I had begun looking for answers back in the mid eighties, and my travels have taken me far and wide searching for the answer to one of ancient histories greatest archeological mysteries, the great question of “Where did the Mayans go?”.
The Mayans were supposedly great culture that constructed pyramids and pavilions throughout Mesoamerica beginning around A.D.300 and disappearing around A.D. 900.
Much is believed to be known of their religious beliefs and politics, but the more we think we know, the more mysterious the ultimate question becomes.
My search has taken me to Egypt and Asia, Greece, South America, the South Pacific and beyond. I’ve been sun burnt in the desert, shot at by coal miners, arrested as a capitalist spy, carried into the jungle canopy by mosquitoes, and water boarded by religious fanatics. All these trials were a result of my search of that final clue, that missing piece of the anthropological archeological puzzle
We have deduced that long ago got that they flew in from Atlantis on fiery chariots and built these incredible cultural centers in some of the most disease ridden, poisonous snake infested, and hurricane threatened places the world has ever known and then vanished. Why did they disappear? Was it a war or revolution, a drought or new disease, political unrest or did they simply fly back to Atlantis when their Fidacomiso’s ran out?
Well, My trusted colleges and peers, I – The Reverend Captain Professor Leon Del Sol – have, purely by luck mind you, stumbled across the answer in the Mexican State of Baja California Sur.
Like many of you, in order to fund my research I frequently return to the so-called civilized world to “work”. In my case, work is as a charter boat Captain in Baja’s Sea of Cortez. I have been doing such for 25 years aboard my research schooner Justin Tyme. I have, during that time period, kept very accurate log not only my ship, but also of various shore based changes and general observations.
Most of the tourism in Southern Baja is ecologically based. For years most of the people who travel half way around the world to visit the Sea of Cortez are coming to see undisturbed nature,-- whales and dolphins, osprey perched on cactus, the clear waters and even clearer skies, natural sort of quiet devoid of man made sounds. They do not come to whack balls with a stick on their way to have a watered down drinks served by a surly waiter in a climate controlled room while their significant others looked at Far Eastern versions of local culture.
The problem began in the early Eighties when a shadow group of in-bred climate control raised Caucasians known as The Consume the Earth and Sea Society (C.E.S.S.) combined forces with another like minded group: The Personal Organization for Obscure Litigation (P.O.O.L.)
Together C.E.S.S.-P.O.O.L. began a campaign to develop the unspoiled and remote areas of the Sea of Cortez coast into the exclusive tawdry resorts that had achieved marginal success in the Los Angles style atmosphere of Cabo San Lucas.
With a series of well placed local connections C.E.S.S.-P.O.O.L. was able to wrest control of the Ejidos and family ranchers who had shared these places in harmony with nature herself for hundreds of generations.
First, after acquiring some form of questionable title to the lands, C.E.S.S.-P.O.O.L. would come in by night and force the local populace out into the dark, there would be bulldozers at the ready so as soon as the homes of the locals were cleared of people all existing structures would be razed. This was called “relocating the village.”
Second, they erected an impressive wall with guarded gate and staffed the gate with otherwise unemployables from the nearest community. Their job was to keep the other locals from having access to the beaches and adjacent countryside.
Third, they fire up the bulldozers and scrape all native flora and fauna into a pile and burn it. This is called “improving the land” by lending intuitions and marketing organizations, many of whom have members of C.E.S.S.-P.O.O.L. on their boards.
Forth. With the ‘improved land”, they begin a massive marketing campaign to sell off these lots as a some-day-to-be-built planned community to the overworked minions of the world. Ironically, the two major marking points used are 1) the vast unspoiled natural settings and 2) the warm and friendly people- the very two things C.E.S.S.-P.O.O.L. worked to eliminate.
Okay, so how does it relate to the missing Mayans? Well, on a recent sailing trip through the central Sea of Cortez I was forced to take on water at one of these C.E.S.S.-P.O.O.L. locations.
By the time we were done jockeying around at the only fresh water hose for a 125 mile radius it was to late in the day to make any real progress so we instead sailed to Ensenada Blanca, a beautiful beach lined cove south of Escondido. Over the years my crew and I had enjoyed many a peaceful clambake on the beach with the surfers, hippies, and local families. Where normally I’d expect to be greeted by laughing children, stoned hippies and smiling locals bearing cold Ballenas.(beer) I found instead a beach devoid of life and worst of all- no cold Ballenas.
I was stunned. From a few sand dunes back the sound of machinery and clouds of dust indicated construction activity. Within minutes a pair of uniformed security guards appeared to inform my charter guests that the beach was off limits to them and they had to leave.
C.E.S.S.-P.O.O.L. had arrived.
So, here I was in the chart room of my beloved Justin Tyme marking off yet another beautiful place ecologically raped and declared off limits when my first mate, Delia Playa, walked in wearing her usual uniform of nothing.
“Damn it Delia” I said “I’m trying to work here, will you please put something on.” At that Delia reached out, plucked my reading glasses off my face and grinning, set them on her freckled nose. I sighed and turned back to my chart, my only goal at his point to show my next group of cash spending foreign naturalists a Baja that didn’t involve a devastated landscape and unsmiling uniformed guards.
“Why are you looking at Tulum?” Delia asked.
“What?!” I said snapping my head up. “Tulum, you know Tulum, you’ve worked there.”
She was pointing at my computer screen. Only the picture on the screen wasn’t of Tulum it was of a proposed development. I had been researching how C.E.S.S.-P.O.O.L. had been able to circumvent Mexican constitutional law and declare a public beach off limits and had inadvertently left my computer on.
