Pyramids are designed and built to be very stable structures. They are first encountered in Mesopotamia in the fourth millennium BC, known as ziggurats. Unfortunately, they were built of sun-dried mud bricks and so, over time have crumbled. These early pyramids were stepped with between two and seven tiers. Their function was ceremonial.
Pyramids around the World
Pyramidal structures are now to be found around the globe; whether this is a consequence of diffusion or independent design is uncertain, possibly both.
For Ignatius Donnelly, the pyramids of Egypt and Central America were the results of a shared heritage originating in Atlantis. However, the millennia that separate their construction in the two regions would seem to militate against this idea. Nevertheless, in 1967 Egerton Sykes published a paper supporting diffusionism with particular reference to pyramid building on both sides of the Atlantic(fk).
>Although most pyramids are four-sided, round pyramids, although fewer in number, have been identified in various parts of the world(fm).<
The Mayan pyramid at Mirador in Northern Guatemala was thought to be the largest by volume in the world, at 2.8 million cubic metres, however, the Great Pyramid of Cholula is 4.45 million cubic metres(au)(bq). This is now rivalled by the Mayan pyramid at Toniná, Chiapas(bd). The great Giza pyramid is 2.5 million cubic metres in volume.
Even more spectacular was the 1996 discovery of pyramids on the southern Atlantic coast of Brazil dated as early as 3000 BC, predating the earliest Egyptian Pyramids by a few hundred years. However, two sites in Peru, Caral, and Sechin Bajo have claimed pyramid complexes with dates of 3500 BC(j). Very ancient pyramids have also been claimed for Crimea(af).
What is arguably the greatest concentration of pyramids in the world is to be found in the Lambayeque Valley of northern Peru, numbering 250, built of mud brick, and dated to circa 750-1100 AD. The late Philip Coppens referred to the valley in his book, The New Pyramid Age  and it was also the subject of a BBC documentary(an).
Apart from Meso-America, pyramids have also been discovered as far apart as the Canaries (dx), Sicily, Sardinia and Mauritius(k) as well as Ukraine(dw), and China(cp). Russia is claimed to have pyramids in the far east near Vladivostok(fc) and the Kola Peninsula(dc) in the west near Finland! A website by Gabriele Lukacs, dedicated to possible European pyramids is now available(g). The remains of three pyramids have also been identified on the Greek Peloponnese, one of which has been dated to 2720 BC ± 580 years. (dr)(ds)
In 2005, an ongoing debate was ignited when the Bosnian-American ‘archaeologist’ Semir Osmanagic announced that he had identified a gigantic manmade pyramid beside Visoko, 30km north of Sarajevo. Highly publicised excavations began in 2006. Readers should be aware that Osmanagic has expressed  rather bizarre notions including a belief that the Maya were descendants of the Atlanteans who in turn arrived on Earth from the Pleiades!
Osmanagic has also published a fully illustrated paper on the Koh Ker pyramid in Northern Cambodia, which he claims to act as an energy amplifier(eb).
A French commentator, Douglas Moonstone, disagreed with Osmanagic’s suggested origin for the Atlanteans suggesting instead that they came from the constellation of Orion and that the “Neanderthals fled their bases on another near planet, probably a planet of Sirius B and a planet of Alnitak, as we have seen in previous volumes, and they have saved Hopis, Sapiens, in a space station in orbit.”(cc)
On one side, we had Philip Coppens offering support for Osmanagic(cl), while on the other, an on-site investigation by Robert Schoch concluded that the Visoko ‘pyramid’ was probably not man-made!(cm).
Osmanagic updated his claims in December 2011(o) and as recently as August 2016, He was still offering a spirited defence of his views(bi).
Gigantic pyramids have also been proposed for Germany by K. Walter Haug(ab). and demonstrated on his heavily illustrated website(aj).
Maxim Yakovenko was the founder of the world-pyramids.com website(bf). in 2008. It has a range of interesting articles that relate to pyramids around the globe. Unfortunately, the news section does not appear to have been updated over the past two years.
A recent (2010) site, lists(h). the eight largest pyramids in the world. Also, a wide range of free papers, in pdf format, relating to the Giza Pyramids is available online(l).
Perhaps even more dramatic is a recent claim(q) of a pyramid older and larger than the Great Pyramid at Giza, known as Mount Sadahurip in Garut, West Java, Indonesia. However, the proliferation of step pyramids is not very well known, but Dhani Irwanto has, at least, partially redressed this in a 2019 article on his website(ey).
July 2012 saw Linda Moulton Howe publish(r) a two-part illustrated article about an anomalous feature in Alaska which has been identified as a buried pyramid larger than the Great Pyramid at Giza. This feature was first identified twenty years ago, but the story appears to have been suppressed, according to a retired U.S. Counter-intelligence officer who contacted Howe. A comparable claim has also been made for pyramids in Antarctica and later shown to be a hoax(w).
Now for some further light relief, earlier in 2012, a nonsensical report(s) of an underwater glass pyramid in the Bermuda Triangle emerged. I’m sure it will be soon followed by a sighting of Elvis creating crop circles in Antarctica.
In September 2013, it was reported(y) that “researchers have discovered an underwater pyramid 60 meters high with an 8000 meters square base near the Bank De João de Castro, between the islands of Terceira and São Miguel” in the Azores. Shortly afterwards the Portuguese Navy denied the existence of any such structure.(aa) This claim has now spawned its own website(ad).
Even more ridiculous was a report in the UK’s Daily Star which claimed that an underwater pyramid estimated to be between 3.5 and 11 miles across had been spotted on Google Earth, situated off the coast of Mexico in the Pacific(cd).
Finally, it appears that to satisfy the public interest in pyramids the meaning of the term itself has been extended to include a range of natural features as well as man-made structures. Robert Schoch is happy to see Newgrange as a type of pyramid, others see Silbury Hill as a pyramid(e). while some writers apply the term to mountains as is the case with Jeff Nisbet(f). who sees ‘pyramids’ in Scotland. Nisbet attempts to justify his view with a very unconvincing suggested link between ancient Egypt and Scotland incorporating freemasonry and Princess Scota(bh). Similar stories are widespread in Ireland where Scota is allegedly buried in Kerry in Gleann Scoithin, now known as Foley’s Glen. Scotia was another ancient name for Ireland. Andrew Power expands on the Scota story in his Ireland: Land of the Pharaohs  as well as Ralph Ellis  and Loraine Evans .
