Archaeological Developments At Giza, Egypt

1. The 'Door' In The Great Pyramid

In March 1993, a small 'door' made of marble or limestone with two copper handles fixed on it was discovered by a mechanized robot (Upuaut II, "The opener of the way" in ancient Egyptian) at the end of a long narrow shaft (8 x 8 inches and 200 feet long). Since then the discoverer, robotics engineer Rudolf Gantenbrink from Munich, has been banned from resuming the exploration and opening the door.

The official reason given by the Egyptian Antiquities Authorities (known as the Supreme Council of Antiquities - SCA - ) was that Gantenbrink leaded the news of the discovery to the British Press in April 1993 and thus, apparently, broke a 'rule' of archaeology. The director of the German Archaeological Institute in Cairo, Dr. Rainer Stadelmann, sided with the Egyptians and condemned Gantenbrink for his press action. Dr. Stadelmann was adamant about the non-importance of the find. "This is not a door; there is nothing behind it." The President of the Supreme Council for Antiquities, Dr. Muhamad Bakr, went as far as claiming a 'hoax'. "The orifice of the shaft is too small for the robot to go through" and accused the "German scientist" of not having the correct 'approvals' from the SCA to carry out the exploration.

Dr. Bakr fired the Chief Inspector of the Giza Pyramid Plateau, Dr. Zahi Hawass, although the official reason given was that a valuable ancient 'statue' under the custody of Hawass was stolen from Giza. Three months later, in June 1993, Dr. Bakr himself was fired and replaced by Dr. Nur El Din. Amid accusations of malpractice and fraud, Dr. Bakr spoke of a "Mafia" which had been involved with the Pyramids for the "last twenty years". Refusing to give names, Dr. Bakr said, "I wanted the whole matter investigated by the prosecution authorities, but my request was refused."

Meanwhile, Dr. Hawass, who went to the USA, claimed that the discovery of the 'door' was "THE discovery in Egypt," and speculated that there are important artifacts behind it. In early 1994, Dr. Hawass was reinstalled at his post at the Giza Pyramids. Meanwhile, Gantenbrink offered his robot to the Egyptians and also offered to train an Egyptian technician to man the equipment and open the door. The Egyptians rejected the offer; "We are very busy at the moment," replied Dr. Nur El Din. About the same time, Dr. Hawass was to declare that "I do not think this is a 'door' and there is nothing behind it."

In March 1996 however, Dr. Hawass changed his mind once again and declared Gantenbrink's find as being one of huge interest and that the 'door' would be opened in September 1996 by a Canadian 'mission', but not including Rudolf Gantenbrink or his robot. The Canadian 'mission' is owned by Amtex Corporation of Canada, a multi-media CD-ROM company, who are reported to be raising the huge sum of $10 million to promote a staged 'live opening' of the door on television networks. "I'm working with a private guy who is a personal friend of Hawass and we are absolutely going to drum this thing to death. Whatever the event we are going to stage, it will be televised live," reported Amtex Corporation's president, Mr. Peter Zuuring.

2. Tunnels & Chambers Under The Great Sphinx

(I) In a series of expeditions between 1991 and 1993 led by John Anthony West, and independent Egyptologist, scientific investigators conducted geological and seismic surveys around the Great Sphinx of Egypt. The chief geologist was Dr. Robert Schoch, Professor of Geology at Boston University, and the chief seismologist was Thomas Dobecki from the highly-respected Houston consulting firm, McBride-Ratclif & Associates.

(II) The team's conclusions were as follows:

A. Geology, The pattern of erosion on the Sphinx indicates that it was carved at the end of the last Ice Age, when heavy rains fell in the eastern Sahara - perhaps more than 12,000 years ago. This contrasts starkly with the 'orthodox' Egyptological dating for the Sphinx of around 4,500 years ago.

B. Seismography. The seismic survey indicated the existence of several unexplored tunnels and cavities in the bedrock beneath the Sphinx, including a large rectangular chamber at a depth of some 25 feet beneath the monuments front paws.

(III) In 1993 John West and his team were physically expelled from the site by Dr. Zahi Hawass then (and now) the Egyptian government's Chief Inspector of Antiquities for the Pyramids and Sphinx. He appeared to be angered by the suggestion that the Sphinx might be far older than the civilization of Egypt itself - and thus the work of a lost civilization - and was particularly incensed by an NBC television film that was made about the team's work. This film linked the Sphinx to Atlantis and suggested that the chamber beneath the paws might contain the legendary "Hall of Records' of Atlantis. Hawass called these claims, "American hallucinations...There is no scientific base for any of this. We have older monuments in the same area. They definitely weren't built by men from Atlantis. It's nonsense and we won't allow our monuments to be exploited for personal enrichment. The Sphinx is the soul of Egypt."

