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The Legendary Lost City of "Ciudad Blanca" Found Under Tropical Forest in Honduras

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posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 02:40 PM
A science paper was recently published with the title:
The Legendary Lost City of "Ciudad Blanca" Found Under Tropical Forest in Honduras, using ERS-2 and JERS-1 SAR Imagery
by Francis Yakam-Simen, Edmond Nezry, James Ewing

PDF File -

The legendary "Ciudad Blanca" of Honduras was first referred to under the name Xucutaco by the Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes in 1526. Located in the remote, impenetrable and incompletely mapped rainforest of the Mosquito Coast, it was never conquered by the Spanish. In time, it was slowly abandoned and forgotten. Two JERS-1 and one ERS-2 SLC Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) images have been used to identify and to locate the lost city, a task made difficult due to the thick vegetation cover. To this end, advanced processing tools for the detection of artificial targets under forest cover, and for SAR data fusion have been used.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

On the Web:
Legendary Lost City of Ciudad Blanca May Have Been Found With Airborne LiDAR

(June 6, 2012) — A field team from the University of Houston and the National Science Foundation (NSF) National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping (NCALM) has mapped a remote region of Honduras that may contain the legendary lost city of Ciudad Blanca.

The results, recently announced by Honduras President Porfirio Lobo, mark the successful completion of the first light detection and ranging (LiDAR) survey of that country's Mosquitia region, one of the world's least-explored virgin rainforests.

Images of an area scanned indicating walls and building outlines (see PDF for descriptions)

The brief telling of the 'Legend of Ciudad Blanca'

Ciudad Blanca, or the "White City", was a legendary city of Honduras first mentioned by Cortes in 1526. A few years after Cortes destroyed the Aztec he marched north to the provincial town of Trujillo in search of a rumored Huitapalan, "Old land of red earth". He never found this fabled city, in spite of several attempts, and the legend of "Ciudad Blanca" was born. After Cortes' death the Bishop of Honduras, Cristobol de Pedraza, wrote to the King of Spain of his trip to the Mosquito Coast and the bordering jungles, where, from a mountaintop, he described looking upon vast unexplored territory and a river valley in which sat a gleaming city of elaborately-carved white stone, to which his guides claimed the noble lords ate from plates made of gold.

The legend has never lost it's appeal, and the mythology surrounding it includes the birthplace of the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl. The region is rugged and the forest canopy completely enveloping, making aerial searches useless. A 1939 search by Theodore Morde was published under the title "Lost City of the Monkey God", and other expeditions have made various claims about their findings.

Native Honduran indians consider the area a sacred city, a place of refuge, prohibiting entry on those grounds.

Additional source on this topic:
"Ciudad Blanca": a major pre-colombian lost city unveiled in Honduras

posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 02:51 PM
as much as i love finding out about all these ancient cities being found, why oh why do tptb, without fail, call them "temples" or "ceremonial centres". i just can't believe that they're always flippin temples or places of worship.

but great find!

posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 03:15 PM
Nice find!! Just wanted to reply so i am subscribed & can keep updated. Going to read the PDF a bit later.
I love it when lost places are found. Makes you think what is still out there, just waiting to be discovered!!

I would flag but cant yet, so just a star for now.
Thanks for this info.


posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 05:20 PM
Nice post.

Some other tidbits:

The white stone used in construction was SILLAR, a pearly white volcanic rock. There were a number of "white cities", then as now.

"Ciudad Blanca" was dedicated by the Aztec to the Monkey God. Mayans also worshiped a howler monkey who was the patron of the arts, music, scribes, and sculptors. In the Maya calendar, the Howler Monkey represents the knowledge of history, rituals, and prophecy. (from Wiki's entry on Howler Monkey Gods).

The fabled city of "Ciudad Blanca" of Cortes' fame is also mentioned in pre-Columbian Toltec and Maya texts as "The ancient place where the aurora originates". In Aztec mythology the monkey was connected to the sun.

