Deva, Orbs, fairies, big foot, the universe is full of mysteries that we are here to uncover.
At twilight thirty participants began arriving. As I sat in the front row waiting for the lecture to start, I took note of the room -- the dropped ceiling, the blue curtains, and the linoleum floor, most of the participants who seemed to be over forty.
At 6:30 PM. Chris Morgan, another Australian medium, and David walked to the front of the room and welcomed us. David, middle aged, was short and stocky with a shaved head. Chris was a medium build, black hair and bright eyes. It is odd that as a person, one would never guess that David possessed a unique gift – the ability to allow spirits of deceased people to use his energy to talk and to take physical form.
Chris gave us the rules: “During the séance, David goes into a deep trance. In this state, the spirits access his ectoplasm, a milky-white, gauze-like substance containing his life-force energy that oozes from his body. Using the ectoplasm, the spirits are able to speak, take physical form, play musical instruments, touch participants and even materialize objects. The spirits also use ectoplasm to move tables or chairs and to levitate the medium. The séance room needs to be cold for the ectoplasm to work efficiently. The room also needs to be completely dark, for light will dissolve ectoplasm, the way hot water will melt snow. If the ectoplasm is exposed to light, or touched by participants, David could be severely injured. Mediums in the past have even died from exposure to light during a séance, which is why there is strict security for this evening. The room must always be pitch black.”
It was relayed that mediums who are able to manifest spirits usually have a rare blood type. Currently, only a handful of mediums can do this, traveling to perform this feat for the general public. It takes about 20 years to perfect the skill of materialization.
We are also told: “David has a four-year-old daughter, and wants to stay alive for her. In the past someone accidently touched the ectoplasm during a séance, so David was severely bruised. David still has a scar on his hand from the event. He says it felt like he was pierced with a burning rod.” We are also warned: Please don’t get up out of your seat and try to sit as still as possible.”
We were not allowed to bring a purse, cigarette lighter, or have a cell phone, but had to show a driver’s license or other form of identification to the receptionist to enter.
Chris added smiling. “Once you’re in the séance you can’t leave. If you do, the séance is over.” Which is a polite way of saying, “And the night will be ruined for everyone.”
Chris then requested a bathroom stop for everyone before we could start. After the break, we line up in three groups of ten. We walk together down the quiet, dark sidewalk to the sanctuary, a block down the road. A tall dark-haired man wearing shorts and sandals walks next to me. He kept saying, “I’m so high. I’m so high.” When I asked him to explain his profound good mood, he told me he made a fortune in real estate before the market collapsed. One woman in my group is from Tennessee, another is from Nevada, and some others are from New York and New Jersey. But most participants are from Florida. Upon arriving at the séance location, we are searched, and scanned by a metal detector. One woman needed to removed bobby pins from her hair. Another to take off a silver toe ring.
We entered one by one into the 12-by-20 foot room. Chairs were set in a circle close to the walls. A table with bells and a harmonica on top of it stood against one wall outside of the circle of chairs. At the far end is the “cabinet” – a closet-like space made of black heavy fabric, large enough to enclose a big leather-upholstered chair. Mediums began using “spirit cabinets” during the 1850s. The "cabinets" are often either actual pieces of furniture or a curtained off corner of a room. They are used as the physical medium's workspace to conserve spiritual forces.
David, guided by his intuition, told each of us where to sit. I sat at the opposite end of the cabinet in front of a heavy blue curtain. When I peeked behind the curtain, I see a locked door sealed with duct-tape.
The air-conditioning was turned on high. I was happy I wore long pants and socks and a sweatshirt over my sweater.
When everyone was seated, two participants were asked to frisk David, to show the audience he isn’t hiding any tricks. Over the years, many mediums were proven to be fakes, so David does his best to show that he was authentic.
After David is patted down, he puts on a black cardigan sweater and buttons up the front of it. An assistant ties his wrists and ankles to the black-leather chair and gags him. And then the assistant secures the buttonholes and gag with another plastic cable. He snips the cable ends and little pieces of plastic fell onto the floor. The assistant carefully picked up the little scraps. Anything left on the floor could enter David’s body when the ectoplasm returned to him. I begin to worry. “What if they hadn’t vacuumed? What if there were dust mites or pieces of leaves tracked in from outside?”
In the corner outside of the circle of chairs, is a two-foot-high black box with a red light in it. Some mediums can manifest ectoplasm in a dark room with a red light on. Much like how photographers developing film need a safelight to insure a photograph won’t be ruined by exposure to light. On rare occasions the spirits in David’s séances give participants a choice. The audience votes between visits from loved ones without the light or keeping the red light on and watching the ectoplasm. People usually choose to witness the phenomena of the ectoplasm.
While David is tied up to his chair and gagged, the black curtains are drawn around him so he is totally concealed in the cabinet. Chris invites everyone to look beneath their chairs to make sure there are no hidden wires or devices. Chris places a four-by-eight foot plywood board on the carpeted floor in the center of the circle, so we will be able to hear the footsteps of the spirits.
Chris tapes the door shut and tells us that a guard is posted outside. The lights are lowered and we sit in complete darkness holding hands.
“Make sure you are always holding hands until I say it’s okay to release,” Chris instructs us. “And if someone lets go of your hand, let me know immediately.”
Chris then started the séance with a prayer, invoking the Higher power so the evening will progress for the greatest good of all.
I’ve been to many spiritualist meetings and services. So when Chris says she’s going to play some music, and we’re to sing along, I imagine that it will sound like a hymn. I’m surprised when Chris plays a CD by the Beach Boys.
“Come on, sing along,” Chris shouts.
“Round, round, get around, I get around.” We all sing as if it were karaoke night.
“Oooo weeee you ooooh!” I belt out. Knowing that the more energy we create, the easier it will be for the spirits to enter our world. I have fun singing, not caring what I sound like, since my identity is obscured by the dark.
The song segues into “So bye-bye, Miss American Pie.” Everyone chimes in. There is so much energy that halfway through the CD starts skipping. There’s a strange whooshing noise combined with the sound of someone coughing up a wad of phlegm. I learn later that this is the sound of the spirits using ectoplasm to materialize and disappear.
And in the center of the pitch-black room, I see a white glob of energy as big as a 250-pound, six-foot man. It reminds me of the plasma-globe lights sold in Edmund Scientific catalogues. Two bells that were on the table are now ringing as if someone was walking around the room swinging them. Heavy footsteps clomp on the board.
Even though I know that friendly spirits come in goodwill, I’m scared. I can feel the hair on the back of my neck stand on end and I squeeze the hands of the people sitting on both sides of me. Chris shuts the music off.
Clomp. Clomp. Clomp. The plasma ball comes closer to me. Its energy feels high and light. I tell myself that a reputable church sponsored this event, and I shouldn’t be afraid. Yet my involuntary reaction is to squeeze the hands I’m holding. I want to recoil and cringe away, yet I know that if I did I could possibly injure David. So I breathe deeply and sit still.
Clomp. Clomp. Clomp. It walks away and then a loud bellowing voice with an English accent says, “Good evening.”
Everyone says “Good evening,” in unison, including me. It’s William, David’s spirit guide who is part of a regular team of spirits that work with him. William clomps over to Tom, the Reverend of the church.
“Would you like these?” William asks as he hands the bells to Tom.
“Thank you,” The Reverend says politely.
Someone unwraps a cough drop. The crinkling sound of the paper and the breaking of the circle could disrupt the ectoplasm.
William says in an angry voice, “ What are you doing?”
Chris chimes in and yells, “Stop moving and making unnecessary noise. The littered paper can hurt the ectoplasm. Put the paper and candy in your pocket. Everyone hold hands and don’t let go.”
William then begins by saying, “Do you have any questions?”
Chris had coached us at the lecture to talk and participate, so I ask,” Is there going to be a catastrophic change in 2012?” After all, that’s when my mortgage will finally be paid off. It wouldn’t surprise me if the world ended.
“Why are you concerned my dear?” he asks in a patronizing way.
“Well, there have been a lot of dramatic shifts in weather. A lot of people predict a change in consciousness and the dawning of a New Age.”
“Has anything really changed over time?” he asks, once again in a mocking tone.
“Yes and no, “ I said, “We have technological marvels but we still have the same human condition. -- War, suffering, unhappiness.”
“No harm will come to you,” he says dismissively.
Another man’s voice in the dark asks, ”Why have gays and lesbians chosen to live this way?” I noticed at the lecture that many of the men in the room appeared to be homosexuals. Guys were holding hands with their boyfriends, or talking in affected voices.
Williams responds by saying, “Sexual preference makes no difference to the soul. Perhaps I will return at the end of the evening.”
Hack. Hack. Whoosh. Cough. Hack. Whoosh. I recognize the sound of the spirits using ectoplasm to materialize and disappear
Chris says it is okay to let go of our neighbor’s hands so we release the energy and sing along with a CD of a song recorded by REM in the 90s, “Shiny Happy People Holding Hands.”
