Sunday, November 19, 2017

The Moon-Eyed People: Prince Madoc and the Welsh Indians

The Moon-Eyed People were a race of small men who, according to Cherokee legend, live underground and only emerge at night. Unlike the Cherokee, the Moon-Eyed People are bearded and have pale, white skin. The Cherokee knew the Moon-Eyed people primarily from the many remains they left behind...the mounds and low stone walls that can be found throughout the southern Appalachians. The most famous is just over the North Carolina border in Georgia at Fort Mountain. Now a state park, Fort Mountain gets its name form the 850 foot long stone wall that varies in height from two to six feet and stretches along the top of the ridge.


The remains of the 855-foot stone wall that gives Fort Mountain its name wind like a snake around the northeast Georgia park, and its very presence begs a question: Who put them there?

A Cherokee legend attributes the wall to a mysterious band of "moon-eyed people" led by a Welsh prince named Madoc who appeared in the area more than 300 years before Columbus sailed to America.

A plaque at the wall says matter-of-factly it was built by Madoc and his Welsh followers, but most professional archeologists give no credence to the legend.

"There has been no archaeological evidence to back up stories that either this Welsh prince or any others came to explore the New World," said Jared Wood, the manager of the archaeology lab at the University of Georgia.

As the legend goes, the group arrived at Mobile Bay around 1170, made their way up the Alabama and Coosa rivers and built stone fortifications at several spots near present-day Chattanooga, Tenn.

Dana Olson, an author who has spent decades trying to prove the legend, said circumstantial evidence on both sides of the Atlantic is too compelling to ignore.

"I've traveled all over the country finding these forts. Some of them are pretty well known, but I'm still uncovering some of them," said Olson, the author of The Legend of Prince Madoc and the White Indians

The stone structures have long been a topic of debate. Many scientists have come to believe that the walls at Fort Mountain and other Southeast sites were built by native Americans between 200 B.C. and A.D. 600.

"We're not exactly sure what purposes these enclosures served," said Wood, the UGA archaeologist. "But they were likely well-known gathering places for social events. Seasonal meetings of friends and kin, trading of goods, astronomical observance, and religious or ceremonial activities may have occurred there."

Yet supporters of the Madoc legend say the wall's tear-shaped designs are similar to ruins found in Wales or elsewhere in Great Britain.

And they point to an 1810 letter from John Sevier, the first governor of Tennessee, who said that in 1782 he was told by an Indian chief that the walls were built by white people called the Welsh who lived in the region before the Cherokee.

They were driven out with the promise that they would never return to Cherokee lands, Sevier said in the letter, and they supposedly traveled to the Ohio valley or downstream to the Mississippi.

There is also evidence of a major battle between 1450 and 1660 at the Falls of the Ohio, which Olson said was the scene of the "big battle began between the red Indians and the white Indians" - the Welsh.

Supporters of the legend say Madoc made two trips to North America, with the first visit coming in 1169. While scientists say the story was widely accepted in the 17th and 18th century, it has fallen out of favor over time.

"For one thing, there is not a historian that goes along with the theory of pre-Columbian contacts in the United States," said Sundea Murphy, who works with Corn Island Archaeology in Louisville, Ky.

"A scientist needs proof. A historian needs proof," she said.

Yet she sees no reason to discount the story of Madoc or any other pre-Columbian culture - from the Vikings to the Polynesians - exploring the continent.

"There were too many other civilizations that had the capability to make cross-ocean voyages," Murphy said.


Madoc, a Welsh prince who, according to legend, sailed to America in 1170 with a group of settlers. The legend claimed the settlers were absorbed by groups of Native Americans. Their descendants migrated to the American Midwest, where there were reports from the first explorers in the area finding Indian tribes that spoke Welsh. The stories Welsh Indians became popular enough that even Lewis and Clark were ordered to look out for them. In 1833, artist George Catlin visited the Mandan Indians, whom he believed were the "Welsh Indians." The Mandan were almost wiped out by European disease, the last full-blood Mandan died in 1971.

