Hypogeum Of Hal Saflienti (Malta): MIA Kids Tale; Elongated Skulls, etc.

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Anonymous

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#1
I asked this question before in this thread, so thought I'd try again.

The Maltese Cave Entrance
This entrance is located on the island of Malta, near the small village of "Casal Paula." (This village is built on the "Corradino" plateau, and overlooks the capitol town of Malta, "Valletta," as well as Grand Harbour.) In 1902, workmen digging a well in Casal Paula fell into a subterranean cavern. The well was being dug for a house on "Hal Saflienti," the main street in Casal Paula. The cavern the workers had fallen into connected with an entire complex of caves and tunnels. This entrance is known as the "Hypogeum of Hal Saflienti." (In Latin, "Hypogeum" is the name for an underground structure.) "The tunnels under the Hypogeum have been sealed off even since a school took 30 students into the caves and disappeared, guide and all. Search parties were never able to locate any trace of the people and children.
Does anyone have any factual details on this missing school party? Or is this some kind of embellishment? I recall in an earlier FT article on an author called Shaver and his subterranean creation the Dero (IIRC) that there was a tale of sightings of bizarre creatures in these tunnels, which may have been linked to the disappearance of this school party. It also mentioned that the tunnels enabled one to travel from end of Malta to the other.
 
A

Anonymous

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Well, I have been in the Hypogeum, and there was no mention of a missing school party, in fact there would not have been anywhere for them to go missing. The tunnels certainly do not extend under the whole island- I noticed at the time that some of the stories the guides well telling were slightly spiced up for the tourist trade...
The Hypogeum is a fantastic place, however, definitely recommended. About ten metres underground, in the soft limestone rock, a series of underground temples have been excavated by the Neolithic/copper age civilisation of Malta, around the time of Stonehenge and the Pyramids. These large, round rooms have smaller sanctuary rooms adjoining, and reflect the surface temples of the same culture with their fat goddess statues and spiral motifs.
It is quite similar in design and size to Skara Brae, actually, but 10 metres underground.
A strange quality of the Hypogeum is the acoustics- if you hum loudly, or sing certain notes, the entire construction vibrates resonantly.
One of the rooms at least was filled with human bones when discovered, by the way...
http://www.theculturedtraveler.com/Heritage/Archives/Malta.htm
 

escargot

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#3
Sounds like the Pied Piper to me.
Don't laugh- I'm serious.

The Pied Piper legend is supposed to be a sort of communal memory of the Children's Crusade, when a load of children were inspired to set off together to help liberate the Holy Land.


Something about it here-


'Questionable medieval records suggest children go on a crusade to liberate the Holy Land but get sold into slavery instead.'


Children's crusade

Groups of children going missing together, never to return, figure in the legends of many countries, especially ones with European cultures. They are believed to refer to the Children's Crusade, which, erm, didn't actually happen.

Dunno, baffled again. :confused:
 

JamesWhitehead

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#7
I like the sound of this Malta tale, but I fear it will turn out to be
as foundationless as the Hanging Rock mystification.

I think Peter Weir's film claims to have been based on a true story
but the authoress was evasive about the status of her
tale. Researchers have blown a number of holes in the alleged
facts and found no reference to such a disappearance in
contemporary records. :(
 

mejane

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#9
I've just stumbled upon this:

Tal-Maqluba
This legend says
that where today lies the area known as "tal-Maqluba",
just south of the Maltese village of Qrendi, there once was an
evil village. The people were so bad that God punished them by
opening the ground and the whole village was swallowed by the
earth. The opening in the ground stopped exactly in front a
chapel, which is still present just by the edge of this enormous hole which is around 50 meters in circumference and around 40 meters
deep.
source

If I'm right in thinking that Malta isn't in a major earthquake zone, then this story could suggest a network of old (and now unsafe) tunnels. Or not.

Jane.
 
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Anonymous

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http://abcbooks.virtualave.net/ng40C.html advertises the August 1940 issue of National Geographic for sale, and it contains an article, "wanderers awheel in Malta" by one Richard Walter. An interesting citation to this article can be found here: http://home.earthlink.net/~mottimorph/EEE.html
Earthlink link is dead. See follow-up post below.

Now, apparently this stuff was "reprinted" by one Riley Crabb, Director of Borderland Sciences Research Associates, in his printed 1960s lecture "The Reality of the Underground." However, there is a website dedicated to National Geographic caving references at http://home.mira.net/~gnb/caving/natgeo.html which makes no reference to anything caving related in the August 1940 issue. I'll try to track down the actual article, but perhaps this Mr. Crabb took it upon himslef to whip up some source material and attribute it to National Geographic?
 