From "South and Meso-American Mythology A to Z"

It would be very interesting to hear what the phrase "where the aurora originates" meant to the ancient Aztec or Maya.

posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 08:50 PM
reply to post by frankensence

Thanks for the additional input; the phrase "The ancient place where the aurora originates" - keeping in mind the city is located along the northern coastline of the Mesquitia Coast - could that be a matter-of-fact statement literally meaning the Aurora Borealis? It shouldn't be visible to them that close to the equator, but was there a point in time in their history that it was visible? The corresponding phenomenon in the southern hemisphere is the Aurora Australis, but that would appear to their south, and again, not visible along the equator. If the phrase "ancient place where the aurora originates" indeed meant where (from their point of view) the aurora display was seen to appear from, what can be inferred about the phenomena being seen for a period of time near the equator? This doesn't seem at all likely, I'm not at all inclined to believe it referred to the aurora phenomena at all.

Perhaps "ancient place where the aurora originates" refers to a trade item - gold, gems stones, ores? The city did do brisk trade with the Maya and later the Aztec.

I've found some info on the city builders indicating they may be a race of people called the Pipiles; (Ciudad Blanca Hypothesis)

During the Post-classic Period (900 - 1500 AD) there was a lot of movement of Mexicans to Central America because of conflicts in Mexico. Also, Honduras had many things which the people in Central Mexico would want. So there was an established trade route between Central Mexico and North Coast Honduras beginning in the Classic Period (300-900 AD). The first migration(s) of Mexican Indians to Central America are called Pipiles. This first migration was often influenced by a second migration of Toltecs in the Post Classic period (900-1500 AD).

The Pipiles shared a great deal in common with the Aztec, and as the above paragraph suggests, they may have been among the first wave of Mexican indians to migrate east to Honduras, but under renewed influence from later migrations from Mexico. This also kept them in trade/contact with the Maya, Toltec, and Aztec empires, so the phrase "The ancient place where the aurora originates" would make far more sense in referring to a trade item unique to their region/city. Just another riddle pertaining to this "lost" city.

posted on Jun, 7 2012 @ 01:34 AM
Just a question - the Spanish word for gold is oro, from the latin aurum, is it possible the phrase "where the aurora comes form" is really "where the gold comes from"? That would make a lot more sense. Eating off gold plates? I can see it, it's an easy metal to work, they had a lot of it judging by Cortes's success in obtaining it from them, and the city could have been founded on having access to nearby gold mines.

thanks for the post

posted on Jun, 8 2012 @ 03:03 PM
Darn you, you beat me.

Now until they excavate, they don't really know if it is Ciudad.

posted on Jun, 8 2012 @ 04:01 PM
reply to post by nixie_nox

Exactly, in fact, check out this blog on that point:

Good science, big hype, bad archaeology

But all too often, this good science is then hyped as if it was totally unprecedented, surprising, supposedly shattering all our previous ideas. So good science becomes bad archaeology.

Unfortunately for me and my colleagues in Honduran archaeology, the latest such incident is in our bailiwick. In mid-May, Spanish-language news sources in Honduras reported an announcement by the president of the country that LiDAR images had possibly revealed a “lost city”, Ciudad Blanca. One government official went so far as to say it “might be the biggest archaeological discovery in the world of the twenty-first century”.

Hurray! except that isn’t good archaeology — it’s hype.

posted on Jun, 8 2012 @ 04:27 PM
This is great news. I am glad to see that this technology has provided us with a greater wealth of history and color to our collective human story. I heard about this a while ago and then nothing.

It's great to see them share the find, you know, not keep it to themselves.

It's just nice to see results produced with technology supposedly meant for what people would deem useless space exploration. I bet most cant wait to see what is there.

