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Situated east of California, Nevada is split up into territories such as Cowboy Country, Pioneer Territory and Pony Express Territory. This is the great American marketing machine putting a gloss on the fact that the majority of the state is a fairly desolate desert only capable of supporting snakes, lizards and cacti. The better land is used for grazing hardy cattle, while the least forgiving is used by the military for testing nefarious weapons like stealth fighter bombers and atomic bombs.
For the millions passing through on their way to California, their image of Nevada is of long, empty roads and dusty ghost towns, often little more than a gas station and 24-hour store with a few slot machines in the corner. Lacking any natural assets, it is fortunate that 'Lady Luck' descended on this state to give hundreds of thousands of people a man-made reason for visiting. This is casino country, centered on the capital of kitsch, Las Vegas, and the other smaller towns where the main income earner is gambling. Carson, the sleepy state capital, has tree-lined streets and some handsome old buildings and hosts the Nevada State Museum, which covers the geology and natural history of the Great Basin desert: enough distraction for a few hours - but not much more. Reno is a smaller and less glitzy version of Las Vegas, packed with casinos and pawnshops, and has easy access to Lake Tahoe, over the border in California.
The state does have a few scenic attractions of interest to visitors. Around Las Vegas, Lake Mead is popular with fishermen and water sports enthusiasts, while both the Red Rock Canyon and the Valley of Fire State Park have magnificent desert scenery, which has been used as the backdrop for many famous movies including Star Trek - The Next Generation. The sandstone has been eroded into wonderful shapes over millions of years and at sunset these great natural monuments turn every shade of red.

The summers in Las Vegas get hot and the winters cool, making spring and autumn the best, and most popular times to visit. Between June and September the temperatures can climb up to 100°F (38°C), and from December to January they drop to around 55°F (13°C). The weather is fairly dry most of the year, but thunderstorms are frequent in the summer.

  • Las Vegas
Set in the middle of the vast Mojave Desert, Las Vegas was created entirely to entertain and has been described as the world's largest theme park. This psychedelic city of sin is home to over a million people and welcomes 35 million more each year to its lavish hotels and casinos. Visitors today are amazed that only 70 years ago this thriving metropolis was a backwater with less than a thousand inhabitants whose only guests were railway passengers stopping off to stretch their legs on the long journey between Los Angeles and Salt Lake City.
Things started to change in March 1931 when the State of Nevada legalized gambling; one month later the City issued six licenses. Then in 1946, Mafia don Ben 'Bugsy' Siegel opened the sensationally lavish Flamingo Hilton on Highway 91. Las Vegas Boulevard was born and the city would never be the same again.
Soon stars like Elvis, Liberace and Sinatra were making the pilgrimage to what was fast becoming America's premier entertainment Mecca. In the early days the Mafia dominated the gambling industry but in the 1960s their influence waned and soon all the large hotels and casinos were controlled by big business.
Las Vegas has 18 out of 21 of the largest hotels in the world and walking down 'The Strip' visitors will see the skylines of New York and Paris, discover the canals of Venice and the Pyramids of Egypt and, at Treasure Island, see a full on-sea battle between a Pirate ship and a British Galleon. Despite these excesses, room rates and restaurant bills are the lowest in the western world - all subsidised by gamblers intent on a free holiday.
Although the principal draw card is still gambling, Las Vegas is now marketed as a family destination and there is no shortage of theme parks, shopping malls or golf courses. However, the vast majority of visitors come to gamble and the incredible displays are mostly designed to lure passers-by into the casinos, and once there it's hard to leave; the exits are discreetly hidden.
Getting Around: Most visits to Las Vegas are confined to the Strip and downtown, so it is not necessary to hire a car as both are easily navigable by foot and there are several forms of transport that can be used. Public transport is limited to buses, but private trolley services, taxicabs, monorail links and free shuttle services, courtesy of the casinos, are also available. Local buses run the length of the Strip and into downtown and operate 24 hours a day with a flat fare including transfers. The old-fashioned Las Vegas Strip Trolley also runs the length of the Strip from 9.30am to 2am, and the Downtown Trolley circles between the Stratosphere and downtown from 7am to 11pm. A state-of-the-art monorail runs above the streets, operating from 7am to 2pm daily between the Sahara Hotel and the MGM Grand. Taxis are plentiful and can be found lined up outside every hotel and casino and at taxi stands. Car hire is popular with visitors although it is best to avoid driving along the Strip as traffic is heavy and there is little parking available. Cars are the most practical way to explore outside Las Vegas, although there are bus tours offered to Hoover Dam. Visitors need a valid driver's license and must be 21 years old; under-25s are usually subject to surcharges. To really fit in, why not consider hiring a limousine? Although not entirely practical, it can be a fun way to feel part of the glitz and glamour and there are several limousine agencies in the city.
Nightlife: There's a reason they say 'what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas' and the nightlife and entertainment may well be that reason. With bars, clubs, strip clubs, casinos and world-class international shows running for months on end, it's little wonder why Las Vegas has earned itself a reputation, albeit not always favorable, as one of the world's party capitals.The world-famous strip is bland and dingy-looking during the day, but the minute the sun sets over this desert oasis the city springs to life with neon illuminating just about every inch of this infamous city. The real problem when heading out for a night on the strip is choosing where to begin.The current trend regarding shows is towards big name headliners and Big Broadway productions all of which can be seen at the main hotels throughout town. Many hotel lounges and bars have been replaced with DJs and go-go dancers and those in search of a drink need look no further than the hotel bars. Hotels worth checking out while in Las Vegas are the Bellagio, the Venetian, Caesars Palace, Palms Palace, Trump Hotel and the MGM Grand. Here you will find endless hours of entertainment, if not in the bars and lounges, then perhaps in the slots and on the tables.
Climate: Located in the middle of the Mojave Desert, Las Vegas is hot and dry during summer with mild winters, and plenty of sunshine all year round. In the height of summer, during July and August, the mercury often soars above 100°F (38°C). Winters are cooler and bring winds and cold nights, with daytime highs of around 60°F (16°C) and chilly nights averaging 40°F (4°C). What little rain there is usually falls in winter, between January and March. In summer though there are sometimes late afternoon thunderstorms that move in from Mexico.

  • Las Vegas Weddings
While some may consider it the ultimate cliché, a 'Vegas Wedding' can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Each year, there are up to 60 000 weddings in Las Vegas, from impromptu nuptials to extravagant celebrations. Celebrity marriages have included those of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, as well as Dennis Rodman and Carmen Electra.Las Vegas Wedding ChapelsWedding chapels in Las Vegas offer traditional and themed ceremonies, including Eiffel Tower, Elvis, gondola, pirate ship and helicopter weddings. The helicopter option gives couples panoramic views of the Grand Canyon or the Las Vegas Strip as they say 'I do.' Drive-thru weddings only take about 15 minutes and are available round the clock. This is an extraordinary way to experience the much anticipated, or sometimes spontaneous, 'big day'.Las Vegas Wedding FormalitiesA marriage license is required for a wedding in Las Vegas and can cost as little as US$99, but will only be issued if both parties are over the age of 18.

