Amazing Fr. Carlos Crespi

The Amazing “Little” Priest of Cuenca, Ecuador:

Fr. Carlos Crespi Croci (Informal) Timeline

 

The famous priest of Cuenca, Ecuador

This past week, I finished the first draft of the prologue to Gringolandia, a sequel to The Plan (Book 2 of the Civil Rights Mystery Sleuth Series).

Gringolandia opens with the fascinating story of Fr. Crespi, who once lived in Cuenca, creating schools and museums, while caring for the sick and the poor of this small Andean city. He also had another vocation, one that drew international attention (even from astronaut Neil Armstrong, UFOologists, and the Mormon church), collecting thousands of artifacts that finally caused him trouble with Church and government officials!

Some figurines and statues were described as archaeological findings of Mesopotamian or Egypt origin with the thesis that between the cultures of the Andes and of Mediterranean had been a connection. Sound intriguing? I think so, and here are my notes for you to enjoy that helped me tell the story!

Susan Klopfer

*****

 

Fr. Carlos Crespi:  A physically small man with a big heart—and the ability to frighten those in power

Have you ever heard of Fr. Carlos Crespi Croci, the beloved priest of Cuenca, Ecuador? I hadn’t, until I moved to this South American city of approximately one-half million people in 2012 as an expat, and soon became intrigued with his story,

 After reading one book on the padre (Atlantis in the Amazon: Lost Technologies and the Secrets of the Crespi Treasure, by Richard Wingae) and then talking to several people here who knew him well, I recognized the importance of learning more about this Italian-born priest and scientist, and passing on my notes. I think you will find this history as fascinating as I have, especially as a fan (and writer) of history and historical fiction.

 

From what is said about this Catholic priest, he was a great spirit who performed healing miracles, built schools and museums using cash raised through his personally collected cultural artifacts of the local and Amazonian indigenous people. Some UFO-ologists have their own versions of the origin of some of these relics.

At the end of his life, he was deceived and much of his collection disappeared, a former student confided. It is a scandal that few people are willing to talk about in a truthful way, even this month as he is honored locally with documentaries of his life and special exhibitions of some of his collection—what little is left of it!


Father Crespi showing a relief plate of natives of Ecuador. And where are these plates today?

To learn more of this intriguing story, I read several books and papers by explorers and archaeologists, and then I ran into Dr. Luis García Carpio (an ex Salesian pupil,of Fr. Crespi, who today is a Cuenca lawyer) in his small office in downtown Cuenca. Garcia’s book published in 2009, El apóstol de los pobres, is in its second edition, with a new book on the way.

We met and talked at his office located at 304-A in the Bolivar Building on Sucre Street 6-60 in Cuenca, Ecuador where he sells copies of his historical work. Garcia told me that he’d been a young student of Father Crespi’s, and has spent the past 45 years pulling together details on the priest and his work. He also confirmed too oftenf what is written locally is not always true and leaves out important details, particularly the malevolent acts that were committed by various officials against Crespi at the end of his life. The lawyer hopes that one day his work will help make the padre a Catholic saint.

I was able to confirm much of what I’d already learned from this lawyer during our meeting. My Spanish is at a survival state, at best, but Dr. Garcia did not want a translator present. “You’re doing fine. I can understand,” he assured me in his broken English. I wasn’t too sure of everything said in our meeting, but here’s the story of Fr. Carlos Crespi Croci presented in an informal timeline, as much of it that I can piece together and from what I confirmed with Dr. Garcia. Numbers in brackets come from Garcia’s source notes. Information in quotes comes directly from Dr. Garcia, or from his book:

1891

Padre Crespi was born on 29 May 1891 in a little village named Legnano within Milan in Italy and died at the age of 90 on 30 April 1982 in Cuenca.

His father, Don Daniel Crespi was working as an administrator of a country estate and his mother, Luisa Croci, was a housewife. They had 13 children (8 boys and 5 girls). Carlos Crespi Croci was the third child. One more brother also was "Christian missionary", in Thailand.

(I noticed this month that some of the literature put out on Fr. Crespi for the special honors in Cuenca asserted that he was an “Italian monk,” and that he was an “armchair historian.” It is interesting how quickly that history is revised)

Here is some more information about Father. Crespi’s schooling, from childhood through his young adult years, coming from Dr. Garcia’s notes :

-- school "Coliseum" ("El Gimnasio") in Milan (Salesian school)
-- grammar school (liceo) in Valsalice in town of Turin (one more Salesian school) leading to higher school certificate, 1903-1906
-- finishing noviciate in Foglizzo 1906-1907
-- "confessing to Salesian religion on 8 September 1907, ans this for ever on 24 July 1910"
-- studying philosophy in Turin
-- finishing "magister" in Valsalice 1910-1913
-- training for being a teacher in theology 1914-1917 in Manfredini school in town of Este
-- getting "ecclesiastic order" to be a priest "S.D.B." in Verona on 29 January 1917 [4] [53] or in Padua [37]
-- continuing studying in Padua University finishing with doctorate in nature sciences, in music, in hydraulic engineer, and all is finished on 15 July 1921 [4], finishing in July 1921 with doctorate in nature sciences, then music and hydraulic engineer [53]. 

