by David Hatcher Childress
Who controls the past, controls the future. Who
controls the present, controls the past.
Most of us are familiar with the last scene in the
popular Indiana Jones archaeological adventure film Raiders of
the Lost Ark, in which an important historical artifact, the
Ark of the Covenant from the Temple in Jerusalem, is locked in a
crate and put in a giant warehouse, never to be seen again, thus
ensuring that no history books will have to be rewritten and no
history professor will have to revise the lecture that he has been
giving for the last forty years.
While the film was fiction, the scene in which an important ancient
relic is buried in a warehouse is uncomfortably close to reality for
many re-searchers. To those who investigate allegations of
archaeological cover-ups, there are disturbing indications that the
most important archaeological institute in the United States, the
Smithsonian Institution, an independent federal agency, has been
actively suppressing some of the most interesting and important
archaeological discoveries made in the Americas.
The Vatican has been long accused of keeping artifacts and ancient
books in their vast cellars, without allowing the outside world
access to them. These secret treasures, often of a controversial
historical or religious nature, are allegedly suppressed by
the Catholic Church because they
might damage the church's credibility, or perhaps cast their
official texts in doubt. Sadly, there is overwhelming evidence that
something very similar is happening with the Smithsonian
The Smithsonian Institution was started in 1829 when an eccentric
British millionaire, by the name of James Smithson, died and left
$515,169 to create an institution "for the increase and diffusion of
knowledge among men." Unfortunately, there is evidence the
Smithsonian has been more active in the suppression of knowledge...
than the diffusion of it for the last hundred years.
The cover-up and alleged suppression of archaeological evidence
began in late 1881 when John Wesley Powell, the geologist
famous for exploring the Grand Canyon, appointed Cyrus Thomas as the
director of the Eastern Mound Division of the Smithsonian
Institution's Bureau of Ethnology.
When Thomas came to the Bureau of Ethnology he was a,
believer in the existence of a race of Mound Builders, distinct from
the American Indians."
However, John Wesley Powell, the director of
the Bureau of Ethnology, a very sympathetic man toward the American
Indians, had lived with the peaceful Winnebago Indians of Wisconsin
for many years as a youth and felt that American Indians were
unfairly thought of as primitive and savage.
The Smithsonian began to promote the idea that Native Americans, at
that time being exterminated in the Indian wars, were descended from
advanced civilizations and were worthy of respect and protection.
They also began a program of suppressing any archaeological evidence
that lent credence to the school of thought known as Diffusionism,
a school which believes that throughout history there has been
widespread dispersion of culture and civilization via contact by
ship and major trade routes.
The Smithsonian opted for the opposite school, known as
Isolationism. Isolationism holds that most civilizations are
isolated from each other and that there has been very little contact
between them, especially those that are separated by bodies of
water. In this intellectual war that started in the 1880s, it was
held that even contact between the civilizations of the Ohio and
Mississippi Valleys was rare, and certainly these civilizations did
not have any contact with such advanced cultures as the Mayas,
Toltecs, or Aztecs in Mexico and Central America.
By Old World standards this is an extreme, and even
ridiculous idea, considering that the river system reached to the
Gulf of Mexico and these civilizations were as close as the opposite
shore of the gulf. It was like saying that cultures in the Black Sea
area could not have had contact with the Mediterranean.
When the contents of many ancient mounds and pyramids of the Midwest
were examined it was shown that the history of the Mississippi River
Valleys was that of an ancient and sophisticated culture that had
been in contact with Europe and other areas. Not only that, the
contents of many mounds revealed burials of huge men, sometimes
seven or eight feet tall, in full armor with swords and sometimes
For instance, when Spiro Mound in Oklahoma was excavated in the
1930s, a tall man in full armor was discovered along with a pot of
thousands of pearls and other artifacts, the largest such treasure
so far documented. The whereabouts of the man in armor is unknown
and it is quite likely that it eventually was taken to the
In a private conversation with a well-known historical researcher
(who shall remain nameless), I was told that a former employee of
the Smithsonian, who was dismissed for defending the view of
Diffusionism in the Americas (i.e., the heresy that other
ancient civilizations may have visited the shores of North and South
America during the many millennia before Columbus), alleged that the
Smithsonian at one time had actually taken a barge full of unusual
artifacts out into the Atlantic and dumped them in the ocean.