  • Venetian Hotel and Casino
City/Region: Las Vegas
No expense was spared creating the Venetian Hotel, in fact two billion dollars was spent recreating Venice in the Nevada Desert and the result is fairly spectacular. Guests can travel around the hotel in a gondola - real canals run through the hotel - and a replica of St Mark's Square and the Basilica turns from night to day every three hours; visitors have to look carefully to notice that the sky is actually a vast fresco. The only things missing are the pigeons and the backpackers. The casino itself is massive, featuring 2,500 slot machines and 125 gaming tables. For guests taking a break from the tables, there are five swimming pools, a fitness center, and 17 restaurants - mostly pizzerias. One of the main attractions is Madame Tussauds Las Vegas, a wax museum presenting some of the world's biggest icons including stars, politicians, record-breaking athletes and legends.
Hours: Hotel and Casino: daily 24 hours. Madame Tussauds: opening hours vary depending on the season, but generally daily 10am to 11pm
Admission: Hotel and Casino admission is free. Madame Tussauds: $5 (adults), $15 (children 7-12)

  • Bellagio Hotel and Casino
City/Region: Las Vegas
The Bellagio is one of Las Vegas' most opulent hotels and most popular casinos. With an Italian theme, the great bulk of the Bellagio sits in its own vast garden. It has over 3,000 rooms and hundreds of slot machines and gaming tables, however its best-known attraction is its amazing water show - a breathtaking union of water, music and light. Between 3pm and midnight (from 12pm on weekends) the Bellagio's world-famous fountains 'dance' to opera, classical or whimsical music with carefully choreographed movements. Beyond the Bellagio's gracious lobby lies the Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, a magnificent garden abounding in fragrance, texture and color. The hotel also has a new fine arts gallery that hosts contemporary art exhibits; it is currently exhibiting a series of celebrity portraits by Andy Warhol.
Hours: Daily 24 hours. The art gallery opens daily 10am to 6pm, 7pm on weekends.
Admission: Free (hotel and casino); $15 (fine art gallery)

  • The Mirage
City/Region: Las Vegas
Another MGM mega-casino, the showpiece at the Mirage is a Volcano that shoots flames 100ft (30m) into the night sky every 15 minutes (6pm to midnight), spewing smoke and transforming a tranquil waterfall into spectacular streams of molten lava. As you'd expect of Las Vegas, it's all quite naff, but great entertainment. Siegfried & Roy's White Tigers are the other signature attraction at the Mirage (unfortunately the Siegfried & Roy show has been cancelled indefinitely due to the near-fatal attack on Roy Horn by one of the tigers during a performance). Unlike conventional tigers, which have black and gold markings, the white tiger is white with black stripes, pink paws and ice-blue eyes. There are only a few dozen white tigers in the world, which makes them rarer than the panda bear. The open-air Tiger Habitat features a swimming pool with fountains and simulated mountain terrain for the tigers' enjoyment and the public's entertainment. Another popular attraction is the aquarium located behind the Front Desk. This 20,000-gallon saltwater aquarium is home to angelfish, puffer fish, tangs, sharks and other exotic sea creatures.
Hours: Daily 24 hours
Admission: Free

  • The Luxor
City/Region: Las Vegas
The Luxor is themed on ancient Egypt and is one of the most prominent sights on the Strip. It is a massive black-glass pyramid containing 36 floors of hotel rooms, and shining through it up into the night sky is the world's most powerful light beam, which they claim can be seen by planes circling Los Angeles. The ground floor of the hotel is given over to a massive casino, which stands beneath a recreation of Tutankhamun's Tomb. Other than gambling, entertainment at the hotel includes an IMAX theater, gyms, swimming pools and exhilarating shows by comedians, dancers and singers.
Hours: Daily 24 hours
Admission: Free

  • Liberace Museum
City/Region: Las Vegas
The Liberace Museum was founded in 1979 by the late entertainer and features 'Mr Showmanship's' dazzling jewelry, outfits and other memorabilia. Liberace was a massively popular musician in America and best known for his outrageous outfits and stage sets. He was a regular visitor to Las Vegas. The museum houses his vast collection of pianos and cars, which include a custom-made Rolls Royce, covered with tiny mirrors. His costumes, stage props and jewelry can also be seen. His 'crown jewels' include a spectacular piano-shaped watch with diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds, and a piano-shaped ring containing 260 diamonds in a white and yellow gold 18-carat setting with ivory and black jade keys. Proceeds from the not-for-profit museum support scholarships for the performing arts.
Hours: Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm; Sunday 12pm to 4pm
Admission: $15 (adults), children age 10 and under free. Concessions available

  • Imperial Palace Auto Collection
City/Region: Las Vegas
With over 250 classic antique cars on display (all available for purchase), the Imperial Palace Auto Collection is an absolute must for car enthusiasts. It is actually part of a larger collection and cars are rotated in and out of the showroom on a regular basis; once a car is sold it is replaced by another. Exhibited are rare models, racecars, muscle cars, touring roadsters and dozens of vehicles once owned by the rich and famous.
Hours: Daily 9.30am to 9.30pm
Admission: Free entrance vouchers are easily available at the Imperial Palace casino, otherwise tickets are $6.95

  • Fremont Street Experience
City/Region: Las Vegas
The downtown area of Las Vegas is where it all began and is known as the Fremont Street Experience or 'Glitter Gulch' for the bright neon signs and thousands of flashing lights that line the streets - this is where you'll find Vegas Vic and Sassy Sal, two of the nations best-known neon icons. Some of the city's most famous vintage casinos are found here, including the Golden Nugget and the Gold Spike, as are most of its strip clubs and stage shows. Most entertainment is on, or just off, the Freemont Street Experience Mall.

  • Roller Coasters
City/Region: Las Vegas
There are four roller coasters on The Strip: the Manhattan Express at New York NY, the Canyon Blaster at the Adventuredome, the roller coaster at MGM Grand Adventures and the High Roller at the Stratosphere. The MGM theme park is probably the best, although for sheer terror factor head for the High Roller. At 1,149ft (350m), the Stratosphere Tower is the tallest freestanding observation tower in the United States and the tallest building west of the Mississippi River, and thrill seekers can enjoy excitement over 100 stories above the ground on the Big Shot thrill ride and the High Roller roller coaster. There is also a revolving restaurant at the top of the Stratosphere, which offers great views but pretty average food.

  • The Grand Canyon
City/Region: Las Vegas
A mile deep, 277 miles (446km) long and up to 18 miles (29km) wide the breathtaking grandeur of the Grand Canyon is so impressive that pictures or words simply cannot do it justice. One of the great natural wonders of the world, it was formed by the cutting action of the Colorado River over millions of years, the harder rock formations remaining as great cliffs, pinnacles and buttes, and the different layers of rock possessing colors that range from purple, fiery red and pastel pink, to yellow, brown, grey and soft tones of blue. Whether by foot or on horseback, from a plane or helicopter, aboard a raft down the mighty Colorado River or by merely gazing in awe from the rim, the canyon's seemingly infinite depths can be experienced in a variety of ways and is a landscape not to be missed, however one chooses to see it. The park receives hoards of visitors from around the world, who cannot fail to be transfixed by the sculpted rock shapes, the shifting colors that change with the light and a tiny glimpse of the Colorado River far below. The Grand Canyon National Park comprises two separate areas, the South Rim and the more remote North Rim. Separated by the 10-mile (16km) width of the canyon, it is a 215-mile (346km) drive from one visitor center to the other and the South Rim, being the most accessible and possessing more facilities, sees over 90 percent of the park visitors. The North Rim is higher in elevation and wetter, with thicker surrounding forests; it is further to get to and is usually closed by snow from October to May, but many people prefer the comparative peacefulness of its less crowded lookouts. At both rims there are several drives and walkways along the edge with numerous lookout points for views from different angles, as well as a few hikes down into the canyon where one can overnight at Phantom Ranch on the canyon floor. The impact of over four million visitors a year to the South Rim, especially during the busy summer months, has its negative influences on the park, with overcrowding and traffic congestion, but despite the hoards it is a positively memorable experience to have visited one of the most spectacular examples of erosion in the world.
Transport: It is possible to reach the Grand Canyon in a full-day excursion from Las Vegas, but ideally travelers should stay overnight unless flying there. Scenic Airlines (tel: (702) 638 3300; e-mail:; website: offers various tours, including overnight stays and two-day hikes
Hours: South Rim is open 24 hours daily, all year round. The Information Plaza is open from 8am to 5pm. The North Rim is open from 15 May to 14 October 8am to 6pm
Admission: $25 per vehicle, $12 for pedestrians and cyclists, valid for both rims for 7 days

