In the June, 1948 issue of AMAZING STORIES Magazine, pp. 158-190, ‘Chief Sequoyah’ related the following account, which appeared under the title: ‘SPIRIT OF THE SERPENT GOD’:
Somewhere in the mountains of Oregon there is a hidden cave with a small stream flowing from its mouth. Within the cave lies a vast hoard of gold and jewelry surrounded by the crumbling bones of an ancient tribe of Indians. But watching over both, guarding them against theft by white man and hostile Indian alike, hovers the terrible spirit of the great serpent. He has already wreaked death upon intruders…
My own father told me this story, and his father told him, and for uncounted generations it has been a legend of our tribe which lived along the coastline of Oregon and northern California. My father was a medicine man and he knew the ancient legends well.
White people today have been taught to regard the serpent as the Devil himself, or at any rate his chief emissary on earth.
…Now in the east, far east of the mountains in the great plains, there was an Indian chieftain named Blue Eagle who had violated the sacred laws of his tribe, They did not kill Blue Eagle, because the tribe did not believe in the death penalty. Instead they banished him and all his belongings and his family forever from the plains. Westward they went, over the plains, the deserts, the mountains, and ultimately the clan came to the Oregon shore. Here they settled and after hundreds of years they became a great tribe. They prospected and mined gold and made golden ornaments and vessels of shining yellow metal.
But the curse of the first Chief Blue Eagle’s evil deeds came at last to rest upon his children. An epidemic of disease hit the tribe at the height of its strength. Enemy tribes they could fight, and strong wild beasts of the mountains, but they could not fight this sickness. They died like mayflies in the early spring, men and women and children. They fell so fast that there were not enough well men and women to bury the dead. How could their spirits and their precious belongings be committed to the ‘care’ of the serpent god (which they worshipped) if graves could not be dug for them?
The medicine man called a last council of all the men in the tribe who could summon strength to attend. ‘We are doomed,’ he told them. ‘The spirits of evil who roam the earth have fixed their eyes upon our spirits and our possessions. We must entrust them to the care of the serpent god.’
Since they believed thay had no hope in life, they decided that all they could do would be to protect themselves in death. They gathered their riches and precious belongings and their kinfolk and held sacred rites before the mouth of a cave in the mountainside. In the ceremony, the medicine man instructed the serpent to guard over the cave. Then they entered the cave with their belongings, and as each of them died in the cave, the spirit of the dead brave would enter into the serpent so that he would become the stronger to guard it. As a final protection, a landslide was started which closed the cave for hundreds of years.
A special curse was placed against any white man who might find the cave, and the serpent god who guarded it was enjoined to protect it especially against men of white skin. If a white man were to enter the cave, he must die by the strength of the great serpent. ‘No other man but a Red Man, and one with the heart of the Red Man, can use the contents of the secret cave, and then only for the benefit of the Red Man’–so ran the injunction of the serpent god….
This was the legend. Now what has happened to the cave and its contents?
I have heard many stories of people finding the cave and never having been seen since (Note: whether these people were gold-hungry or whether they were innocent curiosity seekers, didn’t seem to matter, if they were white and they entered the cave the chances were they never came out – Branton). I have tried to trace many of these stories down to find out what truth there may be to them and to the curse of the great serpent. I have not been able to verify any of these stories–except one.
In the early days of the gold rush, three prospectors started north from California to explore the mountains of Southern Oregon. They came in with pack mules and mining equipment, provisioned for a long stay. They panned numerous streams on their way, searching for the precious yellow color of gold. They found it one day in a small creek running around the base of a mountain. Up stream and down stream they panned, searching for concentrations of the yellow stuff, but they found very little except at the mouth of a tiny stream which came into the creek out of a cave in the mountain.
These men were Peter Jackson, an old-time mountain man; Mike Burns, who spoke in a Scottish burr so rough it had knobs on it, and Jed O’Hara, part Spanish, part Irish, and a host of other mixtures. Jackson was a cold, hard character, experienced in the wilderness and not caring a damn for Indian or grizzly bear. Burns was easy-going but stubborn once he got on the trail of something. O’Hara apparently was a carefree, hard-working man when the mood was on him, a great whiskey drinker if there was any whiskey to be had, and undoubtedly the most emotional of the trio. He was the only one who could rightly be held to be a superstitious man, and as it turned out this characteristic was to save his life–what was left of it, that is.
