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Rangers Muzzled On Age Of Grand Canyon


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In the interest of causing people to ask as many questions as possible about the realities that they try to live in, I'm going to post some material that I found some time ago on the web. It was written by David Hatcher Childress, a writer who specializes in subject matter that often lies on the fringes of science. However, the rights to use these materials appear to be owned by Unicus Magazine, which appears to publish sensationalism pieces , and the fair use doctrine at the end of the piece seems to grant this sort of use. I believe that the Cornell reference does not imply their involvement in any of this and only leads one to the Cornell Law Library where fair use is described in usc 107.

 

The fact that this information originally appeared on the front page of a Phoenix Newspaper in 1909 doesn't necessarily give it credence. Publishers in those days were known to run all sorts of stuff that thay thought might boost sales and circulation. LibChristian, after you read what's here, maybe you or some of your friends might want to do a little checking to see if the original article even existed?

 

For my part, I found the information here to be possibly believable and fascinating. This would extend the reasons why the Bush Administration might be suppressing information regarding the real age of the Grand Canyon, and it might not have a lot to do with supporting Biblical inerrancy. By the way, if any of you have never seen the film Grand Canyon, rent it and enjoy. I'll will make your hearts glow.

 

Some of you might also be interested to know that there are comparable legends regarding ancient Phonecians or Hebrews in Tennessee and the Carolinas centuries before Europeans showed up. Some have speculated that these sorts of legends are lended foundational credence by other records such as the Book of Mormon. Have fun !

 

flow.... B)

 

Was An Ancient Egyptian City Found In the Grand Canyon?

Added: Nov 19th, 2006 12:51 PM

 

GRAND DISCOVERY

 

Ancient Egyptian City In the Grand Canyon?

 

An Egyptian tomb in the Grand Canyon similar to the Valley of Kings in Luxor, Egypt?An article published on the front page of the Phoenix Gazette on April 5,1909, claimed that just such an Egyptian rock-cut cave was found!

 

By David H. Childress

 

The Gazette article, dated April 5,1909, starts with four headlines, "Explorations in Grand Canyon", "Mysteries of Immense Rich Cavern Being Brought to Light", "JORDAN IS ENTHUSED" and "Remarkable Finds Indicate Ancient People Migrated From Orient."

 

The story then continued (quoted here in full): "The latest news of the progress of the explorations of what is now regarded by scientists as not only the oldest archaeological discovery in the United States, but one of the most valuable in the world, which was mentioned some time ago in the Gazette, was brought to the city by G.E. Kinkaid, the explorer who found this great underground citadel of the Grand Canyon during a trip from Green River, Wyoming, down the Colorado river, in a wooden boat, to Yuma, several months ago.

 

According to the story related to the Gazette, the archaeologists of the Smithsonian Institute, which is financing the explorations, have made discoveries which almost conclusively prove that the race which inhabited this mysterious cavern, hewn in solid rock by human hands, was of oriental origin, possibly from Egypt, tracing back to Rameses. If their theories are born out by the translation of the tablets engraved with hieroglyphics, the mystery of the prehistoric peoples of North America, their ancient arts, who they were and whence they came, will be solved. Egypt and the Nile, and Arizona and the Colorado will be linked by a historical chain running back to ages which stagger the wildest fancy of the fictionist.

 

"Under the direction of Professor S.A. Jordan, the Smithsonian is now pursuing the most thorough explorations, which will be continued until the last link in the chain is forged. Nearly a mile underground, about 1480 feet below the surface, the long main passage has been delved into, to find another mammoth chamber from which radiates scores of passageways, like the spokes of a wheel. Several hundred rooms have been discovered, reached by passageways running from the main passage, one of them having been explored for 854 feet and another 634 feet. The recent finds include articles, which have never been known as native to this country and that doubtless they had their origin in the orient. War weapons, copper instruments, sharp edged and hard as steel, indicate the high state of civilization reached by these strange people. So interested have the scientists become that preparations are being made to equip the camp for extensive studies, and the force will be increased to thirty or forty persons.

