The New Madrid earthquakes of 1811-1812 were so violent and destructive that most people still to this day know of them, and fear their return. Earthquakes are rarely discussed for very long without the New Madrid fault line and its past earthquakes being mentioned. The New Madrid earthquakes of 1811 were probably some of the worst mankind has ever seen.
The earth relentlessly moved in waves like those of the ocean, and people thought the end of the world had arrived. Accounts of the earth moving in a wave-like manner similiar to water and undulating like the still twitching muscles of a freshly killed cow illustrate a fascinating and horrifying event. However there is much more to the New Madrid Earthquakes and the events surrounding them than we are typically told. Many strange occurences surround the 1811-1812 New Madrid quakes that still remain unexplained thus for the most part ignored to this day.
The great New Madrid Earthquakes were preceded by the arrival of a comet that had not been seen since the ancient Egyptians. Tecumseh’s Comet as some called it was also known as ‘Napolean’s Comet’ in Europe and is estimated to have measured a million miles across from head to tail and was a very visible sight in the night sky. Tecumseh’s Comet was named after a Shawnee leader who was rallying support among native American tribes to curb the takeover of the land by the white man, his name means “Shooting Star”. This comet was visible for 11 months during the New Madrid earthquakes. The comet was accompanied by a solar eclipse that year before the earthquakes and left many wondering if something was about to happen. Is it possible the earthquakes were a side effect of this celestial objects arrival?
Tecumseh actually foretold the New Madrid earthquakes to a group of Creeks prior to the event in these words:
“Brothers, the Great Spirit is angry with our enemies. He speaks in thunder, and the earth swallows up villages, and drinks up the Mississippi. The great waters cover the lowlands. Their corn cannot grow. The Great Spirit will sweep those who escape to the hills from the earth with his terrible breath.”
“Your blood is white! You do not believe the Great Spirit has sent me. You shall know. I leave Tuckabatchee directly, and shall go straight to Detroit. When I arrive there, I will stamp on the ground with my foot and shake down every house in Tuckabatchee.”
Tecumseh arrived in Detroit on December 16, 1811 precisely when the first two and strongest of the New Madrid earthquakes struck. Tecumseh’s prophecy of the earthquake was made months in advance and was accurate down to the very day. Did the prophet Tecumseh use some sort of sorcery or external force in attempt to stop the encroachment upon his ancestral lands? Or did he possess knowledge or contact with sources that we do not yet understand?
It is probably important to note that Tecumseh’s brother, Tenskwatawa (meaning ‘Open Door’) was also known as a prophet among his people. Tenskwatawa was said to have fallen into a trance so deep that his family believed him dead and planned his funeral. Tenskwatawa awakened from the trance with a new revelation about renouncing all things that come from the white man, like the liquor that he believed plagued his people. Tenskwatawa made a prediction of his own which originally earned the brothers great reknown and following,
“Fifty days from this day there will be no cloud in the sky. Yet, when the Sun has reached its highest point, at that moment will the Great Spirit take it into her hand and hide it from us. The darkness of night will thereupon cover us and the stars will shine round about us. The birds will roost and the night creatures will awaken and stir.”
This was an accurate prediction of a total solar eclipse of June, 16th 1806 that crossed the region they were in at the time. It is speculated that perhaps the brothers had received information about this from an almanac or astronomer, but noone is sure. Tecumseh’s later prophecy of the earthquakes certainly lends credibility to the brothers.
Many accounts of flashes, glows and fires in the sky were recorded during the New Madrid earthquakes. Similar phenomena is often recorded around the time other major earthquakes strike and is known as earthquake lights. Despite the widespread and numerous accounts of earthquake lights, there is still dispute among scientists on what causes earthquake lights or whether they even exist. One of the most common explanations given is triboluminescence from quartz crystal being rubbed together or squeezed causing light to be generated. However triboluminescence itself is not fully understood by scientists and fails to account for all the earthquake light phenomena reported.
Years before the earthquakes struck, tales of weird lights moving through the forests and hills began to emerge among the locals and the stories began to quickly multiply months before the earthquakes. With the initial quake and following shocks, bright flashes were reported.A resident of New Madrid at the time, A.N. Dillard while speaking of the shocks mentioned the flashes
“There issued no burning flames, but flashes such as would result from an explosion of gas, or from passing of electricity from cloud to cloud.”
