortunately the site was prime farmland and the first settlers just plowed over the earthen walls which caused them to erode down to where they are barely visible today. You can see a pretty good section of it still intact close to the small parking lot because it was protected from plowing by being inside the farm yard where the chickens were kept. But the huge Seip mound is still there. Wow is it impressive. 240 feet by 160 feet and thirty feet tall! This mound was excavated in the early 1900"s and then put back together.
The mound covered a wooden structure in which the remains of several people were placed that must have been high up in Hopewell society for inside their crypt were literally thousands of pearls, finely worked copper, sheets of mica cut into shapes, and the famous clay mask you can see in the photo I took of a sign at the site. Some of these things came from thousands of miles away and all over the United States. All this was covered with a fine cloth staked down with deer antlers. I know we picture Indians as wearing only deer skins and living in tiny bands. The Hopewell, Adena, and Ft Ancient cultures here in Ohio were nothing like this. Along with the two photos that I shot I've posted two old photographs of the excavation of the mound and an old map drawn up before the walls were destroyed. The entire Seip Complex was found to contain the remains of at least 120 people! With much of their site destroyed and with so many bodies buried here I can't imagine anywhere that should be more haunted than these river bottoms.  

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Ohio petroglyphs

I'm hesitant to even talk about this place really. It's almost my own private secret instead of a park and nature preserve complete with it's own tiny parking lot off a one lane road in rural Jackson County Ohio. The last time I was there the fallen leaves weren't as beaten down on the hiking trail as those on the small path used only by me and the deer on my own property.
The place is the Leo Petroglyph and Nature Preserve. Here a 1/2 mile trail winds through a small gorge as pretty as any in Hocking Hills or Clifton Gorge. Within the gorge are several small waterfalls and numerous cliffs and rock shelters. Hemlocks, yes hemlocks grow alongside the little stream. And, and, the petroglyphs. Yes petroglyphs in Ohio. Petroglyphs.
A weird almost smiley face with deer antlers and some sort of demonic figure or winged space alien are part of the 37 figures carved into the sandstone. I can only imagine some ancient shaman performing strange rites here. Experts in rock weathering estimate these petroglyphs to be around a thousand years old!
It's a tiny place without even restrooms in the middle of nowhere. Don't go there. The drive is terrible the roads terrible there isn't a decent restaurant for miles. Don't go there, I'll post some photos every now and then to save you the trouble.