Hijacking The Gods - Of Hoagland, Cayce, Egypt, Mars, & The Stargate Conspiracy
By Lynn Pickett and Clive Prince
It was very surprising set of circumstances that led us to write our new book, The Stargate Conspiracy. We did not set to write such a book. Rather, we intended to pursue certain lines of research following on from our last book, The Templar Revelation, in which we concluded that Christianity was an off-shoot of the Egyptian mystery religion of Isis and Osiris. In that book, we only took the story back to the Egypt of the first century. It was our intention to extend the research further back into the history of Egypt and the roots of its religion.
Our research led us back to the most ancient religion known from ancient Egypt, that of Heliopolis, whose beliefs and cosmology, which are encapsulated in the Pyramid Texts, inspired the builders of the Great Pyramid of Giza. Inevitably, we were drawn into considering the mysteries posed by the great monuments of the Pyramid Age. And, of course, we could not ignore the recent flood of high-profile books dealing with, and offering solutions to, those mysteries, which make up what has been called 'alternative Egyptology'.
Throughout the 1990s, many books, challenging the arrogance and complacency of academic Egyptology and opening our eyes to the wonders of that ancient culture, have reached a huge audience world-wide. In this field, two names stand out above the rest: Graham Hancock and Robert Bauval, authors - jointly and separately - of such books as The Orion Mystery, Fingerprints of the Gods, Keeper of Genesis and, most recently, The Mars Mystery.
It was looking at these new theories and ideas that led our research in a very unexpected direction, and which led ultimately to The Stargate Conspiracy.
We need to make a very important point at the outset. Much of what we are about to say is critical of some of these new ideas, and you may even begin to suspect that we are, in some way, sceptics. This is not so. We believe that there are genuine mysteries about ancient Egypt - such as how (and why) they built the pyramids, where their civilisation came from, and how they knew many of the things that they knew. We are not admirers of the obstinate arrogance of academic Egyptology, and have enormous reverence for ancient Egypt, its culture and religion, and the achievements of its people. It is precisely because we have such reverence that we feel so strongly about the way that the very real mysteries of Egypt have, effectively, been hijacked in order to serve other agendas.
Where there is a mystery there is the potential for exploitation, by offering apparent solutions that support particular systems of belief. This potential is even stronger when the mystery involves something as evocative as ancient Egypt, whose works, such as the pyramids and Sphinx, speak so powerfully to our imaginations. The Alternative Egyptology tries to explain the enigma of the advanced technical knowledge of the ancient Egyptians - as displayed most obviously in the building of the Great Pyramid - by one of two theories (or sometimes a combination of the two). The first is that the ancient Egyptians were merely an off-shoot, or heirs, of a much older, advanced civilisation - such as Atlantis - which has been erased from history by some global catastrophe. The second is that the great monuments of the ancient world were either built by, or the skills to build them taught by, visitors from another world.
One of the most influential of books in this field is The Sirius Mystery by Robert Temple, which was first published in 1976 and in an extensively updated edition in 1998. As many of you will know, it homes in on the extraordinary knowledge of a West African tribe, the Dogon of Mali. The Dogon religion centres on the star Sirius. There is nothing unusual about that because, as Sirius is the brightest star in the sky, many cultures have incorporated it into their beliefs and mythology. However, what intrigued Temple - and many others - was that French anthropologists who studied the Dogon religion reported that they also believed that Sirius has a companion - a very small and very heavy star that is invisible to the naked eye. We now know that this is true. Sirius is a binary star system, with a second, white dwarf star - very small, very heavy - in orbit around the main star. Sirius B, as it is called, was only discovered in 1842, and it was not photographed until the 1970s. How, then, could the Dogon have known about it?
Temple's theory is that the knowledge of Sirius B originated from actual contact with extraterrestrials from a planet
in the Sirius system. He argues that this contact took place, not in West Africa, but in the Middle East, among the
ancient civilisations of Egypt and Sumer, and that the extraterrestrials were responsible for the development of
those civilisations - and therefore, ultimately, of our own. The knowledge of that contact, and of Sirius B, was
incorporated into Egyptian and Sumerian mythology, and the secret was passed on to the Greeks, and then
to various other cultures, eventually reaching the Dogon.. Because of its apparently academic and scholarly
approach, Temple's book received a level of critical acclaim and acceptance that set it apart from other
'ancient astronaut' theories, such as those of Erich von Daniken. . The anomalous knowledge of the
Dogon - not just about Sirius, but many other things - does present a genuine mystery.
