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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

LA PAZ - Author Presents Ancient Puzzles to Loretanos

Greetings from Mexico!

This is an article I wrote today after spending a Sunday afternoon
with one of the most fascinating authors we've yet met. A perfect
blend of right and left brains, and also a humble guy.

The day was a great and beautiful one despite my tortilla strips
catching fire and burning out our toaster oven, and a wind gust
blowing down Alexander's sign and thus taking out our city water for
several days. (The good thing is, I can't do laundry or wash dishes
until the city fixes the pipe/faucet.)

Sunday also marked a real beginning of easier times for Beto and I. We
think that finally (after 4 months) we will have some kind of
settlement on our poor totaled car, and may, in a future time have
both dinero AND a car to go to San Diego and get more inventory.
Also, Beto new jeans, my new tooth, and glasses to be able to read
again. It's been a challenging winter, and of course, we are both
better for it! The kindnesses felt by us here in Loreto cannot be
fully described, ranging from transporting books to the loan of a car,
to tea bags and goat cheese and bushels of citrus to free reiki
treatments on a sore neck, to many, many hugs. Beto and I both feel we
have a huge karmic debt to repay to many people.

You don't have to read the article unless you like to read these kinds
of books. But the author was fascinating, and of course, we will
getand carry his books!

Weather is beautiful, and life is (finally) good!


La Paz Author Presents Ancient Puzzles to Loretanos
Jeannine Perez

So, what kinds of options do deep-thinking and very curious Loritanos
consider as worthwhile activities to do on a sunny and sleepy Sunday
afternoon? Perhaps, eating tortilla or black bean soup and pondering
the many ancient mysteries of our planet is not the ultimate
experience for everyone, but for those of us gathering under a garden
palapa last Sunday, it worked. After all, we do have enough unsolved
ancient and modern mysteries for everyone... among other topics, we
have 'Nessie, the vortex at Sedona, Machu Pichu, Stonehenge and other
stone circles, ley lines of power, New Mexico flying saucers, the
Yeti, and of course, the Bermuda Triangle. All of these are intriguing
puzzles waiting for someone to solve. Perhaps, if we can't seem to fix
what's wrong in our world today, we can decide to revisit some of the
problems and mysteries from the distant past.

Here in our own Baja, we would love to know the real facts about the
Primitive Painters and the location of the fabled lost Mission of
Ysabel, which is said to be filled with gold and riches and that was
searched for on foot and by air far and wide by Erle Stanley Gardner.
Here in Loreto, a group of very interested readers did have a good
time exploring theories mixed with research and legends mixed with
'what-ifs'. We had La Paz author R J Archer under our palapa, time to
discuss long past civilizations and ancient mysteries. It was a great

The books we discussed were described by their author (who tells us
that he was a computer consultant for 35 years , a writer of
non-fiction, and, that until he wrote the first chapters in his Seeds
of Civilization trilogy, had no real interest in archeology or Native
folk lore). He told us that he characterizes his books as adventure
mysteries with an archeological and sci-fi twist, and that he makes it
his goal to write as much fact as is possible (with hours and hours of
Internet research and interviews with as many experts as he can
contact), and then he fills in his plots with fiction.

His first book was actually done as a kind of experiment (encouraged
by his wife), and happened when he had a month of down time with no
pressing assignments for future computer articles. When he began his
first novel in 2000 (3 chapters completed in a month), it seems to
have surprised him as much as the unexplained questions he writes
about, surprised and intrigued us.

RJ Archer was born and attended schools in northern Illinois, and then
he lived many years in Oregon. He and his wife now live in La Paz, and
have done so for the past two years. He told us they chose La Paz over
their original destination of Guadalajara, because one of his sons
lives in Cabo, and the other in La Paz. His interest in the subjects
and themes of his novels really began as he began researching
information about the Maya on the Internet.

He laughed and said that he had never been interested in Mayan
history, and yet that is the setting for his first book, Tractrix. He
also explained his title saying that a tractrix is the inverse of a
sphere (or for those math challenged like me, a sphere that is turned
inside out). With his math and physics background to help him, he
understands this, and so then, the Mayan theories of calendars and
numbers also first interested and then fascinated him. He began his
first novel, about the Maya and their civilization, and the external
sources (which could possibly include aliens) that may have helped and
influenced them.

Writing nights and weekends, the characters in this first novel began
to take shape and come alive, and those characters then returned in
his next two novels, Tsubte, and Triangle (he said that his third
novel needed another title beginning with a T, and it does take place
in the Bermuda Triangle). Each of his novels is about an ancient
mystery, is based on facts and research, and retains many of the same
characters as the previous novels. Each of them also centers on an
object or a relic of some kind. The locations of his books are actual
places that range from the Yucatan, and the Maya, to a Japanese island
with a submerged monument, and then to the coast of Cuba where
underwater cameras have revealed seven square miles of stone
foundations in a grid on the ocean floor. These sites have already
been discovered, and are dated back to 12,000 B.C.

He also gave us hints about his next group of three novels, (as yet
unwritten), which will take place five years after the ending of the
third novel, (when the original characters disband), and each of them
will be “starring” one of his original characters. He also said that
some of the less important characters found in the first novels will
be returning as villains! (This also surprises him, as they were not
villains in the first books. Characters take on their own lives in
fiction). Again, these books will be fiction based on fact. For more
information on what has been written and what will be written, you can
read about or contact R.J. Archer at www.SeedsOfCivilization,com.

He bases all of his novels on a theory posited by Graham Hancock,
stating that civilized man did not just appear on the world scene a
mere 5000 years ago in Mesopotamia, but according to a new theory (and
based on some very real physical evidence), other sophisticated
civilizations have flourished and disappeared long before that 'first'
culture appeared. Several sites have already been discovered that
predate Mesopotamia. And of course, if there was one much older
civilization, it follows that probably there were many that have also
flourished and died, perhaps by natural catastrophes or by human greed
and arrogance.

We poured more ice tea, (wishing by this time for a frozen margarita
or wine) and all of us tried to visualize what this earth may have
looked like before the melting at the end of the ice age, when all of
the seas rose 300 feet. It's hard to imagine how much land and how
many coastal towns and cities may have been flooded and underwater. If
that proves hard to imagine, we might relate it to a current disaster
and the almost unimaginable earthquake and tsunami damage in Japan.
Higher seas means there is still much that is undiscovered, and RJ
Archer told us of a new science that is underwater archeology, and
focuses on what might be found in the world under the sea.

We ended our Sunday afternoon with a promise by RJ Archer to return
with books for a signing, and when we asked if he would consider
adding Loreto to a future plot, he said he'd think about it. Where
better? It is certain that the small village of Loreto is crowded with
mysteries (ancient and modern), and of course, with some very
interesting characters!