the Wanderling

Sixty-five million years ago a giant, six-mile wide extinction-level object crossed into the Earth's atmosphere at an incredible high rate of speed. So huge was the object that rather than burn up or disintegrate as it raced toward the Earth's surface it basically held together with no more than a little shedding and dissipation of heat. Within seconds of entering the Earth's thickening lower atmosphere it slammed into a shallow sea in what is now the north coast of the Yucatan, Mexico with a force comparable to 100 million megatons of TNT. The resulting impact created a crater 112 miles across and a tsunami wave two thousand feet high that swept as far north inland as the middle of present day Texas. The results of the impact caused the demise of entire species, including, it is said, the dinosaurs. Ground zero for the asteroid is pretty much considered now days to be centered near the small Yucatan city of Chicxulub, hence the name.

A couple of years out of high school a buddy and I decided to travel a few months throughout Mexico on a road trip. Eventually we drove from California clear through to the Yucatan, and, without realizing it because it was not even known to exist at the time, crossing over the outside perimeter of the then unnamed Chicxulub crater into it's geologically time-masked interior --- ending in, at least for me, startling results.[1]

Except for one small caveat on my part, making it to the Yucatan was originally not part of our plans because originally we had no plans. For the most part, while driving we simply made the decision to go as far into Mexico as we could in an effort to see every ancient Aztec and Mayan archaeological sites we could before we ran out of time and money. With that decision in hand we figured if we could make it as far as Chichen Itza it would be as good a goal as any before turning around --- with neither of us knowing anything about Chichen Itza other than the two of us continuing to call it "chickens eat ya." Weeks later, after reaching Mexico City and seeing the image of the Virgin Mary or Our Lady of Guadalupe that is said to have appeared miraculously in the year 1531 on the cape or cloak of Juan Diego and now in the basilica and visiting the Aztec pyramids we drove southeast to the Great Pyramid of Cholula, the Mayan site of Palenque, then on to Campeche.

From there we drove to the Mayan sites of Labna, Sayil, Uxmal and a few other places and of which one was, at least in those days and may even be so today, the most unheard of and seldom visited Mayan ruins called Oxkintok. Although Oxkintok should be more famous than it is if for no other reason than the dates of occupancy, starting as far back as 500 BCE - 300 BCE --- one of the earliest beginnings for a Maya site --- to as late as 1500 CE, only twenty years before Cortez and the Spanish conquest not to mention the continued ability to withstand the heavy hand of Aztec tribal raiders. While it is true other sites may have started before, but didn't last as long while others my have edged later into the Spanish conquest era, but any that may have didn't put down roots of initial occupancy until much later than Oxkintok. Most importantly though, albeit nearly lost in the history of time, Oxkintok was the site of one of the Maya's earliest attempts at figuring out and marking the Equinoxes, and done successfully.



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However, for me and many others, although overlooked in the overall scheme of things, now days Oxkintok is known for being built right on top of the very outer rim of the Chicxulub crater, or at least not much more than a few inches from it (OK, feet). Of course, when the Mayans started building it clear back in 500 BCE to even well past my buddy and me traveling in Mexico in 1960 AD, the Chicxulub event was unknown. In any case, after exploring Oxkintok we headed toward Mayapan.[2]

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It was then the first of two odd things happened. After visiting those half dozen or so ruins leading up to Oxkintok we ended somewhat south of Mayapan, said to be the last of the ancient Mayan capitals, and had to turn north to get there. Two or three miles outside and south of Mayapan I was overcome by an all engulfing, continuous series of clear-to-my-bones cold chills rippling across my body, the abeyance of which really did not subside as much as they slowly melded into mild convulsions similar to dry-heaves then fading into a general lasting malaise all the time I was there.

Thirty-plus years passed without ever experiencing anything remotely close to what transpired that day on the road into Mayapan. Then, on one of my travels through Europe many years later, I stopped at the World War II Nazi death camp of Mauthausen. I had been to Europe several times, but I had never gone to such a place. Since this portion of my travels took me so close I decided otherwise. A very close friend of mine who visited Mauthausen told me that immediately upon entering the former death camp she was overwhelmed by nausea and uncontrolable body tremors. My interest was in seeing if such a thing would happen to me. It did. When I crossed onto the grounds of the camp proper I was overcome with intense chills, nausea, and bodily sensations. Only once before had I experienced such a sickness, in the Yucatan.

It was then it dawned on me what happened in the Yucatan those so many years before. Just a short distance before driving into Mayapan, not known to either my buddy or me we drove into the crater's interior basin after crossing over the outer ring marking the edge of the then unknown 112 mile in diameter Chicxulub impact structure created by the giant asteroid mentioned above, that inturn resulted in killing off entire species, including the dinosaurs and millions of other living creatures both great and small. Chicxulube wasn't discovered until 1980. I was expecting what happened to possibly happen at Mauthausen because of what my friend told me. No such thing was even remotely considered by me in the Yucatan because no one even knew the crater existed. I was overwhelmed just the same.[3]


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After leaving Mayapan my buddy and I were well on our way to Chichen Itza, albeit still traveling within the semi-circular string of sink holes that one day would be known collectively as the ring of cenotes, when the second of two odd things happened. We had selected an isolated spot along the road in the middle of nowhere to stop and prepare our evening meal and crash for the night. The weather, as it had been most of the time since leaving the highlands of Mexico City, was and remained, extremely hot and muggy. After eating and cleaning up, my buddy climbed on the top of the truck to try and catch a few Z's and at least some sort of a breeze while he slept. In the meantime, not being able to sleep myself, with no real artificial light nearby or any being produced around the horizon polluting the night sky, I pulled my telescope out of its box and, turning on the headlights for a few minutes so I could see, proceeded to set it up. Then, before shutting off the lights, looked at my circular sky chart I invariably carried with me in those days to find the best time to view M31, otherwise known as the Andromeda Galaxy. Given the right time and conditions I am always able to easily locate Andromeda with my naked eye, with binoculars, much better. However, Andromeda once found, using my inexpensive, that is, cheap, 100 power toy store refractor, which was up to producing a fairly good visual image, did not make it easy to follow the spiral's relative movement produced from the Earth's rotation.[4]

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Concentrating all my efforts to stay on the spiral, especially so after installing a Barlow lens to double the scope's power, I completely lost track of time and place when suddenly a chillingly different type of breeze or wind came up returning me to reality. Standing up to straighten my back and get the crick out of my neck as well as relax my eyes for a second, there, right in front of me and seemingly out of nowhere as though she had been swept in by the sudden burst of wind, was an old woman. Short in stature with straight, pulled-back, nearly pure white hair and appearing to be of Mayan extraction, she carried a gunnysack-like shoulder bag slung across her chest and back and under her arm filled with sticks as though she had been out collecting kindling wood or something. We just stood there looking at each other for what seemed the longest time.

