Monday, June 19, 2006

by Dan Eden

High atop the Andes Mountains, the "Rockies" of South America, there is an arid region in Peru that is both unusual and unnatural. Seen from the air, this region could easily be mistaken for an abandoned airport. Someone has carefully cleared and carved a series of laser straight lines that span many kilometers. Most of these lines are just wide enough to be called a path. Other areas form huge rectangles and trapezoids, hundreds of meters in width and length. Indeed, it looks as if the area was made to accommodate a fleet of DC-747's, But these "runways" are thousands of years old.

This is just one of the many mysteries to be found in the region. On neighboring mountain tops, the intact remains of walls and buildings can be seen. This architecture is all made from massive stones-- some weighing as much as a locomotive-- each meticulously carved and transported to the high peaks from a quarry some five miles away. The precision of each stone's final finish is so exact that there was no need for mortar or cement. The stones are joined so tightly that not even a pin can be inserted between them.
When the Spanish came to Peru and discovered this construction, they asked the native people if they had made these

Images on the Ica Stones show human type figures riding in Pterodactyls while hunting dinosaurs (left), an amazing global map showing the continents (center), and other activities not yet understood.

In this area, rain is infrequent. In the mid 1960's it rained a lot. The dry washes quickly filled to capacity and normally calm rivers were scoured by the torrential flood. In a small town near the Nazca lines, the narrow Ica River was eroded away along the banks, revealing several hundred carved stones that had been buried in subterranean chambers. As the water receded, the carved stones were left on the Ica's banks.
As the locals began to collect these stones, a particular image of a fish caught the eye of Dr. Javier Cabrera, the town's physician. Dr. Cabrera recognized the outlined image as that if an extinct species of fish. His curiosity peaked, he sought more of these stones. Gradually, the villagers knew that he was interested in these strange objects and so they gave him what is now his collection-- something Cabrera calls his "library"-- of stone enigmas.

The stones come in all sizes. There are small ones that can easily fit your palm and there are rocks as large as a dog. All of the stones have images that have been carved with continuous lines etched into the rock surface. The etching reveals a lighter color than the original dark varnish of age, yet the etched grooves also bear traces of this varnish, indicating that the carving was done in ancient times.

Curious images of a comet and an astronomer, using an object that looks like a telescope, are found on the stones

One could easily attribute these stones to any pre-Columbian civilization were it not for the uncanny and unmistakable pictures of dinosaurs, humans flying on Pterodactyls and vivid scenes of human heart transplants and continental world maps.
Sophia Melewska is a Geomorphologist who was commissioned to investigate the rocks, summarize their content, and comment on their authenticity. After studying the collection of Ica stones, Dr. Melewska said that she was in a state of "intellectual shock." The art that surrounds the entire rock face shows evidence of an advanced civilization that knew about surgery, the history of man's past, and the Earth's evolution. But how? Melewska is one of the scientists now trying to direct the attention of professional research toward this mystery. But her battle is a tough one.

Unlike clay figurines that have organic material (i.e. straw) in their composition, there are no organic materials in plain old rock that will tell anything of its age. Traditional radiocarbon dating techniques rely upon organic material (that was once alive) to determine age. The surface of these rocks, however, has a varnish that is the result of bacteria and minute organisms which have adhered to the surface. A good black varnish or patina will take thousands of years to discolor and coat each stone. Etching these rocks would have removed the existing varnish, revealing the bare rock. Since these rocks have developed additional varnish in the grooves, it seems likely that they have were carved a long time ago. But how long?
In their video production, Jurassic Art, the producers again sent Neil Steede to examine this phenomenon. Neil, as was suggested with the Julesrod report, is unbiased. He travels the globe looking at stones and listening to all sorts of claims and stories. Some stories are blatantly fake, while others seem shockingly real and genuinely perplexing. Neil examined the varnish on the stones but was not able to guess at the date. They looked old, but exactly how old was old?
In cases where no organic material can be dated, the setting and strata where the objects are found can often give a clue to their age. Unfortunately, since these stones were revealed by accidental erosion, their original resting place is not known. Perhaps there were other ways of determining their age.

Acting on a rumor, Steede traveled to a nearby village where he met a local man who was in the process of carving similar stones for tourists and anyone else that could be duped into believing that they had a piece of antiquity. The rumors of Dr. Cabrera's collection have brought tourists to the area, seeking what they are assured are the "real stones." Steede found that the artist managed to emulate the style on the Ica stones, but his technique was not quite as good. Moreover, the tell-tale varnish was absent from his grooves. Despite this, skeptics point to these reproductions as proof of a hoax, and dismiss any serious study of the original collection which is still maintained by Dr. Cabrera. And if reproductions were not enough to cast doubt on the age of the Ica stones, their fantastic images of extinct animals and flying humans inhibit any serious scholar from taking a second look at the phenomenon.
If these stones are to be taken at face value, the time frame of our past history is askew. Either humans were able to remember dinosaurs and medical procedures as part of their history, or some species of dinosaur lived to fairly recent times.
Of course, dismissing them as a hoax is the easiest way to avoid this brain teaser. But since the stones seem to be associated with a culture possessing highly developed engineering and mathematical aptitudes, it is not an impossibility that such civilization might also have had knowledge of Earth's history and human evolution.
Could dinosaurs have lived until recent times ? There is some evidence for this. Certain species of animals, thought to be extinct, have been found frozen and preserved. Mastodons (a type of hairy elephant) have been found in Siberian ice. These animals could have survived through the last ice age, some 13,000 years ago. Their bodies were so intact that, upon autopsy, fresh daffodils and sweet grass was found undigested in their stomachs. Unfortunately the stones do not show Mastodons, and no frozen dinosaurs have yet been found.
So the question to be answered is this: If there was an advanced civilization in South America thousands of years ago, why did it vanish? Who were they ? How did they know of dinosaurs and stone masonry ?

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