All the dirt, news, culture and commentary for Oklahoma's second century.

Davis keeps an open mind about truth regarding "mosaic tiles" and "holes" found on parents property in '69

Sarah Hussain / Red Dirt Report
Porter Davis stands next to the raised "garden" at the former Wm. E. Davis & Sons warehouse where strange tile-like rocks were found in 1969.
Fertile Ground Compost Service
Help support Red Dirt Report

OKLAHOMA CITY – It was exactly 46 years ago today that The Daily Oklahoman newspaper reported and featured pictures of the unusual discovery made at a site at 122nd and Broadway Extension, where a warehouse was in the process of being built.

In our first story on the strange “stone” and “tile” floor, and evenly-placed holes, that was found at the site back in the summer of ’69, we talked to Jim Pate, the son of the geologist, J. Durwood Pate, who said in media accounts at the time that the rocks were likely placed there deliberately and were manmade.

“Everything is too well-placed to be a natural formation,” J. Durwood Pate said at the time.

The senior Pate has since passed away and his son insists his father changed his mind before his death in 2009, saying that he got it wrong and that it was likely a natural formation.

But there are those who beg to differ with that belief. One of them is a metro-area man and former state legislator, Porter Davis.

Davis agreed to meet Red Dirt Report at the 42,000-square foot Monterrey food distribution warehouse at 37 NW 122nd Street near the Oklahoma City-Edmond border. It was here, in 1969, that stone tiles, looking as though they were deliberately placed there, were found, along with three-foot holes. The site, to a number of experts at the time, appeared manmade.

Davis explained that his parents, William E. and Margaret H. Davis ran the food-stuff warehouse for William E. Davis & Sons since 1953 and had decided to expand their business to this site in 1969.

“They were doing dirtwork and they scraped it off and they go ‘Oh, well that looks unusual.’ Okay? I heard about it – I wasn’t here at the time – and they stopped construction for two or three days and my mother knew it could be real important.”

It was then that experts like local geologist J. Durwood Pate were asked to examine the find, a man who later told the media: “I am sure this was man-made because the stones are placed in perfect sets of parallel lines which intersect to form a diamond shape, all pointing to the east.”

After our story ran, we learned that a friend of ours, Porter Davis, was connected to the story. We wanted to learn more about this ongoing Oklahoma mystery.


It was very hot the day we met with Davis and there was little shade to be found at the building. But not much had changed at the building itself, and the old rock garden site was still there, but it had mulch instead of strange rocks in its place.

“This is the front entrance and this is where those rocks are,” Davis said, pointing to an open area adjacent to the main building.

The Davis’ sold the building (it was once the site for US Foods) and he had not been back in quite a while and wasn’t sure what became of the rocks that were preserved.

“They’re probably underneath, I’d imagine if dig down you'd find them, if they weren't removed," he said.

Back then, the Davis family contacted Pate and others to come to the site to make a determination about what it was. 

When Davis was asked about what his parents decided to do after making this amazing discovery, he said they “decided to make the rock garden” and that “they had to go ahead and build their warehouse.”

Said Davis: “So, when they finally decided to go ahead and do everything, they went ahead and picked up the rocks and put them in here as a rock garden. It looks like, now, that someone either took the rocks out or people just lost track of the significance of them and poured mulch over them.”

Davis found it interesting that the geologist who made those statements back in 1969 later recanted. He also said it couldn't be a test-drilling site either. 

"I don’t know what to make of it because the holes were really nice and round and they were at a certain depth, at least three of them or so, and they were equidistant and close enough that it wouldn’t have made sense to a non-oil guy," Davis said. "It doesn’t make sense that they would drill three test holes right here, so close together."

“And just the lines, the parallels, with the lines and designs,” Davis said. “I mean you could see some natural cracking, but (the stones) were fairly smoothed off and I just couldn’t imagine how it could be a natural formation.”

So, while the site wasn’t preserved, the rocks were saved and kept on site. Where those rocks are now is not known. A call to Oklahoma's State Historic Preservation Office, seeking additional information about this site, was not returned.

When we spoke to Jim Pate in June, however, he did show us the “stone hammer” that was also found at the site. Shaped like a primitive handgun and looking as though it could inflict some damage, one person we spoke to speculated it was used to split skulls and that the site was used for sacrifices. But we have no definite evidence that that was the case.


Davis said they got as much information as they could about the find from local experts before going forward with construction of their warehouse, which now bears the name

When asked if state or local officials or preservationists called for the possible archeological site to be preserved, Davis said there was none.

“It looks too perfect to be natural. For an impersonal force to make it look like that doesn’t make any sense at all. And the more I learn about ancient civilizations, nothing really surprises me anymore.”

As for the surrounding area, Davis said he had not heard of any other unusual discoveries. Four decades ago there was another warehouse on the southside of 122nd Street, but it was torn down to make way for the on-ramp onto Broadway Extension.

“We didn’t discover anything over there. This is all they seemed to find,” Davis said.


As we noted in the first story, there is speculation amongst ancient astronaut theorists and others that the site could possibly be evidence of an ancient civilization. But until the site is excavated and seriously examined, we may not know for sure.

Asked if his parents discussed the find any further in the intervening years, Davis said they were too busy running a business and raising six children to give it any further thought.

But Davis, himself, is open to the truth, wherever it takes him.

“The farther you go down the rabbit hole, the stranger it gets,” he said with a laugh.

As for Davis himself, he chuckled when asked if he had taken an interest in the mainstreaming of the paranormal and ancient astronaut theories that were becoming popular at the time the mosaic tile floor and holes were found on this spot.

Said Davis: “In 1969, I discovered Ayn Rand and Objectivism and all that area of thought and I had no interest in (Erich Von Daniken’s 1969 best-seller) Chariots of the Gods? It seemed very mystical.”

And now?

“Right now, I want to know whatever is real,” he said.

Photos by Sarah Hussain / Red Dirt Report

Enjoy this? Please share it!

About the Author

Andrew W. Griffin

Editor & Owner.

Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

read more

Enjoy this? Please share it!

About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

Member of the Oklahoma Press Association
Member of Investigative Reporters & Editors
Member of Diversity Business Association
Member of Uptown 23rd
Rotary Club of Bricktown OKC
Keep it Local OK