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Showing posts from 2012

Year In Review

I thought I would end the year with a post reviewing some of the highlights of this past year regarding this blog site and some things associated with the release of my book entitled Swift. It has been an exciting year with lots of stories of places and information about the legend.
    Back in January Mike and Ross Steely produced the most recent and up-to-date video regarding the John Swift legend. I was honored to be interviewed on that video and met the boys at the beautiful Cumberland Falls Dupont Lodge for the taping. It was a chance to see my good friend Mike again. I believe the last time I saw Mike was at the Silver Mine Weekend he had arranged in Jellico, Tennessee back in 1992, twenty years ago!

    Mike invited me to speak at the event a couple of years during the course of the time the event was held.  It was probably the biggest gathering of truly Swift researchers to ever come together in one place. The video is a very nice collection of information and fully explai…

Pinnacle Knob

This past autumn included a rare opportunity to visit one of the only restored "fire towers" still standing in Kentucky. Beginning in the late 1930's the US Forest Service and various state governments across the land began constructing observation towers on the highest points around the state. Their sole purpose was to locate and accurately pinpoint wildfires.
  In the heavily forested areas of Kentucky. Wildfires became, and still are, a problem during dry springs and especially the dry fall season with the continuous build up of falling leaf material coupled with the usually dry weather.
  At one time there were as many as 165 fire towers dispersed across the state according to the records.
Most were built in the 1930's and have since been removed or fell into disrepair. They served our state well up until the use of airplanes to provide spotter activities replaced the need for the fire towers.
  Located on Cumberland Falls State Park is the only completely res…

Swift's Silver Mine: The Truth Behind the Legend

If you are new to this blog site and perhaps just starting your research into the legend that has captivated people in several states for more than two hundred years then you should start with this video. Swift's Silver Mine, the Truth Behind the Legend was produced by Ross and Mike Steely and released earlier this year.
    The video gives a good overall background to the legend and variations and consists of interviews with many folks associated with the search today. It is a great starting point and though I linked this video in a previous post I believe it to be worthwhile to mention again here.

Swift People

By now you know I have fond memories of the Swift legend and lore. Whether it is ever found or ever even existed is not the point to me. The point is basically in two areas and one of the main reasons I choose to write a historical fiction. My aim was to do basically two things. First, I believe this legend of lost mines of silver ore and hidden treasure in counterfeit coins worth millions to be the oldest known, recorded and kept continually "alive" passed down through the generations. It likely predates our countries independence and most certainly predates the formation of the state of Kentucky. Isn't it worth keeping alive for the next upcoming generations? I think so. Secondly, the searchers and dreamers of recent years and today are interesting and amazing people. Those who live in Eastern Kentucky will likely know or have known someone who searched for the lost treasure. I have met many over the years and can easily find hundreds on Facebook, TreasureNet and…

Indian Stairway Video

Back in 2011 I shot a short video (59 seconds) of my daughter and friend negotiating the famous Indian Stairway of the Red River Gorge. In all the versions of the Swift journals describing the terrain and landmarks, an Indian stair steps or stairway is mentioned. The site of this unusual, obviously man-made cliff access, is in the heart of some of the most breath taking landscapes anywhere. In Swift's journals the steps are supposedly near at least one of his hidden "mines."

    With that in mind, take a look at this climb "down" the stair steps. The music is a bit "cheesy" for the grand efforts going on but it was one of the first videos I made with my movie maker program and, well, the excitement of editing a complete video, overcame me. 
    Check out my book Swift which can be purchased in paper back or Kindle here.

Was John Swift a Pirate?

According to the legend of John Swift, in his own words, claimed he was a captain of a ship and owned a company of sailing ships. He says he was a successful business man transporting merchandise from both England and the seas around Cuba. Though he never claimed to be a pirate there are some modern day Swift researches that believe he may well have been a one.
    In one version of the supposed journal Swift wrote down himself he gives a brief description that he and some others in his company sailed to Cuba. Now Swift worked off the Virginia and North Carolina coasts and though the so called golden age of pirates was several decades before this time, piracy on the high seas has never stopped even until this day. Swift never actually states under which flag he sailed but it would likely have been the British or Colonial flag. His venture to Cuba also meant that he was comfortable sailing into Spanish waters. The British and Spanish, though hostilities had been resolved between the tw…

Walking Thunder

I am writing this entry on behalf of my friend Ed Whiting of the Crow Creek Reservation in South Dakota.Ed, also known as Walking Thunder, is a Dakota and craftsman of the traditional items of the Dakota people of the plains. I had the good fortune to meet and become acquainted with Ed and his lovely wife, Bea who is a Lakota Native American.Ed is a true Dakota that has great talent and great insight. Utilizing his skills passed down through his ancestors I was surprised a couple of Christmas's ago with an amazing handcrafted bow complete with quiver and arrows. He carefully crafted the bow from  Osage Orange wood, while the arrows are made from cherry saplings, with bone points. The quiver is made of Buffalo hide and the sheath for the bow is made of tanned Elk hide. Ed makes a few items to sell occasionally by special order. This is a supplemental income for him as they, like most reservation people live in an area with little opportunities for employment.    Here are a few exam…

Primitive Skills

    I haven't been in the habit of posting or promoting special events on this site. For one thing, there are so many great events across the state it truly is hard to pick an event to rate above the many. Like most of you I have my favorite subjects and enjoy most festivals that I get the chance to attend.
    I do have an exception to my very general and not so strict rule. In one of my favorite places, the Red River Gorge, at the mouth of Gladie Creek on the Red River on September is the annual Living Archaeology Weekend. The event is held on the grounds of the US Forest Service Visitor Center and is At the annual primitive crafts weekend held each year at the Visitor Center area on Gladie Creek in the Red River Gorge visitors can really see some amazing skills and crafts. I found it very interesting of all the different types of primitive and pioneer crafts that are demonstrated and exhibited. This is an annual event I am adding to my list to attend this year. Here are a few th…

This and That

I'll be taking a break on this blog post this Labor Day Weekend but will be back on a regular bi-monthly schedule starting September 16th. We hope that you enjoy the blog posts and photographs we gather from around our beautiful state. There are so many things to see and do and it is the upcoming fall festival season.  Practically every weekend from now until Thanksgiving communities are having their annual festivals. These are a lot of fun and some are quite unusual. Here is a link to give a preview of upcoming events.
    If you enjoy reading my blogs and have suggestions or ideas of places and people, please tell me in the comment section below. I promise I will get back to you and keep in mind all comments must be approved before they are actually posted. So, if you don't want you comment posted,  but would like to contact me, well, the comment section is the best way. 
 My book is still available from  this secure link.

   Kiowa Scott Muncie who guest posts on this site wil…

We called it the Light House

There are so many version of the Swift Journal containing many landmarks that it can be downright confusing sometimes. Over the years, sifting through many variations there are few landmarks that seem common to all the different versions. One notable is the famous 'light house.'  Swift in describing one of the areas of his 'mines' claims to look  across the valley to cliff with a hole in it. "The slope across the hills west there is a big rock that looks like a buffalo rock. We cut our names on it: Swift,  Monday, Greser,Jefferson and others. You can stand on top of this hill above buffalo rock and look west through the hole in the top of the cliff and see the sky beyond. We called it the 'lighthouse.' Not far from the drying ground west we carved turkey tracks under a cliff pointing backwards to the mine." *     The Red River Gorge country is famous for the numerous natural arch formations in the sandstone cliffs of the region. Of the hundreds in t…