Monday, April 23, 2012

Ogham inscriptions in Colorado

In 1975, historian Dr. Donald G. Rickey (1925 - 2000) was investigating the site of an 1868 battle which took place between soldiers of the 7th US Cavalry and a raiding party of Cheyenne warriors at Hackberry Springs, in Colorado.

At the time, Dr. Rickey was the Chief Historian for the Bureau of Land Management (part of the US Department of the Interior), and had a personal interest in the battle in that one of the two 7th Cavalry troopers killed in the battle was his ancestor Sam Rickey.

While at the site, Dr. Rickey discovered groove marks which he initially called "spear-sharpening marks." However, as circumstance would have it, he traveled to Scotland only a few weeks later, where he happened to visit a museum displaying the distinctive grooved writing system known as Ogham or Ogam, used by the Celts and found in throughout the British Isles, mainly in Ireland but also in England, Wales and Scotland, almost always in the form of grooves carved into stones.

He immediately suspected that the rock inscriptions he had seen in southern Colorado might be an example of this same writing system. Dr. Rickey returned to the site with other researchers over the next two years, and eventually contacted Dr. Barry Fell (1917 - 1994), a Harvard professor and the author of the controversial America BC, first published in 1976. Professor Fell agreed that the inscriptions were likely an example of Ogham, and of the older "all-consonant" variety which seems to prevail in the Americas.

Dr. Rickey submitted the site for consideration for recognition of its historic significance, but his mention of the possibility that the rock art might be Ogham elicited a swift and contemptuous response from his archaeological colleagues, as described in the short video clip above. The full text of the memos and letters between the defenders of the orthodox view of history (which does not admit to the possibility of ancient trans-oceanic travel) can be seen here.

The tone of these letters is revealing. Dr. Stuart Piggott of the University of Edinburgh (to whom the Chief Archaeologist of the National Park Service wrote upon learning of Dr. Rickey's heretical suggestion) wrote back to say "I have just heard of this and have no doubt that it is not just the fringe but hard-core lunacy. I am astonished that anyone, particularly a historian, should have fallen for it" (see page 3 of the online pdf linked above; that pdf also contains a photograph of the inscriptions on page 6).

Unfortunately, this type of refusal to consider the evidence typifies so much of the academic response to the suggestion that some of their foundational assumptions might not match the evidence.

There is extensive evidence of Ogham writing in the Americas. One excellent book detailing Ogham inscriptions in the Colorado region (and surrounding areas, where ancient waterways might have led trans-Atlantic voyagers as seen in this video) is the Colorado Ogam Album, by Donald L. Cyr (1994). That volume contains one hundred eighty high-quality photographs of such inscriptions from an area of about two hundred miles in diameter. Donald Cyr published a discussion of these important New World inscriptions in 1997 in Atlantis Rising (article here).

As this blog has pointed out many times before, the alleged Ogham inscriptions (and evidence of other Old World writing systems appearing in the New World, such as the Micmac hieroglyphs) are by no means the only "data point" which points to the conclusion that mankind's ancient history is radically different from what is being taught in universities (and defended with such smugness by professors such as the professor quoted above). For a list of other forms of evidence (with links to discussions of each), see this previous post. And that list is by no means exhaustive, either.

Sadly, the refusal of the conventional academic and archaeological community to countenance the possibility that these inscriptions might be important clues to a more accurate understanding of the ancient past acts to prevent their study and preservation, and strongly discourages large numbers of academics with expertise in Ogham from hazarding a translation of any of them, for fear that they will be branded a "hard-core lunatic" (or worse).