By David Lewis
Imagine you are a traveller through time. Your awareness is vast, having witnessed the mystery of life from the beginning, and as it evolved over aeons on this blue-green sphere called Earth. You are a sage, actually, whose knowledge precedes human belief, theory and dogma. From this omniscient vantage point, you observed how it all went down, cosmically and biologically from distant inceptions until now.
In the late 20th century, though, you find that ideas about human origins are only an approximation of what you've witnessed. And how could it be otherwise, given the minuteness of the human intellect compared to the depth of this mystery?
Challenging the rigidly held dogmas of the modern era, you find, can be perilous. Theories about extremely ancient human origins face outright derision in many circles, especially if you talk about man having lived at the time of the dinosaurs. Only the brave or foolish dare entertain such heresy, ideas so out of sync with the mainstream as to be considered nonsense.
Yet producer Bill Cote, creator of the NBC special “The Mysterious Origins of Man,” decided to do just that in his new documentary video “Jurassic Art.” Cote took on two of the most controversial cases, the Peruvian Ica (not Inca) stones and the Mexican Acambaro figurines. Both cases allegedly reveal evidence that ancient peoples lived at the time of the dinosaurs.
Wistfully, you smile.
The Acambaro figurines, discovered in the 1940s in Acambaro, Mexico, depict fantastic creatures that resemble dinosaurs, as well as African and European men. If verified as authentic and dated to a time before modern science's discovery of the dinosaurs, the existence of the figurines would dismantle the major presumptions of modern evolutionary theory, and, in fact, much of the scientific and academic establishment.
The Ica stones are a collection of thousands of inscribed stones found near the mysterious Nasca Lines in Peru. Many of the stones depict Pterodactyls, T-Rexes, and humans cavorting with Stegosaurs. Who carved these mysterious stones? Some ancient artist who somehow knew about dinosaurs, or a modern prankster? The answer to those questions remains a mystery. Except to you, of course. Dating both the Acambaro figurines and Ica stones has proved inconclusive. Unfortunately, both the stones and figurines have been removed from their original settings, making reliable dating difficult, if not impossible. In the Peruvian case, the curator and discoverer of the artifacts, Javier Cabrera, a medical doctor, refuses to reveal the location of a cave where he allegedly found the stones, leading archeologist Neil Steede, who investigates both cases on Cote's Jurassic Art, to question the doctor's story.
[PICTURE: One of the Acambaro figurines]
Mainstream science has, as with most controversial finds, called these cases hoaxes, or just plain preposterous. But Cote keeps an open mind in his documentary, walking a fine line between truth and entertainment, he told us. The bottom line is...if a scientist looks at [these cases], Cote told us, and says it can't be real because it has dinosaurs in it, so let's not even bother, that's not fair.
In a way, you muse, Bill Cote tried to horn in on your sacred territory, your omniscience regarding human origins, as had many before him. ...Charles Darwin and the author of Genesis come to mind. Cote, though, had the good sense to reserve judgment, to follow where the facts would lead (on video yet), even if they led to uncertainty in the end. That uncertainty, you observe, would serve well the high priests of modern scientific orthodoxy, the ordinary mortals who delude themselves with a sense of all-knowingness, a sense that only you possess. It is their certainty, in fact, like a hypnotic spell, that obscures the origins of the mystery. It obscures from their sight, as well, a body of evidence suggesting that man, indeed, lived in incredibly ancient times.
One spell in a state of dissolution these days, even in orthodox circles, is the widely held Out-of-Africa theory, where modern man is said to have appeared in southern Africa 100 – 200,000 years ago, migrated through Asia and then across the Bering Straits to North America, just 20,000 thousand years ago. Blowing the lid off these presumptions, researchers recently found 300,000-year-old human effects in the frozen tundra of Siberia, a date far more ancient than thought possible, and an indication that extremely ancient humans were intelligent enough to survive in a severe climate.
