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Sao Tome das Letras Brazil, Mysterious, Un-explored, Man made tunnels

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posted on Feb, 16 2012 @ 10:33 AM
Hey all,

Having been on ATS for a number of years I have spent the last few only visiting this site on occasions; and haven't posted anything for a long time, however there is a particular story that continues to fuel my imagination and intrigues me greatly, more so because I have found such small amounts of information relevant to it over the years. Having Originally started a thread on this a few years back, I hoped the Mod's would forgive me starting a new one (with a view to keeping this thread strictly on topic and not deviating from the subject at hand!) In an attempt to appeal to the wider ATS audience that may be able to help me shed some light on the 'Facts' known so far!

So let me begin....

Sao Tome das Letras is a small village; atop a mountain, in Brazil, it is to the North of Sao Paulo and is (according to sources quoted at the end of this post) a well known tourist destination with views from the mountains and good hiking trails and restaurants - it is also well known by residents (and something the locals seem rightly proud of!) to be the entrance to a man-made tunnel that stretches a; currently, unknown distance in to the earth.

The following quotations are from a gentleman called David Hatcher Childress, author of a book called 'Lost Cities & Ancient Mysteries of South America' (a book I am yet to read) rather than take literal credit for retyping the man's words I have used the 'quote' option. The quote starts after Childress and his Portuguese speaking colleague have arrived is Sao Tome das Letras...

Later, Marli took us to a local restaurant where a crowd of young people had gathered to hear the local restaurant owner talk about the mysteries of Sao Tome das Letras. He was a large man, in his 50s, who spoke in Portuguese to the 20 or so people gathered in his restaurant. The crowd listened intently as the man spoke and occasionally I asked Marli what he was saying. "He is talking about the tunnel that is at the northern edge of town," said Marli, whispering to me. "He says that the tunnel is open as far as anyone has ever walked through it. At no place is the tunnel blocked. The tunnel is man-made, but no one knows who built it or where it goes." "The Brazilian army went into the tunnel one time to find out where it ends. After travelling for four days through the tunnel the team of Army explorers eventually came to a large room deep underground. This room had four openings to four tunnels, each going in a different direction. They had arrived in the room by one of the tunnels." "They stayed in the room for sometime, using it as their base and attempted to explore each of the other three tunnels, but after following each for some time, turned back to the large room. Eventually they returned to the surface, here at Sao Tome das Letras."

If you would permit me a pause at this moment of the story, I have searched the web for further information relevant to the mention of the Brazilian army entering these tunnels looking for a date or an 'official' record of when this took place, I am yet to find anything but seem to remember finding a website a few years ago that I am sure mentioned 1972 (?) Any further info on this would be greatly appreciated!

This next quote continues to talk about the tale in the restaurant..

The man continued talking about the tunnel. Apparently he gave this lecture every night at his restaurant. "Now he is saying," continued Marli, "that there is a man here in town who claims to know the tunnel and claims that he has been many weeks inside the tunnel. This man claims that the tunnel goes all the way to Peru, to Machu Picchu in the Andes. This man claims that he went completely under South America, across Brazil and to Machu Picchu. Isn’t that amazing!"

I raised an eyebrow and looked at Carl. He nodded to me at the fantastic nature of the story. "Does this restaurant owner say that he has been through the tunnel to Peru?" asked Carl. "No," said Marli, "it is not this man, it is another man. I don’t know who this other man is. But now he is telling another story, this time it is about himself. He says that he was walking early in the morning on the north side of town, near to the tunnel entrance. On this morning, he suddenly met a strange man walking in the area of the tunnel. This man was very tall, about seven feet, and dressed strangely, like the Indians of the Andes in Peru and Bolivia. The man did not talk to him, but walked away. Later, the restaurant owner tried to find this man, but no one knew about him or knew who he was . The restaurant owner thinks that he came from the tunnel!"

Already we have the mention of a 7ft tall man! (to keep all the 'subterranean dweller' people interested!

The next quote is from when Childress and his colleague visited the tunnel first hand...

“The entrance was quite large. It was a wide mouth of a cave with a mound of dirt creating a small hill over the entrance. The cavern entrance faced to the west and immediately began running down hill, into the earth. The tunnel/cavern would have to go downhill, as we were essentially on top of a mountain.”