 

"Before going further into the cavern, better facilities for lighting will have to be installed, for the darkness is dense and quite impenetrable for the average flashlight. In order to avoid being lost, wires are being strung from the entrance to all passageways leading directly to large chambers. How far this cavern extends no one can guess, but it is now the belief of many that what has already been explored is merely the ‘barracks’, to use an American term, for the soldiers, and that further into the underworld will be found the main communal dwellings of the families. The perfect ventilation of the cavern, the steady draught that blows through, indicates that it has another outlet to the surface.

 

"Kinkaid was the first white man born in Idaho and has been an explorer and hunter all his life, thirty years having been in the service of the Smithsonian. Even briefly recounted, his history sounds fabulous, almost grotesque:

 

‘First, I would impress that the cavern is nearly inaccessible. The entrance is 1,486 feet down the sheer canyon wall. It is located on government land and no visitor will be allowed there under penalty of trespass. The scientists wish to work unmolested, without fear of the archaeological discoveries being disturbed by curio or relic hunters. A trip there would be fruitless, and the visitor would be sent on his way. The story of how I found the cavern has been related, but in a paragraph: I was journeying down the Colorado River in a boat, alone, looking for mineral. Some forty-two miles up the river from the El Tovar Crystal canyon, I saw on the east wall, stains in the sedimentary formation about 2,000 feet above the river bed. There was no trail to this point, but I finally reached it with great difficulty. Above a shelf that hid it from view from the river, was the mouth of the cave. There are steps leading from this entrance some thirty yards to what was, at the time the cavern was inhabited, the level of the river. When I saw the chisel marks on the wall inside the entrance, I become interested, securing my gun and went in. During that trip I went back several hundred feet along the main passage, until I came to the crypt in which I discovered the mummies. One of these I stood up and photographed by flashlight. I gathered a number of relics, which I carried down the Colorado to Yuma, from whence I shipped them to Washington with details of the discovery. Following this, the explorations were undertaken.’

 

"The main passageway is about 12 feet wide, narrowing to nine feet toward the farther end. About 57 feet from the entrance, the first side passages branch off to the right and left, along which, on both sides, are a number of rooms about the size of ordinary living rooms of today, though some are 30 by 40 feet square. These are entered by oval shaped doors and are ventilated by round air spaces through the walls into the passages. The walls are about three feet six inches in thickness. The passages are chiseled or hewn as straight as could be laid out by an engineer. The ceilings of many of the rooms converge to the center. The side-passages near the entrance run at a sharp angle from the main hall, but toward the rear they gradually reach a right angle in direction.

 

"Over a hundred feet from the entrance is the cross-hall, several hundred feet long, in which are found the idol, or image, of the people's god, sitting cross-legged, with a lotus flower or lily in each hand. The cast of the face is oriental, and the carving shows a skillful hand, and the attire is remarkably well preserved, as is everything in this cavern. The idol most resembles Buddha, though the scientists are not certain as to what religious worship it represents. Taking into consideration everything found thus far, it is possible that this worship most resembles the ancient people of Tibet. Surrounding this idol are smaller images, some very beautiful in form; others crooked-necked and distorted shapes, symbolical, probably, of good and evil. There are two large cactus with protruding arms, one on each side of the dais on which the god squats. All this is carved out of hard rock resembling marble. In the opposite corner of this cross-hall were found tools of all descriptions, made of copper. These people undoubtedly knew the lost art of hardening this metal, which has been sought by chemists for centuries without result. On a bench running around the workroom was some charcoal and other material probably used in the process. There is also slag and stuff similar to metal, showing that these ancients smelted ores, but so far no trace of where or how this was done has been discovered, nor the origin of the ore.

