The New Pyramid Age  Published by O Books To order,

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by Philip Coppens
  Could there be a crystal pyramid in the waters off Bimini that is one of the sunken remnants of the lost civilisation of Atlantis? The question could be purely theoretical, but the question is far more practical and pertinent: there is an eyewitness report from a source whose claim has never been disproven… and an artefact!

The story begins in 1970, when Dr. Ray Brown, a naturopathic practitioner from Mesa, Arizona, was scuba-diving near the Bahamas, twenty miles off a location that is known as the Tongue of the Ocean – according to an interview Charles Berlitz had with Brown for his 1984 book “Atlantis: The Eighth Continent”. Brown and his group were looking for treasure, left on Spanish galleons sunken several centuries ago that were known to laid scattered on the ocean floor. A storm had hit just the area and had stirred up the ocean floor, which meant that new booty might be discovered as sand had been moved about and might have exposed portions of these galleons. Apparently, the storm had also swept some of the team’s equipment and possessions overboard – including, apparently, a camera – which is why we only have a story, and no accompanying photographs. Brown recounted that during the dive, he became separated from his fellow four divers. While trying to catch up with them, he noticed a pyramid shape appearing below him. In a televised interview in 1980, for the series “In Search Of”, Brown stated that “we found ruins and buildings everywhere”, adding that “The buildings had an Egyptian or classic look to them.”

He calculated that the pyramid was 22 fathoms down (44 yards), rose to 120 feet, while parts of it were obscured by the seafloor. He stated that the joints between the blocks of the buildings were almost indiscernible, thus attesting of the structure’s good preservation and construction excellence. He described the capstone as resembling lapis lazuli – an intense and beautiful blue.

But more importantly, Brown discovered an entrance into the pyramid, which he followed, to arrive in a small rectangular room with a pyramid-shaped ceiling. Though Brown was without a flashlight, there was somehow sufficient light inside for him to see. He described the room as having no algae or other material attached to the walls and bright. But it wasn’t the walls that caught his attention. A metallic rod, three inches in diameter, hung down from the apex of the ceiling, the end of which held a multi-faceted gem. Below, on the floor of the room, stood a carved stone topped by a stone plate, which held two metal bronze hands. Inside the two hands was a crystal sphere… which Brown decided to take with him. Previously, he had tried to dislodge the metallic rod from the ceiling, but was unable to. Brown relates that as he left the structure, he heard a voice, warning him never to return.

A variation of the discovery emerges in “Prepare for the Landings”, in which authors Michaeel and Aurora Ellegion relate that they befriended Brown in the 1980s and that he disclosed that the discovery was made in 1968, not 1970. That he was on one of the boats with the famous French diver Jacques Cousteau. That the site was not off the Bahamas, but 100 miles west, toward South Bimini. But despite different circumstances and location, all other details of the pyramid and what transpired inside, are identical with the accounts that Brown repeatedly told in public. When researcher Greg Little enquired with the Cousteau Society, he learned that Brown was definitely not part of any Cousteau expedition. But, as mentioned, in television and other interviews, Brown was consistent that he made the discovery in 1970, not 1968 and the fact that some retold his story different, years after his death, is not Brown’s fault. Extraordinary treasures not only require extraordinary evidence, they also come with extraordinary emotions in the person who has discovered them. In the case of Brown, he said that there was fear. Fear that the government – whether local or United States – would confiscate his crystal if he made it public. But by 1975, it seems that the importance of the find and making it known to the world outweighed this fear. Still, in hindsight, he would only show the crystal sphere about a half dozen or so times, but each event was… eventful, the visitors describing a series of strange activities associated with it. Then, less than a decade after going public, Brown disappeared off stage, taking his sphere with him. The story remained and became an often-repeated story of evidence of a lost civilisation, but nothing more.

Part of the problem – and Brown’s problem – was that even though there was an artefact, there was only Brown’s word for it. There are no photographs of the pyramid, as Brown was diving without camera. No-one afterwards was able to locate the site or find the structures Brown claimed he had discovered. The sphere is remarkable, but it is “only” a crystal sphere, with no irrefutable powers that would make everyone convinced we are in the presence of one of the most important ancient artefacts on the planet. In the interview with Berlitz, Brown related that “I’m not the only person who has seen the ruins – others have seen them from the air and say they are five miles wide and more than that in length.” But the problem was that if that were true, none of those witnesses were on record or had spoken out about it. Brown was one man with an artefact and a story telling a most interesting, but uncorroborated tale. It meant that in the final analysis, it all bore down to one question: was he believable? Then, Dr. Brown disappeared off the scene. He died in the early 1990s, and the story of the crystal was mentioned by some, but largely was just “one of those stories”, with no proof, as the fate of the crystal sphere was unknown.

But then some years ago, the crystal – today dubbed by some “The Atlantis Orb” – resurfaced, in the hands of Arthur Fanning, a resident of Sedona (Arizona), who refers to the object as the “Eye of God”.

I met Arthur Fanning in Amsterdam, in early November 2009, when he was invited as a lecturer at the Frontier Symposium 2009. I was able to meet the sphere in a private setting, as well as hang out with the new owner himself. Arthur was down to earth, relaxed, though did take the sphere with him everywhere, keeping it in a specially designed pouch on his belt. He lets people see and be around the sphere, even inviting members of an almost five-hundred big audience on to the stage to come and see the sphere for themselves.

