Professor Sebastian Kaiserling, while on a pre-expeditionary field trip to the Yucatan, stumbles upon what he believes to be a large intricately carved Mayan stone block. The stone is, in fact, a finely crafted chest, containing a metal-like plaque decorated with unusual markings. One of Dr. Kaiserling's newest graduate students unravels the origin of the chest and plaque by deciphering a progressive code used by the chest's makers, 5,000 years ago. Her discoveries lead a team of professors to realize ancient aliens visited Earth.
Sebastian and his archeological assistant, Manolo Sanchez Esteban Menchú, were about to return to Tulum. It was already late afternoon and the sun was low in the summer sky. The sun filtered through the green canopy of the rainforest high above. Shafts of light broke through openings in the canopy. Each shaft seemed to ignite the humidity-laden air surrounding it, and dappled the forest floor with small pools of brilliance. It was in the middle of one of these small pools of light that Manolo first noticed a piece of stone nearly covered by one of the root-like knees of a large bull-horn acacia. What caught Manolo’s eye was not the fact that the stone was covered by the tree’s roots. That happened all the time, but it was the color and shape of the stone. The stone was a light pink, rather than the natural off-white limestone that the Mayan builders used most frequently. Equally important was the fact that it resembled the tip of a carved three-sided pyramid, definitely not a natural shape. This was not the first piece of pink stone Manolo had encountered in the years he had worked with Sebas-tian, a professor of archeology at the University of Wisconsin, but it was the first carved stone of its kind that he had ever seen. Manolo called to Sebastian, “Jefe [Boss], I have found something of interest.” Sebastian dropped his pack and walked over to Manolo.
Manolo pointed to the stone beneath the root. “What is it?” asked Sebastian. “I am not sure.” He tried to dig quickly through the layer of decaying forest debris that surrounded the stone with his bare hands, only to find that it was larger than he had originally believed. “It is getting late and we should return tomorrow and try to dig it out,” answered Manolo. “Now we should get out of the forest before nightfall. The jungles are not safe here after dark. The big cats and banditos wander the forests at night.”
Sebastian had mixed feelings about leaving now. It could be something of value but, at the same time, Manolo was right. The forests were unsafe at night. It would be more prudent to come back tomorrow. Also, the heat and humidity and the mosquitoes had taken their toll on Sebastian today. “Very well, tomor-row it is. Make sure you get a GPS location for the stone, Okay? And kick some leaves over it, just in case.”
“Si.” As Manolo pulled his new Garmin receiver from his pocket, Sebastian retrieved his pack and slung it over his shoulder. It was still almost a two ki-lometer walk back to their Jeep, and the trails were little more than disturbed undergrowth in this part of the forest. It was always wise to leave early, rather than lose one’s way, ‘We have the GPS, worst case,’ he thought, but he would rather rely on Manolo’s path finding skills.
“Did you get it?” asked Sebastian.