Then, in suprisingly good english with a slight-to-heavy accent she asked what I was doing and if I was ill. Thinking, mistakenly, that talking about galaxies was beyond the old woman's comprehension I simply told her that I was looking at other worlds. She said, "Why look up there when you are standing where other worlds came to ours?" Again she asked if I was ill. Not knowing what she meant about other worlds coming to our world and thinking it must be somehow spritual or mystical in nature, I just skipped to telling her in so many words --- and hand gestures --- I had been very queasy over the last couple of days, and unusually so. Reaching into a small waist-level pouch and with her thumb and index finger she pulled out a large pinch of what almost appeared to be pipe tobacco. She put it into the palm of my hand and told me to take it as it would make my stomach feel better. As I put the stuff in my mouth she began building a small fire using some of the sticks she was carrying and although I wasn't specifically watching her, it was as though the fire ignited by not much more than her waving her hand over it.

Somehow after that I still felt even more uneasy, a different kind of uneasy than a mere stomach uneasy, but more as though we were being watched uneasy. Suddenly I jumped up yelling who's there, telling them come into the light asking what they wanted. In so many words the old woman told me to relax, ensuring no one was there and that the the light from the fire was playing tricks on me. However, I wasn't convinced. I was sure I had seen the figures of four men, possibly five, a taller one than the others in the dark just beyond the edge of the fire's light. I figured me and my buddy were dead men and that the old woman was going to be a part of it. After awhile she started poking around the fire with a stick and rolled a dull glowing red stone about the size of a chicken egg out onto the sand.

Delicately picking up the stone by barely touching it she dropped it into the palm of my hand and quickly using her two hands tightly closed mine around the stone. The stone was burning hot and as I leaped back pulling loose from her grip I quickly shook my hand up and down in front of me thinking all the time and yelling, "You stupid, fucking-ass old lady, what the hell are you doing?" I collapsed to my knees dizzy with pain. The stone, fused to my hand-flesh rolled from my palm into the fire taking small pieces of meat and skin with it. All kinds of thoughts were racing through my head: I'm glad it is my left hand; how will I ever get medical help out in the middle of nowhere; how can I kill this lady; am I going to die? I could smell the seared flesh and in the dim light able to see my palm was torn open clear to where I could see the bones that spread out from my wrist reaching toward my fingers. I was falling backwards as though I was passing out, unable to keep myself upright. She put her hand on my shoulder almost as to steady me and said, in so many words and as near as I can remember, that the smell of burning flesh would wane from my nostrils, the wound would heal as though it never happened and my life and life generally would return better than ever.

I woke up the next morning in the dirt about a half mile from the truck doubled up in the fetal position clutching my hand as tight as I could against my chest. I could see across the scrubbrush my buddy was scrounging around for something to eat, paying no attention to me being gone or my plight. I sat up indian style, at first, afraid to look at my hand. Then I slowly pulled my hand away from my chest to look at it. There were sure signs of circular burn on my palm alright and some pain, but nothing like I experienced the night before. No open wounds or exposed bones. So too, except for the remains of the fire back by the truck and the knocked over telescope I fell into passing out, there was no sign of the woman or of her ever being there. After boxing up the telescope, finding all the pieces but the Barlow lens, we headed out. By the time we left Chichen Itza a few days later no physical sign of the burn remained, and except for one short interlude, has there been any such to this day.[5]

That short interlude, followed by all it's accompanying turmoil can be found in the following, in which almost everything done by the little old lady was reproduced down to the letter --- only this time, including the asteroid and the actual impact itself. See:

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Although the title of this article is The Maya Shaman and Chicxulub, you may notice nowhere in the text do I call or actually designate anyone specifically as a shaman, Maya or otherwise. True, the overall implication leans heavily toward that of the the old woman, but in actuality and in real life, for me personally, it was never made clear if she was a shaman, shamaness, curandera, sorceress, diablero, spritual elder, Maya priest or Maya priestess. Nothing about her in her appearance revealed any outward shamanistic or Maya priest accoutrements, that is, masks, clothing, tattoos, or regalia that most people stereotypically apply to those that are considered such. She may have been nothing more than a crazy old woman.

Any lines or dots that appear to be connecting the old woman and any potential shamanistic skills, abilities, or traits she exhibited stems from a deep innate, personal gut feeling of my own. Those feelings are based on actual experiences under similar or like circumstances that happened to me both prior to our meeting and afterwards. An example of one of those experiences before meeting the old lady can be found in Footnote [2], A Huge Coyote Cometh, of The Last American Darshan. A second before example can be found at the Sun Dagger site. Both of those examples circulate around my Uncle and myself and Native American cultures of the desert southwest. An example that enjoins myself, shamanic journeying, and Native Americans BUT without any involvement of my uncle can be found at Incident at Supai. A more recent example and well after meeting the old lady, that circulates around the Mayan culture, can be found at Yamil Lu'um.

As for any analogy one may draw between the asteroid and the hot stone the old lady dropped in the palm of my hand: burning flesh, healing with no scar, a return to life, most people who consider themselves in the know conclude the ancient or modern Mayans knew NOTHING about the existence of the asteroid, impact crater, or any results thereof any more so than anybody else did prior to its modern day discovery. Others point out that the word "Chicxulub," in the Mayan language, translates into "tail of the dragon," "tail of the beast," or "fire of the beast." Those who point that out imply that the impactor must have been known to the Mayans to have been known in such a context. For the record there are currently over thirty recognized Mayan languages, each inturn that can be further broken down into a numerous variety of dialects. Which one Chicxulub comes from or if there is a widely dispersed use of the word is not known.

