Aliens vs. Nephilim: Competing Claims for the Sarcophagi of the Apis Bull at the Serapeum of Saqqara
I wasn’t going to say anything about this because it seemed too stupid to write much about, but now that Google News has decided to index the fringe religious conspiracy site Christian Truther alongside British tabloids like the Express, the same bizarre claim about the sarcophagi of the Apis Bulls in Egypt is spreading across the internet. It’s also a bit disconcerting that Google News thinks that the Christian Truther is a “real” news source while blogs like my own don’t count. Google has issues when it comes to evaluating what counts as “news.”
On January 3, The Express published a piece on the large granite coffins that Egyptologists say were constructed to house the bodies of the sacred Apis Bulls at the Serapeum at Saqqara. The sarcophagi were excavated by Auguste Mariette in the nineteenth century and have long been recognized as repositories for the mummies of the Apis cult. Later, it was determined that some of the bull mummies might have been fakes composed of pieces of separate animals, but whatever they were, they were meant to at least represent Ptah in his post-mortem bull form, which was Osiris Apis, or Serapis. Some of the sarcophagi weigh up to 70 tons.
The Express suggested that the boxes might have been built by space aliens because they were carved accurately, they claimed, to a tolerance of mere microns. A micron is a millionth of a meter. This is an amplification of claims that Brien Foerster and Christopher Dunn made in a 2014 YouTube video, when they alleged that the boxes had perfect angles of what Foerster called “exactly-ish” 90 degrees and a flatness perfect to “within a few ten-thousandths of an inch.” Someone tried to convert Foerster’s remarks to metric, but no one thought to check if they were true.
“The real purpose and function of the boxes remains unclear,” The Express wrote, “but the[y] were clearly of importance, as they were cut with such precision they would remain airtight for many millennia.” An accompanying video stated that the boxes were made by a technology that “we do not possess.” Both of these claims are deceptive. They are no more technologically perfect than any other Egyptian carvings, and no more hermetically sealed than any large stone container completely covered with a giant heavy stone. A further claim that the black boxes are unmarked is also false; there are iconographic decorations carved into the boxes, as photographs clearly show.
In Experiments in Egyptian Archaeology: Stoneworking Technology in Ancient Egypt (2003), Denys A. Stocks reported the results of an experiment to replicate the techniques used for carving the sarcophagi of Khufu and the Apis Bulls. Stocks concluded from the experiment and a series of mathematical calculations that the sarcophagi could have been produced with copper tools and abrasive sand for polishing, given the willingness of Egyptians to put in the man-hours necessary to complete the work.
The remainder of the Express story is a close paraphrase of the Wikipedia article on the Serapeum at Saqqara.
The Christian Truther latched on to the Express story and produced its own version, closely paraphrasing the Express, often nearly verbatim, but this time they replaced the space aliens with the Nephilim and alleged that the coffins were the burial location for the gigantic Nephilim of Abrahamic lore:
…it is probable that the black boxes were for the Nephilim which predate Ramesses II’s 19th dynasty. The Biblical time period could place the origin of these boxes to pre-flood. Meaning that from creation to roughly 2166 BC, the Nephilim walked the Earth, and the Giants as they were in stature, made men look like grasshoppers in their sight (Numbers 13:33).
The Truther mistakenly believed that the Serapeum had been hidden until its “rediscovery” in 2012: “Given that there is literally no explanation as to how the boxes originated, how they were created, there is still a massive mystery surrounding the 2012 rediscovery of the tombs.” Since the site has been known since the 1800s, that claim threw me for a loop. I had to check, and it turns out that in 2012 the Egyptian government reopened the Serapeum to tourists. It had been closed from 2001 to 2012 because water seepage had made the underground chambers unsafe to visit. “Reopening” is not the same as “rediscovery.”
Not that anyone reading The Christian Truther cares.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. 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, and subscribe to Culture & Curiosities, my Substack newsletter.
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.