Rockwall, Texas, is a city that derives its name from a mysterious underground formation that has puzzled and fascinated people for over a century.
Beneath the city lies a row of hard mineral stones that appear to be stacked on top of one another, forming what looks like a rock wall. The wall is estimated to be close to 20 miles long and about seven stories deep, and it has been exposed in at least 11 different locations around the city.
But what is the origin and nature of this wall? Is it a natural phenomenon or a prehistoric construction?
The first discovery of the wall was made in 1852 by Benjamin Boydstun, Terry Utley Wade and William Clay Stevenson, who were digging a well on Wade’s property. They encountered the rocks at a depth of about 12 feet and noticed that they looked like long bricks arranged in a regular pattern.
They also found a round metal disk embedded in one of the stones, which was composed of iron. The discovery sparked curiosity and speculation among the locals, who wondered if the wall was built by an ancient civilization or even by extraterrestrials.
Over the years, several attempts have been made to excavate and study the wall, both by professional geologists and by amateur enthusiasts. Some of the excavations have revealed more features of the wall, such as steps, archways, corridors and even markings that resemble writing or drawings.
Some have also claimed to find fossils, pottery shards and other artifacts near the wall, suggesting that it was associated with human activity. However, none of these claims have been verified or documented by reliable sources.
The most widely accepted explanation for the wall is that it is a natural formation, resulting from the deposit and fracture of sedimentary material over millions of years. This theory was first proposed by Dr. Robert T. Hill in 1901, who examined the wall and concluded that it was a sandstone dike that formed along a fault line.
He also identified the metal disk as a concretion, a spherical mass of minerals that forms within sedimentary rocks.
Later studies by geologists from the University of Texas at Dallas have confirmed Hill’s findings and explained that the wall is composed of clastic dikes, which are cracks in the earth’s crust that are filled with sediment from above or below.
The sediment can harden and break into various shapes and patterns, depending on the pressure and temperature conditions. The clastic dikes are common around the world, but the ones in Rockwall are unique in their size and appearance.
However, not everyone is convinced by this natural explanation. Some still believe that the wall is a man-made structure, built by an ancient culture that had advanced knowledge and skills in engineering and masonry.
They point to the symmetry and regularity of the wall, as well as its alignment with cardinal directions and astronomical phenomena. They also argue that the natural theory does not account for all the features and anomalies of the wall, such as the metal disk, the steps, the archways and the markings.
They suggest that the wall may have been built by prehistoric people who inhabited North America before or during the Ice Age, or by visitors from another planet who left behind traces of their presence.
Mark Russo, former president of the Rockwall County Historical Foundation and a Rockwall history buff, has wondered about this for years. Russo said he’s been deeply involved with the wall and its story since 2005.
“When you see how perfect it looks and how the stones align … I’ve never seen such consistent behavior,” he said.
At the Rockwall County Historical Foundation Museum, a map outlines the possible locations of the rock formations. There are about 16 outcroppings throughout the county, Russo said, with some underneath Lake Ray Hubbard.
Russo said he believes that a prior civilization may have manipulated the rock formation to fit their own needs, perhaps in the form of a temple or a fortress. Russo said he has traveled across the country to various states to see if similar formations exist with no luck.
“There may not be a way to find out how the rocks were formed and what they may have been used for. But it’s all part of the rock wall’s appeal.” he said.
“The mystery has been well over 150 years, and it also has been a great community pride,” Russo said. “I think it’s more than just a rock wall. I think it has become a symbol of what our community is, and it’s that we’re something that’s unmovable that will last generations.”
The wall’s origins sparked theories, including ones of an ancient civilization, evidence of UFO presence or American Indian settlements, Russo said. Some even theorized that a possible supervolcanic eruption may have covered the possible ruins.
The debate over Rockwall’s ancient rock wall is unlikely to be resolved anytime soon, as more evidence and arguments are presented by both sides. The wall remains a source of wonder and mystery for many people who visit or live in Rockwall.
Whether it is a natural phenomenon or a prehistoric construction, it is certainly a remarkable feature that deserves attention and respect.
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