The following article first
appeared in the London Daily Mail in the edition
dated 18th April 1998 and is reproduced here with their kind
permission. The article remains the copyright of The
Daily Mail. The picture is taken from the accompanying
graphic. Simon Cox subsequently issued a rebuttal
which is also reproduced in full below, used with
permission. This is followed by the true situation as on the
6th June 1998.
British researchers claim the ’discovery of the century’ has been made
at the Great Pyramid of Giza. The team believes the Egyptian authorities
are carrying out secret excavations on a tunnel which may lead to three
previously unknown chambers. They say they have taken video footage
inside the pyramid which backs up their claim.
day after they did their filming, the authorities closed the pyramid for
an eight-month ’renovation project’. The team claims this is simply a
cover for the excavation. "It is the discovery of the century,"
Cox, one of the researchers said yesterday.
"This find could solve the
greatest mystery of all time. The scale of it is just amazing."
"We have been told by three
independent sources that the tunnel leads to three new chambers. Who
knows what is inside them. It could be the real burial chamber, treasure
troves full of gold coins or just empty rooms."
Mr Cox, 31, who studied Egyptology at University College London, found
evidence of the tunnel on April 1 during one of his regular monthly
visits to the pyramids. With researchers Clive Prince, 38, and Lynn Picknett, 51, he came across a metal grille in a wall inside the
antechamber leading to the King’s Chamber.
"I’d never seen it before,"
explained Mr Cox. "The grille was rusty but the mortar holding it into
the wall was new."
Shining their torches inside the 3.6ft by 2.5ft gap, they saw a tunnel
high enough to stand up in with two stairs leading up. Electric cables
ran along the ceiling, indicating that lighting or machinery was being
used. Because filming is forbidden, the team used a hidden video camera
to record their find. Sources have since told them workers found the
tunnel using sonar equipment then discovered the three chambers.
no coincidence the pyramid has closed down now," said Mr Cox. "It gives
them an opportunity to explore these new areas without anyone knowing."
Work on the pyramids is kept low profile to avoid experts
descending from around the world and treasure hunters trying to steal
The Great Pyramid, the largest of the structures, was built for Pharoah
Khufu 4,500 years ago. It stands 480ft high and took 4,000 men 30 years
to build. Previously, the only features documented were the Subterranean
Chamber, King’s Chamber and Queen’s Chamber. Speculation has raged about
hidden chambers, which may contain artifacts or even the lost treasures
of the Pharaohs.
Four years ago, a German team used a miniature robot equipped with a
camera to discover what appeared to be a stone door at the end of a
passageway leading off the Queen’s Chamber. It was believed this could
be the entrance to a hidden chamber but Egypt refused all offers to fund
a project to open the door. "There are a lot of rumours in Egypt but
nobody can get inside the pyramid to verify it," said Mr Prince, who is
writing a book about the mysteries of Egypt with Lynn Picknett. Three
years ago, they co-wrote a book suggesting Leonardo da Vinci faked the
Experts remained unconvinced when told about the tunnel. Vivian Davis,
Egyptologist at the British Museum, said:
"It may be a ventilation shaft
or some such thing. It is pure fantasy to think about chambers full of
Rebuttal By Simon Cox
I would like to reply to the comments about the Daily Mail Report of 18
April 1998. Firstly, the report came about via a chance meeting with a
friend from the Daily Mail, it contains within it several errors and
misquotes which I feel should be corrected.
Firstly, let me say that I was of course aware that the tunnel mentioned
was not a new tunnel but was once which both Captain Caviglia and
Howard Vyse had explored and possibly excavated in the 1830 - 1840’s. As I say,
at no time did I state this tunnel was new. Although it is interesting
to read in Weiss Volume I, Page 153 that he believed further chambers
were to be found via this excavation.
