Tiahuanaco ruins

Tiahuanaco ruins

I did.

We’re going to CRASH!” the lady screamed.

“Hope not,” her husband replied.  “My souvenirs are in
the cargo hold.”

I looked out.  On both sides of the plane pressed steep
Andean mountains, ominously close.  It seemed that any
second the wingtips of our DC3 would scrape them.

Next to me a Peruvian man looked about to faint.  My
stomach was in the back of my throat.

It was a great comfort to know that (a) this aircraft
was a second-hand “cast-off” from some North American
airline and (b) crashes were not uncommon in these

DC3 cabin

DC3 cabin

I was now gasping for breath.  The Peruvian lay back
with his eyes shut tight.  His knuckles were white as
he gripped the seat rest.

A rocky spur raced toward us.  The plane dipped its wing.
The oxygen masks popped down.  I ravenously grabbed mine
and sucked in deeply.

At that point we were flying through a ravine which cut
through in the Andes range at not much more more than
about 10,000 above sea level. Still higher up than us, two
miles high in the clouds, stretched Lake Titicaca…  And a

Titicaca.  At 12,000 feet altitude, it is the highest
navigable lake in the world.

But did you know that 4,000 years ago Titicaca was on
sea level?

Lake Titicaca

Lake Titicaca


It is popularly speculated that mountain uplifts occurred
over millions of years, until about a million years ago.

But listen to the eminent geologist Bailey Willis,
regarding the Asian mountains:

“The great mountain chains challenge credulity by their
extreme youth.”  (Bailey Willis, Research in Asia. II,

On the former surf line of the raised beaches at
Valparaiso, Chile, now at 1,300 feet, the seashells are
not even decayed – a clear indication of a “recent” up

Geologist J.S. Lee reports convincing evidence that “the
mountain ranges in western China have been elevated since
the Glacial Age.”  (J.S. Lee, The Geology of China, p.207)

In Kashmir, Helmut de Terra found deposits of a sea bottom
at an elevation of 5,000 feet or more and tilted, at an
angle of 40 degrees.  And the shock is that:

“These deposits contain paleolithic [‘Old Stone Age’] fossils.”  (Arnold Heim and August Gousser, The Throne of
the Gods, An Account of the First Swiss Expedition to the
Himalayas, p.218)

The fact is that this change occurred in historical times,
“however fantastic changes so extensive may seem to a
modern geologist.”

Citing extensive evidence, Immanuel Velikovsky concludes
that “the great massif of the Himalayas rose to its present
height in the age of modern, actually historical man. . .
With their topmost peaks the mountains have shattered the
entire scheme of the geology of the ‘long, long ago’.”
(Velikovsky, Earth in Upheaval, p.76)

A shock indeed!

It can be demonstrated that the mountain chains of the
Caucasus, China, Tibet, the Rockies, the Alps and the Andes
all rose to their present heights in historical times. We
have the same “late” dating from all parts of the earth.


At 11,500 feet, a curious whitish streak runs along the
side of the mountain range for over 300 miles.  It is
composed of the calcified remains of marine plants. This
shows that these slopes were once part of the seashore.

In fact, many lakes up in the Andes region are completely
salt.One such lake is Titicaca.

A watermark of salt along the lake shore now runs at an
angle to the water level.  Originally it must have been
horizontal.  Clearly the land was not only thrust up to
its present altitude, but was tilted in the process.

Not only is the water saline.  On the beach of this lake
high in the mountains, there are seashells as well as
traces of seaweed. The lake must have been a bay or inlet
of the sea.

Even today, various sea creatures (including sea horses)
survive in the lake.

Today this lofty, almost sterile region is capable of
sustaining only a scant population.

Yet here we are confronted with a colossal mystery.
Traces of a huge city lie at the southern side of the

In the fifteenth century, Spanish conquistador Cieca de
Leon reported his astonishment at seeing ancient gateways
hewn from solid stone 30 feet long and 15 feet high and

These ruins of Tiahuanaco, in Bolivia, are extensive. It
is obvious that a great city once existed here.

But here is the mystery. At an altitude of 13,000 feet,
maize will not bear fruit.  Yet endless agricultural
terraces, now abandoned, rise as high as 18,400 feet
above sea level, and continue up under the snow to some
unidentified altitude.

Such an abundance of cornfields must have supported a
huge population.  The region is too high and too barren
to do this now.

Could the site once have been lower?

You see, if the Andes were 2- to 3,000 feet lower than
now, maize would ripen around Lake Titicaca and the city
of Tiahuanaco could support the large population for
which it was evidently built.

But here is an even greater surprise… the remains of an
ocean quay.  That’s right, an ocean quay.  It suggests
that the city, when built, was at sea level – 12,500
feet lower!

