Claim: Photographs show the figure of an astronaut carved into the wall of a
REAL PHOTOGRAPHS; INACCURATE DESCRIPTION
Example: [Collected via e-mail, January 2009]
Here is a Mystery! See if you can suggest an answer
In the Spanish City of SALAMANCA the Cathedral there was built in 1102
I have asked my work colleagues if this item is TRUE … and they assure me that it is INDEED (and nobody has an answer)
There is a small detail carved into the masonery which amazes everyone that sees it…
Can You Suggest how a 20th Century Astronaut came to be carved by a 12th Century Stonemason?
Origins: Erich von Däniken’s 1968 book Chariots of the Gods? posited that elements of the religions and technologies developed by some of Earth’s oldest civilizations were actually the products of extraterrestrial visitations by space travelers whom those ancient Earthlings welcomed as gods. Among the types of evidence von Däniken offered in support of his thesis was his interpretations of ancient artworks as depicting extraterrestrial beings and forms of technological activity that were not realized until the
Chariots of the Gods? has long since been dismissed by most scientists and archaeologists as containing far more pseudoscience than actual science, but
fascination with some of the ideas it expressed
First off, the example errs a bit in identifying the astronaut carving as adorning the wall of a cathedral built in 1102. The city of Salamanca in Spain is home to two adjacent cathedrals: The “Old Cathedral” (Catedral Vieja), begun in the
Unfortunately for Chariot buffs, however, the origins of the carving are neither ancient nor mysterious. The astronaut figure dates not from the
A Portuguese article about the restoration of Salamanca’s New Cathedral explains (as best we can translate it into English) that:
The restoration of the Cathedral of Salamanca in 1992 integrated modern and contemporary motifs, including a carved figure of an astronaut. The use of this motif was in the tradition of cathedral builders and restorers including contemporary motifs among older ones as a way of signing their works. The person responsible for the restoration, Jeronimo Garcia, chose an astronaut as a symbol of the twentieth century.
Last updated: 20 April 2015