Raising Money for the PHOENICIA (1/26/2023)

Phoenicia Print 24 x 36 a

Today’s Remains of Carthage’s Destruction

Copy of Text for a Fund Raising Letter Sent to the Believers

The first thing we want to do is make clear statements to the believers. The
Restoration would not have been possible without the Book of Mormon. Tens of millions of people over 200 years have testified of the Book. There have been over a hundred million copies of the Book published in more than a hundred different languages. By any measure, the Book of Mormon stands as the most important publication originating from America. We want to anchor the Book to the ancient history of our country.

The 40-ton replica ship in Montrose, Iowa historically connects to Jerusalem
of the 6th Century BC. It is the larges artifact of its kind. The ship sailed from the Old World and is being rebuilt in the New World. You can find a report on what we did last year by clicking here.

A deeper connection to ancient people who crossed the Atlantic has not existed since the first years of the Restoration. The ship is in its current state of preservation thanks to the efforts of thousands of people and millions of dollars. Nearly all of that support came from the Old World. Last summer American volunteers donated 3,000 hours of labor on the restoration of the Phoenician ship replica. In the coming year, more volunteers and more donors in the New World will give this project more support. We need to double our efforts to match what the Old World did in the last twenty years. We need more exposure and more funding. This is why we are writing you this letter.

Your interest in what we do has prompted us to reach out to you. With
God’s help, we have already accomplished so much. Your assistance will enable us to make progress on the work we have started with the Phoenicia. We feel that His hand is in this work and with His Spirit we seek to stay on the right course. As a result of God’s providence, Native Americans provide leadership and direction for this project. Your donations are tax deductible under the IRS registration of Heartland Research according to the rules of 501 (3) C.

Under the direction of the board, the LaFontaine’s are taking the lead in
raising money. We know the importance of meeting face-to-face and we want to meet with your friends and associates. We need your support for the restoration of the 600 BC ship replica and the construction of the Phoenician Ship Museum.

The museum will be a home for the Heartland Model and will showcase
evidences and artifacts from this promised land.

Click here to help with the historic restoration.


Captain Philip Beale and Clark Shaffer Discuss Design Concepts for the Phoenician Museum.

Phoenician Museum Concept 1A
Phoenician Museum Concept 1B a
20230111 095152

Cedars of Lebanon Going to Phoenician Ship Museum


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HRG History — by Jay Mackley

The Heartland Research Group is a grassroots, boots-on-the-ground organization that believes that the historical narrative of the Book of Mormon took place in the Heartland of North America. The HRG is active in archaeological research and in the acquisition, restoration and display of ancient American artifacts. The HRG is currently preparing an ancient ship replica called the "Phoenicia" for display. The ships construction design is patterned after a shipwreck dating to 600 BC. The Phoenicia ship made modern voyages, first around Africa and then also from the Middle East to Florida in 2019 – proving that voyages around Africa or from Sidon to North America were feasible anciently.

Heartland Research Inc is a 501c3 private operating foundation for archaeological research and to complete preparations for the Phoenicia display. Current plans are for a museum large enough to house the Phoenicia ship and many other ancient artifacts and exhibits from North America. The location of the museum is planned to be in Zarahemla which is Lee County Iowa, near the Mississippi river and east of Nauvoo, Illinois.

Our activities are too many to list, but some recent major expeditions are listed below. Many of these expeditions are open-ended and we expect to continue research in these and other similar activities as time, resources, and volunteers become available. We have dozens of volunteers and hundreds of donors, large and small, but we need many more. Check out the websites listed below for details of Heartland Research Group projects. Our current project is is our biggest yet: to refurbish the Phoenicia ship for display.

Go to the Donation Page

We invite you to support our efforts so we can complete these worthy goals!
If you have skills or knowledge to contribute to our research and discovery projects, please contact us directly to volunteer.

  • What: Sonar scanning of Mississippi between Nauvoo and Keokuk. The purpose of the expedition was to discover a crossing route that ancient people could have taken.
  • Who: Heartland Research Inc volunteers.
  • Where: Between Keokuk and Nauvoo, Iowa.
  • How: Private donations of money, time and equipment.

  • What: Magnetic scanning of 221 acres of farmland near Montrose, Iowa. The purpose of the expedition was the discovery of fire-pits and other evidence of ancient occupation.
  • Who: Members of the Heartland Research Inc, local farmers, volunteers, plus technicians from German company SYNSYS. Signs of habitation were found with magnetometery scanning and then C14 dating.
  • Where: Near Montrose Iowa and between Montrose and Fort Madison Iowa.
  • How: Large and small donations of money, time and equipment.

  • What: A one week seminar in Fort Madison, Iowa with 25+ participants. Included visits to the Putnam museum in Davenport, Iowa. There were twelve presentations on the ancient history and written languages of the upper Mississippi.
  • Who: Members of Heartland Research Inc plus presenters and interested attendees.
  • Where: Fort Madison, Iowa.
  • How: Private donations for space, time and lodging.

  • What: Ground penetrating electrical resistivity scanning for building foundations using electrical resistivity equipment from LandVisor.
  • Who: Members of Heartland Research Inc and volunteers.
  • Where: Zarahemla in Lee County, Iowa.
  • How: Private donations and ground support.

  • What: Metal analysis for alloy content. Ancient arrow and spearhead found in Wisconsin stream of cast bronze.
  • Who: Heartland Research Group
  • Where: Sample found in Wisconsin stream by scuba diver.
  • How: Private donations for lab analysis.

  • What: High resolution LiDAR scanning by supporter Air Data Solutions of 34,000 acres in Lee County, Iowa and also part of Illinois. The focus was to create high quality digital maps showing the terrain of the land, especially in the foothill areas where large earthworks are found. Discovery of 5-10 miles of ancient earthworks from LiDAR using QGIS and ArcGIS visualization software.
  • Who: Members of Heartland Research Inc plus AirData Solutions Inc.
  • Where: Lee County, Iowa and also part of Illinois, covering the much of Nauvoo.
  • How: Private donations for services, data processing, and analysis.

  • What: Commence process of restoring the world's oldest ship replica from 600BC, which has circumnavigated Africa and crossed the Atlantic ocean from the Middle East to America.
  • Who: Members of Heartland Research Inc plus volunteers.
  • Where: Lee County, Iowa between Montrose and Fort Madison.
  • How: Private donations for materials, space, and equipment plus donations in labor.

Mission Statement

The Heartland Research Group researches archaeological evidence of the ancient civilizations of America.
Heartland Research Group activities include:

  • Field Research
    Uses archeological techniques and scanning technologies to reveal the remains of ancient civilizations.
  • Ancient Artifacts
    Encourages and facilitate study of ancient North American artifacts, including tablets, tools, weapons, metal works, and other items.
  • Geography
    Research and develop maps, using scanning technologies and other means, to identify the locations and activities of ancient civilizations.
  • Linguistics
    Analyze and translate ancient writings found in North America, especially those relating to other civilizations world wide.
  • Preservation and Display
    Collect, restore, preserve, catalog and exhibit ancient artifacts and replicas, and make them readily available to researchers and viewable to the public.
  • Archaeology, Geology, and History
    Study and research into all aspects archaeology, geology, and history that shed light on ancient North American peoples and cultures.
  • Promotion and Support
    Raise awareness of our activities. Work directly with and support individuals and groups in activities that share our same goals.
The Heartland Research Group welcomes researchers and interested parties of all backgrounds to share their analysis and findings of ancient American heartland civilizations.

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