A Phoenician Fortress in Oklahoma?

The following pages of this website are the photographic documentation of various unusual phenomena my wife, Sue, and I have found in southern Oklahoma and north Texas. What you see is what we saw and with the exception of some graphic arrows in one of the photos, no manipulation of the visual facts has been done.

The original seven pages of photos began back on September 10, 2000. My wife publishes a community newspaper called TGIF, the weekend bandit. Most simply refer to it as the Bandit. It is distributed in six counties in Oklahoma and Texas known locally as Texomaland centering around Lake Texoma. The news content centers around local events and history. For my part in this great literary enterprise, I write and illustrate a weekly history column. Up until that fateful September most of my writing had been of the cowboy and Indian vein with a few nostalgic retrospectives into the colorful carnage and cannibalism of the Spanish colonial era. My true interests, however, lay in those remote epochs before the Spanish scourge and the English infestation. It had always been the world of the mammoth hunters and mound builders which had fascinated me since childhood. I also had a keen interest in the more mysterious aspects of ancient America.

Growing up just west of the Trinity River in Rowlett, Texas, I had been aware of the existence of the buried walls at Rockwall, Texas for as long as I can remember. Almost all of the older members of my family had seen them back in the days when an enterprising land owner on highway 66 charged ten cents for a look at a few feet of excavated wall in his pasture. It had been backfilled by the time I came along but several family members had fragments of the story to tell, of a massive walled city buried beneath the sleepy little country town of Rockwall. As time went by, I learned of other ancient mysteries scattered around Texas and the southwest which hinted at a wondrous past hardly mentioned in conventional history books. Growing up Texan, I took it as a given that I lived in an extraordinary place where all manner of extraordinary events had occurred. Thus it was that in the late '70's when I encountered the diffusionist writings of Dr. Barry Fell, which cataloged visits to Texas by fugitive Libyan kings, Phoenician explorers sailing up the Mississippi, and Vikings on the Arkansas in Oklahoma, it merely confirmed what I had suspected all along.

By the summer of 2000, I had seen the tablet of the Libyan king in Langtry, Texas, the Malakoff heads at the Lyndon Johnson Memorial Center in Austin, the Heavener Runestone, the Spiro Mounds, the tomb of Pacal, and the City of the Bat, Copan, in Honduras. I had not, however, seen the buried walls in Rockwall; they were like the Promised Land to Moses, something that would forever be just out of reach. It was around that time that I accidentally found the Rockwall Foundation site and the many photos of the most extensive excavation to date. I immediately contacted Kevin Hosid to arrange an interview and a photo shoot for the Bandit. It was like hearing that a long lost relative had been killed in a car wreck, when Kevin said the site had been filled in after a flood undermined the wall. Nevertheless, I wrote an article on the wall in the Bandit and it sparked a tremendous amount of attention. Then I followed up with an article on Gloria Farley, a close friend of Barry Fell, and the Heavener Runestone. The response was so positive that I began to follow up with more discoveries by diffusionists of numerous pre-Columbian inscriptions and artifacts in the area giving evidence of Old World visitors prior to 1492.

Then, on Friday, September 8, 2000, Sue and I returned from our 500+mile paper route to find an urgent message had been left for me by William Head of Colbert, Oklahoma. The person who took the call said it was about some stone tablets with writing up in Oklahoma. That got my attention right away. When I got Mr. Head on the phone, he said that he and his friend Steve Teeples had been hunting arrowheads up the Kiamichi Mountains where they met a man who had found a number of stone tablets with strange writing in tombs in the cliffs which contained 3 foot skeletons. He was in a hurry to get back to the valley where he'd found the "little people". Mr. Head thought that the tablets might have come "from one of those buried cities". I told him that was quite likely, and he proceeded to give me very vague directions to a remote area where the roads had no names where they existed at all. The following Sunday, the 10th,we packed a camera, an ice chest and some snack crackers into my Chevy S-10 and headed toward a poorly defined destination in the 110 degrees that was common that summer.

We were guided by fate, else we would never have arrived unerringly at 98 year old Mr. Self's little white cottage where 8 years previous Mr. Head and Mr. Teeples had. Mr. Self was remarkably lucid for his years but he did not know of any tablets or skeletons. He did know of an old furnace the timber people had pushed down out of spite along with a great stone "grinding bowl" He knew of a lead mine up there in the hills and one of his boys had found a curious hole up there too. His granddaughter was there and she offered to show us some of the spots her father had found growing up there, which she described as caves of some kind with "Indian relics" in them. She then drove us back to the house and we headed up there on our own in my truck.

We scrambled around car sized boulders up sheer cliffs to shallow overhangs but there was not trace of anything human. A couple of hours later we headed back down utterly discouraged when Sue called my attention to some curiously regular stone blocks. I got out and slowly crawled over boulders and charred pine logs to get a better look. The first odd thing I noticed were a series of neatly beveled seams joining the massive blocks of one wall together. As I moved up the hill, I noticed that the whole thing had a "stepped "parapet look to it .Then I saw the first of the square banded blocks that some had referred to as cells. That's when I yelled down to Sue, sitting exhausted in the smothering heat inside the truck: "You better come look at this and bring the camera!" It may have been the heat and exhaustion, but in the silence of that forsaken place, I had the eeriest sensation that I had, in the words of Rod Serling, just crossed over into the southern hills of the Twilight Zone. The top of the walls revealed a bizarre landscape of neatly joined paving stone floors and tumbled pillars of stone. Many of the squared stone blocks had been scorched red and black by tremendous heat. Through the pine covered hills a raw gash of scorched shattered stone extended beyond the horizon, mute testimony to the numbing brutality of man and machines toward the earth. It was getting dark then and we knew better than to linger.

