More Secrets of Tiwanaku

Prediluvian Tunnels and the Atlantis Connection

Could the intact body of a prediluvian king have been discovered in an underground room beneath the ancient and sacred Akapana Pyramid in Tiwanaku, Bolivia? Though no mainstream news reports have made it official yet, one of the most respected archaeologists in Bolivia has confirmed directly to this reporter that, strange as it may sound, the story is true.

I had become accustomed to the thin mountain air near Lake Titicaca, but the legends of Bolivia’s Andean plateau continued to leave me breathless. Accompanied by a Bolivian archaeologist of great experience, I was following the footsteps of Viracocha, the ancient bearer of wisdom who, at the beginning of time, left his cultural footprints on these elevated lands. We were walking among the mysterious ruins of Tiwanaku, the very ancient sacred center of the pre-Columbian world, where many alternative researchers—including myself—believe that Viracocha, himself one of the last Atlanteans, began his Andean wanderings.

The ‘archaeologist’ [whose name is withheld for reasons that will soon become clear —ED] had already proved very receptive to such notions, declaring openly his conviction that indeed these places were much older than is maintained by mainstream archaeology. The orthodox notion, for example, of Tiwanku’s origins in the third century BC, he argued, is nonsense. Civilization in these places, he said, flourished long before Viracocha arrived, and began to lay the foundations for what would become the center from which advanced knowledge would emanate to South America. The ‘archaeologist’ took seriously, however, local myths, which he viewed as essential to understanding the genesis of Tiwanaku.

Recent underwater discoveries in Lake Titicaca reported during a 2004 expedition ( include a hundred-meters-deep sacred structure, and a 40-kilometers-long wall, indicating the great and early advancement of the place, at least 5,000 years before the Inca civilization, now credited with its creation.


An even more interesting discovery, however, came to light in 2006, when tunnels were found under the nearby Akapana Pyramid, raising the prospect of even deeper exploration. In 2008, I had published an article in the first issue of my Italian magazine FENIX, in which these extraordinary discoveries were revealed, along with detailed photographs.

Why those tunnels? I asked. Did this expert think there really is a room under the Akapana, as suggested by carvings found on the iconic Gate of the Sun at Lake Titicaca? My question was prompted by the fact that a colleague of the archaeologist, the respected Oswaldo Rivera, former head of the National Institute of Archaeological Research (INAR) in Bolivia, had given me, in 2005, an interview on evidence drawn from friezes at Lake Titicaca’s Gate of the Sun suggesting the presence of hidden chambers. Rivera had been corroborated when, a decade later, tunnels were found in the Akakor Expedition to Lake Titicaca.

In Graham Hancock’s book Heaven’s Mirror, Rivera also stated that he would soon unearth the intact burial chamber, which he believed to be located beneath the Akapana. Rivera’s case was based on the Gate of the Sun, in which a three-level staircase pyramid appears to have a chamber with a kind of snake and eight access galleries.



A King in a Crystal

With this in mind, I wondered if the tunnels could explain the theory of the tomb chamber advanced by Rivera for the last two decades—but not yet verified—as well as the century-old hypothesis of very remote antiquity for the place. And, if this chamber really existed, what might we find within it? To my surprise, our expert suddenly volunteered to me and our traveling group: “Those tunnels can be physically explored [but only] up to a certain point, because the innermost structures have collapsed and prevent any access to the deeper side. So we put fiber optic cameras inside the tunnels, finding out that they lead to an underground chamber that we filmed.”

My ‘spider sense’ tingled. This professional archaeologist was now confiding—and was about to describe in extraordinary terms—things I had long believed. “The room is a burial environment.” He explained, “Its walls are covered with gold leaf, and in the middle, there is a stone altar. On the altar lies the body of an individual, perhaps an ancient sovereign of Tiwanaku or [its] founder, fully dressed. But the extraordinary thing is that this man’s body is incorrupt, as if he had died today, and is kept inside an enormous transparent crystal, or so it seems.”

I was startled, a respected professional archaeologist was apparently repudiating the conventional wisdom that he was duty-bound to follow, and confiding in me, what must be very sensitive and secret information, and in language almost like that of a science fiction novel.

“An incorrupt body in a transparent crystal?” I asked to confirm that I had correctly understood. “Yes Adriano,” he answered, “I am in possession of the images and this fact, as you can imagine, changes everything.”