I like it as well because it is essentially using a redundant system in an already deployed platform. NASA just pointed it at earth. Smart. $

I always wonder what future generations will have as far as cultural heritage from our time that we "re"-discover.


posted on Jun, 8 2012 @ 10:38 PM
reply to post by Blackmarketeer

Yes I just came acros that in my archaeology news, yes the effects of 'media' on archaeology, excellent

posted on Jun, 17 2012 @ 05:52 AM
Another Link to the Noted Subject.

Lidar discovers lost city

Found the internal debate between Prof Joyce, (who seems adversely anal to new Technology vs results to date) and the Cinematographer Steve Elkins, (who didn't quite claim to have found Ciudad Blanca, but "something" in the area Ciudad Blanca is rumored to have been), amusing.

Cinematographer Steve Elkins has announced that by using LiDAR (light detection and ranging), he discovered "what appears to be evidence of archaeological ruins in an area long rumoured to contain the legendary lost city of Ciudad Blanca." The phrasing "lost city" is problematic, however: it's hard to lose a city when the city itself is a myth.

Although Professor Joyce makes a good case for the utility of her profession's exacting standards, she also comes close to dismissing the technology involved. "LiDAR can produce images of landscapes faster than people walking the same area, and with more detail. But that is not good archaeology, because all it produces is a discovery-not knowledge," she wrote. "If it's a competition, then I will bet my money on people doing ground survey. And I will be betting less money: LiDAR is expensive. And I question the value you get for the money it costs."

Fisher and the Chase, who have used the technology, have made the case for LiDAR marking a "tipping point" in archaeology. They contend that it is far from just another technology, subordinate to the tyranny of pick and shovel. And if archaeologists can find more in four days of LiDAR flyovers than they could in 25 years on the ground, as Chase asserted, it is demonstrably cheaper.

And if I am not mistaken, all that has been claimed to date is a discovery, or "what appears to be evidence of archaeological ruins in an area long rumoured............". Not knowledge.

It's funny how People such as Prof Joyce get their panties in a bunch, over nothing. More concerned about a tool of Technology eliminating the need for Her and her kind, when is plainly clear, the Verification of this matter will only occur ON THE GROUND.

I would think the applause meter in her office would be resonating 10's on the sound scale for her delight over some unique finds offering an area in specific where Picks and Shovels could be employed.

But I guess that's just ones perspective. Old School vs New Thought.



posted on Jul, 27 2012 @ 08:19 PM
While surfing around, I noted some articles discussing events which have taken place within various regions of Europa and ex Bloc areas. One seemed to offer several 'Other' examples of the uses of this imagery that may, or may not have located Ciudad Blanca.

This Lidar system seems to be Revolutionizing Archaeology around Europa.

Flying Lasers Reveal Buried Historical Structures

By Markus Becker

The Glauberg is a hot spot for archaeologists. For decades, researchers have been studying the hill in the central German state of Hesse, where people settled some 7,000 years ago.

Over the millennia, the plateau was inhabited by Celts and Alemanni and, in the Middle Ages, people there built castles that reached for the sky. Accordingly, researchers have found plenty of artifacts. In 1996, they made the sensational discovery of an almost perfectly preserved statue of a Celtic warrior, which is now known as the Celtic Prince of Glauberg.

This is just an example of what has been "overlooked" due to conventional application of the Art of Archaeology and some of those which are vocal opposition to the claims made earlier on this main subject.

There are also

The researchers were fairly stunned by what the remote-sensing technology turned up on the Glauberg. At first glance, they recognized around a dozen potential burial mounds that they hadn't known about before. "We went and took a closer look at five of them," says Axel Posluschny. "They were all burial mounds."


The Boyne Valley in Ireland, for example, contains three prehistoric monuments that are part of the Brú na Bóinne UNESCO World Heritage Site . A team with the Irish research project "Discovery Programme" scanned the already heavily researched area with lasers, finding a number of small mounds, possible burial tombs and Stone Age earthworks. The map was practically filled with points of potential archaeological interest.


