11 February, 2005
This article takes a quick look at a
controversial site in Illinois called Burrows Cave. In 1982 a
large quantity of epigraphic material was been found there by it’s
discoverer, a gentleman by the name of Russell Burrows. What
is claimed by Burrows certainly doesn’t seem to be readily
digestible by mainstream archeologists, but that of course is
neither here nor there.
It has been said that some of the
artifacts found are somewhat reminiscent of the Davenport, Iowa, and
Wilmington, Ohio, tablets, both of which are of doubtful
authenticity. Feel free to read the article below, take a look
at the images and draw your own conclusions.
In Russell Burrows own words this is is account of how he
discovered the cave having stopped to eat his lunch on a bluff that
overlooks a valley. He stood up and stepped on the edge of a flat,
round rock. His weight on the side of this rock flipped it as if on
a pivot and he fell into a pit below the rock....
"I found myself falling into a pit
which had been secreted beneath a large oval stone which, as I
later discovered, was fitted into the pit opening and designed
to flip or turn over when stepped on. The unfortunate victim
would fall to the bottom of the pit, the stone would swing back
in place and the victim would be trapped. I was fortunate: When
I stepped on that stone, I was in the act of turning, and the
stone, instead of flipping over, slid off to one side and left
the pit open.
I do not actually remember hitting bottom; my next recollection
is of hanging on to the lip of the pit by my elbows, in great
alarm. I admit that I have a great fear of holes that I’m not
ready for, because of snakes. But I found none. When I freed
myself and regained my composure, I began to examine the pit and
have a look at what was to be the beginning of the greatest
adventure of my life... I sat down to calm my nerves, catch
my breath and give the situation some thought."
He found himself in a chamber, with a
huge face on one wall, and continues....
"I did not have to be a genius to
figure out that I had stumbled into something that just should
not be in Illinois. I have hunted for and found many artifacts
of the American Indians and there are many of their sites in my
part of the state, but I knew then that this was not American
Indian. The face I had been nose to nose with was different from
anything I had ever seen. The nose was flat, the eyes were
wide-set, and the lips were thick.
Then, of course, there were all those strange symbols to
consider. I had crawled under a ledge and was looking for
petroglyphs such as I had seen in the pit. I had searched all
the walls of the entire length of the valley, and while I had
seen a few scratchings, I was not all that excited about what I
had seen so far. Finally, I gave up on this last place, and
decided to quit. In disgust, I tossed my small rock pick against
the inside wall of the overhang.
The rock gave out a distinctly
unnatural sound: a hollow ring, not what I’d expect from solid
rock... As it was now clear that a cave was on the other
side... My first entrance was through this portal and into a
tunnel-like passage which has a drop-off of about three feet
just inside of the portal. I was met with a strong, musty odor.
Not of decay, but musty.
As I moved my head and light around, I saw a full human skeleton
reposing on a large block of stone. It scared the hell out of
me! Then I began to see other things lying there with those
bones. I saw ax heads, spear points, and something else—metal!
The skeleton was laid out upon a solid block large enough to
hold not only the remains but artifacts as well.
The artifacts include ax heads of
marble and other stone material, an ax head of what appears to
be bronze, a short sword of what appears to be bronze, and other
artifacts which might be considered personal weapons. There were
also a set of three bronze spears, the longest being about six
feet long and the shortest about three feet... The skeletal
remains bear several fine artifacts such as armbands, headbands
and other such items, all of gold. "
The cave is said to lie somewhere along
the Skillet Fork of the Little Wabash River in southeastern
Illinois. It supposedly contains 13 elaborately ornamented burial
crypts. It is unclear and a matter of controversy who, besides
Burrows, has actually been inside the cave . What is known is that
Burrows has produced hundreds, if not thousands, of curiously carved
stones that he says came from this cave. And some of the artifacts
allegedly were not of stone, but of gold.
It is claimed that Burrows sold off
enough artifacts to unknown buyers that he was able to place $7
million in Swiss numbered bank accounts. According to Swiss
journalist Luc Buergin, this money derives from the illegal sale of
gold artifacts from the North American burial site. Other sources
claim that Burrows melted down all the gold and sold it as ingots.
Still others question whether there ever was any gold in the first
Edge of the rock
cliff, approx. 300 ft. from the entrance to the cave.
