Ancient Riddles to Test Our Wits: Secrets from West Africa

© 2017 B. L. Freeborn

Ifa divination bowl of the Yoruba people.

West African Ifa Divination bowl of the Yoruba people formerly of the Friede Collection. Photo credit below.

This figure is from the Friede collection formerly of New York. It is a vessel used for Ifa divination amongst the Yoruba people of West Africa. The bowl holds palm nuts used by the diviner.

Now let us look closer at this very unique piece of art and we will recognize some very familiar symbols.

Recall the symbols in the Da Vinci Last Supper seen in the previous post.

Find the symbols suggested by the italic phrases below in the image.

A double comet came as two balls.

It put a large crater upon the world’s back

when it brought the world to its knees.

It bent the mountains down that covered the head of the world.

It split the world asunder creating a two footed foundation

for the world: the north pole and the magnetic pole.


(Image from World Mythology, Editor Roy Willis, New York: Metro Books, 2006, pg. 275.)

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Ancient Riddles to Test Our Wits: DaVinci’s Last Supper

Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper

Leonardo da Vinci’s painting of the Last Supper in Santa Maria delle Grazie painted in 1498. Wikimedia, public domain.

© 2017 B. L. Freeborn

Another ancient riddle presents itself in this fabulous and famous painting of the Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci. It is well known he was involved in secret societies. Is he revealing any secrets in this painting?

Note the following possible symbolism:

  • The figure of Jesus creates a vertical triangle.
  • The empty space to his right creates an inverted triangle.
  • The man to his left is pointing upwards with his right hand.
  • The feminine figure on Jesus’ right has a disembodied left hand slicing across his neck suggesting beheading.
  • All the cups on the table are made of clear glass making them difficult to see.
  • There is a large dish in front of Jesus central to the image.
  • The image is painted and centered over a door.
  • The window behind Jesus has an arch painted over it.
  • The painted ceiling is a grid of 36 squares.
  • The disciples are grouped 3 and 3 on each side. There are 3 windows on the back wall and 3 pillars on each side.

A closer examination of the Last Supper reveals clues to da Vinci’s knowledge of long held secrets.

    Perhaps some meaning can be affixed to this possible symbolism.
    • Are the cups on the table nearly invisible because they are not important to the real story?
    • Is the grid work the man points to on the ceiling supposed to represent longitude and latitude lines?
    • Are the 36 squares supposed to suggest the 360 degrees of a circle?
    • Are the repeating 3’s used to suggest 33? Is this the 33 of Scottish Masonry or is it latitude from the North Pole which is 57 degrees north latitude where Hudson Bay lies?
    • Is the arch above the highest window the Nastapoka Arc of Hudson Bay where it appears a massive comet impacted?
    • Is the dish central to the image and over the door to indicate it is a large round opening?
    • The up and down triangles are seen in the Grave Creek Stone below. The symbolism is also seen in the letter N and in the first Hebrew letter aleph which is essentially an N as well.
    • Is he saying the ‘central mountain’ ‘went in’ to a ‘disc shaped hole’ with a pronounced arc?
    • Does all this imply it was mother Earth itself that was beheaded?

Note the similarities to other ancient art studied in previous posts as shown below.

Copy of stone found at Grave Creek Mound, West Virginia, Ohio River. The middle column depicts the up and down triangles.

Shaman Bear from Newark Mounds, Newark, Ohio. The man holds a decapitated head on his lap.

Assyrian Relief, Detail of Cup, Brooklyn Museum. The dish on the center of the table like the dish in the relief seems to be central to the topic.

Gaitskill Stone Tablet from ancient Ohio showing grid and pole at top.

Baal, a Statute from Ugarit.14th to 12th BC. Louvre, Wikipedia. The man points up with his right hand and his left hand is held low.

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Ancient Riddles to Test Our Wits: The Purse from Assyria

© 2017 B. L. Freeborn

The object that appears to be a purse found in the art of the Olmecs of Mesoamerica and in ancient Assyria in the Middle East was discussed previously in posts on the Odd Little Purse and Its Meaning.

Assyrian Purse

A stone carved weight from Assyria located in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC.

Now, one has been found! In the New York City Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Assyrian Collection there is an intricately carved stone purse about a foot in width. It is decorated with the tree of life motif that is so prevalent in art from the period.

