Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Follow-up on the Cueva de Los Tayos (Tayos Cave)

Some time ago, I interviewed Stan Grist to hear his side of the story about the Cueva de los Tayos (Tayos Cave, “Cave of the Oilbirds”.) Some theorists claim the Tayos Cave provides evidence of an ancient advanced civilization. The cave and the stories concocted about it are frequently used to point as proof of the lost continent of Mu. Stan had interviewed the widow of Petronio Jaramillo, a retired Ecuadoran Army Officer. His widow stated she wrote down the fantastic story of advanced civilization and riches in the Tayos Cave as her husband dictated it. He was hoping to add a little something to his retirement (don’t we all?)

Here is the interview:

Pino Turolla is another source of information about the Tayos Cave because he was one of the first non-indigenous visitors. He also spoke directly with Jaramillo. Pino Turolla was born and raised in Istria, part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire before World War I. He served in the Italian Army during World War II and later in the British Army. After the war, he studied archaeology in Italy and emigrated to Canada. He began his exploration in South American starting 1966, making many trips to Ecuador and others to Venezuela, Columbia and Peru.

To summarize Jaramillo’s story: the Tayos Cave contains evidence of an ancient advanced civilization, including a library of advanced, ancient knowledge on metal plates and man-made constructions. Turolla provides a complete description in his book, Beyond the Andes – My Search for the Origins of Pre-Inca Civilization on pages 147 through 160 as transcribed from his taped interview with Jaramillo. The images in Jaramillo’s account of the metal library line up with the description of images in Father Crespi’s collection in Cuenca, Ecuador where Major Jaramillo served. Pino Turolla concludes he probably based the metal library in his story on what he saw in Father Crespi’s collection.

The story goes that Juan Moricz became familiar with Jaramillo’s tale. It eventually became known to Erich Von Daniken and found its way into his book, Gold of the Gods. (Von Daniken later acknowledged he never went to the cave and never saw all the wonderful artifacts and evidence he wrote about.) The story had expanded from the original version to include the cave was actually a multi-level city and the inhabitants were known as the Vela, the ancestors of the Lamas of Tibet. The release of his book provoked massive publicity and public interest.

Other than the native Jivaro people that visited the cave twice a year for ceremonial purposes, Pino Turolla and Oswaldo Mora were the some of the first visitors, a week earlier than the Ecuadoran government expedition. As a trained archaeologist, Turolla saw no evidence of advanced man-made construction in the cave. Pick up a copy of Beyond the Andes (pages 184 – 188) to read his firsthand account.

Subsequently in 1976, a highly publicized expedition with Neil Armstrong visited the cave and failed to find the golden library Von Daniken wrote about.

In season 5 episode 6 of the Travel Channel program Expedition Unknown covers Josh Gates’ January 2018 visit to the cave and extended exploration of the cave. The episode name is: Hunt for the Metal Library and provides a great amount of video of the inside of the cave.

The evidence indicates the cave identified as Cueva de los Tayos by the Jivaro people and subject of the fanciful tales of Jaramillo, Moricz, and Von Daniken is a natural cave. There is no library of metal plates and no evidence of man-made construction (except for the ladders used by the Jivaro people to obtain the Tayos birds for their bi-annual ceremonies.)

Pino Turollo also visited Cuenca, Ecuador to speak with Padre Crespi to view his artifacts and the metal library in his collection. Soon to be covered in this blog as Father Crespi and the Lost Continent of Mu.

Crossing the Sands of Time On Sale Now

The Great Uighur Empire ruled Inner Asia in the 8th and 9th centuries and their descendants, the Taklamakanians, created a thousand years of unforgettable history. A proper history of Asia would be incomplete without mentioning the Taklamakanians, today’s Uyghurs. Crossing the Sands of Time provides the true story of Inner Asia and the Uyghur people and contrasts their history with depictions peddled by some authors and social media today.

This book was motivated by the author’s interaction with Uyghur scholars and the marked difference between the real history and that espoused by his great-grandfather, James Churchward. During the research, other theories surfaced and are addressed as well. Included are appendices containing all the elder Churchward’s mentions of the Uighurs allowing the reader to judge for themselves the veracity of his pronouncements.

Now available in eBook format or your choice of black and white or color paperback.
For signed copies visit the bookstore.