“With our flashlights in hand, we entered the cavern. Within a few meters, the cavern entrance narrowed into a tunnel which was about three meters (9 feet) high and two meters wide. The tunnel was dug out of dirt, and was not cut out of solid rock, as some tunnels are.”

“The tunnel headed downward at a steady slope, but it was not too steep. At no point was it ever necessary to duck, stoop or crawl in this tunnel. Quite the opposite, it was quite wide and high, even for the tallest man to walk through, even someone who was, say, seven feet tall!”

“I was amazed at this ancient feat of engineering. We were descending down into the earth in a wide, gradually sloping tunnel that was dug into a red, clay-type dirt. It was not the smooth, laser-cut rock walls that Erich von Daniken had claimed to have seen in Ecuador in his book “Gold of the Gods”, but it was just as incredible. The tunnel was not perfectly straight, but wound left and right and occasionally dropped down a few feet and continued on. It was perfectly dry and the air was fresh and breathable.”

Now you have to remember that this is a 'first person' record of a visit in to the actual tunnel (and the only one I have found yet) we have to give it some credit as Childress does seem credible, however I have not been able to find any pictures of this tunnel as of yet and as such I have emailed Childress to ask him if he has any pictures in his book?

Childress makes a valid point as his tale continues...

It wouldn’t have taken some space-age device to make this tunnel, just simple tools; yet, it was clearly a colossal undertaking. Why would anyone build such a tunnel? Was it an ancient mine that went deep into the earth, searching for an elusive vein of gold or merely red clay for the long gone ceramic kilns? Was it an elaborate escape tunnel used in the horrific wars that were said to have been fought in South America-and around the world-in the distant past? Or was it some bizarre subterranean road that linked up with other tunnels in the Andes and ultimately could be used to journey safely to such places as Machu Picchu, Cuzco or the Atacama Desert?

Continued in post 2 (run out of characters!
edit on 16-2-2012 by optimus fett because: trying to get the quotes sorted in to the proper boxes

posted on Feb, 16 2012 @ 10:43 AM

If we pause once again here and just take stock of a few points mentioned - it is Childress's belief that Simple tools were used to make the tunnel...but as Childress would still have been a huge undertaking, I don't think any one has to have any experience of 'mining' to grasp this fact!...but lets just make a mental note here...that's a lot of earth/rock that's been removed...with any mine there is always 'spoil'....I will come back to the relevance of this later..

Going back to Childress in the tunnel...

Marli, Carl and I continued walking through the tunnel for a kilometer or so. Other visitors to Sao Tome das Letras followed us into the subterranean system. The tunnel was not perfectly straight, but wound left and right and occasionally dropped down a few feet and continued on. It was perfectly dry and the air was fresh and quite breathable. Eventually, after an hour or so, we came to a spot in the tunnel where it suddenly dropped down about a meter and a half. It was not a great obstacle and we could see the tunnel continuing downward, but it was a convenient place to stop.

We had a candy bar and a drink from our daypacks and rested at this spot and then decided to go back to the surface. We had no intention of continuing for several days to the fabled room of four doors deep beneath Brazil. We simply weren’t prepared for such an expedition.

Back on the surface, we had lunch in one of the restaurants and prepared to get a bus back to Sao Paulo. We talked about the bizarre tunnel. It was real, there was no doubt about that. It was man-made as well, as the tunnel was perfectly uniform and contained no fissures or faults of any kind. Did it really go to Machu Picchu and the Andes? It seemed incredible, but we could not discount this story. Not yet anyway. Perhaps in the future we would return to Sao Tome das Letras, and find the secret of the room with four doors.

And there the information I have been able to find ends...

I will continue in my next post...thanks for reading so far and I hope your finding it as interesting as me

posted on Feb, 16 2012 @ 10:48 AM
1972 .... Wonder why this hasn't been explored in depth by now
We are to curious to let this stay unexplored

edit on 16-2-2012 by leawyoming because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 16 2012 @ 11:04 AM
the descriptions remind me of the tunnels and large rooms in romania... from this thread

i wonder if the tunnels join up... that WOULD be some feat of engineering wouldn't it!

posted on Feb, 16 2012 @ 11:09 AM
reply to post by optimus fett

Some more info on this, from Wiki:

Some believe that São Thomé das Letras is one of the seven energy points of the Earth, which is a main attration for mystics, spiritualists, scientific and alternative societies. All those elements give to the town the title of " Mystic". The town most famous legend regards a mystical character named Chico Taquara, that the locales believe to have control on animals and that vanished inside the Carimbado cave long ago. It's not unusual to hear about UFO sightings, many people most of them tourists usually go to the top of the hill nearby the "Casa da Piramide" looking for UFO's signs or any phenomenons in the sky.

