Mexico: The Mystery of the Forgotten Stones (1998)
by Dr. Rafael A. Lara Palmeros, CEFP (Mexico)
Since the end of December 1998, a series of insistent rumors had come to our attention: a broad swath of virgin forest had been semi-discovered by some peasants 24 kilometers away from Jalapa, the state capital of Veracruz, within an area contained in the municipality of Emiliano Zapata. The region, covered by exuberant semi-tropical vegetation, shelters a considerable number of unusual stones -- approximately 123 in number --sculpted with handsome petroglyphs which have remained in excellent conditions in spite of the passage of time.
On Thursday, February 25th, 1999, Lic. Marino Leal Trujillo, Ms. Virginia Hernández and the author of this article headed for the zone which was under the protection of the region's inhabitants, since it is their belief that this and many other locations are sacred. After discussing the matter with the leaders of the local cooperative farm, we were allowed to enter the region, having to make a 150 meter (400 foot) descent following a tortuous trail filled with dense vegetation, mosquitoes and poisonous snakes known as "nauyaques" in this area. Upon reaching our destination, we were able to look upon a number of stones scattered throughout the ground, covered in moss, dust and vegetation. Once these were removed, we found a considerable number of petroglyphs in a variety of shapes and sizes. The size of the stones was approximately 4-5 meters in length by 3 meters long, having irregular, eroded borders and some of them apparently having been dressed.
The following designs were found:
Tranversal and Horizontal Lines Similar to Stairwells
With the cleaning of the stones out of the way, we proceeded with measuring the petroglyphs as well as making rubbings of the most representative designs on manila paper using crayons. In this regard it is worth noting that our attention was drawn by a cross composed of squares, each measuring approximately 4.5 cm long and 4 cm wide. Each of the cross's "arms" were composed of two parallel lines having 4 squares each. We were intrigued presence of a humanoid figure dressed in a sort of helmet and having two small, spindly legs, and whose upper body appeared to be endowed with utensils and/or equipment. It also possible to observe semi-undulating lines, apparent representations of hills or the trajectories of certain lights which can be seen in the area. To the vast majority of prehispanic societies, the spiral plays a predominant role. A variety of authors have sought to attach different meanings to it, and we thus find that some believe it represents the snake, while others suggest cosmic forces and still others claim it depicts the presence of spacecraft. The spiral was represented in nearly 50% of the stones studied during our investigation.
Another interesting petroglyph involved the presence of transversal and oblique lines, apparently representing flights of stairs (it is very possible that this region once housed some kind of pyramidal structure). It is also possible to find, to a lesser degree petroglyphs shaped like spiders, jaguars, monkeys and certain fish--animal forms which are currently hard to find in this location.
Given the characteristics of this area as well as their relationship with others which are also known, it is possible it once harbored primitive Nahoa and/or Totonaca tribes, who became the basis for these cultures as they are known today. It has been hitherto impossible to classify the area discovered according to a corresponding historical period (Lower Preclassic, Upper Preclassic, etc.). Authorities having competence in the matter, such as the Instituto Veracruzano de la Cultura (IVC), the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH) itself, or the School of Anthropology of the University of Veracruz, have all paid little or no attention to this find, arguing that they lack sufficient funds to embark upon an investigation of these considerable treasures, and fortunately, the region's inhabitants are opposed to the presence of the misnamed "competent authorities", since it is widely known that these are engaged in ransacking the archaeological sites and selling their discoveries to U.S. and European collectors, mainly from Germany and France.
A curious fact bears mentioning: this area is very close to a mountain range which forms part of the Eastern Sierra Madre, which includes the well-known Tepeapulco Hill, as site of intense UFO activity. This phenomenon has intensified since 1993, resulting in a considerable number of photographs being taken. This author has obtained important photographs and videotaped material which has been found to be genuine by other researchers.
My hypothesis is as follows: since the area is highly magnetic, the ancient occupants of the place settled there and captured a variety of phenomena on their petroglyphs. Given that the presence of UFOs is common at every archaeological site, and it is still possible to see them in our day and age, the only question that remains to be answered is the following: could the humanoid figure, obtained by means of rubbings, represent an unknown visitor? Personally, I lack the knowledge to answer such a question.
I would like to extend my gratitude to the inhabitants of the area, keeping my promise not to disclose the precise location of the area investigated.