the Stone Chambers of New York's Hudson Valley
Phillip Imbrogno August 26 2008
The Hudson Valley of New York despite being one of the most densely populated areas in the country hosts some of the most perplexing mysteries of North America. It was here in the village of Sleepy Hollow that the legend of the headless horseman was born and the Native Americans that have lived in the area for centuries say that the Valley is the home of powerful earth spirits. It is in this southern New York location were from 1982-1997 thousands of people from all walk's of life witnessed a boomerang or V shaped UFO with multicolored lights larger than a football field. These sightings are documented in my book Night Siege the Hudson Valley UFO Sightings. During my research into the many Close Encounter sightings in New York I came across another mystery, one that the Hudson Valley has kept hidden for countless centuries. Beginning around 1983 while exploring locations where the UFO encounters took place I came across strange stone monoliths and chambers which were scattered throughout the New York counties of Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess.
If you take a hike or drive the back roads of southern New York you may see one of the stone chambers tucked under a wooded knoll, or camouflaged behind bushes and wild flowers. They first appear like a dark gloomy entrance to a natural cave extending between 20 and 60 feet into the side of a hill, but as you get closer you can see that the structure was made by intelligent beings. The walls and ceilings are composed of massive cut slabs of granite and quartzite which fit together with incredible precision. To the old time residents of the Hudson Valley the chambers were known since colonial days and were referred to as root cellars, Indian sweat lodges, Druid temples and the caves of the devil. During my research I found a connection between these ancient structures and the many UFO sightings and paranormal phenomenon in the area.
More than a coincidence
During the 1980's into the mid 90's I was investigating UFO sightings in the Hudson Valley area of New York. During this time I collected a great number of reports, well over 6000 to date and was able to classify, and plot the locations of the encounters on a map. The reports fell into four categories which are listed below.
1. UFO sightings from a distance which included the many cases of Close Encounters of the First Kind, or a sighting within about 600 feet. This type of case made up the majority of reports.
2. Reports where there was some physical trace of the UFO; burns on the ground, depressions marks, broken tree branches, crushed vegetation and finally a residue. This type of case is known as a Close Encounter of the Second Kind and had the lowest number of reports.
3. Claims of seeing a number of different types of humanoid beings in association with an object in the sky or close to the ground. The description of the beings was mostly of the gray and reptilian alien type. There were also a small number of claims of contact with "Nordic" or angelic beings. This category also included abductions by this intelligence and claims of some type of contact. Most of these cases are not documented in Night Siege since Dr. Hynek (my coauthor) felt that claims of other worldly contact was hard for many to accept and he wanted to keep the book "respectable". However, these cases were published in my second book about UFOs "Contact of the Fifth Kind".
4. About 18% of the reports had really nothing to do with a UFO sighting or a contact encounter, but were taking place in the area at about the same times the Hudson Valley UFO made its grand appearances. These reports included; strange sounds, sightings of unusual balls lights, globes of energy, electromagnetic phenomena, ghost like entities, the falling from the sky of rocks out of nowhere and other forms of psychic-paranormal phenomena.
The data was then plotted on two very large wall maps with categories 1-3 on map A and category 4 on map B. Map A showed no distinct pattern, the UFO encounters seemed to be everywhere in that area of Southern, New York a good number of reports also extended to New Jersey, Massachusetts and Connecticut. What was interesting is that the first and last appearance of the UFO seemed to be centered in the towns of Putnam Valley and Kent Cliffs, New York; both towns are located in Putnam County in the eastern section of the Hudson Valley.
The data on Map B showed an entirely different story. The reports which I classified as High Strangeness were not randomly distributed, but centered in clusters no larger that a quarter of a mile in diameter in the towns of Kent Cliffs, Putnam Valley Lake Carmel and Brewster, New York. What was interesting is that all three towns border each other and it was the same location as the center or apex of the Hudson Valley UFO sightings.
I was curious about the locations on map B so I put together a team to go out and explore the 27 High Strangeness areas on the map. This was no easy task since some of the locations were deep in the woods where hikers and hunters travel. A survey at each location took an entire day and the entire project took several months.
At every location we found an array of carved standing stones, stone walls arranged in patterns indicating that whoever put them there did so for a reason. The most interesting structures that we found were stone chambers. The chambers were so large and made with such massive stones that we were able to enter each one and study how it was constructed. When we found a chamber and standing stones at the first location we thought they were interesting, but when we found them at all 27 locations we realized that it was more than a coincidence and there must be some connection between these structures and the UFO-paranormal phenomena.