This claim of an Egyptian link with Ireland has been recently repeated by Steve Preston in his Egyptians in Ireland . David Halpin, an Irish writer from Carlow, has also written a three-part paper on the connections between Egypt with Ireland(av).
Pyramids of Egypt
The actual number of Egyptian pyramids recorded is variously cited as 118 or as many as 138. However, the greatest number of pyramids is to be found in Sudan, with around twice as many as Egypt, but are far less spectacular(df).
August 2012 brought a report(u) that two possible new Egyptian pyramid complexes have been discovered using Google Earth. However, subsequent inspection on the ground showed them to be less interesting(v).
Egypt’s oldest pyramid is generally accepted as that of King Djoser (2687-2668 BC), a six-stepped structure at Saqqara(dh).
For anyone coming to the subjects of the pyramids and Sphinx at Giza for the first time should begin by reading Giza The Truth  by Ian Lawton and Chris Ogilvie-Herald, which offers a unique overview of the place, the personalities and the politics involved in the 3 square kilometres of this amazing site.
A site providing a wonderful 360º view of the Giza Plateau is now available(m). while another site offers a remarkable panoramic aerial view(t).
Another site offers a remarkable collection of old images of the pyramids dating back to the mid-nineteenth century(be). Also in the 19th century, a book by Dr Everett W. Fish can give modern readers a flavour of ideas regarding the pyramids to be found in the 1880s(du).
Wim Verhart has written a paper in which he argues the pyramids on the Giza Plateau were designed with an overall mathematical plan in mind((dz).
Another matter that has caused continual controversy is the layout of the three Giza pyramids. Robert Bauval is probably best known as the original promoter of the Orion Correlation Theory, which claims that the layout of three principal Giza pyramids mirrors ‘Orion’s Belt’ in that constellation. This received widespread coverage when it was outlined in The Orion Mystery . written by Bauval and Adrian Gilbert and in Keeper of Genesis . written with Graham Hancock, published two years later. In fact, Bauval first published his theory in 1989 in Discussions in Egyptology(cw).
However, Andrew Collins has disputed the OCT and has instead offered evidence that the alignment of the three principal Giza pyramids matches more closely the ‘wing’ stars of the Cygnus constellation than the ‘belt’ of Orion!(dg).
Early 2020 brought a claim by amateur historian Matt Sibson that there had been a fourth large pyramid at Giza. His contention is based on a sketch by a Danish sea captain, Frederik Ludvig Norden, in 1737, that appears to show this fourth edifice. The only explanation offered for its disappearance is that it was dismantled in the 1700s to build the city of Cairo! I would have thought that considering the effort required to dismantle a pyramid from the top down would have been much greater than quarrying new blocks. The larger pyramid blocks would need to be cut anyway. Then you would expect that at least the base or its location would still be identifiable today! This is just another incredible attention-seeking effort by Sibson(eo).
Manu Seyfzadeh wrote a lengthy paper(di). on the orientation of one particular minor stepped pyramid on Elephantine Island on the Nile. He concluded that it was associated with Sirius, which was so important to the ancient Egyptians as the heliacal rising of Sirius coincided with the summer solstice which heralded the next flooding of the Nile.
While the theory of Bauval & Gilbert is very well known, a more elaborate claim was proposed by Scott Creighton in his The Giza Oracle , in which he suggests that 11 pyramids in the Giza complex along “with the Great Sphinx forms a grand ‘Precession Wheel’, indicating key dates from humankind’s remote past – and indeed, its future”!(cy).
>Hans Jelitto has put forward the idea that the three pyramids of Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure at Giza were intended to represent the three inner planets of our Solar System, Mercury, Venus and Earth(fl).<
John Patrick Hill, an independent researcher, claims that “Barringer Crater, Stonehenge and Giza are all related to one another.” He tells us that the distance between the outside corners of the main Giza pyramids is 0.72 miles which is the exact diameter of the Barringer Crater! As Michael Caine would say “Not many people know that” (dv). Hill had this paper published on the Academia.edu website, but it has now been removed. I have saved a copy, without images, as Archive 6555.
Further alignment claims and debate relating to two shafts that some believe were originally directed at particular stars(cx).
Date of the Egyptian Pyramids
The Pyramids of Egypt are generally accepted to have been constructed in the third millennium BC in the period 2700 – 2150 BC. However, some investigators have inferred much greater antiquity for some of these remarkable structures particularly the Great Pyramid (G.P.) at Giza. They believe that pushing back the date for the construction of the Great Pyramid and/or Sphinx endorses the possibility that Plato’s early date of 9600 BC for the Atlantean War is factual.
Hossam Aboulfotouh calculated the date of the building of the Great Pyramid at Giza as 3055 BC, which he claims was also the time of the Deluge or what he refers to as the “tsunami of the Mediterranean”.(da)(db)
Perhaps related to the Deluge is the claim from archaeologist Sherif el Morsi that he has evidence that indicates that the Great Pyramid had been covered by seawater(em)(en).
David Rohl in his introduction to Andrew Collins‘ Gateway to Atlantis  refers to the work of Egyptologist Kate Spence who “demonstrated that the north alignment of all the Old Kingdom pyramids shifted through time in the relative position of the circumpolar stars. This tracking of the north celestial pole (relative to the stars) plots the known wobble in the earth’s axis of rotation (referred to as precession), which can be dated using astronomical retrocalculations.” Spence concluded that the Great Pyramid had been built c.2470 BC(ej). Archaeastronomer Giulio Magli has taken issues with some of Spence’s claims(ek).
Ralph Ellis, a British researcher, has investigated the erosion to be seen at Giza, Meidum, and Dashur and concluded  that there is evidence for an 8000 BC or an even earlier date for the construction of these structures(a). Ellis also has an article on the internet outlining his evidence for an earlier date for the construction of the Great Pyramid. More recently Robert Schoch announced the discovery of evidence of erosion INSIDE the Great Pyramid suggesting that a more ancient core had been exposed to the elements for a long period before being built upon to give us the structure we have today.
Edgar Cayce ‘revealed’ in 1932 that the Great Pyramid was built over a hundred years from 10,490 to 10,390 BC(ap). At the other end of the time spectrum, Huang Heqing, a professor in the department of art and archaeology at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, amused the world with the claim that the Egyptian pyramids were built in the 19th century, he goes further and maintains “that all the achievements of ancient Western cultures were fabricated in the nineteenth century”, including the Parthenon, the Temple of Zeus in Athens and the ruins of Persepolis in Iran(cu).
