Guide to Patagonia's Monsters & Mysterious beings

I have written a book on this intriguing subject which has just been published.
In this blog I will post excerpts and other interesting texts on this fascinating subject.

Austin Whittall

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The enchanted city of Patagonia

I have already posted about the Professor J. G. Wolfe of La Plata University and his Tertiary Human skull,which turned out to be a geofact and not an ancient skull. Today I will post about his "enchanted city".

This Professor J. G. Wolf (or Wolff) was in Patagonia in 1922 - 23, during the period of the uproar over the alleged sighting of a Plesiosaur in that region. I have not been able to find out which were his academic qualifications or from what country he came from, but I have transcribed the most interesting part of his story from an article published in the New York Times on Sept. 4, 1922:

The Lost city

"I was awakened out of the drowsy wakefulness in which I was trotteng along by the curious aspect of a hill in front of me which showed a regular line of stones on top.
... I galloped near. Verily, it was a work of man and not a mere play of nature's fancy.
... Looking down from a height of about fifteen yards into the depth where a little creek was trickling along, my eyes took in the full view of a structure, a wall extending over about 150 yards, consisting of square boulders well chiselled and cemented with a dark substance. Two buttresses to what I instantly classed as remnants of an ancient fortification, and a number of smaller walls, one of them unmistakably the ruin of a former dwelling place.
Closer inspection revealed several strange designs carved on othe walls, one ornamental and reminding me of the designs found on Mexican ruins, the other still more curious, the tail of an animal, resembling the tail of the mysterious glyptodonte, a gigantic prehistoric turtle, extinct for hundreds of centuries. Besides that, I could discern two big arches well worked into the rear of the main wall, a proof of advanced workmanship and a state of high sculpture.

This finding took place in the southeast of the province of Santa Cruz, in Argentina, and Wolf describes the location as follows:

"I was riding with a Chilean friend from the latter's estancia in the north of the Lago Cardiel in a southerly direction intent upon visiting some Indian settlements southeast of that big lake..."

A few months later, an expedition under Riggs arrived at the Argentine port of Río Gallegos and: [2]

"... Shortly After Riggs' Arrival in Rio Gallegos, a certain J. G. Wolfe introduced himself and offered his services to the expedition. Wolfe claimed to have been a museum curator in Rio Gallegos and to have held a commission in the Argentine army. But what aroused Riggs' interest, more than his credentials, was Wolfe's description of a "Tertiary human skull" and an "enchanted city." [2].

They enlisted him into the expedition and went into the Patagonian wilderness keen on both findings. The skull turned out to be a stone, and the "city":

"Once there, Riggs experienced another disappointment as the "city" proved to be nothing more than an intrusive bed of lava or dike, as it is known in geological parlance. The "city" filled a fissure in the surrounding cays and had subsequently been laid bare by erosion. Local residents saw nothing unusual in it, for a number of similar structures were to be found in the area" [2]

The wall was a dike! Below is an image showing how lava dikes form:

lava dike formation

How a Lava dike is formed, cross cut of the terrain. Copyright © 2014 Austin Whittall

The map below shows the area around Lake Cardiel. A large heart-shaped lake about 20 km diameter (12.5 mi) and 370 km2 (143 sq. mil.) surface area. It is quite shallow (76 m - 249 ft. max. depth).

lake cardiel Patagonia

Unlike most Patagonian lakes, it was not excavated by the glaicers during the Ice Ages, and it is not the impact crater of a meteorite or a volcanic crater even though it is located in an area with vast basaltic fields. It was formed by faulting which caused a depression. Its waters are sligthly alkaline and is a good fishig spot for trout.

It is a closed basin that gathers the scant rainfall of the surruounding mesas. [3]


[1] Patagonia's Lost Race. New discovery of fortification and inscriptions indicates state of Culture, N. Y. Times, 04 Sept. 1922.
[2] Larry G. Marshal Adventures in Patagonia. Field Museum of Natural History Bulletin. March 1978 Vol 49 No. 3. pp 4+
[3] Route 40, Argentina From Tres Lagos to Perito Moreno.

Patagonian Monsters - Cryptozoology, Myths & legends in Patagonia Copyright 2009-2014 by Austin Whittall © 

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