 

"Among the other finds are vases or urns and cups of copper and gold, made very artistic in design. The pottery work includes enameled ware and glazed vessels. Another passageway leads to granaries such as are found in the oriental temples. They contain seeds of various kinds. One very large storehouse has not yet been entered, as it is twelve feet high and can be reached only from above. Two copper hooks extend on the edge, which indicates that some sort of ladder was attached. These granaries are rounded, as the materials, of which they are constructed, I think, is very hard cement. A gray metal is also found in this cavern, which puzzles the scientists, however its identity has not been established. It resembles platinum. Strewn promiscuously over the floor everywhere is what people call 'cats eyes,' a yellow stone of no great value. Each one is engraved with the head of the Malay type.

 

"On all the urns, or walls over doorways, and tablets of stone which were found by the image are the mysterious hieroglyphics, the key to which the Smithsonian Institute hopes yet to discover. The engraving on the tablets probably has something to do with the religion of the people. Similar hieroglyphics have been found in southern Arizona. Among the pictorial writings, only two animals are found. One is of prehistoric type.

 

"The tomb or crypt in which the mummies were found is one of the largest of the chambers, the walls slanting back at an angle of about 35 degrees. One of these is tiers of mummies, each one occupying a separate hewn shelf. At the head of each is a small bench, on which are found copper cups and pieces of broken swords. Some of the mummies are covered with clay, and all are wrapped in a bark fabric. The urns or cups on the lower tiers are crude, while as the higher shelves are reached the urns are finer in design, showing a later stage of civilization. It is worthy of note that all the mummies examined so far have proved to be male, no children or females being buried here. This leads to the belief that this exterior section was the warriors' barracks.

 

"Among the discoveries no bones of animals have been found, no skins, no clothing or bedding. Many of the rooms are bare but for water vessels. One room, about 40 by 700 feet, was probably the main dining hall, for cooking utensils are found here. What these people lived on is a problem, though it is presumed that they came south in the winter and farmed in the valleys, going back north in the summer. Upwards of 50,000 people could have lived in the caverns comfortably. One theory is that the present Indian tribes found in Arizona are descendants of the serfs or slaves of the people that inhabited the cave. Undoubtedly a good many thousands of years before the Christian era a people lived here which reached a high stage of civilization. The chronology of human history is full of gaps. Professor Jordan is much enthused over the discoveries and believes that the find will prove of incalculable value in archaeological work

 

"One thing I have not spoken of, may be of interest. There is one chamber the passageway to which is not ventilated, and when we approached it a deadly, snaky smell struck us. Our lights would not penetrate the gloom, and until stronger ones are available we will not know what the chamber contains. Some say snakes, but others boohoo this idea and think it may contain a deadly gas or chemicals used by the ancients. No sounds are heard, but it smells snaky just the same. The whole underground installation gives one of shaky nerves the creeps. The gloom is like a weight on one's shoulders, and our flashlights and candles only make the darkness blacker. Imagination can revel in conjectures and ungodly daydreams back through the ages that have elapsed till the mind reels dizzily in space.

 

"In connection with this story, it is notable that among the Hopi Indians the tradition is told that their ancestors once lived in an underworld in the Grand Canyon till dissension arose between the good and the bad, the people of one heart and the people of two hearts. Machetto, who was their chief, counseled them to leave the underworld, but there was no way out. The chief then caused a tree to grow up and pierce the roof of the underworld, and then the people of one heart climbed out. They tarried by Paisisvai (Red River), which is the Colorado, and grew grain and corn. They sent out a message to the Temple of the Sun, asking the blessing of peace, good will and rain hr the people of one heart. That messenger never returned, but today at the Hopi villages at sundown can be seen the old men of the tribe out on the housetops gazing toward the sun, looking hr the messenger. When he returns, their lands and ancient dwelling place will be restored to them. That is the tradition. Among the engravings of animals in the cave is seen the image of a heart over the spot where it is located. The legend was learned by W.E. Rollins, the artist, during a year spent with the Hopi Indians. There are two theories of the origin of the Egyptians. One is that they came from Asia; another that the racial cradle was in the upper Nile region. Heeren, an Egyptologist, believed in the Indian origin of the Egyptians. The discoveries in the Grand Canyon may throw further light on human evolution and prehistoric ages."