The late Joseph Jochmans related  how it was recorded that the outer casing stones showed water marks halfway up the height of the Pyramid before the Arabs removed them. Geologists have found evidence of a final catastrophic flooding event in Egypt circa 10,000 BC. Furthermore, radiocarbon dating of organic inclusions in a fourteen-foot layer of silt around the base of the Great Pyramid offered a date of around 9600 BC.
This suggested extended age for the pyramids has been incorporated into the argument to prove the possible existence of other advanced ancient civilisations that were concurrent with the 9600 BC date given by Solon for the antiquity of Atlantis.
Understandably, these revolutionary ideas have been met with fierce opposition by established archaeologists. This is a debate that will run for some time yet.
The earliest historical references to the pyramids can be found in early Egyptian and Greek documents(ch). However, the oldest known papyri, discovered at the Egyptian site of Wadi el-Jarf offer evidence supporting a date of about 2500 BC for the construction of the Great Pyramid, which reinforces conventional dating theories. One of the documents, written by Merer an overseer, records details of the construction of the final stages of the G.P.(ce). This, of course, seriously undermines the extended antiquity of the pyramids by proponents such as Graham Hancock.
Zecharia Sitchin, the controversial ‘alternative’ historian, entered the fray in 1980, with the claim that the only concrete evidence that the Great Pyramid had been built by Khufu, was an inscription forged by Colonel Richard Howard-Vyse(d). (see below). Philip Coppens has also written an article(cq). about Sitchin’s claim. The Howard-Vyse forgery debate has been stirred up again by a researcher, Scott Creighton, who produced copies of Howard-Vyse’s papers to support the claim of fraud(ah). If true, this would lend some support to a redating of the structure.
2014 began with a report that two Germans, Dominique Goerlitz and Stefan Erdmann, had chiselled off part of the ‘Vyse’ cartouche from inside the Great Pyramid, which led to an international incident. They claim that the objective of their foolhardy act was to demonstrate that the Pyramid is older than generally accepted and was a remnant of the Atlantean empire(z). A March 2015 statement issued by Dr Goerlitz offers a quite different view of the episode(ei). I have published an English translation as Archive 6944.>The initial claim seems to originated with Zahi Hawass in an attack on Robert Bauval(fn).<
At the opposite end of the speculation-spectrum is a recent book by Emmet Sweeney, The Pyramid Age , in which he claims that the pyramids were in fact far more recent and bravely suggests a date of around 800 BC for their construction. In this regard, it is to be recorded that the Bible makes not the vaguest reference to one of the greatest wonders of the ancient world. It has been erroneously stated that Herodotus, a prolific recorder of trivia who claims to have travelled as far south as Elephantine, failed to mention the pyramids. This is not true, as can be seen in Book II of his Histories 124-134. However, it is possible that it was meant to say that Herodotus did not refer to the Sphinx! It has been claimed that he was describing the pyramids at Dashur and not Giza(ao)!
In May 2013, Peter James, a structural engineer, published a new theory on why the building of pyramids ceased(x).
The Pyramid Builders
For a long time, it was thought that the pyramids had been built by slaves, possibly Israelite. Recent years have seen this idea debunked(at)(fd). and reinforced by papyri put on display for the first time in July 2016, which indicates that the pyramid builders were paid and were not slaves (or extraterrestrials)(be)(dy). A sober review of the development of pyramid building and the technology involved was offered by Owen Jarus in June 2016(bo).
Unfortunately. some commentators who have attributed the construction of the Great Pyramid to extraterrestrials, who cannot accept that the Egyptians built the pyramids, in desperation have interpreted the existence of the pyramids as ‘evidence’ of extraterrestrial visitations!(ae).
One such proponent is Peter Lemesurier who identifies the Elohim of the Old Testament as the designers of the GP and that they came from the star Sirius . He claims that they left prophetic messages in the structure of the GP for humanity.
Many and varied are the claims regarding the pyramid builders and their methods, including that they were built by refugees from Atlantis(bl). In October 2017 Gerry Cannon & Malcolm Hutton claimed (bx). that the Great Pyramid was built by an advanced civilisation, which may have been Atlantis! Graham Hancock holds similar views.
Gernot L. Geise offers the following comment, “In order not to have to trouble some extraterrestrials for the construction of the pyramids, an early human high culture can certainly be assumed. The available periods of time for the development of such cultures are completely sufficient after Cremo & Thompson proved that “modern man” is already millions of years older than conventional science would have us believe.
The pyramids of Giza present me with the following picture: The builders of the pyramids – whoever they were, wherever they got their knowledge from and wherever they came from – possessed a high level of technology that was far superior to ours today. This is an inevitable fact, because the pyramids prove it: we cannot (yet) rebuild them with our current technology. However, Pharaoh Cheops (if he existed) would probably have laughed out loud if he had been told at the time that future archaeologists would have interpreted his little temples around the pyramid as a sign that he had built the gigantic structure…”(fj)
Even more entertaining is a claim by two Irishmen, Francis J. and Francis P. Ward, that druids from Ireland, which they consider to have been Atlantis, built the pyramids at Giza!(bt)
Rico Paganini is the creator of the Giza Legacy website that offers some interesting titbits of background information relating to the Giza structures(eg). Much of the content consists of excerpts from his book of the same name. However, when he came to discuss a possible Atlantean connection he completely fell off the cliff of reality as the excerpt below reveals!
“According to the ancient tales, the Atlanteans lived according to the role model of the Lemurians. There were three Atlantean cycles or three periods when civilization flourished in the Atlantic era. People there are said to have had mental skills including telepathy (which remained active among the Aborigines in Australia until the 20th century), telekinesis, teleportation and similar powers. This made them seem like gods to other cultures to the east and west of Atlantis. The Atlanteans were technically adept and built megalithic structures, such as the great pyramids in Giza. However, in the later period the people in Atlantis had begun to place their own wills above that of their kings, and priests and even above the will of the gods, until, as happened before when Lemuria flourished, they were attacked from outer space.” Consequently, I suggest that you treat anything that he has written with great caution.
The Great Pyramid Building Methods
It has been suggested that the course of the Nile was different at the time of the pyramid building, which together with canals enabled the building materials to be brought closer to the Giza Plateau, saving time and effort(fh).
