Today I’m reaching back into the past for a classic wacky claim from ancient astronaut theorists. The ur-text of the ancient astronaut theory, Morning of the Magicians (1960) by Jacques Bergier and Louis Pauwels, contains innumerable unsupportable claims. Here’s just one:
The “Masma” civilization is an imaginary proto-historical culture created by the mystic Pedro Astete from a dream he had in 1905. Ruzo had been friends with Astete from 1920, and was primed to accept Astete’s dream-concept of a vast, powerful, ancient civilization in the Andes.
Of particular interest is that Pauwels and Bergier report Ruzo’s “discovery” a full 14 years before Ruzo turned it into his own book, Marcahuasi: The Story of a Fantastic Discovery (1974).
A few pictures of the Marcahuasi (Markawasi) “statues” make obvious that this is little more than wishful thinking applied to natural geologic formations; this of course did not stop Ancient Aliens from repeating Ruzo’s theory that these rocks were eroded remnants of a prehistoric sculpture garden. The fact that the “faces” were visible only once a year under special lighting conditions ought to have indicated that this was just another example of “Jesus in the tortilla”--pareidolia—seeing faces in random patters.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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