How many fire breathing dragons or dragons specifically were known to exist in the Maya culture is not known either, especially at the level of naming things after them. Even Quetzalcoatl is known as the feathered-serpent or winged serpent, seeming to indicate for the Aztecs and Mayas, et al, creatures such as serpents were known to exist, but that which a dragon is, wasn't. Dragons, albeit usually considered to be reptilian in nature, except, unusual for a reptile or any other known vertebrae, having six appendages (i.e., four legs and two wings). A winged serpent, sounds more like a snake-like creature with two wings but NO legs.

So too, tail of the dragon or not, when or how the name or word Chicxulub was applied to the specific spot or area it is applied to now and by whom is not known either. No Maya temples or ruins dedicated to dragons or anything else similar have come to light.

The above not withstanding, the earliest "real" reference or recorded evidence of when the Chicxulub crater truly became known to the world is typically attributed to the insights of oilfield explorer Glen Penfield in 1978.[6] The episode that happend between the old woman and myself that night within the ring of cenotes seems to indicate she not only knew about the crater, but the impact and the results thereof as well. That episode occured in the summer of 1960, eighteen years before Penfields work came to light.[7]

NOTE: If you haven't read the Footnotes, including the last one regarding the old woman, please scroll down the page and do so.



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The Case Against "Shamans" In the
North American Indigenous Cultures


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The motivation behind the trip to Mexico did not start out with anything to do with meeting Maya shamans or the extinction of dinosaurs. It just ended up that way.

My all-summer-long travels in Mexico came about after a trip to Nassau in the Bahamas for the Speed Weeks in 1958. Like most young men of my era my post high school future was clouded by the draft. When the top Ferrari and Maserati sports car racing mechanic in the country at the time, Joe Landaker, offered me a chance to ride with him in his sports car transporter to Nassau I jumped at the chance. I had tired of the day-to-day over-and-over grind of the same job I had held since leaving high school. At first I had been working on the high altitude breathing equipment for the then super-secret U-2 spy plane, which was exciting work getting to go out to Edwards Air Force Base, Groom Lake, and Area 51, but with the contract nearing an end, the job began to get stale. When the skipper of a marlin boat come yacht owned by the heir to the Halliburton oil fortune, David J. Halliburton, Sr., offered me a no-brain job doing brightwork on his boat I didn't need to think twice. Even so, the heavy hand of the draft was still looming over my head and the fact my longterm semi-on-and-off high school and after girlfriend --- who had gone off to college while I remained home being nothing but a dunce working stiff --- hit me with the fact she had met and fallen in love with some hunkering down stud and they were planning on getting married didn't help. When my buddy, who was in much the same boat I was, suggested an extended, open-ended trip to Mexico I decided to take a leave of absence from my job on the boat and go for it.


The two of us shopped around until we found then bought a used six-cylinder 1951 Chevy panel truck just for the trip that was in pretty good shape and over a period of a few months we outfitted it like a camper with fold down bunks, table, sink, stove, and portable toilet. We got a bunch of new fan belts, radiator hoses, inner tubes and tools, then, early one Saturday morning we crossed into Mexico at the Tijuana border with no idea how long we were going to be gone.

We made our first mistake the same morning we crossed the border by turning east thinking we could get into the main part of Mexico. When we got to Tecate we were told it was, at least in those days, difficult to continue traveling eastward for some reason and to just go back into the States and cross at Nogales. The other suggestion was to go down the Baja peninsula and cross over by ferry to the mainland. We took the second suggestion and turned southwest ending up on the Baja Pacific coast near Ensenada. If it was bum advice to continue east or not I still don't know to this day. In any case, it worked out more than OK for us.(see)

After leaving Ensenada we continued south on some pretty crummy roads eventually turning eastward across the peninsula to the little town of Santa Rosalia, taking a ferry across the Sea of Cortez to Guaymas. On the road south just before it turns more south eastward across the peninsula to Santa Rosalia we turned on Highway 18 not far from Guerrero Negro as I wanted to catch up with a man I hoped to meet who was said to live at a place called El Arco. The man was Colonel Harvey Greenlaw, the onetime second in command of the infamous Flying Tigers of World War II fame. I had read his wife's book Lady and the Tigers (1943) and heard somewhere along the way that Greenlaw lived there. Since I was close by and most likely would never be back I made it a point to look him up, spending a couple of days.

After crossing to Guaymas we continued on through Guadalajara turning toward the mysterious ancient ruins of Chicomoztoc with an interesting set of results, then back toward Lake Chapala, San Miguel Allende and a bunch of other places ending up seeing the pyramids in Mexico City and Mayan Ruins in the Yucatan. We stopped whenever we wanted and stayed as long as we wanted. Compared to most of the people in the countryside we came across, as well as the locals in the towns we went through, we had all the money we needed to spend on anything we wanted including gas, food, lodging, girls, and beer. A full accounting of the story, from start to finish, can be found by clicking HERE.

When I was eight or nine years old I went on an almost all summer long excursion throughout the desert southwest visiting a variety of major and minor historical sites as well as fossil and archaeological sites all across Arizona and New Mexico with my uncle. One of the places we visited when we got to New Mexico was Fort Sumner, stopping there specifically for me to see the gravesite of the infamous western outlaw and bad guy Billy the Kid.

Because of a few highly memorable adventures and people I met during that excursion I created a couple of web pages devoted to it. One of the pages revolves around a post high school teenager I met named Tommy Tyree. Tyree worked on a ranch for a man whose dad's brother, in 1908, shot and killed Sheriff Pat Garrett, the man who in turn had shot Billy Kid in 1881. Because of such Tyree was a minor historian of Billy the Kid. However, his major claim to fame is his stature as a witness to the events surrounding the alleged crash of an object of an unknown nature that came out of the night sky during the summer of 1947 related to what has come to be known as the Roswell UFO. The other page, because of my visit to Billy the Kid's gravesite, I have dedicated it to Billy the Kid. On that page I use a graphic of a fairly famous oil painting done in 1937 of the Kid by a fellow desert southwest artist and friend of my uncle named John W. Hilton, of whom, through my uncle, as a kid I both met and as well, saw the original painting.


In an article on the web about Col. Harvey Greenwall said to have appeared in Cabo Life Magazine reportedly states that the same artist, John W. Hilton, painted a mural on Greenlaw's wall a year or two before I visited him --- during the same period Hilton was gathering material for a book he was writing titled "Hardly Any Fences," a book that dealt with his various travels in Baja California from 1933 to 1959. In a chapter or section of that book, published in 1977, titled "South to El Arco," in his own hand, Hilton presents a slightly different version of any attempt at what could possibly be misconstrued as him having painted a full wall mural:

"I took a liking to Harvey Greenlaw at once. His house had a dirt floor but there were murals on all of the walls painted and drawn by artists and would-be artists who had stopped by to visit him. I added some cereus and cactus plants on each side of a painting of the Virgin of Guadalupe. This gave her a local touch, we thought."

As you can tell from this page and several others referenced herein I have page after page related in some fashion to the World War II fighter plane the Curtis-Wright P-40 Warhawk, also known as the Tomahawk, and the Kittyhawk depending on who flew them, their area of operation, and when they were made. Although I hold no distaste toward other aircraft, and I mention many throughout my works, relative to the P-40, most do have a tendency to take a backseat. Such is the case with the truly most formidable F6F Hellcat. I bring up the Hellcat, more specifically the F6F below because of Baja California and the potential possibility of one of it's kind coming in contact with another strong interest of mine, submarines --- especially so World War II Japanese and German rogue or ghost submarines. See:



In the opening sentence this footnote is referenced to I mention there was one slight caveat regarding the travels of my buddy and me in Mexico that circulated around a specific interest by me, but not necessarily escalated to any special level of importance by my buddy. That interest was to see, locate, and/or find an ancient Buddhist related statue-like carved figure said to have been erected before 500 AD in Tehuantepec in the far southern reaches of Mexico.

My interest in the statue came about because sometime around the start of my junior year of high school I began study-practice in Zen under the guidance of the person I call my Mentor. In the process of that study I developed an interest in and became familiar with the history and background of the Buddha. At the high school I attended the graduating class had what they called 'Senior Ditch Day,' wherein a regular school day was officially set aside to ditch and go somewhere as a class en mass. My senior year the class selected Catalina Island as our destination. During that high school excursion I participated in all the usual tourist stuff with my girlfriend and buddies: go on the inland motor tour, ride the glass bottom boat, hang out at the beach. I also went to the Catalina Island History Museum housed in those days on the ground floor of a harbor front building called the Casino. There I saw what was to me, thanks to my growing Buddhist knowledge, a truly remarkable artifact --- an artifact that was on exhibit as though it was nothing special, but for me at the time, really blew my mind. Sitting in a glass case amongst a myriad of other Native American artifacts was two halves of an open abalone or clam shell that had at one time been closed and sealed with natural occurring asphaltum. The sealed shell had been found, as I was to learn much later, in 1922 in an ancient Indian burial site located on the island at a place called Empire Landing. When the abalone shell was opened, inside, and the same thing I saw and was set aback when I did, was a small ceramic fired Buddha-like image, looking all the same as high quality white porcelain. And it was. Again, as I was to find out later, the Buddha-like image was way beyond any of the knowledge or ability to do so or make by Native American cultures prior to the burial. Professor T. Y. H. Ma (1899-1979), late of the National Taiwan University, Formosa, and his colleagues reported that the ceramic image was certainly of Chinese origin and that the workmanship showed it to be from the Tang dynasty circa 618-907 AD. My mentor, who was quite familiar with the object, having lived on the Channel Islands off the coast of California for seven years prior to me meeting him, brought up the artifact in conversation one day several years after my graduation when I told him a buddy and I were planning an extended trip through Mexico. He told me, referring to the ceramic Buddha I had seen at Catalina, there were Buddha-like references all over ancient Mexico and to keep my eye open for them. He emphasized, for me, the most important one had traditionally been found in the mountains several miles north of the southern city of Tehuantepec and if I got that far south not to miss an attempt to locate it.

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Months after having returned from my trip to Mexico my mentor gave me a brand new book that was only just published titled They All Discovered America (1961) by Charles Michael Boland. In doing so he had carefully bookmarked Chapter 4, Hoei Shin, for my own edification. And that's how it was all tied together --- from the abalone shell in Catalina to the carved figure in the mountains above Tehuantepec to the book with the chapter on Hoei Shin --- Boland's Hoei Shin being, of course, the same Hui Shan I write about (in the link below) AND the same personage whose memory still stands a high on a rock in a village north of Tehuantepec that bares the name Wi-shi-pecocha, a transliteration of Hui Shen, bhikshu.

The trip my buddy and I went on through Mexico, from start to finish took all but a few days short of the whole of the summer of 1960, with the two of us ending up having seen the pyramids in Mexico City, the Great Pyramid of Cholula, Palenque, and a whole bunch of other Mayan ruins in the Yucatan. We stopped whenever we wanted and stayed as long as we wanted. Days turned into weeks, weeks into months. Eventually we made a decision to return home. We headed north along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico through Vera Cruz then westward inland toward central Mexico turning north along the spine of the Sierra Madres.

In November 1960, a month or so after my buddy and I had passed through Vera Cruz the Museo de Antropolog a de Xalapa (Xalapa Museum of Anthropology) opened. When we were in Chichen Itza we met a university graduate student taking latex molds off temple hieroglyphs, so in turn he could use the molds to make exact duplicate casts from a Plaster of Paris type material called Hydrocal. He had arrived at Chichen Itza on an official dig with a number of people, professors and such, and when they left he stayed on continuing to make molds. When he heard we were heading north, since he had a bunch of equipment and molds and since we had a truck, he asked if he could hitch a ride to Vera Cruz.

When we arrived in Vera Cruz the museum people were in the process of finishing the final touches of a new building to accommodate some 10,000 pieces of ancient local and regional artifacts that had field collected over the years. Just like wanting to see the world's largest ball of yarn or the world's largest donut, I had to see it. Although the graduate student really didn't need any help with his molds and equipment, in the process of delivering them we faked it enough so my buddy and I could join him allowing us access to the yet to be opened museum. There were boxes and stuff spread out all over in the main building, outbuildings, and other places as people were sorting, counting, and setting up exhibits. Once within the perimeter my buddy and I were able to wander through looking at the artifacts unquestioned and unmolested.

In doing so, just like seeing the Buddha-like porcelain figurine in the abalone shell in the Catalina Island museum and was set-aback, I saw quite clearly an equally highly unusual artifact that has, since the rise of the internet, become quite controversial. At the time I was amazed by it, but really put it out of my mind as events of much greater significance during our travels overshadowed any other interest. Then one day on the internet I ran across an image of the same artifact and became aware of the controversy surrounding it. I make no comments regarding any of the controversy, but do present the image of what I saw in real life those so many years ago in Mexico, an Olmec figurine circa 1200-900 BCE looking all the same as an elephant:

Z. Sitchin 2000 Reproduced by Permission
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What brought me to the vicinity of the Mauthausen death camp in the first place was the remains of a man thought possibly to have been a Shaman that had been frozen over five-thousand years ago high in the Alps along the border between Italy and Austria.

The frozen man, given the name Otzi but sometimes called the Iceman, was nearly perfectly perserved considering he had died 5300 years ago. I had written about him somewhat extensively in POWER OF THE SHAMAN and, while traveling in Europe, included seeing him for myself as well as seek out the location high in the mountains where he was found.

The frozen remains of the nearly intact Iceman is exhibited with all his clothing and equipment at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano, Italy not far into the lower reaches of the Alps from Venice. To see where he was found, however, after visiting Venice, I went around into Austria through Vienna. On the way through Salzburg to Innsbruck to see the site the Iceman was found as well as the Otzi Memorial, I went right by Mauthausen. Although initially I had not even remotely entertained the prospect of going to the death camp, somehow I was drawn to stop there.







Interestingly enough, several years later, the exact same circular sky chart I used to find M31, together with a long time toy possession of mine from my childhood called a Captain Midnight Code-O-Graph, played important roles regarding a connection between myself and the mysterious spiritual hermitage said to exist somewhere beyond time in a remote area of the Himalayas known under a variety of names such as Gyanganj, Shambhala or Shangri-la. See:




"The first half of my plan was to eliminate any long distant ground transportation when I left the U.S., going as quickly and as efficiently as possible to Tikal after a slight detour flying into the Yucatan Peninsula city of Merida in order to be at the Temple of the Seven Dolls in Dzibilchaltun at the moment of the Spring Equinox."

DZIBILCHATUN: The Seven Dolls and the Maya Equinox

In the above link to the above so cited quote, I tell how at a later date in my life than the high school trip with my high school buddy, on the way to Tikal, I went back to the Yucatan in search of the same spot I had camped out and met the old lady. I also cite because of the elapsed time since that initial visit, with the transforming the local geography and all, I was unable to locate the same spot.

I then go on to say, after traveling some distance eastward on the highway, and with no similar or recognizable signs or landmarks showing up as to the location I was seeking, as well as running out of time, I decided to make a U-turn and head back. On that return portion, set back in a small foliage free dirt turn-off along the right side of the road I saw what looked to be a rather old and weather beaten shack-like three-sided open at the front lean-to roadside vendor's stand, basically put together out of sticks, a stand that I know I hadn't seen on the way east. Since nothing had been around for miles in either direction along the road I decided to pull over and see what the vendor had to offer. After several interactions between myself and a little old lady who apparently ran the stand, she gave me a little hand-weaved box that had a stone in it, a stone that looked all the same as the one the little old lady put in my hand years before. However before I had remotely had a chance to make a comment on it she disappeared, re the following:

"I turned as quickly as I could to catch the old lady, instantly reaching the edge of the foliage and the point where I was sure she had entered. However, the foliage was so tangled, thick, and briar-like in most places it was impassable for any distance anywhere along its edge. When I turned back to the lean-to the girl was gone as well.

"Finished with both Oxkintok and the search for the camping spot I returned to Merida, taking a flight to Guatemala City and from there to Tikal. In Guatemala City customs had me open my bag. Seeing the little weaved box I was asked if there was any food or live insects in it. When I said no only a rock, the man wanted me to open it. Removing the lid and tipping it toward him he wanted to know what I meant by a rock. Inside, instead of a rock, was a Barlow lens that belonged to my telescope I lost on my first trip to the Yucatan years ago just out of high school, a Barlow lens far from being a rock but instead, a small telescopic device designed to multiply a telescopes power. Basically I shrugged my shoulders suggesting I was just as much in the dark as he was. He handed the box and lens back just letting it go at that.


"Regarding the small crumpled piece of paper under the rock that fell to the ground back at the roadside stand and of which I retained, written in Spanish and of which the young girl was unable to read, but customs man could and did, translated thus:"

"Why look up there when you are standing where other worlds came to ours?"

Which you may recall is the exact same thing the little old Maya woman told me years before.


In 1978 Glen Penfield, an American geophysicist employed by the Western Geophysical Company of Houston, Texas(see), and hired out under contract to the Mexican state-owned oil company PEMEX, discovered what he thought might be an impact crater buried under the northern Yucatan Peninsula. At the time, Penfield was a member of an airborne survey team magnetically imaging the whole of the general area. During a routine examination of the data Penfield noticed what appeared to be a huge underground "arc" in the Caribbean with its ends pointing south that was inconsistent with the region's geology. Curious, Penfield located an old gravity map of the Yucatan from the 1960s and found another arc, only this one was on the Yucatan itself --- and its ends pointed north. He matched the two maps top to bottom and found that the arcs joined in a nearly perfect circle 112 miles in diameter with its center at the village of Puerto Chicxulub.(source)

It was not until eleven or twelve years later that the existence of the crater truly became public knowledge. In 1989 and 1990 Adriana C. Ocampo, Dr. Kevin O. Pope, and Charles Duller were using satellite images to map water resources in the Yucatan. They found a semicircular ring of sinkholes, called "cenotes," that Ocampo recognized as related to the crater. They hypothesized that the crater might be the K/T impact site and published their findings in the journal Nature in May of 1991.(source)



Some of you may or may not know that in my youth I had Darshan under the grace and light of the venerated Indian holy man the Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi. When the Bhagavan was 16 or 17 years old he had what has come to be called a death experience that ended with the young boy Awakening to the Absolute. Not known to most who are familiar with Sri Ramana is that sixteen years after his first death experience he had a second death experience. That second episode cumulated in full and total Enlightenment. Even lesser known, interestingly enough, is that the experience circulated around the meeting of an old woman who was out collecting fuel (i.e., firewood):

There was a time when the Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi would frequently roam the holy hill of Arunachala, as well as climbing to the summit and making Pradakshina (circumambulation), so that in the end, he knew every part of it. And then one day, when he was wandering alone, he passed an old woman gathering fuel on the hillside. She looked like a common outcast woman, but she addressed the young Swami fearlessly, as an equal. Beginning with the rough cursing common to such people, she said: "May you be put on the funeral pyre! Why do you wander about in the sun like that? Why don't you sit quiet?"

