Mitchell-Hedges Crystal Skull Mystery
The account of
the finding of the world-famous crystal skull in the Mayan city
of Lubaantun was a cover story to hide the truth about how explorer
Mike Mitchell-Hedges actually acquired it.
official story of the discovery
major finds have a known date of discovery. In the case of the
Mitchell-Hedges crystal skull, that is not so, although new information
has now come to light. The skull’s owner, the English adventurer
Frederick A. “Mike” Mitchell-Hedges, writes in his
autobiography: “How it came into my possession I have reason
for not revealing” – and he never did.
Mike’s secrecy was not shared by his adopted daughter, Anna,
who inherited the skull from her father upon his death in 1959.
She would state that it was she who found it, in the Mayan city
of Lubaantun (in British Honduras/Belize), on the occasion of
her 17th birthday (1 January 1924). If true, it begs the question
as to why her father was so reluctant to reveal this rather mundane
and innocent discovery.
The “Lubaantun version” has become the most accepted
and widely quoted story. The place of its alleged discovery, Lubaantun,
is not the most famous of Mayan ruins, if only because it is off
the common tourist route. Its name means “place of the fallen
stones” and its location was first reported to the British
colonial authority at the end of the 19th century. In 1903, the
governor of British Honduras instructed Dr Thomas Gann to survey
the site. Gann’s conclusion was that Lubaantun had been
a major site within the Mayan empire.
The next series of excavations occurred in 1915, led by Harvard
University professor R. Merwin. He uncovered three memorial stones,
showing men playing the ballgame, and also uncovered the court
in which the ballgame was played.
Gann returned for a new round of excavations in 1924, accompanied
by F. A. Mitchell-Hedges, his daughter Anna and Lady Richardson-Brown,
his companion and financier. The account goes that despite two
previous series of excavations, Anna was nevertheless able to
find the top part of the crystal skull in what seemed to be an
altar. Three months later, the jawbone was discovered nearby.
Despite Anna Mitchell-Hedges’s repeatedly telling this story
(often with minor but nevertheless important variations), several
researchers could not believe her version. Hence, some argued
that Mitchell-Hedges had discovered the skull some time before
and had hidden it for Anna to find on her 17th birthday. Other
accounts argue that Anna did not find the skull at all, while
another account relates that the local population became close
to hysterical when the skull was shown to them.
Alice Bryant and Phyllis Galde in The Message of the Crystal Skull
(1989) report that the local Mayan people began to dance while
others worshipped the skull as a relic. In no time, an altar was
erected on which the skull was placed. Allegedly – once
again – the local workforce stopped all further excavations
for a period of three days for feasting. Apparently, the locals’
veneration of the skull left Mitchell-Hedges confused, not knowing
how to behave and what to do. It seems that he even offered the
skull as a present to the local people, provided they returned
to their excavation work – which suggests he did not think
too highly of the monetary value of the skull or he placed the
welfare of the expedition and the local people above any financial
gain. Allegedly, the workmen agreed and returned the following
If this account is correct, then not only was Mitchell-Hedges
silent about this discovery: all of the other people on the expedition
remained equally silent, including Dr Thomas Gann. Upon his return,
Gann left a detailed account of his travels. This publication
is intriguing, if only because none of the photographs shows Anna,
which some have suggested means she was not even in Lubaantun
as claimed. For sure, travelling in those regions with a 17-year-old
daughter was not customary but not necessarily extraordinary either,
seeing her dad was a famous explorer and, unlike most, knew where
true danger stalked. But what is most remarkable is that Gann’s
account does not mention anything about the discovery of a crystal
skull – a unique artefact, regardless of whether they felt
it was highly prized or not. Gann was not the only one not to
speak of the skull’s discovery: neither did the other members
such as Lady Richmond-Brown or Captain Joyce, each of whom left
an account of the expedition. Questioned about this problem, Anna
Mitchell-Hedges replied that Captain Joyce knew the entire story
of the skull but refused to tell anyone – just like her
There is one good reason – seldom quoted – as to why
Gann would remain silent about such a discovery. If the skull
had been found during this excavation, ownership would immediately
have gone to the expedition’s financiers, and Mitchell-Hedges
would never have been able to retain this artefact. But though
this might explain Gann’s silence in the 1920s, the questions
remain: what is so controversial about the discovery of this skull
on Anna’s 17th birthday, and why did Mitchell-Hedges three
decades later still refuse to tell?
possession of the crystal skull
get a proper understanding of why there was this apparent need
for secrecy, we need to turn to Mike Mitchell-Hedges himself.
