The megalithic stones of the Orkneys are one of the most enigmatic monuments of Europe.
But why are such gigantic structures found here?
Loch Maree, in Scotland’s Wester Ross, was a key religious centre in both pagan, Christian and Viking times. The specific sacred centre was Isle Maree, where bull sacrifices occurred until the 17th century. The island also is home to one of the few surviving intact stone circles in the world.
Iona, a small island off the west coast of Scotland, is considered to be one of the most holy places in the world. But is this due to the pioneering Christianisation efforts of the early Irish missionary St Columba, or the island’s sanctity itself?
Glen Lyon, in Pertshire, is one of the most remote locations in Scotland, but also one of the few places where Scotland’s Celtic past was kept alive, particularly a veneration of the old Celtic deities, from the Sun God Lugh, to the Creator Goddess the Cailleach.
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Kilmartin Valley is remote, even by Scottish standards, but may have been a forgotten centre of prehistoric activity. Archaeology is slowly uncovering that this tranquil valley may have been, in the past, one of the most important centres – and the true heart of Scotland.
Doon Hill and the Old Kirk in Aberfoyle, will forever be associated with the Reverend Robert Kirk, a priest who is more notorious for his belief in fairies than his Christian preachings.
Is there any chance that the famed Grail castle is not in France, but instead is located in Scotland? If one follows the Arthurian tradition, rather than the traditions of the Grail, that is apparently where one ends up.
The Scottish Stone of Scone – or Stone of Destiny – is probably one of the most famous and only remaining reminders of ancient and sacred kingship.
Just west of Aberdeen, a forgotten megalithic landscape could contain written evidence of an ancient Mediterranean connection. But it definitely contains memories of a once sacred landscape, which became the Pictish heartland.
Callanish is one of the most beautiful, but also most remote stone circles in Europe. That in itself is a major clue that it was likely a temple known to the ancient Greeks, who linked it with their god Apollo and a mysterious island known as Hyperborea.
A little known Pictish stone in a small museum in the Scottish village of Meigle is a most rare Loki Stone. If confirmed, the history of the Picts might have to be radically rewritten.
Gilmerton Cove is a mysterious cave system in suburban Edinburgh. For a long time assumed to have been the work of an 18th century blacksmith, it is now emerging that he could not have possibly created the entire system himself. The question that everyone asks, therefore, is who then created the enigmatic structure?
The witches’ gathering of Halloween 1590 in North Berwick was one of the most infamous gatherings, especially because of the ensuing trials, which sentenced many innocent people to their death, purely for political gain.
ENGLAND & WALES
Few have looked at Avebury and Stonehenge, pondering whether they might be part of a larger complex. But when that question is asked, an altogether different one bubbles to the surface: could this complex also be linked with Plato’s fabled lost civilisation of Atlantis?
Glastonbury is often seen as England’s new age capital, with legends of King Arthur and Jesus, and the Grail. But behind such modern inventions, could the area be indeed a sacred landscape, much older than Stonehenge?
In what is now a primary tourist destination, the British Lake District was, 5000 years ago, a hub of megalithic building activities and industrial creation of “products” that were exported throughout the British Isles – and beyond.
On the Welsh isle of Anglesey, the Druids made their last stand against the Roman invaders. Was it evidence of the sanctity of the island, parts of which are known as “Holy Island”?
Forty miles east of Anglesey, in the famous Welsh coastal resort of Llandudno, is the peninsula that is known as Great Ormes Head. Here, the world’s largest prehistoric industrial site has been discovered. But elsewhere on Anglesey, recent discoveries have unearthed Neolithic remains that rival Newgrange and Stonehenge – though not in fame.
Rather than go in search of the mythical Middle Earth, for thousands of years, people have tried to locate the centre of England. Retracing their steps reveals how accurate our ancestors were in mapping the island, accomplishing an almost impossible task with apparently no scientific instruments.
Just over a century ago, the novel Dracula was published, written by the Irish author Bram Stoker. It created a widespread interest in vampirism and depicted Eastern Europe as a rather macabre country. But was Stoker inspired by Eastern Europe, or instead legends and sites of the British Isles?
In 1983, Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths stated that back in 1917, they had perpetrated a majestic hoax. Their world famous photographs, showing the girls in the company of fairies dancing around them, were paper cut-outs, supported by hatpins. It had fooled both sceptics and believers.
An enigmatic boulder on the moors of Yorkshire reveals an intriguing mythological dimension, which is now mostly forgotten.
Mother Shipton’s Cave and the nearby Petrifying Well in Knaresborough is England’s oldest tourist attraction.
The story of the prophetess seems to be too good to be true – and seems to be just that…
From the 18th century onwards, a “Druid history” of London was slowly discovered – or imagined – on London’s landscape. It reached a climax with the English mystic William Blake, who transformed it into a sacred site – the Heavenly Jerusalem.
The underground cave of Royston, sitting as it does at the crossroads of the town, has created a lot of interest and controversy. Is it, as some suggest, a medieval Templar church or is it instead one part of a larger pagan landscape, whereby a sacred centre was created?
