Douglas Hawes: Feb. 2011

February 2011

Douglas Hawes. Click to enlarge.The Mystery of Snakehead Point:
An Ancient Power Center?

by Douglas Hawes

Set deep in the bottom of the rugged gorge of the North Fork of the American River, in the heart of California’s Gold Country, is an ancient site holding a great secret. Hidden beneath alluvial debris washed down from the rugged Sierra Nevada Mountains in recent geological times, is an ancient pyramid, erected by visitors to the Earth who arrived thousands – – if not millions – – of years ago.

The site is known as Snakehead Point, and the point forms a steeply sloped hill which indeed has an unusual, pyramid like shape, at the very bottom of the gorge, that seems strangely at odds with the surrounding terrain.    There is no visible evidence of any underlying structure, as the formation is currently topped by rock debris that has degenerated into rough soils, on which grow Ponderosa Pines, Douglas Fir, Manzanita, Scrub Oak, and other flora typical of a site in the lower elevations of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

The hill is a significant landmark in Green Valley, a small verdant oasis of private inholdings left over from Gold Rush days, which lies within the confines of Tahoe National Forest.  The valley sits at the bottom of a steep canyon which can be only reached by rugged, precipitious trails once navigated by gold prospectors hauling supplies in and out by mule team. Indeed Lover's Leap, overlooking Giant Gap. It is a 2,000 foot drop to the bottom of the gorge. This is just below Green Valley - - roughly a mile downstream. This is the North Fork of the American River, about 25 miles east of Sacramento. Image courtesy Valley during California’s Gold Rush was the site of a bustling tent city holding numerous miners working the tailings of alluvial debris brought down over the centuries by powerful mountain torrents.

Maintaining a steady link to this Gold Rush past even today is the presence of freight and passenger trains working the steep, tightly curved mountain route heading over the Donner Pass. This was the original route of the Transcontinental Railroad which first tied California to the rest of the country with the famous driving of the Golden Spike in Promontory, Utah in 1869. The trains can be seen at night high above on the canyon walls, the headlamps of the churning locomotives illuminating the higher reaches of the surrounding ridge lands, with the thousands of wheels trailing behind alternately shrieking and grinding in a strange and eerie manner, as one looks upward from his / her campsite in the bottom of the canyon.

The ancient pyramid buried under Snakehead Point appears to have been discovered by pioneering New Age teacher Harold Freeman, sometime in the late 1950’s. (Others claim that early contactee Dr. Wallace C. Halsey was the discoverer – – more on this subject later.)  Freeman had been initiated into the Great White Brotherhood while stationed in the Air Force in New Mexico.  His mentor in this esoteric initiation was Air Force Colonel Mark Twain Curtis, a former OSS training officer during World War II who had given future Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard his initial instruction.

While in the Air Force, Freeman had been trained in the assembly and disassembly of the hydrogen bomb, and held a “Q” clearance.  Later Freeman became Dean of the Men’s dormitory at Williams College, a small preparatory college located in the Berkeley Hills, very close to the UC Berkeley campus. Freeman claimed to have been the first person in the country to have taught a college class on the UFO phenomena, while working at Williams College. It is unclear what sort of experiences Freeman underwent regarding UFO visitation while in the Air Force, but it must have been substantial.

While at Williams College, Freeman started receiving transmissions from extraterrestrials, perhaps not dissimilar to the manner in which such transmissions were received by George Van Tassel, the man who was instructed to build the Integraton – – now a notable landmark in the small High Desert hamlet of Landers. Freeman was shown that there was an ancient site in the bottom of the American River Canyon east of Sacramento, and he was directed to visit the site, and to bring other similarly attuned individuals. Over the next decade and beyond, Freeman took many parties down the rugged Green Valley Trail from the trailhead just off of Interstate Freeway 80, and each party typically included people with clear clairvoyant and psychic giftings.

The parties would camp on an old rock platform in Green Valley which had once housed the tent city during the Gold Rush period, on the north bank of the rugged North Fork. Across the cold, torrential waters, stood the rugged face of Snakehead Point. Freeman told me in a series of conversations that the people in his group with clairvoyant abilities, in the midst of sleeping on this rock platform, would be lifted out of their bodies, and would then astrally project into the depths of the buried pyramid. The participants would be taken by spiritual guides on an astral tour deep inside the mountain. The pyramid contained chambers which served as passageways through various initiatory rites which the individuals would experience.

