The Esoteric Significance of the Old Man of the Mountain

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Many recognize what appears to be occult symbolism in our paper currency. Take a look a the back of the dollar bill and you’ll see the famed Great Seal of the United States, with its pyramid and all-seeing eye. What about our coinage? Could there be any hidden esoteric or occult symbols in our common pocket change?

The new American State quarters introduced unique designs representing each of the 50 states. The face of the quarter is of course George Washington, America’s first president and our most famous mason. The reverse designs of the state quarters are pretty ordinary. However, one design strikes me as containing possible, albeit unintentional, esoteric significance.

old-man-of-the-mountainThe New Hampshire State Quarter has a curious design. It is a portrait of a rock formation called the Old Man of the Mountain. This formation on Mt. Cannon appeared as the face of a man when viewed from the east.  In 1945 the “Old Man” was made New Hampshire ’s State Emblem. As the state emblem it’s easy to see why they used it for their state quarter.  Unfortunately it crumbled in 2003 and no longer exists.

With the Old Man of the Mountain, what exactly are we looking at…only a tourist attraction? The Old Man is an example of pareidolia.  Pareidolia is the process of perceiving recognizable shapes in random patterns, such as seeing faces or animals in clouds. We give symbolic meaning to randomness.

But what do we really see in the formation of the Old Man of the Mountain?  Only the caricature of an old man? Out of a mountain peak emerges this gigantic, monstrous face. At first glance it appears to be an old man, but the profile actually looks quite monstrous:  the heavy brow, the jutting jaw, and the cragginess.  It looks more troll then human.

The Old Man of the Mountain could more represent a monster rather than a man, like the trolls and mountain giants of folklore.  In folklore these giant nature spirits were said to turn into stone in the sunlight.  The origin of trolls in myth may well have begun as people interpreted humanoid shaped rocks, assuming they once literally walked the earth.

Trolls and the fairy folk were used to explain strange natural events.  Mighty whirlwinds could be explained away as the work of nature spirits hurling trees about.  Of course, nonhuman entities never existed, or could they?

ufo-over-old-man-of-the-mountaionThe most curious thing about the Old Man of the Mountain is not that it may represent a nonhuman being, but that it is actually associated with true events surrounding nonhuman entities.

On September 19, 1961 Betty and Barney Hill had an alien abduction, the first that was widely publicized.  Their story was made into a movie, The UFO Incident.  Just before their abduction, they saw a UFO hovering over the Old Man of the Mountain.

Here is the incident as described in Wikipedia:

“The Hills claimed that they continued driving on the isolated road, moving very slowly through Franconia Notch in order to observe the object as it came even closer. At one point the object passed above a restaurant and signal tower on top of Cannon Mountain. It passed over the mountain and came out near the 48′ profile of the Old Man of the Mountain (New Hampshire’s State Symbol). Betty testified that it was at least one and a half times the length of the granite profile and seemed to be rotating. The couple watched as the silent, lighted craft moved erratically and bounced back and forth in the night sky.”

In New Hampshire a historical marker was erected to commemorate the Betty and Barney Hill experience.

New Hampshire commemorates Betty and Barney Hill UFO experience

Their alien abduction experience may have been extraterrestrial.  Or it may have been something else and not a physical manifestation.  Betty and Barney Hill may have had an encounter with spiritual entities that appear in many forms.  They may have had something like a shared, spontaneous shamanistic experience where they made contact with genuine nonhuman entities, but not necessarily extraterrestrial.

These entities are as old as mankind and are described in myth and legend.  The Old Man of the Mountain may be more then just a symbolic representation of these entities, but may be an area where these entities actually dwell.

George Washington, America's Great Mason

George Washington, America's Great Mason

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