Thomas Doty – Storyteller


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Silver Lake Dolmen

Saturday, 20 June 1987, Silver Lake -- first visit to dolmen site -- good lineup with eastern hills, line-up rock to dolmen. Lots of rock writings -- many more than described by Roy Phillips.

We are camped here with Roy S [Scarbrough]. and his wife Louie [Goldberg] on the old lake shore, can see the water of the marsh from here. Beautiful spot despite the red ants & the mosquitoes.

Lots of chippings at dolmen. Pot diggers have been everywhere. A hole under every rock, particularly if that rock happens to have a RW [rock writing] on it.


Sunset: sun lines up w/ dolmen, rock 13 going down thru notch -- 2 juniper trees may have prevented sun dagger across sun symbol rock (#6) -- there was a short dagger 15-30 min. before sunset

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Monday, 22 June 1987, Ashland.

It has occurred to me, especially lately, that my work has thrust me into situations bordering on the bizarre and unexplainable. Coming back from these days in the desert where existence is defined neither as sane or crazy (there seems little difference between the 2) I find myself -- as usual -- questioning my place in this society of Ashland (the middle of nowhere as opposed to the middle of somewhere such as the dolmen). Don't talk about the lights on Table Rock, Chuck once told JW [Dr. John M.H. Kelly] & I, or people will call you crazy & someday they'll lock you up in the looney bin.

Sleeping Sat night by the dry creek below the dolmen on the shore of the marsh at Silver Lake-- Sometime around 12:30 am, as the stars flashed on and off & w/ the fog drifting thru the basin over the marsh, someone walked along the road carrying a flashlight, the dim beam swinging w/ each step. Then the light suddenly disappeared. Twenty minutes later, the same thing, only the light was dimmer. Flashing my own light out of the tent, there was no one there. These weren't my imagination working overtime. Michele saw them, too. Next morning, Roy told us about a dream he had: the old woman at the ranch house (nearly 2 mi away) walking her dog along the road in the middle of the night. They hadn't seen the lights. All this to the chorus of Coyotes moving along the mesas, their yapping & yipping nearly out of control, under a sky moonless until 2 am or so.

Next morning at the dolmen, too many clouds to get any sense of alignment, though the dolmen itself (& the hole underneath) is perfectly squared to the rising sun on the solstice. The sun didn't break thru the clouds until too late. Obvious that something happens there, though, but it may take several visits to figure it out.

[ Text goes on to describe remainder of our solstice weekend trek to Fort Rock, Klamath Marsh, Big Wocus, Juniper Cave, and Symbol Bridge. ]

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Letter to Roy Phillips dated 22 June 1987 I call MOSQUITOES AND ANTS AND SWINGING LIGHTS ¶ Dear Roy, ¶ So here's the solstice weekend story. We made it to the dolmen all right (your directions were superb), even talked to Fernette McDowell at the second ranch. With her permission we camped at the second creek crossing, in the shadows of the hill where the dolmen sits, amid mosquitoes and red ant hills. That evening we checked the site for a sunset alignment. Though a couple of juniper trees got in the way, there was a perfect alignment with a smooth-topped rock and the sun going down in a distant canyon when viewed from the dolmen. There was somewhat of a sun dagger across the sun symbol on the rock in front of the dolmen, but that was particularly obscured by the two trees. In addition to the rocks you mentioned to me, there are others which seem to haver something to do with the site -- all off them rubbed smooth on top, and also a few other rock writings scattered over the area as well as a rock wall and steps just below the ridge, and a large mortar rock near the center of the hill, not to mention acres of obsidian chippings. ¶ Saturday night was strange. Though the moon was somewhat nonexistent and the marsh at Silver Lake, just a stone's throw away, was obscured by mist moving through the basin, it never seemed to get quite dark. In the middle of the night, odd lights appeared near our camp and seemed to move down the road, then out into the marsh, almost like people carrying flashlights, the beams swinging back and forth with every step. Coyotes yipped and yapped up this canyon, down that canyon, and the mist swirled like dry ice. ¶ Next morning, unfortunately, there were plenty of clouds. We didn't see the sun till half an hour after sunrise so we're uncertain about any alignments. One thing for sure, though, the one rock directly behind the dolmen doesn't line up at sunrise, though others may. The dolmen itself, however, is perfectly squared to the solstice site sunrise, as are supporting rocks underneath. Looks like a few more trips to unravel this mystery, despite the mosquitoes and the ants and the swinging lights. ¶ No clue as to a translation of the rock writings yet, except for the obvious: something happens with the sun at this place. And the open eyes. Roy Scarbrough should have shot some decent photos. We'll see what those turn up. ¶ Warm regards, Tom

¶ Some additional notes on the Silver Lake dolmen. ¶ On 20-21 of June, Michele, Irina and I were camped at the dolmen with Roy Scarbrough and Louie Goldberg. On Saturday night I noticed the swinging lights not 30 feet from our tent. I woke Michele and we watched them for a long while. They seemed to go past every 20 minutes. They weren't marsh lights nor car headlights from the highway across the marsh. They were something else. A couple of times I flashed my light at then when they were close but we could see nothing there. ¶ Next morning, we told the story to Irina, Roy and Louie -- nobody else had seem them -- and Louie said she had a dream that night that Fernette McDowell (the lady at the ranch) had taken her dogs for a walk and walked by our camp carrying a lantern. ¶ Sometime later, Greg Leiber and I visited the dolmen to photograph it but were unable to sleep there because there were too many mosquitoes. We took a room at the motel in Silver Lake. ¶ I've been back a few times since.

3/10/2019: Today I asked if it was Roy or Louie who had the dream, and they told me that BOTH of them had the same dream, or similar ones.