We had to write this article because the whole thing sounds like Pulp Fiction from the 1930’s. What’s most shocking about this story (besides the fact that Neil Armstrong did go searching for a lost library of gold in South America) is that it was so out of character for America’s first man on the moon. He was always such a steady guy, so in 1976 when he went down to Southeastern Ecuador to look for a lost library of gold…it counts as an anomaly. In fact, outside of the moon landing, this is the most famous expedition of the intrepid adventurer known as: Neil.
The expedition began with a discovery. A local Salesian priest named Father Carlo Crespi (1891-1982) worked with the indigenous people of Ecuador. He was a revered humanitarian, academic and historian. He is credited with acquiring the first film footage of the native Shuar people of the region in the 1920’s, and they liked him. They liked him a lot. They began to bring him local artifacts they found as thanks for his kindness. Many of the artifacts were metallic and included strange writing.
Crespi knew the natives were poor but proud. While he thought they might be reluctant to accept donations, they would accept payment for the objects they brought to Crespi. So, the villagers continued to bring Crespi objects and he would pay for them when he could (even if the objects were fake). The result was a collection of 50,000 artifacts from various periods of South American history ( and not just South American). Many of them were authentic. Over time, Father Crespi is estimated to have collected 50,000 artifacts. The objects were kept in the courtyard of the church Maria Auxiliadora in Ecuador. However, in 1962 there was a fire and many of the objects were lost. Many of the remaining artifacts disappeared with the assumption they were sold to private collectors, claimed by the Vatican or just plain stolen. Still, some of the artifacts remain as does photographic evidence of the collection and they contain numerous anomalies.
The objects bear similarities to artifacts from distant ancient cultures such as Babylon, Assyria, Egypt, China, and Africa. The writing and alphabet on some of the objects is completely unknown and intricate. It matches no known alphabet, ancient or otherwise. Furthermore, pyramids identical to the Egyptian pyramids (rather than the stepped pyramids of South America) are depicted along with a symbol resembling the “Eye of Horus” or “Eye of Providence.” It can be seen hovering over the top of the pyramid the same way it can be seen on the dollar bill or The Great Seal of the USA. What remains of the objects is no longer accessible to the public and the origin and date of the artifacts remains unknown. Naturally, this mystery attracted interest and speculation.
The Entrance to the Cave
In the 1960’s an explorer by the name of János Juan Móricz claimed to have discovered a library within a massive cave system which would come to be known as “La Cueva de los Tayos” or The Tayos Cave System. He claimed to have wandered through the system until he came to a hall of man-made walls and architecture. Within these halls were tablets made of precious metals such as gold and silver with strange writing on them. Móricz thought they contained the history of humanity.
He claimed the symbology on the artifacts resembled ancient Sumerian and Egyptian pieces. However, once Móricz left the cave system he (apparently) lost track of the library but was able to still identify the entrance. The claims made by Móricz echoed the artifacts collected by Father Crespi, which made researchers wonder if Móricz had not found the source of the objects given to Crespi by the Natives.
This theorizing culminated with the publication of a book by ancient astronaut theorist Erich Van Daniken titled “Gold of the Gods.” In the book, Van Daniken expanded on the alleged findings of Móricz and publicized the idea that the Metal Library was extraterrestrial in origin. He believed the findings in Ecuador were similar to findings at other ancient sites, such as Nan Madol in Micronesia. Van Daniken argues these sites show contact between ancient cultures over vast distances and artifacts which go beyond coincidental, and point to past contact with ancient aliens and advanced technology.
Stan Hall was a Scottish researcher and engineer with a penchant for exploration and adventure. He became intrigued by Móricz ‘claims and attempted to mount an expedition. Through an acquaintance(they had a distant relation), Hall reached out to Neil Armstrong who was living on a farm in Ohio and teaching Aerospace Engineering. For reasons of his own, Armstrong agreed to join Hall on the expedition and this added the star power needed for the expedition to gain resources. Funding came from the governments of the United Kingdom and Ecuador, allowing Armstrong and Hall to pursue the “Metal Library” of legend.
In 1976 Hall and Armstrong entered the cave accompanied by more than a hundred people including top scientists, joint special forces and sperologists. They did not find the library, but they did find evidence of human occupation along with a body dating back to 1500 BCE. They also found more than 100 new species of butterflies, 40 new species of bats and 200 new species of beetles. It’s still one of the largest cave explorations ever conducted and Neil’s second most-famous adventure.
Today, Stan Hall’s grand-daughter Eileen Hall still explores the area and leads expeditions in the hopes of finding “The Metal Library.” The cave system entered by Armstrong and Hall has been heavily explored since the 1970’s. There are even tours into parts of it. Yet, there is controversy as to how much of the cave has been explored. There is also debate as to whether or not Armstrong and Hall went through the right entrance to find the Metal Library. Adventurers still head to the Tayos caves today in hopes of finding the hidden pathway of Juan Móricz and the Metal Library of the ancient aliens.
Armstrong’s involvement and evidence of Father Crespi’s collection are the two strangest pieces of evidence in this affair. Stan Hall was also known as an analytical and logical man. While less is known of Juan Móricz, who did know the entrance to the cave system. Yet, he (suspiciously) did not bring back evidence of the metal library or its exact location. Crespi’s collection is a complete unknown. What remains of it might be in the Vatican museum or has been taken by private collectors and thieves, which would make them very hard to verify. Finding and dating the objects in Crespi’s collection seems to be the shortest and most logical path to determining whether or not they are authentic and anomalous. So, we’ll hope one turns up available for study. Until then, we can hope one of the present day adventurers into the unknown hands us a metal library card.