Last week's story about the search for lost Confederate gold in
Cement, Oklahoma (population 500), a small town on Highway 277
southwest of Oklahoma City, has called attention to some of the
stranger tales about the Sooner State.
On the outskirts of Cement is a stony hill called Buzzard's Roost. At
the summit is an outcrop of bedrock that resembles an anvil.
Professional treasure hunters Bud Hardcastle and Charlie Holman
believe "that enterprising disciples of Dixie stashed millions of
dollars in gold and silver--now probably worth billions-- in
locations across North America, to help finance a second Civil War."
The gold is supposed to have been buried there by the Knights of the
Golden Circle (KGC), a very real secret society that flourished in
the USA between 1850 and 1870. Many Knights were also prominent
members of Masonic lodges throughout the South.
"If Buzzard's Roost is a Masonic site, it should be fairly easy to
find the buried gold," UFO Roundup editor Joseph Trainor
commented. "Just face east at sunrise. Pick out a point 33 degrees to
the south of the spot where the sun appeared at the horizon. Walk
either 33 feet (10 meters) or 33 yards (30 meters) downhill from 'The
Anvil' and start digging."
Another potential burial site for KGC gold is the ruins of old Fort
Towson, 10 miles (16 kilometers) from Valliant, Okla. (population
771) on U.S. Route 70 in that corner of southeastern Oklahoma known
as "Little Dixie."
"The fort was established in 1824 to protect the Choctaws--who were
induced by the federal government to emigrate from their Mississippi
homes--both from the raiding western Plains Indians and the outlaws
that made their headquarters along the north bank of the Red River."
"The post was abandoned in 1829, then re-established when enforced
removal of the Choctaws began in 1831. Abandoned once again in 1854,
it was used as a Choctaw Indian agency until the outbreak of the
(American) Civil War, when it was taken over by the Confederates."
In 1864, at the height of the Golden Circle intrigues, Confederate
general S.B. Maxey took command of Fort Towson. Maxey was a Knight,
as was his patron in Richmond, Isham G. Harris.
Indeed, Fort Towson was the last bastion of the southern Confederacy.
Here Confederate general Stand Watie surrendered in June of 1865, two
months after Robert E. Lee's surrender at Appomattox courthouse in
(Editor's Note: Watie was an Ani-Yupuya or a Cherokee Indian.)
However, stranger items than Confederate gold have been unearthed in
the suburbs of Oklahoma City.
"On June 27, 1969, workmen leveling a rock shelf at 122nd Street on
the Broadway Extension between Edmond (population 68,315) and
Oklahoma City uncovered a rock formation that caused a great deal of
controversy among investigating authorities."
"To the layman, the site looked like an inlaid mosaic floor. It
apparently looked very much like someone's floor to some of the
experts, as well."
"'I am sure this was man-made because the stones are placed in
perfect sets of parallel lines which intersect to form a diamond
shape, all pointing to the east,' said Durwood Pate, an Oklahoma City
geologist who studied the site. 'We found post holes which measure a
perfect two rods from the other two. The top of the stone is very
smooth, and if you lift one of them, you will find it is very jagged,
which indicates wear on the surface. Everything is too well-placed to
be a natural formation.'"
"Dr. Robert Bell, an archaeologist from the University of Oklahoma,
expressed his opinion that the find was a natural formation. Dr. Bell
said that he could see no evidence of any mortaring substance. But
Pate, on the other hand, was able to distinguish some kind of mud
between each stone."
"Delbert Smith, a geologist, president of the Oklahoma Seismograph
Company, said the formation, which was discovered about three feet
(0.9 meters) beneath the surface, appeared to cover several thousand
"The Tulsa World quoted Smith as saying: 'There is no question about
it. It has been laid there, but I have no idea by whom.'"
A mosaic floor covering "several thousand square feet." Obviously, it
was the remains of some prehistoric palace. Did an ancient city once
stand on the site of what is now Edmond, Okla.? And who could have
built it? Travelers from prehistoric Lemuria? Settlers from the lost
continent of Atlantis? Or maybe a wandering tribe from the weird
Lamanite civilization mentioned in The Book of Mormon.
Thirty-six years after its discovery, there are still no definite
answers about the "mosaic floor" found in Edmond, Okla.
Was it buried gold, prehistoric cities or the assassination of
Abraham Lincoln that triggered Oklahoma City's most baffling
homicide? Charles Fort, the "Father of Ufology" mentions it in his
book Wild Talents: "I put this item with others upon freaks of
collectors. In Oklahoma City, July 1907, somebody collected ears.
