by Alan M. Hall, Free Lance Writer
Education: Mr. Hall holds a B.S. Degree in Fine Arts (Ceramic and Industrial Arts) from Berry College in Rome, GA. Past Employment: Resident Potter, Goshen Valley Dirtworks, Batesville, GA – 1980–1988 . . . President, Alan Hall Contracting – 1980–2004 – Clarkesville, GA USA . . . Artisan baker – Habersham Bakers – 2004-2006 . . . Senior Research Analyst – Oct 2006 – Present . . . Freelance Writer – April 2019 – Present
I received this comment to an article about petroglyphs near the Amicalola River and archaeological sites in walking distance of my house, late in the afternoon of January 29, 2021. Recognizing that the author provided extensive biographic material, establishing his position of ultimate authority on the matter, I thought it was important that the readers be given access to it as soon as possible, so you will no longer be deceived by my faded, 50 year old color slides of Mexican archaeological sites or the much clearer slides of my former farm in Virginia.
The images that Mr. Hall claims are fraudulent were given to me by a Choctaw friend, who is a professional archaeologist and who retired several years ago from the US Forest Service. He formerly worked in the Chattahoochee National Forest. All images were labeled “Amicalola Rock Shelter – Dawson County, GA.” I have not been to the site, but I certainly had permission to use the images. The archaeologist stated that the mouth of the rock shelter was not visible beyond 100 feet.
All of the land around the Alec Mountain Stone Oval is privately owned. If I come to a fence line that says “no trespassing” I don’t cross it, without written permission of the owner. Why Mr. Hall thought that article had anything to do with the US Forest Service, I don’t know. Whatever the case, you now have contact information so that you can get a fact check on any article in this website from a bonified expert. The article on the Amicalola petroglyphs may be accessed at: https://apalacheresearch.com/2019/05/16/petroglyphs-amicalola-rock-shelter/
Petroglyphs: Amicalola Rock Shelter
“The Amicalola Rock Shelter is located in the rugged mountains immediately west of Amicalola Creek and northwest of Amicalola Falls.”
This is fiction. The only Google search result you will get for “Amicalola Rock Shelter” is this blog post. The top left photo is actually of the Fox Trap Shelter in NW Alabama.
Besides his use of other people’s photos without permission or credit, one big red flag is that Thornton frequently presents himself as a lone hero opposing a conspiracy of archaeologists, Forest Service employees and various other groups who want to keep his “discoveries” secret. As all good conspiracy theorists do, he usually includes a few facts amidst his speculations. For example, his “Alec Mountain Archaeological Zone” map at the following link contains 24 unfounded speculations and precisely one fact, the stone circle, which is located in the wrong place on his map. https://apalacheresearch.com/2019/05/13/alec-mountain-archaeological-zone/
Under the map he wrote, “The archaeological zone probably extends to the south, but we were not allowed in there.” One might dismiss falsehoods and implied conspiracies as harmless entertainment, but such delusions can lead to dangerous consequences, as we saw at the US Capitol on January 6.