Wednesday, October 05, 2005

What is the secret of this rock?

By Russell Arador Inquirer News Service

IN AN AREA THAT IS PART OF Pangasinan on the slopes of the Zambales mountain range, an amateur archaeologist discovered in 1985 a stone tablet overlaid with embossed markings.

For nearly 20 years, Ronnie Alonzo, 40, studied the "geometrical composition" on the surface of the basaltic rock, spending close to P1 million of his own money in research.

What he found out more than compensated the money, time and effort he had spent in unlocking the secret of the rock.

The lines and other markings on the stone slab, which measures 11 inches wide, two inches thick and seven inches high, and weighs 4.8 kilograms, turned out to be a "code" believed to reveal the location of the lost island of Atlantis.

In a paper presented before European and American scientists in July this year in Greece, Alonzo concluded that the "stone code" was a "map of the world" containing a "reference to Atlantis' location."

But it was a map like no other, he told the Inquirer.

Aside from giving geographical information like an ordinary map does, he explained that the "key stone" also shows the "forces that help reshape the earth's surface by creating geological stresses around the planet."

He said the lines on the artifact matched those on the Dynamic Earth Map and the World Stress Map developed by the United States Geological Survey and the Smithsonian Institute.

"This is strange because if the stone is as old as the age of the general area where it was discovered, which is about three million years, then this means that whoever made those markings three million years ago already knew about seismic zones and the location of massive forces that reshaped the surface of the earth - knowledge that came to modern day scientists only recently," he said.

Natural or man-made?

While the age of the stone has yet to be determined, he said the bigger puzzle is whether the embossed markings are natural or man-made.

Alonzo is set to go to the United States to have the age of the stone analyzed. He is also looking for an expert on patterns following the advice of a Greek geologist who told him that "the most important work for you ... is to demonstrate that the image is man-made and [that it is] beyond nature's capacity to do it."

In an electronic mail message to Alonzo on Aug. 30, Stavros Papamarinopoulos, a geology professor at the University of Patras in Greece, said an "excellent mathematical treatment (involving the determination) of the rigorous relation between the image and known geological map at the proper epoch" was required to "calculate the possibility of the image to be nature-made (or) the opposite."

Papamarinopoulos co-chaired the organizing committee of the international conference where Alonzo read the findings of his 20-year study on the stone map.

The July 11-13 conference in Milos Island, Greece had for its theme, "The Atlantis Hypothesis: Searching for a Lost Land." Conference participants included more than 30 scientists and scholars from Greece, Italy, Israel, the Czech Republic, Germany, Chile, the United States, France, Spain, Australia and Denmark.

Alonzo, who is pursuing his master's degree in archaeology at the University of the Philippines, was the only representative from Asia.

In a Power Point presentation summarizing his paper "A stone code from Zambales mountain range-A link to the Atlantean myth," Alonzo identified 16 "features" of the stone map.

Aside from the Atlantis and the equally mysterious Bermuda Triangle, the stone also shows the locations of the Philippine Islands, Bay of Bengal and the Ninety East Ridge group; the Hawaiian Islands, Aleutian Trench and the Queen Elizabeth Islands group; the Wrangel, Fletcher, Pole and Barents Abyssal Plains group; the Svalvard Island, Spits Bergen and North East Land group; the Franz Josef Land, Graham Bell Island, George Land and Alexandra Land group; the North Land, Bolshevik Island, October Revolution Island and Komsomolets Island group; the Ural Mountains, Great African Reef Valley and the African Magnetic Anomaly Zone group.

The "14th feature" is a human-like figure under the Kerguelen Islands (below the southern tip of Africa) that is also visible in the World Ocean Floor Map, the Dynamic Earth Map and the satellite altimetry reading of the US' National Geophysical Data Center.

Alonzo's paper was one of 34 papers selected from almost 200 entries to the Milos conference.

It drew mixed reactions from the Greek academic community, who generally believe that the lost city of Atlantis could be found in the Greek island of Thera.

The Greek philosopher Plato was the first to write about Atlantis, a "utopian paradise" that submerged 11,500 years ago after the global sea level rose following the melting of glacial ice in the North Pole.

Plato described Atlantis as "larger than Libya and Asia put together."

Alonzo stumbled upon the stone with a group of fossil collectors in the Zambales mountain range in 1985. The stone map caught their attention.

At first he thought the lines on the surface of the rock were fossilized insects.But geologists, anthropologists and archaeologists he consulted had differing opinions.

A geologist from the National Museum said the lines were due to the presence of ore or lode. Another said they were natural formations due to exposure to different weather conditions across time.

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Fernan Lanada said...

Can we view the picture of the artifact? What's his e-mail?