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A

Anonymous

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#14
Yes- that is as far as I had got- it seems that the news item was a clever fabrication;
just the sort of thing you would expect from a hack SF writer.

But without an eyeball of the actual NG issue I can't be sure.
 

gyrtrash

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#15
Here's an interesting article relating why the builders of the Hypogeum diappeared!:)

...theory could also explain the greatest mystery on Malta, what happened to the temple builders. They appeared 7,000 years ago, and over the next 3,000 years manipulated slabs of limestone into temples decorated with elegant carvings of animals, spirals, and the statues rudely described as "fat ladies".
The three stories underground Hypogeum mortuary temple, needed an estimated 22,000 tons of rock to be picked away with antler and bone tools.

Having created what one architect speaker called "mankind's first great architecture", the temple builders apparently downed tools, stopped work, and vanished from the face of the earth around 4,500 years ago.

Dr Sagona believes the farmers had pushed agriculture to its limits, so that minor climate change could have caused catastrophic crop failures.
Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,1055683,00.html
 

eburacum

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#16
(thread necromancy alert)
The actual quote from the National Geographic is now available, online, on the Wikipedia page about Hal-Saflieni;

see
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypogeum_o ... l-Saflieni
Walter, Richard (August 1940). "Wanderers Awheel in Malta: British Stronghold Has Been a Steppingstone of Conquest Since Phoenicians Cruised the Mediterranean and St. Paul Was Shipwrecked There.". National Geographic Magazine 78 (2): pp. 253–72. "Many subterranean passageways, including ancient catacombs, now are a part of the island's fortifications and defense system. Supplies are kept in many tunnels; others are bomb shelters. Beneath Valletta some of the underground areas served as homes for the poor. Prehistoric men built temples and chambers in these vaults. In a pit beside one sacrificial altar lie thousands of human skeletons. Years ago one could walk underground from one end of Malta to the other. The Government closed the entrances to these tunnels after school children and their teachers became lost in the labyrinth while on a study tour and never returned."
I would point out that it does not state explicitly that this event occured in the Hypogeum (which would be very unlikely, since every inch of that site is mapped- it is after all a World Heritage Site).

In fact it gives no location or date at all- the event was probably just a 'tall tale' told by the locals, or maybe by the archaeologists. There is no evidence that it ever really happened, at Hal-Saflieni or anywhere else.
 

dreeness

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#17
Here's another puzzling event that may or may not have ever really happened.


From MaltaStar.com
Malta Cave and Missing Children

Unexpained Mysteries

Tradition holds that before the British government sealed up several tunnels, one could walk from one end of Malta to the other underground. One of the labyrinths, discovered by excavators, is the Hypogeum of Hal Saflieni, in which excavators discovered the bones of over 33,000 people who had been sacrificed by an ancient pagan neolithic cult.National Geographic, Aug. 1940 issue, told of several school children who had disappeared without a trace in the Hypogeum.

British embassy worker Miss Lois Jessup convinced a guide to allow her to explore a 3-ft. square "burial chamber" next to the floor of the lowest room in the last [3rd] sub-level of the catacombs. He reluctantly agreed and she crawled through the passage until emerging on a cavern ledge overlooking a deep chasm. In total shock she saw a procession of TALL humanoids with white hair covering their bodies walking along another ledge about 50 feet down on the opposite wall of the chasm.

Sensing her they collectively lifted their palms in her direction at which a strong "wind" began to blow through the cavern and something big, "slippery and wet" moved past her before she left in terror to the lower room, where the guide gave her a "knowing" look. Later she returned after the 30 school children and their teacher had disappeared in the same passage that she had explored, only to find a new guide who denied any knowledge of the former guides' employment there.

She heard reports however that after the last child had passed through the "burial chamber" and out onto the ledge, a "cave-in" collapsed the burial chamber and the rope connecting them to the lower chamber was later found to be "cut clean". Grieving Mothers of several of the children swore that for a week or more following the disappearance they could hear theirchildren crying and screaming "as if from underground". Other sources state that an underground connection exists or did exist between Malta and reaches hundreds of miles and intersects the catacombs below the hill Vaticanus in Rome.

See also this link:

link


See the Hypogeum thread:

http://forum.forteantimes.com/index...lienti-malta-missing-schoolchildren-etc.8319/
 
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Mythopoeika

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#18
dreeness said:
Sensing her they collectively lifted their palms in her direction at which a strong "wind" began to blow through the cavern and something big, "slippery and wet" moved past her before she left in terror to the lower room, where the guide gave her a "knowing" look.
Something big, "slippery and wet"?

