Six Egyptians officials have been held in jail since February 2014 for allegedly helping three Germans to take samples from the Cartouche of Khufu in the Great Pyramid at Giza without permission. They are awaiting trial, along with the three Germans (in absentia) on the 14th September 2014 at the Giza Criminal Court. If this accusation is true, then all the accused have committed a heinous crime against our world heritage, because the Great Pyramid, being the last surviving wonder of the ancient world, is undeniably the most sacred of monuments from antiquity. But the crime is the more heinous because of the huge importance of the Cartouche that bears the ‘signature’ of its builder, king Khufu of the great 4th Dynasty. Because the Great Pyramid is totally devoid of contemporary official inscriptions, inside or outside, and therefore totally anonymous, this cartouche is the linchpin that links it to Khufu. It is, quite simply, the ‘holy grail’ of Egyptology and its importance cannot be overemphasized. But is it true? Why are the Egyptian authorities so convinced of this? It is well known, and well documented (in photographs, videos, documents and radio) that the three Germans –Dominique Gorlitz, Stefan Erdmann and Jan Gartig—have entered the Great Pyramid on the evening of the 17th April 2013 with full intent to acquire samples from the Great Pyramid. An official permit from the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities (MOA) was obtained on their behalf through a travel agent in Cairo to visit the Great Pyramid privately after opening hours, from 6 to 8 p.m. The Germans were accompanied and supervised during this visit in the Great Pyramid by six officials from the MOA, the security police, a guardian and the representative of the travel agent. The Germans had requested that a 5 meters ladder be made available for their visit in order to reach the various places from which they wanted to obtain samples. As requested, the ladder was supplied by the authorities. The Germans were also allowed to take filming equipment with them, as well as some small tools with which to extract the samples from the ancient blocks. When inside the pyramid, the Germans, along with some of the Egyptians officials, first made their way into the King’s Chamber. There the ladder was used by Dominique Gorlitz, the scientist among them, to climb up to the ceiling of the chamber to scrape off a few milligrams of black soot encrusted on the granite beams that make up the roof of the chamber. After which the ladder was transported out of the King’s Chamber and place against the south end of the Grand Gallery in order to enter a tunnel that leads to the so-called Relief Chambers located above the King’s Chamber. Only Gorlitz and Gatrig (the cameraman) went up. They carried their gear all the way up to reach the topmost chamber where the Khufu Cartouche is found inscribed in red ochre paint, thought by Egyptologists to be ancient graffiti or quarry marks left by the workers who built the chamber. It is to be noted that the Khufu Cartouche is not the only graffiti in the Relief Chambers. The Relief Chambers were given English names when they were discovered in 1837 by Colonel Howard-Vyse: Davison, Wellington, Nelson, Lady Arbuthnot and Campbell. There are many graffiti inscription in all chambers except ‘Davison’ (the lowest). Many of these graffiti give so-called “gang names” based on various titles and names of the king. There are ten ‘gang names’ linked to the king’s ‘Horus name’, seven others linked to his name as Khnum-Khufu, and two others linked to the name ‘Khufu’. The Khufu Cartouche that samples were allegedly taken from in April 2013 is in Campbell’s Chamber, inscribed on the lower part of a ceiling beam that make up the south section of the pitched roof of the Chamber. This beam is the second from south-west corner of the chamber. When Gorlitz and Gartig reached Campbell’s Chamber they went straight to the south-west corner of the chamber but not to the second beam where the Cartouche is but to the first beam. There Gorlitz scraped off a tiny piece of red ochre graffiti from a hieroglyph located about 1.5 meters from the Khufu Cartouche. This is well-documented in photographic and video evidence which some months later they posted on a Youtube video. In early November 2013 this video was seen by several Egyptian officials. One of them, Ossama Karar, assumed that the tiny red ochre sample was scratched off the Khufu Cartouche, and reported this in an Egyptian newspaper. Karar also –for reasons unclear—claimed that the Germans wanted to prove that the Great Pyramid was built by ‘Jews’. Amazingly, a few weeks later, on 10th December 2013, the ex-Minister of Antiquities, Zahi Hawass, was interviewed in the popular Egyptian newspaper Masry al Youm in which he repeated this bizarre story but added a twist to it but categorically stating that the Khufu Cartouche had actually been “stolen” and that Robert Bauval (myself) had masterminded the whole crime! A week later, however, he meekly declared in a press conference that he had no ‘evidence’ to back up his weird accusations. Unfortunately such false accusations had already gone viral on the internet and in the media, which exacerbated the whole affair no end. Everyone knows that such fabrication and false accusations in the media against me and many others are not uncommon to Zahi Hawass. On the 17th December 2013, a team of inspectors from the MOA were sent to inspect what happened in Campbell’s Chamber. They reported with clear photographic evidence that not only the Khufu Cartouche was still there but seemed to be unharmed! However, a few days later a young Egyptologist in Cairo called Monica Hanna noticed that four small scratches could be seen on the top right part of the Cartouche, and immediately accused the Germans of having taken samples during their visit in April 2013. This prompted an investigation which resulted in proving with irrefutable evidence that the four ‘samples’ (scratches) from Khufu Cartouche had indeed been taken but not in April 2013 by Gorlitz but between July 2004 and December 2006! This evidence was carefully documented with official photographs and affidavits which were provided to the MOA and the Egyptian media in February 2014. The evidence has also been published in numerous websites, blogs, facebooks and youtubes. Furthermore this evidence has also been given to the various Egyptian and German lawyers involved in this case. Yet in spite of this, the Egyptian media, as well as the German media, have persistently accused the Germans of taking samples from the Khufu Cartouche! To make matters worse, very recently the new Minister of the MOA in Egypt, Dr. Mamdouh el Damaty issued this statement to the Egyptian Press Office on 14th August 2014: “Tomorrow the Egyptian embassy in Berlin will receive King Khufu’s cartouche samples after about one year of taking them illegally out of Egypt as they are antiquities according to the Egyptian law.” This statement from the Minister of the MOA has now appeared in dozens of Arabic newspapers and gone viral on the Internet. The question is why do the Egyptian authorities and media still persist in accusing the Germans of taking samples from the Khufu Cartouche when this has been clearly shown to be untrue and furthermore that the evidence has been presented to them on numerous occasions? Is it because if the Khufu Cartouche is not somehow linked to the Germans, in spite of the solid evidence to the contrary, then the whole business seems trivial? For surely taking a few milligrams of some insignificant graffiti by the Germans in April 2013 under the attenuating circumstances reported above, then this ‘outrage’ and ‘crime’ seems like a storm in a teacup? So why is the falsity still being perpetuated? Who is to benefit from this? There is no denying that Gorlitz and Erdmann took samples from the ceiling of the King’s Chamber and from a graffito in Campbell’s Chamber. They are therefore guilty of an act of vandalism, even if they claim it was for the sake of scientific truth, and even if it is but a few milligrams of soot and red ochre paint. But it is a fact that they did not steal or damage the Khufu Cartouche. Gorlitz and Erdmann have officially apologized to the MOA for their alleged act of ‘vandalism’ and offered to pay any fine required. Furthermore they have returned the samples they took which were not from the Khufu Cartouche, which amount to a few milligrams of soot and red ochre paint. They have also made a public apology to the Egyptian people in the influential Al Ahram newspaper. Is this not enough reparation? Why all this fuss involving the Egyptian MOA, the Egyptian and German Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Interpol, UNESCO, the Egyptian and German police and courts? Most of all, is this storm in a tea cup justified in keeping six Egyptians in jail for eight months over this storm in a tea cup? I think not. I say fine these poor men if necessary. Take a few months off their salaries if necessary. Even fire them from their jobs if necessary. But for God’s sake set them free, take them out of jail and let them return to their families, their wives and their children. For a pictorial view of the evidence, see this youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-XV61-59xg
But things are not so certain with his colleague, Stefan Erdman, who was also with him inside the Great Pyramid in April 2013. Erdmann has been visiting the Great Pyramid since the early 1990s, and obtained many “private visit” permits to do research inside the Great Pyramid and take samples (of stones inside and outside the Great Pyramid), three of which were in the course of the year 2006. Erdmann has provided written affidavits to this effect, but categorically denies that he took samples from Campbell’s Chamber in 2006.
