Left: Father Crespi holding a metallic artifact that appears to contain a series of hieroglyphs.Right: Photographs of Crespi’s so-called ‘Metallic Library’. Credit: Ancient-Origins.net.

The Truth About Father Crespi and His Missing Artifacts Finally Revealed

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The story of Father Crespi is a mysterious and controversial account of a priest in Ecuador involving claims of unknown civilizations, strange golden artifacts, a subterranean cave system containing a metallic library, depictions of strange figures connecting America to Sumeria, symbols depicting an unknown language, evidence of extra-terrestrial contact, and a Vatican conspiracy involving thousands of missing artifacts. But how much of the story is true? Ancient Origins set out to find the answers and was given exclusive access by the Central Bank of Ecuador to the private artifact collection of Father Crespi, tucked away in hidden vaults and storerooms, including the controversial carved metal plates, which had not been seen or photographed for decades.  

Google the name ‘Father Crespi’ today and you will find dozens of websites telling the bizarre story of a humble priest and his connection with a mysterious collection of artifacts. Admittedly, Ancient Origins is included among those that have highlighted the strange story of Crespi and his missing artifacts. However, when myself and Dr Ioannis Syrigos of Ancient Origins moved to Cuenca, Ecuador, and were visited by researchers Hugh Newman, founder of Megalithomania.co.uk, and Jim Vieira, who has starred on several History Channel programs, there was an opportunity to explore the account in more depth and find out what is really behind the story of Father Crespi.  

From Left: Hugh Newman, Jim Vieira, and Dr Ioannis Syrigos at the Crespi Museum in the Universidad Politécnica Salesiana, Cuenca, Ecuador.

From Left: Hugh Newman, Jim Vieira, and Dr Ioannis Syrigos at the Crespi Museum in the Universidad Politécnica Salesiana, Cuenca, Ecuador.

The Man Behind the Mystery

Father Carlos Crespi Croci was a Salesian monk who was born in Italy in 1891.  He studied anthropology at the University of Milan before becoming a priest.  In 1923, he was assigned to the small Andean city of Cuenca in Ecuador to work among the indigenous people. It was here that he devoted 59 years of his life to charitable work until his death in 1982.

Father Crespi is known for his multitude of talents – he was an educator, anthropologist, botanist, artist, explorer, cinematographer, and musician – as well as his intense humanitarian efforts in Ecuador, in which he set up an orphanage and educational facilities, assisted the impoverished, gave food and money handouts, and cared deeply for the people. Walking around the city of Cuenca, it is clear that Crespi won the hearts of the people – today a statue of him helping a young child remains in the square in front of the church of Maria Auxiliadora, and local people old enough to have known him share stories about his intense charitable efforts. The City of Cuenca has been working with the Vatican for years to have Father Crespi recognized as a Saint.

Photograph of Father Crespi with some local children. Crespi Museum in the Universidad Politécnica Salesiana.

Photograph of Father Crespi with some local children. Crespi Museum in the Universidad Politécnica Salesiana. Credit: Ancient-Origins.net

However, it was not only the people of Cuenca that he helped. Father Crespi also had a deep personal interest in the numerous tribes of indigenous people throughout Ecuador and sought to learn about their culture and traditions, as well as to offer assistance wherever possible.  People speak of his dedication to a life of voluntary poverty, sometimes sleeping on the floors of small huts belonging to indigenous people, with only a single blanket.

The clip below was filmed by Father Crespi in 1927 and is the first film of Shuar community life and culture ever made.

The Crespi Collection

It was due to the dedication of Father Crespi to the people that they began to bring him artifacts as offers of thanks. These artifacts came from all corners of the country and beyond, and were representative of the works of almost all the indigenous cultures of Ecuador.  Other objects, including numerous metallic carved plates, were thought to be modern-day carvings or replicas of ancient artifacts, though Crespi always showed great gratitude no matter the value of the gift. Not wanting to shame impoverished families by giving them money handouts for nothing, Crespi began to pay some of the people for the objects they brought him. Philip Coppens explains:

“When poor people brought him these plates or other artifacts that the local people knew he collected, he made sure they were rewarded for their efforts. He knew several local families were poor but that pride prevented them from asking for money, unless it was as payment for something. And hence, more and more metal plates found their way to the priest. Some, Crespi was sure, were fakes – and they were often the crudest executed.” 

Over time, Father Crespi acquired more than 50,000 objects, many of which were kept in the courtyard of the church Maria Auxiliadora until the Vatican gave him permission to start a museum to house the collection.  Unfortunately, many of the artifacts were destroyed in a fire in 1962. After Father Crespi passed away, the remaining artifacts were removed and little trace of them remained. Various claims emerged as to what happened to the artifacts that survived the fire – some say they were stored in the cellar archive of Maria Auxiliadora, others say they were sold to private collectors, or that they were shipped off to the Vatican. For decades, there was little known or seen of Crespi’s precious artifacts.


