Note: The are likely to be many problems with the blog over the next few days. Weebly has changed its entire blogging platform without notice overnight, and it does not work well. It will not, for example, allow me to paste from Word anymore. It will only accept plain text. I am doing my best to work around the problems.
If you’re a fan of Fox’s Sleepy Hollow (and I get more than enough Freemason conspiracy theories during the day to really enjoy more at night), you might have noticed an allusion to H. P. Lovecraft in last night’s episode. Ichabod Crane recites Lovecraft’s famous couplet “That is not dead which can eternal lie / And with strange aeons even death may die” to give life to an undead warrior. I imagine it was meant to be a cute reference, but I can’t think of anything more diametrically opposed to Lovecraftian horror than to use a Necronomicon couplet as part of a ritual to raise a Christian warrior to fight Satanic demons in order to prevent the Apocalypse of Revelation.
Today I came across one of those fringe claims that’s so out there that I had a hard time believing it was meant seriously. You will of course remember William Henry from Ancient Aliens. He’s the wild-haired occultist who speaks of the spiritual dimension of ancient astronauts and believes that telephone booths are symbolic of wormholes for time travel. (Disclosure: Henry interviewed me for his Revelations radio show a long time ago but never used the recording.) Henry has a colleague named Chad Stuemke who believes that modern cities have been designed by a Freemason conspiracy to incorporate star gates and ancient Egyptian symbolism, which he illustrates with mystical photo illustrations.
Stuemke follows Henry in defining a star gate as a, and I quote, “shamanic trance portal to other worlds where energy pulsing (ringing) from our star, from other stars or star systems is easily received.” I will admit to being at a loss for how “energy” from the sun or a star is any more likely to be received at one location than another, unless this energy follows much different principles than the laws of physics that govern the way visible light travels from the sun and the stars to the earth.
Stuemke believes that Detroit, Michigan is a gateway to other dimensions because Philip A. Hart Plaza contains a large circular monument that resembles the star gate from the movie Stargate. The plaza was opened in 1975, and its major features were completed between 1976 and 1981. It bears all of the hallmarks of the era’s worst architecture and design, not unlike its near contemporary, New York’s Empire State Plaza, located here in Albany. The circular monument that Stuemke identifies as a star gate, the sculpture titled “Transcending,” was erected only in 2003.
According to Stuemke, after reading about Robert Bauval’s Orion Correlation Theory, he came to believe that the layout of Hart Plaza correlates to the layout of the Giza pyramids and the Sphinx:
Viewing the blue print and aerial images of Hart Plaza what you recognize is that several pieces of architecture in Hart Plaza are aligned and correlated possibly to the Giza Pyramids and Sphinx! I was surprised to see that Hart Plaza’s amphitheater, fountain, and pyramid aligned precisely with the ancient Egyptian pyramids. While this could easily have been dismissed, there was another feature begging for attention. The path (causeway) leading from the pyramid of Khafre to the Sphinx in Egypt was identical to Detroit’s Dodge Fountain and the path leading to the Egyptian styled obelisk (Pylon)! Pylons mark the entrances to Egyptian temples!
He includes a graphic to illustrate this.
I wanted to confirm this, and I’ll be damned if I can. Even ignoring such seemingly important features as whether north and south should be considered important elements of the correlation and what scale to use, I wasn’t able to make the Egyptian and Michigander sites align in any significant way. The image below is the best I can do. I used a Google Earth photograph (which I tinted blue for contrast) and overlayed a diagram of the pyramids (in yellow), which fail to form a precise correlation however I twisted them. I settled on aligning the causeway of the Khafre pyramid to the Pylon at Hart Plaza.
If I rotate the pyramids to their best alignment wit the amphitheater and the fountain, then the causeway does not align.
But Stuemke sees a precise correlation and then applies the mysticism of William Henry to explain it. The amphitheater is meant to represent the Great Pyramid, he says, because William Henry identifies music as one of the essential “vibrations” used in communication. The fountain is probably representative of a pyramid, too, because it’s named for Horace Dodge whose name sounds like Horus, the Egyptian god, and who used Egyptian symbolism in his mausoleum. The Pyramid and Pylon at Hart Plaza are obvious enough that they don’t need extra symbolism added to them. All of this he further sees as having a close relationship to outer space because the plaza’s original architect, Isamu Noguchi, was an influential modernist architect who explicitly incorporated space age and sci-fi inspired elements in his designs. Here we have a chicken and egg problem: the intentional incorporation of space age elements is being taken as proof of secret incorporation of ancient elements that also secretly influenced the space age!
In looking at the Transcendence sculpture, Stuemke notes that locals call it the Star Gate, but declines to inform readers that they do so because it was built a decade after the 1994 movie came out and while the Stargate-SG1 TV series was still on the air. The sculpture was intended to represent a gear according to the designers, as Stuemke notes, but he feels there was a secret motivation to symbolize a star gate because of …vibrations. You see, the sculpture stands near the spot where Martin Luther King, Jr. gave the first version of his “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963. “I think Dr Martin Luther King may have tapped into some of the transformational energies pulsing through Hart Plaza, He was feeling it! I say this because Dr. King concluded is uplifting speech with words that transcend time.”
You have to admit, as far as conspiracy theories go, Stuemke’s is brilliant in that it is not falsifiable. How do you argue with mysterious spirit energy that leaves no measurable trace? The best we can do is note that the pyramid alignment doesn’t work, that there is nothing to be gained from identifying Egyptian or space age symbolism incorporated after the widespread popularity of those styles in popular culture, and that there is no measurable effect from this imaginary “energy.” But that won’t stop Stuemke, for whom the “symbolism” of the plaza is a key to enlightenment. For him, the mere contemplation of the possibility of star gate symbolism “can result in a sense of relationship to the interior workings of life, a sense of participation in the movements of the Universe.”
It is conspiracy as transcendence. “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18). And conspiracy theories and fringe claims, as we have learned, are immortal.
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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