Searching For the Enigmatic Dr. Lao Chin

In one of James Churchward’s scrapbooks there is an article discussed previously (Looking for the Great Uighur Empire Capital Part 3 and The “First Man, Dual Principle”) that provides a lot of the information contained in his account of the Great Uighur Empire.

One person mentioned in the text of the article, but not used in James’ writing is the enigmatic Dr. Lao Chin.
In the “In the Secret Tomb of Earth’s Oldest Kings,” Dr. Lao Chin is quoted as follows:

“The writings in the tomb,” commented Dr. Lao Chin, the Chinese archaeologist associated with the Kozloff expedition, “are the books of a golden age. In the secret chambers of the old Tao temples are to be found fragments of the same kind of writing, but no one has been able to decipher them. Once a great white race inhabited what is now the Gobi. China, India and the Mediterranean countries were then inhabited only by barbarians. These men of the Gobi sent out expeditions to colonize the wilds of a savage earth. Some of them came to China and, mixing with the best of the yellow savages, became the Chinese race. Others went to Egypt, India, and Greece and northern Europe and did the same thing there. They probably even got as far as America and were the founders of that lost civilization which was old before the Aztecs came down and fond its ruined cities.”

James Churchward expanded on this racist theme put forth by Dr. Lao Chin in the Children of Mu

So, what else can we find out about Dr. Lao Chin? Was he a real person or just an identity manufactured for the yellow journalism article?

The article mentioned above was published in the American Weekly on September 7, 1924, however there is an earlier article published in The Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine Section in March 1923 referencing Lao Chin. Entitled “The Amazing Imagery of Robert W. Chanler,” the article announces that Dr. Lao Chin wrote a chapter from the Oriental viewpoint on the book by Ivan Norodny (“remarkable Russian scholar and former revolutionary”) called “The Art of Robert Winthorp Chanler.” The good doctor is further described as “a subtle and wise Chinese philosopher.”

January 25, 1925 saw another article mentioning Dr. Lao Chin in numerous weekend magazine sections entitled, “Strange Secrets of Thibet’s “Temple of Life”.” In this article, Dr. Lao Chin is identified as “a distinguished Mongolian explorer and authority on history and archaeology.” He is also cited as having a book soon to be published in the Russian, Chinese and Mongolian languages entitled, “The Land of the Gods.” In the article, the good doctor reveals the secrets of a hidden colony of ancient mystics living in a curious mountain valley.

In July 1937, in an article concerning the reincarnation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet, Dr. Lao Chin again was mentioned. Entitled, “Paging a New Dalai Lama” in the Pittsburg Post Gazette” (July 24th,) Dr. Lao Chin is declared a traveller and explorer who “authenticated the details of a mirage as previously described by visitors to the Gobi.” He also is quoted to mention the colony of ancient hermits in a hidden mountain valley in the Himalyas.

In February 1940, the San Francisco Examiner in a article by author Ivan Norodny (“The Art of Robert Winthorp Chanler”,) entitled, “A Woman-Led ‘Golden Horde'” remarks about the passing of Dr. Lao Chin, the great Mongolian explorer. In the article, the late doctor was credited with finding the hidden tomb of Chinghis Khan and his golden sarcophagus and hiding the artifacts away until they could be whisked away to save them from Japanese invaders.

In August 1942, the San Francisco Examiner brings the late Dr. Lao Chin back to life in an article entitled “Is the Fabulous Valley of Shangri-la More Than a Dream?”. Again, the doctor is described as a ‘famous Mongolian explorer’ and is credited with providing an account of his 1926 visit to the hidden valley of ancient mystics in Tibet and the buildings of black basalt and grey granite.

Is there more information available about Dr. Lao Chin to prove that he was a real person?
Was he an adopted persona of Ivan Norodny(1870-1953)? The first mention I found of his existence is contained in an article describing a book written by Norodny where he provides a chapter on the ‘Oriental viewpoint.’ The other contributor to his book was Christian Brinton (1870-1942,) an internationally renowned art critic, collector and curator and provided a chapter on the American viewpoint of Chanler’s work. Perhaps Norodny felt he needed the Oriental viewpoint to balance his presentation?
Could Dr. Lao Chin be fictional and Norodny used his Russian background to provide the ‘Oriental’ viewpoint in “The Art of Robert Winthorp Chanler” and continued to use Dr. Lao Chin as an expert in further articles he wrote?
The 1937 article is attributed to John B. Miller, however all the other articles (except for the 1942 article which is authored by Norodny) do not have an author listed.