Saturday, July 31, 2010

Search for Secrets of A Sunken Cannon - 106 final

In my search for secrets of a sunken cannon I acted upon a dream sequence I couldn't shake. It was if the spirits of Bob Alcumbrack and Walter Tompsett were inviting me to the Cannonsburg cemetery. I did go because I felt unsettled and haunted and I didn't tell anyone where I was going or what I was investigating. Bob Alcumbrack died in May 2004 while Guy Lewis, Charlie Alcumbrack and I survive today. Not to steal or out do Bob's thunder, but I thought it was important that your hear about what my dream accomplished. The dream may have been fostered by too much Thanksgiving feasting and that made for one fantastic dream or nightmare. Bob and Walter's spirit haunted me into submission and that morning in a November 2007 snowstorm I went to Cannonsburg cemetery. That morning I acted upon what the spirits said needed to be done about the cannon and what we missed.

Going to the cemetery without telling anyone was foolish, but I acted upon what the spirits were calling me to do. It almost cost me my life, but in the process I made a startling discovery. I referred to this earlier, but didn't share particulars. I let the spirits guide my path and walk. Its very unsettling and mind boggling when a dream haunts our psyche.

The first sleet storm of the season had started just as I entered Cannonsburg cemetery. It was 18 degrees F. with a 25 mph wind and the strong buffeting winds laced with biting, stinging sleet pelted my face. I stood praying and asking God for guidance between the gravesite of Walter Tompsett and Bob Alcumbrack. I sensed the presence of spirits and far away voices as pebbles of ice pelted my face and I shivered, but the spirits said "walk." It would have been easy to think I was cold, but wasn't. I was distressed by some feeling I couldn't explain. I walked like a drunken man with no set course and a voice said "turn right, not that way, but this way." I felt spooked and wanted to quit and leave, but the voices kept calling me. Creepy, huh! I was never afraid of ghosts or spirits, but do believe in Angels.

Being a research historical investigator I have always felt at ease and welcome in cemeteries when searching for family members. Frequently I pray before entering, but this time it was unusual to find the spirits so inviting. Ice pellets littered the ground several inches deep burying some surface markers. It was treacherous walking on ice pellets and then it happened. I slipped, then tripped forward on a broken gravestone and fell backwards between two large tombstones. Instinctively my arm grabbed a circular tombstone to break my fall "Oof," I said. It was a bad fall. The ground was rock hard, but at least I didn't hurt myself. Sprawled on my back I saw the large tomstone twist and move as if it was going to fall on me. The spirits said, "You dumbcluck, we finally get you here, but you aren't supposed to kill yourself before you see what we all missed."

If the tall tombstone would have shifted more it'd had fallen on top of me and I'd be dead for searching without telling anyone where I went. I was below the rise of the hill, but eventually with the use of GPS authorities would have found my lifeless frozen body eventually. Had that happened Search for Secrets of a Sunken Cannon wouldn't exist. Nobody would have found me until it was too late. I'd be found sprawled between the two tombstones in a frozen heap crushed to death beneath the heavy tombstone that I believe showed what the Cannonsburg cannon resembles. It is one of two mystery tombstones in the Cannonsburg Cemetery and one of equal size in the old Bostwick Lake or Marshall Cemetery off Ramsdell Ave, just north of M-44 or Belding Road.

These tombstones are the only three tombstones of its kind in three Cannon Township cemeteries in Kent County. Further investigation has revealed that none of these tombstones exist outside of Cannon Township in the north half of Kent County. Cannon Township stands alone with these mysterious stones and as such it makes the township a place of rich historical heritage.

From my ground disposition and looking up the tombstone resembles a cannon. Standing up I noticed the reinforcement rings at the chamber seat and muzzle end and noted it similar to Bob's cannon dimensions. The tombstone was made of hand polished round sandstone, but with marbling, too. It was hollow with a two-inch bore that was plugged with 19th century gravel cement. The smallest tombstone of the same features resembles a 1/2 pound cannon. It puzzled me that the butt end of the largest one that almost fell on me was cut above the reinforcement rings and if purposely cut, since the other one in the Bostwick cemetery wasn't cut. Why?

My mind ran wild with excitement. Maybe it was the real cannon covered with a liquified sandstone or sub-aggregate that dried and was hand polished to resemble the cannon. I should point out that not every tombstone in a cemetery has a grave beneath it. This one didn't. It was the tombstone for Francis Hartwell. He died of malaria several weeks after the Battle of Perrysville, KY on October 8, 1862 during the Civil War. He is actually buried in Perrysville. His wife Matilda designed and had erected this 16th century cannon that resembles the monument in his honor for his valiant bravery in the artillery battle. This tombstone I had my hands upon was placed in the Cannonsburg cemetery minus his earthly remains.

The tombstone resembles an English cannon with Austrian, Venetian or Dutch features, but pieces of such are missing the topper ornament, which was believed to be an eagle, the symbol of pride to Americans national heritage and valiant bravery. Vandals had stolen the toppers, like the brass plaques on grave markers today.

Francis Hartwell served with artillery units in the Army of the Ohio, the battle capping Union losses of 916 killed, 2943 wounded and 489 missing. Confederate losses were 2000 killed, wounded or missing. Matilda was so proud of her husband's achievements in artillery and she wanted Cannon Township resident to remember his sacrifice as he fought, despite dying from disease. She wanted to remember Francis with pride of his sacrifice to the Union.

Francis Hartwell fired the ancient Cannonsburg cannon with his father. This is what got him interested in artillery and why he enlisted as a volunteer in an artillery unit. Heartwell's father was a founding father of Cannon Township and received the cannon from Mr. Cannon in 1848. Matilda watched her husband and her father-in-law fire the cannon at celebrations. Only God knows if this is true, but I had to wonder how Matilda could design and erect such a large tombstone resembling a cannon unless she had seen the Cannonsburg cannon. Where else would she have seen a 16th century cannon unless she remembered the Cannonsburg cannon's physical features?

Most, if not all these monuments were made of sandstone, soft marble or glow in the dark mystery stones. Yes, in dark cemeteries some stones glow, as if inhabited by ghosts or spirits. These frighten nighttime trespassers. Francis Hartwell's tombstone cannon resemblance wasn't discovered until November 2007 while sprawled on my back in the cemetery. The spirits led me here on a dreamy nightmare and prayer.

Monuments like Francis' are considered mystery stones, since they were only manufactured between 1848-1875. None exist in cemeteries after that date and not much else is known about them. I ventured a guess they were put on graves of Civil War veterans who served in artillery units.

Bob with help from Allen Janose, Harold and Matt McCarthy, Chuck and Charlie Alcumbrack, Guy Lewis, Bruce Bjorneth and I, Bob's historical research investigator and writer helped Bob reach the final conclusion of his dream. Bob's cannon legacy and Legend of Bob Alcumbrack and Search for Secrets of A Sunken Cannon now rests in the Cannonsburg Cemetery.