Every evidence seemed to point to the fact that the tiny stream issuing from the cave mouth was the source of the color. Considering that fact, it is an odd thing that the three prospectors did not immediately begin to explore the cave. Instead they gave the larger creek a thorough going over, and even explored streams in neighboring valleys from their main camp near the cave. In view of what happened later, it is probable that O’Hara dissuaded his two companions from exploring the cave to any depth until it became evident that if they were to find any gold at all it would have to be within the cave.
As they sat around the campfire at dusk, they could see the mouth of the cave beckoning to them with its promise of gold, and yet at the same time coldly warning them to stay away. As darkness fell it might have looked like the black pit of hell itself to the superstitious Jed O’Hara, and we can imagine him staring at it until it became indistinguishable against the black cloak of night. Exactly why he was so reluctant to enter the cave we cannot say. It may have been the innate superstitiousness of his nature or it may have been that with his part Mexican-Spanish origins he understood enough of the Indian lingo to have heard some legend of the lost tribe of Chief Blue Eagle and of their guardian great serpent. But the decision had been made. They would explore the cave.
It may have been after troubled dreams that the trio awoke to the greatest day of their lives. They ate their broiled venison for breakfast in silence and after pipes they prepared pine torches and were ready for the trip. At the mouth of the cave they built a large fire, hoping to see it glimmering as a guide from the dark interior. The entrance was very narrow at its lower level, and nearly blocked by a huge boulder around which the stream had eroded a channel just wide enough for them to squeeze by one at a time.
The passage continued narrow for several hundred feet. Jackson, the largest of the three, was in the lead, with Burns following close behind and O’Hara brought up a somewhat reluctant rear. They had proceeded about 500 yards when they heard a loud hissing sound. They halted abruptly. Jackson started to say something when he felt soft wings brush past him and Burns chimed in with the reassuring words that it was just a bat. They moved ahead, always more slowly, held back by a growing dread of the unknown. It is hard to see ahead very far with the aid of a pine torch, even when it is held high above the head. The holder is illuminated far better than anything he tries to illuminate; he is, in short, a target.
Realizing this in the stygian blackness of the high-vaulted cavern, the three continued their ever more-reluctant advance. And then Jackson screamed in mortal fear. Almost instantly Burns too began to scream hoarsely. In the light of their falling torches, O’Hara saw that the two men ahead had turned to run. He also saw what they were fleeing–a huge coiled serpent with eyes glowing red in the reflected torch light, jaws agape. The fearful vision seemed to freeze O’Hara’s brain with terror but his feet grew wings.
One evening, perhaps three months later, the prospectors in a mining camp were on their last round of drinks when a fantastic creature stumbled into the saloon. He appearance was enough to make even these rugged miners halt the glass on its way to their lips. His matted filthy beard was long, his eyes sunken, his cheeks the cheeks of a starving man. He was nearly naked, his clothes ripped off or worn off by the clawing branches and unfriendly rocks of Southern Oregon’s mountains. This was what was left of Jed O’Hara.
It was possible to nurse his body back into a semblance of health, his mind never. When he was able to force words where only gibberish had come, and eventually to link words into rare sentences, there gradually emerged, piece by piece over the months, a story so obviously fantastic that the prospectors shook their heads and said that Jed O’Hara would never be the same again.
As for his story, prospectors knew better than to believe a madman’s babblings about a giant snake as large around as a hogshead and as long as a pack rope. But on the other hand, there might be something to his confused tale (prospectors being what they are) about an ancient Indian treasure in a cave. Once several of them organized an expedition around poor old Jed and tried to find his cave. They had no luck with it.
People would have forgotten the story of Jed O’Hara and his lost partners and his snake if two Indian hunters hadn’t stumbled onto an old camp in the mountains 40 years later. There were some rusty guns, a couple of old cast iron pots, and the rotted remains of other paraphernalia which suggested their owners had left in a hurry. And nearby there was a cave, with a tiny stream emerging from its mouth. The Indians decided to explore the cave. To their horror they found the bones of two men a short way inside. They did not go further.
When they told their story on the outside, a search party was formed to investigate the mystery. The Indians guided the party to the cave and its grisly remains. The remains of the hunting knives, a belt buckle and a few coins indicated that (they) were the bones of white men. But what were they doing here, and what had killed them? A rock fall had blocked off the cave so it would be hard to penetrate it much beyond the site where the two skeletons lay. But it did not seem in any way responsible for their deaths. A further mystery appeared when the bones were carried out of the cave. The ribs and upper spinal columns seemed literally pulverized by some mighty crushing force, as a vise. But no satisfactory answer was ever found by the white men. The bones were buried near the old camp site and for many years the Indians avoided the place.
