The Mackenzie Sound Rock Carving

(Northern Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada)

The Raincoast Chronicles FIRST FIVE, No. 2, Notes & Queries.
Edited by Howard White, 1976, 1994:91.


The rock carving in this photograph was found at a remote place on the north end of Vancouver Island about 50 miles from Alert Bay by Stephen Lablosky of 12320 Old Yale Road, Surrey. The figures are about 8 inches high and 1/4" deep on the face of a large granite boulder. What interests both he and I about this carving is that it can't be Indian, nor is it feasible that a logger would have the skill to do such work. Because of the religious symbolism and because of the skill necessary to carve in granite, we tend to believe that early Hudson's Bay explorers left it ... but for what reason?

Charles Lillard
4697 West 4th Avenue
Vancouver 8, B.C.


It is certainly not a typical Indian petroglyph, although styles varied immensely in that area. Whether Indian or white it is a curious find, and we can locate no previous record of it. If any of our readers has knowledge or interesting thoughts about it, we invite them to write in.

The Raincoast Chronicles FIRST FIVE No. 4, Notes & Queries.
Edited by Howard White, 1976, 1994:193.


I refer to the letter from Mr. Lillard about the rock carving in MacKenzie Sound.

I was first shown this three or four years ago by some friends from Gig Harbour, Washington. They had found it by chance a year or so previously when they knocked off the moss which then covered the rock.

I gave a slide showing the carving to Dr. Ireland of the B.C. Provincial Archives, who in turn showed it to several people, including the Surveyor-General. No one came up with any explanation.

J. R. Genge
Sidney, B.C.

We are truly impressed by the number of Chronicle readers wandering around in obscure, deserted MacKenzie Sound knocking the moss off that particular rock. Your friends are the fourth party to claim discovery since Mr. Zablosky's photograph appeared in our second issue. The only person to offer a positive opinion as to the carving's meaning and origin so far is Tom Hudson of Campbell River, who states:


These signs are to be found all over the world, where they were spread by the wise men of each age, as a reminder of the basic principles essential to every form of life including man. The circle is infinite around the invisible centre which creates it, used as the symbol for what many people call God. It contains all things but is itself nothing — zero. The line symbolizes the individual, also direction and polarity, since it must have two opposite ends. The 3 or [triangle] represents balanced strength, in construction or in thought. The 4 □ or (right angle) represents truth, reflected in such phrases as "square shooter" or "on the level." All creations in the universe are based on these true principles.

(Tom Hudson,

Campbell River, B.C.)