I’m sure it’s come to your attention from time to time that I am interested in aesthetics. Although I am by no means professional grade in my graphic design skill, I enjoy creating new graphics for my website and exercising my artistic muscle. The down side to that is that graphic design trends keep changing, and the pages I last re-designed designed back in 2012 or 2013 are starting to look dated. According to what I’ve read, the hot new trends for this year are simplified graphics, bolder colors, and larger text sizes.
To that end, I’ve started working on refreshing he graphics for the secondary pages of my website, stripping out unnecessary gradients and lighting effects and imposing some rough color-coding on sections of the site. This is most evident so far in my Library, where my sections on Atlantis, Giants, and Mesopotamian Texts all have color-coded graphics.
It will take me a while to refresh the whole site, but if you run across a page that is particularly ugly, let me know and I’ll see if I can get it up to date.
Meanwhile, if you have been reading my blog regularly, you’ll remember that not too long ago the staff of Ancient Origins decamped to Ecuador and in that country teamed up with gigantologists to go in search of the supposed treasures of Father Crespi, treasures made famous by Erich von Däniken in The Gold of the Gods. These included alleged golden artifacts depicting Old World motifs and supposed antediluvian scenes “proving” that Middle Easterners colonized America before the Flood. As I discussed several times before, skeptics and scholars who viewed the Crespi collection in the 1970s unanimously agreed that the artifacts were modern forgeries, and only one piece was actually made of gold, itself apparently made from a looted ancient piece, smashed and impressed with a new (forged) design.
The Ancient Origins team denied this, even as they found where the forged artifacts are stored and discovered anew that they are little more than base metal made by modern artisans. Having come too close to the real truth, they recoiled and now have proposed a wide-ranging conspiracy theory to save the diffusionist “truth” they want to believe in.
In a new article Ancient Origins founder Ioannis Syrigos, writing in the third person as “John Black,” says that he wanted to get to the bottom of the issue of why the one or possible handful of gold artifacts in the Crespi collection were not among the piles of base metal junk collected by the Central Bank of Ecuador when it purchased Crespi’s anthropological collection and inherited his forgeries along with it. It only half-occurs to him that there is little mystery in why the only valuable metals in the collection would have disappeared while the junk remained untouched.
Instead, Syrigos visited the director of the university Crespi founded, Luis Álvarez Rodas, on March 30 to inquire after the golden artifacts. Syrigos claims that Álvarez Rodas became “uncomfortable” in discussing the artifacts, first claiming that they had been stolen at least two years before Crespi’s death, and later saying he was “not authorized” to speak of them. Something must have been lost in translation since both Álvarez Rodas and his assistant spoke about them to Syrigos, by his own admission, before this statement. I have sent an email to Dr. Álvarez Rodas to inquire into his side of the story, and I will let you know if he responds.
Syrigos tries to concoct a Vatican conspiracy. He says that he asked Álvarez Rodas whether artifacts from Crespi’s collection had been sent to the Vatican, and Álvarez Rodas tells him that yes, indeed, some of Crespi’s collection of art had been sent to Rome. This does not imply that the golden plates had been, or that the Vatican was attempting to cover up antediluvian Nephilim in Ecuador. Instead, it seems to refer to the common practice of priests sending examples of indigenous art back to the Vatican collections. Syrigos might have done well to contact the Vatican and ask what they received from Crespi. Syrigos also claims that a source told him that there was a rumor that Crespi’s church sold the golden artifacts to the Ecuadoran military, but he concedes that there is no proof and that he made no effort to confirm this.
Syrigos alleges that Álvarez Rodas and his staff subtly threatened him, warning him off of further investigation of the university and its mission to have the Vatican canonize Crespi:
It was quite clear that during our conversation many contradictory statements were made, revealing that there is very obviously something that someone does not want the public to know about. Is there a cover up to hide the fact that the precious artifacts were stolen or sold for profit by someone? Or where they hidden away because they revealed something controversial about the history of the country?
According to the information Syrigos provided, all of the Crespi artifacts are accounted for, except for one or at most a couple of pieces made from gold, which were gone before the Central Bank of Ecuador purchased the collection. The artifacts are unlikely to have been “hidden away” since they were publicly displayed both by Crespi himself and by ancient astronaut theorists for several decades. Where Syrigos sees contradictions and conspiracies, a parsimonious reading of his own evidence strongly suggests that the golden piece(s) were stolen or sold off because they were the only pieces of gold. It’s probably not worth attributing to conspiracy what can more easily be explained by corruption or greed.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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