“Meet me in the crowd
Throw your love around.”
Hack. Hack. Whoosh. Hack. Hack. The ectoplasm interrupts us.
“Everyone hold hands.” Chris yells out.
“Good evening,” an effeminate male voice bellows. “I’m Quentin Crisp,” the foppish, legendarily flamboyant English gay writer announces. This celebrated British raconteur and humorist, has been likened to a twentieth century version of Mark Twain. He was a flamboyant performer, with wit, and style, with numerous film and literary credits. I wasn’t expecting celebrities.
“Oooh,” he says like a flaming queen. “Hi there, what’s your name?” he approaches one of the gay men.
“Oooh, are you in my camp?
“Oooh, ah.” Quentin responds.
“What are you wearing?’ John asks.
“Why do you want to know?” Quentin responds.
This whole interaction is not like how I envisioned the evening. I thought it would be more like the John Edward’s TV show, Crossing Over. I imagine daughters crying as they listen to their long-dead mother’s voice or fathers embracing sons lost in wars or car accidents. Instead it reminds me of “Aux Cage Au Folles.”
“I’m wearing orange satin pants, and a silk scarf. It’s soft. Want to feel it?”
Quentin caresses the man’s face with his scarf.
“Nice. Soft.” John seems to be amused by this as we all laugh.
Quentin clomps over to the over side of the room to face another younger man.
“Are you in my camp too?”
When the man answers in a sexy tone, “I’m flexible,” the whole room bursts into laughter.
“I love attending séances so I can touch young men. I don’t get to touch them here in spirit.”
Hack. Hack. Whoosh. Hack. The audial cue tells us Quentin is gone.
Chris plays a song by Queen, but I don’t know the lyrics, so I hum along. I’m no longer scared. We let go of hands. The energy in the room has shifted. There is a gaiety in the air. It’s not solemn and stodgy, but playful and fun. I wonder if Liberace will pay us a visit.
Hack. Hack. Whoosh. Hack. Hack. The ectoplasm interrupts our song.
“Hold hands everyone.” Chris shouts.
Timmy, a nine-year-old English boy-spirit arrives.
“Why was that man wearing a scarf?” his strange voice that sounds like a Charles Dickens character asks. “Only women wear scarves.”
Timmy picks up a card that has been painted with glow-in-the-dark paint. It floats around the circle about two-feet off the floor.
“See my fingers,” he repeats as he shows his tiny fingers that are holding the card.
Timmy is one of the spirits on David’s team. He works with William who acts like a go-between helping other spirits to the séance circle.
Hack. Hack. Whoosh. Hack. Hack. The ectoplasm announces another spirit arriving.
A soft-spoken man with a southern accent says, “I want my son, Paul.”
But there is no Paul in the circle.
“They told me my son would be here.” The man-spirit sounds sad and a little desperate. Tom, the Reverend of the church sponsoring the event says, “Yes a Paul called to sign up, but we were sold out. I’ll tell him you asked for him.”
Hack. Hack. Whoosh. Hack. Hack. I begin to get used to the strange sound of the ectoplasm as we sit in the dark.
A young man commands, “I’m here to see my sister.”
“Star-shine?” the spirit clomps over to a woman on the other side of the room.
“Star-shine? Is that you?” he calls to her.
“Yes it’s me.” She says. “Is it really you, Brian?”
Yes, it’s me,” he touches her face.
“How old are you now?
“Sixty-one! How time flies. Has it been thirty years since I passed?”
They chat briefly. Their conversation reveals that Brian committed suicide because he was gay and unable to resolve his differences with his family. He apologizes to his sister for leaving her before kissing her goodbye. In my wildest dream, I never imagined a séance turning into a gay therapy session.
Whoosh. Hack. Hack. Hack. Hack. And we know Brian is gone.
An African-American’s voice with a southern accent says,” Good even-in, everyone.”
“Good evening,” we chime back.
It’s Louis Armstrong! Louis proceeds to play a harmonica and sing, “It’s a Wonderful World.”
I feel like I’m witnessing some bizarre art performance. This is some wacky show filled with strange characters.
When Louis ends his famous song he bids us goodnight.
Whoosh. Hack. Hack. Hack. Hack. Whoosh. Hack. Hack. Hack. Hack.
It’s Timmy again. “I can make the trumpets move,” he boasts.
Trumpets traditionally used in séances are not like musical instruments. They are either cardboard or aluminum cones shaped like orange funnels that are used to block off parking spaces. Spirits use trumpets to talk to participants in the circle. Other times spirits communicate by levitating trumpets around the room.
For the next five minutes two cardboard cones about a foot high that have been painted with yellow day-glow paint fly around the room. They spin and flash like a strobe light. Or whirl around like someone twirling sparklers on the Fourth of July.
“Did you like my show?” Timmy asks.
“Yes, Woo hoo!” everyone in the circle responds in unison.
Hack. Whoosh. Hack. Hack. Hack and Timmy is gone.
Chris plays a CD of Pachelbel’s Canon on the boom box. Two hours must have passed by now and I can feel the energy winding down.
Whoosh. Hack. Hack. Hack. William appears again bidding us goodnight and interrupts the classical music.
BANG. It sounds as if David’s heavy chair has been dropped in the middle of the floor.
Hating loud noises, I use all of my will–power to keep from jumping out of my seat. I feel as though I’ve had two martinis, yet I haven’t had alcohol in days. But I feel uplifted, as if I’ve just watched a great cabaret act combined with a sacred ceremony. I’ve witnessed something marvelous.
The closing prayer is said ending with, “We give our thanks to Spirit.” We release each other’s hands.
Chris says she’s going to open the door to let in a crack of light. She rips off the duct-tape and opens the door.
David, still bound and gagged sits in his upholstered chair in the center of the room, about twelve feet from where he started the séance. Apparently the loud bang was him being dropped on the board. An assistant cuts the cable and unties David’s gag. David is drowsy, as if he’d been awakened from a nap. Chris points out that David’s sweater is now reversed. The buttons are now in the back, yet his hands and feet remain bound. The buttons are still cabled shut.
We sit in silence for a few minutes before we all leave. Whether the experience was real or a magic trick, it doesn’t matter. It was a night I’ll never forget.
Djuna Wojton is a healer, psychic astrologer, and author of Karmic Healing: Clearing Past-Life Blocks to Present-Day Love, Health, and Happiness, (Crossing Press 2006) and the upcoming Karmic Choices: How Making the Right Decisions Can Create Enduring Joy (Llewellyn 2014). www.djunaverse.com.
As a teenager thinking about the form and structure of what would comprise my forthcoming adulthood, I had a series of what I would call negative epiphanies, or sudden realizations that paradigms that I was being trained into and information which I was studying were dead-ends, otherwise known as bullshit. These negative epiphanies were useful for they left a void in my mind that wanted to be filled. These moments provided and continue to provide an opportunity to replace what I consider false information and concepts with knowledge that I consider more workable.
Book by Rosemary Ellen Guiley and George Noory -----
Imagine one day, being able to take a small device about the size of an iPod out of your pocket or purse, pressing a button and connecting with your dear aunt Sarah in the “afterlife.”
According to paranormal researcher Rosemary Ellen Guiley who co-authored the book, Talking to the Dead, we may be on the edge of a breakthrough in technological advancements in spirit communication that could yield regular exchanges with the other side.
The book, which debuted late last year by Coast to Coast AM’s George Noory and Guiley describe a spectrum of technological developments in talking to the departed. Those in the field of paranormal research have a working knowledge of some of the more cutting edge spirit communication devices since the advent of EVP or electronic voice phenomena; a process by which inexplicable voices are heard during the playback of a tape recorder, although not heard initially at the time of the recording. But in recent years, a phenomenon called “Real-Time EVP” which as the name implies, allows the experimenter or “operator” to speak to the dead - live - has reached many in the larger community of people interested in making contact, often for their own personal reasons.
Margaret Downey, an LA based spirit communications researcher works with the bereaved to help them have their own communications via real time EVP or as she calls it “simulated real time” – a delayed conversation in which she periodically stops to review the recordings as they go along. Downey also works in collaboration with intuitive channel and film producer Lisa Winther-Huston to conduct sessions for the bereaved. The pair was featured on an episode of the Biography Channel’s My Ghost Story. Like many who actively work in this area of the paranormal, Downey and Winther-Huston claim to have assistance from discarnate entities vis-a-vis the devices they use, to help them perfect the process of communication. Some of these associates even describe themselves as never incarnating in human form. Names such as ethereals have been used to describe entities who exist in higher realms or parallel worlds and have pronounced themselves as helpers to those wishing to hone their skills in using technology for spirit communication.
