Debunking hoaxes and exposing scams since 2003!





Jump To: Example    Detailed Analysis   Comments   References

Astronaut Carving on Salamanca Cathedral Wall


Jump To: Example    Detailed Analysis   Comments   References

Outline

Circulating message questions the mystery of a modern astronaut figure carved onto the wall of a centuries old cathedral in Salamanca, Spain.

Astronaut carved on cathedral wall



Brief Analysis

There is no mystery. The astronaut was added in 1992 during restoration work on the cathedral.

   

Share







Bookmark and Share




Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the world. Learn how to stay safe online with Hoax-Slayer's comprehensive eBook:




Example

Subject: Spaceman Salamanca, Spain cathedral

SALAMANCA, SPAIN

The Cathedral was built in 1102

Cathedral, Salamanca Spain

Cathedral, Salamanca Spain

BUT THERE IS ONE LITTLE "SURPRISE" DETAIL

Astronaut on Cathedral, Salamanca Spain 1

Astronaut on Cathedral, Salamanca Spain 2

Astronaut on Cathedral, Salamanca Spain 3

ANY EXPLANATION TO THAT?


Detailed Analysis

The above photographs and text are circulating via email and social media. One version of the message circulates in the form of an attached PowerPoint slide show. The photographs show a carving of an astronaut on the facade of a cathedral in Salamanca, Spain.

The same photographs have also been posted to a number of online forums and blogs on which they have generated a considerable amount of debate. While some commentators have suggested that the astronaut has been added using image manipulation software, other observers have come up with more outlandish explanations, including time travel, alien visitations in ancient times and amazingly precise predictions of the future by the artists who decorated the original buildings.

More down-to-earth observers have drawn the most obvious conclusion, which is that the astronaut carving was added to the building in much more recent times. And, in fact, this more sensible explanation for the "mystery" is entirely correct.

The astronaut, along with other contemporary symbols was added in 1992 during restoration work on the "new" cathedral. According to an article about the restoration (in Portuguese - Click here for Google translation to English), it is a tradition of cathedral builders and restorers to include a contemporary symbol on the building as a means of "signing" their work.

A Wikipedia article about the cathedral concurs:
Its main entrance consists of 3 arcs, each leading to the 3 naves (sections) of the church. All three are richly carved. Among the ornate carvings on the fa├žade is the incongruous likeness of an astronaut floating in space; it was added by an artist during restoration work in 1992 as a symbol of the 20th century.
Thus, there is actually no mystery about the Cathedral "spaceman" whatsoever.

The message is also inaccurate in another detail. It claims that the astronaut carving is on a cathedral that was built in the year 1102. However, the carving actually graces the wall of the "new" cathedral. Construction of the New Cathedral of Salamanca began in 1513. The Old Cathedral, located nearby, is the building that dates back to about 1100 AD.

Last updated: April 21, 2015
First published: August 1, 2008
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

References
O Astronauta da Catedral de Salamanca
O Astronauta da Catedral de Salamanca: Translation
New Cathedral, Salamanca
Salamanca - Old Cathedral






Latest Hoax-Slayer Articles



More stories!

'Internet Capacity Warning' Phishing Scam
According to this email, which claims to be from the 'Support Department' at 'Information Technology Services', your internet capacity is 70% full and you therefore need to contact support to avoid problems.
Published: July 6, 2015


Kroger 'Free Coupons' Survey Scam
Message being distributed across Facebook claims that users can receive free coupons from American retailer Kroger just by sharing a message and visiting a third party website to claim their prize.
Published: June 16, 2015


Pointless Facebook Warning - Hackers Posting Insulting Messages or Sexual Content In Your Name
'Hacker' alert messages circulating on Facebook claim that, without your knowledge, hackers are posting insulting or sexual messages that appear to come from you onto your Facebook Timeline.
Published: June 3, 2015