A tenacious researcher in New Mexico is attempting to get to the bottom of a truly vexing mystery surrounding a pair of puzzling stone pillars found in one of the state's forests.
Author and historian Louis Serna has spent the last four years chasing down the origin of the ornate objects since he spotted the first one in a hotel lobby back in 2013.
Serna was amazed by the ornate design of the pillar and the intriguing symbols it contained, specifically a Templar cross.
Despite the oddity being dismissed by hotel staff as simply a trail marker, Serna suspected differently and actually tracked down the former owner of the building.
He was told that the pillar was discovered by a rancher in a forest back in the 1980's and subsequently put on display at the hotel.
Still not satisfied with that origin story, Serna continued looking into the matter in the hopes of finding out more information about the perplexing pillar.
Rebuffed by university archeologists as well as historians and even the Freemasons, Serna eventually had a breakthrough with the U.S. Forest Service, but their answers only raised more questions.
According to the department, the hotel pillar was but one of two such stone objects found in New Mexico's Carson National Forest
The second pillar sits among various stones believed to be grave markers, although Serna is skeptical that the mysterious objects were used for that purpose.
He points to the lack of any identifying information as well as the unique symbols and believes that perhaps the pillars were markers used in the colonization of the area by ancient explorers.
To his credit, Serna conceded to TV station KRQE that "I'm not an archaeologist, but since I don't have archaeologists helping me, I had to kind of develop a theory about all of this and I've done that."
He hopes that raising awareness of the pillar mystery will finally entice someone from academia to look at the objects and possibly explain their significance.
Considering the remarkable effort he has put into pursuing their source, we're keeping our fingers crossed that someone can step forward and help solve the mystery of what should probably be called the 'Serna Pillars.'