Monday, February 22, 2010

Search for Secrets of A Sunken Cannon - 29

Robert Alcumbrack six-pound military cannon was indeed a 'ghost' just as Maggie McCarthy warned. Bob had mistook an underground stream of iron ore encrusted granite, tungsten (dark green), quartz, bluestones and placer gold for the Cannonsburg cannon and carriage. Bob felt humiliated, but Allen Janose and Harold McCarthy felt the embarassment, too. They had dowsed Bob's mythical cannon numerous times and now they wondered how could they trust Bob's attempts to clarify the situation and not make the same mistake again at site number two. Bob didn't quit because he failed. Bob dug many holes between 1986-88.

Bob had located three major spots prior to digging, but chose the first since that is where he sensed the most powerful magnetic field. Before we dug any more holes we had to make sure Bob could accurately use the dowsing rods. It wasn't until after the big dig we discovered the reason for Bob's strong energy fields was the fact the iron ore encrusted tungsten, quartz and bluestones were supercharged with magnetic energy. The whole area around Bob's first big dig was littered with magnetic stones and other anomalies of increased electromagnetic power sources. Everywhere you walked the electronic metal detectors sounded off.

Tungsten is a metallic element akin to Chrome and it has the highest melting point of all metals. It holds a magnetic charge. It is a heavy stone that Native American Indians of Michigan used to make axe heads. The Cannonsburg area is strewn with tungsten, but its purity was more reminiscent of the Upper Peninsula. Tungsten is used to alloy steel and is primarily used for electric light filaments. The stones removed from the coffer box were high grade minerals.

Tungsten fooled Bob's dowsing rods, but they can give false readings to electronic metal detectors, too. Too much tungsten and gold images tripped Bob's psyche and I knew something was wrong and my doubts about him using metal rods to find treasures was dumbfounded. With the rods Bob felt he couldn't lose because the rods were touted as the best tools available to find brass objects and Bob had found with amazing accuracy many brass items buried in fields. The rods were heavily advertised in treasure magazines for their ease in finding just about anything. Brass was undetectable to electronic metal detectors during the 1980's so why not use dowsing rods? These rods today are used by telephone, cable TV, electric, gas, engineers, water well and geo drillers, and grave dowsers with amazing accuracy when puzzled by electronic devices.

Had Bob done his research before he started digging he would have found that the Cannon History book writers had done a disservice to its readers by saying the cannon was "a small military" cannon. Fact is, had it truly been a military cannon, the person who sold it to LeGrand Cannon or Mr. Cannon himself would have been convicted of a felony with a stiff fine or imprisonment. It was illegal for military pieces including decommissioned cannons to be sold to private individuals, but nothing prohibited Mr. Cannon from purchasing a cannon from a private foundry, friend or recovering a discarded cannon from a shipwreck or family inheritance.

The smallest cannon's used by the US Army in the 1840's were six-pounders, but they did indeed discharge smaller cannons to towns for protection from Indian attacks. The smallest cannons were 1/2, 2 and 4-pound cannons that were ancient and seized from the British during the American Revolutionary War and War of 1812. The six-pound cannons the US military had were captured guns from the British. American militiamen got freedom fighters from France along with ammunition and old cannons, too. Only a few 4-pound cannons were made in Cincinnati, Ohio foundries prior to the Civil War.

Bob pictured a six-pound cannon in his mind's eye when dowsing for the cannon. His rods didn't work because he was fantasizing the wrong size cannon and the mantra between his brain and hands was incorrect. When Bob purchased his dowsing rods they came with no instructions, therefore, whatever he learned about their usage was strictly trial and error. On dry land he was unstoppable in his reasoning power and was more than 90% accurate, but he found out quickly that his dowsing skills in wetland areas was poor. He had prepared himself for failure, since he had found three possible sites where the cannon was buried. He concentrated all his efforts on the site that was most probable based on the tears that welled in Mr. Murray's eyes.

Before Bob first big dig was a bust I formed the opinion that the Cannonsburg cannon could have been a recovered English, French or Spanish military piece regarded as a war trophy. Mr. Cannon was an honorable and well respected New York capitalist and land speculator, a man who owned rolling mills and railroads. Surely he wouldn't purchase an American military cannon, but he could have received it as a gift from a foreign foundry. He could have received a brass cannon from a friend and had the carriage engraved or a brass plaque attached to the carriage. Since the cannon had been fired repeatedly without incidence for 38 years gave Bob the clear indication it had to be made of brass or bronze. Engraving cannons after manufacturing makes each piece extremely dangerous to fire, since the engravement causes tiny unseen fractures in the metal. The cannon that Mr. Cannon received could have come from a storage facility, purchased from a business acquaintance or supplier, a private foundry or retrieved from a sunken shipwreck.

The cannon wasn't American made. America had no foundries to make good quality brass cannons until near the end of the Civil War. The Rensselaer County Historical Society in Troy, New York, the organization that keeps all of Mr. LeGrand Cannon's archival existence died know that a township, village and cannon were named in honor of Mr. Cannon's last name, if fact, no records have ever showed the gift cannon's existence. How then did Bob Alcumbrack get the idea the missing cannon was 9-14 feet long? How did the cannon's energy field get so large is a mystery? How did seven young men wrestle the 800+ pound cannon from a creek side grave, a watery hole as big as a mini-van?

How did four elderly township official dismount and completely bury the cannon in soft water laden soil? It must have been a backbreaking challenge to bury it in daylight? Surely they couldn't hope to have disposed of the cannon so quickly. How could seven young men dig it up so fast, pull it up and clean if off so quickly? How could five men redig such a large hole, then flip the cannon and completely rebury the cannon in forty-five minutes to an hour and return to town? Why then did it take Bob and Crew more than 28 days to find out the cannon wasn't there? This shows the fraility of Bob's collective reasoning and why he failed so miserably. He never did have an answer to these questions before starting to dig.

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