A little-known fact is that the skull is referenced in Danger
My Ally, Mitchell-Hedges’s autobiography – but only
in the UK edition. Indeed, in the UK edition, published by Elek
Books Ltd, London, in 1954, there are a scant 13 lines dedicated
to the skull, which were later removed from the American edition,
published by Little, Brown & Co. in 1955. The all-important
question is why these lines were removed. Observers have noted
that, if anything, the US publisher would have requested the author
to enlarge upon it rather than delete it.
Let us first look to the UK edition, which has a chapter titled
“The Skull of Doom and a Bomb”. It contains a full-page
picture of the skull, and Mitchell-Hedges adds: “We took
with us [to Africa in 1948] also the sinister Skull of Doom of
which much has been written. How it came into my possession I
have reason for not revealing.
“The Skull of Doom is made of pure rock crystal and according
to scientists it must have taken 150 years, generation after generation
working all days of their lives, patiently rubbing down with sand
an immense block of rock crystal until the perfect Skull emerged.
“It is at least 3,600 years old and according to legend
was used by the High Priest of the Maya when performing esoteric
rites. It is said that when he willed death with the help of the
skull, death invariably followed. It has been described as the
embodiment of all evil. I do not wish to try and explain this
There is at first sight nothing too controversial as to why these
few paragraphs should be deleted from the US edition, except for
one detail: as Mitchell-Hedges had always said, he would not reveal
how he acquired the skull: “How it came into my possession
I have reason for not revealing.” For any publisher, and
especially its legal department, this sentence was a red flag
and the US publisher no doubt decided to enquire with the author
as to why he did not want to reveal such details. No doubt upon
learning the facts, they subsequently decided to remove the entire
section so that no questions would be asked and so that problems
for the publisher, and specifically the author, could be evaded.
The controversy over its origin has led sceptics to argue that
Mitchell-Hedges only acquired the skull in 1943 from an auction
at Sotheby’s in London. As is usual, the sceptics have reduced
a complex account to a very saleable theory, neglecting certain
important aspects that speak against it.
The skull was known to be in the possession of Sydney Burney,
an old school friend of Mitchell-Hedges, in 1936, when the journal
Man featured two articles on it in its July edition (vol. 36).
The first article, written by Dr G. M. Morant, titled “Morphological
Comparison of Two Crystal Skulls” (pages 105–107),
is followed by Adrian Digby’s “Comments on the Morphological
Comparison of Two Crystal Skulls” (pages 107–109).
In the article, Digby notes that he could not find any history
of the skull prior to January 1934, but that in 1936 it was in
the possession of Burney.
Whether Burney “owned” the skull or was merely looking
after it for Mitchell-Hedges is not highlighted in the article.
What is known is that Burney kept it until 1943, when it was put
up for auction at Sotheby’s by Burney’s son. In the
auction catalogue for 15 October, it is listed as item 54: “a
superb life-size crystal carving of a human skull”, length
174 mm, and described thus: “the lower jaw separate, the
details are correctly rendered and the carver has given the orbits,
zygomatic arches and mastoid processes the similitude of their
natural forms, glabellar-occipital”. It refers to the fact
that “this magnificent skull” was the subject of “an
interesting article” in Man in July 1936. Mitchell-Hedges
apparently acquired it for £400 (Sotheby’s has lost
the details of the sale), and in his letter dated 22 December
1943 to his brother, he mentions: “You possibly saw in the
papers that I have actually acquired a Crystal Skull formerly
in the Sydney Burney collection.”
The auctioning of the skull that would be valued at more than
$500,000 by the mid-1970s is a curious episode in its history.
For sceptics, it is all the evidence they need that both father
and daughter lied about how the skull arrived in their possession.
But why would Mitchell-Hedges have tried to cover up that he bought
the skull at a public auction, instead claiming that he would
never reveal how he acquired it?
Legal experts have noted that, under contemporary law, by purchasing
the skull at auction there could be no contest over its ownership:
Mitchell-Hedges was the rightful owner, regardless of how he acquired
it. Hence, the true importance of the auction might have been
totally missed by the sceptics. It is true that Mitchell-Hedges
began to speak about the skull only in the late 1940s, but, rather
than this being evidence that he acquired it in 1943, it might
be evidence that from 1943 onwards he felt
liberated and able to speak openly about it, knowing that he now
legally possessed it and no one could take it away from him.
