People often view Native American legends and stories as myths. However, some are rooted in factual occurrences and structures (like sunken pyramids) in the world.
One example is the sunken village of stone tepees under Rock Lake, which the Native Winnebago (also called Ho-Chunk) people have passed down since the early 1830s.
Stories Dismissed As Indian Fiction
When the first pioneers entered the southern region of Wisconsin (between what is now known as Milwaukee and Madison), they dismissed the Ho-Chunk people’s stories of a sunken village resting under Rock Lake.
But, during a water-clearing drought at the start of the 20th century, two duck hunters confirmed that this Native American narrative was more fact than fiction.
What these two individuals saw was unfathomable; enormous pyramidal structures resting in the depths of Rock Lake.
Sunken Pyramids Discovered
Dr. Fayette Morgan was the first person to view these sunken pyramids from the sky on April 11, 1936. As he circled his small aircraft around the lake at 500 feet, Morgan noticed two massive rectangular structures under the water.
Although Morgan and other adventurers attempted to photograph or even rediscover the structures for years, it wasn’t until 1940 when Armand Vandre and Elmer Wollin caught these pyramids on camera.
The duo discovered at least ten massive, perfectly-centered pyramidal structures made primarily of spherical black stones. However, what was most intriguing was the ancient historical connection these pyramidal structures pointed toward.
How Sunken Pyramids Connect To Aztalan
The triangular structures connected to a straight path that ran underwater towards the southern shore. Local geologist Lloyd Hornbostel predicted the line was a stone canal that, at one point, connected Rock Lake to Aztalan.
In the late 13th century, Aztalan was a massive ceremonial center featuring three circular walls with watchtowers that enclosed a triad of pyramidal structures with wooden shrines.
Who Resided In Aztalan?
Aztalan belonged to the well-organized group, the Upper Mississippian Culture. This Native American tribe thrived in the Midwest and in some Southern states, with the oldest known roots stretching as far back as the 3rd century BC.
Compared to other Native American tribes, the Upper Mississippian Culture was more advanced, aligning their pyramids for astronomical events like the Winter Solstice, moon phases, and locations of Venus.
Despite considerable success in the area, the Aztalaners abruptly set fire to their city around the year 1320. According to surviving Winnebago oral tradition, the tribe retreated deep into the Southern portion of the United States.
“The finding of submerged buildings there may foretell a far larger one to come when we finally direct our study into the sea and probe its depths for the lost fountainhead of terrestrial civilization – Atlantis,” Hornbostel.
The discovery of sunken pyramids in Rock Lake is not only an exciting discovery but also points to a rich Native American history in the state of Wisconsin that could potentially connect to one of the most dominant tribes; the Aztecs.
The enormous pyramidal structures also prove that while several stories within Native American tribes are myths and based on fiction, there are tales out there that describe actual people, events, and monuments.