THE AGE OF THE GREAT PYRAMID
8 Sep 2000
Email from IL to Alan Alford in response to recent postings on his site issuing a 'Howard Vyse Challenge'
Long time no speak. I notice that you have recently updated your website with the Howard Vyse Challenge, based on your continued insistence that the Khufu quarry marks are forgeries and that the Great Pyramid is far older than the orthodoxy suggests:
"My challenge to supporters of the orthodox attribution of the Great Pyramid is this. Find the Howard Vyse diaries and show them to me. If I cannot find at least three incriminating statements in those diaries, I will drop my argument that the inscriptions are forged."
When Chris and I were writing G:TT you and I had some fairly lengthy private debate on this issue, as I am sure you will remember. I also recall that you promised to rip my arguments to shreds, or words to that effect, once the book was published. I have been most disappointed that this promised rebuttal has never emerged, even though over a year has passed since G:TT first came out.
I have no idea whether you have actually read G:TT or even have a copy, but for what it is worth my extremely detailed rebuttal of Sitchin's original forgery allegations can be found on pp. 94-108, while my add ional comments on your slightly revised allegations are on pp. 110-13.
One aspect that I think deserves emphasis is contained in the following extract about your work from G:TT:
"...we should point out that wherever he quotes Vyse, his source is Leonard Cottrell’s The Mountains of Pharaoh, published in 1956; and in fact he makes no secret of the fact that, despite championning the anti-Vyse cause and engaging in a sometimes fierce and very public ongoing debate with Stower on the Internet, he has never actually read Vyse’s Operations for himself! Although he defends this omission by suggesting that in order to retain his independent stance as 'Devil’s advocate' he does not want to be indoctrinated by Vyse’s 'propaganda', we can only suggest that this is a highly unusual departure from the standard approach to scholarly research which, at best, shows a premeditated bias towards the available evidence."
Just to clarify this, I am referring to the massively detailed three-volume work Operations Carried out on the Pyramids of Gizeh (James Frazer, London, 1840-2), compiled by Vyse and his highly competent colleague John Perring.
Accordingly, in the best possible spirit of intellectual debate amongst fellow researchers, I would like to issue a counter challenge to you ...
THE ALAN ALFORD "THOROUGH RESEARCH" CHALLENGE
Instead of emphasising to your supporters that there is something frightfully amiss in the fact that the source journals from which Vyse prepared Operations have not yet been traced, why don't you get on a train, travel to London, go to the British Library (I am sure you will be a member) and ask the extremely helpful staff to bring up the aforementioned volumes to your desk. Then sit there for three days solid and make notes on the contents, as I did. And then provide a detailed counter-refutation of the arguments I have put forward in G:TT.
As someone who has travelled extensively all over the world to conduct research, I am sure this short trip will not present you with too many problems. Of course, if you have already followed my advice from some time back and actually read Operations by now, then skip the first bit and go straight to the refutation.
For what it is worth, I think your suggestions that proper photos should be taken of the marks in the Relieving Chambers, especially where they appear to travel round and behind the joins, are eminently sensible, as is the idea of carbon-dating the ochre. This would indeed help to resolve the issue once and for all. Chris and I have tried to procure such photographic evidence ourselves, having had insufficient time to locate the relevant marks amidst the plethora of graffiti when we entered the Relieving Chambers to investigate the rumours of secret tunnelling - incidentally another complete fabrication. Indeed we contacted Mark Lehner about this very issue some time back, but without any success. However we do not put this down to any conspiracy. It is far more likely that the people "on the ground" are extremely busy, and well aware of the profusion of additional (albeit sometimes circumstantial) evidence that continues to mount up to support the orthodox dating of the GP; they therefore probably have more important things to do. Perhaps you should try to raise the funds to get out there and check the chambers for yourself - although I have to say that your continued suggestions of conspiracy on the part of everyone from Vyse and Perring to Hancock and West will not help you to be taken seriously.
I look forward to hearing what you have to say, and of course I will print any reply on my website as I will this email.
Hope you are keeping well
13 Sep 2000
Email response from Alan Alford to IL
As I recall, it was you who said that I could have the opportunity to tear your work to shreds after it was published. It seems like you may be putting words in my mouth here.
No, I have not read 'Giza The Truth' (sic). I did skip through it in the shop and checked out those passages which were relevant to my theories. But to be brutally honest I found the whole book so superficial in its treatment of my theories that it would not have been productive to respond. Besides, I just couldn't bring myself to buy a book with such an arrogant title!
I could try to engage in a rational and honest discussion with you about 'The Phoenix Solution' and the research behind that book. However, I believe that to do so would be most unproductive for us both.
I say this partly from my experience in private discussions with you, where it became clear to me that you are one most arrogant and obnoxious individual (although at least in the end you did apologise for being so rude). I also say it from having observed your public discussion with others such as Chris Dunn, where it became clear to me that you were not interested in pursuing the truth, but more interested in confrontation and gaining publicity for yourself and your book. (The aggressive tone of this counter-challenge of yours says it all.)
In summary, I do not wish to join in with your silly, time-wasting confrontational games (other than having to write this one-off response). I have far better things to do with my time, such as completing my latest book on Atlantis which demonstrates the link between Plato, Greek religion and the 'exploded planet cults' of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia.
