When the Smithsonian discovered an ancient Egyptian colony in the Grand Canyon
At 277 miles (445 kilometers) long, up to 18 miles (28 kilometers) wide, and 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) deep, the Grand Canyon is one of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring places in the United States.
The Hopi Indians believe it is the gateway to the afterlife. Its sheer immensity and mystery attracted more than 6 million visitors in 2016.
But what those people probably don’t know is that the Grand Canyon might once have been the home of an entire underground civilization.
But where are they now? And why did they abandon the canyon? Hosts Matt Frederick, Ben Bowlin, and Noel Brown jump straight into the folklore, the legends, and of course, the conspiracies to find out what really happened to the Grand Canyon’s Lost Civilization in this episode of Stuff They Don’t Want You To Know.
It all started in 1909 when purported Smithsonian Institution explorer G.E. Kincaid discovered strange caverns during an expedition directed by Smithsonian anthropologist S.A. Jordan. The entrance to the cavern was nearly inaccessible, but Kincaid was able to get in to make an incredible discovery.
The enormous caves, which radiated out from a center cavern-like spokes on a wheel, were full of artifacts, including statues, copper weapons, even granaries full of seeds. Its size indicated that 50,000 people could live inside comfortably.
But even more amazingly, the artifacts didn’t match up to anything in the known record. Rather than appearing to be of Native American origin, as one might expect, the objects had distinct Egyptian or Tibetan designs. Could there actually have been an entire civilization of Egyptians living there? If so, how did they get there?
The story caused a huge sensation when it broke in the Arizona Gazette in 1909, but was soon met with skepticism: The Smithsonian has no record of either of the scientists, nor their discoveries, and firmly quells any claims that Egyptian artifacts have been found in either North or South America.
And no one has been able to find these supposedly massive caves since. Was this some elaborate hoax, may be perpetrated by the Gazette to sell papers?
That’s certainly a possibility, but it doesn’t fly for many conspiracy theorists. Some argue that the Smithsonian Institution has purposely wiped Kincaid and Jordan from their records and actively destroyed artifacts that don’t agree with the “status quo story” of human history.
Others think the caves hold a passage to the fourth dimension, where the reptilians (yep!) who have secretly run the world for thousands of years emerge into our world. Still, others believe the area is top-secret and closely guarded, like Area 51.
So is this series of caverns proof of a long-lost, possibly Egyptian civilization that’s simply being covered up by the Smithsonian, or is it a passageway into this dimension for our reptilian overlords? One thing is for sure.
400-year-old underground complex found in the Grand Canyon
Courtesy & Full Credit: The National Reporter
A group of hikers who had been exploring a virtually untouched area of the Grand Canyon happened upon an opening in the side of the canyon wall last July. Peter Marlington and his friends had discovered the entrance to an underground complex that has been estimated to be over four hundred years old and built in the late 1500s.
“It was hot as hell out and we were hiking up the side of the cliff to get into a wooded area for the shade.” Peter Marlington explained. “When we reached the shrub line we felt a cool breeze coming from the high weeds that were growing on the side of the cliff. It seemed very odd that a cool breeze would be coming from nowhere like that, so we poked around to see why.
When we pushed our way past the shrubbery we came to the entrance of a large brick-lined tunnel. We could tell right away that it was very old, but we had no idea that it would turn out to be as old as they say it is.”
“We were a little hesitant at first to go inside because we didn’t know what it was. We thought it might be a flood tunnel and we could be drowned in a sudden storm came up. And it was really kind of creepy too. I don’t believe in ghosts, but I’ll tell you when you are staring into an old dark musty smelling tunnel like that, it will give anyone the creeps. After a few minutes of debating whether or not we should go inside, the spirit of exploration overruled our fears, out came our flashlights, and into the tunnel, we went.
It went for quite a distance all on very level ground. We knew that if it was a flood tunnel that it would be slopped upward, we were relieved when we realized that we weren’t going to be flushed out in a sudden deluge. After a few hundred feet the tunnel stopped, it was boarded up.” The National Reporter – Did you turn back?
