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Background Information On The Canary Islands

From: Scott Corrales <lornis1.nul>
Date: Thu, 11 Oct 2007 10:45:57 -0400
Archived: Fri, 12 Oct 2007 11:09:39 -0400
Subject: Background Information On The Canary Islands

The Canary Islands: Riddles Of Light And Stone

by Scott Corrales

Whether they are the Isles of the Blest, Elysium, the Fortunate
Isles or the surviving mountaintops of fabled Atlantis, the
Canary Islands - an archipelago off the coast of northern
Africa - remain enshrouded in mystery, a fact overlooked by its
burgeoning tourist trade, more interested in the cloudless skies
and fine beaches. The islands of Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, Gran
Canaria, Tenerife, Palma, Gomera and Hierro, which have belonged
to Spain since the archipelago's conquest by Norman mercenaries
in the 14th century, were a point of interest to all the
chroniclers of antiquity and medieval Christianity. The
religious and occult significance of the seven volcanic isles
has been handed down from the earliest dynasties of Ancient
Egypt to our own UFO-minded times. 

The association with an earthly paradise is not difficult to
understand. A spectacular landscape awaited the mariners of
yore: the twelve-thousand-foot peak of Mount Teide presiding
over a cobalt-blue ocean festooned with flying fish. Flowers,
chestnut trees and rich green valleys covered the seaward
landscape, while the landward side (facing Africa) revealed
nightmarish vistas of lava flows and beaches of black volcanic
sand. The Canaries offer surprises galore, with trees unique to
the islands; giant lizards - now nearly extinct - that gave the
Spanish conquistadores quite a surprise; enormous ravines and
canyons that become raging rivers during the wet season, and
arid plains where camels are used to pull the plough. Contrary
to popular belief, the islands were not christened after the
bird of that name, but due to the abundance of local dogs
(canes) encountered by the Conquistadores.

Who were the Guanches?

The Guanches, the original inhabitants of the Canary Islands,
were a warlike race, according to chroniclers. Tradition claims
that Saint Avitus, an early Christian martyr, met death at the
hands of the Guanches during his attempt to evangelize the
islands.[i] The Guanches possessed no weapons or boats - the
latter being a very unusual feature for island dwellers - wore
goatskins, and were subdued by the European invaders' use of the
horse, which was unknown to them. Ignatius Donnelly pointed out
in his ground breaking book on Atlantis that stones had been
uncovered in the isles of Hierro and Palma that bore sculptured
symbols closely resembling those found in archaeological digs
near Lake Superior, prompting an association between the
enigmatic Guanches and the cultures of North America.[ii]

The tall, fair-skinned Guanches, believed by many to be the last
surviving specimens of the Cro-Magnon Man, employed a curious
language consisting of whistles when communicating with one
another across gorges or hilltops. They also practiced the art
of mummification to an extent known only to the Incas and the
Egyptians, believing in the immortality of the dead, and going
as far as leaving dead rulers mummified and unburied to provide
"assistance" to the living monarch. They lived in complete
isolation from the rest of the world, and indeed, from one
island to the other.[iii] Spanish chroniclers state that the
Guanches presumed that the rest of humankind had been lost in
the Flood, and that they were its only survivors.

Certain cultural aspects found in the modern Canaries are
believed to be part of the Guanche legacy: cockfights, the
agricultural methods which were later imported to the Spanish
Caribbean and even a culinary contribution, gofio, a form of
cereal that is still consumed today.[iv]

Ancient seafarers

The Canary Islands were known to the Carthaginians and to other
sea-faring peoples of the Mediterranean. The Roman chronicler
Marcellus, describing the "land of the Aethiopians" mentions a
cluster of seven islands in the Atlantic Ocean, whose
inhabitants preserve memories of a much greater island which
held sway over them for ages; They are the seven Hesperides made
famous in mythology by the labors of Hercules, and described in
the Book of Ezekiel as the isles of Elysium (Ezek. 27,7). In the
1st century B.C., an unsuccessful bid to conquer the island was
made by King Juba II of Mauretania.[v]

