The crystal skull at the
British Museum, similar in dimensions to the more detailed
The crystal skulls are a number of
human skull models fashioned from blocks of clear or milky
crystal rock, claimed to be
Mesoamerican artifacts by their alleged finders. However, none of
the specimens made available for scientific study were authenticated as
pre-Columbian in origin. The results of these studies demonstrated that
those examined were manufactured in the mid-19th century or later,
almost certainly in
Despite some claims presented in an assortment of popularizing
literature, legends of crystal skulls with mystical powers do not figure
in genuine Mesoamerican or other
Native American mythologies and spiritual accounts.
The skulls are often claimed to exhibit
paranormal phenomena by some members of the
movement, and have often been portrayed as such in
Perhaps the most widely known of such portrayals occurs in the 2008 film
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Crystal skulls
have been a popular subject appearing in numerous
Crystal skull collections
A distinction has been made by some modern researchers between the
smaller bead-sized crystal skulls, which first appear in the mid-19th
century, and the larger (approximately life-sized) skulls that appear
toward the end of that century. The larger crystal skulls have attracted nearly all
the popular attention in recent times, and researchers believe that all
of these have been manufactured as forgeries in Europe.
Trade in fake pre-Columbian artifacts developed during the late
19th century to the extent that in 1886
William Henry Holmes wrote an article called "'The Trade in Spurious
Mexican Antiquities"' for
Although museums acquired skulls earlier, it was
Eugène Boban, an antiquities dealer who opened his shop in Paris in
1870, who is most associated with 19th-century museum collections of
crystal skulls. Most of Boban's collection, including three crystal
skulls, was sold to the ethnographer
Alphonse Pinart, who donated the collection to the
Trocadéro Museum, which later became the
Musée de l'Homme.
Research into crystal skull origins
Many crystal skulls are claimed to be
pre-Columbian, usually attributed to the
Maya civilizations. Mesoamerican art has numerous representations of
skulls, but none of the skulls in museum collections come from
Research carried out on several crystal skulls at the
British Museum in 1967, 1996 and again in 2004 has shown that the
indented lines marking the teeth (for these skulls had no separate
jawbone, unlike the Mitchell-Hedges skull) were carved using
jeweler's equipment (rotary tools) developed in the 19th century,
making a supposed pre-Columbian origin problematic.
The type of crystal was determined by examination of
chlorite inclusions, and is only to be found in
and thus unobtainable or unknown within pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. The
study concluded that the skulls were crafted in the 19th century in
Germany, quite likely at workshops in the Bavarian town of
Idar-Oberstein renowned for crafting objects made from imported
Brazilian quartz at this period in the late 19th century.
It has been established that both the British Museum and Paris's
Musée de l'Homme
crystal skulls were originally sold by the French antiquities dealer
Eugène Boban, who was operating in Mexico City between 1860 and 1880.
The British Museum crystal skull transited through New York's Tiffany's,
whilst the Musée de l'Homme's crystal skull was donated by
Alphonse Pinart, an
ethnographer who had bought it from Boban.
An investigation carried out by the
Smithsonian Institution in 1992 on a crystal skull provided by an
anonymous source who claimed to have purchased it in Mexico City in 1960
and that it was of Aztec origin concluded that it, too, was made in
recent years. According to the Smithsonian, Boban acquired the crystal
skulls he sold from sources in Germany – findings that are in keeping
with those of the British Museum.
A detailed study of the British Museum and Smithsonian crystal
skulls was accepted for publication by the
Journal of Archaeological Science in May 2008.
electron microscopy and
X-ray crystallography, a team of British and American researchers
found that the British Museum skull was worked with a harsh abrasive
substance such as
and shaped using a rotary disc tool made from some suitable metal. The
Smithsonian specimen had been worked with a different abrasive, namely
the silicon-carbon compound
carborundum which is a synthetic substance manufactured using modern
Since the synthesis of carborundum dates only to the 1890s and its wider
availability to the 20th century, the researchers concluded "[t]he
suggestion is that it was made in the 1950s or later".
Speculations on smaller skulls
None of the skulls in museums come from documented excavations. A
parallel example is provided by
obsidian mirrors, ritual objects widely depicted in Aztec art.
Although a few surviving obsidian mirrors come from archaeological
none of the Aztec-style obsidian mirrors are so documented. Yet most
authorities on Aztec material culture consider the Aztec-style obsidian
mirrors as authentic pre-Columbian objects.
Michael E. Smith reports a non
peer-reviewed find of a small crystal skull at an Aztec site in the
Valley of Mexico.
Crystal skulls have been described as "A fascinating example of
artifacts that have made their way into museums with no scientific
evidence to prove their rumored pre-Columbian origins.
Until any crystal skulls are reported in peer-reviewed papers describing
Occam's Razor suggests that all of them are fabrications."
Perhaps the most famous and enigmatic skull was allegedly
discovered in 1924 by
Anna Le Guillon Mitchell-Hedges, adopted daughter of British
adventurer and popularist author
F.A. Mitchell-Hedges. It is the subject of a video
documentary made in 1990, Crystal Skull of Labaantun.
It has been noted upon examination by Smithsonian researchers to be
"very nearly a replica of the British Museum skull--almost exactly the
same shape, but with more detailed modeling of the eyes and the teeth."
Anna Hedges claimed that she found the skull buried under a
collapsed altar inside a temple in
British Honduras, now
As far as can be ascertained, F.A. Mitchell-Hedges himself made no
mention of the alleged discovery in any of his writings on Lubaantun.
Also, others present at the time of the excavation have not been
documented as noting either the skull's discovery or Anna's presence at
In a 1970 letter, Anna also stated that she was "told by the few
remaining Maya, and was used by the high priest to will death".
The artifact is sometimes referred to as "The Skull of Doom", either
because of its seemingly inexplicable properties and the supposed
ill-luck of those who have handled it, or perhaps a play on 'Skull of
Dunn' (Dunn being an associate of Mitchell-Hedges). Anna Mitchell-Hedges
toured with the skull from 1967 exhibiting it on a pay-per-view basis,
and continued to give interviews about the artifact until her death in
The skull is made from a block of clear quartz about the size of a
small human cranium, measuring some 5 inches (13 cm) high, 7 inches
(18 cm) long and 5 inches wide. The lower jaw is detached. In the early
1970s it came under the temporary care of freelance art restorer Frank
Dorland, who claimed upon inspecting it that it had been "carved" with
total disregard to the natural crystal axes without the use of metal
tools. Dorland reported being unable to find any tell-tale scratch
marks, except for traces of mechanical grinding on the teeth, and
speculated it was first chiseled into rough form, probably using
diamonds, and the finer shaping, grinding and polishing achieved through
the use of sand over a period of 150 to 300 years. Although various
claims have been made over the years regarding the skull's physical
properties, such as an allegedly constant temperature of 70°F (21°C),
Dorland reported that there was no difference in properties between it
and other natural quartz crystals.
While in Dorland's care the skull came to the attention of writer
Richard Garvin, at the time working at an advertising agency where he
Hewlett-Packard's advertising account. Garvin made arrangements for
the skull to be examined at HP's crystal labs at Santa Clara, where it
was subjected to several tests. The labs determined only that it was not
a composite (as Dorland had supposed), but was fashioned from a single
crystal of quartz.
The lab test also established that the lower jaw had been fashioned from
the same left-handed growing crystal as the rest of the skull.
No investigation was made by HP as to its method of manufacture or
As well as the traces of mechanical grinding on the teeth noted by
Norman Hammond reported that the holes (presumed to be intended for
support pegs) showed signs of being made by drilling with metal.
Anna Mitchell-Hedges refused subsequent requests to submit the skull to
further scientific testing.
F. A. Mitchell-Hedges mentioned the skull only briefly in the
first edition of his autobiography, Danger My Ally (1954), without
specifying where or by whom it was found.
He merely claimed that "it is at least 3,600 years old and according to
legend was used by the High Priest of the Maya when performing esoteric
rites. It is said that when he willed death with the help of the skull,
death invariably followed".
All subsequent editions of Danger My Ally omitted mention of the skull
Eugène Boban, main French dealer in pre-Columbian artifacts
during the second half of the 19th century and probable source of
many famous skulls
The earliest published reference to the skull is the July 1936
issue of the British anthropological journal
Man, where it is described as in the possession of Mr.
Sydney Burney, a London art dealer said to have owned it since 1933.
No mention was made of Mitchell-Hedges. There is documentary evidence
that Mitchell-Hedges bought it from Burney in 1944.
The skull was in the custody of Anna Mitchell-Hedges, the adopted
daughter of Frederick. She steadfastly refused to let it be examined by
experts (making very doubtful the claim that it was reported on by R.
