Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Theresa Danley: Science, Deadly Prophecies and the Gods

Terence Snead: Welcome reporters.  Photographers.  Friends.  If you’ll all please take your seats, I know there are a lot of questions you’d like to ask and we’ll be happy to answer as many as time allows.  

            Thank you.

            Again, welcome.  I believe our panel needs no introduction.  It seems like just yesterday we were all crowded into this very same lecture room waiting for the big unveiling of the Effigy of Quetzalcoatl, the extraordinary artifact discovered in the EFFIGY project directed by author Theresa Danley.  I’m pleased that we are brought together again with the fortunate recovery of the artifact after it had been stolen ten days ago.  So without further adieu, I once again give you our very own expert in Mesoamerican Archaeoastronomy and emeritus professor, Dr. John Friedman, professor of  Southwestern anthropology, Dr. Anthony Peet, and anthropology student, Lori Dewson.

            Gentlemen –

Tribune Reporter: Dr. Peet –

Peet: Please, just call me Peet.

Tribune Reporter: Certainly, Peet.  Some are comparing the discovery of the Effigy to that of King Tut’s golden mask.  As the archaeologist who discovered the Effigy of Quetzalcoatl, how do you view this discovery?

Peet: Actually, I should refer that question to Lori.  She was the one who first discovered it.  I just led the excavation.

Tribune Reporter: Of course.  Miss Dewson, is the discovery of the Effigy comparable to King Tut’s golden mask?

Lori: Well, it is flattering to see all the attention the Effigy is receiving.  I think the fact that such a beautiful artifact was discovered in the southwest really captures the public attention and who can resist a good mystery presented by the questions we have yet to answer?

Tribune Reporter: What kind of questions?

Lori: We’d all love to know for sure how a Mesoamerican artifact from central Mexico came to be interred in an Anasazi grave here in the southwest.  But what we currently know about the Effigy and where it came from is on the blog link at

Channel 6 Reporter: Dr. Peet.  How was an artifact as valuable as the Effigy stolen from the University of Utah campus?

Peet: The theft resulted in an unfortunate chain of events that just happened to work in the thief’s favor.

Tribune Reporter: But wasn’t the Effigy supposed to be stored in the Museum of Natural History?

Peet: That is correct.  However, the Effigy was removed from the museum for further study and it was from the lab that it was taken.

Modern Archaeology Freelancer: What’s left to study?  All the scientists in the field agree that the Effigy was taken out of Mexico and traded to the Southwestern Anasazi.  Isn’t that correct, Dr. Friedman?

John: Yes.  At least that is the conclusion I have arrived at.

Lori: However, there is still room for other interpretations.  It’s too early to say for certain how the Effigy was found in Utah.

Modern Archaeology Freelancer: What kind of interpretations?

Lori: Well, that’s what I was working on as part of my Master’s dissertation when the Effigy was stolen from the lab.

Tribune Reporter: Dr. Peet, when did you discover the Effigy missing?

Peet: The night of the theft.

Channel 6 Reporter: How did you know the Effigy was taken back to Mexico?

Peet: Well, there were clues left behind.  With John’s help, we were able to decipher the thief’s motives and trace the Effigy to Mexico.  However, that’s where things became complicated by a third party.

Channel 6 Reporter: So the theft was nothing more than a scheme to sell the Effigy on the black market.

Peet: No.  It was a much deadlier game than that.

Tribune Reporter: Are you implying there was a murder?

John: Actually, we’re not allowed to discuss the details of the crime until the Mexican AFI and the FBI have concluded their investigations.

Modern Archaeology Freelancer: Is it true you recovered the Effigy somewhere in the ruins of Teotihuacan?
John: We found clues in Teotihuacan that led us to the Toltec ruins of Tula.  The hunt for the Effigy inadvertently gave us a tour of central Mexico’s most impressive sites.

Modern Archaeology Freelancer: Why had the thief chosen to take the Effigy to an archaeological site?

John: Tula is the ancient site where thousands of years of astronomical observations shaped the theology and mythology around the Effigy of Quetzalcoatl.  It all had to do with ancient projections of time and belief.

Tribune Reporter: Ancient projections of time?

John: The ancient Toltec calendar and cosmology were the basis of the thief’s motive.  Unfortunately, I cannot share more than that at this time.

Channel 6 Reporter: Where is the Effigy now?

John: That is classified at the moment. 

Lori: But rest assured it is safe.  Besides, what are the chances it’ll get stolen twice?

Theresa Danley
Theresa Danley’s interest in history, science and adventure all come together in her action-packed archaeological thrillers. Her explosive adventures explore the impacts ancient mythologies can have on modern ideologies, extracting answers to the unknown and mysterious through heart-pounding, edge-of-your-seat suspense.
Theresa began linking the realms of the ancient world with the present in 2010 with the publication of her first thriller, Effigy. Now, the journey continues with the coming release of Deity (July 2012), and the third book which is currently in the works.
Theresa lives along the hi-line of Montana where she keeps busy raising her family, riding her horses and entertaining her imagination with writing and research.


  1. Thanks for the fun character interview, Theresa!

  2. Ooohhhh...this sounds really great. I adore this interview by the reporters. Very neat.

  3. I love thrillers with archeology as part of the story. I envy authors who get to ride horses too.


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