Skip to main content

Rock Art

     One of the key aspects of the Swift treasure are the numerous natural landmarks and rock carvings.  Most serious minded modern treasure hunters have several locations in mind of markings etched into the rock, presumably to give a direction or a clue to the whereabouts of the mine. Turkey tracks, buffalo rocks, circles and initials all have been identified at most of the suspected silver mine locations.  Swift also claimed to have stashed large sums of the counterfeit silver coins in several locations and in fact, some hunters have claimed over the years to have found some of those caches of the sought after treasure. And nearly to the person, followed the signs, the rock carvings and, of course, the details of their version of the journal to their claimed site.
     If you are interested and seriously want to explore and try your luck at unraveling the 200+ year old legend you should arm yourself with a copy  of Rock Art of Kentucky that seriously takes an in depth review of some of the most notable rock carvings found throughout the state.  This is the most comprehensive look at rock carvings throughout Kentucky.  Fred Coy, Tom Fuller, Larry Meadows and James Swauger spent countless hours over the years visiting sites throughout the state to record and photograph them.  This collection, published by the University of Kentucky Press, attempts to bring all the known sites together in one volume.


Popular posts from this blog

Broke Leg Falls

For sure one old landmark in eastern Menifee County Kentucky is Broke Leg Falls. The Falls has been a tourist stop along US Hwy 460 since the 1940's and before. It was a place for picnics and adventures into the rough rocky terrain the likes of the Red River Gorge. It's location on once a major highway along with the pristine beauty of the box canyon that the stream formed no doubt contributed to the popularity of the Falls.
    The Falls is about 80 feet in height but much of the year has a small water flow. But over eons of time the Falls and stream have carved out a magnificent canyon retreating nearly to the crest of the ridge.
    Located in Menifee County Kentucky, Broke Leg Falls has been a popular tourist spot for travelers of the US Highway which is located only a few yards from the falls. A popular landmark since the 1940's, the Falls was privately owned. Visitors could pay a dime and get to hike the short distance down into the box canyon to view the Falls…

The High Rock Petroglyph

What do you think the strange symbols carved on this sandstone boulder represent? The High Rock Carving is certainly one of the most mysterious antiquity found in the Red River Gorge country.  We did a previous post  about this strange rock in August, 2012. Discovered underneath a small rock shelter near the High Rock fire tower, the carvings were discovered on one loose boulder in the shelter. In the late 70's the boulder was removed from the rock shelter by the Red River Museum and Historical Society placed at the museum in Clay City, Kentucky. It was felt that vandals and artifact collectors would soon end up destroying the unusual carved stone. In fact some of the surface appears to have been chipped away, perhaps portions already removed by vandals.    The carvings have many varied, curved shapes including concentric circles and shapes that may represent animals. Additionally, there are numerous holes and other features. Some of the rock has been lost likely by the weathering …

Swift Interview

It was a very interesting day April, 26. A production crew from KET (Kentucky Educational Television) taped a segment of yours truly discussing the background and lore around the famous legend of John Swift and his mysterious silver mines and treasure. I met up with the crew at Sky Bridge in the Red River Gorge and after a short hike down beneath the rock arch they video taped me discussing what I have come to know about the search and treasure.
    Basically, the short segment will focus more on the legends background and how long the story has been around rather than giving clues on searching for the supposedly hidden treasure. I hope that viewers will take away the importance of the history of the legend and not the debate whether silver and the mines ever existed. As I note in the interview, the beauty of the whole legend is just how long the search has been going on and how the legend originated at least as early as the first famous pioneers entered the wilderness that was to…