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Setting the Record Straight: Secret Chambers and ‘Hall of Records’
Posted By: Robert Bauval Oct 17, 2014
[disinfo ed.’s note: the following is excerpted from Secret Chamber Revisited: The Quest for the Lost Knowledge of Ancient by Robert Bauval]
There shall appear and shine the sign of the Son of Man in the Heaven. . . . – Matthew 24:30
Only an initiate may understand. . . . – Edgar Cayce on the Great Pyramid of Giza, Reading 5748-5
Gizah Pyramids. Photo: Ricardo Liberato (CC)
The hope of finding a secret chamber in the Giza Plateau, the home of the Great Pyramid and the Great Sphinx, has never been so high. As I write these words (late February 2014), Egyptians have gone to the ballot boxes and voted in favor of a new constitution. Soon presidential elections will take place, to be followed immediately by the formation of a parliament. A new Egypt is in the making, and hopefully along with it a new and more open-minded Ministry of Antiquities. For nearly three decades any real and significant progress in the quest for the secret chambers at Giza and the lost knowledge of the great pyramid builders of Egypt has been thwarted by the “king of the pyramids,” the larger-than-life and loudmouthed ex-minister of antiquities, Zahi Hawass. In July 2011, however, Hawass was dethroned by his own people, and the coast is now clear for the search to begin again.
Yet we need to backtrack into the origins and history of this quest in order to fully understand the true mystery and magnitude of what may indeed be brought to light at Giza. For the story that I am about to tell is as strange as it is controversial. It is the story of an age-old mystery that has haunted the imaginations of seekers from generation to generation and that, in recent years, has split the scholarly establishment and caused academic furor and debate around the world. To some it is the stuff of dreams, figments of a ripe imagination, a myth at best, a delusion at worse. To others it is a real possibility, a near-certain historical reality, a tangible fact that will soon be confirmed by the turn of a spade or the drilling of an auger. For it is a very real possibility, indeed, that deep inside the oldest, the largest, the tallest, the most sacred monument on this planet, lies a heavily guarded secret. Inside the Great Pyramid of Giza, wrapped in some unearthly darkness and standing in hallowed stillness, could be a secret chamber or chambers, waiting, at any minute now to be opened after at least four if not many more millennia.
This chamber could be the supreme archaeological prize, the jackpot of Egyptology that may by far surpass the discovery of Tutankhamun’s intact tomb in 1922. But wait, there is more. The Giza Plateau, it very much seems, has finally decided to disclose all its secrets at once. For not far from the Great Pyramid, in a shallow enclave to the east broods the Great Sphinx. It, too, may mulishly be guarding the ultimate treasure trove under its belly: the legendary “Hall of Records” of a civilization long lost in the mists of time.
The location and possible entrances to such secret chambers in the Great Pyramid and under the Great Sphinx have been known since early 1993. Yet, as amazingly frustrating as it sounds, all attempts to confirm the existence of these possible secret chambers have been forcefully prevented by Zahi Hawass. Or have they really? Could clandestine attempts have been made away from the public eye and, as strange as it may be, from the eyes of the Egyptian authorities themselves? Is that at all possible? Is there a conspiracy afloat here, one that may implicate not just Hawass but other individuals and institutions?
When I first started to write this book back in 1998, my original premise was to write a historical account on the inside story of the expeditions and people involved in this drama. The last two decades have seen a huge confusion generated in the international media and on the Internet as to what has really been happening at Giza, but now I am prepared to divulge the result of my in-depth research and set the record straight. Yet be prepared that the truth, in some instances, will seem stranger than fiction. For the last thirty-five years I have been steeped in the mysteries of this place, and since 1992 I have been investigating in situ and behind-the-scenes activities and collected a mass of damning evidence that I will incorporate in the chapters of this book. Since both the judicial system and the profession of Egyptology as a whole chose to either remain silent or brush the truth under the carpet, I now feel it is my duty and responsibility, perhaps even my mission, to expose the full story to the public with objectivity, without bias, and, above all, with evidence to support my claims. But I must also confess that the more I pondered on how to structure this book, the more I became convinced that there was something else, something so subtle, so subliminal that it defies any form of rational explanation, yet is undeniably there. Something, of which I am convinced although I do not know yet how exactly to expose it, that is of immense relevance to us humans on this planet. Something to do with numbers, ratios, and with strange mathematical constants and astronomical coordinates. In short, something expressed not in ancient signs and symbols, that is, those hieroglyphs seen elsewhere in ancient Egyptian monuments, but rather in what can only be called, for lack of better words, a “universal language.” To understand this, to “see” it, to fathom its meaning, will require a type of intellectual archaeology, a sort of initiation if you will, that I also propose to process you through. A gigantic historical puzzle needs to be pieced together, and I have set myself the daunting task to do this.