As we wound round the roads that led eventually to the pavement and south to Texas we wondered at what we had seen. Surely it was just some bizarre natural formation. Why had we never seen anything like it before? We had pretty much dismissed it as a heat mirage when we got the film back, and the eerie feeling hit us again like ice water in the pit of the stomach. Of course we went back again--and again and again. We talked to more people and heard stories of how the Aztecs had mined gold up there, how the Choctaws traded gold from up there at Fort Towson for salt. We heard of Lost Lake, we met those who'd found "Spanish" mines. We learned of the six Bigfoots that lived up there and the man who'd killed one and finally left the country with a bad conscience. We saw a man standing by the road with a strange smile one time and then later we found the large pile of paleolithics near where he'd been. We found the bowl and scraper by the walls but to this day we have no tablets and no 3 foot mummies.

The first one we approached with our discovery was Frank Joseph of Ancient American Magazine but we got no answer. Then we sent Gary Vey of Viewzone emagazine some photos and he responded immediately. He had been following the story of pre-Columbian proto-writing which occurs in certain canyons in the Four Corners region. He had me write an article and send more photos. It caused quite a stir internationally and Viewzone was flooded with inquiries. Most of the more extreme cases Gary screened. He said many were quite insistent and some worked for the U.S. government. As it turned out, some of them were directed to Viewzone by mainstream geologists and others who felt that the site needed to be wrested from the lunatic fringe and properly debunked. Several people picked up the story and tried to make it fit their own particular theory, many of which revolved around an extraterrestrial element. I shipped an example of the geometric banded block (not the best example, but the one Gary chose) to Gary Vey, who then took it to a university geology lab in Massachusetts for analysis. It was months before I got the results but by then I already knew what would be found. Gary called to set up a visit to the area a couple of times before he headed off to Yemen to follow up on his proto-writing. At any rate the visit never took place and I seriously doubt now that it ever will. On the positive side, it did lead to John Lindsey, the Rockwall researcher, contacting me. Sue and I went down to Rockwall and traded notes with John and his assistant Dee Johnson. It led to friendships I will always treasure above any curious ruins or relics. We took John up to visit the Oklahoma site and last August John and Dee drove Moses out to the Promised Land. The original well where the window in the wall was first found in 1851 and the site where the last excavation was filled in. John's "Quivira Project" will be linked here as soon as we finish construction. Nick Anderson, my son and webmaster will be doing the fine technical work that he has done here for me.

For a few months the original excitement of the Oklahoma walls died down and Sue and I went on to find more strange formations and objects in the hills and creeks of southern Oklahoma and north Texas thanks largely to our friend Bill Head who has forgotten more anomalies than most of us will ever find. Almost everything on this site is the direct result of Bill telling us where to look.

In the first days of 2001, an ice storm hit the region and we were off the grid for two weeks. It was quite a shock when we checked in at Viewzone to find that an article had been posted telling of government agents bulldozing the site and threatening the owners with dire consequences if they let anyone dig on their property again. The photograph with the article is one John and I took of the tips of two opposing slanted walls which had been exposed by the timber company as they made a road over the top of the structure. As for owners, well, the actual owner is a huge insurance corporation back east who lease the land to a timber baron corporation which collects money for letting people shoot various game animals in their timber leases. In this the corporation takes on the role usually reserved for state and federal governments. Most assuredly the corp dozed the furnace, pushed most of the walls into the canyons, as well as the stone bowl as they didn't want any archaeologists cramping their rape and pillage style. But "Men in Black, government cover-up" it assuredly was not. What was left for the MIB's to cover up? The pros had already done more than rookie G-Men in dark duds could ever dream of by way of dynamic destruction on a titanic scale. When I first got into the Lost City game, I bought into the government/mainstream science cover-up paranoia. I had seen just enough of actual small time suppression to make it believable. Now a jaundiced year later, I find it less so. A developer or a road contractor is far more likely to suppress archaeological evidence than any government or scientific agency --unless big money is involved. If you know eastern Oklahoma, you know that just isn't likely in this case.

I'm going into all this because I wish to disassociate myself with the lie put forth at Viewzone on the cover-up. If I have erred in thinking the structures featured here are artificial out of geological naiveté, so be it but I will not knowingly misrepresent anything you see here.

Finally, for those of you who are wondering about the term Phoenician in the title. Aside from the alliterative value of the name, I knew that Gloria Farley had found what she believed to be Punic inscriptions on a bluff above Gaines Creek in nearby LeFlore County. Since the "old furnace, the mining of metals, and inscribed tablets seemed to indicate the presence of an Old World group in the region, it seemed logical to assign the Punic or Phoenician identity to them. Since then, research and correspondence have led me to alter my original assumptions. If indeed the walls, furnace, mines etc. do indicate a foreign presence, I would now lean toward a South American origin, particularly from the Chachapoya regions.

In time I will be adding further text to other sections of this site by way of explanation and theorizing. Until then, I welcome your input, suggestions for improvement, and constructive comments. Thank you for taking time to visit the site.

-David Campbell