Skeptics call the Ica Stones hoaxes, perpetrated by Javier Cabrera and carved by local farmer Basilio Uschuya for the tourist industry, yet Dennis Swift has been studying them for several decades. Dinosaurs, a man with a telescope, open heart surgery and brain surgery are depicted on the stones. A Spanish Jesuit priest was the first one to record seeing them in 1535 and some were sent to Spain in 1562. How could this be if they were recently carved hoaxes? Check out and surf the website below. It is a very good one. Pastor Steve
Are the Ica Stones Fake? Skeptics Under Fire
By Dr. Dennis Swift – Courtesy of The Dinosaur Institute
The Fortean Times published an article on the Ica Stones by Filip Coppens entitled, “Jurassic Library.” Filip dismisses the Ica Stones as clever hoaxes perpetuated by Javier Cabrera and carved by Basilio Uschuya for the tourist industry.1 Creationists have presented the Ica Stones as prima facia evidence that dinosaurs and man roamed the earth together. The stones depict dinosaurs in such vivid detail that paleontologists pale at the disturbing representations of dinosaurs. Is Filip Coppens correct in his assertion that the stones are forged? Has Coppens blatantly disregarded the facts and unwittingly passed on erroneous secondhand information about the stones?
Any investigation into the authenticity of the stones should begin with the facts. The history and scientific analysis of the stones should be considered before tossing them aside as tourist trinkets.
The first mention of the stones is from a Spanish priest journeying to the region of Ica in 1535.2 Father Simon, a Jesuit missionary, accompanied Pizarro along the Peruvian coast and recorded his amazement upon viewing the stones. In 1562, Spanish explorers sent some of the stones back to Spain. The Indian chronicler, Juan de Santa Cruz Pachacuti Llamqui, wrote at the time of the Inca Pachacutec many carved stones were found in the kingdom of Chincha in Chimchayunga which was called Manco.3 Chinchayunga was known as the low country of the central coast of Peru where Ica is located today.
Javier Cabrera’s father, Dom Pedro, was about nine years old in 1906, when he witnessed his father excavating outside of Ica and discovering three or four stones in tombs. Javier Cabrera’s grandfather, like many other wealthy Peruvians, had an extensive collection of Pre-Columbian artifacts. The three or four engraved stones were stolen or lost long before Javier Cabrera was born in 1926.4 In 1936, peasants plowing in the fields outside of Ica in Salas uncovered a single stone. The authorities attributed the engraved stones to the Incas because the preponderance of ceramics, textiles, and mummies were associated with the Incas in the Salas region.
The first collectors were Carlos and Pablo Soldi, who owned a plantation in Ocucaje. In 1955, stones were excavated from tombs on their property. Pablo and Carlos Soldi began to acquire other stones found by the huaqueros of Ocucaje. The Soldi brothers were eyewitnesses of stones being dug up with the mummies and other artifacts from the tombs on their property. The Soldi brothers were the first to recognize the scientific significance of the stones. They requested that official testing be conducted.
Herman Buse gives this account that Pablo Soldi said, “a thick layer of salt pepper covering the main specimens could only be explained by the passage of considerable time.” Peruvian archaeologists were invited to excavate on the plantation or to witness firsthand where some of the stones came from. Peruvian archaeologists did not avail themselves of the opportunity. Eventually, Carlos and Pablo had a very large collection of engraved stones. Carlos and Pablo were passionate archaeology buffs, and they endeavored to preserve the stones for the museums of Peru.
In 1967, the Soldi brothers approached Dr. Cabrera about purchasing the majority of their collection. Cabrera was curious but skeptical, because the stones depicted heart surgeries, Indians staring into the sky with telescopes, and dinosaurs. After examining the collection, he realized that they were ancient antiquities of major scientific importance. The Soldi brothers sold him 341 stones for the ridiculous sum of $7,000 old Peruvian soles—about forty-five American dollars. Javier had the stones stored in one of the rooms of his Spanish mansion.
In the late 1950’s, Commander Elias, curator of the Callao Naval Museum until 1973, acquired stones from huaqueros including some individuals who resided in Ocucaje. There were deposits of stones found about twenty miles south-southwest of Ica near Ocuaje and the Rio Ica. The stones were documented to have been discovered in caves and graves. Commander Elias was a man with an ardent interest in archaeology, and he, by 1973, had approximately three hundred stones displayed in the Naval Museum.
The Regional Museum of Ica had a few stones from the tombs around Ica. Carlos and Pablo Soldi sought to preserve the stones for the museums of Peru. Carlos died in 1967 and Pablo in 1968; 114 of the stones were given to the Regional Museum in Ica. Some of these stones were on public exhibition at the Ica Museum in the 1960’s.
