As of May 31, 2016, Dr. Penelope Boston is now the Director of NASA Astrobiology Institute and I had a rare opportunity to meet with Dr. Boston in Mountain View, California on March 28, 2017, to discuss her research. Her latest paper published in February of 2017 now reveals the water inside the crystals to be up to 60,000 years old and may contain the most ancient and bizarre alien microbes found on earth today. So far testing for the DNA reveals these microbes are so weird, their nearest relatives are still 10 percent different genetically.
With regard to the latest research of the Naica Giant Selenite Crystals, there has been discovery of more crystal caves that indicate there are connecting passages. Since 2001, when I visited the mine and began my own research into understanding the incredible phenomena of giant crystals, I believed that this system not only was centered in and around the first pocket of giant crystals but that a sub-channel of gypsum crystals (a crystal river) would run a north-east/southwest axis. The sub-channel would surface further north towards the greater White Sands National Monument in southern New Mexico.
In January of 2008, my travels to New Mexico returned me to my childhood memories of living in near-by El Paso, Texas. Student field trips took us to the Carlsbad Caverns and the very first experience I saw of living crystal was deep into those caverns. As we drove eastward from El Paso towards Carlsbad, I had stopped the vehicle to look over a vast portion of the desert called the Delaware Basin. It exposes part of a fossilized reef called the Guadalupe Mountains.
The Delaware Basin is part of the larger Permian Basin that covers over 10,000 square miles of Texas and southern New Mexico. This period of deposition left a thickness of 1600 to 2200 feet (490 to 670 m) of limestone interbedded with dark-colored shale. There was 10,000 feet of limestone that was created from dead microorganisms. Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed largely of the minerals; calcite and/or aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate (CaCO3).
Like most other sedimentary rocks, limestone is composed of grains; however, most grains in limestone are skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral or foraminifera. Other carbonate grains comprising limestone are ooids, peloids, intraclasts, and extraclasts. Some limestone does not consist of grains at all and isformed completely by the chemical precipitation of calcite or aragonite. i.e. travertine. The solubility of limestone in water and weak acid solutions leads to karst landscapes. Regions overlying limestone bedrock tend to have fewer visible groundwater sources (ponds and streams), as surface water easily drains downward through joints in the limestone. While it is draining, water and organic acid from the soil slowly (over thousands or millions of years) enlarges these cracks; dissolving the calcium-carbonate and carrying it away in solution. Most cave systems are through limestone bedrock.
It was May of 2008, while I was on a crystal dig in western Arkansas that I found out my theories were correct when I met the new owners of an old military claim on a gypsym deposit in southern New Mexico. We made an immediate connection upon our meeting and an invitation to visit the deposit was forthcoming. I It was in December of 2009, that I had the opportunity to spend a couple of days at the Selenite deposit. My time there, especially spending the night in the site trailer set me up for some extraordinary dreams (Angels or angles of light appearing to me and the context for healing my body through the laying of their hands or energy connection to my feet). Upon closer inspection of the crystals, the quality of the material was equal to the clarity and transparency of the crystals featured in the two documentaries (October, 2008 and 2010) by National Geographic on the largest Selenite crystals ever found on the planet. (Selenite crystals made from calcium carbonates) not 2 miles from where I had stopped our vehicle 5 months earlier.
The National Geographic documentary is focusing upon one final expedition into the caves to search for more crystals and rare living microorganisms not found anywhere on earth. Since the conditions are life threatening, exploring in 118 degrees of heat with 90 percent humidity can kill a human within 30 minutes. Imagine what intensity of 128 detrees heat blasting out of those caves in 2001 might have felt like. Our team was in their for longer than 30 minutes and we paid the price. Many people will risk their lives to understand the creation of these naturally formed crystals and their impact on earth and humans.
A visual marvel unlike any other, a crystal cathedral defies our understanding of what earth is capable of creating. An alien world right here on earth, the caves don crystals covering the length of a football field and the height of a two story building. Beyond the Plexiglas door, lies a forest of crystals and passageways that have not been fully explored by the Scientists.
Dr. Penny Boston, Astro-biologist from New Mexico Tech is back from the 2008 documentary. No one else has returned from the original team. She has returned to find ancient viruses trapped inside water crystals. Looking for other life forms not previously discovered before may help in our understanding how life may have formed and/or created on other planets. The teams has assembled a see through cooling structure called the ICE CUBE that was designed to help the crew recover quickly from over-exertion to the heat and humidity. In 2008, the explorers were proving there was other pockets of crystalline structures that exist. Any time over one half hour of exploration can be deadly.
