MORE ON ANCIENT TUNNELS
I promised you, this update is made available to you exclusively as a purchaser
of Dead Men’s Secrets.
1. ISRAEL: SECRETS BELOW JERUSALEM
2. ECUADOR: ANCIENT TREASURES BELOW GROUND?
3. GIBRALTAR TO MOROCCO: UNDER-SEA TUNNEL
4. SPAIN: TEENAGER DISCOVERS UNDERGROUND CITY
5. ISRAEL: HEZEKIAH’S SECRET WATER TUNNELS
6. TURKEY: DEEP UNDERGROUND CITIES
7. EGYPT: SECRET TUNNELS UNDER THE DESERT
8. LEBANON: LOST TUNNELS OF LEBANON
9. PACIFIC: DROWNED TUNNELS
10. EGYPT: TUNNELS WITH A BIG SURPRISE
12. AUSTRALIA: STRANGE NOISES FROM THE TUNNEL
PERU: TUNNELS AT MACHU PICCHU
16. HUNGARY: 60 MILE TUNNEL
17. UNITED STATES: DISCOVERED UNDER
A MARYLAND TOWN
1. SECRETS BELOW JERUSALEM
First, let me mention that over the past ten years our teams have been very active in Jerusalem. This is a city 4,000 years old. Tunnels, cisterns and such like, honeycomb the area beneath the entire city. Many of these remain unexplored.
I will reveal more in my book Ark of the Covenant. But here are just three pictures from inside passageways and tunnels beneath this ancient city.
2. ANCIENT TREASURES BELOW GROUND IN ECUADOR?
East of the Andes range in Ecuador, about 110 kilometers from Macas, is the still mysterious complex of tunnels known as the Cueva de lost Tayos. According to the locals, their depths hold valuable treasures.
The first expedition into these tunnels was led by Argentinian Juan Moricz in 1969. A joint Ecuadorian/British expedition followed in August, 1976. The expedition leader was Stanley Hall and accompanying the expedition was none other than astronaut Neil Armstrong. The expedition was supported by the Universities of Edinburgh and Quito, with assistance from the Ecuadorian and British armies.
The party fought its way up the raging torrent of the Rio Santiago to arrive at the shaft where, 700 feet below, an entrance to the tunnels lay. They found the area dotted with stone pillars, some 20 feet in height and carved with strange hieroglyphics.
The group spent two months in the tunnel system, examined over 12 miles of tunnel and took many photographs. They also found evidence of past human presence. That’s all the news I could track down.
However, Moricz’s attorney said at the time that this expedition had entered the wrong cave.
Professor Neil Armstrong initially gushed with enthusiasm to the Ecuadorian press that his visit to the cave was comparable to his first steps on the moon. But expedition leader Stanley Hall seemed to vanish from sight.
At the time, no document, no report, was ever published about the findings or conclusions of this excursion.
However, Stanley Hall’s declarations concerning his findings were presented in a document to the Ecuadorian congress in July, 1997. It revealed secret, never revealed before information about the contents of the Cueva de los Tayos.
Many have entered the underground system by a well-known vertical entrance near the top of the mountain. However, the precious ancient artefacts are almost impossible, if not totally impossible to find from this entrance. There is another entrance but it is allegedly accessed from underwater.
Picture 2 (above): The entrance to the Tayos system – August, 2000
The territory in which this underground complex lies is in a region of dispute between Ecuador and Peru. It was in this same largely unmapped region that I led my first expedition into the headwaters of the Amazon.
3. UNDER-SEA TUNNEL FROM GIBRALTAR
I have sometimes made a point, when travelling, to stay at backpacker hostels. This has provided the perfect opportunity to converse with adventurers and students from all over the world.
Just after Dead Men’s Secrets was released, I was washing my dishes in a backpacker kitchen when a young man from Gibraltar entered. We struck up a conversation. I asked him what he knew first hand about the tunnel I had written about, which connects Gibraltar, running under the sea, to North Africa.
“We all know about that tunnel,” he responded. “When we were kids, our mothers would threaten, ‘Behave yourself! Or else I’ll put you in the tunnel to Morocco!’ The Gibraltar entrance is in the grounds of the British military base.”
