The Sanders Stone 1949

A few weeks ago I dropped by the museum run by the Rockwall Historical Foundation to obtain O.L. Steger, Sr.’s History of Rockwall County 1842-1968. In the course of making that valuable acquisition, I had a long, productive discussion with the museum’s curator, Deb Mahon. The happy result of this extended conversation was that Deb called me a couple of weeks later to ask permission to give out my phone number and the url to to visitors who dropped by inquiring about the buried wall phenomena. Of course, I granted permission, as I am always glad to answer questions on one of my all time favorite subjects and exchange information with those with similar interests.

It occurred to me after a long, rambling phone discussion with one Deb had referred to me, that it might be more efficient to answer many of the frequently asked questions here in order to bring newcomers up to speed more efficiently. The following is a repost of the first of a series of posts I made at Ishtar’s Gate beginning in 2009. It begins with an inquiry from Ishtar on concerning the Sanders Stone used as the logo for the Quivira Project, which my son, Nick Anderson, and I made for John Lindsey in order to present his Rockwall research to the online community. Naturally the post rapidly expands to address numerous other aspects of the phenomenon, including research I later made on my own in the course of assisting John to put together his book on the subject. Others will follow.

That (the Sanders Stone photo in the latest set of galleries, page 1) is the only picture extant of the inscribed stone found some 30 feet below the surface in 1949 (which just happens to be the year I was born) by a “Mr. Sanders” of Fort Worth, Texas. I have diligently searched for the identity of Mr. Sanders to no avail. All the people in Rockwall who knew his full identity are now dead. The photo was included in Dr. Glenn’s photo essay done for the Sesquecentennial in Rockwall around 1952 and reprinted in 1976. I am most fortunate to have a copy. The photo used as a logo for the Quivira Project of John Lindsey is a mirrored image of the original turned on its side with the measuring stick and glass jar full of “black gumbo” mud removed and the part of the symbol which it obscured completed. Otherwise the photo is faithful to the original that Mr. Sanders and Dr. Glenn made in 1949. The black mud, which forms the upper layer of the Blackland Prairie, was obviously rubbed into the inscriptions to make them more visible to the camera. They are similar to other pictographic inscriptions found on other stones removed from the walls. Those however were left exposed to the elements and weathered to the point they had become all but indistinguashable. Fortunately, Dr. Glenn took photos of them and I believe they are reproduced at as well. Dr. Glenn saw a goddess and turtles in them; John Lindsey, who saw them when they were still faintly distinguishable thought Dr. Glenn was seeing “faces in the clouds”. That is quite a statement from a man who sacrificed his professional career investigating and defending the artificiality of the walls. In examining the photos, I still find them extremely ambiguous but can easily see what Dr. Glenn saw. I should mention here, that Dr. Glenn was a Presbyterian minister who had worked with the Seminoles of Florida before relocating to Rockwall. The walls became a lifelong preoccupation with him, though he was a devoted historian of Rockwall’s development and preserved the oral histories of Rockwall for posterity. Dr. Glenn saw Mesoamerican influences in the wall, Aztec and Maya, and interpreted the artifact he found near Royce City near a section of wall as a representation of Quetzalcoatl. Bob H. Slaughter, a vertebrate paleontologist from SMU pronounced it the upper portion of a fossil skull of Tylosaurus prolinger, a marine dinosaur of the Upper Cretaceous. John Lindsey had the artifact x-rayed in order to prove that the object was not a fossil. According to the terse lab report I saw, it was not. John later took the object to the Navajo (who curiously enough knew of this obscure architect from Rockwall and were waiting for his unannounced arrival). The Navajo said this object was known to them and gave John instructions for reconstructing it in plaster from a moulage mold of the original, which was done with the aid of a local sculptor. The goat-like figure at the top of the logo at the Quivira Project is that reconstruction and inside the galleries there you can see a good photo of the original.

The inscribed stone was on display in the basement of Rockwall County Courthouse for many years until it was removed in the middle of the night to a private residence. As the courthouse was also the jail and a police station, the removal of a two ton stone some six feet in length was not a casual burglary. John learned of the current location and was advised to drop the matter by a high ranking Rockwall official. From there I can say little more as it gets into the murky small town politics which have hampered investigation of the walls for over 150 years. I have during my own involvement with this phenomenon learned to steer well clear of that element as it extends very high into levels of organizations I do not wish to antagonize. I’m sorry if that sounds like conspiracy paranoia but one ignores it at their peril. Sanders’ inscribed stone is but one of several pieces of evidence whose very existence has been jealously guarded for well over a century.