According to Garcia and others, Fr. Crespi had three Ph.D.degrees, a Masters degree, and was a priest. Other scholars, in addition to Gracia, confirm this.

1923

Fr. Crespi first came to Cuenca on 23 April 1923 [5] as an organizer of an international exhibition of archeology [27] and this archaeological exhibition "was the beginning of talks for many scientists of the world" [28].

 

Cuenca, Ecuador

Don Bosco, a priest and founder of the Salesians, a Catholic worldwide order,  formed an "army of priests” to aid Cuenca’s poor population. One of Don Bosco's "army" recruits was Crespi. Because of this, Crespi is often mentioned in connection with Bosco as a "true model of Salesian.”

 

Fr. Don Bosco


In 1926, he organized the "First Missionary Exhibition about Ecuador" in Rome [5] and in Morona Santiago, Crespi prepared an Amazon's expedition in the Ecuadorian jungle [54].

It was in 1927 that Crespi, in the Amazon basin of Ecuado, contacted natives. Missionaries stationed in Morona were not permitted to make such contact at the time. Crespi investigated the jungle which was untouched by the whites, “yet, having contact with Shuar natives of the zone of Yaupi river - Morona river and Manserichhe river.”Crespi “instill[ed] good relationships with natives, and some of these groups are producing shrunken heads.”

In 1928, Crespi founded the Technical Institute for Sciences and Agronomy, a “Colegio agronómico salesiano" [62]

From 1928 to 1929, he organized “one more Ecuador Missionary Exhibition now in New York [5].
From 1930 on, Garcia writes that Crespi dedicated himself to "humble people, beggars, children and olds". He was "a saint working with a God's conscience with the poor. presenting poverty as a topic, working in church services and helping to the not valued. He was a remarkable and reverent Salesian fulfilling his task which was given from Don Bosco developing this task in the town, and the town accepted him." [38]

Crespi may have left Cuenca for a time during this period. Garcia describes him as “returning to Cuenca as founder of institutions of education:


-- founding of the "Cornelio Merchan" school, today "Carlos Crespi" school
-- founding of "Normal Orientalistic" school
-- founding of philosophic circle "Filosofado"
-- founding of "School of Arts and Handicrafts", later renamed in "Salesian Technical School Merchan", today's "Salesian Technical School", 1931-1932 with important leading tasks [5].


In 1930, the priest founded the agricultural school of Yanuncay
later renamed in "Salesian Agricultural School" [28].

1931

From 1931 to 1932, Garcia describes Crespi as working with Eastern population of Macas [location in the Amazon jungle or the Oriente, as it is called in Ecuador] ("Salesian mission"). As a scientist, Crespi was executing scientific studies in geology, architecture and anthropology [5], with many trips [7] and filming the natives with their rich flora and fauna [8] in the Amazon basin of Ecuador [28]
-- there are films made in East of Ecuador, for example the film "Dreadful Shuar natives of Higher Amazon" ("Los Terribles Shuares del Alto Amazonas")
-- Crespi is installing a collection of brackens and many are named with his name ("crespianas"), and all is publishes in botanic book "Fauna" ("El Mundo Vegetal") of priest Juan Migliaso, one more Salesian priest of the collection L.N.S. [5]
-- one of the witnesses of Crespis works is e.g. Gabriel D'Annunzio Baraldi [5].

Crespi's Scientific works are spread in all the world and are also recognized in other countries [28]. As a working scientist, Crespi was presenting the Amazon jungle in publications and books to the whole world, Garcia writes:

Crespi describes what he is doing:

"I closed myself up in the jungle of Eastern Ecuador, seeing the wonderful beautifulness describing the plants and the animals, the rock formations, all it's richness, and I put my focus on the description of medical plants and presented them with drawings, in books and in publications in international reviews, in public organs in Mexico and in North America." [72]

Another journalist tells this:
"He studied botany and and the Eastern animal world with all basic data, he knew the customs of the different Amazonian tribes in a scientific view, and add to this he made some documentaries about the natives of our Amazon region, which today have a great value." [74]

Crespi was priest in Mariahilf church in Cuenca giving sermons and organized Christian festivities, giving communions [30] and hearing the confessions:

For this men and women had to make separated queue. Crespi was saying: "You should not repeat this another time" and liberated us with three sermons of Avemaria penitential prayers and with a soft clasp on the cheek. And we stayed like this with a feeling flying in the air with a big peace feeling, with this feeling of luck that only can give a saint.[38]

Crespi's passion was working in the confessional box, and he even was sleeping there many times [45]. When children are lying Crespi said that this would be "normal" [18].

Priest Crespi was always making his tour with a bell and was forgiving "sins" of the children giving sweets to them - this is the indication of contemporary witness Julio [13], and priest Crespi also gave to the old [63].
*****

1936

As a writer of history and fiction, here is where the real mystery of Father Crespi begins for me: Garcia writes that according to contemporary witness Moricy, Crespi is the detector of the tunnels of the Tayos cave [7] respectively Crespi is the first white man detecting the tunnels of the Tayos cave. Natives always new [sic] about this cave.