The Hellfire Caves are located just outside of West Wycombe. Built around 1750 by the second Sir Francis Dashwood, the Earl of Rosse (1708-1781), they are an intriguingly named site… named after the Hellfire Club, founded by the same earl… and for more than two centuries linked with an awful lot of intrigue… The Loki Stone Genuine religious artefacts that portray the devil are – for obvious reasons – rare. But in northwest England, a devil’s stone is one of two in Europe that have survived across the centuries. St Edmund’s Masonic Church Labelled by experts as a “temple to Freemasonry” and “a total concept as exotic as Roslin Chapel in Scotland”, St Edmund’s Church in Rochdale (Greater Manchester) is one of England’s hidden gems. So much so, that it is totally unknown. The Rushton Rebus Rushton Lodge – better known as the Triangular Lodge – is considered by many to be a folly – a building without a real purpose. But the history of the structure is more than interesting, inviting the question whether it might not actually contain a veritable secret message, so far not uncovered. IRELAND The Irish stellar giants In the west of Ireland, the area of Knocknarea and Carrowmore forms an enigmatic but incredibly old sacred landscape, which archaeology has only recently begun to understand. Croagh Patrick: Transforming the Green Serpent Nothing seems to be more Irish than St Patrick. Nothing seems to be more Christian than the life of this saint. But at the same time, it are his legends that provide an inroad into the way Ireland was before and at the time of Christianity’s arrival. The centre and divisions of sacred Ireland Ireland has maintained its sacred division of the land into the 21st century, though the site of Uisneach, from which the land was divided, is not the best known feature or most widely visited site of the island. But together with the other sacred sites, it continues to reveal insights into the pagan organisation of the land. Newgrange: empowering the salmon of wisdom Newgrange is considered to be the most complex megalithic site in Ireland – and Europe. But despite the enormous focus on its solar display, little else is known about the framework in which the site was developed. Round towers: lanterns of the dead The Irish round towers are enigmatic constructions: refuges, belfries or “needles” in the system of leylines have all been proposed as their true purpose. Could it be, however, that they were beacons for the souls of the dead? St Patrick’s Purgatory: oracle of the dead The Irish sanctuary of St Patrick’s Purgatory is a unique religious pilgrimage destination. World-famous in medieval times, the site still attracts thousands of pilgrims each year. But what is experienced today, is vastly different from what the site originally did: it offered a metaphysical experience on par with the ancient mysteries of ancient Greece. FRANCE Mont St Michel: Gateway to the Otherworld Seen as one of the wonders of the world, Mont St Michel has a history that stretches back much further than the apparition of the archangel Michael to a local bishop. Legends and archaeology show that this tidal island has been seen as a gateway to another dimension, the land of the dead, for thousands of years. Glozel: the fraud or find of the 20th century? From 1924 to 1938, a total of some 3,000 artefacts, variously dated to Neolithic, Iron Age and Medieval times were unearthed from Glozel, a hamlet some 17 km from the French spa town of Vichy. For some, it is one of the greatest archaeological discoveries ever; for others, it is one of the most notorious hoaxes. Archaeological Trench Warfare at Glozel When artefacts unearthed at Glozel, France, in the mid-1920s didn’t fit the accepted scholarly explanation of human prehistory in that region, archaeologists engaged in a bitter battle that has still not seen a clear winner. Dynamite, Father de Coma and his abbey Another enigmatic priest, this time in the small village of Baulou, created a building frenzy in the style of the mysterious priest Saunière of the neighbouring Rennes-le-Château… but in the end, his domain was dynamited on orders of the local bishop. Carnac: A Promenade of Souls The enigmatic stone rows of Carnac, on the shores of Brittany, have defied a comprehensive explanation. What could be the purpose of thousands of stones, aligned in rows? Maybe their very straightness is the answer? The French Rosslyn? St Bertrand de Comminges has what is popularly called “The Cathedral of the Pyrenees”. But you could also argue it is France’s answer to Rosslyn… predating it, and with a potentially genuine Templar link. Chartres: the Virgin Mary’s Seat on Earth Chartres Cathedral is seen as one of the most important Gothic cathedrals. It is a mystical place, where alchemists and symbolists have tried to unveil its mysteries – and pilgrims have come for thousands of years, even before the Cathedral was erected. Does that explain why Chartres, a rather small, unimpressive town, was seen as the “Seat of the Virgin Mary on Earth”? Gisors: the cutting of the Priory The French town of Gisors is believed to be – and was – the cradle of the Priory of Sion. The question is: why… and have we all been staring in the wrong direction? Mitterrand’s Great – Unknown – Work The glass pyramid of the Louvre, La Défense, even the quaint “Monument to the Rights of Man” are known to sit within the French President François Mitterrand’s enigmatic building obsession. But Cergy-Pointoise’s “Axe Majeur” is both the largest and never cited work developed under Mitterrand’s reign. So why is it so unknown? The Million Dollar Priest There are mysteries, and then there are mysteries that become the cornerstone of other mysteries. In the latter