But all evidence points to signs of an earlier occupation by
unknown quantities. On the isle of Hierro, there exists a wall
of basalt facing the ocean, far above sea level which is carved
with a number of un-deciphered glyphs, among which are
prominently displayed discs, labyrinth-symbols and sunbursts.
The gorges of Tejeleite and Candia also contain rock shelters
with petro glyphs presumably etched into the rough basalt by the
aboriginal occupants of the archipelago. Elaborate cave systems-
-like that of Belmaco, on Palma - are filled with the same
insistent petro glyphs and images of discs and sunbursts. The
Zonzama Stone, unearthed on Lanzarote, provides more intricately
carved symbols: messages from a past we unable reconstruct.[vi]
Who were the original carvers of these symbols, and what was
their purpose? It is true that the oceans were being navigated
by Neolithic mariners whose voyages may have well inspired those
of the Phoenicians or the Cretans. They left no traces of their
existence aside from the "cyclopean" stone walls, tumuli,
fortresses and memorials can be found on the coasts of the
continents bordering the Mediterranean and the Atlantic coast of
Europe as well as on the Canary Islands and Malta, and perhaps
even as far south and inland as Zimbabwe. Two German scholars,

Hermann and Georg Schreiber, have pointed to the existence of a
"heliolithic" cultural sphere (borrowing a term coined by H.G.
Wells), owing to the fact that solar worship, personified by the
disk symbols, is common to all these sites).  The Canaries were
important to them, following this line of thought, as an
important center of solar worship. Or perhaps for other

A wealth of UFO Sightings

Unexplained lights have soared above the volcanic peaks of the
Canary Islands throughout history. Commercial airliners have
been repeatedly intercepted over Lanzarote as they prepare to
land on Gran Canary or Tenerife. Could these brilliant lights be
the discs represented on the ancient Guanche stellae, and the
reasons for the islands prominence not only in recorded history,
but also in the days of lost Neolithic realms?

In 1975, coinciding with a global increase of UFO sightings, a
group of contactees from Santa Cruz de Tenerife allegedly
established contact (by means of an improvised Ouija board) with
the occupants of the enormous flying craft which had hovered
every night over their skies at La Tejita, a beach not far from
the slopes of Mt. Teide. On one of these instances, the Canarian
investigators were able to witness an enormous light some 1200
feet away from the beach. Double rows of windows emitting a
purplish light could be made out through the use of binoculars.
The spectators experienced a "missing time" interval during
their sighting, and were assured later on by the light's "crew"
that they had been brought aboard for an hour and a half.[vii]

A year later, a driver on a lonely stretch of road saw a
perfectly round orb, silhouetted in a bluish light, which flew
over his car at low altitude, causing the engine to stall. The
witness was able to see two tall humanoids in attired in red
garments through an aperture in the noiseless sphere, which
landed on the roof of a nearby farmhouse before taking off again
in the general direction of Tenerife. Shepherds had encounters
of a grislier nature with a "robotic entity" that sliced a
mountain lion to pieces and walked in a stilted, crab-like

By 1979, UFOs had started to interfere with the regular
operations of commercial airliners flying in Canarian airspace.
A DC-9 flying between Lanzarote and Grand Canary was intercepted
by an oval-shaped craft as it took off, flying over the airliner
and "escorting" it for 20 minutes until it became lost in the
clouds. A smaller commuter plane was equally intercepted and
escorted for ten seconds at an altitude of 9000 feet by another
object, which bathed the plane in a bluish-green light.[viii]

In a world where it is increasingly harder to keep a secret,
particularly in the post Cold War era, surprisingly little
coverage has been given to a recent "crash/retrieval" scenario
which took place in 1992. Two Canarian youths and their friends
claim that the Spanish military, in conjunction with unnamed
foreign powers, retrieved a mysterious artifact that fell from
the skies on the evening of October 12, 1992.

