When I first watched Johnny Depp's film The Ninth Gate I was engrossed with his passion to find the Gates of Hell. Was there any truth to the ancient legend about secret openings to some underworld that we would call Hell or Dante's Inferno scattered through parts of Earth?
We are led to believe at the end of the film that Depp found such a place when he summoned the devil, and now the Twin Caves outside of Jerusalem have uncovered evidence that might lead us to believe it is one of the secret portals to the underworld.
The twin evil cities of Sodom and Gomorrah that were unearthed near the Palestinian West Bank and weren't the stairway to heaven found by Led Zeppelin? I predict that Israel's Twin Caves will now be promoted and used as a future gothic tourist attraction and eventually hold the largest Heavy Metal concert known to man.
"In the ancient world, it's tricky -- if not dangerous -- to try to assume that we know what the people really thought," said Daniel Schowalter, a professor of religion and classics at Carthage College in Wisconsin.
"Even if there were rituals going on at the site, associated with the underworld, people probably knew that it was just a cave," Schowalter told The Huffington Post.
"It's called the realm of Hades, where Hades is the king," he said. "In Greek and Roman conceptions, it's a different understanding than what Christians later developed in terms of hell as a place of punishment.
"Hades was the world of the dead -- the place where the dead lived. The expectation was that when you died, you passed into a different form of life."
Actually, Babel co-existed with ancient Sumer, 9,000 years ago until the Idus valley was flooded. Only until the Tower of Babel was destroyed did it become Babylon (Iraq). The whole Genesis flood story is from Sumer accounts of the flood and during the flood, many cultures sought refuge deep within the Earth in caverns.
There are enormous caverns and caves within the Earth's mantel that might support an adapted life form. Some may have evolved sciences completely unknown to man without ever coming to the surface.
Modern science knows more about distant worlds of outer space than what resides beneath the Earth's surface and oceans. Milton, in his Paradise Lost, wrote of seven levels of the under world and Admiral Byrd reported going into a hollow region at the North Pole where he met humanoids claiming they were the guardians of Earth. I am sure if you dig deep enough you might also come out on the other side in aisle 6 of a Wal-Mart near you.
People all over the world are looking for the Fountain of Youth, the Lochness Monster, and Bigfoot, which have more credibility and evidence to me than some gateway to a mythical land. So maybe there was some sort of truth to Depp's movie and all those books he read about the secretive dark world of the dead. A long time ago they believed that when you died you went to a place of the dead where it is was dark and creepy, but it wasn't hell and the Mexican culture still celebrates the day of the undead on November 1st.
Seriously I could have saved them a lot of time and trouble, as all I had to do was show them the front door of my ex Mother- in- Law's house. I am sure some of you will also say that your ex-wife or husband guarded the entrance to Hell at one point and worked overtime behind the velvet rope with a clipboard.
So is heaven really just a place on earth as Belinda Carlisle asked; and if they are really looking for the Gateway to Hell, maybe they should contact the band AC/DC as they seem to know that highway and made it into a number one hit.
Linda Seccaspina for Zoomers Canada
Menopausal Woman of the Corn book is now available on Amazon