 

The explorer, G.E. Kinkaid, discovered the vaults about 2,000 feet above the present level of the river, where steps led some 30 yards to the former level of the river. That means that the Colorado River, by Kinkaid's testimony, has cut some 1,910 feet in the canyon since the time of the construction of the vaults. Normal geological time would place human construction on the canyon walls at this level at easily tens of thousands if not millions of years ago. Kinkaid's testimony actually is evidence that much of the Grand Canyon was cut in a very short time during some cataclysmic earth change, rather than the slow, steady millions of years claimed by Uniformitarian geologists. It is possible that a huge lake was drained down the Grand Canyon, thus causing the fast erosion.

 

In investigating this incredible story, any information on the two leading figures in the discovery, G.E. Kinkaid and Professor S.A. Jordan would be invaluable. Did these two men exist? I would appreciate any information on these two men, or their alleged discoveries that any UNICUS readers may have.

 

While it cannot be discounted that the entire story is an elaborate newspaper hoax, the fact that it is on the front page, names the prestigious Smithsonian Institution, and gives a highly detailed story that goes on for several pages, lends a great deal to its credibility. What appears to be going on in this case is that the Smithsonian Institution is covering up what is an archaeological discovery of great importance, and radically changes the current views that there was no transoceanic contact in Pre-Colombian times, and that all American Indians, on both continents, are descended from ice age explorers who came across the Bering Straits.

 

Is the idea that ancient Egyptians came to the Arizona area in the ancient past so objectionable and preposterous that is must be covered up? Perhaps the Smithsonian Institution is more interested in maintaining the status quo then rocking the boat with astonishing new discoveries that totally overturn the previously accepted academic teachings.

 

Though the idea of the Smithsonian's covering up a valuable archaeological find is difficult to accept for some, there is, sadly, a great deal of evidence to suggest that the Smithsonian Institution has knowingly covered up and "lost" important archaeological relics. The Stonewatch Newsletter of the Gungywamp Society in Connecticut, which researches megalithic sites in New England, had a curious story in their Winter, 1992 issue (Vol.10, No.3) about some stone coffins discovered in 1892 in Alabama which were sent to the Smithsonian Institution and then "lost."

 

In an effort to find out where this vault with mummies and artifacts might be located, I went down to my mom's bookstore and got a hiker's map of the Grand Canyon. Pouring over the map, I was suddenly shocked to see that much of the area on the north side of the canyon had Egyptian names. The area around Ninety-four Mile Creek and Trinity Creek had areas (rock formations, apparently) with names like Tower of Set, Tower of Ra, Horus Temple, Osiris Temple, and Isis Temple. In the Haunted Canyon area were such names as the Cheops Pyramid, the Buddha Cloister, Buddha Temple, Manu Temple and Shiva Temple. Was there any relationship between these places and the alleged Egyptian discoveries in the Grand Canyon?

 

I called a State archaeologist at the Grand Canyon, and was told by the female voice on the phone that the early explorers had just liked Egyptian and Hindu names, but that it was true that this area was off limits to hikers or visitors, "because of dangerous caves."

 

Indeed, this entire area with the Egyptian and Hindu place names in the Grand Canyon is forbidden zone, no one is allowed into this large area. Despite the many thousands of tourists to the Grand Canyon each year, the lofty walls and spectacular buttes of this natural wonder still hold many secrets, which have not yet been revealed, to the public at large.

