What Happens When You Keep Digging?
BY DAVID S. LEWIS
In his political novel 1984, George Orwell wrote, “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”
The more egregious examples of such power plays were evident in the old USSR, where rival leaders conveniently accused of ideological impurities were exiled or liquidated, then airbrushed from history. School children never learned of their existence, as the new bosses took over, molded minds, and exerted control.
Think of the effect of such tactics, dictating how people must think about the past so that they haven’t a clue about events that shaped the present—the program-ming of a generation. That strategy, hardly unique to Kremlin hardliners, remains common to fields of human endeavor where power politics are involved. The rewriting of history.
Power, as Orwell warned, has everything to do with controlling the historical narrative, as people and institutions secure and maintain control (and money) by telling us how to think about, or deny, the foundations of the present—history.
Consider then pre history, a subject that, while not at the forefront of our minds on a daily basis, has everything to do with how we perceive ourselves in the present. The issue we are about to explore is that control of prehistory, too, appears coveted by powers that be, not the real life events of prehistory, of course, which exist unto themselves as the truth we seek to know, but the way we are told to think about prehistory.
We can start close to home, in our own backyard, with Anzick Boy, the 12,000 year old toddler accidentally unearthed near Wilsall, Mont., in 1968. In the archaeological community, Anzick Boy’s skeletal remains and associated arti-facts are relics from the distant past that bolster the archaeological doctrine called Clovis First, the meaning of which is that the first humans in America were of the Clovis Culture (discovered at Clovis, New Mexico), to which Anzick Boy undoubtedly belonged, and, as the first “Americans,” their descendants remained isolated until the time of Columbus.
Clovis First is a logical belief. Human beings evolved Out of Africa 60,000 years ago (we are told), having evolved there as humans about 200,000 years ago, then proceeded up through Asia and over the climate induced land bridge to North America 15,000 years ago. We even had a recent genetic study (see Montana Pioneer April 2014) purported to link Anzick Boy’s genome to that of all Native Americans (though the genetics of many tribes have not been adequately researched—a major inconsistency). Out of Africa (and on to America) is enshrined as the truth of prehistory regarding humans, and not to be messed with, in that it is presented to us as a cog in a much greater wheel—the timeline of human evolution, something that is especially not to be messed with.
Clovis First also falls into this timeline, perhaps not as indispen-sably as Out of Africa, but it does amount to a connecting of dots, geographic and chronologic, in that human beings, we are told, started at point A (Africa) and made their way to point C (America). A great deal rides upon this scenario, not the least of which is dependence upon it in the form of grants, careers, tenure, and departments deriving sustenance in exchange for consensus, an aspect of scientific orthodoxy, along with predispositions of human nature, that may be instructive regarding some of its conclusions.
Contrarian evidence, then, is not always greeted with the elation and curiosity one might expect with a fascinating new discovery—the likes of which would add pieces to the mysterious jigsaw puzzle that is the distant past on planet Earth or confound an existing puzzle firmly set. Such evidence must fit the accepted model, even if unnaturally altered and forced into place, we have learned, or those presenting it must suffer the professional consequences along with their findings.
Contrarian evidence though regarding prehistory abounds. For starters, there is a site of human habitation at Hueyetlaco, Mexico, where Clovis like artifacts (though more primitive), spear points, evidence of hunting, and a rock plate engraved with prehistoric animals (a work of art) turned up in the 1960s. The site was of great interest to the archaeological community then, a tremendous find, until the U.S. Geological Survey dated the site. Using four different geological dating methods, USGS dated the site to 250,000 years ago. For those who do not comprehend the signifi-cance and “outrageousness” of that dating, it contradicts not only the orthodox timeline for human habitation in North America, but the timeline of human evolution. It doesn’t fit into the puzzle, as conceived, and so had to be rejected. Which it was.
In The First American, a detailed critique of how the archaeological establishment politically scuttled Hueyetlaco and the related Valsequillo site, and others, Christopher Hardraker painstakingly demonstrates that process through a historical chronology and by presenting revealing communiqués between the archaeologists involved, their peers, and higher ups—how the site went from big news greeted with excitement to an institutional pariah after the dating came out. Such dates simply had to be wrong (even though corroborated by four different methods). That they were treated as unacceptable, and the site simply ignored, represents a case in point regarding the manner in which the evidence of prehistory can be subservient to orthodox theory, rather than theory being subservient to evidence as required by the scientific method (in this case, a theory relevant to every human being in that it deals with our mysterious origins).