It is believed that the Gibraltar apes may have arrived there from Africa, travelling under the sea via this tunnel.
4. UNDERGROUND CITY IN SPAIN
In the early 1970s my friends the Breedens of California were visiting Spain. They met up with a teenager from Rota, who claimed to have discovered an underground site. He offered to show it to them.
Recalls Edith Breeden in a letter to me: “I had never seen anything like it before – or since. Located near the town of Jerez de la Frontera on property belonging to a private company was an underground city. (?) It was entered by a large opening much like the mouth of a cave. Some poor (?) people appeared to be camping there. We were led by the young man inside to what he said was the top floor of a 3 floor city (area).
“We did not venture any further, knowing he and his teenager friends had been lost in there for 3 days before finding their way out.
“We heard the area was to be flooded in order to keep others from going in – to prevent accidents. But leaving Spain, we don’t actually know what was done.”
(My color prints were ruined in a flood, but here goes.)
1. Shows the hand work of carving the walls and pillars with hand tools.
2. Shows a hand carved pillar that suggests the roof of the large rooms. Inscriptions are from people of other centuries who hid there (?).
5. HEZEKIAH’S SECRET WATER TUNNELS
Many dispute the accuracy of biblical information. Yet when the Bible is read carefully, it often leads to new discoveries.
For example, archaeologists had no idea about the extent of the tunnel system under Jerusalem. Yet the Bible story led them to Hezekiah’s secret water tunnels that kept the city supplied with water during a siege.
Nancy Heidebrecht, a professor at Southern California College and field archaeologist
on several excavations in Israel, says:
”Second Kings 20:20 reports that in about 711 B.C. King Hezekiah of Jerusalem built a secret tunnel under the city to bring water into the city during a siege he was expecting from King Sennacherib of Assyria. Based on this brief mention in the Bible, archaeologists in 1880 discovered the 1,700- foot tunnel cut through the rocks.”
Hezekiah’s Tunnel, as it is known, is a remarkable engineering feat on a scale unknown in the rest of the world of Hezekiah’s day. It took all the water from the Gihon Spring outside the city to an already fortified reservoir on the other side of the city.
Dr Amihai Mazar reports:
“This tunnel runs under the ridge of the City of David in extraordinary S-shaped curves. The hewing was carried out by two groups of laborers working from opposite ends until they met at a point which is easily discerned.
“Unlike most later water tunnels (in the Hellenic and Roman periods), the… tunnel was cut without vertical shafts, making the work exceedingly difficult…. The dramatic moment in which the two groups met was perpetuated in the Siloam inscription, incised on the tunnel’s wall close to its end.” (Archaeology of the Land of the Bible. New York: Doubleday, 1990, p.483)
6. UNDERGROUND CITIES IN TURKEY
In Cappadocia, Turkey, “down under” does not refer to Australia but to two underground cities, Derinkuyu and Kaymakli.
In 1998, my wife Josephine and I explored several levels of ancient tunnels here.
These are underground in both the literal and metaphoric senses – they were used by early Christians as hiding places from the persecution of the Romans. Evidence suggests, however, that they were already in existence long before that time.
When used as refuges against armed attack, great round stones were rolled across the external entrances, as security doors.
Both cities are believed to have had from 8 to 10 levels, although Derinkuyu is thought to have actually burrowed 13 levels deep into the earth.
There were shops and numerous other amenities, including a sophisticated air conditioning system to every corner of the city at every level. There were warrens of rooms, ranging from bedrooms, with “box beds” carved from the rock walls, to kitchens and storerooms. And even stabling quarters for animals.
Since these were complete social communities, graves are also to be found. Water was no problem, since shafts were sunk as wells to take advantage of supplies even deeper below the earth’s surface.
These were towns of vast complexity. They were linked by a maze of tunnels.
Actually, Derinkuyu and Kaymakli are not the only underground city remains in this region. Others include Ozkonak, Acigol, Mazikoy and Tatlarin. It is claimed that connecting routes linked at least 14 underground cities, capable of housing no less than 1,200,000 people.
As we surveyed some of these tunnels, we were filled with amazement at how people could have managed to live, hidden from the sun and fresh air (despite the cities’ highly-developed ventilation systems) – not just for a month or a year, but, as they did, for whole life times.