My own ideas derived my personal end of the investigations are at very wide variance to those of others who have looked in depth at the buried walls. After nearly ten years I have far more questions than answers. I have looked into the mainstream explanations for the phenomenon as deeply as my intellectual abilities will allow but barring taking several university courses in sedimentary geology and physics I have just about come to the event horizon of my limitations. These mainstream probings had me almost completely persuaded to natural formation point of view but there remained within me a deeper, perhaps arrational, conviction which overides that persuasion. It was due to these inner convictions that I persisted in exploring the artificiality theory. At the same time, my investigation into the matter with all the objective rationality I can muster, leads me to reject the majority of alternative theories regarding the age of the modifications to these walls.

With regard to sacred sites and alignments, I can only say that that aspect but touches upon the surface, literally, of the Rockwall phenomenon. The anomalous piezoelectic properties of the walls may indeed bear directly upon the choice of the Amerindians sacred site location there and there may be, for lack of a better word, metaphysical connections. However, as nearly as I can determine, the walls themselves date beyond current accepted knowledge of human existence. Certain aspects of the walls extend back to the formation of the continent. With no disrespect to anyone, the sacred sites and alignments’ relationship to the buried walls and their modifications are analogous to that of the Baptist churches of Arlington, Texas to the Cretaceous fossil beds recently discovered there. But in that analogy lies a connection to a breakthrough I recently made with regard to the walls and their dating.

That a greater portion of the walls are a natural phenomenon is not debated even by John Lindsey, the staunchest advocate of the artificiality of certain features they contain. John’s attempt to place these modifications at mere 12,000 years is where we part company theoretically. The staggering dissonance between the geological data and the modifications which appear to be the product of intelligence was the first seemingly insoluble contradiction I encountered in an attempt, to use geologist Bud Shelton’s term “make the walls younger”. Bud later admitted his inability to do so. And this was before his 180 degree about face to a position of complete skepticism. However, the key to doing that was right before him since 2000 when Dr. Wulf Goss, a preeminent paleomagnetic expert from the University of Texas who was hired to do a paleomagnetic survey of the walls, determined their formation to be 50-55 million years as opposed to the long held geological date of 80-90 million years. This fact had eluded Brooks Ellwood, another preeminent paleomagnetic expert geologist, in 1976 when he did the first paleomagnetic study ever done of the walls on behalf of the City of Rockwall which intended to build a public exhibit of them. Now pushing the walls from the Upper Cretaceous into the Eocene did little for the artificiality theory at the time I (re)discovered this crucial bit of information. However, discoveries of the past two years in Texas and elsewhere opened a path in the deadend wall of inquiry where I had found myself for several years. These discoveries revolved around a number of new species of Eocene primates in Texas and the Upper Cretaceous fossil beds of Arlington, Texas containing large numbers of terrestrial and semi-aquatic faunal remains. Arlington lies upon drainage of another branch of the Trinity River west of the branch known as the East Fork of the Trinity. Lake Ray Hubbard is the lake formed by damming the East Fork in 1965 and some of the most intriguing features of the buried walls, such as the red iron oxide cemented stairsteps, a broached chamber, and mineral springs, now lie beneath its waters.

This post has become exceedingly long due to the powerful fascination the subject holds for me. But in conclusion I will say that a major part of that fascination is rooted in personal experiences which are far removed from earth sciences and archaeology.

1 comment so far ↓

#1 Dr. Aaron Judkins on 08.18.11 at 11:48 am

Dear Sir, I have been researching the Rockwall site and traveled there recently to research the area just to find there was not much to see save the small wall section on the town square. The Historical Foundation was closed but with a return phone call the curator directed me to your site. I was glad to find it as it has provided a valuable source of information. I have read all the history on this I could and am eager to see this project continue in the future. I am curious if the original Quivira artifact &/or the Sanders stone replica casts are available for sale. I am certainly interested in them. Please contact me at my email I have provided if so. I will order your book as I am very interested in your research. I also host an internet show called Man vs. Archaeology. If you are interested, I would like to do a program with you on your research & the Rockwall.
Best Regards,
Aaron Judkins, Ph.D.
Man vs. Archaeology

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