Lebanese Embassy in Washington D.C. (2/3/2023)

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Meeting Next Week at Lebanese Embassy in Washington, D.C.

The Lebanese Embassy in Washington, D.C. has closely followed our reports concerning the construction of the Phoenician Ship Museum in Montrose, Iowa. It is clear to them that their ancestors were instrumental in developing some of the best ships in ancient times. Lebanon recognizes that many records, including the Bible, detailed the use of Cedars of Lebanon for building temples, ships, cosmetics, and medicines. Indeed, there is a green cedar tree in the center of their national flag

Yesterday we contacted the Lebanese Embassy and talked with them about scheduling a meeting at their place to discuss how we may jointly cooperate in bring to the attention of millions of people the world’s oldest trans-oceanic ship replica that will be finished with Cedar of Lebanon that came from the birthplace of America.

Here is a copy of the letter that we sent.


Head of Mission
Waël Hachem
Chargé d’Affaires a.i.
2560 28th Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20008

The Honorable Hachem,

Today I talked with your able assistant Ms. Araz Kazanjian.

In the last year, your Embassy has followed my reports on the Phoencian Ship Museum being built by Heartland Research on the Mississippi River in Iowa. Click here to see a flipbook that gives some information on our activities. We are very excited with this project and we want to meet you to discuss our plans for the future.

You can read from our booklet how we now have the largest collection of Cedar of Lebanon logs in the history of America. We now have the attention of hundreds of thousands Americans.

We are planning events at the New York Explorers Club in Manhattan, at the Tyler Arboretum in Philadelphia and George Washington University in Washington, D.C. At these events the public will have a chance to become acquainted with our activities.

For sure, you are familiar with Captain Philip Beale from the United Kingdom. Without him there would be no Phoenicia. We are now working with him and other people overseas. There are thousands of Americans who are helping with the restoration of the world’s oldest ship replica that has crossed the Atlantic. We believe that the ship replica will change the history of America and will reflect favorably on the history of your people.

I want to meet you next week at your office in Washington, D.C. The purpose of our meeting would be to discuss ways we can work together to bring the knowledge of your country’s impressive history to the attention of millions of Americans.

Please suggest a time next week that is suitable for you to meet. I will then drive down to the meeting at your Embassy.

Many thanks for your kind and careful attention.


John Lefgren, PhD
Heartland Research Inc
Cell 484-548-3350



The Flag of Lebanon

Large Phoenicia

Phoenicia – World’s Oldest Ship Replica Crossing the Atlantic Ocean.

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Cedar of Lebanon Logs at the Phoenician Ship Museum.

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Cedars of Lebanon at the Phoenicia Ship Museum in Montrose, Iowa.

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Cedar of Lebanon at Birthplace of America.


Offloading Cedar of Lebanon Logs at Phoenician Ship Museum, January 30, 2023.

Baalat Sidon

Symbol of Phoenician Sidon


Port of Sidon, Lebanon.


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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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