“Oh, hell no. We broke through. We had to. If we quit just because of some old rotten wood blocking our way and turned around, we would have spent the rest of our lives going crazy wondering what was on the other side of that door.”
The National Reporter – I can understand that. As a staff member of The National Reporter, I would have continued on as well to satisfy my curiosity and to bring yet another award-winning news story to my readers. So, What was on the other side of the wooden barricade? “Another tunnel. It was a lot smaller than the one we were in, it was more like a doorway in the wall. It was pitch black inside and it smelled kind of funny, like something that has been dead for real long time, you know, like dried up and dusty smelling. We made our way inside and soon came to another tunnel that went off to the right and another one about twenty feet ahead that went to the left.
We didn’t go down either of them, we just kept going straight.”
“We continued down the pitch-black tunnel until we came to a huge chamber. Our flashlights were barely bright enough to light the entire area up because of its immense size. Down below the brick floor looked like it had collapsed and there appeared to be some sort of tunnel system that had been exposed. We had no idea what the tunnels were for, but they were definitely big enough for large groups of people to move through.”
The National Reporter Did you go down to see what was inside of them? “We did after a while. The other guys were getting kind of scared, I have to admit it was getting kind of creepy. Graveyard creepy,..you know what I mean?”
The National Reporter – I know exactly what you mean. “I went down by myself, the other guys were too scared. It took a few minutes to get down to the collapsed floor where the tunnels were. It was pretty dangerous because the morter was all crumbled and powdery and the bricks were loose. I figured that was why the floor had collapsed. I entered the tunnel on the far left and walked for about fifty feet, then it stopped at a bricked-up wall. There was a loose brick in it, so I pushed on it and jiggled it around until it fell into the room on the other side.”
The National Reporter – What was inside of the room?
“I don’t know, I couldn’t see. “The hole wasn’t big enough to stick the flashlight in and look in at the same time, so I just put the camera into the hole and snapped a few pictures. I had the weirdest feeling while I was doing it like there was something on the other side of the wall watching me the whole time. I’ll tell you this much, it spooked the hell out of me and I ran out of there with the hair standing up on my neck.”
The National Reporter – What did you do then?
“We left.” He said. “When I told my buddy’s that it felt like something was watching me from the other side of that wall, that was it. We ran out of that place so fast nothing could have stopped us.” The National Reporter – What did you do when you exited the complex, Did you report finding it right away?
“Yeah, pretty much. We went to the park rangers’ office and told them what we found. Naturally, they didn’t know what we were talking about. They checked their map and there were no tunnels or underground facilities in that area. They thought we were making the whole thing up.” The National Reporter – What did you do then?
“We took them out to the tunnel so they could see it for themselves. They didn’t want to go at first because they still thought we were on something. I guess I would have thought the same thing if I was in their position. The whole thing sounds so made up.”
The National Reporter – I can understand that most people would think that you made this story up. It’s a good thing you have photographs to prove it’s all true. Your photographs coupled with the integrity and reputation of The National Reporter as being one of the most reliable news sources in the nation is guaranteed to make believers out of many skeptics.
“I know, that’s why I contacted The National Reporter and not one of those silly tabloids who make up ridiculous stories.” The National Reporter – What did you think when you found out that the underground complex that you and your friends discovered was 400 years old?
“It blew our minds. I mean,..who the hell built it? The Indians sure as hell didn’t have the know-how to build something like that and there were no European settlers that far west at the time and even if there was, they sure as hell didn’t have the equipment to dig out an underground complex of that size and manufacture the millions of bricks it took to build it.”
The National Reporter – The complex was to be opened to the general public after your discovery, but those plans were quickly cancelled when a government agency closed it down suddenly for some unknown reason. Do you have any ideas on why they did that?
“I have my suspicions. Remember when I told you about how I stuck my camera into the hole in the wall and snapped a few photo’s and it felt as though something was watching me?”