Colonel Omar Chioino Carraza, who was the Director of the Peruvian Aeronautical Museum, has no doubt about the stones authenticity. After official government tests, Carraza declared in 1974:
“It seems certain to me . . .that they are a message from a very ancient people whose memory has been lost to history. They were engraved several thousand years ago. They’ve been known in Peru for a long time and my museum has more than four hundred of them.”
The National Aeronautical Museum’s collection of engraved stones including dinosaurs was acquired from various locations throughout Peru. Very few of these stones were from Ocucaje.
Herman Buse revealed that in 1961, there was a flooding of the Ica River, and that a large number of engraved stones had been uncovered. Huaqueros (looters of the tombs) have sold many of them to museums and to the Soldi brothers.5
In the early 1960’s, architect Santiago Agurto Calvo, a former rector of the National University of Engineering, had a growing collection of engraved stones. Agurto Calvo never gave any of the stones to the Ica Museum. The Calvo family still retains that collection of stones, and they are in storage. Calvo published an article in the El Comercio Newspaper in Lima about the fantastic things engraved on the stones.6 Agurto Calvo also submitted stones for scientific laboratory analysis to the National University of Engineering and to the Maurico Hochshild Mining Company.
Archaeologist Alejandro Pezzia Asserto, who was in charge of archaeological investigations in the cultural province of Ica and a trustee of the Ica Museum, conducted official excavations in the ancient Paracas and Ica cemeteries of Max Uhle and Toma Luz. On two separate occasions, engraved stones were excavated from Pre-Hispanic Indian tombs dating from 400 B.C. to 700 A.D. The engraved stones were embedded in the side of the mortuary chamber of the tombs and next to mummies. Alejandro Pezzia Asserto was an archaeologist from the National Archaeology Department of Peru. In 1968, Alejandro Pezzia Asserto published his work with drawings and descriptions of the stones with a five-toed llama that was supposed to be extinct for over forty million years.7 Other stones were of a fish that allegedly had been extinct for over 100 million years and a bird in flight. These stones became the possession of the Ica Museum as part of the Colca Collection.
In 1966, Felix Llosa Romero presented Javier Cabrera with an ovalshaped stone; on one side was engraved a species of fish that was supposed to be extinct millions of years ago. The stone given to Javier was one that had been excavated from the Max Uhle and Toma Luz tomb sites near Ocucaje. Dr. Cabrera told me that the gift of the stone triggered his memory of having seen a similar engraved stone in 1936, when he was about ten years of age. Javier had a lucrative career as a distinguished doctor of medicine. He was the founder of San Luis Gonzaga Ica National University, and he founded the “Casa de Cultura” of Ica to scientifically investigate and preserve the engraved stones.
I heard about the strange engraved stones of Ica in the early 1970’s. I was intrigued by periodic reports in obscure journals and magazines of the Cabrera Collection. Occasionally, late night television programs on ancient astronaunts or unexplained mysteries contained film footage of Dr. Cabrera and the stones. I contacted Dr. Cabrera and corresponded with him maintaining an interest in the stones over the ensuing years. I have spent years studying the stones and have brought back over twenty of them from the six expeditions I have made to Peru.
I was fascinated by Filip Coppens’ article “Jurassic Library” in the Fortean Times. It was obvious that he had no first-hand knowledge of the stones and relied on information that is misleading and inaccurate. He begins his article by saying, “Our story has several possible beginnings . . “. I suggest that the beginning should be the truth and a factual history not rumor or entertainment. Coppens says that Cabrera’s private museum includes a collection of stones belonging to his father. That is not true as I have demonstrated from the interviews with Dr. Cabrera’s family and himself. Dr. Cabrera’s father’s name was not Bolivia and neither did he gather numbers of stones from the fields of the family plantation in the late 1930’s.
Any unprejudiced account of the stones must deal with the scientific studies already carried out on the stones. Coppens leads one to believe by his article that the various tests done on the stones were inconclusive or that the stones had patina on them but not in the grooves. He even suggests that Javier Cabrera added that “the coating of natural oxidation covers the incisions as well.”
I have seen the reports from the National University of Engineering, the University of Bonn, and the Maurico Hochshild Mining Company of Lima, Peru. In 1967, Dr. Cabrera selected 33 stones from his collection and sent them to the Maurico Hochshild Mining Company. The laboratory sent back an analysis signed by geologist Eric Wolf. The document states,
The stones are covered with a fine patina of natural oxidation which also covers the grooves, by which age should be able to be deduced . . .
Lima June 8, 1967
Dr. Cabrera did not add anything regarding oxidation in the grooves; that was part of the laboratory report.
On January 28, 1969, Dr. Cabrera received the results of the laboratory tests conducted by Professor Frenchen at the University of Bonn. Professor Frenchen’s report confirmed the earlier report: “The stones were andesites and were covered by a patina or film of natural oxidation which also covered the etchings.”
