Gutemala Stone Head

The Stone Head of Guatemala that History Wants to Forget

Over half a century ago, deep in the jungles of Guatemala, a gigantic stone head was uncovered.  The face had fine features, thin lips and large nose and its face was directed up at the sky.  Unusually, the face demonstrated Caucasian features which were not consistent with any of the pre-Hispanic races of America.  The discovery rapidly attracted attention, but just as quickly it slipped away into the pages of forgotten history.

News of the discovery first emerged when Dr Oscar Rafael Padilla Lara, a doctor of philosophy, lawyer and notary, received a photograph of the head in 1987 along with a description that the photograph was taken in the 1950s by the owner of the land where the head was found and that it was located “somewhere in the jungles of Guatemala”. 

The photograph and story was printed in a small article in the newsletter ‘Ancient Skies’, which was picked up and read by well-known explorer and author David Hatcher Childress, one of our guest authors at, who sought out to discover more about the mysterious stone head. He tracked down Dr Padilla who reported that he found the owners of the property, the Biener family, on which the monolith was found. The site was 10 kilometres from a small village in La Democracia in the south of Guatemala.

However, Dr Padilla said that he was in despair when he reached the site and found that the site had been obliterated: “It was destroyed by revolutionaries about ten years ago. We had located the statue too late. It was used as target practice by anti-government rebels. This totally disfigured it, sort of like the way the Sphinx in Egypt had its nose shot off by the Turks, only worse,” he said.  The eyes, nose and mouth had completely gone. Padilla was able to measure its height as between 4 and 6 metres, with the head resting on a neck. Padilla did not return again to the site due to armed attacks between government forces and rebel forces in the area. 

The destruction of the head meant the story died a rapid death until it was picked up again a few years ago by filmmakers behind “Revelations of the Mayans 2012 and Beyond” who used the photograph to claim that extra-terrestrials have had contact with past civilisations. The producer published a document written by Guatemalan archaeologist Hector E Majia who wrote: "I certify that this monument presents no characteristics of Maya, Nahuatl, Olmec or any other pre-Hispanic civilization. It was created by an extraordinary and superior civilization with awesome knowledge of which there is no record of existence on this planet."

However, far from helping the cause and the investigation into the monolith, this publication only served to have the opposite effect, throwing the whole story into the hands of a justifiably sceptical audience who thought that it was all just a publicity stunt. Even the letter itself has been drawn into question with some saying that it is not genuine. 

Nevertheless, it appears the giant head did exist and there is no evidence to suggest the original photograph is not authentic or that Dr Padilla’s account was false.  So assuming it was real, the questions remain: Where did it come from? Who made it? And why?

The region where the stone head was reported to have been found, La Democracia, is actually already famous for stone heads which, like the stone head found in the jungle, also face skyward.  These are known to have been created by the Olmec civilisation, which flourished between 1400 and 400 BC.  The Olmec heartland was the area in the Gulf of Mexico lowlands, however, Olmec-style artefacts, designs, monuments and iconography have been found in sites hundreds of kilometres outside the Olmec heartland, including La Democracia. 

Nevertheless, the stone head depicted in the 1950s photograph does not share the same features or style as the Olmec heads.  The late Phillip Coppens, Belgian author, radio host and TV commentator on matters of alternative history raised the question of whether the head “is an anomaly of the Olmec period, or whether it is part of another – unknown – culture that predated or post-dated the Olmecs, and whose only artefact identified so far is the Padilla head”.

Other questions that have been posed include whether the structure was just a head, or whether there was a body underneath, like the Easter Island statues, and whether the stone head is linked to any other structures in the region.  It would be nice to know the answers to these questions but sadly it appears the publicity surrounding the film “Revelations of the Mayans 2012 and Beyond” only served to bury the story deeper into the pages of history.  Hopefully an ambitious explorer will pick up the story once again and investigate further to find the truth regarding this enigmatic monument.

By April Holloway



it's more likely that a traveller from a european back ground stumbled upon this region and the locals made a statue of him because he was so different in features to them

There are other anomalous carving of the Olmec. My favorite is "the Wrestler", in the Mexican National Museum. It depicts a seated figure with a 'bullet' shaped, bald head, and a LUXURIOUS BEARD. Just a reminder, like Asian people, native Americans, are not noted for thick beards.

Like anything hard to explain, they thought it was a god.

Yeah, but unless this happened post-conquest by Europeans, then a major point is that if it happened before the accepted timeline for arrival of Europeans, AND actually shows a European person, then this would violate the mainstream history of at least Central America. It would support the idea that Europeans had been there earlier or conversely, Central Americans had been to a place with Europeans.

Your postulation is both improbable and implausible

Your suggestion isn't very likely. That's unless of course there's a history of these " locals " carving huge megalithic stone works of fascinating geometric detail. Or any type of geometrically accurate stone works of any deception and size.

But there isn't...

Doubt very seriously the " locals " are capable of it even today

See "Before Columbus" by Cyrus H. Gordon, a prominent archaeologist and linguist.

