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The Tayos Cave and the Metallic Library

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It\'s not what you know, but who you know.

In 1973, Erich von Däniken, at the height of his fame following the success of Chariots of the Gods?, claimed that he had entered into a gigantic subterranean tunnel system in Ecuador, which he was told spanned the length of the continent—surely evidence that our ancestors were highly advanced, if not extraterrestrial? The structure was believed to house a library in which books were made out of metal—this in an area where today there is nothing but \"primitive\" Indian tribes with no written language. Evidence of a lost civilisation? It was a major claim, and it did not go unchallenged.

The story centred around Janos \"Juan\" Moricz, an aristocratic Argentinian-Hungarian entrepreneur who claimed that he had discovered a series of tunnels in Ecuador that contained a \"Metal Library\". In a signed affidavit dated 8 July 1969, he spoke about his meeting with the Ecuadorian president, where he received a concession that allowed him total control over this discovery—provided he could produce photographic evidence and an independent witness that corroborated the discovery of the underground network. Newspapers reported on the expedition that Moricz had organised.
In 1972, Moricz met with von Däniken and took him to a secret side-entrance through which they could enter into a large hall within the labyrinth. Apparently von Däniken never got to see the library itself, just the tunnel system. Von Däniken included the event in his book The Gold of the Gods:
\"The passages all form perfect right angles. Sometimes they are narrow, sometimes wide. The walls are smooth and often seem to be polished. The ceilings are flat and at times look as if they were covered with a kind of glaze… My doubts about the existence of the underground tunnels vanished as if by magic and I felt tremendously happy.

Note: Neil Armstrong was inside the Tayos Cave in 1976

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