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Mysterious Wall at Chatata, TN

Updated on April 3, 2012

Over a century ago Bradley County, Tennessee became the focus of international attention with the discovery of an ancient, 700 feet long, mysterious buried wall, bearing strange hieroglyphic inscriptions. The Cleveland Herald first reported the find made by Isaac Hooper at Hooper Mill in the area of Chatata in 1891.

Hooper Mill was located about 7 miles SW of Charleston and 13 miles from the railroad in Cleveland, TN. The Herald also reported some of the stones were being exhibited and what was thought to be some ancient language were cut on them by a long lost race. New facts about the wall are still coming to light today.

Hooper accidentally stumbled across the find by noticing what seemed to be stone markers projecting from the ground every 25-30 feet. One stone seemed to be inscribed with strange symbols. Locals in the area apparently knew of them but showed little interest until Hooper explained they might be ancient writings.

The Smithsonian Institution became interested in the find and began excavations. What they found was a 3-ply sandstone wall-like structure cemented together by a reddish mortar. By splitting the sandstone sheets diagonal rows of markings became visible.

Experts first determined both wall and inscriptions were manmade. However, later geological studies suggested there may be a more natural explanation for the wall, mortar and inscriptions, such as burrowing mollusks. Many believe it is a more rational explanation since the “inscriptions” were almost completely covered by what was presumed to be mortar. If the markings were made by man they hardly would have covered their messages in such a manner.

Also, the inscriptions are irregular and it’s a tossup as to whether they have a natural origin or are manmade. There are two questions to consider in making an interpretation:

· Why were there regularly placed stones on the surface over the wall?

· Early reports also indicated there were pictures of animals, the swastika and other symbols. What happened to them?

The Smithsonian Institute displayed a segment of the wall for several years until questions concerning its authenticity arose. That was to be expected since there are conflicting stories concerning the find and excitement over the wall had died down.

One account says Isaac Hooper’s son, J.L. Hooper, came across the wall in 1920 while hauling stones from his 80 acre farm at Chatata. Apparently his father never mentioned it to him or it didn’t happen. But anyway, again the second discovery of the wall created little interest because most believed the etchings to be little more than old Indian inscriptions. That is, until noted visiting New York professor, A. L. Rawson, decided to investigate.

After studying the wall Rawson decided to have the inscriptions deciphered. He had a panel of cipher experts view the hieroglyphics. They declared them to be old Hebrew religious inscriptions. Rawson determined the wall had been buried over 4,000 years.

Pottery and stone images were also found nearby which Rawson announced were old Hebrew. To substantiate his claim he cited the story of the two "Lost Tribes of Israel." Rawson believed the Israelites tribes came to America by way of the Bering Strait.

According to Rawson the inscriptions were the Mosaic Law, making reference to the 7th, 9th and 11th chapters of Deuteronomy, the 8th chapter of Joshua and the 3rd chapter of Judges. These revelations created world-wide interest within scientific and historical circles. Researchers from around the globe descended upon the Hooper Farm.

However many locals still didn’t buy the story. Some said they knew the story but there was no wall, just stones.

The other account tells about a former county historian who was said to have located the son of J.H. Hooper and questioned him about the wall. Hooper said he had heard of the wall, but knew nothing about it. Many others, having recollection of the discovery, dismiss the story as not being factual. One reason being the history book, Heritage of Bradley County Tennessee, 1836-1998 makes no mention of it. A 1970 newspaper report says all that remains on the Hooper farm is just a big hole.

Was the mysterious wall fact or fiction?


