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.