I never mentioned the 'conspiracy' word. Rather, I feel it is possible that Vyse committed a fraud, motivated by the desire for fame and money (and possibly bankrolled by those who wanted the secrets of the Pyramid to be kept secret), whilst Hancock and West said what they said for reasons which I and thousands of others are simply unable to fathom.
I do not maintain that the 'Vyse forgery theory' is any more than a possibility, and it is equally a possibility that your own theory (the orthodox theory) is correct. Another possibility worth investigating, which I mentioned to you before, is that the 4th dynasty king Khufu adopted the name of a pre-dynastic builder of the Pyramid - the original Khufu. This theory, which accords well with my 'adopted pyramids hypothesis', would allow for the authenticity of the inscriptions. One way or another, I am still inclined to think that the Pyramid is pre-dynastic but renovated at least once in dynastic times. But I think that he who pretends to have definite answers to any of these questions is a fool.
Perhaps one day, if you were to give my adopted pyramids hypothesis the full and serious attention it deserves, I might honour you with a response. In the meantime, however, I would appreciate it if you do not bother me with your silly publicity-seeking stunts.
14 Sep 2000
Email response from IL to Alan Alford
[This is my brief reply to the only pertinent point Alan made]
You seem to feel that I have not given your adopted pyramids hypothesis the attention it deserves, even though you know that I took the trouble to buy your book and at least read Part One, and despite the fact that we had some discussion about it in private. Despite your own admission that the quarry marks have a major bearing on whether or not your theory has any credibility at all, you seem unable to appreciate that it is exactly my disagreement with you on this particular issue that prevents me from taking your wider theory more seriously. If you could defend your position by responding to my detailed arguments in G:TT as I suggested then it would be a start, but it seems that that logic escapes you.
Anyway, good luck with your new book
16 Nov 2000
Link to intriguing paper by Egyptologist Kate Spence entitled 'Ancient Egyptian Chronology and the Astronomical Orientation of Pyramids' in Nature magazine, which appears to further narrow down the date of construction of the Great Pyramid.
29 Jan 2001
Email to IL from correspondent George Forrest responding to Kate Spence's paper
I am somewhat puzzled by Kate Spence's paper. Maybe I am missing something, but I have been told by various people that the problem with dating using techniques such as hers or using precession in general is tectonic movement. There is some data on the subject published here on the internet by NASA.
Their figures imply a movement of some 200m in the Giza plateau, and possibly some significant rotation. Giza is moving especially fast because of its location at the meeting point of the African, Arabian and Eurasian plates, which also maximises potential rotation.
Another issue is the impact of the sea on the Giza plateau. The sea level has dropped two metres in the last 5,000 years which certainly will have affected the tilt of the plateau. In addition, there have been several tidal waves in the area. The one that crushed Cleopatra's Alexandria was massive, but probably not as big as the one resulting from Thera explosion in 1,500 BC. There are at least two Egyptian inscriptions which describe the devastating effect of tidal waves; the Tempest Stele from about 1,500 BC and the Medinet Habu inscription from 1,200 BC whose dating I think suspect.
With all this underground movement, I cannot see how Kate Spence can obtain such accuracy in her calculations - or am I missing something?
1 Feb 2001
Email to IL from correspondent Alex Bourdeau responding to George Forrest
I have just read George Forrest's email to you regarding tectonics and Kate Spence's work. He asks if he's missing something, and he is. Colin Reader and I have done some checking and it appears that continental drift can be ruled out as having any significant effect on pyramid alignments.
In order for drift to have changed the alignments relative to the cardinal directions, the plate the Giza Plateau is part of (African) would have needed to not only have moved, but rotated relative to the Earth's axis of rotation as well. From the best geotechnical data available, this isn't happening very fast - Colin has investigated this and finds it to be something of the order of 1/1000 of an arc second over the last 4500 years (see The PALEOMAP Project and The NUVEL 1 Relative Plate Motion Calculator).
Of course Colin's analysis is for the African plate as a whole. There are many places on Earth where bits and pieces of continents are moving differently than the overall drift. Best example I can think of is in North America, where that portion which makes up northern Nevada and California, Oregon and Washington has rotated almost 60 degrees relative to the rest of the plate over the last 55 million years or so. Since Giza sits adjacent to the Red Sea Rift Zone, it would not surprise me at all if some odd mini-crustal things are happening there as well. So I guess the distinction we need to make is between continental drift and crustal deformation. From what I've been able to find out, no one who has published on the Web has looked at NE Africa carefully enough to make this call. Darn it, the devil is ALWAYS in the details!
As to the other ideas George throws out, none of them hold water (so to speak). Giza is a long way from anywhere a tsunami could have had any effect - not that they are capable of moving anything as big as the Plateau in the first place. And he has a factual error in his message as well. Sea level has RISEN at least two meters over the last 5000 years, not fallen.
13 Apr 2001
Email to IL from correspondent Ernest Moyer
In 1973 G. S. Pawley of the Physics Department of Edinburgh University in Scotland, and N. Abrahamsen of the Geophysics Laboratory of Aarhus University in Denmark refuted several suggestions put forth to explain the misalignment of the Great Pyramid.
See "Do the Pyramids Show Continental Drift," Science, Vol 179, page 892, 1973.