Monday, August 25, 2008

Duffy's Cut Update

H&H has had a couple of folk ask us about the status of the Duffy's Cut project, since it seems to have stalled out last August. We went straight to the horse's mouth, Immaculata U's expert Dr. William Watson, one of the authors of The Ghosts of Duffy's Cut, to find out what's going on with the dig, and he was kind enough to respond by e-mail:

Hello Ron — thanks very much for the note, and for posting the information on your web site.

Up to now, we have been able to procure the necessary science (GPR, magnetometry, etc) only by specialists donating an afternoon or a day or two. Last summer, we had a geoscientist from UPenn named Dr. Tim Bechtel out at the site for a week, and we were close to locating the mass grave, but when he left due to work constraints, we were unable to proceed.

We have continued to find personal items from the men at the site, like utensils, buttons, and clay pipe fragments.

We have not been able to secure any funding to pay for the continual assistance of the scientific specialists until now. This summer, we received 2 grants from Immaculata University to pay for further GPR and other scientific testing at the site, and we hope that this fall will be productive.

We are eagerly awaiting the word from Dr. Bechtel on his return.


Dr. William Watson

He dropped us another line Tuesday:
Ron -

By coincidence, as I was driving home yesterday, Tim Bechtel’s office called to confirm that he will be out on Friday to help us out. We’ll keep our fingers crossed. He seems confident.



So it looks like the Duffy's Cut Project is back on track. Maybe we can finally point those restless Irish spirits towards the light.


Anonymous said...

I've lived in the area 44 years and was wondering if the elevated graveyard South of Lancaster route 30 on the right after going through the short tunnel has been fully checked out (Bishop Tube on the left)?

Also what's in the backyard grave site in General Warren Village?

Ron Ieraci said...

Can't really help you there; I'm a Pittsburgh guy and don't have much of a clue about eastern landmarks. Maybe if you contacted the gang working Duffy's Cut, they could provide some sites for you. Their url is:

nb1268 said...

WOW,Congratulations Gentlemen on your hard work and persistence.
Hopefully it brings closure for alot of people.
Just the tip of a genealogical iceberg I suspect.
Great job.

Ron Ieraci said...

NB, they sure do deserve some props. They spent years unraveling the mystery, and brought in the latest equipment and some outstanding help to locate the gravesite. The story isn't pretty, but it looks like it'll finally have a happy ending.

Anonymous said...

Having grown up near by and been to the "jumping off spot" as called by the locals, there is no waterway at the bottom of the huge bolder - just rocks that are fairly flat. It is a long way down and maybe 60 feet is accurate but it's a good approximation. The only water in the vicinity is the lake for the old "exploded" gun powder mill. It is a long way from the Cheat River. Your original description was mostly correct - just nix the river part.