"Archaeologists have made an astonishing discovery at the Cahokia Mounds

State Historic Site: what appears to be a large stone structure beneath

the site's biggest earthen mound."

"The stone was discovered accidentally Jan. 24 during drilling to construct

a water-drainage system within Monks Mound, the largest Indian mound north

of Mexico and the largest prehistoric earthen construction in the New World."

"'This is astounding,' said William Woods, an archaeologist with Southern

Illinois University at Edwardsville, who is leading the investigation of the

mystery structure. 'It's so unexpected that it would never have entered

your mind before.''"

"The stone is at least 32 feet (10 meters) long in one of its dimensions. It

is buried about 40 feet below the surface of a terrace on the western side

of Monks Mound and well above the mound's bottom. Researchers believe it may

be made of cobbles or slabs of limestone or sandstone."

"Even if the apparent structure turns out to be no larger than this, it

would be a dramatic find. Stone does not occur naturally at Cahokia (which

is in the Mississippi River valley about 20 miles (32 kilometers) southeast

of St. Louis, Missouri--J.T.) so any stone would have had to be brought by

humans. Stone is uncommon at excavations there."

"'There's no question this is a unique discovery,' said Melvin Fowler, an

archaeologist at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. 'It's

totally unexpected.'"

"Fowler, reached by telephone in his office Friday, is widely considered the

godfather of Cahokia archaeology."

"Cahokia Mounds is the largest archaeological site in the United States, and

has the biggest mounds and the greatest number of mounds anywhere. The site

is named for a sub-tribe of Illini Indians who lived there when the French

arrived in the 1600s. At its peak around 1100 A.D., the area was covered

with a community of 20,000 people."

"The mystery was discovered about 10 o'clock on a cold, windy Saturday

morning amid snow flurries as workers drilled into the western side of

the mound."

"Andy Martignoni Jr. and Steve Fulton, both SIUE archaeologists, were on

duty at the site when the drill operator reported hitting a rock about 140

feet into the side of the hill. He drilled on, but the drill bit broke after

cutting through about 32 feet of rock."

"Martignoni and Fulton talked the situation over for a few minutes."

"'We talked about a possible drain, a tomb, all kinds of wild stuff,'

Martignoni said. Comparing the 'feel' of the drill with countless other

operations, the drill operator told them the structure seemed to be made of

large stones apparently placed together. That gave the archaeologists more

reason to think it might be something other than just a large rock."

"Martignoni called Woods, who had just gone to bed after staying up all

night writing a report."

"'You won't believe this,' Martignoni told him. 'We hit some stone at Monks


"Woods and his colleages plan to investigate the finding this summer without

harming the mound." Investigative techniques to be used will include

seismic waves, drilling and testing for electromagnetic impulses.

(See the St. Louis Post-Distpatch for March 9, 1998, "Cahokia mounds finding

stuns archeologists--A large stone under the site's biggest mound may be a

man-made structure," by William Allen, Post-Dispatch Science Writer.

Many thanks to Lou Farrish of UFO NEWSCLIPPING SERVICE for forwarding the

news article.)

(Editor's Comment: Funny how this story didn't make the wire services.

I guess the presence of a stone structure at Cahokia, which knocks North

American archaeology for a loop, is only considered "local news" by the

media barons.)

from the UFO Files...



Volume 3, Number 20

May 17, 1998

Editor: Joseph Trainor