Furthermore, the sceptics have failed to address – let alone
answer – how Burney gained possession of the skull. Digby,
in 1936, said he did not know and all he could do was trace the
possession of the skull back to January 1934 – a decade
after Anna Mitchell-Hedges allegedly found it in Lubaantun. Anna
Mitchell-Hedges (who died in 2007) always maintained that Burney
only had the skull on loan from her father until he could pay
off a debt he owed Burney. The sceptics’ argument –
“If it was indeed a loan, why didn’t he just pay it
back?” – doesn’t work because, even if it was
a sale, Mitchell-Hedges could have arranged this directly with
his friend rather than buy the skull through auction.
According to Anna Mitchell-Hedges, what really happened was that
Burney had inexplicably put the crystal skull up for auction.
Unable to contact Burney, Mike arose the next day at 5.00 am and
travelled to London to retrieve his property. Sotheby’s
informed him that the vendor was Sydney Burney’s son; and
when they refused to withdraw the item from sale, Mitchell-Hedges
realised that the easiest way of regaining his property was to
purchase it back. In this scenario, the fact that the auction
filled the legal loophole of ironing out the ownership of the
skull is incidental. However, probably the best evidence that
Mitchell-Hedges possessed the skull prior to 1943 comes from Patsy
Wilcox, owner of the guest house “The Watchers” in
Polperro, Cornwall, who in a 1999 interview stated that in the
early 1930s Mitchell-Hedges and his daughter stayed at the house
for several months and had in their possession a most unusual
crystal skull, which they kept in a cupboard in one of the rooms
Let us therefore assume, as a working hypothesis, that Mitchell-Hedges
obtained the skull at some point before the 1943 auction –
as he himself claimed. The question then still remains: how? We
know that he never wanted to reveal how he got the skull –
which by default means there is some aspect involved that would
be hard to explain.
Mitchell-Hedges a spy?
analysis of his autobiography reveals – very much like a
polygraph test – one area of his life which Mitchell-Hedges
lied about. He states how in 1913, when working for Mike Meyerowitz,
a diamond merchant in New York, he announced that he was leaving
for Mexico. By November 1913, he had finally made it to a tiny
village a few miles inside the Mexican border, where he was taken
captive by General Pancho Villa’s troops on suspicion of
espionage and taken to the general himself.
This account suggests that Mitchell-Hedges must have been one
of the most unfortunate men ever. But his fortune soon changed,
for the general believed Mitchell-Hedges when he said he was not
a spy. Indeed, next he became a member of Villa’s army,
for a period of 10 months.
Already the story is somewhat unbelievable, but some people do
have a run of bad luck and Mitchell-Hedges may have suffered from
a form of Stockholm syndrome. Then again – thinking the
impossible – could he have gone to Mexico to be captured
and to spend as much time, as closely as possible, with the great
Mexican revolutionary? All this would require is to accept that
Mitchell-Hedges was not a man out for adventure – an Indiana
Jones – but, instead, a James Bond, sent by his government
to provide an insider’s perspective on the Mexican Revolution.
Analysts have argued that during this period Mitchell-Hedges was
lying – a prime attribute for any intelligence operative.
Villa fought 15 battles while Mitchell-Hedges was allegedly with
him, yet in Danger My Ally not one of these campaigns is mentioned.
Why leave out details of events with which his readership would
have been more than impressed?
Still, everyone is agreed that Mitchell-Hedges was truthful when
he said that he had personally known Villa, a conclusion based
on his assessment of the general in his book. Mitchell-Hedges
does mention one battle, a dawn attack on Laredo, Texas, whereby
Mitchell-Hedges personally saved Villa and his men. However, the
entire incident is a lie: there never was a battle at Laredo.
So why did Mitchell-Hedges make this false claim, which anyone
could quickly discredit and prove he was a liar? As to how he
left Villa’s army, there sits another lie. In the chapter
of his autobiography titled “Pancho Villa’s Prisoner”,
Mitchell-Hedges writes: “So willynilly, I had no choice;
but as the weeks slipped by my position grew more desperate. The
United States Government at last took decisive action and General
Pershing marched to the frontier of Mexico with 60,000 troops
[most sources refer to only 12,000 troops]. I knew I could never
take part in any direct military action against the Americans...”
