view counter

Alien Spaceship Remains?

Take another guess or two

“What are those things?” a friend inquired.
    The photos Shady Sider Kate King posted after she and son Caleb explored Calvert County’s Matoaka Beach showed a row of large concrete rings lined up on the shore.
    “Alien spaceship remains,” King replied.
    Are they really?
    Steve Kullen of the Calvert County Department of Community Planning pulled back the curtain on this mystery.
    “There are many elaborate theories and suppositions,” Kullen said. “But the item in the photo is commonly referred to as a well ring. Back in the day, a hole would be dug for a well, and these devices would be slid into the hole to keep the sides from caving in.”
    The hope was that the hole would fill with fresh water so a roped bucket could be dropped in to pull the water up and out.
    The story has a more recent chapter.
    “Perhaps up to the 1970s,” Kullen continued, “the rings were thought to be a good structure for shore erosion. As in the photo, many rings would be lined perpendicular to the shoreline and filled with sand. The hope was that the rings would be heavy enough to overcome pounding by waves. Eventually the rings might break, the sand might wash out of the ring or the ring might wash away, only to be found by a skipper and his propeller in shallow water.
    “They are not an approved method of beach or any other shore erosion,” Kullen said.
    Nor are they alien spaceship remains. But there are many fossilized remains at Matoaka, which, like nearby Calvert Cliffs State Park, is a prime spot for hunting and finding Miocene fossils, including ancient scallop shells and shark teeth.