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    An alternative way to explore and explain the mysteries of our world. "Published since 1985, online since 2001."

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Encounters with the Unknown—Alternate Perceptions Magazine, August 2014


Petroglyph Manipulation

by: Brent Raynes



I first met Richard Barnhouse, a Native American artist and person of Shawnee ancestry, back during the ARE (Association for Research and Enlightenment) Indian Mounds Tour in 2009. I was glad to see him again this year at Portsmouth, Ohio, with his artwork set up and offering again his thoughts and interpretations based on his decades of trying to understand the meanings behind ancient Native American symbols.

“I can’t tell you exactly how it works,” Richard had told me shortly after our first meeting. “I don’t know myself and that’s why I quit. I did find out, in the way that they used the artifacts and the symbolism and everything, that there’s a thing that I call petroglyph manipulation. That’s my name for it. They would arrange certain symbols in certain patterns to make something happen, whether it’s magic, raise power, open doorways, capture spirits – who knows. Actually after a couple of experiences I quit. I was sitting on the floor, or kneeling on the floor, playing with this and moving the things around – the symbols – and I had an out-of-body experience. I’ve always heard about out-of-body experiences but I had never had one myself. I think that’s what triggered (it) – I did something not knowing – like switches on a wall, you’re throwing them up and down – and you flip the wrong switch and you shouldn’t have done it – and something happened. And I had an out-of-body experience.”

“I was trying to find patterns that would go together, so I could draw the patterns and then cut them out and place them in what I thought was the correct flow to make what I call like a sentence, or to put them together in a group that belonged together. And that’s when I had that.”

“Then the second time I had taken this lady to a Bingo. She wanted to play Bingo so I drove her up….so I’m sitting there in the car and I just decided that I would wait on her rather than drive back, so I’m sitting in the car and opened up the briefcase and started doing the same thing again. …. It’s dark, and when I’m arranging this stuff, in patterns again and playing with it, here comes what I thought was two animals running side by side down the street, out of the darkness. …They just come out of the darkness and they are running side by side. But when they get close to the car they’re running but it’s almost like watching them running in slow motion. Their leg movements were very slow, yet they are covering distance in a hurry. They go past the car in a hurry, and when they got even closer I realized that they weren’t even touching the ground. They were a foot above the ground. They were not even touching the ground. Then I thought that they looked more like wolves. I couldn’t make up my mind whether they were a dog or a wolf, or something in between, and I’m actually wondering what in the devil am I looking at. And I still don’t know what I was looking at. But then I looked in the side mirror as they went by and what it was was a boy and a girl. I’d say somewhere between 18 and 20, naked, no clothes on, no fur, and they’re still running. Kneeling down but they’re still running….When they got past the car – well I actually looked out the window once I seen that in the mirror – and all of this is happening in a heartbeat and I stick my head out the window – I’m looking back at these wolves or dogs – whatever they are – with the fur all over them. So they’re past the car and then I look up in the rearview mirror and I can see the boy and girl again and then in the darkness behind me they were gone. No flashes of light. They were just simply gone.”

“I was out of my league,” Richard stated. “I didn’t know what I was doing or what happened. But I just simply wasn’t going to do it again.” I asked Richard if these were the same symbols both times. “They were the same type,” he said. “They weren’t the same ones.” At the time he had shared these experiences with me (2009), it had been perhaps 12 years earlier that this had happened. “So after that I quit,” he said. He added that if he ever figured out what he was doing, then he might continue the experiment, but not until then. “I won’t do it anymore because I’m out of my league,” he told me.

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Friday, March 05, 2021