"HOLD IT!" Where the cannon is buried in the cemetery? It's our ultimate secret, too, and respectfully for all the eyewitnesses the day Tompsett was killed by a ramrod. I chose to leave you guessing. It didn't matter to us whether the cannon is buried in an unmarked grave or beneath a tombstone? What matters is that we respect the silence of those who kept guard on its burial place secret for 125 years this past 4th of July 2010. Would it benefit anyone to know where? We are like the guards protecting the Holy Grail or Gold Chalis (the cup that Jesus Christ drank from thinking its owners would live for eternity" in Indiana Jones' adventures.

This ancient cannon deserved to go missing. The accident was preventable had someone replaced the missing lost tools and kept there silence where town elders buried it. The accident left the entire community in shock for years. Would it benefit anyone to know exactly where the cannon is buried. Just know that the new park trail that cuts thru the cemetery today is part of the same trail the cannon was dragged up on to the Cannonsburg cemetery. Pause as you enter. Say a prayer before entering and see if the spirits of Walter and Bob speak to you.

Just because Bob Alcumbrack and crew never visibly saw the cannon doesn't mean it didn't exist. Right now some would like to find and probably tar and feather me for not revealing the exact burial spot sooner. I never said Bob dug up the cannon nor saw it physically with his own eyes. I just gave you hope that he found the cannon. We showed you what we learned. An open mind is all you need to explore history, science, geography, astronomy, archaeology, etc., which encompassed our small corner of this planet.

Bob, the crew and I sowed fertile cannon seeds, sprinkled with water (interest) and you germinated hoping Bob did indeed find his wildest dream cannon. Bob never dreamed he'd get so involved and fascinated with so many important discoveries and secrets he knew nothing about. My research skills helped where he failed. Exploration of the cemetery with dowsing rods was one of his least favorite reward. He felt his presence was disrespectful, but he accepted the fact that just because you dream about something doesn't always mean it comes true. Got a dream! Some dreams come true, some don't but keep on dreaming until you act upon what the spirits tell you. Walter Tompsett and Bob Alcumbrack's spirit lives on into eternity.

Don Kurylowitz, the owner of Cannonsburg Market, deli, cafe', gas station, party store and Honey Creek Inn dedicated the Cannonsburg cannon memorial to Bob Alcumbrack in August 2006. Stop at the Cannonsburg corner some dark night when the street light is out. By some infrared film and see if the spirits of Walter and Bob and fifteen other cannon enthusiasts are clustered around the cannon pointing and hee-hawing at you trying to take their picture. If you see the pointing fingers and laughing you better run. It's time to stop drinkin.'

Finding an apparition on film could make you a millionaire or it'll drive you insane. Hear Bob say, "Guy's I could be wrong! Now you know almost all our secrets!" Those you haven't heard will remain ultimate secrets. The cannon's legend lives on into the future until someone else find the cannon elsewhere with the legends engraved in its barrel.

As Paul Harvey often said at the end of his noon hour Chicago radio show, as once coined by his adorable wife, "And now you know...(almost)...the rest of the story. Good Day!"

Search for Secrets of A Sunken Cannon - 105

The dimensions of the Cannonsburg cannon that Bob Alcumbrack dowsed were different than he could imagine, but at least the measurements were consistent with Austrian and Venetian cannons manufactured for England, France and Spain in the 16th century. Most late cannons don't taper back and forth over the distance of the barrel, with the exception of a Culverin. These vary from 2-4 inches wide over the entire length of the piece, but it couldn't have been a Culverin, since it wouldn't match the size of the cannonballs found in the Thomas' home. Culverins shot a cannonball of 2.75-inches diameter while the cannonballs Bob found were of 1.87-inch diameter proving it originated from a 2-pound falconet. The smaller cannonballs could not be fired from a Culverin. Most cannonballs were 0.13-inches smaller than bore size.

Bob had dowsed the reinforcement rings above the chamber seat and the rings around the muzzle bore. Reinforcement rings were added to 16th century cannons to keep the piece from exploding. The counteracting weights at both ends kept the iron or brass piece from flipping when fired. English and French cannons were of Austrian design prior to 1716. One of Bob's cannonballs did have a spiral ring pattern indicating it could have been made prior to 1716. After 1716 any cannonballs fired had straight-line striations, not circular. Scientists who studied Bob's cannonballs couldn't agree if the cannonballs were fired since none had indentations to prove being fired.

We felt Bob had dowsed a falconet because nothing else would explain the strong magnetic energy spot. Since Bob's rods never crossed over any graves it wasn't possible the decaying body of Tompsett or others would have such a strong electromagnetic field. His coffin although decayed wasn't in close contact with the stored electromagnetic energy held in above ground tombstones or monument markers. No other locations in the entire cemetery yielded electromagnetic signals so high. Wet wooden coffins and bones do store magnetic energy fields, but these decrease as time passes. Five men buried the cannon in the cemetery to keep the community safe. Bob focused all his energy not on deceased bodies, but a cannon.

Bob found it hard to believe he had dowsed the cannon in a grave. It wasn't the first time that man and cannon were buried together, but it was the first and last time the cannon was buried in Cannon Township. Other cemetery sextons in America put the dead down first and place a cannon that killed the man on top. Pirates were known to have buried sunken treasures and covered them with deceased men to chase or hasten treasure robbing. If it was a military soldier, all cannons rest above ground over the individual it killed and not buried above or below the coffin.

Cannonsburg Cemetery is on a high hill that overlooks the countryside and Cannonsburg. It isn't a circle sanctuary. It's simply a traditional American cemetery with standing or embedded tombstones showing the life and death histories of dearly departed friends, family and acquaintances. While most people show respect for the dead there are always vandals destroying headstones and disrespecting the dead of the oldest graves, but Mother Nature and the passage of time does the same thing on graves before 1878. The oldest stones are easily broken or fractured. They suffered the test of passed time and Mother Nature's worst storms and during those years many stones were made of cheap sandstone and replaced with the more traditional and expensive granite, quartz and marble grave markers and monuments.

After Bob's exploratory gravesite survey he didn't look as hard for the cannon elsewhere, but he thought out of respect for Tompsett and all those who suffered keeping the ultimate secret he didn't want to share how his dream ended until after his death. This was his decision. It saddened him to learn that the cannon he had searched for better than 50 years was at rest in the Cannonsburg Cemetery. It wasn't the best way to end his wildest dream, but it was Walter Tompsett who died the horrible painful death. Still Bob didn't stop looking elsewhere for the cannon. He had been wrong before - thrice. He just didn't look as hard, but the discovery stopped the hard physical labor. I can still see Allen Janose rubbing his head as if to say "Bob, are you sure it's buried here in the cemetery?" It seems that Allen was forever taking off his cap and rubbing his head when Bob failed at the three big dig sites, too.

The discovery of a vast network of ley lines running across Cannon Township sure wet Bob's appetite about electromagnetic fields. Allen Janose accompanied Bob on many of his exploratory travelings around the township charting and studying the power of leys and power spots. People often saw Bob and Allen carrying strange rods and whirling gizmos near Imperial Mills or standing on the bridge over Bear Creek crossings. Bob wouldn't capitulate to the notion he had already found the cannon with 100% accuracy, but simply state "Guys, I-I could be-e w-wrong!" This mantra rattled his frame of mind.

