Very frankly, at this point, I don’t know what it is . . . other than being in the form of the Itza Maya Sky Serpent god. I just discovered it with LIDAR in 2022. The structure is an enormous earthwork created by carving a shape in the natural terrain then adding on fill dirt. It is roughly 2000 feet (609.6 m) north-south and 1200 feet (365.8 m) east-west. A reader informed me that in wintertime, it is clearly visible from an airplane, flying several thousand feet above. With the Upper Chattahoochee River Basin Terrain Model now complete, I can now start analyzing the structure’s geospatial characteristics.
by Richard L. Thornton, Architect & City Planner
Factual history or Native American mythology?
Keep in mind that these were legends created long before TV series such as “Star Trek” and “Star Gate” existed. Vague stories were passed down to me from my great-uncles and Uncle Hal about three places in Georgia where humanoid visitors from another galaxy would come and go. I never dreamed in a million years that in 2013, distinguished visitors to the Nacoochee Valley from other continents would seem to confirm Creek folklore.
My elders said that these visitors from another world were related to humans, but much taller and had larger brains. They were capable of mating with humans. The seven feet tall Great Suns of proto-Creek towns were supposedly descended from this hybridization. Supposedly, we members of the Wind Clan are the descendants of interstellar romances.
One star gate location was in Elbert County, near where my mother grew up . . . Elbert County, where the famous “Guide Stones” were located until being demolished last year. Another location was somewhere within Ocmulgee National Historical Park. I presume it was the spiral ramped “Lamar Mound.” The third location was somewhere in the Nacoochee Valley . . . where I live now. The three points form a perfect triangle.
According to the legend, priests of the Creek Wind Clan maintained the temples where the star gates were located. Some priests and leaders attempted to travel in these devices to the galaxy, where the tall humanoids lived. It was quite dangerous. There were some successful round trips, but also many cases where the voyagers returned mangled or even as an amorphous mass of flesh. Those who did survive the round trip described the appearance of the universe . . . an infinite space containing spiral galaxies and billions of stars. The symbol of the Wind Clan on this gorget reflects what they saw in space.
Sounds like science fiction, doesn’t it? Except . . . the intelligentsia of the new colony of Savannah were astounded that the Creek priests and leaders claimed that there were many planets like Earth on which human-like beings lived . . . and that the universe was composed of spiral galaxies. In 1733, astronomers in Europe were just beginning to see fuzzy galaxies and they did not realize that the Milky Way was part of the spirals of our own galaxy. Early Georgians were also puzzled that Creek land surveyors were more accurate than their British counterparts, because they knew an advanced type of mathematics (trigonometry) unknown to most Europeans. British surveyors used polar geometry, which was dependent on line of sight.
In March 2013, a team of European scientists set up sophisticated electronic equipment in the parking lot to the right of the Nacoochee Methodist Church sanctuary. They detected several gravitational vortex anomalies in the Nacoochee Valley. The largest or one of the largest was immediately next to them. None of us could figure out what in that flat field could be altering the earth’s magnetism. It obviously has some connection to the Sky Serpent Earthwork. The film crew eventually moved to this location to obtain a panoramic view of the invisible vortex’s location. We had no clue that the hill to the east of the Methodist church was actually a massive earthwork.
View of the Sky Serpent and Nacoochee Valley c. 1500 AD – looking eastward
Deja vu . . . ten years ago
In the spring of 2013, I was asked to be on the international cast of public television documentary, being filmed in March and May, which would examine the movements of peoples and cultivated crops across the Americas. I was the only Georgian on the cast, since Georgia anthropology professors refused to be on the program. We did have anthropologists from Canada, the southwestern United States, Latin America and Europe, however, plus scientists from Europe.
In addition, the cast included the Attorney General of the Republic of Paraguay, plus his lovely wife, a science professor. The distinguished gentleman had been designated by the United Nations to be chairman of a committee that would handle negotiations and treaties with any extraterrestrials, who contacted Earth. I thought that was odd, but the couple were absolutely charming and well-educated.
Before I became involved, the international team had already figured out something that Dixie anthropologists don’t seem to know. The Nacoochee Valley in Northeast Georgia was a crossroads of the Americas. The scientists believed that the seeds of tropical crops were first brought to sub-tropical gardens in South Florida or along the Gulf Coast. They were then adapted to a mild temperate climate in Ocmulgee Bottoms . . . now Ocmulgee National Historical Park. They were then adapted to colder climates in the Nacoochee, Hiwassee and Notteley River Valleys of Northeast Georgia, before being traded within the heart of eastern North America.