The National Reporter – Yes, was there something in the photographs? “Take a look for yourself.” He said, handing it to me. “If this is 400 years old, then something really weird was going on back then that people don’t know about and they sure as hell aren’t going to find out what it was from reading their history books, I’ll tell you that.”
I took the photograph from him and to tell you the truth, I was speechless by what I saw. I could understand what Peter Marlington meant when he said something weird was going on back then. I won’t say anymore, I will just present you, readers, with the image Mr. Marlington captured on film and leave you to ponder on it.
Lasers Reveal 60,000 Ancient Maya Structures in Guatemala
Researchers have identified more than 60,000 previously unknown structures in northern Guatemala after extensive aerial LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) surveys.
Their findings show that the region’s pre-Columbian civilization was “far more complex and interconnected than most Maya specialists had supposed,” according to National Geographic.
Scientists mapped more than 800 square miles of Guatemala’s Maya Biosphere Reserve and uncovered an extensive network of previously-unknown structures, quarries, farmland, and roads.
Based on the data, researchers believe that the region supported an advanced civilization on par with that of ancient Greece or China, rather than a series of isolated city-states.
Tulane University archaeologist Francisco Estrada-Belli says that the surveys reveal that the region was far more densely populated than previously thought: “it’s no longer unreasonable to think that there were 10 to 15 million people there,” even in areas that were thought to be uninhabitable.
Archaeologists will now study the data to refine their understandings of the region’s inhabitants. The surveys found more than just ancient structures: they found evidence of pits from modern-day looters.
LiDAR mapping has proven to be a useful tool for archaeologists in recent years, who have used the technology to penetrate the dense rainforests of South America to reveal human-made structures that have long been hidden.
Aircraft-mounted LiDAR sensors shoot lasers into the ground, which bounce back once they hit an object. While the lasers hit tree leaves and vegetation, they also hit the ground.
Once scientists peel back the forest canopy and underbrush, they’re left with detailed images of the ground.
Last year, author Douglas Preston detailed an expedition to Honduras in his book The Lost City of the Monkey God, where archaeologists used LiDAR to uncover a pair of ancient cities in the middle of an impenetrable rainforest.
The survey comes from The Foundation for Maya Cultural and Natural Heritage (PACUNAM), a Guatemalan nonprofit organization dedicated to historical preservation, archaeological research, environmental conservation, and sustainable economic development.
This project is just the first phase of a three-year project that’s expected to survey 5,000 square miles of the region.
According to Ars Technica, researchers on the project will be submitting their findings to papers soon, but they will be revealing some of their work in an upcoming National Geographic special.
Miners Unearth 50,000-Year-Old Caribou Calf, Wolf Pup From Canadian Permafrost
A mummified wolf pup and caribou believed to have walked Earth over 50,000 years ago were discovered with tissue and fur intact — a remarkable find, Canadian authorities say.
The caribou was found at the site of an 80,000-year-old volcanic ash bed and officials believe it’s among the oldest mummified mammal tissue in the world, according to a release.
It was discovered by gold miners, the wolf pub was remarkably well-preserved remains of a caribou calf and wolf pup that each lived more than 50,000 years ago.
The Ice Age specimens were found in the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Traditional Territory, a First Nation territory in Yukon.
Officials say the ancient caribou dug up from a site containing an 80,000-year-old volcanic ash bed now stands as one of the oldest examples of mummified mammal tissue in the world.
After miners first discovered the mummified animals in the Klondike region, researchers with the Yukon Paleontology Program recovered and conducted analyses of the remains.
With each still containing hair, skin, and muscle tissue, the experts say the discoveries are extremely rare.
The 50,000-year-old caribou and wolf pup could help to ‘shed light on Yukon’s fascinating Ice Age history and will help us understand how these long-gone creatures lived in the environment they inhabited,’ said Premier Sandy Silver.
Both of the mummies were discovered back in 2016.
The caribou calf was found on Tony Beets’ placer gold mine on Paradise Hill June 3 of that year. Beets are best known from Discovery’s show, Gold Rush.
The mummified wolf pup was found the following month.