"It can have been no ordinary woman," Sri Bhagavan said when he told the devotees about it; "Who knows who she was?" Certainly, no ordinary outcast woman would have dared to speak to a Swami like that. The devotees took it to be a manifestation of Arunagiri Siddha, the Spirit of Arunachala. From that time Sri Bhagavan gave up roaming the hillside.(source)

If you recall in reference to the old Mayan woman I encountered as outlined in the main text above as well as in Footnote [5], when I told her that I was looking at other worlds she replied with:

"Why look up there when you are standing where other worlds came to ours?"

Thousands of years before, the 6th century BC philosopher Thales of Miletus, as legend has it, was so involved in observing the stars one night while walking he fell into a ditch. An old woman, seeing Thales fall, taunted him with:

"How can you expect to know all about the heavens, Thales, when you cannot even see what is just before your feet."


Since I've put this article online I have been contacted by a number of people telling me they made the trip east from Tijuana through Tecate and down into central Mexico many times and never once encountered any sort of a reason why it couldn't or shouldn't be done. Actually, in the case of my buddy and me, there was really more to the story than I stated above.

After crossing the border in Tijuana and turning toward the east, we stopped at a small cantina just outside Tecate. While inside the cantina a rather loud discussion between two men degenerated into a fight that ended with one of the men being stabbed. Everybody scrambled to get out. In the ensuing milieu someone in broken english told us we should get out before authorities arrived. Just as we started to move cop types were coming in the front door. Some guy running by motioned us to follow him. We dashed through the kitchen and out into a darkened dirt alley behind the cantina. Someone pulled us through a door of a building across the way that was lit only by a dim lantern --- which was instantly blown out and the door locked behind us from the inside. Before the room went dark I could just barely make out a dozen or more people squatted along the walls and below the windows. As the night wore on some of the people began to leave. A smattering of people stayed and my buddy, who could speak and understand a little spanish, said he had been told it would probably be best if we stuck around a little longer.

Just as the sun started to come up we decided to leave. That is when our plans heading east were changed. A bunch of people warned us that we would have a hard time continuing east and that we should go down the peninsula and cross by ferry. After we decided that was what we would do, the same people conincidently brought forth a strange man, about 45 or 50 years old who just happened to need a ride in that same direction and insisted he join us on our drive to the coast. A couple of hours into our trip we stopped along the road to pee. When we did the strange man just wandered off into the desert and did not come back. My buddy told me while I was dozing off the night before the man had performed some kind of a doctoring or healing ritual over the stabbed man in a room adjacent the room we hid in. In so many words, as best my buddy was able to translate it, the man said he was a Yaqui and a shaman of sorts, who called himself Abeulo Cachora Matorral, abeulo being the spanish word for grandfather --- nowdays a rather funny word to ascribe to oneself when one is only 45 or 50 years old. Although I did not know it at the time, in an interesting turn of fate, the man turned out to be Tezlcazi Guitimea Cachora, Grandfather Cachora, a man thought by many to be the "real" Don Juan Matus the Yaqui Indian shaman sorcerer who became famous in the series of books by Carlos Castaneda. See also Ken Eagle Feather.

By altering our route I missed out on a must see site I was told about said to have been discovered in the 1800s in the Mexican state of Sonora east of Hermosillo near the small village of Ures. There I was told was what appeared by archaeologists to be the remains of an ancient Chinese temple in excellent condition that had been unearthed along with a number large stone tablets clearly covered with Chinese characters. I had all honorable intentions of visiting the site except fate intervened and the itinerary of our journey was inexplicably altered to such a point I never did get to there during that trip. See:



About 600 miles south of Guaymas my buddy and I came into the city of Tepic located about 130 miles northwest of Guadalajara. In Tepic we met a proto-hippie American girl around our same age while shopping for fruits and vegetables in an open air market. Making dinner together she stayed the night. She was traveling north by bus alone. We told her we were headed south with our only real goal being to squeeze in as many ancient ruins as possible. She said she had just come from Guadalajara and had heard that northeast of there, near a city called Zacatecas, were some fabulous ruins of an ancient city named Chicomoztoc (La Quemada) that nobody even knows who built it. Since we were halfway down Mexico and had not seen one ruin yet, my buddy and I decided to go there. The girl said if we didn't mind, if we going to the ruins, she would like to join us, then continue north from Zacatecas --- besides that she said, she could show us around Guadalajara as she had spent a week or two there.

After a few days in Guadalajara we headed northeast on the road to Zacatecas. No sooner had we got out of the urban area and into the mountains when a beat up pick-up truck with high boards on the sides holding in a ton of junk and coming from the other direction went out of control. It basically crossed the road right in front of us, turned sidways, then smashed into the embankment ending with the hood up, horn blaring and steam coming out all over the place. Our truck ran up our side of the road into the dirt and, except for a series of rough bumps and nearly flipping nothing happened. However, when the dust settled and we got out we could see that three adults and a young boy who had been walking alongside the road had got caught up in the accident and the young boy, around seven or so, had been been hit by the pick-up fairly severely.

We attended to the people hurt as best we could, assessed the damage and backed our truck down onto the road. It was quite clear the boy was hurt pretty bad and needed medical attention. Since we were the only ones left with a vehicle that was drivable we loaded everybody up who wanted to go, including the young boy and his parents, and headed back toward Guadalajara.

As we got into the northern suburbs of Guadalajara called Zapopan a man from the pick-up traveling with us said he had relatives nearby and they could direct us to a doctor. When the lady of the house saw the young boy she insisted the boy stay and have a doctor come to him. Soon a crowd began to gather outside the house, I guess because of the three gringos, our truck with U.S. plates, and an injured boy. A doctor showed up and he and the parents of the boy got into an almost shouting match. Shortly thereafter, for whatever reason a priest arrived. Then a second one, a more of a bigshot one. He told us the boy and his parents were Indians called Huichol and they wanted to take the boy home so he could be dealt with by a traditional healer. The thing is, the priest said, the doctor did not think the boy would survive the trip north into the mountains.

Enter the proto-hippie. She said why don't WE take one of the parents and go get the traditional healer. Everybody heard the suggestion and everybody thought it was a good idea, except maybe my buddy and me. We traveled the rest of the day, all night and the next day, but soon we were back with the healer and his apprentice. By then the boy was doing fairly well on his own and in the end it all turned out OK. My buddy and I never made it to Chicomoztoc and the proto-hippie left with the healer. His apprentice, instead of going with them, went with the second priest.