 

Excerpted from UNICUS Maagazine Issue #6

 

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Edited by flowperson
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This would extend the reasons why the Bush Administration might be suppressing information regarding the real age of the Grand Canyon

 

I was a little skeptical of this statement, thinking to myself, Why would the Bush administration care about the Grand Canyon, given that there are more important matters to attend to, like oh, say, terrorism. It seems my skepticism was well-founded after seeing this article from, ironically, Skeptic Magazine:

 

Fact Checking 101

How Skeptic magazine was Duped

by an Environmental Activist Group

 

by Michael Shermer

 

In last week’s eSkeptic , we published highlights from a press release issued by PEER (Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility), a Washington D.C.-based environmental watchdog group. That press release, dated December 28, 2006, was headlined:

 

HOW OLD IS THE GRAND CANYON? PARK SERVICE WON’T SAY

Orders to Cater to Creationists Makes National Park Agnostic on Geology

 

The first sentence of the release reads:

 

Washington, DC — Grand Canyon National Park is not permitted to give an official estimate of the geologic age of its principal feature, due to pressure from Bush administration appointees.

 

Unfortunately, in our eagerness to find additional examples of the inappropriate intrusion of religion in American public life (as if we actually needed more), we accepted this claim by PEER without calling the National Park Service (NPS) or the Grand Canyon National Park (GCNP) to check it. As a testimony to the quality of our readers, however, dozens immediately phoned both NPS and GCNP, only to discover that the claim is absolutely false. Callers were told that the Grand Canyon is millions of years old, that no one is being pressured from Bush administration appointees — or by anyone else — to withhold scientific information, and all were referred to a statement by David Barna, Chief of Public Affairs, National Park Service as to the park’s official position. “Therefore, our interpretive talks, way-side exhibits, visitor center films, etc. use the following explanation for the age of the geologic features at Grand Canyon,” the document explains.

 

If asked the age of the Grand Canyon, our rangers use the following answer: ‘The principal consensus among geologists is that the Colorado River basin has developed in the past 40 million years and that the Grand Canyon itself is probably less than five to six million years old. The result of all this erosion is one of the most complete geologic columns on the planet.’

 

Understandably, many of our readers were outraged by both the duplicity of the claim and our failure to fact check it. One park ranger wrote us:

 

You’re a day late and a dollar short on this one. As a national park ranger, I found most of PEER’s findings to be bogus. So have others: http://parkrangerx.blogspot.com

 

A Grand Canyon park interpreter wrote:

 

This is incorrect. I have NEVER been told to present non-science based programs. In fact, I received “talking points” demanding that Grand Canyon employees present programs BASED ON SCIENCE and that we must use the scientific version supported by the National Science Foundation and the National Academy of Sciences. As an interpreter I have shared the “creation” story of the Hopi people and the Paiute people because it is culturally relative. I used these stories as a tool to introduce the scientific story. Be confident there are good people running government, too.

 

One of our readers directly challenged Jeff Ruch, the Executive Director of PEER:

 

When I challenged that PEER guy to show me some evidence and provided him evidence to the contrary, he didn’t have much. I would say PEER did more than jump the gun. I’d say they are spreading misinformation.

 

Another Grand Canyon park interpreter offered this explanation:

 

Ruch’s attempts to insinuate a conspiratorial link between the NPS and organized religion are misguided and founded in fervent anti-Christian opposition, not reason or the law. Ruch’s anti-Judeo-Christian bias is evidence by his lack of opposition to GCA’s selling of Native American creation myths. His misinformation campaign aims to tarnish the reputation of the NPS to leverage his position that creationism books should not be sold in the GCA bookstore. I’ve emailed a few of my contacts at GRCA, and so far, all deny any conspiracy and all freely give the canyon’s age in education programs (as does all official GRCA print material). I’ll post updates as information becomes available. Until then, don’t believe everything you read.

 

The reference to the creationism book being sold in the Grand Canyon bookstore — Grand Canyon: A Different View by Tom Vail — is true. It is sold in the “inspiration” section of the bookstore, alongside other books of myth and spirituality. In any case, the story is an old one now, and completely irrelevant to the claim that NPS employees are withholding information about the age of the canyon, and/or are being pressured to do so by Bush administration appointees.