Consciousness Plays a Major Role
Despite the advancements in technological spirit communication over the last 100 or so years including Thomas Edison’s purported interest in possibly dialing up the dead, there appears to be a consistent theme occurring among practitioners who receive a good measure of success. Natural mediumistic ability appears to be a common denominator in effective spirit communication. When psychic ability is active within the practitioner, the device used becomes a tool or perhaps an amplifier but not the actual source of the connection that’s being made. The consciousness of both the operator and the spirit communicator, along with pure desire and intent become the dominant ingredients for the intersection of energy and the resulting communication to take place.
Mark Macy, a practitioner and researcher of EVP and ITC or instrumental transcommunication, was told during a series of dreams and out of body experiences that “too much emphasis just on the technology would not produce success.” The consciousness of the practitioner is of utmost importance in achieving a connection.
Martha Pierce Copeland of Atlanta is one who used EVP in hopes of easing the burden of losing her daughter, but became so convinced of its efficacy she later went on to found one of the most well known spirit communication support groups for the grief stricken. However, one poignant message which came from her daughter during her early experiments using a computer made her realize the necessity for our own internal mechanism for contact. Awakened in the middle of the night Copeland heard the voice of her daughter in her mind saying, “You do not need to use the computer. You can hear me in your mind.”
Could it be that those in the afterlife, higher dimensions and parallel worlds understand something that we can’t fully assimilate as yet? Whether it be divining practical wisdom about our daily lives or dialoguing with the departed, we are the source of the results we seek; it is consciousness creating the connection.
Spirit Communication and Electromagnetic Energy
Rosemary Ellen Guiley even acknowledges that the devices may be tapping into levels of consciousness and processes we don’t yet understand. That said, apparently EVP does have an important role to play. This raises the question as to whether there is some sort of intersection of energy that occurs when an electromagnetic resonance is achieved between the operator, the device and the discarnate communicator.
Guiley who has been a regular experimenter of several real-time EVP devices including one called the “minibox” did an in-studio demonstration prior to going on-air with George Noory for his popular Coast to Coast AM broadcast. During the demonstration Noory asked why there was a need for a lot of background noise. “In order to talk to us, those in another dimension seem to do best when we give them a background of sounds. They’re not using the vocal cords of the living,” states Guiley. The communicators have said that “they manipulate energy on their side and sound on ours.”
As is well known, everything in our known universe including our selves operates within an electromagnetic spectrum. Ultrasonic sound frequencies occur well above 20 KHz, typically outside the range the human ear can pick up. However with the aid of certain background sounds, such as radio static coupled with the frequencies of the human electromagnetic energy field, the device may build a bridge where the EM frequencies can begin a resonance with each other and communication then ensues.
In fact, it has been recently discovered that the human heart actually emits much more energy both electrically and magnetically than that of the brain, making it a powerful conduit for connecting with energy sources well outside of our typical sensory system. This information would support the idea that an emotional connection, pure intent and love play a vital role in making a successful connection with loved ones in spirit.
Clearly, Talking to the Dead is a book whose focus is squarely on the history and advancements in technological spirit communication, however its consistent intimations of the vital role that psychic ability, consciousness and even alchemy play as necessary elements in bridging dimensional realms does not go unnoticed.
The book achieves balance by nicely weaving in correlations with experiments throughout the history of spirit communication, including the common theme that the discarnate communicators often play a support role in helping humans to develop such feats of technological expertise.
Rounding out its offering, the book also covers such elusive aspects as spirit forensics, the dark side in the lower astral realms and even sex in the afterlife.
Talking to the Dead gives readers a breadth and scope of resources for further investigation and also offers suggestions in its appendix for experimenting on your own with EVP.
One question that emerged both at the book’s beginning and end: what will be the societal implications once irrefutable proof of an afterlife is revealed, perhaps through the advancement of technology? Certainly our beliefs will be challenged; perhaps our entire worldview will need to be re-examined. We appear to be on the threshold of a paradigm shift for the entire planet, the information this book offers couldn’t be timelier!
As stated in its final pages: “Proof of the afterlife and communication with the Other Side will give us new knowledge of the process of dying and the transition to a new state of being. Redefining death will lead to a redefining of life. We will alter choices we make about how we live life.”
Give Talking to the Dead a read and contemplate the possibilities of life and beyond.
Alexis Brooks is a researcher and essayist of the metaphysical and spiritual genre, Alexis' philosophies are echoed in her writings that approach questions about the nature of reality, human consciousness and the universe. Alexis retreated from the day to day rigors of corporate America as a broadcast marketing executive and commercial copywriter for major market radio in the mid 1990's to pursue a life long passion as student, researcher and writer of metaphysical concepts. As a result, Alexis has enjoyed success, primarily as an on-line freelance writer, garnering a significant following for her concise philosophical essays which have appeared on numerous web sites. Alexis has had the privilege of working and interfacing with some of the most renowned writers, researchers and experts in the field of consciousness and related studies. Additionally, Alexis' own mystical experiences have fueled her interest in understanding the complexities and innate potential of humanity. One poignant dream account, which she experienced amid the illness of her mother, so inspired best-selling author, Rosemary Ellen Guiley, that the story was published in Guiley's (1998) book, Dreamwork for the Soul.
“There’s a lot of contamination: air contamination, water contamination, and earth contamination. The high winds and calamities that we’re having are due to the negligence of what we’re doing here. We don’t need four automobiles in a family. Destruction is coming about due to our negligence and greed and the Maya have it written down as a prophecy."
“One of the predictions concerns how we’re going to have seven days of darkness. When this takes place, a lot of people that don’t have a spiritual basis are going to go nuts. I have been assured that this will not be the end of the world. It really means, according to the Maya, that the earth is going to go through a period of gestation and enter into a new period. I saw in a vision that we’re going to have two suns. We need to get ready."
“We all need to cultivate a strong connection with spirit, with God. I’ve explained what I feel my God is, but we all have different opinions and feelings about God. You need to have such passion and devotion to God that you can surrender totally. Without that kind of commitment, you can’t be a healing presence in the world.”
(A side note – During the remote viewing sessions of the date Dec. 21, 2012 during the Cancun Prophets conference with former SRI/CIA scientist Russell Targ, a great many delegates could only see the world as grey or dark.)
Flordemayo- is a Mayan member of Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers and protégé of Don Alejandro Oxlaj a head of the Mayan Council of Elders, Flordemayo is a highly regarded Mayan “priestess”.
Flordemayo’s curandero remedies, Spirit Medicine of the grandmothers, are hand-made using traditional herbs, prayers and ceremony. These remedies have been passed down to Flordemayo through oral tradition for many generations. They are remedies for every type of situation, designed to cleanse, heal, protect and promote spiritual growth. She has studied extensively with her brother, a herbero in Nicaragua, for the last seven years. Currently working out of her home, she uses her kitchen to prepare remedies as has been done for generations.
Since 1999 Flordemayo has been a part of the Wisdom of the Grandmother’s Foundation. Currently Flordemayo is a member of the Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers. Flordemayo and the grandmothers have travelled around the world uniting people in a circle of prayer.
What will happen in 2012 – or, in the Mayan calendar, 22.214.171.124.0? The question has been
the subject of many books and one blockbuster movie. No-one seems to know, but
there is ample speculation: from the return of Zecharia Sitchin’s aliens from the
theoretical twelfth planet in our solar system to global annihilation, everyone seems
to have an opinion as to what 2012 is about. It might therefore come as a surprise
that for the Mayan civilisation itself – those who worked the date of December 21, 2012
into their mythology – it was no mystery at all! The Mayan prophecy to do with 2012 was
that it would signal the return of “The Nine”.
“The Nine” are mentioned in an inscription on Monument 6 of the Mayan site of
Tortuguero, in the Mexican state of Tabasco. The monument was erected in 669 AD
and is one of the very few pre-Conquest sources that mention 2012. Various translations
or partial translations of the inscription exist. This is the most common one: “At the next creation,
the Bolon Yokte Ku, or Nine Support Gods, will return.” However, the actual word
“return”, sometimes translated as “descent”, is not intact on the monument. Still,
it is a safe conclusion to make that the missing word is return. Why? Because other
Mayan sources reference the return of these deities at the ending of each baktun.
Hence, they are expected to emanate on Earth in 2012 too.
Who are the Bolon Yokte Ku – The Nine? They have variously been translated
as the God of Nine Strides, the Nine-Footed God, Jaguar-Foot-Tree and Nine-Dog-Tree.
They were seen as living in the Underworld and were generally described as god(s) of
conflict, warfare, and are hence linked with dangerous transition times, social unrest,
eclipses, and natural disasters like earthquakes. It is said that at the end of a baktun,
they would abandon their underworld realm and rise to the Earth’s surface, where they would do battle with the 13 deities of Heaven.
