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


I totally agree with your comment, a subject that many just seem to dismiss. Taking the age of the Earth we as humans are just a pencil mark on the ruler of time. With the discovery of 'Ooparts', that most of our 'learnered class' just say it is just a hoax.
Our own civilization would not last a hundred thousand years, think about it. How many civilizations could have risen and fell in only a time span of two million years?
Some believe that the Moon was/is a ship, why did it 'ring hollow', why haven't we continued exploration? What better way to move around the depth on space shielded from radiation?
Look to the "Creators Map" found in Russia.

We need to look and focus at a much longer timespan, dinosaurs roamed the earth for sixty six million years, give or take a few years, yet I have seen footprints of humans and dinosaurs laid down together. Underground cities, tunnels that are man made that lead deep into the Earth who made them and why?
Admiral Byrd, did he really go inside 'The Hollow Earth'?

I wondered if this depicted Quetzalcoatl, who sounds like he could have been a previous Buddha.

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

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.

aprilholloway's picture

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


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