Bob Alcumbrack had the wildest dream. A dream so fantastic he couldn't shake it off, but it was his crew that helped him achieve what he thought important about that dream. His fellow cannon hunters sacrificed their family life to help a friend. His dream was infectious and it became our dream as well. This scientific journey took us to new heights of discovery and scientific wonder we never knew existed. His dream was to find, restore and preserve the cannon for prominence in the community. It was a lofty goal despite the face the original five men took their secrets of the missing cannon into eternity as did all the eyewitnesses. Nothing about the Tompsett tragedy appears in any remembrances, memorials or obituaries after Tompsett died. The only historical account of the entire sad story appeared in the Rockford Register several days after the 4th of July 1885. The cemetery discovery of the cannon is circumstancial evidence and not proven -- we didn't dig it up and it wasn't a visible sighting.

It would be easy to dought the Cannonsburg Cemetery connection. If so, you launch your own dream and seek a better conclusion to what happened to the cannon. Make sure your wallet is busting to the seams with investment capital, because if something can go wrong it will and it'll be an expensive fix. Start where you think Bob and crew were wrong, but as a treasure hunter remember someone smarter might be looking over your shoulder or watching you from afar. Snooping government officials, nosey journalists or ugly treasure hunters lurk in the shadows listening for clues and finding it before you. Better to be the cat instead of the mouse. Sure there are those who will disbelieve the outcome of our cemetery findings and we know a few might doubt the cannon's legend as seen thru the eyes and mind of this historical sometimes mysterious writer and regard the whole thing as a hoax. Some believe the cannon never existed nor did Mr. Le Grand Cannon give the cannon as a gift to town elders. They doubt historical facts.

Walter Tompsett was killed by the premature discharge of the Cannonsburg cannon, but the sole responsibility for the tragedy fell upon the township officials who didn't keep the first burial secret. Add seven impetious men ages 27-43 who wanted to fire the ancient cannon on an ornate carriage just as their fathers and grandfathers had done for 37 years. The accident is recorded in the Rockford Register in July 1885. Tompsett's untimely deatyh turned the whole Cannonsburg community and all those who witnessed the tragedy into the ultimate secret society. Bob's dream infected other dreamers, too, who hoped he'd succeed at dredging up the cannon.

"OOH, oooh! WOW! What a nightmare!"

Waking up on May 28, 2008, I rubbed my eyes, scratched my head and my mind wouldn't stop spinning. It was seeing the aftermath of cannons, cannonballs, explosive black gunpowder bellows of cannon smoke, ghost hovering above cannons, Wiccan witches, UFO sightings, aliens, extraterrestrials, Indian spirits, norther lights, lightning bolts, Indian mounds, glowing people and tombstones, ceremonial grounds, circle sancturaries , magnetic stones, circles and rings of fire, magnetized stones, lunar cycles and bluestones all swirling around in a cyclone. Nothing but blurs swirling past. Twentty-two years of cyclonic historical research swirled at high-speed counterclockwise in my dream as if disappearing into Bob's first big dig mosquito infested steel coffer box in July 1986. We knighted Bob in 1988. Gave him the title - President Manual Labor.

Don't understand the reason why Bob's great adventure resembled the ending of "Jumanji" starring Robin Williams or "Night At The Museum" starring Ben Stiller where history comes alive in darkness. I know maybe I ate too many potato chips before bed. This almost trumped an earlier dream, a fantastic dream I couldn't shake off that almost caused my real demise. I couldn't shake it off and acted upon it rather foolishly the following morning that involved Bob Alcumbrack and Walter Tompsett. Read the final conclusion in #106.


Friday, July 30, 2010

Search for Secrets of A Sunken Cannon -104

Stonehenge and the lost Cannonsburg cannon have something in common? Both have magnetic fields that exist in cemeteries and the Cannonsburg cemetery is part of the mystery concerning the missing cannon. Stonehenge to leading scientists is reputed to be an ancient cemetery and not an astronomical place where Stone Age Britions encountered extraterrestrials. Human ashes exist near the standing stones with base bluestones and together they impart a magnetic charge to the standing stones - Stonehenge. The wetness in soil is the electrical connection charge to the stone, but when ashes are cast to the winds the energy field is lost, too. So too, when we return to dust in a casket it is the wetness of the dust that holds an electrical. As long as the ashes are confined the fields of energy won't disappear. Dry dust holds no electrical charge. Wetness is the connection point.

Earlier I talked about lightning, but did you know many people are electrocuted during and after a thunderstorm, hurricane or tornado visit, because they stepped in gutter stormwater. That's right. Someplace a downed electrical line carries that current along the curb to a storm basin. Step into the stormwater and "ZAP" you are dead not by lightning, but by live downed electrical lines or lightning bolt. High voltage electricity is an unseen silent killer. Back to my story.

When I tossed out my cemetery findings out to Bob. He was squeamish about where he might have to go, but after two drastic failures and probably a third dig, he had to investigate Cannon Township's three cemeteries. He had fought the urge to investigate the cemetery for nearly 50 years. He never thought he'd have to go to such lengths to find the Cannonsburg cannon. He felt in his heart and mind that before he dowsed he should explain to the cemetery spirits why it was so important to check out my findings and settle his mind, because a distracted mind is a terrible thing to waste. His wildest dream was being challenged.

Bob needed closure on his wildest dream. It was time to explore the idea that the cannon might truly be buried in one of the cemeteries and yes, we watched Bob's rods move mysteriously above the ground when we told him what to find and he found...our purposely planted coin. We had to test his mind's ability to focus on a coin. No sense looking for a cannon if he couldn't dowse a coin. Being team members we had to check out Bob's brain, his mental state and physical energy level and his overall health when using dowsing rods. Body, mind and spirit must be in good condition. Concentration and focus were the prerequisites that all dowsers must perform when trying to find cannons or treasure. Lots of digging at two previous failure sites made us skittish of Bob's ability to dowse accurately.

Caskets with bodies, lost gravesites and magnetic tombstones he had to forget. These would be his downfall. He had to erase them from his mind and concentrate on only a 16th century falconet cannon. All dowsers must shield their mind and body from things that could influence and corrupt thinking processes. The ability to dowse treasures or cannons is much more difficult than dowsing water, water wells, underground pipes, containment tanks, utilities or gravesites. Bob literally had to visualize a 2-pound falconet cannon in his mind that was 44-72 inches in length with Danish or Austrian features these being reinforcement rings. He had to refrain from caskets containing the dearly departed. Now that's a feat in a cemetery because of all the tombstones, markers, plaques and flower pots.

On a hazy, breezeless, warm July morning (July 9, 1988) Bob Alcumbrack, Allen Janose, Harold and Matt McCarthy, Chuck or Charlie Alcumbrack and I witnessed Bob begin his cemetery survey hoping to find if the Cannonsburg cannon was buried here. Bob moved around, but got no readings except for catching the ley lines that ran thru the cemetery. Other than these no other magnetic fields were found until he started adding directional triangulation anchor rods to the north, south and east driveways. He marked three anchor rods; two sending and one receiving electrical energy and we watched Bob's rods cross in hins hands where "X" marked the fourth spot from the three different anchors spots. The anchor spots are the triangulation points that narrow the triangle, which from any counterclockwise circumference of the circle plus the object you see in your mind's eye made one rod point to the direction of the object he desired.

