Lost Temple Mystery
A mysterious pre-Columbian temple in Central America
This is an amazing story about a pre-Columbian structure here in the Americas which dates back to the Phoenicians. This is an ongoing expedition.
Lost Temple Mystery
It all started with a call from an old friend and through his connections, he had been introduced to some people with a project so unprecedented that it could be the most important discovery of the century. For twelve years, the man (now 30) and his grandfather had been digging in a mine as well as other places on their land.
At the forty-foot level in the mine they found a Roman bronze coin circa 412 A.D., and nearby was a gold alloy figure about eight and a half inches high and weighing one and a half pounds. (No pictures were taken of the statue., unfortunately, and they had sold it to buy materials to continue their work.) About ten feet further, walls had begun to show; they were worked stone and very tightly joined together. Since these continued down to about 500 feet below the surface - the level they had reached at the time of our visit - the diggers felt they had located an ancient legendary temple. While the majority of my work involves shipwrecks and diving, this was certainly something I had to see for myself!
"We can go there," said my friend, "but the mother of this family is very religious and also psychic. Before any new person is allowed on the property she must go in and pray; if she feels that you are a good person, you will be permitted to enter - otherwise you will be turned away."
He then told me of his own initial encounter with her. He was visiting a business associate when a man arrived at the associate's office to seek advice and help for some friends, and had brought the mother with him. My friend was sitting in a corner of the office when these unexpected visitors arrived. When the lady entered the room, she immediately walked over to my friend and told him that he was the one who had "been sent" to help - that she recognized him from a dream she had! He had never seen her before in his life and knew nothing about her, or her family, at the time.
From her he learned that the temple was apparently intentionally buried some 800 years ago. Three priests, wise men of temple keepers - whatever you might call them - had prophesied the coming of the Spanish and the decimation of Indian life in the name of God, and gold. The temple was considered very special because it contained an altar upon which sat a sacred stone. The stone had the ability to produce water with some quality that enabled it to cure whatever is amiss in the human body, thereby ensuring longevity. Old Indian lore and legends handed down tell of these people, many centuries ago, living between 400 and 600 years!
During my trip, as some corroboration of this, I did meet an Indian princess who had studied and obtained her Ph.D. in History in the United States and who described how the people of her tribe were known for their longevity. Her grandmother is 146 years old, and still in good health. However, their calendar is based on a 53 week year, so in fact she is really a few years older than that by our standards. The Princess, herself, was 43 and could easily pass for mid-twenties. She knew of the legend of the stone on the altar and told me that most of the stories did have basis in fact. (However, she did not know the exact location - and I did not tell here about the diggers' discovery).
The princess also told me that when the Spanish came to this part of the world, some 300 years after the temple was buried, this stone became the basis for the legend of the Fountain of Youth, which Ponce de Leon had sought in Florida. The Indians, in order to get the Spanish to leave the area, would tell them only what they wanted to hear - except it was always a long way off: "There is no gold here, but there is lots of it to the north, with many days travel."
I am getting ahead of myself, though. When we arrived at our destination, we knew we had a few days to wait before the dive gear arrived by ship, so we decided to go and meet these mountain people and discover for ourselves just what they had found after twelve years of digging. It was about a two hours drive; starting on paved road to neglected-paved, to dirt, to a trail through the woods, and then to walking. On our arrival, just as my friend had described the mother prayed for me and I was admitted.
I have been scared before, but looking down into the dark void of their shaft make me wonder if I really was crazy, as other people have claimed after some of my adventures. The battery form our rental car with a light wired to it made me fell a little more confident, and when we stared to descend, it became a case of "too late now to turn back' - which combined with an overwhelming sense of wanting to see for myself what I had heard about.
The first level, about thirty feet down, contained a boardwalk across a large hole: the next was deeper and held a room with petroglyphs which my friend had described to me. We could not be sure of the origin, but some experts have said they look Phoenician. To reach this particular area we had to squat down and squeeze through a long, narrow opening about 12 feet long - only to find that the room was full of bats! Our approach startled them, so there I was a hundred feet underground in the dark, in a tight place, in a foreign country - with bats flying in my face! It was sheer horror. One of them crashed into my ear. I knocked it to the ground and listened to it shriek. The rest were better navigators, and only brushed me with their wings. Upon my return to the States, I was somewhat horrified to learn of the risks we were taking. I was told of a number of people who have been sick, some fatally, due to the atmosphere being contaminated by their excrement.
From here we continued downwards, using home-made, rather unsafe ladders and ropes. Part of the way a sloping stone ramp was usable. These lower levels had walls, huge blocks of stone that were worked and joined together. I looked at them, touched them and took pictures of them. It was about his time that some of my fear left me and my adventurous treasure instinct took over. I stopped to examine the walls. I wanted to be sure in my mind that this was real, not some joke being played by either man or Mother Nature. My gut feeling , at the time, was "This is real!" It did not matter what I generally believe about lore, legends, psychic ability or old Spanish tales. I remember thinking - this is real, this was put here a long time ago with a special purpose in mind. It was literally a solid fact that I could see and touch.
I also had a chance to poke around the countryside for a few days following our descent into the cave. I noted the river that runs near the cave also runs at the foot of the nearest volcano. During an eruption the molten lava would follow the path of least resistance, which might explain how the temple and valley got buried. This seems easier to accept than the idea the ancient Indians went to all that time and trouble to bury the temple. I asked the family about this and pointed out there was an ash-like substance, which looked volcanic to me, still clinging to some parts of the underground walls. They continued to maintain the temple was buried intentionally. I also wondered about the fact that some Indians today are living 150 plus years, could this be some typed of residual genetic side effect from their ancestors imbibing the "life prolonging water?"