Today I’d like to follow up on two earlier posts. First, I’d like to discuss a bit more about the Westford Knight and the question of who carved the Massachusetts oddity and when. You will remember that in discussing the question of whether the carving of the sword handle was a modern one, I noted that Peabody Museum specialist David Schafer had indicated that he knew of documents in the Westford Historical Society that showed that the handle had been carved by some boys in the late 1800s. At the time I wasn’t able to confirm this, and I wondered if this were different than the claim reported in David Goudsward’s book on the Westford Knight that a woman had said her brother had carved a “peace pipe” on the rock ledge in the late 1800s.
Schafer did not respond to my requests to contact him, but a correspondent who is familiar with the Westford Historical Society holdings knew the source in question. It’s not quite as solid as one would hope, but for better or worse here it is: It was an article written by local journalist Gordon Seavey for one of the area newspapers and called “Light History: Folklore, Fact and Fiction from Chris Columbus to Crazy Amos.” It was published on October 5, 1989. I have not read the article, since I am not in Massachusetts, but my correspondent has. He says that in the article, Seavey recounts having been told in his youth by Addie Fisher Buckshorn that her brothers made the Westford carving in the late 1800s. This story seems quite similar to the claim Frank Glynn reported in 1954 that Lila Fisher said her brother Edward had carved the peace pipe seven decades earlier. Addie Fisher Buckshorn was Lila Fisher’s older sister. Over the haze of a century, there is too much time for memories to become clouded to make much of this, but for what it’s worth there was a source who, through secondhand memory, said two boys (the Fisher brothers) made the recognizable elements of the Knight in the late 1800s.
Archaeologist William Fowler, for what it’s worth, though that the sword hilt was meant to be a tomahawk, which admittedly it does resemble. But he thought it dated back to the French and Indian War. This seems difficult to imagine since the written records make no mention of either sword hilt or tomahawk down to 1883. However the locals of Westford tried to “improve” their “Old Indian” image, it seems they must have done so between 1883 and 1946, the first time the sword hilt was documented.
The second thing I’d like to follow up on is my mention yesterday of Arabic texts claiming that the stones of the pyramids were levitated into position by magic spell. Technically, the text doesn’t say anything about being levitated, only that the stones moved after being struck while in contact with a paper containing magic writing. They could have slid, self-propelled, jumped, or anything else; the text is silent on the details. However, what I didn’t say yesterday is that we have some evidence that the story was invented sometime between 900 and 1200 CE.
The levitation passage occurs in the middle of the Surid pyramid legend. The oldest version, that of Ibn ’Abd Al-Hakam, written before 871 CE, lacks this detail, while the version of the Akhbar al-zaman, from perhaps as early as the mid-900s to as late as 1200, includes it. Compare how the basic account has grown enormously by inserting new details in between the parts of the older account:
Throughout the two accounts, Al-Hakam agrees with the Akhbar al-zaman almost point for point (and usually word-for-word), and where they differ, the latter work consistently adds details rather than subtracts them, implying that it is an expansion from a more concise and less detailed original.
6/25/2015 06:55:37 am
So this much later group than Egyptians came in and guessed who built the pyramids instead of asking the obvious locals, who built them? The locals then would say, well we did, or or ancestors. Now the Ancient Aliens people want to think aliens did it, when they can go and ask Egyptians, who should know, that yes Egyptians built them. How is that not the most obvious conclusion?
6/25/2015 07:51:46 am
To answer the questions at the end of your post first, it seems likely to me that the construction method being thought of would be to use iron plates either with lead rivets or with iron rivets and a lead seal around the stones. As for the use of lead, we are certain that it was being produced as early as 3,000 BC. The pyramids were built between 2589 and 2504 BC, so lead would definitely have been available for use on them. It's actually the iron that should make you suspicious; the earliest verifiable use of iron smelting is around 1200 BC. Iron in 2500 BC was too rare and precious to waste on construction plates that were going to be covered up, and they would have used bronze plates instead of iron plates.
6/25/2015 10:58:58 am
Some of my best buddies are Ancient Astronaut theorists. I also believe in Bigfoot, the Jesus Bloodline, the Occult Knights Templar and that the Talpiot tomb holds the remains of Jesus Christ.
6/25/2015 11:03:03 am
There are (or at least were) New Age Gurus who held courses on the Jesus Bloodline.
