Monday, October 10, 2011

America Pre-Columbus

Unearthing Ancient America contains a wealth of fresh, occasionally suppressed evidence documenting the tremendous impact made on our continent by overseas visitors hundreds and even thousands of years before Columbus. The disclosures presented here re-write the prehistory of our country and provide a dramatic panorama of the past you never imagined before.  Shared below is a story from Chapter 1 which covers Anomalous Artifacts.

Medallion Puts Buddhists in Michigan a Thousand Years Ago

In 1983, James Scherz, professor of environmental studies and civil engineering at the University of Wisconsin (Madison), was shown a photograph taken by Dr. Pat Carmody, in L’Anse, Michigan, of an unusual medallion. About 1.75 inches in diameter, it had been found some 2 feet beneath the surface 55 years before by a man digging foundations for a building on the Lake Superior island of Isle Royale, near the Canadian border.

The obverse side of the object represented a man or statue seated in the entrance of a pyramid flanked on either side by palm trees before an audience of observers. The perimeter of the object was surrounded by 79 dimples. A hole pierced the medallion at its top, perhaps for a small chain to be passed through, allowing the coin-like item to be worn around the neck.

Although found in Michigan, the scene depicted on this medallion places its manufacture in medieval India.

Reverse of the Michigan medallion.

The reverse featured the image of a radiant lion holding a scimitar in its right, extended paw at the center of a heart with wishbone surrounded by 69 dimples. In a space between these and another 79 dimples appeared the raised letters of (to Scherz) an unknown Asian script resembling Tibetan or Indonesian examples with which he had a passing acquaintance. He guessed that the medallion “was produced by pouring some yellow metal alloy into a mold.” Unfortunately, its metallurgical testing was not possible, because the artifact had apparently vanished with its last known owner in 1986. All Scherz had to go on was the photograph. It particularly intrigued him, not only for its Asian imagery, but because of the circumstances of its discovery at an important place in the prehistory of North America.

Around the turn of the fourth millennium bc, Isle Royale suddenly became the center of a colossal copper mining enterprise that came to just as abrupt a halt 2,800 years later. From hundreds of pit-mines stretching for some 50 miles across Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, an unknown people excavated a minimum of half a billion pounds of the world’s highest-grade copper. No less mysteriously, this enormous yield disappeared without a trace. The mines lay mostly dormant throughout the following centuries, until they were reopened from ad 900 to ad 1300.  Professor Scherz wondered if the strange medallion could have had something to do with Isle Royale’s prehistoric miners, long suspected (at least by unconventional investigators) of overseas’ origins.

Beginning in the late 1980s, he republished a drawing of the missing item in several papers. Nothing was heard of it again until March 2003, when Mr. Paul Tolonen, of Tularosa, New Mexico, was shown a copy of Ancient American’s October 2000 issue. A friend pointed out page 38 of Volume 5, Number 35, which carried Professor Scherz’s illustration of the medallion. Recognizing the object, Mr. Tolonen telephoned Ancient American publisher Wayne May to explain that, in 1929, his uncle found the medallion, and, before his death, passed it on to Paul, who still owns it. The vanished artifact had resurfaced! Mr. Tolonen was kind enough to share with our readers a recent photograph of the object, the first ever published of the Isle Royale find.

But what does it mean? Is it an authentically ancient discovery, or a modern souvenir of some kind? If it is genuinely prehistoric, how did it get to a remote island in Lake Superior? How old is it, and from where did it come? What is the significance of its imagery? When Professor Scherz showed the Carmody photograph to university colleagues, they dismissed the medallion it depicted as a “coin made by modern Masons.” To confirm their opinion, he contacted several Masonic scholars, who assured him it was under no circumstances associated with Freemasonry.

