Science Fiction or Uncovered Truth: The Enigmatic Origins of Crystal Skulls

The crystal skull. Collection of the British Museum in London. Image courtesy of Rafał Chałgasiewicz

The crystal skull. Collection of the British Museum in London. Image courtesy of Rafał Chałgasiewicz

Another entry in AntiquityNOW’s new Science Fiction section is a story that has bedeviled skeptics and believers alike.  The origins and purpose of the crystal skulls have been debated for years, but Eric Vassalo, who submitted portions from his blog post on the subject to AntiquityNOW,  is a cynic regarding traditional inquiry.  He wanted to analyze for himself what these crystal skulls were all about.  As part of a group exploring sites containing these artifacts in Mexico, he mused:

Like a group of mutant X-men we all shared our fascinating and surreal stories of how we came to be in this place doing what so few dare to do, challenge our spoon-fed history and attempt to get at the truth.

Vassolo’s discordance is understandable given our very human nature.  Indeed, the response to the existence of the crystal skulls is like many reactions to unexplained phenomena from the distant past—we place great significance on the ancient ingenuity, particularly if beyond the understood faculties of the day, and we look for connections to explain a pattern, an origin or a common motif.  We humans seek meaning in puzzles, seek a logic that deciphers the unknown.

Vassalo’s quest for answers has this same determination:

We wanted to know the real story behind these crystal skulls, behind these highly advanced ancient people and answer the burning question of what the ancients meant when they described Teotihuacan in ancient codices as a place “where men became gods.”

So join Vassalo on his journey investigating the mysterious antecedents of the crystal skulls.  Whether scientist, archaeologist, skeptic or believer, you’ll find much to spark the imagination.

Vassalo is a blogger on cultural issues. He graduated from the University of Miami where he studied anthropology and archaeology.


*The following are excerpts from Vasallo’s article. Click here to read the article in its entirety on his website.

Reconstruction of Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztecs - the centre of modern Mexico City. (National Museum of Anthropology of Mexico City)

Reconstruction of Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztecs – the centre of modern Mexico City. (National Museum of Anthropology of Mexico City)

Mexico City’s sky is covered with a cashmere blanket of brown and gray smog, peepholes of blue sky peeking through the mist. My trip begins with my heart beating fast from the smog, elevation and excitement to start researching for my next archaeology based book series.

I grab my bags and roll into a cab to traverse the traffic in the world’s top ten most populous city. The same city that was home to one of the largest and highest civilizations of the ancient world, Tenochtitlan, until Spanish Catholics came and flattened it, all in the name of their God, oh and for gold, lots of it. The only structures left of this Venice of the New World are underneath the Plaza Mayor where a huge church was plopped right on top the main pyramids inside the Aztecs ancient center. (Catholics did this everywhere they conquered the indigenous religions).

I came to this un-environmentally friendly city of smog and dust to discover and look with new eyes, seeking evidence in the ancient sites with the Oracle Stone Productions tour group.

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Back to Mexico City; I met in our hotel lobby with the tour group. We were a motley crew of serious researchers and believers of alternate histories that had come from all points in the globe -America, Switzerland and South Africa. These individuals were all open to the possibility Atlantis may have once existed and that Atlantean refugees settled here after their wondrous, advanced culture was swallowed up by the sea, and reborn in different points all over the globe; Peru, Mexico, Egypt and Japan, to name a few.

I soon learned why this group of passionately curious believers got so curious. Like a group of mutant X-men we all shared our fascinating and surreal stories of how we came to be in this place doing what so few dare to do, challenge our spoon-fed history and attempt to get at the truth. Our life experiences shape who we are and what motivates us and this group had clearly seen too much of the other side to go back to a life of wearing blinders, selectively ignoring the unexplained dark corners of “reality” as we know it. No one would pass quick judgment or question anyone’s sanity here. We were amongst like-minded individuals. We were here to share theories and study artifacts to possibly find some answers to the questions that our “history” left out.

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This group led by Ken Morgan met with Diego Rosales, a friend and fellow muralist that worked alongside Diego Rivera (Frida Kahlo’s husband). We were invited to Diego’s home to discuss his theories and decades long research of the possibility that the Aztecs were seeded and/or inspired by Atlantean refugees and that they probably used these crystal skulls that have been found in ancient sites all over the world much as we use smart phones, to connect them to other worlds and/or dimensions.

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Max, one of the crystal skulls believed to be ancient and authentic.

Max, one of the crystal skulls believed to be ancient and authentic.

…in my search for the truth, I had the good fortune to sit with Max about a year before this trip. Max is one of the known, authentic crystal skulls made of pure quartz. Reportedly, it was found inside an ancient Mayan tomb underneath a temple in Guatemala. I met with his charming keeper; Jo Ann Parks and she told me that priests used him for rituals and healings. She had received the precious skull from a Tibetan Lama named Norbu, whom she knew after he opened a healing center in Texas. He passed it to her just before his death.