It had taken Bob many years of practice to understand how the rods are used to find buried objects. Anchor rods have been used by ley line hunters since the late 1920's. It isn't just a matter of seeing it in the mind's eyes, but course comps were needed since the anchors were used as antennas for sending and receiving signals from buried objects that held a strong magnetic energy field.

Before Bob started his search with dowsing rods. We blindfolded him so he couldn't see any cemetery features. Bob stood absolutely still like a statue in a park and we waited patiently and watched one rod point towards the location. As we walked him a around the circle we charted his rod point directions. We had to stop him briefly so he wouldn't trip and fall on tombstones or plaque markers. At gravesites his rods never crossed which meant his mind was on only a distant object, the cannon. He was keeping the visual image in his mind while asking precise silent questions. Bob's rods never reacted or crossed at gravesites. Only positional triangulations towards the secret burial spot were noted. From wherever Bob walked one rod would always point towards one distant spot.

Once he narrowed the field he walked slowly and eventually the rods crossed in his hands over the grave. He sensed the rods movements, but didn't know they crossed. When he dropped his rods downward to a neutral stance, one rod beside each of his lower legs he waited they raised the rods and asked a silent question "Is the cannon buried beneath my feet?" The rods immediately crossed in his hands (positive answer) and his body trembled.

We led Bob away and unmasked him. We didn't want him to see the gravestie. We watched him dowse the same cannon spot from wider distances, two, three and four times. With full view of all the tombstones he asked the rods to point the direction to the gravesite and the line was marked on the opposite anchor rod. No matter from what angle he walked across the cemetery the rods wouldn't cross over any gravesites, but one rod continued to point out the direction from the circumference of the entire circle until both rods crossed when he passed over the "X" spot. He gave us goosebumps.

On the second trial when Bob saw the grave his Adam's apple jumped hard. He didn't believe it possible and he didn't want to believe he had possibly found or dowsed the cannon. He wasn't going to let his mind fool him, but over and over he dowsed the same spot from greater distances. The cannon rests in a dedicated grave in Cannonsburg cemetery. He stumbled backward, his voice trailing with "Naw, guys I could be wrong." He failed many times in wetland locations, but on dry land he was accurate. He constantly tried to disbelieve his findings. Was he right or wrong to assume the cannon was in this grave. Some dreams come true and some don't and he wasn't willing to accept success just yet.

We returned to the cemetery on July 12th and four tests more Bob dowsed the cannon at the same location. His rods never crossed over any other gravesites. No matter where he walked the rods always pointed towards the location. What he did notice was that the underground objects was sending stronger signals between the three anchor rods placed at different point on the circumference of the circle. Bob meant no disrespect for the dearly departed and he asked for forgiveness for investigating the cemetery findings, the only difference now was that he was attempting to disprove he had dowsed the cannon. He wouldn't let his mind release the cannon to its final resting spot. It was his way of dismissing his findings knowing nobody was going to ever see that cannon again and that is exactly what Tompsett's five buddies had accomplished.

Bob's body trembled after finding the spot four more times three days later. The signals where "X" markded the spot was stronger than on the 12th. It was the darker side of the lunar calendar when buried electromagnetic field objects have the strongest electrical fields. Each time he dowsed the gravesite he swallowed deeper, but the last time Bob dowsed his face was sullen, his body trembled and voice cracked softly "Guys, I could be wrong!" Allen Janose hung his head as Bob repeated his former statement, "Guys, I could be wrong, I-I could be-e-e wrong-g-g guys!"
His wildest dram was being shattered like glass, but it wasn't over. He had come to the realization it was here. He'd have to accept what he found and move onward.

He found the burial spot, but he had to figure out the size and feature of the cannon, so he backed up and when the rods opened straight ahead he placed a coin on the ground and walked forward, the rods crossed and swung open again. The object was 55-inches long and tapered from 9-11-9-8 at the large end. He had dowsed the reinforcement rings about an inch thick and the piece tapered down from 8 inches wide to five inches wide, then 6-8-6-5 inches near the muzzle. Again the widths were reinforcement rings. This is why the dockworkers in Grand Rapids in 1848 called it an ancient cannon. The cannon was buried from 87-95 inches deep. Bob said, "Guys, I could be-e wrong!"

Two more segments will finalize this story. Don't miss the exciting conclusion, because another mystery in this cemetery will yield a startling discovery that might prove correct the cannon's physical features.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Search for Secrets of A Sunken Cannon - 103

A cemetery was the most logical place on earth where the Cannonsburg cannon could be buried by a sexton and five men forever without being exhumed by man with the exception of Mother Nature. Never would it be disturbed again, but needless to say, the men of past didn't know that men of their future could use ground penetrating radar (GPR), MRI's, infrared photography, dowsing rods, metal detectors or radar tomography to find just about anything put into the soil or water. We had reason to believe that the cannon was buried at the end of the trail - that being the Cannonsburg cemetery. It was an honorable site for the end of the ancient cannon and it was once the pride of joy of Mr. Cannon. This was his favorite view of Cannonsburg.

In a rerun episode of NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service) the boss' Mark Harmen along with his investigative team with smart gal Abby used a hypothetical GPR to search a cemetery grave for a body inside a coffin. On a dark night the clandestine acting group of forensic scientists dragged a GPR device over the grave, which highlighted the casket minus the body, but it showed cement blocks - a vivid visual image. I must warn you no such device is in existence today - no clear images like what was shown. If the government did have a highly sophisticated GPR that showed such clarity it wouldn't acknowledge its use. The NCIS version GPR didn't exist, but real trials of such a device have been disappointing. Not just anyone can understand what is being seen. It takes a skilled geo-scientist to read GPR devices. They cost near a quarter million.

When the living walk into cemeteries they see engraved tombstones or plaque markers, but it is only the living who have seen the faces of those who've departed this life. Some long lifers can remember the physical features of the dead; tall, short, skinny, fat, etc. The tombstones we see leave a tag or marker in our memory bank. Whenever we go in cemeteries its a sacred place of the dead, but most of us return to the cemetery to respect the dead with flowers and prayer. We reflect on fond memories of those who lie in eternal sleep. We go to cemeteries to show some respect for the dearly departed or dead. It's a place where the living go to remember the love of our lives.

As we neared the conclusion of Bob's third dig in 1988 we couldn't help feel that it was plausible that the five men who hauled the killer cannon out of Cannonsburg did so with every intention of making sure it'd never see the light of day again. When Tompsett died the funeral and graveside services were secret. No obituaries for Tompsett were written for newspapers. The cemetery sexton could have buried Tompsett and cannon in the same grave. Bob didn't want to hear this when I told him what I'd found concerning how peacetime cannons were decommissioned when it killed a private citizen. Military personnel are buried alone, the cannon on the surface, but not below ground.

This was a Federal recommendation in the mid 1880's for disposal of non-military peacetime cannon's. Bury them deep and place the coffin on top of the cannon. Placing them deeper than coffin shielded the cannon from grave robbers. It'd keep the heritage and history of the piece intact.