That’s right, much of the population never came to the surface during their entire life! They were born, educated, married, and died in these underground complexes!
7. SECRET TUNNELS UNDER THE EGYPT DESERT
We trudged over the scorched sand of the desert. Some of Egypt’s oldest ruins poked out amid the sandhills.
Through the influence of Dr Ali Hassan, Egyptian antiquities chief, we were now to descend into a secret and forbidden section of the underground, away out in a desert region south west of Cairo.
One condition: we were not permitted to take our camera equipment.
We negotiated stone steps until we were 100 feet below the surface. Two sealed doors barred our way. We had first to break the wax seals on those doors.
Beyond, these doors there zig-zagged an extremely well-built tunnel system. We estimated that at the deepest we were about 110 feet under the desert.
The walls were lined with small, shimmering blue tiles. Many of these had begun to flake off. Salt crystals were attacking these ancient walls.
For thousands of years they had remained the same. But this deterioration would have to stem from our day, since the time the Aswan Dam was constructed further up the Nile. For thousands of years, the annual flooding had deposited ¼ inch of new fertile soil over the countryside annually.
However, since the completion of the dam, this important annual flooding had ceased… and salt was taking over. This invasion of salt is already creeping to the great stone monuments of Egypt. At the time of our exploration, destruction was rampant. And this unknown tunnel was not escaping that carnage.
As I beheld the wonders of this tunnel complex carved out below the desert by unknown artisans, a heap of questions was racing through my mind. Who used these tunnels 4,000 years ago? Why were they constructed? What was their connection with the mysterious giant covered pits above them? Could this tunnel system, with its many chambers, have been an underground administration area in connection with the deep stone pits?
That’s a question I shall address sometime soon.
8. LOST TUNNELS OF LEBANON
“They’re all over the place,” exclaimed my travelling companion. “Do you want to go there… check some of them out?”
“Please,” I said, “tell me more.”
“Look, I’ve just come out. Sketched this map in my diary. I’ll let you have it. It’s yours. Just do something with it.”
We pored over the map. Dan was so excited, he could talk of nothing else.
“At the village of Maalula in Lebanon is an ancient Aramaic church,” he said. “The surrounding hills are networked with tunnel systems. The ‘old people’ prior to the Christian era used them to escape from invading enemies.
“A tunnel network of 7 passageways connects the church with the high mountain opposite. The entrance is 20 meters away from the secret escape entrance-door of the church.”
I leaned forward, closely examining the map, tracing out each detail. The map was rough, added to piecemeal as he had explored it, perhaps.
Dan ran his finger lower on the chart. His eyes were wild with wonder. His voice cracked with excitement. “Jonathan, listen to this. Also in Lebanon, about a 40 minute drive south of the ruins of Baalbek, near Zelah… is Karak.
“At the base of the mosque there is a rock plug that is the entrance to an ancient tunnel system. It is in fact two tunnels that lead off in opposite directions to the tops of two mountains, Mount Hamaar and Mount Beerhachim.
“The tunnel to Mount Hamaar is 15 kilometers long. At (or near) the ends of these tunnels are caves (‘mahara’). It was to these caves that the ‘old ones’ went when Karak was being attacked. Both of these maharas had wells and an opening to the surface to where they could go and survey the Bekaa valley below. The refugees returned to Karak when the invaders left.
“Just beyond the mahara on Mount Hamaar is an ancient fort called Arumta. The exit point of the tunnel is here. It has now been sealed with concrete to prevent children getting lost, because earthquakes have damaged this tunnel.”
I discovered that in the 1930s a huge glass egg was found in the tunnel not far from the mahara. It contained a fluid within it. As this tunnel was below private property, a Mr Salim Khary took possession of it.
9. DROWNED TUNNELS IN THE PACIFIC
In Dead Men’s Secrets, I refer to tunnels that disappear under the sea. There are such tunnels running off the Pacific coast of South America, and also from various islands in the Pacific.
An interesting bunch of tunnels has been discovered in the western Pacific Ocean some 1,000 miles northeast of Papua New Guinea, in the Federated States of Micronesia. One of the islands of this group (formerly the Caroline Islands) is Pohnpei Island. On the southeast corner of this small volcanic island lies an immense, ancient megalithic stone city, 28 kilometers in size. It is known as Nan Modal.