  • Hoover Dam
City/Region: Las Vegas
Stretching 1,247ft (380m) across the Colorado River, the Hoover Dam holds back the waters of Lake Mead and is a fine example of the engineering of its time. One of the world's most famous dams, the Hoover Dam was built during the Great Depression in the 1930s - one of many vast public projects commissioned by the US Government to get people back to work. The dam employed thousands of men from all over the country, and its hydroelectric power generator supplies Nevada and its neighboring states with electricity. The Lake Mead National Recreation Area is popular with water sports enthusiasts as well as those just after a bit of sun and relaxation.
Transport: The Hoover Dam is an hour's drive from Las Vegas. Coach tours can be arranged through most hotels and tour operators
Hours: Daily 8.30am to 4.30pm (visitor center)
Admission: Hoover Dam Discovery Tour: $11; Lake Mead Recreational Area: $5 per vehicle, or $3 per individual, for 5 days

  • Red Rock Canyon
City/Region: Las Vegas
Red Rock Canyon is a dramatic valley ten miles (16km) west of Las Vegas and is a good excursion to escape the neon lights and jangle of the slot machines. Its defining feature is the steep Red Rock escarpment, which rises 3,000ft (914m) on its western edge. Today the dramatic landscape is peppered with cacti and Joshua trees and is a good spot for walking, rock climbing, cycling or simply a scenic drive. The Mojave Desert is not barren as you might think; it teems with life and beauty that is rare and unique - waterfalls cascade into the canyons and high above red tailed hawks search for their next meal.
Transport: The park has a 13-mile (21km) scenic drive. Coach tours can be organized through most hotels
Hours: Visitor Center: 8am to 4.30pm. Scenic drive: 6am to 5pm (November to February), 6am to 7pm (March and October), 6am to 8pm (April to September)
Admission: $5 per vehicle

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New Jersey

One of the Mid-Atlantic States, the tiny state of New Jersey is often overshadowed by neighboring New York City. Traveling south on the New Jersey Turnpike toll road from New York, visitors will be stuck with the picture of popular imagination that has been the brunt of jokes with many an on-stage comedian. The ugly highway, traversing an industrial landscape of grey, smoking chimneys and factories, and passing bleak cities like Newark and the state capital of Trenton, does little to encourage visitors, while even the songs of Bruce Springsteen describe his birthplace in disparaging terms.

But surprisingly there is more to New Jersey than grey factories and industrial estates. One of the state's most treasured prizes is its 127 miles (204km) of sandy beaches along the Atlantic coast, lined with many holiday resorts, bustling boardwalks and quaint seaside towns that draw thousands of tourists to enjoy the sun, surf and excitement of the famous Jersey Shore. The world's first boardwalk has its home in Atlantic City, famous for its 24-hour gambling entertainment and casino hotels redolent of Las Vegas, while the old-world charm of Cape May takes one back to the Victorian age with beautifully restored 19th-century buildings home to some of the finest Bed and Breakfast Inns anywhere. In between are miles of fun and entertainment, from water parks and zoos to Ferris wheels, roller coasters, shopping and nightlife, along with surf and sand.
Nature lovers can enjoy wilderness hiking trails in the scenic hills of the Skylands that also offers perfect conditions for skiing in winter. Historically this region is known as the Military Capital of the Revolution and visitors can trace the movements of General George Washington and his troops during the winter of 1779 at the Morristown National Historic Park. The state's rich history also includes some of America's greatest inventors and physicists such as Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein, and the Liberty State Park overlooking the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island that was one of the country's main immigration stations from 1892 to 1954.

The climate in New Jersey tends to be moderate, particularly along the coast in the south and southeast, with relatively mild winters and pleasant summers. August tends to be the hottest month, with temperatures reaching 80°F (27°C), and January is the coldest month with temperatures reaching, on average, about 30°F (-1°C). In winter, snowfall occurs statewide, with heavier falls at the higher altitudes of the Piedmont Plateau and the northwestern mountains. The Piedmont Plateau area also receives a higher annual precipitation than the rest of the state.

  • New Jersey Shore
New Jersey's Atlantic Coast is a 130-mile (209km) stretch of quaint fishing villages, white sandy beaches and historic lighthouses from the Sandy Hook Peninsula in the north to Cape May at the southern tip, interspersed with a string of holiday resorts and characteristic boardwalks, ranging from wild and tacky amusement towns to tranquil Victorian refuges.
The northern shore has dozens of beaches as well as most of the state's 23 lighthouses, including the Sandy Hook Lighthouse overlooking New York Harbour, which is the oldest operating lighthouse in America. Miles of sand dunes and undeveloped nature form the barrier island of Island Beach State Park where swimmers, anglers and surfers can enjoy the ecologically protected environment that is almost the same as it was thousands of years ago.
The central region is home to the best-known resort on the state's Atlantic Coast, the gambling Mecca of Atlantic City with its famous boardwalk and casino-hotels, while exciting roller coaster rides and the drive-through Wild Safari Animal Park at the Six Flags Great Adventure Theme Park in Jackson provide hours of family entertainment. Doo-Wop architecture, plastic palm trees and neon lights are the features of Wildwoods, an avid party town with boardwalk entertainment galore as well as some of the widest beaches on the Jersey coast.
In contrast the Cape May Peninsula at the southernmost tip of New Jersey between the Atlantic and Delaware Bay is primarily a nature-lovers paradise ideal for camping, fishing and hiking. Covered with thousands of acres of wetlands and natural areas, the region is considered one of the top-ten birding destinations in North America. At the very tip is the classic Victorian seaside town of Cape May, itself a National Historic Landmark featuring rows of colorful, restored Victorian homes and trolley tours.

  • Atlantic City
City/Region: New Jersey Shore
At its height during the 1920s, Atlantic City was the vacation destination and playground for the rich and famous with thousands of city dwellers flocking to enjoy the seaside. The resort is one of America's oldest and boasts the world's first Boardwalk, running along an eight-mile (13km) stretch of beach, which was built in 1870 by local hotel owners. It also boasts the nation's first Big Wheel, the first color postcards and the first Miss America Beauty Pageant that has been held here annually ever since 1921. Before long the Boardwalk became lined with amusement parks and nightclubs, but its grandeur faded into economic decline with the rise of jet travel to Florida, the Caribbean and Europe after World War II, resulting in a disastrous drop in tourism. In a desperate attempt to revitalise the once-proud resort, the state of New Jersey instituted legal casino gambling in the 1970s. The Boardwalk became a collection of grand gambling halls and the earlier 19th century stone hotels were replaced by extravagant casino-hotels reminiscent of Las Vegas, from designs like the Showboat to the onion domes and gigantic elephants of the Trump Taj Mahal. Today the city is famous as a gambler's Mecca with a vibrant nightlife. It also offers amusement rides, souvenir shops and children's entertainment in a bid to market itself as a family destination and 'America's Favorite Playground'.

  • Cape May
City/Region: New Jersey Shore
Situated at the southern-most tip of the New Jersey Cape, Cape May is the jewel of the Atlantic Shore and the nation's oldest seaside resort that is well known for its calm beaches, historic sites and many nearby natural attractions. With a fairytale collection of authentically restored and beautifully preserved Victorian homes, the entire town was designated a National Historic Landmark and is internationally recognized as one of the best Bed and Breakfast Inn resorts in the country. The ambience of gingerbread-trimmed inns, old gas lamps and colorful stained glass windows offers visitors a peaceful change of pace from most other resorts along the shore, while bird watchers are drawn to the Cape May Point State Park that attracts huge flocks of birds during the spring and autumn migrations. Cape May offers modern as well as historic accommodations, fine dining and shopping, and lots of nature walks, and its easy-going atmosphere is apparent even at the height of the summer season.

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Alligator Man

Jake the Alligator Man is an alleged half-man, half-alligator on display in apparently mummified condition at Marsh's Free Museum, a tourist trap in Long Beach, Washington. He was acquired by the Marshes for $750 in 1967 from an antique store.
His image was used by the Weekly World News on November 9, 1993 for front-page article, "Half-human, half-alligator discovered in Florida swamp." The periodical subsequently reported on his escape from captivity, killing of a Miami man, and giving birth.
Jake has acquired a cult following in Northwestern popular culture. Bumper stickers featuring the oddity can be commonly seen throughout Washington and Oregon.

