Machu Picchu is generally accepted to have been an Incan retreat, built in the middle of the 15th century on a barely accessible mountaintop of Peru about fifty miles northwest of Cuzco. It was apparently abandoned a century later and only brought to the attention of the outside world in 1911 when it was rediscovered by Hiram Bingham III (1875-1956).
In 2021 the use of a more advanced dating method (accelerator mass spectrometry) has pushed back the earliest date for the site by a couple of decades to 1420 AD(j).
Mark Adams, the American writer, wrote an account of his retracing of Bingham’s journey to Machu Picchu. Along with the narrative of his pilgrimage, Adams has also interwoven a valuable history of the region.
In 2013, a Polish-Peruvian team, while exploring a previously unexcavated building on the site, claimed to have discovered that the structure was astronomically aligned(a). The following year saw a newly discovered section of the Inca Road, which leads to Machu Picchu, announced by the Andina News Agency(c).
In July 2016, it was reported that what are considered pre-Inca petroglyphs were discovered in the Machu Picchu region(d)(e). Research is proceeding.
The siting of the sanctuary has been something of a mystery, Recent research suggests that the existence of geological faults that lie beneath it may offer some of the answers. Rualdo Menegat, a Brazilian geologist, presented a paper to the Geological Society of America’s annual meeting in Phoenix, in which he claims that the Incas deliberately chose to build Machu Picchu and some of their cities where tectonic faults meet!(h)
It was revealed in 2019 that work had commenced on the building of a new international airport to service Machu Picchu, a development that has been vigorously opposed as a threat to the already fragile site. It is worth noting that in 2017, 1.5 million visitors, nearly twice the limit recommended by UNESCO, came to Machu Picchu(g).
Also in 2019, it was announced that an even older Inca site was discovered 1,500 metres higher than Machu Picchu using LiDar(i).
Some pathetic attempts have been made to link Machu Picchu with Atlantis. One of them claims that “This was the (summer?) residence of the continental governor, who at the time of the destruction of Atlantis was a woman.”(b) Others, such as Rand Flem-Ath along with the late Colin Wilson, as well as Jim Alison, have included the Andean site in proposed global grids linking prehistoric sites.
A less-known Inca site is that of Choquequirao(f), sometimes referred to as the ‘sister’ of Machu Picchu. Only a third of the site has been excavated so far.
>In March 2022, it was reported that “a new academic paper argues that since its rediscovery more than a century ago, the site has been known by the wrong name. A Peruvian historian and a leading US archaeologist argue that the Unesco world heritage site was known by its Inca inhabitants as Huayna Picchu – the name of a peak overlooking the ruins – or simply Picchu.”(l)<
Charles R. Kos expressed a belief “that Macchu(sic) Picchu in Peru which is held to be ‘Inca’ is in fact, I am fairly certain, an Irish Monastery from the Dark Ages.”(k)
The Maya of ancient Mexico and Guatemala have generated much controversy regarding their origins(w). Recent studies indicate that the story of the development of this remarkable civilisation may be more complex than previously thought(k). The demise of the Mayan culture (800-950 AD) has now been definitively shown to be the result of persistent drought, particularly in the southern lowlands(o).
Nevertheless, a recent (Sept.2021) article(ac) with contributions from several authorities, highlights the complexity referred to above, while one area might be collapsing another could be flourishing – “A number of Maya cities rose and fell at different times, some within that 800 to 1000 time period, and some afterwards, according to scholars. For example, while areas in southern Mesoamerica, such as Tikal in what is now Guatemala, declined in the eighth and ninth centuries due to environmental problems and political turmoil, populations rose in other areas, such as Chichén Itzá, in what is now the Mexican Yucatán Peninsula,” and “When Chichén Itzá declined, largely because of a lengthy drought during the 11th century, another Yucatán Peninsula city, called Mayapán, started to thrive.”
“We should always remember, the last Maya state, Nojpetén, fell only in 1697 — pretty recent,” said Guy Middleton, a visiting fellow at the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at Newcastle University in the U.K. “It is really important to get the message out there that though classic Maya cities and states did collapse, and culture did transform, the Maya in no way disappeared,” said Middleton, adding that “we should pay attention to the story, the state and status of the Maya descendent population in Mesoamerica now.”
