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Strange symbols suddenly appear on Alabama landscape

Massive abstract symbols have appeared on satellite images of Russell County, AL
Massive abstract symbols have appeared on satellite images of Russell County, ALGoogle Maps

Seven abstract symbols that look like they should be on the surface of the Paracus Desert of Peru have suddenly appeared on satellite images of the rural landscape in Russell County, Alabama. There has been no publicity about these mystical designs until this article and no one has claimed responsibility.

Comparison between late 2013 and early 2014.
Comparison between late 2013 and early 2014. 2013 - ERSI, NASA 2014 - Google Maps

The strange symbols were discovered on January 30, 2014 by a researcher using remote sensing techniques to identify Creek Indian town sites. They cover approximately 230 acres immediately west of the Chattahoochee River and south of a Native American archaeological zone that is on a former horseshoe bend in the river.

Some of the symbols appeared on a NASA image released in late 2013 by ERSI for use in GIS software. The most recent Google satellite image in January 2014 shows several new symbols, plus refinement of the original symbols.

Russell County is in east central Alabama, across the Chattahoochee River from Columbus, GA. It abounds in archaeological sites associated with the Creek Indians, and probably was the location of a Chontal Maya trading center about a thousand years ago at an artificial riverine harbor across from present day Fort Benning.

Although having the cryptic characteristics of the crop circles being publicized around the globe, technically these are not crop circles. The designs do contain one small oval and three small circles, but overall the symbols are linear compositions or radial lines.

The abstract symbols were created by removing natural trees and scrub vegetation, not grain fields. Close analysis of the satellite images suggests that the trees and plants were somehow removed from the site without attracting the attention of residents in the county. Infrared images suggest that raw earth is being exposed by the operation. The symbols appear to be new creations, but it is possible that they existed earlier, but were not visible to satellite cameras until the vegetation was removed.

Since the creators of the abstract symbols in Russell County have not publicized their existence, it is possible that the composition is incomplete. Some of the symbols are similar to those seen on ancient petroglyphs in the Georgia Mountains that are thought to represent cosmic events such as meteors, comets and eclipses.

Nazca Civilization

The Russell County designs strongly resemble the enigmatic lines, abstract forms and effigies created by the Nazca Civilization that existed on a desert plain in Peru from about 100 BC to 800 AD. Archaeologists believe that the Nazca Lines were created between 400 AD and 650 AD. These massive works of art can only be conceptualized when viewed from surrounding high hills, airplanes or from space. Tourists wanting to see the Nazca lines typically look down at them from airplanes or helicopters.

The Nazca Lines were first discovered in 1553 by Spanish explorer, Pedro Cieza de León, who mistook them for trail markers. They were forgotten until 1940 when rediscovered by Paul Kosok, a historian from Long Island University, who was studying ancient irrigation systems in Peru. The Nazca designs appeared on his aerial photographs.

Kosok’s rediscovery spawned decades of speculation that the Nazca designs were meant to communicate with extraterrestrial astronauts. Some “ancient astronaut” theorists proposed that the lines were landing markers for extraterrestrial vehicles.

The archaeology profession has consistently stated that the designs were associated with agricultural fertility and prayers for rain to the pantheon of Nazca deities in the sky. Archaeologists believe that they have not found any proof of contacts between the Nazca and extraterrestrials. Some small gold artifacts have been interpreted by non-archaeologists as being representations of space craft. Also, numerous strangely shaped skulls have been found in Nazca graves. Archaeologists interpret these skulls as being the product of childhood cranial deformation. “Ancient astronaut” theorists interpret the skulls as being those of extraterrestrials.

A logical extension of the opposed theories of archaeologists and “ancient astronaut” proponents is: “Why did the Nazca People believe that there were supernatural beings flying around in the sky, who could affect their weather?”