Lewis F. Linn, United States Senator, in a letter to the chairman of the Committee on Commerce, says the shock was accompanied by
“ever and anon flashes of electricity, rendering the darkness doubly terrible.”
Lightning and sparks were said to crackle across the ground according to some accounts.An observer near New Madrid thought he saw what he described as many sparks of fire emitted from the earth. Observers in St. Louis saw gleams and flashes of light that were frequently visible around the horizon in different directions, seeming to ascend from the earth. Another man claimed to have seen 3 pale blue pillars of light for a good time in the distance. Several observers in Kentucky reported that the atmosphere prior to the shock of February 8 was strangely luminous, objects being visible for very long distances, with no moon in the sky. One of the observers described the luminous atmosphere saying
“On this occasion the brightness was general, and did not proceed from any point or spot in the heavens. It was broad and expanded, reaching from the zenith on every side toward the horizon. It exhibited no flashes nor sparks, but, as long as it lasted, was a diffused illumination of the atmosphere on all sides.”
In North Carolina witnesses reported three large extraordinary fires in the air; one appeared in an easterly direction, one in the north, and one in the south. Their continuance was several hours; their size as large as a house on fire and it was noted that no sparks accompanied the flying blazes. Could this have been the reddish orange orb UFOs that are so commonly seen and reported by witnesses today?
These reports are just a small fraction of but representative of many. Unless you totally discount what these people claimed to have seen as figments of their imaginations, then a few questions remain. Are these UFOs or ‘Earthquake Lights’ a side effect of geological events or are some geological events a side effect of the lights? Is there an intelligence at work here or are these lights just natural phenomena?
Since the New Madrid earthquakes sightings of strange lights and aerial phenomena have continued to this day. The area is ripe with UFO sightings with more reports than any other area for the last few years, making it a major UFO hotspot. Frequent orange orbs and black triangle sightings are just some of what is being seen over the midwest skies currently. Close encounters with alien entities and stories of people being mesmerized by beams of light are surfacing in Jackson, Missouri. Cattle mutilations are occuring allover this area but few are being reported due to the sort of attention it draws. In many of these cattle mutilation cases organs are removed without any sign of trauma or clue as to how access was made to them. Recent information has even emerged that tells of a pre-roswell UFO crash between Sikeston and Cape Girardeau Missouri in 1941 that alien bodies were recovered from. The area also has many spooklights such as the Senath light and the Hornet Spooklight that have drawn alot of attention over the years and still do.
In 1967 a rash of UFO sightings spread across the same area of the 1811 New Madrid earthquakes, known as ‘The Great UFO wave of 1973’ as the number of reports escalated and the media began to pay attention. Over 500 witnesses in Piedmont, Mo reported orange/amber lights that changed shape,silvery craft and large objects coming out of a lake there. The great UFO wave, much as the effects of the earthquakes was widespread across southeast missouri and drew alot of media attention. Lights and craft of various shapes and sizes were popping up in reports allover the area. Two dockyard workers in Pascagoula, Mississippi claimed to have been approached by a light that turned out to be a craft carrying eyeless gray ceatures with long arms that ended in claws. The dock workers said they were paralyzed and levitated into the craft where they were examinated. The Pascagoula case was just one of many close encounters reported during this time.
A Missouri State University physics professor, Dr. Harley Rutledge was challenged to explain these sightings of lights and luminous phenomena in the skies around Piedmont, Missouri. Though skeptical, Dr. Rutledge decided to use scientiffic analysis to try and explain this phenomena if in fact it did exist. Dr. Rutledge assembled a team of skilled scientists and employed a very thourough array of tools and equipment to the task such as RF spectrum analyzers, low-high audio frequency detectors, cameras, electromagnetic frequency analyzers and even equipment to measure changes in the Earth’s gravitational field. Much to Dr. Rutledge’s surprise, what resulted was probably the most successful UFO field study that was able to observe the phenomema in real time.