The time between the cannon accident and Tompsett's death was extremely hard on Rena Tompsett, especially those surviving Tompsett family members who arrived to late. The five men and town elders who failed to keep quiet probably argued most of the time who's fault it was and what to do with the killer cannon. Teardrops fell by the thousands that night. The cannon five spirited the killer cannon out of town fast. They took it upon themselves to make sure it went missing before sunrise and forgo the rutted wagon trails of public roads.

The clanking, rattling and squeaking wheels of the ancient cannon would have woken area farmers or those tending to early morning chores. They couldn't risk being seen with the cannon in tow. They took the wayward trail off Joyce Street. That was the secret route and they hoped nobody would seen them, but alas it was the squeaking wheels that woke up 8-year old Estella Ward and her bright eyes saw them twice. Once pulling the cannon and returning empty handed. She was the only eyewitness who could supply Bob with a time frame coming and going.

A cemetery sexton plus five grief stricken men could he even dug a deep grave for Tompsett that Sunday morning and buried that cannon deeper than the casket. The cannon would be right at home in the Cannonsburg cemetery. The honorable gift cannon could rest without ever hurting anyone else again. Was this their biggest secret? We knew where the cannon wasn't buried. Surely they wouldn't destroy or recycle it and wouldn't sell it.

We did know through our ley line investigations that two ley lines ran through the Cannonsburg. One from northwest to southeast trajectory (Cannon Twp. northwest Section 4 to SW Section 26). It went ended at the pine stump near Bob's first big dig. The stump was a power projection source of magnetic energy. It's aura was six feet wide, the largest we ever found in Cannon Twp. The other ley ran nearly due south from near the old Bush lake in Cannon Twp. Section 3 and ended just inside the north property line of the cemetery. The pine stump had many other leys coming to it from southwest to northeast. Local Indians would say the previous ley was abad omen. The discovery of the ley lines thru the cemeterty got our attention. Leys persay don't lead to buried treasures, but research along leys did support the fact that some treasures have been found within the triangle of leys.

I suggested to Bob in 1986 he'd be wise to investigate Cannon Township cemeteries. He couldn't bring himself to believe the men buried it there. His mind wouldn't let him believe this. It would be a death knell to his wildest dream. He felt it disrespectful to his dead friends and family to investigate the probabilities that cannon and man might be buried together. He thought it terribly disrespectful of the dead and dearly departed and today dowsers are used in cemeteries to find lost graves and identify graves lost in time before the lots may be resold or used by someone else. Bob couldn't stomach trespassing against the spirits of the dead. He refused to use his dowsing skills in the Cannonsburg cemetery until his third big dig was a bust. His men had suffered enough failures and the group sought closure.

Cemetery dowsing for lost gravesites is an honorable profession. Bob was to become a pioneer as a non-destructive gravesite surveyor. That's a skilled professional dowser after nearly two years of intense dowsing instruction and practicing. He had become a gifted practical dowser and indeed able to accurately dowse objects, tell what it was before digging commenced. He could time date the object and coins unseen. White's electronic metal detectors today give you an image of what you've found before the owner attempts to dig up the treasure. Lots of treasure is plain junk, but on occasion someone strikes the mother lode.

Like children practicing a musical instrument, the art of concentration and mind focusing or tending is what makes dowsers successful. Practice makes perfect and one has to listen to the rotten squeaky notes many times just like those who wear headsets for metal detectors and listen to the squawking. It takes lots of patience, concentration and focusing to dowse objects.

God provided us all with a brain and body. They don't always work together, but if you are daring enough to believe in God, why isn't man daring enough to use what God gave us all. He gave most of us the ability to use the gray matter between our ears to focus and concentrate and use our electrical charged brain and nerves to increase our own aura of electromagnetic energy fields. This dimension aura spins around our bodies like the electrical charges that circle around Stonehenge on the darkest nights. Whether living or dead it is the electrical fields that causes dowsing rods to cross for unknown and unseen visual objects. This is why some humans glow in the dark when sitting atop Indian Mounds or tombstones glow at night. As long as the dowser can envision an object in the mind's eye so much the better, but the brain must think like a computer to envision objects. Don't disbelieve in dowsers simply because someone else is a doubting Thomas. To understand the principles of dowsing you just need to fine tune your mind, body and spirit. If you disbelieve in one why bother?

Once upon a time most parents told their children to believe in "Santa Clause, Kris Kringle, Para Noel, the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy" until parents shattered their dream friends. Just because you've never seen God, Jesus Christ or Angels doesn't mean they never existed. Dying people have said, "Did you see the angel or Christ standing at the foot of the bed?" Many of the living and healthy see nothing. The heart and mind must be in tune with the Spirit. The living aren't prepared for the end. All dowsers just want you to accept them and be daring enough to believe that anything is possible. If the prophets of the Bible made miracles why fear dowsers?

Our living physical being, brains and nerves are supercharged daily with free flowing neurons and electrons and these electrical impulses travel thru our nerves in our bodies at the speed of light. In a few seconds I want you to close your eyes. I want you to drive to work or favorite play spot using only your mind's eye. Picture your residence and everything. My mind is getting duller since I can see all the sights for one hundred miles in about 10 seconds. Short-term ride 3 miles in less than 2 seconds. Whatever you see is locked in your mind's eye -- the memory center of your brain.

Get ready, get set, go! Take a few minutes to explore what is recorded in your memory banks.

As I previously said, "Some individuals generate wide electromagnetic energy fields while others have little to none. Whether living or dead doesn't matter just as long as the body remains intact in a casket or cremated ashes remain inside a vase. Each has its own electromagnetic energy identity. When bones and ashes are separated the magnetic field ceases. Segment 104-106 tell where all this ends. As legendary Paul Harvey would say "Good Day!"

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Search for Secrets of A Sunken Cannon - 102

Upon the death of Walter Tompsett in Cannonsburg all those who witnessed the terrible accident swore themselves to a solid vow of silence for eternity. Nary a whisper of community news came from Cannonsburg for over two months. Food and Christian fellowship was the only mention of festivities at area churches where they greeted each other with respect, but they never talked about the accident, where the cannon went or anything connected to the tragedy.

September 1885 saw the arrival of Cannonsburg's new physician and surgeon. Ooh, had he gone to Cannonsburg first instead of Kent City, Mr. Tompsett would be alive today, but disabled. Instead he found the townspeople locked in extreme grief, sadness and depression. The depth of their sorrow and depression was so great it eventually forced him to leave Cannonsburg in 1888. He couldn't stand the silence. He tried unscuccessfully for three years to find out what happened to the cannon, but left to teach surgical skills in Grand Rapids. Never would anyone comment freely. Cannonsburg had become a secret driven community and the people never talked about Walter Tompsett or his survivng family members again.

Fred Thomsas and his grandfather James Thomas were often questioned for information concerning the cannon's disappearance, but both denied to answer. It was if their jaws were wired shut.

Fred was absent when the five men buried the cannon, but township people believed that James Thomas might have told Fred. James was highway commissioner and road builder when Tompsett was killed and it was he who told the senior township officials where to bury it the first time. Unfortunately he didn't keep quiet and his grandson Fred overhead James and Fred's fahter John talking and figure it out where it was buried. Fred though was still being pestered so badly by outsiders that he met a woman from Ionia, Michigan and married her. He left Cannonsburg and spemt the remainder of his life in Ionia.