Hueyetlaco, more over, hardly stands on its own as some sort of exception. Fascinated with Hardraker’s account, and looking further into the issue, we found that Hueyetlaco, rather than being an exception, seems more like the rule, as born out by numerous instances of similar suppression.
America’s Stone Age Explorers, an episode of PBS’s NOVA series, depicts Hueyetlaco-style dynamics regarding the Clovis First doctrine at other North American sites. Having meticulously excavated a site of human habitation at Meadowcroft, Pennsylvania, Jim Adovasio, of Mercyhurst College, dug deeper and deeper, beyond Clovis levels, finding evidence of human beings having lived earlier than the 13,500 year Clovis horizon (when humans were not supposed to have existed in North America at all according to Clovis First). Adovasio was immediately attacked, NOVA explains, and the archaeological establishment “invented all kinds of reasons why the dates could not be right,” Adovasio said. “I’ve been accused of planting artifacts [as were archaeologists at Hueyetlaco], and people will reject radio carbon dates just because there’s not supposed to be any people there at those times—and it just goes on, and on, and on.”
Others, too, reporting pre-Clovis artifacts were attacked, according to NOVA.
“The best way in the world to get beaten up professionally,” Michael Collins of the University of Texas, told NOVA, “is to claim you have a pre-Clovis site.”
It’s not then that evidence contradicting Clovis First does not exist, or that qualified archaeologists have not rigorously provided it, it’s that such evidence is disallowed and reclassified by the archaeological establishment so as to conform to the dominant theory. In other words, politics can drive science as much as science can drive science, and truth can lose out, with important revelations regarding our distant past effectively censored.
“When you dig deeper than Clovis,” the Smithsonian’s Dennis Stanford told NOVA, “a lot of people do not report it, because they’re worried about the reaction.”
What then, one might reasonably ask, lies beneath Clovis, and to what degree has this knowledge filter obscured prehistory and conditioned beliefs about human origins?
Pushing the envelope further, digging deeper, various researchers not beholding to the establishment have weighed in on that score. One of the more heretical, probably the most heretical, for dealing with evidence of human cultures in extreme antiquity, is Michael Cremo, who, with Richard Thompson, compiled a 900 page tome called Forbidden Archaeology (also published in a condensed version as The Hidden History of the Human Race). Cremo (with whom we conducted an interview for an earlier article) deals extensively with anomalous evidence, a euphemism for the large quantity of data he found on record that contradicts conventional doctrines about the time period during which human beings are said to have been in North America and on earth.
Cremo presents suppressed or ignored evidence and accounts (many like the above) not only of incised bones and stone weapons that indicate primitive humans have been around far longer than standard theories allow, but nineteenth century records from publications like Scientific American and others that repeatedly provided evidence of advanced human cultures having been on earth in the long distant past—often at times so far back in prehistory that they utterly contradict the timeline of human evolution, presenting an entirely different paradigm, which of course presents a serious problem (even skeletons and a metal vase found in solid rock dating back hundreds of millions of years, though other artifacts of a far more recent but nonetheless problematic antiquity abound as well).
In 1871, for example, as a result of well boring in Illinois, William E. Dubois of the Smithsonian Institu-tion reported on a man made copper “quasi coin object” having been found at a depth of 125 feet. The Illinois State Geological Survey later dated the strata at which the coin was claimed to have been found to between 200,000 and 400,000 years ago. Dubois said the coin was “polygonal approaching circular” and that it crudely depicted figures and inscriptions on both sides in a language Dubois could not recognize. Other man-made copper objects requiring fabrication were found in a nearby county at a depth of 120 feet. Numerous other artifacts turned up at lesser depths still unacceptable according to standard theories, including a spear-shaped hatchet made of iron at 40 feet, and pottery at 50 feet.
Such depths render dates in antiquity so extremely distant that they must be rejected (or the theory of evolution reconsidered) or the methodology in these outlying cases must be faulted, perhaps reasonably so in certain cases, except that Cremo’s research, usually culled from nineteenth century records (some from established scientific publications, some not) delivers accounts of so many of these types of finds that, to the intellectually honest observer, incredulity gives way to open mindedness and due consideration.