What Rutledge had concluded was surprising. He found what he called ‘pseudostars’, or stationary objects that seemed to use constellations as camouflage but were in fact not stars at all but mimics that would sometime shoot off in a direction and change its light configuration. Many of the objects defied the laws of physics and others seemed to mimic the light configurations and blinking of known aircraft. And on many occasions the objects would directly respond to the actions of the observers such as light signals,verbal and radio messages. His findings are documented in full in his book entitled ‘Project Identification: The First Scientific Field Study of the UFO Phenomena’. Dr. Rutledge commented on his conclusions saying
“Unbiased,disinterested physical scientists usually measure the properties of inanimate matter.Biological, medical, and behavioral scientists, on the other hand, study intelligences less than or equal to their own. In this Project, we dealt with an intelligence equal to or greater than that of man. We interacted with the phenomenon under study.”
Dr. Rutledge’s study was unique in that it was purely scientific. Instead of investigating UFO reports made by others, hundreds of cases were observed,measured and recorded as they actually happened. The field research spanned a 7 year period and included around 35 scientists,engineers and students along with many others on the observation teams. In total 158 viewing stations were used with a 620 total observers involvd. During the study there were 157 documented sightings of about 180 UFOs, most of which were anomalous lights. In quite a few of these cases these lights were observed close-up and appeared to be more than simple balls of light. Typically the lights observed would be an orange or amber sphere that would zip around and make 90 degree turns and according to scientific calculations moved at thousands of miles an hour. Many of these objects would knock out transmission towers and scramble tv signals. Sometimes rectangular lights would accompany the orbs and when viewed closely through telescopes or binoculars the team reported that these looked like windows with light shining through them. Numerous disk shaped objects were recorded in both day and night time. Rutledge speculated that perhaps the craft being witnessed had electromagnetic radiation microwave propulsion systems. Many times a military presence in the form of fighter jets and helicopters was noted by the team in pursuit of the craft and lights. In one case Rutledge observed a 200-foot long bullet shaped object silently flying over the Mississippi river from his home in Cape Girardeau, Mo. Rutledge wrote,
“It was not like anything I had seen before. I looked at the craft. It had no wings. I did a double-take: It had no tail structure either. A slight feeling of nausea overcame me. Any lingering doubt I had about the existence of UFOs had vanished with the object.”
Rutledge thought the disks and lights observed in the daylight were balls of plasma, but almost certainly exhibited signs of intelligent remote control. Rutledge and his team were convinced that many of the objects directly responded to being observed and in 32 cases the project cites UFOs directly responding to observers. Dr. Rutledge and his team came to the conclusion that the objects not only were aware of their presence but interacted with them in a way that seemed like the UFOs were toying with them. The interactions with these objects seemed to be on some sort of psychic level.
In the later days of the project, Rutledge noted that plasma spheres from 2 to 6 inches in diameter would actually follow him around even inside of buildings. As many who delve into such interests find, Rutledge found that the more interest one takes in the phenomena the more interest it seems to take in you.
The great UFO wave of ’73 quickly died down in 1976 when a 5.0 magnitude earthquake struck the New Madrid fault zone. Sightings and reports suddenly dropped to around 5 a month from previous 500 or so from the previous years. Recently as mentioned above, sightings of uncanny similiarity to those of 1973 and 1810 have cropped up yet again and in serious numbers. Unfortunately many have forgotten the past and pay little heed to history seemingly repeating itself and for the most part Dr. Rutledge’s field study has been ignored.
Shortly after the initial New Madrid earthquakes a dark mist or vapor that smelled of sulphur and often caused total darkness was reported by many. In several cases the sulphurous vapor or mist was so thick that lanterns and fires could not be lit. This dark mist as it was described made people nauseous and caused excessive coughing.
The smell of sulphur has long been associated with the presence of demons or malign influences. Presently many close encounters with extraterrestrials or other outside intelligences are associated with sulphorous smells. Of course a smell of sulphur has much stronger geological implications than anything supernatural. However considering unexplained phenomena and its frequently direct relation to geological occurrences, one could begin to question if the old myths of demons that dwell in the earth are really myths or our ancestors way of telling us something.
In the times of the bubonic plague, accounts of similiar dark mists were given by a good majority of the locales struck by this disease. A comet in the sky, strange lights in the air and even reports of gaunt figures or creatures on the outskirts of town spreading these mists were also very prevalent in the old accounts. It was believe then that these black mists were the source of the disease and it was being spread by angels or divine influence as some sort of punishment. Accounts of the lights and mists being present during or before outbreaks of the bubonic plague struck far outnumber those of rodent infestations. Many of the places effected by the bubonic plague were very isolated and did not suffer from rodent infestations, so perhaps there was something to the idea of some kind of toxic miasma spreading this disease. Could this be a bio-weapon used against the human race by some sort of higher or outside intelligence?
Miasma was also thought to be the means of spread for other diseases such as cholera, which is commonly associated with miasma and foul mists. Interestingly enough in the years following the New Madrid earthquake, cholera outbreaks strucks the settlers and especially the native american populations around the areas of the New Madrid fault. Entire native american camps and settlements dissappeared, wiped out because of cholera infections.
Were these mists just geological events or was it the act of some non human intelligence using a bio-weapon of sorts to depopulate or discourage population of the area? Before the earthquakes the port of New Madrid was a promising and rich community ripe for growth. Now like many of the older cities in the area, it is a stagnant one horse town. How populated would this corner of the once dubbed ‘Cave State’ be had it not been for the nature of the events surrounding the New Madrid fault zone be had it never happened? A great majority of the people that had experienced the New Madrid earthquakes packed what they could carry and left the area never to return. The value of land fell drastically and were given away for next to nothing for those who were brave enough to actually live there. The city of New Madrid would likely be quite large right now if it hadnt partially sunk into the Mississippi river and abandoned by its inhabitants.
When the New Madrid earthquakes struck, it was a commonly held belief that the amount of electricity in the ground reached a critical point and discharged suddenly. Many survivors of the earthquakes described the feeling of being electrocuted and strange tingling allover their bodies. Some even said that they had no idea that what had happened was an earthquake at all, rather that they thought they had been badly shocked. One report even described metal objects attaching themselves to the wall as if by magnetism for the duration of some of the shocks. Strange indeed.
In the 2 or 3 years prior to the New Madrid earthquakes many mysterious loud booms and cracks were heard. Many described these sounds as resembling the sound of very large guns or artillery explosions. Much louder booms and explosion sounds were heard directly before the New Madrid earthquakes struck and signaling the following shocks.
In the days the earthquakes were taking place, the constant sounds of rumbling thunder were heard along with the extremely loud sound of gas hissing forth from the earth. Cracks and booms were amplified to levels that they shattered windows and disoriented those subjected to it. Some described the sounds of metal scraping together and the sizzle of hot iron being thrown in water.
Today mysterious sounds are being heard allover the planet, some very metallic and almost resembling trumpets. In the area around the New Madrid fault zone, mysterious loud booms and explosions are being heard with increased frequency. For the most part this obvious warning sign is being ignored and the mysterious explosions are rarely mentioned by the media in a serious way.
Strange Animal Behavior
It is said in the days prior to the New Madrid earthquake, animals began to display very strange behavior. Snakes crawled out of their holes in winter, and many animals vacated the area. Tame animals began to become vicious and turn on their masters. Wild animals liost their fear of humans and began to approach them. Deer tried to enter houses and flocks of geese landed at peoples feet. Gargantuan snakes,turtles and other creatures that were frightenngly strange or large began to be seen.
A ‘wildman’ of gargantuan stature was first seen in St. Francis county directly after the quakes, known as the Fouke Monster. Natives believed it was a man that had been driven mad by the earthquakes and retreated to the seclusion of the woods to lose his humanity. This creature was blamed for missing and mutilated
livestock at the time. Reports of this 10 foot tall Fouke Monster resurfaced several times in the 1850s then abruptly ended. Then in 1971 a large rash of frequent Fouke Monster sightings took place and have continued to this day. Reported and collected footprints of this creature seem to have only 3 toes. Residents claimed the Fouke Monster had really been seen roaming the area since 1964 or even as early as the 1940s. This Fouke Monster or Beast of Boggy Creek is said to haunt the large and uninhabited Sulphur River Bottoms. Strong smells of sulphur worse than that of a skunk is associated with this monster.