However, Temple was keen to link this with ancient Egypt, and here, in our view, his case is less than persuasive
, as major parts of his argument are based on factual errors, and are often contrived. For
example, one of the key points in his case involves the interpretation of myths connected with Anubis,
the jackal-headed god of the dead. His justification for this is that Sirius is known as the 'Dog Star',
so, by a process of ideas we go from dog to jackal to Anubis. Therefore, when the ancient Egyptians
spoke about Anubis they were really talking about Sirius, or rather Sirius B.
But there is a major problem with this - the ancient Egyptians did not associate Sirius with Anubis. For them, Sirius was the star of the goddess Isis, and sometimes, by extension, her son Horus. It was the Greeks who called Sirius the Dog Star, because it was in the constellation that they named the Great Dog (Canis Major). The Egyptians never made a connection between Sirius and either Anubis or dogs. Therefore, Temple's use of legends connected with Anubis is based on an entirely false premise. Another chain of associations followed by Temple relates to the Hermetic literature - the magical and philosophical texts ascribed to the legendary sage Hermes Trismegistus - which he believes incorporates references to the 'Sirius secret'. His justification for doing so is that - he says - the Greeks equated their god Hermes with Anubis.
Amazingly, Temple has (as far as we are aware) gone unchallenged on this point for more than twenty years - because it is just plain wrong. Hermes was the equivalent of the Egyptian Thoth, not Anubis. Once again, Temple has based an entire line of reasoning on a mistake. But such is his influence that many people have simply accepted it. There are many similar examples in Temple's book, which in our view seriously undermine his attempt to trace the 'Sirius secret' - and therefore the visitation of beings from Sirius - back to ancient Egypt. Temple makes another mistake in The Sirius Mystery, which is a small slip in itself, and of no particular significance to his argument, but which does - as we will see - have some very important ramifications in another context. Temple gives as one of the ancient Egyptian names for the Sphinx of Giza the words arq ur. Many others, using Temple as their authority, have since repeated this as fact. Unfortunately, arq ur does not mean 'Sphinx'. It means 'silver'. The mistake arose because Temple misread the entry for arq ur in Sir E.A. Wallis Budge's classic 1920 dictionary of Egyptian hieroglyphs. Against the entry for arq ur, two English words appear after the hieroglyphs. One is 'silver', the correct definition. The other reads 'Sphinx, 2, 8'. This is not a definition, but a reference to Budge's source, a French Egyptological journal called Sphinx. The '2' refers to the volume, and '8' the page number. On page 8 of volume 2 are the hieroglyphs for 'silver' that Budge used in his dictionary.
This mistake does not carry any particular significance for Temple's overall argument, as he mentions it only in passing - but it does turn up in some very surprising places.
In the original 1976 edition, Temple only argued the case for extraterrestrial contact in the ancient past. In the new edition he has extended his argument to the imminent return of these 'space-gods'. He now believes that they did not return home to the Sirius system, but placed themselves in suspended animation somewhere in our solar system, so that one day they would awaken and return to see how the civilisation that they created has developed. Temple suggests that their return is now imminent. Also in the new edition, Temple claims that The Sirius Mystery attracted the unwelcome interest of both the CIA and the British intelligence services. In fact, he says that the CIA tried to interfere with his research while he was writing the book, and that after it came out they persecuted him for the next 15 years.
The implication is that the CIA wanted to hinder Temple's research for The Sirius Mystery, which in turn implies that they wanted to stop him writing the book - which implies that, for some reason, they didn't want us to read it. There is no doubt that Temple is being sincere, as he can by no means be called a paranaoic with a fear of persecution by the CIA. He tells the story of their harassment with some indignation - since he is himself a staunch supporter and defender of that agency.
For example, in a 1989 book about the 'uses and abuses' of hypnosis, he defends the CIA's excesses in their notorious mind control research of the 1950s and 60s, as exemplified most infamously in their MKULTRA project. In fact, Temple proudly proclaims that he refused even to read books exposing these experiments. However, if the CIA did want to stop The Sirius Mystery from being published, this is hardly a good advertisement for their efficiency. Similarly, the implication that the CIA persecuted him for the next 15 years because he had written the book does not make much sense.
What was the point, if the book was already out? Not only that, but they also failed to prevent him publishing a new, updated version - which includes the story of their interest in the book. In fact, the knowledge of their interest in, and apparent opposition to, The Sirius Mystery only adds to its appeal. It actively encourages interest in the book, on the grounds that, if the CIA don't want us to read it, there must be something worth reading. We suspect that this was the CIA's real intention, in a classic example of reverse psychology.
The above examples of mistakes in Temple's book demonstrate the need for careful checking of such claims. As researchers, this is something that we always try to do. And it was something that we did when we looked into the work of the two major names in Alternative Egyptology, Robert Bauval and Graham Hancock. As most of you will know, Hancock and Bauval's work centres on the importance of the year 10500 BC. Around this time, they argue, some cataclysm took place that destroyed an advanced, global civilisation. Some of its knowledge survived and formed the basis of the ancient Egyptian civilisation. They also argue that the survivors left us messages encoded in such monuments as the pyramids and Sphinx of Giza.