The purpose –or one of the purposes– of Gorlitz and Erdmann of entering the Great Pyramid on a “private permit” in April 2013 was to shoot footage for a TV documentary they intended to produce. This is the reason they took along a camercamen called Jan Gartig. The latter was working for Frank Hofer, a TV documentary producer. Hofer was responsible for making a trailer for the documentary which he published on his website as well as many other host websites. A few weeks ago, in mid-July, it has come to my attention that this trailer (which was taken off the Internet in December 2013) was also accompanied by a text/blurb written by Frank Hofer. This text makes it clear several times that samples were DEFINITELY taken from the Khufu Cartouche! (see link in my next comment below). But if so, this could only have happened between July 2004 and December 2006, making Erdmann (and not Gorlitz) a PRIME SUSPECT. All three men -Erdmann, Gorlitz and Hofer— insist that the text/blurb that came with the trailer and written by Hofer was a “mistake”. I must admit, however, that I find this very hard to believe.
I have to stress that I have not yet met in person either Erdmann, Gorlitz or Hofer. I have, however, had many conversation by skype with Gorlitz. I intend to meet Gorlitz in person in Italy on the 21 August, as we both are attending the same conference in Pescara. My intention, as you can all imagine, is to find out more from him regarding the activities of his colleague Stefan Erdmann in the period from July 2004 and December 2006 i.e. when the Khufu Cartouche was damaged and/or samples were taken from it.Dr. Zahi Hawass was the last to see the Khufu Cartouche undamaged in July 2004. We also know that he saw and examined the Cartouche AFTER it was damaged in 2006 on several occasions. Yet, amazingly, he did NOT REPORT the damage!The plot, as the saying goes, thickens…Meanwhile here is a statement I had placed on 14 July 2014 on the message board of my colleague Graham Hancock as a record of my suspicions:
THE SECRET SEARCH FOR EDGAR CAYCE’S “HALL OF RECORDS 1978 to 1997
How long has this been going on?
THE FIRST SECRET SEARCH in 1977-8.
1. Hugh Lynn Cayce and Mark Lehner in 1978
2. Zahi Hawass in 1978
3. Zahi Hawass supervising drilling under Sphinx 1978
4. Drilling under the Sphinx 1978
THE SECOND SEARCH in 1993
5. Boris Said, Project Director in 1993
6. John West, Dr. Joseph Schor and Mr. Joseph Jahoda 1993
THE THIRD SEARCH IN 1996-7
7. Dr. Joseph Schor and Mr. Joseph Jahoda 1996
8. Mr. Jahoda, Zahi Hawass and Dr. Shor 1996
A FOURTH SEARCH IN 2009?…….
8. Drilling under the Sphinx 2009
9. Zahi Hawass and Mark Lehner 2009
I have read Scott’s article in the July/August 2014 issue No. 106 of Atlantis Rising.
Scott bases his case on a page from Howard Vyse’s diary, where various cartouches bearing the name “Khufu” are seen. Notwithstanding the rather confusing argument about what Howard Vyse allegedly “intented” to do, Scott’s hypothesis (and it is one) all boils down to TWO DOTS that may or may not be there. Without those two dots, his whole case falls down like a pack of cards.
Let us take a closer and unbiased approach.
