#42 – Russell’s Story of the Same Events – 1987

Written by Russell Burrows:

In 1987 I was at the end of my rope or very close to it when some people appeared that gave the project a great lift. It started with the visit of a little hunch-back man named Warren Cook.

Warren was a PhD from Castleton College in Vermont. He was an anthropologist with all kinds of experience and knowledge relating to ancient world diffusion. He was also a close friend and associate of Dr. Barry Fell, the president of the Epigraphic Society, having known him for a number of years.

Accompanying him on the visit was Warren Dexter, an accomplished archaeological photographer who had been all over the world and had worked with Dr. Cook for many, many years. Also on that visit was my good buddy, Virginia Hourigan, who in her spare time had been traveling around the East Coast, bringing the cave to the attention to anyone she encountered.

If I understand and remember the chain of events correctly, Virginia had met Dr. Cook at one of the Early Sites Research Society meetings. She had briefed him on the cave, and shown him her photos. To say that Dr. Cook was interested would be an understatement. Warren Dexter was also at that meeting, so the three of them began to plan a trip to Vincennes to have a look.

On this day I had gone over to prepare for this impending visit. I was not a little surprised to learn from Jack Ward that another supposed scholar was coming the same day, a fellow by the name of Bart Jordan.

About three or four hours prior to the arrival of Cook, Dexter and Virginia, Bart Jordan arrived and all hell broke loose.

It seems that Bart has developed a theory relating to petroglyphs which deals with angles and degrees of angles or something like that. He designed what he calls “templates” which, according to him, should fit any ancient petroglyph. According to him angles were something that were used for a purpose by ancient stone masons, artists and scribes. I don’t profess to understand much about it, but it is something along these lines.

Bart took out this template and began to try to fit his angles to some of our artifacts. Sure enough he found one that fit. It was a stone knife upon which are carved any number of lines and angles.

I managed to get a good look at the template that Bart was using. This will not be an accurate description because this occurred about four years ago and a lot of water has gone under the bridge since then, but the template had a diagonal line from top to bottom and this angle seems to have been between twenty to forty degrees. There were a lot of other lines coming off that base line and it seemed that the lines differed about five degrees or thereabouts. Each one of those lines had a “foot” at its outer-most end which, again, seemed to have a variance of five degrees.

It appeared to me that when you have that many angles connected together that you could make them fit nearly anything.

Now Bart found a fit on that knife and he got pretty excited and immediately began to try to talk me out of it.

“It’s not worth anything,” he said, “Why don’t you give it to me so that I can make a complete study of it?”

There are other ways of doing this, with drawings, photographs, and so on, but he wanted me to give him that knife.

“Not worth anything! My God, the thing is a solid stone knife, handle and all. I think it’s the kind of artifact called monolithic.”

We nixed that idea in a hurry, so Bart made us a very generous offer of twenty bucks.

“Even at that,” he said, “I’m paying about double what it’s worth.”

I was getting a bit tired of this fellow and his assumed superiority and I think he noticed it. He told us if we were ever going to have the stuff from the cave proven, that proof would have to come from him because he was the only one who knew the secret of the ancients and could prove it.

I told him I would consider his proposal and let him know.

It was getting close on to the time when Warren Cook, Warren Dexter and Virginia were to arrive and I noticed that Bart was getting nervous about that.

I suggested that he stick around and present his theory to those folks and see what they thought about it. Bart informed me that they already knew about it and supported it.

After one last attempt to procure the knife, Bart left. He was on his way to New Mexico to use his templates and bestow his knowledge on the archaeologists working a site in some valley there.

Was I through with him? I hoped so but this was not to be: there was another encounter later on.

At the appointed hour, Virginia arrived, and the two Warrens (as they had come to be called). When I told them that they had just missed Bart Jordan they all perked up quite noticeably.

“What did he want?” Virginia asked. I told the three of them about his visit, what happened and what he wanted.

Virginia is a woman who can be impressed with the kind of program such as Bart was using. She didn’t think I had handled the situation quite as I should have. That is another one of Virginia’s traits, you can’t do it right unless she tells you how to do it. The two Warrens were sure, however, that I had done the right thing. They didn’t trust Bart.

On that subject, Virginia was to “see the light” later on in the same year. That revelation would come with the loss of one of the artifacts that we had given her.

The meeting that followed was one of pure joy when compared to some that I had attended in connection with this adventure. There were no hidden hooks or barbs, no trick questions which were intended to “trip me up,” just a pleasant meeting with a good exchange of information.

Without attempting to say everything that went on at that meeting it should suffice to say Dr. Cook came, he saw, he was satisfied. He told me there was just no doubt in his mind that these artifacts were authentic. He said that anyone who doubted it didn’t know what they were talking about.

Well, now, that was something. I was just about ready to turn away from the situation when here comes a fellow with all of the right qualifications who tells me I’m not a fraud; something I already knew but couldn’t seem to get others to believe.

Dr. Cook even went so far as to say that I had made the most important discovery on this continent. Whoa, now. That gave me a scare. I am not looking for publicity. I don’t want to be a hero. All I want to do now is to prove that I am not trying to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes.

About this time, the other shoe was dropped. Would I consider taking one of those two to the cave?

I knew that sooner or later I was going to have to do that so I told them I would try to get permission. It was decided that if I could get permission, Warren Dexter, the elderly photographer, would be the one to go.

That evening I contacted the gentleman who owned the cave property. After explaining that I thought it was time to take someone there and these seemed to be the proper people, I was granted permission.

“Just don’t try to take the old fellow inside,” I was told.

I called Warren his motel and informed him it was a “go” and that we would be making the trip the next morning. I told him I would be picking him up in Vincennes and that we would go from there.

“Just be prepared for a mighty hard walk.” I said. The next morning we made the trip.

Warren Dexter was mighty excited about making the trip, but after walking about half of the way into the cave I had the idea that maybe he had regretted coming. I noticed that he was really huffing and puffing.

When I asked him if he was having trouble he informed me that he had emphysema!

“My God,” I thought, “What if he kicks the bucket in here and I have to get the sheriff and everyone else to come and get him.”

It was a sobering thought. We slowed down, took it easy and old Warren came through just fine.

He exposed several photos and got a first-class tour of the valley.

Was he impressed? You bet he was. He left the valley without a doubt that the cave was there. He took pictures of its entrance.