To further identify what the Nine Support Gods are supposed to be, we need to
consult other sources, in this case, anthropological ones. Such evidence makes it
clear that the Nine Gods appeared during ceremonies that were held at the end of
each baktun, the last of which occurred in 1618 AD.
The ceremonial of the baktun is described in chapter 29 of the The Book of Chilam
Balam de Chumayel, a Mayan chronicle. It provides a detailed description of the
ceremonies that were performed in Merida in 1618 AD, at the end of 126.96.36.199.0.
In total, there are twenty acts, each representing one of the twenty katuns that
make up a baktun-cycle. After some initial preparations, in act 2, the bee god tied
the masks of the 13 gods of Heaven to those people who were going to perform
in the ceremonies. The actual baktun cycle was ended in act 3, whereby the Nine
Gods fought, conquered and sacrificed these 13 Gods. Night had conquered day.
The subsequent acts involved rituals to do with the election of the new officials for
the new period, while in act 12, the Nine Gods sacrifice the Seven Pacers and count
the mats, which is an initial line-up of the candidates for investiture for the coming
era. In act 13, the 4 yearbearers reappear, in the guise of the four death gods. Most
importantly, in act 15, the Nine Gods announce the fate of the new era. This fate was
largely the will of the gods, which the community had to achieve during the new era.
In short, the baktun ceremony was therefore a series of rituals, focusing on the Nine
Gods and their emanation and rulings. However, these extraordinary rituals have seldom
been understood for what they are: part and parcel of the 2012 phenomenon.
The question nevertheless remains as to who these Nine Gods truly are. Indeed,
“Nine Gods” are not just an ingredient of the Mayan culture. There were also Nine
Gods in the ancient Egyptian religion, as well as many others (e.g. India). To the
Egyptians, they were also known as the Nine Principles and they were directly linked
with their Creator Deity, Atum.
Control over these Nine Principles was deemed to be instrumental in the successful
rule of a Pharaoh: proper control over them meant that balance – linked with the deity
Ma’at – was maintained and all was well with Egypt, the world and the universe.
We can therefore see that The Nine in an Egyptian or Mayan setting, were closely
related; in both instances, they determined the ruling of an era, whereby their
consultation was of extreme importance to the success of the nation.
So are we waiting for their return in 2012? If so, what are we meant to expect?
Interestingly, since the 1950s, decades before the 2012 phenomenon rose to
prominence, there has been a select number of people that have been speaking
about a “Return of the Nine”. For some, this is the return of nine extra-terrestrial
beings, for others this is the return of the Egyptian Nine Gods. Some even link The
Nine with the nine founding members of the Knights Templar order – a concept that,
alas, resulted in a series of mass suicides in France, Switzerland and Canada in the
mid-1990s. However, despite the mass interest in 2012, until now, no-one has drawn
attention to the fact that for decades, people claimed to be contacting The Nine and
the fact that Mayan inscriptions speak of a return of the Nine Gods in these “end times”!
So what are The Nine? A group led by paranormal researcher Dr. Andrija Puharich
that contacted “The Nine” in the early 1950s. They believed they were an alien
intelligence: not necessarily physical, but definitely not terrestrial in the most literal
sense. The nine participants each challenged one entity, which communicated through
them as a collective. Puharich was quite clear that these entities had a connection with
ancient Egypt. In the 1970s, he chanced upon a young Israeli psychic, Uri Geller. During
the many scientific experiments Geller was put through as part as the CIA’s Remote
Viewing experiments, Puharich realised that Geller could contact The Nine, and,
specifically, that whereas in all previous attempts, he had required a panel of nine
people to participate, Geller could channel all nine together.
As Geller’s fame rose, Puharich decided to write a biography of the exploits of
this remarkable psychic. In the book, Puharich mentioned the Nine, but for
reasons that will forever remain obscure, he largely ridiculed The Nine, even
though for several decades before – and after – he would remain obsessed
with them. Equally, whereas previously he had spoken of them as an alien
intelligence, in the book, they had become an extraterrestrial intelligence.
There is a difference…
Geller has always remained silent on what transpired with the Nine, as he was
unconscious throughout the channelling. When in contact with the Nine, they
summoned him to UFO fly-pasts and more. Puharich claimed he made tape
recordings of these sessions, but none have ever been made public, so it truly
is a case of Puharich against the world. If true, then Puharich asked “Are youbehind the UFO sightings that started in the United States when Kenneth Arnold saw nine flying
saucers on June 24, 1947?” to which they answered yes.
Swiss psychologist Carl Jung made a detailed study of UFOs and was convinced
that they were an alien – though not extra-terrestrial – intelligence that was here
to help guide us into a new world, which he identified with the cosmic Age of Aquarius.
According to Puharich, The Nine stated they were from a world called Hoova,
though on occasion, they called themselves Rhombus 4D. They contacted Puharich
and Geller as they had been chosen to prevent war, as well as steering the Earth’s
fate into a specific direction, which the Nine argued was indeed to their own needs
and benefits, though it was also for the benefit of Mankind. Here, we therefore see
clear parallels with the methodology the Nine employed with the Maya, namely their
directing the fate of Mankind. The Nine also claimed that they were responsible for
Geller’s powers and that the way in which Mankind used Geller would determine
whether The Nine’s “programme for Planet Earth” would continue, or not.
Others, like Phyllis Schlemmer, have also contacted “Tom”, who is a spokesperson
for the Nine, with whom Puharich spoke too. Her story made it into Stuart Holroyd’s
“Prelude to the Landing on Planet Earth” and the later “The Only Planet of Choice”.
Other Nine contactees are Don Elkins and Carla Rueckert, who channelled “Ra”, a
member of The Nine, who declared that it was he who had built the Great Pyramid.
In sessions with Puharich, “Tom” said the Sphinx was built and named after him.
Tom adds: “I am the beginning. I am the end.” – wording that could be lifted from
the baktun-ending ceremonies. I would personally not go as far as to argue that
The Nine as per these channellings are who they claim to be. I have done extensive
research into them for more than a decade, and they are, quite simply, a complex
issue that defies easy categorisation. But what can be said about them, is this: it is
clear that each culture, whether Mayan, Egyptian or 20th century Western society,
was and is in contact with an alien intelligence, which each time, relates messages
that are identical in context.
The number nine is prominent in another culture, which is believed to have had
direct links with the Maya: the Hopi of Arizona. They too believe we are approaching
the end of an era, though their doctrine does not stipulate a precise date. Instead,
they argue that for a New Era to be born, a series of nine prophecies need to be
fulfilled. Still, according to Twylah Nitsch, her grandfather Moses Shongo, the last
of the traditional Seneca medicine men who died in ca. 1925, did predict that there
would be a 25 year of purification that would end in ca. 2012. Generally, the Hopi
argue that it is due “soon”, as eight of the nine prophecies linked with it have been
fulfilled. The first “sign” occurred as far back as the 16th century, and involved the arrival
of the “white men with guns”. The eight, incidentally, were the Hippies! The only prophecy
remaining to be fulfilled, is that of the Blue Star Kachina, which is often interpreted as an
alien, and sometimes extra-terrestrial presence that will manifest itself on Earth.
As early as 1948, the Hopi tried to speak at the United Nations General Assembly
about their prophecies for our ending era. They feel that they are the caretakers
for the American continent and felt they needed to share the message of the
necessity for humans to be in balance with nature. Twice, the Hopi elders were
turned away, but they eventually were allowed to speak in 1976 at a United Nations-sponsored
conference in British Columbia.
Like the Maya, the Hopi adhere to a cyclical world view and believe that we
are about to emerge from the Fourth into the Fifth World –out of a total of
seven worlds. Even though the Hopi do not specifically state Nine Gods will
return, they do argue that one specific entity needs to return, which will be the
final sign that the Fourth World has ended. Kachinas are “spirits”, which are visualised
during the Hopi religious dances, very much on par with the masks the participants in
the baktun ending ceremonies wore. In 1914, a song was first sung at the Wuwuchim
ceremony, which marks the start of the ceremonial calendar year in November. The
1914 rendition of the song was the first mention of the imminent “Emergence into the
Fifth World” and stated that this would occur when the Saquasohuh – the Blue Star
Kachina – would dance in the plaza.
The Tortuguero Inscription, mentioning the return of "The Nine"
According to the “Book of the Hopi”, by Frank Waters, Saquasohuh “represents a
blue star, far off and invisible, which will make its appearance soon”. Others have
referenced it as “You will hear of a dwelling-place in the heavens, above the Earth,
that shall fall with a great crash. It will appear as a blue star. Very soon after this,
the ceremonies of my people will cease.”
In recent years, there has been intense speculation as to what the Blue Star could be.
Candidates included the appearance of Hale Bopp in 1997, or the supernova of
SN1987A, which occurred on February 23, 1987. The latter was the brightest
supernova observed for four centuries.