I found the following reference in John Keel's The Mothman Prophecies quite interesting:

The Indians must have known something about West Virginia. They avoided it. Before the Europeans arrived with their glass beads, firewater, and gunpowder, the Indian nations had spread out and divided up the North American continent. Modern anthropologists have worked out maps of the Indian occupancy of pre-Columbian America according to the languages spoken. The Shawnee and Cherokee occupied the lands to the south and southwest. The Monocan settled to the east, and the Erie and Conestoga claimed the areas north of West Virginia. Even the inhospitable deserts of the Far West were divided and occupied. There is only one spot on the map labeled "Uninhabited:" West Virginia.

Why? The West Virginia area is fertile, heavily wooded, rich in game. Why did the Indians avoid it? Was it filled with hairy monsters and frightful apparitions way back when?

Across the river in Ohio, industrious Indians--or someone--built the great mounds and left us a great heritage of Indian culture and lore. The absence of an Indian tradition in West Virginia is troublesome for the researcher. It creates an uncomfortable vacuum. There are strange ancient ruins in the state, circular stone monuments which prove that someone settled the region once. Since the Indians didn't build such monuments, and since we don't even have any lore to fall back on, we have only mystery.

Chief Cornstalk and his Shawnees fought a battle there in the 1760's and Cornstalk is supposed to have put a curse on the area before he fell. But what happened there before? Did someone else live there?

The Cherokees have a tradition, according to Benjamin Smith Barton's New views of the origin of the tribes and nations of America. By Benjamin Smith Barton, M.D. Correspondent-member of the Society of the Antiquaries of Scotland that when they migrated to Tennessee they found the region inhabited by a weird race of white people who lived in houses and were apparently quite civilized. They had one problem: their eyes were very large and sensitive to light. They could only see at night. The fierce Indians ran these "moon-eyed people" out. Did they move to West Virginia to escape their tormentors?



Who discovered America? It's a simple question and one that usually brings the standard response - Christopher Columbus. But here in Wales we have our own theory. And that theory says that America was actually discovered 300 years before Columbus sailed "the ocean blue" in 1492 - and more importantly, that it was discovered by a Welshman.

The man in question was Prince Madoc, the son of Owain Gwynedd, one of the greatest and most important rulers in the country, and while the legend cannot be corroborated there are many who believe it implicitly. Owain Gwynedd certainly existed, his reign being marred by long and hard-fought disputes with Henry II, king of England.

The story goes that in 1170 Owain died and, almost immediately, a violent and very bloody dispute arose between his 13 children regarding the succession. Madoc and his brother Rhirid were so upset and angered by events that they decided they wanted no further part in what was happening. Indeed, they wanted nothing more to do with their family or their homeland. They duly took ship from Rhos on Sea (Llandrillo) and sailed westwards to see what they could find.

What Prince Madoc found, so the legend runs, was America. He and his brother managed to cross the Atlantic and land on the shores of the New World. Madoc returned to Gwynedd for more men, then sailed off again, this time never to return. His sailors inter-married with a local Native American tribe and for years the rumor of Welsh speaking Native American tribes was widely believed. It is, of course, the stuff of legend but like all good legends it has at least a grain of truth about it.

As America was explored and colonized several Native American tribes were discovered, speaking a language that did actually sound quite like Welsh. That was not the only connection. The Mandan Indians used Bull Boats for transport and fishing, vessels that were identical to the famous Welsh coracles. It was all too good for storytellers and poets to ignore. The legend lasted well into the 19th century and even the explorers Lewis and Clark were instructed to keep their eyes open for these "Welsh speaking Indians" while they were trekking through the interior of the country.

The earliest reference to such a people can be found in a Welsh poem by Maredudd ap Rhys who lived and wrote in the years between 1450 and 1483. However, it was during the Elizabethan period that the story gathered momentum and grew.

