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Cueva de los Tayos




Location: Morona- Santiago province





Description of Cueva de los Tayos or Cueva de los Tayos de Coangos

Cueva de los Tayos or "cave of the oilbirds" is a large underground natural system in the Morona Santiago province in the eastern Andes mountains of Ecuador. It is famous as an archaeological site of local Jivaro Indians that first discovered this cave. Additionally some supporters of the Ancient Aliens theory believe that Cueva de los Tayos harbour underground library of some unknown ancient civilization that was far advanced than any other known culture in the region.


Cueva de los Tayos or Cueva de los Tayos de Coangos due to its proximity to river Rio Coangos. This natural cave measures at a total length of at least 4.6 kilometers with a vertical range of 201 meters. It has at least three entrances although some claim that there are more ways to get inside, but local natives are hesitant to let outsiders in. Jivaro Indians first discovered this extensive underground cavern. They used vine ladders and bamboo torches for light to explore the Cueva de los Tayos. Here the hunted nocturnal oilbirds (Steatornis caripensis). First European explorers visited this cave in 1860, but their exploration was brief and unsystematic.


Ancient Civilizations and Aliens

Some supporters of Ancient Aliens theory believe that Cueva de los Tayos was in fact used by some ancient civilization to leave their writings on Earth for safekeeping. For that they used a natural geologic formation with further modifications.

Cueva de los Tayos was fairly unknown in Ecuador and around the World. Few people ventured here other than locals. All that changed with the arrival of Italian priest father (padre) Carlos Crespi (pictured left). He was born in 1891 and in 1923 he moved to the region with hopes to convert more people to Christianity and help local people. Jivaro Indians came to like and trust this missionary. They started to bring strange metallic objects as a token of appreciation. These plates in various shapes had depictions of strange humans, animals and most importantly some of them had some writings. It's alphabet was unknown to any linguist and still escapes translation. Natives claimed that these objects came from the depths of Cueva de los Tayos. Furthermore they claimed there were whole piles of metallic plates with texts of variable length. Father Crespi gathered a large collection of artefacts, but after his death in 1982 much of his collection was stolen.

In 1973 Erich von Daniken published his book The Gold of the Gods. There he claimed that Cueva de los Tayos was in fact an underground library of some unknown mysterious civilizations or even extraterrestrial in origin. His book stirred imaginations of many people. In 1976 British traveller Stan Hall organized a large scale expedition to explore the depths of Cueva de los Tayos. This endeavour gathered several scientists including, professional cave explorers and even former astronaut Neil Armstrong (first man on the Moon). Although the main entrance to the cave was known for over a century, few Europeans travelled here. Expedition covered tunnels and caverns of the underground system. They mapped the system, discovered several interesting artefacts, but mysterious library remained hidden.


Given the size of the cave system it is possible that expedition missed hidden cavern by accident. It is quiet possible given the enormous size of Cueva de los Tayos. However another explanation might be simpler. The plates given to Father Crespi were created by contemporary native tribes. The story of finding these presents in some well hidden cave might be a beautiful story they invented to get more value for their gifts.







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