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Mayans Archives - Page 2 of 2 - The Wonders Expedition™ - @Archeoastronomy

May 26, 2020

Meeting Dr. Van Stone at the Society for American Archaeology Meeting

Early this afternoon, photographer Jamal Jackson and I arrived in Memphis, TN from our drive from Dallas, TX.  We had some great conversations about how to approach video that’s going to be added to Dr. Mark Van Stones interactive book for the iPad on 2012: Science and Prophecy of the Ancient Maya.  From Jamal I learned the term of “intentional” interviews and video.  In other words, don’t do like this lead and get straight to the point.

Tonight at 9 p.m. I got a call from Dr. Van Stone who had just landed at Memphis International.  Not having actually met him in person, I jumped at the chance to take the 2012 Buick on loan to us from GM of Texas to the airport to pick him up and take him to the Memphis Marriott Downtown where the Society for American Archaeology is holding its annual meeting.

TWE Sunset on the Mississippi River

We are here in part to shoot a series of video clips for his upcoming book and to gain some great insight into the world of American archeaologists.  Already I’ve been awed at the intelligence of the people here.  And I am impressed with how friendly the people who I have met are.

There’s a video loading to YouTube that will be added to this post when it completes loading.  But the hotel we’re in has horrible upload speeds and so it’s going to take till the morning to do what should take 10 minutes at the most anywhere else on the planet.  For safety reasons, once we’re gone, I’ll say where we are so you will know if you ever need to stay in Memphis, to at least take this point into consideration.  We do have a nice clean room that’s not at the convention site and actually, about 1/4 of the price of a room there per night….

Okay, gotta get some rest.  Big day tomorrow.

 

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Will We All Be Dead On Dec. 22, 2012?

We hear that question a lot lately. Will we all be dead on Dec. 22, 2012 because of some catastrophic prediction come true on Dec. 21, 2012, but when one analyzes the actual facts about the matter, you can see, this is largely something that’s been exploited by Hollywood and pseudo-scientists out looking to make a buck who are going to have some foot-noted explaining to do on Dec. 22, 2012 about how they were so wrong.

Popular 2012 Maya Cartoon

Last week we even had a caller tell us for fact that the world is going to end at noon on Dec. 21, 2012.  He just didn’t know which time zone it was going to happen in.

There are many ways to explain how the 2012 Prophecy of the Ancient Maya came to be as fantastic as it has become.

Dr. Mark Van Stone

The Wonders Expedition has developed a fantastic working relationship with Mayanist Dr. Mark Van Stone of San Diego. We are in the process of creating an Interactive Book for the iPad of his book: 2012: Science and Prophecy of the Ancient Maya.  He’s taught us so many great things about what’s actually been found among the ruins and writings of the Maya and he has helped provide some great answers. (If you would like to make a pledge to a project for an Interactive Book for the iPad on Machu Picchu, please click here!)

We are posting this video below to share with you because it starts to help really explain what’s going on about 2012 and why all the hoopla.

It’s an interview with Dr. Van Stone and others in January 2012 in Belize.  It takes a few minutes to watch, but we think it’s well worth it.

So if you’re wound up and thinking the world’s going to end in 8 months, relax.  You’ll see here there’s not so much to be worried about.  At least as far as the Maya were concerned…..

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Dr. Mark Van Stone: Be Prepared, More Solar Flares Are On The Way

By Dr. Mark Van Stone
Author of 2012: Science and Prophecy of the Ancient Maya

Today, my favorite NPR station’s network broadcast was interrupted.  The local technicians had to improvise for a couple hours, because the satellite carrying their news feed was temporarily shut down by an electronic storm from the sun.  This is the kind of event that we shall see more of over the next 12 months, as we ride out a Solar Maximum.

IN SPACE - JANUARY 23:  In this handout from t...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

The present Solar Max made its grand entrance two nights ago, catching our attention with the eruption of a strong solar flare, sending a coronal mass ejection towards earth, “Hocking a lugie” at us, as CNN put it.  On their website, CNN edited NASA’s press release thus:  “The equivalent of 10 billion tons of highly charged particles are hurtling at a rate of 3 million to 4 million miles an hour toward Earth.”