James it seems didn't worry much about spillin' the beans, because he was severely injured around 1892 when the logging chain he was using to remove a tree stump during road construction snapped strking him in the head causing a severe concussion. Many tried plying him with intoxicating liquor to trick him into answering, but his short-term memory prevented him from forming an intelligent answer. He'd often say "What was the question again?"

At the Pioneer Founder's Day picnic in 1886 in Thomas Hall nothing was ever said about the previous Fourth of July celebration that claimed Walter Tompsett's life. It was if the accident never happened. The only news was that Rena Tompsett had married Mr. Andre of Cannonsburg and that they moved to Grand Rapids. Being a widow with a young son she had to find a man who could take care of them both.

I unlike Bob always assumed that the Tompsett family with the town elders and Dr. Patterson had taken to heart what the Federal government recommended. The old post Civil War era cannons were made of junk metal. "Destroy, bury or recycle, but get rid of them!" Liability claims were on the rise across America. According to government statistics almost 250 men were killed and thousands injured so badly they couldn't work during 1865-1892. Something had to be done to stop the carnage. Those firing the cannon never had any military training. According to government sources it was customary and traditional to bury peace-time non-military individuals (private citizens) killed by malfunctioning cannons in a single grave, alone by itself or within the same grave below the coffin. Military personnel may not be buried with occupant, because such cannon was government property. Gift cannons from private individuals to town and village people were exempt.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Search for Secrets of A Sunken Cannon - 101

Bob Alcumbrack's wildest dream was to find the lost Cannonsburg cannon and yes, he did find the cannon on July 9th and 12th, 1988. That's 103 years after its disappearance on July 5, 1885. So why hadn't you ever heard that he did find the cannon and the story behind it? It's because of where he found his wildest dream. Never in his wildest dream did he imagine where he'd find it.

American philosopher Charles Peirce (1839-1914) once said that the "Wildest dreams are the necessary first steps toward scientific investigations. It is the man of science, eager to have his every opinion regenerated, his every idea rationalized" and this historical researcher drank at "the fountain of facts" that helped Bob channel all his energies towards "truth not as he understands it, but as he did not understand it." Bob didn't have all the answers to problems just as neither did his cannon hunting crew. Some things in life you learn as you press forward into the future and try as you might the outcome may not be what should have happened.

A case in point is the mysterious disappearance of the fellows searching for the Lost Dutchman's treasure who went missing. They sought the treasure, but why haven't searchers found them? It could be they found the treasure by accident. Could the earth have swallowed them, the ground giving way catapulting them into a deep cavern, the earth burying them without a trace or could they have met their doom by the hands of others who lead them to the treasure? That's always why it is important to have a close cluster of trusted comrades who know where you've gone when treasure hunting.

Timeline: July 5, 1885 approximately 1-2 a.m.

Roughly 12 hours after the accident Dr. Rev. Patterson came outside his residence and told the faithful still outside that Walter Tompsett had passed away. He laid for 12 hours on the bed bleeding to death before his parents or any physicians and surgeons could arrive to amputate the remainder of his leg and stop the flow of blood. He technically bled to death. The faithful burst into tears. It was a horrible end to such a festive Fourth of July.

Tompsett's six friends and the township officials who previously buried the cannon wept. Although the cannon killed Walter it was largely their fault for not heeding the advice of town elders, but both groups of men created the tragedy. Had the seven young men ages 27-43 not dug up that cannon from the streamside grave this tragedy could have been averted, but then again it might have happened in the near distant future.

Five grief stricken men left to get the cannon and made it go missing for 103 years. They were going to make sure nobody ever fired that cannon again, but for such an honorary cannon, they would make sure it stayed in the community. This was their biggest secret. So what happened to the secret cannon?

All in all Bob had forgotten lessons learned in life that children lose all track of time. Time to a youngster is fleeting most of the time. God knows truthfully how long the men were gone. This was not to insinuate that Estella Ward was wrong or fudged about the time gone and when the men returned, but it would be impossible to return the cannon to its former grave and walking back past the Ward home an hour later. Couldn't be done. So where and how did they hide the cannon.

Theoretically this is what we believe might have happened to the cannon, but as you will eventually see sometimes researchers can look right at something and miss it. We get so heavily involved we miss things easily seen, but it is not recorded in our memories.

Beyond the Ward estate, the men went up the trail over the hill and crossed the small footbridge over the small stream and past the original burial site where Mr. Murray's eyes filled with tears. Just beyond the trail forked, the southwest trail returning to Cannonsburg Road, the other trail going northwest approximately 12oo feet to Le Grand Cannon's favorite piece of property. It's a high hill that in 1885 looked southeast over fields of wheat and pastures. The view of Cannonsburg was breathtaking. Mr. Cannon's most favorite spot in Cannon Township had become the Cannonsburg Cemetery on Sunfish Lake Road. Five men could have dropped that killer cannon off in the cemetery and presumably dug a grave for it and Tompsett or the sexton buried both. Who would have thought that Mr. Cannon's favorite spot would become a cemetery. The cemetery might be its final destination.

The five men rushed back to town and walked past the Ward house shortly after sunrise. They couldn't take the chance that someone would see them walking past houses on public roadways. At sunrise the churchbells rang in "Churchtown", because Cannonsburg was a town with churches and it was going to be a solemn day. Oops, lots of thunder a storm approaches, but I just wanted to start the ball rolling causing you to wonder what and where did Bob really find the cannon. Is it in the cemetery? Next time in segment 102 and 103 I unmask the ultimate secret. What will the destiny of segment 103 and year 103 reveal. The mysterious disappearance of the Cannonsburg cannon is understood upon its 125th year absence.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Search for Secrets of A Sunken Cannon - 100

"Awesome!" That awesome blast fooled Bob, but cannonfire is awesome for any size.

That's what Bob Alcumbrack, the Cannonsburg cannon hunter eventually thought when he'd found the burial spot of the cannon July 4-7th, 1986. He felt certain his search would end after dreaming for 57 years. John Murray's tearful eyes couldn't lie. But they did. They hid a mysterious secret, too. That's what this whole blog is about.

Surely his nuclear metal range finders wouldn't fail, but they did and his experimental use of ground penetrating radar wouldn't fail, but that did. Ice cold water and real gold in black sand did foul plans for a great 4th of July, but it was the "awesome" word eyewitnesses said that caused Bob to lose track of reality. Not everything in life goes according to plan. Still he never imagined it would take two years more of research and dowsing practice before he was ready for his final conquest.

For the next two years he continued to dream about finding the Cannonsburg cannon, but finding the historical treasure didn't mean "finders keeper" and he had to ponder the question "what if the rightful owner" meaning the township or government claimed it. The owner might challenge his right to preserve, restore and display the killer cannon of Cannonsburg that when prematurely fired killed 27-year old Walter Tompsett. Was it a disrespectful the act to dig it up? Bob felt it was his duty to right a wrong. As an honorable cannon it didn't deserve to go missing. Bob all along felt the five men who buried it in a secret location were wrong to bury such an honorable cannon. It was the fault of humans loading it that caused the tragedy. Still Bob was a possibility thinker and he never gave up his wildest dream.