A bizarre collection of artifacts was
found in a remote cave system in the American State of Illinois. The
cavers who made the discovery encountered a derisive response from
the first academic experts they approached, experiencing a lot of
difficulty finding necessary specialists to help them document and
identify the artifacts.
There were problems of site security,
disappearing artifacts, as well as people bending data to suit their
personal agendas. As the site researcher Fred Rydholm remarks: "For
this kind of research you have to be thick-skinned, brave or crazy!"
It’s one thing finding these things, its quite another to explain
In the United States the saga of
"Burrows Cave" has been going on for many years. Over three thousand
rock fragments, engraved with a variety of ancient drawings,
hieroglyphs and script, were presented to the world by Russell
Burrows in 1982, who discovered them in a cave system in Southern
Illinois. The story of the cave and its contents is so strange, that
it’s little wonder it has met strong skepticism.
Recently deciphered for the first time,
the stone tablets tell such a wild tale that it will require quite a
turn around to accepted history. I was stunned into disbelief when I
first laid eyes on the Burrows Cave evidence. This is no straight
forward set of hieroglyphs but, an inexplicable display of several
cultures, a huge library preserved on stone tablets, collected
together and sealed in a cave sometime around the first millennium.
Gold artifact from
the cave, clearly showing Egyptian or Egyptian inspired marks on the
The first photographs of the artifacts
were forwarded to me by Filip Coppens, who writes about world
mysteries in Belgium. He had heard about my investigation of the
anomalies surrounding the presumed hoax of Egyptian hieroglyphs in
the NSW Hunter Valley. He was struck by certain odd similarities
between the two finds and sent pictures of the carvings which
depicted a wolf-headed god, similar to an "Anubis" carving
photographed in the Hunter Valley.
Certainly, the Burrows Cave boasts a few forms of wolf and
jackal-headed deities, from the classical Anubis to half human
versions. One of the Burrows Cave examples is executed in
bas-relief, with accompanying hieroglyphs, embossed on a gold plate.
However, there is much more than wolf-headed deities, the carved
tablets display an extraordinary cultural array. There is a
hodgepodge mixture of images and cultural influences which make the
artifacts very hard to explain. Even worse, some of the carvings
seem amateurish or dimly remembered copies of ancient Greek and
Whereas, others involve a high level of skill and obvious knowledge
of ancient cosmology. One of the images depicts a "wolfish" deity in
priestly regalia, wearing a bishop-style hat decorated with a solar
emblem. The deity has been identified as the god "So-Bek-Ra", who is
so pictured on a temple by the Nile. The figure stands, as the lone
representative of an ancient priesthood, against an advancing enemy
army. There are also many carved heads, mostly warrior profiles,
wearing both Greek, Roman and Egyptian headgear.
Curiously, there are even images of
ancient Amer-Indians wearing feathers and facial designs, some
showing clear Meso-American style head-dress. Records of ancient
travellers? Amongst them are many ancient mystical and sacred
designs, as well as maps, pictures of ships and non-indigenous
Astonishingly, one of the carvings portrays the cloven-hooved
god Pan, holding his pipes and consorting with a nymph. Another
stone (as well as an ancient metal coin) excavated from the cave
carry the bold image of an elephant underlined with Hebrew
Oddly, an artifact inscribed in exactly
the same way was found on a pyramid-shaped stone in Ecuador some
years earlier. Some of the carvings are meticulously executed in
full bas-relief, some completely carved into the shapes of animals
and deities, while other tablets were etched to render the designs.
Even a small collection of solid gold artifacts and coins have been
excavated. More than just pictures, there are numerous tablets with
coherent linear script carved on them. Examples and influences
appear to range from Hebrew and Sumerian to Roman,
In my correspondence with Fred Rydholm,
the best theory I could offer, was to speculate about a colony of
resourceful pirates, who in some distant time, raided and collected
the strange quasi-cultural cache of artifacts for themselves.
Together with an associate Dr James Scherz, who helped in the study
and documentation of the artifacts, Fred Rydholm found correlations
between symbols on the Burrows Cave coins and coins produced by
dynasties along the "Silk Road" between China and Rome, the most
predominant being "Kushana" and "Satavahana" symbols.
(NOTE: The Kushanas once
controlled a trade dynasty along the Silk Roads, uniting various
ancient people’s in the days of the Romans. They disintegrated with
the collapse of the Western part of the Roman Empire about AD 300.