The lure of a secret chamber or Hall of Records at Giza has fired the imagination of many and has drawn into this history-long quest a horde of unusual seekers: sedate scientists to armchair speculators, eminent academic institutions to dubious psychic societies, reputable archaeologists to innocuous amateurs and Walter Mitty–type characters, and staunch skeptics to new-age gurus, all forming a bedazzling assortment of characters who sometimes have rubbed shoulders at Giza seeking what they perceive as the truth. As one tries to make an intelligent assessment of all these seekers and the strange goings-on
at Giza, as an innocent bystander you will have to sift through a bewildering compilation of conflicting stories, “official” announcements, and the inevitable rumor mill of the Internet. Then there is, too, the eerie silence of the Egyptian authorities and the Egyptology community. All this, when coupled with some rather erratic behavior from the main players, inevitably will cause many credulous souls, as well as the not so credulous, to hatch conspiracy theories involving foreign governments, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), powerful business moguls, and Egyptian government officials. And in some cases even me!1
The result is that reality has been mixed with fiction, facts mixed with fantasy, and truth mixed with lies, blurring and distorting the veracity that has been (and still is) unfolding at Giza. But one thing is almost certain: on this dusty plateau of Giza is being played one of history’s most exciting and most meaningful games: the quest, no less, for the spiritual and cultural origins of civilization and, who knows, perhaps even its destiny.
One of the principal objectives of Secret Chamber, but by no means the sole one, was to put into a concise and clear format the history of the events behind this quest. To this end I have taken every step to ensure that only documented evidence and reliable information are used. There has been close to two decades of collecting and collating data, some of it of very confidential nature, as a direct result of my deep involvement in this historical conundrum. The extraordinary story that unfolds, however, is both an ancient one as well as, paradoxically, a modern one, seeing that it spans from the beginning of the Pharaonic civilization all the way to the present, with, as we shall see, a grand finale (or new beginning, as the case may be) awaiting us, perhaps soon, very soon.
The telling of this story, as I already pointed out, is not by any means the sole objective of this book. There is another, far more profound goal within these pages. In the many years of being exposed to these amazing monuments (I lived for several years opposite the Great Pyramid) and the curious goings-on in the Giza Plateau, I have become convinced that there is something else at play here, something extremely powerful that lurks in the murky waters of prophecy and strange synchronicity. As much as I have disciplined myself to stay within the bounds of scientific investigation, I could not help sensing at times an invisible influence at work, a subtle and indefinable energy that gave this quest a momentum of its own. At the risk of sounding new-agey or too “metaphysical,” I will, nonetheless, confess that I tend to regard the Giza Plateau, for lack of better words, as a sort of “magical device,” a giant complex talisman that somehow affects those who are sensitively prone to its invisible, immeasurable, yet very perceptible “energy.” Make of this what you will.
The quest for the Hall of Records and the “lost knowledge” of those unknown geniuses who designed the Giza complex is unlike any other. By its very nature it is a path charged with powerful archetypal and mythical forces, all working through strange omens and synchronicities. One constantly gets the feeling that some ancient blueprint has been reactivated and is rushing the main players headfirst toward an apotheosis at Giza. There often is a peculiar sense of urgency, as well as a sense of enchantment and magic that engulfs the players, as if at any moment something momentous will be revealed. In order to make proper sense of all this and, more importantly, in order to understand what could be hatching there, one must, as I have already pointed out, by necessity, undergo a type of intellectual initiation. Only then will the greater picture emerge. This book has also been designed to service this purpose. Part one will provide the reader with all the necessary background information. Legends, myths, and ancient texts will be explored; ancient traditions will be tracked across the ages. A picture will then begin to emerge of what the elusive Hall of Records might actually be and, more intriguingly, what it might contain. Part two will then take the reader, now fully equipped, to the Giza Plateau to follow, as it were, the recent expeditions, to understand the hidden motives and the secret agendas of the seekers, and to become aware of the great implications of the fabulous events that may perhaps soon be unleashed there.