The commonly held idea, that the Maya were destroyed by drought is now disputed(ah).
The Maya of Central America today are estimated to number seven million.
Inevitably the Maya have been linked with Atlantis by some writers such as Lewis Spence and E.H. Thompson who claimed that the Maya were descendants of Atlanteans. The maverick, Augustus Le Plongeon, was alone in identifying Atlantis as a colony of the Maya and that their language was in fact Greek! Others, such as Jean-Frédérick Waldeck, included an Egyptian linkage as well.
Richard Cassaro has published a fascinating collection of parallels between the Mayan and Egyptian cultures on Graham Hancock’s website (ag).
The controversial American politician Charles Gates Dawes was convinced that there had been a connection between Atlantis and the Maya.
Joachim Rittstieg claimed that the Maya and the Vikings had contact for nearly 500 years (754-1224 AD)(ae).
However, trumping all that is a recent claim that the Maya had contact with extraterrestrials and that a documentary providing evidence is planned(b). In a similar vein is the latest English language publication from Erich von Däniken entitled: Astronaut Gods of the Maya. Semir Osmanagic, of Bosnian pyramid fame, added a twist to this proposed linkage when he claimed that the Maya had come from Atlantis, which in turn had been founded by visitors from the Pleiades!
For some comic relief, I can suggest a 1976 book by brothers Eric & Craig Umland which ‘reveals’ that the Maya ‘are remnants of space explorers whose attempts to colonise our solar system went awry more than 40,000 years ago.’ Nearly every page is full of hilarious nonsense and nearly worth the £0.01 currently quoted on Amazon.co.uk. A website(i) dealing with ‘unreason’ uses extracts from the Umlands as good examples! If you wish to read about the Maya in Antarctica, the Canaries as well as the Moon, this is the book for you.
July 2012 saw a report(j) on the discovery of the largest Mayan manmade dam at Tikal in Guatemala, which was 33ft high and 260ft long and included sand filters.
The Maya had a sophisticated writing system that occupied the attention of some 19th-century writers including Abbe Brasseur de Bourbourg and Le Plongeon. Unfortunately, de Bourbourg followed the work of the 16th-century bishop of Yucatán, Diego de Landa whose interpretation was seriously erroneous. It was Constantine Rafinesque who partially deciphered some of the Mayan numerals in 1832.
A report in 2013(l) indicated that substantial progress has been made in the decipherment of any outstanding difficulties in the translation of the Mayan script through Internet cooperation.
July 2012 saw a report(j) on the discovery of the largest Mayan man-made dam at Tikal in Guatemala, which was 33ft high and 260ft long and included sand filters. Ten years later, it was discovered that the Maya had also the ability to engineer a water fountain in their city of Palenque(v) and had advanced water management systems(z). A recent BBC article(ab) took an in-depth look at the remarkable hydrological capabilities of the Maya.
In 2020, the largest and oldest Mayan monument in Mexico was identified. It is in the form of a ceremonial platform that is between 33 and 50 feet tall and is nearly a mile long(x). The structure, dated to around 3,000 years ago and was discovered with the help of LIDAR in the state of Tabasco.
James O’Kon, an engineer, has investigated Mayan technology for decades, including the discovery of a suspension bridge at the ancient Mayan city of Yaxchilan in Mexico in 1995, which is believed to be the longest bridge of the ancient world(r). This and other aspects of Mayan technology he explores in his book, The Lost Secrets of Maya Technology.
One of those technological secrets was the unusual acoustics found at Mayan sites, particularly Chichen Itza(ad). In 1931 Leopold Stokowski, the renowned conductor, spent four days at the site to determine the acoustic principles that could be applied to an open-air concert theatre he was designing. He failed to learn the secret.
More recently, Lorraine Stobbart has written Utopia: Fact or Fiction, which suggests that the ‘Utopia’ of Sir Thomas More was inspired by the Mayan culture although his text was written before Mexico was ‘officially’ discovered. Stobbart recently revealed that she is now revising her views.
However, a more serious claim relates to the idea that Mayan inscriptions revealed that a global catastrophe was to occur in 2012. This nonsense(g) turned into a minor publishing industry. Some even tried to link this daft idea to Atlantis. Fortunately, May 2012 saw evidence from excavations in Guatemala that shows the Mayan calendar extending well beyond 2012(h).
