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No. 78: Nov-Dec 1991

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Curious Silver Crosses From A Georgia Mound

Silver cross extracted from an Indian mound in Murray County, Georgia
In November of 1832, two silver crosses were extracted from an Indian mound in Murray County, Georgia, along with more usual Indian relics. The crosses are exquisitely wrought and were most likely brought to the Americas by the expedition of Hernando de Soto. Some of de Soto's men, under Adelantado, ventured into what is now Georgia trying, among other things, to Christianize the Indian.

The puzzle of the silver crosses is not in their source but in the crude figures and inscription added to one of them. The cross shown in the figure depicts a horse on one side and an owl on the other. The inscription (too small to be read on the figure) is withing the central ring and states: IYNKICIDU, which makes no sense in any known language.

This minor mystery was first revealed in the 1881 Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution. Charles Fort took note of it in his Book of the Damned, where he pointed out that the letters C. D, and K are turned the wrong way in the inscription and, further, that the crosses, having equal arms, are not conventional crucifixes. (Pontolillo, James; "The Silver Indian Crosses of Murray County, Georgia," INFO Journal, no. 63, p. 26, June 1991.)

From Science Frontiers #78, NOV-DEC 1991. 1991-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987