It seems, however, that the Hopi prophecy has been ill-understood. Simply
put, the prophecy clearly refers to a future tribal ceremony, at which point a kachina
– a Hopi spirit – known as Blue Star will reveal himself. As such, Blue Star is nothing
more or less than his name, and not necessarily linked to a stellar phenomenon.
He is, however, by all accounts a deity – an alien intelligence that will return.
However, in recent years, the Hopi themselves have seriously clouded the debate
over what is supposed to happen. Some Hopi argue that our current timeframe is
known as the “Great Day of Purification”. Hopi elder Oh Shinnah Fastwolf states this
period will be over by 2011 and that it will be at that moment that the blue star will
appear in the sky. Speaking Wind, the son of a Pueblo shaman from New Mexico,
has said that the Fifth World will start in 2012. He however argues that the final
cleansing of the Earth began in 1998, when in September, the five planets aligned.
He also saw a planetary alignment of nine bodies on May 5, 2000, as very important,
as it was the begin date, until 2012, of how the earth would be purged. “If mankind
will not willingly let go of the illusion, and the lie, it will be stripped away.”
And so, despite details and fringe claims, whenever we turn to the core of a
phenomenon and the core of the 2012 phenomenon, we are confronted with one
key message, one that even archaeologists have uncovered as being at the root of
the Mayan prophecy about 2012: it is about the return of the gods. The Bolon Yokte Ku,
who will signal in a new era. The Time Returns!
Originally found at: http://www.realitysandwich.com/there_were_ginats_upon_earth
The following is excerpted from There Were Giants Upon the Earth: Gods, Demigods, and Human Ancestry: The Evidence of Alien DNA, available from Bear and Company. If you would like to learn more about this book or buy a copy, please do so here.
And It Came to Pass
And it came to pass,
When men began to multiply on the face of the Earth
and daughters were born unto them,
that the sons of God saw the daughters of men
that they were fair, and they took them wives
of all which they chose.
There were giants upon the Earth
in those days and also thereafter too,
When the sons of God
came in unto the daughters of men
and they bare children to them-
the same Mighty Men of old,
Men of Renown.
The reader, if familiar with the King James English version of the Bible, will recognize these verses in chapter 6 of Genesis as the preamble to the story of the Deluge, the Great Flood in which Noah, huddled in an ark, was saved to repopulate the Earth.
The reader, if familiar with my writings, will also recognize these verses as the reason why many decades ago, a schoolboy was prompted to ask his teacher why it is "giants" who are the subject of these verses, when the word in the original Hebrew text is Nefilim -- which, stemming from the Hebrew verb NaFoL, means to fall down, to be downed, to come down-and in no way 'giants'.
The schoolboy was I. Instead of being congratulated on my linguistic acumen, I was harshly reprimanded. "Sitchin, sit down!" the teacher hissed with repressed anger; "you don't question the Bible!" I was deeply hurt that day, for I was not questioning the Bible -- on the contrary, I was pointing out the need to understand it accurately. And that was what changed my life's direction to pursue the Nefilim. Who were they, and who were their "Mighty Men" descendants?
The search for answers started with linguistic questions. The Hebrew text does not speak of "Men" who began to multiply, but of Ha'Adam -- "The Adam," a generic term, a human species. It does not speak of the sons of "God," but uses the term Bnei Ha-Elohim -- the sons (in the plural) of The Elohim, a plural term taken to mean "gods" but literally meaning "The Lofty Ones." The "Daughters of The Adam" were not "fair," but Tovoth -- good, compatible . . . And unavoidably we find ourselves confronting issues of origins. How did Mankind happen to be on this planet, and whose genetic code do we carry?
In just three verses and a few words -- forty-nine words in the original Hebrew of Genesis -- the Bible describes the creation of Heaven and Earth, then records an actual prehistoric time of early Mankind and a series of amazing events, including a global Flood, the presence on Earth of gods and their sons, inter-species intermarriage, and demigod offspring . . .
And so, starting with one word (Nefilim), I told the tale of the Anunnaki, "Those who from Heaven to Earth came" -- space travelers and interplanetary settlers who came from their troubled planet to Earth in need of gold, and ended up fashioning The Adam in their image. In doing so I brought them to life -- recognizing them individually, unraveling their tangled relationships, describing their tasks, loves, ambitions, and wars -- and identifying their inter-species offspring, the 'demigods'.
I have been asked at times where my interests would have taken me were the teacher to compliment rather than reprimand me. In truth, I have asked myself a different question: What if indeed "there were giants upon the Earth, in those days and thereafter too"? The cultural, scientific, and religious implications are awesome; they lead to the next unavoidable questions: Why did the compilers of the Hebrew Bible, which is totally devoted to monotheism, include the bombshell verses in the prehistoric record -- and what were their sources?
I believe that I have found the answer. Deciphering the enigma of the demigods (the famed Gilgamesh among them), I conclude in this book -- my crowning oeuvre -- that compelling physical evidence for past alien presence on Earth has been buried in an ancient tomb. It is a tale that has immense implications for our genetic origins -- a key to unlocking the secrets of health, longevity, life, and death; it is a mystery whose unraveling will take the reader on a unique adventure and finally reveal what was held back from Adam in the Garden of Eden.
Sumer: Where Civilization Began
Sumer, it is now known, was the land of a talented and dexterous people in what is now southern Iraq. Usually depicted in artful statues and statuettes in a devotional stance (Fig. 28), it was the Sumerians who were the first ones to record and describe past events and tell the tales of their gods. It was there, in the fertile plain watered by the great Euphrates and Tigris Rivers, that Mankind's first known civilization blossomed out some 6,000 years ago -- "suddenly," "unexpectedly," "with stunning abruptness," according to all scholars. It was a civilization to which we owe, to this day, virtually every ‘First' of what we deem essential to an advanced civilization: The wheel and wheeled transportation; the brick that made (and still makes) possible high-rise buildings; furnaces and the kiln that are essential to industries from baking to metallurgy; astronomy and mathematics; cities and urban societies; kingship and laws; temples and priesthoods; timekeeping, a calendar, festivals; from beer to culinary recipes, from art to music and musical instruments; and, above all, writing and record keeping-it was all first there, in Sumer.
We now know all that thanks to the achievements of archaeology and the decipherment of ancient languages during the past century and a half. The long and arduous road by which ancient Sumer moved from complete obscurity to an awed appreciation of its grandeur has a number of milestones bearing the names of scholars who had made the journey possible. Some, who toiled at the varied sites, will be mentioned by us. Others, who pieced together and classified fragmented artifacts during a century and a half of Mesopotamian archaeology, are too many to be listed.
And then there were the epigraphers -- sometimes out in the field, most of the time poring over tablets in crammed museum or university quarters -- whose persistence, devotion, and abilities converted pieces of clay incised with odd ‘cuneates' into legible historical, cultural and literary treasures. Their work was crucial, for while the usual pattern of archaeological and ethnographic discovery has been to find a people's remains and then decipher their written records (if they had them), in the case of the Sumerians recognition of their language -- even its decipherment -- preceded the discovery of their land, Sumer (the common English spelling, rather than Shumer). And it was not because the language, ‘Sumerian', preceded its people; on the contrary -- it was because the language and its script lingered on after Sumer was long gone -- just as Latin and its script had outlived the Roman empire thousands of years later.
The philological recognition of Sumerian began, as we have illustrated, not through the discovery of the Sumerians' own tablets, but through the varied use, in Akkadian texts, of ‘loan words' that were not Akkadian; the naming of gods and cities by names that made no sense in Assyrian or Babylonian; and of course by actual statements (as that by Ashurbanipal) about the existence of earlier writings in ‘Shumerian'. His statement was borne out by the discovery of tablets that rendered the same text in two languages, one Akkadian and the other in the mysterious language; then the next two lines were in Akkadian and in the other language, and so on (the scholarly term for such bilingual texts is ‘interlinears').
It was in 1850 that Edward Hincks, a student of Rawlinson's Behistun decipherments, suggested in a scholarly essay that an Akkadian ‘syllabary' -- the collection of some 350 cuneiform signs each representing a full consonant + vowel syllable-must have evolved from a prior non-Akkadian set of syllabic signs. The idea (which was not readily accepted) was finally borne out when some of the clay tablets in the Akkadian-language libraries turned out to be bilingual ‘syllabarial' dictionaries -- lists that on one side of the tablet gave a cuneiform sign in the unknown language, and a matching list on the other side in Akkadian (with the signs' pronunciation and meaning added, Fig. 29). All at once, archaeology obtained a dictionary of an unknown language! In addition to tablets inscribed as a kind of dictionaries, the so-called Syllabaries, various other bi-lingual tablets served as invaluable tools in deciphering the Sumerian writing and language.
