Monday, April 1, 2019

Grand Canyon Mummies: The Original Article



This ongoing series done by Dennis Guern and I will continue with a look at the original 1909 article that started the talk of the mummies entombed in the Grand Canyon. Here is the article -



Arizona Gazette, March 12, 1909

G. E. KINCAID REACHES YUMA

G. E. Kincaid of Lewiston, Idaho, arrived in Yuma after a trip from Green River, Wyoming, down the entire course of the Colorado River. He is the second man to make this journey and came alone in a small skiff, stopping at his pleasure to investigate the surrounding country. He left Green River in October having a small covered boat with oars, and carrying a fine camera, with which he secured over 700 views of the river and canyons which were unsurpassed. Mr. Kincaid says one of the most interesting features of the trip was passing through the sluiceways at Laguna dam. He made this perilous passage with only the loss of an oar.

Some interesting archaeological discoveries were unearthed and altogether the trip was of such interest that he will repeat it next winter in the company of friends.



Arizona Gazette, April 5, 1909



EXPLORATIONS IN GRAND CANYON



Mysteries of Immense High

Cavern Being Brought

to Light

JORDAN IS ENTHUSED

Remarkable Finds Indicate
Ancient People Migrated
From Orient

The latest news of the progress of the explorations of what is now regarded by scientists as not only the oldest archeological discovery in the United States, but one of the most valuable in the world, which was mentioned some time ago in the Gazette, was brought to the city yesterday by G.E. Kinkaid, the explorer who found the great underground citadel of the Grand Canyon during a trip from Green River, Wyoming, down the Colorado, in a wooden boat, to Yuma, several months ago.

According to the story related to the Gazette by Mr. Kinkaid, the archeologists of the Smithsonian Institute, which is financing the expeditions, have made discoveries which almost conclusively prove that the race which inhabited this mysterious cavern, hewn in solid rock by human hands, was of oriental origin, possibly from Egypt, tracing back to Ramses. If their theories are borne out by the translation of the tablets engraved with hieroglyphics, the mystery of the prehistoric peoples of North America, their ancient arts, who they were and whence they came, will be solved. Egypt and the Nile, and Arizona and the Colorado will be linked by a historical chain running back to ages which staggers the wildest fancy of the fictionist.

A Thorough Examination
Under the direction of Prof. S. A. Jordan, the Smithsonian Institute is now prosecuting the most thorough explorations, which will be continued until the last link in the chain is forged. Nearly a mile underground, about 1480 feet below the surface, the long main passage has been delved into, to find another mammoth chamber from which radiates scores of passageways, like the spokes of a wheel.

Several hundred rooms have been discovered, reached by passageways running from the main passage, one of them having been explored for 854 feet and another 634 feet. The recent finds include articles which have never been known as native to this country, and doubtless they had their origin in the orient. War weapons, copper instruments, sharp-edged and hard as steel, indicate the high state of civilization reached by these strange people. So interested have the scientists become that preparations are being made to equip the camp for extensive studies, and the force will be increased to thirty or forty persons.

Mr. Kinkaid's Report
Mr. Kinkaid was the first white child born in Idaho and has been an explorer and hunter all his life, thirty years having been in the service of the Smithsonian Institute. Even briefly recounted, his history sounds fabulous, almost grotesque.

"First, I would impress that the cavern is nearly inaccessible. The entrance is 1,486 feet down the sheer canyon wall. It is located on government land and no visitor will be allowed there under penalty of trespass. The scientists wish to work unmolested, without fear of archeological discoveries being disturbed by curio or relic hunters. A trip there would be fruitless, and the visitor would be sent on his way. The story of how I found the cavern has been related, but in a paragraph: I was journeying down the Colorado river in a boat, alone, looking for mineral. Some forty-two miles up the river from the El Tovar Crystal canyon, I saw on the east wall, stains in the sedimentary formation about 2,000 feet above the river bed. There was no trail to this point, but I finally reached it with great difficulty. Above a shelf which hid it from view from the river, was the mouth of the cave. There are steps leading from this entrance some thirty yards to what was, at the time the cavern was inhabited, the level of the river. When I saw the chisel marks on the wall inside the entrance, I became interested, securing my gun and went in. During that trip I went back several hundred feet along the main passage till I came to the crypt in which I discovered the mummies. One of these I stood up and photographed by flashlight. I gathered a number of relics, which I carried down the Colorado to Yuma, from whence I shipped them to Washington with details of the discovery. Following this, the explorations were undertaken.

