The Bucegi Mountains are a wonderful natural attraction in Romania. The peak, Omu, rises 1.5 miles (2505 meters) above the pristine Prahova Valley. Since 1935, the valley has been considered a national park and is included on Romania’s protected areas list. The Bucegi Mountains are a highly-concentrated section of the larger Carpathian Mountain Range, which forms an arc across much of Eastern and Central Europe. However, recently, the Bucegi have become newsworthy not because of their picturesque peaks or abundant wildlife but rather because of fantastical claims of alien occupiers and international conspiracies. These paranormal claims, which first emerged only in 2009, obscure the mysterious true history connected with the mountains.
Bucegi mountains seen from Postavaru summit. (CC BY 2.0)
One of the must-see attractions in the Bucegi National Park is the Romanian Sphinx and the Babele. Perched high up on the Bucegi Plateau, these rock formations were formed by eons of wind and rain. The Sphinx is so called because it resembles the Egyptian Sphinx of Giza and the Babele (which means old women) are shaped like mushrooms. These formations occurred naturally due to erosion. However, some have come to believe that the Sphinx is a signal of an extraterrestrial presence on Earth.
Bucegi Sphinx, Romania (CC BY-SA 2.0)
The conspiracies hinge on the underground, labyrinthine tunnel network within the mountain. Theorists believe that within these tunnels, one could find “rooms, huge rooms, with huge tables and stone chairs for people much, much taller than us” (Day, 2013). Going still further, the theory suggests that “These rooms were created 50,000 years ago and each is connected to each other, protected by an energy source which actives all as one is activated. The locations are: near the Sphinx in Egypt, Baghdad, Mount Kailash in Tibet and the Bucegi Mountains in Romania. The inner tunnels lead to a secret World under the Gobi Plateau in Mongolia and to Antarctica.” (Day, 2013)
The babele. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
These rumors started in 2009 with the publication of a book titled Transylvanian Sunrise. The book posits, “In 2003, the Pentagon discovered, through the use of satellite technology, an anomaly beneath this ancient sphinx. Through the highest levels of Freemasonry, the Pentagon was able to secure an alliance with the most secret department of the Romanian Intelligence Service which is known as Department Zero” (Dennis, 2012). Romanian’s collaboration with the American authorities (and for some reason the Vatican) is supposedly the reason the country was allowed to join NATO.
The conspiracy is quite fanciful but it is not the first alternative belief that as arisen in connection with the Bucegi Mountains. In the centuries before the dawn of the cosmic era, Romania was inhabited by the Dacians, referred to by the Greeks as the Getae. The Dacians were most likely a northern tribe of the Thracians. The zenith of the Kingdom of Dacia stretched from approximately 82 BC to 106 AD, at which time it was conquered by the Romans. The Dacians worshiped the god Zalmoxis, who was believed to reside in the cave of the holy mountain Kogainon (today’s Bucegi Mountains).
Dacia map cf. Ptolemy (2nd century AD) (Public Domain)
According to Herodotus, who wrote about the Dacians in volume four of his Histories:
“93. …the Getae are the bravest of the Thracians and the most just. 94. They believe they are immortal forever living in the following sense: they think they do not die and that the one who dies joins Zalmoxis, a divine being; some call this same divine being Gebeleizis. Every four years, they send a messenger to Zalmoxis, who is chosen by chance. They ask him to tell Zalmoxis what they want on that occasion. The mission is performed in the following way: men standing there for that purpose hold three spears; other people take the one who is sent to Zalmoxis by his hands and feet and fling him in the air on the spears. If he dies pierced, they think that the divinity is going to help them; if he does not die, it is he who is accused and they declare that he is a bad person. And, after he has been charged, they send another one. The messenger is told the requests while he is still alive. The same Thracians, on other occasions, when he thunders and lightens, shoot with arrows up in the air against the sky and menace the divinity because they think there is no god other than their own.”
Fragment from the Histories (Public Domain)
Herodotus goes on to argue that Zalmoxis was once a real person. In fact, he was a freed slave of the great Greek mathematician Pythagoras. With time, he had become sufficiently wealthy by sharing the knowledge of Pythagoras with the Thracians and decided to build himself an underground chamber.
“When this was finished, he vanished from the sight of the Thracians, and descended into the underground chamber, where he lived for three years, the Thracians wishing him back and mourning him for dead; then in the fourth year he appeared to the Thracians, and thus they came to believe what Zalmoxis had told them. Such is the Greek story about him.”
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Scholars are not certain if Herodotus is a trustworthy source for accurate information about the ancient traditions of the people of Romania. Still, there is evidence of a Romanian legend that the local deity, Zamolxis, lived within the mountains and frequently vanished deep within the hidden caverns to consult with his oracles.
A tomb painting at the Aleksandrovska Grobnitsa (Bulgaria), which possibly depicts Zalmoxis (Public Domain)
As one can gather, no much is known about the beautiful Bucegi Mountains. What little information there is about the history of the mountains revolves around ancient hearsay and modern-day conspiracies.
Day, Simon. The Secret of Secrets: The Bucegi Mountain Secrets. Publication. Hidden From Humanity, 2013. Web. http://hiddenfromhumanity.com/Bucegi.pdf
Dennis. “Is There Any Truth Behind the Bucegi Mountain Discovery?” Top Secret Writers. Top Secret Writers, 24 Dec. 2012. Web. http://www.topsecretwriters.com/2012/12/is-there-any-truth-behind-the-bucegi-mountain-discovery/
Eliade, Mircea. “Zalmoxis, The God Of The Gatae.” From Primitives to Zen. Nebulous Cargo Productions, 1996. Web. http://www.mircea-eliade.com/from-primitives-to-zen/036.html