Last week we posted some interesting/disturbing news about German archaeologists vandalising the Great Pyramid, while also apparently throwing doubt on the age of the famous cartouche of Pharaoh Khufu. That report, and others since, have been vague and sometimes contradictory regarding the individuals concerned - some saying they were students, others that they were aligned with certain academic institutions. As such, many questions have remained about the entire affair.
However posters at the Hall of Ma'at messageboard have been discussing aspects of it since October, and through their information and by following the links they've posted as well as recent news stories on the case, we can assemble a bit more of a picture of what happened. The two 'amateur archaeologists' are Dominique Görlitz and Stefan Erdmann, who (along with film-maker Frank Höfer) appear to have been granted official permission to access the Great Pyramid on the 17th of April, between the hours 6pm-8pm.
The pair seem not to have been officially affiliated with any institution; rather they are 'hidden history' enthusiasts who believe the Great Pyramid is much older than is currently believed. Both seem to be interested in numerous aspects of 'hidden history', from ancient aliens to secret societies, and - worryingly - perhaps some right-wing ideas.
Their trip to Egypt was apparently part of documentary-in-progress titled Das Cheops Projekt ('The Cheops Project'), for which they were seeking financial help through a crowd-funding campaign (which raised just €925 of their €46,000 target):
The research team around Dr. Dominique Goerlitz, Stefan Erdmann and filmmaker Frank Hoefer (NuoViso) is working independently and without and big sponsor in the background. Until now a part of the budget was privately financed. This contains shooting for several days in Egypt as well as examinations of the Great Pyramid and especially the King's Chamber and the relief chambers. This enabled us to take the samples of the king's cartridge. Furthermore we stay in contact with a prestigious institute for lab analysis in Germany which shall examine the samples of the cartridge. Many experts and pyramid researchers already have been interviewed or shown their interest.
With the elaborate film shootings and the expensive and the hard to get permissions to film in Egypt we could get the important samples (documented). This was privately pre-financed. More financial resources are necessary to bring the documentary to an end in short period of time. Especially the expensive lab analysis of the samples are only possible with a five digit amount of Euros.
Many of the videos associated with the project have been made private since the controversy broke, but the following trailer for Das Cheops Projekt remains accessible at the time of posting, and actually appears to feature footage of the vandalism occurring (at 1:31):
There's a couple of things worth noting about the video. Firstly, the chipping off of material in the video seems to not be on the famous cartouche of Khufu, as has been reported, but further to the right (pretty much where Dominique Görlitz is pointing in this image, with the Khufu cartouche at the far left of the picture). I'm not sure if this is the actual act which Egyptian authorities are talking about though - perhaps there were multiple areas chipped away?
Secondly, immediately before the vandalism part of the video, the two 'amateur archaeologists' are shown scaling a ladder, but this appears to be in the King's Chamber of the Great Pyramid for some reason. The Khufu cartouche can't be accessed from inside the King's Chamber, so I'm not sure what they were doing in there, unless it just worked best for the videoing (hopefully no further vandalism in that room!). But beyond that, what is more interesting is that they have a great big ladder in the Great Pyramid - this is not something you can just carry in to the GP at your own leisure, and seems to confirm the report that they were given official permission for their 'expedition' (although it's unlikely they were given permission to take material from the GP!).
So it would seem that though the pair were not aligned with the institutions that were claimed in early news reports, it is likely that they were given permission to access the monuments (and the Great Pyramid after hours). It may be that heads will roll internally for inadequate supervision of the duo during their time in the pyramid.
Regardless, if the above information is correct then I can only condemn the actions of Görlitz, Erdmann and Höfer. It is unlikely the 'samples' they took have any kind of scientific validity (from the area sampled, through to their method and the amount they chipped off), but what's far worse is that they took it upon themselves to damage one of the greatest monuments created by humans, dating back to the beginnings of written history.
I encourage research on these controversial questions, but certainly not by these methods.
- A tree of life & a Canaanite goddess in ancient Egypt.