Throughout the Colonial Period and up to the early 1800s, the Georgia Mountains had much more severe winters than today. The Creek name for this region was the Snowy Mountains. The growing seasons were also cooler and shorter. A nearby farmer told me that his growing season has lengthened by over a month since 1993.
The European scientists brought along a van full electronics, including a magnetometer, which identified and analyzed gravity waves. I don’t know what that had to do with growing crops from other regions of the Americas, but their research revealed surprising results. Their equipment detected layer of what appears to be pure gold immediately over the bedrock in the valley. Secondly, they detected several major gravitational vortex anomalies . . . magnetic wave tornadoes.
I am not certain what that has to do with attracting traders and immigrants to a lovely valley in the Appalachian Mountains, but does suggest that it is a special place. Was it the gold and the magnetic tornadoes that attracted immigrants and perhaps residents of other worlds . . . if the legend is factual? Certainly the spiral-shaped Sky Serpent is of a scale to suggest that this WAS a very special place in earlier times. Time will tell, what is actually going on in my neck of the woods.
Humor and X-files
Political Asylum in Paraguay
While the cast was being interviewed near the Chattahoochee River bridge . . . looking northward toward the unseen Sky Serpent . . . a black pickup with dark tinted windows raced out of a private driveway on the south side of the river and stopped next to us. A young man in his twenties, dressed in black clothes, stepped out of the truck and imperially announced, “You must stop filming immediately and leave from here. You don’t have a permit from the US Forest Service.”
The US Forest Service had refused to issue filming permits for the Track Rock Terrace Complex in Georgia to the National Geographic Channel, PBS and History Channel because the North Carolina Cherokees told them that they did not want the burials of the ancestors to be filmed. The Cherokees had nothing to do with Track Rock Gap and in fact, the archaeological zone had been in the Creek Nation until 1795.
The film director politely informed the young man that this was not US Forest Service property and that she had been issued a filming permit from the State of Georgia, plus gotten permission from the county government, who maintained the road. He blurted back, “We’ll see about that.”
About 15 minutes later, the Neo-Nazi returned with a comrade driving a monster truck. The two miscreants revved their truck engines loudly, thinking that the sounds would scare away the the Libruls and Fureignurs. It didn’t. They eventually drove back to their compound.
Then a middle aged, White lady, dressed like a witch . . . complete with silver crescent moon necklace . . . drove up onto the set. She smiled and told us that we were wrong. The Mayas didn’t come to Georgia. All of these mounds were built by the Cherokees, who lived here for 10,000 years.
The film director smiled and responded, “Well, these scientists from around the world have determined that many peoples have come to the Nacoochee Valley. The Cherokees were merely the last to arrive.” The self-styled witch grimaced and drove away.
Actually, to date archaeologists have never found any evidence that ethnic Cherokees lived in the Nacoochee Valley. Evidently, the Cherokee Nation was given ownership to the valley from 1795 till 1821, but very few, if any real Cherokees lived there.
After filming was completed for the documentary the cast and film crew drove two miles northward to Helen, GA, where we dined at a German restaurant, adjacent to the Chattahoochee River. The handsome couple from Paraguay and the European scientists began talking about “the moon treaty.” I assumed that they meant a treaty between United Nations members for exploration of the moon.
Then the Paraguayan Attorney General told the Canadian anthropologist, “The treaty with the extraterrestrial base on the back side of the moon is almost complete. We will soon be going back to the moon!”
I didn’t know what to think. The couple from Paraguay were highly educated and looked like movie stars. She was 32 and a former beauty queen with a PhD. Yet . . . had I found myself in the company of an international clique of nutcases?
Then in May 2013, President Obama and NASA announced specific plans and a time schedule for the United States to establish a permanent base on the moon. I don’t think that it was any coincidence that the chairman of the UN Extraterrestrial Treaty Committee was in the United States in March 2013.
The Paraguayans switched to speaking Spanish with each other, not knowing that I could understand most of what they said. They were very concerned about my welfare. I needed to move away from that cabin near Dahlonega. There were many Reptilian extraterrestrials nearby. From their main base in Texas, the Reptilians had infested the Southern Appalachians with the help of traitors within the US Government and certain cults. She suggested that Paraguay was the safest place because their friends (friendly extraterrestrials?) could protect me. He agreed.