What's your dream? It would have been easy for him to quit dreaming. If something could go wrong, it did, but he didn't dwell on things he couldn't change and chose to think positive thoughts. Dr. Robert Scheuller of the Crystal Cathedral, in California, you must be a possibility thinker in life. Dwelling on the negatives of life hinders your resolve to overcome problems. and problems mushroom.

God gave us all brains, but it's too bad we fail to use it correctly. Our brains inability to focus or concentrate effectively is the only constant between success and failure and Bob Alcumbrack was out to win using his mind's eye, brain and body. Without concentration and focus nothing can be achieved. All three turned him into a powerful electromagnetic field of energy, the electrical current's supercharging raced down from his focused brain thru nerves in muscles connected to the dowsing rods and on July 9th and 12, 1988, he did indeed find the Cannonsburg cannon on the dark cycle days of the month's lunar cycle.

Bob had triangulated on the secret cannon and nobody was going to know the exact burial site. Many believe Bob never realized his dream, but he did. He had found the burial spot of Cannon Township's honorable namesake, but past killer cannon, but it was a bittersweet find. In 1986 Bob hoped to find a 14 foot long six-pound military cannon, a cannon that weighed more than 3800 pound dry, but thrice that if wet. When the cannonballs were found in James Thomas' old house did that cannon shrink to 54-72 inches long weighing a mere 300-400 pounds far less than originally believed. Bob's cannon was slightly larger than Bob's memorial cannon placed by Don Kurylowitz, the owner of the Cannonsburg Deli & Market and Honey Creek Inn. That's the corner of Honey Creek Ave and Cannonsburg Road dead center in Cannonsburg, Michigan. Both streets were Sioux Indian War Trails to Saginaw.

Bob, Allen Janose, Harold McCarthy and I watched Bob dowse the small ordnance at the last secret burial spot. He dowsed the dimensions. Bob scratched his head numerous times, more times from different angles and "X" marked the spot from many different locations. Just because you dowse a cannon or treasure doesn't give you exclusive rights to dig it up. on government, private or public land. Channels of joint cooperation were needed and the amounts of government paperwork, documentation and environmental impact statements caused Bob to shudder. The 1885 cannon burial men had found the ultimate secret burial spot, but we bet they never would have imagined that Bob Alcumbrack with modern technology would find their missing cannon.

Since Bob Alcumbrack's death in May 2004 I've asked many Cannonsburg residents "How many holes did Bob dig searching for the Cannonsburg Cannon? Most reply one big dig and many were surprised to learn he dug hundreds. Bob kept four burial spots secret. He kept the last "awesome" secret and respected where it rested. In the end he saved the secret spot for eternity with respect for Walter Tompsett and those who witnessed the horror. He kept it secret from the public out of respect for Walter Tompsett. He found his dream, but was deeply saddened by its discovery. His 'thunder' was diminished. He visited the site many times up until his death, but in the end felt it was his best decision.

Before I tell where he found the Cannonsburg cannon you need to know where other people think the cannon was buried. George Herrington, sipping coffee at the Cannonsburg Grist Mill, Deli and Market says its buried beneath a roadway, somewhere in an upright position with muzzle pointing skyward inside a hollow tree. It could be buried with a young tree planted inside bore since as the tree grows it'd split or encase the cannon inside the rootball of an ancient oak tree. The Cannonsburg area has lots of old trees over 150 years old.

Don Kurylowitz once said he and other believe the old cannon was resurrected during one of two World Wars for recycling projects, but I found no evidence to support this claim. Trouble is secrecy ruled Cannonsburg and all witnesses were sworn to silence and only five burial men knew where and how they got rid of the killer cannon. Rena Tompsett and Dr. Patterson had a hand in where it went. All took the secret to their graves. The burial men were sworn to secrecy and surely none of them would have dug it up or retrieved it without the expressed permission of each other, just like the men who buried the Twin Sisters in Texas, who couldn't find it when they returned to the site.

Internet companion cannon browsers indicate the Cannonsburg cannon was thrown into Sunfish or Pickerel Lake, but the men already feared somebody would find them soon. Could it have been chucked into a deep privy or Hartwell's old cistern well south of Cannonsburg or was it thrown into a bottomless kettle pond or hauled to the Saul's Lake bog. Bob searched the kettle ponds in the area, but found nothing but 19th century junk. I mentioned the old honey hole (outside crapper). We explored these sites too, which yielded discarded metal objects, toiletry bottles all enclosed in nightshade material. Privy digging is a requirement for budding archaeologists working on a Master's Degree. You could say its a 'nighshade' requirement for 21st century graduations.

Still other places of investigations were the old concrete dam foundations in Cannonsburg, the gate pillars at Townsend Park or beneath the concrete floor of the Warren Townsend Park Pavillion built in 1923. Surely John Murray wouldn't have dug up the cannon and moved it here.

Anonymous others suggested the cannon might be inside a hollow "v" shaped tree, but nobody has ever struck it using a chainsaw, backhoe or demolition crane. Bob and cannon hunting crew never took suggestions for granted, but the 1885 cannon burial men knew exactly where to bury and keep the cannon safe. We searched and searched somemore because we didn't want Bob's wildest dream to stop abruptly after all our hard work. We had no shortages of theories on what happened to the Cannonsburg cannon. When you got a dream you must keep on dreamin' until the dream becomes a reality. You never quit dreamin'.

Our biggest secret was keeping the public guessing. What we realized after acting out the tragedy was that the five men couldn't pull the Cannonsburg cannon on a squeaky rickety carriage out of town, depart, go up Joyce Street past Estella Ward's parent house, go over the woodland trail, bury and arrive back past the same house within one hour. They couldn't have gone more than one mile, but the trail they took was over one mile long. Time constraints say they hid or dropped off the cannon at an undisclosed location, then returned and possibly buried it on the property of a founding father who accepted it from Le Grand Cannon. These men tried to sneak out of town without anyone seeing them. They couldn't chance someone seeing them hauling the cannon out of town on public streets. This was a secret mystery where only certain individuals knew where it went. Nobody could see them bury it.

Estella Ward was the only person who in the twilight of sunrise was the last person to see the ancient cannon with ornate carriage disappear. Bob always concentrated on Stella's memory recalling they were gone only forty-five minutes or so. That meant they had to have buried it close to town and Mr. Murray's constant tears when passing over the footbridge stream crossing was Bob's reasoning it was buried at the big dig site just west of the footbridge. Wrong! This was the first burial site by township officials. What Bob had forgotten was that children lose all track of time and time is a fleeting thing to a youngster. Only God knows truthfully how long the men were truly gone. This is not meant to insinuate that Stella is wrong or fudged the time when she saw the men again. Face facts of reality when dealing with children. When did you last hear "Are we there yet" or "what time is it." Time to a youngster is nonexistent.