Sergio and Mario, whose surnames remain undisclosed, were on
their way to Las Canadas del Teide Park, an expanse of
wilderness on the island of Tenerife, with another acquaintance
and his girlfriend, when they found the narrow road leading to
the natural landmark barricaded by armed personnel in yellow
Jeeps with "ET" license plates (Ej=E9rcito de Tierra, the
infantry). The would-be tourists were told in no uncertain terms
to turn around and not to attempt re-entering through the park's
southern entrance, either. The officer in charge of the
barricade told them that landslides had wiped out the roads

Their curiosity piqued by the suspicious roadblock, the foursome
decided to park their vehicle and try to enter Las Canadas on
foot, finally managing to reach a hillside from which they were
able to see another detachment of military vehicles. A powerful
beam of light swept the sides of Mt. Teide, as if searching for
a particular object. But what was it?

According to investigators, the Canaries Astrophysical Institute
had placed a call earlier that evening to the Spanish Army,
claiming that "an artifact" had crashed in the Ucanca Valley, at
the feet of Mt. Teide. Whatever "it" was, it possessed a
tremendous mass, having apparently snapped off a 450-ton lava
projection jutting from an outcrop close to the summit of Mt.
Teide itself, which can be reached by cable car from the ground.

Rescue helicopters from the Spanish Air Force base at Gando were
dispatched to the area in question the following morning, unable
to find anything at all after five separate sorties. The
airbase's radar claimed not to have picked up anything unusual
on the night of October 12 or the early hours of the 13th.

On the island of Grand Canaria, across the water from Tenerife,
a couple in the village of Almatriche had witnessed the descent
of strange lights, which they were unable to identify, and which
appeared to be heading straight toward them. The lights changed
course in mid-air and headed toward Tenerife. The time of the
sighting was 10 p.m. - just prior to the Canarian youths' arrival
at Las Canadas.

The evening's excitement wasn't over for Sergio and Mario. Once
back in their car and returning home, they were surprised to
encounter a convoy of ten large military container trucks with
balloon tires, darkened but for their intermittent hazard
lights. The convoy moved slowly, and the onlookers were given
the impression that materials of great weight were being carried
aboard the sealed vehicles.

The allegations of the four witnesses aside, the fact remains
that all approaches to Las Canadas park were blockaded for two
weeks until authorities announced that the "landslides" had been
cleared. A hunter who had been spending the night of October 12
at El Refugio, a natural shelter on the slopes of Mt. Teide,
claimed having seen "a brilliant cloud" come within six meters
of the peak's summit and spin around it at tremendous speed,
giving off bursts of energy before flying away. Local UFO
researchers Asunci=F3n Sarais and Francisco Padr=F3n initiated what
promises to be months of research into this possible
"crash/retrieval" incident, which is merely the most recent
episode in a long history of sightings. In spite of official
silence on the incident, it has since become known that
employees from the Canaries Astrophysical Institute were
threatened with the possible loss of their jobs if they
discussed the incident.

In the U.S., increasingly greater attention has been paid to the
folklore and traditions of our native peoples with regard to
manifestations of the UFO phenomenon. The same is beginning to
happen in Spain, where anthropologists have experienced a
renewed interest in searching for Guanche artifacts and possibly
even locating surviving Guanches in isolated communities on the
smaller islands.


[i]. Atienza, Juan G. En busca de la historia perdida.
Barcelona: Ediciones Mart=EDnez Roca, p. 207.

[ii]. Donnelly, Ignatius. Atlantis: Myths of the Antediluvian
World,Chicago, 1882.

[iii]. Berlitz, Charles. Atlantis: The Eight Continent. New
York: Fawcett, 1984.

[iv]. Llorens, W. El Habla Popular en Puerto Rico. Rio Piedras:
Editorial Edil, 1981.

[v]. Bailey, James. The God Kings and the Titans. New York: St.
Martin's Press, 1973.

[vi]. Atienza, Juan G. En busca de la historia perdida.

[vii]. Ben=EDtez, J.J. 100,000 kil=F3metros tras los ovnis.
Barcelona: Plaza y Jan=E9s, 1978.

[viii]. Ben=EDtez, J.J. Encuentro en Montana Roja. Barcelona:
Plaza y Jan=E9s, 1981.

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