But the pyramid also had served for thousands of years – – if not millions of years – – as an ancient beacon, allowing visitors from other worlds to grab on to the Earth’s magnetic / gravitational pull and enter our atmosphere – – or else to depart from our world, and return to distant realms far removed in the galaxy. Freeman claimed that on at least one occasion, he was astrally projected into a spaceship that was arriving into our gravitational orbit, and was telepathically shown how to operate the guidance system, and navigate the craft.

Freeman also told me that Chinese miners who had worked the tailings on the south bank of the North Fork, separated from the European miners working the north side, had set mining tunnels deep into the heart of Snakehead Point. And at significant depths in the mountain, strange, circular metallic orbs were discovered.    Freeman said that these ancient orbs were in the possession of some individual in Volcano, a gold mining hamlet located to the south. (Complicating matters is that there are actually two towns named “Volcano” in California’s Mother Lode region.)

Quite striking in this regard is that similar, perfectly round, metallic orbs, certainly millions of years old, have been found at great depths in mines at various locations around the world. In the television documentary “The Mysterious Origins of Man: Rewriting Man’s History” (2003), noted actor and narrator Charlton Heston described how such metallic orbs have been found in mines in South Africa – – and in gold mines in California’s Mother Lode region.

Regarding the claim of incredible antiquity for this ancient site, with the parallel claim that visitations have been taking place to our Earth for millions of years, I should note that a Chilean friend of mine, of indigenous South American extraction, has talked with Quechua elders from the Andes region who have told her that visitors have been coming and going to our Earth since our planet was literally, a “Planet of the Apes.”

Encouraged by Harold Freeman’s depiction of a remarkable “power point” concealed deep in the rugged gorge of the American River, I made my own pilgrimage to Green Valley in October 1993. Fasting for nearly two days, I consciously sought to have a revelatory, mystical experience which would confirm Freeman’s claims. I also heavily explored the location, crossing the frigid waters of the American River, and making the difficult ascent to the top of Snakehead Point – – through boulder fields and mine tailings, dense thickets of chaparral, and areas where the risk posed by rattlesnakes was real. (We later found a much easier pathway through relatively open, more gently sloped, Ponderosa Pine forest, on our downward descent.) Unfortunately, my companion on this camping expedition was not at all interested in the stories I shared about Harold Freeman, and the purported pyramid.   Later on, anytime I would bring up Freeman, he would respond in a mocking, comical voice, “Harry Harold flies spaceships.”

So I continued to pursue a revelatory experience, and in one meditation session, I was shown an ancient portal, covered by strange, runic style writing, deep inside the mountain. And then I experienced immediately afterwards a strange shift upwards to the very depths of the cosmos, seeing close up the vastness of space – – and an interior view of the bridge of an interstellar craft. (On a subsequent trip to Green Valley several years later, nothing remarkable happened. However, in the middle of the night, while sleeping on the rock platform facing Snakehead Point, I felt a powerful tugging at my body, seemingly urging me to depart my body and astral travel. But I fought off the urge, and remained in my body.)

So for years, I thought that Freeman, and his circle, were the only people that were aware of the mysteries associated with Green Valley, and Snakehead Point. I knew from conversations with Freeman that through his many contacts in high level Rosicrucian, Masonic and Sufi circles, his influence and pull reached even into certain creative circles in Hollywood – – among those individuals in the movie industry that are mystically inclined. And I wondered if somehow a made for television movie that Hollywood produced in the late 1970’s, in which extraterrestrials entered and exited our world through some kind of pyramid or beacon buried in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, was perhaps a result of his direct, or indirect, creative influence.

Not too long ago, I made a serious effort to see how wide reaching the knowledge of the mystery of Snakehead Point might be among the locals living in nearby mountain communities. One summer afternoon, I spent some time talking to individuals living in an important mountain town located nearby, Forest Hill, and found nobody with the local historical society that had even heard of the stories I presented. Nor did anyone ever respond to the posters I placed on bulletin boards in prominent locations around Forest Hill.

Much more recently, however, I stumbled across a website,, that featured a page dedicated to the “Green Valley Vortex,” which mentioned the claim that an ancient pyramid might be buried in the bottom of the American River gorge. The site described a book, “Thirteen Moons:  A Year in the Wilderness,” in which author Robert P. Johnson described in his journal entry for June 13th, 1984, his search for an ancient pyramid in Green Valley. (Surprisingly, Snakehead Point and Green Valley do not make an appearance in the remarkable “Project Redbook Index,” at

Rural also pointed me to the website of the late Russell Towle, a local Dutch Flat based environmentalist and trail blazer, who was deeply fascinated by the Green Valley area. Towle also mentioned the claims that a buried pyramid was located at the bottom of the canyon – – although he himself did not take these speculations seriously. Towle claimed that the true originator of the buried pyramid hypothesis was Wallace Halsey, a famous early contactee who regularly received “transmissions” from the “elder brothers” in the late fifties and early sixties, which he shared with large audiences in public lectures. (The strange disappearance in March of 1963 of Wallace Halsey is a centerpiece of the 2007 work by Sean Casteel, “Gone Forever in the Blink of an Eye.”)