- Armed guards return to protect
stargatesEgypt's ancient sites.
- Ancient celtic geo-wizards plotted a real Middle Earth (Amazon).
- Fantastic cartography tips from the guy who mapped Game of Thrones.
- Six of Britain's oldest trees have their roots in stories & myths.
- Into the Woods: on British forests, myth, & now by Ruth Padel.
- Feathered primates: the intelligence of crows, ravens, & magpies.
- High in the Andes, hummingbirds defy the low levels of oxygen.
- Watch a peregrine falcon chase down a pro mountain biker.
- Musical project spans 16 countries & 500-million migrating birds.
- Oneironaut Hunter Lee Soik charts new maps for lucid dreaming.
- You might recall my interview with Hunter from last month.
- Hubble space telescope finds signs of water on five alien planets.
- Kepler-90 is a distant planetary system much like our own.
- It may be easier to find alien life on Europa than we thought.
- Wormholes might be linked with spooky quantum entanglement.
Cartoon of the Day:
A new study co-authored by (among others) Dean Radin and Julie Beischel has found that electrocortical activity during mediumistic 'communication' is distinctly different than during other contemplative moments such as thinking about living or imaginary people. The resaerch was done to explore two questions: possible orrelations between the accuracy of mediums’ statements and the electrical activity in their brain; and the differences in mediums’ brain activity when they intentionally evoked four different subjective states.
To do so, the researchers collected psychometric and brain electrophysiology data from "six individuals who had previously reported accurate information about deceased individuals under double-blind conditions" (ie. mediums - or more accurately, mediums previously accredited by Julie Beischel's Windbridge Institute). Each experimental participant performed two tasks with eyes closed. In the first task, the medium was given the first name of a deceased person and asked 25 questions, after which they were asked to silently perceive information relevant to the question for 20 seconds and then respond. These responses were then scored for accuracy by individuals who knew the deceased persons. Researchers found that of the four mediums whose accuracy could be evaluated, three scored significantly above chance (p < 0.03). One of the mediums also showed a highly significant correlation between accuracy and brain activity in frontal theta.
In the second task, participants were asked to experience four mental states for 1 min each, a process that was repeated three times: (1) thinking about a known living person, (2) listening to a biography, (3) thinking about an imaginary person, and (4) interacting mentally with a known deceased person. Interestingly, statistically significant differences in electrocortical activity among the four mental states were found in all six participants, leading the researchers to conclude that the differences in electrocortical activity "suggest that the impression of communicating with the deceased may be a distinct mental state distinct from ordinary thinking or imagination".
Here's the conclusion of the paper, in the authors' words:
To conclude, we believe the results for Medium 1, correlating accuracy with electrocortical activity, qualify as a robust finding. The results regarding differences in gamma power bands between different mental states remains puzzling as the gamma difference we observed seems to arise, at least in part, from eye or muscular activity. The characterization of the exact nature of this difference in the gamma frequency band, and assessing whether any of this activity originates from the brain, calls for additional research. Taken together, the study’s findings suggest that the experience of communicating with the deceased may be a distinct mental state that is not consistent with brain activity during ordinary thinking or imagination.
For more information on scientific research into mediumship, check out my recent book Stop Worrying! There Probably is an Afterlife and also Julie Beischel's memoir on her work, Among Mediums: A Scientist's Quest for Answers.
Help keep The Daily Grail running into 2014 by buying one of our books or chipping in with a voluntary subscription. Not kidding when I say our future depends on your support...
- To Heaven and Back: CNN features tales of near-death experiencers.
- Also on that story: Is there an afterlife? Near-death survivors believe they saw the other side.
- But hey, I wrote a whole book about all that and more: Stop Worrying! There Probably is an Afterlife (Kindle eBook / Paperback).
- Video of the moment a man was found alive within a sunken tugboat, after more than two days trapped in a pitch-black 'air bubble'.
- Mysterious ice circle forms in North Dakota river.