While the caribou carcass is missing some parts of its body, with only the front half still intact, the wolf pup was found to be complete, with its head, tail, paws, skin, and hair.
‘We found the caribou and our neighbours, the Favron’s found the wolf pup,’ Beets wrote on Facebook.
‘Such amazing things to be found here under the midnight sun.’
The two Ice Age specimens were unveiled at the Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre last week.
And, they hold special significance to the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, upon whose land they were discovered.
‘For Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, wolf and caribou are very important and interconnected,’ said Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Chief Roberta Joseph.
‘The caribou has fed and clothed our people for thousands of years. The wolf maintains balance within the natural world, keeping the caribou healthy.’
Both mummified animals will be on display for the rest of the month, before being incorporated into an exhibit at the Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre in Whitehorse.
‘These specimens will help scientists learn more about the ancient mammal species that roamed Beringia, increasing our knowledge and ability to share the stories of this lost, ancient land,’ said Minister of Tourism and Culture Jeanie Dendys.
19th-century wagon discovered at Detroit Lake when it was at its lowest level in 46 years
The unprecedented drought on the west coast of the United States that has lasted for over four years now has had a major impact on everything from water supplies to agriculture to fisheries.
But in one town in Oregon, the resulting historic low water levels have dredged up history: the remains of a town that was abandoned and sunk beneath a reservoir more than 60 years ago.
Back in 1953, the 200 residents of the tiny town of Old Detroit deserted their homes after Congress approved a nearby dam, which, when finished, would flood the area to create the reservoir now known as the Detroit Lake.
Ever since, when the lake’s water level fell, remnants of the town would sometimes rise out of the water. With the lake’s water level at a record low this year, when a local sheriff’s deputy drove past the lake in late October to take a look, he discovered the perfectly preserved remains of a 19th-century wagon, half-sunk in the mud.
“I went on a treasure hunt down along the river, figuring I’d find foundations or something like that,” Marion County Sheriff’s Deputy Dave Zahn tells Christena Brooks for the Statesman Journal. “Then I saw a piece of old history right there.”
The lack of snowfall last winter caused Detroit Lake’s water levels to drop to the lowest they’ve been in almost 50 years, approximately 143 feet below capacity.
When Zahn decided to poke around in the newly dry lake bed, he discovered the utility wagon alongside an octagonal pit lined with cement that experts still haven’t identified, Brooks reports.
“As far as I know, the wagon’s never been seen until this year,” U.S. Forest Service archaeologist Cara Kelly tells Brooks. “This might not have been its original resting place…It could’ve come from anywhere in the town of Detroit or even up the drainage.”
While Zahn first spotted the wagon on October 29, he and Kelly decided to keep its location a secret, so as not to attract potential looters and vandals.
According to a metal plate attached to the wagon as seen in some of Zahn’s photographs, the wagon was made in 1875 by the Milburn Wagon Company of Toledo, Ohio, which was one of the country’s largest manufacturers of wagons at the time.
As Brooks reports, the lake bottom’s low oxygen levels almost perfectly preserved the wagon – ironically, its brief stint on land probably damaged it more than all the decades it spent underwater.
Old Detroit isn’t the only town briefly revealed by a historic drought: that same month, a drought in the Mexican state of Chiapas uncovered the ruins of a 450-year-old church.
The “Temple of Quechula,” as it is known, was originally built by Dominican monks near a conquistador highway, but was abandoned in the 18th century after a series of plagues struck the region.
This year, lake levels dropped so low that locals were able to take tourists out to see the ruins.
Even though Oregon’s drought may have uncovered a reminder of Detroit’s history, this year’s dry weather had such a bad effect on the town that Zahn hopes his once-in-a-lifetime experience stays that way.
“Hopefully it will be another 40 years before Detroit’s this low again,” Zahn tells Brooks.
Long lost palace and death site of Moctezuma II discovered in Mexico
The remains of an Aztec palace where emperor Moctezuma II was held captive by the Spanish and killed in 1520 has been discovered in Mexico City.