On top of the Naica Mountains, to the west, another team is assembling a belay to repel down an air ventilation shaft drilled by the mine owners in 2009 to help the miners stay cool in the extreme heat that occurs in the mine. This shaft goes to down 2,000 feet and is called the Robin's hole. Mark Beverly, the leading explorer repels down 500 hundred feet to where there is a pocket broken into the shaft through the bedrock. There lies a pocket of crystals in an unexplored cave they named the 'Ice Palace', but nothing the size of the Cave of Crystal Giants. A volcanic intrusion of magma created the extreme heat conditions that heats up an underground aquifer. Thus, the experience of extreme heat and humidity the miners must endure during exploration.
There are one million gallons of water pumped out of the mine per hour. In 2008, the officials of the mine said that the turbines are to shut down in the future months thus ensuring the crystals will be underwater once again. Since further exploration is impossible beyond thirty minutes, air-conditioned suits were designed to extend the safety and well being of the crews who would look further and longer into the caves.
Photos were also a big issue as cameras could fog up in a moment and then malfunction. They were able to resolve the problem by placing cameras for filming and photos in plastic bags and exposing the equipment to the extreme conditions for 2 hours. Thus, the cameras were acclimated to the temperature and humidity.
There was a newer crevasse discovered in 2006 (we found it as well but could not explore it without bio-suits that we yet to be invented) with attempted exploration in 2008 that leads to another cave of crystals. However, even though there is cooler air moving through a passageway, there is no easy access.
The Selenite crystals formed from gypsum, an evaporite made from salts, more specifically, hydrated calcium sulfate that covered the walls of the caves underwater. With the perfect conditions, the crystal's growth occurred under water and became gigantic.
Penny Boston and her co-worker find enhydro crystals (water bubbles) within the Selenite crystals inside the Queens Eye cave. Their mission is to find new microorganisms, specifically, bacteria. They reanimated one sample of bacteria chewing up the bedrock using mineral compounds as an energy source. This specific bacteria has not been found before on Earth. Penny became distraught by the heat and started to cry hot salty tears as she did her best to hold back. Her comments regarding her exploratory work in the crystal caves is that these crystals are Gaia's gift to us and we may never see them again if the mine fills up with water and covers these ancient pylons.
In 1910, The CAVE OF SWORDS was the very first cave of Selenite crystals discovered at the Penoles mine in Naica and geologists from all over the world would come to Mexico to understand the nature of the creation of them. It was found at -200 feet below the earth's surface. The oscillation of water that rose and fell many times was the reason why these particular crystal specimens did not grow to such gigantic proportions but became somewhat stunted. At 900 feet, the giant crystals that grew in perfect conditions of water that did not oscillate. This is a clue to more caves.
On the surface, Mark Beverly explores the Robin's Hole cave at 500 feet named the Ice Palace cave and said the temperature in the air shaft was so hot it felt radioactive.
A new cave, the Cave of Sails was discovered in 2009 after drainage of water over 20 years ago and its underground location revealing new structures of Selenite in long needles, broccoli flowerettes and nested needles. Upon further examination, the nested needles are from aragonite. Aragonite is a carbonate mineral, one of the two common, naturally occurring crystal forms of calcium carbonate, CaCO3 (the other form is the mineral calcite.) Crystals are formed by biological and physical processes and include precipitation from marine and freshwater environments.
Although there is no mention of the major aquifer underground, its implications are major when it comes to understanding why the crystals are form here in the dry high desert elevations of Mexico. There has been no outlet for the massive amount of water that found its way to the Gulf of Mexico via the Rio Grande during the time when Oceans were formed in this region.
In 2001, being one of earliest explorers, we spent a lot of time in the smaller cave then known as the Cave of Dreams. This cave has been renamed Queen's Eye. There is question this cave is connecting with the Cave of Giant Crystals. There are crystal structures here that are not found anywhere inside the larger cave. In addition, there is a mass amount of water remaining at the lowest levels.
Viruses are predators and eat bacteria. Test samples of the water in the Queen's Eye cave reveals 10 million viruses in the water. There is a question concerning the connection of these viruses to the same life forms that are at the bottom of the ocean found in volcanic steam vents. The question perplexing the scientists now is how did deep oceanic microorganisms find their way to the waters that formed the crystal caves in Naica? La Venta, the Italian team that is responsible for the exploration of the caves state the Caves will soon be flooded. The strange formation of crystals will become a heritage to our understanding of life in our solar system, not just planet earth.
During my travels to the Southwestern part of the United States, I have researched an unusual amount of "high strangeness" and phenomena that not always have answers.
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