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

Friday, December 20, 2019

More on the "erectus"(?) calvaria from Chapala Mexico

I recently posted about a very robust skullcap that was discovered in the region of Lake Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico by Mr. Federico A. Solórzano, today I will add some more information.

The skullcap (or a copy of it) -here we have two different versions! is on exhibition at the Museo de Paleontologia de Guadalajara (Guadalajara Museum of Paleontology), this city is the capital of Jalisco state and is located 28 miles (45 km) north of Lake Chapala.

Guadalajara's official tourism website tells us all about the museum and also mentions the calvaria:

"...Este arco superciliar humano tiene características muy antiguas y no se parece al de un hombre moderno (Homo sapiens y Homo robustus), sino que se asemeja al de un Neanderthal. De comprobarse esta hipótesis, se tendría que modificar la datación del poblamiento de América, ya que el hombre que cruzó por el estrecho de Bering era tipo Cromagnon."

In English: "... this human superciliary arch has very ancient features and does not resemble that of a modern man (Homo sapiens and Homo robustus), instead it is similar to that of a Neanderthal. If this hypothesis is proved true, the date of the peopling of America would have to be modified, because the humans that crossed Bering Strait were of the Cromagnon type.".

This blog, written by Roberto Diaz Sibaja has the following photograph, which he took; he says it is a replica:

Replica of Solorzano's skull, by Roberto Diaz Sibaja

But, where exactly was this skullcap found? In what setting? Well, according to an interview published in this blog, Solórzano said, regarding the calvaria: "The experts don't admit it for a reason: there is no context. Initially it comes from Chapala, but it was not found in any geological layer or in association with anyghing because I don't know if I found it or if it is one of those that I bought".

Solorzano (1922 - 2015) was an engineer who later specialized in pharmaceutical biology, he was an academic at Guadalajara University, and at the time of the interview by José Jesús Langarica Herrera in 2011, was 89 years old. No wonder he couldn't remember if he'd purchased it or found it himself.

Above (source) is another image of the skullcap (right), and an unidentified skull (left).

What if someone sold it to a young avid Solorzano, who wanted to collect as many bones as possible? Can we be sure it was an American skullcap? What if somebody sold him a Eurasian calvaria? Possible and probable.

Finally here is an article written in English (Mexico discovery fuels debate about man's origins), in Oct. 2004, which says: "... archaeologists have never found a trace of Homo erectus in the Americas. 'Most people sort of just shook their heads and have been baffled by it,' said Robson Bonnichsen, director of the Center for the Study of the First Americans at Texas A&M University."

Could Robson Bonnischsen be one of the Texas A&M osteologists mentioned in our last post, who in "an unpublished 1990 report... suggest the brow's thickness and robustness are comparable to those of (an) African Homo erectus"?

Bonnischsen was one of the anthropologists who took the United States government to court, fighting for the right to study the bones of Kennewick Man. And he won.

Chapala man is a mystery and will remain so until further evidence is found.

Lake Chapala is Mexico's largest freshwater lake (420 sq. mi - 1.100 km2) it is relatively shallow (34 ft. - 10 m). It drains into the Pacific Ocean. It is a lake formed by a tectonic rift valley, and has been around at least since the late Pliocene 2.5 Ma. It is set in a volcanic area.

Fossils of megafauna have been found near the lake: horses, mammoths and Gomphotheres, elephant-like animals, that lived there some 1.6 Ma.

You can hear Fernando Solórzano in a conference he gave in 2007 speaking about this calvaria here; listen after minute 20 of this 1:38 h. conference because he mentions the skull ("arcada" as he calls it), and an "English scientist" who sampled the skull.

He also says that "I found it" and that is a problem because he found it in Chapala, and it is out of place, so they suspect that he might have planted it there. And that (min. 41) "it was simply found among a large pile of bones that were collected over a long period of time on the shores of lake Chapala"

Patagonian Monsters - Cryptozoology, Myths & legends in Patagonia Copyright 2009-2020 by Austin Whittall © 

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