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(copyrighted image by A. H. Harris)

The Ancient Ones

the Wanderling

There is a small, remote cave deep in the southern New Mexico desert bordered by the Sacramento and Guadalupe Mountain ranges on the east and the Organ Mountain range on the west that was once inhabited by truly "Ancient Ones." It was said to have not been discovered until 1978, but thirty years before that, as a young boy, I was taken to the cave by my Uncle, in the company of a Native American tribal spiritual elder, nominally known as a Shaman, and my uncle's Curandera wife.

When I was around ten years old or so my father remarried, my real mother having died some years earlier. My new mother, or Stepmother as the case may be, having noticed a propensity toward art on my part, persuaded my uncle, who was a fairly well established artist in Santa Fe, New Mexico at the time, to come to Los Angeles, California where we lived, and tutor me. She set him up in a fully equiped artist's studio and covered all expenses. All he had to do was develop my budding art talents and arrange for me to have as many creative experiences as possible.

As time crawled by in Los Angeles for my uncle, mumbling under his breath that he was unable to fully adjust to the daily stresses of what he saw as city life, took to directing more and more of his attention toward returning to his old haunts in the desert southwest. Especially so after a trip I took to Catalina Island, returning rattled with what happened to me. After hearing my story, which I sum up in THE MEETING: An Untold Story of Sri Ramana, right away he started figuring out ways to get back to the desert and take me with him. He told me there were people and places all over the desert, secret and sacred places that had people that would identify with my experience and me.

My father, who loved the desert and always harbored an unfulfilled desire to search for the Lost Dutchman Mine in the Superstition Mountains, readily approved. My stepmother, who never totally embraced my uncle's somewhat bohemian life syle, gave a tacit approval, but ONLY if the travels included me going along and, for educational purposes, visit such places as Boulder Dam, the Grand Caynon, the Painted Desert, and Carlsbad Caverns. He agreed, and abiding by my stepmother's wishes, I saw the hydo-electric generators inside Boulder Dam, spent the night at Phantom Ranch at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, and ate lunch from a box in the cafeteria of the Carlsbad Caverns. We also spent a great deal of time traveling in and about some very, very remote sections of the Arizona and New Mexico deserts and mountains, interacting with the indigenous populations thereof because of various, as he called them, "art" related ties he had with them. We stayed days, sometimes weeks camping out at such places as Meteor Crater, taking the backbreaking trip to Fajada Butte, and under the auspices of a tribal spiritual elder, journeying to the so-called now, but secret then, sacred Native American Sun Dagger site --- even sleeping in the remnant remains of one of the ancient Astronomer Rooms 400 feet above the valley floor along the cliff-side ledge of the butte on a rare full moon night ocurring at the exact same time as the summer solstice.

Almost exactly one year to the date before we had gone to the so-called crash site related to the Roswell UFO, walking much of the then nearly fresh debris field, my uncle wanting to see if there was any truth behind the Hieroglyphic Writing reported on some of the metal scraps (we never did get see them, or at least I didn't). We camped overnight at the Elden Pueblo where a rare, sacred meteorite --- thought to possibly have originated on the highland regions of the Moon’s farside or the surface of Mars --- was found buried in a ritual manner in the floor of one of the pueblos apparently by Native Americans that inhabited the site in prehistoric times. We stayed in the Anasazi ruins in Chaco Canyon many times as well, all of which nobody would ever be allowed to do in today's world. Please see Footnote [1].

One day we were deep in the desert visiting a man my uncle knew and the two of them got into a mildly heated conversation over the word 'Anasazi.' Both were in agreement that the word translated into a meaning something akin to "ancient ones," but my uncle's friend was in disagreement as to the Anasazi being the ancient ones. He said he knew a man that truly knew where the ancient ones had once lived and that he had been taken there one time himself. Before the day was over my uncle had convinced his friend to take us to the man.