Is Jake the Alligator Man for real? At Marsh's Free Museum in Long Beach, Wash., visitors wonder. He's enclosed in a glass case so you can't touch. But people approach the case all day long, staring, not quite knowing for sure. Legend has it that Jake is half human, half alligator, which certainly seems a stretch as in "how the heck could that happen without the human getting eaten?" Anyway, Jake postcards are popular items at the checkout stand as are Jake bumper stickers and tee-shirts. Across the street is a small park with the "World's Largest Frying Pan." Long Beach is on a long, thin peninsula on the southwest coast of Washington. The peninsula's wide beach is an official state highway, so you can drive your car or RV right on it.

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Say hello to the ajolote of Mexico. As you might expect, given the configuration of the claws and the lack of pigmentation, the ajolote is a subterranean, burrowing creature. The scales are arranged in rings, giving it a wormy appearance. The nubby tail doesn't help either. This is a very confused creature.
But it goes to show that it's hard to find good looking a subterranean animal. But what good are looks if you never see the light? It's easy to be ugly when you can't see yourself in the mirror.

Is it a worm, a snake, a lizard, or something out of a movie? No special effects here; this is a ajolote, a reptile found in Mexico that has only two legs. It lives underground, where front legs for digging are more valuable than hind legs that would only be dragged along.

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The Cuban Solenodon, also known as the Almiqui, is an insect eating rat-like creature that lives in Cuba. As the Wikipedia entry explains these unusual looking creatures were once thought to be extinct.
16-22 inches (40-55 centimeters) long from nose to tail, the Cuban Solenodon resembles a large brown rat with an extremely elongated snout and a long, naked, scaly tail. The Cuban Solenodon was mistakenly believed extinct since the last sighting in 1999 mainly because it is a nocturnal burrower, living underground. It is therefore very rarely seen. Since its discovery in 1861 by the German naturalist Wilhelm Peters, only 36 had ever been caught. The Cuban Solenodon that was found in 2003, named Alejandrito, brought the number to 37. He weighed 24 ounces and was healthy. He was released back into the wild after two days of scientific study were completed. explains why the creature is so difficult to find -- it is nocturnal and lives underground.
It's no wonder so few have been found since then. The furry mammal is nocturnal. It stays underground during the daytime and comes up to eat worms and insects only when the sun goes down. Some scientists thought the almiqui might be extinct because none had been found since 1999.

How does a creature pull off presumed-extinct status? Well, it of course helps to have limited numbers to begin with, and a low birth rate. Add to that residence on an island under international embargo, being nocturnal, and living in burrows, and well, you've got yourself a hard to spot little ugly. I've posted on it before, but it's time to come back for more.
Though of Cuban derivation, the once-thought-extinct almiqui finds its closest relatives in the wilds of Madagascar. Also known as the Cuban Solenodon (sounds more like a dinosaur name to me), this little mammal is shrew-like and only 37 have ever been officially captured (the first one back in the 19th century). But, recent studies have shown that there are still more out there. That's important for Cubans to know, because almiquis are rare among mammals in that they have venomous saliva. Watch out.

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Mermaids of the Philippines

Mermaids in the Philippines Myths and legends of "fish tailed humans" have risen from early attempts of man to explain the mysteries of nature and life. The Sirens of Greek mythology speak of creatures half-woman and half-bird that lured sailors to their death at sea.
Myths and legends of "fish tailed humans" have risen from early attempts of man to explain the mysteries of nature and life. The Sirens of Greek mythology speak of creatures half-woman and half-bird that lured sailors to their death at sea. From this mythology evolved the legend of mermaids. Mermaids are often thought of as had omen. People in different countries usually have various interpretations of mermaids. In the Philippines they are thought to be water spirits or the descendants of fallen angels.
Although they're only a creation of the imagination, there are several accounts of 'mermaids' found in the Nile in 1642 and in Borneo in 1771. The exact identity of these creatures is unknown. Another 'mermaid' which was displayed in the United States in 1882 proved to be a hoax: it was nothing but the upper torso of a monkey sewn to a tail of a salmon. In 1908, a dugong was exhibited in Johannesburg, South Africa, and was billed as the world's only genuine mermaid.
The mermaid myth can be attributed partly, if not wholly, to a mysterious and unique animal called the dugong. Early explorers and seafarers journeying through the south eastern seas might have seen these unusual, elusive animals, and told of their encounter with half-human/half-fish creatures. The playful imagination of weary mariners who had stayed too long at sea was a factor in the enhancement of these mermaid stories. It was even said that sailors used dugongs as surrogate females at sea, giving rise to a tale of sailors capturing and marrying mermaids. Such perception on the dugong is strikingly common in many different cultures.
Diego de Bobadilla in the 1700s said of the dugongs in the Philippines: "Some tried to assert that those fish were the sirens of the sea so celebrated among the poets; but they have nothing of [ the ]beauty in the face and of [thel voice that is attributed to sirens" (Blair and Robertson, 1950c).

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The Stone Spheres of Costa Rica

The stone spheres of Costa Rica are a collection of some three hundred polished stone orbs, the first of which were discovered in the Diquis Delta of Costa Rica during the 1930s. The spheres range in size from a few centimeters to over two meters in diameter, and weigh up to 16 tons. Most are sculpted from granodiorite, an igneous rock similar to granite. Their precise date of construction is uncertain, but they are believed to have been carved between 200 BC and 1600 CE. They have been uncovered in a number of locations, including the Isla del Cano.

  • History

The story of the spheres' discovery began in the early 1930s as the United Fruit Company was searching new grounds for banana plantations. A disease threatened the health of their crop on the Caribbean side of the isthmus. Searching the Pacific side, they found promising land within the Diquis Valley, not far from the coast where exports could be undertaken. They moved their headquarters from Limón to Golfito.
When the United Fruit Company arrived, the town of Golfito was a simple fishing village on the eastern periphery of the Golfo Dulce. However, it was soon connected by rail line to the larger town of Palmar Sur, some eighty kilometers away.
The stone spheres came to light during early cultivation of the farmland. Most were discovered by workmen as they cleared and burned the jungle in preparation for planting. Recognizing the stones as man-made, the workmen pushed them aside with bulldozers and heavy equipment. At some point thereafter, they returned to the stone balls, and, inspired by stories of hidden gold, began to drill holes into them.
Within the drilled holes they inserted sticks of dynamite, which they would use to remove stubborn roots and stumps. Unfortunately, several of the spheres were destroyed before authorities intervened. Some of the dynamited spheres have been reassembled and are currently on display at the National Museum in San José.
The first scientific investigation of the spheres was undertaken shortly after their discovery by Doris Stone, a daughter of a United Fruit Co. executive. These were published in 1943 in American Antiquity, attracting the attention of Dr. Samuel Lothrop of the Peabody Museum, Harvard University. In 1948, he and his wife attempted to excavate an unrelated archaological site in the northern region of Costa Rica. The government of the time had disbanded its professional army, and the resulting civil unrest threatened the security of Lothrop's team. In San José he met Doris Stone, who directed the group toward the Diquís Delta region in the South-West and provided them with valuable dig sites and personal contacts. Lothrop's findings were published in Archaeology of the Diquís Delta, Costa Rica 1963.