Stansmore Nutting in 1962). Somewhere between 1988–1990 Anna
Mitchell-Hedges toured with the skull.
In her last eight years, Anna Mitchell-Hedges lived in
Chesterton, Indiana, with Bill Homann, whom she married in 2002. She
2007. Since that time the Mitchell-Hedges Skull has been in
the custody of Bill Homann. In April 2009,
Five, a television channel, took the story and revealed that the
Mitchell-Hedges Skull, recently tested under a special microscope in the
Smithsonian Institution, had been manufactured with tools that Aztecs
and Mayans simply did not have. Like the other skulls, this one is a
fabrication dating from the second half of the 19th century. Bill Homann
however continues to believe in its mystical properties.
British Museum skull
The crystal skull of the
British Museum first appeared in 1881, in the shop of the Paris
Eugène Boban. Its origin was not stated in his catalog of the time.
He is said to have tried to sell it to Mexico's national museum as an
Aztec artifact, but was unsuccessful. Boban later moved his business to
New York City, where the skull was sold to
George H. Sisson. It was exhibited at the meeting of the
American Association for the Advancement of Science in New York City
in 1887 by
George F. Kunz.
It was sold at auction, and bought by
Tiffany and Co., who later sold it at cost to the
British Museum in 1897.
This skull is very similar to the Mitchell-Hedges skull, although it is
less detailed and does not have a movable lower jaw.
The British Museum catalogs the skull's
provenance as "probably European, 19th century AD"
and describes it as "not an authentic pre-Columbian artefact".
It has been established that this skull was made with modern tools, and
that it is not authentic.
Crystal skull at the Musée du quai Branly, Paris
The largest of the three skulls sold by Eugène Boban to Alphonse
Pinart (sometimes called the Paris Skull), about 10 cm (4 in) high, has
a hole drilled vertically through its center.
It is part of a collection held at the
Musée du Quai Branly, and was subjected to scientific tests carried
out in 2007–08 by France's national
Centre de recherche et de restauration des musées de France (Centre
for Research and Restoration of the Museums in France, or C2RMF). After
a series of analyses carried out over three months, C2RMF engineers
concluded that it was "certainly not pre-Columbian, it shows traces of
polishing and abrasion by modern tools."
Particle accelerator tests also revealed occluded traces of water that
were dated to the 19th century, and the Quai Branly released a statement
that the tests "seem to indicate that it was made late in the 19th
In 2009 the C2RMF researchers published results of further
investigations to establish when the Paris skull had been carved.
Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis indicated the use of
lapidary machine tools in its carving. The results of a new dating
technique known as
quartz hydration dating (QHD) demonstrated that the Paris skull had
been carved later than a reference quartz specimen artefact, known to
have been cut in 1740. The researchers conclude that the SEM and QHD
results combined with the skull's known provenance indicate it was
carved in the 18th or 19th century.
The Smithsonian skull was mailed to the
Smithsonian anonymously in 1992, and was claimed to be an
object by its donor and was purportedly from the collection of
Porfirio Diaz. It is the largest of the skulls, weighing 31 pounds
and is 15 inches high. It was carved using
carborundum, a modern abrasive. It has been displayed as a fake at
National Museum of Natural History.
Paranormal claims and spiritual
Some believers in the paranormal claim that crystal skulls can
produce a variety of miracles. Ann Mitchell-Hedges claimed that the
skull she allegedly discovered could cause visions, cure
that she once used its magical properties to kill a man, and that in
another instance, she saw in it a premonition of the
John F. Kennedy assassination.
In the 1931 play The Satin Slipper, by Paul Claudel, King Philip II of
Spain uses "a death's head made from a single piece of rock crystal,"
lit by "a ray of the setting sun," to see the defeat of his Armada in
its attack on England (day 4, scene 4, pp. 243-44).
Claims of the healing and
supernatural powers of crystal skulls have no support in the
scientific community, which has found no evidence of any unusual
phenomena associated with the skulls nor any reason for further
investigation, other than the confirmation of their provenance and
method of manufacture.
Another novel and historically unfounded speculation ties in the
legend of the crystal skulls with the completion of the current
claiming the re-uniting of the thirteen mystical skulls will forestall a
catastrophe allegedly predicted or implied by the ending of this
calendar. An airing of this claim appeared (among an assortment of
others made) in The Mystery of the Crystal Skulls,
a 2008 program produced for the
Sci Fi Channel in May and shown on
Discovery Channel Canada in June. Interviewees included
Richard Hoagland, who attempted to link the skulls and the Maya to
life on Mars, and
David Hatcher Childress, proponent of lost Atlantean civilizations
and anti-gravity claims.
Crystal skulls are also referenced by author
Drunvalo Melchizedek in his book Serpent of Light.
He writes that he came across indigenous Mayan descendants in possession
of crystal skulls at ceremonies at temples in the Yucatan, which he
writes contained souls of ancient Mayans who had entered the skulls to
await the time when their ancient knowledge would once again be
required. The book is a log of the authors experiences, which are
related in a manner requiring
suspension of judgment.
The alleged associations and origins of crystal skull mythology in
Native American spiritual lore, as advanced by
neoshamanic writers such as Jamie Sams, are similarly discounted.
Philip Jenkins notes, crystal skull mythology may be traced back to
the "baroque legends" initially spread by F.A. Mitchell-Hedges, and then
afterwards taken up:
By the 1970s, the crystal skulls [had] entered New Age mythology
as potent relics of ancient Atlantis, and they even acquired a
canonical number: there were exactly thirteen skulls.
None of this would have anything to do with North American Indian
matters, if the skulls had not attracted the attention of some of the
most active New Age writers.
British Museum (n.d.-b), Jenkins (2004, p.217), Sax et al. (2008),
Smith (2005), Walsh (1997; 2008)
Aldred (2000, passim.); Jenkins (2004, pp.218–219). In this latter
Philip Jenkins, former Distinguished Professor of History and
Religious Studies and latterly an endowed Professor of Humanities at
PSU, writes that crystal skulls are among the more obvious of
examples where the association with Native spirituality is a
"historically recent" and "artificial" synthesis. These are
"products of a generation of creative spiritual entrepreneurs" that
do not "[represent] the practice of any historical community".
For example, in
Stargate SG-1 season 3 episode #65, "Crystal Skull".
See for example the Indiana Jones novels by Max McCoy (1995, 1996,
For example, the video game
Legend of the Crystal Skull and
Illusion of Gaia.
Craddock (2009, p.415)
British Museum (n.d.-b); Craddock (2009, p.415).
The specimen at the Musée de l'Homme is half-sized.
See "The mystery of the British Museum's crystal skull is solved.
It's a fake", in The Independent (Connor 2005). See also the
Museum's issued public statement on its crystal skull (British
See the account given by Smithsonian anthropologist Jane Walsh of
her joint investigations with British Museum's materials scientist
Margaret Sax, which ascertained the crystal skull specimens to be
19th century fakes, in Smith (2005). See also Walsh (1997).
Sax et al. (2008)
Carborundum (Silicon carbide) occurs naturally only in minute
amounts in the extremely rare mineral
moissanite, first identified in a
meteorite in 1893. See summary of the discovery and history of
silicon carbide in Kelly (n.d.)
See reportage of the study in Rincon (2008), and the study itself in
Sax et al. (2008).
Such as at
Teotihuacan; see Taube (1992).
See for eg Olivier (2003).
Michael E. Smith, "Aztec Crystal Skulls," Publishing Archaeology
puts its fake- crystal skull- on display". San Francisco
Chronicle (July 18). 2008.
Skull of Labaantun (1990)".
Walsh (2008). See also the 1936 debate on its resemblance to the
British Museum skull, in Digby (1936) and Morant (1936), passim.
See Garvin (1973, caption to photo 25); also Nickell (2007, p.67).
^ Nickell (2007, pp.68–69)
Garvin (1973, p.93)
Dorland, in a May 1983 letter to Joe Nickell, cited in Nickell
See Garvin (1973, pp.75–76), also Hewlett-Packard (1971, p.9). The
test conducted involved immersing the skull in a liquid (Benzyl
alcohol) with the same
diffraction coefficient and viewing it under
Garvin (1973, pp.75–76); Hewlett-Packard (1971, p.9).
Hewlett-Packard (1971, p.10).
Garvin (1973, p.84); also cited in Nickell (2007, p.70).
Hammond, in a May 1983 letter to Nickell, cited in Nickell (2007,
p.70). See also Hammond's recounting of his meeting with Anna
Mitchell-Hedges and the skull in an article written for The Times,
in Hammond (2008).
c Nickell (2007, p.69)
See Mitchell-Hedges (1954, pp.240–243); also description of same in
the chapter "Riddle of the Crystal Skulls", in Nickell (2007,
Mitchell-Hedges' quote, as reproduced in Nickell (2007, p.67).
