Merrell Fankhauser and the Land of Mu (Lemuria)



Merrell Fankhauser is an enduring cult figure rock musician who has enjoyed a long career going back to the sixties and seventies. He is always an entertaining guest here on Far Out Radio. Besides an amazing guitar playing career, he has led a life of many interests, one of which is the ancient story about Lemuria. His interest started in California and grew while living in Hawaii. What follows is an excerpt from his interview with MuzikMan about fifteen years ago. We invite you to listen to Merrell's interviews here on Far Out Radio where he shares more of his amazing life story. Go here.

MuzikMan: Your band, Mu got it's name from the Lost Continent, how did that come about? You also have had some experiences with UFOs?

Merrell: We first found out about MU or Lemuria the Lost Continent around 1969. My band and I had moved to an old house up in the canyons of Woodland Hills near Topanga outside of L.A., a woodsy area. One day we found this very old book under some old papers in the log bin next to the fireplace, The Lost Continent Of MU by James Churchward… We were entranced as we had been into mystical and ancient Indian history for years. 

At the time Jeff Cotton had just left Beefheart and we were looking for a name for the band. After reading the book we decided MU was perfect as we felt a kinship with the ideals of the ancient MU. Around this same time A musician friend from our days in the desert, Jeff Parker, wrote us from Maui that he had moved there and an old Hawaiian man had showed him some ruins near the ocean in the jungle and that they were rumored to be remnants of The Lost Continent of MU ! (Maui Pillar right. Remnants of MU?) He then sent us a book "Children Of The Rainbow" written about pre Christian Hawaii and the descendants of the people of MU… We were very excited and started saving our gig money and decided when we got our next record advance or royalties we were moving to Maui. We said goodbye to our agent and friends at the airport in L.A. and flew into the friendly skies for Maui on Feb. 28, 1973. This was the beginning of the most fascinating 15 years of my life ! I immediately went on a search for ruins and found many unexplained structures in the rain forest.


High atop Haleakala Crater on Maui I found what appeared to be a pyramid! (above) This was written up in the Maui News and I was besieged by people at concerts in the Islands looking for answers. Most scientists don't believe in The Lost Continent Of Mu, but it is in both Hawaiian & North and South American Indian Legend. Also there was an ocean in the California deserts. The Pacific plate could have gone up and down several times and the Hawaiian Islands are mountain peaks on the plate, anything is possible. I do know for a fact there was a race of people living in Hawaii before the Hawaiians. I guess you could say I was doing Indiana Jones before the character was written.  I got into some hairy areas in ancient caves and lava flows, but that's another story.

lemuria land of mu map

lemuria painting

Regarding UFOs-We found a UFO cult also on Maui led by a man named Omar. He put out a paper once a month that chronicled sightings in the Islands going back into the 1800s. One night myself and the band MU went to the top of the crater to watch the sun go down. Just after dark a light appeared hovering in the darkness of the crater, it was sort of pulsating. We listened but could hear no sound in the dark silence at over 10,000 ft. It couldn't be a Helicopter, what was it? All of a sudden two more lights appeared zooming in from either side and they formed a glowing beam like a pyramid  from each other. This lasted for nearly 10 minutes.

An old gentleman who was in the navy in WW II, and his wife watched this spectacle with us and he said he never saw anything like that in his life! We left the crater that night silent believers that something is out there! When the objects left they formed one blue orb and went straight up and disappeared in an instant. And no we were not on Maui Wowie. I later wrote the song "Calling From A Star" from this experience. There's a story about the cast and crew with Jimi Hendrix seeing a UFO in the crater during the filming of "Rainbow Bridge", yet another story.