Of course, that would change everything, and it would also show that we alternative researchers are not simply imagining, but that Tiwanaku is what remains of a remote civilization lost and forgotten by time. There was no known civilization in Earth’s past that placed its rulers inside crystals that preserved their bodies from biological decomposition. In China, some bodies, like the Lady of Dai, have been found preserved in a liquid…but in a crystal? It is really beyond imagination. In short, our respected archaeologist had dropped a real bomb, virtually bringing Atlantis from mere fancy to history, physically placing it in Tiwanaku.

“Do you realize what you’re telling me?” I asked. “That you and [your team], working here, are in possession of the final proof to destroy the whole building on which the accepted paradigm of the human civilization is based, and that, we scholars, who have questioned orthodoxy, have always been right. You have found an uncorrupted individual locked in a crystal, perhaps a prediluvian king, what the Aymaras would still call a demigod. It’s the smoking gun we’ve always been looking for.”

The ‘archaeologist’ smiled and with the same confidence with which he had just lifted me to the seventh heaven replied: “Yes, but if you write or talk of this discovery, if questions come to me on this topic, I will deny everything and I will deny anyone else is aware. It is also a choice aimed at preserving that place from the grave robbers.”

Luckily, though, I was not alone. Witnesses to this extraordinary conversation included about twenty FENIX readers who had listened to every word spoken by the archaeologist during our visit to Tiwanaku. I thought it only right to publish what had been confided, because intellectual honesty requires no less, especially considering that for 20 years I have been working toward this end and that, for more than a century, other researchers have followed the tracks of this civilization lost in myth, identifying Tiwanaku as its direct expression.


The Buried Pyramid

I also believe that extraordinary news, coming directly from the Bolivian government, in March 2015, by way of an official press release, concerning the discovery of another pyramid that lies completely underground in Tiwanaku, is linked to what I had been told off the record.

Here is the text:

“The Bolivian government has announced that this year it will begin a series of exploratory excavations at the ancient fortress of Tiwanaku, after detecting the presence on the site of a buried pyramid. Ludwing Cayo, director of the Tiwanaku Archaeological Research Center (CIAAAT) said that the formation is located in the Kantatallita area, toward east of the Akapana Pyramid. In a presentation to the media, Cayo outlined a five-year period of excavations for further research in the archaeological site, 71 kilometers west of La Paz, which was the cradle of an ancient civilization aprior to the Incas. Excavations may start in May or June, based on the timing of cooperation agreements with foreign universities and institutes, involving the participation of experts in forensic archaeology. Apart from the pyramid, ground penetration radars have detected ‘a series of subterranean anomalies’ that could be monoliths, but these findings require a more detailed analysis.”


I wonder, at this point, what officials really will find, given the information we now possess that would suggest that this place is what remains of an “Atlantean” empire. If 90% of Tiwanaku is still waiting to be excavated and the parts we know of are already capable of rewriting the history of civilization, I suspect that we may already know much of what will be found, but that we may have to rely on random and unforeseen confidences.

In fact, something like this may have happened, even more recently. The main ‘Atlantean’ clues in the Tiwanaku structures must include those found at Puma Punku, a pyramid even more impressive and megalithic than the Akapana, with three or four stepped levels. In 2012 a team of archaeologists led by Domingo Mendoza, using underground radar, announced discovery of a major anomaly beneath the building. Archaeologists thought it was an artificial chamber, probably a tomb.


All these discoveries are supported by the local myths and ancient legends of Bolivian tribes and are associated with a great cataclysm comparable to the Great Flood and the legendary destruction of Atlantis. Inca legends narrate that Tiwanaku was erected in one night by the local ‘Noah,’ a shepherd saved from the waters of a frightful flood. It’s no coincidence that in recent years, Bolivia and Lake Titicaca have been the object of investigations by explorers such as John Blashford-Snell and J.M. Allen.

[In Atlantis Rising #28, July/August, 2001, Allen, an author and television Learning Channel producer, argued that the Bolivian altiplano closely matches Plato’s description of Atlantis.—ED.]

