By Ray Stern
By Ray Stern
By New Times
By Amy Silverman
By Stephen Lemons
By Stephen Lemons
By Monica Alonzo
By Chris Parker
--Erich von Daniken
What you are about to read may shock and disturb you.
You may find it difficult to believe.
It is the story of Big Jake.
To most people, Big Jake would appear to be nothing more than a rock. To most people, that is, except for the man who discovered and named Big Jake. He is Les Tindell, and he's convinced that Big Jake is "a very sophisticated message system that's been developed by a highly technical ancestor to humanity."
Tindell believes that what seem like naturally hewn nooks, crannies, chips and fissures in Big Jake are actually a complex series of images that, when enhanced photographically, reveal views into the past.
Such as: scenes of ancient Mesopotamia. A profile of Sargon, king of Akkad. The ethological history of bison. The legendary Incan city of Machu Picchu. A paleographical "smiley face." The more you examine Big Jake, the more you will see.
"I guarantee you," Tindell emphasizes, "you change the perspective, you'd be somewhere else. You might find the Sphinx in here, you might find the White House, you never know. I've seen a little chip in the rock that develops out into a city that develops into fossil images of dinosaurs, and, of course, the dragons and the usual scary-looking devil stuff that's in there."
Scary-looking devil stuff?
"I think this rock is an indication we needed to learn good and evil because we were endowed with the ability to be superior . . . something to scare people into doing the right thing," Tindell offers somewhat impatiently. "That rock was meant to tell us that we have a very sophisticated heritage--the gift of intelligence. And, at the same time, the animal world was provided a gift to us, a gene for domestication, mostly the animals with horns. But all that has horns isn't evil. If you go to Burger King, you're now indulging in something that has horns; it's all a matter of perspective.
"One thing I can honestly say about all of the scary-looking things in that rock, they're all smiling. They all seem to be happy in what they're doing and the message they're part of."
Tindell did not simply pluck "Big Jake," the name for this astonishing vessel of intrigue, out of thin air, he reveals:
"I played racquetball on the weekends for many years and Big Jake was a guy that used to be there. He no longer shows up so I figured it was okay [to use his name]. He was a big guy, a real friendly guy."
Les Tindell says he not only has a degree in anthropology from ASU, but is a "microelectronic engineer by trade. I worked for many years in the Valley in a medical electronics plant making pacemakers. My specialty was laser processing with silicone monolithic materials, trimming them with the laser. Because I learned fabrication technology and microelectronics, I was able to relate that to the fabrication technology that I saw within the rock."
Tindell's unique qualifications allowed him to recognize the stunning qualities possessed by Big Jake, from the moment he came into contact with it in 1994 in southeastern Missouri near the banks of the Mississippi River. Not far from Egypt Mills and Fruitland.
"It was the day after Christmas," he explains. "We were standing in a creek--this wasn't an archaeological site--pulling rocks out of the riverbed that looked interesting and one of the kids handed me Big Jake. . . . I have a degree in anthropology, I'm acquainted with rock art and artifacts and knowing what's out there, and I really couldn't say that I'd ever seen anything of this magnitude before."
He began to study Big Jake in depth. Tindell had him (he often refers to Jake affectionately in the third person) photographed professionally, had digitized shots taken, reverse images, black and white, color. Had the photos enlarged, and enlarged again. He found Big Jake becoming "more than a hobby, it's an obsession," and with the obsession came certain realizations.
"This would have to have been done with a very, very sophisticated etcher," says Tindell. "See, each mask layer--I call it the digital pixel mask--is like a photograph with spaces in between, then you put another photograph on top of it and it has spaces in between, but it doesn't exactly lay on top of the first one. So if you were to enhance the one underneath you'd see it, if you were to enhance the one on top you'd see it, and so forth."
That's how Big Jake tells his secrets to those willing and able to comprehend.
Yet, so far, the school of believers in Big Jake has an enrollment of but one.
"Nobody acknowledges this stuff," acknowledges a grim Tindell. "It can't possibly exist. I'm an outcast. I essentially can't explain it right and, therefore, am branded somewhat less than respectable in the category of visions." He claims to have taken Jake to "seven or eight archaeologists" who concluded that B.J. "was a calcium fill that occurs in underwater limestone caves, part of the silt that forms."