Exploration and Research of the Stone Chambers and Standing Stones
I spent hours upon hours in local libraries, museums and historical societies reading records, old books and talking to people. It seemed that everyone had their opinion of who built the stone chambers and they were so old that the origins of these structures were truly lost in time.
In 1983 there were 162 stone chambers in the Hudson Valley all located on the east side of the Hudson River? As of the writing of these article only about 68 remain. This is because of the mass construction in the area. Much of the land is being ripped up to build shopping centers and housing. However, due to the efforts of me and a few others some of the stone chambers are now preserved.
Whoever built these structures was very particular about the type of material used. Most of the chambers are built from rocks containing granite, gabbro and gneiss with quartz and quartzite. The majority of the standing stones are carved from crystalline limestone, granite with fine quartz and finally the larger ones are shaped from solid quartzite. This type of rock is common on the east side of the Hudson, and not found on the western side where it is mostly shale, slate, and dolomite. This is most likely one of the major reasons why the chambers are located in Putnam, Dutchess and Westchester counties.
There are many theories about the stone chambers and carved standing stones, but professional archeologists in the States of New York and Connecticut seem to want to have noting to do with them. This is because the locations of the structures and the stone chambers themselves have been linked to UFO sightings and other paranormal experiences, as a result the academic world will say very little about them.
One of the most popular theories is that the chambers were built by Celtic explorers who came to the east coast of the United States sometime around 100 BC. In the Pound Ridge, New York museum I did find a reference to the structures dating back to 1699. The local colonial farmers compared them to similar structures found in Ireland which were known to have been built by Druids and were considered to be evil because they were part of the old pagan religion. During colonial times in New York people where told to stay away from these structures by the local priests who said that they were "The hop points of the devil from hell to earth". It wasn't until the early 19th century that farmers started using some of the chambers found on their property to store tools, but they were never used as root cellars.
The Old Medicine Man
In the late eighties I was introduced to a 90 plus year old Native American, a medicine man and the last of his kind. He said that the chambers and standing stones marked the locations of sacred ground, and that the spirits of Earth live there. When he was very young he was told by his teacher, a very old and wise shaman that the stones were built by people who came across the sea on long ships. He said "their eyes were of the sky (blue) and their faces were of fire (red beards), with horns coming out of their heads(helmets) After these people left the place of a stone chamber could only be visited by a high chief (Sachem) or a powerful medicine man (shaman).According to the Wappinger tribe beliefs, if you are chosen to be a shaman or great medicine man and selected to talk with the Great Spirit then when you put your ear up against the stones ( standing stones) you can hear mother earth sing."
Later I would understand what he meant by "Mother Earth Singing" since many people who visited the chambers experience some type of vibration or hear sounds when they place their hands and heads against the standing stones and the stone chambers. The answer to the question on what causes this phenomenon in my opinion is scientific since the geology of the area is quite interesting. There is a layer of magnetite, a very pure form of iron about 600 feet below the earth, on top of that is a layer of quartzite. The carved standing stone structures which are mainly composed of quartzite could in fact resonate like a crystal when the magnetic energy is conducted through them from the heavy iron deposits below. I ended up spending several weeks with the old medicine man and although he never progressed in his formal education beyond high school, his knowledge of history, nature and metaphysics was so vast that despite my eight years of college I felt like a student with a great deal to learn.
It was clear now that these structures were not built by colonial farmers as root cellars or by the Native Americans for a sweat lodge. The answer was that these structures were constructed long before the time the Vikings and Columbus sailed to the "new world" What would make a group of people make such a dangerous voyage so long ago across the Atlantic Ocean? In the past people went exploring for two basic reasons; curiosity and the possibility of monetary gain. Putnam County has some of the richest iron ore deposits in the country which was mined from the 18th to the beginning of the 20th century. Just to the west there are large deposits of copper and other minerals, perhaps these people of long ago sailed in their great ships looking for natural resources which were being depleted in their home land.