The museum description reads that it was probably used as a weight or counter balance for a scale. Indeed, in the photo one can see that the upper left side of the handle seems worn from use as if it had been hung on a hook repeatedly. Next to this stone purse was another of similar design but smaller with a broken handle.

Assyrian Purse in relief

Assyrian Relief with Winged Genius, Walters Art Museum, Wikimedia

This independent confirmation by the museum that it was a weight reinforces ideas presented in other posts. Because of its central position in these beautiful works of art, such as the Assyrian Relief shown here, it must be intrinsic to the story they relate.

Could they actually be depicting a comet coming to the center of the ‘weight of the world’, or the then massive northern ice sheets, where the ‘tree of life’, now known as the magnetic north pole, emanates?

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Ancient Riddles to Test Our Wits: The Secret Chamber

© 2016 B. L. Freeborn

This stone with a Latin inscription was found in rural New York.

This stone with a Latin inscription was found in rural New York.

Another ancient riddle presents itself in stone. This one is also from rural New York. The very readable words ‘In camera’  are still used today. It is a legal term in Latin for behind closed doors or in secret. What secret does this stone hold?

Roman numerals were in common use until the 11th century when they began to be replaced by Arabic style. They persisted into the 15th century and in some instances are still used today. The numbers read:  XLV = 45, XXX = 30, LXXV = 75, and LIII = 53.

Obverse side of stone with a Latin inscription found in rural New York.

Obverse side of stone with a Latin inscription found in rural New York. Numbers read 45 30 and 75 53.

What then do the numbers mean? Hint. Notice 30 + 45 = 75. When does 45 equal 75?

Perhaps in true ‘Da Vinci Code’ style the words In Camera are an anagram or in an entirely different language?

Find the words in italics on the front face:

Baal is the center of the rule that governs the world.

The eye marks the angle that divides.

The smoking rock struck deep into the mountain of ice

and the water flowed.

The answer to the number riddle is at this link.

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Ancient Riddles to Test Our Wits: The Mammoth at the Top of the World

Elephant Tablet found during construction of Cuenca Airport, Ecuador

Elephant Tablet found during construction of Cuenca Airport, Ecuador

© 2016 B. L. Freeborn

In this piece from the Crespi Collection found during construction of the Airport in Cuenca, Ecuador….find the words in italic:






The angle to the Sun is measured in the land of Mammoth’s.

They thundered and lived at the top of the world.

Remember the Mammoths of old.

It reminds us by its nose of the snake which came to the two eyedradiating center,

by its curl of the cup which is now there,

by its pounding walk of the beating Earth took,

by its tusks of the stabbing Earth endured.

Earth’s back was broken and bears the two bows of Baal.

The cup is now mouth to the world

which helps divide it in an orderly fashion to the peak.

Count it 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

By identifying the letters as Paleo-Hebrew (Phoenician) circa 200 to 100 BC and Hebrew Letters as derived by J. Huston McCulloch in his study of the Newark Decalogue Stone from Ohio, the Elephant Tablet is translated. The language used to aid with the translation is Anglo-Saxon. The stone reads in Boustrophedon style:

Where the Mammoth’s lived….

The bed of death is where the beating made a cave. There dwells the lamed mechanism.

There lies the dish that tipped the top and shagged all.

Translation of the Cuenca Elephant Tablet using Ohio Decalogue Stone Style - Hebrew. The bottom line is read then rotated and read again.

Translation of the Cuenca Elephant Tablet using Ohio Decalogue Stone Style – Hebrew. The bottom line is read then rotated and read again.

This continues in the next post with a comparison to other elephant stones……………


See full article on the alphabet by J. Huston McCulloch at:

Paleo-Hebrew at


Back to Newberry Tablet beginning or its  conclusion.

The Newberry Tablet Reveals….

© 2015 B. L. Freeborn

Smithsonian Photo of Newberry Tablet, compliments of Roger Jewell

Smithsonian Photo of Newberry Tablet, compliments of Roger Jewell

To SEE the first post on the tablet – To SEE the previous post on the tablet.

In the last posts we looked at the overall layout of the Newberry Tablet and many symbols. The list has grown and the reading is completed here.