However logical and understandable, Pershing never marched on
the border in 1914 when Mitchell-Hedges was there. This march
occurred in 1916, long after Mitchell-Hedges had left for home.
In conclusion, there is general acceptance that Mitchell-Hedges
did know Villa, but that he had – or chose – to lie
about how precisely he knew Villa. Why? To this, we need to add
that Mitchell-Hedges was back in England in 1914, and in 1915
he took the ship for New York and on the first night of the voyage
he saw none other than Meyerowitz on board! Once again, Mitchell-Hedges
told him he wanted to go to Central America, but Meyerowitz convinced
him to stay in New York as his employee.
As such, by 1915 Mitchell-Hedges was back where he was two years
before, as if the Mexican adventure had never happened –
which for some sceptics might indeed be the conclusion they want
to accept. But the notion that Mitchell-Hedges was a spy is not
idle speculation. Once back in New York, Meyerowitz introduced
Mitchell-Hedges to Lieb Bronstein – i.e., Leon Trotsky.
The two moved in together, as Bronstein was in financial difficulty.
In the chapter titled “The Man from the East Side”
in his autobiography, Mitchell-Hedges writes: “One day towards
the end of 1919, while I was on a short holiday in England, I
received a mysterious letter on Government notepaper, marked ‘Very
Secret’, asking me to call on Sir Basil Thompson, Chief
of the Intelligence Service, at my earliest convenience. Curious,
I dropped in next day.” Mitchell-Hedges was asked to go
to Russia because he knew Trotsky, but Mitchell-Hedges said he
refused. Though he seems to have declined this specific mission,
his autobiography is nevertheless hazy as to what happened afterwards,
so it is possible he did actually go – and that this may
not have been his first mission. After monitoring the Mexican
Revolution, either as an individual or an employee of His Majesty’s
Secret Service, he was definitely asked to observe the Russian
Revolution. Furthermore, what are we to make of his repeated “short
holiday[s] in England”? Could they have been debriefings
His Mexican odyssey becomes even more intriguing when we note
that Mitchell-Hedges seems to have decided to exclude an important
name from his autobiography: Ambrose Bierce. What our adventurer
failed to mention was that when he joined Villa and stayed close
to this leader in November 1913, that same month Villa also met
Bierce, who joined his command as “an observer” and
also stayed close to the general. This means that Bierce and Mitchell-Hedges
must have met.
Bierce was a notorious writer and it is strange that Mitchell-Hedges
did not name-drop him, either in his autobiography or anywhere
else. But that is not all: Bierce disappeared under mysterious
circumstances shortly afterwards, and at one point the theories
about his death became almost as popular as those concerning John
F. Kennedy’s assassination or Princess Diana’s death
and resulted in a series of books being written on the subject.
What we do know is that there is no trace of Bierce after a 26
December letter from Chihuahua, when he was with Villa’s
army. It is believed that he might have been killed at the siege
of Ojinaga on 11 January 1914, but various other scenarios, all
equally without any confirmation, have been floated about. But
by his own account, Mitchell-Hedges was in Villa’s inner
circle and would have been able to present an eyewitness account
of Bierce’s disappearance. It would have been a major selling-point
for his autobiography, yet once again Mitchell-Hedges opted for
To make matters even more interesting, Ambrose Bierce decided
to leave for Mexico in the summer of 1913 – the same time
that Mitchell-Hedges left. In October 1913, Bierce was in New
Orleans, where Mitchell-Hedges was, too – working as a waiter,
allegedly trying to get the necessary funds to reach Mexico. The
latter’s choice of using waiting to get money is quite remarkable,
for Mitchell-Hedges was known to be a top poker player who would
have been able to win whatever amount he required much faster
that way than by waiting tables – unless, of course, his
profile for going into Mexico had to be less James Bond–like.
Finally, what are we to make of Bierce when he wrote in a letter
dated 13 September 1913 to Mrs J. C. McCrackin, a longtime friend:
“Yes, I shall go into Mexico with a pretty definite purpose,
which, however, is not at present disclosable.” Was Bierce,
too, on an intelligence mission – as some have concluded
– or was he looking after something else? Bierce, apart
from being a notorious journalist and writer, was also known to
be interested in magic. Mexico, of course, was replete with shamans
and magical rites, there to be studied, as Gordon Wasson and several
others would continue to do well into the 20th century.