This is typical newsroom hyperbole.  Once I lived in New Hampshire, and whenever it snowed, I got anxious calls from my California relatives, concerned to hear of “Blizzards dumping tons of snow on New England.”  Yawn.  We got snowplows.  Now, my eastern relatives concernedly call when they learn of the latest 6.5-on-the-Richter-Scale earthquake that has “rattled” California.

To their credit, CNN featured a sober, trained meteorologist to give perspective to the event.  While warning that solar flare activity will indeed affect satellite communications, particularly GPS, he reminded us that this is normal, not a catastrophe.

Solar activity has an 11-year cycle: a rash of flares and solar storms for a few years, alternating with a period of relative quiet.  The peak of this cycle is known as a Solar Maximum, during which the sun roils and seethes with tremendous energy, often sending out huge fiery arcs.  These solar storms appear to us as dark “sunspots,” because they are relatively cool compared to the sun’s surface itself.  We are entering the peak year of the cycle.

Now, the last couple Solar Maxima have been relatively mild.  We have not had an intense storm for 30-odd years.  So, think back to the state of our long-distance communications in the early 1980s.  No cell phones, no GPS, and most of our long-distance calls went through cables, which are pretty robust, little-affected by solar flares.  Nowadays, nearly ALL our phone calls, Internet traffic, television, e-mail, stockbroker transactions, and burglar-alarm alerts go through satellites or cell-phone towers.  All these media are sensitive, easily disrupted by coronal ejections of charged particles.  Although no one can say for sure, many scientists expect this Solar Max could be a doozy, making up for the mild ones.  Or maybe not.

The worst-case scenario is a series of rolling blackouts.  The power grid can act like a miles-long antenna, and an electronic storm could pop some big fuses in the transmission stations, creating a domino-effect, cascading into massive blackouts that might last for a few hours (which is annoying) or a few days (which can be very expensive).  (This happened here in Southern California last September 8th, on which, more later.)   Perhaps equally problematic would be the loss of computer and telephone connections.  How would your life change if someone took away your Internet and phone for, say, three hours?  How about three days? (For a preview, ask someone in Iraq or Libya.)

During our blackout here in San Diego County and Tijuana, my worst inconvenience was that gas stations had no power to pump gas, so I couldn’t drive over to see my girlfriend.  And stores had to throw out massive amounts of produce and (un)frozen food.  (Dumpster-divers had a field day.  And, with no light pollution, I could see the glorious Milky Way from my parking lot, something impossible for the last half-century.  And, unable to watch TV or use the Internet, people came out of their homes, and actually talked to each other, sitting on stoops, and the like… It was great.  I think it would be a healthy policy for us to schedule a widespread power-shutoff for an hour once a month or so, just to slow us down a little… Dream on!)

In any case be prepared.  This kind of thing is going to happen more and more often, not less.

Now, I view the coming Solar Max disruptions as a nuisance, and wish to remind everyone that this is a regular event, whose effects are well known.  We don’t really suffer much down here on the Earth’s surface because we’re protected by the planet’s magnetic field, which directs the charged particles toward the poles, producing the Northern Lights.  And scientists don’t expect even a strong Solar Max to be particularly dangerous.  Even a tremendous solar flare, 10 times as big as we have ever seen, will not have the power to “blow away” this protective shield.  It would distort it, and maybe kill a few satellites whose electronics are not properly shielded.  But the worst we ought to expect is a long communications and travel blackout.  As bad as that could be—and, it could be pretty bad for some—It ain’t the end of the world.  This is not the collapse of civilization that overwhelmed the Maya, and the Olmec before them.  Not quite.

Sadly, most of the coming disruptions are preventable.  Hospitals already invest in backup power systems, stocking fuel and generators to carry them through a blackout.  Some entrepreneurs are already producing small, inexpensive generators for stores and gas stations.  Let’s hope SOME of our suppliers are investing therein!  (Computer programmers tell me that much of the expected Y2K “crash” was actually *prevented* by feverish activity of a band of noble geeks, staying up late rewriting code so computer systems would NOT crash.  Thank you!)  Nearly every problem we shall encounter due to solar storms will in some way be due to people neglecting to develop backups, or building robust shielding and delivery systems for power and data.

