This one is important enough for a special blog post. Ancient Astronaut Theorist Giorgio Tsoukalos admitted on Twitter today that the Puma Punku complex at Tiwanaku (Tiahuanaco) was not built by aliens wielding lasers and plasma guns:
The blocks at Puma Punku were NOT cut with laser nor plasma tools... I've also learned that the H Blocks do not come in the dimensions we thought they came in... They are NOT (!) pre-fabricated blocks (an opinion I've maintained for years which I now have to jettison and revise). Today, I've had to MASSIVELY RECALIBRATE my views on how Puma Punku came into existence... The mystery has INCREASED by a factor of ten. I am still grappling with what I've learned today and I'm struggling to put all the new pieces of evidence into a coherent order.
Tiwanaku has been the subject of ridiculous claims for years, dating back to the Victorians, who originated most of them, but not the lasers. More recently, Erich von Daniken wrote in Chariots of the Gods that the "inscription of the pediment of the Gate of the Sun" speaks of "a spaceship" (p. 43)--a neat trick for a culture that had no writing. He also thought, in Gods from Outer Space, that Tiwanaku's water conduits served as protective shields for electrical cables, and, oh yes, they were made by aliens: "They had a highly developed technology at their disposal, just as we today use laser beams, vibrating milling tools, and electric apparatus" (p. 39; emphasis in original).
But, interestingly enough, the specific laser/plasma gun story doesn't appear in any of the early ancient astronaut works as far as I can tell (von Daniken only hinted at high technology) until Nigel Davies introduced it in 1979's Voyagers to the New World: "the foundations of Tiahuanaco were being laid with the aid of laser beams." Not even ancient technology advocates Pauwels and Bergier mentioned it in Morning of the Magicians--and they believed the ancients had H-bombs. It seems that Davies was inadvertently making explicit what von Daniken had left implicit; one would think that such a dramatic fact would have emerged with the earliest ancient astronaut works rather than through the slow accumulation of mutual references and misinterpretations of one another's metaphors.
In the 1990s, and especially after 2000, the story of the lasers of Tiwanaku exploded, with claim piling on claim, usually from writers with no familiarity with either Tiwanaku or lasers. I cannot, however, find a published reference to "plasma tools" used at Puma Punku, so this must be Tsoukalos' own idea.
At any rate, it's good to hear that Tsoukalos now understands that his opinions about Tiwanaku's origins as a pre-fab alien spaceport are wrong; unfortunately, we can already see the wheels spinning as he "grapples" to concoct a new explanation to wedge aliens into the story of an ancient human culture. As Tsoukalos' Twitter post shows, no matter what evidence he finds, the conclusion remains the same: aliens.
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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