The Ahau Chronicles Volume 10 July 7, 2010 J. Turner

Preparations for the Apocalypse Island 2010 Eclipse Expedition are currently
underway. In the introductory email to the last newsletter I announced that the
expedition would not take place due to a lack of funding. After grappling with that
disappointment I realized that I had raised just enough money for the cost of airfare
alone. In a reckless leap of faith I decided that this was an historic opportunity too
important to miss, so I booked the flights and hoped for the best. In a stroke of luck of
cosmic proportions, History Channel aired the Apocalypse Island movie twice on Friday
night, July 25th. In anticipation, I retooled my website home page and added a PayPal
donation button to canvas additional support for the expedition. You can imagine my
stunned surprise when Joe from Las Vegas came through Saturday morning with a pledge
of $10,000! I have been able to dial down my stress, equip myself for the expedition, and
make the final preparations for departure. Many thanks are also in order to my other
supporters who have donated to the cause as well. The adventure continues….
The first leg of the
journey will take me from JFK
airport in New York to Santiago,
Chile on an overnight flight. My
friend Pedro Niada, recently
displaced to Santiago from
Robinson Crusoe Island after the
February tsunami destroyed his
island hostel, will fetch me from
the airport on Sunday, July 4th.
Though we only have a day
together before my flight to the
island, I want to interview him
about his experience surviving the
tsunami with his wife and two
young children. They barely
escaped with their lives but still
dream of returning to the island to
rebuild. Sunday night will be
spent at Pedro’s followed by an
early morning trip the next day to
Tobalaba airfield for the flight to
the island. Pedro was able to
secure for me the last remaining
seat on the plane. I will land on
the island early in the afternoon
and take a boat from the airstrip
to the village where I will spend
the night at Pedro’s old cabin.
Landing at the main dock will be a painful ordeal as I am confronted with the
utter destruction of everything I remember about my beloved island village. While much
of the debris has been cleaned up, the empty landscape will seem surreal, as if it had been
simply wiped clean. Gone is the school, the administrative buildings, the fisherman’s
shacks and all the beautiful hand-built houses that once lined the waterfront. Pedro’s old
cabin sits high above El Palillo, the campground at the far end of the bay where I spent
my first month on the island. I expect my old campsite has also been washed into the sea.
Tuesday, July 6th will be my first full day on the island. I intend to spend the
morning filming the ruined village as well as visiting the old Spanish fort. In front of this
fort, constructed in AD 1750, archeologists recovered charcoal from a depth of 4 feet
below the ground surface. Radiocarbon dating proved that the charcoal was about 1,300
years old, putting it within the Classic era of the kings of Palenque whom I suspect
constructed the monument on the other side of the island. Since the charcoal was not
found in direct association with cultural artifacts the archeologists dismissed it as the
result of a natural occurring forest fire. However, given that their investigation of this
location consisted of only two 1meter-x-1meter excavation pits spaced at a wide interval,
it seems possible that they could have easily missed the cultural material and artifacts that
would have proven a pre-Columbian occupation of the island.
Later in the afternoon on Tuesday I will gear up and begin the long hike over the
volcanic ridge to the other side of the island. Since it is winter in the Southern
Hemisphere the sun will set shortly after 6pm and I will need to be near my camp before
nightfall. My intention is to try to get as close to the monument as possible so that on
Wednesday, the sacred 1 Ahau date of the Mayan tzolkin, I will be able to spend my first
full day at the monument.
The intention of this expedition, besides observing the eclipse, is to explore the
vicinity of the monument and look for some convincing evidence that it is a man-made
structure and not some elaborately impossible cosmically aligned natural rock formation.
One of the more obvious locations for exploration will be in the debris field located along
the southern side of the monument, shown in the bottom right corner of the photo above.
This debris field creates a level half-acre terrace in a landscape otherwise consisting of
steep slopes. The debris field is made up of small rubble likely from the sculpting of the
monument and was observed last year to have partly eroded away exposing deeper layers.
The debris field will be my base camp for the following days while I film, explore
and wait for the eclipse (I can already see where I will hang my hammock!). As part of
my eclipse photography I will be using a custom modified infrared digital camera in an
effort to capture evidence of the ley lines or telluric energy which I discussed in the last
newsletter. In less than two hours I was able to hack a cheap digital camera and convert
it to infrared. Find out how at: The camera
now shows the IR beam from a remote control and the security feature of the new $5 bill.
The next newsletters will detail the results of the Eclipse Expedition and the
discoveries I expect to make. For those of you who are interested in a more complete
report of the expedition I would recommend ordering a copy of the forthcoming movie
from my website. I’m looking forward to a most excellent adventure and a safe
homecoming, laden with the treasure of sacred wisdom bequeathed by the ancient Maya.