In any event, if a cascading-blackout, communications-satellite disruption, or other techno-failure results from this year’s Solar Maximum, it won’t be because the Maya foretold it.  It is mainly the fault of our short-sightedness, putting all our eggs in one basket; of trusting a fragile technology.

Which, on a wider scale, is what caused the Maya Collapse. And the Fall of Rome.

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Two llama overlooking the tourists at Machu Picchu in Peru

So, along the lines of, “A llama walks into a bar,” here are two llama overlooking Machu Picchu in Peru

It just begs a funny cutline, caption or quote.

“There goes the neighborhood….”

“I remember when …”

“If only ….”

Or, “There were two llama overlooking the tourists at Machu Picchu in Peru…. ”

PHOTO CREDIT

The photo was taken by Dr. Mark Van Stone who visited Machu Picchu back in January of 2011.  We’ve received dozens of photos from him about this incredible site, but this one just jumped out at us.  We want to have a serious site, but there are times, too, when it just makes sense to let one’s hair down a little.

So if you could write a caption for this photo, what would you say?

WIN A $25 iTUNES GIFTCARD

We’ll give a $25 iTunes gift card to the person who can come up with the funniest caption or comment.  (No profanity or vulgarity here).  We’ll leave the contest open until Saturday, March 10, 2012, at 5 p.m. CST.

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TWE Teams With Renowned Mayanist Dr. Mark Van Stone To Publish ‘2012 Meme’ Interactive Book For The New iPad

TheWondersExpedition.com Turning ‘2012: Science and Prophecy of Ancient Maya’ Into First Of Its Kind Interactive Book For The New  iPad In iBooks Format

For Immediate Release                                               Contact: Donald J. Claxton

March. 7, 2012                                                                        972-863-8784

DALLAS:  Dallas-based, TheWondersExpedition.com, Wednesday announced that it is actively working to publish the works of world renowned Mayanist, Dr. Mark Van Stone, as one of the world’s first interactive books for the new iPad on the 2012 “world-ending prophecies” of the ancient Maya.

The book, “2012: The Science and Prophecy of the Ancient Maya,” is presently on the market in hardback, softcover, and e-Pub formats by Dr. Van Stone, a professor of Art History at Southwestern College, Chula Vista, California.  He recently was featured in the first two episodes of the History Channel’s Ancient Aliens and was the 2001 co-author of “Reading The Maya Glyphs” with noted professor, Dr. Michael D. Coe, who often is credited with beginning the 2012 meme in his 1966 book, The Maya.

The Wonders Expedition, founded by Donald J. Claxton of Dallas, says the new edition will expand the potential of the book through the technology of Apple’s iPad, and said that Wednesday’s announcement of the new iPad, will allow them to produce even more and incredible versions.

“Dr. Van Stone is a leader among Mayanists and has been able to decipher what the Maya were sharing in glyphs on their temples and monuments throughout MesoAmerica,” Claxton continued.  “What we’re working with him to produce is a virtual learning, travel and adventure, edutainment experience in your lap where anyone on an iPad can open up his book and interact with it in a way no one could have dreamed possible just a few months ago.”

Claxton said Van Stone’s book will help anyone who is concerned about the wild predictions of end of times coming on Dec. 21, 2012.

“The real Maya are much more interesting than mere prophets of doom.  I wrote this book to help ease concerns about what might happen on the December Solstice 2012 because there is a lot of inaccurate and false information about the subject out there,” said Dr. Van Stone.  “Taking the book into an interactive format means those of all ages will be able to take a closer look at the actual evidence and make informed decisions about what may or may not happen, on their own.”

Wednesday’s release of the new iPad by Apple also means that higher resolution graphics, animations and video will be possible for the 2012 book and others in the works.

“The release of the new iPad will expand the potential of taking scholarly works like Dr. Van Stone’s book on 2012 and adding interactive features to them like video, interactive charts and graphs, and audio so that the book can be used by anyone, anywhere, who has an iPad,” Claxton said.  “We see this as a fun, exciting new way to teach children of all ages about current event topics like 2012, and then to help take them on virtual tours around the world.”

The Wonders Expedition also is working with potential vendors to ensure that interactive books also will become available on other tablets on the market.