The idea that a gently sloping ramp was used has been a popular idea for a long time, but weaknesses in the concept were soon apparent. For example, the material required to build some of the proposed ramps, with the required incline, would have been greater than the pyramid itself. Franz Löhner developed what he calls a ‘rope roll’ to demonstrate that simple technology available to the Egyptians could have been used to lift the pyramid’s blocks into place. Löhner has worked in a quarry and consequently has an intimate knowledge of the practicalities involved. He has co-authored a book (German only) , with Dr Heribert Illig which expands on his idea, and has developed an interesting website(cg), in English and German, with further information.
The most persistent question relating to the pyramids and in fact all megalithic structures is “how did they manage to build them using such large heavy rocks and blocks”? Many ingenious solutions are on offer but perhaps the most remarkable is that proposed by W. T. Wallington who has demonstrated(n) that using basic materials, which were available to the Egyptians, one individual can manipulate a 4500kg stone block. His website includes a remarkable video clip of his method. A review(bu) of this video is worth a read. More recently a collaboration between Matter Design and CEMEX Global R&D has demonstrated that irregularly shaped cement objects weighing many tons can be moved easily by hand, suggesting that the manpower required to build many ancient monuments was far less than is generally assumed today. The conclusion is that technique is the key to how many of the ‘impossible’ structures of the past were constructed(ci). Ashley Cowie has written an article in which he looks at how these techniques may have been applied to the construction of the megalithic walls of Cuzco in Peru, the ancient capital of the Inca(cj). Cowie also holds that a huge earthquake caused a major change in Inca construction methods(ck).
Two suggestions that still have considerable support are that (A) many of the stone blocks were ‘cast’ in situ as proposed by Joseph Davidovits(bm) and (B) that an internal ramp within the pyramid was used as claimed by Jean-Pierre Houdin(bn).
Antoine Gigal has drawn attention to another proposal of some years ago from Hasan Sayid Ahmed, who claims that the ascending and descending passages were used as ramps(el).
In 2006, Dr Michel Barsoum of Drexel University of Philadelphia claimed to have proof that the Egyptians had used lime-based cement in the building of the pyramids(cz).
What may be relevant was what was found at Giza(bk) and described as ‘melted limestone’, which led Robert Schoch to consider it the result of a ‘plasma event’.
Margaret Morris offers a comprehensive account of the features of the Great Pyramid and possible construction methods on her website(bb) and in three books . Morris is a supporter of Joseph Davidovits who proposed the controversial idea that the building blocks of the Pyramid were cast in situ.
In 2007, petrographer, Dipayan Jana, refuted Davidovits’ theory and as far as I’m aware, no rebuttal has been forthcoming from either Davidovits or Morris. Later in 2008, Ioannis Liritzis and his team also challenged the theory of Davidovits, when they pointed out that the material used to build Egypt’s most famous monuments “contain hundreds of thousands of marine fossils” that are distributed throughout the rock in a manner compatible with natural rock(dd).
However, it struck me that if Davidovits was correct, this ‘rock’ might instead be some of his liquid geopolymer that had been spilt and hardened in the sun!
In 2019, Fehmi Krasniqi produced a three-and-a-half-hour video(cv) on the building of the Egyptian pyramids, primarily based on Davidovits’ claim that the Egyptians used a form of concrete to make the building blocks in situ. However, Krasniqi ventures beyond Egypt, suggesting that the ancient Egyptians travelled to America, stopping off for supplies in Atlantis, now the Azores.
Davidovits has also gone beyond Egypt for evidence of artificial stone being used to create some ancient monuments, in Tiwanaku, Puma Punku and Easter Island(ff). While it is beyond my competence to argue with Davidovits’ chemistry, there are a number of details that still trouble me. In Egypt, the proposal that pyramid blocks were cast rather than carved, there are no images in any of the tombs and temples portraying such a practice. Secondly, casting implies the use of moulds, of which no remains have been found and finally a study of the Great Pyramid reveals that the blocks are of many different sizes, which would require a multiplicity of different moulds in a country where timber is in very short supply.
The catchpenny.org website agrees that “the theory is very nice and well-described. Unfortunately, it totally ignores a huge body of evidence. Davidovits works hard to explain away the existing quarries, the abundance of tools found during the Third and Fourth Dynasties, and the decrease in pyramid quality after the Fourth Dynasty.” (dq)
A 2014 study(ag) revealed that the Egyptians were able to move the pyramid building blocks over wet sand. “By using the right quantity of water they could halve the number of workers needed.” This is comparable with the documented method employed by the Chinese to transport 200/300-ton blocks used in the construction of their ‘Forbidden City’(ai). In October 2018 it was revealed that the remains of a ramp flanked by two staircases with postholes were discovered at an ancient quarry at Hatnub in Egypt’s Eastern Desert. “Using a sled which carried a stone block and was attached with ropes to these wooden posts, ancient Egyptians were able to pull up the alabaster blocks out of the quarry on very steep slopes of 20 percent or more.”(cf). While this may explain how blocks could have been moved, with relative ease, to pyramid-building sites, it does not tell us how the pyramids were actually constructed.
Mario Pincherle in his book, La Grande Piramide , offers a radical explanation of how the Egyptians raised the huge granite slabs used to roof the King’s Chamber and the relieving chambers above it. Pincherle studied Herodotus’ references to the pyramids and concluded that an ingenious process of wetting and then drying wooden blocks, slowly forced the slabs up the slope of the Great Gallery(dk).
Twenty years ago Chris Dunn wrote an interesting article for Atlantis Rising magazine(es) in which he discussed the possible reasons for constructing the relieving chambers in the manner that the Egyptians did, concluding that they did so because the granite beams above the King’s chamber were an essential and integral part of making this pyramid machine……hum!!!! Subsequent editions of AR brought further comments from readers on the subject(et).
In an article(ew) by Steven Mehler, he wrote that “Chris Dunn suggests that there is evidence that the Great Pyramid may have experienced a cataclysmic event, an explosion, some time in its distant past which ended its role as an active power plant, a machine, which Dunn proposes was its primary function. I further advanced Dunn’s hypothesis of an explosion in the pyramid in my book, The Land of Osiris.”