For those of you, who are Kornfuzed . . . Reptilians are supposedly a race of evil extraterrestrials, who are capable of making themselves invisible to humans, but who cannot hide from some animals, such as dogs. They are very weak physically and so use mind control to get humans to do their bidding. If actually real, the Judeo-Christian tradition of demonic possession may be based on these Reptilians.
The lovely senora then addressed me in English. She asked me if I had ever known a Latin American lady. I responded that actually my first two loves were brilliant Mexican senoritas in Mexico City and Tabasco.
The Tabasco senorita was now a highly respected anthropologist. Her parents had wanted us to marry from the day I met them, but for the next four years, our busy academic, romantic and then professional lives were always out of sync. It was back in the days before the internet, email and inexpensive, international long distance telephone service.
She then continued . . . “Richard, I have several friends my age at the university who are very pretty and and divorced. They would love to meet an interesting man like you. God blessed me by meeting my husband. Most Latin American men want slaves for wives, who are not well educated, but Luis loves me for my mind. (She actually had many other assets, Luis probably liked.) You are not safe here. Why don’t you move to Paraguay. Luis can give you political asylum today in writing.”
Nothing ever came of the surprising offer. I don’t think that they realized how poor I was. I couldn’t afford to drive to Atlanta and spend the night in a hotel, much less, fly to Paraguay.
A pirated version goes platinum
The preliminary version of the program was much better than America Unearthed. I never watched the finished documentary. Even though the program was filmed entirely in Georgia and South Carolina, Georgia Public Television didn’t broadcast the documentary because it mentioned the Mayas. Apparently, they had received complaints from some Georgia archaeologists, who made themselves to appear much more important and educated than they were in the real world.
North Carolina didn’t broadcast it, because of objections by the Cherokees. The director had interviewed the chief of a state-recognized tribe in South Carolina. Apparently, the Cherokees either didn’t like South Carolina Native Americans or they thought that only federally-recognized Indian tribes should appear on television. The documentary was broadcast in South Carolina, Florida and Alabama. I don’t know what happened elsewhere in the nation.
In 2014, a graduate student at UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) emailed me with a request to use several of my virtual reality images in his doctoral dissertation, but he didn’t have money to pay royalties. I wrote back that as kind as the people of Mexico had been to me, I would be delighted to furnish the images free, as long as he gave me credit for them. He agreed.
However, what he actually did was somehow get a digital copy of the 2013 documentary, filmed in Georgia. He rearranged the sections of the program . . . deleted some interviews . . . inserted my images and videos of Maya farmers. He dubbed the interviews with most of the speakers into Spanish. He had the South Carolina Indian chief and I speaking Maya, with Spanish subtitles. He called the film, “Los mayas en América del Norte.”
The UNAM student, who feigned poverty, made a fortune off his dissertation. It was very popular throughout Latin America and still can be seen on many public TV networks in Spanish-speaking nations.
By 2018, Los mayas en América del Norte had crossed the Atlantic Ocean. Television viewers in member nations of the European Union can watch public TV networks in other member nations. Vivi, my French soulmate from long ago, watched it on TVE Internacional (the Spanish public TV network) in the spring of 2019. One of her grandmothers was a Tamulte Maya from Mexico. Because I was dubbed to be speaking Maya, at first she did not realize it was me. Then one of the characters said the words “Architect Richard Thornton” and Vivi literally had a temporary nervous breakdown. She thought that I had been murdered in April 1993.
The Spanish-language program did not have any information from which she could track me down. She tried searching online, but there were many Richard Thorntons in Virginia, Washington, DC, West Virginia and Maryland. It didn’t dawn on her that I might be living in Georgia.
Eventually Vivi stumbled upon the TV premier of American Unearthed on the History Channel. Because Direction générale de la Sécurité intérieure still had my Social Security number from a background check the afternoon after Vivi and I first met in December 1990, the French Embassy in Washington, DC was able to utilize information furnished by the History Channel to pinpoint my current address. Her first letter came from an inn at a town with the same name as her favorite goat cheese that I once made.
As for the extraterrestrials? I am beginning to think that the two “Men In Black” movies included extraterrestrials with bizarre appearances, so viewers would think that these films were Science Fiction. The Truth is out there somewhere!