  • Myths

Numerous myths surround the stones, such as they came from Atlantis, or that they were made as such by nature. Some local legends state that the native inhabitants had access to a potion able to soften the rock. Another calls for the center of the spheres to contain a single coffee bean.
It is wrongly believed that the spheres are perfect. However they do have a surprisingly smooth surface. According to laser measurements by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, the spheres were 96% perfect.
The stone spheres have been found in clusters of up to twenty, and often in geometric patterns such as triangles, rectangles or straight lines. Such alignments often point to the earth¹s magnetic north. A large number of the spheres have been located in the Diquis River Delta, with other popular sites being the southern cities of Palmar, Sur, Buenos Aires and Golfito as well as in the province of Guanacaste to the north and in the central valley. Archaeologists have been able to date the stones by the artefacts that have been found lying alongside them. Some of them have, thus, been dated as far back as 400 B.C.E.
The majority of them have, however, been dated between 800 and 1200 B.C.E. Many of these stones have been found near the remains of dwellings and in close proximity to grave sites. Some believed that the stones contained some hidden treasures and a few of them have been smashed to try to get at this supposed treasure. None has been forthcoming, however. Despite these losses, however, the National museum of Costa Rica has catalogued some one hundred and thirty existing stone spheres. However, many of them are not catalogued. This is because of the fact that many of the spheres have been removed from their original sites and used as ornaments in private homes, gardens and churches. Clearly, there are also many stones that still lie undiscovered.
Just how the ancient people of Costa Rica made these perfectly cylindrical stone spheres, remains largely a mystery. It is clear that some sort of mechanical procedure was needed in order to attain the precision displayed by the stones. Statues emanating from the same period show that the ancient Costa Ricans were very skilled sculptors. The existence of gold artefacts from about 800 C.E. also show that the people living at that time were experienced at working with high temperatures. It is, therefore, believed by some researchers that the stones were moulded into their perfectly cylindrical shapes by extreme heating followed by cooling, to remove any outer layers of rock. The rocks could have been finished by polishing with sand or leather.
The larger stones were clearly crafted by the most skilled sculptors. These stones are so perfectly shaped that the tape and plumb bob measurements of diameters reveal no imperfections. This shows that the makers of the stones must have had a degree of mathematical ability as well as advanced knowledge of stone carving and the use of tools. The ancient Costa Ricans, however, had no written language. There is, therefore, no written record of just how they made the stones spheres.
Many of the spheres are made of granite like rock. Yet the granite rock quarries were often twenty five to thirty miles away from the location of the largest stone spheres. How, then, did the sculptors move such heavy stones? Some of the stones, after all weigh sixteen tons. If the granites rocks were moved before they were sculpted, then the nine foot cube that would be needed to sculpt a sphere eight feet in diameter would weigh a whopping twenty four tons. To even get such a massive stone to it¹s final location the natives would have to cut large tracks through very dense bush.
Other stones were made of coquina, a limestone like material which is found on the beaches near the mouth of the Diquis river. This stone was probably rafted up river about thirty miles to it¹s final location. Some of these stone spheres have been found on Cano Island, which is located about twelve miles off the Pacific coast. As to why the stone spheres were made, there are, as yet, no explanations. It is possible that they were used as a symbol of rank or importance for a tribal chief or a village. Then again, they may have been used as religious or ceremonial symbols. Perhaps further study by archaeologists will unravel the secrets of the stone spheres of Costa Rica.

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Crystal Skull Theorys

  • Extraterrestrial origins?
The origin of crystal skulls can tend to be a rather mysterious topic. Part of the issue arises because quartz crystal is a natural stone that comes from the Earth, therefore we cannot carbon date the crystal. The only way that science can currently estimate the age of a crystal carving is by examining its surface to see if there is any evidence showing how it was carved, and whether it shows ancient or modern tool marks, or in some cases, no marks at all.



First, it is important to distinguish the categories that crystal skulls can fall into. The majority are considered to be New / Modern / Contemporary Crystal Skulls. A large number are considered to be Old Crystal SKulls (100 to 1500 years old) and a select few are classified as Ancient Crystal Skulls (over 1500 years old).
The power of crystal skulls seems to be amplified in the presence of other crystal skulls (perhaps "the more the merrier"), although the actual numbers vary from legend to legend. Most popular legends speak of 13 crystal skulls coming together to bring about profound transformation on Earth. Sandra Bowen, crystal skull researcher, talks about 36 crystal skulls, and Don Alejandro Cirilo Oxlaj Perez, a Mayan high priest/shaman, has mentioned 52 crystal skulls.
Some legends and theories state that the original crystal skulls were not created by the hands of man at all, but may be of extraterrestrial origin. Some say that they may be the crystallized consciousness of advanced beings related to Atlantis, the Pleiades, or beyond. Scientists, who have said that the Mitchell-Hedges skull technically should not exist because they cannot understand how it could possibly have been carved, may inadvertently be supporting this extraterrestrial theory.
To understand the "embedded" power of the crystal skulls, one must explore three basic concepts - the Day of the Dead, Crystallography, and Piezoelectricity.

  • The Day of the Dead

Our present society predominantly associates skulls with death and evil. However, many ancient societies are believed to have had the opposite association, where objects like the crystal skulls represent "life": the honoring of humanity in the flesh and the embodiment of consciousness.
Rituals celebrating the deaths of ancestors have been observed by civilizations around the world for more than 2500 years. In some cultures today, especially in Mexico, they still honor the dead and celebrate "The Day of the Dead", usually on November 1st. This coincides with the Christian observation of "All Saints Day", which also honors the spirits of departed Saints. During the celebration of the Day of the Dead, images of skulls can be seen everywhere, much the way we see them for Halloween (originally called "All Hallows Eve", the night before "All Saints Day").
Even in present day Western Religions, it is believed that during the time around November 1st, the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead is at its thinnest, allowing us to communicate with those beyond this world. The Day of the Dead is particularly known as a time to communicate with the souls of the departed, and crystal skulls may have served as communication tools to connect to other realms and dimensions.

  • Crystallography

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica:
Matter exists in three main varieties: the gaseous state, the liquid state, and the solid state. Solid matter - in which the atoms, molecules or ions are arranged in a regularly repeating pattern throughout - is said to be crystalline; all other solid matter is said to be amorphous (noncrystalline), although the distinction is not always sharp. Practically all metals, minerals and alloys are crystalline, while glasses, plastics, ceramics and gels are amorphous. A single piece of crystalline matter is called a crystal.
Crystallography is the science of crystals and of the crystalline state. Since most solid matter is crystalline, the properties of crystals are to a large extent also the properties of ordinary solid materials. In the electronics industry the word "crystal" is usually restricted in meaning to a crystalline substance that exhibits the piezoelectric effect; e.g., quartz (which has been shown to exhibit more piezoelectricity than other materials).

  • Piezoelectricity

Piezoelectricity is the ability of some materials (notably crystals and certain ceramics) to generate an electric potential in response to applied mechanical stress. Quartz crystals can convert electrical voltage into the mechanical regulation of clocks and computers. This process can be reversed by using mechanical pressure to produce electrical voltage.
The first practical application for piezoelectric devices were developed in 1917 as a detector / transducer for a sonar (SOund NAvigation and Ranging system). Since then, quartz crystals have been used to make oscillators for radios, computer chips, and clocks.
  • Crystal Skull Theory Revisited

There are many who state that crystal skulls have healing properties, transmit energy, have the ability to convey information or are repositories of ancient wisdom like a Universal library. The understanding of computer technology, quartz and piezoelectricity may be keys to explaining these phenomena, and may one day help us to unlock the secrets and mysteries of crystal skulls.
Current crystal skull theory should marry the scientific understanding of the natural properties of quartz with the history and wisdom of our ancient civilizations. As crystal skulls re-emerge, what the ancient ones believed to be very real is now thought to be merely a myth or a legend, but may turn out to be a prophecy.
If indeed the crystal skulls are receptacles for stored information, much like our modern computers, then the best way to discover the true history and theory of crystal skulls may require exploration through meditation to access and retrieve information from the crystal skulls themselves, using techniques like our ancestors did to unlock the secrets and mysteries embedded in the crystal skulls.

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Legend and Prophecy about 13 Crystal Skulls

There are very few legends that cross over cultures and times the way the crystal skull legends do. They are contemporarily shared by the Mayans, The Aztecs, the Native Americans and other indigenous people around the world (and in philosophical terms, they are recorded in Atlantean and Lemurian Times). These legends have been handed down from generation to generation for thousands of years, which attests to their enduring power.
The legend of the "Great Flood", which was passed down from ancient times, is one of the few enduring legends that is also shared by most cultures around the world - which scientists now confirm was real. While that event marked "an end time" for many people around the world, there may be some parallels to the Mayan Legends regarding 2012.
The more you learn about crystal skulls, the more you realize the power of multiple crystal skulls. There are many cultures that have legends about crystal skulls, sometimes involving different numbers of crystal skulls. However, "thirteen crystal skulls" seems to be the common denominator among most crystal skull legends.