A Pyramid for the Second Coming?
In 1998, in an unprecedented display of openness the Egyptian SCA, through its principal spokesman, Zahi Hawass, boldly announced that on the eve of the coming millennium, that is, on December 31, 1999, at the stroke of midnight, a military helicopter would carry a gold-plated pyramidal icon made of durable alloys and gently deposit it on the top of the Great Pyramid of Giza.2
At approximately the same time—within the Great Pyramid itself—a small mechanized robot equipped with a video camera linked to TV networks around the world was to have proceeded to open the small trapdoor, that is, the Gantenbrink door, at the end of the southern shaft of the Queen’s Chamber.* These two events, for those who can see deeper into their meaning, are laden with symbolism of the highest magnitude. Other than the oddity of a fundamentally Muslim country staging what invariably amounts to some sort of ancient pagan ritual with the pyramid capping, playing with such powerful symbolism could have opened a Pandora’s box that could have unbridled a wave of messianic fervor in the new-age movement worldwide. For many decades previous, various esoteric groups had installed themselves at Giza to cash in on the millennial celebrations planned for December 1999. All seemed to be sharing a common motive; namely, to bring about a reformation of the world order. And as strange as it may seem, some of these organizations, as we shall see later, perceived these events taking place at Giza as the prelude to the “Second Coming.” One of the most active of these groups, and certainly the most successful in infiltrating itself at Giza, was the Association for Research and Enlightenment (ARE). Based in Norfolk, Virginia, this society is also known to its many thousands of members worldwide as the executive branch of the Edgar Cayce Foundation (ECF), which is located in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
*This was also announced several times by Hawass. The opening of the door, however, which has been subjected to many previously announced dates, has been postponed since 1993 (see chapter 12).
In my previous book Keeper of Genesis: A Quest for the Hidden Legacy of Mankind (Message of the Sphinx in the United States; coauthored with Graham Hancock), I showed how the ARE from as early as 1973 had put into practice a daring plan to find the fabled Hall of Records at Giza, earmarked to be a dramatic premillennium event that would someday bring about a new world order of messianic proportion. It was their founder, the so-called Sleeping Prophet, Edgar Cayce (1877–1945), who had predicted back in 1932 that this alleged Hall of Records would be rediscovered by the year 2000.
The ARE, either directly or fronted by another group, had secured several official exploration licenses to probe the Giza plateau with radar and sonar equipment. The ARE’s presence at Giza, especially knowing their principal mission there, was very controversial and unorthodox to say the least. For other than their obvious motives to vindicate the prophecies of Edgar Cayce by finding the Hall of Records and by doing so proving the “Atlantean” origins of Egypt, their ultimate motive was far more religious in nature and could be seen by the predominantly Muslim population of modern Egypt, especially the ever-growing Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist movements, as blasphemous, to say the very least. As author and researcher John Anthony West,*
*West is not a member of the ARE. He does not, as far as I know, adhere to their vision of ancient Egypt. He did, however, participate in one of their funded expeditions at Giza in the early 1990s.
a longtime friend of the ECF/ARE, points out:
Of those who predict an enlightened new age arising out of the demise of the old, the American psychic Edgar Cayce is the best known and the most specific. Cayce predicted that in 1998 or after a secret chamber between the paws of the Great Sphinx of Giza would be opened and would reveal the lost history of Atlantis. This event would be the harbinger for the Second Coming of Jesus, he said, and the signal that the new age would soon begin. Two independent scientific investigations have verified the possible existence of what appears to be a chamber between the paws of the Sphinx, but at present, Egyptian authorities have no plans to investigate further.3
The two “independent” scientific investigations that West is alluding to took place in 1991 and 1996. In both instances, the ARE was involved, financially and practically. One of the ARE’s principal funders for these expeditions was Joseph Martin Schor, a Jewish businessman from New York. Schor* was a self-declared Zionist with interests in Israel, and also the vice president of Forest Laboratories, Inc., a multi-million-dollar pharmaceutical and drug manufacturer. Schor was also a registered life member and funding member of the ECF/ARE and a staunch believer in the Cayce prophecies.* The 1996 expedition, for example, was fully funded by Schor. And although the expedition was fronted by Florida State University, Schor maintained full financial and managerial control. As we shall see later, two other expeditions, also funded by Schor through his Schor Foundation, took place in 1997
*See Venture Inward Magazine (A.R.E. Press), July–August 1998, p. 48. In this article, mug shots of Schor and Hawass are shown side by side during a conference both men gave together at the ECF annual conference of 1998.
