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In Search of the Lost Menorah in Ohio


“The ancient earthworks depicted above once lay along waters of the East Fork of the Little Miami River in Ohio, about 20 miles above its mouth near Milford, and about 25-30 miles east of Cincinnati. They have long since been plowed level, and their orientation and exact location are unknown.

Ohio had dozens of such large-scale earthworks, attributed to the Hopewell Culture of circa 100 BC to 500 AD. However, most of them incorporated relatively simple geometrical structures, primarily circles, squares, octagons, and extended parallel walls. The East Fork Works are unusual for their complexity.” Huston McCulloch- Read the entire article HERE

For unknown reasons the Army Corps of Engineers plowed over these ancient earthworks. We have speculated about the reasons why. Was it because they wanted the land for power or money? Was it just the government hiding this information? Could it be they wanted to get rid of any proof of an ancient Hebrew people who lived in the area?  All we know is it is important to find this ancient earthwork and further research it.

Heartland Research Group of Pennsylvania headed by John Lefgren has been looking for these lost earthworks using the most modern form of magnetometry today.  He has an amazing team of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and non-Mormon researchers and archaeologists including, Wayne May, Rod Meldrum, Richard Moats, Calvin Hamilton, Huston McCulloch, Jonathan Neville, Mike and Betty LaFontaine, Wes and Ellen Clarke, Anthony and Lorraine George, Mike Baker, Josh and Scott Willis, Jeff Green, Kels Goodman, Rian Nelson, and many others.

Heartland Research Group
Looking for the Lost Menorah by John C. Lefgren, PhD

Additional Funding Required for Specific Location of Menorah Earthworks. If you have a PayPal account send your donation to:

The starting point is William Lytle’s 1803 Map which he showed to President Thomas Jefferson. We know that in the early 19th century the Menorah Earthworks were visible to Lytle and his surveying team. We know that it has been lost for 150 years. The layout of the earthworks is very limited — about 100 acres. The design is related to one of the most popular symbols for the Jewish people — the Menorah.

Finding the Menorah Earthworks will capture the imaginations of Christians and Jews alike. It would immediately become a major connection between the ancient people of Ohio to the ancient Jewish
people of the Middle East. The Research Group believes that the search for this object will be the means by which it will be able to raise additional funding. The Group believes that its chance of success is high. Additional funding will allow the Group to go back to Crane Run to expand its scanning of the very site where it found on December 15, 2018 some remains of a destroyed earthworks.

Figure 1 William Lytle 1770 – 1830

This project requires funding. The Group already knows the property owners and it has open access to at least 100 acres for scanning. In two or three days it would be able to do several SENSYS scans. That would be enough to determine whether or not the outline of the Menorah is in the ground. After all, the 1803 Map shows that the walls of the earthworks have thousands of linear feet of structure. To verify the outline of the earthworks the Group needs three or four scans which fit the design of the Menorah.

The Group thinks that it should make the prospect of funding this research its first priority.

William Lytle 1803 Map

The primary document which identifies the Lost Menorah is an original 1803 Map. The Map is a
remarkable specimen of history. A close inspection reveals how the movement of the tip of a quill pen
created the smooth flow of ink on to the paper. It is clear that a highly skilled draftsman created this document. There is further proof of its genuineness – a 1796 watermark is pressed into the handmade paper. A careful inspection leaves no doubt about the authenticity and historicity of the Map. For 200 years the Map has been kept in the stacks of the National Archives. Anyone looking for the Lost Menorah must begin the search by looking at the Map and at the life and times of the man who surveyed and created it.

Here then is an outline of William Lytle’s life.

Birth – September 1, 1770, Carlisle, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania.

Figure 2 President Thomas Jefferson 1801 – 1809

As a young man of only 16, William Lytle rode with Colonel (later General) Benjamin Logan on his famed “Logan’s Raid,” a punitive expedition against the Shawnee villages located near the headwaters of the Great Miami and Mad Rivers in west central Ohio in October, 1786.(1)

Ohio’s first senator, John Brown, arranged a meeting for William Lytle to meet President Thomas Jefferson in the White House to show maps of ancient mounds which were located in the southwestern part of the new state. At that time the United States Congress asserted that the Constitution did not contain provisions for acquiring new territory. President Thomas Jefferson declared that his presidential powers were sufficient to negotiate treaties for the purchase of land from foreign countries.