The Passages
"The main passageway is about 12 feet wide, narrowing to nine feet toward the farther end. About 57 feet from the entrance, the first side-passages branch off to the right and left, along which, on both sides, are a number of rooms about the size of ordinary living rooms of today, though some are 30 by 40 feet square. These are entered by oval-shaped doors and are ventilated by round air spaces through the walls into the passages. The walls are about three feet six inches in thickness. The passages are chiseled or hewn as straight as could be laid out by an engineer. The ceilings of many of the rooms converge to a center. The side-passages near the entrance run at a sharp angle from the main hall, but toward the rear they gradually reach a right angle in direction.

The Shrine
"Over a hundred feet from the entrance is the cross-hall, several hundred feet long, in which are found the idol, or image, of the people's god, sitting cross-legged, with a lotus flower or lily in each hand. The cast of the face is oriental, and the carving this cavern. The idol almost resembles Buddha, though the scientists are not certain as to what religious worship it represents. Taking into consideration everything found thus far, it is possible that this worship most resembles the ancient people of Tibet. Surrounding this idol are smaller images, some very beautiful in form; others crooked-necked and distorted shapes, symbolical, probably, of good and evil. There are two large cactus with protruding arms, one on each side of the dais on which the god squats. All this is carved out of hard rock resembling marble. In the opposite corner of this cross-hall were found tools of all descriptions, made of copper. These people undoubtedly knew the lost art of hardening this metal, which has been sought by chemicals for centuries without result. On a bench running around the workroom was some charcoal and other material probably used in the process. There is also slag and stuff similar to matte, showing that these ancients smelted ores, but so far no trace of where or how this was done has been discovered, nor the origin of the ore.

"Among the other finds are vases or urns and cups of copper and gold, made very artistic in design. The pottery work includes enameled ware and glazed vessels. Another passageway leads to granaries such as are found in the oriental temples. They contain seeds of various kinds. One very large storehouse has not yet been entered, as it is twelve feet high and can be reached only from above. Two copper hooks extend on the edge, which indicates that some sort of ladder was attached. These granaries are rounded, as the materials of which they are constructed, I think, is a very hard cement. A gray metal is also found in this cavern, which puzzles the scientists, for its identity has not been established. It resembles platinum. Strewn promiscuously over the floor everywhere are what people call 'cats eyes,' a yellow stone of no great value. Each one is engraved with the head of the Malay type.

The Hieroglyphics
"On all the urns, or walls over doorways , and tablets of stone which were found by the image are the mysterious hieroglyphics, the key to which the Smithsonian Institute hopes yet to discover. The engraving on the tables probably has something to do with the religion of the people. Similar hieroglyphics have been found in southern Arizona. Among the pictorial writings, only two animals are found. One is of prehistoric type.

The Crypt
"The tomb or crypt in which the mummies were found is one of the largest of the chambers, the walls slanting back at an angle of about 35 degrees. On these are tiers of mummies, each one occupying a separate hewn shelf. At the head of each is a small bench, on which is found copper cups and pieces of broken swords. Some of the mummies are covered with clay, and all are wrapped in a bark fabric. The urns or cups on the lower tiers are crude, while as the higher shelves are reached, the urns are finer in design, showing a later stage of civilization. It is worthy of note that all the mummies examined so far have proved to be male, no children or females being buried here. This leads to the belief that this exterior section was the warriors' barracks.