There was a political agenda behind the spreading of the legend - it was a ploy, used to assert the right of England to the lands of the New World. Put quite simply, Welsh colonization of America, many years before, was a convenient justification for Elizabethan settlement in a territory that had already been claimed by Spain.

Starting with Humphrey Llwyd in 1559, the story was embroidered and developed - the detail of the Welsh speaking tribe comes from this period. Even recognized experts in the field of navigation and exploration, men such as Richard Hakluyt, consciously and deliberately wrote about the legend as if it were the absolute truth. Sadly, there is no absolute historical or archaeological proof - even Lewis and Clark were unable to find that - but it remains a great story, one that we in Wales have taken to our hearts.

Other people have not been quite as happy to believe the story of Prince Madoc. In 1953 the Daughters of the American Revolution set up a plaque on the shores of Mobile Bay in Alabama. On the plaque it stated that it had been erected "In memory of Prince Madoc," who was in the opinion of the Daughters of the Revolution the original discoverer of America. The plaque did not last long and was soon removed by the Alabama Parks Department.

For Welsh men and women, however, the story of Madoc's discovery of America remains special - even if, in our heart of hearts, we know that it is probably not true. And as the saying goes, why let the truth get in the way of a good story?


WHO WERE THE MOON-EYED PEOPLE? who were the Moon-Eyed People? Over the years there have been several theories on this subject, but no one knows if they even existed and simply a Cherokee legend. The folklore of the region is quite interesting, but it will likely remain a mystery. The interesting part is that they were reported by the Cherokee even before the Spaniards came to the new world.

There has long been a legend of an ancient race or tribe of 'Whites' that existed and thrived long before the American Indians arrived in North America. The Book of Mormon describes a similar story, identifying the race as the Nephites

There are tales among the Piaute about "Red haired giants" with fair skin in the West. The legend says that the Piaute were at war with these giants for generations and that the red haired giants began to decline to a point where they became "dog eaters" (an insult). The final battle came when the Piaute trapped the giants in a cave on the edge of the mountains. They set a huge fire that eventually killed what remained of the giants. Most of this legend was considered "fanciful" in order to give greater status to the tribe....until a cave was discovered on the edge of the Sierra Nevada in the 1920's. It's called Lovelock Cave and a museum is now located there.

Kennewick Man was thought to have been a part of this group of giants as well, though it was most likely of Asiatic ancestry despite being Caucasiod-like. The Tocharian culture thrived in what is now Northwest China. Despite it's total destruction, you can still see blonde hair and lighter colored eyes among the current population.

In recent years, another tale of the nature of the Moon-Eyed People has also been put forth...that they are some part of the vast, pan-dimensional conspiracy of subterranean lizard people or Reptilians that secretly inhabit our world, most notably underground. This theory has been promoted, for the most part, by David Icke. Could it be true? At this point, do we really know what is fact or conjecture?

The Legend of Prince Madoc and the White Indians
Footprints of the Welsh Indians: Settlers in North America before 1492
Madoc: A Mystery
The Welch Indians: Or A Collection Of Papers Respecting A People Whose Ancestors Emigrated From Wales To America, In The Year 1170, With Prince Madoc

Friday, November 10, 2017

The Supernatural White House

In the late 19th century, several phantoms were observed in the White House. One of these apparitions was supposedly the spirit of President William Henry Harrison, who died after one month in office. I have posted an article from The New York World in 1897...followed by other supernatural tales from 'the people's house':

The Dark Side of the White House

William Henry Harrison's Wraith Wanders the Lonely Garret and the Spectre of a Woman Roams in the Conservatory

Spirits of Disappointed Office Seekers Keep Up a Tireless Tread and a Phantom Team of White Horses Seen in the Drive

The White House is haunted. This is what the negroes are now whispering one to another. With baited breath they tell, with a great show of secrecy and in awestruck voices, that strange lights and queer noises are heard in the Presidential mansion.

There is not a colored servant in the White House who is not deeply impressed with the idea that not only one, but a number of restless spirits roam its spacious attics and wide corridors during the still watches of the night.

Old Jerry, who has been employed as a general utility man about the White House since President Lincoln’s Administration, has told several stories, all fitting well together, with a circumstantiality of detail that leaves no room for doubt that the old man at least has strong reasons for believing them.

The principal place of abode of the spectres is in the attic. Strange noises have been heard frequently proceeding from this unused garret, and have often been very audible in the offices on the floor below. These have been attributed to rats, with which there is no doubt the old building is infested.

But rats did not cause the strange apparition that greeted old Jerry a few nights ago, when he happened to be sent to the attic upon some errand after dark. As he entered the room a shadow seemed to advance from one corner, and as it neared him gradually took the shape of a man.

Approaching very close to the now thoroughly frightened servant, it motioned with an imperious gesture for him to leave. He needed no second bidding, but came down the stairs several steps at a time.

The next day the old negro, while going through the house, happened to see the portrait of ex-President William Henry Harrison. At once he threw up his hands, said: “My Lord, that is the man I saw in the attic!” Whether it was on account of the pale and somewhat peaked face of the illustrious slayer of Tippecanoe that suggested to Jerry a likeness to the shadow he had seen, or whether as a fact the restless old warrior now roams the attic of the White House, where lived but one month fifty-six years ago, it is impossible to say.

It would be an unwarranted sensation to state any degree of positiveness that the ghost of William Henry Harrison occupies the attic of the White House. But it is certain that some strange form appeared to old Jerry when he visited the garret after dark, and that he identified it the next day by the portrait.

Whatever may be thought of the attic spectre, even though it be attributed to fright upon the part of the old man, it is certain that there are some things about the White House that are not easily explained, and which will give the most learned psychologist ample material for study. On the east side of the building, between the main corridor and the East Room, is the stairway which leads to the President’s office. From midnight until the dawning of the morning can be heard the ceaseless tramp of many feet as they walk up these steps. Three policemen guard the foot of these stairs every night and the hall is brilliantly lighted, hence nothing of a ghostly nature can be seen, but the steady tramp, tramp, tramp of feet can be heard ascendig to the President’s office. Whenever a new officer is placed upon this assignment he will start when he hears these footsteps, under the impression that someone is approaching, but after time he becomes used to it and pays no attention to the mysterious footfalls. How many disappointed office-seekers have climbed these stairs, at first full of hope, and then, after they have repeated these visits day after day and hope has died within them, have gone home discouraged, and in some instances heartbroken! Instances have not been rare in the history of the United States where men have committed suicide when their efforts to attain positions have failed. Are these strange footsteps imaginary echoes of those that have been heard during the day or are they the restless spirits seeking the place where their hope was turned to despair?

But the strangest and most sensational of all the apparitions reported to have been seen at the White House was told by a policeman who formerly patrolled the White House grounds. The conservatory is not open to visitors except upon occassions of a public nature, such as the President’s receptions. Ordinarily it is unlighted at night, and no one ever enters it after the President’s famiily has retired.

The policeman mentioned was walking past the conservatory about 1 o’clock one morning, when he saw a light moving about among the flowers. He knew that this was unusual and supposed that some servant had succeeded in gaining entrance and was culling the choice flowers and possibly appropriating some of the valuable plants. He peered into the window, but the light seemed to be upon the other side of the conservatory, so that he could not tell who it was that held it. He entered the consevatory by means of the steps leading from the tool-house underneath, and immediately in front of him was a tall, beautiful lady, dressed in the fashion of the early part of the century. He spoke to her and she disappeared, seeming to go behind one of the large palm trees. He followed, and a musical laugh greeted his ears, but the form had vanished, and a thorough search of the conservatory failed to reveal any visitant. He tried the door which leads from the conservatory into the corridor, but it was locked and would not yield to his pressure. There were no other means by which the lady could have made her exit except by passing him and going down the steps up which he had come. This he was thoroughly satisfied she did not do. The conservatory continued to be lighted by a strange phosphorescent glow for some time, but this gradually faded away.