In 1869 Jules Oppert, addressing the French Society of Numismatics and Archaeology, pointed out that the royal title "King of Sumer and Akkad" found on some tablets provided the name of the people who had preceded the Akkadian-speaking Assyrians and Babylonians; they were, he suggested, the Sumerians. The designation has been applied ever since -- although, to this day, museums and the media prefer to name their exhibits or title their articles and programs "Babylonian" or at best "Old Babylonian" rather than the unfamiliar "Sumerian." Though virtually everything that we consider essential to a developed civilization has been inherited from the Sumerians, many people still respond with a blank "Who?" when they hear the word ‘Sumerian' . . .
The interest in Sumer and the Sumerians constituted a chronological as well as a geographical shift: From the 1st and 2nd millennia B.C. to the 3rd and 4th millennia B.C., and from northern and central Mesopotamia to its south. That ancient settlements lay buried there was indicated not only by the numerous mounds that were scattered over the flat mudlands, mounds that resulted from layers of habitats built upon layers (called strata) of the remains of previous habitats; more intriguing were odd artifacts that local tribesmen dug up out of the mounds, showing them to the occasional European visitors. What we know now is the result of almost 150 years of archaeological toil that brought to light, to varying degrees, Sumer's fourteen or so major ancient centers (map, Fig. 30), virtually all of which are mentioned in the ancient texts.
* * *
Systematic field archaeology of Sumer is deemed to have begun in 1877 by Ernest de Sarzec, who was then the French Vice-Consul in Basra, Iraq's southern port city on the Persian Gulf. (Rumors at the time were that having been fascinated by the local trade in finds, his real interest was in finding objects for private sale.) He started excavating at a site locally called Tello (‘The Mound'). The finds there were so great -- and they did go to the Louvre Museum in Paris, where they fill up galleries -- and so inexhaustible, that French archaeological teams kept coming back year after year to this one site for more than fifty years, through 1933.
Tello turned out to be the sacred precinct, the Girsu, of a large Sumerian urban center called Lagash. Archaeological strata indicated that it had been continuously settled almost since 3800 B.C. Sculpted wall reliefs dating from a so-called Early Dynastic Period, stone sculptures bearing inscriptions in immaculate Sumerian cuneiform and a beautiful silver vase presented by a king named Entemena to his god (Fig. 32) attested the high level of Sumerian culture millennia ago. To top it all, more than 10,000 inscribed clay tablets were found in the city's library (the importance of which will be discussed later on).
Some inscriptions and texts named a continuous line of kings of Lagash who reigned from circa 2900 B.C. to 2250 B.C. -- an uninterrupted reign of almost seven centuries. Clay tablets and commemorative stone plaques recorded large construction undertakings, irrigation and canal projects (and named the kings who initiated them); there was trade with distant lands, and even conflicts with nearby cities.
Most astounding were the statues and inscriptions of a king named Gudea in which he described the miraculous circumstances leading to the building of a complex temple for the god Ningirsu and the god's spouse, Bau. The task, detailed later on, involved divine instructions given in ‘Twilight Zone' circumstances, astronomical alignments, elaborate architecture, the importation of rare building materials from distant lands, calendrial know-how, and precise rituals-all taking place some 4,300 years ago. The Lagash discoveries have been summed up by its last French excavator, Andrè Parrot, in his book Tello (1948).
A few miles northwest of the mounds of Lagash, a mound locally called Tell el-Madineh was located. The French excavators of Lagash peeked at it too; but there was not much to excavate, for the ancient city that had been there was, at some time, completely destroyed by fire. A few finds, however, helped identify that ancient city as Bad-Tibira. The ancient city's Sumerian name, ‘Bad Tibira', meant ‘The Metalworking Fort'; as other discoveries clarified later, Bad-Tibira was indeed considered to have been a metalworking center.
A decade after de Sarzec began excavations at Lagash, a new major archaeological player joined the effort to uncover Sumer: The University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. It had been known, from preceding finds in Mesopotamia, that the most important religious center in Sumer was a city called Nippur; in 1887 John Peters, a professor of Hebrew at the university, succeeded in lining up academic support at the university and financial support from individual donors to organize an "archaeological expedition" to Iraq to find Nippur.
The location of Nippur seemed easy to guess: At the geographical center of southern Mesopotamia, a can't-be-missed huge mound rising some 65 feet above the mudplain was called Niffar by the locals; it fitted references to ancient Nippur as "Navel of the Earth." The University of Pennsylvania's Expedition conducted four excavation ‘campaigns' at the site from 1888 to 1900, at first under the direction of John Peters, then under the leadership of Hermann Hilprecht, a German-born Assyriologist of international standing.
Nippur, the archaeologists ascertained, had been continuously settled from the 6th millennium B.C. to about A.D. 800. The excavations focused at first on the city's Sacred Precinct whose location-as incredible as it may sound-was indicated on a millennia-old city map inscribed on a large clay tablet (Fig. 34, transcript and translation).
There, the remains of a high-rising ziggurat (step-pyramid) in the city's sacred precinct (reconstruction, Fig. 35) attested its dominance above the city. Called E.Kur (= ‘House which is like a mountain'), it was the main temple dedicated to Sumer's leading god En.lil (= ‘Lord of the Command') and his spouse Nin.lil (= ‘Lady of the Command'). The temple, inscriptions stated, included an inner chamber in which "Tablets of Destinies" were kept. According to several texts, the chamber was the heart of the Dur.An.Ki (= "Bond Heaven-Earth')-a Command and Control Center of the god Enlil that connected Earth with the heavens.
The Expedition's finds at Nippur, deemed by some to be "of unparalleled importance," included the discovery of nearly 30,000 inscribed clay tablets (or fragments thereof) in a library of what had apparently been a special Scribal & Science quarter of the city, adjoining the Sacred Precinct. Hilprecht planned to publish no less than twenty volumes with the tablets' most important texts, many with "mythological" context, others dealing with mathematics and astronomy and dating back to the 3rd millennium B.C. Among the Nippur inscriptions that were transcribed, translated and published was a remnant of the original Sumerian tale of the Deluge, naming its "Noah" Ziusudra (= ‘[His] Lifedays Prolonged')-the equivalent of the Akkadian Utnapishtim.
In this Sumerian inscription (known to scholars by its reference number CBS 10673), it is the god Enki who reveals to his faithful follower Ziusudra a "secret of the gods" -- that, at the instigation of an angry Enlil, the gods decided to "destroy the seed of Mankind by the Deluge" that was about to happen; and Enki (‘Cronos' in the Berossus Fragments) instructs Ziusudra (the ‘Xisithros' of Berossus) to build the salvaging boat.
But all the Expedition's plans were cut short by a spate of accusations by Peters that Hilprecht was providing misleading ‘provenances' (discovery locations) for announced finds, and that Hilprecht had made a deal with the Turkish Sultan in Constantinople (today's Istanbul) to send most of the finds there -- rather than to the university in Philadelphia -- in exchange for the Sultan letting Hilprecht keep some finds as ‘gifts' for his private collection. The controversy, which divided Philadelphia's highest echelons and made headlines in the New York Times, raged from 1907 to 1910. A commission of inquiry formed by the University in the end found the accusations of professional misconduct against Hilprecht to be "unsubstantiated"; but in fact many of the Nippur tablets did end up in Constantinople/Istanbul. Hilprecht's private collection ended up in Jena, Hilprecht's university town in Germany.
The University of Pennsylvania, through its Archaeological Museum, returned to Nippur only after World War II, in a joint expedition with Chicago University's Oriental Institute. The Peters-Hilprecht controversy is still regarded by historians as a major disruption of Near Eastern archaeology. But due to the ever-intervening Law of Unintended Consequences, in the end it led to one of the greatest advances in Sumerology, for it provided the first job to a young epigrapher named Samuel N. Kramer who then became an outstanding ‘Sumerologist'.
* * *
The excavations at Lagash and Nippur, requiring continuous archaeological efforts year after year after year, revealed the existence of major urban centers in Sumer that rivaled in size the Babylonian and Assyrian sites in the north, even though the ones in Sumer were older by more than a thousand years. The existence of walled sacred precincts, each with a skyscraping ziggurat, indicated a high level of ancient building technology that preceded and served as a model for the Babylonians and Assyrians. The ziggurats -- literally ‘That which rises high' -- rose in several steps (usually seven) to heights that could reach 90 meters. They were built of two kinds of mud bricks -- sun-dried for high-rise cores, and kiln-burned for extra strength for stairways, exteriors, and overhangs; the size, shape, and curvature of the bricks varied to fit their function; and they were held together with bitumen as mortar. (Modern laboratory tests show that kiln-burnt mud bricks are fivefold stronger than sun-dried ones.)
The discovered ziggurats literally confirmed the biblical statement in Genesis 11:1-4 regarding the construction methods of the settlers in Shine'ar after the Deluge:
And the whole Earth was of one language
and one kind of words.
And it came to pass,
as they journeyed from the east,
that they found a plain in the land of Shine'ar
and they settled there.