The Mayan calendar has provoked speculation and controversy ever since its discovery. Its origins are obscure, but one interpretation is that the world we live in was created on this day in 3114 B.C. A quite different view was proposed over seventy years ago by Georg Hinzpeter of the German Hoerbiger Society who claimed that our Moon was captured by the Earth in June of 8498 BC and that it became the zero date for the Maya.(y)
Aloys Eiling, the German researcher, commented on the accuracy of the Mayan calendar “The Mayan calendar even surpasses the precision of the Gregorian calendar in use today. Not only did the Mayan calendar measure the duration of the Earth’s orbit around the sun more accurately than our current calendar, but the Maya gave an even more precise value for the average duration of the Moon’s orbit around Earth. The precision achieved is all the more remarkable as the Moon in deserts or regions with clear skies may have played an important role in everyday life as a nightly source of light. But of what use is its dull light in the rainforest or cloudy regions of the world?”(af)
The late David H. Kelley, a Harvard-educated archaeologist and epigrapher at Canada’s University of Calgary, had been investigating ancient links between Asia and pre-Columbian America. In that regard, he published a paper outlining similarities between the Mayan and ancient Chinese calendars that were too numerous to be explained by independent development(p). A more sceptical view is offered(q) by Jason Colavito, who traces the idea back to Alexander von Humboldt.
In a paper entitled On the Mayan Chronology, Emilio Spedicato offers several ideas regarding ancient Meso-American chronologies. For example, he proposes that the large numbers used by the Maya and Toltecs record days rather than years. Many of his ideas stem from the work of Immanuel Velikovsky, John Ackerman and the Tollmans.
The work of Teobert Maler at the end of the 19th century was invaluable in the advancement of Mayan studies. Subsequent researchers have seized upon his discovery of a frieze at Tikal, which he interpreted as a depiction of the destruction of Atlantis, as evidence of the existence of Atlantis in the Atlantic. Apart from Maler’s conjectural ideas, no tangible link has been found between the Maya and Atlantis apart from the use in their glyphs of elephants, an animal that features in Plato’s narrative.
The authenticity of the photo of the frieze has been called into question by Jason Colavito and his related blog(n) is worthy of consideration.
In late 2011 controversy erupted when it was claimed that the Itza Maya had migrated to North America, more specifically Georgia(c). It was also suggested that earthen pyramids in Georgia and Florida can be attributed to the Maya(e). Richard Thornton led the charge with this claim, which understandably generated considerable controversy. This led to a frosty exchange between Thornton and Jason Colavito(ai).
Among their other accomplishments is the claim that the Maya were capable of predicting meteor showers(s).
Gene Matlock, the well-known advocate of Atlantis in Mexico, is certain that the Maya were originally Tamils from Sri Lanka(a) and Sumerians!
Kurt Schildmann’s 2003 book , was reviewed by Dr Horst Friedrich who commented that “One of the provisional results of Schildmann’s decipherment of the Maya script, and study of the Maya language, is the rather sensational discovery that words from several Old World languages (Sumerian, Accadian, Indo-Iranian, Phoenician, Hebrew and Basque) have somehow found their way into the Maya language.”(aa) I’m sure this will be disputed!
A recent article(f) gives an interesting firsthand account of encountering the important Mayan city of Calakmul deep in the Yucatan jungle. Potentially even more important are recent LiDAR surveys carried out in Guatemala that have revealed an astounding number of previously unidentified Mayan structures. The number of additional Mayan sites identified through the use of LiDAR continues to grow at an incredible rate(u). It was estimated in 2022 that “researchers using laser technology have located nearly 1,000 previously unknown Maya settlements in Guatemala – the sites include ceremonial centers, sporting facilities, roads, and reservoirs”(ak).
In June 2023, it was announced that once again that LiDAR had enabled another forgotten Mayan city to be located in the Yucatan(aj).
Muddying the waters further is an Islamic site that claims that the Maya were Atlantean(m).
