Introduction by Andrew Collins: Many of you know Graham’s work through documentaries and his incredible historical investigations and the numerous books that he has written and also his novel writing. Today he is going to be exploring the lost civilization of prehistory. Please give a warm welcome to Graham Hancock.
Good evening ladies and gentlemen thank you all for being here. This has been a marathon day, I will do my best not to fall over on stage and I am sure you will do your best to stay awake. One of the good things about being last is I can go on a little bit longer.
I’ve been involved in these mysteries for more than 20 years. I have had the incredible privilege and opportunity to explore and experience some of the most majestic monuments left for us to puzzle over by our ancestors. In all my travels and adventures I have been accompanied and buoyed up by the presence of my wonderful wonderful wife Santha. I am so lucky to have her as my partner. She has been with me every step of the way taking every risk with me including some very extreme scuba diving as we got onto Underworld. The talk I am going to give tonight will range across material in all three of these books. If you want further information, that is the place to look.
This is our beautiful garden of a planet as we are familiar with it today. This majestic work has been given to us as a theatre of experience to learn and to grow and to develop within. How incredibly privileged we are to be born in human bodies and to live in such a garden floating in the universe.
It hasn’t always looked the way it looks today. The last ice age reached its maximum about 21 000 years ago, a blink ago. You will find ice caps that are two miles deep sit on top of North America and also on top of North Europe. All the water frozen into ice on these ice caps had to come from somewhere and where it came from was the worlds’ oceans. During the ice age, the levels of the world oceans were 400 feet lower than they are today. All the water went from out of the ocean to be frozen into those giant ice caps and when it melted back into the oceans and sea levels rose.
There is our familiar map of the world with its familiar contours. If you go back to the last ice age 21 000 years ago, the world was quite different. For example there was no Red Sea. It was all dried up. Nor was there any gulf. It was all dried out as well. Australia was a much vaster continent then it is today and South East Asia, now an archipelago of islands and the Malaysian peninsula was at that time a giant continent sized landmass. All of the coastlines of the world were extended much further than they are today. Altogether 27 million square kilometres, that is about 10 million square miles of land, went under the ocean when the sea levels rose. That’s equivalent to the size of Europe and China added together.
Although the meltdown did take place over 10 000 years, there were within it, 3 or 4 major episodes of flooding where you could in some cases get as much as a 30 foot rise in sea level pretty much overnight. You have to consider what a 30 foot overnight rise in sea level would do to our civilization today.
I am sure we have all seen the horrific and troubling images of the tsunami in Japan and we can see the catastrophe that is unleashed by nature just in temporary rises in sea levels. Imagine something like that but on a global scale. Consider what this did to our ancestors and what effects it may have had on them.
I don’t believe that it is an accident that there are more than 2000 flood myths all around the world: memories of a gigantic global flood that almost wiped out mankind. Most archaeologists and historians are not very impressed with flood myths. They take the view that these were little local events, where perhaps a river flooded its banks, which were then elaborated by our superstitious ancestors who imagined it was a global flood. I find that completely unnecessary explanation. We know there was gigantic flooding during the 10 000 years at the end of the ice age and it seems to be highly probable that the world legacy of flood myths are a memory of what happened at the end of the ice age.
One of these memories of flood myths was preserved by Plato 428 – 348 BC and that is the myth of Atlantis. He said he got it from his family line from the Greek law maker Solon who had visited Egypt and had been told in Egypt of the existence of high civilization in antiquity that had been destroyed in a global flood accompanied by tremendous earthquakes and volcanic activities. And this civilization Plato said was globally distributed although focused on an island which he appeared to locate in the Atlantic. He said in a single terrible day and night it was utterly obliterated. Mankind was forced to begin again like children with no memory of what went before: We were indeed a species with amnesia.
The flood myth is found in India where we have the Indian figure Manu who is preserved by the god Vishnu to repopulate the planet much in the way Noah was in our Western translation. In Greece it is the story of Deucalian and Pyrrah who ride out the flood in a huge box and repopulate the earth to re-establish civilization. Similar stories have come down from the ancient Maya spoke about cyclical destructions and rebirths of the earth. And indeed the Aztec civilization as well. And then we know Noah’s story from the Bible.
It is well accepted by scholars that Noah’s story is simply a later version of an earlier story that came from Mesopotamia, the Mesopotamian Noah, the land we call Iraq. That story is the epic of Gilgamesh and therefore it is interesting to look at what happened in the Arabian gulf, the region from where the epic of Gilgamesh comes at the end of the ice age.
Let us look at the gulf at the end of the last ice age. This is the gulf today and this is how it looked during the last ice age. That is not an inlet that you see there. That is a large river system combining the streams of the Tigris and Euphrates which has a series of very fertile lakes running along its length, all of which was flooded in one gigantic incident approximately 12 000 years ago. I am not at all surprised that a powerful memory of a cataclysmic flood is preserved in the epic of Gilgamesh. The same is true with the Aborigines of Australia.
We can see Australia today and Australia as it looked during the last ice age. Clearly a huge amount of land has been swallowed up by the sea. Aborigine myths remember this time and speak of a great flood serpent that ate up the land.
I am not surprised that we have these myths. I do believe we are a species with amnesia and myths are a part of our story that we have lost. They are not the only controversial material. There is much more controversial material.
Some of it is contained in ancient maps. These maps suggest a level of technology and science that was far beyond the period in which they were derived. Before I go into more detail in the maps I want to make clear that very often what we are looking at here are maps that were copied in the 14th 15th 16th century from earlier source maps which have now been lost to us.
We have the latest copies. And often those copies have been adulterated by the copyists based on what they were learning about the world during the year of the exploration. Sometimes they would impose what they thought was new knowledge on the old map and this would mix things up a bit.
If you go back to the dark ages, 7th Century and so on, this represents the standard of map making technology at that time. These are called TO maps, because of the T shape in the middle and the O shape around the outside. They are quite beautiful maps but you would never wish to use them for navigation because they are completely useless. In these maps East is oriented up. So this is the East side here. This is the Mediterranean sea, this is Spain and here is the holy land at the centre of the world as it were.
This was the standard of maps that were being used 7 8 9 10 11th century. Then during the crusades, something happened, a whole archive of older maps were released into general circulation and began to be copied. At the same time the maps of Claudius Ptolemy who taught at the library of Alexandria, which have been preserved in monasteries were rediscovered and became the basis of the Ptolemaic cartographic tradition, reawakened in the year 1295.
The other category of maps that appeared at that time are the so called Portolan maps. These Portolan maps are a real mystery. They are incredibly accurate in terms of not only latitude which any culture can figure out but longitude as well, which our civilization didn’t crack until the end of the 18th century. Before that ships were constantly sailing into coastlines unexpectedly because they didn’t know how far East or West of a particular point they were. These maps which began to enter into circulation in the 1300’s probably from Constantinople, which in turn had received them from the library of Alexandria contained spot on latitudes and longitudes.
Quite difficult to see on this ancient map, but this is the Mediterranean. Very often you found that these maps focus on the Mediterranean as that was a great interest to mariners at the time. It is clear they were fragments of much larger world maps. Charles Hapgood and his fantastic book ‘Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings’ traces the Portolan cartographic tradition to a predecessor of these; through the Library of Alexandria, into Constantinople, during the crusaders and out to the European mariners.
The source maps were often world maps and one of them was the Piris Reis map.
The bit that survived from this map is only the bit that shows the East Coast of South America and the West Coast of Africa. It was originally a world map, the other bits are lost. And in the hand writing on the map, the mapmaker Admiral Piris Reis, a Turkish admiral tells us he had based his map on more than 100 older maps, none of which have come down to us. This is a very controversial map but what is striking about it is the continent of South America joins on to a landmass at its tip and this landmass is Antarctica as it looked during the last ice age when it was much more extensive than it is today.
This is Antarctica as it is now on maps from the beginning of the 19th century. As you can see it isn’t there. It isn’t there because our civilization didn’t discover Antarctica until the year 1818. So naturally a map from 1805 didn’t have Antarctica on it. The puzzling thing is maps much older than this one do have Antarctica on it. And these are the maps that are copied from the older source maps. Often by quite well known map makers like Orontius Finicus, here with his extensive continent of Antarctica joining onto South America and also and also the great Mercator with his giant Antarctica. It is larger than Antarctica today but the shape is correct. How did Finicus and Mercator know that? The answer is they copied it from other maps.
You can go into great detail with these maps, for example the Ptolemaic map from 1513, shows an island lying off the West Coast of Ireland and this island is labelled High Brazil. I know of a couple of expeditions that were set out from Bristol near where I live in Bath in the UK, to look for High Brazil but they couldn’t find it. What you actually need to find that island is a time machine. We can do that with geological studies of sea level rises which show us that until approximately 12 000 years ago, an island of exactly the right size and in the exact location does exist where it is shown to exist on that Ptolemaic map.
Another maps show a vastly extended SE Asia. If you look at the detail it looks a whole lot more like this than it looks like South East Asia today or in 1507. It is not confined to Western maps. This Chinese map off the gulf of Korea, here we see a much narrower gulf of Korea with a little inlet marked at the top of it. The latest geological evidence indicates such an inlet did exist 12400 years ago before the rising sea levels.
