Turning her attention to the larger questions, Henriette began to focus on “who” could have manufactured these amazing relics. Postulating that whoever inscribed the tablets must have had prior knowledge of the region, a connection was made.  Here the link is made between the ancient copper mines on Isle Royal Michigan (carbon dated to 1800-1000 B.C.) and the Greek and Egyptians extensive use of copper in the same time period.

(Photo below: The Story of Creation. Henriette Mertz; The Mystic Symbol, pg. 143. Courtesy of Ancient American Magazine)

Both Greek and Egyptian records spoke of an alien people who were thought to be closely connected with the import of copper. Egyptian records had referred to them as the “Keftiu” or” Keftians”.  The “Keftiu” were said to be “red-skinned” and came from the “Isles of the Sea”.  It was believed that it took approximately three years to return with the copper from the “Isles of the Sea” and was postulated that the “Keftiu” may have road upon Phoenician ships. Henriette now had a possible explanation for an alien people who may have once visited North America and retained the knowledge. Now it was possible to speculate on who may have actually created and deposited the ancient Michigan artifacts.

After the Council of Nicea in 325A.D., the early Christian world was plunged into turmoil and many Christians were forced to flee for their lives, “many sailing away to parts unknown.”  Henriette contemplated, “could the depositors of these texts have been the Coptic’s who had been forced to flee from persecutions?”  She felt, “If inscriptions on the Michigan tablets arose about the same time as Coptic, the mixture of Egyptian hieroglyphs with Greek alphabet letters would not be unrealistic for those times.” 

After much research and analysis, Henriette Mertz came to the conclusion: “Analysis indicated that each individual tablet containing writing originated with a different hand. No two specimens examined produced identical characteristics- a humanly impossible feat if one person alone would have been guilty of forging the entire group of 3000.”  And, “As noted earlier, we believe the persons who inscribed this material were Christian refugees fleeing from the Decian or Diocleclian persecutions and sailing out from the harbors of Dome, Naples, Alexandria, Carthage and other Eastern Mediterranean ports and assumed lost in the turbulent waters of the North Atlantic.” Unfortunately Henriette Mertz passed on in 1985 leaving her legacy of research behind for others.

(Photo to right: Michigan-Egyptian Heiroglyphs (David A. Deal); The Mystic Symbol,pg. 206. Courtesy of Ancient American Magazine.)

Another researcher into the relics is David Allen Deal, who has helped pick up where Mertz left off (among a few others), yet coming from a slightly different perspective.  A few details may differ between the two, but his conclusions are strikingly similar.  Mr. Deal feels the three character “Mystical Symbol” is the equivalent to (YHW), a shortened form of HWHY-Yahweh. David came to the conclusion independently that the relics must have been manufactured and transplanted by 4th century Coptic, Egyptian Christians.

The first clue that led him down this particular path was the theology incorporated within the majority of artifacts.  He has demonstrated that many of the tablets incorporate two sub-ordinate di'etes; a son of the right hand and a son of the left hand.

He says, “The Copts identified these two as high angels, as Little Yahu “Yao” sabboth the good, messiah “son of the right hand” and”Sama-el” the evil, messiah “son of the left hand…Satan”.  It is these repetitive pictorial elements that have led to the speculations that the creators of the artifacts may have been in all probability with the Coptic brand of Christianity. Deal feels this is an extremely important discovery pointing out, “The theology incorporated on the plates was largely unknown until the translation in 1895 of the 3rd century Coptic, Gnostic ”Christian,” Pistis Sophia.”This in essence may negate the possibility of a hoaxer(s) having this knowledge prior to the date of 1895.

(Photo below: Solar Eclipse Tablet; (Michigan Solar Exlipse Tablet and Mound Builder City) by David Deal; The Mystical Symbol, pg. 194. Courtesy of Ancient American Magazine)

Obviously this was a good piece to the puzzle. Now having an estimated time frame to play around with, it was decided to take a closer look at the tablets containing calendar systems. What was to be discovered on one tablet in particular was nothing short of amazing.  David Allen Deal discovered a tablet showing a 13 month calendar system portraying a Solar eclipse in conjunction with a meteorite!6 The tablet was unearthed on September 3rd 1896. On the tablet there is a figure of a man’s head and nose which are seemingly pointing to an area of the calendar that would correspond with the end of July. Mr. Deal estimated that the time would correspond to the dates 325 A.D.-425A.D. in conjunction with the Nicean Council when the Egyptian Coptic’s may have been forced to flee from persecutions. Speculations were confirmed when it was later discovered that on July 27th, 352A.D. at 10:54, there was a Solar eclipse. It also happened to pass precisely over Rowland Township, where Isabella County would someday be and where the artifact was unearthed!  In regards to the meteorite depicted in front of the eclipse, July 27th 352 A.D. just happened to be one of two days of maximum intensity for the annual Delta Aquarid meteor shower!  David concludes that, “Who ever made these tablets were depicting an actual event.” This scenario begs the question: Could hoaxers have had both the knowledge of the Coptic’s in conjunction with astronomical information from 352 A.D. in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s? Mr. Deal feels, “This single artifact has proven the time, or at least a moment in time, that the Coptic Christians were there.”

The Michigan relics now reside in storage due to renovations at the Michigan Historical Museum collecting dust. Both sides of an extremely important discovery have been presented in hopes of bringing awareness to a portion of Michigan history that has been all but forgotten. This leaves us with two scenarios. 1) The relics are one of the most elaborate hoaxes of all time or 2) The history of the Americas and Michigan in particular are not as we have been lead to believe. At minimum,  should we not ponder the possibility? Investigation ongoing…

(Above: Tower of Babel)

"The Pale One" photo courtesy of David A. Deal and Ancient American Magazine

                                                        Bibliography

    • “Digging for the Truth” ; Michigan Historical Museum Exhibit; 2004
    • “Tools leave Marks”; Dr. Richard Stamps; 2001
    • “Trashing America’s “Politically Incorrect” Prehistory” ; Fred Rydholm; Ancient American Magazine#32
    • “The Mystic Symbol (Mark of the Michigan Mound Builders); Henriette Mertz; 1986
    • “The Mystic Symbol Demystified”; David A. Deal
    • “Michigan Solar Eclipse Tablet and Mound Builder City”; David A. Deal; excerpt from (The Mystic Symbol)Mertz; 1986