A giant cave in the Andes known as Cueva de los Tayos (or Cave of the Oilbirds) has long been discussed among ancient astronaut theorists. They believe that the cave was once inhabited by the ancient people who evolved after getting aid from the extraterrestrials.
In his book “The Gold of the God” (1972), the Swiss author Erich Von Däniken included the testimony of a Hungarian explorer named János Juan Móricz who went into the cave in 1969. He mentioned that inside, Juan had discovered gold, strange carvings, sculptures, and a “metal library” of tablets, written in an unknown language that belonged to a lost ancient intelligent civilization.
Such stories encouraged explorers to visit the most remote place in South America. The earliest expedition to Tayos in Ecuador was carried out by Scottish engineer Stan Hall in 1976. He was accompanied by more than 100 people. Among them, there were British and Ecuadorian government officials, leading scientists and speleologists, British special forces, professional cavers, and astronaut Neil Armstrong, who served as the expedition’s Honorary President. It was one of the largest expeditions held by the top people in the government.
Reaching the most mysterious cave is not easy. The roads are full of potholes with deadly twists, through the jungle is above the Amazon Basin. After passing through the home of big black bullet ants and terrible humid weather, it is really challenging to go into the cave without taking permission from the local indigenous group of people known as “Shuar,” for whom the cave is sacred. The Shuar people perform spiritual ceremonies in the cave. They are known for shamanism, as well as dangerous Amazonian tribes who would not resist killing their enemies.
Tayos is named after nocturnal oilbirds who are also known as tayos in Spanish. To enter the cave, there are three entrances that have long been used by the Shuar people for hunting down Tayos which act like bats.
The largest entrance is 65 meters in-depth, and it leads to a network of tunnels and chambers stretching for at least 4.5 km.
In 2017, Stan Hall’s daughter Eileen said that his father wrote a letter to Neil Armstrong, persuading him to come on a quest to the South American jungle. Armstrong, after his Moon visit, became more curious about the outside of space. Meanwhile, Stan, who had just read Von Däniken’s book, found a great adventure.
Eileen Hall said: “When he (Stan) was 26 and living in Edinburgh, he had an experience of being immersed in white light. He said he was shown infinity and the inter-connection of this dimension and others.” That is why he made a decision to explore the Andes caves.
According to her, Armstrong not only replied to her father’s invitation but enthusiastically agreed to join him on his quest. What they discovered during the expedition was a 1500 BC burial ground and stone passageways that seemed to have been cut artificially. A research was conducted at the cave, the scientists mapped the area and besides, archaeological discoveries were made. However, no gold was unearthed and they could not find any metallic library or any sign of an advanced civilization.
Still, nobody knows why Neil Armstrong agreed to go on the quest with Stan Hall. But he was greeted as a hero by the Shuar people when he arrived there. People who watched him descending through the ladder into the cave witnessed another great step for mankind.
Eileen believed that Armstrong was intrigued after his scientific exploration on the Lunar surface and was eager to know what was left behind in our galaxy. Armstrong said the expedition was as great as the Moon.