category sits the story of Bérenger Saunière, the “million dollar priest” of the small French village of Rennes-le-Château. Rennes-le-Château: Building the Tree of Life Is there a hidden meaning to the work that Saunière carried out in the small village of Rennes-le-Château? Can one see the tree of truth through the forest of theories that have been created in recent years? And is the answer… a tree itself? In the footsteps of the Marys in France Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, the ‘Saint Marys of the Sea’, is a small fishing village located on the French Mediterranean coast. Once every year, it transforms into a cult centre, as people come here in the belief that Mary Magdalene and her closest friends and family came to France. Legend… or fact? The Magic Mountain A mountain near Rennes-le-Château is becoming a focal point for unwanted 2012 hype. But the true mysteries and enigmas of Bugarach are fare more interesting, with a real-life Indiana Jones character who dug for the Ark of the Covenant! The Grail Priest The tiny village of Tréhorenteuc, near the magical Forest of Brocéliande, was home to a visionary priest, who used his church as a canvas to paint the stories of King Arthur, the Round Table and the Holy Grail. Unsurprisingly, he fell foul of the Church’s hierarchy, but left a legacy that can be admired to this very day. GERMANY The Wewelsburg: the Nazi Grail Castle It is said that the Wewelsburg was going to be the “Grail Castle” of the Nazi regime, once it had established itself as rulers of the world. Is this true, and, if so, what was their ambition in this vast building project? Extersteine: the quest for Germany’s roots In the 1920s and 30s, the Nazi party used the study of the Irminsul, “the Great Pillar”, as the cornerstone forging a renewed Germany identity. The enigmatic rock formation known as the Externsteine became the focus of these endeavours. GREECE The Heights of Athens Athens is not only the capital of Greece, it is also considered to be the cradle of democracy. But what is less known is that Athens, as a city, has its own sacred geography, echoing the Greek philosophy for which it would become famous. Know Thyself Delphi was one of – if not the – most important sites of the first millennium BC. Disappointing archaeological results in the late 19th century pushed it into the background, but in recent years, the fame of Delphi is slowly rising again, like the vapours once rose from its famed chasm. Egypt: origin of the Greek culture Greece’s culture lies at the origin of western civilisation. But for more than a century, its ancient Egyptian origins have steadfastedly been denied and brushed aside, in an effort to maintain an outdated status quo. Crete: the Egyptian island of the dead? Crete has been the home to an enigmatic civilisation for more than 3000 years. Could it be that the island, however, was an Egyptian colony, with care for the dead their primary occupation? The quest for the Cretan labyrinth The Minoan civilisation of Crete is seen as the birthplace of the labyrinth, said to hold the monstrous Minotaur. But despite extensive excavations on the island, where is the labyrinth? The Phaistos Disc: roll ‘em The enigmatic Phaistos disc has been interpreted in so many different ways that most have given up all hope that it may ever be properly understood. But amongst the myriad opportunities, there is one possibility that is supported by the available evidence. The wheels of Greek astronomical science The Antikythera device is an oop-art: an out of place-artefact. Dating from the 1st century BC, it is more than a millennium older than comparative calculators found so far. ITALY (& BOSNIA) Europe’s pyramid history unveiled In recent years, two pyramid complexes have been uncovered in Europe: one in Italy, another in Bosnia. After less than one year’s of analysis, the Bosnian pyramid is already identified as an artificial structure, thus finally providing proof that Europe does have a pyramid past. Of Romulus and Homer Though many will identify Romulus and Remus as the mythical origin of Rome, is that all there is to know about the birth of what would become one of, if not the biggest empire in history? Hell on Earth The Bay of Naples was seen as Hell on Earth, an entrance into the Underworld, but also the site of one of the most famous oracles: that of Cumae, a mystery that is still surrendering – slowly – some of its mysteries. The Alchemical Chapel The Neapolitan Chapel of Sansevero is one of the most enigmatic chapels in Europe, if only because its creator, Raimondo di Sangro, was deemed to be the Leonardo da Vinci of his time. The towers of Sardinia The nuraghi on the Italian island of Sardinia are one of the least known, but most remarkable legacies of the “Stone Age”. If ever the Flintstones were real, it seems they were natives of Sardinia. The mysterious seafarers of the “faraway island” The ancient necropolises of the Italian island of Sardinia have been linked with the fairies, its gigantic tombs with giants. Built by the Ozieri culture, they were a mysterious seafaring culture known as the Shardana. SERBIA Old Europe Before Sumer, Crete or the Maltese civilisation, there was “Old Europe”, or the Vinca culture… a forgotten, rather than lost civilisation that lies at the true origin of most of our ancient civilisations. RUSSIA A supernatural icon for Mother Russia The Virgin of Kazan is one of the most revered Russian religious icons. Its disappearance at the time of the Russian Revolution was a catastrophe, but its resurgence and its link with Pope John Paul II and Fatima has confirmed the icon’s mythical status of securing the fate of “Mother Russia”. MALTA Malta: the small island of the giants A small island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea contains some of the biggest megalithic monuments. Built before the pyramids by apparently a peace-loving people, the question is who they were and why they disappeared so suddenly. From the otherworld to another world? Malta’s Hypogeum is a unique structure of the ancient world. So unique, that we know little about its purpose, which for some was a collective burial site, for others a temple. But the structure comes with a series of intriguing accounts, including one leading all the way to another dimension. Stuck in a rut? The Maltese cart ruts are considered to be one of the most enduring ancient enigmas. But could it be that they are precisely what their name suggests: cart ruts? BELGIUM Bruges: the Jerusalem of the North Off the beaten tourist track in the Venice of the North – Bruges – stands a small chapel, commonly known as the Jerusalem Church. Built by a rich Italian merchant family, the chapel is one of the city’s most enigmatic gems and might hold one of its most precious relics. Wanted for theft: Nostradamus Professor Rudy Cambier came to an astonishing revelation when he read Nostradamus’ quatrains: they were not written in French, but in Picardian, the language of the area he grew up in, and a language he knew perfectly. Reading the “prophecies” properly, Cambier discovered that the Centuries were not prophecies at all, but were therefore not less intriguing or important. What they revealed was that Nostradamus had stolen a 300 year old manuscript from a Belgian monastery, detailing the last days of the Knights Templar, and their provisions to safeguard their treasure. TURKEY Göbekli Tepe: the world’s oldest temple A 12,000-year-old temple that is being excavated in Turkey is rewriting the historical record and seems to belong to a larger, hitherto unknown civilisation that is slowly being uncovered. UNITED STATES The Burrows cave: African gold in Illinois The story of the Burrows Cave is a story about archaeology, but also of human behaviour. It is the story of an alleged cave containing the tomb of an African king, having reach America (Illinois) in the first century AD – and the subsequent controversy the artefacts from this cave were able to make.
Supplementary photograph section Copper: a world trade in 3000 BC? Europe’s economy between 2000 and 1000 BC stood and fell with copper, used for the creation of bronze. At the same time, large quantities of copper were mined in America, though no-one seems to know who was using it. A question of a world economy, and supply and demand? Canyonitis: Seeing evidence of ancient Egypt in the Grand Canyon Is there, within the Grand Canyon, an enigmatic system of tunnels that is evidence of an ancient Egyptian voyage to America? Is it all bogus? Or is the truth most likely somewhere in between? Wupatki: a Toltec outpost? Did the Mayan and Toltecs of Mexico have a “northern colony” as far north as Arizona? Archaeological evidence shows that the sacred centres of the so-called Hohokam conform to a Mexican template. Canyons of the Gods Both Bandelier National Monument (New Mexico) and Canyon de Chelly (Arizona) are not only wonders of the natural world, but the Native Americans selected them as sacred sites, where contact with the divine was possible. But the deities’ presence is actually visible in the rocks themselves! America’s Nazca lines Along the Colorado River, a number of geoglyphs are carved out of the desert floor that are on par with the mysterious markings in the Peruvian desert near Nazca. However, the American “intaglios” are far less famous. The power of Sedona Claims of vortexes, new age stores and a town that was founded in 1902 might make Sedona an unlikely claimant to being one of the oldest settlements in America. But that is precisely what the Yavapai creation legends claim. The Wanderers of the Fourth World The Ancestral Puebloans have left a legacy of stunning cliff dwelling in the canyons of the Four Corners. Today, the mythology of the Hopi is able to shed refreshing insights into a people who believe that they alone hold our world in balance. Light and shadows Rock art is a widespread phenomenon across the world. But in the deserts of western America, rock art is almost omnipresent, but at the same time little-understood and only recently studied. What do these drawings reveal about our ancestors? The kachinas: an alien intelligence, but not as we know it For centuries, the Hopi of Arizona have been intimately liaising with beings from the Otherworld. The kachinas still visit the Hopi Mesas on an annual basis and their presence continues to set out the agenda of Hopi society. The phallus of Osiris in Hollywood? Is it possible that the “phallus of Osiris”, the Egyptian Lord of the Underworld, is located under a hill in Hollywood? As outlandish as it may seem, truth might be stranger than any film producer could imagine! Santa Fe: the shrine of faith The city of Santa Fe in New Mexico holds not only some of the oldest, but also some of the most important religious sites and relics in the United States. But the little statue of La Conquistadora has a history that is far more interesting than even the many worshippers of this lady might realize. The Lourdes of America The little settlement of Chimayo, in the hills above Sante Fe, has been a site of pilgrimage and miracles for centuries. But it is also a place where the Native American traditions have been preserved, blended with a veneer of Christianity. MEXICO Christians don’t worship here any more… The village of San Juan Chamula, in the mountains of Chiapas, is a Mayan village, masking as a Christian community… but Christian it isn’t… Mayan Magic The