Mr. Murray's eyes filled with tears each time. In a moment of shared time approaching the bridge he remembered that had they not dug up the buried cannon Walter Tompsett would probably have died of old age. Being impetious to fire that ancient cannon like their fathers they helped kill Tompsett who walked in front of the cannon just as Murray removed or repositioned his leaden thumb over the vent hole. It was accidental. Fred Thomas was the rammer and had just nested the gunpowder, the ramrod still inside the bore chamber. The glistening embers seized the powder bag and "BOOM!" The cannon let out an "AWESOME" blast, the ramrod burst out hitting Tompsett in the knee obliterating it. Only a little piece of skin held upper and lower leg. He screamed in terror which brought the 4th of July 1885 celebration and picnic to a halt and all were sworn to the ultimate secret leading to the final disappearance of the cannon.

Next time the "WHERE" and "WHY" you haven't seen it will be exposed and the mystery will be explained why you never heard the conclusion. This story will conclude shortly.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Search for Secrets of A Sunken Cannon - 99

Le Grand Cannon and Bob Alcumbrack were complicated men of unknown probabilities and secrets in regards to the Cannonsburg cannon. The best kept secrets are those not spoken unless absolutely necessary to save lives or injuries and each man knew the importance of keeping secrets out of the public eye.

Mr. Cannon kept the cannon delivery to Cannon Township officials secret from even his closest family members and acquaintances, whether it was work or play. The Cannonsburg cannon was an important historical object of one man's affection and appreciation to the people of Cannon Township for naming village and township upon his name.

Le Grand Cannon had visited the Grand River Valley in the 1830's and he fell in love with the property he purchased with John Ball's help. Afterall John Ball, was his Dartmouth college friend, attorney and land agent and Edmund Bostwick and Capt. Gillispie were employees. Cannon loved fly fishing for trophy brown trout in Lamberton Creek and panfishing at Silver and Bostwick Lakes, but he had a secret woodland spot he found most enjoyable in Cannon Township. The panoramic view he wanted protected.

Standing atop the hill he could look down and view the progress made in Cannonsburg and across the countryside. He was a proud of his achievements at giving homesteaders good property. He kept this spot secret and only shared it with John Ball when riding together visiting each others property in the area. He told his family he was going fishing with his friend John Ball at John Ball Lake, which was in the wilds of northeastern Grand Rapids Township.

When Walter Tompsett died, the ultimate secret society of Cannonsburg rose to the task by never mentioning what transpired after the 1885 Fourth of July Independence Day celebration. Those who witnessed the cannon accident and all those at the picnic atop the hill never shared any secrets about the disappearance of the Cannonsburg cannon. This they did out of respect for Walter Tompsett, his six cannon firing friends and the four township officials who buried the cannon the previous day, but failed to keep its location secret. The best secret is one not spoken.

Whoever remained alive in the early 1900's never gave Bob Alcumbrack a clear, precise image of the size, shape and caliber of the cannon. All they ever said was it had an "awesome blast. Bob's nightly dreams seized upon the word "awesome" and his mind focused on what the secret society members didn't say to envision the wrong size cannon. It was inevitable. His cannon hunting crew helped Bob chase his pipe dream at dig sites 1-3. It would have been easy for us to quit after the second failure, but when physical evidence (cannonballs) was found this opened the door to better prospecting.

Whether grave dowsing, water or utility, or treasure hunting, the facts remain that those who use dowsing rods to find these objects must have accurate information and the ability to focus that object in their mind's eye and recite precise mantra. Distortion in what they seek corrupts thinking and doing so diminishes the effects of successful physical rod usage. The mind's eye is "awesome" power. Using the mind's eye focus the visual image of family members. Frame the picture of them with closed eyes. The human brain is the first most powerful tool on earth until unleashed upon a computer, then it is the computer who controls men for better or worse.

In Bob's mind he always applied John Murray's emotional tears at the footbridge crossing to give credence that the cannon was reburied nearby or at the first cannon burial location. Since the five men were only gone forty-five minutes to an hour to bury the cannon surely they couldn't have gone far, but they could have taken it farther and hidden it and then buried it someplace else. Bob was sure that when he found the large + sign at dig site number one he had found the burial place. Smaller plus signs he found at sites 2 & 3. It was the massive energy field at his first big dig site that fueled his dreams to suppose this was the burial site and he didn't expect to find water and gold in the black sands.

Everything he knew about the cannon was based upon circumstancial evidence. He didn't have a shred of physical evidence to support his claim. His mind ran wild with excitement after listening to years of eyewitness testimony of its "awesome blast" and the Cannon Township's history book which states it was a "small military ordnance." He didn't have a shred of evidence of the cannon's heritage. What he did know was that the smallest in the U.S. Army was a 6-pounder. Bob's mind repeated "military ordnance" so much his mind convinced himself to believe it was a large cannon.

Bob's first big dig site was centered upon the fact Tompsett's five friends were only gone 45 minutes of so based upon the recollection of Estalla Ward. What Bob missed was that to move a 6-pound cannon it must be surviced by 7-9 men and 4-6 horses to move it. It would be nearly impossible to move this cannon if stuck in deep trail sand. Weight of gun, carriage and caisson would weigh in excess of 3,850 pounds and from tip of barren to spiked trail about 11 feet long. Four old township officials couldn't hope to dismember and bury such a large cannon the first time when water was encountered.

Since Murray's eyes filled with tears at the bridge crossing Bob felt it was reasonable to assume that the cannon was buried nearby and presumably on his step father's property, that on Luther Augustine's back 40 acres behind the front 40 acres upon which La-E-Ma-Land Mobile Home Park is currently situated. Bob never ventured beyond the streambed area, whose water rises from Pickerel Lake in northeastern Kent County and a few miles north of Cannonsburg.

Between July 1986 and May 1988 Bob had explored many areas within a four mile range of Cannonsburg. He practiced his dowsing craft and fine tuned his skills using dowsing rods to find precise objects and used them to find his dream cannon. Dig sites 1-3 were inhospitable areas to dig for the cannon. It was a jungle of wetland flora. One misstep without surveying where to step plummeted anyone into thick black organic mud and it sucked us down to our knees, waist and chest. No quicksand, but the suction was difficult and it was nearly impossible to extricate ourselves from its sticky grip. Leeches everywhere and flying hordes of mosquitos, black, blow and deer flies. We didn't let these insects and bloodsuckers stop our progress.

Between 1843-1856 Mr. Cannon owned about 30% of Cannon Township and during Bob's hiatus between 1986-1988 he searched all Cannon Township official properties between 1847-1887. Rechecked were all Cannon township officials between 1881-1888. The probablities existed that the cannon could have been hidden and removed to another parcel after Walter Tompsett's funeral or since it was a Sunday morning it could have been hidden just before Sunday morning services, then buried before the funeral or after the funeral. All the property searches were done from public road right-of-ways or property was entered only upon permission, which some property owners insisted he explore.

Bob used his dowsing rods, compasses and nuclear metal range finders to scan for brass, but all he found were short, powerful leys lines crossing several parcels. When Bob found the cannon he turned many shades of white and he shuddered near its location. It shocked his body and mind and he wondered how he missed it. The spirits were close to protect it. He didn't expect to find it. Over the next several blogs I'll explain where he found the Cannonsburg cannon and why you haven't read about the final conclusion. That's the way he wanted it until he died. Bob was proud, but humble. I agreed to his request.