President Jefferson negotiated and signed the largest land deal in the history of the world. The United States bought from France 827,000 square miles of land for 15 million dollars in gold. In that same year
President Jefferson was impressed when he saw Lytle’s maps which had “those works of antiquity” (2) on the East Fork of the Little Miami in Clermont County Ohio. (3) He requested more information about these works. This was the first historical reference about earthworks which President Jefferson may have
recognized as having a design which is in the likeness of a Jewish Menorah. The ancient features of these works were surveyed in the early 19th century but by the late 19th century these same works were lost and buried under row crops in southwest Ohio. These lost works have since become known as the Menorah, Gridiron or Hebrew earthworks. There is a new technology which makes it possible to discover their exact location. (4)

Let us first outline what we know from the National Archives. Figure 3 is a portion of the William Lytle
Map which was presented to President Thomas Jefferson in 1803. The complete original map is well preserved in the Cartographic and Architectural Branch of the Military Archives Division of the U.S. National Archives in College Park, Maryland, Record Group 77 (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fortifications File), Drawer 144, Sheet No. 20. The map consists of two sheets of identical paper glued together, so it is not entirely clear whether the scale pertains only to the Milford Works on the left panel, or to the entire map, including the East Fork Works on the right panel. A less detailed survey of the same works was published in 1811 in a book, Observations on the Climate in Different Parts of America. (5)


Figure 3 National Archives Scanned Image RG77 144.20

It seems clear that William Lytle’s 1803 Survey is the ultimate source of Panel 2B of Plate 34 of Squire and Davis, Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley. This in 1847 was the first book ever published by the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. Sometime during the last half of 19th century farmers plowed over the East Fork Works and planted row crops so that since the late 19th century the features of the Menorah Earthworks have been unnoticeable on the land’s surface. Perhaps in the mid-19th century some wanted to destroy the 100-acre earthworks to disassociate any link to the idea that in ancient times Hebrews were in North America. By making the Menorah Earthworks unknown the European settlers diminished the cultural heritage of the native peoples of America.

In the War of 1812 Lytle was commissioned major-general of the Ohio militia with his headquarters at Cincinnati. Lytle served with General Andrew Jackson. After his service Lytle would use the tile of General for the rest of his life. (6)

Lytle became the richest man in Ohio and was considered to be the first landed millionaire in the West. Lytle lost much of his money during a financial panic when western landowners could not pay their debts and the banks in Cincinnati failed.

Figure 4 Mules, Drag Lines and Dirt Scrappers Destroying Mound #25 in Chillicothe, Ohio

He was very ambitious and watched closely the economic impact which the digging of the 425-mile Erie Canal had on the value of the western lands of Ohio. There were several canal projects which soon started after people had seen the high returns of the Erie Canal. At this time Lytle got involved with his
brother in the construction of a canal on the Ohio River about 50 miles south of Crane Run.

Lytle got caught in a financial crisis. His canal project and falling land prices forced him into near bankruptcy.

It seems likely that Lytle brought his ditch digging men to his property on the East Fork of Little Miami River and told them to destroy the Menorah Earthworks. Very likely, Lytle wanted to open these particular earthworks so he could see if he could find anything valuable inside the mounds. The features were so unusual when compared to thousands of other ancient earthworks in Ohio. It seems that the
destruction was a systematic effort which employed techniques used in the digging of an 19th century American canal. The images of soil movement suggest that mules, drag lines and scrapers were used to
level the earthen walls of a structure which was 2,000 years old. Perhaps all this was done in the hope of finding treasure and artifact. Such objects were valuable then as they are today.

President Andrew Jackson appointed William Lytle as surveyor general of public lands for Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan. (7)

President Jackson brought William Lytle into his “kitchen cabinet”. The President used the powers of government under his Indian Removal Act of 1830 to force Native Americans from the eastern states into the western territories. Lytle was a senior member of the Administration which forcefully removed the Indians. He, with other members of the “kitchen cabinet”, provided President Jackson with advice on many important matters. In addition to dealing with the removal of Native Americans from their tribal lands, the members of the cabinet dealt with the opening of the Oregon Trail, the Texas Revolution and the events which arose from the Battle of the Alamo. Nevertheless, one of the main problems for the
Jackson Administration was an ongoing conflict as the United States Army moved Native Americans into the western wilderness.