By this time the policeman was thoroughly frightened, and making no further attempt to locate the mysterious intruder, beat a hasty retreat.

The next night he watched for the return of the lights and the form, but neither came. Everything was dark and appeared as usual for two or three weeks. He had made up his mind that he had in some unaccoutable way been the victime of an optical illusion, and that the light had come from some decaying portion of a plant in the conservatory. But one night, about a month after this occurrence, at about the same hour he again saw the light. Pinching himself to see whether he was really awake he again entered the conservatory in same way as before, and at one felt a rush of air and heard the same musical laugh that had greeted him upon his previous visit. He saw no form, but the laugh rang out clearly in the night air, seemingly from different parts of the conservatory at the same time. Almost paralyzed with fear he started to retreat without making any further investigation when he felt a hand pressed upon his shoulder, and turning quickly, he saw the mysterious lady, dressed as before. She smiled upon him and he sank to the floor unconscious. When he regained consciousness the conservatory was dark and no sound could be heard. He dragged himself down the steps and out into the yard. Try as he would, it was impossible for him to gain sufficient control of himself to remain on duty and he went home.

The next day he was discharged. He would never tell the story of his gruesome experiences, hoping that he might be reinstated on the force and assigned to some other post, but now has succeeded in obtaining other employment and has told the story to a number of friends.

A phantom team drawn by a pair of pure white horses, it is said, has been seen to drive through the east gate, stop at the portico of the White House, and, after a few moments’ pause, leave by the west gate. This story has obtained credence among many people, but it is impossible to authenticate it, the policemen who patrol the grounds denying that any such occurrence takes place. This however, they would do in any event, as to tell of it would be equivalent to resignation.

Whatever spooks and spectres may haunt the Presidential mansion they have shown a commendable delicacy in the manner, time and place of their wanderings, and, so far as known, have not disturbed any of the Presidents or members of their families. They have not been so considerate, however, as to the servants of the household, and more than one valued employee has resigned from time to time without giving any reason therefore, except that after leaving they have told their friends that they heard strange sounds and saw shadowy forms and could not be induced to remain in a house that was haunted. - World, New York, NY - 17 October 1897


The Demon Cat 'DC'

The San Diego Union-Tribune of 11/1/1992 reported that a demon cat, referred to as 'DC', would meet someone alone in a dark corridor of the Capital Building and in the lower levels of the White House. It had large yellow eyes that seemed to hypnotize, and it would snarl. It would seem to grow larger and larger until it would make a final lunge toward its victim and then either explode or disappear over the victim's head. Historians recorded stories of guards firing guns toward the hissing cat as it disappeared only to find they were shooting into an empty hall. It was said to appear only on the eve of a national tragedy or the change of administrations.

'DC' has been seen periodically throughout the last 200 years. Reportedly, he was spotted in the White House before the assassination of Lincoln and Garfield, before the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the death of Roosevelt, the assassination of Kennedy, the attempted assassination of Reagan, and there was even an account of the cat being spotted the night of September 10th, 2001. As well, it is usually seen during times when the presidency is moving to a new person.

DC's predicting ability isn't the only thing it is known for. It's said to live in a room originally intended to house the body of George Washington after death, a place that would remain empty as Washington was buried at his estate in Mount Vernon, Virginia. This empty room is one of the many places witnesses have spotted the mysterious creature.


Other Supernatural Encounters

A Truman-era security guard once reported hearing ‘I am David Burns’ coming from the attic above the Oval Office. In 1790, David Burns was the man forced to surrender his land so that the White House could be built.