See Morant (1936, p.105), and comments in Digby (1936). See also
discussion of the prior ownership in Nickell (2007, p.69).
Stelzer, C.D. (2008-06-12).
kingdom of the crystal skull". Illinois Times.
Great Labor Problem. It Receives Attention from the Scientists. They
devote attention, too, to a beautiful adze and a mysterious crystal
skull.". New York Times (August 13). 1887.
British Museum (n.d.-a, n.d.-b)
British Museum (n.d.-a)
British Museum (n.d.-c). See also articles on the investigations
which established it to be a fake, in Connor (2005), Jury (2005),
Smith (2005), and Walsh (1997, 2008).
Rincon (2008), Sax et al. (2008)
Kunz (1890, pp.285–286), see description in
"Ch. XIV: Mexico & Central America"
Quote reported by Agence France-Presse, see Rosemberg (2008).
Quote reported by Agence France-Presse, see Rosemberg (2008). See
also Walsh (2008).
Calligaro et al. (2009, abstract)
Puts Mysterious Crystal Skull on Display".
Various authors. "The Crystal Skulls"
Skeptic magazine. Vol. 14, No. 2. 2008. Page 89.
Claudel, Paul. The Satin Slipper. Trans. John O'Connor and Paul
Claudel. London: Sheed & Ward, 1931. Originally published as Le
Soulier de Satin (Paris: Nouvelle Revue Française).
See Nickell (2007, pp.67–73); Smith (2005); Walsh (1997; 2008).
John Schriber (Executive Producer). Kevin Huffman, Erin McGarry,
Andrew Rothstein and Andrea Skipper (Producers). Jayme Roy (Director
Lester Holt (Presenter). (May 2008)
The Mystery of the Crystal Skulls [television program]. New
Productions (NBC), in association with the
Sci Fi Channel. URL accessed on
Serpent of Light - Beyond 2012,
See discussion of the various claims put forward by Sams, Kenneth
Meadows, Harley Swift Deer Reagan and others concerning crystal
extra-terrestrials, and Native American lore, in Jenkins (2004,
Quotation from Jenkins (2004, pp.217–218).
(Summer 2000). "Plastic
Shamans and Astroturf Sun Dances: New Age Commercialization of
Native American Spirituality".
American Indian Quarterly (Lincoln:
University of Nebraska Press) 24 (3): pp.329–352.
British Museum (n.d.-a).
crystal skull". Explore: Highlights. Trustees of the
British Museum (n.d.-b).
of two large crystal skulls in the collections of the British Museum
and the Smithsonian Institution". Explore: Articles. Trustees of
British Museum (n.d.-c).
crystal skull". News and press releases: Statements. Trustees of
Yvan Coquinot, Ina Reiche,
Jacques Castaing, Joseph Salomon, Gerard Ferrand, and
Yves Le Fur (March
2009). "Dating study of two rock crystal carvings by surface
microtopography and by ion beam analyses of hydrogen".
Applied Physics A: Materials Science & Processing (Berlin:
Springer Verlag) 94 (4): pp.871-878.
mystery of the British Museum's crystal skull is solved. It's a fake".
The Independent (London:
Independent News & Media).
(2009). Scientific Investigation of Copies, Fakes and Forgeries.
Oxford, UK and Burlington, MA:
(July 1936). "Comments on the Morphological Comparison of Two
Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland)
(1973). The Crystal Skull: The Story of the Mystery, Myth and Magic
of the Mitchell-Hedges Crystal Skull Discovered in a Lost Mayan City
During a Search for Atlantis. New York:
of the crystal skulls are lost in the mists of forgery".
The Times (London:
editorial staff) (February 1971). "History
or hokum? Santa Clara's crystals lab helps tackle the case of the
hard-headed Honduran..." (PDF
online facsimile at HParchive). Measure (staff magazine) (Palo Alto,
Hidalgo, Pablo (2008-04-07).
Lost Chronicles of Young Indiana Jones". StarWars.com.
Holmes, William H.
(1886-02-19). "The trade in spurious Mexican antiquities".
Science, new series (Cambridge, MA: The Science Company, and
Moses King) ns-7 (159S): 170–172.
Hruby, Zachary (May
Notes on "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull"".
Mesoweb Reports & News. Mesoweb.
(2004). Dream Catchers: How Mainstream America Discovered Native
Spirituality. Oxford and New York:
Oxford University Press.
market scandal: British Museum expert highlights growing problem of
The Independent (London:
Independent News & Media).
Kelly, Jim (n.d.). "A
brief history of SiC". Industrial Materials Group,
University College London.
Kunz, George Frederick
(1890) (online facsimile).
Gems and precious stones of North America: A popular description of
their occurrence, value, history, archæology, and of the collections
in which they exist, also a chapter on pearls, and on remarkable
foreign gems owned in the United States. Illustrated with eight
colored plates and numerous minor engravings. New York: The
Scientific Publishing Company.
McCoy, Max (1995).
Indiana Jones and the Philosopher's Stone. New York:
McCoy, Max (1996).
Indiana Jones and the Dinosaur Eggs. New York:
McCoy, Max (1997).
Indiana Jones and the Hollow Earth. New York:
McCoy, Max (1999).
Indiana Jones and the Secret of the Sphinx. New York:
(1954). Danger My Ally. London: Elek Books.
Morant, G.M. (July
1936). "A Morphological Comparison of Two Crystal Skulls".
Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland)
(2007). Adventures in Paranormal Investigation. Lexington:
University Press of Kentucky.
(2003). Mockeries and Metamorphoses of an Aztec God: Tezcatlipoca,
"Lord of the Smoking Mirror". Michel Besson (trans.) (Translation
of: Moqueries et métamorphoses d’un dieu aztèque (Paris : Institut
d'ethnologie, Musée de l'homme, ©1997) ed.). Boulder:
University Press of Colorado.
skulls 'are modern fakes'". Science/Nature.
BBC News online.
Indiana Jones? Museum says crystal skull not Aztec".
Jane M. Walsh, Ian C.
Freestone, Andrew H. Rankin, and
Nigel D. Meeks
(October 2008). "The origin of two purportedly pre-Columbian Mexican
crystal skulls". Journal of Archaeological Science (London:
Elsevier Science) 35 (10): 2751–2760.
a high-tech microscope, scientist exposes hoax of 'ancient' crystal
skulls" (online edition). Inside Smithsonian Research
Smithsonian Institution Office of Public Affairs) 9 (Summer).
Taube, Karl A.
(1992). "The iconography of mirrors at Teotihuacan". in Janet
Catherine Berlo (ed.). Art, Ideology, and the City of Teotihuacan: A
Symposium at Dumbarton Oaks, 8th and 9th October 1988. Washington
Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection. pp. 169–204.
Walsh, Jane MacLaren
(1997). "Crystal skulls and other problems: or, “don't look it in
the eye”". in Amy Henderson and Adrienne L. Kaeppler (eds.).
Exhibiting Dilemmas: Issues of Representation at the Smithsonian.
Smithsonian Institution Press.
Walsh, Jane MacLaren
(Spring 2005). "What
is Real? A New Look at PreColumbian Mesoamerican Collections" (PDF
online publication). AnthroNotes: Museum of Natural History
Publication for Educators (Washington, DC:
Smithsonian Institution and the
National Museum of Natural History Anthropology Outreach Office)
26 (1): 1–7,17–19.
Walsh, Jane MacLaren
(May/June 2008). "Legend
of the Crystal Skulls" (online edition).
Archaeology (New York:
Archaeological Institute of America) 61 (3): 36–41.
|Skulls are humanity's foremost symbol of death, and a powerful icon
in the visual vocabularies of cultures all over the globe. Thirteen
crystal skulls of apparently ancient origin have been found in parts of
Mexico, Central America and South America, comprising one of the most
fascinating subjects of 20th Century archaeology.
© Joshua Shapiro photo by Vera Manaleo
These skulls, found near the ancient ruins of Mayan and
Aztec civilizations (with some evidence linking the skulls with past
civilization in Peru) are a mystery as profound as the Pyramids of Egypt,
the Nazca Lines of Peru, or Stonehenge. Some of the skulls are believed to
be between 5,000 and 36,000 years old.
Many indigenous people speak of their remarkable
magical and healing properties, but nobody really knows where they came
from or what they were used for.
Were they left behind after the destruction of a previous world, such as
Atlantis? Are they simply ingenious modern fakes or can they really enable
us to see deeply into the past and predict the future?
