From: "Jonathan Downs" Mon, 24 May 1999

Re letter to Forum by Jeff Abelin   Re: Hancock, Peterson, Sphinx, Pole Shift  

In my view, Hancock should be taken with some well-timed pinches of salt - I found it was very difficult to read 'Fingerprints of the Gods' and maintain a searching scepticism throughout, but I believe it's vital with this particular book. Some of Hancock's facts and theories are built upon non-existent foundations, and some are not.

 In order to cast some light on the fog of Hancock's crustal displacement information, I must refer to Egypt and its monuments. Apologies. The sphinx, according to geologist Robert Schock, looks to be around 10,000 years old, owing to what appears to be rain erosion. This makes perfect sense to all who have seen it. (Interestingly, it has been put that it looks very little like a lion at all. It has been suggested it could be a dog, or jackal as well - such is the difficulty in approaching this subject openly.)

I feel the astronomy link should be studied carefully before one can accept it unhesitatingly and use it for evidence of dates. For example, the dating of the pyramids by Bauval et al, according to stellar alignments seems very sound, considering their ground-breaking work in describing the pyramids as representations of Orion's Belt etc. - until one examines how they arrived at their figures for their date: the date they decided upon is in fact an average, calculated from stellar alignments that are centuries apart, before and after they believe the Great Pyramid was built.

It seems the shafts do not line up perfectly after all, and 'Isis' and 'Osiris' were in the wrong places at the wrong time for different shafts.  To average stellar ailgnments to a mean year and claim it as proof of the Great Pyramid's date of build is utter nonsense. Why would anyone build something like the Great Pyramid and align excruciatingly difficult to construct a shaft to a place in the sky where they knew constellations had once been, but were no longer, just so that another shaft could line up with a different constellation in several centuries? Furthermore, the night  sky cannot be seen from these shafts from either chamber in the pyramid - in fact, nothing can be seen at all. They run horizontally for several metres before they climb to the outside surface. But these snippets are not dwelt upon in either Bauval's or Hancock's work.

 To Pole Shift and crustal displacement: Hancock is a good synthesizer; he takes pieces from other puzzles and manages to find common ground between them. Since he is convinced that there is a link between the Mayans, Oltecs and other Central/South American cultures and Egypt, (not wholly improbable, it seems) he connects the building of the sphinx with a previous global destruction, spoken of in these ancient American cultures. His main thesis is that the world was destroyed somewhere around 11000 BC and the pyramids etc were built as a great warning to all who came thereafter.

To back this up, he uses the Mayan calendar.  However, the calendar actually contradicts his main thesis. The Mayan calendar, according to Hancock, dates the beginning of this current 'Great Cycle' to the 13th of August, 3114 BC, when the world began 'in great darkness'. These cycles, according to the Mayans, last 5125 years and begin and end with planetary cataclysm. Without stopping to see if indeed there had been a terrible catastrophe in 3114BC, he moves forward in time to state baldly that this current cycle will end with its regular global destruction, 5125 years later, on 23 December, 2012. This is done very neatly because it also correlates with his main theory, part of which fixes on the numbers 26,000 and 13,000, (very important figures in the precessional cycle). 11,000 BC is 13,000 years ago, ergo, the Mayans were right because they said everything stops in 2012. (I'm confusing myself now. Don't worry - I'm coming back to pole shift soon.)

 We can rest assured that the civilizations in Asia Minor and the rest of the Middle East were operating happily, were mathematically advanced, had written records, and had long lists of past kings and heroes that stretched back eons from the year 3114 BC. The Mayans, it seems, were wrong about the manner of the current cycle's beginnings across the globe. Since this is the case, why does Hancock say the world will end in 2012? To convince us furher, he cites evidence of the personal opinion of a Hopi Indian elder, who believes we've all had it because we're corrupt and wretched.

 I can conclude only that Mr Hancock is a blind believer in Edgar Cayce's predictions and a Millenialist. I can see no reason for such poor scholarship as that cited above. [See pp. 174 and 175 and his final chapter of Fingerprints of the Gods by Mandarin (Heinemann)] I will leave it to the editors of this website to include or exclude any of the above!

 (For a fascinating insight and a much better thought-out dissection of Hancock and Bauval et al, read Alan E. Alford's The Phoenix Solution. It will explain the pyramid dating problems much more clearly than ever I could.)

 Because of these problems one must wonder about Hancock's observations on crustal displacement. His acceptance of this possibility stemmed from a deduction that there was a vast, vanished civilization that has left no trace. He read about the Flem-Ath theory and seized on the Atlanteans in Antarctica - (which, who knows, may yet prove correct, by the way, Plato never said 'Atlantis') - but, his use of the Mayan calendar, on which he bases his conclusions for a date when the lithosphere will slip once again, leaves his scholarship open to question.

 The main thrust of his lithosphere displacement stems >from the 'evidence' he believes he has stating that the Northern ice cap is getting bigger and bigger and thicker and thicker every year.

 According to Greenpeace, it is getting smaller and smaller and thinner and thinner. Ice Station SHEBA (See Greenpeace's website) is measuring thinner and thinner pack ice - I cannot recall at what latitudes. There are more low 'albedo' areas at the North ice cap than previous years - when a crack in the pack ice occurs and the water is exposed, its low reflective quality - low 'albedo' - absorbs light and heat from the sun and consequently the crack gets wider and more ice melts. This does not fit the 'overweight northern ice-cap' requirement for a rapid crustal displacement as described by Hancock.

 However, Dr Walter Peterson has a much better theory: the Solar Electrojet. Not only does this concept explain many of the phenomena of the earth's electro-magnetic disturbances, it provides a suitable potential for explaining the polar shifts which have indeed happened, according to the California Institute of Technology, amongst others, (although Caltech's shifts seems to have taken about 15 million years).

 But, we need more data to help us see for ourselves. I am no specialist and I'm groping my way in the dark with this subject because I have yet to see any proof. This seems to be the great problem: measuring in the right place, with the right equipment, and looking for the right thing.

 The ice-cap for example, is supposedly thinning - but global warming may indeed be a complete nonsense - we only know what we are told in the media, and we should be wise enough by now to know what that implies. What then causes this? Dr Peterson's theory answers that the Solar Electrojet has left the central cap area, taking with it its -70C air flow and going further south. This theory could explain why the central ice cap is melting and why extreme -70C Arctic temperatures are recorded too far south from the North Pole. But where is the data? Please, someone, show us what you have, if anything!

 I would  like to ask Dr Peterson, and his colleagues(?) if the current NASA missions operating could provide any useful data of the electrojet and its path. At the moment they have two satellites monitoring Solar- Terrestrial weather effects, one is ACE the other is WIND. The website to look at is:   (Any problems, I found it through a Lycos-powered internet search for 'solar electrojet'.) This site gives an overview of the work being carried out by NASA and the International Solar Terrestrial Program (ISTP) and others. Perhaps these bodies could answer Dr Peterson's measuring enquiries.

  I hope these observations and comments will be of some use or interest to other readers. If I have done a disservice to Graham Hancock's work, I would willingly yield to anyone who can demonstrate where I slipped up. I look forward to reading any responses.  

Jonathan Downs, East Sussex, England.

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