Australian Paul Hai has now offered an ingenious suggestion for the construction of the pyramids using an unusual pulley system. He arrived at this theory based on components that are still available and decoding of chapter one of the Old Testament Book of Ezekiel combined with some comments from Herodotus. He offers all this in an extensive and fully illustrated website(fg) as well as a book Raising Stone 1 .
By way of complete contrast is the opinion of Gernot L. Geise, who, as a guest author offered a controversial paper on the Atlantisforschung.de website with the self-explanatory title of ‘The Giza pyramids were not built by ancient Egyptians’(dl). He maintains that the Egyptians lacked the technology to build the pyramids, but instead, were constructed by a much older and more advanced civilisation.
Naturally. there are those among us, who will never be happy with conventional explanations and the mystery of the Egyptian pyramid-building methods has provided an ideal opportunity to serve up exotic solutions. One of the most commonly offered is that some form of levitation was employed; a claim usually based on an account by Al-Masudi, who reported that a ‘magic papyrus’ was used(dn). Others have claimed the use of sound to achieve levitation. However, although this is theoretically possible it has been shown to be impractical(do). [I should mention that William Bramley published also published a book entitled The Gods of Eden in 1989 +
Lawton & Ogilvie-Herald discuss the possible use of sonic levitation in the building of the pyramids in Giza the Truth [1690.203]. However, They were at the receiving end of criticism from the late John Anthony West in 2000, when West published an article in Atlantis Rising magazine that ended with a scornful “The point is that the facile assurances given by Ogilvie-Herald/Lawton endorsing the orthodox view are illegitimate, their exclusion of contrary, genuinely informed opinion is typical of their selective bogus scholarship, and their long-winded acoustic levitation hypothesis is pure speculation and self-contradictory besides. We still don’t know how the pyramids were built/ Period. Full stop.”(er)
Nevertheless, a paper entitled ORMUS and Pyramids by Barry Carter refers extensively to the work of Dr Philip Callahan (see: Smutny, Pavel | (atlantipedia.ie) who has associated paramagnetism and the Great Pyramid(dt).
Mike Molyneaux offers a study of the building techniques of the ancient Egyptians and their application to the construction of the pyramids and the raising of obelisks(dp).
In a paper by Domenic A. Narducci III entitled In Control of the Pyramids in which he outlines the need for Geometric Control (GC) that must have been employed in the building of the pyramids. He defines GC as “a system of procedures that establishes and then maintains the geometry of a structure during the course of the construction process.” He offers a detailed description of the procedures used by the Egyptians(ec).
Great Pyramid’s Function
Edward Malkowski supports(ax) the ideas of Edward Kunkel(ay) and John Cadman(az), who believed that the Great Pyramid was designed to function as a water pump. However, Malkowski goes further, suggesting that this pump was used to generate subtle electrical fields that were used to assist plant growth, which seems unnecessary, considering the fertility of the Nile Valley was renewed naturally by the annual flooding of the river.
Frank Joseph also referred to Kunkel’s theories in an Atlantis Rising article in edition #56(fa). Two issues later, Joseph returned to this idea of the Great Pyramid having an electrical function. The title of the article was Atlantis and the Great Pyramid, so to justify the inclusion of Atlantis he added The citadel of Atlantis, where the holy-of-holies was enshrined, as defined by Plato, was the same diameter (seven hundred fifty-eight feet) as the base side of the Great Pyramid. This revelation becomes clear only after the dimensions of the citadel, as given in Greek stadia for Plato’s account, are transposed into an original Egyptian unit of measurement, known as the aroura.” His fertile imagination did not bring him to explain what the other two huge pyramids at Giza were for!(fb)
Hermann Waldhauser has also proposed that a hydraulic system was used in the Great Pyramid as explained in a series of articles by Stefan Erdmann(fi).
Steven Myers has written two books(ba) on the subject of ancient Egyptian hydraulics.
In 2001, Joseph P. Farrell published The Giza Death Star [1917*], in which he claimed that the Great Pyramid has been designed as a weapon of mass destruction! His website has a number of papers relating to the pyramids(eu).
In 2009, Dean Talboys published his theory(co). which suggests that the remarkable internal features of the GP, including the King’s Chamber and the Grand Gallery, were part of a device that used seawater to generate enough torque to drive an electric dynamo. Talboys suddenly ends his dissertation with the unexpected admission that “we are still left with the problem of what to do with the electricity it generates we could, at least, be a little closer to understanding why someone went to all that trouble”!
Nearly half a century ago, Kurt Mendelssohn (1906-1980), a physics professor put forward the idea in The Riddle of the Pyramids  that “what mattered was not the pyramid – it was the building of it. The pyramid does not represent an aim in itself but the means to achieve an aim: the creation of a new form of society. These huge heaps of stone mark the place where man invented the state.”
Many and varied are the theories that have been put forward regarding the intended function of the Great Pyramid. A most recent (Jan.2021) has been offered by Konstantin Borisov, who suggested that the purpose of the Great Pyramid of Giza was to emit free electrons to the Ionosphere, to create light on the planet! This capability was enhanced by Giza’s location near the maximum geographical centre of Earth and the use of nummulitic limestone in the construction of the Great Pyramid! Further details are revealed in an article published on the Ancient Origins website(ct).
Donald E. Jennings has speculated that the Great Pyramid and its polished, and possibly painted casing stones, could have sent sunlight from the pyramids to other important locations.(dj) Today, only remnants of the original layer of casing stones remain. This is often explained as the result of being removed to be used as a building material for the expanding nearby Cairo. Another explanation on offer is that the casing stones were shed by earthquakes. Some years ago, Will Hart published an article in Atlantis Rising #42-43(ex) in which he questioned both of these theories.
2014 also saw the publication of Pyramid Gravity Force(ac) by John Shaughnessy in which he claims that “The pyramids were built to prevent and/or control tectonic plate movement, volcanic activity, tidal waves, major earthquakes, land movements and the magnetic field movements on Earth.” I suggest that all the Amazon reviews be read before purchasing.
It was recently revealed(ar). that, Ben Carson, a former Republican candidate for the US presidency, once proposed to an assembly of students at Andrews University that the Egyptian pyramids were built to store grain! This idea has been traced back to the sixth century, when there was a belief that the pyramids had been the granaries of Joseph, as Julius Honorius (Cosmographia, c. 500 CE), Antoninus of Piacenza (Itinerary 43, c. 570 CE), and Geoffrey of Tours (History of the Franks 1.10, 594 CE), among others, all testify! This theory was later popularized by works such as ‘The Book of John Mandeville’, a hugely popular 14th-century travelogue.”(bs).