The symbol identification thus far has suggested the topic of the tablet is a double comet collision and its crater was to be a point of reference for future measurements. The remaining symbols should support this story.

The last of the study comprises 15 symbols. The remaining symbols are left for the reader to identify. There is one symbol that resembles the ‘Q’ of the Paleo-Hebrew alphabet. It is suggested it represents cue or to line up, or quay, the place where ships line up. Since cows walk in a line and the Old English word for cow, spelled cu, is very similar the symbol perhaps means to line up and/or skin, an important by product of cows.

The symbol similar to a rectangle is found in the Luwian symbol list #89 and has sound value ‘tu.’ This is very similar to the word tow and is so noted.

The symbol that is a square divided in half is always followed by the symbol that looks like a ‘Y’. Both symbols are extremely similar to the ‘ch’ and ‘vav’ of the Paleo-Hebrew Alphabet. Substituting the sounds ‘ch’ and ‘w’ into the table find the word ‘chew’ repeated four times. This word is also an original Old English word.

The circle with a hook on top is found in the Luwian Glyph list at #435 with sound ‘a’ and is noted in the table as crater/hook.

The symbol that looks like a large curling ‘e’ most likely means ‘turn’ since the Adena Tablets and the New Hampshire Mystery Stone included this idea. It is so noted in the image.

The symbol that is the cup with a dot in the middle and a small stroke at the top is translated by understanding that in Luwian Hieroglyphs the small stroke added to another symbol is an ‘r’. This gives us an eye-r-cup or perhaps ‘ire cup’ and is so noted in the table.

It took some time to identify the symbol first row, fourth from the right and the symbol in the sixth row second from the right as being related to each other. The latter is found in the Luwian glyph list at #506. It is also found in Assyrian art and Olmec art described in a previous post as the odd little purse. The glyph list notes it as having sound ‘hana.’ In Old English this word means boundary stone. The symbol in the first row combines it with a ‘cup’ so that the distorted ‘B’ shape is created. They are noted in the chart as boundary and cup/boundary.

The symbol in the second row third from the right is similar to a reversed ‘e’ with an extra mark below it. In fact it appears to be an ear. In Old English the word ‘ear’ besides meaning ear means wave or flood. The association no doubt arises because of the whirlpool design of the ear. It is noted as ‘flood’ in the table.

Since many of the symbols are similar to Paleo-Hebrew perhaps the cup that is upside down and upon an upstroke is the letter ‘ts’. The words ‘toss’ or ‘tease’ is essentially defined by this sound. The similar symbol that combines the former symbol with a short stroke is then ‘ts’ and ‘r’ and is actually closer to the Paleo-Hebrew ‘ts’. This then sounds out the word ts-r or tesserae and is so noted in the table. This word means a small square tile.

The hook or staff studied in previous posts can now be associated with Paleo-Hebrew ‘P’ which begins such words as pea, power, pole, and point. The ‘P’ has been added to the table.

The symbol in the first row fifth from the left that appears to be a triangular ‘e’ with a large side stroke reminds one of the Paleo-Hebrew ‘B’ with the Luwian ‘r’ added. This gives the word b-r which suggests the word bear as in direction and it is noted in the table as bearing.


The Newberry Tablet's translation.

The Newberry Tablet’s translation.

The triangle with the stem suggests the Paleo-Hebrew ‘R’. It might have a side stroke as seen in the ‘bearing’ symbol. It is noted in the chart as ‘ray.’

The last symbol identified here is the circle with the two side strokes like antennae and the dot in the middle. The Paleo-Hebrew letter Ayin or ‘A’ is a circle. The dot supplies eye or sound ‘i’ and the two strokes give two r’s. So then we have r for ray, an eye, and a-r. The latter suggests the Old English word ‘or’ which means origin. It is noted in the table as ray-eye-origin.

So then, the table provides short readable sentences. The first line perhaps reads: The battle at the cup where lays the noble bearing is the to/from boundary. The cup is the dead pole and the eye.

Continue to line two and read: Many here caused the flood. It was the powerful ruler that was chewed. It is Baal’s line at the angry wandering cup …(unknown term).

In other words they say: There was a comet impact. It is the crater at magnetic north. Here is the reference boundary for longitude. The crater is the former north pole and the eye of the comet.

Many comets here caused a flood. It was the north pole that was destroyed. It is the longitude of the double comet’s (Baal’s) crater that….

The remainder of the table can be studied at one’s leisure.

Enjoy your New Year! Happy Holidays!

The Bat Creek Stone – Translated – Not So Plain and Simple

Bat Creek Stone - photo by Scott Wolter

Bat Creek Stone – photo by Scott Wolter

© 2015 B. L. Freeborn
The Bat Creek Stone was found in a mound beneath a skeleton in Loudon County, Tennessee in 1889 during a dig by the Smithsonian Bureau of Ethnology. Because it appears to have Phoenician or Paleo-Hebrew letters it has been dubbed a fraud. Arguing in favor of its validity is J. Huston McCulloch who describes the controversy at the site noted below and linked here. It is also described at Wikipedia under the Bat Creek Inscription.

No satisfying, controversy resolving translation has been made. The following may not put the matter to rest either but it is new and unique! All other attempted translations have failed to note this is an extraordinary number riddle. The numbers are found by recalling that letters originally had number equivalents and not separate symbols as we have today. Using the Hebrew gematria or number/letter system the values appear as noted below and the riddle of the numbers is solved. In turn this confirms that the correct letters are identified in the translation.

The two lines and dot in the upper left were not shown in a detailed sketch of the stone done in 1890. Take note: It is assumed here that they were originally on the stone but attributed to shovel scratches that occurred during excavation by the 1890 artist. Because he assumed they were not part of the inscription, they were subsequently left off his drawing. However, to complete the number riddle as described below they are required. Also double line marks appear on the Metcalf Stone. The Grave Creek Stone has parallel lines and a dot. They suggest: longitude lines, the idea of to or via, and the number two.

The Translation

The letters used to translate this inscription are from and were in use in 800 BC by the Phoenicians. Note that the L and P are more in the modern Latin Alphabet style and a reversed E which is an H in Phoenician also appears. The straight line marks are the simplest way to indicate the number two and this style of indicating numbers has a very long history. Hebrew gematria used the letter ‘b’ and in fact our ‘2’ is derived from this very same letter form. So, there are intentionally two alphabets in use in this inscription. It is typical of highly educated people still to this day to insert some Latin phrase into their argument for emphasis and so we see it is also done here. The L and P are further confirmed and identified in this manner. (See note to reader below about using P as R.)

Translation of Bat Creek Stone using 8th century BC Phoenician Script

Translation of Bat Creek Stone using 8th century BC Phoenician Script

The language is not Hebrew but Anglo or Old English as has been noted in other Adena Tablets from the nearby Ohio area. This does not mean it is a fraud but that there is a major part of history that has been obliterated and not yet recovered.  The impossible idea that this stone is -valid- because it is in English/Anglo written in Phoenician letters is an idea that will be expounded upon in further posts. The reader should understand that academics tell us English (Anglo) is dated to 1300 years after this alphabet was in use or 500AD.  (See Sator Rotas post.)

The stone is read top to bottom – left to right then right to left – bottom to top in reverse. Repeat all the letters and do not forget the dots! (The letter ‘u’ has sounds: u, v, o, w.)

If the dot means ‘eye’ with sound ‘i’ then it translates as follows:

(to) -eye – AN HIL – eye – UP – S-eye-….. -eye-S – PO – eye- LI- HN-A  -eye- 2

……………or filling in a bit:

to eye AN HILl eye UP Si-iS (si = to be, is = ice or si-is = sess = seat) PO(werful) eye LIe HaN (han = Stone)- A (a = always) – eye -two


To the eye of the One Upper Hill -the ice seat –  the powerful eye of the stone lies forever. There are two eyes.

……. or…..

To the mountain of ice, the eye at the top of the world, to the seat, came powerful stone eyes. There are two eyes.

The Latin Style letters and numbers provide:  (two) ‘E’ LaP  and  PaL ‘E’ (to)


the ‘Ae’ lap is the second pole at ‘Ae’

…… or…..

The first lap begins at the second pole.

Recall that in Hebrew gematria the sound for ‘a’ has a one value. There is no value and letter for ‘e’ so here the ‘E’ is given the value 1 or as spoken it is ‘a’ or ‘an’ meaning one. Recall that in ancient texts they often speak of An which is presumed to be a goddess. Combining these ideas then this phrase suggests a second pole is made of the One original pole and this is its ‘lap’ or latitude/longitude position. We recognize two poles today: magnetic north and true north. This leads to the final idea and most important part of the riddle.

By solving the number riddle (see below) this critical line can be added:

They lie at 56.5 degrees, 79 degrees.

(This is the location of south east Hudson Bay on the arc and close to magnetic north which is moving northwards.)

Relationship to Sator-Rotas

satar rotasThe reader should note that the stone is still easily translated (in words but not numbers) if the P is actually an R. The wording changes to ‘or’ = origin, and ‘ro’ = row, order. The witty riddler cleverly hides another word in the letter’s confusion. This is the word ‘pr’ and ‘rp’. The first suggests pair and the latter reap or rape.

A raping pair is the origin of order.

But there is more to this confusing letter! The H looked suspiciously like an E and if this is combined with the r-p duo then the words e-p-r and e-r-p, or appear and a-rope are created. They suggest that:

The raping pair appeared and provide the one rope.

This interpretation recalls the riddle of the Sator-Rotas Square. The inner ring of that puzzle is formed by the repeating letters E, P, E, R, E… or, P, E, R, E … which now look suspiciously familiar. The words ‘ro’ ,’or’, ‘op’, and ‘po’ are notable in that puzzle as well as ‘en’ and ‘ne’.

The Number Riddle

The number riddle is solved by substituting the Hebrew number equivalents for each letter and by noting the left and right half separated by the dot should be equal. This resolves any confusion about identifying the letters and how the ‘p’ was determined over the other possible letters ‘q’ and ‘r’. If the ‘i’ (letter directly left of the ‘L’) is considered to be an angle sign then the left half reads 56 (angle) 30 = 86. This 56 degrees 30 minutes is the latitude of Hudson Bay. The 86 is the diameter of the Sun or 864000 miles. The forty of 864000 is present if the numbers (1 50 5 10 30 6 80) are read as 56 40 86. Adding further support to this idea, recall that a square of sides of 40 has a diagonal of 56.5. The 56 degrees 30 minutes can be written as 56.5 degrees.

The translation of the Bat Creek Stone into both letters and numbers.

The translation of the Bat Creek Stone into both letters and numbers.

If the ‘i’ is given its 10 value then the sum of all the terms on the middle line left side is 96. The longitude of 79 is found by summing the left half grouping of numbers (2 above,  96 left word, 60 below) to obtain 158 which is twice 79.

The sum of the middle line is then 182. Add the 60 given by the lower ‘s’ as 182.60 and multiply by the 2 on top and find the number of days in a year or 365.2.

Other reasons to assume the two straight lines are part of the original inscription are as follows:

Counting the letters left of the dot find 5 and right find 2. There are 52 weeks in a year. There are 7 letters in this middle line. There are 7 days in a 52 week year. Indeed, taking the 2 upper lines into consideration there are 52.2 weeks in a year. Further still there are 7 plus 2 equals 9 symbols above the ‘s’ or longitude/latitude symbol. This number pattern was found on other Adena tablets and suggests 79.2 or 7920 the diameter of the planet in miles. The longitude of Hudson Bay is 79 degrees 20 minutes west.  The longitude of  “to-run-to” or otherwise known as Toronto, Canada is 79 degrees 20 minutes.

The total number of symbols is ten. The word ten is associated with tien (fork tines) and teon (torn) in Anglo /Old English. This idea and use of the word ten appeared in the Sator Rotas.

Assemble the symbols as 1 7 2 or 17.2 and find twice 86 as noted above and this repeats the 172 as found in the letters by summing 56, 30 and 86. This number appeared in other tablets and it is suggested it was the maximum difference between magnetic readings between true north and magnetic north.

Observe further that the 5, 7 and 2 can be assembled to create 57.2. The number of degrees in a radian (used in spherical calculations such as astronomy and navigation) is 57.29. The 9 is found by noting there are 9 symbols in the top two lines.

