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The Curious Case of the Explorer Who Met a 1,000-Year-Old Mayan Priest Inside a Cave

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This strange story appeared in the pages of the Modesto News-Herald back in January 3, 1931. It tells of an explorer’s bizarre encounter with a century-old cave guardian who became known as the Loltun Cave Hermit.

Whether this discovery was a mystical experience or not remains a mystery, as no one since has ever again seen what this explorer saw.

Robert B. Stacy-Judd was an English architect who designed hotels, theaters and other commercial buildings.

Source: Wikipedia

His designs were influenced by his great interest in Mayan and Aztec architecture.

Like this Aztec Hotel he built in Monrovia, Southern California.

Source: Flickr

Apart from his main line of work, he channeled his passion for all things Mayan by exploring their lost civilization and writing about Mayan architecture.

In one of his undated writings, Stacy-Judd narrated exploring the Loltun Cave, a site of Mayan civilization dating back to the Late Pre-classical Era.

The Loltun cave is around 5 kms. south of Oxkutzcab in Yucatan, Mexico.

Source: Google Maps

It is in this very cave, Stacy-Judd wrote a historical account about coming face to face with an ancient Mayan priest who claimed to be 1,000 years old!

The Loltun cave is two-kilometers worth of twists, turns and tunnels with evidence of Mayan habitation that goes back 10,000 years.

Eerily beautiful…but not the ideal place to get lost in.

Source: En-Yucatan

In Mayan, “Lol-Tun” means “flower stone,” and it is in this convoluted flower stone of a maze where Stacy-Judd and three native Mayan guides encountered a mysterious old hermit living in its unexplored depths.

According to his journals, Stacy-Judd was on his fifth expedition into Loltun. With him were his guides, Anton and Tavis, and an unnamed cattle driver.

The stalagmite and stalactite-filled cave had a vast central cavern which branched out into quite a number of passages leading into the darkness.

Where the sunlight could reach, vegetation grew near the cave’s mouth.

Source: Travelblog

Stacy-Judd left his equipment here, and set off with his guides to explore the underground. He left his first guide near where the sunlight ended.

Then he left his second guide at voice-shouting distance to serve as a message conduit between him and his first guide.

Stacy-Judd proceeded with this third guide towards another huge cavern.

Here, they barely escaped a huge pile of rock that fell on them from the ceiling, and the sound of rock fall brought the first guide running.

Since their first guide served as a conduit to their initial starting point, they lost all direction to get back to the cave’s mouth. They soon joined up with the second guard who was scared, as well.

To conserve the resources they brought with them, they put out their rush torches, and used the electric one Stacy-Judd carried.

They then started to retrace their trail to find the way back, with Stacy-Judd placing the guides at a distance from one another to keep a voice link.

Based on his notes of this expedition, he had just squeezed into a narrow opening leading to another cave fifty feet high when he saw something that startled him thoroughly.




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