Crystal skulls mystery

These crystal skulls are a fascinating subject. Their construction would appear to be beyond the technology of the people thought to have made them. (external - login to view)
"At first, Anna didn'tt attribute the strange dream to the crystal skull. However, strange dreams haunted the girl each time she had the skull near her bed. New dreams brought more new details about the life of Indians, details unknown even to scientists. When the skull was removed from the bedroom, there were no strange dreams. And they recommenced as soon as the strange find was taken back to Anna's room. The girl heard Indians talking and watched their everyday life and sacrifice rituals."

*slaps forehead* Geez people.
How do you carve and polish crystal with primitive tools?

Quote: Originally Posted by #juanView Post

How do you carve and polish crystal with primitive tools?

Not a clue juan. I can't even begin to speculate. I don't have the instruments, the access to the artifacts, or access to proof of their age. So, it's all kind of a moot point for me to ponder on that side of it.
This is interesting:

Hewlett-Packard experts analyzed the skull and discovered that it consisted of three or four joints grown together. After close analysis, they found out that the skull had been cut of one piece of crystal, together with the lower jaw. The rock crystal has a hardness that is slightly lower than that of topaz, corundum, and diamond; it can be cut with diamonds only. It is astonishing, but the ancient Indians managed to cut it somehow, and even made a lower jaw with the joints. Someone had made the skull of a whole crystal so carefully that it seemed that nobody had ever touched it. A kind of a prism was found at the back bottom of the skull; any ray of light that strikes the eye-sockets is reflected there. If you look into the eye-sockets, you may see the whole room reflected.
Hewlett-Packard experts say that the skull had been made regardless of all laws and rules. They surprisingly said: "The damned thing can't exist at all. Those who had done it had no idea of crystallography or of fiber optics. The people completely ignored the axis of symmetry, which was to prevent the crystal from splitting during processing. It is strange why it didn't split at that!" No matter how unbelievable it may seem, the strange crystal skull can be seen in the Museum of American Indians

Quote has been trimmed
it's amazing what someone can do with a lot of patience and a whole lifetime to dedicate to a task.

of course... they could be fakes, as well.
Quote: Originally Posted by karrieView Post

Not a clue juan. I can't even begin to speculate. I don't have the instruments, the access to the artifacts, or access to proof of their age. So, it's all kind of a moot point for me to ponder on that side of it.

I first read about the skulls about thirty years ago. At the time I thought they just didn't fit in with other Mayan artifacts. Still don't. Good subject for a movie I guess......
honestly they look like they were manufactered.
when i first heard of these Arthur C Clarke was talking about them i think he mentioned that there were 12 in all
Arthur C Clarke On Crystal Skulls & Antikythera Mechanism 1


