Hill of mysteries North Salem

One of the biggest archaeological curiosities in the US is a strange construction ensemble, made on the same rock, near North Salem. This vestige shows that Europeans settled long before Christopher Columbus in the New World.

The site bears the name of Mystery Hill and the legend took shape in 1826 when a farmer named Jonathan Pattee settled in the area. At Pattee's death the hill had not yet acquired its name, but then various rumours began to circulate. People in the area wondered what purpose the grower had used, some believed he smuggled alcohol while others assumed he was hiding fugitive slaves.


In reality it was not about caves but huge constructions made of stone blocks, perfectly placed. The ensemble was reminiscent of megalithic constructions and has no less than 22 rooms plus several others somewhere on the edge of the area. The construction was located right in the middle of a plot measuring 6 hectares. These dolmens were at least 5 tons in weight, towering over huge boulders while smaller stones formed vaulted rooms. At the periphery was a huge block that resembled an altar for sacrifices.

An amateur archaeologist, William B Goodwin, bought the estate in 1933 and began digging. The archaeologist concluded that those caves date from the fifteenth century and were built by Irish monks who had fled the homeland when the Vikings had invaded.

Following the anapoda excavations, Goodwin moved several objects and rearranged them, which completely prevented the exact construction date from being established. The archaeologist who contributed to the knowledge of the archaeological site, was the only culprit for the degradation of the ensemble that would forever hide the true story. In 1957, at Goodwin's death, the hill was named Mystery Hill and was purchased by another amateur archaeologist, Robert E. Stone.

The searches of the new owner proved to be useless because he did not find any clues as to the origin or age of the place. Barry Fell, a former biology professor at Harvard University, researched the site years later and established that the sibilant inscriptions on some of the stones belonged to an ancient Celtic language called ogham. If his hypothesis were true then the origin of the Hill of the Mysteries would be somewhere between 800 I.H.-200 AD.

Most archaeologists dispute Fell's theory and believe that the buildings were built by farmers who raised their animals in the area. In their opinion, the construction dates from the time of the colonists or maybe a little later.

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