In early 2021, Konstantin Borisov published his hi-tech explanation for the purpose of the GP which he proposed “was to emit free electrons to the Ionosphere, to create light on the planet . The hydrogen gas produced in the subterranean chamber was used as a source of electrons needed for the process.” (ef).
>John DeSalvo has gathered a collection of old theories, many dating from the 19th century, regarding the purpose of the pyramids. They range from interesting to amusing(fo).<
Perfection of the Great Pyramid!
Among the numerous mysteries related to the Great Pyramid is the fact that each side of the structure is actually slightly concave, making it the only known eight-sided pyramid (pedants would probably claim nine sides, including the base). This feature was first photographed in 1940(al). Jean-Paul Bauval has written a paper on this concavity, arguing that it was a design feature and not a construction error. He goes further and proposes “that the geometry generated by the concavity on the overall shape of the monument shows a clear relationship, whether intended or by accident, between the Egyptian Royal Cubit (RC) to the meter unit (m). Finally, this geometrical design has the peculiarity of creating a ‘virtual space’ at the top of the monument on which might have been placed a spherical object”(cr).
The assumed accuracy of the orientation and dimensions of the Great Pyramid was recently called into question by Mark Lehner and Glen Dash(bj).
Apart from the disputed question of the age of the Great Pyramid, its very structure has prompted its own share of debate with persistent claims that its location, dimensions, and orientation have significance in the fields of astronomy, mathematics, and geography. Lists of these connections are available online(p).
A June 2016 report revealed(bc). that the builders of the Great Pyramid had made a very minor miscalculation resulting in the west side being around 5 inches longer than the east side. The research team, led by Dash and Lehner, also noted that the pyramid is not oriented as precisely with the cardinal points as we have been led to believe since “The pyramid’s north-south axis (or meridian) runs 3 minutes 54 seconds west of due north while its east-west axis runs 3 minutes 51 seconds north of due east, he told Live Science. The east-west axis also runs through the center of a temple built on the east side of the pyramid. These measurements mean that the Great Pyramid is oriented just slightly away from the cardinal directions, the degree of error from north-south and east-west being almost the same.” However, these very minor defects cannot detract in any way from the magnificence of the structure constructed so long ago.
In a 2018 paper(ca), Glen Dash returned to the very slight misalignment of the Great Pyramid with the cardinal points.“The builders of the Great Pyramid of Khufu aligned the great monument to the cardinal points with an accuracy of better than four minutes of arc or one-fifteenth of one degree.” Dash claims that the engineers who designed the plans for the Great Pyramid used the fall equinox to seamlessly align this pyramid to the cardinal points. “He also claims that all three major Giza pyramids exhibit the same degree of error in that they are rotated slightly counter-clockwise from the cardinal points.”(fe). In fact, all three of the largest Egyptian pyramids – two at Giza and one at Dahshur – are remarkably aligned, in a way you wouldn’t expect to see from an era without drones, blueprints, and computers.
Manfred Greifzu has also written a fairly forensic study of the orientation of the Giza pyramids for the atlantisforschung.de website(dm).
November 2017 began with an exciting claim published in Nature magazine(bv). that a huge cavity had been identified above the Grand Gallery in the Great Pyramid of Giza. This discovery was made using non-invasive technology, which suggests that physical verification will require some degree of interference with the structure of the pyramid, which may not be allowed by the Egyptian authorities. The initial announcement was quickly followed by a refutation of the claim of a void over the Grand Gallery by Zahi Hawass(bw). Nevertheless, further investigation now (2019) seems to have confirmed the existence of this void(cn).
Not long after, it was reported in the UK’s Daily Mail that an Italian archaeoastronomer, Giulio Magli, believes that the void at the centre of the Great Pyramid houses a throne made from meteorites, used to help the pharaoh in the afterlife(bz). Magli has previously received public notice with a paper that explored the possibility that Göbekli Tepe had been constructed to “celebrate and successively follow the appearance of a new, extremely brilliant star in the southern skies: Sirius.”(ca).
In 2020, some notes of Isaac Newton’s from the 1680s were auctioned, which revealed Newton’s interest in the pyramids. It seems that “Newton was trying to uncover the unit of measurement used by those constructing the pyramids. He thought it was likely that the ancient Egyptians had been able to measure the Earth and that, by unlocking the cubit of the Great Pyramid, he too would be able to measure the circumference of the Earth.” (cs).
The pseudoscience of pyramidology took off in the 19th century, with a range of outlandish claims(aq), based on external and/or internal dimensions of the Great Pyramid, supporting anything from the British Israelites or the early Jehovah’s Witnesses to being a source of divine prophecy!
In the 20th century, Adam Rutherford, a British Israelite, founded The Institute of Pyrmidology in 1940. Between 1957 and 1974, Rutherford published a set of four books on the subject, although a fifth volume was planned . When Adam died, his son James took over the Institute, but following his death in a car accident, the Institute ended.
Also in the mid-20th century, we had crazy pyramid ideas being offered by John O. Kinnaman including a report that “Dr Kinnaman said that during their 1924 investigation of the Great Pyramid they (Kinnaman & Petrie) 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.”(ed). Unsurprisingly, no evidence was produced.
Richard W. Noone is the author of 5/5/2000: The Ultimate Disaster which seems to have achieved near cult status. J. Douglas Kenyon wrote a favourable review of Noone and his book in Issue 14 (1999) of Atlantis Rising magazine (AR). Noone published a further article in AR #22 supporting his doomsday claim(eq).
“Noone studied the mysterious mathematics of the Great Pyramid and calculated its cosmic calendar. He concluded that the end of history was pinpointed on May 5, 2000, and he correlated the doomsday date to a cataclysmic melting of the polar ice caps.” However, when Noone’s date for the promised catastrophe passed without any major event occurring, comments became more critical(ep).
Nevertheless, pyramidology was given a new twist in November 2015 when a Spanish architect, Miquel Pérez-Sánchez, added the old alphanumeric system of gematria to the mix and claimed that he had identified the name ‘Atlantis’ when ‘translating’ some of the dimensions in the structure of the Great Pyramid(by). Scott Onstott is also a modern advocate of the existence of Mathematical Encoding in the Great Pyramid.(as)
For those interested in the possible significance of numbers and the Great Pyramid, there are three related papers available on Keith M. Hunter’s website(aw).
Ralph Ellis, mentioned above, is a controversial English revisionist of biblical and ancient Egyptian history, who bravely argues(b) that Mount Sinai, of Ten Commandments fame, was in fact the Great Pyramid of Giza ! John Taylor (1781-1864) claimed in 1859 that Noah was the builder of the Great Pyramid . Even more imaginative was the claim by C.E. Getsinger in the 1920s that Noah’s Ark was in fact the Great Pyramid(bp)!
(b) Archive 2926
(d) Archive 2494
(j) Archive 2138
(p) Archive 3620
(ab) http://www.migration-diffusion.info/article.php?year=2013HYPERLINK “http://www.migration-diffusion.info/article.php?year=2013&id=375″&HYPERLINK “http://www.migration-diffusion.info/article.php?year=2013&id=375″id=375
(af) Archive 3619
(ah) Archive 2806
(am) See: Archive 2564
(ao) See: Archive 2818
(bb) Archive 3057
(bn) Archive 3631
(bp) The Thomson Review, Thomson, Illinois, July 19th, 1922 – p.3
(bx) Archive 3618
(cw) Discussions in Egyptology, volume 13, 1989, pp. 7-18
See: Archive 6401 | (atlantipedia.ie) (Eng)
(dm) Pyramid Puzzles – Atlantisforschung.de (German)
(ds) Diamantis Koutoulas – Elliniki Agogi. Dec. 2001 p 1823
(eq) Atlantis Rising magazine #22 https://media.oiipdf.com/pdf/8cc846c3-42b2-4ec1-b499-50cb1008e2c0.pdf
(er) Atlantis Rising magazine #23 http://www.pdfarchive.info/index.php?pages/At
(es) Atlantis Rising magazine #29 http://www.pdfarchive.info/index.php?pages/At
(et) Atlantis Rising magazine #31 http://www.pdfarchive.info/index.php?pages/At
(ev)Atlantis Rising magazine #35 http://www.pdfarchive.info/index.php?pages/At
(ew)Atlantis Rising magazine #39 http://www.pdfarchive.info/index.php?pages/At
(ex) Atlantis Rising magazine #42/43 http://www.pdfarchive.info/index.php?pages/At
(ez) Atlantis Rising magazine #50 http://www.pdfarchive.info/index.php?pages/At
(fa) Atlantis Rising magazine #56 http://www.pdfarchive.info/index.php?pages/At
(fb) Atlantis Rising magazine #58 http://www.pdfarchive.info/index.php?pages/At
(fg) Ezekiel 1-29 decoded via the re-discovery of ancient Egypt’s four-lobe pinion-pulley via composite artifacts, proves Khufu’s Great Pyramid was constructed with mass production techniques requiring well developed critical flow analysis for perfect completion within the historically documented twenty year time-frame. (haitheory.com)
Alfonso d’Ascanio is a Spanish legal expert with a long-standing interest in Plato’s Atlantis. He is the author of El naufrago del Julán , which is a novel that explores the history of the Canaries and the origins of its Guanche inhabitants. His grandfather published a book in 1922 which investigates the geology of the Canaries. His father, also Alfonso d’Ascanio, was also preparing to finish a book in the late 1950’s(a), which was intended to demonstrate that Atlantis had been situated in the Atlantic, where its remnants are now the Macaronesian groups of islands (Canaries, Azores, Madeira & Cape Verde). D’Ascanio snr also contributed to Egerton Sykes‘ Atlantis magazine.
(a) Atlantis, Vol.12, No.1, Nov/Dec 1958
Anders Retzius (1796-1860) was a Swedish anthropologist who studied the skulls of the Guanches of the Canaries and noted a similarity with those of the Guaranas of Brazil and others. He suggested that the existence of the continent of Atlantis might explain such connections.(a)
Today, the survival of the Guarani people is under threat(b).
The Daily Express is a well-known British tabloid newspaper. Together with its sister publications, The Sunday Express and its online Express.co.uk, it has recently set a new record for the number of ‘might be Atlantis’ articles published, all with the byline of Callum Hoare. During the first three weeks of 2019, he has managed to produce four stories suggesting four different locations for Atlantis – Doggerland(a), Malta(b), Azores(c) and the Bahamas(d). But I did not have to wait long for the next regurgitation from Hoare, with another piece mined from a recent Amazon Prime documentary, where the Atlantis in the Canaries theory is reviewed (21.1.19)(e). I note that Hoare was also the author of similar BS Atlantis stories for another alleged UK newspaper, The Daily Star. The quality of research continues to be abysmal, citations are often years old, facts are mangled and quite misleading. Definitely ‘Fake News’.
Unfortunately, this outpouring of nonsense continued on in 2020. June 30th saw the ‘Express’ publish another article(f) by Hoare with an “Atlantis Located” headline. This gem begins by repeating the view of ‘expert’ Matthew Sibson, who advocates Rockall as the site of Atlantis and then switches to the opinions of Christos Djonis who claims the Aegean Sea as the home of Atlantis. According to Hoare, in this instance, Djonis refers to the research of Mark McMenamin of around 25 years ago who noticed on some Carthaginian gold staters of the fourth century BC that they had tiny engravings that he subjectively interpreted as rough maps showing both Asia and America and centred on Sardinia(g). This, according to Djonis, indicates the possibility that the Greeks may have had knowledge of America!
Djonis and Hoare were obviously unaware that in 2000, McMenamin was obliged to confirm that the coins in question were fakes(k) as revealed in his book, Phoenicians, Fakes and Barry Fell .
Furthermore, Djonis is contradicted by the clear statement of Herodotus that the Greeks only knew three continents, Europe, Asia and Libya (Africa)(h). Finally, if Djonis thinks that Atlantis was located in the Aegean what has America got to do with his theory?
July 2020 saw Hoare pollute the Express with another ‘Atlantis Found’ piece, this time locating it off the coast of Cornwall(j). This story is a quarter of a century old and a few years ago its credibility and even the existence of the institution to which its original author, Viatcheslav Koudriavtsev, was supposed to belong to, was brought into question(i).
Hoare ended the year with another pathetic attempt(l) to revive interest in the Minoan Hypothesis as well as the failed claim that the Spanish Donana Marshes held the remains of Atlantis or Tartessos!
