Mary Sutherland

In the Petroglyph Section near Tule Lake just north of the Modoc Lava Beds in California is the oldest rock art in the state. It has been dated approximately at 10,000 years old.

The painting above does not copy designs exactly as they appear at this site, but rather gives a loose interpretation. Insofar as the site is close to a large configuration of Lava Tubes it is easy to
read "lava tube" symbols in the Indian rock engravings, specifically those long, meandering parallel lines that sometimes are drawn connected to triangular prominences, which most probably
represent mountains, perhaps volcanoes.

A lot of insect-like icons appear at the site which I interpret as 'Ant People' In California insects are highly revered by many tribal groups as "gods," or "spirits."

The rock art at Tule Lake is on a huge stone outcrop about a quarter mile long. The artists would travel by boat to what was an island in the lake to create their stone records. In modern times the
stone outcrop is in dry desert. Huge numbers of birds nest in the upper reaches of the rock.

In the Modoc Lava Beds are many lava tube caves with accompanying pictographs painted near the cave entrances. A park ranger told me that the Native Americans would meditate in the caves
and have visions, which were then painted by the cave's entryways.

The Modoc Lava Beds are the site of the last big war between the European settlers and the California Native Americans. Captain Jack was the last of the chiefs of the Modoc Indians. The lava
tubes provided excellent hiding places for the Indians in the course
of battle.

Near Mt. Shasta are other lava tube caves, such as Pluto Cave. As to whether lava tubes from Shasta connect to the Modoc area is not known for certain.

Cave[s] near the confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado rivers.

Hopi legends say that their ancestors once lived underground with a friendly race of "ant people" [not to be confused with the  "mantis" people ],

Some of their kind turned to sorcery and made an alliance with lizard or serpent men known as the "two hearts", which dwelt in still deeper caverns below. The "flood" of evil and violence forced the
peaceful Hopi's to the surface world.

An explorer named G. E. Kincaid claimed to have found "one of" the ancient caves, in which were reportedly discovered Oriental, Egyptian & Central American type artifacts.

Smithsonian archaeologists S. A. Jordan and associates also explored the man-made cavern with hundreds of rooms, enough to hold over 50 thousand people. The underground city is about 42
miles up river from El Tovar Crystal Canyon and Crystal Creek, and about 2000 feet above the river bed on the east wall.

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Turkey - Derinkuyu

Derinkuyu is the deepest excavated
underground city in Cappadocia in the
Central Anatolia region of Turkey. At a
depth of more than 250 feet with a
capacity of up to 20,000 people, this
multi-leveled city contained everything
an entire population would need to

Photo: This Derinkuyu map shows only
a few levels of the 18 level complex.
Only 8 are open to the public.    Photo
source: haeunchurch com.
Lava Beds
and Tube Tunnels
Mary Sutherland

Legends Magazine
Issue 18
Mary Sutherland exploring the lava beds of New Mexico
The Petroglyphs in the Desert North of Mt. Shasta
When European settlers made the long and dangerous journey across the Atlantic, they discovered something they had not anticipated. The "New world" as they called the Continental United States
was already populated by hundreds of thousands of people who had been there for countless generations. The Native peoples made their home here, cultivated the land and considered every rock,
tree and animal a part of their extended family. A concept the explorers struggled to understand.

When the settlers got to know their Native neighbors, they discovered they were intensely spiritual. They also had a rich heritage filled with legends. One of these enduring legends comes to us from
the Hopi, a Native people from the state of Arizona in the American south west. The Hopi believe a peculiar race of underground dwellers rescued their ancestors from two world ending cataclysms.
The Hopi, will forever be grateful to this strange race they called, the Ant People.

According to Hopi legend, two great catastrophes called, World Ages, came close to wiping their ancestors from existence. The first world was destroyed by an all consuming fire that engulfed the
world. Researchers believe this all consuming fire may have been an asteroid strike, or volcanic eruptions. Some have even suggested a coronal discharge from the sun.

