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The gate that leads to the Indian Reservation land is located square in the middle of the desert, 16 miles west of Los Lunas. The ground is yellow, covered in a thick brush of thistles and sage bushes. ” Shetter points to another mountain, lower than Hidden Mountain and to the east of where we are standing. He is of the opinion that the inscription was a hoax perpetrated sometime in the 1930s.

To the east and west, red mountains erupt from the landscape in clusters. I ask him if he thinks that Jack Huning was lying or mistaken when he said it had been seen as early as the 1880s. “The groups who advocate for the ancient solution are mostly the ‘Young Earthers,’ ” Taylor says, referring to those who believe they can prove scientifically that the earth is only as old as the Bible claims.

Who wrote this code in the heart of the Rio Abajo desert, and in what language is it written? Since the stone’s discovery in the 1930s, three different translations appeared.

Robert Hoath La Follette, a lawyer and dabbler in archaeology, suggested that the inscription is a combination of Phoenician, Etruscan, and Egyptian letters that tell a halting, indeterminate tale of ambiguous survival and responsive weather: “We retreated while under attack … Perkins, another lay enthusiast, suggested that the inscription is an early version of Greek.

Well over six feet tall, with a deep, booming voice and big gray eyes, he has never seen the stone before.

Continue reading: Hidden Mountain There are many more mysteries in the Albuquerque area than just the Mystery Stone, Taylor tells us as we turn off Route 6 and onto the dirt road that leads to the stone.

Main Street coincides with Route 6, along which one passes the middle school, the Los Lunas Public Library, and the fire department.

“They are committed to Biblical Inerrancy, which is dangerous, because it means that if one thing is found to be incorrect in the Bible, the whole thing becomes worthless.” I ask him if he is a religious man, and he says, “I am a Catholic, but I am a scientist by training. ‘Myth’ is a loaded term, but I believe the Bible has stories meant to suggest the relationship between God and men, to guide us morally and ethically.

To me that’s just more satisfying; otherwise, it’s a house of cards just waiting to collapse.” “And besides,” Shetter muses, “who knows how long a year is to God? *** Many ascribe the first mention of the stone in print to the late Frank C.

For example, when the Franciscans came in the 16th century to convert the Isleta Indians who now live on the reservation just north of Los Lunas, it turned out that they had already been converted—they are said to have asked the friars for sacraments. Sister Maria de Jesus de Agreda, the legend held, a Franciscan nun who lived in Spain and had never traveled but who had appeared to them in a collective vision over 500 times and preached to them in their own language.

There is also the fact, Taylor tells me, that Elizabeth Taylor’s third husband died in a plane crash not far from Los Lunas.

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