The Crystal Skulls

Between OOPArt, paranormal, prophecies, hoaxes and aliens

Crystal skulls are artifacts in the shape of a human skull made from blocks of transparent quartz and declared by their discoverers as Mesoamerican artifacts belonging to the pre-Columbian era, although, to date, none of them have been authenticated as such.

Although it seems that scientific studies have shown that their creation dates back to the mid-nineteenth century and the provenance is almost certainly European, the Crystal skulls are for many an intriguing mystery, suspended between legends, prophecies, paranormal events and occultism: some people continue to consider them out of time objects (OOPArts), others attribute them esoteric meanings or consider them responsible for inexplicable phenomena, there are also who believe that they are artifacts abandoned on Earth by alien life forms.

Crystal Skull

The Mayan Prophecy

Apparently, thanks to a Mayan oral tradition, a legend would have come down to us: "When the thirteen crystal skulls are found and reunited, a new cycle will begin for mankind, a cycle of great knowledge and elevation".
Thirteen are the pure quartz skulls that would conceal information on the origins of the world and the destiny of humanity as thirteen are the Baktuns of the long Count of the Mayan calendar: when all of them are discovered and reunited they will unleash an immense power that will bring knowledge to all humans but this new cycle will begin only when men are sufficiently evolved and morally integral.

The most famous Crystal Skulls: findings and scientific reports

The skulls are said to be scattered throughout Central and South America, those found at the moment are kept in London, Paris and Washington Museums, while the others belong to private collections.

roberto-ourgant-aWENcFeErow-unsplash.jpg

The most famous of these artifacts was discovered in 1923 by archaeologist Frederick Albert Mitchell-Hedges together with his daughter Anna during an expedition to Belise. According to the tales, Anna noticed something shiny at the base of a wall in the city of Lubaantun: the crystal skull since then called the Mitchell-Hedges or the Skull Of Doom.
It is the most important of the skulls found: made from a single block of quartz crystal, it has a completely smooth surface, defined in detail and transparent to light. It is 5 inches (13 cm) high, 7 inches (18 cm) long and 5 inches (13 cm) wide, faithfully reproducing the measurements of a human skull except for the weight, which is about 11 lbs and is the only one that, in addition to extreme anatomical precision, also has a mobile jaw.
Subjected to in-depth examinations in 1970 by the Hewlett-Packard laboratory in Santa Clara (California, USA), it revealed disconcerting results: according to gemology expert Frank Dorland who participated in the appraisals, the object "should not have existed" given the extreme difficulty of reproduction even with modern instruments since quartz has a hardness index slightly lower than that of diamond.

Crystal_skull_british_museum_similar in dimensions to the more detailed Mitchell-Hedges skull

According to experts, the skull was made with a very delicate and risky procedure that could at any moment cause it to break, i.e. working in the opposite direction to the orientation of its molecular symmetry planes and, although the analyzes were very accurate, no scratch that attested to the use of a tool for smoothing the surface, was detected, leaving an unknown question as to how such a result was obtained.
Furthermore, the object seems to have a series of lenses and prisms inside that allow it to produce a series of plays of light when it passes through it. The craftsman who produced it must have had a great technical mastery and know innovative processing techniques for the time.
The skull has been empowered to influence people's thoughts and moods and to be the protagonist of supernatural phenomena. Supporters of this thesis would also include Charles Berlitz.
Only after Anna's death, in 2008 the artifact was subjected to further analysis: the American anthropologist Jane MacLaren Walsh found both on the teeth of the jaw and on the two lower holes intended for support pegs, some ordered and parallel signs, a clear sign of mechanical interventions. The Skull of Doom would therefore prove to be a modern object: the pre-Columbian iconography of skulls is in fact very different from that of crystal skulls which, on the other hand, follow contemporary Western conventions.
Furthermore, there are no photos or evidence that attest to the presence of the girl during the excavations in which the find was brought to light: it is rumored that the skull was bought by his father in 1944 from a London antiquarian and therefore the initial story is just one frame.

Mitchell-Hedges_Skull,_as_pictured_in_Sothebys_London_Auction_Catalogue

The SHA-NA-RA skull, whose name is linked to a shaman from the peoples of Central Mexico, was found by Nick Nocerino, an occult investigator, in 1959, along the Rio Baltha. Its position would have been identified with the use of "psychic archeology": the location of the find was identified with intuitive guidance, a sort of premonition, dream or vision.

The Max Skull was discovered in 1920 in a tomb in Guatemala and is dated to around 10,000 years ago.The mysterious artifact was donated by a Tibetan healer Norbu Chen and is currently kept in Houston by Joann Parks who claims to be succeeded in telepathic communication with the skull in his possession.

The other skulls exhibited at the British Museum, at the Musée du quai Branly in Paris and at the Smithsonian museum in Washington are cataloged as modern artifacts but there is no lack of disturbing stories about them related to visions, auditory "hallucinations" and strange movements inside the reliquaries in which they are stored.

Symbology and mysticism related to the skull and the crystal

It is no coincidence that the artifacts are skull-shaped and made of crystal: the skull is the Aztec symbol of Death and also of the Rebirth as well as the crystal has always been one of the favorite minerals of magicians, seers and psychics who also use it for amulets, pendulums and objects of divination (the famous sphere). In the collective imagination, skulls have been related to the ephemeral and mortal condition of the human being: human existence is connected to the sense of precariousness and transience and this is precisely what the skull alludes to, reminding men that time passes and dies out.
The skull is the ultimate limit, which does not allow a subsequent evolution, the point of no return beyond which even alchemy does not see the possibility of another transformation but only that of a new creation.
Already in antiquity spiritual properties were attributed to crystal: the "third eye" which was to serve the Soul to see the roads for eternity, placed on the foreheads of the dead by the Egyptians, was in fact crystalline quartz.

According to Carlos Barrios, historian, anthropologist, researcher and Mayan shaman in Guatemala, all the knowledge concerning the technological development achieved by a race that preceded us would be deposited inside these mysterious objects: each skull would contain a part of that extraordinary technology and the ability to see into the future.

He claims that according to the Mayan tradition on December 20, 2012 the fourth cycle of 5200 years would end and on December 21, 2012 the long-awaited new cycle would begin: the Job Ajaw, the Fifth Sun which, in reality, has never been considered as a sign for the end of the world but as a passage for the beginning of a period in which we have the opportunity to transform our destiny and find a state of harmony, balance of the forces of nature.

If initially assumed the skulls would be reunited in 2012, today we know with certainty that this did not happen and that the waiting period before the start of a new life cycle for humanity is still long.


“Crystal skulls are a metaphor that reality is a consciousness hologram through which we experience virtually.”
― Stephen Richards


Resources related to The Crystal Skulls


Cover image by Juliet van Ree

Article image by PublicDomainPictures

Article Image2 by Roberto Ourgant

Article image3 by British Museum

Article image4 by Periodyssey (Steve Culp)

article by: BennyJohnson


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