The name of the caves is Carimbado cave, that is where the legend is from.

From other site (Revista Idas Brasil):

Worthy of mention is the Carimbado cave, surrounded by many historic fantasies. The most famous legend says that there is a tunnel joining São Thomé and the Incan city of Machu Picchu,in Peru, hundreds of kilometers away. Contributing to this belief is the fact that no one has ever reached the end. The path is very straight and at some points dirtying yourself on the clay walls is inevitable, hence the name Carimbado (stamped/imprinted).

It says "... the FACT that no one has ever reached the end" Lets see what else we can find.


posted on Feb, 16 2012 @ 11:11 AM
Wonderful Story!

I want to go and visit now! Sounds like the perfect place to be durring a nuclear war!

posted on Feb, 16 2012 @ 11:40 AM
Part 3

I'd like to deviate away from the story just for a moment and give you all a little insight in to where I am going with this post and where I hope it will conclude...

I grew up in a lovely County of England called Cheshire (For our American friends, a 'county' is similar to a 'state') near where I lived was a labyrinth of abandoned mines in a village called Alderly Edge. The mines date back to before Roman times and were predominately focused on extracting copper ore and in later years lead and cobalt. The mines finished being profitable in around 1915 and were finally 'blown' closed with explosives in the late 1940's early 50's (predominately for safety reasons and to prevent ill prepared explorers getting lost in them and either dying or needing to be rescued)

Local people refer to the mines as 'caves' but that is incorrect as they are all completely man made. 3 years back I decided to make enquiries in to gaining access to the mines and was fortunate enough to meet with a lovely local chap that had spent the best part of the last 15 years re-opening some of the mines with the help of the Derbyshire Caving Club (DCC) At my new friends instruction, I joined the DCC and was soon to be caught up in the exciting hobby of 'Mining' and have spent the last 3 years going down old, abandoned mines across the UK; but mainly locally at Alderly Edge.

In my short 3 years experience of 'Mining' I have gained huge amounts of invaluable skills relevant to 'man made' under ground exploration and have been fortunate enough to 'discover' access to several mines of my own (one being untouched for over 250 years) and although 'mining' is a friendly hobby that attracts all sorts of weirdo's like myself from completely different age groups and walk's of life, it is also rather dangerous and as such we are secretive as a society in as much as we don't like to give our mine locations away to all and sundry! without the proper guidance and safety equipment you can quickly found yourself trapped under a collapsed shaft, breaking through in to a flooded section and submerging your self! Falling down a shaft, or simply walking in to a pocket of gas and dropping down dead...In the last 3 years I have lost two friends to 'mine' accidents and it they were both experienced people that knew what they were doing...

Meanwhile back at the ranch!!

Where am I going with this?

Mining is an archaeology of old mines and tunnels is opening a doorway to the past, it's a huge buzz (well..for me and my
You get to learn huge amounts of things by default almost, you find old shovels and picks stuck in piles of sand that were left there the day the mine closed, you find old candles and lanterns, timbers, mine carts, coins, clothing..the list goes on...but what you also discover is the way in which these mines were dug and made!! learn to notice pick marks in the stone, old fingerprints in clay, graffiti that is hundreds of years old... Anyone see where I am going with this yet?

I made a really good friend called Ed whilst mining, like myself he loves a good conspiracy tale, whether it be a debate on aliens or a chat about the ancient Incas and their lost gold! As a miner, the Holy Grail is rediscovering that 'lost' tunnel or mine and the secrets they point..Sao Tome das Letras is the daddy!

Now I know the tunnel in our tale isn't a mine (at least it doesn't appear to be?) but it will give up just the same secrets as all mines do if you know what to look for...Ed and I have spent the past couple of months entertaining a trip to St. Thomas but like all good explorers (or living ones!) there is a hell of a lot of planning needed and money! Fortunately we both have successful businesses that can 'fund' our little jaunt...but we don't have anywhere near the info we would like on this tunnel it's self...