>In January 2021, he continued his recycling of old Atlantis claims, with the 35-year-old story of the submerged rock formation off Yonaguni in Japan(m). Later in the same month we were regaled with yet another “Atlantis Found?” headline(n), which led on to report that the remains of another submerged city had been discovered off the Greek island of Zakynthos. No direct link with Atlantis was claimed!<
(h) Herodotus, Histories 4.42.
The Pleiades in Greek mythology is the collective name for the seven daughters of Atlas and Pleione, while in astronomy, it is one of the nearest star clusters to Earth and the most obvious to the naked eye in the Taurus constellation. They were identified by American researcher Frank Edge among the famous prehistoric paintings on the walls of the Lascaux Cave (16,500 BC)(h).
Pushing back much further, we now have a claim from Australia by astrophysicist Richard Norris who purports to have evidence that the Pleiades were known as ‘the seven sisters’ as far back as 100,000 years ago before Aboriginal Australians reached Australia according to their traditions!(i) Jason Colavito does not agree with this idea(g).
The Danish independent researcher, Ove Von Spaeth, has a wide-ranging article on cultural references to the Pleiades including the Nebra Sky Disc(a). He also touches on the subject of Atlantis.
David Zink in his search for Atlantis in the Bahamas recounts in The Stones of Atlantis [0178,130] that he used the services of psychic, Carol Huffstickler, who was happy to inform him that around 28,000 BC, the Gods came to Earth from the Pleiades(d)!
However, Jack Countryman has devoted his book, Atlantis and the Seven Stars, to the idea that extraterrestrials from the Pleiades “had initiated human civilisation through Atlantis and the Mediterranean.” A comparable idea has been proposed by Semir Osmanagic, promoter of the Bosnian pyramids, who has suggested that the Maya were descendants of the Atlanteans who in turn arrived on Earth from the Pleiades(b)!
Frank Joseph claims that the Pleiades, ”like the kings (of Atlantis) listed by Plato, correspond, through their individual myths, to actual places within the Atlantean sphere of influence, and thereby help to illustrate the story of that vanished empire.” Joseph, concludes by associating each with particular realms within that empire, including the Azores, Morocco. Troy, Yucatan, Italy and the Canaries.[104.227]
The Cherokee Indians also have an oral tradition that tells of ‘star people’ coming to Earth from the Pleiades and settling on five islands in the Atlantic known as Elohi Mona. Following the destruction of these islands, the survivors migrated to the Americas. A Cherokee contributor to a, now offline, forum related how he always understood Elohi Mona to be a reference to Atlantis. Another site offering further ‘insights’ into the Atlantean and Cherokee linkage to the Pleiades is available(c).
Edward Alexander, in a slight twist to the tale, also claims to have been reincarnated many times on Earth, over the past 9,000 years since his arrival from his distant origins in the Pleiades.
In 2018, Frederick Dodson revealed that he had encountered blue-skinned beings from the Pleiades in his book, The Pleiades and our Secret Destiny ! It would be interesting to hear Dodson and Alexander exchange notes.
William Henry, in a 2006 NatGeo documentary about Atlantis delighted us with the revelation that ancient aliens from the Pleiades have helped the Egyptians to build the pyramids! The incredible amount of utter b.s. that people continue to generate, ostensibly linking extraterrestrials to Atlantis or the Pyramids is, for me, quite remarkable(e). A recent episode (S15E07) of the American TV series Ancient Aliens returned to the subject of the Pleiades and visitors from there. Jason Colavito has reviewed it ‘appropriately’(f).
The Pleiades are known as Subaru in Japanese, giving its name to the car brand and inspiring its logo design.
(a) See: Archive 3363
(d) https://www.tulsaworld.com/archives/legend-of-atlantis-lives-in-bimini/article_d5552245-820b-510a-bb96-c295f7947300.html (June 2018-Not available in Europe because of the GDPR)
Sylvain Meinrad Xavier de Golbéry (1742-1822) was a French geographer and military engineer. He is best known for his account of his travels in western Africa in Fragmens d’un voyage en Afrique  . His book was translated into English by W. Mudford with a new title of Travels in Africa. He refers to Atlantis in the Atlantic with the Azores and Canaries as ‘its shattered remains’[p.207] with a possible connection with the Atlantes of northwest Africa.
Reuben T. Durrett (1824-1913) was a lawyer, historian and bibliographer, who had a library of some 50,000 volumes. Among his many works was Traditions of The Earliest Visits of Foreigners to North America in which he devoted considerable space to the subject of Atlantis, which he viewed as a large Atlantic island. He suggested that instead of the belief that the inhabitants of this island peopled America, that we should consider the possibility that the original Americans peopled this Atlantic island!
Regarding the demise of Atlantis he suggests that “All of Plato’s island, however, might not have gone down. Indeed, it is possible that the Azores, the Madeiras, the Canaries, and even the British Islands, as parts of the ill-fated island, may have been left above water when the main island went down amid earthquakes and inundations.”
William Richard Harris (1847-1923) was Irish by birth but moved to Canada at an early age, where he became a Catholic priest eventually becoming Dean of St. Catharines Church in Toronto. His many interests included history and anthropology, which led to a compilation of some of his lectures being published as Prehistoric Man in America +.
He believed in pre-Columbian contact with America by Europeans, citing the Italian historian Ludovico Antonio Muratori, who showed that Brazil wood was a taxable commodity at the Port of Modena as early as 1306! [p.109]
In the final chapter, he discusses the existence of Atlantis, quoting both classical and modern authors. He concludes with his belief that Atlantis was located in the Atlantic with the Canaries, Azores and Cape Verde as its remnants.
Included in his output is The Wonder Book of Volcanoes and Earthquakes, that had a section on Atlantis, in which he found the idea of an Atlantic Atlantis quite credible along with the then popular idea that the Azores and the Canaries, along with other islands further south, were the remains of Plato’s lost land. He quoted in full Plato’s Atlantis texts.
Jean-Marcel Cadet (1751-1835) was French mineralogist, who was Inspector of Mines on Corsica for 25 years. He wrote a number of papers and books on the geology of the island. Included in his output was Memoire sur les jaspes et autres pierres precieuses de l’isle de Corse(a), published in 1785, in which he also reviewed Plato’s account of Atlantis in his Critias and Timaeus and concluded that Atlantis had been situated in the Atlantic.
My previous entry under the name of Louis Claude Cadet de Gassicourt was completely incorrect, for which I apologise.