These two islands off this Portolan map from 1424 are really interesting. Their positions by the mapmaker are in the Atlantic Ocean and have given rise to many suggestions that these must have been the islands of Atlantis. There is Spain. Over here is North America.
In 1424 all knowledge of North America had been lost. People thought if you sailed West from Europe, you would come eventually to China, and that there was nothing in North America. That is what Columbus believed. When he sailed West from Europe he believed he was going to come to Japan and China. Professor Robert Fuso from the University of Florida has demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt that actually these two islands are the misplaced islands of Japan and Taiwan, located West of Spain were the prejudice at the time was that they would find the coast of Asia. Actually what the mapmaker has done is he has mixed up information of what he thought was true and what he found on the ancient map. He has placed Japan and Taiwan in the Atlantic Ocean.
What is interesting to me is: when are these maps of Japan and Taiwan from? Are they maps from the 16th C? Or are they something else altogether? We need to resort to geology to solve this problem. We can see here what happened to the island of Taiwan during the meltdown of the ice age. Here it is today and here it is deep in the last ice-age when it was physically joined to the mainland of China as indeed the government of China would wish it still to be today. We gradually see it separating off from the mainland as sea level rises and 12400 years ago we find that this little island which no longer exists was placed here between China and Taiwan. If we look at the map on the chart, the map of Antilia and we compare it we see it also has a little island lying to the West of it called Kimana. If you overlay the two you can see the similarities are quite strong. The little island is only known to us today because of the latest work done to geological surveys on sea level rise. So what is it doing on a map from the 15th century?
The other island is Satunasey is Japan but not Japan as we know it today, Honshu, Shikoku and Qushu are all separate islands today. But during the last age, they were all one island because sea level was much lower. What’s intriguing on this map of Satunasey is that the inlet is depicted exactly where it existed 12400 years ago, and up here this bay is also depicted exactly as it existed 12400 years ago. Another 2000 or 3000 years and that would become the island of Shikoku. This map is showing Japan as it was 12400 years ago.
So here is the general summary of the situation in East Asia during the ice-age, a greatly extended coastline and we have been through the story of Taiwan. And that’s why Santha and I were really intrigued when we were approached by people in Taiwan to say they had discovered a huge structure underwater between Taiwan and China in exactly the area where that lost island existed.
This is the diver who found it, Steve Shear and we went out and joined him on a series of dives on this enormous underwater wall complete with battlements that lies beneath the sea between Taiwan and China. And when you get up close you can rule out any possibility of a freak of nature. You can actually see the construction blocks they used to put the wall together.
If we now jump over from Taiwan to the most South Western of the Japanese islands to Yonaguni we will find a whole complex of further structures underwater. Santha and I have put in between 200 and 300 dives at Yonaguni and I want to do now is take you through the main areas where the monuments are and show you what we saw there.
Starting on the West side of the system of monuments we have this curved roadway between two parallel walls. There are beautifully curved roadways and two parallel walls.
Let’s now swim over in this direction. Swimming to the East, here is a tunnel. I swim through that tunnel. I want to show you what the inside of the tunnel looks like. That is what it looks like. Inside are two giant megalithic blocks on each side placed on top of each other. When you get to the end of the tunnel you find yourself looking at these parallel megaliths which are slotted into the side of a rocky outcrop. If you are to believe the geologists who can’t dive and have never been to Yonaguni you would be asked to believe that these are fallen from a cliff above perfectly into position there. The fact that there is no cliff above that point does not seem to deter geologists in this explanation. It is an awesome place to dive. I have been to a great many sacred sites and I feel very strongly when I am diving at Yonaguni that I am witnessing an amazing sacred site that was submerged more than 12 000 years ago.
Here we have a huge rocky outcrop running away from these two parallel blocks. I want to bring you back here to the most famous part of Yonaguni which is the terraces stepped pyramid area which faces due South. There are very regular angles and cuts into this. It was cut out of solid rock much in the way the great Sphinx was cut out of solid rock. The archaeological community is unanimous in saying this is a natural feature. It couldn’t possibly be made by human beings there was no culture in Japan 12 000 or plus years ago that were capable of making something of this scale. When I hear people saying this, they are either people who are very poor divers who have put in one or two dives at Yonaguni or it is people that have never dived there at all. Anybody who works extensively on these sites begins to get a different opinion. The theory of geologists as to how this could be natural is reasonable in itself. The suggestion is that there are different layers of sedimentary rock and some of them are softer and some of them harder then others.
However before I go there I wanted to compare this with these structures from Peru, which are cut out of solid rock and show the same sort of step terraced pyramid. Nobody argues that these are natural. The very similar structures underwater in Yonaguni are said to be natural disturb the picture of history.
So the suggestion is that the sea beating against this natural rock face selectively removed the softer layers of rock and left the harder layers of rock giving it a stepped effect. I understand where they are coming from. If they are right then I want to find all the rubble that the sea removed from here, I want to find it at the bottom of the monument. But I don’t. When you look down from the terraced area, straight down below at a depth of 110 feet, what you see down the bottom is a beautiful clear pathway. I do not believe nature has cleared that rubble away. The pathway is clear and there are in fact gutters running alongside the pathway.
Moving further West and North we come to a huge underwater face. I have placed here the Olmec heads from Mexico to show the effects of a long weathering on a large stone carved human head. Here you see 2 eyes, a nose, a mouth and I will take you around this very eerie and spookie place to dive. I am in the shot for scale, you can see it is a very large structure. The two eyes have pupils carved into them which you can get a hold of when you swim up close to it. There is something almost terrifying about it particularly in stormy conditions. If it is made by nature, nature took care to separate completely the head from the bedrock, so that we have a back of the head and indeed and head-dress off to the top of this human face. It is set on top of a platform. The platform is part of a large open ceremonial area with another one of those beautiful straight pathways with gutters on either side. It is not well known but Japan is a country littered with megalithic monuments and indeed stone circles. Some of them are rightly attributed to the Jonom period. Some of which we know nothing about.
This one called Masuda no Iwafune the upside down bone stone is found in the Asuka area of Japan. Beautifully cut on the top, found halfway up the side of a mountain. Nobody knows its origin. Nobody knows where it came from. It has always been there as far as people can remember. We can see the technique that was used to cut this very hard rock. What they did is they cut these H shaped sections out of it. Had they finished the job which apparently they didn’t do, they would have removed the areas that stand in front and left a smooth face. It is interesting because we do not know the antiquity of this megalith. Exactly the same technique of stone cutting is found underwater at Yonaguni at a depth which means it has been underwater for at least 12000 years. And this in my mind means we need to re-evaluate some of the monuments above water. Going North from Yonaguni we come to Okinawa and just West of the main island is a group of islands called the Kerrems and off one them, Akajima at a depth of 110 feet is an amazing complex of stone circles. Some of the stones are very small, purposefully laid in spirals. These are in fact river stones that are lying there at the bottom of the sea. Others are cut down into the bedrock at the bottom of the sea and are at a very large scale. These are they. It is a very difficult place to dive. The currents are ferocious and sometimes we have to wait 5 or 6 days above it in order to be able to actually dive on it. As we get closer we see the central upright and the surrounding uprights all cut out of solid bedrock. There is no known geological process that can create this effect. Beautiful symmetry in the structure, the inner curve matches the outer curve of the central upright strikes me as particularly interesting.
Let’s go back to the Piris Reis map. I am sure everyone has heard of the famous Bimini Road another one of those mysterious underwater structures that most archaeologists say is totally natural. Here on the Piri Reis map is depicted a large island in the place where Bimini is today. And you can see something that looks like Bimini Road running right up the middle of this lost island. It seems as though someone mapped the world during the meltdown of the last ice-age. Interestingly enough the Piris Reis map is centred in Giza. It is a quite sophisticated azimuthel equidistant projection, where we find the majestic great sphinx and the pyramids of Giza.
Of all the places I have been privileged to travel to I would say Giza has most touched my heart. It has had long lasting effects on me and on my state of consciousness. These are truly magical monuments and if you allow them to speak to you they have so much to say. It is one of the few places where you get a real sense that we live on a planet, because if you place yourself at the base of one of the pyramids adjusting so the star is directly over head and stand there for ten minutes you will sense the earth rolling and that star will shift away from the apex of the pyramid.
You get a sense of connection between sky and ground at Giza. It is indeed as though three stars have been brought down to earth. The great pyramid of Giza is aligned to true N S E W with stunning accuracy. This is astonishing precision in a prehistoric monument of this gigantic scale. It isn’t precision we can achieve today, but any architect will ask a client, ‘okay you want to build a six million ton monument, but are you sure you want it aligned to within three sixtieths of a degree of true north, because if you want that it is going to cost you a whole lot more.’ The alignment is so precise we can be sure that the people who made it were familiar with navigation. There are hints of much greater antiquity than are allowed by Egyptologists. As Antoine rightly said Egyptologists prefer not want to believe anything ancient Egyptians said. They almost seem to despise the culture they study. If ancient Egyptians ever say anything that conflicts with Egyptological dogma the Egyptologists say the ancient Egyptians were wrong about that.
