In upstate New York, 30 miles west of Syracuse, sits Owasco Lake, fourth in the westward chain of Finger Lakes across the heart of NY. At its north end, a stream carries Owasco water north to Lake Ontario, last in a string of Great Lakes issuing from the heart of the continent. The Finger Lakes are the gateway into North America's interior—boundary between Ontario Lake Plain and Appalachian highlands to the south.
corner of West Genesee & Fort Streets
As it flows north, Owasco Outlet soon turns west for nearly two miles before flowing north again. Along this short bend in the Owasco stream, in the last 200 years, the small, quiet city of Auburn has sprung up. On the highest point of land south of this westward bend, surrounded on all sides by Auburn, is Osco, a prehistoric "Indian mound"—silent witness to an ancient and forgotten age of human history.
|The Logan Obelisk
The Tale of Logan
At Osco, the main mound's summit is enclosed by a low earthwork ring. At its center is a "ceremonial alter"—a 4-foot rise of earth, 25 feet across. From this rises a 70-foot oblisk of native limestone, erected in 1854 by the Fort Hill Cemetery Association, with a white marble plaque, on which is embossed a mysterious query:
Who is there to mourn for
Logan was the last chief of the Cayuga village at Osco. His father was Shikellimus, a sachem who represented Cayuga Nation to the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Grand Council. Because of his trust and friendship with Europeans, Shikellimus had his son born and baptized a Christian, and Logan grew up with many close relations with white hunters, traders and settlers.
During Revolutionary, some Senecas and Mohawks fought with the British, while Oneidas and Cayugas sided with colonial rebels. Logan remained steadfast in his commitment to peace, and counseled the Confederacy to remain neutral in the bloody war.
When the Cayugas ceded their lands in 1789, Logan moved his family to northwest Pennsylvania, then later to the Ohio Valley. It was there tragedy struck. Troops commanded by Colonel Cresap ambushed a party of peaceful Cayugas in a mistaken belief they were hostiles. All the Cayugas were massacred, including all of Logan's family—women and children included.
Hearing of his family's massacre, Logan became a warrior, joined rebellious tribes, and fought against whites in many battles. At the treaty to negociate peace between tribes and whites, Logan refused to attend, but sent a message. All who heard it were so greatly moved it was passed by word-of-mouth, and eventually written down.
at the end of
Lord Dunmore's War
|[Some doubt this speech's authenticity, but the version below was transcribed in Thomas Jefferson's Notes on Virginia]|
I appeal to any white to say, if ever he entered Logan's cabin hungry, and he gave him not meat: if he ever came cold and naked, and he clothed him not.
During the course of the last long bloody war, Logan remained idel in his cabin, an advocate for peace. Such was my love or the whites, hat my countrymen pointed as they passed, and said “Logan is the friend of white men."
I had even thought to have lived with you, but for the injuries of one man. Colonel Cresap, last spring, in cold blood, and unprovoked, murdered all the relations of Logan; not even sparing my women and children.
There runs not a drop of my blood in the veins of any living creature. This called on me for revenge. I have sought it. I have killed many. I have fully glutted my vengeance.
For my country, I rejoice at the beams of peace. But do not harbor a thought that mine is the joy of fear. Logan never felt fear. He will not turn on his hel to save his life.
Who is there to mourn for Logan?
This extensive earthwork complex continues to speak silently in language no one today can hear or understand, reminding us of past civilizations who left no written record of their culture and history. Amid a modern bustling urban center, the continuing presence and preservation of this relic from beyond the dawn of history gives us pause to wonder at mysteries still embedded in the human mind—like roots disappearing into dark soil.
And Osco is only one piece of a gigantic puzzle spread across all of North America—and our entire planet. Written in stone and earth constructions of modest to massive proportions, these and many other timeless relics express a pattern in our unknown past which touches every continent and culture.
From the very first, my visits to Osco were touched with an aura of mystery. Each encounter revealed startling insights about our Earth, the natural world and our ancient human cultures.
In 1985, on my first hike to Osco's summit, I encountered an old rotting stump thickly overgrown with pink yarrow. To a dowser such as myself, yarrow is a "power plant" which grows in at special "high energy" spots. Yarrow's dense presence announced a crossing of earth energy meridians at that stump.
Five feet from this patch of pink yarrow, a huge fountain of water rose from deep in the Earth to within 200 feet of the surface of Osco's carefully terraced terrain.
But this mystery whispered more deeply than the similarity to my own name, or discoveries of a dowser. For yarrow is a plant with spiritual qualities—a healer's plant, and a tool for divination. The oldest written text in human memory—the I Ching, from China—is an ancient oracle consulted by counting 50 yarrow stalks into spaces between your fingers.
On the other side, beyond the stump, grew an eight foot circle of wild thyme in full bloom with tiny leaves and even more minute lavender flowers. This, too, is a dowser's "power plant" to mark where a vortex of "earth energy" touches down to Earth.
These discoveries were but the first drops of what became a steady rain of learning and surprise.
I've studied Osco Indian Mound in Auburn, NY since the spring of 1985, slowly surveying its visible topographies, and mapping its hidden features. My work included extensive mapping, photography, field experiments, vegetation and wildlife observation, and historical research.
As a dowser, I also examined and mapped the subterranean flows of primary water under Osco mound, and also the web of "earth energy" meridians and vortexes woven around the site.
On December 5, 1986, a low altitude flight over Osco in a single engine plane yielded useful aerial photos of the Mound, including the one at left. However, I failed to see what I sought, so a second airplane overflight occurred on April 13, 1987. These aerial activities confirmed Osco is actually a cluster of mounds, which are themselves focal points for a vast web of forces in the land.
As a remanent of an ancient culture which flourished and vanished centuries ago, Osco's massive size alone challenges our imagination to comprehend the technology which enabled an ancient people to constuct such a gigantic complex on the local terrain. Its careful, detailed design suggest some mysterious and vital purpose impelled its creation. Perhaps more than chance allowed Osco to be preserved while the city of Auburn surrounded it and crowded onto its lower slopes.
A startling intelligence is implied by the patterns written into Osco's geographic, geologic and geomantic features. Such remarkable wisdom require us to reassess our ideas of ancient culture. Builders of this complex earthworks weren't simple savages, but possessed a sophisticated and subtle knowledge. To unravel the mystery of this ancient culture by studying Osco's design became a special challenge for me.
Clearly, Osco not only marks, but in some subtle way alters a unique place of natural power in the Finger Lakes. It's silent presence on the northwest Owasco Lake plain speaks of a forgotten past shrouded in mystery. The orderly intelligence of its geometry hints at a sophisticated technology which is unknown today. Our ignorance of its purpose and design reveals lost awareness of Nature's power—and our relationship to Nature.
My growing conviction is that Osco is but one site in a vast network of sites that spans the entire Finger Lakes—and most likely beyond. The technology which underlies its design and function has much in common with Stonehenge, New Grange, Silbury Hill, and other antiquarian megaliths in Old Worlde Europe. These constructions seem to employ a common technology which is in near total eclipse in our modern era. Implicit in this technology is a cosmology that identifies our human place amid the Earth's natural order.
Early on Sunday, March 29, 1985, three of us spent several hours investigating the Mound. The main event was a solar eclipse which reached its peak at 7:30 am. During most of the hour from 7 to 8 am, at regular intervals of time, we measured the width of "earth energy" channels on the very top of Osco, and also waterflow in veins under the Mound.
Our unusual investigation was prompted by an article by a report in the November, 1986 American Society of Dowsers Digest. In the report entitled New Concepts in Earth Mysteries, one doweser wrote that during a solar eclipse, what dowsers refer to as an "earth energy meridian" shrank, and nearly disappeared for perhaps ten minutes at the peak of the eclipse. We were at Osco that March morning to test her observations. We not only confirmed, but expanded on the findings. We independently observed and corroborated that during an eclipse both earth energy meridians and waterflows decline by 90%.
On April 13, 1987 I collected data during a lunar eclipse at 8:14 pm EST. My measurements showed similar response, but with significant variations. They also revealed unusual behavior at Osco, hinting at a more complex structure and function to Osco's design. At this report's end, I describe data of three eclipses, and offer tentative conclusions about their implications.
After those events, I began a more intensive schedule of investigations, including weekly visits to record further measurements and to explore new aspects of Osco's topography. These visits continued until midsummer of 1987. During this time, my discoveries became so startling that I accepted the necessity of creating a written record of them for others to study, follow, test, and expand on.
Sunday, June 14, one week before Summer Solstice, I was at Osco at sunset, at the Nipple deep in the Hollow. From this center of the Mound's inner recess, I observed the last red rays of the setting sun light up a monument. Could Osco have had a calendar function also? Could it's design mark sunset points at certain times of the year? It would be neither unusual nor extraordinary, but rather elementary for an ancient society to mark solar movements that foretell changing seasons. Possible astronomical alignments and function needs more investigation.
It's inevitable a report such as this includes theories and speculations. And there's a lot to speculate on: its design, origin and function, as well as general theory on dowsing, what it reveals and implications of all this for modern humanity. In my writing, I try to confine my musings to specific sections and leave observed facts to stand alone and speak for themselves.
Fort Hill Cemetery, Auburn, NY