OPEN LETTER by Robert G. Bauval
As you all know, I am not much of a participant on this message board. But I am now getting really annoyed that this board, which was intended to be an open forum for discussion and exchange of information and new ideas, is being used by some as a cheap opportunity to discredit Graham Hancock and myself. This is especially despicable when this comes from academics such at Garrett Fagan. It is time, therefore, to put things again in perspective.
For decades the scientific and academic community has had an open field and held the floor on all issues related to the history of mankind. Archaeologists, Egyptologists, philologists, chemists, anthropologists, physicists and many more other -ists than I care to enumerate, have arrived at an established view about the past and have set out their rules and their methods to investigate it. They have formed a massive and global network through universities, museums, institutes, societies and foundations. And this immense powerhouse and clearing-house of knowledge has presented their dogma of history to the general public totally unhindered and unchallenged from the outside. It was high time that an alternative, even opposing view be vented in order to shake this rigid orthodox tree of knowledge and bring down some of its rotten apples. It was high time that some of the 'established' views be challenged, but not in the dark halls of academia and the jargon-loaded verbiage of peer-reviewed journals, but in the wide open air, under the eyes of the public.
Now I am not saying that publishing in peer-reviewed journals is not necessary, but such publications are generally inaccessible to the public and tend to loose themselves in excessive detail, and over-zealous caution from fear of being pilloried by peers or fear of jeopardising position and tenure. And those who still have doubt about this, try and find an academic Egyptologist who you think is open-minded (it actually easier to find a pregnant panda these days) and ask him to give his view on what is behind the 'door' at the end of the southern shaft of the Queen's Chamber in the Great Pyramid, and then wait to see what happens. Believe me, I've tried. If the Egyptologist hasn't fled in horror or broken into a little nervous laugh, and he is still able to talk, you'll be lucky to hear a comment that might be a little more exciting than watching grass grow. It is a fact that one of the most exciting archaeological discoveries of this century has been stunted and endlessly delayed because of such 'academic' behaviour. Now the Egyptologists have blamed the press, they have blamed Rudolf Gantenbrink (the discoverer), they have blamed me, and they have blamed the media for causing the 'problem'. The real problem, however, is that they have totally snuffed out this discovery and talked it into oblivion. No Egyptologist that I know has had the courage or imagination to openly come out and support further exploration at Giza. They have maintained a pathetic silence, bickering behind the scene about 'sensationalism' while letting Dr. Zahi Hawass make a total hash out of this affair. The only ones who have stood forth on this matter have been Hancock and myself. In the words of the French novelist Sax Rohmer: "If we melted down all the Egyptologists and distilled the fluid thus produced, we would not be able to extract even one microgram of imagination!". Well, I wouldn’t go as far as that. But Rohmer has a point.
As for 'established views', let me narrate a little story that happened to me a few years ago. In 1993, when I was about to publish The Orion Mystery, I received a phone call from the controversial writer Erich Von Daniken, who invited me to meet him in Switzerland. He wanted to tell me about his own experience with the scientific and academic community around the world and, most of all, he wanted to give me a book which he felt might be useful to me later in life. The book is entitled The Experts Speak, written by Christopher Cerf and Victor Navasky, and published by Pantheon, NY in 1984. The authors had founded the Institute of Expertology and, thorough the years, had collated "thousands of examples of expert misunderstanding, miscalculation, egregious prognostication, boo-boos, and just plain lies". They showed that some experts are "even wrong about themselves", like for example Joseph P. Kennedy (the father of JFK) saying in 1936: "I have no political ambitions for myself or my children". There are a few gems concerning 'established' science that are worth quoting here:
"This fool wishes to reverse the entire science of astronomy!" Martin Luther (leader of the Protestant Reformation) speaking of Copernicus in 1543.
"Louis Pasteur's theory of germs is a ridiculous fiction. How do you think that these germs in the air are numerous enough to develop into all these organic infusions? If that were true, they would be numerous enough to form a thick fog as dense as iron." Dr. Pierre Pochet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse University, 1872.
"If excessive smoking actually plays a role in the production of lung cancer, it must be a minor one." Dr. W.C. Heuper, National Cancer Institute, 1954
"Cigarette smoking is clearly identified as the chief preventable cause of death in our society." Dr. C. Everett Koop, U.S. Surgeon General, Quoted in The New York Times 1982
"Experimental evidence is strongly in favour of my argument that the chemical purity of the air is of no importance." L. Eskine Hill, Lecturer on Physiology at London Hospital, quoted in The New York Times 1912
"Heavier-than-air machines are impossible" Lord Kelvin, physicist and President of the Royal Society, 1895
"Airplanes are interesting toys, but of no military value." Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Stategy and Commandant of the Ecole Superieur de Guerre, 1911
"Now the new evidence born out of scientific studies is…that it is highly improbable that there is any appreciable amount of available sub-atomic energy for man to tap… in other words, that men who are living in fear lest some bad boy among the scientists may some day touch off the fuse and blow this comfortable world of our to dust, may go home and henceforth sleep in peace…" Robert A. Millikan, Nobel Prize US Physics, at a meeting of The American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1929
"Space travel is utter bilge." Dr. Richard van der Riet Wooley, British Astronomer Royal, 1956
"The theory of relativity is worthless and misleading." Prof. T.J.J. See, Director of the U.S. Government Observatory at Mare Island, California, addressing the California Academy of Science, 1924
But my favourites, which have little to do with science (well not quite), but nonetheless typify the concept of self-appointed 'experts', are these two beauties:
"Forget it Louis, no Civil War picture ever made a nickel." Irving Thalberg warning Louis B. Mayer about Gone With The Wind.
"In one year The Orion Mystery will be gone with the wind." Dr. Zahi Hawass, 1995. (Not from The Experts Speak).
But on a more sinister note: now this 'church of science' has formed a network of watchdog organisations such as CSICOP and The SKEPTICAL SOCIETY (to name but a few) in order to act as the gatekeepers of the truth (as they see it), ready to come down like the proverbial ton of bricks on all those whom they perceive as 'frauds', 'charlatans' and 'pseudo-scientists' -- in short, heretics.
So let us spell it out once and for all. Neither Hancock or myself are insisting that our theories are right, merely that they have been presented with cogency and proper investigation. We could be right, we could be wrong. At this stage no-one honestly knows. If we are proved wrong, then so be it. It was a worthwhile exercise. But if we are right, or even partly right, then the implications are massive. And this, lets make no mistake, is what this affair is all about. Fate has made it our role, our responsibility, and our quest to see this affair through. For better or for worse. Neither the scientists or the academics, nor CSICOP or their henchmen, nor even the BBC will be allowed to intimidate or discourage us as long as these important questions remain open. Our shaking has already caused a few rotten apples to fall for the established Tree of Knowledge. Good. The shaking will continue.
We hope that you, the people out there, are behind us on this.
Now enough said and on with the work.
Robert G. Bauval