Correction of Vandalism Caused by White Men
at Serpent Mound, Adams County, Ohio

Aerial pictures in April 1994 and satellite pictures in false-color in September 1994 for the Serpent Mount Disturbance reveal an astonishing story about changes made in the builder’s design giving back before its dedication in April 1057 but mostly by white men since 1800.

Gold seeking vandals tore down a conical pile of burnt stones before 1845. This was the high point at the effigy. The villain of the drama played out in the sky at the western horizon in April to July 1054. This star, supernova Crab Nebula had a spectacular oval halo when it was visible in Ohio April 11 -19, 1054.

In his restoration of Serpent Mound after use as a corn field in the 1880s, Putnam (1889/1890) did not disturb the clay base for the pile of stones. His picture at ground level from the west end shows it topped by long grass and a twig or sapling inside the oval. As of now, this the star of the show, has been entirely removed and replaced by a bush.

Putnam built up the stardog outside the west end of the halo, too high. Squier and Davis (1848) did not show it. They may have considered it stones that the mound builder could not remove, but it should be lower because stardogs would be dimmer like sundogs to the sun.

Michael C. Hansen (1998) on the inside of the back cover following p. 56 gives a satellite picture in infrared false color taken in September 1994 by LANDSAT Thermatic Mapper. When enlarged 4X the vegetation (red) shows Putnam’s stardog and two more inside that were not built up.

Putnam made the snake’s mouth a little larger than Squier and Davis, but in the 20th century it grew to double its size in 1890. Assuming a curvature that is a physical impossibility for a comet.

In fact, the head grew so wide that the LANDSAT picture now reveals the two triangles that Putnam did not restore. These point as they should at less than 90° to the sun, not 110 or 125° as the so-called "accurate" surveys show for the imaginary snake’s horns.

Clinton Cowen, a certified engineer from Cincinnati drew the hideous wide head in 1901 much as it is today without horns or triangles. We do not know when the ground has moved after 1890 but it was wide in 1930.

Removal of the star and widening of the head is vandalism, proven by Putnam pictures. Comparable with removal of thousands of burnt alligator rocks as described above from Alligator Mound at Granville, Ohio.

The alignment at Serpent Mound is not with the setting sun June 21. In the sunset picture widely published the man should turn around 180°. The start of a comet’s tail shows the time of year it was seen by the mound builder.

We know that the "egg" was a halo close to the horizon from difference in curvature on north and south sides that had persisted for 744 years. The satellite pictures show spots on the north and south sides but before any change is contemplated in the halo a study of the halo of Venus should be made at different elevations.

Venus may be bright enough to show a stardog for the right camera. Venus will be bright as a morning star September 23 (1999), May 5 (2001), December 4 (2002) and July 14 (2004). Also as an evening star February 23 (2001), September 23 (2002) and May 3 (2004), SKYGUIDE (1990).

As a point source this supernova in our own galaxy put on a show that the mound builders were convinced spooked the squirrels enough to swim the Ohio as they did in 1807. It flashed color as it twinkled and had an oval halo near the western horizon in April 1054. If bright enough, it could have had two or more star dogs. Putnam built up the west one but what about the east one? The mound designer placed this in the open comets mouth. However before the dedication dirt was added to make it look more like a snake.

This comet has been a snake for 744 years. It should only be changed to correct white man’s blunders or vandalism. The decision is like Isaac Smucker (1885) p. 355 said, "I have called it an ‘Alligator Effigy’ because it is known almost universally by that name. Moreover I have no authority to change its name."

In replacing the stolen star do not align it with the summer solstice or any part of the comet (snake). Snakes feed from almost any angle.

Study pictures of the halo for Venus close to the horizon both for position of Venus and star dogs. This should be spectacular when Venus falls of the halo leaving the halo behind. Venus below the horizon makes an even flatter oval by reflection.

Unless there is verified evidence for another location, divide the long diameter in half and locate the base of the star closer to the south side than to the north side. Top it with fist size burnt stones from under the cliff to make it as high as any point in the effigy. If necessary, heat igneous rocks from a glacial moraine in a pottery kiln to make a 2 or 3 foot conical pile.

copyrightSeptember 1999 Dr. Carl F. Swinehart

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