Lidar technology has also allowed archaeologists to make surprising discoveries in more obscure locations. For example, in a forest near Göppingen, in the southwestern German state of Baden-Württemberg, they have found an entire system of fortifications that by no means buried or invisible at ground level. "The wall was 3- to 4-meters-high at some points," says Jörg Bofinger, an official from the state's Stuttgart-based office of historical preservation. "No one had this construction on their radar. It was completely unknown." What's more, that was the case even though the state has been systematically taking aerial images since the beginning of the 1980s. "It's unbelievable that something like this would slip past us," Bofinger says.

I trust you see where this goes.

There is discussion of how this can be used and the manner in which those working areas, can gain better direction to finding actually something specific, apposed to say, digging, and seeing what's there.

There was a link to some very interesting photos of fly over areas which have a slide bar, which when move to the right, shows vegetation as we can view through "google" maps per se. Move the slide left, and the terrain is voided of all vegetation. Quite and interesting view is remaining.

You can view these at Hi-Tech Aerial Photos and visit 7 or 8 various areas of investigation.

I couldn't figure out how to brings these examples here, so you need to visit the link to see it there.

Anyways, I hope to see what happens in regards to this venture in Honduras. I saw something the other week, which offered some Video (4 I think) on this matter, but lost the link. I will look again soon to see if I can find it again.



posted on Jul, 27 2012 @ 10:05 PM
Have archaeologists found the legendary lost city of gold? Well that remains to be the question.

The article has several examples of the imagery that can be presented, along with some details about the Lost White City. It does go on to note.....

The way laser mapping works is similar to the way doctors use x-rays to peer inside a patient’s body. In this case, archaeologists from the University of Houston used a technology called Light Detection And Ranging (LiDAR) in which a laser-equipped plane is flown over a specified region to scan for surface objects hidden beneath the cover of vegetation. Since the optical pulses can accurately measure the distance to its intended target down to the scale of a few inches, what has emerged is a detailed 3-D map of a site that appears to be man-made.

So even though none of the researchers have yet to excavate the site or even set foot in the city, all this probing from afar has already revealed “a large central plaza with a major pyramid at one end, smaller pyramids nearby and the remains of other structures around the plaza,” the Los Angeles Times reports.

While a full excavation is still needed to determine whether the features of these ruins actually do resemble what’s been described as the land where residents “ate from plates made of gold,” the finding is significant in that it’s just the latest example of how smarter technologies are revolutionizing the field of archeology..........

As noted previously, This page also has several Links to 4 video's on recently investigation around this region. There are some outstanding examples of exhibit class items that many of the "Locals" seem to have in their own homes, (aka Looters) as well as some materials that neither article speak to specifically.

The First of 4 is on the above link. The Balance load on future screens.



posted on Jul, 27 2012 @ 10:07 PM
reply to post by Blackmarketeer

I for one,am glad they found Minas Tirith..........

Interesting find, BTW Black.........

Thanks for sharing.

posted on May, 15 2013 @ 08:49 PM
There is this old cartoon from the 80's about the mysterious cities of gold. You might like this cartoon. It is very 80's, before they censored everything and kids could take a bit of violence and kids were not talked down to. It was expected that kids could follow the plot without it being dumbed down.

You can watch it here. It is kind of hard to find so I am surprised I found it.

posted on May, 16 2013 @ 06:36 AM
I have just come across this on skynews website:

Researchers believe they may have discovered an ancient city deep in the Honduran rainforest, which could be a legendary metropolis known as the City of Gold.

A 3D mapping technique called lidar has shown what appear to be ruins, including roads and building foundations, in the Mosquitia region.

It is in an area believed by some to be home to The White City, which according to legend is a now-buried metropolis full of gold.

It seems that Archeologists are only going to enter the site later this year even though your thread started way back last year! I guess its taken a long time to clear the forest!

As much as i'd like to see all these Ancient ruins, we are chopping down a lot of Forest to get to them.... I wonder who gets to keep the riches from this find?
edit on 16-5-2013 by TruthxIsxInxThexMist because: (no reason given)

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