The first sighting of the legendary 6-9 foot tall cryptid nicknamed ‘Momo’ or Missouri Monster took place in 1810. After these initial sightings it was really never reported again until a group of people hand an encounter with it during a picnic in 1971. Later livestock started to
turn up dead or missing, and reports of the Missouri Monster carrying off dogs became frequent.According to a story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch published in 1972, police sealed off a 200-acre wooded area while a team of 25 hunters searched for the creature. Police received reports of a creature crossing the highway with a dog or sheep in its mouth. Another witness told police that the creature lifted the back of his automobile. Sightings and encounters with the Missouri Monster have since become fairly commonplace and continue to this day. Momo is almost always associated with a foul sulphur like smell of rottens eggs or rotten flesh. Momo unlike the cryptid Bigfoot, is known to attack animals and provoke or antagonize humans. MUFON investigators have noted that sightings of this creature coincided with UFO reports. This monster is also said to leave 3 toed footprints.
Sightings of strange creatures in many areas around the New Madrid fault zone have been frequent since 1810, in fact. In places such as Crowley’s Ridge and others that are small and not very populated. For the most part they are similiar to the 2 mentioned above but others vary wildly. Wolf-men or werewolves, lizard-men, panthers, giant birds, shadow people and spectres are widely reported around the New Madrid fault zone. The early 1970s mark a rise in sightings of strange creatures across the board, many are spiking in number of sightings currently as well. Are these creatures misidentified black bears, undiscovered species of ape-like animal, or perhaps associated with some sort of outside intelligence with an agenda?
The Missouri Witch-Hunts
It is little known that the Salem witch trials were not the only such case in the early days of America. Another case of a fairly large number of people being put to death under similiar charges was taking place in 1806-1809 just before the New Madrid earthquakes struck. A settlement of native of americans around where Bloomfield, Missouri is today had tried and burned around 50 people at the stake on charges of witchcraft and sorcery in 1806-1809. Witnesses had claimed these people were seen transforming into large hairy beasts, panthers, owls and snakes much like the well-known skinwalkers of native american lore. Some of the women were actually accused of luring men into the forest where they would then transform into a large hairy monstrous form to murder them and consume their flesh.These executions were in full force as the settlement was ripe with paranoia about things that had apparently been terrifying them leading up to the quakes. Tecumseh put a stop to the madness just as it began to reach its highest pitch, in an attempt to recruit them into his alliance against the encroaching whites.
This same area around Bloomfield, Missouri still to this day generates reports of tall, skinny furry ape-like creatures with long arms. Panthers,spectral dogs with red glowing eyes and disturbing levels of intelligence, ghost lights and tales of witches living on the ridge still plague the same locality that these witch trials that took place so many years ago, though it is not common knowledge such things are part of the areas history. In the book ‘History of Missouri‘ by Louis Houck pg.219-220 is documented the account of Lesieur who said
“These Indians became possessed of the infatuation that witchcraft was being practiced among them,and no less than fifty women suffered cruel death by the torch within twelve months. The charges against these unfortunate beings were usually based upon the report of some one who imagined that he had seen an intended victim in the form of an owl or some other bird, or in the form of a panther or beast of the forest.”
Was this a case of madness and superstition gone wrong? Or did these people actually see some things that caused them to turn on eachother? Considering the other events taking place in the area at the same time and still today, who could really say? It certainly is an interesting coincidence.
What does it mean?
Geological features are scientifically shown to generate more reports of strange lights, paranormal events and things like sleep paralysis. Infrasound , geomagnetic disturbances, high electromagnetic fields and even hallucination causing gases from the earth are just a few of the reasons why that could be so, according to science. The strange and seemingly intelligent nature of events that are highly coincidental and widespread leaves room for a healthy amount of speculation and wonder.
Are these things simply side effects of some geological anomaly or could they be the cause? As strange and unexplained phenomena may suggest, is there really more to this than a very bad earthquake?
Caves are abundant in Missouri, once called the cave state for that very reason. Caves under cities like Cape Girardeau are said to be large enough to drive large trucks through. The Ozarks only a stones throw away from there is largely state park and consists of countless caves and springs that come from large and complex cave and river systems deep in the earth. Could these caves conceal things we know nothing about, perhaps some sort of unknown life forms very different from us or a hidden civilization?
The prophecies, recurring UFO sightings, unidentified creatures and other weird phenomena in the Southeast Missouri area as well as others near the New Madrid fault zone seem to span very large time periods across generations. This lends to the phenomena being more than just coincidence.
No matter what you believe, the re-emergence of the same phenomena reported shortly before the massive earthquakes struck then should be taken as a harbinger of what is without doubt in store for those living near the New Madrid fault zone. The warnings are very clear and apparent.