Some students in his class from various Asian lands agreed that the figure seated in the pyramid’s entrance was unquestionably Buddha. “Raj, a PhD student in surveying from Nepal, where Buddha was born, recognized the letters,” Professor Scherz recalled, “and translated the script [on the medallion] as pertaining to some honored leader. But there are no palm trees [as depicted on the face of the object] in Nepal. When shown to Tibetan monks associated with the Dalai Lama visiting Madison in 1989, they themselves could not read the ancient script, but said that the piece was likely made at the great Buddhist temple at Borobudor, in Java.” About 10 years later, a pair of Maya elders visited Wisconsin, and Professor Scherz took the opportunity to show them the Carmody photograph. “Although the more knowledgeable elder could speak no English, he immediately responded through an interpreter that the piece was a temple medallion from Borobudor.”

A comparison of the minted image reveals that it was obviously meant to portray the pyramidal stepped temple of Borobudor, the Temple of Niches, as recognized by the Tibetan monks and Maya elders. The structure is actually a stupa, the ritual center of a monastery, monumentally expanded into five square and four circular terraces rising one upon the other to form a three-dimensional mandala, or cosmic diagram. Its location in tropical Java explains the presence of palm trees depicted on the temple medallion.

The reverse is more difficult to interpret. The lion with rays streaming from his back, a scimitar in his raised, right paw, is a political symbol traditionally associated with royal families from old Ceylon (today’s Sri Lanka) across southeast Asia. The heart-and-wishbone containing insignia indicates that the royal family is someone’s “heart’s desire.” Partially decipherable script surrounding this emblem appears to describe Raj’s “honored leader” as a Buddhist from Borobudor. The medallion may have been issued as a commemorative device to worshippers at the great temple he patronized with financial support. Whoever originally possessed the artifact must have come from Java. But when did he or she arrive in North America? According to Professor Scherz, “the coin could not have been made before 200 bc, for about this time Buddha was first represented in statue form by missionaries who took Buddhism to China, Southeast Asia, and islands such as Java. Before that date, Buddha was symbolically represented by lattice-like gates.” Buddhism did not predominate in Java until the ninth century.

In American Discovery (218), Dr. Gunnar Thompson reproduces a relief carving from Borobudor’s Temple of the Niches dated to this period. It shows a three-masted ocean-going galley about 100 feet long. According to Thompson, “Buddhist records of a fifth-century pilgrimage from Ceylon to Java report vessels large enough to carry 200 passengers.... It was not unusual for [ninth-century] crews to sail thousands of miles on the Indian Ocean. Pacific crossings, though hazardous, were not beyond the capability of either ships or seamen” (220, 221).

Actually, the temple building depicted on the Tolonen medallion is not Borobudor’s Temple of the Niches, but the Mahabodhi Temple at Bodh Gaya in northeastern India. This proper identification is important, because it makes sense of the Buddha figure prominently portrayed on the token: the Mahabodhi Temple marks the place where the founder of Buddhism, Siddhartha Gautama, achieved enlightenment. “Mahabodhi” refers to the bodhi or pipal tree under which he reached illumination, and is the most important place of pilgrimage for Buddhists around the world; hence, the crowd of robed figures and the prominence given to trees depicted on the token.

The temple was completed during the seventh century ad, but has been subsequently embellished and renovated. Although the structure depicted on the Tolonen Medallion is unmistakably the Mahabodhi Temple, it differs markedly from the building as it appears today. Missing is the stupa, a bell-like shrine added to its summit sometime in the early 16th century ad. The Isle Royale object could only have been minted before the stupa was put in place, and therefore brought to Michigan in pre-Columbian times. Our conclusion is underscored by an archaic script on the token’s obverse side. Professor James Scherz’s foreign exchange student from Nepal, the Buddha’s birthplace, had difficulty reading the script, and was only just able to effect a loose translation, indicating significant change in the written language throughout the course of several centuries. Linguistic and architectural considerations join local prehistory to suggest that the Isle Royale object was manufactured between ad 750, when the Mahabodhi Temple was completed, and 1300. An early 14th-century speculation is inferred for the end of our date parameters, because that period marks the final termination of copper mining at Isle Royale in pre-Columbian times.

A duplicate of Mahabodhi was built in Pagan, the old capital of Burma, during the late 12th century ad, but this is not the same structure appearing on the Tolonen Medallion. Its reverse features a lion-with-sword symbol historically associated with India.