The Egyptologists dismiss this scene for example in the temple of Seti first, where Seti first shows his young son, Ramesses 11 a list of all the pharaohs that ruled in Egypt before them. This list does not stop at around 3000BC when Egyptologists say the first dynasty began, it continues back beyond that, tens of thousands of years, more than 30 000 years before the time of Ramesses the second. It goes back to what the ancient Egyptians call zep tepi, the first time, the time of the gods, when Osiris ruled in Egypt.
And here from the tomb of Seti first we see Osiris on his boat of stars, showing the way forward to the followers of Horus who will be responsible for carrying the Assyrian religious tradition down through the future.
If we go to the temple of Horus at Edfu, itself a relatively late construction, built on the latest procession of a series of temples that go back to the dawn of time. You will find carved on its walls a massive volume texts and these are called the Edfu building texts. Those texts tell us that they were copied from an original text that had come down from heaven. It is a complete cosmology. The Edfu building texts do indeed speak of a gigantic flood that destroyed the homeland of the prime-evil of the gods. The survivor of this flood came to Egypt and made it the place that they would restart their civilization. The first thing they did is they established prime evil mounds all over Egypt which were to be the sites of all future temples and pyramids. We are looking at a culture that has had 3000 years of known history, from 3000BC to the time of Christ. Monuments within that period are all built on top of one another. It is an incredible big mix up but some of the monuments that are attributed to the historic period like this one in Osirion in Abidos had to be excavated from under the ground, I do strongly believe they have been wrongly dated. These gigantic megalithic structures belong to earlier period of construction in Egypt.
Here is another view of the amazing Osirion we find in Abidos, John Anthony West and Robert Shock in their book, ‘Geology of the Sphinx’, in the early 1990’s showed that precipitation induced weathering, weathering caused from exposure to thousands of years of heavy rainfall is the only thing that can account for this specific type of weathering in the trench that surrounds the Sphinx, and originally on the body too, which is being constantly restored. Indeed the Sphinx was being restored and we have historical records to prove this, in the time of pharaoh Khafre who was supposed to have built the Sphinx. If he built it how come it was also being restored during his reign? The suggestion is that the Sphinx stood on the Giza plateau during a long period of heavy rainfall. Such rainfall has never fallen in Egypt since 3000BC. You have to go back to the end of the ice age 10 000 years or more to find the kind of rains in Egypt that would cause this distinctive weathering pattern. There is something archaic, something deeply ancient about the way this complex looks.
The three pyramids at Giza dominate the skyline of Cairo. As we come closer we see the Giza plateau, we see the village of El Saman which lies around the base of the Giza plateau. We are looking now at the North face of the three pyramids. Over here is the Nile Valley. Off to the West, the desert. It extends endlessly into the distance. Let us come closer now to the great pyramid. Closer still you can see that the great pyramid is not complete, there is a flat platform on top of it with half a course of masonry on the South side here. Closer still, Graham Hancock a much younger man, standing on top of the great pyramid in roughly 1996.
That was one of 5 visits to the great pyramid that I was privileged to make, 3 of which were illegal and 2 of which were legal. The legal climb you have to pull a lot of strings and you have to sign a piece of paper at the bottom of the pyramid that says in the event of your death, your heirs will not hold the government of Egypt responsible. The illegal climbs are much more fun. Up here on top of the great pyramid, the second pyramid, the pyramid of Khafre, you can see in these slabs on top of the great Pyramid, lots of graffiti carved here. Mercator, that 16th C map maker carved his graffiti on top of the great pyramid. There is a whole lot of graffiti. One step down on this side, is a piece of graffiti that says the following: P Hancock 5 April 1916. My grandfather Phillip was a chaplain in Egypt during the first world war. I badgered my dad who was still alive at that time and I asked him to check my grandfather’s diaries. Is there anything for the 5th April 1916? He leafed through the diary and said yes there is just one line, ‘climbed great pyramid today.’ So, in a strange way I met my grandfather on top of the great pyramid.
The statistics are here for all to read. It has a footprint of 30 acres. It is 481 feet high. It weighs 6 million tonnes and there were 150 000 blocks that went all around it, each weighing ten tonnes each. These were knocked off in an earthquake in the early 14th C. This is the corner to climb, the South West corner. That is the safest slope to go up. The angle is 52˚.
I want to take you around the great pyramid. Let’s start down here in the subterranean chamber. It lies 100ft vertically beneath base of great pyramid and is approached through the assembly chamber, a corridor of 300ft which sloped down at an angle of 26 ˚ to reach the subterranean chamber which is carved out of solid bedrock.
This is what the subterranean chamber looks like and the Egyptological view is that pharaoh Khufu planned to be buried here but for some reason after he got his workforce to create a perfectly straight 300 foot long tunnel, removing all the bedrock from there and bringing it outside, the guy changed his mind and said I don’t want to be buried there at all I want to be buried higher up.
The subterranean chamber like everything in the great pyramid has very specific features because that is how the builders wanted it to look. I think it is deeply ancient and prehistoric. If you stand down here and have a colleague stand with a good singing voice sing in the Kings chamber hundreds of feet above you, you will hear that person very very clearly in the subterranean chamber.
This is the descending corridor that comes down to it, cut out of solid bedrock, 350 feet long, almost perfectly straight with hardly any deviation at all from top to bottom, just a fraction of an inch.
We will come up the ascending corridor, go along the horizontal corridor and we will find ourselves in the so called ‘Queens chamber.’ So called because nobody knows what its function was. It has two famous little shafts in the North and South walls. If you came here before 1872 you would not have seen a shaft here. The last five inches of stone covering the shaft had been left in place by the builders. You would have just seen a closed wall. A British free mason called Wayne Dixon went around tapping on the walls of the Queens chamber and found these two hollow points. He knocked away the five inches of stone and found it lead into a shaft that ascended up into the body of the pyramid and a similar one on the North side. Friend and colleague Robert Bauval has shown that during the pyramid age itself, the epoch of 2500 BC, the Southern shaft of the Queens Chamber actually pointed at the star Sirius as it crossed the meridian at night. The Northern shaft of the Queens chamber pointed at Beyter Ipson Minor in the constellation of the Bear. And then there are two more shafts in the Kings chamber up above and pointed to one of the three stars in the belt of Orion.
The German Robotics centre in 1993 explored the Southern shaft of the Queens chamber. He sent up a robotic camera as these shafts are only about that wide and that high. No human being is going to get in there. 165 feet up this shaft the robot came to a door with two metal handles locking the shaft. And at this point Rudolf Gantenbrinks work was abruptly stopped by our fried Zahi Hawass and Rudolf was expelled from Egypt. And no further work was done for many years. Hawass took over the project and commissioned University of Singapore to make another robot. It was designed to drill a hole through the door and find out what was on the other side of it. I often get the feeling that whoever made the pyramids is inviting us to explore it. We have to use our ingenuity, intuition and intelligence if we are going to explore and understand this monument. What they found behind the door was a gap of 3ft and then another door and now they are thinking how to get through that door and see perhaps if there’s a chamber on the other side of it.
Coming out of the Queens chamber we can go up the grand gallery, this majestic cavity within the great pyramid. Lots of stones weighing 50 to 60 tons each. Perfectly positioned stones at an angle of 26 ˚, you cannot get a thin piece of paper in the cracks in-between. And at the top is the entrance of the anti-chamber to the kings chamber. There is a cross section at the top of the grand gallery and the anti-chamber and you get through to the kings chamber.
Above it are 5 other chambers which were rediscovered in the 19th C by a tremendous vandal called Howard Vyse, a British explorer who went around using explosives all over the great pyramid. He blew a great gash into the South face of the great pyramid. He also opened up here right at the top of the grand gallery, a hole which actually turned out to lead into a tunnel system that lead to these chambers up above the kings chamber.
The kings chamber is an incredible geometrical construction that consists of 100 granite blocks all of which were brought from Aswan, 500 miles to the South. The rest of the pyramid is limestone. You can see one of those shafts in the Northern wall. The Sarcophagus in it is the only reason for anyone to have believed it was a tomb. Of course it was not a tomb. The Sarcophagus had another function all together, perhaps a ritual function. It is 34 feet 4 inches from East to West, 17 feet 2 inches from North to South. 19.4 feet high and that ceiling has 9, 50 tonne granite blocks in it.
There is an interesting similarity between what is called the djed pillar, the symbol of the resurrection of Osiris, and the design of this chamber system. If we go into the chamber system and right up to the top chamber there is modern graffiti from 1950 there and over on this wall is ancient graffiti which is the only basis that Egyptologists have to attribute this monument to Khufu. Up there in this hidden chamber is this piece of graffiti which more or less says the name Khufu in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. There is a strong case to be made that that graffiti is forged. It was forged by Howard Vyse himself. It contains a grammatical error that was only present in Egyptological textbooks from that period. There is ancient graffiti in that chamber which is genuine. It is in the joints between the blocks. If you shine powerful lights in there you can see that this strange writing goes far back to a point where no forger could ever reach. But this area in plain view I believe it is highly likely it was forged by Howard Vyse as he was desperate for a discovery. He said ‘I have found and proved that this is the pyramid of Khufu’ and he got a lot of money.
This is the only statue of Khufu that survived. He clearly was not a man of giant ego. He did not inscribe his name anywhere else. However, if you go to pyramids of the 5th and 6th dynasty in Saqqara you will find an enormous amount of texts carved on walls. This is deliberately a double exposure. There is the great pyramid in the background. Here is the chamber of the pyramid of Unas 5th dynasty pharaoh at Saqqara which has the so called, ‘pyramid texts’ carved on its walls. I often think that these texts should be regarded as the software to the hardware that we see in the form of the great pyramid of Giza.
They are very great beautiful libraries carved into the walls. The pyramid texts are the oldest texts we have: Coffin texts, so called because they were painted inside the coffins of the dead. We have the book of what was in the Duat, the ancient Egyptian afterlife kingdom, for example in the tomb of Tuthmosis the third. And the famous book of the dead, usually written on papyrus that was buried with the deceased. These are all one set of scriptures, they are just later versions of the same ideas which go on being explored through 3000 years of known Egyptian history. The pyramid texts talk of a mysterious brotherhood that was responsible for translating preserving the religion of Osiris. Osiris was the divine King of Egypt who ruled in the first time in Zep Tepi. He was measured by his rival ‘Set’ and 72 conspirators. His body was hacked into pierces and he was reassembled by his consort Isis through her magic.
We can see what is going on here. Isis has transformed herself into a bird, and she hovers over the falice of Osiris and receives his seed. They conceive the divine child Horus. I would like to read a little bit from the Ancient Egyptian book of the dead. “I stand before the masters who witness creation, who were with Brapa that morning the sun rose into being and were with Osiris in the grave as he gathered himself together and burst into white heat a light and shining growth. Hail Thoth architect of truth, give me words of power of thy name to call the years and weave together my history. Hail Thoth architect of truth, give me words of power of thy name so I may form the characters of my own evolution. I stand before the masters who witness the generation who were the authors of their own forms, who brought them to being. Who walked the dark circuitous passageways of their own becoming. Who saw with their own minds their best deeds and the shape of things to come. I stand before the masters who witness the working of magic, who worked with Isis, the evening she became a ‘swallow’ and her valentations filled with hair. Who were with her as she shook down her black hair and unveiled the gods transformations. Who witnessed the conceptions of the divine Sharmo. Hail Thoth architect of truth, give me words of power of thy name so I may give his story meaning. I stand before the masters who know the history prepared to decide what tales to give them, who judge the books of lives as either full or empty. Who are themselves authors of the truth and they are Isis, Osiris, the divine intelligence. And when this story is written and the end is good and the soul of man is perfected with a shout. Hail Thoth architect of truth, give me words of power of thy name that I may complete my story and begin life anew. I stand before the masters who witnessed the transformations of the body of man into the body of the spirit, who were witnesses to the resurrection of the corpse of Osiris into the mountain and the soul of Osiris. Walking, all held shining. He gathered his people and men and armies and backbones. Who bid himself together in secret. He came forth from death, a shining thing, his face white with heat.” There is a round of applause.
Davis’s translation of the book of the dead is poetic. She is an Egyptologist but she is something most Egyptologists are not. She is a poet. She captures the spirit of the Egyptian in no other way a translation I know of has.
Here you see Horus performing a ritual to the resurrection of father Osiris. This is the temple of Seth 1st. Each pharaoh associated himself in life with Horus and in death with Osiris. Osiris became lord of the dead, master of eternity, immortality and he is showing the way to the Horus Kings. All Egyptian Pharaohs are contained in the Sirian system.
Another image of Osiris. There is no dispute in Egyptology that Osiris was identified by Egyptian religion with the constellation of Orion. When they saw Orion in the sky, what they saw was the figure of Osiris. He ruled over a kingdom in the sky roughly between the constellations of Orion and Leo and divided by the Milky Way, which the Ancient Egyptians called the binding water way.
Robert Bauval the author of the Orion messenger has done the single most important service in the understanding of Egyptology in recognising the connection between the 3 pyramids of Egypt and the belt stars of Orion.
It makes perfect sense in the Egyptians text to bring down perfection of the heavens: As above so below. To copy what is seen in the sky to the ground.
In the book of what is in Duat we read that the hidden circle of Duat is in the body of the Nut, the sky: “whoever shall make an exact copy of these forms shall know it and shall be a spirit of heaven and earth.” That was an objective of the ancient Egyptians. To become well equipped spirit, was to have some knowledge of the afterlife realm before we venture there.
That whole scheme looks like a huge device transforming men into god’s who will navigate the Duat of Osiris. It was also a strange parallel universe a kind of underworld through which the soul would travel after death sometimes guided by the cycle of Anubis, the guide of the souls where all kinds of masters would be encountered. Questions would be asked that you would need to know the answers to. Everybody tells you that the ancient Egyptians made up their ideas about the afterlife to give themselves comfort. Nonsense! The afterlife journey can be a terrifying journey where you must account for everything you have done in your life.
It is no accident that the ancient name of Giza was the land of Sokar or Rostau because we have a fifth division of the divine a land referred to as Rostau which clearly features a pyramid, a sphinx and a chamber system.
If we look at the paintings of the Duat many of the features of the great pyramid are represented there. Boats were indeed used during the navigation of the Duat. There are many parallels here. I would suggest the king’s chamber served the function of a judgement hall for Osiris also known as the hall of Ma’at.
We can see that scene depicted here: The deceased pharaoh is ushered into the judgement hall of Osiris. It is also called the hall of Ma’at. Ma’at is the goddess of truth and cosmic justice, her symbol is the feather, we see marked on her head. A part of the deceased is weighed against the feather of Ma’at. The important objective should be your heart should not be heavy with sin. You should live your life in such a way that when you come to this hall you should be able to answer the questions to justify the life.
Up here we see the 42 assessors in the judgement of Osiris each one of them ask the deceased a question. All of the ten commandments are there. Did you kill, did you steal, did you take the name of the gods in vain? They are all there and others as well. Ideally you should be able to answer no to each one of those questions. Of course we are all frail, we are all human not all of us can answer no to all of the 42 questions but something else is going on here as well.
In the judgement scene it is necessary to have lived a moral and true life. That’s not sufficient on its own, there has to be something else as well. If you have spent your life impinging on the sovereignty of others, causing misery and pain and destruction and disaster then this is the fellow who will await you.
Amit is the eater of the dead, part hippo, part crocodile, part lion. He will consign your soul forever to oblivion, never to live again and never to return to earth and never to have a full opportunity to grow and know. Osiris is sitting judging over the whole seen. You were given an incredible opportunity to be born in a human body with this incredible brain and ability to learn, to grow and develop and create.
What did you do? Did you use it well? Did you waste it?
Meditation, love, ethics, none of these alone can bring about enlightenment without wisdom. The ultimate objective was that the whole divine was preparing for this moment and ones’ ultimate destiny was to become a star in the sky and to live life millions of years and share light creation throughout the universe.
I am suggesting the monuments of Giza are a sacred landscape and a symbol for the afterlife journey. Preparations can be made to enter this afterlife experience aware, prepared, ready. The ancient spiritual system celebrated and nurtured human life. And it did not take it for granted. The ancient Egyptians say this religious system came down in the time of the gods, Zep Tepi.
The photo of dawn on the spring equinox you can see the second pyramid casting a shadow due West into the desert as the sun rises due East. The ancient Egyptians had some knowledge of astronomy after all there are stars everywhere in the ceilings of tombs.
We see an initiated journeyed to a star in the sky through the third eye. We need to have a knowledge of the procession of the equinox’s to understand what is happening next. Egyptologists don’t accept that despite the fact that Egyptians are avid star watchers, they don’t accept that they could have known about the procession of the equinoxes. It is thought to be caused by the pull of the sun and the moon around the planet and that causes an actual wobble on the axis of our planet. Since it is from the planet that we are viewing the stars, so it will change the rising time of the stars. Almost like a top that slows down from spinning.
The extended North Pole of the earth transcribes a huge circle in the heaven over a vast period of time. It is estimated that our North Pole points at Belarus our cold star. But there have been other periods it has pointed at empty space or at other stars. We can model this phenomenon precisely with computer software. This phenomenon unfolds at the rate of 1 ˚ every 72 years. It also affects the background of stars against which the sun is seen to rise on the spring equinox.
As a result of the procession, back in the time of Christ, the sun was rising in the constellation Pisces. In a couple of hundred years the sun will be rising in the constellation of Aquarius on the spring equinox. That is why we live in the dawning of the age of Aquarius. This change unfolds at a rate of 1 degree every 72 years, it is a backward direction through the zodiac, it takes 2600 years to go through each sign of the zodiac. The great year takes 25 920 years to unfold.
The great sphinx plays a key role in defining this process at Giza. A later pharaoh, Tuthmosis the third put this stellar between the paws of the sphinx, it tells us the Sphinx marks the splendid place of the first time.
This photograph is taken from the Sphinx’s back. And that is the back of the Sphinx’s head looking East over the Nile valley. We went back at dawn on the spring equinox and photographed it again. You can see that the great sphinx is perfectly aligned to the rising sun on Spring Equinox and that is what the sphinx is there to do, to bring together heaven and earth at that precise moment.
This procession does not change the rising place of the sun but the stellar background behind the sun. If the great sphinx was built in 2500 BC the logic is it should have been in the form of a bull. It is very disturbing that it is in the form of a lion. Processional software tells us that there was a time when Leo, the Sphinx’s celestial counterpart, housed the sun on the spring equinox and that time was around 10500 BC. At that time you get precise correlation between the 3 stars of Orion’s belt and the great pyramids of Giza and perfect match between the Milky Way and the Nile.
I can’t say that the ancient Egyptians built the Nile. But, the site was chosen because of the happy relationship of the Nile to the Milky Way.
Using the universal language of astronomy there is a very clear reference to a date. And that date is around 10500 BC.
This mystery of procession is brilliantly explored in Professor George Santiyana book Hamlets Mill of Massachusetts Institute of technology.
What they showed is the sequence of numbers related to the processions of the equinoxes, is preserved all over the world, going back to the remotest history. They trace its homage back to some unbelievable ancient civilization in remote antiquity.
Here are the numbers of the processional cycle. 72 is the heartbeat of that cycle. There is a whole range of numbers you can derive from it. If you divide 72 /2 you get 36. 72 + 36 is 108 / 2 is 54. 2160 is 72 x 30. 4320 is 72 x 60 and so forth. These are processional numbers. Processional numbers are found in traditions all over the world, found in the Mayan calendar, and in pyramids of Giza. The height of the great pyramid and multiply it by 43200 you get the polar radius of the earth. The base perimeter of the great pyramid multiplied by 43200 is the equatorial circumference of the earth. The dimensions of the earth are encoded in the great pyramid on a scale of 1 to 43200. This is a processional number. We have to accept that this is a deliberate intention.
The prime meridian runs through Greenwich for historical reason but if you reset the prime Meridian to Giza a number of relationships which have been hidden become clear. For example Angkor Wat lies 72 ˚ East of Giza. Angkor Watt means ‘life to Horus’ in Egyptian and there we find more pyramidal structures. These structures were definitely built only about 1000 years in 1150 AD but they stand on top of much much older structures which stand on top of even older structures. How far back into history this site goes is not yet established.
Look at this amazing straight line that runs through the centre of the Angkor Wat complex and disappears over the horizon. If you position yourself on the West side of the causeway looking straight at the tip of Angkor Wat you will find something interesting happening on the spring equinox. As the sun starts to rise it slowly creeps up the central tower and then it sits right in top of the central tower. And this is what this monument was designed for, the bringing together of sky and ground. Many monuments around the world do this in different ways. The Sphinx does it, The pyramid of Kukulkan in Chichin Itza.
You can see the head of the giant serpent carved at the bottom of the stair has a shadow effect on the wall which creates the body of the serpent. That shadow effect only happens at sunset on spring equinox 5.20pm as the sun is setting. The pyramid is definitely positioned so it will cast this shadow. There are 72 major temples at Angkor. Processional numbers are all over the site be it in sculptures or reliefs. If you look down on the entire Angkor complex, something interesting emerges. The principle temples appear to map out on the ground the constellation Drako. They do so only perfectly in 10500BC. We have a curious 3 dimensional game going on here. Shafts in the great pyramid point to shafts in the Northern sky. And a map on the ground there in Angkor.
Where Leo is rising in the East, Aquarius is setting in the West where the constellation of Orion is at its lowest point in its processional journey, Drako is in its highest point. Drop forward from 10500BC until today we find everything has turned around the other way. Now it is Leo that is setting in the West and Aquarius that is rising in the East, now Orion is at the highest point of its processional journey and Drako is at the lowest point of its processional journey. There is a deliberate connection between our age today and the time of 10500BC.
The Mayan calendar predicts a great change of some sort coming up after 21/12/12. I am not going around the world with a sandwich board strapped to my body saying the end of the world is neigh. The
Mayan calendar does not tell is that the world is going to end on 21/12/12.
The Mayan calendar is a cyclic instrument and each cycle runs for approximately 5100 years and the end of one cycle is the beginning of another. The notion is that we are in for a rebirth. A new destiny can lie ahead for humanity. We don’t have to go down into darkness, we can brighten our own story. I believe it is possible for a great change in consciousness. We are poised on the edge of such a time and we are seeing the beginnings of it today with small groups of free thinkers getting together and refusing to tow the party line. It all seems pretty small but bit by bit that change is coming.
This is a time of trial. I would like to do a further reading. A group of texts attributed to god Hermes the Greeks called the Egyptian wisdom of Thoth which was set down at the end of the ancient Egyptian story. It is taking the Egyptian wisdom and transporting it forward into the new world. Asclepius contains a passage for the men. It is called the Asclepius because Asclepius is a pupil of Hermes and Hermes is the teacher.
He says: “Did you know that Egypt was an image of heaven. Or to speak precisely of all the powers that work in heaven present on the earth below. The whole cosmos dwells in this our land as a sanctuary. Yet since it is fitting that wise men should have knowledge of all events before they come to pass you must not be left in ignorance of what I am about to tell you. There will come a time when it will be in vain that Egyptians honoured a god and path of service and all our ambition will be fruitless and ineffectual. The gods will return from earth to heaven. Egypt will be forsaken and the land will be left desolate, bereft in the presence of the deities. Oh Egypt of thy religion nothing will remain but an empty tale which your own children in time to come will not believe. Nothing will be left but only the stones from the temple and in that day man will be weary of earth and they will cease to think it is worthy. They will no longer love this world around us, this incomparable memorious structure, this some of good made up of many diverse forms, whereby the will of god operates in that which he has made, ungrudgingly favouring men’s welfare, this combination and accumulation of all the manifold things that are called for in veneration, praise and love. Darkness will be preferred to light and death will be thought more profitable than life. No-one will raise his life to the heavens. The pious will be deemed insane, the madman will be thought of as brave and the wicked worthy. Whereas the soul, the belief that it is immortal and with nature open to obtain immortality. All this thy will mock. So the gods will be apart from mankind. And only evil angels will mingle with mankind, and drive the poor wretches into all manners of reckless crime, wars, robberies, frauds and all things hostile to the nature of the soul. Then it will be tranquil and the seas bare no ships. Heaven will not support the stars of their organs; all voices of God will be forced into silence. The fruits will rot, the soil will turn barren. All hope will disappear. And then God the creator of all things will look at that which has come to pass and will stop this world. He will call back mankind, those who have gone astray, and cleanse people washing away with floods, expelling wars and pestilence. So the cosmos once more will be worthy of reverence. And God maker and maintainer of the mighty fabric will be adored by the men of that day with continuous songs of praise and mercy. Such is the rebirth of the cosmos that it is the making of all things good, holy and an awe inspiring restitution of nature. It is brought inside the process of time by the eternal will of the creator.
The matter is in our hands. We do not have to face destruction and chaos but if we continue to invite it into our own lives, then it is up to us to make a change. We stand at the edge of an abyss. It doesn’t have to be that way. We don’t have to go on repeating the same negative behaviour on an international scale like we are practicing today. We can change. It is not a shortage of oil or coal or building materials or money that is bringing the human race down, it is a fundamental shortage of love that is bringing humanity down. That is what we have to put back. It is very difficult as an individual to conceive of changing the world. What all of us can do is participate in changing what we are and the immediate environment around us to be more positive.
Elves, Angels, Aliens & Ayahausca: Parallel realms and The Mysteries of The Vine of The Dead by Graham Hancock
I would like to begin with a minute of silence as we put ourselves in spirit with the Japanese people. Thank you.
If I have had any role is a writer and as a researcher it is to push the envelope and to stand on the edge of things and to look at things from a perspective which is not plain to see. I have been running against the current for a very long time and that is expressed in the body of work that I have put before the public concerning forgotten episodes in human history. Many have found my change in direction in work disturbing particularly as it does touch profoundly on altered states of consciousness. Altered states of consciousness are a tabooed topic in our society.
I am going to be talking about Ayahuasca, the vine of the soul that is used by Shamans in the Amazon to enter the spirit world and communicate with entities. During and after the research for my last non fiction book Supernatural, I was given a series of visions by Ayahuasca in a series of five sessions with Ayahuasca in Brazil, I was given a story and I was told to go away and write that story and that story was my first novel Entangled which concerns very briefly two young women. One from 44 000 years ago in the past, her name is Ria and one living today in modern Los Angeles, her name is Leonie and they are brought together by supernatural forces to do battle with evil who travels through time and who seeks to divert humanity from our inherent goodness and henceforth evil. It is a book about the battle of good against evil and about time travel.
They believe in the Amazon, when the spirit leaves the body you are free to move. Time may not be an arrow. It may be a series of spirals and ellipses. It may even be possible for us to change the past as we do change the future.
All these ideas and concepts came to me in the work that I did with Ayahuasca. I am not going to talk about the novel tonight but I am going to talk about is the research background behind the novel which is laid out in depth in the book Supernatural. I personally hope some of my readers will come with me on this journey into fiction. A lot of my readers are very angry with me that I have written a novel. I have received some incredibly insulting offensive emails but I felt very strongly to write this novel.
I feel my path for how many years I have left is to explore extraordinary ideas in the realm of fiction. At least I don’t have to argue with the academics, I don’t have to write book s with 1400 footnotes. I can say just relax it is just fantasy. It has allowed me to turn to a place of freedom in my writing that I last had when I wrote Fingerprints of the Gods. After that I found that the work became more and more defensive because of the academics. It is nice to be free again.
These creatures that we are looking at now are very common in popular culture today. This is Anthony Hopkins made up as the wolf man. This is batman here. Creatures that are part animal. Therianthrope’s are very popular in modern culture today. This is Anthony Hopkins made up as the wolf man. This is batman here. Creatures that are part animal and part human in form, the technical term for these creatures is Therianthrope’s: From the Greek Therio which means part beast, and Anthropods which means man.
Here is a Japanese snake woman, a mermaid a bull man and a lion man. There are very familiar images in popular culture today. Let’s see how far back in the human story such images go. I think everyone is familiar with the story of Theseus slaying the Minotaur from ancient Greece. The Minotaur is a therianthrope, he has a human body and the head of the bull. Here we see a creature with the hind legs of a bull and the upper parts of a human being. This is in 1800BC.
Of course the deities of ancient Egypt are almost all Therianthropic in form, part animal, and part human. Thoth for example is part bird part human, the Ibis headed man. The guiding soul and Libris is part jackal part human. The Sphinx of course is a lion and a man or a dog and a man. The fact is it is still a therianthropic image.
Here we see from one of the tombs of the nobles on the West Bank confronting an old soul and the soul is depicted as a human headed bird with the same features as the deceased.
Such imagery is incredibly ancient. The oldest piece of art to come down to us from anywhere in the world at least that is accepted by mainstream scholars is this one and it is from Italy. It has the hind legs and body of a human being but the head of some kind of bull. And here from Colin Stein Sago cave in Germany carved out, this peace is about knee high. We have a lion headed man and also the paws of a lion. Chauvet cave in France is 33 000 years old we see a bison man with the head and shoulders of a bison and the hind legs of a human being. In fact very similar images continue to appear in the caves for thousands of years after Chauvet, a great many of the painted caves of Southern Europe. Like this peace. This is a re-drawing of the original source from MonTreux Frere in France. It combines the characteristics of human being of a horse, of a sag, of an owl and a wolf. An extraordinary hybrid animal.
Needless to say such things are not seen in everyday life of our natural observation. We need to ask ourselves since these are the oldest works of art known to mankind what was the original inspiration behind such ideas. Where do these ideas come from?
If we go back to the picture of Chauvet cave, you can see there is more to the picture than I have shown you. Here is the bison man. He is straddling a large female human figure and interestingly that female human figure is headless. However her right arm is captured by the artist in a moment of transformation into the head of a lion, like these lions down here.
So, let’s not waste time by trying to argue that these are the depictions of human beings dressed up in skin. This is not what is going on here. This is the depiction of shape shifting. This is the depiction of transformation and the ancient artist has caught that transformation as it occurred in this image.
The images I am showing you come almost entirely from Southern Europe and from your own country South Africa. Santha and I were able to do a wonderful trip in South Africa, guided by a friend of ours who took us around the Cedarburg and Drakensburg to the co-ordinates where the majestic rock art of the san is to be found. I could illustrate this talk with rock art from almost anywhere in the world. One of the mysteries of rock art is its transpersonal qualities and the fact that cultures that were not in contact with one another again and again depict almost identical imagery and identical themes. They may be separated by tens of thousands of miles and tens of thousands of years but the imagery is eerily the same. Here in the Cedarburg what we see perched on the zigzags is humans captured in a moment of transformation into antelopes: Another one of those shape shifting images.
I particularly love this amazing art from the Drakensburg thought to be 8000 years old which depicts two Therianthrope’s side by side. Human body’s and they have heads of Elands. There is more to it. If you look at the figure on the left it looks as if he has two feathers growing out from his back as if he is about to sprout wings. And this figure has two serpents wrapped around his body. And that’s the body of the serpents wrapped around his other body. These serpents also have the heads of antelopes. A very extraordinary set of ideas is contained in this South African image from the San of human bodied antelope headed creatures. One sprouting wings, the other with two antelope headed serpents wrapped around his body. How do we explain this? Certainly the artist did not see this and then paint it on the cave. What is it that we are dealing with here?
It is an incredible privilege to go into the painted caves of Southern Europe. Santha and I were able to visit 30 of them. There are more than 300 closed to the public of these incredible and amazing transformative sacred places reserved exclusively for archaeologists. I think of them as underground cathedrals. The moment you enter into one of these caves you hear the water dripping down the walls, there is a sense of stalactites and stalagmites forming. There is a coolness in the air, a hush descends. It’s an extraordinary privilege to be in these places. By the way the idea of cavemen is completely incorrect. Our ancestors did not live in these caves they used them as sacred places. They were visited by people over thousands and thousands of years. Some kind of communion with spirit realms was going on. There are lots of recognisable animals painted around the walls but some of them are a little strange like this one over here that the archaeologist chooses to call the unicorn even though it has two horns. What exactly he is, is not at all clear but I will show you another image later from a completely other part of the world which I believe is similar to this image.
Then look at this stag with these incredibly elaborate antlers. Something else we need to explain about this art is: down here is a geometrical pattern, this rectangle appears in front of the stag. We can see in other pictures these geometrical patterns, squares, straight lines appear again and again in rock art. If we need to explain the rock art we need to explain all elements of it including these geometrical patterns. Here is a grid separating two Ibis’s. Here the dancing women from the Cedarburg, they were not originally headless. It is just that the heads were painted in a lighter pigment which has faded away. What are interesting are the zigzag lines overlaying these figures, they are part of the original work of art. How do we explain this? Cross cultural similarities: these kinds of patterns from the Cedarburg and very similar kinds of patterns from the Altamira cave in Spain. The Pastilo cave in Spain has a row of dots runs down the wall and more geometrical patterns. This is thought to be close to 30 000 years old.
Everywhere you go, handprints appear on the wall. It is true of Africa, it is true of Southern Europe, it is true of rock art all around the world. Sometimes the artist applies the paint with their hand slapped it on the wall, sometimes they place their hand against the wall and stick paint around it.
The more of these sites I visited, the more an eerie impression began to adorn on me that the cave wall was a membrane separating the art from the other realm. And those hands were coming through the wall from the other side of the membrane. There is a sense of intimate contact with the human being one on one.
That sense of coming through the wall is seen here in Altimira cave in Spain where the artists tweaked a little bit of paint on the rock face so you see this strange face pushing through the rock wall. Overlooking them all, everywhere you go are these Therianthropic beings shifting shape, changing their appearance.
It is not often I find myself in agreement with mainstream archaeologists. But on this issue, how we explain rock art and its specific characteristics and universal characteristics, I want to pay tribute to the capacity of a major South African scholar and that is Professor David Lewis Williams of the Witwatersrand University Rock Art research Institute. When David first proposed his neuropsychological theory of rock art, he was attacked by virtually every archaeologist on the planet. Archaeologists hate new ideas. But David’s work is so incredibly well documented and researched with enormous dedication and skill that gradually over the last twenty years he has won over all his colleagues. His neuropsychological theory of rock art is now universally accepted. It is the mainstream theory of rock art. This is an art of visions. It is an art of altered states of consciousness. Specifically it is an art of Shamanism. Shamans entered trance states, experienced visions which when they then returned to a normal state of consciousness and depicted it on the cave walls.
Here are some of David’s very important books. I would highly recommend you have a look at his books, particularly Mind Cave which is a work of genius. A lot of scientific evidence of this work is drawn from scientific studies of altered states of consciousness that were done with modern volunteers and very secretly the use of hallucinogenic drugs, such as LSD, dimethytriptamine, mescaline, psilocybin and so on. Other techniques such as the bombardment with electromagnetic fields will induce the necessary altered state of consciousness to have these experiences.
The in depth scientific studies of altered states of consciousness has come up with a broad theme. In the early stages of trance, scintillating patterns and geometric patterns and zigzag lines and star maps are seen, spirals and grids are seen. And then moving deeper into trance these techniques can be construed in certain forms and then there is the sense of passing through a vortex and emerging on the other side of the vortex into a seamlessly parallel universe. And that parallel universe is frequently inhabited by intelligent entities with whom the volunteers of course communicated with them telepathically.
This was from a mescaline study in the 1960’s, and as you can see there are the zig zag lines, the volunteer drew a man in a modern business suit with the head of a fox.
It is very similar in concept to those images of Therianthrope’s in the caves tens of thousands of years ago. Again with the scientific studies it is possible to draw up a chart of the patterns that everybody sees and reports of these altered states of consciousness. These patterns are called entoptic phenomenon.
Although the San are now an extinct culture, their relatives the bushmen continue. In the late 1900’s and early 20th century they were their last survivors and were approached by Western photographers who asked them specifically what is this rock art that you have been painting for thousands of years and they told them it is the work of our shamans. They returned and documented what they had seen on rock walls. And the same goes for the people of the Coso of the California great basin.
Although we can’t go back and the meet the artists of the Neolithic the fact that those same universal images also appear in their art tell us without a shadow of a doubt that it is an art of altered states of consciousness and an art of shamans. The essence of shamanism is altered states of consciousness. In these trance states shamans have encounters with entities, spirits, sometimes in human form, sometimes they appear as part animal part human. The shamans themselves report transforming into animals as the enter the spirit world.
This word Shaman is borrowed from a particular culture with the word saman. Shaman comes from saman meaning one who knows. Shamans had ritual functioning’s and entered trance states and communicated with spirits and they came back with healing remedies for members of their tribes. As Western photographers continued to travel around the world, they found that many tribal and hunter gatherer cultures around the world had similar ritual functioning’s.
How shamans get into altered states of consciousness is they eat magic mushrooms and in their hallucinations visit the world of the spirits and get answers to questions posed of them. Psilocybin is by no means a narcotic even though it is described as a narcotic. It is a powerful hallucinogenic.
It is not an accident that the colours are the same as Christmas. The Father Christmas story is an ancient shamanic experience. This mushroom is not efficient if consumed directly. What they notice in Siberia was reindeer eating these mushrooms and I don’t know how they worked it out but if they collected the urine of the reindeer and then drank the urine after they had eaten the mushroom then they would immediately enter a deep trance like state. Through passing through the filter of the body, the impurities are removed from the mushroom and the pure psychedelic elements remain. Indeed shamans urinate in bowls, sorry about this, which members of the tribe then drink. Potency remains strong even when passing through seven human bodies. When the shamans leave their bodies they experience themselves flying through the sky on supernatural reindeer. When they return to their hut, they return through a chimney-hole to a modern state of consciousness. The use of magic mushrooms is quite wide spread and you get these colours.
Peyote is another important visionary plant used by shaman and other Native American groups. It is a powerful and sometimes extremely dangerous hallucinogenic.
It’s not only visionary plants. Various physical techniques to induce the altered states of consciousness are used. In the case of the North American Sundance it is austerity, which effects the necessary changes to be made. Amongst the Kalahari Bushmen who also did not use drugs it is the trance dance where the shamans of the Kalahari bushmen will dance for hours, 24 hours around a fire, becoming intensely dehydrated. At certain points their spirits leave their bodies and rise up into the heavens where they communicate with the spirits and come back with intervention that is valuable to their tribe.
Magic mushrooms have been popular amongst the youth in the west for a quite a while but not for that long. Although magic mushrooms have always existed and in Europe there use was forgotten up until 1957 when Gordon Wasson heard of a mushroom plant in Mexico. He went to Mexico where he met Mariah Sabina, a shaman who used psilocybin mushrooms to enter a deep trance state and do her work in the realms of the spirits. She gave the mushrooms to Gordon Wasson and he had a series of extraordinary life changing experiences. He reported in Life magazine May 13th 1957 the discovery of these mushrooms that caused strange visions. Due to that magazine article the explosion of interest in magic mushrooms in the West occurred.
In Central Africa the plant that enables men to see the dead is ibokwe.
I need to add here that I have always felt as a researcher that it is pointless to write about something if I don’t experience it myself. I can’t sit in an armchair. Santha and I did seven years of scuba diving together looking for underwater ruins, I can’t talk about these things without me experiencing them. I have naturally worked with all of these visionary plants. Ibokwe I will not be working with again which made me so ill for 48 hours I virtually could not move. I had to be carried wherever I had to go. I was in a great deal of pain. I felt my body had literally been torn apart and slowly as the effects wore off began to be reassembled. I did have one powerful visionary encounter during that experience and that was with the spirit of my recently deceased father. It was tantalising but incredibly important to me. It helped me to get closure having not been with my father the moment that he died. I beat myself up for a long time because of that. This encounter with my dad under the influence of ibokwe was enormously healing for me. It is used for that purpose in Central Africa too. Often when we lose a relative we do not have closure. It is part of a widespread religion in central Africa, in fact the president of Gabon is a member of the tribe that uses ibokwe.
In the Amazon it is Ayahuasca which means the vine of souls and the vine of the dead. It has extremely ancient use in South America, throughout the Amazon basin. It was used by more than 70 different religious cultures and we have archaeological evidence of its use going back more than 4000 years. Although Ayahuasca contains the schedule 1 drug dimethyltryptamine an extremely potent hallucinogen which is highly illegal in all Western countries throughout the world; throughout South America the use of Ayahuasca is totally legal. Not only legal but protected as a cultural treasure by all governments in that region. They hold the view that this is an ancient ceremonial rite of human beings and resisted pressure from the US to make it illegal and they protect its use as a natural treasure. It is come out of the jungles it has found its way into cities where it has taken the form of churches.
Here we have the Santa Maria church of Brazil which mingles shamanism with Christianity and they use ayahuasca as their sacrament.
More and more Westerners are travelling to Peru, to Brazil, to drink ayahuasca with shamans there in an environment that is free of fear of legal persecution and where they are in good hands with people who are enormously experienced with these very serious plants.
These are very serious plants. I want to emphasize at this point that I am not here to advocate drugs. I am here to advocate adult responsibility. And one of the things I object to about Western governments is that they are more and more stepping into the role of adult responsibility and telling us what the heck to do. We need to take responsibility for our own lives. There is a round of applause.
And have responsibility over what we put in our own bodies.
It is important to understand these visionary plants are extremely serious business. They have no business in use for recreation. If they are used for recreation the consequences can be disastrous. These plants have to be treated with respect. They are part of an ancient sacred ceremony. It is important to have the guidance of someone who knows what they are doing and that is what the shaman is, a person who is deeply versed in altered states of consciousness. If we are going to work with these plants successfully in the West we are going to have to create a Western form of shamanism. I hope that is something that we will see in due course. It is already emerging.
Here I am in the Amazon with a shaman and he is having me pick weeds from this bush. This bush is called Cha Kuna in the Amazon. It contains the pure form of DMT, Dimethytriptamine that powerful hallucinogenic.
It is brewed into a tea and drunk. If you were to brew the leaves on their own into a tea, you could drink a hundred gallons of it and it would have no effect. The reason for that is there is an enzyme in our stomachs called Nitrous Oxide which switches off DMT on contact. In the Amazon they found a way to make it work. It involves this other plant, and this is the ayahuasca vine.
In the Amazon they believe ayahuasca is an intelligent spirit who loves and cares for the human race. They say she has chosen to work with the leaf from the other plant in order to reach us. This vine contains an Nitrous Oxide inhibitor that allows the DMT from the leaves to be absorbed aurally, producing a four hour journey. It is a mixture of the leaves and the vine that go into the ayahuasca brew. It is broken up by the shaman and placed in an iron pot, boiled down for hours and hours, poor off the residue and finally you are left with a litre of this dark and sinister looking water and this is the ayahuasca brew. Some of you have drunk ayahuasca and probably will agree with me that it is one of the worst tastes on the planet. If you can envisage a pile of old socks, and sewerage and battery acid and chocolate that is the tastes of ayahuasca. This is not for recreation. This is an awful taste. You have to brace yourself to swallow it. Then you have to accept the next thing.
And it is not called a purge in the Amazon without good reason, it is a powerful purgative, you will have diarrhoea and vomiting and all this will unfold in a fairly common setting, sitting in a circle in a jungle for example. I had to go behind a tree. I was very embarrassed. And that was the first lesson the ayahuasca taught me is that the body is the least important part of myself. The most important part of myself is my consciousness. And what is happening on the level of consciousness with ayahuasca is truly extraordinary.
Martina Hoffman is the American artist who works a lot with ayahuasca. She has depicted an experience from the ayahuasca vine. The ayahuasca vine is an entity of intelligence, a spirit, sometimes appears in the human form, sometimes a jaguar and very often a serpent. Martina Hoffman is depicting the only attitude one can take to ayahuasca and that is an attitude of complete surrender. I see ayahuasca as a she. She will work with you, she will show you episodes of your life where you have been hurtful and damaging to people, she will give you the opportunity to fix that pain. I found myself again and again in floods of tears during the ayahuasca session as a see the pain that I have caused to others, inadvertently or thoughtlessly. It takes years to overcome a lifetime of bad habits. I am working on overcoming my many bad habits. It is an important part of my life’s work to make myself into a better human being. The other thing that happens with ayahuasca is these encounters with non-physical intelligence and the sense of entry into an enchanted realm.
Here is the work of Pablo Amaringo a shaman who passed away last year and for those who have not taken ayahuasca, his art work sums up beautifully the ayahuasca experience. There is a sense of a vibrant sentient organic jungle realm. People experience that drinking ayahuasca whether you are in New York City or the Amazon itself. The animals have a fixed and intelligent gaze.
Sometimes you may experience yourself lifted up into the sky and carried off into that enchanted realm. Sometimes you may be carried below the ground into an underworld of spirits.
Here you see a shaman being drawn beneath the rivers of the Amazon by two mermaids. Of course they are therianthropes and carry him down to encounter the enchanted city everyone in the Amazon knows lies beneath the water of that great river. You won’t have this encounter by scuba-diving. The only way to find it is by drinking ayahuasca. There are astonishing universals in the experiences of people all around the world who drink ayahuasca. Most universal of all, is everyone sees serpents during ayahuasca visions. These serpents may be very small or very large and sometimes are in front of you with their jaws open. What the shamans say is do not fear. Throw yourself into that open mouth. Go towards that experience. It is one thing to be told that and it is another thing to do it.
Another universal is the experience of Therianthrope’s. Here feline bodies with human heads. From Pablo’s art, a crocodile headed man, a bird headed man and from Martina Hoffman’s art this amazing Therianthropic image came from an ayahuasca session.
If you want chapter and verse on it the best is David Chandler, a professor of psychology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He is one of the leading world experts on ayahuasca. He has drunk ayahuasca more than 400 times himself, which takes some stamina. He has interviewed hundreds and hundreds of drinkers of ayahuasca all around the world. He has compared the trance they have experienced very usefully and he has demonstrated astonishing universals to come out from people who have never compared notes. They are all looking into the same realms and meeting the same entities.
