Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Great Pyramid Of Lunacy

EoR remains fascinated by the believers in ancient spaceships, Atlantis and magic (all of which are inextricably linked).

Browsing through Rainbownews, a New Zealand journal of woo (there's phrenology, there's a whole article on the proper way to hug a tree, there's Masuru Emoto, there's some crystal madness about 12th and 6th dimensions and chakras running in reverse which EoR totally failed to understand, there's dowsers locating ancient Phoenician ships in New Zealand) EoR was drawn to "Spaceships of Ancient Egypt".

The argument (such as it is) is that E A Wallis Budge's classic translation of the Egyptian Book of the Dead incorrectly referred to the "winged discs" as meaning the sun, since manned flight was unknown at the time of the translation.

The evidence suggests therefore that ancient Egyptians actually meant their descriptions of 'winged discs' to be literally interpreted as UFOs.

Actually, they probably meant them to be literally interpreted as "winged discs", and metaphorically as the sun.

Passing quickly by the papyri depicting ancient Egyptian electronic circuits (no references are given), a further inference is made:

Could this then be evidence for advanced technology, including flight technology, in ancient Egypt, perhaps inherited from Atlantis and space civilisations?

From both Atlantis and space civilisations? In passing, EoR wonders why, if "UFOs" were such common technology in the ancient world, did they bother with the inefficient boats that kept grounding themselves on the shores of New Zealand only to be rediscovered millenia later by dowsers? And where are the ancient airports? The ancient fuel depots? The ancient metal machines?

The argumentem ad Wallis Budge then does some quote mining to "prove" flying saucers were a regular part of ancient Egyptian life. Various quotes from the Book of the Dead are given, such as "Heru-Behutet flew up into the horizon in the form of The Great Winged Disc", references to Osiris in his celestial "boat", "I have gone down to the Earth in the two Great Boats" and so on. Now, these are either poetic analogies made by someone familiar with boats as a form of transport, and the motion of the sun in the sky (which was also a God to the Egyptians, and both of which are images that would be everyday experiences for ancient Egyptians), or it is quite clearly a description of a flying saucer. Occam's Razor clearly has no part to play in the process of hypothesis formation here.

EoR tried to find these quotes in context (online versions here and here) but they do not appear. He does not know what version of the Wallis Budge translation was used since no references are provided by the author of the article. In fact, the whole article is very light on verifiable reference in favour of wild speculation.

The final part of the "proof" rests on even more bizarre claims: a 2200 year old wood carving of an aeroplane was discovered in a tomb in 1898, "ancient Egyptian priests were well aware of Atlantis", and various fantastic (as in the sense of "fantasy") claims made by Dr J O Kinnaman as far back as 1940.

Dr Kinnaman said that during their 1924 investigation of the Great Pyramid they located a hidden vault which contained amazing technical objects, including what appeared to be an anti-gravity machine, or parts of such a machine, and thousands of crystal prisms which they speculated may all have been brought from Atlantis.

How did Dr Kinnaman know that these "parts" formed an anti-gravity machine? EoR's not even sure he'd recognise such "parts" today since no one has ever made such a thing yet, in 1924, the amazing Dr Kinnaman apparently saw these "parts" as a functioning science fiction machine. And how exactly do you tell the place of manufacture of a crystal prism? Were they all stamped "Product of the People's Republic of Atlantis" on the base?

Dr Kinnaman also apparently believed the Great Pyramid was built in 46,000 BC by Atlanteans as a gigantic power generator "to send intense electrical energy into space from the apex through a metallic or crystalline cap. Perhaps the energy beams were used to propel spaceships through the atmosphere?". Perhaps the elves that live in camel's bottoms used the pyramid point to clean their teeth. It's just as likely. And we have evidence for the existence of camels.

Why is this information suppressed? According to an article in the Rosicrucian Digest (that esteemed archaeological journal) in July 1962 by Willi Semple:

When asked why we have never heard of this room, Dr Kinnaman answered: "Because Dr Petrie and I swore an oath to the highest government officials in Egypt and Great Britain never to divulge this knowledge during our lifetimes."

Which he was quite clearly breaking by making that statement, but never mind.

So: Atlantis, Egyptology, UFOs, pyramid power, antigravity and vast government conspiracies! This article is only a page and a half long, but it's got some of the highest-grade woo packed so tightly in it there's hardly room for anything else.

Dr Kinnaman was also an authority on biblical matters:

J. O. Kinnaman is not a name well known in contemporary academic circles. He has argued (in Diggers for Facts: The Bible in Light of Archaeology) that Jesus and Paul visited Great Britain, that Joseph of Arimathea was Jesus' uncle and dominated the tin industry of Wales, and that he himself personally saw Jesus' school records in India. According to an article by Stephen Mehler, director of research at the Kinnaman Foundation, Kinnaman reported finding a secret entrance into the Great Pyramid of Giza, in which he discovered records from the lost continent of Atlantis. He also claimed that the pyramid was 35,000 years old and was used in antiquity to transmit radio messages to the Grand Canyon. Kinnaman might not be the best figure on which to base material for a public school textbook.

Nor for anything requiring logic or plausibility, it would appear. "Jesus plays well with others, but needs to spend more time on his mathematics instead of raising the dead."

It isn't clear whether Dr Kinnaman believed what he was claiming, or whether he was just making it all up as he went along, but proof was never something he seemed to require, being gullible enough to fall for a poor hoax inluding a depiction of the Flood and Noah's Ark found in Michigan at the turn of the last century.

Nonetheless, plausibility, evidence nor the proper application of the principle of parsimony have prevented people from seeking Kinnaman's entrance to the Great Pyramid:

Many groups, scientific and lay people alike, are wondering if the predictions of Edgar Cayce, Gordon Michael Scallion, and others about the opening or revealing of the alleged Hall of Records under the Sphinx and the Giza Plateau will actually occur in 1998-99.

Answer: no. It didn't occur. Surprisingly.

Nor does it stop other people thinking hieroglyphs, because they look vaguely like (modern) spaceships and helicopters, therefore are representations of such (what EoR finds even more amazing is how ancient Egyptian spaceships looked exactly like all those spaceships in Star Wars. Could George Lucas be an Atlantean?). They don't look anything like axes, or hoes, or other common implements and tools to be found in ancient Egypt. Oh no. Not at all. They're hyperdimensional alien Atlantean crystal powered magic spaceships, dammit!

After all that concentrated layering of implausible claim on shaky evidence, time after time, EoR could only go along to the Online Hieroglyphics Translator for the following collection of images of UFOs and Atlantean power generators/antigravity machines (try squinting and turning your head to the side):

I am a lunatic

Further information:

How misinformation is misquoted out of context inaccurately: A Pyramyth.
That model airplane (or is it a bird?).
Pharaoh's helicopter, or is it a palimpsest?

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