 

Embarrassed and angered by all of this, I promptly phoned Jeff Ruch myself and inquired what evidence he has to support this claim. He initially pointed to the creationism book and the fact that the NPS has failed to address numerous challenges to the sale of same in their bookstore. When I pointed out that this is irrelevant to the claim in the press release, he then reminded me of the biblical passages that have been posted at places along the rim of the canyon. Again, I admonished, this is not evidence for his central claim. We went round and round on the phone until I finally gave up and hung up, convinced that he simply made up the claim out of whole cloth.

 

Not wishing to simply call Ruch a liar, and allowing myself to calm down a bit, I emailed him and asked:

 

Can you tell us who in the Bush administration put pressure on park service employees? Can you name one person in the GCNP staff who says that they are not permitted to give the official estimate of the age of the canyon?

 

He responded:

 

1. I do not know — it is at the Director’s level or above. We have been trying to find out for three years.

2. Julie Cart, Los Angeles Times.

 

I contacted Julie Cart at the Los Angeles Times, who was out of town on assignment, and got her editor, Frank Clifford, on the phone. Clifford knew all about the creationism book and the biblical passages on the rim of the canyon, but said that he had heard nothing about this new claim of Bush administration appointees silencing park service staff, and that if Julie knew of such a thing the Times would be most interested in following up with the story. I then reached Julie by email, who said that she too knew of no such silence on the part of park staffers regarding the age of the canyon.

 

Once again outraged and enraged , I emailed Ruch to ask him why he referenced Cart, who denied his central claim. He responded:

 

I referred you to Julie because of the response she got from the superintendent’s office when she covered the issue earlier — not for any new claim.

 

Thanks a lot. I wasted several hours tracking down that false lead. Now at my wit’s end with this guy, I point blank asked him if he made it all up. He responded:

 

The interpretive staff at GCNP we are working with do not want to be identified and have gone into deep underground as the atmosphere at the park is now somewhat volatile.

 

Well, it would have been nice (not to mention ethical) if he would have said so in the first place. (I have now wasted about 10 hours of research time on this instead of other projects.) The referencing of sources who wish to remain anonymous is quite common in journalism and, in fact, there are laws protecting whistleblowers . The fact that no such reference was made until I pointedly accused Ruch of flatout lying makes me, well, skeptical of this explanation. His final statement to me doesn’t make me any less skeptical:

 

We are issuing an amended release today that

 

1. deletes reference to what interpretive staff can and cannot say and

2. features the NPS official statement that they provide geological information to the public.

 

Then why did PEER issue that statement in the first place? In my opinion, this is why:

 

PEER is an anti-Bush, anti-religion liberal activist watchdog group in search of demons to exorcise and dragons to slay. On one level, that’s how the system works in a free society, and there are plenty of pro-Bush, pro-religion conservative activist watchdog groups who do the same thing on the other side. Maybe in a Hegelian process of thesis-antithesis-synthesis we find truth that way; at least at the level of talk radio. But journalistic standards and scholarly ethics still hold sway at all levels of discourse that matter, and to that end I believe we were duped by an activist group who at the very least exaggerated a claim and published it in order to gain notoriety for itself, or worse, simply made it up.

 

To that end I apologize to all of our readers for not fact checking this story before publishing it on eSkeptic and www.skeptic.com. Shame on us. But shame on you too, Mr. Ruch, and shame on PEER, for this egregious display of poor judgment and unethical behavior.

Michael Shermer

Publisher, Skeptic magazine

Executive Director, the Skeptics Society

mshermer@skeptic.com

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Thanks DCJ:

Seems to me that there's way too much weird stuff going on around this issue for there NOT to be something behind it all. Just my experience talking to me. Something going back about 100 years might be a stretch though. But then again the larger nature of the dispute centers around measurements of time...no ?

 

flow.... ;)

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