6/25/2015 12:48:02 pm
And this has precisely what to do with "the author may have written what he did because he couldn't conceive of any other way for it to work?" No offense, and you can believe whatever you want, but "Oh, I have friends who believe it" is not even REMOTELY evidence of anything. And "New Age gurus" are the LAST source I'm going to trust to give me scholarly evidence of anything, given how many of them have proven to be either wacko cult leaders or scam artists--or both.
6/25/2015 10:36:15 pm
You remind me of Old-Fashioned Grunt.
6/25/2015 07:36:36 am
Not Westford related, but are you going to NecronomiCon, Jason? I'd buy you a beer if so.
6/25/2015 09:43:00 am
Interesting. Cathie (of the "World Grid") seems to have confused the part in Surid about making iron rods to hold the blocks together with the part about giving the stones a blow to make them move, because he wrote that the pyramid legends specified that the blocks had to be hit with a special rod to make them move. Well, I'm sure Childress, Redfern, etc. all corrected this error when they wrote about Cathie because they're so devoted to checking orig...
6/25/2015 11:20:47 am
I have a problem. I can't wrap my head around how Cathie would conclude anti-gravity technology was used to move the pyramid blocks. Jason has shown in two blog posts the Arabic passages are obviously describing a form of magic, perhaps a form of "natural magic".
6/25/2015 11:28:26 am
And according to Spengler, we have entered the Faustian Age...
6/25/2015 01:04:26 pm
6/25/2015 10:37:12 pm
Everything is connected and there are no coincidences.
6/25/2015 11:52:03 am
It's a good question, but also a widespread confusion. Let's stipulate that almost all fringe authors know the passage from Vyse's somewhat unclear translation of the Akhbar al-zaman by Aloys Sprenger mistakenly attributed to Al-Mas'udi. The passage seems to refer to levitation only if you already believe in levitation. Those who follow Edgar Cayce or Theosophy have that paradigm because both claimed that levitation built the pyramids. Edgar Cayce said that "song and chanting" caused the stones to defy gravity, while A. P. Sinnett wrote in the "Collected Fruits of Occult Teaching" that the pyramids were Atlantean and that the people of Atlantis had the "power of modifying the force we call gravity." The Arabic passage becomes evidence of levitation only when read in light of occult claims.
6/25/2015 01:01:34 pm
Well! That certainly helps to explain the idea of "super-technology" being used at Baalbek, Puma Punku, etc.
5/25/2018 07:18:58 pm
Did Cayce really say this?
6/28/2018 04:47:19 am
The “abetted by song and chanting” line is from a Lytle Webb Robinson (1913–1997), who paraphrased and glossed Cayce in a way which invited misattribution of the result directly to Cayce.
6/25/2015 12:21:21 pm
I think you may be underestimating the fringe believer's ability to interpret Clarke's laws as an actual contribution to philosophy of science, and not the jokey concoction of a science fiction writer. =P
6/25/2015 01:02:46 pm
Yeah, you're right. ;)
6/25/2015 12:55:24 pm
"Oh, oh, but you don't know what the writing was made out of! It could have been CIRCUITRY!"
6/25/2015 01:03:50 pm
Fringe Basics 101? :)
6/25/2015 01:37:15 pm
glad to see that the statement made in previous post about the total of ? how many people that claimed to have made the Westford Knight was followed up on.....common mistake by so many article and blog writers......
6/25/2015 02:09:28 pm
It wasn't really a mistake, though. Jason was trying to confirm if Schafer's, Goudsward's or Glynn's reports were true.
6/26/2015 12:24:28 am
in his first article, he wrote it as statement of fact. I challenged whether he had a citation- he had to , then, dig farther. I am glad he dug farther. That should be done more before writing..
6/26/2015 01:37:09 am
There was, in a sense, always a citation available in the form of Schafer's original summary report. However, it was indeed right, and not untypical of Jason, to pursue the matter and find the evidence behind Shafer's claim.
6/26/2015 06:22:05 am
And just for tidiness- don't forget that (according to Gouldsward) T.C. Lethbridge's identification of the sword as a "wheel pommel" type was based on the very oblique Pearson photographs, which do make the pommel look round. In reality, if it is a sword at all, the rather elliptical pommel is closest to an Oakeshott Type U "key shaped pommel" (a good couple of generations too late for 1398):
6/25/2015 04:51:17 pm
Please excuse me for hijacking the topic briefly.
6/26/2015 05:21:39 am
No the article is not available for free. You can only get the abstract.
6/26/2015 11:13:07 am
ok, try this...
6/26/2015 07:29:24 am
Levitation must be true because we read it on the Internet? (Yeah, not so much).
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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.
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