Both Harold Freeman and Wallace Halsey were deeply involved in the early contactee movement centered on Daniel W. Fry’s “Understanding” organization, and also George Van Tassel’s annual contactee gathering at Yucca Valley – – not far from the location of the Integraton. Freeman was no doubt instrumental in the formation of Unit #17 of Fry’s “Understanding” organization at Williams College in late 1958. Halsey’s public lectures in which he shared the “messages” he had received were also regularly promoted in the pages of “Understanding,” the group’s newsletter. My guess would be that Halsey heard the story of the buried pyramid at Snakehead Point during these early days of the Contactee Movement directly from Freeman, but that Halsey had the larger public forum, so became associated with the claim. However, it is possible that Halsey received “transmissions” about the buried pyramid independently of Freeman, and led his own parties down the precipitious Green Valley Trail on his own. Like many historical points, the details of what actually transpired in the early history of the Contactee Movement are shrouded in mystery.

So Freeman was a pioneering New Age teacher, who was leading his own ashram in the early 1960’s in Los Gatos, California, his disciples all donning orange robes, years before the counterculture became mainstream.    Freeman taught classes for decades in New Age bookstores in Santa Cruz, California, and was well known among the high level leadership of various esoteric and secret society traditions.  He also became an ordained bishop in an ancient Eastern Rite church, with the title of Mar Hilarion.

Photo of New Age teacher/ mystic Harold Freeman, taken by the author at the Painted Rock of California, in the summer of 1993.In his later years, Freeman was no longer able to make the rugged descent down to Green Valley, although I was able to take him for the first time to a much more accessible “power point” he often talked about, the Painted Rock of California. Despite his impressive esoteric background, Freeman died in obscurity in the late 1990’s. His culmulative works, including involved studies of the Arcana and other Hermetic teachings, were passed on to a former Jesuit priest by the name of Sean, who was planning to launch a spiritual center outside of Denver, Colorado. Taking a broader perspective, it appears that Freeman’s influence is concealed, but chances are it has penetrated in ways which few can fathom.

As for the pyramid beneath Snakehead Point, it has survived potential threats that might have buried its secrets for centuries. The proposed Auburn Dam caused Freeman a great deal of consternation and worry when construction began at the end of the 1960’s. The projected lake would have covered the North Fork of the American River, and buried Snakehead Point. Thankfully, the dam proposal was put on hold when a nearby earthquake caused a halt in construction, and further investigation revealed that a fault ran directly under the dam site. Despite occasional flurries of renewed interest, the project has never been revived. (A more recent proposal to create a “dry dam,” which would only fill up during catastrophic floods, would answer the most pressing concern regarding the need for a dam – – flood control for the vulnerable Sacramento Metropolitan Area – – and yet be not nearly as environmentally intrusive.)

So the ancient pyramid at Snakehead Point yet abides. An ancient passage from the Book of Job, from the Hebrew Wisdom tradition of the Bible, offers potential illumination into the mysteries revolving around the true origins of the earth and its inhabitants.

      “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?

                        Tell me, if you have understanding.

      Who determined its measurements – – surely you know!

                        Or who stretched the line upon it?

      On what were its bases sunk,

                        Or who laid its cornerstone,

      When the morning stars sang together,

                        And all the Sons of God shouted for joy?”

(Job 38:4-7)

While this Old Testament passage borrowed from an ancient Middle Eastern oral tradition is seen by some researchers as a reference to the Great Pyramid at Giza, it could just as readily be seen as providing insight into the perplexing mysteries of Snakehead Point – – and the enigma surrounding its ancient buried pyramid.



About Douglas Hawes

Douglas W. Hawes has co-written articles with Adam Gorightly about occult secret societies in Hollywood and in the rock music industry which have appeared in Paranoia magazine, as well as Feral House’s Secret & Suppressed II:  Banned Ideas and Hidden History into the 21st Century. A more recent piece in the underground esoteric journal Another Mirror at the End of the Road explored the strange world of military secret societies, as seen through the eyes of eccentric Santa Cruz based conspiracy theorist Jeffrey Deane Turner. Douglas holds an M.A. in Modern European History, and currently works in the legal field. One can write him c/o Secret History, P.O. Box 1251, San Jose, CA 95108-1251, or by email at



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