One author, Sibley S. Morrill, in Ambrose Bierce, F. A.Mitchell-Hedges,
and the Crystal Skull (1972), has underlined the period of late
1913 to 1914, when Mitchell-Hedges was with Villa, as the likeliest
time when he acquired the crystal skull. He added, without providing
further details, that “some high officials of the Mexican
Government are of the unofficial opinion that the skull was acquired
by Mitchell-Hedges in Mexico” and that it was illegally
removed from the country.
This scenario could explain why Mitchell-Hedges never said how
he’d obtained the skull, as well as why his daughter might
have felt it prudent to relocate the place of the skull’s
discovery to a different country – British Honduras/Belize.
But it would also imply that Mitchell-Hedges acquired the skull
at a time when Bierce disappeared. Indeed, it is remarkable that
no one ever asked Mitchell-Hedges whether he knew how Bierce had
disappeared, but perhaps the obvious reason why not lies in his
autobiography, written late in life, which may have stopped most
readers from putting two and two together before he died.
The possibility that Mitchell-Hedges acquired the skull in Mexico
is the most logical conclusion – if only because it fits
in with a period about which he lied and with his reluctance to
reveal the circumstances of its acquisition. The likely scenario
would thus be that as Villa’s troops often ransacked villages
and large farms and traded with local people, someone might have
sold or given it to Villa and his troops – and/or to Mitchell-Hedges.
This scenario would tally well with why Mitchell-Hedges would
never reveal the truth and realised he needed the 1943 auction
scenario to establish ownership, as well as with Morrill’s
information from Mexican officials as to the origin of the skull.
But, again, the most logical scenario seems to have been surpassed
by an even more spectacular truth.
in The White Tiger
Da Vinci Code is a novel that many people have taken as fact;
but sometimes authors use (or have had to use) fiction to convey
material they know they could not reveal in a nonfictional format.
What is little known is that Mitchell-Hedges wrote a novel, The
White Tiger, published in 1931, which tackles the subject of crystal
The novel is about “White Tiger”, the leader of the
Mexican Indians, who turns out to be an Englishman who was unhappy
with his existence in England and left for Mexico. Early on in
the novel, the main character argues that he met White Tiger when
he had discussions with the Mexican president, at which time the
chief left him his diary which he then published as this novel,
though changing certain locations mentioned in the diary.
The most interesting part of the book is when White Tiger recounts
how he was elected leader of the Indians – a position that
required an initiation which involved being shown the lost treasure
of the Aztecs in a lost city of pyramids. White Tiger, now their
king, is shown the treasure, which includes “crystal heads”
– plural – hidden in an underground cave complex:
“The climax however was yet to come. As they passed into
the temple, the priest impressively led him to one of the massive
walls, placing his hand in a certain manner upon what appeared
to be a solid block of stone. At his touch it rolled slowly back,
disclosing a flight of steps down which they passed. A lamp which
the priest carried flung weird patches of light into the darkness.
On and on down countless steps – into the very bowels of
the earth until again the priest pressed the apparently solid
rock barring their progress. With scarcely a sound the stone block
turned as easily as if on oiled hinges and before them yawned
a long tunnel. Passing through this they descended another flight
of steps. For a third time the priest touched the wall and a huge
stone rolled aside. Then in the dim light of the lantern the White
Tiger saw that he was in an immense vault cut out of the living
“Before him, piled in endless confusion, lay the treasure
of the Aztecs.
“Gold chalices, bowls, jars and other vessels of every size
and shape; immense plaques and strange ornaments all glittered
dully. Of precious stones there were none, but many rare chalchihuitl
(jadeite pendants) [sic]. Masks of obsidian and shells beautifully
inlaid were all heaped together with heads carved from solid blocks
of crystal. Legend had not exaggerated the treasure of the Aztecs.
Almost boundless wealth lay at the disposal of the White Tiger.
“Bloodshed, rape and sickening torture, that the wretched
Aztecs had undergone at the hands of the Spanish Conquistadores,
had failed to wring from them this secret hiding-place. True to
the oath which had they had sworn to their gods they had died
rather than that their hated conquerors should benefit [sic].
“With this vast fortune a man could rise to any height,
indulge in any luxury, purchase any title, and become one of the
exalted of the earth. But the Indians judged, and rightly, that
to the White Lord these things were of no account, and that only
for their regeneration would this treasure be used.”