(IV) An article in the Egyptian press responding to the NBC film quoted Dr. Hawass on his further reasons for expelling John West and his team from the Sphinx enclosure: "I have found that their work is carried out by installing endoscopes in the Sphinx body and shooting film for all phases of the work in a propagandistic but not scientific manner. I therefore suspended the work of this unscientific mission and made a report which was presented to the permanent commission who rejected the mission's work in the future."

(V) The NBC film was produced by a certain Boris Said and partially financed by investments from the members of the Association for Research and Enlightenment (ARE). The ARE, headquartered in Virginia Beach in the US, is a multi-million dollar organization that exists to promulgate the teachings and prophecies of an American psychic, Edgar Cayce, who died in 1947. Prominent amongst Cayce's pronouncements were many statements to the effect that the Sphinx hand been built in 10,500 BC and that survivors of Atlantis had concealed beneath it a 'Hall of Records' containing all the wisdom of their lost civilization and the true history of the human race. Cayce prophesied that this Hall of Records would be rediscovered and opened between 1996 and 1998. He connected the opening to the second coming of Christ.

(VI) In 1995 John West and Professor Robert Schoch of Boston University put in an application to the Egyptian authorities to resume their research. Their application was ignored.

(VII) At the beginning of April 1996, the Egyptian authorities granted a one- year license to a new team to conduct surveys around the Sphinx and the Giza necropolis using seismic equipment and ground-penetrating radar. This team, which claims academic sponsorship from Florida State University, is largely financed through the Schor Foundation of New York - by Dr. Joseph Schor, an American multimillionaire.. Dr. Schor is a life member of the ARE and wrote on the 24th of May 1994 of his great personal interest in corroborating "the Cayce records which indicated that the culture which led to the building of the Pyramids dates to 10,400 BC." He also stated his wish "to further delineate that civilization."

(VIII) On April 11th 1996 Dr. Schor stated of his current project at the Sphinx: "We do not work for the Edgar Cayce Group... The major purpose of the Schor Foundation and the Florida State University is to aid in the preservation and restoration of the Pyramids and Sphinx. In addition, we are surveying the underground of the Giza Plateau to find faults and chasms that might collapse. This will increase the safety of the plateau..."

(IX) Also financed by Dr. Schor is a short video film shot at the end of 1995 by Boris Said and produced in early 1996. The film opens with Dr. Zahi Hawass scrambling into a tunnel leading under the Sphinx. When he reaches the bottom he turns to face the camera and whispers to the viewer: "Even Indiana Jones will never dream to be here. Can you believe it? We are no inside the Sphinx in this tunnel. This tunnel has never been opened before. No-one really knows what's inside this tunnel. But we are going to open it for the first time." In commentary the film's narrator goes on to state, "Edgar Cayce, America's famous 'Sleeping Prophet', predicted that a chamber would be discovered beneath the Sphinx - a chamber containing the recorded history of human civilization. For the first time we'll show you what lies beneath this great statue...a chamber which will be opened tonight, live, for our television cameras."

(X) Dr. Schor has stated (on the 11th of April 1996) that this video is not a promotional venture aimed at hooking a major US network to televise a live opening of a chamber under the Sphinx. On the contrary, he insists, "It was made to test script and equipment and was made in November 1995 which was many months before we received approval for our expedition. We have abandoned its use..."

(XI) On the 14th of April 1996, Dr. Zahi Hawass announced in the Egyptian press that there were secret tunnels under the Sphinx and around the Pyramids and stated his belief that these tunnels would prove to "carry many secrets of the building of the Pyramids."

Graham Hancock completed his US book signing tour on Monday July 1st 1996 in Berkley California.

Graham Hancock, Rovert Bauval, John Anthony West, Robert Shock, Elem-Ath and Colin Willson will be together at the University of Delaware September 27th thru 29th along with other notable speakers participating in a conference.

For more information or to register for the conference you may call Barbara Keller (609) 965-3657.

The following is a review by Melissa Smith of Graham Hancock's presentation as given during his book tour in June 1996.


Mr. Hancock gave a very insightful explanation of the lost secrets of the Sphinx. Most of Mr. Hancock's evidence came from an astronomical view with many excerpts from historical and ancient texts. Mr. Hancock showed through slides the exact connection between the pyramids, the Sphinx and the stars. It was actually amazing. He showed that in 10,500 BC the alignment of the heavens clearly lined up with the Giza Plateau; even the location of the Hall of Records was in perfect alignment with the stars.

What would most of the Egyptologists think? Probably the same information that has made them famous and has paid for their grants. Mr. Hancock pointed out that some of what Egyptologists hold as solid fact has little solid scientific evidence to back it.

To name a few:

-- That Chephren had the Great Pyramid built for him but no burials (including a mummy and funeral inscriptions) have been found inside the pyramid.