In Nampa, Idaho, 1889, an artistic clay human figurine, female in design, again from a well boring, was drawn up from 300 feet, at least that is the claim. Encrustations of iron upon the surface of the figurine “indicated a relic of considerable antiquity,” according to a Professor F.W. Putnam, who reportedly observed that the patches of anhydrous red oxide in protected places upon the figurine could not have formed upon a fraudulent object.
Such anomalies though can be designated as just that, and there are those of course who dispute the validity, and the possibility, of objects such as the Nampa figurine, even though it was subjected to a degree of serious examination, as the artifacts Cremo presents seem to have been. Cremo himself, what’s more, places these type of finds in a less than ideal scientific category, in that the objects were reported to have been found, and are mostly (but not always) not now physically available, though the details of these finds and attempts to weigh their significance were often robust and documented. The problem, however, for the status quo mind set, is that Cremo reveals case after case of these artifacts of extreme antiquity having been documented, examined, and effectively censored—cases that, if given credence, would demolish accepted timelines about human beings on earth, or perhaps the manner in which artifacts are dated relating to stratigraphy and then tenets such as uniformitarianism, and gradualism. And no, though doctrinal, these are not Protestant religious sects, but dogmas that insist on extremely slow and uninterrup-ted processes of geologic and biological development on the planet. Either way, the result is ideologic-ally problematic, and heresy.
Given the available editorial space here, it is impossible to convey the gravity and scope of Forbidden Archaeology’s 900 pages. We recog-nize, as well, that presenting a few cursory examples from the book puts the entire volume in a category, to some, of being unworthy of serious consideration. Taken as an entire work though, the significance is hard to avoid (or face, for those with an entrenched interest in standard views regarding human origins). The quantity (and specificity) of the cases Cremo presents have, as Stalin reportedly said, a quality all their own, as do the documented circumstances of the discoveries.
As a proponent of Vedic philosophy, some dismiss Cremo on that basis, as one interested in supporting timelines of ancient Hindu texts, rather than science. Yet might not the same motives be ascribed to Cremo’s critics, those religiously adhering to orthodoxy, and might not those Vedic timelines be correct?
In the end, Forbidden Archae-ology is a scholarly work, albeit an unusual one, the data of which speaks for itself and ought to be judged on it merits—a report on archaeological data, in situ and not, that does not conform to orthodoxy and that was therefore discarded.
Cremo’s critics, often, seem unable to address his work objectively (it is actually the work of others, in that Cremo is merely a compiler of reports) and instead resort to name calling. One wonders, more over, how many bothered to read his book, in that it is not an exaggeration to call the material forbidden and volu-minous. And while counter arguments must be weighed, and Cremo’s presentation rigorously tested (a requirement often not placed upon orthodoxy), one finds it suspect, and hard to accept, that all of Cremo’s evidence supporting an extremely ancient humanity should be dismissed.
In a similarly heretical vein as Cremo, though dealing exclusively with recent prehistory (the late Pleistocene, ending about 10,000 years ago), Graham Hancock broke ground and made waves when he published Fingerprints of the Gods: The Evidence of Earth’s Lost Civilization, another heretical though fascinating work that draws together a great deal of logic and evidence supporting the idea that there’s probably a lot more to prehistory than we have been told—namely, a culturally and technologically devel-oped society the remnants of which we find in the great inexplicable stone works of places like Tiahua-naco, Bolivia and Egypt’s Giza Plateau.
The stone city at Tiahuanaco, for example, having been built above 12,000 feet in the Bolivian Altiplano, a harsh, inhospitable area, consists of enormous blocks of stone (one of which Hancock says was calculated to weigh 400 tons) fitted together with mechanical precision that would have logically required advanced technology.
“I just don’t see, within the orthodox historical explanation,” Hancock told an audience at one of his presentations, “how [Tiahuanaco could have been built] at this altitude above sea level, twelve and a half thousand feet, where you cannot grow crops to support a large population who could haul those stones into place, and I don’t know if 400 ton blocks could be hauled into place by anybody, or how at that location, and why, it could have been done…”
Hancock spoke of Tiahuanaco as the New World equivalent of Giza [site of the Great Pyramid of Egypt], another site involving construction using massive blocks of stone cut and moved by some unknown means, and as a site that has probably been erroneously dated so as to conform to accepted timelines.
“Tiahuanaco is a site about which there are far more questions than answers,” Hancock said,” and about which the dating needs to be seriously reexamined.”