And they said unto each other:
Come, let us make bricks,
and burn them thoroughly.
And the brick served them for stone,
and bitumen served them for mortar.
And they said:
Come, let us build us a city,
and a tower whose head shall reach heaven.
In lands like Canaan, where stones were used for building and lime is still used as mortar (for they lack bitumen), the reference to bricks and brick-making technology ("burn them thoroughly") and to bitumen (which seeps out of the ground in southern Mesopotamia) represent a remarkably detailed and amazing knowledge of past events in a stone-less land like Sumer. Uncovering ancient Sumer, the archaeologists' spades were corroborating the Bible.
Beside the various technological accomplishments of those settlers in the plain between the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers -- they also included the wheel and wagon, the kiln, metallurgy, medicines, textiles, multicolored apparel, musical instruments-there were countless other ‘firsts' of what are still deemed essential aspects of an advanced civilization. They included a mathematical system called sexagesimal (‘Base 60') that initiated the circle of 360°, timekeeping that divided day/night into 12 ‘double-hours', a luni-solar calendar of 12 months properly intercalated with a 13th leap month, geometry, measurement units of distance, weight and capacity, an advanced astronomy with planetary, star, constellation, and zodiacal knowledge, law codes and courts of law, irrigation systems, transportation networks and customs stations, dance and music (and musical notes), even taxes -- as well as a social organization based on kingship and a religion centered at temples with prescribed festivals and a specialized priesthood. Additionally, the existence of scribal schools and temple and royal libraries indicated astounding levels of intellectual and literary achievements.
The Sumerologist Samuel Noah Kramer, in his trailblazing book History Begins At Sumer (1956), described twenty-seven of those Firsts, including the First Legal Precedent, the First Moral Ideals, the First Historian, the First Love Song, the First ‘Job', and so on -- all culled from Sumerian inscribed clay tablets. Actual archaeological finds of artifacts, and pictorial depictions, enhance and affirm that extensive textual record.
The realization in Europe and America of all of that served to increase the pace of uncovering Sumer; and the more archaeologists dug, the more they found themselves facing earlier and earlier times.
A site, called Bismaya, was excavated by an expedition of the University of Chicago. It was an ancient Sumerian city called Adab. Remains of temples and palaces were found there, with objects bearing votive inscriptions; some identified a king of Adab named Lugal-Dalu, who reigned there circa 2400 B.C.
At mounds grouped around the locally named Tell Uhaimir, French archaeologists uncovered the ancient Sumerian city of Kish, with remains of two ziggurats; they were built of unusual convex bricks; a tablet inscribed in early Sumerian script identified the temple as dedicated to the god Ninurta, Enlil's warrior son. The earliest ruins, dated to the Very Early Dynastic period, included a palace of "monumental size"; the building was columned -- a rarity in Sumer. The finds in Kish included remains of wheeled wagons and metal objects. Inscriptions identified two kings by their names-Mes-alim and Lugal-Mu; it was later determined that they reigned at the start of the 3rd millennium B.C.
Excavations at Kish were resumed after World War I by Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History and Oxford's Ashmolean Museum. Among their finds were some of the earliest examples of cylinder seal impressions. (In 2004 the Field Museum launched a project to unify, digitally on computers, the more than 100,000 Kish artifacts that have been dispersed between Chicago, London, and Baghdad.)
* * *
In the 1880s a site called Abu Habbah drew the attention of L. W. King of the British Museum when "interesting tablets" -- dug up at the site by local plunderers -- were offered for sale. A colleague, Theophilus Pinches, correctly identified the city as ancient Sippar -- the very city of the god Shamash, mentioned by Berossus in the story of the Flood!
The site was briefly excavated by Layard's assistant Hormuzd Rassam; one of the best known finds there has been a large stone tablet depicting none other than the god Shamash, sitting on his canopied throne (Fig. 36). The accompanying inscriptions identified the king being presented to the god as King Nabu-apla-iddin, who in the 9th century B.C. refurbished the Shamash temple in Sippar.
The city's twin mounds were more thoroughly excavated in the 1890s by a joint expedition of the Deutsche Orient Gesellschaft and the Ottoman Antiquities Service. They not only discovered undisturbed hoards of textual tablets -- shared between Berlin and Constantinople -- but also some of the tablets' oldest and oddest libraries: The tablets were kept in ‘pigeonhole' compartments cut into the mud-brick walls, rather than (as in later periods) on shelves. The library's texts included tablets whose colophons explicitly stated that those were copies of texts from earlier tablets coming from Nippur, from a city called Agade, and from Babylon-or found in Sippar itself; among them were tablets belonging to the Sumerian Atra-Hasis text!
Did that indicate that Sippar had been an early repository of "writings," as the statements by Berossus have suggested? No certain answers can be given, except to quote Berossus again: First, ‘Cronos' ordered Xisithros "to dig a hole and to bury all the writings about the Beginnings, Middles, and Ends, in Sippar, the city of the Sun god [Shamash]." Then, the Flood's survivors "came back to Babylon, they dug up the writings from Sippar, founded many cities, set up shrines, and once again established Babylon." Was the unique storage in cutout compartments a reminder of the "digging of holes" to preserve the most ancient tablets? We can only wonder.
At Sippar, the tale of the Deluge began to assume physical reality; but it was only the beginning.
In the decade preceding World War I, German archaeologists, under the auspices of the Deutsche Orient Gesellschaft, began excavating at a site locally named Fara. It was an important Sumerian city called Shuruppak, which had been settled well before 3000 B.C. Among its interesting features were buildings that were, without doubt, public facilities, some serving as schools with built-in mud-brick benches. There were plenty of inscribed tablets whose contents threw light on daily life, the administration of laws, and the private ownership of houses and fields -- tablets that mirrored urban life five thousand years ago. Inscribed tablets asserted that this Sumerian city had a pre-Diluvial predecessor -- a place that played a key role in the events of the Deluge.
The discoveries there stood out by their unusual hoard of cylinder seals or their impressions -- a unique Sumerian invention that, as the cuneiform script, was in time adopted throughout the ancient lands. These were cylinders (mostly an inch or two in length) that were cut from a stone (often semiprecious), into which the artisan engraved a drawing, with or without accompanying writing
The trick was to engrave it all in reverse, as a negative, so that when it was rolled on wet clay the image was impressed as a positive-an early ‘rotary press' invention. These cylindrical works of art are called ‘seals' because that was their purpose: The seal's owner impressed it on a lump of wet clay that sealed a container of oil or wine, or on a clay envelope to seal a clay letter inside. Some seal impressions had already been found in Lagash, bearing the name of their owner; but the ones in Fara/Shuruppak exceeded 1,300 in number, and in some cases were from the earliest times.
But no less an amazing aspect of uncovering Shuruppak was its very finding-for, according to Tablet XI of the Akkadian version of the Epic of Gilgamesh, Shuruppak was the hometown of Utnapishtim, the ‘Noah' of the Deluge! It was there that the god Enki revealed to Utnapishtim the secret of the coming Deluge and instructed him to build the salvage boat:
Man of Shuruppak, son of Ubar-Tutu:
Tear down the house, build a ship!
Give up possessions, seek thou life!
Forswear belongings, keep soul alive!
Aboard ship take thou the seed of all living things.
That ship thou shalt build-
Its dimensions shall be to measure.
(Enki, it will be recalled, was reported to have been the revealer of the gods' secret decision also in the Sumerian text mentioned earlier.)
The discoveries of and at Shuruppak, together with those at Sippar, transformed the Deluge tale from legend and ‘myth' to a physical reality. In Divine Encounters I have concluded, based on ancient data and modern scientific discoveries, that the Deluge was a colossal tidal wave caused by the slippage of the eastern Antarctic ice sheet off that continent.
World War I (1914-1918) interrupted those and other archaeological explorations in the Near East, which was part of the Ottoman empire until its dismemberment after the war. Mesopotamia was left in the hands of local excavators -- both official, and (mostly) private site-robbers. Some of the finds did reach the Museum of the Ancient Orient in Constantinople/Istanbul, revealing that during the war years excavations in Iraq had taken place at Abu Habbah, ancient Sippar; but there was so much to uncover there, that varied excavations have continued into the 1970s -- almost a full century after excavations there began.
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A continuous and most determined series of excavations, lasting from the end of World War I until the outbreak of World War II in 1939 (and resumed in 1954) took place at a southern Sumerian site locally called Warka-the very Uruk of the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Erech of the Bible!
Adopting an excavating technique that cut a vertical shaft through all the strata, the German archaeologists of the Deutsche Orient Gesellschaft were able to see at a glance the site's settlement and cultural history -- from the latest settlement at the top to a beginning in the 4th millennium B.C. at the bottom. At all times since at least 3800 B.C., it appeared, every power from Sumerian, Akkadian, Babylonian, and Assyrian to Persian, Greek, and Seleucid wanted to leave a footprint at Uruk. Uruk, it was apparent, was a special place.