- The world's oldest javelins: Stone spears from 280,000 years ago provide clue as to how humanity evolved.
- Did the 17th-century painter Vermeer use an optical trick to create his photo-realistic scenes?
- Did an Australian build a flying machine after a 'UFO vision' in 1868?
- The curious case of the exploding pig farms. What's your Pig Bang Theory?
- UFO mystery as bizarre flying saucer shape is captured in the sky above a wind farm.
- Why commercial drone delivery services, such as that touted by Amazon, won't fly any time soon.
- Human memory, boss level.
- On the flipside: the man whose mind exploded.
- Face of 'Angel of 9/11' spotted in twisted girder.
- This Mekong River Monster footage is pretty weird.
- Though you won't find the Mekong River Monster on this handy map of the Lake Monsters of America.
- Norfolk police warn of alarming clown epidemic. Just wait till they get wind of what's about to happen on the Santa front...
- Secret labyrinth of tunnels under Rome mapped.
- The after-death writings of Mark Twain.
- Revenant, a new peer-reviewed e-journal "dedicated to academic and creative explorations of the Supernatural, the Uncanny and the Weird", is now taking submissions.
- The Grand Canyon, filled with fog.
- Image(s) of the Day: This 300-year-old carved Tibetan skull is a Tantric work of art.
Thanks Kat and Cat.
Quote of the Day:
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The incredible footage above shows the moment when divers working on a body-retrieval mission involving a sunken tugboat came across one of the crew members still alive after some 60 hours trapped in a pitch-black 'bubble' within the boat:
After two days trapped in freezing cold water and breathing from an air bubble in an upturned tugboat under the ocean, Harrison Okene was sure he was going to die. Then a torch light pierced the darkness.
Ship’s cook Okene, 29, was on board the Jascon-4 tugboat when it capsized on May 26 due to heavy Atlantic ocean swells around 30 km (20 miles) off the coast of Nigeria, while stabilising an oil tanker filling up at a Chevron platform.
...Of the 12 people on board, divers recovered 10 dead bodies while a remaining crew member has not been found.
Somehow Okene survived, breathing inside a four foot high bubble of air as it shrunk in the waters slowly rising from the ceiling of the tiny toilet and adjoining bedroom where he sought refuge, until two South African divers eventually rescued him.
The discovery comes after 5:30 in the video, though it's worth watching those first five minutes to get a sense for what the diver must have felt.
Black Friday video mash-up. The good news: nobody died this year.
- Sexual frustration decreases lifespan. Yep, sucks the will to live right outta ya.
- If people can take hard drugs and still go on
being paid to runrunning a national bank or Canada’s biggest city, how dangerous can such substances be?
- For 20 years, the nuclear launch code at US Minuteman silos was 00000000.
- A gigantic 'communal latrine', created at the dawn of the dinosaurs, has been unearthed in Argentina.
- Your brain continually eats itself - apparently.
- Distant memories: Mice can 'warn' sons, grandsons of dangers via sperm.
- No, humans are not chimp-pig hybrids. Could've fooled me.
- Crocodiles and alligators use tools.
- From Turing to Snowden: Revelations show transatlantic intelligence pact started in second world war is expanding beyond states' ability to control it.
- New report compiles extensive evidence showing how some of the world's largest corporations have
conspiredpartnered with private intelligence firms and government intelligence agencies to spy on activist and nonprofit groups.
- Why things are going wrong in biomedical research.
- Hey, ya'll -- this video of people taking the American dialect survey is fascinating.
- Why are there so many tunnels under London?
- How to store all those bits and bytes cheaply and reliably? Magnetic tape.
- Inside the high-tech fortresses of the super-rich. Anybody know what kind of gas knocks you out for 24 hours?
- Google has its employees using Macs, not Windows or its own Chromebooks.
Quote of the Day:
A stupid man's report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand.
