c. 12,000 BCE
The mysterious, controversial Crystal Skulls are created, possibly by one of the earliest Native cultures of Mesoamerica, possibly on the lost continent Atlantis. Formed of quartz crystal, exquisitely worked, and anatomically natural, the thirteen originals are considered objects of power, which, according to prophecy, will bring about a great change in the earth if they are ever brought together. The world today is flooded with imitations, and there is no certainty if any of the ones known are original.
10,014 BCE (Traditional Date)
Atlantis, an island continent in the Atlantic Ocean said to have been the seed-culture of all civilizations in the Western Hemisphere, Europe, and the Americas, subsides almost overnight into the Atlantic Ocean. Some conjecture that its nearly complete obliteration could have come in conflict with an Eastern-Hemisphere civilization sometimes called the Rama Empire of western India, whose traces remain only as underwater ruins. It is suspected that these ancient civilizations had technological achievement at least equal to that of contemporary civilizations, but using energy-sources that were not combustion-based: solar power, weather control, ESP, bio-engineering, geophysics, sound technology, anti-gravity technology, and crystals.
4004 BC/3113 BCE (Traditional Date)
On August 13 in what the cyclical Aztec calendar remembers as a One-Reed year, a bearded, light-skinned stranger from over the ocean touches down in Mexico, bringing with him new insights, new arts, and new technology. Aztec tradition remembers him as Quetzalcoatl, “Feathered Serpent,” and he was said to have visited a number of cultures in Central and South America. This legend is preserved in so many widely-separated Native American societies that most ethnologists believe it has some basis in fact.
1500 BC-400 BCE
The presumed seed-culture for all Mesoamerica, the Olmec civilization surfaces, thrives, and lapses in the lowlands along the Gulf of Mexico in the Yucatan Peninsula. Wondrous carvers and sculptors, the Olmec were known for enigmatic artifacts in several forms: the colossal “Olmec heads,” multi-ton carvings seeming to portray helmeted individuals of non-Native American ancestries, some of them dead ringers for Africans; marvelously evocative human statuettes, many of which suggest an off-continent, possibly Asian influence; and repeated depictions of the eerie character often called, “the were-jaguar.” Evidently a key player of the still-mysterious Olmec religion, this metamorphosing figure of the were-jaguar shows human and animal features, and is often portrayed as an infant.
Disgusted by the bloodshed in the last war he has won, the Emperor Ashoka of India founds the legendary society of “The Nine Unknown Men,” nine geniuses in varied disciplines whose original goals may have been to protect humanity’s most advanced wisdom against the vagaries of history and societal collapse. Some assert that this order could still be operating, possibly under some or all of its original members who have mastered the secret of eternal life. Others suppose that the society’s actions could sometimes be mistaken for those of a rival group suspected of being followers of Kali, the ambiguous Hindu chaos-goddess.
The pre-Incan Moche culture flowers in the valleys of northern Peru and develops a massive, sadistic, sacrificial cult unparalleled in the Andes. Their pottery and temple murals feature a lurid, blood-drinking god sometimes called “the X-Sacrificer” or “the Decapitator.” This zoomorphic deity has several favored human-animal forms, some of them insectoid.
The human skull emerges as a motif and symbol among Mesoamerican societies, figuring broadly in the imagery of all art forms as well as numerical systems and written characters.
As a young man, Gerbert d'Aurillac, the eventual Pope Sylvester II, spends time in India and returns to Europe with a divinatory object used to advise him for all his papacy. This strange artifact often called “the magic head” disappears from history at the end of his life.
Alarmed by the misuse of the power of the Crystal Skulls in some parts of Mesoamerica and aware due to prophecy of the eventual coming of the Europeans, the Native elders entrusted with the care of the Skulls begin to disperse them about the American continents.
The small but influential society of Assassins is founded in northwestern Iran to protect the teachings and intelligentsia of the Nizari Ismailis, a branch of Shia Islam. While the key to their name is sometimes thought to be the word for the marijuana-derived substance hashish, it is only clear that some powerful drug experience was the focus of their initiations.
The First Crusade succeeds in taking the Holy City, Jerusalem. Immediately upon discovering the ruins of Solomon’s Temple, seven powerful French aristocrats appoint themselves the Temple’s protectors and start rooting around in the foundations. Shortly after finding something, these seven form the society of The Poor Knights of Christ and the Temple of Solomon (Pauperes commilitones Christi Templique Salomonici). Fanatical warriors and eventually powerful bankers, this mostly French order is remembered to history as the Knights Templar. The Templars and their imitators adopt many features of Islamic paraphernalia and tradition.
The Assassins are dispersed and presumably eradicated by the invading Mongols.
