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.

1 comment: