Last night′s new episode of America Unearthed, A Deadly Sacrifice, was aired on The History Channel H2. Scott Wolter begins with an investigation of a 500 pound sandstone rock found along the Arkansas River near Tulsa, Oklahoma. The rock has a carving of what appears to be an Apis Bull, a symbol originating from ancient Egypt. Nearby, along the cliffs of Turkey Mountain, Scott checks out other carvings, including some which appear to be Goham, a written language unique to Irish Celts. Next, he is led to Anubis Cave in Oklahoma′s panhandle region which has more signs of Celtic Irishmen who may have practiced Mithraism. The worship of Mithra is largely based on Egyptian mythology and peaked around the 4th and 5th Centuries in Europe. So do all of these point to Celtic Mithra worshipers coming to Oklahoma 1,500 years ago seeking religious freedom?
In 2010, two brothers, Nick and Eric Johnson, found the 500 pound sandstone rock along the Arkansas River. About a year later, Scott Wolter received an email with pictures from the Johnson boys of the rock. The rock has a large carving of a bull which seems to be very similar to those depicted in Egyptian hieroglyphics as an Apis Bull. Such bulls were considered divine creatures, usually representing a pharaoh who became a god after his death. Scott consults with an expert on hieroglyphics who points out that while the carving is very similar, it lacks the name of a pharaoh. Also, the Egyptians were not known for being a maritime culture, usually contracting the work to others, such as the Phoneticians.
When Wolter visits the actual site where the stone was found, the Brothers Johnson explain that the rock was found underwater. The water level was up due to a nearby dam. This disappoints Scott as the weathering of the rock may be more due to the water′s motion than to just the passage of time. The lads then take him to Turkey Mountain, which is within a short walking distance, and show him carvings made along one side of a cliff. They point out some markings which they have been told was an example of Goham, an ancient Celtic language. While many of the carvings appear to be fairly recent, Scott is intrigued by the Goham script and flies to Ireland to consult with an expert.
At Trinity College in Dublin, Wolter meets Dr. Damain McManhus, who shows Scott examples of Goham writing. Essentially, it consists of a series of hash marks, usually horizontal. The alleged markings in Oklahoma were vertical. Scott shows McManhus photos of the Turkey Mountain carvings, as well as the Apis Bull. He tells Wolter that he might want to check out a site known as Anubis Cave, which is also in Oklahoma. McManhus has heard that there are Goham carvings there as well.
So Scott goes to the Oklahoma panhandle and meets with Phil Leonard, an expert on the Anubis Caves. There are actually three caves close together, but it is the middle one, Cave Number Two, which has some very elaborate carvings. Leonard shows Wolter around and they find not only Goham language, but also another bull carving as well as one resembling the Egyptian god Anubis. Leonard believes that the markings were made by Mirtha worshipers and that the Cave was marked in a fashion to serve as an archeoastronomy structure to mark the Equinox. Scott is invited to visit again during the Autumn Equinox to see how the cave works.
Back at his lab, Wolter talks with Joe Rose an expert on Mithra and the Irish Celtic connection. Rose tells Scott that Mithraism peaked between 300 and 500 A.D. In Ireland. He also points out that the Apis Bull on the Arkansas River stone appears to have markings indicating that the bull was bleeding. Rose describes a ceremony for Mithra initiates which involves them being placed in a pit while overhead, a bull is slaughtered, spilling blood over the initiate. Such a deadly sacrifice ritual might be why the Celtic Mithra worshipers may have felt compelled to flee Ireland as Christianity began to take root. It may not be such a far fetched concept as they were known to have sailed to Greenland and perhaps beyond further west. Had a group reached the Gulf of Mexico, then traveled up the Mississippi River and taken the first major branch, the Arkansas River to wind up in Oklahoma?
Scott Wolter brings Joe Rose along with him back to Anubis Cave for the Autumn Equinox. Phil Leonard greets them and describes what they will see. As the sun sets, a shaft of light will appear along a narrow band of the cave wall where the Goham markings and other carvings are. For several minutes, the light will move across the markings until becoming completely dark. The archeoastronomy event takes place just as Leonard said. Scott is convinced that this is proof that the Irish Celts did indeed journey to America 1,500 years to practice Mithraism. That the Apis Bull stone found along the Arkansas River near Tulsa and the Goham carvings at Turkey Mountain were probably markers for other Mithra worshipers to follow.