-- That the Sphinx is really a representation of Chephren because of the heiroglpyhic inscription of one letter of Chephren's name in the stone tablet in the front of the Sphinx. Egyptologists inserted the second syllable in the translation of the ancient texts without really knowing what it is supposed to mean.

-- If the pyramids were built for 'egomaniac' pharoahs, why is the third pyramid smaller than the other two? Is it that that particular pharoah was not as great as the other two? Why wouldn't the architect try to build as a fantastic one as the others?

And on and on and on...

Mr. Hancock's explanation of the Sphinx and the pyramids make the orthodox Egyptologists look like fools and pseudo-archaeologists. Although Mr. Hancock had a sarcastic tone whenever he referred to the Egyptologists and their theories, he was not knocking their research or research abilities. He is just quite upset about their lack of openess to new ideas.

In a way, the Egyptologists have lost their scientific validity by not practicing the scientific method. The best part of science is that nothing should be written off or excluded until it can be disproved. I thought that scientists were supposed to have open minds, afterall... most of what we use and see on this planet started out as someone's thought or hypothesis. If science were for the close minded, I wouldn't be writting to you via computer. Obviously Mr. Hancock and Mr. Bauval's theory is a little more than just an educated guess.

Mr. Hancock said a good saying:

"Egyptologists find facts to fit their theories when they should be making theories based on the facts."

After a short question and answer period, Mr. Hancock invited us to a private screening of the" promotional" video sent to him by a team of researchers from Florida State University. The video opens with a man's silhouette in a dimly lit tunnel leading under the Sphinx. This man, we find out as he reaches the bottom, is Dr. Zahi Hawass, the Chief Inspector of the Giza Pyramid Plateau [ the same Dr. Hawass that kicked John West and Rudolf Gantenbrink out of Egypt for conducting similar research]. Dr. Hawass turns to the camera and whispers: " Even Indiana Jones will never dream to be here. Can you believe it? We are now inside the Sphinx in this tunnel. This tunnel has never been opened before. No-one really knows what's inside this tunnel. But we are going to open it for the first time." The film continues with a sort of laser light show on the the Giza plateau, complete with strobe lights and techno-like music. Or as Amargi called it: 'Disco Giza'.

The seven minute film also briefly credits and mentions the research conducted by Hancock and Bauval, West, and the prophecies of Edgar Cayce [I thought Hawass disapproved of their research]. The film ends with a supposed deep and insightful question if the Sphinx should be opened at all or if its secrets should remain a mystery.

Obviously this video is meant to generate hype for the project and money for its producers. It is quite ironic that the video [backed by Dr. Hawass] promises to show its viewers "... a chamber which will be opened tonight, live, for our television cameras" when Dr. Hawass kicked John West out of Egypt for, according to a quote from the Egyptian Press, "... installing endoscopes in the Sphinx body and shooting film for all phases of the work in a propagandistic but not scientific manner."

Hmmmm.... I guess staging a multimillion dollar live opening of the Sphinx on television and referring to the popular icon Indiana Jones is not propagandistic or unscientific according to Dr. Hawass.

I'll have to remember this when I pursue my graduate studies in Archaeology.

Although Mr. Hancock introduced many interesting points, I think that his main concern with the project is the code of ethics involved. Anthropology is one of the few academic studies that has a code of ethics. This ethic includes not destroying your site and most importantly, the sharing and publishing all of your research. If the Florida project continues, Mr. Hancock fears that the research information will not be made available to all, but only to an elite few - the wealthy and powerful. This is perhaps the greatest injustice.

Before I go, I remembered something interesting from Hancock's talk. He told us how Hawass was fired from his Chief Inspector's job because a statue of Chephren went missing. Of course, Hawass got his job back but Hawass did make an interesting statement in the Egyptian press. He says that when he opens the doors to the hidden chamber beneath the Sphinx he expects to find a statue of Chephren.

Mr. Hancock did not actually say this the following but it was implied (and the whole room got it) that perhaps the missing statue would somehow turn up inside the newly open chamber (ie. tampering of the chamber before the televised opening).

When Mr. Hancock announced if there were any questions, a loud (preaching-like) voice shouted something to the effect of "You have nothing to worry about Sir! These Halls are protected...those who are not allowed in will perish. A higher force is watching out"

Mr. Hancock nicely said, "That would be nice if its true but we have to do something in this physical world".

As for the audience... the person who took the photo of the gate in the shaft extending from the Queen's Chamber was there [BTY, the slide clearly showed a slab in the shaft with two round metal handles on it] and Amargi recognized many people that would probably prefer to remain secret (no not movie stars).

Amargi has posted Hancock's fact sheet at his site. The address is:

Melissa Smith