At Uruk the German archaeologists found several ‘firsts' -- the first items of colored pottery baked in a kiln, the first use of a potter's wheel, the first objects of metal alloys, the first cylinder seals, and the first inscriptions in the pictorial predecessor of cuneiform. Another first was a pavement made of limestone blocks, part of an unusual use of stones rather than mud bricks for construction -- unusual because the stones had to be brought from mountains situated more than fifty miles to the east. The archaeologists described some of the city's stone buildings as of "monumental proportions."
A massive wall surrounded the city -- the archaeologists found its remains over a length of more than 10 kilometers (more than six miles). It embraced the city's two sections -- a residential one, and a sacred precinct where they discovered the earliest ‘ziggurat' -- a platform, raised in stages serving as a base for a temple. By the time of its excavation it was more like an artificial mound of no less than seven strata of rebuilding. On top, upon an artificially made platform, there stood a temple. Called E.Anna (= ‘House/Abode of Anu') it is also known to archaeologists as the White Temple because-another unusual feature, a first -- it was painted white.
Next to the E.Anna were remains of two other temples. One, painted red, was dedicated to the goddess In.anna, ‘Anu's Beloved' (better known by her later Akkadian name Ishtar). The other standing was a temple dedicated to the goddess Ninharsag.
Without doubt, the archaeologists' spade brought to light the city of Gilgamesh, who had reigned there circa 2750 B.C. (or even earlier by another chronology). The archaeologists' finds echoed literally the very words of the Epic of Gilgamesh-
About all his toil he [Gilgamesh]
engraved on a stone column:
Of ramparted Uruk, of the wall he built,
Of hallowed E.Anna, the pure sanctuary.
Behold its outer wall, which is like a copper band,
Peer at its inner wall, which none can equal!
Gaze upon the stone platform, which is of old;
Go up and walk around on the walls of Uruk,
Approach the E.Anna and the dwelling of Ishtar!
Among the "small finds" in the 3200-2900 B.C. stratum were sculpted objects that were designated ‘The Most Prized' in the Iraq Museum in Baghdad-a life-size marble sculpture of a woman's head (Fig. 39) -- nicknamed "The Lady from Uruk" -- that had once been fitted with a golden headdress and eyes made of precious stones, and a large (more than 3 ft. high) sculpted alabaster vase that depicted a procession of adorants bearing gifts to a goddess. All at once, Sumer's art of more than 5,000 years ago matched the beauty of Greek sculpture of 2,500 years later!
At the southernmost part of Sumer, where the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers come together in marshlands bordering the Persian Gulf, a site locally called Abu Shahrain had attracted the attention of the British Museum as early as 1854. One of its experts, J. E. Taylor, reported after preliminary diggings that the effort was "unproductive of any very important results." He did bring back with him some of the "unimportant" finds -- some mud bricks with writing on them. Fifty years later, two French Assyriologists determined from those bricks that the site was ancient Eridu; its name meant ‘House in the Faraway Built', and it was Sumer's first city.
It took two world wars and the time in-between for the first methodical and continuous archaeological excavations to take place at the site, under the auspices of the Iraqi Directorate General of Antiquities. As the archaeologists dug away occupation stratum after occupation stratum from the latest on top to the earliest at the bottom, they uncovered no less than seventeen levels above the first one; they could count time backward as they kept excavating: 2500 B.C., 2800 B.C., 3000 B.C., 3500 B.C. When the spades reached the foundations of Eridu's first temple, the date was circa 4000 B.C. Below that, the archaeologists struck virgin mud-soil.
The city's original temple, which had been rebuilt time and time again, was constructed of fired mud bricks and rose upon an artificial level platform. Its central hall was rectangular in shape, flanked on its two longer sides by a series of smaller rooms-a model of other temples in millennia to come. At one end there was a pedestal, perhaps for a statue. At the other end a podium created an elevated area; the astounded excavators discovered there, at levels VI and VII, large quantities of fish bones mixed with ashes -- leading to the suggestion that fish were offered there to the god.
The excavators should not have been puzzled: The temple was dedicated to the Sumerian god E.A, whose name meant "He Whose Home Is Waters." It was he, as his autobiography and many other texts make clear, who had waded ashore from the Persian Gulf at the head of fifty Anunnaki spacemen who had come to Earth from their planet. Customarily depicted with outpouring streams of water (Fig. 40), it was he who was the legendary Oannes. In time -- as explained in the preamble of the Atra-Hasis epic -- Ea was granted the epithet En.ki -- ‘Lord [of] Earth'. And it was he who had alerted Utnapishtim/Ziusudra of the coming Deluge, instructing him to build the waterproof boat and be saved.
Though wholly unintended, the unearthing of Eridu opened the way to archaeological confirmation of one of Sumer's most basic ‘myths' -- the coming of the Anunnaki to Earth and the establishment by them of Cities of the Gods in pre-Diluvial times.
It was in 1914 that one of the early ‘Sumerologists', Arno Poebel, made known the astounding contents of a tablet kept in a fragments-box catalogued ‘CBS 10673' in the collection of the Philadelphia University Museum. Less than half preserved, this remainder of the original Sumerian Deluge record provides on the obverse side the bottom part of the first three columns of text; and turned over, it retains on the reverse the upper part of columns iv-vi.
The extant lines in the latter section relate how Ziusudra had been forewarned (by the god Enki) about the Deluge and the boat he was instructed to build, how the Deluge had raged for seven days and seven nights, and how the gods led by Enlil granted Ziusudra "life, like a god" -- thus his name, "He of Prolonged Lifedays."
The obverse columns I-III, however, considerably expand the tale. The text describes the circumstances of the Deluge and the events that preceded it. Indeed, the text harks back to the time when the Anunnaki had come to Earth and settled in the Edin -- a tale that has led some to call this text The Eridu Genesis. It was in those early days, when the Anunnaki brought ‘Kingship' down from Heaven, the text asserts (in column ii) that five Cities of the Gods were founded:
After the [ . . . ] of Kingship
was brought down from heaven,
After the lofty crown and throne of kingship
were lowered from heaven,
[ . . . ] perfected the [ . . . ],
[ . . . ] founded [ . . . ] cities in [ . . . ],
Gave them their names,
allocated their pure places:
The first of these cities, Eridu,
to the leader, Nudimmud, was given.
The second, Bad-Tibira, he gave to Nugig.
The third, Larak, to Pabilsag was given.
The fourth, Sippar, he gave to the hero Utu,
The fifth, Shuruppak, to Sud was given.
The disclosure that some time after they had arrived on Earth-but long before the Deluge-the Anunnaki established five settlements is a major revelation; that the cities' names, and names of their god-rulers, are stated, is quite astounding; but what is even more amazing about this list of Cities of the Gods is that four of their sites have been found and excavated by modern archaeologists! With the exception of Larak, whose remains have not been identified though its approximate location has been ascertained, Eridu, Bad-Tibira, Sippar, and Shuruppak have been found. Thus, as Sumer, its cities, and its civilization have been brought back to light, not only the Deluge but events and places from before the Deluge emerged as historical reality.
Since the Mesopotamian texts assert that the Deluge devastated the Earth and all upon it, one may well ask how those cities were still extant after the Deluge. For the answer -- provided by the same Mesopotamian texts -- we have to pull away the curtains of time and obscurity and reveal the full story of the Anunnaki, "Those Who From Heaven to Earth Came."
As before, it will be the ancient texts themselves that will tell the story.
The Land of 'Eden'
The name Shumer by which southern Mesopotamia was known in ancient times stems from Akkadian inscriptions about the kingdom of ‘Shumer and Akkad' -- a geopolitical entity formed after the installation of the Semitic-speaking Sargon I (Sharru-kin = ‘The Righteous King') as ruler of Greater Sumer, circa 2370 B.C. (When the kingdom of David split up after his death to the kingdoms of Judea and Israel, the northern region was affectionately called Shomron-‘Little Shumer'.)
Stemming from the Akkadian (and Hebrew) verb meaning ‘to watch/to guard', the name Shumer identified the realm as "Land of the Watchers" or "Land of the Guardians" -- the gods who watch over and safeguard Mankind. The term matched the ancient Egyptian word for ‘gods' -- Neteru -- which stemmed from the verb NTR and meant "to guard, to watch over." According to Egyptian lore, the Neteru came to Egypt from Ur-Ta, the ‘Ancient Place'; their hieroglyphic symbol was a miners' ax.
Before Sumer & Akkad, when there were only Cities of the Gods in the land, it was called E.din -- ‘Home/Abode of the Righteous Ones" -- the biblical Eden; the term stemmed from the determinative Din.gir that preceded gods' names in Sumerian. Meaning the ‘Just/Righteous Ones', its pictographic depiction displayed their two-stage rocketships.