First published: Winter 2014
There is a structure in Belgium known as the Tower of the Apocalypse, built by the late Robert Garcet and completed in 1963. A curmudgeonly and cantankerous pacifist, Garcet was convinced that a peace-loving species of man ruled the earth during the age of the dinosaur.
Beneath his tower runs a prehistoric labyrinth of tunnels that Garcet contended was part of a 70 million-year-old subterranean village. The inhabitants of that village, he said, sculpted stones into images of men and animals. To the ordinary eye, they look like the kind of anthropomorphic shapes one sees in other stones, but Garcet discerned faces and profiles that were deliberately put there.
“These stones were sculpted and colored intentionally”, he insisted.
Untitled, c. 1968–74, mixed media on cardboard, 24 x 18.5 ins., 61 x 47 cm, Richard Sharpe Shaver original scan from collection of Brian Emrich
In the mid 1940s, around the same time that Garcet began planning his tower, Richard Sharpe Shaver (1907–1975) was way ahead of him. Shaver had not yet begun his exploration of what he would term his “rock books” at this time, but he most certainly claimed to have had first-hand experience of the ancient advanced civilisations dwelling in underground Cavern Worlds.