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 about stone
coffins discovered in 1892 in Alabama which were sent to the
Smithsonian Institution and then "lost."
According to the newsletter, researcher Frederick
J. Pohl wrote an intriguing letter in 1950 to the late Dr. T.
C. Lethbridge, a British archaeologist.
The letter from Pohl stated:
A professor of geology sent me a reprint (of the)
Smithsonian Institution, The Crumf Burial Cave by Frank Burns,
U.S. Geological Survey, from the report of the U.S. National
Museum for 1892, pp. 451-454,1984. In the Crumf Cave, southern
branch of the Warrior River, in Murphy's Valley, Blount County
Alabama, accessible from Mobile Bay by river, were coffins of
wood hollowed out by fire, aided by stone or copper chisels.
Eight of these coffins were taken to the Smithsonian. They were
about 7.5' long, 14" to 18" wide, 6" to 7" deep. Lids open.
I wrote recently to the Smithsonian, and received
reply March 11th from F. M. Setzler, Head Curator of
Department of Anthropology. (He said) We have not been able to find
the specimens in our collections, though records show that they were
David Barron, President of the Gungywamp Society was
eventually told by the Smithsonian in 1992 that the coffins were
actually wooden troughs and that they could not be viewed anyway
because they were housed in an asbestos-contaminated warehouse. This
warehouse was to be closed for the next ten years and no one was
allowed in except Smithsonian personnel!
Ivan T. Sanderson, a well-known zoologist and frequent guest on
Johnny Carson's Tonight Show in the 1960s (usually with an exotic
animal like a pangolin or a lemur), once related a curious story
about a letter he received regarding an engineer who was stationed
on the Aleutian island of Shemya during World War II. While building
an airstrip, his crew bulldozed a group of hills and discovered
under several sedimentary layers what appeared to be human remains.
The Alaskan mound was in fact a graveyard of gigantic human remains,
consisting of crania and long leg bones.
The crania measured from 22 to 24 inches from base to crown. Since
an adult skull normally measures about eight inches from back to
front such a large crania would imply an immense size for a normally
proportioned human. Furthermore, every skull was said to have been
neatly trepanned (a process of cutting a hole in the upper portion
of the skull).
In fact, the habit of flattening the skull of an infant and forcing
it to grow in an elongated shape was a practice used by ancient
Peruvians, the Mayas, and the Flathead Indians of Montana. Sanderson
tried to gather further proof, eventually receiving a letter from
another member of the unit who continued the report. The letters
both indicated that the Smithsonian Institution had collected the
remains, yet nothing else was heard. Sanderson seemed convinced that
the Smithsonian Institution had received the bizarre relics, but
wondered why they would not release the data.
". .. is it
that these people cannot face rewriting all the text books?"
In 1944 an accidental discovery of an even more controversial nature
was made by Waldemar Julsrud at Acambaro, Mexico.
Acambaro is in the state of Guanajuato, 175 miles northwest of
Mexico City. The strange archaeological site there yielded over
33,500 objects of ceramic [and] stone, including jade, and knives of
obsidian (sharper than steel and still used today in heart surgery).
Julsrud, a prominent local German merchant, also found statues
ranging from less than an inch to six feet in length depicting great
reptiles, some of them in active association with humans—generally
eating them, but in some bizarre statuettes an erotic association
was indicated. To observers many of these creatures resembled
Jalsrud crammed this collection into twelve rooms of his expanded
house. There, startling representations of Negroes, Orientals, and
bearded Caucasians were included as were motifs of Egyptian,
Sumerian and other ancient non-hemispheric civilizations, as well as
portrayals of Bigfoot and aquatic monster-like creatures, weird
human-animal mixtures, and a host of other inexplicable creations.
