Erich von Daniken in his 1973 photo-journal In Search of
included two color photos of the inside of two subterranean corridor
on pages 79-80 along with this observation:
extra-terrestrial beings give our early ancestors sophisticated
tools? When you walk through the caves in Ecuador and other South
American countries, you can't help asking the question. The caves
were certainly not the work of nature, which does not produce
right-angled curves, polished surface areas, extremely accurate
grooves and straight corridors. These gigantic caves on this and the
following page must have been cut out of the solid rock by tools
that are quite unknown to us."
Across the Yucatan Peninsula, throughout Belize and Guatemala;
as far south as Northern Honduras, and as far north as the
Chiapas of Mexico. This was the land of the Olmec
and Maya. Here, just as in South America, we find
mysterious abandoned stone cities and stories of strange underground
chambers and tunnels. Fifty miles north of Mexico City in the
province of Hidalgo is the town of Tula. Writing in
Lost Cities of North and Central America (1992)
David Hatcher Childress tells of the French explorer-historian
Claude Joseph Desire Charney who, with the help of the locals,
cleared the jungle away from some overgrown mounds near the town.
"Charney soon came across huge basalt
blocks more than seven feet long that appeared to him to be giant
feet of statues. Indeed, they were, the incredible Atlanteans,
as they are known today, huge figures designed as columns to hold up
a gigantic temple.
( page 254)
He then tells of his own observations:
"Peter and I walked around
the site, and were most impressed by the gigantic Atlantean figures
that had been erected on top of one of the pyramids. They were
indeed huge, more than 30 feet high in four sections with stone
plugs neatly fitting into corresponding contacts. Each holds a
strange weapon on his side. Zecharia Sitchin in "The Lost Realms" claims that these devices
are plasma guns, used for melting rock in the mining operations that
were the main reason for the construction of many of the early
cities in North and South America."
A closer look at The Lost Realms is called for. On page 105 Mr Sitchin
tells us; "Experts in earthworks, masters of stonework, diggers of
trenches, channelers of water, users of mirrors" - what, thus
endowed, were the Olmecs doing in Mesoamerica?.
Stelae show them emerging from,
"Alters that represent
entrances into the depths of the earth (fig 58), or inside caves
holding a puzzling array of tools, as on the stelae
from La Venta in which it is possible to discern the enigmatic
mirrors being attached to the tool holders helmets. All in all, the
capabilities, the scenes, the tools appear to us to lead to one
conclusion; the Olmecs were miners, come to the new world to
extract some precious metals - probably gold, perhaps other rare
Mr Sitchin continues saying that the legends of Votan,
which speak of tunneling through mountains, support this conclusion.
So does the fact that among the Olden Gods whose worship was
adopted from the Olmecs by the
people were the god Tepeyolloti, meaning "Heart of
the Mountain" was a bearded God of caves; his temple had to be
made of stone, preferably built inside a mountain. His
glyph-symbol was a pierced mountain; he was depicted holding as
his tool a flamethrower - just as we had seen at
Our suggestion that the flame thrower seen there
(both held by the Atlanteans and depicted on a column) was
probably used to cut through stone, not just carving on stone, is
manifestly supported by a stone relief known as Daiza No. 40
after the site in Mexico's Oaxaca Valley where it was discovered. It
clearly depicts a person inside a confined area, using the flame
thrower against a wall in front of him.
The travels of Votan sometimes called Pacal Yotan
by the Maya was covered in Irene Nicholson' s book
Mexican and Central American Mythology (1967). Ms.
Nicholson tells us: From some unknown origin he was ordered by
the gods to go to America to found a culture. So he departed from
his home, called Valum Chivim and unidentified, and by the
way of the 'dwelling of the thirteen snakes' he arrived at
Valum Votan (snakes are known to live in the underworld.
The story continues:
there he traveled up the Usumacinta river and founded Palenque.
Afterward he made several visits to his native home, on one of which
he came upon a tower which was originally planned to reach the
heavens but which was destroyed because of a 'confusion of
tongues' among its architects. Votan was, however allowed
to use a subterranean passage in order to reach 'the rock of heaven'."
The December 1975 issue of National Geographic's cover
story "The Maya, Children of Time" by Howard LaFay
tells of his visit to the ruins of
Palenque in Mexico's state of Chiapas. He explains how,
Alberto Ruz Lhuiler - then in charge of the excavations at
Palenque - discovered the most elaborate pyramid tomb in the New
He then tells us of his trip into Pacal's tomb.
descended the stairway found by Ruz. The limestone passage
glistened moistly. You go down, steeply and deeply, through a series
of brilliantly engineered corbeled vaults. The awesome passage drops
away before you like the nave of a cathedral plunging into the
depths. What impresses you when you enter the tomb of mighty Pacal?
The silence. The void that comes with time, too dies. For 1,300
years Pacal had reposed here in absolute silence, in total darkness."
David Hatcher Childress tells of his trip into Pacal's
Lost Cities of North & Central America. He describes the lid of
the sarcophagus, which is our main concern.
sarcophagus is 5 feet 5 inches high, 6 feet 10 inches wide and 9
feet 9 inches long. The massive, 5 ton cover slab is 12 and one half
feet long by 7 feet inches wide and 8 inches thick..."
"The sarcophagus lid has
attracted a great deal of attention because of its fascinating
detail of a rather odd scene. A man apparently Lord Pacal, is in a
seated position, and has an intricate, decorated scene around him"
Erich von Daniken
popularized the nation in the late 1960s that this sarcophagus lid
showed the portrait of an ancient astronaut
taking off or landing in his spaceship, a stylized rocket. Von
is worth quoting,
"Although the tombstone forms a frame in the
middle of which a being is sitting and leaning forwards (like an
astronaut in his command module.) This strange being wears a helmet
from which twin tubes run backwards. In front of his nose is an
oxygen apparatus. The figure is manipulating some kind of controls
with both hands. The fingers of the upper hand are arranged as if
the being was making a delicate adjustment to a knob in front of
him. We can see four fingers of the lower hand which has its back to
us. The little finger is crooked. Doesn't it look as if the being
was working a control such as the hand-throttle of a motorbike? The
heel of the left foot rests on a pedal with several steps."
However, for reasons that make a lot of sense, Childress
explains in his well researched book, Von Daniken's
explanation is highly unlikely. He then goes on to say:
credible, and in fact, as interesting an explanation for the
sarcophagus lid of Lord Pacal is that the engraved relief represents
a division of the universe in three layers;
the Upper World, the Middle World, and the Underworld."
Howard LaFay in the
December Issue of
National Geographic's, "The Maya, Children of Time"
gave another interpretation:
"Frozen in a perpetual fall, Pacal,
the great ruler of Palenque, drops at the instant of death into the
jaws of an underworld monster, just as the sun sinks each day in the
west. This interpretation holds that, again, like the sun, he will
ascend into the heavens, thus fulfilling a cosmic cycle."
What do Maya legends say about the relief?. It is a vessel returning
Lord Pacal (Pacal Votan to the underworld). I
believe the Maya, the descendents of Lord Pacal, told us in
their legends exactly what the scene represents.
Once again our research proves that the real answer backs up our
theory. I submit that Lord Pacal is shown sitting in a tunnel
car used to travel the 800 miles of subterranean passages (the 'dwelling
of the thirteen snakes') to the land of the underworld and his
home, Valum Chivim.