I question if Crespi was talking about the actual Tayos Cave. Garcia must know more and may be trying to protect the location of the real secret cave where Crespi was allowed to enter. I am told the “real” location is on the wetern side of the northern Andes, some 180 kilometers from Cuenca and involves an underwater entrance through a small jungle river.

From 1936 to1937, according to Garcia, Crespi was collecting funds for (and was the leading founder of)  the foundation of a Salesian Popular School [41], later renamed "Cornelio Merchán.” This school is "for the poor, for the without value preparing them for their future", for lower class and middle class children [28]. The first director of Salesian Popular School is Mr. Nicolás Escandón, and there were more teachers like Mr. Vélez Lucero, Emiliano Oyervide and Mr. Nivelo. The authorities made some difficulties giving the condition to the school that there should be a "scientific base". That's why Crespi was beginning collecting archaeological artefacts, and this was the beginning of famous Crespi Museum [41].

Until 1936 only the "upper class children had access to education institutions" [28] and poor children were with their parents or in the street [41]. With Salesian Popular School this was changing now [28].

Salesian Popular School (later renamed in "Merchán School") was beginning with 100 children in 4 grades [41], with a monthly fee of 2 Sucres for each child, then 5, but then coming down to 1 Sucre per child because of economical crises [42]. Maximum were 1,500 children in Crespian institutes of education [43].

Crespi founded the famous archaeological artifacts of Shuar natives in Macas museum [5] with it's archaeological collection which began with the foundation of his institutes of education [41] According to the witness Gabriel D'Annunzio Baraldi, Crespi is indicating clearly that the natives [Shuar primary nation] hold stony pyramids from former times on their territory, and there would be "great treasures" in these territories yet [5], and with these archaeological artifacts "the museum was formed" [6]

Soon, Shuar natives came to Crespi for healings and were giving this priest figurines and metal plates from Tayos cave as salary for the healings [32]

Writes Garcia, “respectively it was like this”:

-- Coango natives of Shuar primary nation gave Crespi some precious objects, also statues and stone tablets with inscriptions, and also graved plates etc. [54]

-- but according to some rumors also cheaters are said having had their part in these events selling forged sheet plates to Crespi abusing the benevolence of Crespi [18].

(Accepting and paying for “fakes” would eventually get Crespi into trouble with some academic. Several publicly accused him of not knowing what he was collecting, asserting that none of his collection was valid. But others quickly asserted that Crespi was shrewd by accepting everything or “Salting the mine” too get more relics. Others said it was his kindness, that he accepted real and fake relics in order to give money to those who needed it. Some archaeologists now say that dating methods are more sophisticated, and that some of what was said to be fake, probably was not, and this can be proven today. Unfortunately, much of what was said to be fake was later thrown away, burned or disappeared.)


Relics from the Crespi Collection


Crespi had a pavilion installed for his School of Arts and Handicrafts [28]. 

This School of Arts and Handicrafts was comprising
-- schooling in mechanics
-- schooling in joinery (woodwork)
-- schooling in tailoring (dressmaking)
-- schooling in printing
-- schooling in shoemaker [28]. 

…and was converted into a "Salesian Technical Institute Cornelio Merchán" [28].

Cornelio Merchán was one more philanthropic person in the service of priest Crespi, with fortune and personality working in projects against poverty in Cuenca [29].

Crespi also gave technical courses for children [18]. Crespi was always more important for Cuenca: "His presence was our alimentation, and he had his lunch on the earth of Cuenca, and this earth was a part of his life and was alimentation of the Andes of Southern Ecuador." [64]

---Crespi also was a model for charitable gifts and for a justice with equality, Garcia writes:

-- Crespi is an absolute worker and even escaped sometimes from hospital continuing his work when he was interned
-- Crespi is for an absolute equality and also accepts children who first seem to be hopeless in his institutions of education, but he says that it's better for the child being in the school than being in the street [41]
-- Crespi exempts the monthly fee to many poor families when they cannot pay [43]
-- Crespi is making propaganda for his alimentation caring well the stomach and is even giving vegetables to his teachers friends, "cabbage, carrots, lettuce etc." [43] with the indication that cabbage soup would be the best for caring it's stomach [44], and he is always drinking much mineral water [45]
-- according to witness Julio Crespi himself had not many clothes, and his frock was old already, but he did not want to have a new one [13].

Garcia says that adding to all  of this, Crespi also spoke many languages:
-- Italian
-- Spanish
-- French
-- Shuara [9]
-- Latin [22].
 


Was Crespi simply a visiting “Italian monk” as reports a Cuenca biography, prepared for recent events honoring this man? Writes Garcia: And one beautiful day Crespi gets the Ecuadorian passport and is an "adopted" Ecuadorian [74].

From 1937 to 1941, Crespi served as headmaster of "Mariahilf sanctuary" [7].

1938


In 1938, Crespi is organizing the "First Eucharist Congress" in Cuenca
-- with this congress Crespi is installing himself as an "apostolic Christian model", as an "outstanding admirer of arts, sciences, music and film" [7].

In 1943, Crespi built his "School of Arts and Handicrafts" Later this school is renamed in "Salesian Technical School Cornelio Merchán" [7].

