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NYC - Public Lecture Series featuring Alex Chionetti

The Tayos Odyssey

This event will be streamed live. Please visit our Live Stream page at 7pm on the evening of the event to view the lecture for free.

This talk will provide an overview of the research and explorations of the cavern system of the Tayos caves located in the Morona Santiago, Province of Ecuador. One of the longest South American caves interconnecting underground Ecuador with Peru, it is located at the footsteps of the Cordillera del Condor’s landscape. Historical occupants left behind traces of explosive, buried mine patches and many unsolved mysteries which still stir the popular imagination and public opinion.

Explorer Alex Chionetti has been the key researcher of the project and was a witness to three decades of expeditions since the initial discovery. During the last seven years Chionetti launched several expeditions to study this cave system. He will share his experiences exploring the main cave of the Tayos’s systems - the Coangos, and the Pastaza River cave called Chumbitayo. Both generate legends and strange formations which continue baffling those interested in geological analysis and theories.

For the first time you will hear the story first hand of previous explorers now deceased. Alex will be showing HD images of the caves and its ducts, gates, tunnels which apparently permitted the existence of a major underground city.

Chionetti explored the "Cave of Tayos " (Morona Santiago, Ecuador) after overcoming many challenges and after several years of research and preparation; six months of exploration in the region of Morona Santiago; one of the most dangerous regions of the Amazonian basin. The area of his last travels became very dangerous as the Shuar Indians (who used to be known as the fierce Jivaros who shrunk their enemies heads) had been resisting the legal and illegal penetration of oil and mining companies; using this pretext to enforce a "license to kill" all trespassers.

Despite having all the negotiated permissions, Chionetti’s team almost lost their lives in the hands of natives and had to run out of the area, after largely concluding the exploration and filming of the place.

Chionetti’s interest included the investigation of the local legends but also to research the geological anomalies of a natural cave environment and the biology of the Tayos birds that use echolocation for their survival in the cave system. The only non bat species to do so.

Born in Argentina, Alex studied zoology and ethnology at the Museum of Natural Sciences of Buenos Aires. This brought him to expeditions involved in the archaeology of prehistoric tribes living in a cave system in the central region of the Cordoba province (He received an award for an essay 'Cuarta Dimension' award, 1978).

He has been a resident researcher at the Smithsonian Institution, invited by Betty Meggers to expand his theories and new evidences of migration. He also acted as a visual consultant for the Vice Curator of the Washington “Museum of American Indians" on the recent projects on the Inca Trails and made video recordings of remote villages of the High Andes of Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile.

Date: 3/16/2015

Time: 6:00 pm Reception, 7:00 pm Lecture

Location: Club Headquarters, 46 E 70th Street, New York, NY, 10021

Member Ticket Price: Free

Guest Ticket Price: $20

Student Ticket Price:

Free for EC Student Members, $5 w/ valid Student ID

Reservation Notes:

Reservations are allotted on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Please call 212.628.8383 or email us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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