Friday, July 18, 2014

Questions I Would Like to Ask – Part VII

Using strictly the scriptures, I would like to ask the following questions of those many Theorists who claim their pet theories about the location of the Land of Promise are consistent with the scriptural record.
    This seventh question is also directed to Rod L. Meldrum, who has written extensively about his Heartland Land of Promise to the exclusion of all the rest of the Western Hemisphere outside the boundaries of the United States. And also to Phyliss Carol Olive, another champion of the Great Lakes Theory. The question has to do with their location of the Land of Promise, and the simple, but oft described feature of Lehi’s inherited land and that is the River Sidon. 
    7. “Since the Sidon River, mentioned 37 times in the scriptural record, is described as having its headwaters in the mountains between the Land of Zarahemla and the Land of Nephi (Alma 22:27) and that this river ran by Zarahemla (Alma 2:15), (which would be north of this wilderness strip, where exactly is this only river mentioned in the entire Book of Mormon located in your heartland model since almost all rivers east of the Great Lakes flow eastward, and those south of the Great Lakes flow southward and the Sidon River, according to Mormon, flows from the south to the north?” 
    First, the River Sidon is the only river mentioned by name in the entire scriptural record, and is mentioned as having a current strong enough to carry thousands of dead bodies its entire length to the sea (Alma 3:3). The only other rivers are those associated with the Land of Many Waters (Mormon 6:4) in the far north country of the Land Northward.
According to the Buffalo River Area of Concern (AOC) Boundary Map, the Buffalo River flows from the east to the west into Lake Erie—not south to north 
    Second, Buffalo Creek, which Phyllis Carol Olive claimed was the River Sidon, for much of its length is what is called a wadeable stream, that is small, shallow stream or creek that is part of the EPA Wadeable Streem Assessment, which claims that 90% of perennial stream and river miles in the US are wadeable streams. Hardly a type of river that would float dead bodies to the sea.
    Third, for most of its length, the Buffalo Creek runs westward and empties into Lake Erie and is described by the Department of the Interior as a creek that “flows out of the east.” In addition it is not listed in the compilation of eastern rivers that flow northward.
Buffalo Creek (River) is not even mentioned in the list of northward flowing rivers, and as can be seen is basically a shallow, wadeable stream 
Buffalo Creek at Bullis Road in New York. As listed, this is a wadeable stream, not a river, and can be seen as both shallow and little movement
Buffalo Creek, which freezes over during the winter is mostly a wadeable stream with little depth and certainly not capable of floating thousands of bodies down to the sea
Buffalo Creek near Porterville at Two Rod Road—no bodies could float along this creek. It’s bed is solid rock precluding it would have been deeper in the past.kk According to Great Lakes Theorists’, the distance from the river’s head is 12 miles to Zarahemla, and 20 miles beyond that to the West Sea, for a total of 30 miles; however, the actual distance from Porterville to where the creek empites into Lake Erie is 25 miles, and closer to 30 because of the winding river—and the entire distance is almost due west. Thus Buffalo Creek could not possibly pass Zarahemla running northward as Mormon describes 
    Fourth, the Buffalo River Area of Concern (AOC) is located in the City of Buffalo in Western New York State. The river flows from the east and discharges into Lake Erie near the head of the Niagara River in the West. The Buffalo River Area of Concern “impact area” extends from the mouth of the Buffalo River to the farthest point upstream at which the backwater condition exists during Lake Erie’s highest monthly average lake level. The impact area is 6.2 miles in length along an east-west line.
    Fifth, there are three major streams in the watershed that create the AOC “source area”: Cayuga Creek, Buffalo Creek and Cazenovia Creek. The total drainage area for the Buffalo River watershed is approximately 440 square miles. The Buffalo Creek itself has headwaters to the east and flows to the west.
    Sixth, at Gardenville, New York, the NOAA and NDFD shows a depth chart of 0.82 feet for Buffalo Creek (8/10ths of a foot) in its westward flow to Lake Erie 8 miles away as the crow flies, about 12 miles by river. From about two miles east of Elma, through West Seneca and into Buffalo, the Creek flows 16 miles due west to where it empties into Lake Erie.
Top: Cazenovia Creek, a very shallow creek flowing toward Buffalo Creek; Bottom: Cayuga Creek, a shallow creek (less than 1 foot deep) that runs parallel with Buffalo Creek and merges about 4 miles from Lake Erie 
    Seventh, four miles from Lake Erie (7 miles by river), the Cazenovia Creek flows into the Buffalo Creek. Prior to that, the Cazenovia flows along a parallel course with the Buffalo Creek for several miles.
    Eighth, the Cayuga Creek flows into the Buffalo Creek about three miles to the east of the Cazenovia Creek merging. All three of these creeks flow in a more or less parallel course, and each is about the same size.
Ninth, it is interesting that nowhere in scripture is another river or water source mentioned flowing near, parallel, into or across the Sidon River. In fact, in this area where Buffalo Creek runs westward for several miles toward Lake Erie, there are seven other major creeks of similar size, length and direction, all within a few miles of another running more or less parallel courses—and not a one of these qualifies as a River running south to north. 
    Tenth, in fact, of the 19 rivers in the U.S. that flow south to north, only five are located close enough to the Great Lakes to be considered, and two of those flow for less than 20 miles, and one flows 39 miles, which leaves only two: 1) the Genesee River, which begins in the Allegheny Plateau, dropping an average of 40 feet per mile with three waterfalls at Rochester, New York, on its 144 mile length to empty into Lake Ontario. The problem with this river is it is too far to the east for the Heartland or the Great Lakes models, and would not have passed through the Land Southward (in fact, some Theorists claim this was the Sea East).
The Genesee River flows northward and empties into lake Ontario, far to the east of the Great Lakes Theorists’ Land Southward and the areas of Zarahemla 
    It might also be noted that this river is too far to the east of the Great Lakes Theorists’ Land of Promise, and they refer to it as the Sea East.
Top: Upper Falls on the Genesee River; Bottom: Middle Falls of the Genesee River, which form nearly a back-to-back series of waterfalls with the Upper Falls 
Top: Lower Falls of the Genesee River—note the shallow depth where these fishermen are located; Bottom: Last falls before the Genesee River reaches Lake Ontario 
    The only other River than runs northward is the Monogahela River in central Virginia, far to the south of the Great Lakes Land of Promise.
    So the question is asked again: “Where is the Sidon River in the Great Lakes Land of Promise? Obviously, none of the possible streams/creeks/rivers, as shown above, qualify for that erstwhile river mentioned 37 times in the scriptural record."

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