Crespi with the "Oratorium festivities" This institution is for poor children and youths in the 1930s and 1940s, born in Cuenca [7]. The festivities were in the local of Mariahilf until 1964 [9]: 
-- Crespi gives sweets
-- Crespi is giving breakfast and meals
-- Crespi is inventing new fashion
-- Crespi is undertaking walks in the countryside with the children and youths
-- Crespi is organizing cinema for children and youths with films about Chaplin, Tarzan and the apes, Laurel and Hardy
-- Crespi is organizing films with the native Juan Diego, visionary seer of Morena virgin
-- Crespi is organizing films about youth games [7]
-- Crespi is organizing documentaries about Eastern Ecuador [7] and about natives with their rich fauna and flora [8]
-- Crespi produces a "libretto" with "seals of his assistance, always on Sundays and religious festival days"
-- and all this was organized with a bell calling the children [9].

Garcia states that all in all, Crespi was dedicating all his life and wisdom to the state of Ecuador [10]. Guayaquil square is one of Crespi's activity centers [11].

Garcia has collected memories of contemporary witnesses:

Crespi and his films and theater: Crespi's cinema is well memorized by contemporary witnesses, e.b. by witness Julio with the indication of Laurel and Hardy and films about Eastern Ecuador about the natives [13]. These films about Eastern Ecuador and about the natives are also shown abroad, for example are taken to other continents by German technicians [46]. Crespi also could make jokes about himself, for example declaring: "This is a givalo - that is a tiger - and this is a donkey" (pointing at himself].

Crespi was collaborating also with other teachers by
-- performing comedy sketches to the children (in Quechua: wawas)
-- showing some art performances
-- and the children were laughing until they were "gasping for air" [13].

The artist collaborating with Crespi - also teaching in the schools - were: 
-- Enrique Arce
-- Tuarto Ortiz who only had one eye
-- Coboz
-- Nivelo [13].

Padre Crespi had a big film collection [46], Garcia states:.

Crespi's cinema respective his "popular theater" was organized on Sundays regularly. Crespi was separating boys (above) and girls (down) - this is the indication of contemporary witness Tello [16]. Another contemporary witness indicates the separation of the banks "right for women and left for men" [35]. There were cowboy films, Chaplin films and films of Laurel and Hardy [16].

Add to this there were Tarzan jungle films, Tarzan treasure cave films, Tarzan pigmaean films with "magic world of African jungle". More films were "solidary inhabitant", or Errol Flynn, Laurel and Hardy, Charles Chaplin, Tree Musketeers [35], Robin Hood [36], and Walt Disney films [47]. Some films gave in impression of the "seventh art": "Magic man of Oz, the mines of king Salomo, adventure in Birmania, Treasure Island, Shouting of the Lion, documentaries about Salesian mission in Eastern Ecuador" [34]. During Holy Week films about [the Jewish white man] "Jesus" with his cross which was harming much to children's heart [35]. Some of the films also were lost [47] [by "unknown reasons". Theft is happening in the best places. Jesus cannot be taken earnest because he claims that all the world should believe in him. By this he is racist against all other cultures].

In this cinema of Crespi there was a highly emotional atmosphere with much applause as if there had been a live theater [35], first after Crespi's introduction opening the curtain, and then with any hero scenery in the film. After the film the children were playing basketball or got milk powder and yellow cheese [36]. All in all Crespi with his films was a "man interceding illusions from a wonder world with adventures and much laughing." [37]

Crespi's talent is discussed by Garcia:

Crespi was a Salesian priest, teacher, musician, conductor, anthropologist, botanist, artist, organizer of cinemas, and add to this he was humanist. [17].

Crespi also was a writer and composer, writing poems and music for his music group [16], for example a hymn for his institute, e.g. for the "Handicraft School Carlos Crespi" [20] or he composed an "Eucharist hymn" for other poems of Luis Cordero da Vila [23]. Crespi was a composer of "hymns, marches and songs". [61]

Crespi also had a fine humor talent always devaluating himself as a "gringo" [21].

Pf Crespi as music teacher, Garcia offers these insights:

Padre Crespi - this is the indication of contemporary witness Julio - 
-- was a musician, could orchestrate, and could also play many instruments
-- Crespi also taught music instruments like clarinet, trumpet, trombone and tuba / tube [13].

The music band
-- Crespi is conducting a music band, "The Shalicos" ("Los Shalicos") [26], a "music and war band", "mainly with school children, with well-educated musicians of the quarter and of the "School for Arts and Crafts", and they were performing very well, also with well-known people of Cuenca [30]

or: 

-- also others were leading this music group: The band was founded with pupils of School for Arts and Crafts, and the first conductor was Mr. Gazzolli. Then there were pupils of Merchán School with the director Vicente Escandón, and then there was master Auquilla taking over the conducting.> [45]

Crespi as teacher of mechanics
Padre Crespi - this says contemporary witness Julio
-- was educating mechanics and technicians
-- was installing a school for tailors and another school for carpenter
-- was educating tailors, painters ans musicians [13].