Yucatan with its Mayan temples and pyramids is a magical land. But what these buildings reveal, is that the Maya seem to have placed major emphasis on magic. Rebuilding creation Like so many other cultures, the Mayan religious centres were designed along the principles of sacred architecture, which retold the story of creation. Orion’s Image The New World equivalent of the Gizeh pyramids may well be Teotihuacan, even in as much detail that its layout also mimics astronomical information, even that of Orion’s Belt. Maize: food from the Gods? In a 1982 exhibition, the Mexican National Museum of Culture claimed that maize was “not domesticated, but created”. Indeed, maize is accepted as Man’s first, and perhaps his greatest, feat of genetic engineering. So much so, that it is even said to be a gift from the gods. GUATEMALA The Stone Head A photograph of an enigmatic head in the Guatemalan jungle is one of those discoveries that quickly achieved notoriety, and equally fast disappeared from the radar. Still, further efforts should perhaps be made to further the cause of this enigma. ECUADOR & BRAZIL The Quest For The Metal Library A system of tunnels and caves beneath Ecuador and Peru is reputed to hold an ancient treasure-house of artefacts including two libraries, one containing inscribed metal books and the other storing tablets of crystal. The legend of Akakor In the fourth Indiana Jones movie, our archaeologist-adventurer goes in search of a lost “kingdom of the crystal skull”. It appears that this is none other than the legendary Akakor, which became famous in the 1970s. But is the legend too good to be true? Terra Preta In the depths of the Amazonian basin, a specific type of soil is found that is known to be of human origin – but which modern science has so far been unable to reproduce. It seems to have been “primitive man’s” attempt to terraform the Amazon into fertility. PERU Jurassic Library According to geological evidence, the Age of Dinosaurs and the Age of Man are separated by roughly 60 million years. That has not deterred the dream-spinners of Hollywood from supposing that dinosaurs survived into the present (The Lost World), or that they can be genetically recreated (Jurassic Park). other movies in this genre have played with the idea that, somehow, man and the dinosaurs may have co-existed. Viracocha’s Voyage The Sacred Valley of Cuzco, incorporating Ollantaytambo & Macchu Picchu, is more than a collection of impressive monuments: it is the backdrop of the story of the civilising creator god, Viracocha. Caral: the oldest town in the New World The pyramids of Caral presented a veritable breakthrough for the New World. Their dating: 2600 BC, older than the pyramids of Gizeh… Nazca: Airport of the Gods? The Nazca lines have been an enigma and centre of controversy since von Däniken made the lines world famous in the late 1960s. Though the controversy has continued, largely undetected, some intrepid researchers and scientists have most likely been able to answer the enigma. Fake Porn The Peruvian Ullo temple with its giant phalli seemed to good to be true – a largely intact temple in which a cult of fertility had survived the onslaught of Christianity? The Gold of Gran Paititi With the Spanish Conquest of the Inca Empire, many of its cities were destroyed or abandoned. Some of these would survive in name only; some, such as Macchu Picchu, were later rediscovered. None is more lost, and sought after, than Gran Paititi – for there it is, apparently, where the lost gold treasure of the Incas is. CHILI (& EASTER ISLAND) The stone heads of Easter Island The stone heads of Easter Island have cast an almost magical spell on anyone that has seen them – if only in a photograph. Though often eyeless, they still gaze along the shores of the island. What were they built for and who were the artisans of these mysterious creations? EGYPT Karnak: The largest temple on Earth The religious complex of Karnak, in Luxor, is the largest ancient religious site in the world. It was the Vatican of its day – and four millennia after its heydays, continues to dwarf all other religious buildings. Here, we are confronted with the reason what has made Egypt so enchanting. Heliopolis: Egypt’s radiance Heliopolis was ancient Egypt’s most magnificent temple. Today, nothing remains, its stones dispersed over various buildings of medieval Cairo. Equally, its true importance lies scattered in various ancient accounts, from Diodorus Siculus, Plato, and many others. Let there be light! Deep inside the crypts of the Egyptian temple complex of Denderah is an enigmatic room, which for some depicts evidence that the ancient Egyptians knew the secret of electricity. But could it be that the scenes reveal an even bigger mystery? The Labyrinthine Search Destroyed for some, intact and waiting to be discovered for others, the labyrinth of Hawara was one of ancient Egypt’s greatest achievements, on par, if not surpassing, the fame of the pyramids. Dogon Shame Modern research has shown that the Dogon did not possess a belief that they originated from Sirius, or were visited by beings from that planet. Instead, it seems this myth was written into the records by early French anthropologists. Giza’s Wall of Crows Giza boasts the biggest ancient sculpture, the Sphinx, and the last surviving wonder of the world, the Great Pyramid. But the biggest man-hewn stone is not to be found in either of them. An impressive stone worked into a wall, situated off the beaten track, weighs an estimated three hundred tons. On the wings of a kite How were the pyramids built? How were obelisks erected? A new theory from a group of American amateur kite enthusiasts has provided new inroads in trying to answer