Also let me state that at no point did Clive, Lynn or myself claim that
there was any "treasure" to be found within the pyramid, this I am
afraid is a usual fabrication. Neither did the three of us claim to be
"experts" as was stated in the report. However, I myself have studied
Egyptology at University College London and indeed my researcher,
Jacqueline Pegg, is a masters (with distinction) Post-Graduate in
Egyptology, so we do come from a more academic background than most
modern writers on the pyramids.
The whole point of the report was obviously not to highlight some
previously known tunnel, it was to highlight the fact that possible
workings are going on within the fabric of the Great Pyramid. I myself
can confirm that within Davison’s Chamber the old workings of Caviglia
seem to have been re-opened on the south granite wall and also that as
of last month, there seem to be fresh activity in the subterranean
chamber. I intended to highlight these facts and also to ask the
question as to why this "tunnel" near the King’s Chamber, seems to
appear intermittently by this I mean that the metal grille is sometimes
there and is sometimes not. This would suggest activity (for whatever
reason) in this area, again I make no claims of any lost treasure or any
It does seem interesting that rumours have abounded lately of the
discovery of new chambers, rumours not only on the ruomourmill that is
the internet, but also within Egypt itself. As was stated in the report,
I am a regular visitor to Egypt and have many Egyptian friends, these
rumours are certainly well known in Cairo. The report was also intended
to highlight the closing of the World’s greatest archaeological monument
at precisely the time when Egypt needs it open. You will be well aware
that the second pyramid was recently closed for one year for
"renovations" however, I challenge anybody to find these said
"renovations", the power still intermittently works and the lighting is
still very poor.
As a researcher (authors worked for include Graham Hancock, Robert Bauval,
David Rohl, Andrew Collins, Graham Phillips) and a writer, I just wanted
to highlight the above facts. It was never my, nor indeed our intention
to report a sensational story where one simply does not exist. We only
intended to highlight certain discrepancies and possible goings on at Giza. This whole episode has been an abject lesson in how newspapers
deal with such subjects and I for one will think long and hard before
talking to a reporter again.
Yours Simon Cox
On A Personal Note...
the 6th June 1998, I visited Dr Hawass at his office and requested
permission to enter the Great Pyramid. Dr Hawass kindly agreed. On
leaving the King’s Chamber, I noticed that the grill referred to above
was unlocked so I did what any inquisitive visitor would do - I opened it and entered the passage that is causing so much speculation. I went
right to the end of the passage and can categorically state the
following - as of 6/6/98:
the brick wall installed
as part of Gantenbrink’s ventilation scheme was completely intact
the ventilation fan was
there is no way to
proceed or see beyond the wall short of knocking it down
there is no evidence
whatsoever that any secret digging has been taking place inside the
It has been reported that a
power lead can been seen leading into the tunnel. This is true. It
provides the power to Gantenbrink’s ventilator. It has also been said
that the sound of a generator or something similar has been heard coming
from the passage. The noise is far more likely to have been caused by
the fan being in operation at the time. (See also the
for more on the ventilation scheme.)
I have since consulted Maragioglio and Rinaldi’s "L’Architettura" in one
volume of which they document an exhaustive survey of the Great Pyramid.
Click on the graphic above to see a large plan of the relevant area. For
those interested in the monuments at Giza etc, this publication is a
"must see" item. Unfortunately, it is not generally available other than
in specialist institutions and national libraries. In the U.K. I am
aware of copies in the library of the Egypt Exploration Society, 3,
Doughty Mews, London WC1N 2PG (tel. 0171 242 1880, fax 0171 404 6118)
and at the Ashmolean Library, Oxford. Membership (cost £10 to £45 per
annum depending on membership category) is generally required for access
to the Egypt Exploration Society library.
Finally, I most sincerely apologies to the Egyptian authorities and
particularly Dr Hawass if I "overstepped the mark" by taking advantage
of the situation I found myself in. I trust that the above will clarify
the situation at this time. Please mail me if you have any further
questions on this matter.