#53 – Back to a Former Problem – 1987

Written by Russell Burrows:

I will continue with the account of my contacts with Bart Jordan, the archaeologist:

After Bart had left Vincennes and continued on his journey to New Mexico, accompanied by one of the sweetest young ladies I have ever had the pleasure to meet, I forgot about him. That was not easy to do because Virginia had told me all about him, when she arrived in Vincennes.

On her first visit, Virginia was given several artifacts, as I said before. It seems that somehow or other, Bart had talked her out of one small one. If I recall correctly, she told me that he wanted to do some kind of study on it. Virginia had been trying to get the thing back for some months when Bart left New York without returning it. That also explained why he did not want to be there when the two Warrens and Virginia arrived the same day. He told her earlier that he had mailed it to her and she would find it in her mail when she got back to New York in the fall. It wasn’t there.

A month or two later I was awakened by a call from Bart in New Mexico. The time was five or six o’clock in the morning. Bart was calling to see if I had been able to change Jack Ward’s mind about giving him that knife. I want to tell you that I was just a little put out at his calling me at that hour, but I bit my tongue and heard him out.

He was absolutely convinced that I would not only supply him with artifacts, he also expected me to turn over the cave to him.

“Oh boy,” I said to myself, “here we go again.”

I told him that I doubted that we were interested in doing that. I got the old college try. Oh boy, did I ever get it!

Bart told me that he was the only chance that I would have at proving the cave.

“I am the only one capable of understanding it,” he said. That is exactly what he said.

I had grown tired of hearing that kind of stuff and I told him so.

The next day he called again, this time collect. I accepted the charges because I knew he was not well off; I could see that when we met in Vincennes. What did he want? The same old thing.

Between those two telephone calls, which were a day apart, I was suspicious about his work out there in New Mexico. I remembered that he had told me he was doing some kind of linear survey for the government. I called the various state and federal agencies involved in the “Valley of Fire,” which was where he told me that he was working. They had never heard of him, plain and simple.

When Bart called the next day, collect, I laid it on him. I told him that as far as I was concerned, he was a bold-faced liar. I told him that I knew he was not on a job out there.” (I have since found out that he actually was on a job there.)

He got so upset with me that he hung up. At least I got him out of my hair, I thought to myself.

Just a few minutes later he called again and said that he had gotten permission to take me out in the desert on the job; then I could see how important he was.

“Just get on flight so and so,” he said, “and someone will meet you here at the airport and bring you out to where I am.”

“Who will meet me?” I asked.

“A government official,” was the reply.

“OK,” I answered.

Later on in the day, I checked with the airline and was told that no one had requested any information on Russ Burrows. If I had done as he wanted I probably would have gotten into a real pickle.

Sometime in September or possibly October of the same year, I got a call from some friends here in Olney. They also had some of the cave artifacts. They had a really strange tale to tell me.

It seems that a big cattle rancher from New Mexico had stopped in to see their artifacts. He actually threatened them. I have forgotten just what was said to them, but he gave them a good scare. It was something to the effect that the artifacts they had in their possession were stolen, and that I had been the guilty person and they were in trouble.

This visit had occurred just a few minutes before they called me, so I asked for a description of the guy, figuring that I would pass it on to the local police while the trail was still hot. Maybe if they could pick up whomever it was, we could find out just what was going on.

“He’s about your height but a little heavier or stockier and wears glasses.” Then they said something else about him which, for the life of me, I can’t remember any more, but it sure did ring a bell.

“Wait a minute, was he wearing real thick glasses and something about his hair?” I asked.

“Yes, that’s him,” I was told.

“My God,” I said to myself, “That’s Bart Jordan.” Then I gave them a good description of him, including the car he was driving, which was an old green Oldsmobile.

“Yes, that’s him,” they said.

What he was trying to accomplish with that act, I have no idea. Even to this day I don’t know what that was all about and when I did contact him in New York, he denied it.

A few days later, however, I received in the mail, from Bart, a photograph of my home. I don’t see how there can be any doubt that he did it, but I sure don’t know why. I’m going to have to leave that to someone else who knows him better than I; maybe they’ll have an answer.