In 1966, Santiago Agurto Calvo submitted some of his stones to a laboratory at the National University of Engineering of Peru. The tests’ conclusions lead unmistakably to the conclusion that the stones were indeed of Pre-Hispanic origin.
Joseph F. Blumrich, who was a prominent NASA scientist, developed the design on the Saturn V missile and worked on the design of the Skylab, also studied the stones. Dr. Blumrich wrote that the stones, according to laboratory tests, were authentic and “there is no doubt in my mind about the authenticity of these pictures.”
It seems that Filip Coppens has done very little research into the Ica Stones. His article is replete with errors and fictional anecdotes. In fact, Coppens writes “arguing for their genuine origins cast Cabrera into the camp of the Von Danikenites, is both comical and ironic as Von Daniken himself has written that he believes the stones are most likely fakes.”
Erich Von Daniken never believed the Ica Stones were fakes. Erich Von Daniken had a stone from Basilio and a stone from Cabrera. In the words of Von Daniken,
Right angled, clean scratches showed on the new stone under the microscope, whereas microorganisms could be seen in the grooves of Cabrera’s stones under a fine glaze. That was the tiny major difference between genuine and false stones.8
Coppens knows full well that Von Daniken believed Cabrera’s Collection to be genuine, and Filip has seen the photographs taken from the microscopic analysis of Von Daniken. Those photographs show clearly no patina in the grooves of Basilio’s fake and heavy oxidation in the grooves of Cabrera’s stone.
Any scholarly scientific pursuit would have revealed other tests done on the stones. Ryan Drum, an American biologist, brought back two stones to America and did some microscopic studies of them:
I have examined the rocks at 30 and 60 magnification in a stereo microscope, and found no obvious grinding or polishing marks . . .9
Robert Charroux also had stones tested, and the results revealed that there was no evidence of a rotary powered tool utilized to make the stones:
It did establish one thing quite clearly: the drawings on the Ica stones were not done in our time with an electric tool.10
Coppens marshals the support of Neil Steede, who does archaeological work. Bill Cote produced a video, Jurassic Art, with Neil Steede as the researcher. Neil Steede, wearing bifocals, looks at the rocks in Cabrera’s Museum and says confidently, “The stones have patina, but there is no patina in the grooves.” Is that really science or speculation? Does Steede have x-ray vision?
Why have the laboratories with stereoscopic microscopes revealed just the opposite? Is that kind of research professional? Is Coppens’ article an informed record or something that should have appeared in the National Enquirer? Neil Steede, by his own admission, says that he is legally blind.
Coppens asserts that investigators claim they have been refused permission to see the Colca Collection at the Ica Museum. This author was refused permission on five separate occasions and museum authorities denied the existence of any stones in the collection. A National Geographic film crew was also denied access to either see or film the Colca Collection.
Neil Steede, on the video, Jurassic Art, adamantly proclaimed that this Colca Collection was authentic. He concluded that these “definitely genuine stones show a finer workmanship and have less deep cuts than Cabrera’s stones.” Are you wearing your skepticals? Get out your baloney detector! How could Neil know how deep the cuts were by looking at them behind bifocals?
On April 6, 2002, I finally was allowed to see the Colca Collection. I was told, “No, there are no stones in storage upstairs. Senor, you are confused.” After ample evidence was presented, then, “Yes, we have stones, but absolutely no one is permitted to view them. They are not for public display.” I continued my appeals and was ignored until Jesus Cabel Moscoso, Director for the Department of Culture for the Province of Ica intervened and let me in to scientifically examine the collection. The process was restricted by the Ica Museum authorities, because they would not allow more than three stones to be photographed. They thought they could stop me by charging ridiculous sums of money, but I agreed to pay their price. I could not photograph a group of stones, but could look at and measure stones.
There are approximately 121 stones in the Colca Collection. An exact inventory was halted by the officials at the museum. The stones vary in size from three inches long and two inches wide to up to twenty inches long and twelve inches wide. The weight varies from a few ounces to over fifteen pounds. This is consistent with Cabrera’s stones in weight and kind of stones: andesites and river rocks. The stones in the Colca and Cabrera Collections are, contrary to Steede, the same kinds of stones.
The stones in the Colca Collection vary in artesian skill from the primitive to high artistry. This is true of the Cabrera Collection, from crude, rough drawings to stones that would make Michelangelo blush with the elaborate detail and beautiful ornamentation. The grooves in the stones of the Colca Collection measure from less than 1/16th of an inch deep to slightly more than 1/16th of an inch. The stones have both grooves and bas relief style, where the depictions are raised above the surface of the stone. The Cabrera Collection has the identical kinds of stones. At this point, the Cabrera Collection and the Colca Collection are indistinguishable.