Crespi as an organizer of help for the poor
Father Crespi - this says contemporary witness Julio
-- was organizing free clothes from the States ("U.S.A.") and gave these clothes to the poor for free
-- he had striking strange trousers
-- shirts
-- and Crespi also was giving trousers to his assistants as a reward [13].

The village "La Quisa" ("ripe banana") is one of the villages where the Salesians were working [13].

Crespi also was "priest" of taxi drivers
Crespi also blessed a fleet of taxis. This can be seen e.g. on photos of Vicente Tello [15]. Mariahilf community had it's own taxi driver group serving for the public [16].

Crespi as a healer
Father Crespi could heal with "wonders". For example there was the case of a baby which was considered dead and was brought to Crespi, and after the session the baby was living again [19]. 

Another version is telling this story like this: The child of Mr. Nivelo was heavily ill and the normal doctors were indicating only the death already. Getting the last blessing the son was brought to Crespi who gave is blessing, but within 2 or 3 hours the boy was healthy again [48]. 

Another case it the case of the father of Mr. Nivelo who was that ill that the normal doctors were only recommending an operation, but the father of Mr. Nivelo never wanted any operation but went to Crespi who did not want any operation either but healed him without operation [49].

Crespi also has got methods against plagues and can eliminate plagues of slugs making a cross over the earth and giving holy water on the earth [67]. 


1950


1950s and Tayos caves:

The cave should be used as a "tunnel" [in military sense]
-- according to contemporary witness Gabriel D'Annunzio Baraldi there was a project converting the tunnels in the Tayos cave as a geo strategic [military] project having a connection between Ecuador and "the other involved nations" [7].


11 September 1956

Crespi gets a title "Honored  canon of the cathedral of Cuenca"
from archbishop of Cuenca, Monsignore Manuel de Jesús Serrano Abad [9].


4 November 1956

Title: "Merits of education" of "First Class"

The representative of the Education Minister - Lcdo. Humberto Vacas Gómez - gives Crespi the <"First Class" Medal of Honor for Education>
(<Condecoración al Mérito Educacional de "Primera Clase">) [9].


7 November 1956

Decoration with the title "Famous Son" ("hijo ilustre")
Mayor of Cuenca - doctor Luis Cordero Crespo - dedicates in the name of the town hall Father Crespi as "Famous Son of Cuenca" [9].

1961


1961-1967

Crespi is member of the "inspectorial council" ("Consejo Inspectorial")
[9]

By the time Guayaquil square  was converting into a "Carlos Crespi Park", also the neighboring street in the South of the park.> [31]

1962


19 July 1962, at 1 o'clock in the night fire destroys:


-- primary school [9], secondary school [16]
-- school for technique [9] respectively technical equipment [16]
-- the museum [9] respectively parts of the museum, other parts can be solved [32]
-- the theater [9]
-- many instruments of the music band are destroyed but are replaced by Salesian leaders (Aspirantado) [45].

Mariahilf church is NOT burning, but is destroyed only after for the space for the new Salesian school

The book of Luis Garcia Carpio is indicating that also Mariahilf church had burnt in the fire catastrophe [9], and also contemporary witnesses claim this, but original photos of photographer Vicento Tello show absolutely and precisely that Mariahilf church was NOT damaged by the fire, but Salesians built a little church in the center of the block of houses, and only then Mariahilf church was destroyed for having space for the new construction of the new Salesian school [15].

Thesis about the fire catastrophe

Thesis with a candle: Contemporary witness Julio indicates: The fire of 1962 had been provoked by a candle, by a musician. Going to sleep he had forgotten to douse the candle and therefore the fire catastrophe had destroyed the whole block of houses [13].

Thesis with an electrical short: Contemporary witness Vicente Tello, photographer, indicates: The fire of 1962 had been provoked by an electrical short in the building [16]. 

Thesis with an attack with fuel: Another thesis of some contemporary witnesses indicates that there had been an attack of two persons with fuel bottles coming in a car. Add to this the Salesians had received much money from abroad by this fire and there is even the thesis that this fire had been deliberately and that there had been a world wide manipulation getting more power in Cuenca [18]. 

Thesis of a robbery and a deliberate fire
Ufologist and investigator of Cuenca, Jaime Rodriguez [55] admits that "some unknown people had robbed golden plates and then had put fire on the Crespi Museum" [56]. 

Reconstruction - the cinema after the fire

One day after the fire already Crespi is looking for help for a reconstruction. Above all the cinema was reorganized rapidly in Uruguay school with a big fabric - and Crespi was purchasing chairs in 9 October street [46]. 

Contemporary witness Vicente Tello, the photographer of Cuenca, indicates that the cinema after the fire had been reorganized rapidly: people coordinated their works and even brought their chairs themselves, also tables and more furniture. Cinema was organized in the inner courtyard with a provisional wooden frame and a big fabric. This also show original photos of photographer Tello [15] [16]. 

Even children were giving Crespi things for the reconstruction of Merchán school, e.g. there was a child giving a peseta which made big impression to Crespi - following the indication of contemporary witness Mercedes Morales Rodil [50].