"Among the discoveries no bones of animals have been found, no skins, no clothing, no bedding. Many of the rooms are bare but for water vessels. One room, about 40 by 700 feet, was probably the main dining hall, for cooking utensils are found here. What these people lived on is a problem, though it is presumed that they came south in the winter and farmed in the valleys, going back north in the summer. Upwards of 50,000 people could have lived in the caverns comfortably. One theory is that the present Indian tribes found in Arizona are descendants of the serfs or slaves of the people which inhabited the cave. Undoubtedly a good many thousands of years before the Christian era, a people lived here which reached a high stage of civilization. The chronology of human history is full of gaps. Professor Jordan is much enthused over the discoveries and believes that the find will prove of incalculable value in archeological work.

"One thing I have not spoken of, may be of interest. There is one chamber of the passageway to which is not ventilated, and when we approached it a deadly, snaky smell struck us. Our light would not penetrate the gloom, and until stronger ones are available we will not know what the chamber contains. Some say snakes, but others boo-hoo this idea and think it may contain a deadly gas or chemicals used by the ancients. No sounds are heard, but it smells snaky just the same. The whole underground installation gives one of shaky nerves the creeps. The gloom is like a weight on one's shoulders, and our flashlights and candles only make the darkness blacker. Imagination can revel in conjectures and ungodly daydreams back through the ages that have elapsed till the mind reels dizzily in space."

An Indian Legend
In connection with this story, it is notable that among the Hopi Indians the tradition is told that their ancestors once lived in an underworld in the Grand Canyon till dissension arose between the good and the bad, the people of one heart and the people of two hearts. Machetto, who was their chief, counseled them to leave the underworld, but there was no way out. The chief then caused a tree to grow up and pierce the roof of the underworld, and then the people of one heart climbed out. They tarried by Paisisvai (Red River), which is the Colorado, and grew grain and corn.

They sent out a message to the Temple of the Sun, asking the blessing of peace, good will and rain for people of one heart. That messenger never returned, but today at the Hopi villages at sundown can be seen the old men of the tribe out on the housetops gazing toward the sun, looking for the messenger. When he returns, their lands and ancient dwelling place will be restored to them. That is the tradition.

Among the engravings of animals in the cave is seen the image of a heart over the spot where it is located. The legend was learned by W.E. Rollins, the artist, during a year spent with the Hopi Indians.

There are two theories of the origin of the Egyptians. One is that they came from Asia; another that the racial cradle was in the upper Nile region. Heeren,* an Egyptologist, believed in the Indian origin of the Egyptians. The discoveries in the Grand Canyon may throw further light on human evolution and prehistoric ages.


Evaluating the article's details -  

Let's look at some of the elements mentioned above and learn more to see if may ring true -

Cave: The Grand Canyon has over 1000 caves, only about 335 have been documented. People are not allowed in the caves without a permit, but strangely no permits have been issued. 

The cave entrance in the past might have been considered lower in comparison to the height of the Colorado River and might have been more easily reachable. And, in fact, Kinkaid reported steps that went to what he believed was once a water level. As well, an entrance from the Plateau above (Sipapu) might have been present. 




Map showing general locations of Pleistocene lava dams in the Grand Canyon in Arizona


It's interesting to note that during the Pleistocene Era, more than 150 lava flows fed into the Grand Canyon, creating basalt lava dams that made the Colorado River rise and create lakes. This very event of eruptions could have been the catastrophe that made the people go underground and make the water rise to the level that the steps to the cave (30 yards long) were created from the water, meaning these people likely entered the caves by boat to the steps created and entered. That earlier reported almost 2000-foot high cave on the sheer cliff would have been a simple step climb from boat.