(m) https://mashiyah.blogspot.ie/ (offline 1/8/14)
(v) https://content.usatoday.com/communities/sciencefair/post/2010/03/maya-pyramid-plumbing-unearthed-by-archaeologists/1#.Xm-Nb2BFBVc (link broken)
(y) Atlantean Research, Vol 3, No.1, May, 1950
The Carolina Bays are named after the bay trees found growing in many of the 500,000 mysterious oval-shaped depressions, principally located in the eastern states of North America. In Maryland, the bays are called Maryland basins. In Mississippi and Alabama, they’re called Grady Ponds. In Kansas and Nebraska, they’re called Rainwater basins. In Texas, they’re called Salinas (because they often contain salty water).
>Michael Tuomey (1805-1857) was the Irish-born State Geologist of South Carolina (1844-1847) and first State Geologist of Alalbama (1848-1857). He is credited with being the first to note the distinctive geomorphic features of the bays in a 1848 Report on the Geology of South Carolina (aa).
Allan & Delair have pointed out[014.254] in reference to the time of their creation “the Carolina bays of the eastern United States, the smaller but otherwise closely similar ‘bays’ of Holland, and the aligned ‘lakes’ of north-eastern Siberia, Alaska, northern Yukon and north-eastern Bolivia were apparently produced then.”<
Their characteristics have been presented as evidence of impact damage from a comet or asteroid. As early as 1933 Edna Muldrow published a seven-page article in Harper’s Monthly(r) putting forward the idea of a comet colliding with our planet and creating the ‘Bays’. This was probably inspired by a paper by geology professor Frank A. Melton and physics professor William Schiever presented at the 1932 Annual Conference of the Geological Society of America(s).
This view is hotly disputed, as is the idea that they are of relatively recent origin at the beginning of the Holocene. Emilio Spedicato is one proponent who considers that a relatively recent impact to have been a contributory fact to the ending of the last Ice Age leading to the demise of Atlantis.
A more mundane explanation has been recently offered by Jon Pelletier, assistant professor of geosciences at the University of Arizona in Tucson. He has just published a paper on a series of uniformly shaped and oriented lakes on the North Slope of Alaska. Pelletier has offered a credible ‘thaw slumping’ rationalisation for their annual growth. However, I have not seen his expla, George A. Howard concluded a paper(x) on the Bays with the following “Given a confident belief that the answers are indeed out there in the sand, we come then to the true shame of the Carolina Bay story: the willingness of the current geophysical research community to tolerate and admit such a profound “mystery” in their midst. I’ve known respected professional earth scientists to brush off questions about Carolina Bays origin with references to “alien landings” and “giant fish.” With prodding, they generally elicit a thin collage of wind and wave theory faintly recalled from their student years. One gets the distinct feeling that the study of Carolina Bay origin is the ‘crazy aunt in the attic’ of the Coastal Plain researcher. And that visiting his dear relative is hardly worth the disturbing consequences.”
The cometary explanation was given additional support in 2007, when a team of researchers from Oregon University outlined evidence that included the Carolinas, for the disintegration of a comet over Eastern Canada around 10900 BC. They claim that apart from the initiation of the Younger Dryas period, it caused widespread destruction across North America and also led to the disappearance of the Clovis culture. Further evidence supporting this view(b) was advanced by other academics in 2008.
A paper by Jennifer Marion completely denies that there was any Holocene Impact that “caused a significant abrupt climate change, extinction event, and termination of the Clovis culture at 12.9 ka.” (v)
Nevertheless, there is also evidence from optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating that the bays were formed 80,000 -100,000 years BP, which conflicts with the YD date! My layman’s view is that after 80,000 years I would expect the bays to be much more eroded than they appear to be.
A more recent paper(e) by Antonio Zamora offers an important new concept, namely that the ‘bays’ were created by a meteorite striking the Laurentide Ice Sheet that existed in the Great Lakes region, during the last Ice Age, which in turn produced an enormous hail of ice ejecta which rained down on the eastern seaboard of what is now the United States. In his conclusion, he claims “that the new model of slow-velocity impacts from ice ejecta resulting from a meteorite impact on the Laurentide ice sheet explains many of the characteristics of the Carolina Bays, including the lack of shock metamorphism and meteorite fragments.” Zamora has also published an impressive LiDAR image of a section of the bays, which is best viewed on a large screen(o).