Lots of skulls, no bones

Crystal skulls – rightfully – speak to the imagination. The most famous of them all is the so-called Mitchell-Hedges skull, whose history is as appealing as its beauty. But are some of these skulls and their stories to good to be true, or has no-one uncovered their truth yet?
Philip Coppens
There are two types of crystal skulls: one type is of ancient origin, the others are modern fabrications. The latter are made across the world, from Mexico, Brazil, Germany to Nepal, and are often on sale in New age-type shops. They may look good and cost a lot of money, but in themselves, they are not something to become overly excited about. The archaeological skulls have so far only been found in the ruins of Mexico and Central America, though there are unconfirmed rumours that some skulls have been found in South America.
The Mitchell-Hedges Skull.
Photographer: Gale Press. ©BBC 1996. The most illustrious of the “archaeological skulls” is the Mitchell-Hedges skull, an almost perfect copy of a human skull. It consists of two parts, namely the skull itself and a separate jawbone, which thus allows for movement, as if the head is speaking. The skull was apparently found in the ruins of Lubantuum, in Belize in 1927, by Anna Mitchell-Hedges, on her 17th birthday.
Lubantuum is not the most famous of Mayan ruins, if only because it sits of the common tourist route. Its name means “Place of the fallen stones” and its location was first reported to the British Colonial Authority at the end of the 19th century. In 1903, the governor of British Honduras instructed Dr. Thomas Gann to survey the site. The conclusion was that Lubantuum had been a major site within the Mayan Empire. In 1915, Harvard University Professor R. Merwin investigated the site, following in Gann’s footsteps. It seems, however, that he was more thorough, as he uncovered three memorial stones, showing men playing the ballgame. He was also able to uncover the court in which the ballgame was played.
Gann returned to the area in 1927, accompanied by F.A. “Mike” Mitchell-Hedges, his daughter Anna, and Lady Richardson-Brown, his companion and financier. Mitchell-Hedges was a famous adventurer, born in 1882, who had left for America when he was only 17 years old. He made a living by playing cards and with the money he had earned, he travelled to Mexico, where he was taken prisoner by the famous Pancho Villa – they would become good friends afterwards. Mitchell-Hedges then left for Honduras and Jamaica, to satisfy his desire to explore. He dived along the coasts of the islands and recovered artefacts which convinced him that an ancient civilisation had been present in the area. He identified it as Atlantis, which should not come as a surprise as he was a theosophist and lover of mysteries – as well as secret societies.
But when he was in Lubantuum, the account goes that he first found the top part of the crystal skull, in what seemed to be an altar. Three months later, the jawbone was discovered nearby.
One story has it that Mitchell-Hedges had discovered the skull some time before its official discovery, but had hidden it, so that Anna could find it on her 17th birthday. Other accounts argue that Anna did not find the skull at all… Another account relates that the local population became close to hysterical when the skull was shown to them. Alice Bryant and Phyllis Glade, in The Message of the Crystal Skull, report that the local Mayan people began to dance, while others worshipped it as a relic. In no time, an altar was erected on which the skull was placed. Allegedly – once again – the local workforce stopped all further excavations for a period of three days for feasting. Apparently, the situation left Mitchell-Hedges confused, not knowing how to behave and what to do. It seems that he even offered the skull as a present to the local people, provided they returned to their excavation work, suggesting he did not think too highly of the monetary value of the skull and wanted more – perhaps gold. Allegedly, they agreed and returned the following day.
There is another account of the events, which states that Mitchell-Hedges simply did not have the necessary courage to deny the local people the skull. If so, in a reversal of fortune, when he was about to leave the region, the local high priest approached Mitchell-Hedges and donated the skull to him, in gratitude for the food, medicine and clothes Mitchell-Hedges had given to his people. Irrelevant of what account to believe, in the end, Mitchell-Hedges left with the skull.
But did he leave with the skull? Mitchell-Hedges himself never clearly stated where and how he and his adopted daughter recovered the skull. He once stated that “how it came into my possession I have reason for not revealing”, which makes the mystery even more intriguing than it already is.
There is doubt he found the skull in Lubantuum. Mitchell-Hedges did not travel alone: Dr. Thomas Gann accompanied him and he left, upon his return, an account of his travels. The publication is intriguing if only because none of the photographs show Anna, which suggests she was not even in Lubantuum, as her dad claims. For sure, travelling in those with a 17-year old daughter was not customary, but not necessarily extra-ordinary either, seeing her dad was a famous explorer. But it is remarkable that Gann’s account does not mention anything about the discovery of a crystal skull – a unique artefact, irrelevant of whether they felt it was highly prized or not.
As a consequence, another argument goes that the family did not have the skull until 1944, when Mitchell-Hedges bought the skull in London. Joe Nickell, in Secrets of the Supernatural, argues that the skull was bought from Sidney Burney, for 400 pounds. It is known that Burney had the skull as early as 1936. Nickell also uncovered a reference in a letter from Burney to the American Museum of Natural History, dating from 1933. Burney placed it up for auction in 1943 at Sotheby’s, where the Museum of Mankind wanted to purchase the object. Burney then withdrew it from auction and sold it privately to Mitchell-Hedges – reason unknown. Anna Mitchell-Hedges has stated that Burney had received the skull from Mitchell-Hedges as pawn: Mitchell-Hedges was in need of money to finance yet another expensive expedition. Burney thus decided to loan him the money, in return for the skull, which he returned to Mitchell-Hedges when the latter repaid the loan to him, though only after Burney had threatened to sell it at auction.