this mystery. The Egyptologist, the Sphinx and the cover-up The clampdown on excavations at many archaeological sites in Egypt and the inconsistent attitudes of antiquities supremo Dr Zahi Hawass on the existence of tunnels and cavities within the Giza Plateau suggest a hidden agenda is being played out. The Last Pharaoh & His Vizier With the removal of President Mubarak, Egypt has entered a new era. It is clear that this was a very profound event for Mankind – the entire world was spellbound by it – even with a new freedom will exist for Egyptology, when Zahi Hawass, surrounded by allegations of extra-ordinary nepotism and corruption, eventually had to resign too. Down into the Giza underground A vast network of caves and tunnels is believed to exist within the Giza Plateau, but so far the Egyptian authorities have refused to give credence to the idea or conduct scientific explorations. In Horus’ image The Temple of Edfu is one of the most visited, but also most enigmatic temples of ancient Egypt, providing us with insights into the Temple of Solomon as well as the mythical “Followers of Horus” – refugees from Atlantis? ALGERIA The Tassili n’Ajjer: birthplace of ancient Egypt? The Tassili n’Ajjer of Southern Algiers is described as the “largest storehouse of rock paintings in the world”. But could it also be the origins of the ancient Egypt culture? ISRAEL Found: one Ark of the Covenant? Just before the First World War, a team of European explorers went to Jerusalem, to dig for the Ark of the Covenant…an expedition that has largely been forgotten, though it was one of the most intriguing ever. CHINA China’s Great Pyramids Controversy The existence of pyramids in China was a controversial topic, until Hartwig Hausdorf went into China, in the early 1990s, and came away with evidence that China had indeed its own ancient pyramids. The Stone Discs of Baian-Kara-Ula Did aliens crashland on Earth? The story of the Dzopa and the stone discs of Baian-Kara-Ula was a controversial topic, made famous by Erich von Daniken. Hartwig Hausdorf queried the Chinese authorities about the subject, and a remarkable story resurfaced. The Dropa tribe and their stone discs revisited More than a decade ago, Hartwig Hausdorf reignited the debate as to whether aliens had crashlanded in the remote Chinese mountain range of Baian-Kara-Ula. Over the past decade, several elements of the story have been confirmed. White Masters in the deserts of China? The discovery of Caucasoid mummies in China shows that East and West might have been meeting since the Bronze Age. Do they validate some of the ancient legends? INDIA Mu Revisited: Was Churchward Right After All? New evidence suggests that James Churchward, the man who claimed to have seen evidence of the lost civilization of Mu, was indeed shown a secret library. German tour operator Thomas Ritter claims he has been able to enter it. BIOGRAPHIES The automatic writings of Jung Carl Gustav Jung is notorious for being more “liberal” in his psychology than his friend Freud. But what is less known, is that Jung was more of an alchemist and Gnostic, then a psychotherapist. With his head in the stars Carl Sagan led a controversial life. Forever in search of life in the universe, he was nevertheless adamantly opposed to “pseudoscience”, such as UFOlogy and crop circles. Sagan was no stranger to controversy… and in the end became a controversy himself. The Hyper-dimensional ambassador Terence McKenna was for some more guru than a man whose lifestyle had been moulded by very deep experiences of an alternative reality. For the rest of his life, he would strive to bring awareness of that dimension to our reality. Mr. Mack goes to the UFO convention Harvard Professor John Mack was what many people believed the phenomenon had always been lacking: a big-time professor who spoke up for the reality of the phenomenon. Nevertheless, his message was more complex… Michael Scott: the Scottish wizard Scott, “the Wizard of the North”, is credited variously as Scotland’s first scientist, alchemist, sorcerer and astronomer. He is also one of Scotland’s forgotten geniuses. Who is the man behind the myth? Socrates, that’s the question He is one of the world’s best known names, yet we know very little about him. And though some have labelled him the father of Western philosophy, it may be that he was not that father at all. Mirin Dajo: Wonderman Just after the Second World War, the Dutchman Mirin Dajo made himself into a living enigma, as his body was able to be pierced repeatedly, without suffering any internal injury or even bleeding. Sixty years on, the world has largely forgotten what he did, even who he was. The Master: Philippe de Lyon Philippe de Lyon was one of the most famous thaumaturges of all times; he was also one of the most impressive clairvoyants of the 19th century. Aide to the Russian Tsar before the controversial Rasputin – who seemed to take up the space Philippe left behind – he was both revered and controversial, and according to some, on par with Jesus himself. Otto Rahn: author, poet, Grail seeker, SS officer The German author Otto Rahn wrote a series of books on the Grail, which he believed was physically real, and not merely the figment of medieval authors’ imagination. His quest took him to the South of France, where his excavations have since fuelled speculation that he and the Nazi regime of his time “might” have uncovered the Grail. Raymond Abellio: a modern Cathar? The French politician and author Raymond Abellio could be one of modern history’s most enigmatic characters… if his career and reputation were known outside of France, where he is largely an unknown entity. GENERAL Cave paintings: entrancing the Otherworld New research