The priest was Father Ernesto Loera Ochoa, a Franciscan from the Basilica of Zapopan. The apprentice healer, Ramon Medina Silva.





"After we returned from our trip to Mexico my buddy and I basically went our separate ways. He got married and bought a hardware store and I returned to work sanding brightwork on a yacht come marlin boat owned by multi-millionaire David Halliburton Sr."

The above quote is found at the Carlos Castaneda and the Nogales Bus Station Meeting. Our "separate ways" didn't happen instantly in the matter of a second overnight, but more of a slow drip, drip, drip widening of interests --- i.e., girls --- as we each began concentrating and narrowing more and more of our efforts on single specific members of the opposite sex over a several months to year or so period. Then, with one of those specific girls, in the January of the following year after our trip he got married. The year after that I was drafted. By the time I returned from the military he was expanding his family with newborns and my focus had diverged to such a place we just never reconnected.

I write the above because it has been brought to my attention that my travel in Mexico buddy, who I was so close to in those days but lost contact with upon our return and never reconnected, out of nowhere a couple of years ago suddenly and unexpectedly died of a massive heart attack. I never met his wife, at least after they were married, or any of his kids. Nor do I know if he ever related to them of our travels together or if he ever knew himself how important those travels were to me and my life. In later years I saw him dining with friends or family across the room in a restaurant one night, but never went over to talk with him. If he saw me or not I don't know.

My buddy was born in the midwest the same year I was. A few years after that, around the start of World War II, his family moved to Redondo Beach, the same town I lived in. The two of us started elementary school together but never really knew each other. Nine years later or so, after I moved back having lived with a number of foster couples during the intervening years, the two of us graduated from Redondo Union High School. Around our junior year, but more so during our senior year, we discovered we had a lot in common, especially jazz, and started hanging out together, --- enough so that a few years after high school and with both of us, especially me, sort of just languishing, we headed off to Mexico together for the whole of the summer of 1960.

After crossing out of Mexico and ending up in the bus station in Nogales at the end of the summer of 1960 for a short time and convincing myself that two men among the other passengers sitting on the other side of the room were Carlos Castaneda and William Lawrence Campbell I got up to pay my respects and ask what the two of them were doing in Nogales. Before I was able to get up someone put their hands on my shoulders from behind, gently inhibiting my ability to stand. It was my buddy. He basically picked me up under the arms and dragged me out to the truck, all the time me trying to tell him I had two friends in the depot I needed to talk to.

Later on, waking up after sleeping in the back of the truck while motoring north I moved to my usual spot in the front seat on the shotgun side. I asked my buddy why he didn't let me see my two friends at the bus station. He said I couldn't have been at the bus station long enough before he arrived and figured there was no way I could have any friends of any stature in such a short time. Taking it upon himself he simply took me out to the truck, threw me on the on the bunk in the back, and headed home.


Not long after we returned from Mexico he moved to the small beach city just north of Redondo eventually buying a hardware store --- the same hardware store he had worked for part time while in high school --- becoming a distinguished member of the community. As my buddy was becoming more and more distinguished I was doing other things, one of which was meeting "the most beautiful woman in the world" then being drafted into the military before anything could come of it.

The following quote has been readjusted into the first person by me for our purposes here. So said, at a gathering in honor of his memory, his wife was cited as saying:

"(He) was so interested in others that I knew all about the people who crossed paths with him, even if I never met them.

"I would know all their names. I would know all their stories. I'd know their sorrows and their triumphs," she said.

I wonder? It is my belief that up until the time of his death (November, 2011) and unknown to his wife and family and almost everybody else who knew him even up to this day --- my buddy was one of only two people in the world that had within themselves the ability to answer a perplexing question considered by many to carry a certain amount of great significance. Other than me, but especially so thanks to my specific identification of such, he was one of the few people in the world who would have seen Carlos Castaneda and his Road Trip friend Bill in the Nogales bus station at the same time and on the same day he met Don Juan Matus. If he knew or ever put the two events together he never related it to me.

My high school travel to Mexico buddy was a red-blooded, honest, true, upstanding, honorable young man. As a singular unattached red-blooded youth in his late teenage to early twenties he conducted himself in a like manner, always done so in an honorable fashion. He wasn't dead however. For example, at roughly 18, maybe 17, on our trip to Nevada we stopped at my ex-stepmother's ranch, or at least what she called a ranch --- even though as a ranch it was a little on the sparse side in what I would call standard ranch fare --- cattle and horses for example. Instead it had a huge dance hall, a rather long fully stocked bar, food service facilities, swimming pool, live entertainment, along with rodeos and boxing matches on the weekends. It also had at least two dozen one-armed-bandit slot machines in a secret hidden room, plus like I like to say, a flock of ever present hostesses. On the way to Nevada we stopped at her place to pick up the ranch jeep, re the following from the source so cited:

"After playing a few of the two dozen slot machines my stepmother had stashed away in a secret hidden room, having lunch, and talking with some of the hostesses, we removed the front driveshaft from the jeep for easier towing per the ranch foreman's suggestion and hooked the jeep to the back of the truck. Then, without staying overnight or availing ourselves with any or all of the ranch amenities offered by my stepmother, and as much as my buddy would have liked to have done otherwise, i.e., hostess availing, we took off, my buddy sporting a bump in his pants for the first hundred miles of our drive northbound upwards through the state of California along the east side of the Sierras."


In my own opinion I think his silence was a sort of selected memory loss revolving around himself and the long dark-haired beauty he got hooked up with in Magdalena in the summer of 1960 --- then getting married a mere six months later in January of 1961, most likely to someone he knew before hand. Any forthcoming facts or details regarding our trip, no matter how momentous or earth shaking could have opened a whole can of worms he wasn't prepared to deal with or wanted to discuss.