Native American Cherokee Medicine Man, Harley Swift-Deer Reagan is quoted as saying: "The skulls were kept inside a pyramid in a formation of tremendous power known as the Ark. The Ark was comprised of the twelve skulls from each of the sacred planets kept in a circle, with the thirteenth skull, the largest, placed in the center of this formation. This thirteenth skull represents the collective consciousness of all the worlds. It connects up the knowledge of all the sacred planets."

The basic elements of the 13 crystal skulls legend is that at a pivotal time in humanity's history, the 13 crystal skulls will be reunited to awaken a new era - transforming from an old paradigm into a new world.
Patricio Dominguez - Pueblo Spiritual Advisor: "The crystal skulls are complete depositories of knowledge and each skull contains a particular specialist area of information - like a living library [each skull is like one volume in a set of encyclopedias]. And the people who will in the future be able to 'read' the crystal skulls will only be able to extract all the knowledge from the skulls once they are all assembled together... Of course, the knowledge that is going to come out from the skulls is quite unimaginable to our current minds. But that it is definitely going to come out at a certain time is already foregone. It has been prophesied. But whether we humans then use that knowledge for good or for our own destruction is really down to our preparations."

Many believe that there is a strong connection between the crystals skulls, the Mayans and the Mayan Calendar ending in December 2012. While there is a current belief that more than 13 ancient crystal skull exist (some say 52, or 4 sets of 13), in recent years, the Mayans have spearheaded a grand reunion of North America's indigenous chiefs in an effort to unite forces towards the commonly foreseen future as recounted by the Mayan elders.
According to Mayan Priest/Shaman, Don Alejandro Cirilo Oxlaj Peres: "... The prophecy says now is the time of the awakening. This is your job now, to awaken. The Vale of the Nine Hells is past and the Time of Warning has now arrived. It is time to prepare for the Age of the Thirteen Heavens. The time of 12 Baktun and 13 Ahau is fast approaching, and they shall be here among you to defend Mother Earth. The prophecy says, 'Let the dawn come. Let all the people and all the creatures have peace, let all things live happily', for the love must not only be between humans, but between all living things. They said, 'We are the children of the sun, we are the children of time and we are the travelers in space. May all the songs awaken, may all the dancers awaken. May all the people and all things live in peace for you are the valleys, you are the mountains, you are the trees, you are the very air you breathe'....Now is the time of return of the grandmothers and grandfathers. Now is the time of the return of the elders. Now is the time of the return of the wise ones. And the wise ones are all of you. Now is the time to go out into the world and spread the light. The sacred flame has been kept for this purpose and now the time approaches when you will be required to love all things, to love a world that has gone crazy, to rebalance the heavens and the Earth. For the Time of Warning has come to pass and the Warriors of the Rainbow are now beginning to be born. The Vale of Tears, the Nine Hells, is over and it is time to prepare for the 13 Heavens. The ancestors are returning, my brothers and sisters, and we do not have long. Now is the time that the prophecies will be fulfilled."

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The Sphinx

  • Introduction

Along with the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Sphinx is one of the greatest enigmas and the most studied ancient monument of mankind’s history. The whole complex of Giza, composed of the Sphinx, the Great Pyramid, other pyramids, and distinct structures, definitely holds the key to understanding advanced past civilizations. There is no other place teeming with so many researchers looking into the mysteries of mankind’s past, which may cause history to be rewritten.

In the examination of the mystery of the great Sphinx we run into a similar situation. The Egyptians wrote very little about the construction of the Sphinx. However, the Egyptians, Romans, and Arabs did write accounts concerning its numerous restorations, which will be discussed later in this article. In addition, it should be said that other cultures had their form of a Sphinx. For example, the Greek Sphinx was female with a human head, breasts, and the body of a feminine lion.

  • What theories exist on the Sphinx?

Now there are basically two schools of thoughts concerning the origin, age, and the builder of the Sphinx in Egypt. The established group are Egyptologists who believe that Pharaoh Khafre built the Sphinx around 2500 B.C., which is about the 4th dynasty. This theory makes the Sphinx about 5,000 years old according to Dr. Zahi Hawass, Director of Giza Saqqara of the Egyptian Antiquities Organization (p. 348) as stated in Graham Hancock’s book Fingerprints of the Gods (© 1995 Crown Trade Paperbacks).

Now the other school of thought does not believe that the Egyptians built the Sphinx, but think that it was built by an advanced civilization 8,000 to 10,000 B.C. This school of thought has been around for hundreds of years, but new findings give it more credibility. Recently, Graham Hancock, John West, an American scholar, Robert Bauval, and others have presented certain evidence that challenges the traditional thoughts about the Sphinx and the whole Giza complex.

They present proof that may cause a rethinking of the model used to determine who built the Sphinx and the Great Pyramid and for what purpose. Their proofs consist of basically two pieces of evidence. First the geological indications that the Sphinx’s erosion was due to water rather than wind/sand making it much older than previously thought, according to the book Fingerprint of the Gods. Second, astronomical alignments show that the Sphinx was clearly an equinoctial marker facing east, which identifies the exact position on the horizon that the sun dawns on the spring equinox (1st day of spring) according to Graham Hancock’s and Robert Bauval’s book The Message of the Sphinx (p. 59).

Many of the legends of the Egyptians and Arabs support this position. They believe that an advanced civilization prior to the flood (i.e., in the Ante-Diluvian Age) built these structures which will be discussed later in this article.

These new findings imply that mankind’s history is older than the 6,000 years of Christian tradition and an advanced ancient civilization built the Sphinx. This would mean that history would have to be rewritten or a better understanding of Moses account of creation.

Now Graham Hancock quotes John West’s view on the orthodox view of mankind’s history. "We are told that the evolution of human civilization is a linear process-that it goes from stupid cave man to smart old us with our hydrogen bombs and striped toothpaste. But the proof is the Sphinx…means that there must have been, … high and sophisticated civilization-just as legends affirms (p. 358)."
  • What is the intent of this article?

Now the intent of this article is to briefly investigate the old and new theories about the origin, purpose, and builders of Sphinx. It will also explore the implications of these new findings.

This article will show also the reality of the Sphinx using the Bible and the Tabernacle for the Sphinx also appears to have close similarities to the creatures seen by Ezekiel and the Apostle John in their visions.
  • What are the form and dimensions of the Sphinx?

Now no one knows how the Sphinx looked at its completion because both natural erosion and destruction at the hand of man have altered its original form. Archeologists and historians found many pictures of the Sphinx drawn with wings, the body of a lion and ox, and the face of man. Today only the face of a man and body of a lion are apparent on the Great Sphinx.

Now the Sphinx faces east or the raising sun. Many Egyptologists overlooked this simple fact, which will play a major part in identifying its purpose.

The Sphinx was carved out of a single piece of stone weighing hundreds of tons. It is over 200 feet in length or about as long as a city block. According to Manly P. Hall’s book The Secret Teachings of the Ages (p. XLII), the Sphinx is about 70 feet in height and is 38 feet across the shoulders. Now no one knows what types of tools were used to carve the stone.

  • What observations of the Sphinx have been made in the present and past?

Those observing the Sphinx first hand are in awe of it. It seems to radiate that it is thousands of years old and has withstood the ages of time. There is also something very mystical about it that tends to convey to the observer that there is something metaphysical or spiritual about it.

According to Manly Hall, for thousands of years, the Sphinx had been a symbol of strength and intelligence to the Egyptian culture. The ancients also thought that it portrayed an androgynous being showing that all partakes of the positive and negative powers of the Gods. Most Egyptologists confirmed this belief.

  • What inscriptions are on the Sphinx?

Although there are no records regarding the construction of the Sphinx, there are records of its restoration. The "Sphinx Stela," a stone-engraved inscription dated around 1400 B.C., is the oldest record concerning the Sphinx. According to Fingerprints of the Gods, it describes the restoration of the Sphinx by Pharaoh Thutmosis IV (1401-1391 B.C.) of the 18th Dynasty.