Still not done! Take complete notice of the dots! The first line reads 2 (lines) and 1 (dot), or 1 and 2. Twelve is the number of months in a year and houses in the Zodiac. The middle line gives 5, 1, 2 and the bottom line gives 1,1. Read the first two lines as 21512 and note that twice this is 43024, The radius of the Sun is 432,000 miles and there are 24 hours in a day. Read them all in reverse and find 1,1,2,1,5,1,2. Halve this number and find 560 756.  The first part repeats 56 and the last part, 756, is the square root of a radian (57.29 = 7.56 x 7.56) and it repeats the 7 days in a week and the 56 within itself. A few other numbers provided by the dots are from line one: 2 and 1. From line two 5 + 1 = 6. Create 216. This suggests the diameter of the Moon at 2160 miles. Yet again, consider the dots as symbols and find 13 total or twice 6.5 which is 5.6 in reverse. Recall that the spelling of the word Yahweh is 5,6,5,10. Counting the symbols on each line find 3 then 8 and 2 or a reminder that 38 x 2 = 76 and the period of Halley’s Comet is 76 years.

As impossible as it might seem there are still more numbers! Notice the 2 (top line) and 56 can be summed to 58 and this is followed by 40. Assemble them as 5840 and recall the Earth travels 584000 miles in a year. Notice further that the sum of 56 degrees 30 = 86 can be said to equal 172. The bottom number is 60. Subtract 172-60 and obtain 112 or twice 56 again. Also note that the sum of the 56 (without the 2) plus the 40 and 60 beneath is 156 which repeats 56.

Note also this manner of counting. Count 2 lines then a dot equals 3 for 23. The middle line is then 5 symbols then a dot for 6 making 56. Count from the right 2 and a dot for 3 and find 23 again. The count can be continued right to left. The 23 is followed by 5 for 23.5. This 23.5 is the latitude of the Arctic Circle which surrounds the north pole!

Almost last but not least, notice the sum of all the letters, except the top 2, is 242. Subtract the 2 and find 240 or the hours in 10 days.

Alas! The importance of using the Latin L and P was nearly forgotten! The L gives us 30 and the P gives 80. Recall the H when seen as a Latin E gave us 1 for 111! The longitude of Barringer Crater in Arizona is 111 degrees and 10 minutes. The square of 111 is 12321 or the suggestion that order appears from 1. If we take the final step and add the 2 lines at the top left to this sum then 113 is obtained and this is twice 56.5!

Indeed, we must consider that that pesky P was meant to be an R and the reversed E an E not an H! The string of numbers becomes: 2  then  1, 50, 1, 10, 30, 6, 200 then 60  = ? = 360! There are 360 degrees in a circle and in the measurement of longitude and latitude! And what of the P-R confusion? P as 80 and R as 200 gives 280 or half of 560!

Enough is enough! There are probably more!


So, whoever the hoaxer was that inscribed this stone we know for a fact they were darned good at math riddles, knew gematria and knew all about Ba-al (Two Awls) in Hudson Bay!! That narrows the field of who dunits down a bit. The original author of this riddle was educated in two alphabets: Phoenician and Latin. He/she also knew that R and P  can be confused and took full advantage of it. The Phoenician letter style used was in use east of the Atlantic in 800 BC. The Latin letters evolved from Etruscan about 700 BC. Letter P was used as an R in the original alphabet. It evolved into a P as used today a few centuries later. This gives an upper limit to the age of the  stone as 2800 years but not to the story depicted as the Grave Creek Stone will show. The lower limit depends on when Paleo-Hebrew / Phoenician fell out of use on the west side of the Atlantic and when the last time this stone was copied to remember the wit and wisdom of the saying.

Next the Grave Creek Stone is examined. It too has a fascinating translation.

Translation of Bat Creek Stone and its number riddle.

Translation of Bat Creek Stone and its number riddle.



Back to the very beginning of series on Adena Tablets

Previous Post on the Shaman Stone

Posts on: Adena Pipe, Numbers and their Meaning, Ramey Peet Tablet, Gridley Stone

McKensie and Bainbridge Tablets, Cincinnati Tablet,

Egyptian Art Comparison, Wilmington Tablet, Lakin A Tablet,

The Gaitskill Clay Tablet, Allen Tablet, Grave Creek,

The Kiefer Tablet, Wright, Lakin B and Meigs Tablets,

Berlin Tablet, Gaitskill Stone Tablet, The Low Tablet,

The Waverly Tablet, Metcalf Stone, and pdf article on

Hudson Bay as a comet crater of recent origin.