A 25,000-year old civilization?
By Terrence Aym
The Lizard People built a maze of intricate tunnels deep underground. Their subterranean passageways lay far beneath the earth for thousands of years until the tunnels were accidentally discovered in 1933 by a California engineer named G. Warren Shufelt.
The engineer had invented an odd device he called a "radio X-ray." While prospecting for precious metals with the instrument he discovered a strange labyrinth of tunnels.
Who were those mysterious people—those Lizard People of the underground realm? The Hopi Indians knew and related legends that provided some clues.
A 25,000-year old civilization?
When Shufelt learned that the Hopi Indians possessed knowledge about the strange tunnels he'd discovered, he traveled to Arizona and met with an elder of the tribe: Little Chief Greenleaf.
Greenleaf (whose Westernized name was L. Macklin) shared an amazing tale with Shufelt.
The chief told Shufelt that the L.A. engineer had stumbled upon one of the three great lost cities built along the Pacific coastline thousands of years in the past.
Presumably,eons before the ancient Sumerian civilization rose 7,000 years ago, the Lizard People were already long settled in North America and had an advanced, flourishing civilization centered around trade between three giant coastal city-states. Greenleaf said that the remnants of the civilization that Shufelt found under the city of Los Angeles had been shelters built to protect the people from meteoric firestorms. Such a storm had destroyed parts of their cities when a huge fire came unexpectedly from the southwest.
I presume Aym got the story from the LA Times article he mentions--dated January 29, 1934. His article is mostly a rewrite of that article (below).
As you can see, the old article really exists. In fact, the LA Times has articles going back to 1897 about treasure buried beneath the city. In 2009, the paper revisited the subject:
Gold Hunters Dig for Lost Underground Empire of the Lizard People!
By Larry Harnisch
Earlier Times clips report that Shufelt had been a mining engineer employed by a mine in Kingman, Ariz., so evidently he was legitimate. Unfortunately, The Times' stories about the gold excavation are vague and conflicting about the origin of the map. Most stories say it belonged to McCreery and Martin, who presumably brought in Shufelt as a partner because he was a mining engineer. Our later story says Shufelt got the map from "Little Chief Greenleaf" alias L. Macklin.
Aug. 15, 1897: An early story about gold buried on Fort Moore Hill.
March 3, 1933: Gold hunters are excavating directly over the Broadway tunnel, a long-gone downtown landmark that was just north of the Hall of Justice. Evidently they didn't question why the crews digging the tunnel didn't find anything.
March 4, 1933: Gold hunters consult their ancient map.
March 7, 1933: Onlookers apparently heckled the diggers.
March 9, 1933: They're close!
March 27, 1933: The hunters are secretive about their map, attributing it to the Spanish rather than the Lizard People.
April 10, 1933: The Board of Supervisors allows digging to continue.
Sept. 7, 1933: Shufelt, McCreery and Martin have given up, but Alfred Scott comes forward to carry on the search.
Buried treasure is one thing, but the long article on January 29, 1934, raised the story to a whole new level. I think it's the only one to claim "Lizard People" rather than Spaniards buried a treasure:
Did Ancient Lizard Cult Hide Gold Tablets in Tunnels Under L.A.? Jan. 29, 1934
You also can read it here: Lizard People's Catacomb City Hunted
That wasn't quite the end of the story. Harnisch's roundup of LA Times articles continues:
Sept. 21, 1949: Demolition of the Broadway tunnel failed to reveal any buried gold.
Shufelt may have invented the so-called Hopi legend himself. Perhaps he felt a need to explain his failures--e.g., "The tides washed out the Lizard People and collapsed the tunnels." Or perhaps people weren't paying enough attention to the and he felt a need to spice it up.
For more on lost civilizations, see Lost Mesa in Fablehaven and Indiana Jones's Criminally Bad Archaeology.