French King Philip IV (“the Fair”) crushes the Poor Knights of Christ, the Crusader Order of Solomon’s Temple. Legend holds that the surviving Templars had some connection with the New World and may have been the first historic Europeans to establish bases in North America. The confessions forced by Philip IV’s inquisitors include reports that the Templars’ rituals involved Baphomet, some sort of idol resembling a detached human head.
The Thuggee cult of robber/murderers forms in India and may eventually be responsible for two million deaths. Never a military order, the Thugs operate almost exclusively through subtlety, surprise, and infiltration. Their technique is exclusively strangulation, almost always with an innocuous-looking sash. The Thuggees’ influences seem to be both Hindu and Islamic.
The Spanish conquistador Hernan de Cortez lands on the Mexican coast on April 21, 1519, a “One Reed” year in the cyclical Aztec calendar, and begins his conquest of the Aztec Empire for the crown of Spain. Because of the year of his landing and his exotic appearance, Cortez is at first mistaken for the legendary “Feathered Serpent” whom the Aztec call Quetzalcoatl. Ironically, the final surrender of the Aztec in their capital Tenochtitlan falls on August 13, the traditional day of Quetzalcoatl’s Mexican touchdown.
French Gouverneur the Marquis de Denonville launches a punitive expedition against the Iroquoian Seneca nation at their settlements along the Genesee River. The pivotal clash takes place near today’s Rochester, NY, at the town called Gannogaro, which the French and allied forces sack and then burn. While the goal of the mission is still debated, it is to be observed that Gannogaro was one of the sanctuaries and possibly the gravesite of the legendary figure called “the Peace Queen” – sort of a secretary-general to a medieval version of the Native American United Nations. Gannogaro remains one of the Senecas’ most holy places, today preserved as the recreated community park called Ganondagan.
In a mountain rain forest near Bambamarca, Peru, an affable group remembered only as the Indios de Lomas – “the Lomas Indians” – have gotten along with all the overlords of their region, including the Moche, Chimu, the Inca, and the supplanting Spaniards. Still, at some point in the 18th century, a number of their villages nearly collapse under the pressure of the sudden appearance of some mysterious beings preying upon their youngest children. Whether this involves the unborn, the newborn, or the pregnant mothers alone is not certain from the records. The villages empty, and the Lomas people move away from the troublesome valley.
The Cult of Thuggee is suppressed by the British Empire in concert with Native Indian allies. It is presumed that the Thuggees were worshippers of Kali, the Hindu Mother Goddess in her dark form, but this does not explain either their actions or their Islamic influences.
Work at the eventual site of the Mexico City airport unearths a statue of the Aztec sacrificial goddess Coatlicue (Ko-at-LEE-quay), “She of the Serpent Skirt.” Considering it too hideous to be viewed, the authorities of the day order it quickly reburied.
At the age of 71, still-hale American journalist and occult writer Ambrose Bierce and his entire armed-to-the-teeth expedition disappear from history in the state of Chihuahua during the Mexican Civil War. No complete explanation has ever been given for the venture or the vanishing. Author and adventurer Frederick (“Mike”) Mitchell-Hedges – eventual discoverer of the most famous crystal skull – is in Mexico at the time, and his account of seeing the living Bierce becomes the last credible clue to Bierce’s fate.
Remembered as Adolph Hitler’s evil tutor, Karl Hausofer has some exposure to Mayan tradition, as well as access to a powerful psychotropic drug suspected today to have been peyote. Hitler’s exposure both to this drug and Hausofer’s geopolitical theories would play a large part in the development of the Third Reich.
With five American divisions poised in support at the Texas border, General John Pershing leads a 12,000 man foray into Mexico, looking for... something. A search for Pancho Villa is the official explanation, but the rebel is only too easy to find at the time, and many observers today believe that Pershing’s hunt had to be after something else.
At the Maya site of Lubantuun in Belize, Frederick Mitchell-Hedges uncovers the most impressive of the known crystal skulls, the so-called “Skull of Doom,” with its detachable lower jaw made from the same block of quartz crystal. Currently on semi-permanent display in Chesterton, Indiana, the Mitchell-Hedges Skull is anatomically perfect enough to be reconstructed into the face of a woman of apparently Polynesian ancestry.