Cthulhu?
 

eburacum

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#19
I've been in the Hypogeum of Hal Saflieni; it is a well-studied archaeological site and a World Heritage Site. There are no such hidden caves connected to it. Curiously though this story was reported in the National Geographic;
see
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypogeum_o ... ni#Cave-in
According to National Geographic's Ancient X-Files there are no local newspaper reports or accounts from residents about the missing children, making it more likely this was an invented story.
 

blessmycottonsocks

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#20
"I've been in the Hypogeum of Hal Saflieni"

Me too. The guided tour does not include access to the lowest level though. I paused by the cave-like entrance down to the lowest level though and could make out what appeared to be a tunnel stretching away into the gloom. Wish I'd had a ladder, torch and a few hours to myself down there!
 

EnolaGaia

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#21
Is this the source for the missing school party story?
http://www.conspiracyarchive.com/UFOs/tunnels-3.html
Link is dead.
Here are the relevant excerpts from the MIA 1992 webpage ...

Underground Tunnels, The Maltese Cave Entrance
The Maltese Cave entrance is on the island of Malta. ...

On the northeast shore of Malta there are a number of large bays. One of these is known as Grand Harbor. This bay has a point of land extending into it upon which the capital of the Maltese Islands, the city of Valletta, is built. A few miles inland from this town toward the south, overlooking the plain which leads to the shore, is a large plateau known as the Corradino. The little village of Casal Paula is built on this plateau, and from the village one can view Valletta, Grand Harbour, the plain leading to it, and also look out to the sea.

In this small village of Casal Paula during the year 1902 workmen, who were digging a well, literally fell into the earth. They had once again uncovered the outer room of the Maltese Cave entrance. Since the well was to be dug for a house which was on the main street named "Hal Saflieni," and because this first cave was later discovered to be complex of caves, three of which were a series of chambers excavated out of solid rock on three even lower levels for each chamber, this entrance is known as the "Hypogeum of Hal Saflienti." A hypogeum is the Latin name for an underground structure.

Later this series of underground rooms was discovered to have been located in the middle of an ancient neolithic village. From the construction of the entrance stones, it is now assumed that at certain times a human sacrifice was chained before the entrance. The entrance and the walls and ceilings of some of the passageways and rooms have been found to be decorated with red ochre primitive art designs, but when first discovered the three caves were crammed with as many as 30,000 skeletons of men, woman, and children. After all these bones were cleared out, the primitive murals were discovered. They took the forms of diamond shapes, as well as oblated and elongated ovals, all of which were joined together with wavy lines and whirls. These decorations had been created solely from the application of red ochre, by the most primitive of methods. ...

Once past the entrance, a narrow passageway leads down into the first room. It is in this room, that the "Oracle" may be found. The Oracle is a hemispherical hole in the wall, a which is lower than the mouth of an ordinary-sized man. It is about two feet in diameter, and one can speak into it. A curved projection carved out of the back of the cave then acts as a sounding board. The voice is amplified and caused to resound throughout all the other caves. It creates an effect which must have frightened the primitives into sacrificing many of the members of their tribe to the being who spoe with the "Voice of God."

If you continue down through the narrow and low passageways, you come to another room. The center of this room has a circular stone altar with runnels on it, the use of which can only be guessed at. Carved in the walls of this room are many niches, the bases of which are like bunk beds. They have hollows scooped out for the heads and bodies, as well as the feet of four-foot-high individuals and some are even smaller.

Leading downward from this room is a small, narrow passageway, ending in another even larger underground room, which has narrow slit-like entrances into other small caves which surround it. One opening, however, is a window into another cave, the entrance to which is covered by a huge slab of stone. This window looks down into what was evidently a prison, but how beings only four feet tall were able to manipulate the huge stone slab must remain a mystery.

An opening in the wall opposite the entrance to this cave leads to a passage narrow and torturous, the entrance to the real caves. This passage ends on a pathway which extends along the side of a vast cleft in the earth, a pathway along the edge of a veritable chasm, a pathway which leads ever downward to the long underground tunnels and series of caves which are reputed to allow one to traverse the entire length of the island and even further.

Legend has it that these passageways at one time connected with the underground crypts from which the Catacombs of Rome were created. This may very well be true; for the reader must remember that the Mediterranean Sea was created after neolithic times by eathquakes and the shifting of the earth's crust. Therefore, while the ancient tunnels may have existed, they might have been closed by cataclysms of this type, with the knowledge of them coming down to us only in legends.

The tunnels under the "Hypogeum" have been sealed off ever since a school teacher took 30 students into the caves and disapeared, guide and all. It was stated that the walls caved in on them. Search parties were never able to locate any trace of these people.

It has been asserted that for weeks the wailing and screaming of children was heard underground in different parts of the island, but no one could locate the source of the sound. If the walls caved in, why the cave-in could not be found and excavated to free the children remains a mystery.