Much research is currently being done on the skulls.
However, their origin is still a baffling mystery. They seem to defy
logic. Everything that is known about lapidary work indicates that the
skulls should have been shattered fractured, or fallen apart when carved.
Famous Crystal Skulls
This report examines the known history of crystal
skulls, various viewpoints on where they might have came from, and the
secrets they may reveal.
Copyright 1996 ParaScope, Inc.
The Mitchell-Hedges Crystal Skull
The most widely celebrated and mysterious crystal skull is the
Mitchell-Hedges Skull, for at least two good reasons. First, it is very
similar in form to an actual human skull, even featuring a fitted
removable jawbone. Most known crystal skulls are of a more stylized
structure, often with unrealistic features and teeth that are simply
etched onto a single skull piece.
Second, it is impossible to say how the Mitchell-Hedges skull was
constructed. From a technical standpoint, it appears to be an impossible
object which today's most talented sculptors and engineers would be unable
The Anna Mitchell-Hedges Skull
was discovered in British Honduras in 1927
|The discovery of this
baffling artifact is a controversial matter. It was brought into
prominence by British explorer F. A. Mitchell-Hedges, who claimed
that his daughter unearthed it in 1924. Mitchell-Hedges led an
expedition in the ancient Mayan ruins of Lubaantun, in Belize (then
British Honduras), searching for evidence of Atlantis.
The story goes that his daughter, Anna, was rummaging inside a
structure believed to have once been a temple, when she found the
beautifully carved cranium of the crystal skull. It was lacking its
jawbone, but the matching mandible was found three months later,
some 25 feet away from the first discovery. Mitchell-Hedges claimed
that he refused to take the skull away, and offered it to the local
priests, but the Mayans gave the skull back to him as a gift upon
It now appears that this tale of the skull's discovery was
entirely fabricated. Mitchell-Hedges apparently purchased the skull
at an auction at Sothebys in London, in 1943. This has been verified
by documents at the British Museum, which had bid against
Mitchell-Hedges for the crystal artifact.
This revelation is consistent with the known history of
Mitchell-Hedges's involvement with the skull. There are no
photographs of the skull among those that were taken during his
Lubaatun expedition, and there is no documentation of
Mitchell-Hedges displaying or even acknowledging the skull prior to
The skull remains in the possession of the octogenarian Anna
Mitchell-Hedges. She resides in Canada and displays the skull on
frequent tours. Anna has maintained for all these years that she
discovered the skull, even though there is reason to doubt that she
was present at the Lubaatun expedition at all.
The Mitchell-Hedges skull is made of clear quartz crystal, and
both cranium and mandible are believed to have come from the same
solid block. It weighs 11.7 pounds and is about five inches high,
five inches wide, and seven inches long. Except for slight anomalies
in the temples and cheekbones, it is a virtually anatomically
correct replica of a human skull. Because of its small size and
other characteristics, it is thought more closely to resemble a
female skull -- and this has led some to refer to the
Mitchell-Hedges skull as a "she."
The Mitchell-Hedges family loaned the skull to Hewlett-Packard
Laboratories for extensive study in 1970. Art restorer Frank Dorland
oversaw the testing at the Santa Clara, California, computer
equipment manufacturer, a leading facility for crystal research. The
HP examinations yielded some startling results.
Researchers found that the skull had been carved against the
natural axis of the crystal. Modern crystal sculptors always take
into account the axis, or orientation of the crystal's molecular
symmetry, because if they carve "against the grain," the piece is
bound to shatter -- even with the use of lasers and other high-tech
To compound the strangeness, HP could find no microscopic
scratches on the crystal which would indicate it had been carved
with metal instruments. Dorland's best hypothesis for the skull's
construction is that it was roughly hewn out with diamonds, and then
the detail work was meticulously done with a gentle solution of
silicon sand and water. The exhausting job -- assuming it could
possibly be done in this way -- would have required man-hours adding
up to 300 years to complete.
Under these circumstances, experts believe that successfully
crafting a shape as complex as the Mitchell-Hedges skull is
impossible; as one HP researcher is said to have remarked, "The
damned thing simply shouldn't be."
The British Crystal Skull and the Paris Crystal Skull
There is a pair of similar skulls known as the British Crystal
Skull and the Paris Crystal Skull. Both are said to have been bought
by mercenaries in Mexico in the 1890s, possibly at the same time.
They are so similar in size and shape that some have guessed that
one was copied to produce the other. In comparison to the
Mitchell-Hedges skull, they are made of cloudier clear crystal and
are not nearly as finely sculpted. The features are superficially
etched and appear incomplete, without discretely formed jawbones.
The British Crystal Skull is on display at London's Museum of
Mankind, and the Trocadero Museum of Paris houses the Paris Crystal
The British Crystal Skull
It is currently residing in the British Museum
of Man in London, England, and has been there since 1898. It is a
one piece clear quartz full size quartz crystal skull.
(c) John Shimwell
||The Paris Crystal
It is currently residing in the Trocadero
in Paris, France.
You may notice a slight indentation on the top, which is a hole that
was cut into the skull purported to hold a cross.
(c)Photothèque Musée De L'Homme
Mayan Crystal Skull and the Amethyst Skull
Further examples of primitively sculpted skulls are a
couple called the Mayan Crystal Skull and the Amethyst Skull. They were
discovered in the early 1900s in Guatemala and Mexico, respectively, and
were brought to the U.S. by a Mayan priest. The Amethyst Skull is made of
purple quartz and the Mayan skull is clear, but the two are otherwise very
alike. Like the Mitchell-Hedges skull, both of them were studied at
Hewlett-Packard, and they too were found to be inexplicably cut against
the axis of the crystal.
Texas Crystal Skull (Max)
A skull known as "Max," or the Texas Crystal Skull, is
a single-piece, clear skull weighing 18 pounds. It reportedly originated
in Guatemala, then passed from a Tibetan spiritualist to JoAnn Parks of
Houston, Texas. The Parks family allows visitors to observe Max and they
display the skull at various exhibitions across the U.S.
"ET" is a smoky quartz skull found in the early 20th
Century in Central America. It was given its nickname because its pointed
cranium and exaggerated overbite make it look like the skull of an alien
being. ET is part of the private collection of Joke Van Dietan, who tours
with her skulls to share the healing powers she believes they possess.
Rose Quartz Crystal Skull
The only known crystal skull that comes close to
resembling the Mitchell-Hedges skull is one called the Rose Quartz Crystal
Skull, which was reported near the border of Honduras and Guatemala. It is
not clear in color and is slightly larger than the Mitchell-Hedges, but
boasts a comparable level of craftsmanship, including a removable
Origin Theories: Celestial Gifts or Skullduggery?
Regardless of any unearthly properties the crystal
skulls may or may not possess, the question remains: where did they come
from? There are countless hypotheses that they are the legacy of some
higher intelligence. Many believe they were created by extraterrestrials
or beings in Atlantis or Lemuria. One elaborate theory maintains that the
skulls were left behind by a sophisticated Inner Earth society which lives
at the hollow center of our planet, and there are thirteen "master skulls"
which contain the history of these people.
The most obvious answer to the mystery is that native artisans in Latin
America or elsewhere crafted the skulls themselves. The Mayans are most
often associated with them, although some doubt that they could have made
the skulls, and not simply because of the technical conundrum the job
poses. One theory holds the Aztecs as a more likely candidate to have
created them. Skull imagery figures prominently in Aztec art and religious
symbols, and not in that of the Mayans. The Aztecs were also more highly
skilled in sculpting with crystal. It could be that the skulls found in
Mayan ruins are actually displaced Aztec relics... or, as some suspect,
this incongruity may indicate that some accounts of the skulls' origins
Many skeptics feel that the crystal skulls are probably of a much more
recent vintage than their accompanying stories suggest. This, they
believe, is the best way to explain their existence, since no one could
have created them without technologies available only within the past
century. Since carbon-dating only works on organic substances, it is
impossible to determine just how old a crystal skull is. But one recent
study found reasonable signs of some skulls' relative youth.
A May broadcast of the BBC documentary series "Everyman" reported on
studies of a number of crystal skulls and other artifacts of supposedly
ancient origin conducted at the British Museum. Using electron
microscopes, the researchers found that two of the skulls possessed
straight, perfectly-spaced surface markings, indicating the use of a
modern polishing wheel. Genuine ancient objects would show haphazard tiny
scratches from the hand-polishing process. The report speculated that
these skulls were actually made in Germany within the past 150 years.
Even the regal Mitchell-Hedges skull is not without scandalous accusations
of fraud. Some believe that F.A. Mitchell-Hedges had the piece
commissioned by a sculptor, and planted it in the Lubaantun ruins for his
daughter to find as a spectacular birthday present.
