Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/15/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Radar scans taken over Mosquitia suggests the outline of an ancient city

Ciudad Blanca, or the "White City," according to legend, was full of gold and had been sought out by explorers and treasure hunters ever since conquistador Hernando Cortes first made reference to it in a 1526 letter to King Charles V of Spain. To date, no confirmation of the existence of the city has ever been provided. Researchers now believe they may finally have found the fabled city in Honduras using high-tech scanners that let aircraft "see" through dense forest.

LiDAR's computer-generated images have allowed researchers to 'see' through the forest canopy to the ground surface, revealing any evidence of ancient settlements or human-engineered landscapes.

LiDAR's computer-generated images have allowed researchers to "see" through the forest canopy to the ground surface, revealing any evidence of ancient settlements or human-engineered landscapes.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/15/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Americas

Keywords: White City of Gold, LiDar, archaeology, Honduras, Ciudad Blanca


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Books have cited the city as the birthplace of the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl. Previous reported sightings over the years have described golden idols and elaborately carved white stones, which led to the lost city's name.

Researchers from the University of Houston and the National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping have flown over the Mosquitia region in a small plane shooting billions of laser pulses at the ground to create a 3D digital map of the topology beneath the jungle canopy.

Analysts revealed what appears to be man-made elevation changes to reveal what they say is a forgotten city plaza dotted with pyramids reclaimed by the jungle.

Cinematographer and Ciudad Blanca enthusiast Steven Elkins sought backing from private investors to pay for the team at NCLAM to use their laser mapping technology to chart the forest floor of Mosquitia. Engineers flew over 60 square miles of forest in their dual-engine Cessna planes over the course of a week.

LiDAR's computer-generated images have allowed researchers to "see" through the forest canopy to the ground surface, revealing any evidence of ancient settlements or human-engineered landscapes.

"The LiDAR point cloud data clearly show the remains of large settlements that can be characterized as ancient cities based on their spatial complexity, size and organization,' Colorado State University professors Christopher Fisher says.

"We may never be able to tell whether any of these are Ciudad Blanca, or whether the legendary city ever existed, but we can clearly see in the UTL data evidence that there was a densely settled region with a human modified environment.

"These conclusions provide important new insights into the pre-Hispanic settlement of this largely unexplored region."

If confirmed, the discovery of Ciudad Blanca would be comparable to the popularization of forgotten sites such as Machu Picchu, which lay ruined for hundreds of years until reintroduced to western eyes in 1911 by American historian Hiram Bingham.

However - if the myth remains a myth, any positive identification of the fabled "White City" of Ciudad Blanca would reignite hopes of finding the legendary "Lost City of Gold," El Dorado. Archaeologists will now have to undertake a journey through the dense forest to visit the site in person.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More Americas

Bermuda buttons down for Hurricane Gonzalo Watch

Image of Bermuda is getting ready to get hit by Hurricane Gonzalo, which is expected to have winds up to 145 miles per hour.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Bermuda is set to be hit by a strong storm on October 17, Hurricane Gonzalo, one of the most powerful on record to hit the island. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Schools on the island were closed on October 16, and many residents boarded up the windows of their ... continue reading


Sex trafficking ring that used teenaged girls, boys busted in Colombia Watch

Image of Working out of clandestine sites and massage parlors, the ring frequently used taxi drivers to bring in foreign clients looking for underage sex.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

After a lengthy investigation, a joint operation between the United States and Colombia successfully led to 11 arrests across the South American nation in a large sex trafficking ring. The ring used teenaged girls and boys, one victim as young as 11 and kept ... continue reading


Dreaded Juarez drug cartel leader arrested without a shot being fired Watch

Image of Carrillo Fuentes faces a number of charges in the United States. Drug trafficking, conspiracy, money laundering, tampering with a witness and

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Feared and respected, Juarez drug cartel boss Vicente Carrillo Fuentes aided Ciudad Juarez' reputation as one of the most dangerous regions on Earth. Fuentes has now been captured and arrested without a shot being fired. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The ... continue reading


Man finds kidnapped daughter, missing for 12 years! Watch

Image of Sabrina Allen, seen here in a picture from 2002, was taken by her mother to Mexico for 12 years. She will be reunited with her father who has labored to find her for more than a decade.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Sabrina Allen, the girl was kidnapped by her mother 12 years ago and taken into Mexico from Texas, is set to be reunited with her father who last saw her when she was five years old. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Mexican and U.S. authorities arrested Dara ... continue reading


As Ecuador plans to drill in the Amazon, natives know their time is up Watch

Image of Oil drilling in the Amazon rainforest has caused great destruction of the once fertile and incredibly diverse ecosystem there.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Ecuador's Yasuni National Park is considered one of the world's most bio-diverse regions. This unique place is inhabited by more than 20 different endangered mammals, and just 2 ½ acres of this patch of Amazon rainforest contains more than 100,000 species of ... continue reading


33 million crimes per year! Despite crackdown on crime, Mexicans still doubt ability of law enforcement Watch

Image of Despite increased effort to stop crime, most Mexicans revealed they don't report crimes that affect them because they have little faith in the abilities of police or law enforcement to do anything about it.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new survey from the national statistics institute (INEGI) revealed that despite claims from the Mexican government that their country is becoming safer, there were a record number of crime victims in that country last year. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Eight Mexican soldiers held in shooting deaths of 22 drug gang members Watch

Image of The shooting started after soldiers came under fire from the suspected gang members, resulting in a gunfight lasting several minutes, the government said.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An army officer and seven soldiers have been detained in connection with the deaths of 22 gang members in the town of Tlatlaya, in rural southern Mexico. While originally described "as a fierce gun battle," the physical evidence at the scene suggests that the ... continue reading


Paraguayan bishop accused of protecting sexually abusive priest removed by Pope Francis Watch

Image of Pope Francis dismissed a Paraguayan bishop accused of protecting a priest suspected of sexually abusing young people this week. Bishop Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano of Ciudad del Este has been relieved of his duties.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis dismissed a Paraguayan bishop accused of protecting a priest suspected of sexually abusing young people this week. Bishop Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano of Ciudad del Este has been relieved of his duties. The Vatican said Pope Francis had taken the ... continue reading


Was it really a meteorite? NASA scientists remain skeptical about Nicaraguan crater Watch

Image of A meteorite from a passing asteroid may have caused a crater in Nicaragua on the evening of September 6.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A meteorite crashed in Managua, Nicaragua, late on the evening of September 6, causing a loud explosion and leaving a crater 39 feet across, Nicaraguan government officials reported. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Nicaraguan spokeswoman Rosario Murillo said ... continue reading


These 14th century artifacts are headed back to their proper home Watch

Image of 14th century artifacts from Colombia being displayed in a Spanish museum.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Spain has returned 691 indigenous artifacts to Colombia, which were seized during a police operation 11 years ago LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Most of these ceramic items are of huge cultural and archaeological value, and date to around 1400 BC. They had been ... continue reading


All Americas News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 2:1-10
1 And you were dead, through the crimes and the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 100:2, 3, 4, 5
2 serve Yahweh with gladness, come into his presence ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 12:13-21
13 A man in the crowd said to him, 'Master, tell my ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 20th, 2014 Image

St. Paul of the Cross
October 20: St. Paul of the Cross was born at Ovada in the Republic of ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter