Author of the Month

Gary A. David, Author of the Month for October 2009

The Mothman of Pottery Mound:
the Use of Sacred Datura in Ancient New Mexico
By Gary A. David

Gary David has been intrigued by the Four Corners region of the United States since his initial trip there in 1987. The following year he spent six months examining rock art and indigenous ruins in northern New Mexico. This prompted a move to Arizona In 1994, where he began an intensive study of the ancestral Pueblo People (sometimes misnamed the Anasazi) and their descendants the Hopi.

In late 2006 after more than a decade of independent fieldwork and research, his nonfiction book The Orion Zone: Ancient Star Cities of the American Southwest was published by This describes a pattern of Hopi villages and ruin sites that precisely mirrors Orion, with an ancient site corresponding to each major star in the constellation.

The sequel, also published by Adventures Unlimited Press (2008), is titled Eye of the Phoenix: Mysterious Visions and Secrets of the American Southwest. The book deals with diverse topics: the Ant People, Snake People, Dog Star People, Sedona Sanskrit, Arizona Knights Templar Crosses, Reptilian Round Towers, Frontier Freemasonry, Meteor Crater, Hopi Kachinas, Stone Tablets and the End Times.

His articles have appeared in Fate (see beginning of article at:, World Explorer, Atlantis Rising, Ancient American, and Four Corners magazines. He has been interviewed on national radio programs and has given presentations extensively.

Mr. David earned a master's degree in English literature from the University of Colorado and is a former adjunct professor. He is also a poet, with numerous volumes published. In addition, he is a professional musician, publisher of Island Hills Books (an online showcase for the literature inspired by the spirit-of-place,, and executive director/webmaster for

Gary, his wife, and two cats live in rural northern Arizona, where the skies are still relatively pristine.

What People Are Saying About His Work:

"Gary David's work is a treasure of enormous importance. He draws us deep into the mystery of Arizona and deeper still into the lost secrets of ancient cosmology. The truth behind the myths and symbols he's uncovering has the power to unify us, just as the Hopi prophesied." - William Henry, investigative mythologist, author, co-host of Whitley Strieber's "Dreamland" radio show
"The Orion Zone is an extensively researched study of archaeological evidence, historical accounts, and the oral traditions of the Hopi peoples of the American Southwest. Readers interested in astro-archaeology or in pre-Columbian America will find a great deal of thought-provoking material here, along with citations for further study." - Mysteries Magazine
In his book Eye of the Phoenix, Gary David's "…analysis of Hopi cosmology is instructive. Noting their relationship with "Star People", coverage of the "Starchild" skull, UFOs and "Ant People" is thus part of the territory. Completing his discussion of the Hopi worldview, David looks at their prophecies about the progression of worlds and the signs leading to the next End Time in our era-signs that we'd be wise not to ignore. An atmospheric, inspiring book." - Nexus, July-August 2008
"I have examined the Arizona-Orion ground-sky relationship, and I must say that I find this work intriguing. It is worth pursuing to the very end." - Andrew Collins, Beneath the Pyramids and The Cygnus Mystery
"The correlation Mr. David makes between the Hopi and the Egyptian 'sky view' is most interesting." - Robert Bauval, author of The Egypt Code and The Orion Mystery

More articles

The Orion Zone: Ancient Star Cities of the American Southwest by Gary A. David, 17 February 2006

From late 1966 though late 1967 the small town of Point Pleasant, West Virginia along the Ohio River was terrorized by a series of sightings of an uncanny creature that became known as Mothman. He was typically described as a broad-shouldered black or gray humanoid at least seven feet in height with moth-like wings that extended about ten feet. His glowing red eyes seemed to have a hypnotic effect. Sometimes the creature appeared headless, with his round, reflective eyes set down in his shoulders.

Artist's sketch of one variation of Mothman.

The eerie entity would reportedly swoop down on people or cars and chase them at very high speeds. Sometimes it would suddenly shoot straight up in the air and completely disappear. The same period saw increased sightings of luminous balls or other UFOs and unexpected appearances of Men In Black.

This 12-foot-high, stainless steel statue of the Mothman located in Point Pleasant, West Virginia was created by artist Robert Roach.

Were all these sightings of Mothman and other anomalous incidents just a weird precursor to the brief psychedelic era in popular culture when hallucinations became the norm? Or are there precedents for this phenomenon in the distant past?

Cut to the high plain of central New Mexico in about the middle of the 14th century. On the western bank of a turbulent, muddy river we see a flat-topped pyramid where a bizarre ritual is taking place. It involves a ring of elders wearing feathered headdresses, geometric medallions, white sashes, and brightly painted capes. Some are holding round shields and eagle-talon staffs.

At the center stands a tall being with the gray wings and coiled proboscis of the night flying hawk moth. One of the elders raises a woven plaque heaped with tiny yellow and black seeds and brown spiny pods. The participants begin to eat the seeds, while low chants punctuated by a lone cottonwood drum rise into the endless desert night.

An uncertain period passes as dizzy heads spin in swirling silver smoke. The creature then extends his massive wings and rockets high above the lone pyramid. He soars over whispering cornfields and circles the bulwark of the pueblo. Suddenly in a burst of purple light the Mothman disappears into gauzy clouds while moths flutter gently over jimsonweed blossoms glowing ghostlike in silent moonlight.

The eroded cutbanks of the Rio Puerco in central New Mexico.

Located about 12 miles southwest of the modern town of Los Lunas is the ancient village where this ritual took place. Archaeologists know it as Pottery Mound, named for the profusion of polychrome potsherds. In fact, a greater variety of pottery styles were found there than at any other spot in New Mexico, with culturally distinctive ceramics coming from the Zuni and Acoma regions to the northwest and the Hopi region even farther northwest. About 90 percent of the pottery retrieved from the site is non-utilitarian or decorative, so in its heyday the place was probably a major ceremonial center.

Frank C. Hibben, the head archaeologist who initially excavated the site, writes: "The Rio Puerco Valley at the site of Pottery Mound is wide and almost level. In the whole region there is no place where a flat-topped structure of even modest dimensions would appear more imposing than at this spot. It is easy to see why the original builders constructed a pyramid there. " [1]

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  1. Frank C. Hibben: Kiva Art of the Anasazi at Pottery Mound (KC Publications, Las Vegas, Nevada, 1975), pp. 10-11. [back to text]

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