In a recent email, a reader of my works identifying himself as a former Redondo Union High School student and without citing a specific year, said he graduated in and around the same time I did. Although I didn't recognize his name, most of what he wrote seemed accurate enough, albeit leaning toward the mundane, that is until he reached a point where he began writing about the high school buddy I traveled throughout Mexico with shortly after graduation, and of which who, as a person I had left unnamed and anonymous. The writer connected my travel in Mexico buddy with two other Redondo High alumni that just happened to be attending Redondo High at the exact same time my buddy and I were. The writer revealed a little known fact, or at least that I've never seen mentioned before, that I knew about peripherally. That is that my travel in Mexico buddy was the first person to give the famed Smothers Brothers comedy team, both of who were Redondo Union High graduates and still at the time both Redondo students, their very first opportunity to perform their act in front of a live audience of an auditorium size. Anybody who would have been there that day for the performance would have remembered the "Hearts of Stone" number and the email writer did.

Although I was aware of who the Smothers Brothers were, and even though both graduated on either side of me during my four year stint at Redondo High, I was never afforded the opportunity or privilege to meet or know either of them on a personal level. Interestingly enough however, both of them and my really good travel in Mexico buddy were friends, even at a family level ever since they and their mother first moved to Redondo. How all of that came about, continued, or ended, if it ended, is something I never learned.

In general conversation, just as the letter writer was winding up his email, out of the blue in a speculation sort of a way he offered a name to my travel in Mexico buddy who I had always kept anonymous, He nailed him spot on. As for me and my buddy' and our travels in Mexico please see the following and related links:

"I had ended up in Nogales because a few years out of high school and tired of working as a technical illustrator --- all the while being faced by the draft in the next few years or so --- I decided to take a leave of absence and head into Mexico with a buddy of mine.

"He and I had shopped around and bought a used six-cylinder 1951 Chevy panel truck that was in pretty good shape. Over a period of a few months we outfitted it like a camper with fold down bunks, table, sink, stove, and portable toilet. Early one Saturday morning we crossed into Mexico at the Tijuana border with no idea how long we were going to be gone."


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Just beneath the two larger graphics below are two smaller graphics. The smaller graphic on the left shows the location of the Chicxulub crater on the Yucatan Peninsula relative to it's location to what is known as Albion Island in Belize, located roughly 224 miles southeast of the crater's center.

Albion Island holds a major distinction for being important relative to the 65 million year old Chicxulub impact.


The graphic just to the above left shows the location of the Chicxulub crater on the Yucatan Peninsula relative to it's location to what is known as Albion Island in Belize. Albion Island, although called an island is not an island in the classical sense such as say Jamaica or Catalina, both of which are surrounded by large bodies of water. Albion Island is, as the above graphic on the right depicts, totally shall we say, landlocked, formed by the Rio Hondo or Hondo River where some distance upstream from where it discharges into the Caribbean the river splits in two for approximately 12 miles before coming back together and continuing it's journey to the sea. It is that 12 mile or so piece of land between the upstream split and the downstream rejoining that has come to be called Albion Island.

In the above larger graphics the very top, top one shows the impact center, the impact crater's 110 mile diameter rim called the Ring of Cenotes, and finally the out-and-out diameter-reach or limit of the 225 mile fallout-edge of debris known as the ejecta blanket. The second graphic just below the top graphic is basically a blow-up of all of that. It just so happens that what is now known as Albion Island lies just within the asteroid's ejecta limit.

The black and white line drawing below dramatizes the effects of the impact and how the results incorporate Albion Island. Roughly in the center of the graphic, albeit not to scale, is a depiction of the Chicxulub crater showing waves created by the impact rising up on both the right and left sides of the center. The waves on the left are shown falling into the Gulf of Mexico taking that side's ejecta debrls into the sea with them. On the right of the crater in the same black and white line drawing is a similar depiction except on the right the ejecta derbris is piling up on dry land. Just to the right of that piling up on the dry land is faulting and through the normal processes of geomorphic transition (not shown) it is eventually covered over.


That covering over leads us to the bottom graphic below, an area on Albion Island know as the Albion Island Quarry, a more-or-less semi-active quarry in the active quarry sense. It is highly important relative to the Chicxulub impact and ejecta fallout, as the quarrying that goes on there during their normal digging operations exposed quite graphically the ejecta layering. Albion Island Quarry is less than 35 miles northwest from the ancient Maya ruin site of Altun Ha. While it is quite apparent that the Albion Island Quarry is inside the Chicxulub impact crater ejecta circle because of the ejecta, no one is sure by how much. It could be by just a few feet to several miles. No matter how much further, it still pushes it closer to Altun Ha, Altun Ha being extremely important in a near continuation of what transpired between me and the old lady that is so prominent in the above main text.

There have been ejecta traces found in exposed sediments along a highway near Santa Teresa in Belize 355 miles due south of the center of impact, 120 miles south of Altun Ha. If 355 miles is taken as a radius for ejecta fallout that would push the fallout edge well over 120 miles east of Altun Ha meaning the location where Altun Ha stands now would be well within the range of any impact effect. Interestingly enough Santa Teresa just happens to be on an exact direct straight line due west from Utila Island by 140 miles, which also comes into play with the events related to Altun Ha.

The following cuts to the quick relative to Albion Island from the source so cited:

The Albion Island quarry in northern Belize has the best exposure of the "ejecta blanket" from the Chicxulub blast. Overlying the Cretaceous dolostone is an orange-colored layer of fine material that contains rounded carbonate particles called spherules. The spherules when cut show evidence of being formed by accretion very much like hailstones. It has been hypothesized that they formed in the atmosphere from the condensation of carbonate rocks vaporized by the impact. Above the spherule bed is a thick layer of jumbled rocks of all sizes in a fine matrix. This unsorted material is called diamictite. The diamictite contains large boulders, as well as numerous cobbles. Many of the rocks are polished, faceted, and striated and closely resemble rocks with similar features that can be found in the glacial tills of western New York state. Except they are found in tropical Belize! Instead of being transported by moving glacial ice, this diamictite material was pushed outward by the blast of the impact.

Expedition to Belize


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"The equinoxes are often mentioned in tandem with the solstices, apparently because, for many Western-minded modern people sharing superficial but evidently ethnocentric astronomical notions, they represent the only significant moments of the tropical year. Nobody seems to care that, while the solstices are marked by easily perceivable extremes of the Sun's annual path along the horizon, the equinoxes are not directly observable and can only be determined with relatively sophisticated methods."


In reference to the above quote, people go on-and-on about the greatness of Stonehenge and it's design being able to mark the summer solstice. However, it you take in consideration the above quote and the difference of sophistication required between measuring solstices and equinoxes, the Mayan usually come out the short end of the stick when it comes to their accomplishments.