One of the most significant recent events in the history of the Grand Canyon was the formation of a series of basaltic lava dams in the area of Toroweap Valley, Prospect Canyon, and Whitmore Canyon approximately 200 km west of the national park headquarters




LOTUS: Lakshmi (Hindu deity holding a lotus in each hand) has also been a goddess of abundance and fortune for Buddhists, and was represented on the oldest surviving stupas and cave temples of Buddhism. 

Carvings: Reported to be made of something that resembled marble. Marble Canyon in Grand Canyon -  The name Marble Canyon is a misnomer because there is no marble there. Although John Wesley Powell knew this when he named the canyon, he thought the polished limestone looked like marble. In his words, "The limestone of the canyon is often polished, and makes a beautiful marble. Sometimes the rocks are of many colors - white, gray, pink, and purple, with saffron tints."

Copper mining: Obviously from the description, a people primarily focused on mining copper and its processing. One would assume the copper mining was done nearby. Looking to copper-loaded areas would be narrowing the possible locations.

LINK In 1893 Hogan registered the “Orphan Lode” or “Orphan Mine,” located 1,000 feet below Maricopa Point and on 20.64 acres of scenic property less than two miles west of today’s village. Four acres abutted the canyon edge while the remainder plummeted to the copper mine’s shaft in the cliff face below.

LINK:  Pete Berry established Last Chance Mine on Horseshoe Mesa in 1892. He constructed the four-mile Grandview Trail down to the copper mine, and in 1893 began hauling ore out by mule. Although the ore was over 70% pure copper and won a prize at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago, the mine did not prove profitable, and in 1901 Berry and his partners sold it to the Canyon Copper Company, who operated it until 1907. The mine was then acquired by William Randolph Hearst, who sold it to the National Park Service in 1940.

SEEDS: The seed storage - was it for protecting in a cool environment like we do with our archived seeds or were they storing them from a catastrophe that could ruin their future planting ability when things on the surface chilled out? 

MALAY HEAD ON CAT'S EYE: Malay are people of Malaysia and Indonesia.  


Prehistoric animal on heiroglyphs:  12,700 years ago Megafauna wildlife went extinct in America. That would put this civilization before that time. 

Mummies: Spread with clay and wrapped in bark.



Spirit Cave mummies - Near Fallon, Nevada in a cave two mummies were found. They were wrapped in tule mat. The Lovelock Cave, Nevada mummies were said to be wrapped in gum-covered fabric. 

Only males:  The mention of finding only men makes sense. Women and children would be in further chambers to be protected and the men would be closer to the surface to forage, secure the sanctuary, and gather food/water in an outside that might be inhospitable for whatever reason drove them down below. It could be that the chambers they mentioned that were gaseous and noxious could have housed the women and children, but they didn't venture into those areas that made them feel sickly.

Conclusion: A people who likely inhabited the caves during the time of megafauna would have preceded the cultures of Hindu and others as Hinduism is 4000 years old. But, if a culture around the world was the impetus for other cultures to adopt writing, crafts, gods, etc., their influence would show. So, it could be that a culture that was in the Grand Canyon and around the world, was already established and far ahead of the rest of us. That would mean Hindu, Siberians, Egyptians, and lots of other people around the globe could have adopted their symbols and styles. So, what we are seeing in this cave might not have origins in India, Malaysia, Egypt or China, but was the same culture that created interest in the stars, mining, textiles, technologies, irrigation, heiroglyphs, and more for native people around the globe. 

Much of what was described has the possibility of being feasible given the legends of natives, the caves available, catastrophes of the past, items found within, and more.

Was there a cave with such findings discovered in 1909? Other caves have revealed amazing finds such as Lovelock Cave in Nevada and Spirit Cave in Nevada. Both were in areas that once in the megafauna era had huge lakes to support life and caves to support shelter. 


The series continues in a few days when we explore another aspect of the Grand Canyon mummies report. 

**

Next installment LINK (Other Attempts to Find the Cave)


**For more in this series, look for the tab up at the top of the blog for "Grand Canyon Mummies."

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