Teeth from an extinct Ice Age horse, the skeleton of a mammoth, and
a number of human skulls were found at the same site as the ceramic
Radiocarbon dating in the laboratories of the University of
Pennsylvania and additional tests using the thermo luminescence
method of dating pottery were performed to determine the age of the
objects. Results indicated the objects were made about 6,500 years
ago, around 4,500 B.C. A team of experts at another university,
shown Jalsrud's half-dozen samples but unaware of their origin,
ruled out the possibility that they could have been modern
reproductions. However, they fell silent when told of their
In 1952, in an effort to debunk this weird collection which was
gaining a certain amount of fame, American archaeologist Charles
C. DiPeso claimed to have minutely examined the then 32,000
pieces within not more than four hours spent at the home of Julsrud.
In a forthcoming book long delayed by continuing development in his
investigation, archaeological investigator John H. Tierney, who has
lectured on the case for decades, points out that to have done that, DiPeso would have had to have inspected 133 pieces per minute
steadily for four hours, whereas in actuality, it would have
required weeks merely to have separated the massive jumble of
exhibits and arranged them properly for a valid evaluation.
Tierney, who collaborated with the late Professor Hapgood, the late
William N. Russell, and others in the investigation, charges
that the Smithsonian Institution and other archaeological
authorities conducted a campaign of disinformation against the
discoveries. The Smithsonian had, early in the controversy,
dismissed the entire Acambaro collection as an elaborate hoax. Also,
utilizing the Freedom of Information Act, Tierney discovered that
practically the entirety of the Smithsonian's Julsrud case files are
After two expeditions to the site in 1955 and 1968, Professor
Charles Hapgood, a professor of history and anthropology at the
University of New Hampshire, recorded the results of his
eighteen-year investigation of Acambaro, in a privately printed book
entitled Mystery In Acambaro. Hapgood was initially an
open-minded skeptic concerning the collection but became a believer
after his first visit in 1955, at which time he wit-nessed some of
the figures being excavated, and even dictated to the diggers where
he wanted them to dig.
Adding to the mind-boggling aspects of this controversy is the fact
that the Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia,
through the late Director of Prehispanic Monuments, Dr. Eduardo
Noguera, (who, as head of an official investigating team at the
site, issued a report which Tierney will be publishing), admitted
"the apparent scientific legality with which these objects were
found." Despite evidence of their own eyes, however, officials
declared that because of the objects "fantastic" nature, they had to
have been a hoax played on Julsrud!
A disappointed but ever-hopeful Julsrud died. His house was sold and
the collection put in storage. The collection is not currently open
to the public.
Perhaps the most amazing suppression of all is the excavation of an
Egyptian tomb by the Smithsonian itself in Arizona. A lengthy front
page story of
the Phoenix Gazette on 5 April 1909 (see page inset
"Explorations in Grand Canyon" on page 222), gave a highly detailed
report of the discovery and excavation of a rock-cut vault by an
expedition led by Professor S. A. Jordan of the Smithsonian. The
Smithsonian, however, claims to have absolutely no knowledge of the
discovery or its discoverers.
The World Explorers Club decided to check on this story by calling
the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., though we felt there was little
chance of getting any real information. After speaking briefly to an
operator, we were transferred to a Smithsonian staff archaeologist,
and a woman's voice came on the phone and identified herself.
I told her that I was investigating a story from a 1909 Phoenix
news-paper article about the Smithsonian Institution's having
excavated rock-cut vaults in the Grand Canyon where Egyptian
artifacts had been discovered, and whether the Smithsonian
Institution could give me any more information on the subject.
"Well, the first thing I can tell you, before we
go any further," she said, "is that no Egyptian artifacts of any
kind have ever been found in North or South America. Therefore,
I can tell you that the Smithsonian Institution has never been
involved in any such excavations."
She was quite helpful and polite but in the end, knew
nothing. Neither she nor anyone else with whom I spoke could find
any record of the discovery or either G. E. Kinkaid and
Professor S. A. Jordan.
While it cannot be discounted that the entire story is an elaborate
news-paper hoax, the fact that it was on the front page, named the
prestigious Smithsonian Institution and gave a highly detailed story
that went on for several pages, lends a great deal to its
credibility. It is hard to believe such a story could have come out
of thin air.
Is the Smithsonian Institution covering up an archaeological
discovery of immense importance?
