Fiction Fest: More from Phyllis Gunderson’s ‘The Mounds Anomaly’

Mounds Anomaly 2x3“The Mounds Anomaly” by Phyllis Gunderson was released on June 11, 2013, and takes a look at evidence of ancient civilizations in North America.

The book correlates with the TV series “America Unearthed,” which reexamines evidence of these ancient societies.

The novel is the third from Gunderson, who poses additional questions and answers to the mysteries about these ancient civilizations, including:

  • Were 20,000 artifacts from prehistoric civilizations found in the Michigan mounds?
  • Does a cave in Illinois contain tombs from ancient Greece, Egypt, Rome, Phoenicia, and Israel?
  • Are there hundreds of rock carvings that depict scenes from the Old and New Testaments?
  • How do Catholics, Mormons, and the Smithsonian Institute connect to the puzzle?

You can get your copy of “The Mounds Anomaly” in bookstores and on,, and


Matt has been invited to speak at an Illinois university about archaeology anomalies, a lecture she often gives. The event goes well until the end, when her confidence goes too far and she introduces a cave she recently heard about.

I wish with all my heart I had stopped there, followed the script, opened for questions, and waved goodbye. But my mouth was light-years ahead of my brain and I catapulted into disaster.

“You folks have a nice little anomaly here in Illinois,” I began. “I recently learned of a cave in the northeast part of your state with several thousand artifacts made of black rock, copper, slate, even some gold. I spoke with the finder who said he couldn’t get experts to believe him. The cave deserves attention, even though an archaeologist didn’t find it.” I smiled but the joke fell flat. I wondered if the entire audience had stopped breathing in tandem.

A woman stood and introduced herself. “Dr. Meyser from Eastern Illinois University.” I nodded my head and she continued. “Some professionals have seen Mr. Barnes’ cave rocks. Virtually every legitimate archaeologist declares them fakes. I, for one, don’t appreciate you coming here with a little bit of information, telling us to investigate something that has already been determined a fraud.”  Murmurs from the mob.

The feeling that swept over me was hostile. More than a feeling, it was a physical force. My stomach hurt. The only good way out of this situation was to simply get out.

“Thank you for adding your take on the Illinois cave,” I said, “or lack of one. Our time is up for this evening. Good night.”

They rose and left. No applause. Nobody came up to ask questions. I started gathering my equipment, figuring I wasn’t so much a has-been as a won’t-be…as in, I won’t be asked to speak in Illinois again. I stuffed an extension cord in my bag without rolling it around my arm first. It didn’t fit.

Another life force entered my psychological barrier. It turned out to be Brian, the assigned student assistant.

“Hey, Brian,” I said. “I could use a couple of your Excedrin.”

He smiled with only one side of his mouth. “Glad to share,” he said, as he opened his Celtic cyst and handed me two pills. I downed them without water.

“When my I.Q. reaches 50,” I said, “I plan to sell.”

“Don’t be too hard on yourself, Dr. Howard. We’ve all heard about the cave, but only the academic side of it. I’ve always wondered about the guy who says he found it.”

“He got run out of Dodge,” I said, “and he’s bitter.”

I had to take out the extension cord again and wind it around my arm to make it fit inside the case. Brian picked up the equipment and we walked to his car.

“Dr Howard,” a little pause as he revved the engine and we glided to the street. “I need a professional opinion and I think you’re the person to give it.”

“Based on my performance this evening?”

“Actually, yes. You look at things that don’t fit the grid, and you’re not afraid to speak out.”

“Let that be a lesson to you, my boy. Never miss a good opportunity to shut up.”

Brian grinned, but only a little. “If you can stick around another day, I have a mystery I found as a kid and I’d like you to see it.”