This amazing carved skull is alleged to be 300 years old, and come from a Buddhist monastery in Tibet. The owner posted images of the skull on a forum back in 2011 asking for more information about it:
I got this skull in March 2011 from an antiques shop in Vienna, Austria. Showed it to several experts and organizations, such as the Institute for Tibetan and Buddhistic Studies in Vienna, the Museum of Natural History Vienna and the Völkerkunde Museum. The Tibetan letters and most of the symbols got deciphered, but no one ever heard of a skull like that. Except one Tibetan Khenpo (Monk-Professor), who said such skulls where carved a long time ago to take a curse off a family or to guide the soul of a mislead human being on the right path. The guy who sold it to the auction house where the antiques shop got it from said that one of his ancestors used to be a medical doctor in Vienna. He travelled around Tibet and also gave medical treatment to an abbot of a Buddhist monastery. That abbot gave the skull amongst other relics to that doctor as a reward for his services. Allegedly around 300 years old.
The owner of the skull also pointed out the depiction, on the forehead area, of the Cittipati - the 'Lords of the Graveyard - apparently in a Tantric posture (the "bow and arrow"):
Anybody able to shed more light on this skull? Is it an historical occult artifact, or just a modern tourist trophy?
A summary of all the stories and news briefs posted on The Daily Grail over the past week - check 'em out if you missed any:
- News Briefs 25-11-2013 (Monday)
- Hunting for the Thylacine: Are There Still Tasmanian Tigers Roaming the Wild?
- News Briefs 26-11-2013 (Tuesday)
- German Archaeologists Suggest the Great Pyramid was Built Before Khufu?
- News Briefs 28-11-2013 (Thursday)
- Russell Brand Will Blow Your Mind
- Graham Hancock on the Indonesian Megalithic Site of Gunung Padang
- News Briefs 15-11-2013 (Friday)
- Christmas Gifts and Holiday Reading from the Grail Catalogue
Have a good weekend!
With the holiday season just around the corner, it's worth reminding readers that if you're searching for a last-minute Xmas gift, or are just looking for something to feed your brain on during the silly season, it might be worth considering a book from Daily Grail Publishing. Not only are they chock-full of Graily goodness, but each sale helps keep this site running as well as supporting the various authors and researchers whose work is featured in each. First, our stand-alone books on topics from shamanism to UFOs, lucid dreaming and the afterlife:
- Stop Worrying! There Probably is an Afterlife,
by Greg Taylor (Amazon US, Amazon UK, or Kindle eBook)
- Messengers of Deception,
by Jacques Vallee (Amazon US or Amazon UK)
- The Long Trip: A Prehistory of Psychedelia,
by Paul Devereux (Amazon US or Amazon UK)
- Lucid Dreaming: Accessing Your Inner Virtual Realities,
by Paul and Charla Devereux (Amazon US or Amazon UK)
- Communing with the Gods: Consciousness, Culture and the Dreaming Brain,
by Charles D. Laughlin, Ph.D. (Amazon US or Amazon UK)
by Blair MacKenzie Blake (Amazon US or Amazon UK)
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“You make your own dream.”
- Expanding the universal mind.
- My god, it’s full of… peanuts.
- Will ISON survive its perihelion? Watch it here and here.
- More on Egyptian archaeologist’s reactions to German archaeologist’s pyramid claims.
- Smaller black holes’ voracious appetite observed.
- A spotlight on Ceres.
- Star’s life and death, imaged.
- A ‘screaming comes across the sky’…
- Glimpsing the future of quantum computing?
- Fighting for the future.
- The Moon Rabbit turns jade.
- A link between Type-2 Diabetes and Alzheimer’s?
- Linking genes to diseases, one electronic medical record at a time.
- Hypoxia physical therapy.
- Edible photos.
- Lifting the fog.
- Diplodocus finds buyer with high ceilings.
- Well, that sucks.
- This week’s evidence of the pending robot uprising… Turtle ‘Bot.
Quote of the Day:
“There’s nothing new under the sun. All roads lead to Rome. And people cannot provide it for you. I can’t wake you up. You can wake you up. I can’t cure you. You can cure you.”