Figure 5 LIDAR Image at Crane Run Red : 1,000 ft Side Blue : 2,000 ft Side
Figure 6 16 Magnetic Probes SENSYS MX Carrier Arrayed on 12.3-Foot Rack

The Beginning the Search for the Lost Menorah

Using LIDAR technologies, the Research Group followed the terrain and topography of the East Fork Little Miami River. LIDAR measures the differences in return times and the wavelengths of the beams of laser light to make 3-D digital representations of the surfaces of land areas. Figure 5 shows the outlines of possible locations for the ancient earthworks which William Lytle identified and drew in 1803. The blue outline shows a possible location for earthworks which have a 2,000-foot side. The red outline shows a possible location of earthworks which have 1,000-foot side. This site is of particular interest because it is at the highest elevation point in Clermont County. At 910 feet the site has views of the surrounding countryside. This may have been a consideration when the ancient people selected this site.

The owners of a 60-acre lot near Crane Run in Clermont County Ohio gave Heartland Research Group access to their property to look for the remains of the Lost Menorah Earthworks. SENSYS from Germany
sent its equipment to Ohio and a German engineer came to oversee the first scientific search for the
Menorah. It all began in the icy rain at 9:00 a.m., Saturday,

December 15, 2018.

Figure 7 SENSYS Equipment in Field at Crane Run in Icy Rain

SENSYS Technology The German technology uses the differential of magnetic forces to identify ancient features under the surface of the earth. The impact of this new technology on archeology is comparable to the impact which MRI technology has had on the practice of modern medicine. SENSYS, located outside Berlin, is one of the world’s leading providers of magnetic and electromagnetic ground survey systems and components for archaeological research. Representatives of this company agreed to come to America to demonstrate the operation and effectiveness of their equipment on sites in Clermont and Perry Counties. The German engineer was in Ohio from December 13th to December 18th. The technology identified the remains of human activities which have been buried under the surface of the ground for the last 2,000 years. The SENSYS equipment has 16 magnetometer probes on a rack which has a width of 12.3 feet. Using this machine allows the Research Group to survey as many as 40 acres in eight hours. In a day it is possible to collect about 30 million data readings. Each data reading has a GPS location which is accurate to a range of +/- 0.25″. From these readings, it is possible to detect activities of ancient people who lived in America 20 centuries ago. The German machine created about 18 data points in a space of one square foot. Each data point has GPS coordinates with an accuracy of +/- 0.25″. With this machine it is possible to consider a detailed survey of what is in the ground for hundreds of sites and for thousands of acres. The amount of information is more than anyone could have imagined ten years ago. Fortunately, with modern-day software, it is possible to create digital images which will identify many kinds of human activity which are from 3 feet to 5 feet under the surface and which occurred at the time of Christ. It is amazing that by measuring the magnetic differences caused from construction and the heat of a campfire this technology can identify within +/- 0.25″ accuracy locations where Native Americans were active in the building of their earth mounds. The fact that this technology can collect and handle this kind of data flow is a marvel of science. Crane Run SENSYS Scan 12/15/18

On December 15th the SENSYS equipment from Germany created digital magnetic images which were 4 feet below the surface of the ground.This new technology is capable of identifying the exact location of
ancient earthworks. The technology has been used with great success in many countries in Europe. The best example for the application of this technology is at the world famous site of Stonehenge in England. Figures 8, 9, 10 and 11 attempt to integrate the results from the SENSYS Scan 12/15/18 into the William Lytle 1803 Map as well as the William Lytle Military Survey 4247 of 1802. These Figures give suggested or likely integrations. Additional scanning is necessary at Crane Run to confirm that the features of the Menorah Earthworks in the ground are within the suggested relationships which are found in the Figures.