The Stela states that during a hunting trip Prince Thutmosis became tired and slept in the shadow of the Sphinx. He had a dream that the Sphinx promised to reward him with a double crown of Egypt if he would remove the sand from it and restore the sculpture.

According to Manly Hall’s book and Max Thoth book Pyramid Prophecies (p. 158), another account of this legend states that the god appeared unto Prince Thutmosis asking him to do the same. Due to erosion of the stela inscription, no one knows how this promised was fulfilled.

Basically, this granite inscription described the form of the Sphinx as a lion’s body. It also stated that the embodiment was "a great magical power that existed in this place from the beginning of all time (p. 11)," according to the book The Message of the Sphinx by Graham Hancock and Robert Bauval (© 1996 Three Rivers Press).

Now this stone inscription did not explain the purpose, the original designer and builder, or the date of the Sphinx’s erection. However, it did cause a great controversy. On line 13 of the inscription it contains the first syllable "Khaf" and it has been associated with King Khafre of the Fourth Dynasty of Pharaoh, who reigned during 2520-2494 B.C.

From this inscription the orthodox view found in any textbook and encyclopedia states that King Khafre built the Sphinx. It will be shown later that a minority group does not accept this view.

Since the Sphinx is located in a desert region, the sand constantly recovered it. In the last 200 years the Sphinx has been excavated and re-excavated four or five times. Basically, this has been the history of the Sphinx.

  • Are there other historical views of the Sphinx?

Graham Hancock’s book describes the modern Egyptologist’s view that Pharaoh Khafre built the Sphinx and other monuments, which would make them only 100 years old. Before this, the common view was that the Sphinx and the other monuments of the Giza were built by an advanced antediluvian civilization that was destroyed by the flood.

Many 19th and 20th century researchers supported this. The late Wallis Budge, authors of many books on ancient Egypt, and Keeper of the Egyptian Antiquities at the British Museum, believed that the Sphinx was much older than Egypt. Hancock makes the following quotes: "The Sphinx was thought to be connected in some way with foreigners or with a foreign religion, which dated from predynastic (p. 347)."

The Romans and Arabs believed this view. Now the book The Message of the Sphinx verifies this. It states that Roman Armmianus Marcellinus directed treasure hunters to look for books and scrolls in the Sphinx’s repository. They believed that records of this civilization were stored to "prevent the ancient wisdom from being lost in the flood of past age (p. 85)." Arab records of the 9th century also confirm this view.

  • What did Edgar Cayce say about the "Hall of Records"?

Now Edgar Cayce (1877-1945) has been called the sleeping prophet. Cayce had the ability to put himself into a deep trance. This allowed him to diagnose various physical illnesses and reveal a treatment. While in these deep trances, Cayce also spoke of Atlantis, the Sphinx, and Egypt.

He stated in some of his trances that Egypt was the repository for records of the alleged civilization of Atlantis, about 10,500 B.C. This repository was an underground library, called the Hall of Records," that contains the wisdom of Atlantis. Cayce said that during this period this was the first attempt to restore and add to the Sphinx.

Cayce claims that the Sphinx points in the direction of the "Hall of Records." His reading states: "There is a chamber or passage from the right forepaw of the [Sphinx] to this entrance of the Hall of records, or chamber," as quoted by Graham Hancock Many of his followers believe this chamber will be found before the end of the 20th century.

Now in the 1980’s and 1990’s the Edgar Cayce Foundation conducted quite a bit of research in Egypt around the Sphinx to verify Cayce’s reading. Although researchers from all over the world have begun to look for this chamber with very sophisticated instruments, they have not found the Hall of Records."

  • Are there any Biblical references of Antediluvian civilizations and monuments?

In the book of Genesis in the Old Testament there is no reference to the Sphinx or any other monuments that antediluvian civilizations built. In fact, there is very little written in Genesis on how far mankind’s technology advanced in this age. The seed of Cain was described as craftsmen of iron and brass (Gen. 4:17-22). It can be said that at the time of the flood these civilizations were at their zenith.

Clearly, no one can be sure if the Sphinx and the monuments of Giza were built in the Antediluvian age. If they were, this chronology assumes that the Sphinx is no more than 6,000 or 7,000 years old, which fits into the Biblical time frame.

  • What is the metaphysical explanation?

Manly Hall states in his book that there are many myths and legends surrounding the Sphinx. The Bible will show later that there is quite a bit of truth in many of these myths and legends.

The most popular myth was that "…the Sphinx was the true portal [entrance] of the Great Pyramid…(p. XLII)" Mr. Hall quotes from P. Christian’s book Historie de la Magie (Paris, 1876). P. Christian states that "The Great Sphinx of Gizeh served as the entrance to the sacred subterranean chambers [of the Great Pyramid] in which the trials of the initiate were to be undergone …(p. XLII)." Now P. Christian claims that sand and rubbish covered a bronze door in the forelegs of the Sphinx that the Magi sprung open. Now various diggings around the Great Pyramid have not verified any of these basic claims about the Sphinx

The consensus about the Sphinx is that some priestly class erected it for some symbolical purpose. It is clear from the granite Stela, inscription by Pharaoh Thutmosis IV of the Fourth Dynasty, that many of previous eras believe that there is something magical about this Sphinx.

  • What proof do the Egyptologists have to support their theory on the sphinx?

As was stated earlier in this article, the traditional view of Egyptologists is that the Egyptian Pharaoh Khafre of the fourth Dynasty built the Great Sphinx along with the Great Pyramid, about 2500 B.C.. Hancock states in his book Fingerprint of the Gods that there are three pieces of evidence Egyptologists use to support their position (p. 158).

First, they mention the interpretation of the Khafre name on the Sphinx Stela, in which vast portions of the text are eroded. The second piece of evidence attributes Khafre as the builder of the monuments in the Valley of the Temple, which Hancock says is a very shaky premise. The third proof is that the face of the Sphinx is thought to resemble a statue of Khafre.

These are the so-called facts that Egyptologists used to determine the sphinx builders. They are flimsy at best and are definitely not smoking guns. Any layman knows that if this evidence were presented in a criminal case, it would be thrown out of court.

  • What new theory exists on the Sphinx?

Now the other view of the Great Sphinx was that its builder was a civilization that existed before the Egyptians. This civilization existed in the Ante-Diluvian age (i.e. before the great Flood). The time frame this group placed on the construction of the Sphinx is between 5,000 – 10,500 B.C. The Egyptians came later and built their tombs and temples along side and on top of these great structures.

Now the evidence consists of first ancient astronomical and astrological calculations of the stars and secondly of geological evidences that the Sphinx and other monuments of Giza suffered water erosion. It is this evidence that has turned the Egyptologists’ world upside down. Many have chosen to ignore the evidence.

Robert Bauval, a Belgian construction engineer, had a flair for astronomy. He saw that the monuments in the Giza region on the earth mimic various constellations in the sky. It was this piece of evidence that the Egyptologists had ignored.

He showed that the three pyramids align with the stars in the Orion constellation. Mathematicians and astronomers endorsed his calculation. Graham Hancock makes the following quotes about Bauval’s calculation. "…the Giza monuments as a whole were so arranged as to provide a picture of the skies not as they had looked in Fourth Dynasty around 2500 B.C., but as they looked…around the year 10,450 B.C."

Using Bauval’s method, archaeology-astronomy and the computer model for stars for 2,500 B.C. and 10,500 B.C. shows why the Sphinx has the form of a lion’s body. He showed that the Sphinx facing east or the raising sun is clearly a marker for the spring equinox. Now Leo is the zodiac sign that conforms to a lion’s body. The sun rose in the constellation or house of Leo during the time of the spring equinox 10,500 B.C. This was also at the same time the Orion constellation lined up with the pyramids and other monuments had aligned with various other constellations.

Secondly, a geologist at Boston University, Professor Robert Schoch, verified that water eroded the Sphinx. Geologists know scientifically that wind/sand erosion on limestone differs from water erosion. Schoch states that the pattern of erosion on the limestone body of the Sphinx is consistent with water erosion. Many of his colleagues back his findings.