The remains near the stadium of Tiahuanacu show five
distinct landing places, harbours with moles and a canal
which heads inland.  The docks are vast – and one wharf
is big enough to take hundreds of ships.

So we’re faced now with a sea harbour at 12,500 feet
altitude and 200 miles inland!  Staggering, isn’t it?

Well, someone says, perhaps these gigantic docks were
intended for ships on Lake Titicaca.

Good try.  But I’ll tell you why not.

You see, they face in the opposite direction from the
lake.  Not only that, the mooring rings on the stone
piers were so large that they could only have been used
by ocean-liner sized vessels.

This place – I tell you – was a seaport on the Pacific
THE SKY!  Now, how about that?

You’ve probably heard it said that mountain making took
“long ages”.  That in the case of the Andes (the second
highest mountain range on earth), it occurred more than
a million years ago.

Well, I’m sorry to be a spoil sport.  But the change in
altitude occurred AFTER the city was built.  I would
suggest about 4,000 years ago.

And since only a few intermediate surf lines can be
detected, the elevation could not have proceeded little
by little.

The explorer Colonel H.P. Fawcett, who travelled this
region early last century, was persuaded by the evidence
that Tiahuanaco had been destroyed by the terrible seismic
upheavals which accompanied the raising of the Andes to
their present height.  (Fawcett, Exploration Fawcett:
The Travel Diaries and Notes of Colonel H.P. Fawcett)

And I believe he got that right.

There is some evidence that the monoliths of the city
were not entirely finished when the catastrophe struck
and suddenly raised the whole city and lake 12,500 feet.

Cast-down builders’ tools were found in the ruins when
the Spaniards came upon the place in the 16th century.
The heaps of blocks of masoned stone bear evidence of
sudden abandonment… men fleeing for their lives, taken
by surprise.

After the disaster, the populace lay buried in gullies
that had become mass graves, covered by silt.

Fragments of skeletons, both of animals and men, lay
scattered among the ruins.  Jewels, pottery and tools
were found mixed in utmost confusion.

This massive uplifting exposed a continental shelf
which is now the desert lowlands of Peru and northern


In the traditions of the Ugha Mongulala tribe of the
western Amazon jungle, the South American continent was
“… still flat and soft like a lamb’s back, … the Great
River still flowed on either side.”

But then came a cataclysm:  “The Great River was rent
by a new mountain range and now it flowed swiftly toward
the East.

Enormous forests grew on its banks…  In the West,
where giant mountains had surged up, people froze in
the bitter cold of the high altitudes.”  (Karl Brugger,
The Chronicle of Akakor, 1977)

Upswellings of other mountains may have been as violent.
These were never forgotten by the inhabitants.

For example, the Washo Indians of California say their
ancestors witnessed the uplifting of the North American
sierras from the plains.

Various other tribes of the Americas likewise recall in
their oral history the memory of new mountains being
raised and others flattened.  (Velikovsky, Worlds in
Collision, p.102)

After the Great Flood of 2345 BC, it took the earth’s
crust millennia to settle down.

During the tectonic adjustments, lava continued to flow.
Isolated areas of land were submerged or raised
thousands of feet.

Today these effects are being felt only to a
comparatively minor degree.

Still, it should be mentioned that even in modern times,
the ocean has been known to raise or lower its islands
or its depths, as much as thousands of feet. No need to
invoke long evolutionary periods.


There are many recent examples of rapid up or down


During the earthquake which occurred off the northern
tip of Sumatra on December 26, 2004, the sea bottom in
the Straits of Malacca uplifted almost 4,000 feet in
only about 3 minutes.

The US-based National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency,
which analyses spy satellite imagery and produces maps
and charts for the Defence Department, was reported to
have received information that one area of the Straits
of Malacca, which separates Malaysia from the
Indonesian island of Sumatra had its depth cut from
4,060 feet to 105 feet.

In another affected area, a merchant marine ship
logged that the depth was cut from 3,855 feet to just
92 feet. (Star newspaper, Kuala Lumpur, January. 13,
2005, quoting a report in the shipping journal

The US Navy reportedly sent two ships to re-chart the
waters. Sonar images from British navy ship HMS Scott
showed the massive uplift of a large area 10 kilometres
wide and up to 1.5 kilometres high (4,800 feet plus).

Yes, Lyn, land CAN rise or sink quickly… even
in our day.

It does NOT require millions of years.

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Warm regards,
Jonathan Gray

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International explorer, archaeologist and author
Jonathan Gray has traveled the world to gather data on
ancient mysteries. He has penetrated some largely
unexplored areas, including parts of the Amazon
headwaters. The author has also led expeditions to the
bottom of the sea and to remote mountain and desert
regions of the world. He lectures internationally.

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