How the children could live to scream for weeks later is another involved puzzle. At any rate, the underground entrance to the caves in Malta has been sealed off, and nobody is allowed to investigate the site. ...
SALVAGED FROM: https://web.archive.org/web/20030407183441/http://www.conspiracyarchive.com/UFOs/tunnels-3.html
 

EnolaGaia

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#23
... An interesting citation to this article can be found here: http://home.earthlink.net/~mottimorph/EEE.html ...
This link is long dead. Later archived versions of the webpage simply state:

The material of this page has been moved, incorporated into the second edition of Caverns, Cauldrons, and Concealed Creatures, along with other new materia

Caverns, Cauldrons, and Concealed Creatures is a book by Wm. Michael Mott (who apparently operated the Earthlink site). A searchable 3rd edition of the book is accessible at Google Books:

https://books.google.com/books?id=d0l7AwAAQBAJ&q=Malta#v=onepage&q=Malta&f=false
 

blessmycottonsocks

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#24
Visited the Hypogeum around 5 years ago.
At the lowest public level (where the echoing "oracle hole" is), I did spot a ladder in a pit, presumably leading down to deeper tunnels. This was roped off though and maybe 10 metres away from the public walkways. Would have loved to explore down there, but the Hypogeum tours are very strictly controlled and you have no option but to stay close to the guide, as lights are switched off behind you and on in the area you're obliged to move to next.
 

AlchoPwn

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#25
I recently surfed up into a couple of articles on this topic. They seem to be treading the same well worn info.

http://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2004-04-11/local-news/The-Mystery-of-the-Hypogeum-65879

https://www.timesofmalta.com/articl...ildren-alien-skulls-and-7000-skeletons.644151

It is worth noting how the count of skeletons differs, and how there is no official report of the disappearances or names of the students. As for elongated skulls, this procedure is well known from archaeology and is produced either by a mild local genetic anomaly or more commonly by the practice of infant head binding: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_cranial_deformation

The claims may be a bit exaggerated though:
https://lovinmalta.com/news/mystery-of-maltas-elongated-skulls-could-soon-be-solved
 

blessmycottonsocks

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#26

Amoradala

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#27
I recently surfed up into a couple of articles on this topic. They seem to be treading the same well worn info.

https://www.timesofmalta.com/articl...ildren-alien-skulls-and-7000-skeletons.644151
. As for elongated skulls, this procedure is well known from archaeology and is produced either by a mild local genetic anomaly or more commonly by the practice of infant head binding: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_cranial_deformation

The claims may be a bit exaggerated though:
https://lovinmalta.com/news/mystery-of-maltas-elongated-skulls-could-soon-be-solved
Except that - as the article in your link states the ‘cranial knitting lines’ are different to homo sapian. This alone would suggest a major genetic anomaly.
And infant head binding deforms the shape of the skull - in cannot add mass to the skull and create extra length.

The article is confusing though, in the sense the professor in charge says the skulls are not elongated - yet the photo of a skull purporting to be from the site quite clearly is.
 

AlchoPwn

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#28
Except that - as the article in your link states the ‘cranial knitting lines’ are different to homo sapiens. This alone would suggest a major genetic anomaly. And infant head binding deforms the shape of the skull - in cannot add mass to the skull and create extra length.
IDK, I think the Huns might have stopped head binding their infants if it made their skulls more fragile. They lived violent lives and the problem would have become obvious pretty quickly.

As to the cranial knitting lines, another article shows a clear line of bizarre cranial knitting gping crudely ear to ear. Human skulls don't knit that way, and that goes back some way into our ancestor species too. I agree with you Amoradala. That is a major departure from normal human skulls, and the notion that there is somehow "nothing much to see", because it "isn't 'elongated" as the article suggests is clearly wrong. These are not normal human skulls, and unless the ancients knew how to erase the traces of cranial knitting, the very elongated skull is weirder still, as apparently it has no cranial knitting.

The article is confusing though, in the sense the professor in charge says the skulls are not elongated - yet the photo of a skull purporting to be from the site quite clearly is.
Yeah, that skull looks pretty elongated to me. Maybe they should photograph it from other angles?
 

blessmycottonsocks

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#29
Not sure about any anomalous cranial knitting, but the overall appearance of some skulls found in the Malta Hypogeum (top) and from Paracas Peru (lower) is remarkably similar:

PSX_20190322_093902.jpg

PSX_20190322_094104.jpg
 

AlchoPwn

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#30
Not sure about any anomalous cranial knitting, but the overall appearance of some skulls found in the Malta Hypogeum (top) and from Paracas Peru (lower) is remarkably similar:
I advise looking at the first skull in the article I posted most recently. Line 3 another article. The link is a bit disguised.
 
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