On the face of it, this seems an exciting and even reasonable idea. But let's examine their evidence more closely.
In The Orion Mystery (1993), Robert Bauval argues that the three pyramids of Giza were built to mirror the three stars of Orion's Belt. This, in itself, is fine - it seems to work. But Bauval uses his 'Giza-Orion Correlation Theory' to link the monuments to a much more ancient period. His argument is this. The three pyramids form an angle of 45 degrees to the north-south meridian. To make the correlation perfect, when the stars cross the celestial meridian they should form the same angle. However, when the Great Pyramid was built - in approximately 2500 BC - they didn't. Because of the precession of the equinoxes, the position of the stars changes over time.
Bauval reasoned that if he could find a period at which the stars formed the same angle as the pyramids, this would pinpoint a significant time - a time to which the pyramid-builders were trying to draw our attention. When he used computer simulations to wind back the precessional cycle, he found that Orion's Belt was in the 'Giza position' in 10500 BC. However, when we decided to double check this, things took a rather surprising turn.
We discovered that the geometrician Robin J. Cook, who actually produced the diagrams for The Orion Mystery, although agreeing with most of Bauval's theory, strongly disagreed with this part of Bauval's conclusions. We decided to check for ourselves to find out who was right. We found that the Belt stars were not in the 'Giza position' in 10500 BC. To find the stars in this position - according to the same computer program used by Bauval - we have to go back to about 12000 BC at the earliest.
It seems that Bauval had simply made a mistake, and miscalculated by a couple of thousand years. However, we will come back to this...
Probably the most famous development concerning ancient Egypt in the last ten years has been the redating of the Sphinx by the erosion of the limestone out of which it has been carved. According to conventional Egyptology, the Sphinx was carved out of the Giza plateau somewhere around 2500 BC. However, many - most notably leading alternative Egyptologist John Anthony West - maintained that it is, in reality, far older. West believed that the erosion of the Sphinx was not caused by the action of wind-blown sand, but by water. He believed that this was due to a great flood - the flood that drowned Atlantis - and argued that if this could be proven scientifically, this would be an important step in not only establishing the true age of the Egyptian civilisation, but also the existence of Atlantis.
Eventually, he succeeded in getting American geologist Robert Schoch to take a look. Shoch concluded that the erosion was due to water - centuries of exposure to rain water. But, as he pointed out, if this was the case, the Sphinx must have been there during the last period of substantial rainfall in Egypt, which occurred between about 7000 and 5000 BC. This means that the Sphinx must be at least 2,500, and perhaps as much as 5,000, years older than Egyptologists will admit. John Anthony West claims that Schoch's work vindicates his ideas. However, it needs to be pointed out that West believed that a flood was responsible for the erosion - and that, by finding that it was actually due to prolonged exposure to rainwater, Schoch has proven him just as wrong as he has the academic Egyptologists.
Schoch concluded that the Sphinx could have been built as long ago as 7000 BC. However, both West and Graham Hancock have used his work in support of a much earlier date - 10500 BC. They have been so successful in this that many people now regard this as virtually proven. West and Hancock argue that the wet period pinpointed by Schoch was not long enough to cause the erosion we see on the Sphinx. Instead, they point to a wet period that, they say, happened in the eleventh millennium BC - that is, around 10500 BC. Graham Hancock writes in Fingerprints of the Gods that at this time 'it rained and rained and rained.' Imagine our surprise when we checked the sources on the climate of ancient and prehistoric Egypt - including the source cited by Hancock himself - and found that there was no wet period in the eleventh millennium BC.
Like Robert Bauval, Hancock and West appear to have made a simple mistake - but one that also happens to come out at the date of 10500 BC. In his recent book Heaven's Mirror, co-authored with his wife Santha Faiia, and in the accompanying Channel 4 television series, Hancock has extended his argument in favour of that date to other ancient monuments around the world - for example, the complex of Hindu temples at Angkor in Cambodia. (Although these do not really qualify as ancient, as the earliest was built in the eleventh century AD.) Hancock argues that these temples were laid out to represent the constellation of Draco - in the position in which it was found in 10500 BC.
However, when we looked into this we found that there really is no correlation between the temples and the stars. There are temples which do not correspond to any of the stars of Draco, stars for which there is no corresponding temple - and, in any case, the pattern formed by the temples, as reconstructed by Hancock, bears very little resemblance to Draco. It seems that Hancock, Bauval and West are, for some reason, keen to make sure that their research pinpoints the year 10500 BC - whether or not the data actually fits.
Have the prophecies been hijacked ?