The Cabrera Collection has stones with a blackish polish whereas, I found no stones with this black polish on the stones in the Colca Collection. The Cabrera Collection has stones that are plain just like the Colca Collection.
My examination of the Colca Collection was abruptly ended because I began to reveal my historical knowledge of the stones:
That 114 of the stones were donated to the museum by the Soldi brothers.
That Alejandro Pezzia Asserto had given three stones to the museum.
That Dr. Javier Cabrera had given a few stones to the museum.
Neil Steede finds himself on the horns of a trilimma. In authenticating the Colca Collection, he has also authenticated the Cabrera Collection. Some of the identical kinds of stones are at the Ica Museum and the Cabrera Museum from the same sources. Neil Steede must also disregard his own tests done on the stones and wood from the Cabrera Collection. The wood and samples of black tar scraped from stones dated at two thousand years old. A popular misconception is that the black material rubbed on the Cabrera stones is shoe polish. In reality, it is a tar substance from tar pits south of Ocucaje.
Coppens says, “ . . .even if we assume they are genuine and millions of years old, they do not necessarily contain the type of information that Cabrera maintains; the heart and brain transplants could just as well be mutilations or acts of cannibalism.”
Such a statement reveals that Coppens has never been to the Cabrera Museum or studied the stones. Dr. E. Stanton Maxey, Fellow of the American College of Surgeons says,
“…in the photographs of stone carvings depicting heart surgery, the detail is clear—seven blood vessels coming from the heart are faithfully copied. The whole thing looks like a cardiac operation, and the surgeons seem to be using techniques that fit with our modern knowledge.”
The Peruvian Times wrote an article about the stones in 1972, and they concluded their article with, “they give very clear pictures of the operations which twentieth century surgeons are only just contemplating.11
Coppens’ displays an ignorance of just how advanced the ancient Peruvian people were. R.L. Moodie, the great paleopathologist, summed up his study of ancient Peruvian surgery:
I believe it to be correct to state that no primitive or ancient race of people anywhere in the world had developed such a field of surgical knowledge as had the Pre-Columbian Peruvians. Their surgical attempts are truly amazing and include amputations, excissions, trephinning, bandaging, bone transplants, cauterization and other less evident procedures.12
There is ample evidence that the ancient Peruvians engaged in brain surgery, caesarian sections and treatments of some diseases still confounding modern science. There is a growing body of evidence that they performed heart surgeries. My forthcoming book, The Mystery of the Ica Stones and Nazca Lines: Proofs That Dinosaurs and Man Lived Together, exhaustively covers this dimension of advanced surgeries among Pre-Columbian people.
The debate on the stones depicting dinosaurs with dermal spines and many other anatomical features that only recently have been discovered by paleontologists is disturbing. Coppens tries to account for the origin of the stones by an alternative explanation. He postulates that if authentic, this may be the “votive renderings by the tribe’s shaman . . . could not a shaman have picked up a dinosaur bone, entered a trance connected with the bones’ previous owner and seen the dinosaur age in a vision.” Who says journalists don’t believe in miracles?
The riddle of the Ica stones is to be solved by solid scientific research not unsubstantiated claims that counter logic. If drug-induced hallucinogenic San Pedro cactus drinks can cause you to see into the Jurassic, then every paleontologist needs to have a mind altered state and not a university degree. Sherlock Holmes said, “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever is left, however improbable, must be the truth.” The truth seems that Pre-Columbian people saw dinosaurs.
Whenever the Ica stones are mentioned, Basilio Uschuya is claimed to be the forger. I have known Basilio for many years and visited him in Ocucaje on several occasions. Basilio is a poor uneducated Peruvian, who has been at the center of the maelstrom over the authenticity of the Ica stones. Basilio lives in a dirt floor shack without any modern devices. He has no television, no electric generator, and lives on about twenty dollars a month. There are some curious features about Basilio. If you arrive in Ocucaje with a television camera and crew, then he is a consummate showman. With camera rolling, he will tell you that he made stones for Cabrera and give a demonstration with a piece of hacksaw blade as to how he makes them. Basilio will give you a big toothy grim and accept whatever payment offered for his services. Over the years, as I have befriended Basilio, he has opened up and revealed why he puts on an act for television people. First, it gives him a few dollars for his family that is poor even by Peruvian standards. Second, it exonerates him from the charge of peddling antiquities as a tomb robber. Third, it helps him sell a few stones to tourists in Ica. As I have gained his friendship, he has taken me with my wife to the Max Uhle and Toma Luz Pre-Columbian tombs northwest of Ocucaje. It is in this cemetery of thousands of unexcavated tombs that Alejandro Pezzia Asserto, in an official archaeological excavation, found engraved stones.13 While we were walking over the huge gray hill that is a burial mound, we came to some tombs that had recently caved in and there to our surprise was an engraved stone in situ, embedded in the side of the tomb. We filmed this with our camcorder.