You smile, again, knowingly.
Orthodoxy, after collecting itself, wrestles with its presumptions. Then more evidence arrives, pushing back the date of man's appearance even further, to 400,000 B.C., the date which researchers in Germany recently ascribed to wooden spears found at an ancient lakeside hunting ground.
A profound gap in human understanding most certainly exists, you remind yourself, regarding man's prehistory and how long he has lived on this planet. Controversial evidence, which the orthodox scientific community is at pains to discuss, let alone investigate, indicates man may be profoundly ancient, having existed in periods of time that resemble Vedic and Theosophical versions of antiquity, the pralayas and manvantaras of India and Tibet, rather than modern science's relatively timid notions.
Michael Cremo and Richard Thompson's book “Forbidden Archeology” raises serious questions about human origins, exposing reams of anomalous archeological artifacts ignored by orthodoxy over the years. For the most part, these artifacts place man on earth hundreds of thousands of years before accepted theory says he appeared, much like the recent finds in Germany and Siberia. Yet some evidence, resurrected by Thompson, Cremo, and others, points toward man having existed an incredible 60 to 150 million years ago, concurrently with the dinosaurs, as the Ica stones and Acambaro figurines seem to suggest.
But what do you say?
What should and should not be beyond human belief? You've seen the theories come and go, fully invested and propped up with intellectual pride. You've see the hypnotism that passes for science and religion. You've seen the paucity of mankind's understanding since... since when?
[PICTURE: One of the engraved stones from the Ica collection in Peru.]
In 1983, Thompson and Cremo reveal, Moscow News reported that, in the then southeastern USSR, an apparently human footprint had been found in 150-million-year-old Jurassic rock next to a giant three-toed dinosaur footprint. Soviet professor Amanniyazov, of the Turkmen SSR Academy of Sciences, would not conclude definitively that the print was made by a human being, but admitted that it resembled a human footprint. The incredibly ancient date ascribed to the artifact may have had something to with his reaction. This discovery has not received much attention, Thompson and Cremo write, but then given the current mindset of the scientific community, such neglect is to be expected....considering that many such discoveries probably go unreported, we wonder how many there actually might be.
Archeologist Carl Baugh has been investigating similarly juxtaposed footprints in Texas for twelve years, along the Biloxi River near Grandville. Baugh, once skeptical about the tracks, now believes the evidence for man having existed in the Cretaceous period, the time of the disappearance of the dinosaurs, is real. He and his team excavated dinosaur footprints which run alongside twelve large human footprints in a measured series. Judging by the gait of the individual who left the prints, Baugh says, the prints have to be attributed to humankind. While some insist that the prints are a well-executed hoax, Baugh counters, saying that the prints ran under undisturbed limestone ledges that he and his team painstakingly excavated and removed. Both sets of footprints continue under the ledges, rendering the possibility of recent access to the evidence impossible.
Cremo, an expert on human origins, accepts the possibility of time frames for human existence far more ancient than his orthodox counterparts. He refers to himself as a Vedic archeologist, citing evidence for man having existed in vast time frames corresponding to passages in the Puranas of ancient India.
These things tend not to be as well documented as some of the earlier kinds (of controversial discoveries), he warns, but nevertheless they are there. I look for geological evidence that the bones or artifacts occur in strata of the earth known to be of the Jurassic, Triassic, Carboniferous, Devonian, Cambrian, or Pre-Cambrian periods...some sort of documentation about the age of the objects.
Cremo cites a December 1862 edition of The Geologist that reported a human skeleton being found in Macupin county, Illinois, ninety feet below the surface of the ground at the top of a coal deposit. A two-feet-thick layer of unbroken slate rock sat immediately above the skeleton, the report said. In other words, Cremo explains, the usual explanation that somebody might give in a case like this, that it was a burial, or some kind of earth movement [did not apply]. It was ninety feet below the surface of the ground. . . in a coal deposit (dated by the state geological survey of Illinois) at 286 to 320 million years old, the Carboniferous period... The report said a human skeleton was found, not an ape man. (emphasis added).