When First Lady Ellen Wilson requested that the garden be dug up, garden workers reported that Dolley Madison’s ghost appeared and prevented them from destroying her garden. Since that time, other White House insiders have reported an occasional and inexplicable smell of roses in the White House. These instances are often credited to Madison’s ghost.

One of the most frequently reported White House ghosts is President Abraham Lincoln, and the second floor hallways (the First Family level) are some of his favorite haunts. Lincoln has been seen or heard by many residents, including First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. President Truman once claimed to have heard Lincoln pacing the hallway and knocking on his bedroom door. President William Howard Taft became the first person to report seeing the ghost of First Lady Abigail Adams, who he saw floating through doors on the second floor.

Various bedrooms on the second floor are used for the President’s family and other guests. One husband and wife pair reported that the ghost of a British soldier tried to set fire to their bed. It is presumed that this soldier was the man who set fire to the White House during the War of 1812. In addition, President Lyndon B. Johnson’s daughter Lynda once reported seeing the ghost of Lincoln’s son Willie, who had died in the very room in which she was staying. Other reported activity includes the ghostly screams of President Grover Cleveland’s wife, the first woman to give birth in the White House. Following renovations in 1952, activity in the bedrooms has decreased significantly.

During Lincoln’s administration, the current Yellow Oval Room was Lincoln's personal library and one of his favorite rooms in the White House. Numerous White House employees have reportedly seen Lincoln gazing out the windows of this room. First Lady Grace Coolidge also claimed to have seen him here. First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln also reported seeing the ghosts of both Presidents Thomas Jefferson and John Tyler here.

The White House north portico entrance has a number of notable spectres. A torch-wielding British soldier is often seen standing outside the front door. People have also reported seeing long-deceased White House ushers and doormen still tending to their duties. Perhaps most bizarre is the ghost of Anne Surratt, whose mother Mary was hanged in 1865 for her role in the Lincoln assassination. Anne’s ghost has been spotted pounding on the White House doors begging for her mother’s release. She is also reported to sit on the front steps every July 7, the anniversary of her mother’s execution.

The East Room is a regular haunt of Abigail Adams’ phantom. During her tenure in the White House, this was the room in which she would hang her laundry. She is often seen in or en route to the East Room with her arms outstretched, as though carrying a laundry basket. Sightings were particularly abundant during the Taft Administration, but as recently as 2002 a group of tourists reportedly saw Adams. In addition to her sightings, many people report the faint smell of laundry soap around this area. Lincoln has also been spotted here, the room in which his body lay in state.

The Rose Bedroom is frequented by its former occupant, President Andrew Jackson. Numerous White House employees have seen or heard Jackson in the room, often engaged in hearty laughter or swearing violently. According to White House lore, there is an inexplicable cold spot on the canopy bed in the room where Jackson slept. Among the most notable reports, Mary Todd Lincoln claimed to have heard Jackson swearing and White House seamstress Lilian Parks felt his presence over her, which she recounted in her memoirs about her time in the White House. Not to be outdone, Lincoln has also been spotted here. When Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands stayed in this bedroom, she answered a knock on the door one night and saw Lincoln’s ghost standing in the hallway.

Winston Churchill famously refused to sleep in the Lincoln Bedroom ever again after seeing the ghost beside the fireplace. (Churchill, it should be noted, had just emerged from a bath and was completely nude during the encounter.) Beyond those already listed as seeing Lincoln in other places, he has been spotted by: Presidents Teddy Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, and Dwight Eisenhower; First Ladies Jackie Kennedy and Ladybird Johnson; and presidential children Susan Ford and Maureen Reagan. Maureen and her husband both saw Lincoln standing beside the fireplace, just as Churchill has seen him. Other guests have reported that lights in the bedroom will turn themselves on and inexplicable cold spots will occur in the room. / /

"Ghosts: Washington Revisited" (The Ghostlore of the Nation's Capital)

Ghosts of the White House

Who's Haunting the White House?: The President's Mansion and the Ghosts Who Live There

The Ghost in the White House