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©1996 Dr. Colette M. Dowell

Eccentric Lives and Peculiar Notions is the title of one of my most favorite books authored by John Michell. I felt this to be a good title for this unusual paper written by me, Dr. Colette M. Dowell ©1996 I have added some modern links for more information. CMD
John Michell in his own right is a most remarkable human. His fortean sense of perception and his keen intelligence is appreciated by many who have had the favor of knowing him personally or reading his books.

Figure 1.
Skull of Mayan child laborer. Photograph: Colette M. Dowell
                 Courtesy: National Museum of Anthropology, Merida, Yucatan

        One late night in my small caravan in Southern England, John and I had some seriously weird conversations about odd events and extraordinary  concepts. We chatted on absurdities and laughed about peculiar notions people held in reverie which led them to execute the most bizarre behavior. It was then that I first learned about his book, “Eccentric Lives and Peculiar Notions.”

        While we ‘surfed’ the cosmic realm department, John told of a couple who had literally drilled holes (by means of an electric drill while tripping on LSD) in theirs heads and removed part of their skull bone in hopes of achieving greater blood flow volume to the brain. This far-out procedure is known as trepanation and is held sacred by many indigenous peoples by their noble priests in search of attaining greater spiritual and cosmic knowingness. The belief behind this self mutilation is basically; the greater the volume of flow of blood in the brain, the vaster the cosmic knowledge.  Spiritual satisfaction — I guess.

        In John’s book he writes of a fellow Dr. Bart Huges, and relates Mr. Huges view on this matter. “One’s state and degree of consciousness, he realized, are related to the volume of blood in the brain. According to his theory of evolution, [Huges] the adoption of an upright stance brought certain benefits to the human race, but it caused the flow of blood through the head to be limited by gravity, thus reducing the range of human consciousness. Certain parts of the brain ceased or reduced their functions while others, particularly those parts relating to speech and reasoning, became emphasized in compensation.”

Figure 2.
Wooden cradle compressing and squeezing the skull
of a Maya youth during the soft bone period of development
creating a ‘cone head’ upper class individual.
Photograph: Colette M. Dowell.
Courtesy: National Museum of Anthropology, Merida, Yucatan.

       That is all well and fine I suppose, I really don’t know how removing a piece of your skull to increase blood flow volume really works. I also don’t know how transforming your skull might or might not be beneficial to your ‘consciousness. The Japanese bind the females feet and mutilate them for ‘beauty’, various tribes in Africa place rings and plates in their lips and bodies for specific tribal purposes and some folk will do just about anything to their body in hopes of making a statement or coming to terms with their ‘GOD.’ So hey, who really knows what kind of spiritual connection is behind these extreme endeavors? Who can really judge? And with that last statement I will bring in the Maya and their bodily malformations.

        When I first entered the National Museum of Anthropology in Merida, Yucatan, I was entranced by the spectacular ancient bones and corpses which laid throughout the museum floor and architecturally correct wall exhibits. Heads of priestly Maya individuals were inlaid with turquoise and their teeth studded with semi-precious gemstones. There were illustrations of Maya women depicting their eyes crossed (in the name of beauty). The subtitles described how Maya children’s faces were fashioned with tooled head-dresses placed directly in their field of vision, affecting over a period of time the small muscles and ligaments of the eyes;  producing crossed eyes. However, the exhibits of distorted ancient Maya skulls were with out a doubt, the most impressive to me.

        When I first viewed the skulls I thought “ah-ha, these guys were ‘aliens’!” There was no way in my mind that these Maya skulls were in any way a representation of the ‘human’ race. I was wrong. Upon furthering my interest in the skulls, I noticed an illustration of a Maya woman holding a Maya youth strapped into a wooden cradle whereby two planks of wood were compressing and squeezing the child’s head. After a period of time during the soft bone period of development of the child, the skull would be forever elongated and the now ‘cone head’ individual would be recognized as a member of the noble ‘upper class’ society of the Maya. See figure 2. &  4.  

        The laboring class of Maya had  their own distinctive look. They strapped their developing  youth’s heads into wooden frames creating ovoid basketball type skulls eerily suggestive of our modern day Jack-O-Lantern. See figure 1. & 3.

Figure 3.
Wooden vices strapped on Mayan child laborer. Photograph: Colette M. Dowell. Courtesy: National Museum of Anthropology, Merida, Yucatan.

       Perhaps there were very specific reasons for the different shaped skulls besides just ‘categorizing’ an individual. I thought of trepanation and Dr. Bart Huges theory of greater blood flow volume to the brain for achieving greater cosmic knowledge. Could some how the various shapes of the skull affect the blood flow and the particular functions of the brain in different ways? Did the Maya theorize this as well? Could the noble ‘cone-heads’ of the ‘upper class’ obtain greater cosmic awareness while manipulating and maintaining a laboring class of ‘basketball’ heads to serve them and build their palatial temples?  


Figure 4.
Ancient Maya ‘ upper class’ adult skull.
Photograph: Colette M. Dowell 
Courtesy: National Museum of Anthropology, Merida, Yucatan.

The Maya are known for their Serpent Gods which wore very elaborate, elongated head-dresses and the upper class Maya wanted very much to fashion their own skulls as such. Why did their Gods where such tall elaborate hats? Did they need to because their skulls were elongated? (the Egyptian Gods also have elongated head-dresses; is there a common link between Ancient Gods? Were the Gods the same species or something?) Of course whatever reasons the Maya had for mal-forming their skulls seem somewhat peculiar to me and to most modern day cultures. But in a sense, how can modern day societies judge what may or may not be appropriate for another ancient civilization? What some ‘modern’ humans do to their bodies today (tattooing, piercing, shaving, ratting, dyeing and transplanting hair, wearing makeup, lipo-suction, plastic surgery, breast implants, rib removal, trepanation,  etc.), could possibly be held  by some ‘ancients’ as being totally absurd. Do the people who transform their bodies in these ways have a spiritual, cosmic motive, or do they do it for beauty? There are many reasons behind such acts and they are all probably very personal.   C.M.D.

An International Networking Educational Institute
Intellectual, Scientific and Philosophical Studies
Copyright © 1995, 2006

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The Official Website of Dr. Robert M. Schoch and Dr. Colette M. Dowell

An International Networking Educational Institute
Intellectual, Scientific and Philosophical Studies
Copyright © 1995, 2006


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Dr. Robert M. Schoch  &  Dr. Colette M. Dowell
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Related Resources

Eccentric Lives, Peculiar Notions

Eccentric Lives and Peculiar Notions
by John Michell

Book Description

The passionately misguided individuals profiled in this entertaining book form an unforgettable portrait of human imagination run wild.
Never has so much energy been poured into such oddly misbegotten ideas, inventions, enterprises and movements. The 22 individuals and groups described here with wit and understanding represent the widest range of true eccentricity. Lady Blount believes that the earth is flat; Cyrus Teed, that it is a hollow shell with us on the inside; Baron de Guldenstubbe that statues write him letters. Nesta Webster devotes her life to exposing international conspiracies; John Carden to pestering one young lady. Geoffrey Pyke invents a giant battleship made of ice; and Amanda Feilding and Joey Mellen live in peace and prosperity after drilling holes in their heads. The peculiarities of their beliefs are surpassed only by the boundless enthusiasm with which they defend them, and their stories are all here, told in John Michell's lively prose and accompanied by historic photographs and drawings.

About the Author

John Michell was a Russian interpreter and Chartered Surveyor before publishing his first book, The Flying Saucer Vision, in 1967. This and its successor, The View Over Atlantis (1969), helped to change the attitudes of a whole generation to the culture, wisdom and science of ancient societies. His other books include The Earth Spirit, A Little History of Astro Archaeology, Simulacra, Megalithomania, The New View Over Atlantis, and, with Robert Rickard, Phenomena and Living Wonders. He lives in London.

Search for Ancient Wisdom (Hybrid)
by Cmcbx 050, Publishing Cambrix


A multimedia journal that chronicles a startling 5-year investigation of ancient events, places, peoples and philosophies. Discover that many modern scientific, technological and medical mysteries have already been solved by archaic societies. Probe through ruins to uncover bizarre historical events, human remains and amazing objects. Videos from every corner of the globe and hundreds of color photos help you explore some of the world's most fascinating secrets.

The Mystery of the Crystal Skulls: A Real Life Detective Story of the Ancient World

by Chris Morton, Ceri Louise Thomas

An old Native American legend tells of thirteen life-size crystal skulls, which are said to hold crucial information about humankind's true purpose and future destiny. The skulls would be discovered and their secrets revealed when the human race was sufficiently developed. The authors hear of this legend while in the jungles of Belize and set out on a quest to discover its truth.
"The Mystery of the Crystal Skulls" follows their journey from Maya temples to the British Museum, the Smithsonian, and to the crystal laboratories of Hewlett-Packard, where tests lead one scientist to conclude, "This {crystal} skull should not even exist." 
In the end, shamans and native elders reveal the sacred knowledge the skulls contain and answer the questions this enduring mystery raises:
Are the skulls artifacts from the lost civilization of Atlantis, or are they extraterrestrial in origin?
Made from piezo-electric quartz crystal, used in today's computers, are the skulls information storage devices?
Do they really posses telepathic qualities, allowing us to see deep into the past and predict the future?
What is the message they bring about future earth changes and the destiny of humanity?

The Mystery of the Crystal Skulls
by Chris Morton, Ceri Louise Thomas

Chris Morton and Ceri Thomas have journeyed all over the world meeting people who could tell them about the crystal skulls, including the indigenous peoples, psychics, archaeologists and scientists. This text reveals their acquired knowledge from the travels.

Book Description
The crystal skulls are a mystery as profound as the Pyramids of Egypt, the Nazca Lines of Peru, or Stonehenge. Many indigenous people speak of their remarkable magical and healing properties, but nobody really knows where they came from or what they were used for. Were they left behind after the destruction of a previous world, such as Atlantis? Are they simply ingenious modern fakes or can they really enable us to see deeply into the past and predict the future? Searching for the answers takes the authors on a fantastic odyssey through both the physical and the spiritual world.
After hearing stories of an old native American legend that describes the existence of thirteen ancient crystal skulls, that are said to speak or sing and hold important information about the origins, purpose and destiny of mankind. The authors set out on their own quest to find the truth about the skulls. They encounter psychics, UFO hunters, shamans, mystics and medicine men on a journey of discovery that takes them from the British Museum in London to the deserts of the United States, from the science labs of Hewlett Packard to the cold snows of Canada and the tropical jungles of Mexico, Guatemala and Belize. At sacred gatherings of native elders they learn of ancient wisdom kept secret for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. They hear of startling prophecies concerning events that will happen on this Earth in the immediate future, prophecies that question the very survival of the human species on this small island we call home. This is the story of their remarkable discoveries.

Related Links

The Starchild Project


Deformed Mystery Skulls

Crystal Skulls

  • The Mysterious Crystal Skulls, an article by Joshua Shapiro

  • Society of Crystal Skulls, International
    Founded in New York in 1945 by Mr. F. R. 'Nick' Nocerino, the Society of Crystal Skulls, International is an organization devoted to research and education in the specific area of crystal skulls. Crystal Skull Venders ARE included within.

  • The Mysterious Crystal Skulls
    Explore the crystal skull with Joshua Shapiro. Products and services on this myserious skull available, and more.

  • Amethyst Crystal Skull
    The Amethyst Skull This skull is carved from dark purple amethyst. It has temporal indentations on each side of the elongated brain case. The nose and teeth are almost identical to the Mayan. It weighs approximately 8 pounds.

  • Crystal Skulls: Skeletons of a Mysterious Past
    Crystals have been regarded as magical talismans since the Middle Ages, and are today the sine qua non of the New Age movement. Skulls, meanwhile, are humanity's foremost symbol of death, and a powerful icon in the visual vocabularies of cultures all over the globe.  Parascope

  • Morgana's Observatory: Crystal Skulls
    Information and links concerning these enigmatic artifacts.