Now the cave is lost again, perhaps covered by the heavy undergrowth in the hidden mountains, perhaps by a landslide. The Indian hunters who discovered it have long since gone to the happy hunting ground… I hope some day to rediscover it an put its riches to the use of my people.
John A. Keel, in his book ‘THE EIGHTH TOWER’ (pp. 97,119), in keeping with his in depth study of ‘monstrology’ or in more scientific terms ‘cryptozoology’, describes some of the ‘monster’ accounts he has come across describing hominoid beasts which reeked of sulfurous fumes:
…(An) important characteristics of our monsters is that they nearly always appear close to water–lakes, streams, reservoirs, swamps. This has stimulated some discussion that the creatures might be amphibians who actually live at the bottom of bodies of water and only rarely venture onto land. If this were actually the case, they shouldn’t be so desperately in need of a bath. They might be scented with the odor of stagnant water. But hydrogen sulfide?
…Eager would-be UFO photographers the world over have been puzzled when their expensive cameras failed to function at the critical moment, returning to normal as soon as the UFO had soared out of view. Holiday (a researcher referred to earlier in his text – Branton) cites a number of instances in which this has occurred at Loch Ness. In some cases, the cameras seemed to work, but the developed film came out completely blank. This has also happened to innumerable UFO photographers (and) ghost hunters.
F. W. Holiday, in his book ‘THE DRAGON AND THE DISK’ (W.W. Norton & Co., Inc. New York, N.Y. 1973) relates some unusual facts concerning the relationship between serpent or ‘dragon’ legends and the modern ‘UFO’ phenomena:
…To introduce further unknowns when you have not satisfactorily dealt with the first one is not an ideal way of solving equations. However, the ancients leave us no option. For they considered the dragon in relation to an even more remarkable set of phenomena — phenomena that have produced a greater amount of controversy within the last two decades than any other mystery known to the modern world. This is the riddle of the Flying Disk or U.F.O.
Thanks to an excellent analysis of French and Spanish cave- art by Aime Michel in 1969, we can now be quite certain that people of the Magdalenian culture… observed the same or very similar U.F.O. phenomena to those described by recent witnesses. We can be confident about this because the Magdalenians were without equal as artists in the world of prehistory as is proved by their superb coloured murals. When they sketched a Flying Disc, therefore – and hundreds are depicted in cave art – it seems obvious that they actually observed such objects just as they observed the horses depicted at Lascaux and the mammoths at Rouffignac. Discs are particularly plentiful in one of the most famous caves of the period – Altamira. These people painted not only bison, bears and other wildlife, but also ‘flying saucers’.
In chapter thirteen, ‘THE SERPENT PEOPLE’, Holiday begins with a quote from a poem by the black sorcerer Aleister Crowley:
‘…It seemed to all of them as though the air grew thick and greasy; that of that slime were bred innumerable creeping things, monsters misshapen, abortions of dead paths of evolution, creatures which had not been found fit to live upon the earth and so had been cast off by her as excrement.’
Crowley however did not hide the fact that he worshipped such ‘excrement’, as can be seen by his own degenerate existence as a sorcerer.
Satanism – that is to say the religion of the dragon…seems to have been contemporaneous in BABYLON and Bronze Age Britain. In both countries it was probably practiced by minority groups and became official only in times of decadence.
When Cryus occupied Ur…a form of dragon-worship seems to have been in vogue. The priests of this cult escaped the Persians by fleeing north with their PONTIFF into the mountains of Asia Minor. They finally came to rest at a place called Pergamos in Lydia (western Turkey) and there set up a religious centre which became known as ‘Satan’s seat’. St. John said: ‘And to the angel of the church of Pergamos, write: These things saith he [God] which hath the sharp sword with two edges [judgement and mercy]: I know they works, and where thou dwellest, EVEN where Satan’s seat it…’
The Romans also knew about Satan’s seat AND ANNEXED IT INTO THEIR EMPIRE IN 133 B.C. after the death of Attalus III, the last of the Pergamite kings. About this period A PLAGUE BROKE OUT IN ROME and prayers were offered to the Roman ‘gods’ in vain. It was decided, therefore, to appeal to Satan at Pergamos.