Historical records say that the Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes took Moctezuma II (also known as Moctezuma Xocoyotzin, sometimes also spelled Montezuma) hostage and held him in the palace in an attempt to force the emperor to control the Aztec population.
The people quickly rebelled and laid siege to the Spaniards in the palace. The Spanish tried to quell the rebellion by having Moctezuma II address the rebels from a palace balcony, but the rebels refused to stop their siege and the emperor was killed in the crossfire.
The Spanish conquistadors eventually destroyed the rebel forces along with the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan (where modern-day Mexico City is located).
The surviving Aztec people were forced to build a new city over the ruins of Tenochtitlan.
A house for Cortes, which was also discovered by archaeologists during the excavation, was built over the remains of the palace.
They found the palace remains — which include basalt slab floors that may have been part of a plaza — beneath an 18th-century pawn shop. The archaeologists also found that sculptures from the palace were reused like blocks to build Hernan Cortes’ house.
One sculpture depicts “a feathered serpent” that appears to show Quetzalcóatl, a god that had been widely worshipped across Mesoamerica for millennia prior to the Spanish conquest, archaeologists from Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History said in a statement.
Another sculpture that depicts “a headdress of feathers” also appears to be from the palace and was also reused to build Cortes house, the archaeologists found.
The discovery of the palace and Cortes’ house “revives the memory of those historical events, five centuries later” the archaeologists said in the statement.
They made the discoveries during excavation work conducted beneath the National Monte de Piedad, a pawnshop founded in 1775 that aimed to make it easier for the poor to borrow money.
The excavation work was carried out prior to renovation work being done on the building. Today, the Nacional Monte de Piedad is a nonprofit foundation that performs a wide range of charitable work throughout Mexico.
Cahokia: The largest and most complex ancient archaeological site you probably didn’t hear of
I’m standing at the center of what was once the greatest civilization between the deserts of Mexico and the North American Arctic—America’s first city and arguably American Indians’ finest achievement—and I just can’t get past the four-lane gash that cuts through this historic site.
Instead of imagining the thousands of people who once teemed on the grand plaza here, I keep returning to the fact that Cahokia Mounds in Illinois is one of only eight cultural World Heritage sites in the United States, and it’s got a billboard for Joe’s Carpet King smack in the middle of it.
But I suppose Cahokia is lucky. Less than ten miles to the west, the ancient Indian mounds that gave St. Louis the nickname Mound City in the 1800s were almost completely leveled by the turn of the century.
Today only one survives, along with some photographs and a little dogleg road named Mound Street.
The relentless development of the 20th century took its own toll on Cahokia: Horseradish farmers razed its second-biggest mound for fill-in 1931, and the site has variously been home to a gambling hall, a housing subdivision, an airfield, and (adding insult to injury) a pornographic drive-in.
But most of its central features survived, and nearly all of those survivors are now protected.
Cahokia Mounds may not be aesthetically pristine, but at 4,000 acres (2,200 of which are preserved as a state historic site), it is the largest archaeological site in the United States, and it has changed our picture of what Indian life was like on this continent before Europeans arrived.
Cahokia was the apogee, and perhaps the origin, of what anthropologists call Mississippian culture—a collection of agricultural communities that reached across the American Midwest and Southeast starting before A.D. 1000 and peaking around the 13th century.
The idea that American Indians could have built something resembling a city was so foreign to European settlers, that when they encountered the mounds of Cahokia—the largest of which is a ten-story earthen colossus composed of more than 22 million cubic feet of soil—they commonly thought they must have been the work of a foreign civilization: Phoenicians or Vikings or perhaps a lost tribe of Israel.
Even now, the idea of an Indian city runs so contrary to American notions of Indian life that we can’t seem to absorb it, and perhaps it’s this cognitive dissonance that has led us to collectively ignore Cahokia’s very existence. Have you ever heard of Cahokia? In casual conversation, I’ve found almost no one outside the St. Louis area who has.
Researchers believe that Cahokia was home to around fifteen thousand people although they estimate that the regional population was home to around forty-thousand people; researchers even believe that Cahokia could have been the world’s biggest metropolis of its time.
