Erich von Daniken in his 1973 photo-journal In Search of Ancient Gods included two color photos of the inside of two subterranean corridor on pages 79-80 along with this observation:

"Did 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.

Childress wrote:

"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 minerals too."

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 Nahautl 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 Tula!.


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 or just Lord Pacal 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:

"From 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,

"in 1949, Dr. Alberto Ruz Lhuiler - then in charge of the excavations at Palenque - discovered the most elaborate pyramid tomb in the New World."

He then tells us of his trip into Pacal's tomb.

"... I 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."

(page 761)

David Hatcher Childress tells of his trip into Pacal's tomb in Lost Cities of North & Central America. He describes the lid of the sarcophagus, which is our main concern.

  • "The monolithic 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 Daniken 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."

(pages 197-l98)

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:

"A more 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."

( page 199)

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."

(page 760)

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.