Oct 29-10

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2010: October: Oct 29-10
Rock pile art    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Ashley Stelmack
Natural drawing    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by David Woon
Mystery carving    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Eric & Gayle Stewart

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Friday, October 29, 2010 - 06:24 am:

Three different Pasty Camists here today, with rock photos taken up in the Copper Harbor area. They all depict a different form of art either manmade or produced by nature. Ashley Stelmack starts us off with a shot of someone's creation on the rocky shores of Horseshoe Harbor. If I'm not mistaken, I think this is what's called a cairn, which folks build for a variety of reasons to mark a particular spot. The next photo was snapped by David Woon in the Hunter's Point area and is a great example of the artwork that nature turns out without even trying. Almost looks like the circular lines could be sandstone running through that rock, making a somewhat plain stone, much more interesting. But the most intriguing of the three photos today was taken by Eric and Gayle Stewart who went on a mission up near Horseshoe Harbor to find this particular rock carving, called a petroglyph. At first glance it just looks like a rock with some chips in it and moss growing on it, but look a little closer and you can see a sailing boat has been carved into the stone. Eric relates this story about finding the rock:

My wife, Gayle, saw a program on The History Channel called "The Holy Grail in America", in which there was a brief segment on a carving found in the Keweenaw. She decided to make it her mission this year to find the carving. On the day we went out there we first ran into an MTU geology class on a field trip to Horseshoe Harbor. One of the students helped us pin it down further. Then, as we started into the woods, another couple were also going in. The young man had been visiting the carvings all of his life and led us right to them. We never would have found it otherwise.
What a great treasure hunt, it would be quite interesting to learn more about the origin of this piece of Keweenaw art.
Linda Ledford (Linda) on Friday, October 29, 2010 - 06:56 am:

I have been to the Keweenaw many, many times but have never heard of the carvings. I sure would love to see them.

By Donna (Donna) on Friday, October 29, 2010 - 07:08 am:

There are many petroglyphs in the Keweenaw, and there's been some mighty interesting finds up there. I've not seen the petroglyphs, but I've seen pictures. My bro found a very interesting rock up there as well. (Link to the gallery)

The Ancient American Artifact Preservation Society is interested in this as well, and they have info on their site:

There have been a number of remarkable finds!

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Friday, October 29, 2010 - 07:34 am:

Very cool pictures!!!

By Pat & Glenda (Gormfrog) on Friday, October 29, 2010 - 07:47 am:

The worker uses hands,
the craftsman uses hands and head,
but the artist uses hands, head and heart.

By Alex "UP-Goldwinger" (Alex) on Friday, October 29, 2010 - 07:52 am:

Nice...hope to get to Horseshoe in the future.

By Cindy, New Baltimore, MI (Cindy) on Friday, October 29, 2010 - 08:00 am:

What interesting pictures today. I have always been fascinated with rocks, especially those along Lake Superior. I love the petroglyph. It must have been very exciting to see that.

By gretchen arnold (Garnold) on Friday, October 29, 2010 - 08:03 am:

Wow this is awesome! Can't wait to try and find these. Very interesting.

By Jo Lorichon (Thrutheeye) on Friday, October 29, 2010 - 09:12 am:

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE follow the rules of petroglyph etiquette when searching for and finding this and any other 'glyphs.

We of AAPS are concerned that more people who come to the site will mean additional damage to the site and glyphs.

If you DO bring people to see the Keweenaw Glyphs or others, please talk about petroglyph etiquette, (publish in your newsletter if you have one) and get a commitment from all involved before going there:
1. Do not touch the glyphs with your hands or tools.
2. Do not remove any surface lichen or soil or anything adhered to the area.
3. Do not add oil, moisture or chalk or anything to highlight the lines. If you need improved visibility, add angled light from a strong battery-powered flashlight or visit very early or very late in the day when shadows are greater.
4. Do not add your own marks on any nearby surfaces as this encourages others to defile the surfaces. Irreversible damage is now being done to the site by those who do not understand the etiquette or value of these ancient markings.
All of these actions either deteriorate the markings, or make them less "readable" by scientific professionals.
5. HONOR the original makers of the marks, whomever they may be, and tread lightly over the entire area…do not walk on any of the mosses and lichens.
6. Do not spread directions to the location indiscriminately and when there, do not make it obvious that a group is visiting the site.
Park cars away from the entrance. Let passers-by think you are visiting the harbor on down the road...or picking berries, etc.
8. Do not remove any portion of the glyphs themselves. If you must take a sample of the stone for testing, pick up a loose one a distance away from the images.
7. As they say in national parks: Take only pictures and leave only footprints (and those, very carefully and thoughtfully)

Since the TV show there have been hundreds of people crawling all over the site and some have started scratching into the glyphs -- an act that will forever alter what was made possibly a few thousand years ago. I'll post examples. Also, please remember that the 'glyphs are on private property. The place has an amazing collection of lichen and moss that are being trampled into oblivion.
All I can say is that we are lucky to have some great pix from the site because they are being destroyed by those who don't know how to treat them and the site.
Please share this etiquette info. And take a look at the photos I am posting now.