A Hungarian in Argentina, János Moricz, testifying about the golden plates in Tayos cave

János Moricz is declaring with a notary, that

-- that he had been in different caves in Morona Santiago province in Ecuador and had found some metal plates with reliefs, and these plates would tell a history of a forlorn civilization

-- the metal plates had drawings and inscriptions with words [54].


since 1972

Erich von Däniken describing Cuenca in his books
-- the museum of priest Crespi in Cuenca is described in his book "El Mensaje de los Dioses" ("The Message of the Gods")
-- and the figurines and metal plates of Shuar culture of Tayos cave are described in his book "El Mensaje de los Dioses" ("The Message of the Gods") [32]
-- and especially the Tayos caves are described in his bestseller "El oro de los dioses" ("The Gold of the Gods")  [57]

and all this was told to the whole world now [32].

Mormons think that the metal plates of Tayos cave would be theirs
When Mormons read the Däniken books, they believe that the golden plates of Tayos cave would be the lost plates of Mormon prophet Joseph Smith who is said having got the metal plates from angel Moroni [58]. The similarity of the names of angel Moroni and the geographic name Morona is electrifying the Mormons absolutely [59].

Crespi museum stays without order
Unfortunately as it seems Crespi does not believe much in the archaeological artifacts of Shuar natives of Tayos cave and there is never made any classification or numbering of the artifacts. Other scientific sectors don't take earnest the archaeological artifacts either [14]. 

1 November 1972

Vespertine school "Carlos Crespi Croci"
Colonel Vicente Anda Aguirra begins his work in Carlos Crespi Croci school with the permission of Cuenca Education Board. That is "like a dedication of thankfulness to the former Salesian pupil
-- of Cornelio Merchán school
-- of School of Arts and Crafts, and
-- of Salesian Technical Institute Cornelio Merchán." [10]

And by this the memory is saved [10].


from 1972 on apr.

Tayos caves: mural paintings are indications for cultures with aliens

-- ufologist Jaime Rodriguez (Ecuadorian) detects mural paintings and indicates that these would be from cultures with aliens
-- ufologist Erich von Däniken (a Swiss) means the same that the mural paintings would be from cultures with aliens.

Both indicate that "these caves were a base of cultures with aliens and this would be proved by the mural paintings." [7]


Mormon leaders decide that there should be a "mission" with Neil Armstrong to the Tayos cave for robbing the metal plates

The text shows it clearly:

<Mormon leaders decided that Neil Armstrong was entrusted for bringing home the precious religious relic.> [59]


1976

Tayos cave: robbery by the expedition of Neil Armstrong

A group with Neil Armstrong visits the cave (Neil Armstrong was the first man putting his feet on the soil of a moon studio officially). The group consisted in delegates of the "USA", of England and of Japan. They robbed 7 or 11 "boxes" with archaeological artifacts. Until today nobody knows what was robbed precisely [7]. The original text: 

The cave had been visited already before, among others by personalities like astronaut Neil Armstrong [...] who had been there together with a delegation of the U.S.A., England and Japan in 1973. There had been stolen 7 boxes, according to other sources 11 boxes. The content of the boxes is unknown until today.> [7]

Another text indicates details describing that Neil Armstrong had been there in a Mormon "mission" for robbing the metal plates, but the metal plates could not be found - this indicates the text: 

<Mormon leaders decided that Neil Armstrong was commissioned to find the precious religious relic. So, a group of scientists and Ecuadorian military officers [probably corrupted by "U.S.A."] was on the way to the jungle to the Shuar native territories well known in the East for their shrunken head production. At the top of the expedition was Neil Armstrong. After 35 days of march they came to a mountainous region which seemed very irregular. They were in the Northern slopes of Condor mountain chain (cordillera del Cóndor), and they found there dark entrances to a huge cave. From the beginning the giant dimension of the cave was confirmed, and also the strongest lamps were not capable to lighten the whole building where could have been put entire churches.

 



But the expedition of Neil Armstrong could not find the famous golden plates library, but only the existence of lintels and cut stone blocks could be confirmed. Their forms were absolutely similar to cut stones [by magic instruments]. At the end the Ecuadorian jungle expedition took four sealed boxes with them and it was not allowed to the Shuar natives to open them for seeing what they took with them. This provoked a big feeling of cheat with the natives. As it seems the boxes contained archaeological precious objects with little figurines which had a big value for the natives.> [59]

Another text confirms again this action with more details: Local natives report to Cuenca ufologist and investigator Jaime Rodriguez a robbery: 

<Rodriguez also confirmed that "English military officers taking part in the expedition to Tayos cave in 1976 had taken seven nailed up boxes and nobody was allowed to see what was in the boxes. This reported the natives to me who were living near the cave." According to this study the transport of the boxes was performed with an agent of English secret service who was even living in Quito.> [56]


1975 apr.

Inauguration of the Salesian Polytechnic University (Universidad Politécnica Salesiana (UPS) - Crespi is inaugurating "Carlos Crespi" theater 

This theater is a big theater hall for 500 persons and with this the memory of Crespi is maintained for ever [11].

Salesians also have an agricultural university (Universidad Agrícola) in Don Bosco Avenue - following the indication of contemporary witness Julio [13].