Staring at it now, I realized that without the benefit of my reading glasses none of the wording was legible and everything else slightly askew, probably exactly how it appeared to the naked Delia with her perfect vision now blurred by my glasses- and she was right, it was Tulum.
I turned back to my chart and there it was- Mesoamerica. Everything, the spacing and distances, the layers of unfinished construction on top unfinished construction, the compass like orientation, the feeder roads to nowhere.
The answer to the mystery of the Mayans –“Where did they go?”- has been here in Baja staring at us for years. Answer: THERE NEVER WERE ANY MAYANS!
The whole expanse of Mesoamerica is nothing more than a poorly thought out and improperly executed unfinished tourist development.
Once realizing the parallels it became frighteningly obvious. For example: archeologists have always debated as to why the Mayans built their temples and cities on top of existing temples and cities – was it a way of showing distain or one-upmanship when one ruling family subverted another? Or simply because the original buildings fell into disrepair and had to be covered over because they were “unsightly”? The answer is neither. The real answer is that it was cheaper for a second developer to take over the abandoned and bankrupt digs of the first, just as he in turn would have his works taken over by a third and so on and so on until the local populace grew tired of endless bounced paychecks, screwed up traffic, clouds of dust, mires of mud and the starvation inducing environmental devastation.
In the study of the Mayans some of the frequently asked questions were as follows:
“Why would an intelligent society build their communities in such inhospitable and non-self sustainable locations?” The answer: They were not an intelligent society, they were developers.
“How about their astrological observation towers?” Sorry, those were merely platforms designed to give perspective buyers an idea of what the view from their condo might look like if it were ever actually built.
“What about their miles upon miles of irrigation canals?” Again, sorry, all the canal system was intended to do was to increase the market value of every condo by turning it into a waterfront condo.
The list goes on and on; every aspect of the Mayan culture present in today.
Let us look to the one of the current disasters, located in Central Baja and located several miles south of town for which it is named and not even on the alleged bay, and do an imaginary dig 500 years in the future…
Excavating down through the layers of dust, trash, and desert dust we would come upon the tightly clustered home sites and narrow roads of this project all safely enclosed stifling walls and gates that were once manned by the local populace for the purpose of keeping the other local populace out.
We would find food distribution centers (restaurants), public baths(swimming pools), a place of worship (bars) and various forms of idolatry throughout (statues and golf trophies). Off to one side we will find sporting courts of a differing natures (tennis).
Should any examples of culture survive, we would discover that the sport players played for the entertainment of the immobile and wealthy residents who lived behind the forbidding walls. The exalted winners were given seats of honor in the place of worship (barstools) while the beaten and defeated losers were force to cast their wealth on the tables for the winners to enjoy (Buying the drinks)
Based on the number of home sites and their incredible one-on-top-the-other density, we would assume a population of several thousand. Because of their location near the shore and samples of trade goods found that have been proven to have been made in Asia, we will confirm that this was a trade based community.
So what happened to this, apparently, thriving seaport for it to be abandoned? No signs of war, only abandonment, indeed sudden abandonment as hundreds of their idols were found tossed into heaps and several places of worship left unfinished with no evidence of natural disaster.
The standard explanations for this type of sudden departure are: A) Severe and long term drought. B) Competition from a larger, newer seaport. C) The appearance of a new disease (possibly brought in by one of their far traveling traders).
Evidence shows these people to have been probably the most efficient Hunter/Gatherers of this seacoast. It would appear to our future archeologists that a combination of over harvesting of shellfish and crustaceans combined with polluted run off from their sporting court and raw sewage from the bath houses, homes and food centers caused a collapse of these very important food stocks. About this same time the Giant Fish, a key link in the local food chain, was ritually slaughtered into extinction. This put even more stress on the available food supply forcing the local population to leave in search of more fertile pastures. Without the locals to cook, clean, provide food and maintain their equipment the dependant community simply starved itself into oblivion.
Digging still deeper we come to and even older layer of habitation. These are the remains of a mysterious culture known as the “Pata Salada”. Little is known of these gentle self-sustaining people as nearly everything associated with their way of life was, what is now called, “biodegradable” and even though they inhabited the same locations for generations.
The postholes and potshards of their settlements give little clues to the inner workings of these semi-nomadic people and their oral history has long since been lost to the sands of time.
Some anthropologists will put forth the theory that the pitiful remains found are actually of two different groups who co-existed and traded peacefully until the coming of C.E.S.S.-P.O.O.L.. These would be: A) The Vagabundos del Mar- Fisherman/traders who followed the various fish migrations trading and exchanging news with the: B) Rancheros- Agriculturists who produced market goods and food products for themselves and trade.
Either way, one thing is clear- the villages and community groups of the Pata Salada did not fade away like the Loretoan and Nopoloan groups. No, the heavy ash layer, bits of melted glass and scorched pottery shards give undisputable evidence they were forced evicted and all their structures burned with the coming of C.E.S.S.-P.O.O.L..
The above fantasy archeological dig was done using the known recent historical facts concerning only one location and as you know of course the Mayan civilization covered hundreds of square kilometers. So how could this one failed project even compare with the shear size and scope of this great lost world? Simply stand back and look at the map and you will see this same scenario repeated covering an area nearly 700 miles long and you will see an area every bit as large as the Mesoamerica the supposed Mayans controlled.
So where did they Mayans go? Answer: they are here, they are C.E.S.S.- P.O.O.L.
By Reverend Captain Professor Leon Del Sol
This article is a tongue in cheek editorial by one of our readers and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial staff of the BajaInsider.