The artifact appears to be an authentic medallion or token issued by some royal patron of the Mahabodhi Temple. Perhaps a Buddhist missionary brought it from India to Isle Royale, where it was lost sometime between ad 900 and ad 1300, a period framing the last epoch of the Upper Peninsula’s copper-mining enterprise. Bodh Gaya lies just 75 miles from the Ganges River, which connects to the Bay of Bengal, allowing access for a transoceanic traveler.

If our conclusion, based on the Tolonen Medallion’s internal evidence and contemporary Michigan history, is correct, it establishes that seafarers from the distant subcontinent were visiting North America’s source of mineral wealth long before Columbus was born. Such a scenario is not altogether far-fetched. Professor Scherz’s Nepalese student, Raj, told him that, “another name for Buddha in his country was Fue. When Catholic missionaries came to the Athapaskan Indians of Canada, the natives tried to tell the French that they were followers of Fue. The missionaries described the Athapaskans as Gente de Fue (“People of Fue,” not knowing what Fue meant). Other native peoples similarly referred to as Gente de Fue are also found in French monastery records from the 1600s, as far south as Greenbay, Wisconsin. But the wars between the Protestant British and Catholic French in the 1600s (really part of the Thirty Years War in Europe) erased any further reference to the Fue in the region.”
Among the most vilified evidence for overseas visitors in the Upper Midwest during the fifth century are several thousand clay tablets dismissed by conventional archaeologists since the 1800s as part of a transparent hoax. But when a particularly intriguing example fell into the hands of David Allen Deal, the entire collection was suddenly cast in a new light.

Deal was especially qualified to examine a particular example of what seemed to be an astronomical device of some kind, because he had already determined that an ancient carving in Colorado signified a Saturn-Jupiter conjunction on August 8, ad 471, as published in Celtic America (Appendix A, page 268). Another book, In Plain Sight, described his interpretation of an Arkansas petroglyph that again defined a conjunction of Jupiter with Saturn, this time adjacent to the star Wasat in the constellation of Gemini, as it appeared on March 30, ad 710. His conclusion was verified by computer experts, one of whom remarked, “Nothing we found disputed Deal’s proposals.”

David Deal is a practicing, professional artist and designer, a fact that, he says, has done “nothing to detract from my ability to interpret design and intent. In fact, that is what I am paid to do, to create such imagery and allegorical designs, designs that represent ideas, products, and themes graphically, sometimes with great subtlety.” Thus equipped, he proves that astronomers from the Old World were at work in America some 15 centuries ago.

The Copts whom Deal mentions were early Christians in Egypt, who blended Gnostic mysticism with the original teachings of Jesus. As such, they were singled out for special persecution by the Roman Church around ad 400, when some Copts fled for their lives into foreign lands. Their descendants still flourish in modern Egypt.


  1. I have this exact same coin found during an excavation project in North Dakota. We've attempted to find information about it from numerous places, including Mr. Joseph, and have discovered nothing.

  2. same coin in maine, passed down from parents

  3. This same coin was handed down to me from my grandfather and father along with other rare coins. They were all miners from the central U.S.; zink, ore, copper.

  4. Same coin recently found in VA just below the surface.

  5. I do believe someone brought one into our museum once that they found in Southwest Michigan....haven't seen it in a long time, but I think that's the one.

  6. My grandfather had one of those "Michigan Medallions". My mother keeps it now. It seems to be made of copper. I polished it with Brasso but i couldn't get all of the grime off of it.

  7. My mother has one of those "Michigan Medallions". She got it from her father. I polished it with Brasso but i couldn't get all of the grime off. If anybody wants to contact me about it, try doing so through Google+ or look me up on Facebook (if it even gives you that option).

  8. Nicole HutchisonMay 27, 2017 at 1:08 PM

    I have this medallion, attached to a Tortolani necklace, with a new calendonian tribal carving on it, and it came from New Caledonia in the 60's when my father lived in New Caledonia as he attended boarding school.


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