The Nazca Lines of Peru>were systematically studied by Toribio Mejia Xesspe, a Peruvian archaeologist, beginning in 1926, but the geoglyphs only gained widespread attention when pilots flew over them in the 1930s.
Paul Kosok (1896-1959) was also claimed as the first to carry out a professional study of the Nazca drawing in 1939. He was assisted a year later by Maria Reiche (1903-1998) who devoted the rest of her life to the study of Nazca. Kosok continued his research there until 1949.
The purpose of the geoglyphs has generated reams of commentary, from the nonsensical of von Däniken to the more profound of Reiche.
“In the late 1960s and early 1970s, however, other researchers, including American astronomer Gerald Hawkins, examined the Nazca Lines and disagreed with the astronomical explanation for the geoglyphs. They also poked holes in other far-out explanations, such as those relating to aliens or ancient astronauts(f).”<
However, for sheer complexity, I must direct you to the work of Czech-Canadian Jiri Mruzek. He has managed to link the Monkey geoglyph at Nazca with the layout of the Giza pyramids and a 14,000-year-old cave drawing at La Marche in France; all under the banner of ‘Seal of Atlantis’!!!(a)
In 2018, it was announced that another fifty Nazca style geoglyphs had been discovered in the adjacent province of Palpa(b). This number was subsequently increased to 142(c).
In February 2020, Frank Maglione Nicholson, Ken Phungrasamee & David Grimason, collectively known as The Nazca Group(d), published The Nazca Great Circle Map Hypothesis. Their claim is that “The lines and geoglyphs carved into the Nazca plateau represent a map of the Earth. The map is a Great Circle Map: a gnomonic projection with the center of the Earth as its cartographic view point. Each line on the Nazca Plateau represents a great circle of navigation centered at the center of the Earth and encircling the entire planet. The majority of the lines on the Nazca Plateau radiate from five loci of origin called radial centers.”
Another 2020 article(e) by Laszlo Arvay concluded that “the Nazca Plateau could be the largest astronomical atlas in the world. If that is so, Paul Kosok was right after all and on a much greater scale as he ever thought possible.”
(f) Nazca Lines – HISTORY *
‘Colonel’ James Churchward (1851-1936) was a British engineer and patent holder. However, his most famous invention was ‘the land of Mu‘, an imaginary counterpart of Atlantis, supposedly situated in the Pacific. He wrote six books between 1926 and 1935 to promote this brainchild. The last volume, Books of the Golden Age, was published as recently as 1997, based on material dating back to 1927.
>He also gave more than two dozen radio lectures on New York’s station WNYC between 1924 and 1925(q).<
Churchward claimed to have gained his knowledge of Mu from the so-called Naacal Tablets which were translated for him by an Indian priest. Jason Colavito has recently expanded on this matter in a recent blog(i).
Readers might be interested in reading a newspaper report from 1932 in which he claimed the existence of flying machines in ancient India(k). This idea was subsequently adopted by Pauwels & Bergier, copied by Von Däniken and more recently stolen by Hatcher Childress. Colavito has written a valuable piece(l) on the origin and evolution of the story of vimanas in ancient Indian literature and debunking the suggestion that they were some early UFO.
>On April 23, 1933, The New York Times described “Mr Churchward is an authority, the only authority there is, on the Lost Continent of Mu. It is, in fact, his continent, by all the rights there are of discovery, invention, evidence, conviction of reality that deal with intangible things.”<
The kindest thing that I can say is that Churchward’s most valuable contribution to literature was A Big Game and Fishing Guide to Northeastern Maine, published in 1898. Two of the many gems offered by Churchward are (1) “Christ’s last words on the cross were in the language of Mu” and (2) “the sun is not a superheated body; it is a cool body but highly magnetic”(b) !!!
Fortunately, geological knowledge today clearly demonstrates that Churchward’s vast island of Mu is as impossible as Donnelly’s Atlantic Atlantis. However, although Churchward also accepted that Atlantis was a mid-Atlantic continent, I am tempted to think that he invented Mu in the Pacific in the hope of emulating Donnelly’s publishing success with Atlantis. A critical review(h) of Churchward’s theories, in French, is available on the Internet.
James Churchward’s younger brother, Albert (1852-1925)(right), was a Masonic writer, who was the author of The Origin and Evolution of the Human Race. It is interesting that this book, now available online(j), does not refer to either Mu or Atlantis.
An extensive paper written by his god-daughter, Joan Griffith, about his life and work is available online(a).
Churchward’s great-grandson, Jack, also has a website(d) dedicated to telling his story. This includes an acceptance(c) that the rank of ‘colonel’ used by his great-grandfather was, on balance, another invention. Jack also admitted(m) the unreliability of James’ translation of the Troano Manuscript, influenced as it was by the earlier seriously flawed attempts by Bishop Diego De Landa (1524-1579), de Bourbourg and LePlongeon.
Jack has written a couple of articles comparing the ideas of Churchward and LePlongeon(o).
>Some years ago Frank Joseph wrote an article for Atlantis Rising magazine #30 in which he claimed that Churchward had been ‘corroborated’! In fact, the article title is misleading and in my opinion, its content is just blather padded with waffle(p).<
(h) http://ukko.free.fr/mu.htm (French)
(p) Atlantis Rising magazine #30 http://pdfarchive.info/index.php?pages/At *
Gerhard Gadow is a German writer who has produced a number of books on ‘fringe’ subjects. Among his varied output is a critique of Erich von Däniken’s ancient astronaut theory. He has written, in German, about Atlantis and devoted around half of this book to a study of Jürgen Spanuth ’s theories. The rest of this book gives an overview of the more popular theories including Atlantis in Spain, Atlantic, or Aegean etc.