What Are They?
The Nazca Lines
are gigantic lines and geoglyphs (large drawings) which cover the vast Nazca Desert of Peru in South America. The lines have baffled scientists for years. They were first mentioned by a conquistador writer, Pedro de Cieza de Leon, in 1547. In recent years, they were "rediscovered" by planes beginning to fly over the Peruvian desert in the 1920's. The first person to actually study the lines was Paul Kosok back in the 1930's.
The Nazca Desert is a "high, arid plateau." In other words, it's a dry desert that covers over 200 square miles. The temperature across the plateau stays a steady average of 77 degrees (25 degrees celcius) year round, although, the perfect temperature wouldn't make it enjoyable being one of the driest places on earth. The desert has a light-coloured surface covered with dark, iron-oxide covered pebbles. When the pebbles are removed there is a strong contrast between the ground and the pebbles. This is how the Nazca people created miles upon miles of lines and images somewhere between 200 B.C. and 600 A.D. Straight lines seemingly travel forever without wavering while the geoglyphs measure up to 900 feet long.
The puzzling questions behind the Lines are "why?" and "how?" How could these people keep a line perfectly straight for miles? How could they draw these enormous geoglyphs without seeing them from the ground? With all the technology the ancients around the world have been credited with, we can imagine them using simple surveying tools to keep the lines on course. Jim Woodmann, another researcher, was able to use common products from 2000 years ago and construct a hot-air balloon which he used to fly high enough to prove his point. The construction of the Lines are nowhere near as complicated as other structures around the world so why should we assume the ancient Nazca people had no knowledge of simple surveyor techniques. They most likely would have sketched a scaled-down version of the geoglyphs before taking on the project of making them.
This brings us to "Why?" I've heard so many theories over the years I forget half of them. The "accepted theory" is that the Nazca Lines are some sort of religious symbols. The geoglyphs were constructed as offerings to the gods in exchange for water in their overly dry land. The drawings are also believed to represent the animals disappearing from loss of vegetation and lack of water. Yes, it all sounds fine and dandy and it's so easy to call everything religious and leave it at that, but let's look at the other theories.
We Come In Peace!
First off, let's get the U.F.O. landing pads out of the way because I tire of hearing about this. Something strange is found in the world and there's those people who automatically declare it an alien launching pad. People actually think all the strange lines were created so the aliens would have directions on which landing strip to use and the geoglyphs were indicators of which one was which. The giant man drawing is said to represent an alien because it doesn't look human. It goes on and on. What a bunch of hogwash!! Why in hell would the flying saucers need landing strips and navigation drawn out in pebbles? "Oh, little people of earth - we come in peace! Now draw thine holy monkey so we know where to land our billions-of-years-more-advanced-than-thou spaceships." Yeah, right! Could the aliens have drawn those themselves? Maybe they've evolved with us! Look at the wonderfully extravagant crop circles they've managed to create nowadays? Far better than their funny looking dogs of 2000 years ago! Did you happen to notice how nice some of those drawings are? Does that really look like a dog to you? If they absolutely needed a U.F.O. to see what they were doing, don't you think they would have created a dog that actually looked like a dog rather than a rat with long legs ending in human hands drawn by a 5-year-old?? I should also add that the original contributor to the the extra-terrestrial origin was none other than Erich Von Daniken. If you've read my article on the Dropa Stones then you'll know how much I love that tool! Ok, now that I've got that over and done with, let's move on...
A thoroughly researched (and serious) theory involves correlations with the sun, moon and stars. Other wonders of the world line up with specific constellations but in the case of the Nazca Lines - they don't. Years and years of studying, mapping and modern computer programs have been wasted trying to find connections to the stars and there has been nothing. Such a theory needs to be thoroughly exhausted before giving up and the people involved should be given due credit for their dedication. Sometimes things don't go the way you imagine they will.
Yet another major theory concerns the ancient Indian practice of "walking temples." Other North and South American geoglyph sites are used for this ritual and there's no reason why the Nazcans wouldn't have used it. The tribe would walk from drawing to drawing and would thank a certain god for the water that they would receive. There are also many canals and underground waterways in the area which backs up this theory. But it also backs up the next theory.
The Johnson Theory
A few years ago I watched a documentary about the Nazca Lines on the Discovery Channel. They went through the entire list I've gone through (plus more forgotten ones with more detail) and they spent the last 15 minutes or so talking about the next theory. I've been pretty much sold on it since and yet it's the least written theory out there. It was brought forth by a man named David Johnson and involves the use of dowsing. Dowsing is where you take two bent rods (coathangers are the most common) and walk around until the rods bend together or separate. I'll leave the explanation for another article but I'll stress that even though dowsing in general is often regarded as imaginary, I have tried dowsing myself and it really does work. Dowsing is often used in finding underground waterways and by ghost hunters looking for spirits. To keep this short, David Johnson found that the lines all corresponded with water in the area. He was able to locate underground waterways and trace them to different wells throughout the desert. He then found the geoglyphs to be centered around the wells and larger underground channels. After figuring this out on the first area he tried 3 more and got the same results. The Nazca Lines are exactly like a City Hall blueprint of the sewer system (only with clean water). For the people of the time, life in a desert would have been a constant search for water. By dowsing they were able to map out exactly where they would need to go in order to drink. The giant geoglyphs could then be thought of as names for each oasis. Why they were so gigantic and elaborate could be answered by going back to the religion theory.
As you can see, my mind's been set on this conclusion for years. For those of you who would like a better explanation, try here
. I think this theory, also known as the Johnson Theory, is a perfectly plausible and sound conclusion to a long-lived mystery. Unless something major comes up, this case is closed for me.
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