This is all the more remarkable when we consider that today many of the island’s inhabitants live in grass huts.
Nobody knows who the builders of this ancient city were – but the bones of humans who were MUCH LARGER than the Micronesians who live there now, have been excavated at Nan Modal.
A leg bone (femur) was found by the Japanese back in the 1930s that was three times as large as a normal modern man’s.
The central part of old Nan Modal is made up of 90 to 100 artificial islands intersected by artificial canals. Each island is made up of giant basalt logs weighing about 20 tons each. Some stones in the buildings weigh up to 50 tons apiece. Walls reach 30 feet high.
You can motor through the city by launch at high tide. The canals are 30 feet wide and at high tide up to 4 feet deep (although now filled with silt).
The occasional cry of a bird can be heard in the swamp. Fruit bats fly overhead. The ruins are eerie – deserted and silent. To think that this was once a bustling, thriving city of canals. Most natives keep away. They think ghosts haunt the islands and canals.
Anyway, about the tunnels. Tunnels under the sea connect the larger islands. On many of the islets, tunnel entrances are found. Nan Dowas (the main fortress) has a tunnel that was earlier thought to be tomb. It is now blocked by a giant boulder.
Other tunnels also are blocked. On the islet of Darong is a man-made lake. From this lake to the outer reef is another tunnel. Fish swim through this tunnel from the outer reef to the lake.
The ruins, from the air, look like a vast mangrove swamp. For long centuries this city has lain there, unused. Mangrove trees and coconut palms have taken over, their roots tearing down walls, their canopies blocking any view.
10. EGYPTIAN TUNNELS WITH A BIG SURPRISE
A friend of ours, Elizabeth Kubicek of New South Wales, Australia, grew up in Egypt. I asked her to write down what happened when her family was living in Alexandria.
In July, 2002 Elizabeth reported to me:
“My father built two blocks of apartments, I think about 8 or 10 stories high, in a suburb called La Petite Cleopatre and La Grand Cleopatre, first one in 1933 and the second one in 1936 or 1937.
“The names of Cleopatre are because it was believed Cleopatra bathed there.
“As both my parents died many years ago, I cannot verify, but my cousin Jason does recall. So I checked with him this morning.
“I remember mother telling me long ago when we were in conversation about buried treasure and how she knew of a family who had discovered by accident enormous wealth of gold and treasure upon excavating in the garden. All very hush, hush. This was around the late 1920s – ancient Egyptian wealth.
“”This is how mother told me about the giant skeletons. The workers, mostly Egyptians, were digging for the foundations (as you can imagine, very deep, as it was for a block of apartments).
“Suddenly they hit empty space. They called my father, and there was great excitement, as they all thought they had struck buried treasure, including my father.
“They came upon MILES OF TUNNELS, with huge amphoras made of clay they had hit a burial chamber.
“To their astonishment, these bones were huge… the arms, I remember mother saying, twice as long as ours. So was the femur.
“Upon opening several, they were all the same.
“They resealed the amphoras and had to pour concrete to stabilize for the foundations.”
11. 500 MILE-LONG ANCIENT TUNNEL VERIFIED
Confirmation of vast ancient underground tunnels extending for hundreds of miles (as stated in our book Dead Men’s Secrets) continues to surface.
Since the declassification of the new ground-penetrating radar, the most staggering data has emerged of complex and labyrinthine underground systems in various parts of the world.
At places like Guatemala in Central America, tunnels have been mapped under the Mayan pyramid complex at Tikal, which extend a full 500 miles (800 kilometers) to the opposite side of the country. Investigators remarked, it was now possible to understand how half a million Mayan Indians escaped the decimation of their culture.
12. STRANGE NOISES FROM THE TUNNEL
Ian Morgan reported to us from New South Wales, Australia:
“My grandfather’s father worked in the mines in Bendigo, Victoria. He talked about a mine that he worked in, in the late 1800s, that was closed down for no reason. Because it was still making big money and still had tons of gold there. (Still is there today.)
“He said the reason given was that the mine was flooding – but mines all around were still working, and even deeper than that one, and they had no water problem.
