Posted by: Johan Normark | December 1, 2011

2012: Some recent examples of how media distorts information

ABC’s recent blunder regarding the identities of David Stuart and John Major Jenkins, and the fact that the Comalcalco bricks of much recent interest does not even refer to the correct Calendar Round date, are just two examples of how misinformation about the Maya and the supposed end date spread like a virus. There are some other recent cases. Facebook is a good source here.

Sven Gronemeyer, who has worked on the now infamous Monument 6 at Tortuguero, has been misquoted after his recent speech at the Mesa Redonda conference at Palenque. There he said that there is evidence of the future date of January 20, 154591 AD (20 Piktun). However, this piece of information was transformed into the date of the “end of the world” by someone else. This is not what Gronemeyer said, as he believes that there is no known end of the calendar.

Another example is the upcoming TV documentary by Raúl Julia Levy. As mentioned in an earlier post, he refers to the Guatemalan archaeologist Hector E. Mejía who is supposed to have written him a letter discussing a monumental head on a black and white photograph. The producer is using this letter to legitimize his claims that aliens actually visited the Maya. However, in a recent discussion on facebook Mejía believes the photo is a fake and there is some indications that the letter itself is not entirely correct. The fact that this website provides a photocopied version of Mejía’s letter is in itself suspicious. Why must their claims be supported by this document which someone else could have written? On facebook Mejía admits he has been in contact with the TV producer but things have been blown out of proportion. So, do not take the contents of this letter for being Mejía’s own view. I am not even sure which one is the true author of the letter. It does not seem to be written by anyone who knows archaeological discourse. Some truly old-fashioned concepts are being used that I hope archaeologists born during the latter half of the 20th century no longer use. 2012ers and UFO believers may use them though…

Basically, what the letter says is that the monumental head has features that are not consistent with the Prehispanic “races” of America such as the Maya, Nahuatl, or Olmec. It relates the monument to the “Baby Face” at Monte Alto, and what in the letter is called the “cradle” of Mesoamerican civilization. Because of this the author of the letter assigns the monumental head with a date 3,500 to 5,000 BC. Apart from the discussion of old-fashioned concepts like “races” and “cradle” there is nothing extraterrestrial in the letter thus far. The problem begins in the second half of the letter.

 The author of the letter states that the head was created by an extraordinary and superior civilization that had an amazing knowledge which is unknown on this planet. It settled in southern Guatemala and its light and knowledge radiated to hunter-gatherers who were their disciples and received their teachings. This is a diffusionist perspective, which has not been popular in archaeology for the past fifty years or so. In this perspective civilization emerges in one place and then spread their teachings to less civilized neighbors. The use of words like “unknown on this planet” etc. does not necessarily mean that these people were aliens, but that they had a knowledge “greater” than others. All it reflects is a stereotypical view of hunter-gatherers and an old-fashioned view of archaeology (which most 2012ers also share so that is why I suspect that at least this part of the letter has another author than Mejía).

Finally, the author of the letter compares the head with the statues of Easter Island and the Great Sphinx of Egypt. This could potentially only be a comparison between various forms of facial depictions without references to aliens. However, I do believe the author wants the reader to make that connection and hence the author is probably someone else than Mejía. I suspect that Raúl Julia Levy’s “documentary” will include statements like “extraordinary and superior civilization that had an amazing knowledge which is unknown on this planet”, and insinuate that a Guatemalan archaeologist support him. You should know that is not true. Raúl Julia Levy is a fraud.



  1. Sounds like Ancient Aliens. By the way, I don’t recall ever seeing you comment on Ancient Aliens. Granted, I haven’t either, but I was curious if (a) I missed something, or (b) why you don’t talk about it at all, if just once to dismiss it.

  2. I have discussed Osmanagic a couple of times and Sitchin’s annunaki as well. Here is a fun clip:

    • Thanks, but I meant more the History Channel show that’s now in its ridiculous 3rd season.

  3. That is easy to answer: I have never seen it since I do not have History Channel (and my experience of them is not a positive one).

    • I watched the ancient aliens program a few times on the history channel.They try to explain that ancient aliens were instructing humans in ancient times.
      But in my opinion, if we travel to Sweden or Italy or Australia, Africa, China, or anywhere in the World, Monday is laundry day everywhere.
      And if Dr Calleman, or some new age prophet could find out from the Maya calendar that Monday was also the Maya laundry day, that would be a sure sign, or proof that the Maya was also visited and instructed by ancient aliens.

  4. David Stuart has provided this information regarding the monumental head:

    It has existed on a finca near La Democracia. The story is that it was a modern carving, done shortly before the photo was taken in the 1940s. More information can apparently be found here:

    Parsons, Lee A. 1975. A pseudo pre-Columbian colossal stone head on the Pacific coast of Guatemala. In Proceedings of the International Congress of Americanists (41 session, Mexico, 1974). v. 1, pp. 519-521. Mexico

    Faking ancient monuments is quite common. Take the Kensington Runestone as an illustrative example of a practical joke that went wrong:

  5. The Barrigones Fom Takalib Abaj And La Democracia Are Not Contempory Fakes.But Some Of The New Worlds First Examples Of Civic Monuments,Most Have Magnetic Polarity.
    The Monte Alto Practiced Blood Sacafice With Stone Yokes Placed Over The Safricants Neck.


  7. I’ve seen this head shown on other website, explained as a typical Monte Alto monument – and even the story given about how it was ‘destroyed’ in the 1940s during a dispute when someone tried to sell it. The lips and closed eyes certainly look like the Monte Alto style, but not the pointy noise, long face, deep-sunk eyes or the way the face seems to sit on a neck. My guess is this was a local attempt at making money by attempting to create an antiquity. Alas, there are much better forgers than this!

  8. The whole “neck” and the back of the head look suspicious. Why are not these areas free of vegetation? It almost looks like they have put the face (of unknown material, perhaps papier mache) on top of a plant covered rock…

    It is, indeed, a poorly executed forgery by someone who is not an expert on Mesoamerican art.

  9. “Realizing this I perceived how, with the origin of the swastika, I had found the origin of the set of primeval ideas which had governed the human race from its infancy and which, in Mexican and Central American civilizations, ultimately developed into their ingenious system of government and social organization….”

    Here is a 111 year old IDEA that needs to be revived.
    I wish they would promote this kind of information Johan instead of the kind of crap coming out of Hollywood being promoted by Julia Levy.
    Are you familiar with the work of scholar Zelia Nuttall?

  10. Skepticism is a natural function of inquiry, and should be. Extreme skepticism borders on hysteria, clouds objectivity and should be avoided. Next we will be informed that Alexander von Wuthenau faked all his terracotta heads (America:Cristol de las razas del mundo, The Art of Terracotta Pottery in Pre-Columbian Central and South America).

  11. Are we? Someone apparently knows nothing about “objectivity”.

  12. Update: In a recent discussion on an internet forum I did google the text by Parsons, provided by Stuart on facebook. I never googled it before since it was so obviously not a Precolumbian monument. However, it has an interesting history in itself. It turns out that the head has existed (although it was not a forgery of an ancient monument, although you tend to find this picture in “alternative” interpretations). It is said to have been made in 1936, ordered by the owner of the finca/estate as a memory of his deceased wife. Hence, the “caucasian” look…


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