For several decades, the Russian government, and the Soviet one before it, have used the official organs of state to promote a series of bizarre pseudoscientific claims, ranging from the ancient astronaut theory to Kirlian photography, for reasons that have never been entirely clear but seem tied to efforts to sow dissent in the West by undermining the pillars of Western society, including faith in science. A new study coming out of ITMO University, a Russian state university, alleges that the Great Pyramid contains mysterious magnetic forces that it concentrates in the subterranean chamber due to its bulk. The researchers did not actually study the pyramid, nor did they measure electromagnetic forces therein, but instead made a model of it in a computer, using a number of assumptions that are untrue (e.g., that the pyramid contains no unexplored cavities) and then reported the results without testing whether other large piles of stone might have similar properties without any intention on the part of the builder or of nature. Naturally, the Daily Mail picked up the Russian claims, and other papers copied their story.
As most readers know, I have collected what is probably the most voluminous compendium of medieval myths about the pyramids of Egypt available in English. There are a few texts, however, that even I had not yet read and translated. One of them belonged to the Syrian cosmographer al-Dimashqui, who died in 1327. His Cosmography is quite similar to the Akhbar al-zaman, though tending toward the geographical rather than the historical, and with much less interest in Egypt. Nevertheless, it contains an interesting section on the pyramids of Giza that is clearly a derivative of the earlier pyramid stories known from the Akhbar on down.
Last year I translated the fragments of Abenephius, an otherwise unknown figure quoted in the works of Athanasius Kircher. As I discussed at the time, he was claimed to be a Jewish author resident near Cairo during the early Middle Ages, but no evidence of his existence or proof of the authenticity of his writings exists. Nevertheless, some of the fragments are clearly derivative of Classical sources, and it is to one of these that I’d like to return today to point out something I didn’t highlight very well last year but returned to my attention while doing some research this week.
Over the past few months, ufologists linked to billionaire UFO nut Robert Bigelow have promoted a growing number of claims that they are investigating debris from flying saucers containing chemical properties never before seen on this Earth. Jacques Vallée, Tom DeLonge, and a former Pentagon official now employed by DeLonge have all made these claims, and journalist George Knapp even provided a sample of such a substance to a UFO exhibit at a Smithsonian-backed museum a few years ago. According to media accounts the Pentagon official, who oversaw Bigelow’s government contract to investigate UFOs, claims that Bigelow has buildings in Las Vegas to store such material
How do we live in a world where this is a normal headline? “Charlie Daniels Issues Grim Warning to Taco Bell About the Illuminati.”
Meanwhile... Some people never learn. Regular readers will remember Scott Creighton, the writer who has some outlandish ideas about ancient Egypt, including the claim that the first sixteen pyramids map the stars of the constellation Orion to depict Osiris and the claim that Col. William Howard Vyse forged Khufu’s name on the Great Pyramid’s quarry marks to hide the true age of the pyramid. (See my review: Part 1 and Part 2.) Well, prompted by the recent announcement of the discovery with cosmic rays of an unexplored void in the Great Pyramid, Creighton returned with an article on Graham Hancock’s website repeating old errors and misusing the medieval pyramid myth that I have spent so many years exploring to make a false claim for an antediluvian origin for the structure.
"Ancient Origins" Author Claims a Comet Caused Noah's Flood, Which Ripped the Casing Stones from the Giza Pyramids
Most of you have already seen that on Tuesday former television personality Scott F. Wolter posted a blog entry suggesting that he had “proof positive” that the Kensington Rune Stone was a medieval artifact. His “evidence” was laughably illogical. He claimed that measuring the diagonal of the stone yielded the fictitious “megalithic yard,” a unit of supposed ancient measure that was actually invented in the twentieth century. The first problem is that the measurement is subjective. The stone is irregular, so the length of the diagonal can vary depending on which lump, bump, or uneven part one chooses to measure from. The second problem is logical: Since Wolter believes that the megalithic yard remained in use down to modern times—since he claims, following Alan Butler, that the Freemasons laid out Washington, D.C. with that measurement in the 1700s, the 1800s, and again in the 1940s—its inclusion in the rune stone, even if true, would provide no proof whatsoever of medieval origins since it could just as easily have been chosen by a nineteenth century Freemason faker.
Most conspiracy theories about Freemasonry tend to focus on its alleged connections to the Knights Templar and occult Christian secrets, but a century or more ago, it was Masonry’s alleged connection to ancient Egypt that offered grist for occult speculation. I came across an obscure but strange book called Freemasonry from the Great Pyramid of Ancient Times (1885) by Freemason Thomas Holland in which Holland outlines his belief that the Great Pyramid of Giza was actually a divine map to the mysteries of Freemasonry, crafted on orders from Yahweh by Israelites to show future generations the rituals and mysteries of the Craft. While this is silly on the face of it, derived from Charles Piazzi Smyth’s belief that the Pyramid contained a plan crafted by the God of Israel, and the frequent Masonic insistence that their Craft could be traced back to Egypt (and, specifically, the Great Pyramid), the expression of it is a bit bizarre.
Weekend Roundup: Tom DeLonge Rakes in Cash, "Curse of Oak Island" Rakes in Viewers, and a Russian Man Claims a Mars-Sphinx Link
Regular readers will remember that last month ufologist and fading rock musician Tom DeLonge launched a public benefit corporation to promote science fiction movies and what he describes as high-speed time travel transportation systems. Oh, and something about UFO disclosure, but not really, except when it is. As part of the launch of To the Stars… Academy of Arts and Science, or TTS-AAS, in its official and illogical abbreviation, the company offered shares of stock to the public.
Is it possible that I am running out of things to write about? It seems that this has been a particularly slow week for bad claims about history, and I am inclined to think that the collapse of the media’s interest in fringe history is to blame. Over the past couple of years, the number of cable shows focusing on fringe history (broadly defined) has declined markedly. Where once they filled several hours per day several days per week, to the point that one weekend there were nonstop fringe shows on some cable channel or another, now there are only a few, led by Ancient Aliens, a show that stopped being about history when it decided to become a spiritual movement and a lifestyle brand. Even written fringe is in decline. Nephilim theorists like L. A. Marzulli have devolved into pro-Trump pundits, and even the clickbait sites are reduced to recycling recycled content.
There are times when I just don’t have the energy to seek out crazy stuff to write about. Sometimes I have to let the crazy come to me. Today’s subject is brief but interesting. It’s a graphic representation of a secret base located inside the Great Pyramid, and it comes to us courtesy of David S. Anderson (@DSAArchaeology) who posted it to his Twitter feed yesterday. Take a look:
I'm an author and editor who has published on a range of topics, including archaeology, science, and horror fiction. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
Enter your email below to subscribe to my newsletter, The Skeptical Xenoarchaeologist, for updates on my latest projects, blog posts, and activities.
Terms & Conditions
Please read all applicable terms and conditions before posting a comment on this blog. Posting a comment constitutes your agreement to abide by the terms and conditions linked herein.