The validity of this charge is uncertain, but even if the Mitchell-Hedges
skull is of modern origin, its structure is no less extraordinary. In all
likelihood, every crystal skull in the world was fashioned by plain old
human beings of some sort, and regardless of whether the work was carried
out five years ago or five hundred years ago, we still don't have any idea
how they did it.
The Crystal Skull Enigma
by N Charles C. Pelton
In the realm of ancient artifacts there are few
antiquities that are as thought provoking as the carved quartz crystal
skulls. Very little is known about these ancient wonders of the world,
largely due to the fact that so few of them exist which are accessible to
the researcher. In the last few years, interest has risen intensely in
these works of antiquity. For many years, when the subject of the crystal
skulls was discussed, few people were aware of the fact that the Mitchell-
Hedges skull was not the only crystal skull known to man. It may have been
the most perfectly carved, even viewed by more people throughout the world
than any other skull, but, certainly not the only skull. In fact, there
are many skulls in various locations around the world which range in size
from a few pounds, or softball sized, to over forty pounds.
Only a few crystal skulls have been expertly
authenticated as ancient. Many have been carved within the last five
years. Presently, the accepted authentication by which a carved skull can
be termed ancient is through a complicated process of casting a mold of
the skull and placing it under an electron microscope to examine the
minute markings left by the carver. These markings are the clues by which
the age of the carving is determined. The telltale pattern of the marking
will verify what method was used to carve and polish the skull; thereby,
the antiquity expert is able to confirm the age based on methods used on
other known works which range from the ancient to the very contemporary.
By comparing these various methods with those of the crystal skull, a
time-line is developed which will place the skull along that line.
The widely known Mitchell-Hedges skull, located in
Canada, one of the most beautiful skulls I have had the pleasure of
seeing, is now shrouded in controversy. It is presently suggested that the
skull is not ancient, but a work of more recent times, perhaps
orchestrated by F.A. Mitchell-Hedges, himself, to promote interest and
financing for his adventures. Coined The Skull of Doom', by some
associates of the adventurer, actually a misnomer for a term used in the
1930s, The Skull of Dunn. Dunn was an associate of F.A., on the expedition
to Luubantun, in 1927, which is when young Anna Mitchell-Hedges, then age
17, reports she found the skull in the ruins of a temple.
The Museum of Man, in London, contains a crystal skull
which is called the Aztec Skull. It is no longer on display in that
museum. Museum personnel as well as visitors claim the skull moves on its
own within the glass case in which it is enclosed. It was acquired by the
museum at the turn of the century from an antiquity dealer in New York.
The Paris museum of Man also contains a crystal skull
called The Aztec Skull, which is no longer on display. Both the Paris
Skull, and the British Skull are much smaller than the Mitchell-Hedges
skull, and not nearly as perfectly carved or as clear.
In more recent times, several quartz crystal skulls
have appeared. Some are suggested ancient by their owners. Extensive
examinations of these skulls have, however, determined many are not
ancient at all. It is not certain as to the origin of these imposters. In
the early 1980s, a human-sized quartz crystal skull surfaced in Texas. It
was in the possession of Norbu Chen, a Tibetan healer. The skull was given
to Carl and Jo Ann Parks to satisfy a debt. The skull was placed in a
cosmetic case and stored on the floor of a closet in their Houston home
for several years. It was while Jo Ann Parks was watching television that
she realized that her skull may be an important artifact.
The program was about the Mitchell-Hedges skull, and
F.R. Nick Nocerino, a world-renowned expert in crystal skull research, was
a guest on the show. After viewing the program, Jo Ann, contacted Nocerino,
upon which he traveled to Houston from his home near San Francisco to
examine the skull. He determined that the skull was authentic and that it
was ancient. He had indeed been aware of the existence of the skull, but
had not been able to determine its location. Soon after Nocerino's visit,
Jo Ann, after several discussions with the rock, as she fondly referred to
it, was told its name was Max.
Also in the mid 80s, Joke van Dieten Maasland, who
presently resides in Miami Beach, Florida, acquired a smokey quartz
crystal skull from a dealer in Los Angeles. It was reported that this
skull had been in the possession of a family in Guatemala, whose parents
found the skull in1906, while excavating a Mayan Temple. Joke credits the
skull, which she calls E.T., as instrumental in a personal healing of a
brain tumor. She shares the story in her book, Messengers of Ancient
In early 1990, a skull weighing more than 40 pounds,
which was carved from rock quartz crystal but hollowed out, was donated to
the Smithsonian Institution, in Washington. There was little or no
documentation as to its authenticity. Since there was no documentable
evidence of the age or origin of the skull, the curator determined not to
place the skull in the museum for viewing until its authenticity was
During a lecture tour in Mexico many years ago,
Nocerino was invited to a location in Guerro Provence, to assist in
locating the buried ruins of an ancient city. It was during this visit
that Nocerino provided the information as to the location of what he
thought was an ancient temple. (Due to the current political situation in
Mexico, the safety of those currently involved with this excavation would
be compromised should I reveal the exact location of the excavation, or
the name of the city.) Excavation of that location later revealed several
carved crystal artifacts. Among these artifacts were two crystal skulls,
one of which is currently owned by Nocerino, which is 13 pounds 3 ounces
and is carved of clear quartz crystal. Nocerino calls the skull Sha-Na-Ra,
in memory of a Shaman Healer he once knew. The second is currently owned
by DaEl Walker, a well- known crystal researcher and author of several
crystal healing books. It is smaller than Sha-Na-Ra, about 9 pounds, also
quartz crystal. DaEl calls it The Rainbow Skull, due to the rainbow of
colors that dance through the skull when in the natural light.
There were many other artifacts found at this location.
Several small carved crystal skulls, half skulls which were hollow and a
very rare and powerful item we call The Jaguar Man. It is five inches
high, two inches in diameter and is carved of quartz crystal. It depicts
the head of a Jaguar, with the head of a man in its mouth. The facial
features of the man do not appear Mayan. This piece is currently owned by
me, and is being exposed to extensive research. Excavation continues in
this area and additional finds are expected.
The Pelton Foundation of Applied Paranormal Research,
The Institute of Psychic and Hypnotic sciences and The Society of Crystal
Skulls, International, launched a research project and video documentary
which included the Rainbow, Sha-Na-Ra, E.T., Jesuit, Max, and the Agate
Chip skulls. Members of the various organizations who were expert in the
field of psychometry, scrying and gazing were brought in to work with the
skulls in an attempt to learn more about the skulls using these methods.
It would be the first time in recorded history that more than two
authentic carved quartz crystal skulls would be together in one room at
the same time.
Our project included X-rays, to determine if any were
broken or had been more than one piece and glued together, laser light
penetration, and startling close-up video of the skulls. The results of
phase one of the project can be viewed in our production Skull Trek: The
journey of the Crystal Skulls. This production also includes information
and photographs of 16 additional crystal skulls, such as the
Mitchell-Hedges, Paris, British, Marin, San Jose and Amethyst skulls to
mention just a few. Portions of the scrying sessions are also provided.
Psychometry and scrying provided glimpses of the past
and wonderful scenarios of ancient ceremonies. A connection with the
fabled Atlantis was also brought out during one of the sessions. What were
these magnificent objects used for? Who carved them? Is it possible that
contemporary society can make use of their wisdom for physical and mental
healing? Further research may provide the answers. Perhaps it will provide
only more questions!
During my personal research with the skulls, I stumbled
upon a phenomenon that I am continuing to pursue. While working with the
skulls, performing scrying, I was using various colors and sounds. I
placed the skull on a small light box and alternated several colors over
the light source opening. After recording my sessions over a period of
several weeks, I began a review of the results. I was shocked to learn
that when I used a certain color over the light source it seemed to
activate a time period. Researching my results further, I determined that
each time I used the same color blue, for example, that I would revert to
the same time frame. I could almost pick up where I left off at the end of
the previous session that I used the particular color. The energy that
these skulls produce is staggering. Are they indeed holding the knowledge
of mankind? Were they left by an extraterrestrial intelligence? The ages
of some of these skulls are estimated to be 100,000 years old. Without
ancient documentation, psychometry may be the only tool that can be
utilized to obtain the information. Our research continues daily.
In April of 1996, The BBC, in association with the
British Museum and Everyman Productions, of London, performed tests on
several crystal skulls to determine the age of the caning through electron
microscope. Nick Nocerino was invited to bring Sha-Na-Ra. Carl and Jo Ann
Parks were invited to bring Max. The British museum offered their Aztec
skull and the Smithsonian Institution was invited to bring their 40-pound
skull. Also included was a skull from Guatemala, an ancient gold and
silver plated reliquary cross which rested in a carved crystal skull and a
small skull. Anna Mitchell-Hedges was also invited. However, she declined.
A documentary was produced of the tests by the BBC. The
results were shocking to the museum staff. It was determined that the
British skull and the Smithsonian skull were not ancient, but in fact
carved using very contemporary methods from the 1800s. Sha-Na-Ra and Max
were also examined. While the officials of the museum would not publicly
comment as to the results, it was confidentially revealed, by the
antiquity expert brought to the museum by its officials, that the method
used to carve Max and Sha-Na-Ra, was used more than 5000 years ago! The
skull in the British museum was a fake. The Smithsonian skull was a fake.
The Mitchell-Hedges skull? Well, we wonder why Anna declined. Her only
comment was that it had been tested enough in the past. The BBC aired
their documentary in July, 1996 and will be aired by U.S. television,
however, no date has yet been set. In a letter to me from Everyman
Productions, in London, it was reported by the BBC that they had never
aired a program in this series with a larger audience.
The documentary produced as a result of the research
project is titled Skull Trek: The Journey of the Crystal Skulls, and can
be purchased from Pelton Publications as advertised in this issue of
Atlantis Rising. Additional information about the crystal skulls can be
obtained by writing F.R. Nick Nocerino, P. O. Box 302, Pinole, CA. 94564,
Pelton Publications P. O. Box 377, Pinole, CA. 94564 or you can contact
Carl and Jo Ann Parks, directly in Houston, Texas. Jo Ann travels
extensively with Max. Her appearance schedule may be obtained from her or
Pelton Publications. Joke van Dieten may be contacted directly in Miami
Beach, Florida. She also is now traveling with E.T., Sha-Na-Ra, The
Rainbow Skull and The Jaguar Man are not available for viewing, however,
additional information regarding these artifacts can be obtained by
contacting Mr. Nocerino or myself at Pelton Publications.
Atlantis Rising, An Article In Issue Number 10 (Winter 97)
Letters from our Visitors
Letter from Scotty
Casa Grande, AZ
I'm listening to the interview on George Noory's
"Coast To Coast AM" radio talk show, and the topic is Max. It jarred my
memory a bit. I believe I briefly met and experienced Max during a Phoenix
workshop about 10 years ago in a bookstore, after formerly experiencing
the Mitchell-Hedges skull. Interesting, I must say.
The emotional responses of observers are because of
the purifying/rebalancing energies of the skulls. The soul responds. It
would be frightening to someone who lives from fear, but exhilirating to
someone who is more open to life. There is the subconscious recognition of
the connection with Spirit, and only one's interpretation of his personal
experience needs to be feared.
I've heard some statements made during the program
that perhaps could be amended to be more accurate. I'm no expert, other
than working with Arkansas quartz crystals extensively since the
mid-1980s. They taught me what I know about them. I first set them out on
the dining table before me night after night and used a pendulum tool to
study their "energy flows." Then I was led to put them in patterns to
create environmental treatments for varied needs. Crystals do not
originate and generate energy, not a one. Rather they act like radio
transceivers to "breathe in" crystals at one point (sometimes at one end,
sometimes at a spot inbetween) and spiral the energies like double helixes
throughout, then "exhale" it at the other end, or elsewhere. I had to get
acquainted with each crystal individually this way to map its energy flow.
They are as individualistic as humans, but there are patterns that they
fall within. For that reason, I have my collection of crystals separated
into groups, depending upon their beneficial uses. I think of them with
the same appreciation as a magnifying glass that collects sunlight rays
and focuses them together for a seemingly stronger, more focused
concentration that appears to do miracles.
Imperfections of quartz are not to be overlooked or
downplayed. Those are key spots of energy accumulation/release. I would
not expect or want to use a perfect, clear quartz tool. It’s the
occlusions and "flaws" that give them their specific uniquenesses of
The comment was given on the program: "Max has
expanded. He has enhanced my life." That sums it all up perfectly.
No doubt Max hated hibernating in the box so long.
Light rays are the lifeblood of quartz. They thrive in the light, just
like flowers and we do. Isolation and darkness make them withdraw and go
Anyway, since discovering their properties as tools,
not as mystic gods with minds of their own, but as extensions of my own
consciousness, I had to learn to control my emotions before handling them
so that I didn't keep blowing out light bulbs, etc. They exemplify that
adage about giving out 10 times what is received. Their use to purify any
form of water is a fascinating attribute of quartz. I use them now in
place of bandaids and ice bags when I stub toes and sprain ankles, etc. I
put them into patterns, according to the need, and they seem to draw out
the excessive energy buildup of tissue damage repair going on within 20
minutes and all is well from there on as if nothing ever happened.
The Mitchell Hedges skull experience was
indescribable, even in a public setting. When I had a minute to sit at the
card table with Max, the lighting and room conditions seemed out of accord
and I experienced no affinity with him. But I have channeled through
Spirit to ask about crystal skulls. This is what I was led to believe:
"The skull is a duplication, not a model. It was
made by humanoids who were not of this earth. They would be termed
Pleiadeans to your knowledge. They extended within another parallel galaxy
to your Milky Way as an invisible counterpart of your sixth dimensional
existence, like a sister galaxy.
"The skull was actually brought to earth realm fully
created. It was teleported along with visitors who came to teach earth
mortals about their Pleiadean heritage and purpose for being here, also
how the transposition came about. These themselves were experimental tools
developed for mortal use. They used the skull for teaching mortals about
themselves and their spirit-living-in-earth existence. The skull was
displayed for use in expanding mortal awareness of physical life in order
to regain understanding of relationship with light-and-sound life forces
inherent within the realm. This is the foundation of what you now identify
as 'priesthoods.' Thus, the skull was not a religious object of worship,
for no such worship existed. Rather, it was a teaching device left with
mortals to apply similarly in order to teach future generations and
perpetuate satisfactory supra-conscious evolvement.
"There were other such quartz crystal skulls besides
this one [the Mitchell Hedges skull] used for various purposes of teaching
throughout South America at key areas of cultures. They were brought to
key points of location among mankind for use by the Pleiadean visitors to
benefit them. These skulls were connectors interlinking the sites, like
fingers of one hand. Each functioned individually as well as collectively.
"The skull becomes a tool into your soul's awareness
that houses all knowledge of experience. All that is discovered through
them becomes applicable to mortal capability that has become forgotten
temporarily while in mortal capability that has become forgotten while in
the mortal living state. Freedom is possible to be gained, depending upon
the state of fears entertained by false beliefs of the person. In truth,
there is nothing to be feared by the user. Thus, he must purify himself of
his illusionary beliefs in order to gain the benefit. It is a tool for
reawakening and reteaching oneself. Limitations of time and space become
transcended as he opens awareness to greater realms and the totality of
Life permeating his mortal home. ... Mankind must learn how to listen
within his own innate sensing channels and to trust himself in that. It is
like a helpmate for more direct communication within oneself in totality
beyond his mortal identity.
"This is the gist of the crystal skull of quartz. Do
not make it become idolized or venerated more than it is designed to be.
Do not become enamored with scientific provings and testings of phenomena
nor construction. It cannot be explained with the proof that is sought.
Science can only test its physical effects of its properties, but what is
to be gained by that? Then it becomes a curiosity item."
All I know from my experience is that these are like
transportation tools that need the human driver to direct their course of
application. They are like orchids in a floral garden that need caretakers
so that do not fall into disarray or get lost again. Like everything in
Nature, they are like gifts for use to enhance life. Everything I learned
about the properties of quartz crystals is likewise applicable to myself.
And I believe that is the key to discovering how to attain and retain
harmony in a chaotic world.
Casa Grande, AZ
The Mysterious Crystal Skulls
© by Joshua Shapiro, The Crystal Skull Explorer
Reprinted with permission.
The purpose of this article is to provide a short
concise description about the crystal skulls, one of the greatest
mysteries in our world.
An Australian magazine originally had requested an article from me and I
had to write in but a few days. So it was not an easy task by any means as
the study about the crystal skulls is very involved and complex (to a
degree). But, being an Aries born individual, I definitely accepted this
challenge and I think the end results weren’t bad. So, now is our time to
share this information with you!
© Joshua & Desy Shapiro
Joshua and Desy Shapiro (U.S. & Holland)
holding their three personal crystal skulls, (from your left to right)
“Portal de Luz”, “Unity”and “Moses of Peace”.
Who am I?
My name is Joshua Shapiro (American born in Chicago)
and in April of 1983,
I was minding my own business when I walked into a metaphysical bookstore
in San Jose, California and saw a picture of an almost human-sized
Amethyst Crystal Skull. What was amazing is that when I gazed at this
picture, I felt a strong and powerful vibration throughout my entire body
and heard in my head the words, “What is this (the skull) doing out now?”