I,d like to share our journey with ATS as it progresses and document the story of our research as it unfolds!

As such if anyone amongst us feels like they would like to put some time in (especially anyone in BRAZIL!!) it would be awesomely appreciated!!

I would like to ask that reply's are kept on topic to this one tunnel and don't get wrapped up in the general underground world ball park (even though I love it

Thanks so much's nice to be back on ATS


posted on Feb, 16 2012 @ 12:35 PM
Well, this town of Sao Tome das Letras is located in the south of the state of Minas Gerais, in Brazil.

From what I know, this region, the south of the state of Minas Gerais, is well known for many mystical phenomena, and visions of UFOs and aliens.

Just google "ET de Varginha" and you will see...

edit on 16-2-2012 by GLontra because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 16 2012 @ 12:42 PM
Check this link, translated from Portuguese by Google:

Very old reports, from 300 years ago...

posted on Feb, 16 2012 @ 05:03 PM
reply to post by optimus fett


It was nice finding something about it around here. As you can see on my mini profile, I am from Sao Paulo and therefore live "close" to Sao Tome das Letras. I've been to this city 3 times already, it is amazing and everything there has this sort of "mysticism aura" attached to it, there are many, many local tales about weird stuff that happens/has happened there. People say that within these tunnels there is a portal that takes you to peru and some other places on earth and there are many reports of UFO sightings in the area. Also, it doesn't happen only in Sao Tome das Letras, google around for "ET de Varginha" case, it is very interesting and became very famous in Brazil because there were reports from almost everyone in the city and even pics/videos and it was the main subject on the MSM in the country for about a week or so. There are other cases also that involved the army, such as "Operação Prato" (you can YouTube this, but I don't think there will be subtitles in english for it). Lastly, try searching for the "world famous" mystic place "Chapada dos Veadeiros".

Thanks for sharing!

posted on Feb, 16 2012 @ 07:44 PM
reply to post by optimus fett

David Childress is an ancient aliens theorist. Ofcourse if humans have forgotten how it was made or do not know how it was made it was obviously made by aliens from outter space

I choose to believe it was made by a civilization that obviously died out and so the knowledge was forgotten. Its a far more plausible explanation than little grey dudes with big heads and black bulbous eyes from the InterGalactic Alliance of Zeta Reticuli.

posted on Feb, 16 2012 @ 08:21 PM
This all connects to the Hollow Earth Theory. There are supposed to be other entrances besides the north and south poles. There is supposedly an entrance in Tibet and in Brazil.
The Hollow Earth Theory also claims that the UFOs come from the hollow earth. The inhabitants are from the old world before the great cataclysmic event that wiped out humanity thousands of years ago. They have advanced technology and the UFO's that arrived after we discovered atomic energy are really from the hollow earth.
Could this be why so many UFO sightings occur in that area of Brazil?

posted on Feb, 16 2012 @ 08:36 PM
This is an amazing story. Thank you for sharing and piquing my interest. I have been through a lava tunnel quite large on the Big Island Hawaii and it went for ages. Once in it became so large without light the feeling of vulnerability increased until the group decided to turn back. I always thought with more light supplies and perhaps a weapon I would have kept going .. Maybe. This is another potential adventure again thanks for sharing I will join this research thread.

Visiting the abandoned mines of Charters Towers I found some great drawings on sheet-metal from when the mines were inhabited. Caving as a scout when a youth then exploring the storm pipes that went beneath the city were my own childhood/teen adventures.

I wonder how handy a pocket bike would be to shave some distance off the tunnel. Usually very compact you could easily travel at 30-50 Km an hour on the straight areas and one on a backpack would certainly assist you on the way back. Having said that I realize tunnels can be dangerous surely the way this tunnel is described it is large enough to use a dirt bike pocket bike model in.
edit on 16-2-2012 by Shirak because: Add some more.

posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 01:03 AM
Isnt This Childress dude a contemporary of Brisley le Poer Tench?(earl of Glencarty)spelling not withstanding....
I am not sure how credible is so.....the info would be....werent they both authors of these tales professionally?
rings a bell with me anyways....
Not to discourage you, how about a trip to the Russian taiga after that one?????

posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 05:43 AM
Hi People and thanks for the interest!