Here from South Africa a human figure with a great serpent wrapped around it, here from Pablo’s art, a serpent wrapped around a human leg. Here spotted horses, from France here a spotted bull, a similar kind of idea as from the ayahuasca visions.
Psychedelic mushrooms were used in Europe, Psilocybin are the main instances of our stone age ancestors. The earliest evidence of the use of psilocybe hispanica in Europe is pictured in the painted caves of Europe and exposed in Scientist magazine 6th March 2011.
The experience is one of boundaries breaking down of the connection to a wider universe and to a wider realm.
In this painting from an Amazonian shaman from 1986 we see a flying saucer. What is that doing there? I asked Pablo about his flying saucers. I said what is this all about? Why are you painting flying saucers are you watching the x files?
He said no. These are not about Extra Terrestrials, these are vehicles for entering and leaving the spirit world, that’s what flying saucers are. When a shaman speaks about the spirit world I think this is not very far away from when quantum physicists speak about parallel universes and parallel worlds.
So what are these ET abductions? Many of the experiences shaman record with spirit are the same. We know a lot about the alien abductions phenomenon from the work of various scientists most notably the late professor John Mack who was professor at Harvard University. Harvard tried to sack him when he started working with people who believed they had been abducted by UFO’s. He managed to hold onto his job thanks to a very good lawyer called Danny Sheeham. John was persecuted for taking seriously UFO abduction. He was cast into the academic wilderness. But he continued to do the work and as a result we have thousands of hours of recordings of John’s interviews with people who believed they were abducted by UFO’s which we can use for cross-cultural comparison. Here is the familiar image of the brain.
Many abductees report that they first encountered the alien in the form of an animal or in the form of a therianthrope. John summed up, “the aliens appear to be consummate shape shifters, often appearing to the abductees as animals, an owl’s, eagle’s racoons and deer’s are some of the creatures the abductees are seen as initially.
The sense of being taken up in to the sky is seen in San rock art. Sometimes it is a matter of floating up into the sky, often it is a matter of climbing up a rope of light. This experience is reported again and again by shamans and UFO abductees. The sense of being carried into a cave or an underworld. It is a very common experience amongst shamans and UFO abductees. Betsy said a UFO took her into a crystalline palace, and went into a cave lined with stalagmites and stalactites.
The universal experience of shamanism is known as the shamanic ordeal when the shaman experiences himself pierced cut to pieces by the spirits and very often the spirits will play up bizarre surgical procedures on the body. They will insert objects into his skin or into his brain. And if you want chapter and verse on this read Mircea Eliade, ‘The Jester at Work : Shamanism’ which reports hundreds of examples of these experiences. The experience of surgery and painful piercings and implants being put into the body is very common amongst UFO abductees as well.
Shamans very frequently report having sex with the spirits. I do know a shaman in the Amazon whose wife has left him because of his activities with spirits in the spirit world. He actually has kids over there who give him repeated visits. This is another feature of UFO abduction experience. UFO abductees do also report sex with the beings that they construe as aliens, they do report hybrid children and they do report being abducted again and again.
Maria Sabina was given a book by a spirit and she learned many things from it. It helped with these secrets from the world where everything is known. But she was not allowed to bring the book back. It remains in the sky: Same with Betty Hill abducted in 1961, the aliens gave her a book and she couldn’t bring it back. Betty Anders was given a small blue book with fourteen pages,
Fairies and elves began to become ridiculous and disappeared from Western culture just at the time UFO sightings began in the 1940’s and 50’s, that was about the last time you could be taken seriously talking about being abducted by a fairy as that was the beginning of reported encounters with UFO’s and aliens. These fairies and elves have an astonishing amount in common with aliens and spirits.
I want to play tribute to the work of ‘Passport to Magonia’ by Jacques Vallee 1969, documents the amazing similarities between the entities we used to call fairies and the entities we call aliens today. Fairies were in the business of abductions too.
You did not want to come close to the fairy dance because if you were touched you could be drawn into it and suddenly find yourself in another world; you might experience two hours or a day and night visiting there and when you come home you might find that a couple of years have passed and you were a memory from a village that you came from. A bit like the phenomenon of missing time reported by UFO abductees.
Fairies could be cruel and hurt human beings. Fairies have powers of flight, they use flying vehicles. Fairy abduct underground, they appear in caves and fairies very frequently appear in animal and Therianthropic form. This woodcut is from Holland in the 15th century and here we see a group of fairies dancing in a ring. Nemesis was a fairy feared for abducting human babies.
Human beings can’t see anything without interpretation. Interpretation of perception is built in from the get go.
What we are looking at here is the same phenomenon that human beings have been experiencing for at least 35 000 years using different cultural spectacles.
Here are some of the common forms that aliens and spirits appear in. Here are images from painted caves. Look at these figures from the caves in Spain and France. The figure here has a high dome forehead and a narrow pointed chin and pouched dark eyes. Something up in the sky above that figure there. It is 24 000 years old and you can see that the profile is very distinctive as with this piece of art from the Drakensburg. Again that high domed forehead and narrow pointed chin. Virtually indistinguishable from the entities we call Greys today.
There are things that look like flying saucers on the walls of ancient caves. Archaeologists don’t know what they are but they look an awful lot like Pablo Amaringo’s depiction of spirit vehicles. One of these drawings was done in 1990 by one of John Mack’s patients and the other two were done more than 20 000 years ago in the painted caves of Southern Europe. The abductee said that every time the aliens came to abduct her, they projected this image into her visual field.
I am going to take a nuts and bolts explanation at this problem. It is much more complicated than physical aliens coming here and crossing inter-stellar space in high tech vehicles. The universe consists of multiple dimensions. And I think it is more likely that we are dealing with an inter-dimensional rather than an inter-galactic phenomenon. These experiences become accessible through altered states of consciousness.
Rick Strassman the Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Mexico, used DMT on volunteers in the 1990’s. DMT is widely found in nature. Everyone in this room has DMT in their bodies. We are all illegal. We don’t know why it is there but we do know why it is produced. It is produced in the pineal gland, which is known as the third eye. In evolutionary animals the pineal gland still possesses a lens and a retina. In human beings it does not, it is sunk deep into the brain. My suggestion is that it is producing DMT to allow us to see a wider and expanded reality. A sixth sense if you like.
The experiences of Rick Strassmans’ volunteers were astonishingly similar to the experiences of UFO abductees. They reported piercings, surgery, space stations, they were having experiences exactly like UFO abductees; it was as though their consciousness was being abducted. The volunteers were experiencing exactly what UFO abductees experience.
This work was done in the 1950’s before a single report of UFO abductions. This proves something else was going on as a lead researcher has reported his volunteers on DMT were giving reports exactly like UFO abductions.
This leads us to ask what exactly is going on here? By the way I need to emphasise that Rick Strassman does not believe that these experiences are non-real. He believes these experiences are real and that what is happening with UFO abductees is that they are overproducing DMT in the pineal gland, entering a trance state, having these experiences and then come back and report them.
Aldous Huxley. the doors of perception, saw the brain as a reducing valve largely to cut out most of reality so that we are able to function in the physical world. Albert Hoffman, the inventor of LSD, came up with the useful notion that the brain may not be a generator of consciousness, it may be a receiver of consciousness and by the altering of the receiver brainwaves in the brain will allow us to see more than we usually do. Rick Strassman uses the same analogy. In everyday life we broadcast the physical world. But, there are all sorts of other channels broadcasting to us all the time, and if they can be broadcasted into the brain we can see those other realities. It is not accessible using our normal states of consciousness. Simply by changing our brains we can comprehend all these interactions.
Quite often hallucinogenic subjects that are wired to MRI scans say that they brain lights up. Then researchers say then we can reduce the experience to the result of brain activity, there is nothing more to it than that. That is a ridiculous idea. If you want to look at a different analogy, if you want to look at various stars and point the telescope up at the sky. First of all we got to throw this at them. When you throw this at it physical changes will take place inside the barrel of the telescope in relationship to the lenses. Eventually the star will come into view. You would be completely wrong to say that the star is the physical changes inside the telescope, it simply allows you to see the star which is the suggestion of what is going on with altered states of consciousness.
Here is a large Hadron collider in Geneva Switzerland to break open parallel universes. Maybe we have got the instrument right inside our skull is, it is called our brains. All this story of our ancestors only having stone tools 2.5 million years ago is very boring. Once they have invented them they stick with them without any change for a million years and when they do make a change they stick with that for another million years, and then suddenly around about 25 000 years ago, a light is switched on in the human brain all the way round the world and the start producing this amazing art. And overlooking all of this art are these Therianthropic entities.
It may be that the introduction of altered states of consciousness by prehistoric shamans is what gave us this breakthrough form in development of human species. There is even evidence to suggest that experiences in altered states of consciousness gave us language.
Francis Greck the discoverer of the double helix admitted privately before he died that he had been under the influence of LSD when he first saw the double helix. Likewise they would never have invented the Apple computer if it hadn’t had been for LSD. There is a lot of evidence to suggest that these experiences are not brain candy, they are utterly transformative. A struggle is underway for the future of human consciousness and this is a struggle on which everything hinges.