Within an hour, while I was still in the same bookstore speaking to the
owner, a powerful earthquake hit a city in California not far from us and
the table with the pictures of this crystal skull was shaking as well.
With an inner and outer confirmation, my journey with the crystal skulls
had begun. Now almost 20 years later, having given over 200 presentations
in the U.S., Canada, South America, Australia and all over Europe (10
different countries), boy do I have some important things to tell you
about the crystal skulls!!
Next Question you may ask, “What is a Crystal Skull?”
Well as the name does imply, we are speaking about
skull shaped objects made from various types of quartz crystals (clear,
amethyst, smoky, rose, etc …).
© Joshua Shapiro photo by Vera Manaleo
“Portal de Luz” – a smoky quartz crystal skull
created by a Master Brazilian Carver. Caretaker – Joshua Shapiro
|There are three types discussed in the
world today within the crystal skull community:
“NEW or CONTEMPORARY” – crystal skulls being manufactured by
modern carvers of which thousands upon thousands now exist (and this
has only really started to explode since the middle part of the
1990’s). These skulls come in all shape and sizes (one new skull made
was well over 100 pounds or 50 kilo) and are being primarily done by
carvers in Brazil and China. Even being sold on E-Bay.
“OLD” – a crystal skull that was fashioned from over
100 years ago to about 1000 years ago. Most of these types of skulls have
been discovered within or near ancient ruins in Mexico or Central America
and many of them are guarded by descendants of various indigenous people
throughout the world. Usually with the “Old” crystal skulls we can have
find some type of tool mark left by the carver, as is the case with the
“New” crystal skulls.
“ANCIENT” -- a crystal skull that was created from
1500-2000 years ago to whenever (they could be hundreds of thousands of
years old). There are a few crystal skulls that exist today which are
considered “ANCIENT” crystal skulls.
However, there is absolutely no known technique we have
that can date when a quartz crystal was fashioned. In general if we don’t
find any tool marks this infers the skull was either done by hand or using
some advance technology we don’t know about (Lasers [of which primitive
tribes did not have], Thought Projection into the Ethers, a Gift from the
Gods [ETs], made by an advance culture that existed on the earth long ago
[Atlantis, Lemuria] or they may have come from some advance civilizations
that live in the Inner Earth [the Hollow Earth theory,
a whole new article by itself].
It is my personal belief that the true understanding of
the ancient crystal skulls can be found within various traditions of the
indigenous cultures that exist in our world. In particular, there is a
definite connection with the crystal skulls with the Mayans and the
Aztecs, and there is even information coming from various Native American
sources that they know about the skulls as well. In most cases, the
crystal skulls are linked to sacred world prophecies held by these
Also if such cultures have their own crystal skulls (which seems very
likely) they are protecting and guard these skulls in secret as they
consider these artifacts very sacred and take the responsibility to hold
them very seriously. To determine what type of crystal skull one might
have, either we can go by the Legends of the Indigenous People who have
them, or by working with trained sensitives who can psychically link into
the energy and history of the skull.
History of the Crystal Skulls
The public first became aware of the crystal skulls
during the later part of the 19th century. At this time, many museums of
the world became interested in displaying antiquities from past
civilizations (Egypt, Greece, Mesoamerica, etc …).
Thus, in the 1878, in the Musèe de l’homme (Museum of Man in Paris -- for
our French readers) and in 1898, in the Museum of Man of London (for our
British readers), each had a clear quartz skull on display (both came out
during the 1860’s during the French occupation of Mexico, purportedly
found or acquired by Soldiers of Fortune, linked to Mayan sites in this
However, in the research conducted for our new book, “Journeys of a
Crystal Skull Explorer” (to be released as an e-book and published book
this year) there were a number of other old and ancient crystal skulls
that were uncovered in various ways during this same century which
eventually found their way (after passing through the hands of various
people) to specific individuals who are publicly known today!
Again in the early part of the 20th century, usually
connected with ancient Mesoamerican ruins or areas, more crystal skulls
- “The Mitchell-Hedges Crystal Skull”: named after famed explorer
and adventurer, F. A. Mitchell-Hedges, discovered in Lubaantum, an
ancient Mayan city in Belize in 1924, human size, clear quartz,
removable jaw, an almost exact duplicate of our own modern skull, now in
the hands of Anna Mitchell-Hedges in Canada;
- “ET”: discovered by a Mayan family near Guatemala while digging
on their property in 1906; purchased by Joke Van Dieten in 1991 through
a crystal store near Los Angeles, is the only human size ancient crystal
skull made from smoky quartz which has a resemblance to an “ET” shape,
this skull now travels the world and was shown at a major exhibition of
Mysterious Objects in Vienna in 2001;
- “Max”: 18 lb (9 kilo) clear quartz crystal skull purportedly
discovered in a Mayan tomb in Guatemala between 1924-1926. The skull was
gifted by a Mayan Shaman to a Tibet trained lama in 1970, used in a
healing center in Houston, Texas and then upon the lama’s death, was
given to Carl and JoAnn Parks, who tour with this crystal skull with
many people in the U.S. primarily. The name comes from a telepathic
communication between the skull and Mrs. Parks, where the skull informs
this is the name.
- “Ami”, the Amethyst Crystal Skull:
Its history is unsure, purportedly it was part of a collection of
crystal skulls held by the Mexican President Diaz from 1876-1910, but
also we have reports the skull was discovered in the Oaxaca area
(Mexico) and was hand down generation to generation through an order of
Mayan Priests. Now it resides in San Jose, California with a group of
businessmen who are offering this skull for sale.There are of course
many other crystal skulls which are believed to be “ANCIENT” or very
old, but this group of four is a good representation.
“Ami” – an ancient amethyst crystal
skull. Notice the circular indentation in the temple and the white
squiggly line that cuts the skull in half as it travels the full
circumference of the quartz piece.
© Stan Chan & Al Ramirez
So, why are the Crystal Skulls so Important?
It would take a good book (like the one we are doing)
to be able to answer this question, so I will just give a few ideas or
thoughts for the readers:
- “The ancient Crystal Skulls are the computers of the ancients,
they contain important information that help humanity to pass through it
current series of challenges to take us into a Golden Age.”
- “They were a powerful tool for healing [Body Mind Spirit] by
ancient civilizations such as the Mayans or the Atlanteans”
- “Today, we have witnessed so many people’s lives profoundly
affected when they have had an opportunity to be in the presence of an
‘ANCIENT’ crystal skull (healing of all types of illness, expansion of
ones spiritual awareness, bringing to a head emotional or mental blocks,
being a catalyst for a positive change in a person’s life and the list
goes on) or even now, this phenomena is beginning to happen around the
‘NEW’ crystal skulls.”
Has Any Research Been Done to Understand the Skulls?
Yes indeed, there has been some interesting conducted
by the Crystal Skull Society International in California, headed by
crystal skull expert, F. R. “Nick” Nocerino for almost 60 years.
Additionally, in 2001, a group of us formed the World Mystery Research
Center (based in the U.S. and Holland) where we began to focus on two
aspect related to the crystal skulls:
|1. To use various electronic devices
to see if we could provide some proof and understanding why the energy
or presence of a crystal skull is affecting people in such a powerful
manner (and our blind test showed us this was indeed occurring using
such devices as meridian based machines, EEG, lecher antenna and
Krilian machines sensitive to recording and displaying the Aura.
2. We also discovered secret codes contained within the crystal
skulls in the form of images that came out using a special process of
analysis using scanned images of the crystal skulls (reversal images
that was developed by the Mayans) and very importantly, the Bible Code
(secret information encoded within the Torah, the first five books of
the Old Testament by a numerical skipping of letters) conclusively
discusses the crystal skulls, their link to the Mayans, Prophecy,
speaks about the Mitchell-Hedges Crystal Skull, their ability to work
as a computer and for healing.
© Marc van de Velde
Here a group of researchers based in Belgium, using
what is called a Lecher Antenna (like a dowsing rod but able to
measure specific frequencies of energy) test “Portal de Luz”.