Basilio privately admits, that in the tombs, he has found stones and engaged in tomb looting. Publicly, he will not say that because it would mean a long prison sentence in violation of the antiquities laws of Peru. Basilio has shown me other items he has found in the tombs.
Basilio made stones for tourists. His stones are easily identified. They often have dinosaurs with an airplane flying overhead or with a coke machine. Basilio has no idea of the evolutionary time line and when dinosaurs were supposed to be extinct. He has no knowledge of different dinosaur species except the Diplodicus-type dinosaur.
I asked Basilio to make me a stone with certain dinosaurs. He had never heard of those kinds of dinosaurs or even seen a book with dinosaur pictures in it. One of Basilio’s sons, who has received an education, said that he had heard of such dinosaurs. I brought Basilio a picture of that species of dinosaur. He carved the stone with a single dinosaur taking him a period of a day. The stone was crudely done and very ordinary.
I had in my possession, a Basilio original, which I was going to utilize in a test for authenticity. Basilio’s production is about four or five stones a month. These stones have bright white incisions. Cabrera’s Collection has over 11,000 stones. It would take a minimum of fifteen hours to produce the engravings on an average stone in Cabrera’s Collection, not to mention Cabrera’s stones are done with outstanding artistic skill and imagination. It has been estimated that it would take a forger three hundred seventy-five thousand working hours or 31,250 days to make the stones in Cabrera’s Collection. If Basilio made the stones, then he had an army of elves working with him. Basilio admits that he acquired stones for Cabrera. These stones came from tombs and caves in the Ocucaje region. Under threat of a prison sentence, he said he made them.
I have a full and complete account of the Basilio controversy in my forthcoming book. Basilio says that over five thousand of Cabrera’s stones are real. When pressed, he confesses it may be that ten thousand are real.
Coppens seems to overlook the following facts. First, there are the references from the Jesuit missionaries in 1535 and in 1562; the Spanish sent some of the stones back to Spain. Second, archaeologists found stones in Paracas, Tiahuanaco, and Ica tombs dating from 500 B.C. to 1,000 A.D. Third, laboratory tests indicate a degree of antiquity with patina covering the grooves of the stones. Fourth, microscopic analysis reveals that there is no evidence that rotary tools or saw blades were used to carve the stones. Fifth, there are twelve Moche vases in Peruvian museums dating from 70 A.D. to 900 A.D. with dinosaurs on them. Sixth, a Nazcan textile depicts thirty-one dinosaur figures. The textile was found in a Nazcan tomb. The textile had been authenticated and dated between 400 A.D. to 700 A.D. Seventh, there are over thirty thousand figures engraved on more than three thousand stones discovered in Southern Peru in 1951 at Toro Muerto.
Many of the stones are engraved like those in the Cabrera Museum in bas relief style. The stones are believed to be done by the Wari who inhabited the region from 500 to 1,000 A.D. Some of the stones depict dinosaurs. Dr. Cabrera is often accused of being the diabolical mastermind with an ingenious scheme to deceive mankind and have himself enthroned as a genius. I have known Dr. Cabrera for many years and have corresponded with and visited him on numerous occasions.
Javier Cabrera began as a sincere seeker of truth. There is no doubt in the early years, he sought to preserve the stones. Cabrera was eccentric, and his kooky ideas about civilizations, medicine, proto-people, and women cause one to experience information overload. Many dismiss Dr. Cabrera with the rolling of the eyes, shrug of the shoulders, and a “bah humbug.” I quickly learned to take Dr. Cabrera earnestly, for beneath the layers of outlandish theories were patches of unvarnished truth. Just because Cabrera has imaginary flights of fancy into ethereal clouds of nonsense does not discredit the stones.
In the early years, Dr. Cabrera collected the stones and stored them at his mansion. I believe that the stones from the 1960’s to early 1970’s were untainted by any association with fraud. Coppens engages in fantasy when he says that in the late 1960’s, Cabrera bought thousands of stones from Basilio. I have already demonstrated by the history of the stones, that collections were held by several people independent of each other. Many of those collections were acquired by Cabrera. While I personally knew and befriended Dr. Cabrera, there are things he did that I cannot defend or condone.
He talked about a mysterious cave where thousands of those stones were deposited. He refused to take anyone there. I ascertain that at one point, he told the story to make himself look like the discoverer of a great archaeological treasure. The truth of the matter is that there were several caves where a few stones were found. It may well be that the caches of the stones were buried by the Indians living in the Ica region when the conquistadors invaded Peru. It seems feasible that the flooding of the Ica River in 1961 revealed such a deposit of stones. Independent parties say that such stones were exposed in the Ica River flood. Cabrera may have embellished the story to enhance his reputation.