Claxton said his organization, made up of writers, editors, graphic artists, and Web designers from around the country, also are working to produce the first interactive tour books of Stonehenge, Chaco Canyon in New Mexico, The Colosseum in Rome, The Great Wall of China and Machu Picchu in Peru.

The Wonders Expedition seeks to have Dr. Van Stone’s book available for inclusion in the iTunes Store in mid-summer of 2012.

Copies of Dr. Van Stone’s books can be found for purchase on his Website, MarkVanStone.com

The Wonders Expedition™

Founded by Dallas public relations veteran, Donald Claxton, The Wonders Expedition™ is designed to explore and unlock the mysteries of the world via virtual and real-life experiences to the most historically significant places on Earth.  Through its Website and interactive books, the organization seeks to transport anyone at any age to historic sites they may never physically visit and give them such a vivid experience, they’ll feel like they were there, and hopefully, be inspired to go back in person.  Because of its focus as an early-adopter of technologies, TWE hopes to encourage students of all ages to study in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

—30—

 

 

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EXCLUSIVE VIDEO of an Ancient Aliens Guest About 2012 and The Maya

The Season Four premiere of  Ancient Aliens on H2, began a few weeks ago with two shows about the 2012 meme and the alleged catastrophic predictions of the Maya and somehow, how ancient aliens were involved.  One of the guest scholars of those two episodes, Dr. Mark Van Stone on Twitter, (@MayaTruth) has provided The Wonders Expedition with an exclusive video interview we’ve entitled:  What Ancient Aliens Left Out.

title screenshot

Image via Wikipedia

Dr. Van Stone is one of the world’s most recognized Mayanists and the author of the book, 2012: Science and Prophecy of the Ancient Maya.  It’s a great read and we encourage you to check it out, along with his Website.  He’s fun to talk with, doesn’t have a bad sun tan and Einstein hair, and most importantly of all, thinks that the presumption that the work of ancient humans being done instead by aliens is “racism against humanity.”

We are excited to bring you this exclusive interview and will be providing additional interviews as we go along, hopefully with other recognized scholars on 2012.  We’d like to talk with Giorgio A. Tsoukalos, Erich Von Daniken or David Childress, too, just to give them a fair shot. 

 ANCIENT ALIENS

As the season premier began in mid-February, we began to tweet about some of the things we were seeing wrong in the show and wound up having a similar conversation with Dr. Van Stone, whom you will see is very colorful and friendly.  The more we talked, the more it became apparent that what he was saying needed to be shared with you.

As we’ve noted before, the Lord Pacal Sarcophogus cover, all decked out as a spaceship model is pretty cool.  The thing is, it just doesn’t have anything to do with reality.

Last Friday night’s show probably was the most appalling of all–the thought that Ancient Aliens, now not so ancient, were and possible are controlling the weather and natural events on our planet to affect the outcome of the human race.  Amazing.

A NIGHT WITH A PROFESSOR

The conversations with Dr. Van Stone have been very engaging and informative.  In fact, we’re proud to announce that on March 22, 2012, he will be available in a Webinar to talk more about the fantastic predictions about 2012 and Mayan culture and allow you to ask questions and interact with him like you cannot when he and others are in a TV show.  For this first show, we’re offering a discounted rate of $7.99 and it will begin at 6 p.m. PST (9 EST/8 CST) in the United States.  Sign up today, we are going to limit the size of the first Webinar so we don’t want you to miss out.

 

 

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Your Photo Galleries Are Welcomed!

We’ve added a photo gallery for inclusion on TheWondersExpedition.com and wanted to share with you the opportunity to post some of your visits to some cool sites on our pages.

This image was selected as a picture of the we...

Image via Wikipedia

Do you have photos from:

Just to name a few?

If so, leave a comment and make sure you include your email address when you register.  We’ll be in touch shortly thereafter.  Would you like to offer a guest post on your adventure?  What was it like to be there? Do you have travel tips? The name of a great guide or tour service to use?  Where did you stay?  What were the smells and sounds like?