The man whom Stephen King called, “the twentieth century’s greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale,” H. P. Lovecraft (1890-1937) develops a unique motif in macabre fantasy based on the “Great Old Ones,” a pseudomythological pantheon of demonic, extra-terrestrial beings at work behind the world’s most sinister evils. Presuming it nothing more than fantasy, Lovecraft and the writers of his circle – like Robert Bloch, Algernon Blackwood, August Derleth, Fritz Lieber, and “Conan the Barbarian” creator Robert E. Howard – gleefully perpetuate “the Lovecraft Mythos,” [also called, “the Cthulhu Mythos,” so named for Cthulhu (Ka-THOO-loo), its chief demon]. In the 1930s, though, Lovecraft himself is astonished to be receiving fan letters from a loner in Buffalo, NY, named William Lumley. An apparent night watchman and amateur antiquarian, Lumley (1880-1940) insists to Lovecraft that he has struck truth with his themes of occult societies, pre-human cities, icons of power, and the dreaded return of the Great Old Ones. Lumley has seen the signs, he writes, in Western New York, which may even contain a portal to that horrible other realm. Lumley’s only published tale, “The Diary of Alonzo Typer,” appears in 1938 in Weird Tales magazine. It is set near Attica, NY, about 30 miles east of Buffalo.
One of the Third Reich’s least appreciated penchants is its search for legendary occult objects, including the Holy Grail, the Ark of the Covenant, and the Spear of Destiny. Sacred dates surely figure into the mix. Hitler eventually kills himself on April 30, 1945 – May Eve/Walpurgisnacht.
Tourist disappearances along the Tex-Mex border spark rumors of a cult of witches, possibly recreating old Mesoamerican sacrificial rituals.
Serial murders break out in Rochester, NY, an exact century after Jack the Ripper’s London season. One of the likeliest suspects to have been the original Ripper was Francis Tumblety, a Rochester native, buried in the city’s Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, where, curiously, the name on his gravestone is misspelled.
A unique new drug surfaces in Buffalo, NY. Apparently of South American origin, it may have unprecedented psychotropic effects, including access to the hidden corners of the mind and possibly the activation of ESP. Its varied nicknames include savvy, goo, grey, and know-know.
Rumors surface about a mysterious object discovered by Native American staff at the preserved Seneca community and park today called Ganondagan (the site of the former Gannogaro), near Victor, NY. While the object itself is spirited away (most likely to the nearest Seneca reservation, the Tonawanda) and all mention of the incident quickly hushed, some insiders maintain that the item is composed of quartz crystal, and that it is an artifact.
A strangely-dressed, undernourished, middle-aged man is found along a country road in Clarence, NY, shot dead with a deer rifle from long-range. He is of Middle-Eastern ancestry, and he had been blind. His unusually-healed eyes had been burned or bored out sometime in his twenties.
Under the pen-name Mason Winfield, Ward Courier, an independent school English teacher and paranormal buff from Buffalo, NY, publishes A Ghosthunter’s Journal, inspired by his own interviews and research. The author considers the thirteen stories to be no more than fictional embellishments of local urban legends and interviews with witnesses to paranormal events.
A psychologist in Amherst, NY, interviews a patient with repressed memories of “The Whistlers,” an order of blind, telepathic assassins.
The Drug Enforcement Administration begins to close in on a previously unknown drug starting to make its appearance in the United States. While suspected of a South American origin, the distribution hub seems to be in Buffalo, NY.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation begins to be aware of a violent, high-stakes smuggling ring based on Native American antiquities.
A crystal artifact, an anatomically perfect human lower jaw, surfaces in southwestern Ohio and is sold on the underground antiquities market by a trio of pothunters. Shortly after, the three men are viciously interrogated and then murdered.
Law enforcement agencies in Buffalo, NY, begin what will become a series of interviews with Ward Courier about incidents in their domain that seem to be foreshadowed by the stories in his book, A Ghosthunter’s Journal.
A team of archaeologists in the Yucatan jungles reports the discovery of a new, perfectly formed crystal skull, replete with detachable jaw, in a ruined city. The team promptly disappears.
In Mexico’s Chiapas province, a team of freelance paramilitaries come upon a deserted estate, replete with ancient statuary and a tzompantli, an Aztec-style skull rack holding dozens of human skulls, most of them at least decades old, some only days old. The freshest heads appear to be those of the cultists that had maintained the rack and supplied it with the rest. A surveillance video contains only one, seemingly impossible clue.
Anthropologists near Cayabamba, Peru find a mass graveyard by a Moche temple in an unexpected place, at the foot of a mountain fifty miles inland from the Moche’s traditional coastal home. They tunnel into an elite tomb near a ruined pyramid dedicated to an insectoid vampire-god, uncover odd artifacts, and are attacked by... something that has been under the ground for a very long time.
In a mountain range along the Indo-Pakistani border, “The Old Man of the Mountain” – an ageless, blind mystic – sleeps in a pose of prayer that has lasted, they say, since the Crusades. Sometimes he laughs in his dreams, they say, as he surely did on September 11, 2001.
The Whistlers © 2016 Mason Winfield
"The Q" Banner, tm 2016 Matthew Joshua Knisley