The center of the ancient city was the Monk’s mound, the home of the city’s ruling priest was located at the top of the mound in a temple that was made of wood.
The social structure of ancient Cahokia was very similar to the rule of ancient Mayan society and/or the ancient Egyptian culture; a graded aristocracy and a proletariat of slaves.
The decline of Cahokia was very sudden, by 1300 the city was abandoned and the society declined completely; like many ancient cultures such as the Maya in the Yucatan region, archaeologists believe that the prevailing factors that contributed to the fall of Cahokia were overexploitation of their natural resources, the construction of the great mound, droughts and overpopulation.
Very similar to the factors that caused the demise of the great Maya civilization.
Massive 1,100 Year Old Maya Site Discovered In Georgia’s Mountains?
The Mayans built astonishing temples in Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras – but now some believe the ancient peoples fled their dissolving civilization and ended up in Georgia.
Historian and architect Richard Thornton believes a 1,100-year-old archaeological site shows that Mayan refugees fled Central America and ended up in the North Georgian mountains near Blairsville.
His astonishing theory is based on the discovery of 300 to 500 rock terraces and mounds on the side of Brasstown Bald mountain that date to 900AD – around the time the Mayans began to die out.
Mr. Thornton’s blockbuster theory revolves around the area near Brasstown Bald potentially being the ‘fabled city of Yupaha, which Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto failed to find in 1540’.
He described it as ‘certainly one of the most important archaeological discoveries in recent times’.
The Mayans died out around 900AD for reasons still debated by scholars – although drought, overpopulation, and war are the most popular theories, reported the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The remains were first found by retired engineer Carey Waldrip when he went walking in the area in the 1990s. Archaeologist Johannes Loubser excavated part of the site and wrote a report about it in 2010, but does not believe the rock terraces are Mayan.
‘I think that (Mr. Thornton) selectively presents the evidence,’ Mr. Loubser told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. ‘But he’s a better marketer than I and other archaeologists are.’
Mr. Loubser, who excavated a rock wall and small mound, added that claims like this must be backed up with ‘hard evidence’ because of the various conflicting opinions in the archaeological world.’
Mr. Loubser believes the structures could have been built by the Cherokee Indians or an earlier tribe between 800AD and 1100AD.
He stopped digging because he realized the site could be a grave. Still, Mr. Thornton claims early maps of the location named two villages ‘Itsate’, which was how Itza Mayans described themselves.
The terrace structures and date helped him reach his conclusion. It was commonplace for the Itza Maya to sculpt a hill into a pentagonal mound,’ he argues. ‘There are dozens of such structures in Central America.’
But not everyone is impressed by Mr. Thornton’s theory. He cited the University of Georgia archaeology professor Mark Williams in an article on Examiner.com.
‘I am the archaeologist Mark Williams mentioned in this article,’ Professor Williams said on Facebook. ‘This is total and complete bunk. There is no evidence of Maya in Georgia. Move along now.’
‘The sites are certainly those of Native Americans of prehistoric Georgia,’ Professor Williams told ABC News. ‘Wild theories are not new, but the web simply spreads them faster than ever.’
Mr. Thornton wasn’t bothered by the ensuing debate, in fact, that’s exactly what he wanted.
‘I’m not an archaeologist. I’m a big picture man,’ said Mr. Thorton to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
‘We’re hoping this article stirs up some interest. I was just trying to get the archaeologists to work some more on the site and they come back snapping like mad dogs.’
He works with a company called History Revealed Media that helps create three-dimensional maps of excavated sites and said that when he compared his map of the Georgia site, it reminded him of other Mayan works.
‘It’s identical to sites in Belize,’ he argued.
The Mayans have been under intense scrutiny over the past few years as rumors abound about their mysterious 5,132-year calendar allegedly predicting the apocalypse on December 21, 2019.
But various experts have spoken out against Doomsday, including Mexico’s ‘Grand Warlock’ Antonio Vazquez, to say that the Mayan calendar instead will just reset and a new time-span will begin.