Hancock describes how at Tiahuanaco, recognized as a port by orthodox archaeologists, Lake Titicaca now sits 100 feet below the city. Consulting geologists with the British Geological Survey, Hancock learned that the length of time required for that amount of recession of the lake would have taken at least 10,000 years. Tiahuanaco though is said by orthodox academics to be between 1,500 and 2,000 years old. Older dating is rejected, even ridiculed, according to Hancock, including the work of Arthur Poznansky, who made the site his life’s work and dated it to 12,000 years ago (using solsticial alignment of the sites astronomical features), a date that obvi-ously, again, must be rejected because it would upset the established timelines.
That schools of thought such as those advanced by Cremo, Hancock, Poznansky and others may not even be discussed in “respectable” circles makes one reasonably wonder just how much there is that we do not know about prehistory, the story of us as human beings, how much has been denied, how often the scientific method has been compromised, and what the nature of prehistory on earth actually was.
Answers to such questions may have to come from outside orthodox circles, or from those expelled from those circles like Virginia Steen McIntyre, the archaeologist who lost her career path over Hueyetlaco, for failing to conform, but who has kept the story alive by championing the evidence—or from the likes of D.S. Allan and J.B. Delair.
Allan is a retired Cambridge science historian and paleogeographer, and Delair (with whom we have corresponded for previous articles) a retired Oxford-based geologist, anthropologist, and former Museum Cur-ator of Geology at the University of Southhampton, England. As retired researchers, Allan and Delair found themselves more able to confront the inconsistencies they found in standard concepts of prehistory without concern for their careers, and eventually published their multi-disci-plinary study Cataclysm: Compell-ing Evidence of a Cosmic Catastro-phe in 9500 BC. The authors address prehistory’s recent mass extinction of megafauna and present a great deal of evidence indicating a shifting of the planet’s crust recor-ded in both geologic and mythological records. Their abundant geological, biological and climatological evidence challenges accepted theories regarding prehistory and seems to fill in missing pieces of the puzzle. Using records from the Oxford and Cambridge University libraries, Allan and Delair introduce the forbidden concept of recent global cataclysm as one missing piece in the puzzle of our prehistoric past (probably contradicting uniformitar-ianism, and as a result gradualism, principles upon which accepted timelines depend). After one reads the book, and weighs the content, the authors’ concepts cannot be easily dismissed, or reconciled with ortho-doxy.
A notable example of just one aspect of the evidence Allan and Delair present is the existence of bone caves in various parts of the world, deep winding subterranean recesses, sometimes several miles in length, compacted at their ends with the charred remains of animal bones that Allan and Delair say could only have been deposited by rushing seawater, the remains often being those of varying species from disparate geographic regions, and even combinations of both mammal and marine species, the idea being that the earth’s crust ruptured as the result of a planetary event (about which the authors theorize, as does Hancock), spewing volcanic lava (vulcanism) and causing massive planetary flooding, both of which are recorded not only, the authors say, in the geological record of the earth but in the mythological records (fire and flooding) of most cultures of the world. That planetary event, then, would also account for the mass extinction at the end of the last Ice Age.
Other answers may derive from people like Boston University geologist Robert Schoch, who in the early 1990s caused a great deal of controversy with his research redating the Great Sphinx of Egypt to a period thousands of years earlier than thought possible, proposing that the monument’s base was eroded by rain fall (noted in the 1950s by alterna-tive Egyptologist R. A. Schwaller de Lubicz), despite the fact that its location on the Sahara Desert has remained hyper arid for several thousand years, meaning human civilization could be considered far more ancient than previously thought. The base of the Sphinx, then, which Schoch sees as far older than the upper leonine figure, could have been installed before recorded history. Schoch’s position has been challenged with arguments related to the selective area of the erosion suggesting rain run off may have been the cause, though even these proposals that push accepted dates back a mere 400 years are resisted.
Editor’s note: In that the material presented here is likely to provoke objections from certain quarters regarding the premises involved, we would regard worthy responses as those from parties who have thoroughly examined the four source books referenced above. We all know, or should, the standard textbook views of prehistory. Here, we present a brief summary of alternate views that ought to be part of the discussion without being greeted by merely reflexive remarks. Consider the source works of this article, then, a prerequisite summer reading list. Read the four books. Think about them. Then get back to us. Our position is that prehistory remains mysterious, as does the study of origins in general, despite pat assertions to the contrary based in institutional thinking, and that an open examination of alternatives is scientific, and damned interesting.