Our expedition Stories in Stone at National Geographic FieldNotes is back up and running. We’ve been working hard to push all the old posts back up. Once we get it up to date again, we will begin posting new notes from our work hunting down Mysterious Inscription and Petroglyphs hidden in the northeast. Over the past three years we’ve rediscovered many lost stone engravings and accumulated hundreds of leads.

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About ten years ago, a curious cave in Belchertown Massachusetts was discovered by Chris, a Senior Restoration Ecologist for the Natural Heritage and Endangered Species program. He stumbled on the small niche while searching for rare plants. To find these rare and endangered species he often finds himself in some of the most inhospitable and difficult to access recesses of the northeast. After scrambling over a steep talus and beating his way through a dense wall of thorns and vines, he spotted the small cave hidden at the base of a 15-foot cliff. Inside he found three names that had been inscribed on the wall in 1878.  He photographed his accidental discovery and posted it online with the images of the plants, animals and insects he uncovers for his work.  

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Hidden deep in the forest of Connecticut is an outcrop of granite that to most, would appear to be no different than any other in the northeast. It stands almost 100 feet tall, 300 feet long and has had a long and interesting history. Recently we rediscovered this amazing location. We enjoyed the excitement of uncovering each of its known natural features. The moment that will stick in my mind the most though, is my encounter with the Terror Beneath the Devil’s Coffin.



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Mysterious Petroglyphs & Inscriptions in New England Lecture

Mavis Robinson, the administrator at the Bourne Historical Society, invited me to do a lecture on my Expedition Stories in Stone at their facility for Archeology Month on Oct 10th 2018 . Mavis was a fantastic host for the event. When she noticed that many of the followers of Stories in Stone asked if the event could be videotaped, she quickly made arrangements to have this done.

During my presentation, I spoke about the project, a variety of interesting inscriptions, the workflow used when investigated them. I shared some investigation techniques and modern technologies that you can use to unravel the stories being some of the puzzling inscription in the northeast. I’ll use the Bourne Stone to demonstrate some of the methods that can be used to document and analyze these fascinating artifacts hidden in the forest of New England. The turnout was fantastic, and we had a full house. Audience members stuck around for the Q&A and had many great questions about the project and other things with which I’m involved.


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Golem Cave

For the past four months we have been spending time in the libraries and archives in preparation for our expedition. In that time, we amassed a list 103 different inscriptions and petroglyphs in stone across the northeast. Some of these are what I would refer to as historic graffiti. The most interesting inscriptions we uncovered have been the center of a debate of going back to the late 1600s.


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In 2018 we are excited to be doing two expeditions through National Geographic Open Explorer. We will be restarting our project on Bioluminescence in New England and beginning a new project to document all known and newly discover petroglyphs and inscriptions in the northeast. (more…)

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Leifs Rock

Leif EriksonThere has been a debate in New England as to who were the first visitors to our shores. Centered in this debate are several inscriptions in stone that were found in the Narragansett Basin. The first was the well-known Dighton Rock which was initially recorded in 1680. After that, over 20 other inscriptions were discovered along the shores of southeastern New England. These inscriptions have inspired many theories concerning possible pre-colonial visitors. Such theories suggest Vikings, the Portuguese, the Chinese, the Phoenicians and even Irish monks were possibly the first people to set foot in the northeast.

In 2012 we began hunting down many of the lesser known rock inscriptions in the Narragansett Basin. So far we have located the Tiverton Petroglyphs, Mark Rock, the Portsmouth Cupstone, King’s Rock, and Leif’s Rock. We were able to find the inscriptions on all the stones but King’s and Leif’s Rocks. King’s Rock is currently covered by so much dirt and forest debris it will be difficult to locate the inscription if it does still exist.


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Iron Miners - Strange New England

Recently we teamed up with members from the group known as Iron Miners. Like us they hunt down remarkable history and fantastic locations long forgotten in New England. What makes them unique, is that they pursue stories connected to mines lost in the forests across the northeast. Some of these tales are connected to important moments in the early history of America. We had such a great time working with them on the Lost cave of Monroe, we already have plans to team up with them on some fascinating projects in 2018.  

Over the years of hunting down mines, they have captured many of their adventure in short documentaries. We thought many of you would find them as interesting as we did, so we’ll be posting them on our blog. Later this year we’ll be posting new videos on the amazing stories we’re working on with them right now.


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Strange New England - Lost Cave of Monroe

1858 Map of MonroeRumors of a lost cave in Monroe Connecticut have circulated for a long time. It has most likely been the inspiration for many young boys to explore the deep forest during those warm summer days. Tradition says that an adventuresome man named sharp stumbled onto a treasure hidden in a hillside of Monroe Connecticut. The story goes on to say that with 400’ of rope, Sharp explored the cave as far as safety would permit. What exactly he saw would remain a mystery. In the 1820s the cave was mined for Silver and limestone, but the ore acquired from it proved to be very poor quality. Eventually the mining ceased.


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