According to Jo Ann, Max and Sha-Na-Ra were analyzed by the Smithsonian with electron microscopes and could not date either skull because of the way they were constructed. Sha-Na-Ra from one solid piece and Max made up of 5 different pieces which makes it virtually impossible to carve without shattering. Out of the 8 crystal skulls that have been researched properly only 2 in the world were unable to be dated. Those are Max and Sha-Na-Ra. A new form of dating is currently being completed at Puma Punku using a new technology called Cosmogenic dating to date when the stone was actually machined. The funding for this re-dating of Puma Punku stone was raised through an online crowd-funding, Indiegogo campaign (power of the people). New technologies may soon help us discover the true dates of these ruins that are as enigmatic as the crystal skull phenomena.

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CrystalMaizeGodDiegoRosalesBack to Diego Rosales’ home in Mexico City, which looked like a mystical cave straight out of Lord of the Rings with honorable and sweet Diego as its keeper. The home was surrounded by greenery and literally built out of a rocky outcrop. It was filled with ancient artifacts given to him over the years by locals aware of his fascination with the ancients and his quest to research Atlantis.

He had many crystal skulls and other artifacts on display. An unusual one made of a green stone was found by a road work worker in Tula, underneath a ceramic slab and given to him since the worker was a bit freaked out by the object. He also had a pure quartz crystal corncob with a maize god’s face carved onto it (image at left). Representatives from INAH’s Museo Nacional de Antropologia of Mexico City have come to catalog and note these artifacts but have allowed him to keep them inside his home until his death.

The large crystal skulls, crystal corn cob and monkey figurine inside Diego’s home were looted by locals underneath a mountaintop temple near Taxco in the Valle de los Reyes which in English is translated as the Valley of the Kings (sound familiar?). These unverified artifacts were all found buried with a skeleton of a very important ancient shaman or leader. It must have been part of his treasure or what was most important to him as is with most burials. Locals looted the hidden burial chamber and it’s artifacts given to Diego years later. Assuredly any gold artifacts were sold off illegally. There isn’t any demand in the black market for these skulls, which many locals believe to be enchanted or bad luck. No archaeologists have excavated or documented the location of the temple and Diego has formally requested for the government to build a road in order to make it an official site for tourists to visit.

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CrystalSkullMiniMuseoDeAnthropologiaWhen Ken and I, as translator, asked to visit with an archaeologist at the National Museo de Antropologia I thought to myself, knowing well Mexico’s infamous bureaucratic hurdles, “we’ll never get to see this man,” After about 30 minutes of polite urging and many excuses given, we were able to meet with one of the museum’s staff archaeologists. I was dumbfounded. The gentleman was open and receptive. Ken and I were after all, archaeologists and colleagues. As Ken began to ask the man about the crystal skulls, I clenched my teeth in fear he would call security to kick us out for being crackpots. Again, as if by magic, he didn’t. He openly discussed awareness of them and was aware of Diego’s collection and of others found throughout the country but explained that the museum is overwhelmed with so many thousands of sites not even secured, their resources and budgetary constraints can’t keep up with all the material there is to study. Crystal skulls are sadly at the bottom of their list. He explained that the museum only has one small one about 2 inches tall on display in one of its galleries at the museum (image above right).

KUKULKAN SKULLKen proceeded to show him a very unusual skull with a snake wrapped atop it’s subject, reminiscent of an Egyptian cobra uraeus worn by their Pharaohs (image to the left). It seemed to have been carved out of a brown jade type of material. Ken explained that he was present when local men brought it out of an underground chamber found in Yucatan jungle near Cancun. There was also a hoard of colonial era, Spanish gold coins. It was likely a cache of Spanish treasure from a conquistador or of a Mayan leader that had stolen or traded the gold during his lifetime and stashed it there for safekeeping. Ken asked if the museum would be interested in acquiring the strange skull for study and he declined saying there was no budget for that. Although he was open to discuss the crystal skulls and confirm their existence in the ancient record, for whatever reason he seemed to have a “hands-off” approach to seeking them out for the museum’s collection.

He was however, nice enough to connect us with the archaeologist heading up current excavations under the Pyramid of the Feathered Serpent in Teotihuacan. Recent exciting discoveries using a remote-controlled rover device have confirmed three large chambers underneath the Pyramid that date to one of the earliest layers of the city’s first inhabitants. One chamber has a fascinating collection of over 100 pyrite orbs scattered on its floor and its walls were covered with a powder made of magnetite, pyrite and hematite. Archaeologists don’t have a clue as to what the minerals were used for.