Everybody Built these Things
As stated above all the chambers and standing stones were constructed over quartzite and magnetite. There is also an underground stream or pool under most of them. All the locations showed a definite deviation in compass readings anywhere from 5 to 180 degrees. Studies with a magnetometer showed a negative magnetic anomaly at all locations tested. The negative deviations were the result of the Earths magnetic field being drawn, and focused to vortex like central point and then disappearing or becoming considerably lower. This was surprising since, in the past, UFO researchers always suspected a connection between UFOs and magnetic anomalies. I also believed (as many) that the connection would be with a positive anomaly, but all our readings showed a negative one! The deviations were so drastic that a physicist friend of mine looked at the data and said that the magnetic anomaly that great could possibility be produced by a large spherical mass, 12 feet or larger composed of high grade Iron buried at a maximum of ten feet below each chamber. The presence of this magnetic anomaly could also explain why animals and people have physical and mental reactions if they stay too long at a site.
There are 110 chambers that I studied in great detail and they are in different states decay. This indicates that they were not constructed all at the same time. There are two types of chambers- gallery, which are rectangular or cylindrical and the second, a round or oval shape. To the ancient Druids these two geometric shapes represented male and female energy. The gallery chambers are the largest type, while the oval or round has a higher ceiling. In each type of chamber the walls come up on an angle and support the massive ceiling (cap) stone. The downward pressure of the stones on the walls stabilizes the entire chamber making the structure very sturdy without the use of any type of mortar.
During my years of research I have brought many people from all fields of expertise to take a look at the stone chambers. They included an engineer, archeologist, physicist, astronomer, a stoner cutter and finally several psychics and all were amazed how skillfully they were constructed. IT seems that the older chambers have a single stone over the doorway while the more recent ones have two stones. These doorway cap stones were cut from massive slabs of granite and each one must weigh close to 1500 pounds.
How old are these stone chambers? An estimate using the available data indicates that the first ones were built about 1000 BC, while the last group was built around 500 AD. The people who built the more recent chambers most likely had no idea who constructed the older ones, but they seemed to have used the same techniques. The older chambers may have been built by the early Celts with a strong Druid influence. One particular chamber had noticeable markings carved into the rock which turned out to be a writing called Ogham. Ogham is a kind of Morse code script using lines and slashes and was used by the Celtic people in Europe over 2000 years ago. The writing was translated as a prayer or dedication to the Celtic God Bel on the festival of Beltaine (our May 1)
Several years before I began my research Dr. Barry Fell, a professor from Princeton University found similar markings in another chamber in the Hudson Valley which gave dedication to the Goddess of the moon during the festival of Samhain (our Halloween). Dr. Fell was convinced that these ancient structures were built by the Scottish-Irish who came to northeast America over 3000 years ago. Outside all of the chambers is a stone wall and markings can be found in many of the rocks. These markings often include three slashes, which indicate the sky, ocean and land and carvings of animals such as a bison, lion, turtle and bear. Although some of these animals are no longer found in that area they did once roam the Northeast section of the United States several thousand years ago.
In Fahnstock Park located bear Putnam Valley, New York are two chambers very close together. One chamber, the smaller one is oval and because there is a slab of rock near the back wall large enough to place a human body we named it the tomb. Out side this chamber is a large flat rock placed in the earth with carvings that clearly show an astronomical conjunction involving the crescent moon, and the planets Jupiter and Venus. It is possible that someone tried to make a record on when the chamber was built or perhaps the time it was used to place the body of a very important person. Using a planetarium program at the observatory in which I was a staff member at the time, I went back in time to find out when this particular alignment of the two planets and the moon took place. The dates I got were 1423 A.D, 1500 B.C and 2772 B.C. The second chamber in the Park is one of the largest chambers in New York and because of this we named it the "Kings Chamber". It has a cylindrical shape and is over 40 in length. Outside this chamber is a beautiful standing stone in which many have imaged glowing orbs around it that were not seen by the naked eye.
One of the best preserved chambers is located just off Route 301 in Kent Cliffs, New York. This is an oval shaped chamber with a very high ceiling and because of this we often referred to it as the "Cathedral Chamber". People who stay in this chamber for any length of time start feeing very charged up and a sense of well being. Many have reported that headaches and body pain have disappeared for several hours while in the chamber. On the outside wall there is a carving of an animal which resembles the head of an eagle or some other bird of prey. On the inside west wall of this chamber I found a conical carved piece of limestone with markings etched in the rock and some type of script writing on the bottom. The markings without a doubt showed the Seven Sisters which is also known by astronomers as the Pleiades star cluster. The writing below was found once again to be Ogham and gave dedication to the Celtic-Druid mother Danu and a prayer for the end of the year (Samhain), when the king of the sun gave way to the queen of the night. The rest of the writing was so badly weathered that it could not be deciphered.
