Andean Legends of the Inner Earth
The highland Andes have been known through myth and legend as one of the access points for vast underground subterranean cities, the domain of inner-earth beings who from time to time, emerge from their lower worlds into the upper atmosphere of our third-dimensional density. These ancient legends speak of vast networks of tunnels criss-crossing the entire length and breadth of the planet. Traditions of vaults, labyrinths and buried treasures of remote antiquity are found in Crete, Egypt, Tibet, Mexico, Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru. Inca prophecy tells of the upper, middle, and lower worlds, other realities existing in both physical and astral/etheric form.
Several places in the Andes mountains are considered gateways to these realms and doorways, where emergence and entrance are possible. Included among this distinction are the famous sacred sites of Sacsayhuaman in the Peruvian Andes, and the ancient pre-Incan city of Tiwanaku near the shores of Lake Titicaca in Bolivia.
The Jesuit chronicler, Agnelio Oliva, recorded the words of an old Inca quipu reader to the effect that “the real Tiahuanaco was a subterranean city, far exceeding the one “above ground” in vastness.”
Tiwanaku Bolivia near the shores of Lake Titicaca
My adventure began in the spring of l990 on my first pilgrimage to the Peruvian Andes. I didn’t realize at the time that I would have an adverse reaction to the altitude on my first day out, and merrily hiked the length and breadth of Sacsayhuaman, the ancient temple site above Cuzco, at an altitude of nearly l2,700 feet.
I spent my first night in the Andes in the baño. During my exploration of the citadel I walked a circular labyrinth of stones believed to be the remains of a long forgotten obelisk called the watchtower. It was here that I noticed an odd little man watching my every move.
At first I simply felt his energy upon me, but quickly realized I was being checked out. I was filming the Cusco panoramic landscape when I accidentally caught him in my lens. Something about him was not quite right. He was of diminutive stature, in his early twenties with a swarthy, olive complexion. He wore a wind breaker and jeans, and a baseball hat. And then I realized what my sense had already known, he had a small hunch on his back.
At first I thought he was with the party of South American tourists who were wandering nearby. I wondered why they ignored him? I felt concerned, and thought his friends behaved badly. There was something else I sensed about the entire scenario, but I just couldn’t put my finger on it. I was already light-headed from oxygen deprivation and didn’t dwell long on these feeling.
End part I.
Or is it?
For years I’ve had the peculiar idea that I was the only one who saw him.
Two years later, in 1992, I had the opportunity to travel to the Bolivian side of Lake Titicaca with my friend Mari, whom I’d met on the previous journey to Peru. An overpowering feeling led me to believe that I would see the strange little man on this trip, and I gingerly mentioned this to Mari, hoping that she would see him too and confirm his existence. Mari is a professor of history and very logical, with an open, inquisitive mind. She had heard many peculiar legends from her ancestoral lore growing up in eastern Europe, and wasn’t fazed by my announcement of a potential visit from a diminutive hunchbacked man. She offered to help me in any way that she could.
Kallassasaya temple walls at Tiwanaku.
About half way through our Bolivian odyssey we made a stop in the village of Copacabana, on the shores of Lake Titicaca. This is home to the Indian Virgin known by natives as “La Mamita del Lagoto,” “Virgin of Copacabana,” and the “Patroness of Bolivia.” The Virgin is a representation of the Black Madonna well known for her miracles (pre-dating Christianity). The Cathedral is built upon an earlier holy pagan site, at the apex of converging ley lines. It has been the destination of sacred pilgrimage for over two millenia.
Protectress of Mariners and the Bolivian Navy.
Standing in front of the Cathedral waiting for Mari to exit the church, I was quite suddenly astonished to see the little hunchback man appear. He popped up directly in my line of sight, a short distance away. As he darted off I hollered for Mari to follow me, and set out after him. In another moment he was gone!
He was no where in sight, eluding us effortlessly. Out of breath and shaking our heads in disbelief, we sat on the curb laughing.
“Are we nuts? It couldn’t be the same guy, could it?”
Neither of us got a really good look at his face, but I had more than a sneaking suspicion something utterly bizarre was afoot wearing tennis shoes and a baseball cap.
The Indian vendors shook their heads too.
The Gringa’s looked thoroughly ridiculous dashing through the street after some phantom that no one else apparently saw.
Having no success locating the illusive one, we eventually gave up and returned to the important task of shopping for hats. A short time later we were stunned when he appeared again just before us, smirking no less! And this time I got a very good look at his face!
Mari wasted no time setting off after him.
I could see that she was next to him, pacing his every stride. A moment later she returned, breathless, with her proof.
“OK!” I said. “Tell me everything!”
“Well, he has the baseball hat on, yes. And the wind breaker and jeans too.
he has a small hunch on his back.”
“How old was he?” I pressed.
“Not very old, huh?”
“Oh no, he wasn’t very old at all. Maybe 60.”
“What? NO WAY! I exclaimed. “He couldn’t be more than 25!”
“No, No, NO,” she insisted. “He has deep lines in his face. He’s at least 60!”