By Shirley Waggoner (Shirlohio) on Friday, October 29, 2010 - 09:25 am:

Very interesting rocks! Pat & Glenda (Gormfrog), I like your quote. Very touching and true!

By Joy Brewer (Joy) on Friday, October 29, 2010 - 11:44 am:

Jo, I know what you mean about having additional damage to the site and glyphs. I want to share with you all about an experience that occurred with my dear friend of forty-one years family. Sherry’s family’s has a ranch in Choteau, Montana, and they had allowed a family friend to go and collect fossils off their ranch to sell in a local rock store. A visitor, who came to the community, was interested in a particular fossil, and the family friend took him to the site where she found the specimens. The next thing the family had on their door step was a group of university faculty, who wanted to further explore the site. To make a long story short, Maiasaura peeblesorum was the result of this archaeological find, and thus the name Peeblesorum, which honors the Peebles family on whose property the discoveries were made. After the film, Jurassic Park was made the family had bus loads of people wanting to tour private land. The family livelihood (cattle ranching) was being disrupted by individuals who did not respect their privacy or property.

It happened again, when this family opened their door to an English writer who wanted to write a novel about ranching etc. The book, “The Horse Whisper,” became a best seller, and the film industry wanted to film the movie on the ranch. After experiencing what happen because of Egg Mountain, the answer , of course, was no.

I appreciate people being made aware of these sites, but there are times that we need to find ways to protect our sites from unscrupulous individuals.

By Sharon I. Smith (Sharons) on Friday, October 29, 2010 - 12:18 pm:

Jo, thanks so much for your post. We who live in the Copper Harbor area were outraged when we heard about the desecration of the petroglyphs and destruction of the surroundings. Our livings depend upon tourists, and we like having them come, but the last I heard there was a giant conspiracy in the area to try to keep the location of the petroglyphs a secret. Let's hope we can protect them.

By Wes Scott (Travelnorth) on Friday, October 29, 2010 - 01:14 pm:

That is truly sad that people would do damage to things. I don't understand that sort of thinking. Why would you travel to a great area and feel the need to do that. I'm sure it's only a few ignorant souls. This site is fantastic, I have learned so much history and enjoy the Keweenaw so much more due to it. The U.P is a treasure and I guess some of it has to be hidden from people to protect it.

By JH (Thumbgardener) on Friday, October 29, 2010 - 05:34 pm:

There is a state park in the thumb with petroglyphs. This area was discovered after the great fires of 1871 and 1881. I've read that there has been damage from people and the weather. A large pavilion has been built over it and fenced in.

I found this site with some good pictures to see enlarged if you click on one to see a slide show.

Here is the state website:

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Friday, October 29, 2010 - 08:33 pm:

Great photos today! We are actually on the road tonight, spending the night in Raton, NM on our way to Denver for a geologic conference. Since Dr. Nat and I are both a little slap-happy from a long (14+ hour) drive, my comments will be short tonight.

Mary: You are correct in calling them a cairn. Usually they are used to mark trails where trees are not available, but people create them for many reasons. Some a very elaborate as well; we saw some in Newfoundland that were just spectacular.

The second photo exhibits something called liesegang rings or banding. Liesegang banding refers to parallel bands of precipitate formed by diffusion along a single chemical gradient during one event. What's seen in the rock record often consists of sets of irregularly concentric iron bands, with different sets of bands quite frequently oriented in different directions, and showing cross-cutting and dissolution of older sets. Iron banding in the rock record is clearly the result of numerous precipitation events over long periods of time by moving groundwater. Iron mineralization along these bands appears to be induced by the presence of either a redox interface (change from reducing to oxidizing conditions in the groundwater) or a pH interface (change in acidity).