is showing that the cave paintings, most tens of thousands of years old, are the earliest religious expressions of the vision quests of the shaman-priests. Prehistoric “plane” flies ! Three Germans have created a scale model of the enigmatic “insect”, identified by Erich von Däniken as an airplane. The rise of the Watchers The Watchers: legendary angelic creatures mentioned in ancient documents – but apparently also the identity of the grey alien beings of modern UFO abduction. A study in parallels – whether genuine or mythical… Food of the Gods ? Are mushrooms the real food of the gods? Does it contain a hallucinogenic substance that was known and used by ancient cultures and its priests to gain access to the World of the Gods? The alternative conquest of the Moon Man officially set foot on the Moon for the first time in July 1969. Or if you believe we never went to the moon: it is promoted that we officially set foot on the Moon for the first time in July 1969. But there have been stories that extraterrestrial beings had already been to the Moon, or had a basis there… and even that we ourselves went to the Moon long before Neil Armstrong. Casting Stones The “megalithic civilisation” in Western Europe is still a civilisation that is ill-understood, if only because it has suffered from decades of scientific neglect. At present, some of the answers about the monuments they left behind is becoming clearer, but questions remain as to who this civilisation was, and what became of them. Atlantis = Cyprus ? The lost civilisation of Atlantis has been located virtually anywhere in the world… and some have even gone as far as space… Researcher Robert Sarmast has now concluded that the lost civilisation must have been located near Cyprus… and he may be right. Tweet tweet: the language of birds The “bird language” or “Green language” is an intriguing system of codes, practiced by some traditions. But what lies at its origins – and could its origin actually not be a language, but what many termed the original method of communication? Origin and symbolism of the crystal skulls The mysterious crystal skulls are likely to have originated in Central America and may have performed an important role in re-enacting the Mayans’ creation myth and networking their temple complexes. The Mitchell-Hedges Crystal Skull Mystery The account of the finding of the world-famous crystal skull in the Mayan city of Lubaantun was a cover story to hide the truth about how explorer Mike Mitchell-Hedges actually acquired it. The road not taken The Cult of Mithras, rather than Christianity, almost became the religion that dominated Western Europe. It failed, but intriguingly, we now hardly know anything about it. Run for the gods The notion of sport as a religious exercise seems alien to us – with only the Olympic Games having some remnants of this sacred character. Indeed, the earliest athletes were said to have been the gods and mythical heroes themselves. Where art thou, Troy? It may come as a surprise, but the location of Troy is once again in dispute. Rather than Turkey, new thinking places it in Northern Europe… or even our skies. Biblical rationality The list of prediluvian patriarchs is for some evidence of the veracity of the Bible, for others evidence of the impossibility of the biblical accounts. But whereas some accounts are based on faith and the sceptical arguments have logical holes, a third alternative seems required. Reaching for the skies The Great Pyramid, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, remained the world’s tallest monument for several millennia. But in the late 19th century, Mankind once again began to reach for the sky – sometimes with imagination and symbolism, sometimes purely because it could, and wanted to show as much. The wooden book of Montségur In the early 20th century, a series of palm leaves, containing anomalous writing, were apparently discovered within a hidden cache of the walls of the Cathar castle of Montségur. Though without any intrinsic value, the “wooden book” – as it became known – would become the centrepiece of the esoteric and metaphysical community; its discoverers even labelled it “the Oracle” and said it was able to contact the hidden masters of Agharta. Rolling Stones Bosnia not only has pyramids: it also has a number of enigmatic stone spheres, on par with similar balls found in Costa Rica several decades ago. So far, no-one has been able to explain the Middle American balls; can the Bosnian discovery assist in revealing their purpose? Ripper magic Long before Hannibal Lecter, Jack the Ripper was the first serial killer that attained worldwide notoriety. But could he have been a murderer that was performing a magical ritual? 11:23 All numbers are equal, but some numbers are less equal than others. And in recent years, it is clear that a lot of attention is being focused on the numbers 11 and 23. Why? The Cathars: the struggle for and of a new Church The “Cathar heresy” that struck Southern France in the 13th century, and which was viciously persecuted by the Church, remains a pool of interest and intrigue. What really happened, and what did they truly believe? The Labyrinth Way Labyrinths are a cross-cultural phenomenon, found in millennia old caves and medieval Gothic cathedrals. What do they represent? The Hieros Gamos Few things are less understood than the hieros gamos – the “sacred marriage”. Considered to be the “Holy Grail” of sexual rituals, is it within reach of comprehension and explanation? The Unknown Shroud Largely forgotten, in a barely exposed part of the cathedral of the Spanish town of Oviedo, rests the sudarium: a cloth that proves the Turin Shroud is more than likely genuine… and that the resurrection