There were occasions in my friendship with Dr. Cabrera that I challenged him for proof. On those occasions, he produced documentation. He gave me a copy of Asserto Pezzia’s book of an official archaeological excavation where engraved stones were discovered. I asked a director of the Ica Museum for Asserto’s materials. They denied he even was associated with the museum, and said that they know of no such book. They repeatedly told me it never happened. I looked up on the bookshelf over the director’s desk and saw Pezzia’s book. I reached up and pulled the book off the shelf. “Is this the book you don’t have,” I asked. I asked if I could xerox pages from the book and was immediately asked to leave. Dr. Cabrera did give me confidential papers and documentation of other statements he made concerning the stones.
Dr. Cabrera, in his later years, suffered from some form of dementia or Alzheimer’s. In the years that I knew him, I noticed a deterioration in his mental stability. He was extremely brilliant and recognized as an exceptional medical doctor. However, he so wanted the stones to be validated, (which indeed scientific laboratory tests had shown patina in the grooves) that he opened the door to deception. I noticed this in 1996, when he took me to a back room, and there were boxes of pottery. These pottery pieces were of dinosaurs and dinosaur eggs. I raised my eyebrows in disbelief. Dr. Cabrera himself did not believe deep down that they were necessarily authentic. In his more lucid moments, he doubted it himself. He bought boxes of them and put them in the back storeroom. He never displayed them in the museum. He rarely took anyone to see them. Coppens incorrectly asserts that Von Daniken had suspicions that Cabrera’s Stone Collection was fake.
What Von Daniken questioned and tested was the pottery pieces. They were fakes.
My last visit with Dr. Cabrera was in May of 2001. For two days, he did not even remember who I was. He was so weak that he had to be helped downstairs to his museum, and he forgot how to open the door.
Throughout the years, Dr. Cabrera had given me a few stones on which to do research. In the spring of 2001, I was notified by authorities in Nazca that an engraved stone with dinosaurs and other animals had been excavated from a tomb near the Rio Grande Palpa. The stone had been found in a Nazcan tomb and dated between 400 to 700 A.D. There were about thirty eyewitnesses to the discovery.
I took the stone carved by Basilio, a stone from Cabrera, and the stone from the tomb at Rio Grande Palpa to two different laboratories. These laboratories conducted independent blind tests on the three stones.
The Rocks Begin To Speak
The stones give mute testimony to the fact that man walked with dinosaurs. I was certain that in the laboratory, the rocks would break that silence and communicate in the language of scientific assertion, that they are ancient carved canvasses.
I brought three stones to Mason Optical, Inc. for analysis. Mason Optical invented a revolutionary stereoscopic microscope that costs between eighty to one hundred thousand dollars. The three stones included in the study:
A) The fake stone carved by Basilio
B) An Ica stone from Cabrera’s Collection
C) The stone from the tomb in Rio Grande, Nazca
The laboratory results revealed several defining characteristics of the stones:
A) The first stone, under microscopic investigation, showed very shallow incisions with small scratches and chips from the stone. Minute specks of blue metal (steel) were found on the stone. The incisions were clean and angled. There was no patina or film of oxidation on the stone; no microorganisms or salt peter were found on the stone. The laboratory conclusion was that the stone was of recent manufacture. Someone had used a metal blade or tool with short strokes to carve the grooves in the stone. The tool left behind the minute specks of metal that could be seen under the optical microscope. The laboratory’s discovery was consistent with the truth. I had watched Basilio with a four-inch piece of blue steel hacksaw blade making short, hard strokes on the stone.
I owned a Basilio “original.” Were the Cabrera rocks also Basilio originals?
In 1978, the NOVA program aired, “The Case of the Ancient Astronauts.” They included the Ica stones as part of their analysis of the claims that ancient astronauts visited earth. NOVA showed the viewing audience close-ups of the incisions on the rocks. The incisions appeared to be fairly new. If they were new, how new? Cabrera claimed the rocks were carved one hundred million years ago. Such a claim is sheer nonsense, but what about thousands or a few hundred years old?
B) The microscopic analysis of the Cabrera rock or Ica Stone revealed that it had a fine patina covering the grooves and incisions of the stone. There was dirt and sand embedded in the crevices of the stone including some of the incisions. The natural oxidation had slightly colored the incisions so that they did not have a bright-white look. No evidence of modern tool usage or minute metal particles were found. The laboratory conclusion was that the engravings on the stone were not recent but of some age. That age could not be determined because patina and natural oxidation cannot be accurately measured. The patina is not an absolute proof of age, but it would be impossible to find patina on a recently engraved stone.