Several days passed and arrangements were made to meet the man. My uncle, his wife, his friend and I headed out in my uncle's pick-up truck with me riding alone in the back. It was hot, dusty and bumpy, but I was by myself and had nothing over my head but the wide open blue sky. Eventually, driving way south and to the east of White Sands we arrived where the man lived. He made it clear the place we came to see was a sacred place, and although the man seemed to accept my uncle, he had a problem with me and a huge discussion broke out over rather I could go or not. I could see them talking, pointing their fingers at me, waving their hands, and looking at me every once and a while. Finally, as I was to learn later, my uncle's wife, who was a Native American of the Little Shell Plains Ojibwe and a fourth level Midewiwin, told the man about the time my uncle, thinking I was lost in the desert, went looking for me and found me squatted down with the carcass of a rabbit, accompanied in a circle by what were to become my Totem Animal because of the incident --- three vultures --- them neither concerned with me nor me of them.

Replicating an incident that would transpire way into the future under the auspices of a man of spells called an Obeah high in the mountains of Jamaica, the man came over and looked deeply into my eyes for the longest time, then nodding his head to the side in a "go with me movement" the tension dropped and we all headed up the canyon together.

It was a long walk with no really defined or clearly marked trails, but finally we came upon it, a small opening part way up the side of a small cliff. We all just stood there and looked at it. After the passage of I don't know how long we climbed up and looked in. The strangest feeling came over me and as I stared transfixed into the cave I became covered with goose bumps. Although we had been told we could not enter I still stepped forward almost as though I was being drawn inside. The man put his arm in front of me and gently broke my forward momentum and in doing so I "woke up" like I had been in a trance or something. I had seen Boulder Dam, the Grand Canyon, and Carlsbad Caverns, yet here I stood before a small little cave, only about 15 feet wide, 25 feet high and 30 or 40 feet deep, in the middle of nowhere, and somehow I was in awe of it all. Prehistoric people, the truly, truly ancient ones, had occupied the cave at various times over a period of thousands of years, the last time about 13,000 years ago, the first time possibly as far back as 50,000 years. As I stood on the precipice of the cave and the others climbed back down to the canyon floor, I turned to look out over the valley and thought to myself, among other things, if any of those ancient peoples had witnessed the meteor streak across the sky that made Meteor Crater or if perhaps, another ten year-old boy not unlike myself had once stood in the exact same spot, seeing the samething I saw, and if so, what happened to him.

Later, when my uncle and I returned to California I regaled my stepmother with story after story of Boulder Dam, the Grand Canyon, and Carlsbad Caverns, but not a word about the cave of the ancient ones. In 1978, some thirty odd years after my visit the cave was "discovered." By 1989 it had been visited by archeologists and by 1990 excavations were being carried out at the site. It even had a name, Pendejo.

It has been reported the cave has yielded forensically human hair found carbon dated between 19.2 and 12.4 thousands year old. R. S. MacNeish, D. Chrisman and G. Cunnar of the The Andover Foundation for Archaeological Research present the following in an article about the modification of animal bones into tools and such from pre-Clovis zones of Pendejo Cave:

From among many probable artifacts from pre-Clovis zones of Pendejo Cave, we selected 6 specimens showing evidence of human modification of animal bones. These indicate manufacture of bone tools and ornaments and marrowing. They come from well-defined and dated layers, ranging from ca 13,000 to 50,000 YBP (years before present). Included are a pendant, an awl-knife and a serrated knife, all showing incised or ground grooves. Of three broken bones-one was probably caused by a worked stone wedge; another by impact of a tool or spear point whose broken tip remains stuck; and a bison humerus which was broken, marrowed, then retouched. Techniques used include stereolithography and 3D groove reconstruction. (see)

The image above shows a broken tip of bone awl or spear point (upper left) found buried in the marrow cavity of a fractured first phalange of an extinct Equus alaskae. The horse bone was found in situ at the edge of hearth feature. Five consistent radiocarbon determinations from this stratum provide a date of ca. 36,000 YBP, from burned logs, one from a probable ash pit hearth in which a piece of baked clay bore a human fingerprint.





ON THE CRATER FLOOR: Meteor Crater, Arizona








Horses and asses appear to have evolved from the hippotrigrine zebras reputedly in Eurasia. However, there was a migration of these more modern forms back into North America. A tundra race of the tarpan (Equus ferus alaskae) entered through Alaska more recently in the Upper Pleistocene (Upper Pleistocene includes the last interglacial-glacial cycle 130,000 years ago ending at the Holocene boundary 10,000 years ago).