Friday, January 1, 2010

Search for Secrets of A Sunken Cannon - 9

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope you had a safe New Year's Eve. Were you the party animals I saw on TV as the lighted BALLS dropped? Interesting how so many people went to free concerts, but you know the cold night time air sure had people hopping to stay warm in Grand Rapids. Some celebrate all night, but most watch the festivities in warm locals, while others sleep. I've got to say that people hopping isn't as interesting to watch as Cottontail Rabbits performing courtship rituals under a full moon. I had five rabbits facing off at 12:01 (cute). Four males performing in front of one female. After the ball dropped I turned off the light and saw the rabbits hop - who could jump the highest to show off. The males one by one tried to impress the female rabbit. Face to face only separated by one foot, the males do the hop ritual while other males watch and one after the other tried to impress the female. The courtship ritual lasts until mid February, then its mating season and by the first of May the babies are sampling new flowers and garden plants. I put up a fence, but they squeeze through (pests). From now on my opening comments come first in italics, except for questions I might ask in the history journal.

Bob Alcumbracks wildest dream and destiny took off on July 1, 1986. Bob's friends say I'm the legend that made Bob's legend reality. Seek and ye shall find was his motto and treasure hunters Bob didn't want to know. That's why he kept silent. He had no use for them polecats. They were vile snakes against humanity who had eyes with flipping dollar profit signs. They didn't care about historical preservation only money that could fill their pockets. Bob's goal was cannon hunting for historical preservation and not the monetary value. He was a man of pride using what little funds he accumulated for community service, but if a neighbor or friend got in trouble and needed help he dipped from his funds, stop what his was digging for and help them. He was always helping those less fortunate.

Bob spent more than fifty years researching for the day he started digging for the Cannonsburg cannon. He thought he'd found the secret burial spot. I've got twenty-five years invested in this story. Snow blindness from reading fuzzy microfilm readers. Old musty papers helped uncover more than 500 years of the cannon's heritage. Clue to clue is about secrets. We didn't own any crystal balls to understand and see the tragic events that remained hidden from public viewing. No time travel machines or spirits to whisk us back in time so we could witness the cannon accident. In the absence of time travel Bob based his opinions on circumstancial evidence and I was suspicious.

In essence we had to imagined the 19th century history (reading the invisible text) between the black text and form the grief scene as to what really happened to the cannon. We acted out the tragic story in present day (1986) circumstances trying to envision scenes from the past. God and those who witnessed the accident are the only ones who understand the correct sequence of past secrets.

Tompsett's tragedy will be repeated many times, but as time passes you'll get a better picture image - sharper and focused. You may feel like Bill Murray, the obnoxious TV weather meteorologist in "Groundhogs Day. As more information surfaces the better the story outcome. Bob's mission was to find, restore, preserve and protect the cannon for community pride. It was a lofty goal and he tried with all his heart and mind to find it. That doesn't mean he didn't find the cannon, but at this date it doesn't mean he found it and kept it secret. We hit roadblocks to discovery. Was it recycled, buried or sunk on private property where he couldn't get permission to dig it up? Bob desired only success to find the cannon. He wouldn't accept defeat. Pessimisum and negative thoughts lead to failure. Doubt alters the minds ability to function properly when dowsing. Open minds and positive thoughts result in easier roads to success.

At times I will play you like a fine-tuned fiddle or tease you with cat and mouse games. As lemmings I'll lead you to the precipice of a cliff, but I won't let you fall off. We'll change course leading you to discover another secret or something of interest. The special trail may or may not have a bearing on the story, but secrets will be exposed. This mystery of secrets will tax your brain cells - things you never knew existed - that worldwide secrets and not just local happenings.

I'm instilling hope, that yes, we did uncover important secrets, but what you must know is that whether treasure or cannon hunting, the journey is about silent secrets. We kept our mouths closed. We became 20th century secret society cannon busters. Not even treasure hunters will spill information until something of interest is found. Trophy fishermen, thems' with brains keep silent how and with what they caught the monster.

Fact is in Michigan fishing annals, you never give locations to monster fishing until you are hauled before a personified judge like the Upper Peninsula's John Voelker who wrote "Trout Madness." The judge banned poachers from trespassing and fishing spots where a CO (conservation officer) arrested them for fishing without a license or poaching fish. He simply banished the disgraced offenders, then made the best fishing places his favorite secret spots.

Treasure and cannon hunters must remain silent when searching otherwise what artifacts they seek will be gone and in the hands of pirates before the artifacts or treasure can be protected. Kiss and tell means failure. Bob and cannon crew discovered mysteries that kept us spellbound. After the death of Walter Tompsett in 1885, the area residents and township officials swore themselves to blood pacts and threats of death if the final resting spot was uncovered. Those who drank spirits moved away, while other checked their tongues, lived with reminders of the accident and took the gruesome secrets to the grave. They'd put Americans to shame today when secrets are exposed so that terrorists can more effectively plan terrorist targets.

In Bob's world each new discovery created more problems and the mysterious circumstances seized our eyes and ears and it did pull us off track in different directions, but we arrived at our conclusion just the same.

Our cannon hunt did rival that of fictional archaeologist Indiana Jones in the "Temple of Doom" or the "Lost Crusades." Yes, we dealt with hordes of leeches, legions of bloodsucking black, deer and blow flies and squadrons of mosquitos. Welt on itching welts, oh my! The July sun blistered our skin as salty sweat stung our eyes. The coldness of night infiltrated our arthritic bones. Biting spiders and water snakes we didn't love, but they added spice to our adventures in sandbox 101 excavations and freezing ice cold water mishaps. We were vile smelling by nightfall and stunk so bad the mosquitos didn't want to party. Treasure, err, cannon hunting takes passion.

The crew who worked inside the Bob's steel coffer box felt as if working in a coffin. The tomblike feelings were bad enough. We didn't need rats, but the water was disgustingly filthy and scuba divers couldn't see their hands placed against their masks. Wives and mothers didn't need to know this, if they did, they probably wouldn't let their husband and son play with Bob. It was dangerous work. Patience was our guide.


  1. I came upon this story and so far I am intrigued and will continue reading as I have an iterest in historical fction and non-fiction. Is this a new hobby (writing) for you? It seems to agree with you. Your New Years comments were very heart warming,almost from past memories being reminised but not regretted. Thankyou for the enertainment, K

  2. Writing is a past-time hobby, but nonfiction history is my passion. I've been writing for many years and have had hundreds, perhaps thousands of short stories published. Magazine editors do not like my style of writing. They call me a 21st century Mark Twain. They prefer writers of fluff - writers who don't enjoy the topic, but write out of necessity for a living. Past memories keep us on track with our own destiny. We are never the same as what we saw or thought fifteen years ago. Only memories remain as long as our mind is sound and recounting memories keeps them factual, not lost in time, however as time progresses all humans tend to lose track of time and embellish upon the written word. Some writers polish stories to the point of unbelievability. Accuracy of dreams or life experiences is lost if not remembered. This mystery story puts our cannon and treasure hunting experiences in your mind so you may see what you'd have done differently.