The stone has an outside layer of coloration and weathering. When an incision (cut) is made, it breaks that layer. If the weathering has been scraped away and the stone’s natural color shows at the base of the incision, the cut is probably new. If the incisions have become weathered and the stone’s coloration extends down into the incisions, then the stone’s incisions are at least “old” to some degree.
Any attempt to date the stones is a doomed exercise. The stones themselves are eons old. We can’t date the stones, and we don’t even want to try. We want to date the lines or incisions on the stones. The line we scratch on it today is only as old as—well, today. So the only way to date the scratch is to look for patina, weathering oxidation, microorganisms, lichens or other features indicative of age.
The NOVA television special on Ancient Astronauts left the audience with the undeniable impression that the cuts on the stones were so new that they had to be made in the last few years or even “yesterday.” However, under a microscope and not a television camera closeup, there was real patina and a film of oxidation.
In the American Southwest, archaeologists regularly dig up pottery or other artifacts that show no patina or very little patina. F.G. Hawley, a chemist with years of experience in archaeology wrote, “Many (artifacts) in dry western country show little or no patina after seven or eight hundred years.”
Anyone who has studied Andean archaeology and been involved in excavations in the southern desert of Peru knows that the textiles, pottery, and other artifacts from the tombs are in an astonishing state of preservation. The fact that the Cabrera rock had any patina on it may mean that it is much older than seven or eight hundred years.
C) The third stone from the tomb at Rio Grande, Nazca, was examined under the stereo zoom microscope. This stone had a heavy coat of patination and oxidation. Microorganisms could be seen in the grooves and the incisions. There is a uniformity of coloration and weathering. The incisions and cuts are as dark and weathered as the rest of the stone. There are several thick concentrations of salt peter that are so full of salt buildup that it covers parts of the carving with a white layer obscuring the image below. There are seriations and slight fizzures in the grooves. This could only happen over a considerable period of time with the change of heat and cold through the seasons in the desert. There is a notable irregular wear on the edges of the incisions that leads one to the inescapable conclusion that this stone had undergone considerable wear. Lichen growth was also found on one section of the stone. Dirt and sand were embedded in the grooves, cracks, crevices, and orifices of the stone. There is a dark blackish stain covering the body of one of the dinosaur zoomorph images. The salient conclusion of the laboratory is that the stone is of some age, in fact, of antiquity of hundreds or thousands of years old.
I contacted Dr. John Verano of the Department of Anthropology, Tulane University. Dr. Verano is one of the premier authorities in the world on Andean archaeology, and he has specialized in the study of mummies relating to prehistoric diseases as well as ritual sacrifice in ancient Peru.14 Dr. Verano confirmed that the characteristic blood stain on Andean artifacts is impossible to fake. The colloquial term is “burning” because the blood and body fluids leave a blackened carbonization. Attempts to fake this by paint have been miserable failures. While there can be bacterial contamination in the blood stain, it is still recognized as a “burn.”
I discussed with Dr. Verano the salt on the stone artifact. I did not divulge where the stone was found. Dr. Verano said that it was a common occurrence in their excavations on the northern coast of Peru near the Pacific Ocean, to find artifacts with marine salts on them. These objects came out of the tombs with salt peter concentrations on them. The inland arid desert tombs seldom if ever have artifacts with salt peter, because the desert is almost completely devoid of moisture.
From the speechless mouths of stone effigies discovered in the tombs of Peru comes the refutation of evolutionist claims that dinosaurs and man did not coexist. After looking at the stones with an optical microscope, there are three types of reactions: the stone from the Rio Grande tomb is of deep scientific discovery or the “AHA!” reaction, the Cabrera rock is of a pondering certitude or the “AH” reaction that we are on to something of scientific importance, the Basilio original leaves one with the “HA HA!” reaction that what we have here is comic inventiveness.
There is a core of ancient stones, and they can be differentiated from the modern curios that are made to sell to tourists. Any bogus stone suffers from disqualifying liabilities that are readily revealed in the most cursory examination. Qualified experts have attested that the engravings were scratched on Cabrera’s stones before oxidation films formed. The stone from the Rio Grande, Nazca, has passed the closest scientific scrutiny and was declared legitimately old.
I decided to have other tests done on the stones since skeptics might question the analysis of a single laboratory. The stones were taken to the Palm Abrasive Company in Portland, Oregon. Palm Abrasive sells the highest quality and most precise microscopic equipment. Their equipment is able to measure objects within one millionth of an inch and take photographs as well as video footage of the specimens. The stones were examined by an ROI optical video probe, an incredible, non-contact measurement and inspection system. The ROI delivers zoom microscopical viewing in the 20x to 500x range. The ROI is connected to a coordinate measuring machine which positions resolution to better than 50 millionths of an inch.