1 Lytle, William, report quoted in “Logan’s Expedition Against the Mac-o-chee Towns,” Historical Collections of Ohio: An encyclopedia of the state, Volume 2, Howe, Henry, ed., (Laning Printing Co., Norwalk, 1896) pp. 98-100.
2 Anthony F.C. Wallace, Jefferson and the Indians: The Tragic Fate of the First Americans, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1999, p. 139 and n. 18.
3 William Lytle, amassed a fortune surveying lands in Ohio which were granted to Virginian veterans of the Revolutionary War. Before meeting President Jefferson William Lytle made sure that the President
knew his father had served with distinction as an officer in George Washington’s army.
4 SENSYS of Germany designs and manufactures equipment which uses non-destructive methods to digitize in a short time hundreds of acres of land. The technology generates nearly a half of a billion data
points for each acre and each data point has GPS coordinates which are within a precision of +/- 0.25 inch. With the use of this technology it is possible to identify ancient features which are under the plow
zone. The speed of the technology allows for the search and discovery of ancient features which are now lost.
5 Hugh Williamson, Observations on the Climate in Different Parts of America, New York: T & J Swords, 1811.
6 J.L. Rockey and R.J. Bancroft, History of Clermont County, Ohio J.B. Lippincott & Co., Philadelphia 1880, p. 191.
7 Daniel Feller, Editor, The Papers of Andrew Jackson, The University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, 2007, p. 228.

Heartland Research Group
Looking for the Lost Menorah 12/15/18

Figure 8 Likely Position of SENSYS Scan 12/15/18 on William Lytle 1803 Map of Menorah Earthworks
Figure 10 Probable Relation of SENSYS Scan 12/15/18 to Menorah Earthworks


Figure 9 SENSYS Scan Shows Possible Destruction of Menorah Earth Works Movement of Dirt in Early 19th Century


Figure 11 William Lytle Military Survey 4247, (1802) Crane Run, Williamsburg Township, Clermont County, Ohio

Heartland Research Group
Registered Nonprofit Corporation

In Search of the Lost Menorah Clermont County Ohio
Seeking $30,000 of Funding

Preliminary Report by John C. Lefgren, PhD Economic Historian
5768 Monocacy Drive
Bethlehem, PA 18017
Mobile Phone 484-548-3350

Additional Funding Required for Specific Location of Menorah Earthworks. If you have a PayPal account send your donation to: Or call Rian Nelson at 801-931-9031. If you don’t have a paypal account, sign up here for free:

Additional Information on Hebrews in the United States
Some Archaeological Outliers: Adventures in Underground Archaeology by J. Huston McCulloch

Ancient Cities of the Mississippi Valley by

“As European settlers in North America moved westward, they came across more and more curious looking earthworks. Some were simply man-made mounds, some detailed effigies and some were the remnants of great cities.

Between 1845 and 1847 two men traveled through much of the Mississippi Valley surveying and documenting many of these earthworks. Ephraim George Squier and Edwin Hamilton Davis recorded their findings in a publication called “Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley”.

For students of the Book of Mormon, one of their findings is of particular interest. On a site called the East Fork Works (Sometimes called “Gridiron” or “Hebrew Works”) in Clermont County, Ohio, Squire and Davis found the remains of a large complex or city laid out in a very particular manner.

This “Gridiron” (on the right in the above image) was laid out as a walled city with detailed formations. As you can see in the over-lay below, one section of the city was laid out in the shape of a menorah.

Above the menorah section of the city, we can see a Jewish clay lamp.

Also visible in the design and construction of the city are two ancient and important symbols, the compass and the square.

The Hopewell culture, of which this city is a part, dates from 100 B.C. to 600 A.D. Many of their structures and the artifacts found in and around them indicate there was a strong Hebrew influence. This Hebrew culture such as we find in the East Fork site can be explained in the Book of Mormon. A group left Israel in 600 B.C., traveled across the ocean, landed in North America, formed governments, built cities, and about 70 B.C. built, in a particular manner, the great City of Lehi.

“And it came to pass that the Nephites began the foundation of a city, and they called the name of the city Moroni; and it was by the east sea; and it was on the south by the line of the possessions of the Lamanites.

“And they also began a foundation for a city between the city of Moroni and the city of Aaron, joining the borders of Aaron and Moroni; and they called the name of the city, or the land, Nephihah.

“And they also began in that same year to build many cities on the north, one in a particular manner which they called Lehi, which was in the north by the borders of the seashore.” (The Book of Mormon, Alma 50:13-15 – emphasis added)

Whether the city found in Clermont County, Ohio is the City of Lehi, or just another Hopewell city, the Hebrew influence is clear. Combined with evidence from other sites throughout North America, the East Fork site confirms that the early inhabitants of this continent were sophisticated, educated, and religiously devoted.” Source:

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