When I contacted him to verify some details as to how he got the sphere in his possession, Fanning said that he had known Brown personally. After Fanning had held a channelling, “he invited me to a friend’s house for a private showing of the sphere. Before Ray passed on, [D.J.] received the sphere. He had it for about a week but the energy was too intense and he gave it to me. He said he was guided to do so.” Fanning also inherited a picture that Ray had commissioned, which depicted how the sphere inside the pyramid was in the two hands that held it and the golden-coloured rod that came down from the ceiling that had the red-faceted point hovering over the sphere. There is no doubt that Fanning’s sphere was Brown’s, but it is also clear that it took Fanning some time after receiving the object before deciding he would show it. Like Brown, getting massive public attention to the object is not his desire, though once he has an audience, he allows everyone to see it – as per Brown’s modus operandi. At each display, Fanning offers everyone the opportunity to verify the interesting characteristics associated with Brown’s crystal. Which are: when turned into a specific position, in the centre of the crystal, three pyramid-shaped objects become visible. From another vantage point, a single human eye was said to manifest itself.

Both during Brown and Fanning’s exhibitions of the object, there was widespread interpretation and speculation of what all of this meant. An association with Atlantis was easily drawn, as it was after all discovered in a sunken pyramid. Experiments with compass needles also revealed that when the needle was placed next to the orb, it would spin counter-clockwise, but when moved as little as two inches away from the sphere, it would spin clockwise. On the “In Search Of” show, Brown showed how the sphere also magnetically repelled objects – showing that the sphere is definitely not an object he quickly bought in a shopping mall.

When she confronted with the sphere, psychic Elizabeth Bacon believed that it had belonged to Thoth and that this object was somehow associated with the Emerald Tablets – though obviously not an Emerald Tablet itself, seeing it was a crystal sphere. Could Brown’s crystal be a remnant of Atlantis? Was the pyramid in which he discovered the object a remnant of Atlantis too? The fact that Brown’s story involved a sunken pyramid off the coast of Bimini obviously brings his story into the realm of the American psychic Edgar Cayce, who proclaimed that after 1968, evidence of Atlantis would be found off the coast of Bimini. Was Brown’s story the fulfilment of this prophecy – however poor Cayce’s track record for predicting the future was?

And what to think of Brown? He clearly did not do it for the money. But hoaxers often go for fame and if so, Brown definitely achieved his goal. There are no photographs. There are no corroborating witness reports. So the central question is always whether Brown can be believed.

Greg Little relates that after an appearance on the Coast-to-Coast radio show in which he tackled Brown’s sphere, he received “an email from an elderly man who said he had been a friend of Brown since childhood. After exchanging a few emails he related that Brown confided to him that the entire affair was a hoax Brown concocted to take advantage of all of the media controversy that had been stirred up by the 1968 discovery of the Bimini Road.”

Little adds that there is no evidence to support the claim that his contact knew Brown or speaks the truth. However, if Brown did want to be part of the Bimini Road as evidence for Atlantis controversy, he waited a long time – seven years – before he began to show the crystal. If he had immediately launched his story in 1970, it would indeed seem logical. But with Brown’s saga beginning in 1975, it is clear that if it was a hoax, it was largely a stand-alone campaign. Furthermore, Brown himself did not make many references to Cayce, the Bimini Road or other buzz words that could make his story far more sensational and known than what he did. Some of those who have looked into the story, like Greg Little, have concluded it is a likely hoax and point out that the weakest element of the story is that none of the other four divers ever stepped forward. But there is a perfectly normal explanation for this, which Little seems not to have caught. When Brown told the basic story, of how he heard a voice say “You have got what you came for. Now leave and don’t come back”, he expanded that the other divers had heard the same voice and warning, even though they were not inside the pyramid. Apparently aware that Brown had found something, but they hadn’t, they decided to return, but drowned during that dive. The possibility that the other divers died, of course, explains why no-one of them ever stepped forward. It could also be the reason why Brown waited for five years before going public with the story and it could even be the reason why – if we are to accept the Ellegion’s version as accurate on some counts – why on occasion Brown decided to change the location of where precisely it had happened. Indeed, one might argue that knowing that he was warned not to come back and that those who did, died, it would be prudent not to give an accurate location, knowing that future divers, even if only trying to verify Brown’s account, could meet a similar fate. Of course – to ring the sceptical bell – the notion that four people had died and Brown remained the only eyewitness is also the perfect circumstance created if it were all a hoax. But for a hoax, there needs to be motivation and the one key denominator about the entire Brown and the Crystal Sphere saga is that no-one has seen Brown as a trickster, or a hoaxer, and that the entire methodology of how he went about it, was clearly that of a man who had a genuine artefact, and not someone who knew he had created a perfect hoax and was going to exploit it to the fullest.

So with Brown, all we have today is a sphere, a mute object – except to those who can psychically connect to it – which has some anomalous capabilities, but which might need to be tested further in the near future. If so, then Brown’s Crystal Sphere might finally make it into the ranks of truly amazing anomalous artefacts that challenge our current paradigm of what Mankind’s past looked like. Staring into it, when we see three pyramids, do we also see this future for this object?