The Satavahana’s were a seafaring people who lived on the coast of
the Indian Ocean and had large ships represented on their coins
before they collapsed around 210-230 AD. This suggests the likely
time period of early in the first millennium around or after 200
Finally, Fred Rydholm was able to report
a significant breakthrough with two young Florida researchers, Paul Schaffranke and
Brian Hubbard, who were successful in deciphering
some of the inscriptions. Schaffranke and Hubbard
recognized them as
being one of several ancient Etruscan alphabets which could be
translated into "street Latin", as used around the time of
The two Florida men were able to translate stone tablets from the
Burrows Cave that the great epigrapher, Dr. Barry Fell and others,
had insisted were gibberish and could not be translated. Mixed in
amongst the Etruscan script there is also the added mystery of
Hebrew and Egyptian stone tablets. These were also recently
identified and are being translated by Dr. Arnold Murray of Arkansas
and, Zena Halpern, a Hebrew scholar from New York. The Egyptian
material is still being assessed. Over half a dozen professional
archeologists and linguists have now examined the collection and
have been definite in their support of the artifacts’ authenticity.
At last contact, the Burrow’s team had dug out and classified an
astonishing four thousand stone tablets. Another breakthrough came,
when a retired engineer Bill Kreisle, found several of the stones
recorded accurate maps of the Mississippi River system as it
appeared 2000 years ago. Another map stone shows a river on the
Iberian Peninsula (Spain) with the ancient city of Cadiz near its
mouth. But, most astonishing of all, they have reported the
discovery of several stone crypts, excavated from limestone deep in
the cave system, containing a number of interred skeletons with jewellery, artifacts and statuary.
The mystery people who left the cache of records are, apparently,
themselves, buried there. The biggest continuing mystery of the
discovery is, WHO carved all these message tablets and from whence
came this hidden dynasty of bodies? Fred Rydholm, who works with and
writes, for the retiring Col. Burrows, reports in his recent
"Although I speak with caution, as
it is still too early to say for sure, there are many
indications that the bodies found in the crypts are the leaders
of a colony of refugees from Ptolemaic Egypt, including a Jewish
contingent from the Roman controlled Kingdom of Mauritania."
Dr Joseph Mahan, founder and
longtime president of the Institute for the Study of American
Cultures (ISAC), has examined the evidence from the new translations
and presents this interesting scenario:
"They were secretly sent to America
in ships provided by the Mauritanian King Juba the Second and
his wife 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) in 17
AD, Ptolemy Philadelphus and Alexander Helios."
The graves of these people have been the
object of a comprehensive historical search for the past two
thousand years. We appear to have an advanced and well funded group
of priest/scholars who, with the ex-Royal families, escaped the
Roman Christianization of Egypt and set off into the unknown
somewhere around 200-300 AD. The engraved maps and their collected
storehouse of knowledge, shows a deliberate transplanting of
culture, perhaps to escape the religious persecution of the Roman
Invasion of Egypt and establish a remote colony which could preserve
the ancient records.
Indeed, Dr Joseph Mahan, an archeological anthropologist who made a
close study of the cave artifacts, reveals a detailed cosmology and
religious lore from the cave material which is remarkably similar to
that which survived amongst the Indian tribes of the area. The area
of Southern Illinois and Indiana, where Russell Burrows stumbled
into the limestone cave system, is richly endowed with the scattered
evidence of several different early cultures which archeologists
know too little about.
There are log tombs, skeletons and artifacts from the Adena
culture, which is believed to have developed around 500 BC and
to have died out by 200 AD. There was the Hopewell culture,
100 BC to 350 AD. A mysterious culture concentrated along the
Mississippi, known as the "Mississippian", crystallized
around 800 AD, and was thought to still be in existence when the
Spaniards arrived. Researcher, Joseph Mahan, points out, that
archeologists have collected evidence for fifty years of an
elaborate and uniform Earth/Sun religion, associated with the
building of flat top temple mounds, which spread out from the
Mississippi in the later part of the first millennium.
These pyramid-like mounds, which carried a permanent fire at
the top, contained a variety of art, impressed on copper and stone,
depicting animal-headed deities, crosses, swastikas, and people in
ceremonial dress performing rituals. Examples of these mound sites
are spread from Oklahoma, to Illinois, Alabama and Georgia. Could
the Burrows Cave, indeed, be the lost library and resting
place of the founders of this mysterious culture? Founders, the
inscribed tablets purport to be, the ex-Egyptian Royal family
escaping the sacking of ancient Egypt early in the first millennium?