“A terrible example of junk science hitting the Internet in free fall.”
First there was a headline impossible to ignore: “Young man from Quebec (Canada) would have discovered a lost Mayan city with the help of star maps . “ It was William Gadoury, a fifteen-year-old who for a moment was considered a complete scientific revelation when he supposedly found a hidden civilization in the Mexican jungle.
Gadoury’s findings were based on the assumption that Mayan city building was related to the location of certain constellations.
For this young man it was a mystery why the great Mayan cities had been built in marginal areas, far from direct sources of fresh water.
After analyzing the diagrams of 22 Mayan constellations, Gadoury found that the position of the stars aligned exactly with the location of 117 Mayan cities:
“I was very surprised and excited when I discovered that the brightest stars in the constellations coincided with the largest Mayan cities.” (Via Le Journal de Montréal )
One of the constellations lined up with what the young man thought were two Mayan ruins.
Using satellite images from the Canadian Space Agency and Google Earth, he found what could be a pyramid surrounded by various structures.
Researchers from the University of New Brunswick considered the possibility of making an expedition to the archaeological discovery of Gadoury , who had the honor of baptizing the city as K’àak ‘Chi’ (mouth of fire).
Everything was laughter and joy in Gadoury’s life, until David Stuart, an anthropologist at The Mesoamerica Center-University of Texas at Austin, commented on his Facebook profile :
“This current news of an ancient Mayan city that has been discovered is false. I was trying to ignore it (and the press requests I have received) but now that it is on the BBC website I feel like I should say something.
It’s all a mess, a terrible example of junk science hitting the internet in free fall. The Mayans did not plan their cities based on constellations. Seeing these patterns is like a Rorschach test since buildings are anywhere, and so are the stars. The square figure that was found in Google Earth was, obviously, created by man, but it is an old field of corn or cornfield ”.
Other experts such as Thomas Garrison, an anthropologist at the University of Southern California, agreed with Stuart’s opinion:
” In this case, the rectilinear nature of the figure and the secondary vegetation that grows back within it are clear signs of an old cornfield .” (Via Gizmodo )
So there was no discovery.