Nickell, however, remains sceptical. Mitchell-Hedges was a famous adventurer, who published his auto-biography in 1954, entitled Danger My Ally. It is the first time he speaks about the skull. Throughout the 1930s, in the various newspaper articles, he never mentions the skull. Why this silence for more than two decades? It is a major mystery why he would not mention what was one of his most intriguing discoveries.
Though Nickell has made clear that the accepted “facts” about the discovery of the skull are largely invented, the question remains as to who discovered the skull. It had to come from somewhere. In the reconstruction of events, Burney bought it from an Englishman, which is what he writes in the 1933 letter that Nickell uncovered, who had it in his possession for several years. “I did not discover anything more.”
A new series of speculation then ensued. Some now argued that Mitchell-Hedges had received the skull when he was initiated into a secret society. He would thus have invented the story of Anna’s discovery, to explain how the skull came in his possession, and the Burney story as well would be an invention. For if he had bought the skull in 1944, why did he not just say he had bought it? Confused? You should be… In short, the skull’s origins are difficult to trace down, but its history since 1944 is well-documented: Anna inherited the skull from her father upon his death in 1959 and since then, it has become one of the most spell-binding pieces of alleged ancient treasure.
In 1964, Anna loaned the skull to Frank and Mabel Dorland, famous art experts and restorers, whom had known the family since the 1950s. Anna felt that they were ideal candidates to make a detailed scientific study of the object. Dorland commenced this by taking many photographs, from various angles. He used a binocular microscope to create a three-dimensional image of the skull. But apart from scientific analysis, the skull also seemed to reveal a magical dimension.
One evening, Dorland’s work finished too late for the skull to be returned to its vault in the Mill Valley Bank. So Dorland took the skull home, placing it next to the fire he had lit for the evening. He thus noticed how the light of the fire was reflected through the eyes of the skull. This made him realise that the skull allowed for certain optical effects – though other stories state that throughout the entire evening, the house was also a hive of poltergeist activity.
The optical effects were the result of how the skull was carved, which also enabled Dorland to realise how precise the workmanship had been. He observed that there was a type of “layering” on top of the skull, which made the skull behave like an amplifying glass. The back of the skull channeled the light through the eye-sockets at the front of the eye. If no-one would have been able to see what was happening behind the skull, anyone in front of the skull would perceive a spectacular series of images occurring from the front of the skull, which would appear to originate from within the skull. Dorland also discovered two holes in the bottom of the skull, which are invisible when the skull is standing erect. The holes are used so that the skull can be swung, but without actually falling over.
In December 1970, Dorland took the skull to the laboratories of Hewlett-Packard in Santa Clara, at the time of the world’s most advanced centres for computers and electronics. The lab technicians were specialists in the production of precise quartz crystals, which were used in various high-tech instruments. It meant that they were perfect for trying to figure out how the skull could have been made. One test revealed that the skull was made out of one piece of quartz, with the jawbone coming from the same piece. The lab stated that they were unable to create a skull like that with the technology available to them in 1970. They estimated it would take them approximately 300 years to create such an object, suggesting that the skull had been created over several generations. This is an unlikely scenario and thus the skull was proposed to be of alien origins – or from a previous civilisation that was technology superior to ours, and which quickly got linked with Atlantis.
But apart from hypotheses, some further tests occurred in the early 1980s. Larry LaBarre was one of the initial testers and a decade later added to his previous statements that the quartz used was very hard, measuring a 9 out of a possible 10, meaning that only a diamond would be able to cut it. The quartz, though of one piece, was furthermore composed of three or four growth phases. Each phase had a different axis. This meant that cutting it, was extremely difficult, as hitting upon a new axis, often meant that if not careful, the glass would shatter – one of the main raisons why larger diamonds are more valuable; it is not solely the stone, but the workmanship involved as well. As to its origin, LaBarre suggested Catalaveras County in California. However, Allan Jobbins, who researched the skulls for Arthur C. Clarke’s Mysterious World television programme, felt the likely origin of the crystal was Brazil.
"Mike" Mitchell-Hedges
This is about all that is known about the Mitchell-Hedges skull. It is not much to draw any conclusions from. But fortunately the skull is not unique. Two other skulls, made from one piece of crystal, were found in the 1890s in Mexico by soldiers. One of these is now in the British Museum in London, the other is in the Museum of Mankind (Trocadero) Museum in Paris. Though both are impressive, their execution is inferior to that of the Mitchell-Hedges skull. The British skull is on display and a local story has it that some years ago, museum cleaners refused to work at night unless the skull was covered by a sheet. The museum’s display reveals the sketchiest of details; the museum bought the skull in 1898 for 120 pounds from the New York jewellers Tiffany’s, who apparently were unable to show its provenance. There are some parallels with the Mitchell-Hedges problematic provenance. There are other skulls in circulation, showing that in format, the Mitchell-Hedges stone is not unique, though equally showing that of all skulls, Mitchell-Hedges outshines all.