The three stones were subjected to a blind test by Richard Sutcliffe who trains others in the use of the ROI video probe. The results were both revealing and conclusive. The fake stone carved by Basilio had grooves that showed up as white under the magnification and lights of the ROI. The surrounding area of the stone was covered with patina. The ROI also picked up the smallest of particles of quartz and pyrite that sparkled when the zoom microscope was at high magnification. The grooves had to be recently cut to break the layer over the quartz and pyrite causing them to shine. The microscope at 25x to 75x caught the telltale signs of cuts made at right angles and minuscule blue metal flakes. There was no evidence of rotary powered tool use.
The second stone from the Cabrera Museum was thoroughly examined. The groove did not appear bright or fresh but dull and slightly gray. This was verification that they were not of recent manufacture. The stone had no pitting or pock marks in the grooves which are the result of saws or rotary powered tools. The stone had an even wear to the grooves except in one area where there was considerable wear. The worn area may have been caused by constant handling before it was buried.
The third stone from the tomb in the Nazca desert had grooves that were dark gray, weathered, cracked, and embedded with salt peter. The salt peter under 75x magnification looked like a growth of algae all over a section of the stone. No doubt this stone had been buried for centuries. There were five patches of lichens growing on the stone. The image of two dinosaurs, a sea creature, and some unknown animal were calculated to be 1/16th of an inch on average above the stone. The figures were done in bas relief. How the stone was carved away to make the figures higher than the stone is a mystery. Richard Sutcliffe, who performed the microscopic probe, is an expert in machine made tools. Richard theorized that the ancient people might have used a tool with a diamond-type bit.
The ROI probe was used to film a thirty-eight minute video of the three stones. How the authentic stones were carved may go unsolved, but they display the traces of the past: patina, salt peter, lichen growth, and weatherization. The blood stain on the stone from Rio Grande Nazca was saturated with bacterial contamination. The Peruvian archaeologists who saw the stone gave definitive statements that the stain was caused by the fluids from a mummy. When told of the dinosaur images, they said, “Well, we don’t have an opinion about that. We’re saying the stain is characteristic of that found on textiles and ceramics that are interred with mummies.”
A thirty-eight minute video of the test was recorded, and upon viewing, skeptics lapse into a profound prolonged silence. After years of exhaustive investigation and enormous expense, the verdict was in. There is an ancient core of stones from Ica, Nazca, Paracas, Tiahuanaco, and Wari tombs. Anyone who postulates that they are fakes has gone out on a broken limb without historical or scientific support.
Filip Coppens. “Jurassic Library.” http://www.forteantimes.com/articles/isi.
Cientifico Descubre Dinosaurios en Ica. Ojo-Lima, Domingo 03 de Octobre de 1993, p. 7.
Juan de Santa Cruz Pachacuti Llamquie: Relacion de antiquedades deste reyno del Piru. 1571.
Interviews with Dr. Javier Cabrera, his sister, Isabel Cabrera, and his daughter, Eugenia Cabrera.
Herman buse. Introduccion Al Peru. Lima, 1965.
Santiago Agurto Calvo. “Las piedras magicas de Ocucaje”. El Comercio. Lima, 11 December, 1966.
Alejandro Pezzia Asserto. Ica y el Peru Precolombino. Volume I (Ica: 1968), p. 25ff.
Erich Von Daniken. According to the Evidence. (Souvenier Press: Great Britain, 1976), pp 284ff. For a full account read my forthcoming book, Secrets of the Ica Stones and Nazca Lines: Proofs that Dinosaurs and Man Lived Together.
Ryan Drum. “The Cabrera Rocks,” Info Journal. No. 17 (May, 1976), p. 10.
Robert Charrous. L’Enigme des Andes Editions. (Robert Laffont: Paris, 1974), p. 72.
“The Amazing Ica Stones. The Peruvian Times. (August, 25, 1972).
Roy L. Moodie. “Injuries to the Head Among the Pre-Columbian Peruvians”. Annals of Medical History. (Vol. 9), p 278.
Alejandro Pezzia Asserto. Ica y el Peru Pre-Colombino, Vol. 1. (Ica: 1968).
John W. Verano. “Prehistoric Disease and Demography in the Andes.” In Disease and Demography in the Americas. Ed. J. Verano and D. Ubelaker, pp. 15-24, (Washington D.C. and London: Smithsonian Institution Press), 1992. John W. Verano. “Physical Evidence of Human Sacrifice in Ancient Peru.” In Ritual Sacrifice in Ancient Peru. Ed. Elizabeth P. Benson and Anita G. Gouv, (Austin: University of Texas Press), 2001, pp. 165-184.