The symbol of the cult was A SERPENT and a special ship was sent to Lydia TO TRANSPORT THE GOD TO ROME. There it was installed as a deity with great pomp. The disease had probably run its course and the resulting improvement in public health was attributed to Satan. The new religion was so popular that snakes of inoffensive species were allowed to glide around at parties — at least so Seneca says. In HISTORIA AUGUSTA they are called DRACUNCULI or little dragons.
The Aesculapian Serpent – as the ‘god’ was called – is shown on a carving at Pompeii and is unlike anything known to herpetologists. It had vertical humps and snail-like horns, exactly like the monsters of Scotland and Ireland. A bronze Urarian cauldron in Rome carries the erect head and neck of the creature modelled in the round. It is hideous. it has a shovel- like mouth, bulging eyes and tentacles or sensory-organs hanging on each side of the face.
No-one, of course, thought that snakes were dragons. The malignant Great Serpent of Babylonia was TYPHON or Teitan, Satan, the author of wickedness…
Politicians, however, never look a gift-horse in the mouth as long as it produces results. After giving the Roman people carnage in the guise of circus entertainment, there was no reason for the EMPERORS to shrink from a little devil-worship. Even the national flag was given the treatment. Ammianus Marcellinus describes the standard ‘PURPUREUM SIGNUM DRACONIS’. And when Julius Caesar appeared in full regalia as the PONTIFEX MAXIMUS he was dressed in reddish-purple robes the same as the Pergamite dragon-priests. The reader can trace the rest of the story in Gibbon’s ‘RISE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE’.
DRAGON-WORSHIP PERSISTED LONG AFTER CHRISTIANITY (and also ‘Catholicism?’ – Branton) HAD BEEN PROCLAIMED. Tertullian complained: ‘These heretics magnify the serpent to such a degree as to prefer him even to Christ himself; for he, they say, gave us the first knowledge of good and evil.’
[Some of] the Babylonians strongly believed that the monsters were evil. R. C. Thompson, in ‘THE DEVILS AND EVIL SPIRITS OF BABYLONIA’, gives an ‘incantation’ that was used against the creatures:
‘…Seven are they, seven are they. In the Ocean Deep, seven are they. They are reared in the home of the Ocean Deep. Neither male nor female are they. They are as the roaming wildbeast. No wife have they, no son do they beget. They know neither mercy nor pity. They harken not unto prayers and supplications. They are as the horses reared on the hills. The Evil Ones of EA, throne-bearers of the gods are they. They stand in the highway to befoul the path. Evil are they, evil are they. By Heaven be ye exorcised!’
Various Loch Ness witnesses have said that the head of a monster looks like the head of a goat… It is no surprise, therefore, to find that the Babylonians used the expression ‘antelope of the deep’ for the creatures. The exiled Jews at Ur called them chimera or goat-spirits. There are goat- spirits illustrated on some ancient British coins.
…Dragon-worship had various appeals. The believer was bound by no rigid moral code. But obviously the Pergamites had some sort of a code otherwise their community would hardly have survived for about 400 years. Another appeal was that Satan, on EARTH, was said to be more powerful than God. In fact a passage in the Bible calls him ‘the god of THIS world’ as distinct from the God of HEAVEN (According to Hebrew scripture the Evil One gained possession of this world when the Evadamic descendants ‘sold out’ the planet to it. The ‘New Testament’, especially in REVELATION, states that the ‘title deed’ to the earth was ‘bought back’ by Jesus the Messiah or Christ who, even though he was the ruler of countless billions of worlds nevertheless felt that this small world, the cradle of life, was worth the price – Branton). In view of some of the happenings on the planet, this is still a pretty good argument.
Our knowledge of Satanism in Bronze Age Britain is based almost entirely on archaeological remains. British dragon- worshippers used to build gigantic models of their deity out of earth and stones. A few examples still survive in Scotland overlooking waters where the monsters existed.
There is a huge dragon-simulation on the banks of the Clyde and another at Ach-na-Goul near Inverary. In 1969 I visited the dragon-simulation in Glen Feochan near Oban. The hundred yard long model is at the lower end of Loch Neil. John S. Phene, F.G.S., F.R.G.S., described it to the British Association in Edinburgh as being ‘in the form of a serpent or saurian’. The head seems to be represented by a cairn.