It is undeniable that the A̳n̳c̳i̳e̳n̳t̳ c̳i̳v̳i̳l̳i̳z̳a̳t̳i̳o̳n̳s worshipped the Anthropomorphic R̳e̳p̳t̳i̳l̳i̳a̳n̳s. There is enough evidence in the form of sculpture, legends, and lore that authenticate the importance of reptiles in divinity. From Asia to America, the Serpent gods are widely discussed and around four percent of Americans believe in the lizard people story. For almost a century, legends spread in Los Angeles that a mysterious race of highly evolved “lizard people” once built an extensive underground in downtown Los Angeles. It was further fueled when Los Angeles Times published a map of the labyrinth under the city downtown.
The story went like this: In 1933, a mining engineer named George W̳a̳r̳ren Shufelt inspected an underground area in search of deposits of oil, gold, and other valuable materials, using a scanner that allowed him to take a reading of the terrain and find formations or sources of some mineral.
During a search, he supposedly discovered the entire underground city, appropriately shaped like a lizard, reached from Elysian Park (the lizard’s head) to today’s Central Library (the tip of the tail).
Lizard People and Gold Tablets Under Los Angeles
The article was published under the name of Jean Bosquet, who worked as an investigative journalist for the newspaper. He explained that Shufelt had managed to map the area thanks to state-of-the-art technology and had found the ruins of an entire underground city. According to a 1934 article in the Los Angeles Times:
“The radio X-ray has revealed the location of one of three lost cities on the Pacific Coast, the local one having been dug by the Lizard People after the “great catastrophe” which occurred about 5,000 years ago. This legendary catastrophe was in the form of a huge tongue of fire which “came out of the Southwest, destroying all life in its path,” the path being “several hundred miles wide.” The city underground was dug as a means of escaping future fires … Large rooms in the domes of the hills above the city of labyrinths housed 1,000 families “in the manner of tall buildings” and imperishable food supplies of the herb variety were stored in the catacombs to provide sustenance for the lizardfolk for great lengths of time…”
Map of a supposed, 5,000-year-old underground city of the “lizard people” under downtown Los Angeles, California, USA, as published in the Los Angeles Times on January 29, 1934.
Unlike other conspirational stories, Shufelt’s lizard people were not just an a̳l̳i̳e̳n̳ race of reptiles but the human beings who worshiped the lizard as a symbol of long life and laid out their underground labyrinth in the shape of their favorite reptile.
Shufelt was perplexed when one day while taking readings near downtown Los Angeles, his instruments showed him what appeared to be a network of tunnels and chambers that stretched across most of downtown. The discovery ranged from the public library to Mount Washington and from the Southwest to Pasadena.
What he discovered seemed to be a well-planned underground labyrinth, with large rooms situated at various points, and gold deposits within the chambers and corridors.
Shufelt and his team could not find any logic linking the information they had collected with their findings, they were supposed to find some A̳n̳c̳i̳e̳n̳t̳ gold deposit.
Shufelt said his quest to understand his findings led him to Chief Green Leaf a Hopi Indian at a medicine lodge in Arizona. The Chief, whose existence is doubted, told him of a lost c̳i̳v̳i̳l̳i̳z̳a̳t̳i̳o̳n̳ of advanced earthlings known as the “Lizard People,” whose nine-year-olds were as intellectually advanced as college graduates.
According to the explanation of the old and wise indigenous inhabitants, this could be the last evidence of the existence of an old race of beings that were a mixture of humans and lizards that had built this underground city to protect themselves from a catastrophic event.
The most surprising thing about the case is that they assured that these beings used chemical and not mechanical tools to build these passageways. Local legends say that about 4,000 to 5,000 years ago, a huge meteor shower fell on the western coast covering an area hundreds of kilometers wide.
Thousands of inhabitants died, their crops were devastated, houses were destroyed and forests burned. According to the stories, this race had ceased to exist but there was evidence of its passage through the earth and the construction of the tunnels was one of them.
The explanation given by the natives to the group of explorers was that these people used to record their history on gold tablets that they stored in libraries. For the Indians, what Shufelt’s technological teams had detected were the stores of these boards and they thought it was a mine.
After all this, the exploration began meters below, and the next step that the explorers had to follow was the excavation of the land to verify what the technology showed them.
Shufelt created this map (as shown above) of the passages below the surface of Fort Moore Hill. After receiving permission to dig, the group of explorers managed to excavate 76 meters below the ground. From January to February, they managed to reach 106 meters but entering this phase the project was suddenly stopped and abandoned.
The Banning House (of Phineas Banning) on Fort Moore Hill, the site of the old Fort Moore. This hill easily accessible and heavily populated became ground zero for the legends of buried treasure. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
On March 5, 1934, the wells were sealed and the contract with the city was canceled. Neither the gold nor any other treasure was turned over to Los Angeles County.
After the suspension of the excavation, everything became a mystery. Shufelt believed that the maze of tunnels was at least 300 meters deep, with 2.5 square kilometer rooms containing valuable gold treasures in at least 16 locations. The issue was forgotten until the Los Angeles Times reporter decided to interview the members of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce.
The statements of these officials explained that there is a possibility that this network of tunnels did exist, but it is very difficult for any exploration to be authorized at present since there are a large number of buildings in the area that could be affected.
Several press articles appeared in the newspaper with updates on the project. Shortly after all the attention, the media was focused on this search for the lost city under Los Angeles.
Shufelt’s Story Myth or Reality?
Shufelt died in 1957 and so is the mystery. It cannot be determined whether Shufelt’s detailed map was really a way to the treasure left by the so-called Lizard People. But the worshipping reptilian/Serpent gods are not uncommon in the world’s A̳n̳c̳i̳e̳n̳t̳ history.
Serpent Deities and Monsters of Mesopotamia: Ningishzida and Mushussu. Ningishzida, with snakes emanating from his shoulders, on relief of Gudea, c. 2000 BCE. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
In Mesoamerican culture, A̳n̳c̳i̳e̳n̳t̳ Egypt, A̳n̳c̳i̳e̳n̳t̳ C̳h̳i̳n̳a̳, A̳n̳c̳i̳e̳n̳t̳ India, A̳n̳c̳i̳e̳n̳t̳ Greece, Australia, etc., snakes have a plethora of meanings and interpretations that can be examined through the various serpentine gods that are a part of the religion.