Decent story and video reportage but seems to have failed to answer a number of pertinent questions especially in light of the far more informative speech by Barton that was posted by Carol Anne here in these comments. For starters (and Barton offered a partial answer) if the Bank was the buyer, who or did it buy from? If Crespi was locked out of the negociations, who or what organization was authorized to replace him at the table? Bankers are after all sticklers for details like signatures on pieces of paper, no? Who signed off on the stuff? Was an inventory list made? Did anyone ‘knowable’ on the seller side witness/supervise the move? Found it hard to believe you people were the first people to have visited the collection in three decades. I mean this globally recognized controversy just doesn’t go to sleep for thirty years. Did you ask if anyone else had tried? Had it been off limits while they ‘sorted’ things out…to prospective buyers ? Such as the treatment Barton and Co. received. Speaking of which, Barton unloaded a little beauty in that speech to his fellow Mormons, when he related that the Ecuadorian government had intercepted a shipment of artifacts bound for Rome?!? A journalist’s gold mine if there ever was one. Were any of the numerous questions this raises ever pursued? On a secondary note, if Father Crespi was so destitute he’d regularly sleep on dirt floors where did he get the funds to ‘tip’ the 70,000 delivery boys he’d dealt with over the years? And a final query: how do you all jive Crespi’s angelic reputation at home in Cuenca with the more devilish view on the part of the Pastaza river tribal people who according to your recent Cueva de los Tayos report believed the Padre blatantly commissioned authorities to ferry back goods from the caves. Another story that imho left us wanting for a bit more on the plate.

I was very disappointed about this documentary that intends to show us the truth, but only shows us LIES and manipulates falsehoods.
First, let's be logical; The priest Crespi was not one simple religious man, but a ravenous and opportunist Anthropologist behind the robe of a priest. He "exploited ignorance and innocence" in order to get archaeological treasures, where Indians cannot assess the real value of historical artifacts and the wealth, when its are sale for rich collectors.

The priest not only got 5 archaeological pieces, but more than 5000 artifacts !!! Including gold, silver and rare artifacts around the world!!!!
We know that these pieces were exposed in museums. Who knows, how many other pieces he could get and sold of these treasures.
After all, how did he get all that? Where comes from?

By DONATIONS ??? The real donation we give for poor people, and we don't RECEIVE NOTHING in exchange, right? And never in the form of PAYMENTS. This is a moral distortion and greedy.
What the priest did, was an exploration of innocents for unique and personal benefit; perhaps with divine help of Vatican and Christian benediction. Similarly like the Vatican have full and rich relics and treasures of all world. Some stole, others required as payment to save our soul. The exploration was so big then father Crespi becomes SAINT!!! to be because millionaire !!!

When priest Crespi was alive, 4 or 5 previous videos showing very well the amount of gold, silver, and rare archaeological parts, exotic cultural artifacts, but not only Inca or South- American, also unknown writings, etc. Where were gone this artefacts ??
Regarding your investigation on videos that drive us one scam. It proves that we can record my toilette pot and say: There is the palace pool. Video is a virtual and not a real support for the true.

About the Cueva de los Tayos, it was explored by many archaeologists, foreign, by own government, also by an American astronaut, after having gone on moon that probably he tried to found out aliens artifacts in it.

Finally, do you believe really in this story ??

Hugh Newman's picture

The Quest for Father Crespi's Lost Treasure in Ecuador - NEW DOCUMENTARY with the team from Ancient Origins -https://youtu.be/TWQOLomhwiY 

HUGH NEWMAN - www.megalithomania.co.uk


Did you got a chance to take a sample of the Alloy or aluminium plates for analysis ?

Im rather baffled whit those Alloy or aluminuim plates we see on the photos.

There was plenty of those tin plates in 1920 available in this remote region of the world ?
Enougth plates available for poor poeple to grab some for free and carve stuff on them ?

Kind of suspicious to me.

Modern man is very different from humans in the past. One author noted that moderns, while drawing on substantial educational improvements in certain areas, have lost awareness of a huge aspect of the human mind 'as a servant'; what happens when through constant practice of meditation (Buddhist, Hindu-Yogic) the mind is harnessed and under firm control. The quieting aspects allows access to other innate human abilities, what might be described under the category of "Heightened Intuition". Without understanding this basic entry level requirement, how can you impose modern man's pre-conceived certainty that the original and valuable gold artifacts (worth far more than Father Crespi remunerated the givers for) were merely decoration for Temple walls? In India today Tantric Yogis still produce Gold, Silver, and Copper Instruments (Yantras) for many purposes. Gold Yantras may be found in the foundations of temples, on altars, and in homes and businesses depending on their purpose. The iconography includes images, diagrams, Sanskrit letters, and - numbers. Unknown artifacts may be revealed through Professor Pavlita's work in Prague which were formed on the basis of his study of Ancient Occult Art manuscripts in the Prague Library. So let us put aside our modern preconceptions and have another look at Wingate's and Von Daniken's photos, which are all we have left of these items - the originals were grabbed by Intelligence Agencies (like Tesla's work) following Father Crespi's passing. The literature on this subject in India has been carefully preserved and is quite extensive, available today to all who wish to study it.


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