Fringe Convergence: Giant Hunter Jim Vieira Goes in Search of Von Däniken's Pre-Flood Alien Gold in Ecuador
I have some happy news (I guess) to share: A short story of mine was just published in the Australian flash fiction anthology 100 Lightnings from Paroxysm Press. There is no link to buy it online in America yet. However, since it took more than four years for publisher to lurch from acceptance of the story to publication, I can barely remember what the story was or that it was even going to be published. So check it out… or don’t… I don’t get paid either way!
Today I have a couple of topics to discuss. First, regular readers will remember Gary Wayne, the Nephilim theorist who wrote the Genesis 6 Conspiracy and has an unhealthy obsession with the purity of bloodlines. On Facebook he shared a link to one of the chapters of his book, and I was taken aback by this bizarre couple of sentences:
Royal Scythians were the Ring Lords from the Transylvanian fairy race that spawned the Elven race of the Tuatha Denaan, which eventually migrated to Ireland sometime before 1000 B.C.E. Three key Dragon bloodlines came together in marriage from Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Edom (Amalekite/Horite) to found the Scythian Ring Lords, which later split into three more bloodlines sometime before 1100 B.C.E., forming the Fir Bolg, Milesians, and of course, the Tuatha Denaan.
Wayne went on to say that the Scythians also founded Sumer, and that all of these people are “Iranian” in origin. I could hardly begin to unpack this without going into hundreds or even thousands of words of explanation about just how wrong every word of it is, but suffice it to say that this is all in service of Wayne’s claims for survival of Nephilim after the Flood, claims he roots not just in the Bible but also in every bit of fringe history he can put his hands on, including Laurence Gardner’s ancient astronaut bloodlines, Theosophical frauds, and Romanian nationalist fictions about the origins of written language in Romania!
Finally today, over at ad-riddled fringe site Ancient Origins (now with paid membership option), April Holloway has an article about the convergence of several domains of fringe history in one deflating experience. According to Holloway, she and site owner Ioannis Syrigos have moved to Cuenca, Ecuador, which regular readers will remember is the alleged site of a fictitious “giant” skeleton allegedly discovered last year. (It was a poorly conceived hoax.) The pair previously had lived in Australia. Now ensconced in Cuenca, home to a large Anglo expatriate community, Syrigos and Holloway played host to our favorite giant-hunters, Jim Vieira and Hugh Newman, two of the stars of Search for the Lost Giants.
Holloway did not explain what brought the pair of giant hunters to Cuenca, but it probably has something to do with the “Megaliths, Gods, and Giants” tour of Peru and Bolivia that Newman has organized with fringe theorist Brien Foerster for November and which will feature Jim Vieira. Newman is a frequent participant in Foerster’s South American ancient mysteries tours, which run several times per year.
Anyway, while in Cuenca the fearsome foursome decided to investigate the “mystery” of Father Crespi, the Catholic priest from Cuenca who collected crude forgeries of Middle Eastern art and used them to suggest that Ecuador had been in contact with Mesopotamia in antediluvian times. Foerster and Newman use this “mystery” to promote their South American tours, and the story of the golden plates famously appeared in Erich von Däniken’s The Gold of the Gods (1972), where the crude images of flying snakes and Mesopotamian imagery caused a sensation.
As I described last year, the true nature of the two rooms of artifacts that comprised the Crespi collection in the 1970s was quickly revealed: In 1973, Juan Móricz, von Däniken’s guide in South America, told Der Spiegel that “although Crespi had previously collected much of value, today the genuine pieces are buried under a cacophony of crap. Most of the two rooms are stuffed to the ceiling with sheet metal” (my trans.). A certain Dr. Hartmann studied the plates and determined they were not gold or ancient but modern forgeries in tin and brass. Even von Däniken himself confessed—and this is important—in 1973 that “I do not know whether there is gold or not” in the Crespi collection (my trans.) despite having written of it as golden in his book. Instead, he said that Crespi seemed to believe that the objects were made of gold. Archaeologist Pino Turolla viewed the collection and concurred that it was made from base metals, and he found the artists who made the pieces and witnessed them in the act of creation. He even recognized one “ancient” artifact as a brass toilet bowl float. In the late 1970s, James Randi viewed the “ancient” artifacts and determined they were “scraps of tin cans, brass sheets, and copper strips […] mixed with piles of rusted chains, shards of armor, and bits of miscellaneous machinery.” Randi saw the toilet bowl float and found its “Made in Argentina” stamp.
There was exactly one gold object, which Randi said had been hammered flat from a genuine ancient piece to avoid antiquities laws, with a crude drawing of a pyramid stamped on it. That piece appeared in Gold of the Gods.
Even though all of these accounts are easily accessible, and I myself collected them last year for easy reference, Holloway, Syrigos, Vieira, and Newman were completely ignorant of these findings (or pretended to be) and therefore went in search of the antediluvian plates as described by Erich von Däniken. This is because these investigators are soaked in fringe literature and never considered that mainstream news sources, archaeology books, or skeptical literature might have useful insights into their “mystery.”
I won’t belabor the summary. Our intrepid team discovered that after Crespi’s death, the Central Bank of Ecuador bought his collection of artifacts. The bank carefully preserved his genuine Ecuadoran archaeological material, collected early in his life, and quickly determined that the metal plates he collected in his dotage were a fraud. The sheet metal plates were dumped into one of the bank’s outbuildings, where Holloway and her team viewed them. “We were shocked – the metallic plates and artifacts were strewn all over the floor, thrown in cardboard boxes, and gathered in miscellaneous piles. It was clear that no value was ascribed to these plates.”
The team correctly concluded that the pieces in question were crude forgeries, but then Holloway, in her ignorance of earlier eyewitness accounts, tries to gin up more of a mystery:
But… there still remains a number of unanswered questions – where are the artifacts that were photographed and filmed in the 1970s consisting of gold carvings, hieroglyphs, and Sumerian figures? Why aren’t they anywhere to be seen in the Central Bank of Ecuador’s storage rooms? Were they authentic? And if so, what is their significance?
Recall that von Däniken himself conceded that he never confirmed there was any gold, and Randi found only one gold piece, itself mangled from an ancient artifact in recent years. All the other witnesses identified the gold-colored objects as brass. Given these facts, we can make an educated guess about where the “gold” plates went. Rusty sheet metal has virtually no value, so it was dumped in storage and forgotten. Brass and copper, however, have scrap value. Any real gold hammered into forgeries was likely melted down since we know that the bank had concluded the pieces were modern forgeries. If I had to guess, I’d say that the Central Bank most likely sold or melted the brass down for scrap to recoup some of the money spent in purchasing the Crespi collection. Obviously, without records to that effect (and here our Ancient Origins team might have put their time to good use asking for such records), there’s no way to prove it, but since there is not a single observer who confirmed that there was ever more than a small amount of gold present, we have no reason to agree with Holloway that there much of a “mystery” of missing gold, or to concur with her final claim that “we are no closer to finding the answers.” The answers have been available since the 1970s to anyone willing to do the research.
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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