Science tells us that pyrite is a semiconductor of electricity. Christopher Dunn’s observations of the Great Pyramid at Giza and it’s salt coated chamber walls explain how the whole structure was not a tomb but used as a power plant to harness microwave energy. Is it possible that the ancients knew how to harness earth energy and create electricity? If Tesla was able to discover wireless electricity then yes, it is certainly possible these crafty ancients did as well. The Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacan has been found to contain thick slabs of Mica; in its upper layers. Today, most of the slabs have been removed from looting decades ago. Mica is naturally found about 2000 kilometers away in Brazil. Like the monolithic, blue stones from Stonehenge and red granite blocks from Aswan, used inside the great pyramid, all were imported from great distances at a great expense and human labor. There must have been a very important reason aside from decorative or spiritual to use these materials. They could have just painted images or used plentiful local stones for their structures. Mica is also related to electricity in that it is used in wiring today as an insulator. Obviously, more studies are needed to investigate the possibility that the ancients knew how to harness and use electricity. It will take a pioneering archaeologist that doesn’t fear ridicule to take a stand and lead a study on this.

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Cuicuilco Pyramid

Cuicuilco Pyramid

Next stop on our quest was to visit what Diego Rosales believed to be the first point of settlement by Atlantean refugees fleeing their flooded world. Diego believed they came from the west somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean and settled in Cuicuilco and consequently built Mexico’s only round pyramid built with four concentric bands or levels. The ancients referred to Cuicuilco as the “place of prayer” or “place of the rainbow”.

Diego walked with us to show the site and discuss ongoing excavations. He also showed us evidence that proves that the site was built upon a structure built thousands of years earlier than what is currently recorded. According to strata where the evidence or artifact was found you can definitively see that this outer structure was built upon another built much earlier. This marker was accidentally found by a rock vendor digging to collect volcanic rocks to sell at a local market. Stay tuned for my next book to find out more on what that evidence is. Diego’s friend who is a local architect and surveyor and on the board of Cuicuilco’s preservation society, used GPS to verify the stone marker was set in its location and is marking true north. The artifact is still standing where it was planted over 20 feet below the level of the base of the existing pyramid, and not yet fully excavated. The official at the site explained it was discovered over 8 years ago and because of budgetary constraints, no further excavations have been made to locate what should be 3 other markers for the remaining cardinal points.

Aerial shot of the Cuicuilco Pyramid.

Aerial shot of the Cuicuilco Pyramid.

Diego theorizes that after Cuicuilco was covered by lava by a volcanic explosion, these early peoples migrated across the lake and constructed Teotihuacan. They venerated the same god; the eldest creator god named Huehueteotl. A representation of this god was recently discovered atop the pyramid at Teotihuacan and at Cuicuilco about 5 years ago. Excavations at Cuicuilco have proven there are successive layers beneath. The current excavation is digging down into the center of the structure.

Diego recounted that in 1922 an American archaeologist, Byron Cummings came to excavate and study the unusual structured and reportedly retrieved ancient tablets found there with engravings similar to the white volcanic stone marker found decades later beneath current ground level.

According to Cummings this pyramid is not dated correctly. A specialist in stratigraphic layer dating would help pinpoint this date to a more accurate number. It has a potential of being the oldest pyramid in the world. Graham Hancock and Charles Hapgood have worked on this but failed to convince the scientific establishment of Cuicuilco’s true age.

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facebook_-1488736540Are these crystal skulls imbued with spirits of men and women? Are they cell phones into other dimensions? Are they just supercomputers from another time or place unknown to us? Hey, my MacBook Pro performs hundreds of functions but without an AC adaptor, is nothing but a pretty cool paperweight. Is there a missing part or initiated high priest to make these things work to full capacity? If so, what is it and where do we get the manual to get trained?

One recent accidental discovery can give us a clue. Washington State researchers recently found that exposing a crystal of strontium titanate to light increased its electrical conductivity by 400 percent and lasted for days after exposure to the light. Quartz is a silicate material and a carrier of frequency be it electrical or sound. Computer chips are primarily made of Quartz and hard drives are partially made of this material.

All these are intriguing dots to connect to get closer to answering what these crystal skulls really are. Another recent discovery confirmed that cubes of quartz could be used to store and safe-keep exponentially larger amounts of data for a staggering 300 million years. Now, if i wanted to preserve important data for a long time I would put it somewhere that, A. would be safe and B. would last a long time.

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At the end of our tour, one of our group members asked Mr. Diego Rosales, “I know you have strong ideas of where we came from but where do you think we are going as a human race?”

Diego Rosales answered with the wisdom of decades of investigating and pondering humanity’s origins – “Only where we deserve to go.”

A poem written by a fifteenth century poet king from Texcoco, reminds us our fragile mortality in order to keep our bloated human egos in check.

Even jade will shatter,

Even gold will crush,

Even quetzal plumes will tear.

One does not live forever on this earth:

Only for an instant do we endure.

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