 

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Maya Wheel Calendar, Leap Year and A Huge Mistake

Through some very exciting conversations of late with renowned Mayanist Dr. Mark Van Stone, we have developed a very keen understanding of what he refers to as the “projecting” of our knowledge onto an earlier society that had not discovered what we know today and instead of explaining the world through their frame of reference, seeing it AND explaining it through ours. In other words, creating a total distortion.

This is a very dangerous practice and one that often leads to the nonsense we see in shows like Ancient Aliens, where learned professors like Dr. Van Stone spend a small portion of the show giving an authoritative perspective, only to have it then clouded by a clown with big hair who says the answer has to be aliens.

The Maya Wheel Calendar

What better a day to have this discussion.

To the right is a photo of the Maya Calendar exhibit at Museo de la Cultura Maya in Chetumal, Belize. Though it’s Leap Day, to the Maya, this meant nothing.  They apparently didn’t make up for “Drifting” in their calendars.

But we have seen this concept of the Maya Calendar displayed in many places and even are having an internal debate on how to use it in applications being developed by our art department here in Dallas.  But there’s one HUGE, ancient-pyramid-sized error in what you’re looking at.

The Maya didn’t have the wheel. 

So if they didn’t have the wheel, though cyclical like ours today, their calendar did not look like this.  As Dr. Van Stone has pointed out, neither does ours.

It is just this sort of thing that makes television shows like Ancient Aliens so plausible and easy to believe.  And it is just this sort of thing that when it’s shown as fact, needs to be called out and explained.

We can understand why this is being used: Because today we KNOW about the wheel and because of our knowledge today, it’s easier to look back on what they didn’t know then and conceptualize.  But….

Made to Stick

In their 2007 book, Made To Stick, the Hatch brothers talk about an experiment to do with tapping out the rhythm of a song.  If you hear a tune in your head and you start tapping it out on the table in front of you, there’s no doubt you can be just as impressive (in your own mind) as Ringo Starr or Peter Chris from Kiss in banging it out.  But without humming the tune and without saying ahead of time what it is, ask someone sitting there with you what it is you’re tapping out.

The odds are tremendously high they are not going to be able to name that tune.  Why?  Because they don’t have the same frame of reference about the tune in your head as you do. You are the only one who can “hear it.”  Once they know what you’re tapping out, the chances improve that they might be able to say that they can hear what you’re doing, but even then….

The point is historians and archeologists often try to do this same thing when explaining what was going on in the minds of our ancient ancestors.  In many cases, because some civilizations either didn’t have a written records, like those who built Stonehenge, or the Mesoamericans who had much of their work burnt and destroyed by the Conquistadors, we just don’t know.  And then there are those who can sit in front of a camera with a straight face and say, “It had to be Extra Terrestrials.”

Leap Day 2012

So on Leap Day 2012, remember, there is a lot of thinking and work that went into the marking and the use of Leap Year and Leap Days.  If today is your birthday, congratulations.  We wish you a great day, certainly.

There is plenty of information on the Net about how we came to have a Leap YearJulius Caesar is often given credit for adopting the Leap Year tradition in 45 BC to help the seasons catch up with the calendar once they had shifted.  As you may know, the length of a year isn’t actually 365 days, it’s a little longer, so when you’ve had a couple of them go by, things start to get out of sync, and gone far enough, Dec. 25 could have drifted into another season, etc.

Pretty cool when you stop and think about it.

 

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Mayan Light Beam from 2009 Now Making Waves in 2012

Well, we couldn’t pass this one up.

Over on Yahoo! they’ve posted a story about a man, one Hector Siliezar, who was visiting the ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza back in 2009 and took three photos of El Castillo, a pyramid built to honor the god Kukulkan, and some how, what appears to be a Hollywood death ray is emanating out of the top of it and shining into the heavens.

Needless to say, we’re waiting for Giorgio A. Tsoukalos to appear at the end of it and affirm once again that this is proof that aliens are no longer ancient, but actually living amongst us.  Erich Von Daniken can’t be too far off, and Lord knows, David Childress needs to be involved here doing his imitation constipated and strained former President Bill Clinton voice saying, “Extra Terrestrials.”

But it is what it is.  Probably something to do with the lightening storm in the area and the light bouncing around in the guy’s iPhone.  That, or maybe it’s actually video of Steve Jobs ascending into the Heavens.

