by Melissa Smith

The following is a review by Melissa Smith of Graham Hancock's presentation

as given during his book tour in June 1996.

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

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

To name a few:

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

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

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

--  And on and on and on...

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

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

Mr. Hancock said a good saying:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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