Zamora has also published in 2012 an ebook entitled Meteorite Cluster Impacts (f), and in his 2015 book, Solving the Mystery of the Carolina Bays , he expands on his theory that the ‘Bays’ were created as a result of an extraterrestrial impact with the Laurentide Ice Sheet. He describes in great detail the mathematical basis for his views.
Zamora has now had a new paper on the ‘Bays’ published in the peer-reviewed journal, Geomorphology(i), which may help to rekindle discussion on the subject. Although, in my opinion, they are not directly related to the Atlantis narrative, the existence of the Carolina Bays provides very obvious evidence of our catastrophic past.
Ralph Ellis believes that Zamora’s ‘blocks of ice’ ejecta created by the impact should be thought of instead as being more akin to softer ‘slushballs’(g)(h). Ellis noted that the inspiration for his papers relating to the Bays came from the work of geologist Michael Davias(t). Davias and his friend Tim Harris have been advocating the idea that Michigan’s Saginaw Bay holds evidence of an impact(u).
Robert W. Felix, an American architect totally rejects the ice ejecta theory, principally because the Laurentide Ice Sheet (LIS) should have disappeared before the creation of the Carolina Bays(l). However, conventional wisdom dates the decline of the LIS to around 9,600 BC(m), coincidental with the arrival of the Carolina Bats! Felix contends in one of his books  that the Bays were formed by millions of gigantic explosions in the sky, explosions triggered by a magnetic reversal!
The serial sceptic, Paul Heinrich, claims(d) that there is dating evidence, which indicates varying dates for the creation of different Carolina Bays. The most recent popular work to discuss comprehensively, the origin as well as the conflicting dating evidence for the Carolinas, is The Cycle of Cosmic Catastrophes by Firestone, West and Warwick-Smith. This is an important book that is primarily concerned with a cosmic catastrophe that wiped out the North American mammoth along with other large animals at the same time that the Clovis People disappeared 13,000 years ago. This was also the time of the colder Younger Dryas period.
When the Russian investigator Leonard Kulik studied the Tunguska River area, over which a meteor/asteroid exploded in 1908, he discovered several neat oval bog holes that might offer support for either the impact theory or more improbably the theories of Pelletier.
Now, over a century after the Tunguska event, an Italian research team has concluded that it was an asteroid that struck the earth and that nearby Lake Cheko is the impact crater(c). However, this theory was debunked in 2017 by “researchers led by Denis Rogozin, from the Institute of Biophysics at the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, carried out their own analysis and concluded that lake sediments were at least 280 to 390 years old, ‘significantly older than the 1908 Tunguska Event.’
And in a new study published May 2 in the journal Doklady Earth Sciences, Rogozin and colleagues presented more evidence to refute the idea Lake Cheko is the Tunguska asteroid’s impact site.”(z)
In 2013 Gernot Spielvogel co-authored Sonnenbomben in which it is suggested that the Tunguska event was caused by a solar plasma ‘bomb’! Even Nikola Tesla was blamed by some as the perpetrator of the Tunguska event(n).
However, although the impact theory does appear to have widespread support, there appears to be a move to look at a natural earthbound explanation. The U.S. Geological Survey is now identifying the Bays as ‘relict thermokarst lakes’(q).
Such suggestions have been excluded by Paul-Jürgen Hahn who is adamant that the bays were the result of a cometary impact with the Sargasso Sea and was also linked to the Atlantis story and the Pyramids and Sphinx! He gives the date of the impact as “12 March 9,337 BC (Greg.), 10:19 true local time in South Carolina, respectively 09:27 Bahamas time.”(y)
A 2020 article reviews the theories relating to the origin of the bays as well as the extraordinary biodiversity to be found within the bays(p).
Nevertheless, various other theories are still under investigation, including serious consideration of the possibility of an alien spaceship explosion!(j)
Charles O’Dale, a Canadian researcher who has studied impact craters across Canada also ventured south to investigate the Carolina Bays. In a 2022 paper, he includes a number of excerpts from a range of other commentators that highlight the principal details relating to the Bays that are still in contention ninety years after their first discovery(w).
(a) See: Archive 2042
(g) https://independent.academia.edu/ralphellis4 see (h)
(r) The Comet that Struck the Carolinas Harper’s Monthly No.168, 1933. p 87
(aa) https://archive.org/details/reportongeologyo00tuom/page/144/mode/2up [p.143-144] *