The second cataclysm occurred when the world was choked by great walls of ice and a cold that froze everything it touched. Researchers have suggested this may have been a shared memory of
an ice age or polar shift. Either by fire or by ice, the Hopi, narrowly escaped extinction. The Hopi claimed they received salvation from a very unusual source. A source that some believe was not of
this world.

As these natural disasters devastated the world, the Hopi, were guided by a cloud during the day. By night, a brightly lit star guided them across the wasteland the world had become. Eventually, the
Hopi found their way to the sky god, Sotuknang. This god heard their pleas and took pity on the weary travelers who had lost everything. Sotuknang, led them to a race of people who would see to
their needs and offer them refuge, the Anu Sinom. The Ant People would be their saviours.

With the ancient ancestors of the Hopi safely in the hands of the Ant People, they were taken deep into a subterranean realm where they found refuge. The Ant People were brilliant builders who
erected extraordinary cities deep below the surface. The Ant People taught the Hopi everything they would need to survive when the day came for them to return to the surface.

After many years, the Hopi, bid farewell to their friends and returned to a surface world vastly different from the one they had known. The Hopi, quickly adapted and made a life for themselves in
modern day Arizona. Rather than dying, the Hopi thrived and continued to do so for many generations to come.

The Hopi legend of the Anu Sinom, Ant People, has long been my favorite Native American legend. At it's core, it teachings having hope when faced with insurmountable odds. But, is it really nothing
more than a legend, a story passed down for millennia? Or, is there any truth to these compassionate people living below the surface? People seem to think so and there are two theories as to who
the Ant People were. One speculates the Ant People were a humans from an ancient civilization. While the second has a more otherworldly explanation.

The first theory originated from a 1909 story that ran in the Phoenix Gazette. The story recounted the exploits of GE Kincaid, a Smithsonian archaeologist. Kincaid claimed to have discovered an
underground city below the Grand Canyon. While exploring he discovered artifacts that looked Egyptian and Asian. When Kincaid returned to the Smithsonian and reported what he found, he was
ran out of the institute and the caves were sealed. If what Kincaid said was true, it would radically change American history as we know it. Something the big wigs at the Smithsonian could not cope

If this story is true, it's possible the Anu Sinom, were Egyptian explorers sent by Pharoah Akhenaten. Depictions of the Ant People in cave art show them wearing what looks like Egyptian
headdresses. But it was the physical characteristics of this mysterious race that points to them being Egyptian.

The Ant People had elongated skulls, almond shaped eyes and bronze colored skin. The Hopi and ancient Egyptians also appeared to share similar words. For example, the Egyptian word for star
is sahu, While the Hopi word is sohu. Although there is anecdotal evidence to prove this assertion, some researchers believe alien intervention may have been involved.

I'm going to be perfectly honest with you, ancient astronaut theory has always troubled me. Its not that I don't believe we've been visited, because I do. I just feel it cheapens our ingenuity as a
species and takes power away from us. Nevertheless, it is one that needs to be explored.

An ancient astronaut researcher, Zechariah Sitchin, authored a series of books about the Annunaki, ancient Babylonian gods who he claimed were actually aliens. Sitchin wrote, humans were
created by the Annunaki as a slave race to mine for gold in harsh environments. One day, mankind rebelled and sent the Annunaki back to their homeworld of Nibiru. Some believe the Ant People
were a rogue sect of Annunaki who saved the Hopi from certain destruction.

In Babylonian and Sumerian mythology, Anu was the sky god. The connection is made because the Hopi word for Ant is Anu and Naki is the Hopi word for friend. Ancient astronaut theorists believe
the underground city was an Annunaki outpost in the American south west. Proponents of this theory believe the rogue Annunaki took pity on the Hopi when one of their science experiments went
horribly wrong. They screwed up big, almost wiping out an entire culture and needed to make things right. While the Hopi hid, these ancient gods reshaped the world.

The Hopi legend of the benevolent Ant People, is sacred to these Native people. To he honest, the jury is still out with me as it pertains to the identity of the Ant People. But, it doesn't really matter
what I think. The Hopi believe they exist and they believe they owe their existence to the Ant People, the saviours of their culture and their heritage