Giza: The Real Truth

Reigniting the Cauldron of Conspiracy on Egypt's Most Sacred Ground

A Report by Andrew Collins

The Red Bull Championship held in front of the Sphinx on May 13/14, 2010

What has been going on at Giza? Are there clandestine excavations taking place? Are artefacts being spirited away from newly uncovered "treasure chambers" or "record chambers" situated deep beneath the Sphinx? And how do these claims relate to the discovery in 2008 of a previously unrecorded cave complex on the opposite side of the plateau?

These are the pressing questions that are being debated daily now on conspiracy sites and forums. One story or rumour fuels another, which fuels another, and another, until they all swirl around in a burning cauldron of unfathomable paranoia.

Pre-millennial Zeitgeist

So what the hell is going on at Giza? And where did all this scaremongering, unlike anything seen since the 1990s, actually begin? Prior to the millennium several controversies fed the rumour mill. They included Boston geologist Robert Schoch and John Anthony West's "redating" of the Sphinx, Robert Bauval's Orion mystery, Rudolph Ganterbrink's dismissal from Egypt, following his discovery of a small stone door inside the southern air-shaft of the Great Pyramid's Queens Chamber and, finally, Boris Said's exploration of the so-called Osiris Shaft beneath the causeway to the Second Pyramid. Together they created the belief that something even bigger was about to break, and when it didn't, the rumour-mongers assumed that the discoveries were still being made, but that the Egyptian authorities were withholding the truth.

Dr Zahi Hawass, then Undersecretary Of State For The Giza Monuments, became the face of this conspiracy, as did the Edgar Cayce Foundation's research branch, the Association for Research and Enlightenment (A.R.E.). All this led to an all out war of words that flowed into various bestselling books including Robert Bauval's The Secret Chamber, Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince's The Stargate Conspiracy and Ian Lawton and Chris Ogilvie Herald's boldly entitled Giza: The Truth. Everyone, even the other revisionist authors writing rival books, became the focus of close scrutiny, and were judged on the part they had played in this pre-millennial zeitgeist that went away the moment the first bells sounded for the start of the twenty-first century.

The Great Conspiracy is Back

So where did this new conspiracy begin? The answer is that it takes its roots in the discovery in 2008 of cave tunnels inside an obscure tomb located on the north side of the plateau at Giza. When this story hit the internet in July 2009 it caused a sensation, and raised the question of whether the entrance to the fabled Hall of Records had at last been found. The Hall of Records, is, of course, the title given to proposed record chambers said to be entered via the Sphinx's right paw by America's sleeping prophet, the great psychic Edgar Cayce (1877-1945).

So the hunt was back on to find the Hall of Records at Giza, and with it has come the return of the great conspiracy. Suddenly, the net is alive with bizarre claims of important Atlantean artefacts being removed from hidden "treasure" chambers uncovered in front of the Sphinx. To back up these claims, several minutes of an almost entirely dark video were posted online. It was said to show the aforementioned artefacts being loaded on to trucks by forklifts overnight on April 28. Those who took this revealing footage were now under threat of death by Zahi Hawass and the Egyptian authorities, who are the perpetrators of this great cover up.

I looked at the film footage and wondered, like everyone else, what the hell we were seeing here. Out of the darkness, you can just about make out a forklift truck, and maybe even a low loader, but that is it - several minutes of, well, nothing.

Claims that a loud explosion was heard by Nazlet el-Samman residents the next mnorning was cited as further evidence of the Conspiracy, the great cover up.

Red Bull Outrage

Enquiries among the more observant and influential residents of Nazlet el-Samman, the busy village on the eastern edge of the plateau, close to the Sphinx monument, initially produced shrugs of ignorance. Nobody seemed aware of any clandestine activity going on overnight on April 28, and no one heard any loud bangs. One possible explanation offered to John van Auken, the director of Edgar Cayce's A.R.E. organization, after I asked him to see what he could find out, was that the activity related to an upcoming 4 x 4 vehicle race. Yet further enquiries dispelled this solution since the event planned for October is scheduled to take place not at Giza, but 50 miles south in and around the Fayyum Oasis.