They were amazed to find that our crystal skull was broadcasting all
the same frequencies as a human being: “The senses of ‘Sight’,
‘Smell’, ‘Taste’ and even ‘Hearing’ “
Final Comments from the Writer
I believe the crystal skulls are one
of the most important ancient artifacts that have surfaced into the
public’s attention which exist today. I believe the crystal skulls hold
key information that will to bring to our world a time of perfect peace
and harmony by the year 2013 (or in the ‘Year Zero’, December 21st, 2012
as stated by the Mayans). This special date is so significant that my new
wife Desy and I married on December 21st, of last year, in the presence of
our own crystal skulls and images of several ancient crystal skulls, 10
Regardless of the sources from which
these skulls originated from (other worlds brought here by the ETs,
Atlantis, Lemuria, the Inner Earth, etc …) they are now helping many
people to awaken to their true potential and to see that we are all
members of the same spiritual family who must unite together and work in a
cooperative manner to create a world of peace and harmony for ourselves
and the generations to come. The Crystal Skulls are a sign from the
Universe and unseen spiritual helpers; that this time of Peace that has
been prophesized is now here and at hand, if we each could but do what
only makes our hearts sing.
Thank you for reading and listening. Hopefully in the near future, Desy
and I will be able to personally meet with you to share the energies of
the crystal skulls as we continue our personal journey and odyssey all
over the world, guided by the presence linked to these special crystalline
In Peace and Light always,
Joshua & Desy Shapiro,
The Crystal Skull Explorers
NOTE: Read the updated version of this article:
About Joshua and Desy Shapiro
Joshua and Desy have been working together since 2001,
traveling throughout Europe and North America, sharing their crystal skull
events with the public. Joshua saw his first ancient crystal skull ("AMI")
in 1983 and since that time has been actively involved in investigating
the skulls. He is the co-author of the book, Mysteries of the Crystal
Skulls Revealed (with Bowen and Nocerino in 1989) and the founder of the
World Mystery Research Center (2001). Desy is a universal healer and a
gifted visionary artist. She is the caretaker of nine crystal skulls that
she shares with her husband. She has assisted Joshua with the crystal
skull research conducted over the last 2 years.
Joshua & Desy Shapiro, Twello, Holland
Email: email@example.com and
Phone: +31 (0)642 460 975 (mobile phone)
For information about their new book (in English as an e-book) visit:
What is New in this Book?
NEW ANCIENT CRYSTAL SKULLS
WE HEAR FROM
THE CARVERS OF THE NEW SKULLS
OF SOME FASCINATING SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH CONDUCTED
OVER THE PAST 3 YEARS
WHAT ROLE DO
THE NEWLY CARVED SKULLS PLAY?
FOUND WITHIN OR LINKED TO THE CRYSTAL SKULLS
IS THERE A
CONNECTION WITH THE CRYSTAL SKULLS AND THE CROP CIRCLES?
HOW TO WORK
WITH AND ACTIVATE YOUR OWN CRYSTAL SKULL?
WHAT IS THE
BLUE CRYSTAL SKULL ......??
WHAT DO THE
INDIGENOUS PEOPLE SAY AND KNOW ABOUT THE CRYSTAL SKULLS?
AND SOME OF
THE MOST INCREDIBLE STORIES AND EXPERIENCES AROUND THE CRYSTAL SKULLS
The new book is scheduled to be released as an e-book,
first coming out in an abbreviated version in March of 2003 with the
comprehensive version released by August of 2003. Additionally there
will be a published book appearing in Poland sometime this Spring and in
Holland in the early Fall of 2003
PS – if anyone would have an interest to bring one of our crystal skull
to your part of the world, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Thank
Copyright by Joshua Shapiro, The Crystal Skull
Reprinted with permission.
Crystal Skulls 'are Modern Fakes' ?
By Paul Rincon
Science reporter, BBC News
Two of the best known crystal skulls - artifacts once
thought to be the work of ancient American civilizations - are modern
fakes, a scientific study shows.
The skulls were made with tools
not available to Pre-Columbian cultures
They are the focus of the story in the
latest Indiana Jones film
[ Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull ].
But experts say examples held at the British Museum
in London and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC are anything
Their results show the skulls were made using tools
not available to the ancient Aztecs or Mayans.
Researchers say the work, which is published in the
Journal of Archaeological Science, should end decades of speculation over
the origins of these controversial objects.
A team including Margaret Sax, from the British
Museum in London, and Professor Ian Freestone, from Cardiff University,
used sophisticated techniques to work out how the two skulls had been
"There are about a dozen or more of these crystal
skulls. Except for the British Museum skull and one in Paris, they seem to
have entered public awareness since the 60s, with the interest in quartz
and the New Age movement," Professor Freestone told BBC News.
"It does appear that people have been making them
since then. Some of them are quite good, but some of them look like they
were produced with a Black & Decker in someone's garage."
He added: "There seems to be the assumption that if
it is roughly worked, it is more likely to have been made by a traditional
society. That's untrue of course, because people were quite sophisticated.
They might not have had modern tools, but they did a good job."
The researchers used an electron microscope to show
that the skulls were probably shaped using a spinning disc-shaped tool
made from copper or another suitable metal.
The craftsman added an abrasive to the wheel,
allowing the crystal to be worked more easily.
This "rotary wheel" technology was almost certainly
not used by pre-Columbian peoples. Instead, analysis of genuine Aztec and
Mixtec artifacts show they were crafted using tools made from stone and
The British Museum skull was worked with a harsh
abrasive such as corundum or diamond. But X-ray diffraction analysis
showed a different material, called carborundum, was used on the artifact
in the Smithsonian.
Carborundum is a synthetic abrasive which only came
into use in the 20th Century: "The suggestion is that it was made in the
1950s or later," said Professor Freestone.
Who made the skulls is still a mystery. But, in the
case of the British Museum object, some point the finger of suspicion at a
19th Century French antiquities dealer called Eugene Boban.
"We assume that he bought it from, or had it made
from [craftsmen] somewhere in Europe," said Professor Freestone, a former
deputy keeper of science and conservation at the British Museum.
Contemporary documents suggest Mr Boban was involved
in selling at least two of the known crystal skulls - the one held in
London and another in Paris.
The London skull was probably manufactured no more
than a decade before being offered up for sale.
Despite the findings, a spokeswoman for the British
Museum said the artefact would remain on permanent display to the public.
The skull held by the Smithsonian was donated to the
museum anonymously in 1992, along with a note saying it had been bought in
Mexico in 1960.
Nothing is known of its history before that date,
but like the British object, it was probably manufactured shortly before
The researchers were not able to determine where the
quartz used in the skulls was quarried. But locations with suitably large
deposits include Brazil, Madagascar and, possibly, the Alps.
Professor Freestone said the work did not prove all
crystal skulls were fakes, but it did cast doubt on the authenticity of
other examples: "None of them have a good archaeological provenance and
most appeared suspiciously in the last decades of the 20th Century. So we
have to be sceptical," he explained.
The findings are likely to be a disappointment to
enthusiasts and collectors; the skulls have become a part of popular
culture, appearing in numerous films and novels.
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2008/05/23 10:05:42 GMT © BBC
Rock Crystal Skull - Probably European,
19th century AD
© Trustees of the British Museum
Large quartz crystal skulls have generated great
interest and fascination since they began to surface in public and private
collections, during the second half of the nineteenth century. Some of
them have been attributed to the work of Aztec, Mixtec or even Maya stone
workers. Others are said to be examples of colonial Mexican art, for use
in churches, perhaps as bases for crucifixes.
Scientists at the British Museum have concluded that
the quartz crystal used in the manufacture of this example is likely to
have come from Brazil. Moreover, it bears traces of the use of a
jeweller's wheel, which was unknown in the Americas before the arrival of
the Europeans. These traces and the high polish of its surface indicate
that it was carved using traditional European techniques.
The crystal skull was said to have come from Mexico,
brought to Europe by a Spanish officer, before the French occupation. Sold
to an English collector, upon his death it was acquired by Eugène Boban, a
French antiquities dealer. It became the property of Tiffany and Co.,
N.Y., from whom it was purchased for The British Museum. Boban could have
acquired the skull in Germany, where large quantities of Brazilian quartz
crystal were shipped in the early nineteenth century.
|THE 13 CRYSTAL SKULLS GATHER
Only five of the thirteen crystal skulls have been
found. In several parts of the world. Although, we would like to turn
our minds to such nonsense, it is something we cannot choose to look away
from. OUR FUTURE.
IN the Museum Of American Indians sits one of these thirteen crystal
skulls. A rare piece of history still not explained as to how without
modern tools could this have been carved. It was said that the skulls were
passed from generation to generation to fulfill the prophecies of these
strange crystal skulls. There are many fakes surfacing up now. But, rest
assured. There are real crystal skulls that have been found. And, they are
rare and wil be a mystery until the day , in which, all are found.
Are you Ready? To see if the myth holds true?
Until then, I presume we will all await the day of December 21st 2012.
Will this be another astronomers foretelling or will the earth open up its
secrets to all. We will have to wait and see.
by, Sabrina October 25th 2006