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No. 102: Nov-Dec 1995

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The candelabra of the andes

Geoglyph in Canalabra
595 feet from top to bottom and visible far out at sea. What was the purpose behind this strange geoglyph?
One of the most engimatic giant ground drawings (or "geoglyphs") in South America is seen best from several miles out at sea. Etched into a sloping hill at Pisco Bay on the Peruvian coast, this strange figure looks vaguely like a candlestick; thus, its name "The Candelabra of the Andes." The Candelabra is 595 feet long and can be seen from as far as 12 miles out to sea. Pottery found near the figure has been carbondated at 200 BC and is assignable to the Paracas Culture. Separated by 130 miles from the Nazca Plain, with its famed giant figures, the Candelabra apparently is not the work of the Nazca people. It is puzzling why that such a figure would be placed where it could be seen best by sailors. As with Costa Rica's stone spheres, the Candelabra's makers, purpose, and symbology are in doubt.

The Pisco geoglyph really doesn't match the motifs in our books on South American archeology. Some archeologists say it is only a trident, but who ever saw a trident like this? F. Joseph, the author of the present article, thinks it looks like a Jimson weed! Furthermore, he states that there is a miniature version of the Candelabra drawn on a rock in California's Cleveland National Forest. Joseph associates the two candelabras in this way: The ancient inhabitants of Peru voyaged to California to collect Jimson weed and other hallucinatory drugs. When they sailed back to Peru with their cargo, they used the Pisco geoglyph as a navigational aid! (Joseph, Frank; "The Candelabra of the Andes," The Ancient American, 2:10, no. 10, 1995.)

From Science Frontiers #102 Nov-Dec 1995. 1995-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:

Quotes

  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987