Where had been the old Salesian school (Colegio Salesiano) before, there is today a book printing edition, the "LNS" edition - following the indication of contemporary witness Julio [13].


Crespi also is compared with Jesus

In a poem of L.G.C. without date Crespi is compared with Jesus spreading his "passionate love [...], tenderness and softness" [25].


12 April 1978

Decoration of honor for Crespi in Cuenca

Crespi gets the "distinct Santa Ana of the rivers of Cuenca" ("Insignia Santa Ana de Los Ríos de Cuenca"), the most precious honor of Cuenca [60].


28 November 1978

Journalists looking for a successor for Crespi

Example: journalist Luis Moscoso Vega from the newspaper "Mercury" (orig. "El Mercurio") indicates clearly that there should be found a successor for Crespi and his institutions: 

"This is the most important issue because he really is not in a good health. It's an obligation to find a new and modern person fulfilling the functions which were fulfilled by noble Father Crespi. Then Crespis last days would be sweetened with joy and peace what he also deserves, and at the same time with tranquility and respect of the best relationship [...] In Cuenca there are such persons having the will and the enthusiasm, above all friends of Salesian house who are in the obligation to contribute something as inhabitants of Cuenca and in the name of all to serve for welfare, benefits and service which was served by Father Crespi for long years to our society."


1979

Second decoration of honor for Crespi as an "Excellent Educator of First Class" ("Mérito Educacional" de "Primera Clase")

Representatives of Education Minister - Lcdo. Humberto Vacas Gómez - decorates Crespi another time (as in 1956 already) with the <Medal of honor of "First Class" for education> (<Condecoración al Mérito Educacional de "Primera Clase">) [9].


1979



Projects for a transfer of Crespi Museum to the Central Bank of Ecuador

An article of newspaper "Mercury" ("El Mercurio"9 of 31 January 1979 describes a project to place Crespi Museum in Central Bank (Banco Central):

Many inhabitants of Cuenca have gathered and looked for a solution of the problem where the Crespi Museum should remain when Crespi is eventually going to the sky, and the results are the following solutions:

-- Crespi Museum has to stay in Cuenca as a "cultural heritage"
-- but until these days any "classification" of the archaeological artifacts is missing eliminating falsifications or imitations, but many of them are authentic
-- any registration and systematization are missing in this museum
-- Central Bank of Ecuador offered to fulfill this task together with Cultural Board [66]
-- Crespi Museum should be allowed maintaining this name, also when it's taken over by Central Bank of Ecuador 
-- Crespi Museum should be a "point of reference for more studies of the old cultures of Ecuador" [67].


31 January 1979

Crespi Museum - collection of archaeological artefacts of the natives - and collection of paintings and more

An article of daily newspaper "Mercury" ("El Mercurio") of 31 January 1979 (without indication of the author) [67] and another article of daily newspaper "Time" ("El Tiempo") of 10 March 1980 of Mr. Polivio Idrovo Aguilar [71] are listing the content of the Crespi Museum collection. According to Crespi the Crespi Museum is an "archaeological museum, a sculpture museum, and a collection of paintings" (Pictórico) [72]: 

Figurines and statues: Crespi museum contains many objects of different cultures of the primary nations: 
-- Tacalzhapa
-- Narrio
-- Cazhaloma
-- imperial Inca culture
-- Valdivia
-- La Tolita
and so on [67].

Some articles describe some figurines and statues as "archaeological findings of Mesopotamian or Egypt origin" with the thesis that between the cultures of the Andes and of Mediterranean had been a connection. This Crespi Museum will also be "one of the most important centers for research and culture information." [67]

According to Crespi there are also sculptures which were made "with the gouge of El Montañez, El Padre Bedón, Legarda, Caspicara, Sangurima, Vélez and Alvarado". And add to this Crespi is describing the following: "There are dozens of bigger and little jars and these have a priceless value as cultural ceramics, with brilliant elegance with it's stylized ornamental painting in a way of arabesque method." [71]

Another journalist is describing archeology in Crespi Museum in the following way - in the article "A deserved award" (orig. Spanish: "Una merecida condecoración") in  the daily newspaper "Time" ("El Tiempo") of 11 January 1982: 

"His museum is also a part of life of legends of this religious Salesian. Despite of many objects without value which Father Crespi purchased more by goodwill, there are archaeological findings in this museum, [...] and there are not only a few objects which can bring some light into the dark of our past describing them well by investigations." [75]

Paintings: Crespi Museum also contains a collection of paintings of popular painters and some of local Colonial culture collected "in the last years". This collection of paintings (pinacotheca) should also be maintained. Some of the paintings are also in a deposit of the House of Cultures (Casa de la Cultura) [67]. According to Crespi there are among other things paintings of famous European painters like "Miguel Ángel, Rafael, Goya, Zurbarán and others", and there are works of Ecuadorian painters of Miguel de Santiago, Goribar, Samaniego, Rodríguez, los Salas, Villacreses, Salguero, Pinto, Troya, Cadenna, Mideros, Alvarado, Moreno Serrano, and the well honored Vásquez and another number of unknown artists to whose I have no remembrance at the moment. The paintings are painted on fabric, on wood, on ivory, on marble, on alabaster, on cupper, on glass etc." [71]

Canes and "Christian" objects: Crespis further indications are: "There is also a collection of Spanish canes with knobs in ivory,in silver and in wood, and there are swords, some in steel, others with persisting peaks; there are also original relics and crucifixes from Europe; and there could be listed more and more what is in my museum yet." [71]


The journalist means that the archaeological objects should not be sold: 

"Works and findings of this class are not permitted to be merchandise. They have a cultural value, an inner value, a priceless value." [68]

Mr. Polivio Idrovo Aguilar is one of the staff members with Crespi Museum [71].


