Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

In Research Of

Oct 20, 2019

Explicit Tag - this episode contains strong language. 

We are joined by Dr. Ken Feder to discuss Mystery Hill (aka America's Stonehenge) and the idea that this New Hampshire set of stone structures might have been built by ancient Phoenicians or medieval Europeans.  (It wasn't.)

Episode on YouTube

Weirdly topical, as we prepared this episode the Mystery Hill site was vandalized with #QAnon themed graffiti, carved into the stonework. 

(Image source: Union Leader) Vandalism spells #WWG1WGA - "where we go one, we go all" a well known QAnon motto.

Show Notes:

Episode opens with visual revisit of Bimini (see Atlantis in previous episodes).

Brief discussion of Nominative Determinism around the current owners of the site having the last name Stone.

Re: Stonehenge

Hans Holzer wrote and produced (and starred in) this episode. A prolific writer about ghosts and the paranormal, he also wrote extensively about alt-archaeology. He billed himself as "Dr. Hans Holzer" but his degree appears to have come from a British diploma mill. 

You can read a posthumous critique of Holzer's work here by Dr. Joe Nickell, noted skeptic. 

Barry Fell was a zoologist turned amateur "archaeologist." His work on pre-Columbian North America is wildly unscientific and brutally criticized by actual archaeologists.

Much ado is made of the tale of Bjarni Herjolfsson (but the timeline and story are muddled).

There is a painful amount of euro-centric "moundbuilder myth" pseudo-archaeology in this episode.  This is the idea that the mound builders could not have been the Native Americans that the colonists encountered but must have been some other (read that as "white") lost civilization. 

The simple stone site of Mystery Hill is compared to the ancient site of Knossos.

Visually, there is not much similarity. 

Legitimate excavations at Mystery Hill were conducted by Gary Vescelius (obit).

Vescelius, Gary S. 1956 Excavations at Pattee’s Caves. Bulletin of the Eastern States Archaeological Federation 15:13–14.

While registered as a student at Michigan, Vescelius conducted  archaeological research that is still cited. This took place in the area  of Pattee’s Caves near Salem, New Hampshire. Patee’s Caves are also  known as “Mystery Hill” and “The American Stonehenge” because of claims  that some three thousand years ago ancient Europeans settled in the area  and created megalithic structures and astronomical alignments (Feder 1999: 113–122; Fell 2004 [1976]: 81–91).  To test these claims, Vescelius was hired by The Early Sites  Foundation, an organization that controlled Pattee’s Caves. He excavated  chambers purported to be ancient and demonstrated that the buildings  were constructed and used in the first half of the nineteenth century (Feder 1999: 117–118; Vescelius n.d., 1956a, 1956b, 1982–1983).  Although Vescelius no doubt displeased his employers, it is greatly to  his credit that he tackled a controversial problem regarding  transoceanic contacts and reported his findings frankly. He retained his  interest in debunking claims of early European colonization until the  end of his life (Vescelius 1980a; 1982–1983).


Discount Info for Ken's Archaeological Oddities book.  Code is RLFANDF30 if you order off the publisher's site and use the coupon code.