OK, so they've supposedly found the location. Are there any other statues near there or rock formations? The smooth features are a red flag for me, and the lack of vegetation around the statue compared to it's surroundings is also suspect. How about a photo of what the statue looks like now, and the composition of the rock?

I agree with the red flag call, looks very sketchy. Were other statues or heads destroyed by the rebels? Was destroying ancient stone works typical behavior for the rebels?

No new photos of it?

aprilholloway's picture

Not that I know of! 

I am open to aliens and other intelligent life forms in the universe, I am open to the idea that they may have visited here in the path and could of had an influence on mankind. However we can not label everything we do not nderstand as alien encounters or something created by extraterrestials. There is so much uncovered history and so many topics we do not know enough about or know anything at all and if we label it Aliens then we may never know the truthl. It could have been aliens by why would they create a face looking up, could it have been a civiliation or tribe that is long gone, and we know nothing of them because we have no records or so few records of them. Some things may have been done my life froms not of this world, but a lot of could be from people we have yet to discover. Even in the 1950's there were tribes of people in this world that we just discovered and no little about, this poses the question of who else is out there waiting to be found.

Use this link instead of the one posted above. This is so awesome!!!

"deep in the jungles of Guatemala, a gigantic stone head was uncovered",


The jungle must have been pretty dense , if not, the head would hve been noticed before. 

Yet a car could go there?

Sunny Young

I'm commenting here almost a year late but hopefully I'll get a response. The thing that surprises me about these archeologists (professional or otherwise) is that regardless of whether its the stone head ring of La Democracia, the lone head in the Guatemalan jungle, the Easter Island statues or the column-figures of Gobekli Tepe, these same people note the heads are pointing skyward but hardly mention exactly WHERE these figures are looking up in the sky. Is it the sun or moon during a particular time of month? A specific star or star constellation? Considering what these 'Ancient Alien' types are trying to prove it surprises me greatly that they don't take the time to actually follow these sculptures' line of vision for a few days & nights throughout a given year in order to support their claims. Pay a trusted local to do it if the travel costs are too prohibitive.

aprilholloway's picture

Yes that would indeed be an interesting aspect to research! I have never heard of this being done before.

Tomasina Serveaux's picture

Ancient people were obsessed with the sky, building huge monuments to mimic certain constellations, or to mark particular days (mainly equinoxies and solstices). We are always told that this was originally because of the importance of the heavenly bodies to mark the seasons for planting crops, but this seems far too simplistic to me. Any farmer would know when to plant simply by observing the changing of the landscape and weather. You don't need stars for that, and you certainly don't need rows of gigantic statues staring out to sea or at the sky, or vast cities marked out like constellations. It seems that something significant happened around the time (or times) when all of these monuments were built, and people wanted to mark the occasion with these enigmatic constructions built to wild proportions. So, yes, it would be interesting to know which particular part of the sky that statue was observing. Perhaps whatever happened came from that region of space.

I would also like to know where the rest of the statue might be. We are told only of a head a neck, but many Easter Island statues show only their heads and it turns out they have bodies that are completely buried under the ground. I am betting that, if there is a body still buried beneath the ground, that it has its hands crossed over its the statues at Easter Island, Tihuanacu, La Paz,  Gobekli Tepe, and many other places.

Patricia Goodwin's picture

Could be from a very ancient civilization. I read about 15 sq. miles of towns and villages (thought to be 1,000 years old) linked to a system of parrallel highways uncovered in the Brazilian rain forest near Xinguano. We tend to think if it wasn’t us, it must be aliens, but it’s entirely possible that older, more sophisticated civilizations existed before us and disappeared. Writing isn’t the only sign of civilization. We keep thinking if they didn’t leave written words or pictures, they couldn’t have been sophisticated. But, maybe we should think outside the box occasionally. As for the Caucasian features looking upward, my first reaction was a Buddha. Granted, I am more curious student than expert!


Patricia Goodwin

Barry Sears's picture

The zodiac is about anatomy. Each sign represents a part of the body from the head to the feet. The signs each represent the parts of the body. This was communicated World wide to the regions accessible at the time. This assisted global studies and the study of each region and it's unique characteristics. These World characteristics were used to build the complete zodiac. 

It was believed that our body was a template, of which the creative energies came from above and so has this form, of which the World was also subject to this pattern. The twelve constellations of the Celestial body, connect to the twelve zones around the World body and also connect to the twelve divisions of our body.

Ancient civilisations shared this major discovery and each region selected places to record this pattern. These sites changed and developed and finally produced many major historical monuments still alive and telling the story today. The region of discovery has the sphinx of Leo and the scales of the Buddha and others who express the balance of the World. Virgo expressed by the Virgin Mary and told by Mr Christ. In the other direction Stonehenge is Cancer all the way to the head region of the World. Easter Island finds the head and face, now see how the horns of Ariesconnects now with Canada... where the largest antlers are found. See how all of our animals around the World, fit into this pattern and tell the story as our ancients discovered.


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