If this story is true it would radically
change the current view that there was no transoceanic contact in
pre-Columbian times, and that all American Indians, on both
continents, are descended from Ice Age explorers who came across the
Is the idea that ancient Egyptians came to the Arizona area in the
ancient past so objectionable and preposterous that it must be
Perhaps the Smithsonian Institution is more interested
in maintaining the status quo than rocking the boat with astonishing
new discoveries that overturn previously accepted academic
Historian and linguist Carl Han, editor of World Explorer,
then obtained a hiker's map of the Grand Canyon from a bookstore in
Chicago. Poring over the map, we were amazed to see that much of the
area on the north side of the canyon has 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?
We called a state archaeologist at the Grand Canyon, and were told
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
other visitors, "because of dangerous caves."
Indeed, this entire area with the Egyptian and Hindu place names in
the Grand Canyon is a forbidden zone—no one is allowed into this
We could only conclude that this was the area where the vaults were
located. Yet today, this area is curiously off-limits to all hikers
and even, in large part, park personnel.
I believe that the discerning reader will see that if only a small
part of the "Smithsoniangate" evidence is true then our most
hallowed archaeological institution has been actively involved in
suppressing evidence for advanced American cultures, evidence for
ancient voyages of various cultures to North America, evidence for
anomalistic giants and other oddball artifacts, and evidence that
tends to disprove the official dogma that is now the history of
The Smithsonian's Board of Regents still refuses to open its
meetings to the news media or the public.
If Americans were ever
allowed inside the "nation's attic," as the Smithsonian has been
called, what skeletons might they find?
EXPLORATIONS IN GRAND CANYON
Mysteries of Immense Rich Cavern Being Brought
Front page of the Phoenix Gazette
5 April 1909
JORDAN IS ENTHUSED
Remarkable Finds Indicate Ancient People Migrated From Orient
The latest news of the progress of the explorations of what is
now regarded by scientists as not only the oldest archeological
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 yesterday by G. E. Kinkaid, the explorer who
found the great underground citadel of the Grand Canyon during a
trip from Green river, Wyoming down the Colorado, in a wooden
boat, to Yuma, several months ago.
According to the story related to the Gazette by
Mr. Kinkaid, the archaeologists of the Smithsonian Institute,
which is financing the expeditions, 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 Ramses.
If their theories are borne 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 staggers
the wildest fancy of the fictionist.
A Thorough Investigation
Under the direction of Prof. S. A. Jordan, the Smithsonian
Institute is now prosecuting 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
The Suppression of Unorthodox Science
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 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
far 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."
Mr. Kinkaid's Report
Mr. Kinkaid was the first white child born in Idaho and has been
an explorer and hunter all his life, thirty years having been in
the service of the Smithsonian Institute. 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 which 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 became
interested, [secured] my gun and went in.
During that trip I went back several hundred feet
along the main passage till 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
The walls are about three feet six inches in
thickness. The pas-sages are chiseled or hewn as straight as
could be laid out by an engineer. The ceilings of many of the
rooms converge to a center. The side-pas-sages 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, sit-ting 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 entire is remarkably well
preserved, as is everything is this cavern. The idol almost
resembles Buddha, though the scientists are not certain as to
what religious worship it represents.
Taking into consideration every-thing 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 matte, showing
that these ancients smelted ores, but so far no 1 trace of where
or how this was done has been discovered, nor the origin of the
"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 a very hard cement. A
gray metal is also found in this cavern, which puzzles the
scientists, for its identity has not been established. It
resembles platinum. Strewn promiscuously over the floor
everywhere are what people call 'cats eyes,' a yellow stone of
no great value. Each one is engraved with the head of the Malay
"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 was of the 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. On these are tiers of mummies, each one
occupying a separate hewn shelf. At the head of each is a small
bench, on which is found cop-per 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'
"Among the discoveries no bones of animals have been found, no
skins, no clothing, no 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 of slaves of the
people which 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 in the passageway to which is not ventilated, and
when we approached it a deadly, snaky smell struck us. Our light
would not penetrate the gloom, and until stronger ones are
available we will not know what the chamber contains.
Some say snakes, but other boo hoo 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 candies 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."
An Indian Legend
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 for people of one
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 for 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 reamed 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 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.
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