JAMES CRAIG PHOTOGRAPHY

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Aliens Did it, or maybe not – an Easter Island Project moment, 2006/07

Mar 10, 2020

What is it with crediting anything we can't figure out to aliens? Going back through our 2006 images from Easter Island, after recently stumbling upon one of those YouTube videos claiming that, among other things, there's no way stoneage cultures could consistently drill large perfectly round holes in basalt stone, I thought I'd post a couple of snapshots and a few observations. Darn, and I wanted this to be a short posting… oh well, best laid plans of men and moko (a little Rapa Nui salamander). So I decided to have a little fun with this one. 

Above is a Rapa Nui "boathouse" foundation – Hare Paenga. They can be found almost everywhere on the Island most hidden by tall grasses these days. This one is about thirty feet long – they can run smaller or up to 80 feet for meetings. They are created by laying these huge bassalt blocks, each with, usually, two seemingly "drilled" holes going down pretty deep. In these holes wooden poles were based, curving up to form a roof. One would ask why go this far just for that. Except stone, rocks, boulders, bassalt, etc. are what Easter Island has an abundance of.

Here's a closer look, in a field far away from the town. Since most of the bassalt came from Teravaka, near the center of the Island, there must have been some sort of production center there to create these things. They number in the thousands and are strikingly similar.


And here's a close-up of one of the holes – it looks like it was cut with some sort of diamond-tipped drill bit. I've done that myself through a cinderblock and it took forever. Hmm – must have been aliens.

Problem with that is that these were cut, at the earliest, between 800 and 1100 a.d. That's long after Egypt, Peru and other constructions that pretty much confuse us moderns with their precision. The credited aliens were supposedly long gone by then – or were they simply hiding out on Easter Island for a few thousand years.

Another issue is that, as consistently precise as examples seem to be elsewhere, on the Island they range from machine like precision through not so perfect all the way to downright sloppy. Of course this might be explained away by the fact that the Rapanui were not an organized people, a dozen independent tribes populated the small island. No bureaucratic oversight and discipline over construction there.

Personally I'd love to know how they did it. Just like the Rapanui figured out how to move 40 to 80 ton Moai across the Island by cutting the base into just the right angle, standing them up and using vines to walk them for miles– which nobody believed until a Rapanui became an archeologist and demonstrated it – someone came up with a way to cut bassalt accurately with stone tools. And this seems to have happened in so many cultures around the world. Smart.

Since production on Easter Island pretty much halted suddenly, and the fact that this wasn't as long ago as elsewhere in the world, there might be a few clues lying around. Check out this large bassalt block partially gut through:

Appears to me that this was to be a couple of strips of foundation blocks. I can almost imagine someone using a bassalt cutting wedge, and saltwater as a softener?, who knows, along some sort of guide bar for hours, days, whatever. Ouch. I wouldn't even want to speculate as to how precisions holes were cut.

Oh, and here's a shot of what looks like cutting tool sharpening stones in a field of boulders used similarly on Poike. Imagine how many times a stone cutting wedge had to pass over one of these troughs to go that deep.

Along similar lines, check out some of the stone work put into Ahu Tahiri at Vinapu. This, of course, is from a B&W negative and is a folio/print/book image.

Looks so much like some found in Peru. Yet, just like everything else on the Island, Ahu vary from this kind of precision (here) to loosely placed stone. It seems that they could do it, if they wanted to. And look at that one particular (plug?) stone. Almost exactly the same size and shape as others in photographs from walls in Peru – that seems to hint at purpose beyond just filling a gap. Hmm. What with oral histories in both cultures of very early contact, the fact that South American chickens trace back to the Pacific islands and Polynesian sweet potatoes trace back to South america (or Central) and that DNA traces from the Pacific are being found in bones in Peru (and recently a Blackfoot Indian here in the States was found belonging to a Pacific Island genetic group), certainly speaks to a lot more going on than we give these people credit for. Again, it must be aliens.

So, who are the dumb-asses? Our ancient to semi-ancient forebears or far too many of us for being so willing to buy into the "evidence" of aliens – which, accompanied by a need to believe that we are being lied to by a world wide network of scientists and educators, brings it to conspiracy theory level. And don't get me started on Flat-earthers (The Earth is Flat and there is a world wide conspiracy to convince us that it is round ) and Creationists (The Earth is four to six thousand years old and, again, there is a world wide conspiracy, combined with the observation that education makes one stupid, to convince us that Biology, Astronomy, Geology, Physics, Astrophysics, etc. are actually things that teach us something about the world). 

It doesn't help that here in the states that our own so called History Channel and, to not much of a lesser degree, Science Channel pander to this crap (hey, it brings in the big bucks), making them and us a laughingstock to much of the world.

These Easter Island Moments

This is fun. While my Havre de Grace Street project will continue, I will be interspersing a stream of postings like this one – another facet of the Easter Island project, mining our personal record images from the project for Easter Island Moments (Rapa Nui Moments) – that, for a number of reasons, couldn't be made at the time (not ready for prime time digital imagery, lousy band width on the Island and the simple fact that the idea of a B&W blog had not occurred to me as yet). The more I review the images, the more I see in the images.

At times this will handily fill in gaps in postings here at home. At other times it will make for an increase in posting frequency – and this is going to take a while as it covers the whole decade of the project, a total of three years on the Island. Not sure in which direction, if any, this will effect the Unique Visitors stats.