In their 1966 book “Intelligent Life in the Universe” astrophysicists I.S. Shklovski and Carl Sagan devote a chapter to arguments that scientists and historians should seriously consider the possibility that extraterrestrial contact occurred during recorded history. However, Shklovski and Sagan stressed that these ideas were speculative and unproven. Shklovski and Sagan have argued that sub-light speed interstellar travel by extraterrestrial life was a certainty when considering technologies that were established or feasible in the late ’60s; that repeated instances of extraterrestrial visitation to Earth were plausible; and that pre-scientific narratives can offer a potentially reliable means of describing contact with outsiders. Additionally, Shklovski and Sagan cited tales of Oannes, a fishlike being attributed with teaching agriculture, mathematics, and the arts to the early Sumerians, as deserving closer scrutiny as a possible instance of paleo-contact due to its consistency and detail.
Pakal’s first construction project was the Olvidado in 647 AD; this “Forgotten” Temple far to the west of the Lakam ha’ was the site core that bore the first surviving inscription from Palenque since the inscribed bowl of Casper over a century and a half earlier.
Palenque ca. 647 (You will note that the Palace is small, at a later time Pakal would extend it’s boundaries so you do not see it all at this time.
In the Olvidado there must have been other contemporaneous records in the interim, and they are perhaps buried in construction fill after having been destroyed by invaders . Glyphs from Pakal’s own reign were re-used in the walls of the North Group. The observatory for Palenque, it was either in two places: in the tower of the palace or an outer structure someone named the “Sanctuary”:
Tower of the Palace
The Observatory aka The Sanctuary( there is a comb on the roof so it could also be a temple as well)
The Maya were very interested in zenial passages, the time when the sun passes directly overhead. The latitude of most of their cities being below the Tropic of Cancer, these zenial passages would occur twice a year equidistant from the solstice. To represent this position of the sun overhead, the Maya had a god named Diving God. The Dresden Codex contains the highest concentration of astronomical phenomena observations and calculations of any of the surviving texts (it appears that the data in this codex is primarily or exclusively of an astronomical nature).
The Dresden Codex
Examination and analysis of this codex reveals that Venus was the most important astronomical object to the Maya, even more important to them than the sun. In common with the other Mesoamerican civilizations, the Maya had measured the length of the solar year to a high degree of accuracy, far more accurately than that used in Europe as the basis of the old Gregorian calendar. They did not use this figure for the length of year in their calendars, however; the calendars they used were crude, being based on a year length of exactly 365 days, which means that the calendar falls out of step with the seasons by one day every four years. By comparison, the Julian calendar, used in Europe from Roman times until about the 16th Century, accumulated an error of only one day every 128 years. The modern Gregorian calendar is even more accurate.
A Maya Zodiac
Uniquely, there is some evidence to suggest the Maya appear to be the only pre-telescopic civilization to demonstrate knowledge of the Orion Nebula as being fuzzy, i.e. not a stellar pin-point. The information which supports this theory comes from a folk tale that deals with the Orion constellation’s area of the sky.
The Orion Nebula as the Maya might have seen it
This is a significant clue to support the idea that the Maya detected a diffuse area of the sky contrary to the pin points of stars before the telescope was invented. Many preclassic sites are oriented with the Pleiades and Eta Draconis, as seen in La Blanca, Ujuxte, Monte Alto, and Takalik Abaj.
Then one night while taking a walk outside the palace with friends Pakal is abducted by a UFO: