Wednesday, May 23, 2018 Edition: U.S. & World | Regional

You Must Check Out These Unsolved American Mysteries That Rival Stonehenge

Even in these advanced times, there are still mysteries beyond our comprehension. We can cure certain cancers yet have no idea how, why, or by whom, Stonehenge was built. We can transmit invisible signals which somehow appear in our living rooms as The Simpsons, yet the building of the Great Pyramids of Egypt remains a feat of construction still defying any logical explanation.

The unknown origins, how these anomalies were created or why they even exist at all may never be answered by science. Still, lots of inquiring minds would like to know. Since we probably never will, some of us might be satisfied to at least see them with our own eyes, if only to formulate our own personal theories. But they’re all just so darned far away…

Hold your horses. What if you found out there are some pretty strange goings-on right here in America’s own backyard? Places equally as mysterious as the lost secrets of the Mayan civilization, or the real contents of Area 51, or whether or not O.J. really did it.
 

Canyonlands National Park – Utah

Within Canyonlands National Park lies Horshoe Canyon. This is not now, nor to anyone’s knowledge has it ever been, home to any Native-American tribes. Yet there are stone paintings which to the naked untrained eye would initially appear as if they were left behind by America’s original citizens. But a  closer observation will dispell those thoughts and leave you scratching your noggin.
 

The paintings are estimated to be between the very wide range of 2000 – 8000 years old, and not a single thing is known about who left them there, or why. The figures are humanoid in appearance, with some of them even being life-sized. Some of the sketches are simple red silhouettes while others are more intricate and elaborate with an array of colors.

So far these descriptions may have only slightly aroused your curiosity, but hang on. Almost all of the figures lack any defined arms or legs, have great big eyes, and are you ready for this, antennae. Maybe that got your interest.

If you want to see this you’re going to have to work for it. After driving several miles down a pot-holed dirt road, you have to get out and hoof it for a couple of hours. This explains why not many people go to this virtually unknown out of the way destination. If you have no interest in going any place where you can pick up a t-shirt on the way out, aim your vehicle toward Utah. All previous theories border on the ridiculous. Maybe you’ll be the first one to crack the case.
 
Canyonlands National Park   Utah
The Sailing Stones of Death Valley

Death Valley is the driest and lowest area in all of North America. It gets so enormously hot it’s impossible for anything to survive in the cracked scorched good for absolutely nothing, dirt. Hence, the deserts namesake. But, alas! Something does appear to be alive, and no it isn’t the hills. It’s something having no need for food, water, air, or shelter.
 
The Sailing Stones Of Death Valley
The rocks are moving, and they are leaving a trail on the desert floor as proof. Mind you, you’ll be there a long time if you hope to catch them in action. But one wouldn’t expect a rock to move quickly. Some of the rocks only weigh a couple of ounces while others are upwards of hundreds of pounds.

The rocks were deposited there as a result of years of erosion from the surrounding mountains. Since that time some of the larger ones have moved as far as 1500 ft. If a stone has a rough surface, it leaves a straight trail. If it is smooth, it zigs and zags.

In 2014, using time-lag photography, some scientists captured a stones movement for the first time. They had been trying since 1900. There are some complex theories, but they remain theories even to the scientists who have studied them.

It’s only a 1/2 mile hike through intense heat to see the rocks. The path begins two miles south of what is known as the Grandstand area. As one would expect, rangers and scientists ask for the stones, and their trails, to remain undisturbed.
 
The Sailing Stones Of Death Valley
Chaco Canyon – New Mexico

Chaco Canyon should serve as proof positive there was an ancient civilization living in NW New Mexico long before Columbus sailed the ocean blue. By all estimates, the dwellings they mysteriously left behind are thought to have been there since as early as 900 AD. But these weren’t just ordinary dwellings.
 
Chaco Canyon   New Mexico
They were built from stone, unlike the Native-Americans in the nearby areas, and their city spread over a nine-mile area. It appears some of the residents favored the country life as numerous dwellings built in similar fashion have been found as far as 60-miles away. To spice up the mystery, those dwellings are connected to the city via an intricately engineered series of roads.

Hold on to your hat. The largest building had over 800 rooms and was over four-stories tall. Remember. This was 900 AD. They also incorporated astronomical design work into the arrangement of their structures, giving pause to consider extraterrestrial possibilities.

For reasons we will never discover, poof, they vanished. Some believe they meant to come back by the way some the homes were carefully sealed up with clay. But, they never did. They are known as the Anasazi civilization. Will the mystery ever be solved? Probably not. Still, it’s well worth adding to your list of places to visit.
 
Chaco Canyon   New Mexico
Though not as widely publicized as some world-famous mysteries, America owns bragging rights to its own collection of the bizarre, the unusual, and the unexplained. Now that you’ve read about them, you have a good excuse for a road trip. Better gas up.
 

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