Audio Interviews—Alternate Perceptions Magazine, August 2014
Hosted by Brent Raynes and Chandra Harrison
by: Brent Raynes
An Exclusive interview with Peruvian researcher Giorgio Piacenza about his video documentary on the ancient Paracas Elongated Skulls and his interview with Juan Navarro Hierro
Brent Raynes: Giorgio, thanks so much for your fascinating video visit to Peru’s Paracas museum and your interview with its head Juan Navarro Hierro. The displays of artifacts and the elongated skulls and the information that Mr. Hierro shared with you was truly awesome. He certainly seems very dedicated to the preservation of these ancient artifacts and human remains and very knowledgeable about their historical backgrounds. He mentioned that he was retired, but could you share a little about what his background in all of this is, beyond being the museum caretaker?
Giorgio: Mr. Navarro Hierro worked for the government for several years. He was born and bred in the area of Paracas-Pisco. He inherited the artifacts from his father who in turn had inherited them from his father. Mr. Navarro Hierro first attempted to open a museum in the coastal town of Pisco, a few miles from Paracas, but it was too expensive to maintain. Then the Mayor of Paracas lent him the current property where the Paracas History Museum is today. The Mayor also tried to assist by placing signs announcing the museum in various parts of town but they were destroyed by vandals or by people not willing to promote the museum as part of the current tourist route. Mr. Navarro Hierro knows the Paracas-Pisco area where he’s lived most of his life quite well and is sincerely trying to preserve the lore, history and artifacts of the Paracas Culture. The Museum was robbed and many pieces were broken. The thief was caught and then apparently allowed to escape. Here’s a link to the Paracas History Museum’s content and more information about Mr. Navarro Hierro.
Brent Raynes: It was interesting to see that apparently the ancient Paracas people and others of that region portrayed the Southern Cross with the same symbol that others in North America portrayed the Northern Cross, and I understand that in ancient Peruvian cosmology both celestial crosses were seen as portals for the dead, who similarly traveled the path of souls (Milky Way) to the afterlife.
Giorgio: Sometimes in Peru what we call the “Southern Cross Constellation” is conceptually connected with the ancient CHAKANA or “Andean Cross,” a symbol which can be considered as a bridge that connects the three worlds of the Andean world. The Southern Cross serves to locate the south and that would be important for an agricultural society needing to coordinate activities. The Southern Cross also probably reminds some Andean people of the Chakana’s four living spaces in which all entities as sentient creatures mutually exchange and contribute with each other under the influence of the three main worlds or “pachas.” In the Inca tradition the dark bands of the Milky Way were probably thought of as more important than the constellations we know about. Brent Raynes: It was interesting to see that Mr. Hierro was open to certain ancient artifacts being either the shape noted in modern UFO reports, or else having designs on them that resembled UFO imagery. He seemed aware of quite a bit of local UFO activity. Were those circular vessels with the handles and spouts whistles? They reminded me of those pre-Columbian whistling vessels that the Chimu, Incas, and others made.
Giorgio: I don’t know if those artifacts were whistles but he said that their shape resembled some classic UFO shapes. Yes, I also found out (both from Mr. Navarro Hierro and from other locals) that people living in the more open desert surroundings (not in Paracas town itself) were being visited by UFOs regularly. I will have to return to talk with them. Mr. Navarro Hierro also mentioned an interesting and convincing UFO sighting he experienced with a family member.
Brent Raynes: It was interesting that Mr. Hierro recalled a grave robber who had told him how years ago he had found a "giant skeleton" on top of the sand in one location, though he admitted that he had never seen anything like that himself. In your own research in Peru, have you come across any "giant skeleton" reports in your region?
Giorgio: No I haven’t found giant skeletons. I also didn’t find most of the Paracas skulls disproportionally large. Only a few had a larger cranial capacity than average but I wouldn’t call them “giants.” It seems that most of the ancient Paracas people deformed their heads not just the elite. However, part of that MIGHT have been as an attempt to imitate a different ethnic or racial group that perhaps arrived to the Paracas Bay by sea and cross bred with the local population.
Brent Raynes: The ancient practice of head deformation/elongation is also interesting as it wasn't isolated just to Peru. It happened elsewhere, including among ancient people here in North America. It certainly does make you wonder how various practices and beliefs sprung up in various parts of the world. Also in other parts of the world, early surgeries on human skulls were performed too it seems.
Giorgio: Yes. I noticed that the Paracas weapons of war included clubs that certainly damaged skulls in close combat and I concur with many archaeologists that, in order to relieve internal pressure in the brain due to swelling, these surgeries were performed. Besides artificial elongation and deformation some of the skulls show what may be an anomalous (larger and smaller) number of bone plates and – in some cases - an apparent absence of sutures. Physical anthropologists and other such experts should determine if these are natural variations or true anomalies…perhaps related to distinct genetic differences.
Brent Raynes: Have you heard of any genetic information reportedly uncovered about the Paracas people and others in your area?
Giorgio: I’ve only heard about what Mr. Brien Foerster claims. Normally, local archaeologists don’t have the funds to conduct genetic research. Generally speaking, the research pace in Peru tends to move on very slowly and among more conventional lines. Mr. Foerster’s claims may be important but they need to be verified, studied and, if genetic testing has indeed been conducted and – moreover - in an adequate manner, they would need to be replicated. It would be very important to see if there are indeed any unique genetic components in at least some of the Paracas skulls which MIGHT originate from descendants of local people that inter bred with any alleged unknown “visitors” or foreign “settlers.” These “visitors” or “settlers” may have arrived from another (normal) human population and (normal) human race, being stranded or may originate in more exotic origins. I don’t discard any of these hypotheses, including the possibility of an extraterrestrial-human hybrid “race” arriving to the Bay of Paracas about 3,000 years ago. I’ve learned about some legends and traditions mentioning ancient races of wise beings surviving for millennia in underground environments and have been informed of similar advanced human-extraterrestrial beings by some credible local contactees. However, (even if I’m not discarding this hypothesis outright) I’m not necessarily attracted to the “Nephilim giants” hypothesis also proposed by other researchers.
There were two periods in the way burials were handled among the Paracas. I suspect that skulls from the older period (called “Paracas Cavernas”) would preserve more genetic anomalies.