Another possibility then presented itself - a leg of the international Red Bull TMX bike championship was to take place at Giza on May 13/14. Large stands, rigging and tracks were being assembled day and night right in front of the Sphinx. This now offered the most likely explanation for the presence of the plant machinery filmed overnight on April 28, and arguably even the loud bang heard around the same time.

The Cover Up of a Cover Up

I ran with this story online, but was lambasted for even suggesting such an explanation. No one in their right mind would have authorised a banal bike race right in front of the most precious ancient monuments in the world, unless, of course, they wanted to use this as a cover for something more sinister.

All this came just as a sequence of photos of apparent excavation work immediately south of the preparations for the Red Bull TMX race were posted online by Brooks Agnew of These were shown with dramatic captions and even more dramatic music intent on emphasising the seriousness of the Conspiracy now being exposed.

Clearly, this video was a response to earlier claims of the removal of Atlantean artefacts from newly uncovered chambers in front of the Sphinx. Claims that, in my opinion, were not adequately supported by hard evidence in the first place.

I looked at the video, as did my colleagues, and very quickly it became apparent that the stills showed an excavation taking place to the east of the Valley Temple of Khafre.

A Burial Shaft Uncovered

The captions accompanying the video said that a deep shaft leading into "treasure chambers" had been uncovered. Unfortunately, these pictures show nothing of the sort. My enquiries have revealed that a deep shaft, reportedly up to 100 feet deep, has been uncovered. However, it contains not a treasure chamber, but is most likely a shaft tomb belonging to Egypt's Twenty-sixth dynasty, the so-called Saite period, which thrived around 2,500 years ago. What's more, in recent years similar shafts have been found and excavated west of the Sphinx near Campbell's Tomb.

It has been suggested that the shaft might connect with cave tunnels, a possibility that has to be considered. We know that the plateau is most likely hollow, like Swiss cheese, so there is always a chance that a sunken burial shaft might hit natural caves. Whether they connect to hidden record chambers is quite another matter, and it would be foolish to speculate on this matter without further information.

The Valley Temple of Khafre as seen from the north.
The excavations are taking place to its east (left).

The Ground Water Debate

It actually transpires that Dr Hawass announced on Egyptian television back in March that these excavations were to take place. It is likely that he has taken the opportunity to conduct excavations following the recent lowering of the water table therebouts.

Test drilling in 2008 revealed that in the vicinity of the Sphinx the ground water was just 15 feet below the surface. There were genuine concerns for the monument, which lies at one of the lowest points on the plateau. Here the water table was so high that it was causing pools of water to rise up from the ground. This was most noticeable in the area where the excavations are currently taking place.

In an attempt to deal with this problem water pumping equipment was installed on the edge of the plateau, and these have been successful in considerably lowering the height of the ground water, enabling the clearance work to begin.

Just to make it clear, the preparations for the Red Bull championship at Giza on May 13/14 had nothing to do with these excavations, or any conspiracy. This two-day event just happened to take place in the same vicinity as the excavations, and thus might have caused some initial confusion on the part of local observers. The real subject of the debate becomes the excavations alone, and these as we can now see are totally legitimate.

All of this makes real sense of the facts, so why should anyone even assume that what is taking place at Giza is part of some grand conspiracy?

I don't see a Conspiracy at Giza. In fact, I don't see the Egyptians doing anything different to what they do on a daily basis. Sometimes, by their sheer nature, the Egyptian way of life might come across as secretive, evasive and even elusive. The problem is that many people see this as having sinister motive, which is strictly unnecessary, and highly disrespectful to Egyptian culture.

People might not like the way Zahi Hawass does things. But there is no question that he is attempting as best as possible to preserve the legacy of Egypt's past, especially at Giza where unchecked urban development is threatening its very future. Without someone strong, ruthless even, to hold back the advancement of Cairo, and preserve this sacred landscape for future generations, there is a very real possibility that its scenic beauty and spiritual ambience will be lost forever.

Return to the News Page