Within this one passage, we find a set of circumstances –
almost corresponding scene by scene to the opening sequence of
the film Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark –
that provide a reasonable framework as to how Mitchell-Hedges
found (or was given) the crystal skull, and why he would never
speak about the circumstances in which he had found it. Indeed,
within the novel, we find a motive as to why Anna Mitchell-Hedges
might have found it prudent to move the location of the discovery
of the skull from Mexico to British Honduras: the main character
of The White Tiger argues that he, too, changed certain locations
in his novel. Changing locations is an often-used method to discourage
people from following the trail – and finding the truth.
Finally, one of the rumours that circulate around the skull is
that the then Mexican president, Porfirio Díaz, owned a
secret cache of treasures, amongst which were two crystal skulls
that found their way to Pancho Villa. It is even said that he
had two of these skulls on his desk. Though the rumour has never
been validated, it is a remarkable story for the very reason that
The White Tiger opens inside the Mexican president’s office,
where the main character meets White Tiger. Noting that later
on in The White Tiger he is the one who sees crystal skulls inside
a cave complex, we can only wonder whether the rumour, the novel
and the truth might not go hand in hand.
Remarkably, Morrill at no point refers to the novel The White
Tiger, though it seems he is familiar with it. Furthermore, some
aspects of Morrill’s published conclusions only make sense
when placed within the novel’s framework. For example, Morrill
highlights that Mitchell-Hedges often left behind the expedition
parties of which he was a member and trekked into the jungle.
Morrill then speculates he went in search of a cave. Though such
a conclusion is totally unwarranted based on the evidence Morrill
presents on the specific topic, such “speculation”
makes perfect sense when placed within the framework of The White
Tiger: Mitchell-Hedges, perhaps using White Tiger’s diary,
went in search of this cave containing this phenomenal treasure
and may have found it – and its “crystal heads”.
What sceptics hate about Mitchell-Hedges is that he was passionate
to explore and find evidence of a lost civilisation that he was
convinced had existed. Certainly, of all artefacts in existence,
the crystal skull is by far the best evidence that our ancestors
possessed knowledge and ability far in excess of what archaeologists
– definitely in the first half of the 20th century –
were willing to grant to the “primitive Indians”.
Today, it is slowly emerging that the “primitive Indians”
were far more developed than previously accepted, and are now
credited with expert knowledge of plants and medicinal applications
as well as farming techniques that included an ingenious method
of fertilising the soil to become richer in carbon – the
resultant soil known as terra preta. It is now also accepted that
they were expert metalworkers – and revelations of their
crystal-working techniques may well be found in the not-too-distant
future. Either way, whether evidence of a lost civilisation or
of indigenous craftsmanship, the skull contains an interesting
contradiction in that Mitchell-Hedges walked away with the artefact
but would never be able to tell how he acquired it – perhaps
because he had been sworn to secrecy.
So who was White Tiger? There is the possibility that the character
was – or was meant to be – Mitchell-Hedges himself,
but it somehow is less likely. Though Mitchell-Hedges spent time
in Central America, he was not sufficiently integrated to be seen
by the Indians as their leader. But it is entirely possible that
another Englishman had done so before, and that this “English
king” spoke about his adventures to fellow expat Mitchell-Hedges
when their paths crossed.
There is one final step to make – and perhaps it is one
step too far, but one which we can nevertheless not leave unmentioned.
Though The White Tiger is in part autobiographical, it is clear
that Mitchell-Hedges wrote a bit of himself into several of the
characters – including White Tiger.
White Tiger is a man who disappeared and became the leader of
the Mexican Indians. Mitchell-Hedges allegedly did know a man
who had disappeared: Ambrose Bierce. Did he disappear to become
a local leader? As outrageous as this may sound, Bierce, unlike
Mitchell-Hedges, must have had inroads with the local Indians
as he was a wellversed magician and thus could easily have become
their shamanic leader. Even if Bierce “only” wanted
to experience the knowledge of the Mexican Indians – like
Gordon Wasson and so many others after him – here, too,
we have found a possible clue as to why Mitchell-Hedges chose
to stay silent about Bierce’s disappearance.
The quest for true knowledge should always take precedence over
any bragging rights or ego-enhancement. Like Indiana Jones, Mitchell-Hedges
may have come upon a forgotten Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls but,
unlike in the film Raiders of the Lost Ark, was able to bring
it out into the open and give the world an artefact that continues
to intrigue mankind.
article appeared in Nexus Magazine, Volume 15, Number 4 (June
- July 2008) and as a two-part article in Legendary Times, Vol.
9, No. 3&4 and Vol. 10, No. 1&2.