The erosion "…is entirely consistent with precipitation-induced weathering where you have water, rain water beating down from above (p. 422)." He also placed the age of the Sphinx between 5,000 - 7,000 B.C.

John West says for a majority of the 4500 year period that the Sphinx was built, it would have been buried in sand up to its neck. This means that it could not have suffered wind/sand erosion if it was buried most of the time. There is no other monument that has suffered this type of erosion during this same period. Thus, the weathering was due to thousands of years of heavy rainfall, before the existence of Egypt.

Now these two findings permanently altered mankind’s view of the Sphinx and advanced ancient civilizations. It is the first time hard evidence has verified ancient legends and myths concerning previous advanced civilizations.

Even if these new findings are proven wrong, the old Egyptologists’ model of the Sphinx has been permanently changed from its rigid model that refused to reexamine itself in face of new evidence.

  • Is the Sphinx older than 7,000 years?

The implication of the Sphinx being 7,000+ years old radically changes mankind’s view of history and the Biblical account of creation. Many modern anthropologists believe that men of this period were too primitive to build these structures.

Basically, the orthodox view of history is that mankind’s technology has increased in a linear way; as time increased, knowledge increased. This model does not fit with various archaeological findings around the world. In fact, it appears that just the opposite is true.
  • What are the Biblical implications of a 7,000-10,000 year old Sphinx?

Now if the Sphinx is proven to be 7,000-10,000 years old, this posits a dilemma to Biblical chronology and the history of mankind. Because the time span from Adam-Eve to our present time is 6,000 years according to Biblical chronology, a 7,000-10,000 year old Sphinx implies that there were civilizations that existed before Adam and Eve, for which there is no scriptural support.

Many think this would undermine Moses’ account of creation and the Bible. Yet it is quite obvious from Moses’ account that he left out many things, or they were not revealed unto him, such as dinosaurs and other animals that were extinct at the time of his vision 1490 years before the Messiah’s birth.
  • How many times has Elohim created creations?

The greater question is NOT whether mankind’s Biblical chronology is just 6,000 years old, but if Elohim has created and destroyed life many times prior to Adam and Eve. Thus, could the new heaven and earth have been Adam’s and Eve’s appearance in a renovated earth (Rev. 21:1-4)? This would explain how the Sphinx can be a monument left over from a civilization and world prior to Adam and Eve.

When one looks at certain Biblical events in time, they seem to support the notion of Elohim creating and destroying life many times before creating Adam and Eve. For example, with Noah and the flood, one sees the earth’s population being destroyed and being repopulated by Noah and his offsprings. When Egypt was destroyed by plagues one can see it was repopulated and rebuilt. These are few instances of this principle being repeated over and over in time our creation.
  • Were Adam and Eve first?

Now a belief in an Eternal Creator Yahweh-Elohim presupposed that Moses’ account of creation is NOT the first physical creation ever created. This would imply that Adam and Eve were not the first human creatures that Elohim created.

There is not enough information in the book of Genesis, to reach any decision on this. Yet there is scientific evidence which appears to prove that the earth and life upon it is more then 6,000 years old.

In an article in this issue of "PLIM REPORT," entitled "Elohim and the Ages," it shows that after a "week of ages" there is a always new order of things, meaning a new creation coming forth again. This article also shows that there are legends and myths in other cultures that state that mankind had been literally wiped out or destroyed many times before on the earth and repopulated by Elohim.

An examination of the Bible for Sphinx-like creatures might shed some light on the subject that many of the experts and researchers have overlooked.

  • Does the Bible refer to the Sphinx?

Now there is no mention of the Sphinx in the Bible. Yet many visions from Elohim shown to the prophets of Israel reveal the principles of the design and the purpose of the Great Sphinx, as are confirmed in various legends and myths.

Both the Great Pyramid and the Sphinx are older than the Old Testament. What this means is that civilizations prior to Israel had physically documented what the prophets of Israel later saw and documented in their visions.

What this shows is that Elohim and His angels had always intercourse with mankind and the various civilizations throughout the ages. Elohim has never been absent from His creation. Now both Ezekiel the prophet and the Apostle John described something in their visions, which seems very similar to the Sphinx.

  • Does John speak of sphinx-like creatures?

Now the Apostle John in Revelation wrote in the fourth chapter that he was in the Spirit on the Sabbath day. He states he saw a door in heaven open and Elohim sat upon His Throne (Rev. 4:1-2). There was a sea of glass before the throne (Rev. 4:6) and round about the throne there were four beasts. John describes them as follows. "And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come (Rev 4:7-8)."

Now the beasts around the throne of Elohim in heaven are reflected in the form of the Great Sphinx and also the zodiac. Also these beasts around the Throne were guardians to the Throne of Elohim as the Great Sphinx was believed to guard the Great Pyramid. So, it appears that the Great Sphinx and the Great Pyramid are reflections of what is in Heaven.

  • Did Ezekiel see Sphinx-like creatures in his vision?

Now the prophet Ezekiel further confirmed what the Apostle John saw in his vision. He states that a fiery whirlwind cloud enfolding upon itself appeared unto him in a vision. He saw four creatures within this fiery cloud that had the appearance of a man. Now each one had four faces and wings (Ezk. 1:5-7). Each one of these creatures also had feet in the form of a calf.

Ezekiel described the four faces of the creatures that were below the Throne of Elohim (Ezk. 1:26-27) as follows. "As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle (Ezk. 1:10)." Thus, these four angelic creatures symbolically represent the whole angelic host that is around the Throne of Elohim. Thus, one can see the symbolic representation of the Great Sphinx in the earth-plane which many of the mystics wrote about concerning the Sphinx.

  • Did Israel’s camp around the tabernacle mimic the Sphinx?

It also must be mentioned that the configuration of the 12 tribes of Israel around the tabernacle with three tribes on each side of the tabernacle reflects the 12 orders of angels (see illustration on p. 8). Each side represents a camp.
The camp of Judah, along with Issachar and Zebulun were on the east side facing the raising sun (Num. 2:3-9).

On the west side of the tabernacle was the camp of Ephraim, along with Manasseh and Benjamin (Num. 2:18-24).

On the north side of the tabernacle was the tribe of Dan along with Asher and Naphtali (Num. 2:25-31).

On the south side of the tabernacle was the camp of Rueben, along with Gad and Simeon.

The Bible verifies that the Great Sphinx was the result of someone having a great vision from Elohim who allowed a civilization to mimic the principles that were in heaven—as above so is below (Rom. 1:19-20). This is proven by the four cardinal points of the compass (North, South, East, West) and the fixed astrological signs of Aires, Capricorn, Libra, Gemini. These beasts around the throne of Elohim have great spiritual meaning but space will not allow an explanation of their significance. In future issues of the "PLIM REPORT" this topic will be discussed. ( Also see

  • Conclusion

Our intent was not only to give the reader a brief history of the Sphinx, but also to show how new information challenges old theories. It also shows how little modern man knows about the history of this blue marble called earth. The Sphinx’s purpose was both symbolic and religious in nature.

Clearly, if the old model cannot explain anomalies, such as the Sphinx, then it has to be reevaluated in light of new information for this is the scientific method. Traditional thoughts of Egyptologists and flimsy evidence should not prevent us from considering new information with a new model.

The works of Graham Hancock, John West, Robert Bauval and others have definitely challenged the orthodox model of human history with proof that shows that previous civilizations had advanced knowledge that we are not privileged to today. The Sphinx, the Pyramid, Stonehenge, the drawing in the Nazcan plains of Peru, and other ancient sites throughout the world shows this. Mankind was much more advanced than the cave man, who supposedly began the history of man.

Finally, it must understood that the Sphinx appears to be similar to the creatures that surround the Throne of Elohim as the Apostle John and the prophet Ezekiel describe in their visions. What this shows is that Elohim revealed the image of the Sphinx to various civilizations prior to the prophets of Israel seeing it.

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