In recent years, controversy has raged around the creation of the skulls themselves. With so many unknown provenances, these are legitimate questions. An analysis of the British Museum skull revealed traces of wheel markings on the teeth, which many interpreted as likely to be the result of “European technology” used in its creation. It suggested the skulls were recently made and then passed off as ancient. But the problem remains that the time required to create these – costs – would far outweigh the price they made at auction.
Other skulls, including one owned by Norma Redo who is notorious as the skull supports a large cross on top, showed similar “evidence” of wheels. Still, Dr. Andrew Rankin in his analysis of this skull argued that this now deemed to be modern skull was from the same crystal of that of the crystal goblet from tomb no. 7 at Monte Alban – which is an uncontested archaeological find. Furthermore, the 1571 hallmark on the crucifix on top of the skull is also deemed to be genuine, thus in general excluding the likelihood that the skulls are of modern European origin.
Thus there is one likely – logical – conclusion, which is that the skulls come from somewhere in Middle or Southern America, but their discovery predates Mitchell-Hedges. In fact, it suggests that certain people acquired these skulls through “some” means that cannot see the light of day, and that they some time later ended up at auction, largely erasing the traceability of their origin.
What purpose did the skull serve – assuming they are archaeological treasures? Mitchell-Hedges believed that the skull was the “skull of death”. He believed that if a Mayan priest held the skull, while killing someone in his thoughts, the person would die. He also believed that those not convinced of the power of the skull, would equally die.
Many modern people have used the skulls for scrying. Many have reported they had visions, often scenes from an ancient or foreign civilisation. The scenes witnessed, however, grossly vary. Some have reported scenes from Mayan history, others have reported they received knowledge from Atlantis – in line with the original theory offered by Mitchell-Hedges regarding the origins of the stone.
Platform of the Skull, Chichen Itza
In the Mayan world, the symbol of the skull was important. There are stone skulls throughout the ancient Mayan kingdom. One such skull stands at the Temple of the Inscriptions in Palenque, another in Tikal. Both skulls are carved at the top of a row of steps leading into a room that seems to have been a shrine. A stone skull is also found at the entrance to the cave beneath the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacan. But most skulls can be seen on the skull platform, tzompantli, or “Place of the Skull” at Chichen Itza. All sacred centres, including Lubantuum, had a “Place of the Skull”, which formed part of the sacred layout, as it was a three dimensional rendering of the Mayan creation myth. This myth states that when playing ball, the Twin Maize Gods disturbed the lords of Xibalba, the Maya underworld. The Xibalbans summoned the Maize Gods to the underworld to answer for their disrespectful behaviour, where they were subjected to a series of trials. When they failed these tests, they were killed and buried in the Ball court of Xibalba. The eldest twin was decapitated; his head hung in the tree next to the ball court, as a warning to anyone who might repeat their offence. Later and despite this warning, the daughter of a Xibalban lord went to visit the skull, which spoke to her, spitting in her hand and thus making her pregnant.
This story has clear parallels to the powers of the crystal skulls, which were also used by Mayan priests. If the skulls are ancient tools that were used by the Mayan priests, the Mayan creation myth offers a distinctive possibility that the crystal skulls may have been made to serve a specific purpose: recreate the creation myth. We should note that the Mitchell-Hedges skull even has a detachable jaw, and that it could thus be made to speak, like the skull in the creation myth. And what spectacle it would have been, if a fire was lit behind the skull, which would make it look as if the fire from the underworld eyes. Anyone witnessing such a spectacle must have left the scene impressed.
It is therefore intriguing to note that the Mayan creation myth goes in hand with Mitchell-Hedges explanation of the skull: “It is at least 2600 years old and according to legend was used by the high priest of the Maya when performing esoteric rites.” One of the tasks of the Mayan high priests was, of course, to “perform” the creation myth. The date of 2600 years would place the skull’s creation in ca. 600 BC, which is predating the Mayan culture, but I would argue that a precise date of manufacture is not the most important problem facing these skulls. As to the Atlantean connection, that for the moment, will remain unproveable.
Quote: Originally Posted by #juanView Post

This is interesting:


Most of these skulls were made in Germany from 1860 onward I think I remember.
I love the "its unlikely people spent 300 years working on them"

Why? I see this alot with archaelogists. In one show they said that even though possible, the obelisks couldn't have been made with tools available at the time, as it would take months or years of backbreaking work in the desert sun to complete.

Apparently they don't get the concept of slavery and why being a slave sucks..
Quote: Originally Posted by ZzarchovView Post

I love the "its unlikely people spent 300 years working on them"

Why? I see this alot with archaelogists. In one show they said that even though possible, the obelisks couldn't have been made with tools available at the time, as it would take months or years of backbreaking work in the desert sun to complete.

Apparently they don't get the concept of slavery and why being a slave sucks..

Archaelology and history are full of the annomolous and the unlikely. Truth is stranger than fiction. Man years of effort were extended over many generations Stonehenge Avesbury Pyramids etc; The past is not as well explained as we are led to believe. Arts and sciences have been forgotten before and will be again, count on it.

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