@Paulorf86 - Ola! Tu du bien? Absolutely great to hear from you! I was really hoping a 'local' would show up on the thread!

Would it be at all possible that you could source a picture of the cave entrance locally for me? something that perhaps only shows up on a Brazilian site?...I,m still searching but can't seem to highlight anything that is the correct one for sure? Obrigadina Amigo

Thanks everyone else for the posts so far!...however, I really do want to keep away from the UFO related stuff and tales of Hollow Earth etc..(although I do love it and find it really interesting) I want to keep the thread dedicated solely to the tunnel it's self and information about it!

Many thanks people

posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 05:53 AM
Hey Shirak

Great to hear from a fellow subterranean explorer!

I like the idea of a pocket bike but sadly the fumes would be a major problem!

From the brief account I have found, the oxygen levels seem good in the tunnel, and I doubt that the army could have trekked so far inwards if there were problems; however, we always take a gas/oxygen tester in to unexplored mines/tunnels with us...It's the strangest thing but low oxygen is awful..I can only describe it as 'drowning in air'...your muscles cramp, you get a banging headache and no matter how deeper breaths you take you feel like you cannot also want to keep stopping to lie down...(obviously you don't!!)...The problem can be breathing fine..walk in to a pocket of 'Bad Air' and just drop down unconscious...brrrrr....not nice!

I,m going to outline a list of all the factors relevant to a trip in to the tunnels will be nice to get peoples ideas and suggestions

Cheers people.

posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 06:46 AM
reply to post by optimus fett

I remember reading once that some Tibeten monks belief that there are tunnels that go all the way from the Himalayas to the Andes....

posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 06:56 AM
Aparently, what is really confirmed about Sao Tome das Letras is the fact that there is a cave, and this cave has a very long tunnel that nobody ever reached the end.

But from what I have googled, there is no confirmation that the tunnels are "man made".

posted on Feb, 18 2012 @ 05:18 AM
Hi Glontra and thanks for your input, are actually completely right...Childress's account indicates, or at least would have you believe that they look man-made and he talks as if there is a kind of uniformity to them...however, having personally been in a lot of caves and potholes, these are always made by the passage of water through them and they tend to be hugely uneven, unpredictable and unique meter to meter...

Unlike anything man made which tends to stick to a standard height and shape?

If we are to believe the story of the Brazilian Army travelling to a 'central room' with passages going off, it does sort of indicate some kind of man made, purposeful element..however we are obviously going off 2nd, 3rd, 4th hand information etc.

A good point though is this:- If they are man made...what happened to all the soil, rock, clay etc that has been removed to make them? When I am following up a hunch on an old mine entrance, it is always quite easy to see where the debris has been placed when the mine was dug...with really big mines the removed spoil changes the landscape would be interesting to get a closer look at the entrance to this tunnel and see if we could identify any sign of spoil?

posted on Feb, 19 2012 @ 09:01 PM

Originally posted by optimus fett
Hey Shirak

Great to hear from a fellow subterranean explorer!

I like the idea of a pocket bike but sadly the fumes would be a major problem!

From the brief account I have found, the oxygen levels seem good in the tunnel, and I doubt that the army could have trekked so far inwards if there were problems; however, we always take a gas/oxygen tester in to unexplored mines/tunnels with us...It's the strangest thing but low oxygen is awful..I can only describe it as 'drowning in air'...your muscles cramp, you get a banging headache and no matter how deeper breaths you take you feel like you cannot also want to keep stopping to lie down...(obviously you don't!!)...The problem can be breathing fine..walk in to a pocket of 'Bad Air' and just drop down unconscious...brrrrr....not nice!

I,m going to outline a list of all the factors relevant to a trip in to the tunnels will be nice to get peoples ideas and suggestions

Cheers people.

My house mate does testing of air quality equipment for mines he also thought the pocket bike idea would damage the existing air. So I was thinking if the tunnel is wide enough why not a fold up mountain bike with a dynamo light on the front. This would carve off a fair bit of distance and conserve your flashlight batteries.
It would really depend on the cave size from all reports of the floor it seems smooth enough at the very least would give you a quick ride for the down hill bits of the already explored areas leaving more time resource for the unexplored areas. I am basing this on the lava tube I did on the big island. Nice smooth floor.

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