of Jesus occurred. The Copper Scroll Conundrum Amidst the controversial Dead Sea Scrolls, one enigmatic scroll, made from copper, was found. A treasure map of sorts, what is the true story of “The Copper Scroll”? American metal plates For decades, metal sheets with writing have been recovered from various archaeological sites in South America. Until recently, all were labelled “frauds”, but slowly, archaeologists are beginning to change their opinion. The ancient Americans, it seems, knew perfectly well how to work with metal. The Angelic Society The Angelic Society is not a secret society as such… but is therefore not less interesting or important. Specifically, it harbours mostly artists who have – by design or accident – communicated with the angels and have embraced these entities as their guides to complete their life’s mission. On the trail of the Libro Rosso: the Monasteries of Metéora The monasteries of Metéora are spectacular locations. But could they also be linked with the “Libro Rosso”, spoken about by author Kathleen McGowan in her novels? Indeed, isn’t it about time that the “Libro Rosso”, the “Gospel of Jesus”, is explored? A New Ancient Crystal Skull Discovered! The Mitchell-Hedges Crystal Skull is no longer unique! Out of Africa – by way of California – emerges another ancient skull, “Compassion”, with a detachable jaw. Already, this skull is re-carving the crystal skull landscape! The False Dilemma: Ancient inroads towards a New Age The world around us has vastly changed in the last two decades. Is this just a stand-alone phenomenon, or does it instead fit into a larger cycle, one that may be thousands of years old? If so, can ancient wisdom teach us certain insights on how to face some of the challenges of our modern society? Otherworldly Capitals Two capitals, London and Washington, were (re)designed in the 17th and 18th century so that they would incorporate the so-called Tree of Life, a divine design, which would hopefully allow the nations’ rulers to synchronize their worldly ambitions with those of the Divine Realm. The Lies of Fatima The apparition of the Virgin Mary at Fatima in origin had nothing to do with prophecies or, indeed, the Virgin Mary. But through a series of manipulations, the Church created one of the most elaborate lies, which formed the backdrop of major political events. BOOK & FILM REVIEWS
The Eager Dead Deborah Blum’s Ghost Hunters and Archie E Roy’s The Eager Dead focus on the so-called Cross-correspondences, which in the eyes of some is definitive proof that we survive death. The Pyramid Heretic For more than thirty years, Joseph Davidovits’ scientific observations have pushed most Egyptologists into histrionics. His findings are that the blocks of the Great Pyramid were not cut, but poured – somewhat similar to cement and other manmade chemical building processes. The Sphinx Mystery Robert Temple’s The Sphinx Mystery delves into the history of a monument that is both unique and able to instil unique feelings in every human being. Standing, walking and sailing with stones Henry Lincoln’s son makes a pilgrimage across the British Isles, underlining how little we know about its megalithic past. Islands in Amnesia? Star Wars: Beyond the Force Star Wars is considered to be one of the all-time favourite series of movies. But beyond this theatre success lies one of the most intriguing use of hero mythology and archetypical casting that Hollywood has ever seen… The Wicker Man: the Return of the Pagan World (1973 edition) The Wicker Man is a remarkable story of the duality between the Christian and pagan ways, set against a Scottish background. In recent years, the story of the movie itself has been used as the struggle between the old Christian establishment and the reintroduction into Western society of “pagan movies”, of which The Wicker Man was one of the most shining examples. The Ninth Gate: The Ninth Gate Opens The Ninth Gate is the movie version of The Dumas Club, a book in which the quest for raising the devil is interwoven in a rich decor of esotericism and ancient books – some of whom indeed set out to awaken the devil – or lead him back to Hell? The Matrix trilogy: Matrix Constructs The Matrix trilogy stands as one of the classic movies that redefined film-making, both technically and script-wise. It carefully played and transformed symbolism, hiding it behind a layer of “kung fu fighting”, which at the same time made it more accessible to an entire generation of filmgoers. Dune: The Sands of Time A desolate planet, Dune, holds the key to a spice, which is able to bend space and time. But this is merely one aspect of the vast Hermetic canvas that Herbert painted in his novels. Stigmata An atheist woman suddenly displays stigmata, setting an inquisitive priest on a quest to discover lost gospels. Hollywood brought together various trends into one novel mixture. Meet Joe Black: Death visits Earth Meet Joe Black uses the classical mythology of Death as an entity and an Otherworldly realm, but has turned the imagery upside down. Rather than a hero’s descent to the Underworld, Death ascends to Earth… The Twelve Monkeys Twelve Monkeys is a 1995 movie that deals with time travel. More than a decade on, trying to stop the Army of the Twelve Monkeys is considered to be one the best visual attempts to portray time travel. Twin Peaks In 1990-1, the question of who killed Laura Palmer caught the television audience by storm. The answer was to be found in a bizarre, other dimensional reality. The 4400 The 4400 mixed alien abductions with end-of-time speculation, using themes from the X-Men and the then-future Heroes, to concoct a powerful mixture that did not make it into a veritable hit series – unfortunately.