The June 5, 1852 edition of “Scientific American” reports that at Meeting House Hill in Dorchester, Massachusetts, a powerful explosion hurled a metal vase from 600-million-year old Pre-Cambrian rock. This curious and unknown vessel was blown out of the solid pudding stone fifteen feet below the surface, the report stated. The resulting blast hurled pieces of stone that weighed several tons. The bell-shaped vase, four-and-a-half inches tall, six inches at the base, seemed to be crafted from a zinc alloy. Some incomprehensibly ancient craftsmen, we must believe, inlaid a flower bouquet of pure silver on the side of the vessel. The artisan similarly crafted a vine and wreath at the base. Cremo had the rock in question dated by the U.S. Geological Survey to the Pre-Cambrian period, the oldest division of geologic time, challenging all modern dates, theories, and even conceptions having to do with human origins.
These are just some of the reports in the scientific journals, Cremo reports. There are others from other sources...a shoe print found by William Meister at Antelope Spring, Utah, in 1968...in Cambrian rock, over 500 million years old....It exactly matches a modern shoe print. Cremo tells us that similar evidence merely gathers dust somewhere. It (the evidence) is so far beyond what orthodox scientists are prepared to accept, because according to them anatomically modern humans didn't come into existence until 100 or 200 thousand years ago. This is very challenging evidence, he told us, relegated to the archeological dustbin because it does not conform to accepted dogma.
Faced with this grand mystery, the mystery of origins, and then of meaning, you recall a saying from the ancient Upanishads: Lead me from the unreal to the real, from illusion to absolute truth. But human knowledge, the Upanishads notwithstanding, always exists within the context of human understanding. Throughout history, dogma, much of it religious, has shaped the minds of the most serious thinkers. In recent times, religious dogma has waned, giving way to the dogma of scientific materialism, a swing of the philosophical pendulum, if you will. Quite naturally, given that science is a mere human endeavor (not from your realm of absolute knowledge) it has repeatedly faced its own fundamental misconceptions, as proponents of the Ica stones and Acambaro figurines must do, if need be. The world is not flat, it turns out. The atom is not solid, as was once believed.
But you already knew this.
To you, our omniscient traveler, what seems lacking here is mere open-mindedness, the ability to go where evidence leads without preconceptions. But in that human beings often invest a great deal of pride in their preconceptions, this may be easier than it sounds.
Charles Darwin more or less admitted his own bias in letters to a friend. His theory of gradual and inexorably slow evolution, he revealed, could have nothing to do with catastrophism, nothing sudden in earth's evolutionary history, which would hint at biblical notions of human origins. His followers have adhered strictly to scientific materialism ever since, disallowing anything but
purely physically based theories about the origin of life. Challenging scientific materialism's time line, then, the Out-of-Africa doctrine that depicts a purely linear descent from ape-like human to modern man, raises the same sort of hackles among Darwinists as challenging Adam-and-Eve does among religious fundamentalists. Ascribing an extremely ancient date to man's appearance, after all, allows for untold possibilities, even ancient lost civilizations buried far beneath the earth's surface. And the evidence for extremely ancient human origins, if acknowledged, would, in effect, negate the self-assumed mantle of authority claimed by the experts. They would hold no more sway over the minds of men than anybody else.
These anti-Darwinian ideas, Michael Cremo advised us, inevitably lead to a whole different picture of reality, of intelligent design and control in the universe, a spiritual component to reality, and of life on other planets.
But so it goes, you say. You have seen this all before. It's extremely challenging to the human mind, to set aside doctrines and preconceptions, to explore truth on its own terms and then to follow where that truth leads.
Lead us from the unreal to the real, you recall someone saying.
First featured in Issue #11 “Atlantis Rising Magazine” 1996.
Last updated 04/11/2002