This is what we surmised:
We had in fact seen the same man and he changed his appearance at will.
He moved uncommonly fast and may have become invisible.
He most assuredly had a small hunch on his back.
But the strangest thing of all,… he knew where to find us that day on the shores of Titicaca, two years from the day I first saw him several hundred miles away at Sacsayhuaman, Peru.
I began to wonder if he was some kind of Elf?
Fast forward spring l998
After rummaging through my boxes, I came across the video tape from Peru l990 and found the footage of Sacsayhuaman. There in the Cusco panorama in living color, just as I remembered him, is the little hunchbacked man.
He’s real. I’ve got him on tape.
Or do I?
As I panned the Cusco landscape accidentally catching him in my lens, he nonchalantly bends down to tie his shoe and in that exact moment, turns his face away from the camera.
Ugh! He knows.
He won’t let me film his face because eight years in the future, I will need this confirmation, and I won’t have it.
Fast Forward summer l998 Urubamba, Peru
I’m speaking with my friend Pepe, who lives in Cusco, about his most recent journey to Lake Titicaca. During our conversation I bring up my tale of the little hunchbacked man and the odd synchronicity of meeting him in two unlikely places, years apart. Pepe smiled slowly. Then asked, “Have you seen the small carved huacas (sacred objects) they sell at Tiwanaku, of the little men?”
“No. What little men?” I implore.
“Small, carved, hunchbacked little men! They’re supposed to be the miner’s from the inner earth,” he said laughing, loving the folly of it all.
Perhaps my little elf man is the embodiement of Kokapeli the hunchbacked flute player from Native American lore. Or the gnome of Great Britain protecting his pot-of-gold.” After all, the richest gold mines on the planet come from this area, this inner-earth area, repleat with tunnel systems believed to connect the sacred centers of Sacsayhuaman, Tiwanaku, Copacabana, Machupiccu, and more!
I mused, “If I catch him do I get to keep his gold?”
Or, just maybe I’ll get a front row seat to the inner Earth arena.
Two days after that first encounter in 1990, my life as I knew it would be forever changed by a sudden and spontaneous awakening during a late night visit within the inner sanctum of Machu Picchu.
Today I wonder if the little hunchbacked man was some sort a goodwill ambassador welcoming me to the world of the cosmic unknown. A world whose terrain I’ve come to navigate, but whose mysteries are often as elusive as the little elf man himself.
The Incas remember the Great Flood
“The water rose above the highest mountain in the world. All created things perished except for a man and woman who floated in a box. When the flood subsided, the floating box was driven by the wind to Tiwanaku (Lake Titicaca) about 200 miles from Cuzco. [Gaster, p. 127].
According to some Amazonian Jivaro, the flood was survived by a man and woman who took refuge in a cave on a high mountain, along with samples of all the various animal species. [Gaster, p. 126]. Roughly fifteen miles from Tiahuanaco, this lake is believed to have once extended to the city. The highest navigable water in the world. Its present fauna (including a species of sea horse), a nearby salt-water lake, and the angle of an ancient shore-line have led scientists to consider that the lake may have once been attached to the sea, following which it was raised to its present height.
On the rock cliffs near the piers and wharfs of the port area are yellow-white calcareous deposits forming long, straight lines indicating pre-historic water levels. These ancient shorelines are strangely tilted, although once they must have been level. Athough the lake averages between 460 and 600 feet (140 and 180 m) in depth, but the bottom tilts sharply toward the Bolivian shore, reaching its greatest recorded depth of 920 feet (280 m) off Isla Soto in the lake’s northeast corner.
On Titicaca Island the ruins of a temple mark the spot where, according to the tradition of the Incas the founders of the Inca dynasty, Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo, depending on which variation one hears, were either sent down to Earth by the Sun or emerged from the depths to found their empire.
Discoveries in the Lake. In November 1980, the Bolivian author and scholar of pre-Columbian cultures, Hugo Boero Rojo, announced the finding of archaeological ruins beneath Lake Titicaca about 15 to 20 meters below the surface off the coast of Puerto Acosta, a Bolivian port village near the Peruvian frontier on the northeast edge of the lake. At a press conference the Bolivian author stated that: “we can now say that the existence of pre-Columbian constructions under the waters of Lake Titicaca is no longer a mere supposition or science-fiction, but a real fact. Further,” he added, ‘the remnants found show the existence of old civilizations that greatly antecede the Spanish colonization. We have found temples built of huge blocks of stone, with stone roads leading to unknown places and flights of steps whose bases were lost in the depths of the lake amid a thick vegetation of algae.” Boero Rojo described these monumental ruins as being “of probable Tiahuanaco origin.
In August 2000, the BBC announced the discovery of ancient ruins 30m beneath the lake, and confirmed that a temple had been discovered by following a submerged stone road. The discoveries are believed to date back 1,000 to 1,500 years ago, and are credited as pre-Incan confirming that the level of the lake fluctuates periodically.
It has been observed in relation to this that soil covers the ancient Tiahuanacan plateau to a depth of at least 6 feet, under which relics and artefacts of the ancient culture have been found.