9 August 1979

Central Bank of Ecuador purchasing Crespi Museum - but 10 million Sucres is nothing for this collection

-- Dr. Rodrigo Espinosa Bermeo approves with his signature the purchase of Crespi Museum
-- cost are 10 million Sucres
-- with this purchase "of this cultural Salesian collection there was made a strict selection naming those valuable objects which are cultural heredity"
-- Central Bank of Ecuador considered "6,500 pieces of the museum as legitimate and precious"
From these 


-- 1,100 are paintings of colonial times and of 19th century and an original carpet of Goya
-- 200 colonial sculptures
-- 500 ceramics, also colonial
-- and there are 1,000 precious archaeological ethnographic objects which can be placed in Ethnographic Museum of Central Bank in Pumapungo
-- the objects will be in a provisional deposit [69].

[But there is one thing: The metal relief plates are not mentioned!!!]

With the money of 10 million Sucres the Salesians will build a new Salesian school, Carlos Crespi school with free entrance and with modern equipments [70] [this school is built on the territory where the great Mariahilf church had been before].

Crespi is not at all happy with this low price for a collection of archaeological objects and paintings as he tells this to journalist Polivio Idrovo Aguilar in the daily newspaper "Time" ("El Tiempo") from 10 March 1980: 

"Add to this I could hear by local press that my bosses according to the statutes and monastic laws and commercial agreement of the government have sold the museum to Central Bank of Ecuador, to the branch of Cuenca [72] for the sum of 10 million Sucres, and when we consider right the Sucres so there are resulting only 3.5 (three and half) million sucres for this sale, and this value is not even the estimated value of one Goya. I finish my conversation, Mr. Idrovo. Go with God!..." [73]

1976 (32 years before 2008) [5] [11] or 9 July 1980 [39]

Sale of Crespi Museum to a bank - Central Bank of Ecuador does not take so earnest the value of Crespi collection
-- Crespi Museum is sold to Central Bank of Ecuador with all it's objects [5]
-- Central Bank is paying 10 million Sucres to the Salesians [39]
-- in 1980 one dollar is 25 Sucres, so, 10 million Sucres are 400.000 dollars [33].

With the 10 million Sucres the Salesians are building their new Salesian School - in this place where the big Mariahilf cathedral had been before [39].

The figurines are brought to the Central Bank, but the relief plates stay - by an unknown reason - with the Salesians. Exist different rumors about the relief plates (see the investigation in 2012). Central Bank is not capable to install an exhibition with the figurines. There is not one single relief plate at Central Bank, nor an exhibition of paintings or statues is NOT installed either. It seems - whereas Erich von Däniken has published some archaeological objects of Crespi in his books presenting them to all the world - it seems that this Central Bank did not take earnest the value of the figurines and relief plates. And also a museum with the precious paintings and statues is missing [14]. 


9 January 1982

Crespi is honored by Italian government with a "Medal of merit"

Italian ambassador in Ecuador, Mr. Bernardino Ossio, is handing the "Medal of honor in the grade of the Great Commander" out to Crespi ("Condecoración de Orden al Mérito en el Grado de Gran Comendador"). This is the highest decoration of Italy - for the educational work as a "missionary" [10]. 

Crespi is declared as "adoptive son of Cuenca town"

This happens the same day on 9 January 1982, declared by the mayor of Cuenca, Pedro Córdova Álvarez and the Canton Council (Consejo Cantonal) [10]. 


30 April 1982

Death of Padre Crespi
at 6 o'clock in the evening with 91 years in the clinic Santa Inés in Cuenca [10]. Cuenca town is "crying on the day of his death as it had been its dearest son" [38].

After the death there are people who see Padre Crespi in Mariahilf Park walking in the air [19]. 

The poorer children see a "savior" in him [...] in the moments of pain and hopelessness [10], with hunger and misery [11]. "He will live on in the hearts of the population." [11]

Up to his death the Salesians never have organized any festivity in the honor of Padre Crespi. It has to be a "holy" person for whom there would be a festivity [16]. 


1985 apr.

Construction of the Crespi monument in Mariahilf Park
[11]

According to contemporary witness Julio this Mariahilf Park was a little soccer field with goals before [13]. On this Guayaquil square were "sportive events for children and youthes and for neighbors of the quarter and from other locations taking part in the competition games and events who were organized here." [31]

Today the Salesian school has got it's soccer field in the inner patio of it's school - where had been Mariahilf cathedral before [14]. 

Then Guayaquil square was renamed officially into Carlos Crespi Square [11] [26].