16 March 2008
Ontario lake reveals mysterious structure
In the spring of 2005, diving was conducted in MacDonald Lake as part of a unique submarine project at the Haliburton Forest and Wild Life Reserve. Repeatedly staff of Haliburton Forest would stumble upon an unusual stone structure, perched on top of a rock ledge at a depth of 40 feet below the present lake level. Initially the structure was considered a complex version of a 'perched erratic', those monstrous rocks, ferried by the glaciers thousands of years ago and dumped where they happened to melt at the end of one of the recent cold-freezes.
When several geologists and archaeologists saw images of this object - a 1,000 pound, elongated and south pointing rock sitting on baseball-sized stones at each end, which in turn, were resting on a massive, several thousand pound slab on top of the ledge, they expressed doubts about its natural origin. Haliburton Forest engaged the services of an underwater archaeologist to examine the structure. Before diving, he explained that so far he had never encountered man-made rock-cairns, which were stabilised without the help of shim-stones. If he found these, it would convince him of the structure's man-made, not natural, origin.
After a 30 minute dive examining the rock assembly closely and carefully, taking pictures along the way, the expert emerged with his unequivocal conclusion: the existence of 3 shims was proof to him that the assembly of now seven rocks was the result of human activity and not a fluke of nature. Subsequently, Haliburton Forest turned to the services of a statistician to calculate the probability of 7 rocks falling on top of each other creating a 'structure'. Albeit difficult to assess, he reported back that even 4 rocks creating a natural structure was almost unattainable, but that the probability of 7 rocks hitting at the right time and place was virtually impossible.
Subsequent dives closely examined the structure for any signs of the use of tools, decorative images or other irregularities, to no avail. The thick layer of silt covering the vertical surfaces suggests that certainly within living memory no human has ever touched the structure. The geologists pointed to a dramatic drought, which gripped Eastern North America between 9000 and 7000 BCE. Conditions were so dry during that time that lake levels in the Great Lakes were up to 50 meters lower and inland lakes, like McDonald Lake, which were still fed by spring melt and summer rain water, were assumed several dozen feet lower than their present water levels.
And why then, at a time when so few humans roamed Ontario, would they pick remote MacDonald Lake for a stone cairn, especially such a large, elaborate one? Here is where the biologist pointed to the conclusion of his 30 years of research: McDonald Lake is home to an ancient, glacial relic lake trout, which had survived several bouts of glaciation and retained unique features, which allowed it to survive, where other fish had perished. From his records, he could also add that McDonald Lake, in prehistoric times was not a lake, but part and north-westerly end-point of an ancient river system which, for millennia, funnelled glacial meltwater south into what was then mighty Lake Agassis.
While many questions remain, it is very intriguing to imagine a small band of early humans, camped on the shores of a remote lake where today modern man camps and catches trout, just as his ancestors did thousands of years ago.
Source: Thats News (9 March 2008)