Bodies of three men--ears cut off."
But, when it comes to sheer weirdness, not too many communities in
the Sooner State can compete with the city of Enid (population
Located on Highways 60, 64 and 412 approximately 98 miles (157
kilometers) north-northwest of Oklahoma City, "Enid has grown over
the years from a tent city which sprang out of the prairie dust on
the day of the Cherokee Outlet opening--September 16, 1893--to a
typically prosperous, substantial, self-contained municipality."
Yet, early Enid was a Mecca for people associated with the
assassination of Abraham Lincoln, the USA's sixteenth president, on
Good Friday, April 14, 1865.
According to researcher Jim Brandon, "What might there have been in
this small city to attract not one, not two, but three persons
involved in what pioneer conspiratologist Otto Eisenschiml has
called 'the strange death of Abraham Lincoln.'"
"Local (Enid) history records that a chap who killed himself with
strychnine--or at least ended up poisoned to death--at the local
hotel on January 13, 1903, had identified himself as none other than
John Wilkes Booth."
This mysterious figure "had been living around Enid for quite some
time, using a number of aliases. At the time of his death, he was
known as David E. George and posed as a house painter, although no
one seems to have taken that role any more seriously than he did."
Booth/George "always seemed to have plenty of money and spent most of
his time in taverns. When well-oiled with drink, he often delivered
lengthy Shakespearean recitations, which amazed those who heard them
as being far superior to ordinary barroom blague."
"He had confided to a number of persons that he, Booth, had escaped
from a burning tobacco barn at Port Royal, Virginia, where he was
cornered after the Lincoln assassination, leaving another man to be
shot in his place."
"A last request, found among (David E.) George's effects, was that
actor Edwin Booth of New York City (the assassin's older brother--
J.T.) be notified of his death. This was done by telegram, but there
was no reply."
"A man who certainly should have been able to shed some light on the
(real) identity of 'George' was also residing in Enid at the time.
This was Boston Corbett, the Army sergeant who had rushed up and shot
into the burning barn in a sort of instant preplay of the" Lee Harvey
Oswald/Jack Ruby "exchange of 1963. Corbett, who seems to have
escaped from an insane asylum (in Kansas-- J.T.) somewhere along his
checkered trail, was working in Enid as a drug salesman. He may even
have carried strychnine in his samples kit. But if he was in town at
the time of George's death, he never came forward."
"Eight months after the death" of David E. George, "a newspaper in
Rockport, Indiana reported that the former manager for the Laura
Keene Theatrical Company, who had opened the window for Booth to
escape Ford's Theatre" in Washington, D.C. "after shooting Lincoln,
had retired and was living, where else but at Enid, Oklahoma. He too
Enid "successfully avoided having the name of Skeleton thrust upon it
(from its proximity to the head of Skeleton Creek) and owes its real
name to a literature- loving Rock Island railroad official. Fond of
Tennyson's Idylls of the King, he felt that Geraint's wife ought to
be honored by having a city named for her."
In a bizarre twist of fate, as a schoolboy, John Wilkes Booth played
the role of "Enid" in an amateur production of Idylls of the King at
the Milton College for Boys in Cockeysville, Maryland.
So, if you find yourself in Oklahoma this summer, don't go speeding
on through. Stay awhile, drive around, explore a bit--this Midwestern
state has a plentitude of mysteries to share. (See the books
Mysteries of Time and Space by Brad Steiger, Dell Publishing Co.,
Inc., New York, N.Y., 1973, pages 53 and 54; The Complete Books of
Charles Fort, Dover Publications Inc., New York, N.Y., 1974, page
871; Oklahoma: A Guide to the Sooner State, University of Oklahoma
Press, Norman, Okla., revised edition July 1957, pages 148, 149, 245,
374, 375, 417 and 426; Weird America by Jim Brandon, E.P. Dutton, New
York, N.Y., 1978, pages 186 and 187; Why Was Lincoln Murdered? by
Otto Eisenschiml, Little, Brown Co., Boston, Mass., 1937; and
Murdering Mr. Lincoln by Charles Higham, New Millenium Press, Beverly
Hills, Cal., 2004, pages 104, 105 and 106. See also the Enid, Okla.
Morning News for February 4, 1976, "The Odyssey of John Wilkes
Booth," page 1; the Edmond, Okla. Booster for July 3, 1969; and the
Tulsa, Okla. World for June 29, 1969.)