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Giorgio Tsoukalos Archives - The Wonders Expedition™ - @Archeoastronomy

April 18, 2021

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.


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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Ancient Aliens 2012 Show–What would the Mayans say?

Update 9:02 p.m. CST: Well, the second show tonight has started and the summation is this: WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE in 2012.  We have heard from Dr. Mark Van Stone’s representatives and will be talking with him after he’s had a chance to see tonight’s shows.  LOL, and we just saw he’s in the show.  How cool is that?


UPDATE: We now are 24 minutes into the first show and wow, this isn’t as far-fetching as we thought it was going to be.  In fact, they’ve pulled out some pretty cool stuff.  The 3D statue of the Mayan king, Pakal, was pretty cool. 

And what is it with David Childress?  He’s not said, “Extra Terrestrials!” at the end of a sound byte yet!  He’s not even said it at all! 

And the bumpers with Giorgio Tsoukalos is going to inspire a hair fashion phenom, we can just feel it.

It’s about an hour until the new 2012 Ancient Aliens season begins on H2 and the show is about 2012 and the Mayan “predictions.”

We have a feeling going in to this new series that this will be an hour of great exaggerations of fact and the taking of liberties with editorial license.

Premise for a Young Adult Drinking Game

For instance, every time author David Childress is on and finishes a soundbyte that ends with the words, “Extra terrestrials,” then everyone in the room should have to take a drink.

Every time the announcer says the words, “ancient astronaut theorists,” then everyone in the room should have to take a drink.

Every time Giorgio A. Tsoukalos @Tsoukalos  appears needing to do something about that tan and his hair, well, you know.


There are plenty of good sources to counter the nonsense that’s being stirred up about 2012 and what the Mayans did or did not suggest might happen this December 21, 2102.

One learned professor who has spent his career studying the Mayans, Dr. Mark Van Stone, and who we’ve followed says that on that day, it’s a Friday, he’s going to get up and go to the office and grade papers. 

The book sells for $8.95 electronically and we’ve been going through it.  It paints a much different picture than the one Tsoukalos, Childress et al are sharing through H2.

Okay, it’s almost time for the show.

Just for the fun of it, “EXTRA TERRESTRIALS!”  Okay, drink.  It’s going to take one or two or more to get through the show without an eye roll or more….

If you were a Mayan watching tonight’s show, our guess is you’d say, “Where in the world did they come up with that?!”


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