Theories that link South America to Atlantis are not new. Since the time of Francis Bacon many have believed that Amerindians were, themselves, Atlanteans. Worthy of attention are studies carried out by controversial American ethnologist, L. Taylor-Hansen who, in 1919, visited an Ojibwe tribe in Arizona. The ethnologist wrote that she showed photographs of Egyptian paintings to the Indians who immediately recognized in them a mythological divinity, “The Lord of the flame and the light.” to whom their ritual dance was dedicated. Taylor-Hansen hinted at Tiwanaku, and the Indians recognized in that faraway place, the legendary center of an ancient submerged homeland. Without ever having seen it, they described the statue of a bearded white god with a trident in his hand. The description could be Viracocha, but it could also be the Mediterranean Poseidon, to whom Plato said Atlantis was consecrated.

In a native essay provided to Taylor-Hansen, is a story said to be passed down for countless generations: “long before the flood our country was the heart of the world, then the God in his fury overthrew fire and death on terrified people. In one day our homeland was erased forever by the fury of the waves. The surviving people fled away, then the ocean withdrew and we no longer saw the sea.” That is the ‘legend’, but the ‘fact’ is that Tiwanaku today is more than three kilometers above sea level. The area, including Lake Titicaca, is reportedly dotted with millions of fossilized marine shells, which form a long strip of calcified sediments from plants and marine creatures, evidence that those rocks were once exposed to ocean waves. (http://viewzone. com/tiwan.html)

Geologists say that the uplift of the plateau occurred over 30 million years ago, but others believe the current elevation of Tiwanaku and Titicaca was caused by a sudden event between 12,000 and 9,000 BC. The ruins of Tiwanaku may not be those of a “high-altitude” city, as believed, but, indeed, those of a coastal metropolis complete with port facilities. This conclusion is linked to the discoveries of maverick archaeologist Arthur Posnansky who, in the first half of the last century, produced archaeo-astronomical studies indicating about 15,000 years of antiquity for Tiwanaku. Some astronomers have corroborated Posnansky’s assertions. According to his chronology, the city was the target of a natural catastrophe of immense magnitude, around the eleventh millennium BC. Mainstream archaeologists do not agree, of course, insisting that the site dates no further back than the third century BC ( news /arthur-posnansky-the-half-forgotten-pioneer-of-andean-archaeology).


The Divine Kings

The indigenous Aymara people claim that the ancient name of Tiwanaku was “Chucara,” the “Lake of the Puma and the Holy Fish.”


Satellite photographs of the lake resemble a puma and a fish side by side. The fact that this name has remained unchanged for eons suggests that it was coined by people who knew what it actually looked like from above—who and how, we do not know, but surely by a civilization able to confirm its aerial appearance, as we might by satellite today. Moreover, as the ‘puma’ is part of the sacred tradition of these places, the ‘fish’ is also linked to Titicaca and Tiwanaku. The 24-foot-tall Bennett monolith in Tiwanaku, presents an individual whose priestly vestments contain the solar and marine symbolism of two worlds, but comes from the sea, like the puma (sun) and fish (water). Called simply “Viracocha,” the white and bearded god seems clearly linked to local traditions where in ancient Lake Titicaca lived “amphibious” beings called “Chullua” or “Umantua.” Connections are easily made to the myths of “Oannes,” civilizer, and man-fish of divine lineage, who brought wisdom to the ancient Sumerians. Sumerian or proto-Sumerian cuneiform characters have been found in the Titicaca area.

For an interesting YouTube video that offers much more on the Sumerian connection, see:

Viracocha, in the aspect of god-king, is represented at the center of the Gate of the Sun, while with his hands he holds sticks or scepters signifying royal and sacral power, culminating as the heads of condors—creatures also of special importance to Tiwanaku.

Who, then, is actually in the crystal chamber under the Akapana? Viracocha or someone else? Today, thanks to the “confidences” of our esteemed ‘archaeologist,’ I have no doubt that the ruins of this place date to a period prior to known history. Research on the Bolivian plateau continues with renewed vigor, and we can be sure that even more exciting discoveries are yet to come.


Adriano Forgione is editor and director of the Italian magazine: FENIX, Mysteries from the Past. Formerly, he was the editor of Hera Magazine, one of Italy’s most popular periodicals. He has written several books in Italian and is a frequent guest on Italian national television and at international conferences and symposia. His web site is



CAPTIONS: Tunnel beneath the Akapana Pyramid. (2008 FENIX photo)

Robot camera prepared for tunnel exploration. (FENIX photo)

By Adriano Forgione