*Joseph Martin Schor obituary, the New York Times, July 16, 2013: “SCHOR, Joseph M., Ph.D., 84, died at home peacefully after a long illness on July 14. Beloved father, brother, husband of Laura S. Schor and the late Sandra M. Schor, grandfather, and friend. A brilliant man who lived many lives: biochemist, executive, astrologer, farmer, Col. NY Guard, saxophonist, archaeologist, Zionist. Retired VP of Forest Laboratories. Also survived by Esther Starry Schor; Joshua Schor and Lori; Gideon Schor and Shara; Robert Schor and Lily; Daniel, Jordan, Susannah, Noemi, Shayna, Rafaella, Sandra; Eric, Daniela and William; and Neil. Donations to JNF or the Joseph M. Schor Fellowship in Biochemistry at Florida State University.”
Related to the search for the Hall of Records and the beliefs in the Second Coming of Jesus are also other prophecies by Edgar Cayce, the most relevant to the millennial events being, oddly enough, the placing of a gilded capstone on top of the Great Pyramid of Giza:
The apex (capstone), the crown or apex, was of metal; that was to be indestructible, being of copper, brass and gold with other alloys . . . it became very fitting that there should be the crowning or placing of this “symbol of the records” . . . by one who represents both the old and the new. (Reading 378-14)
Was all this Hollywood-style hype for the gilded capstone that was to be placed on top of the Great Pyramid an attempt to fulfill a prediction by religious fundamentalists and Cayce followers? Who could best fit this prophetic role of one who represents both the old and the new to do the honor of placing the symbol of the records? Hawass has a Ph.D. in Egyptology (allegedly helped by the ECF to get a Fulbright scholarship in 1978–1987). Hawass, who is in charge of the Giza Plateau and who is also a descendant of ancient Egypt, would seem to fit well into this role. As an undersecretary of state for the Giza monuments Hawass represented the new, but as the official keeper of the Giza monuments Hawass also represented the old. Could the millennial events planned for the Great Pyramid have been staged or, better still, manipulated in a way to bring about a prophecy? In other words, could Hawass’s seeming self-appointment to oversee the millennial ceremony and the placing of the gilded capstone have been “chosen” long before, perhaps as early as 1978, when, according to A. Robert Smith, the biographer of Edgar Cayce’s eldest son, Hugh Lynn Cayce (who masterminded the 1977 and 1998 Sphinx Project), “fixed” the Fulbright scholarship for Hawass to get a Ph.D. at an Ivy League university in the United States?
- Picknett and Prince, Stargate Conspiracy.
2.In several Egyptian and International newspapers, magazines, and television programs as from May 1998. See Guardian, June 4, 1999, 17; also Al-Ahram, June 3–9, 1999, 4.
3.Trends Journal, Winter 1998, 1.
Excerpted from Secret Chamber Revisited: The Quest for the Lost Knowledge of Ancient by Robert Bauval with permission from the publisher, Bear & Co.
Egyptian-born Robert Bauval began studying ancient Egypt and the Giza Pyramids in 1983. The acclaimed discoverer of the Orion Correlation Theory, he is the author of several books, including Imhotep the African: Architect of the Cosmos, Breaking the Mirror of Heaven, The Egypt Code, and the bestsellers The Orion Mystery and Message of the Sphinx. His discoveries have been the subject of several major TV documentaries on BBC, ABC, NBC, the Discovery Channel, and the History Channel. He lives with his wife near Malaga, Spain.