We will never know for sure.  It is great looking video.  But seriously, friends and amigos, if you had taken these photos back in 2009, wouldn’t you have had them out on the Net say, back in 2009 and not just be having them surface here in 2012?

Okay, Giorgio, let’s hear you: “There can only be one possible answer here….”

 

 

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Mayan King Pakal and His ‘Spacecraft’

I don’t know if you saw the season premier of Ancient Aliens Season 5 a week or so ago, but to his credit, Giorgio Tsoukalos had a guy from Lucas Films on displaying what appeared to be Mayan King Pakal in what Erich Von Daniken has long portrayed as a “spacecraft.”

The image is based on the sarcophagus cover of Pakal’s tomb in Palenque, Mexico and since the 1970s has been the red meat, smoking gun of the UFO fringe to support Ancient Astronaut Theories.  I even tweeted that night that Giorgio and the producers of Ancient Aliens deserved credit; the 3D model the Lucas Films designer made looked pretty darn cool–of course it did, he works for Lucas Films.

The problem is of course, it’s ridiculous when you place it in actual context to what’s on the cover of Pakal’s tomb.

The Ceiba Tree

The Ceiba Tree of South American origin is a pretty unique looking tree.  It also has been found in Southeast Asia, but it’s primary interest here is its use in Pre-Columbian MesoAmerican mythology where it was incorporated into beliefs associated with “The World Tree” and how it connected the heavens, the earth and the underworld all in one fell swoop.

Pakal's Sarcophagus

Just the root system of the tree is pretty amazing and curious.  But it’s branches tend to grow out  horizontally at 90 degree angles from the base of the trunk and in many an ancient drawing, etching, stone carving, sarcophagus cover, it’s pointing in the four cardinal directions of north, east, south and west.

Such is the case clearly depicted on Pakal’s tomb cover.

To the right, I’ve posted a colored drawing for your own assisted observations.

So what do we have here?  Well, in green, I’ve colored in what appears to be a rather large bird sitting atop the tree. In orange below is the actual Ceiba tree.  Notice the branches of the tree pointing out at 90 degree angles?

In red is clearly a two-headed snake, with a symmetrical head appearing on both end of the snake.

Apparently, this was a quite-often-featured type of snake and it usually signified the birth of some new form of something happening.

Moving on down is King Pakal, almost lying on his back.  It was this pose that Von Daniken made famous by showing similar photos of former US Astronaut John Glenn in a similar pose in a Mercury spacecraft of the 1960s.  By showing US Sen. Glenn as though he were in his Gemini spacecraft, Von Daniken was able to convince many a reader over the past four decades that surely Pakal must have been in a spacecraft, too, and that the Mayans were suggesting in this representation that their king was either an ancient alien or space traveler.  Indeed, in the Season 5 Ancient Aliens premier episode, Author David Childress proclaims Pakal as “The original rocket man.”

Good grief, Charlie Brown! And Snoopy could fight the Red Barron from atop his doghouse.

Below Pakal in the drawing to the right is the base of the Ceiba tree.  Von Daniken says the texture at the bottom of the tree is fire coming out of the engines of the spacecraft. The Lucas Film model maker actually put rocket cones on the model displayed in the TV show.

HOGWASH

It is just this sort of distortion that takes place in shows like Ancient Aliens that those none-the-wiser fall prey to.  Here at The Wonders Expedition, over the next few years, we are going to investigate hundreds of sites around the world and help the public by showing them nonsense like that depicted on Ancient Aliens is ridiculous and shameful.  It’s one thing to do things in a light-hearted manner in the guise of entertainment, but it’s also another to sit there in front of a camera like Childress, Daniken and Tsoukalos do and clearly misrepresent the truth.

Add this other thought, too: What ruler in present day society do you know, as well, who if they did have access to a spaceship, would be the one sitting at its controls?  Does President Obama fly Air Force One?  It’s just as nutty to think that King Pakal more than 1,000 years ago also would have been the one to fly an ancient spacecraft isn’t it?  I mean, seriously.  He was the king of his people. Wouldn’t an ancient ruler, if he had had access to such sophisticated travel also have been sophisticated enough to build in a space for him to ride as a passenger and not as the actual pilot?  Seriously?

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