The Druids held the Pleiades as scared and identified them as spirits in the night sky. They believed that when this star cluster was directly overhead at midnight, it marked a time when the spirit world and ours merged together. They called this time "the day that did not exist" and believed that the spirits of those who passed on and yet to be born all come together in the same time and space. They also believed that strange beings and demi-gods were able to enter our world at this time and we were able to go into theirs.
The Pleiades can be seen directly overhead at midnight from the end of October until the first week of November. Is it just a coincidence that during this time the number of paranormal events peaked at the chamber locations and also the UFO sightings?
Struck by an unseen force
A stone chamber of the gallery type is located at the end of Whangtown Road in Kent Cliffs, New York. This chamber is one of the larger ones and my research has shown that it may have been used as a calendar to tell the first day of the winter solstice. However, today on the first day of winter the sun rises somewhat to the side and does not shine directly down the chamber walls. If we go back in time to the year 1589BC then the chamber opening would line up exactly with the rising sun. This could be an indication of when this structure was built. It is also in this chamber that a number of people have had an encounter with an unseen force. Below is the story, in his own words of a local resident that we shall call "Mike"
"I was taking a walk late in the summer down the trail in the water shed just off of Whangtown Road. It was the summer of 2001 and I passed by the stone chamber which was on my right. I had read about these things but didn't know too much about them, only that they are one of the mysteries of Putnam County. I had only been living in Kent Cliffs for several years and saw several of these stone caves during my walks and when I asked local people about them I would get a variety of answers. Every time I walked by this chamber I always got a spooky feeling like something inside is watching me. The time was about 9PM and it was getting dark. As I looked toward the chamber I noticed a red glow inside that seemed to be flickering. At first I thought that somebody was in there with a fire going so I cautiously walked toward the entrance. As I got close the light went out and the inside was black. This really spooked me so I called out to see if anyone was in there and got no answer. I then heard a sound which was like the humming of a generator and then from somewhere, I don't know where I heard someone playing a flute. I stood at the entrance of the chamber and after a minute the music and the humming stopped. I then walked in the front opening and felt uneasy, no I was scared, but something seemed to be driving to go on. After I walked in about ten feet or so, this force hit me and I fell against the wall, then it struck me again, this time I feel to the floor. As I lay there waiting to be mugged I felt a presence, like there was someone standing there. I didn't have a flashlight and boy at that time I wish I did. I slowly got up to run out the entrance when I was struck again and this time it was such a great a force it knocked me down. I felt this force all over my body; it was like running into a brick wall or the walk running into you. I was now off my feet and I looked toward the entrance and I could see the light from the moon. As I started to get up I saw a man appear out of nowhere right at the outside of the entrance. He was wearing a long flowing dark robe with a hood over his head. I could partially make out his face, he seemed to have long black hair and his eyes glowed red. He just stood there looking at me and then he raised his hand and pointed his finger at me and vanished. The strange thing was this guy was quite visible because he had a bluish green glow around him. I then got up and ran out the door; I was so terrified I ran all the way home. I had heard that these things may have been made by the Druids a very long time ago and now I believe it because this was the ghost of a Druid Priest!
Beings of this type have been reported in several nearby by chambers. Sometimes the entity is accompanied by Viking like figures, sometimes by small, dwarf-like creatures in hooded robes. Are they ghost, extraterrestrials or aliens from another place and time? Could it be that the chambers are doorways or a bridge to another dimensional reality? The reports are too numerous to dismiss and as of the writing of this article they still continue.
To Sum it up
The chambers are some type of temples constructed as far back as 4000 years ago. They were built over areas of magnetic anomalies and have been the site of many UFO, ghost and strange humanoid sightings. It very well could be that a very long time ago Celtic explorers along with a Druid Priest built the structures to mark the locations where doorways exist between our reality and a close by parallel dimension. The intelligence behind the UFOs may use these locations to open up dimensional windows to travel between our world and theirs. The stone monoliths and chambers in New York State are one of the world's great mysteries; they are truly lost in time.