Monday, December 28, 2009

Search for Secrets of A Sunken Cannon - 6

We discovered many secrets of a sunken cannon. Secrets were uncovered and a few left us more mystified than when we began. Many folks wondered if Bob Alcumbrack and his merry band of 8 cannon hunters ever found the Cannonsburg cannon?

If I said "affirmative or negative" I bet you could hear Paul Harvey, the former radio personality sign off with "Good-day!" You'd have no need to read what we discovered and you'd miss lots of interesting history, but we discovered bigger mysteries we never knew existed in our own backyard. A few things were down right scary and never did we imagine that the unexplainable would border on paranormal activity. The history of the cannon wasn't just local phenomena, but it had worldwide undertones, too. We had to discover where to find the missing puzzle pieces to discover the secrets behind the story. Bob had two pieces of the puzzle. Why would he dare to invest what little he had monetarily speaking on such a large project? His wildest dream was driving him forward on skimpy evidence. It was as if he was chasing a ghost cannon -- a cannon that only existed on paper. He had no shred of physical hard evidence to substantiate the claim.

When was the last time you tried to fulfill your dream or intention with limited capital? It's a tough sell to bank investors. Treasure hunters who are in the business of exploring for treasures have investors -- wealthy investors taking untold risks who seek substancial returns. Some folks are rewarded, but the outlay of capital is risky contractural business. Some reap unimagined rewards while others go broke while getting some exercise. Would you invest what little funds you have in treasure hunts where not enough research is done? Worthwhile investors don't like feeding bottomless holes that reveal little rewards. This story is filled with more questions than answers, yet it is the exploration of mysteries that keeps us striving for answers, sometimes where none exist. Face it we all dream of striking it rich, but we fail quicker when we put negative answers to positive questions. Not very many things in life go smoothly. Some of us have to scratch and dig our finger nails and claw our way to riches. Some grasp, but can't stay connected. Well Bob and crew experienced this scenario many times, but Bob and friends never gave up on each other. We came face to face with problems. We got down and dirty.

Back twenty-five years ago (1986) the worldwide web was in infancy. We didn't have the instant worldwide web on demand like today. We had no lighting speed information blogs. We had to dig up our own professional advice from others when we couldn't understand the problem. We had to settle for gut reactions -- those inner feelings to decide if destiny was right or wrong. Those who get so heavily involved in a project easily get stressed and lost when dealing with problems that spin out of control or seem unattainable. Problems turn to despair and we all know that clogged brains are a terrible thing to waste. Sometimes quiet spectators studying out problems from afar held the secret clue to solving problems. Fresh viewpoints are needed and listening to those farthest from a problem may provide success. Destiny brought us together. Nine men from the 19th centure vs. the nine men of the 20th century. History was repeating itself.

The mysteries surrounding the Cannonsburg cannon's disappearance after the accidental death of Walter Tompsett on July 4, 1885, provoked Bob's imagination by day and night. The scene played daily in his mind's eye never giving him a moments rest. Suddenly he came to the realization that he had become a senior at age 55 and it was time to stop dreaming and start digging up his wildest dream. He surrounded himself with a circle of dedicated friends (treasure hunting friends) and at age 57 commenced digging operations. He'd planned on a week long expedition, but that failed.

In the beginning it was to be a secret cannon rescue operation deep in the backwoods along a ice cold glacial stream coming down from Pickerel Lake in northeastern Cannon Township. Someone snitched or a stranger overheard a conversation between Bob's band of seven men and word spread like wild fire that he was engaged in secretly digging up the ancient artifact. This simple truth turned into Bob's worst nightmare as hundreds of spectators and national news media descended upon sleepy Cannonsburg on July 1, 1886. It put Cannonsburg on the map of speculation. Would the Cannonsburg expedition beat the Texas expedition to discovery first. These were three buried cannons of significant historical value.

This cannon story has many pitfalls, but it is thru adventure we learn some valuable lessons. Dare to dream. Do your know Virginia Dare?

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