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    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Hi Lindsay and Amy,I really hope you reply even thugoh it has been 2 years since you\’ve posted on here… I\’m so glad to have found this site. My name is Nichole and I am almost 23 years old, I have suffered with NDPH since I was 16. I was a Sophomore in high school, it was near the end of 2006 when I got sick with bronchitis and the flu and coughed and coughed and noticed I had a really terrible headache with it. Once the sickness went away I noticed that the migraine, that pain in my head that had been so foreign to me prior to this, had not gone away, and still has not to this day… I had to be home schooled and quit all of my sports I was a part of… My \”friends\” went on with their lives and forgot about me while I had a constant 24/7 pain that I could not get rid of no matter how hard I tried or how much it killed me, physically and mentally. We began with Chiropractors, decompression machines, adjustments, etc. I traveled hours to probably 20 different Chiropractors that all said that they knew what I had and exactly how to treat it. I\’ve tried natural supplements, over the counter medications, 6 Occipital nerve blocks in the back of my head, massage, diets of no wheat, no gluten, no sugar, vegan only, all with no progress. My family understands the pain and how I can be \”ok\” one minute but then pick up something slightly too heavy, walk a little too fast, sit down a little too hard and I will have to be in my room with blankets over my windows and absolutely no sound because the pain is so unbearable. It is so frustrating because I too feel like a burden, like ok you have a headache so what? Why can\’t you stay out late or get up early or work long shifts or run around and be active? But it is so much more than a headache… It\’s become a way of life and although I think I handle it well I know that deep down I am depressed and deeply saddened by it because anytime I stop to think about it or talk to anyone about it I cry instantly. Lindsay, I too have tried the things you have with no help and at Cleveland Clinic where they did my nerve blocks they told me about the program where you stay there for an amount of time. My option they told me about when staying there was a few weeks, they would put me on all these medications and steroid medications, have physical therapy and counseling as well. They also said the FDA would soon be approving the Botox injections, I\’m sorry those did not help you either… NDPH has altered my life drastically, I can\’t work as much, I can\’t run around and just be free, I can\’t take a full load of classes at a time… Basically I just want to thank you for having this site Amy, it is really more helpful than you know, just knowing that I\’m not the only one to suffer from this and that I\’m not the only one that has this pain to think about every single second of every day…Bless you and bless all your readers, may you all find relief from the pain -Nichole

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      bofikis could you contact me on this subject @


    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I live a few miles from the location and would love to photograph the site. If BOFIKIS would show me where it is

    • JY3502 profile imageAUTHOR

      John Young 

      6 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      Good information. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      It still exist. I've been there and could tell you some strange things about the area. I live in Bradley County "Chatata". I have done a few years of research on it and yes it's still around. Also had some animals lead me to the spot. At first I ignored them and passed them off as just passing by, but then realized they were pointing me in the exact location of the wall site. Anyway take it or leave it, I don't care. The less people trampling the sacred ground the better, the site isn't meant to be looted but discovered to reveal some truths about Ancient America and its holy people.

    • JY3502 profile imageAUTHOR

      John Young 

      6 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      A 1970 newspaper report says all that remains on the Hooper farm is just a big hole.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Has anyone actually found the wall recently. Everything I have read on variuos sites does not give very specifics on its exact location. If the farm is still a farm or now a subdivision and the wall is gone or covered up.

    • JY3502 profile imageAUTHOR

      John Young 

      6 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      Alastar Packer...thanks alastar, thought I'd lost you as a reader. know I write them just for you!

      Gypsy Flower ...My take is the professor was just an opportunist.

    • Gypsy Flower profile image

      Gypsy Flower 

      6 years ago from Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.A

      The fact that J.L. Hooper is pleading ignorance even though he was supposedly involved in the discovery raises the biggest red flag in my mind. Of course it simply might not have made a huge impression on him--a lot of factors come into play when we're talking about more than one person--but it's a question that bears consideration.

    • Paradise7 profile image


      6 years ago from Upstate New York

      That's very interesting. I really wonder whether the wall really had ancient Jewish inscriptions, or not. I wish we all had the definitive answer. Great hub, by the way. I love these pieces of almost-forgotten history.

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 

      6 years ago from North Carolina

      Very intriguing find there JY, good research by you. The number of anomalies found in the U.S. ranging from clay dolls at 300 ft deep to Iron age Stone forts is amazing and really seems to suggest quite a few ancient visitors. The Chatata Wall might be one more, might not.

    • JY3502 profile imageAUTHOR

      John Young 

      6 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      Peg, wouldn't be the first time recorded history was found to be incorrect. LOL

      Glad you're still reading geyler.

    • qeyler profile image


      6 years ago

      I tend (looking at the Mayan/Incan/Aztec contructs to see a kind of 'Egyptian' flavour to them. I would not be surprised to have found some kind of crossing...especially having read Van Sertima's book.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      6 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      This would really skew the history of the New World if it is true. Very interesting reading. This is the first time I've heard of this mysterious wall and the ancient writings.


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