The third photo...... well, I have the feeling most people aren’t going to like my response to that carving, but in my opinion, it is fake!!! Yes, I said it. Studies have been done by “real” professionals on carvings that were allegedly done by Vikings, Irish explorers, etc... in the Great Lakes Region. All of the highly respected archeologists who have looked at such carvings have determined that they are forgeries or fakes; i.e., they were created within the past 150 years, not thousands of years ago as some groups would like to wish. No reputable scientific studies, meaning studies by professional archeologists that have been subjected to rigorous peer review by other professionals, have ever shown any evidence of cultures other than Paleo-Indians in the Great Lakes Region. In fact, a recent article in Archeology magazine even stated that the History Channel's take stands out by elevating a dense web of improbable theories to the level of accepted science. I have my suspicions that these carvings, just as with the Kensington Runestone, are fakes.

So much for a short comment.... ;-)

By Wes Scott (Travelnorth) on Friday, October 29, 2010 - 10:56 pm:

What a great posting Captain! I was on Hunter's point this summer and wondered what cauused those rings to be formed in the rocks. I must get on the Isle Royale Queen this next year. I've wondered if those carvings could be fake or not? There are alot of books and programs on History Channel constantly speculating about it all. Either way it's interesting. It all adds to the lore of Copper Harbor and the Keweenaw. And Grandpa's Barn book store! You should build a web site for books! I bought many this summer and went to see if you were online and I don't see it.

By Diane Miller Wallace (Sage) on Saturday, October 30, 2010 - 01:20 am:

Capt Paul, I'm glad you brought up the idea that the petroglyph is a fake. I thought the same when I saw it. It is too bad people think they need to invent history when the real history is more interesting. I'm ashamed to say that I grew up in Copper Harbor and never heard of them.

By Jim (Keweenawpress) on Saturday, October 30, 2010 - 07:25 am:

I prefer an open minded approach to our history. I've seen too many "scientists" push theory as fact and too many "alternative history" folks push rumors and garbled stories as science.
"Petroglyph" just means "rock carving", eh? If someone represents the ones near Copper Harbor as being made by prehistoric native peoples, vikings or oompa loompas without supporting evidence, then that *representation* is unsupported or "fake". The carvings are real. Even if someone carved them 100 years or 5 years ago they are a real part of our Copper Country history. Let's preserve and protect them.

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Saturday, October 30, 2010 - 09:06 am:

Don't get me wrong, I believe they should be preserved without regards to age as well. As you pointed out Jim, the carvings are real no matter who made them or when. My point is I (or Dr. Nat, who is more of the archeologist than I am) haven't seen any professional peer reviewed evidence to suggest these were made by ancient explorers to the region.

And thanks Jim; I'm still laughing about the thought of an ancient race of oompa loompas wandering the world....

By Shirley Waggoner (Shirlohio) on Saturday, October 30, 2010 - 09:23 am:

On 'protected areas'.....once when my husband and I were visiting the Sequoyah Natl. Park in Calif., we saw a youngster (9-10yrs old) who had picked up a very large pine cone as a keepsake but a ranger in the vicinity saw him and told him he had to put it back! We sorta thought that was carrying things to the extreme but later learned that "nothing" can be removed from National Parks!

By Ingvar Rurikovich (Ingvar) on Saturday, April 6, 2013 - 08:09 pm:

The reason that peer reviewed studies of Pre-
Columbian explorations in the Great lakes have
never proved that any Europeans visited this
region become the arrival of the French Fur
Traders is that NO professional archaeologist has
ever bothered to study the existing evidence. If
an archaeologist was bold enough to break the
taboos and look at the evidence, not only would
his/her career be ruined, but his/her findings
would NEVER be published by any serious journal.
That is why "peer review" exists; to prevent the
study of anything truly new in our conception of
the past.
The Kensington Runestone has been proven authentic
10 times over and this carving of a "sailboat" MAY
prove to be a rendition of a Norse Knarr. If we
refuse to consider the possibilties, we will never
learn anything new about our past.

Powered by:  
Join Today!
Each day the Pasty Cam has 2 areas to post messages: 
  • Cam Notes - comments related to today's picture and discussion
  • What'sUP - other topics, conversation and announcements
  • *** Please use the appropriate forum ***
    Here's a list of messages posted in the past 24 hours
    See our guest photo gallery for more great views from the U.P.

    Add a Message

    A user/password combination is now required to post messages to Cam Notes. Registration is free. Click here to register or maintain your I.D.

    Home | Pasty Cam | Contest | Order Now | Bridge Cam | Past-E-Mail | GP Hall of Fame | Making Pasties | Questions