1. Here is the part of Vyse’s diary which shows the Cartouches.
2. This is the Cartouche at the bottom of the page
3. This is an enlargement of the Cartouche at to of the page
4. This is a drawing by Scott Creighton which is meant to be a copy of the Cartouche at the top of the page in Vyse’s diary (shown again here)
It is evident to me that Scott clearly omitted to add the dark line that is slashed across the Carouche, and it is clear that he wanted to highlight the TWO DOTS under the snake sign. But are the TWO DOTS really there? Admittedly there are markings that COULD be TWO DOTS but clearly not as visible as Scott shows them in his own drawing, or wants them to be. And what about the dark line that slashes the cartouche and partially covers the POSSIBLE two dots? What does it mean when someone slashes a drawing this way? Does it not mean, perhaps, that this drawing is wrong” or “ignore this drawing”….? And furthermore does not the little “X” sign on the top right also means “wrong drawing”? And does this not also explain the cartouche at the bottom of the page which is, in fact, the correct reproduction of the ACTUAL cartouche in Campbell’s Chamber?
5. Khufu Cartouche in Campbell’s Chamber
The obvious discrepancy between the original drawing by Howard Vyse and the drawing made by Scott Creighton in the Atlantis Rising article in issue 106, July/August 2014 has already been pointed out by Martin Stower. I tend to agree with him that Scott WANTED to see TWO DOTS when they may in fact not be there at all. For without those precious TWO DOTS, his hypothesis does not work.
6. Top image is by Vyse’s own hands; the bottom image is by Scott Creighton
My own interpretation is that what can be derived from that page in Howard Vyse’s diary is that he was correcting himself of how the Khufu cartouche should be drawn rather than plan a forgery as claimed by Scott. Would not this make more sense than to to imagine that Howard Vyse left such alledged incrimination ‘evidence’ in his diary for posterity?…
(the topmost ‘relief Chamber’) in the Great Pyramid.
The series of images below show that there is a ‘hidden’ cartouche below the hieroglyph inscription of the first block of the south gabled ceiling which is covered by the block underneath it.
1. Drawing by Perring c. 1837: The South gable ceiling in Campbell’s Chamber.
2. “The companions of Khufu” (note the four hieroglyhs above the cartouche)
3. “The companions of…” The four hieroglyphs above the visible cartouche
4. The four hieroglyphs on the far left gabled block
5. The four hieroglyphs on the far left gabled block (reconstructed)
6. Drawing by Perring c. 1837: The South gable ceiling in Campbell’s Chamber. Note position of “hidden” cartouche
It seems that taking up ‘residence’ with generous honoraries is a trend with Zahi Hawass. In 2001 Hawass was appointed “Explorer in Residence” by the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY (NGS), with an annual ‘salary’ that ranged from $80,000 to $200,000. This appointment lasted till 2011, afterwhich it was changed to “Explorer in Residence Emeritus”. In 2013 Hawass was appointed “Distinguished Scholar in Residence” at the SIERRA NEVADA COLLEGE (SNC), although the ‘salary’ he receives is not known.
After the 2011 Revolution in Egypt Hawass was fired from his post as Minister of Antiquities amid accusations of money laundering, bribery, fraud, corruption and mismanagement of funds. In 2013 it was suddenly announced that Hawass was ‘acquited’ of all these crimes. However, since October 2013 it has been known that Hawass and NGS are being investigated by the US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE on possible bribery charges. The investigation is presumably still ongoing. Hawass also may be facing an investigation in Egypt for illegal activities inside the GREAT PYRAMID OF GIZA during the period 2004 and 2006 while he was Director-General of the Giza Plateau. Hawass may also face another possible investigation for his involvement with the EDGAR CAYCE FOUNDATION and some of its senior members and funders from 1977 to 1998.
In view of all the conundrum that surrounds Hawass, we may well wonder where next he will take up “residence”, and at what cost.
Is there a CONNECTION between these two documentaries?……
1) “Who built Egypt’s Pyramids?” made in july 2004:
2) Edgar Cayce’s ARE Search for the Hall of Records part 2:
Clues: John Van Auken, Biblical/Cayce Prophecies, 5th Relief Chamber, Khufu Careouche