“Then they said they had to stop because of gases in the mine. But again, no other mine in the area had this trouble. (This mine, the Victoria Mine on specimen Hill, went 1,200 feet deep. It was the only one in the hills. The rest were in the valley that Bendigo is in.)
“For months after, miners who worked in the lower levels had said they had broken through into older and bigger tunnels, and that they (the miners) were taken away, after the mine superintendents went in and checked. The area was closed off and nobody was allowed to go back into this area again.
“When pushed later, the mine owners said to stop the stories going around about strange people and ghosts, because they could not get miners to work any more in the mine. They said they had moved out of the area they were allowed to mine, and had dug into another mining area.
“For many years stories of strange noises deeper in the ground have been talked about by older miners. And when I rang Bendigo this morning, I learned that talk of these strange noises has apparently been doing the rounds – because there are again comments about these noises being heard again in the tourist mine now open.
“Next time I go down to Bendigo, I shall do some checking, because it really has me intrigued now.” (August, 2003)
13. TUNNELS AT MACHU PICCHU
High in the Andes mountains of South America, tunnels linking Machu Picchu with other locations burrow for several miles, their walls lined with finely carved stone. One runs under the bed of the Urubamba River (which is in the canyon a straight drop behind the stairway in the first picture below).
14. LIMA CRISSCROSSED WITH TUNNELS
After the Lima earthquake, salvage technicians found large parts of the city to be crossed by unknown tunnels, all leading into the mountains. Their entrances were untraceable due to collapse over the centuries.
15. TUNNEL ENTRANCES IN INDIA
Vast networks of underground galleries are believed to run from the caverns of Ajunta (pictured) in the Chandor Range, and many other ancient ruins of India.
Photograph by Lazlo Keszthelyi, January 31, 1996.
16. HUNGARY: 60 MILE TUNNEL
Over 60 miles of ancient tunnel systems of unknown origin and purpose have been discovered beneath the town of Eger, Hungary. Some of them have collapsed. The civilization which built the tunnels must have been fairly advanced in engineering and science in order to create such a subterranean system. (Malcolm W. Browne, 'Underground Tunnels Threaten Town in Hungary’s Wine Country’, New York Times, Nov. 8, 1967, p.2)
17. UNITED STATES: DISCOVERED UNDER TOWN
An unexplored network of ancient, artificial tunnels was discovered during construction of a parking lot in Crofton, Maryland. Subsequent construction covered the tunnel entrances before the system could be completely investigated. (Washington Star-News, July 25 and August 15, 1973)
18. PERU: TUNNEL HEADS UNDER THE SEA
In the days of the Spanish conquistadors in Peru, Don Francisco Pizarro found entrances to some ancient tunnels. These entrances were discovered at a height of 22,000 feet on Huascaran, the sacred mountain of the Incas. During the campaign against the Incas, the local population had closed the entrances with gigantic slabs of stone. There is no record whether Pizzaro succeeded in entering the cavern, nor whether anything was found inside.
These caves remained forgotten for another 400 years. Then in 1971 some South American spelunkers organized an expedition to explore them.
Equipped with miners lamps, battery-powered flashlights, ropes, cables, and winches, these spelunkers arrived in the village of Otuzco.
They descended 200 feet, and found their progress blocked by several large slabs of stone. It took four men to push these doors open. The slabs pivoted on stone balls.
Here is a report from a Peruvian periodical, on what they discovered:
"The tunnels found behind the stone slab doors would test the ingenuity of today's largest and best equipped contractors. These tunnels lead toward the seacoast angling away at a slope of 14 degrees. The floor of the tunnel is made from stone slabs. These stones have been mortised and grooved to fit together. They have been marked in such a manner that they are slip-proof.
"The tunnels extend for an estimated sixty miles and end some eighty feet below sea level where they are flooded with seawater. It is believed that the tunnel may have run beyond the coast, under the ocean, and onto an island off the coast. To date, the speleologists have not ventured beyond the spot where the tunnels are flooded."
"Scholars point out that the skills needed to construct these tunnels was beyond the knowledge of the natives of ancient Peru. Exactly who built the tunnel and why, remains a mystery."
These reports are an update to Dead Men’s Secrets, chapter 19, “FORBIDDEN TUNNELS” – with the complements of Jonathan Gray