I asked for it, didn’t I?

A torrent of new photos has filled the Lorelei’s mailroom—many, many more cameos to come. Thanks, everyone!


Mystery Dreaming

Megaliths and Standing Stones in America

Now here’s a little Hudson Valley mystery:

“Balanced Rock” stands there to the side of a road, in North Salem, NY.  For those of you who are into the X-Men, it’s the location of Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. As for this stone, well the jury is out. It joins hundreds of standing rocks, stone chambers (so-called root-cellars) in New York and New England.

Kent Cliffs, NY chamber, photo by Edward Bochnak, swiped from NEARA

Some of them have become tourist attractions, like “Gungywamp” in Connecticut or “America’s Stonehenge” (curiously, in another North Salem, in New Hampshire), but a great many lie forgotten in forests and fields.

An intriguing guided tour with beautiful photos by one Brad Olsen is available here.

A formation at Gungywamp, photo by Brad Olsen

Theories have sprouted through the ages to explain many of these astronomically aligned stone formations. Ancestors of the known Native American tribes? Mysterious Celtic or other ancient visitors pre-dating Columbus?

There’s one book that makes a case for some interesting, unconventional history: America B. C. There are also all manner of hucksters peddling nonsense, as always.

But it’s fascinating when linguists study Native American languages and find evidence of not only Celtic words, but Phoenician and Egyptian words in the fabric of their speech.

And back to the Hudson, as always: the Oneida Nation, one of the six Iroquois speaking nations, once flourished all over New York.

“Oneida” means “People of the Standing Stone.”