What leading Egyptologist Dr Alaaeldin Shaheen did NOT say to ignite a debate that will run and run

A Report by Andrew Collins

The Pyramids of Giza were not the product of alien technology.

In late November 2010 a news report appeared online claiming that one of the world's leading Egyptologists has implied that aliens might have been involved in the construction of the Pyramids of Giza, adding that there was something "out of this world" inside the Great Pyramid.

Such staggering claims were always going to draw the attention of every social networking site user into aliens and ancient mysteries, ensuring that the story circulated Facebook and Twitter like wildfire. I followed the link given, which was to an apparent news site with the address of

The "breaking story", headlined, "Egyptian archaeologist admits pyramids contain UFO technology" spoke of how in "a shock statement", Dr "Ala" Shaheen (properly Alaaeldin Shaheen), "head of the Cairo Archaeology Department" (his actual title is Dean of the Faculty of Archaeology, Cairo University,), had informed an audience that "there might be truth to the theory that aliens helped the ancient Egyptians build the oldest of pyramids, the Pyramids of Giza."

With my mind still trying to understand the implications of Dr Shaheen alleged words, the press statement went on to say that on being "further questioned" by a Mr Marek Novak, a delegate from Poland, "as to whether the pyramid might still contain alien technology or even a UFO with its structure", Dr Shaheen was vague, neither confirming nor denying this, yet admitting that "there is something inside the pyramid that is 'not of this world'".

It was said that delegates at the conference, which was on the theme of "ancient Egyptian architecture", were "left shocked, however Dr Shaheen has refused to comment further or elaborate on his UFO and alien related statements."

That is about it. Anything said in news reports and blogs beyond these statements has been either pure speculation or people's own interpretation of Dr Shaheen's words.

Initially, I put up a link to the news story on Facebook, saying that it would be interesting to learn what Dr Shaheen really had said, and joking that if he did say anything of the sort then it was unlikely that his contract would be renewed by his employers (either the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) or Cairo University).

Dr Shaheen Losing the Plot?

However, within minutes of putting up the story, I took it down, following receipt of an email from a prominent British Egyptologist, who was asking me to comment on an email received from one of Dr Shaheen's colleagues in Belgium. This person was greatly concerned by the aforementioned news report since he knew Prof. Dr. Shaheen personally, and could not understand how such a high ranking member of the SCA could say such things. Indeed, Dr Shaheen is at the top of his profession, as in 2008 when it became known that Dr Zahi Hawass intended retiring from his position as Secretary General of the organization, Dr Shaheen was being groomed to take his place. In the end this never happened, as Dr Hawass was appointed overseer of the SCA at a governmental level, a position he can now retain for life.

Perplexed by what had been written about his colleague, Dr Shaheen's friend wrote: "I know he would not say this unless there is massive evidence [to support such claims]. This man is … very very skeptic[al] about all theories [that do] not conform [to] the established archaeologic paradigm"

It certainly seemed that something was wrong with what Dr Shaheen had apparently said or been quoted as saying, and this was worrying his friend, who was genuinely in fear that his friend might have lost the plot, especially after being overlooked in favour of Dr Hawass, who stayed on as head of the SCA.

This was a worrying situation, and so I immediately made tracks to contact Dr Shaheen in the hope that he might throw some light on what had really gone on at that conference.

I also looked into the origins of the news report and immediately began to find a pattern emerging, one that was already familiar to me. Firstly, the supposed news site that posted the story normally deals with ET visitations and UFOs. Nothing wrong with that, of course, for if the story is real and they have the exclusive, then good luck to them. However, I then discovered that the individuals behind the news story on were new age fundamentlists, who promote a brutish and somewhat unhealthy agenda relating to the Great Pyramid and the monuments of Giza as a whole.

Atlanean Super Crystal

These people believe and actively promote the idea that inside the Great Pyramid, in a secret chamber, is a super crystal of either Atlantean or alien origin. This has to be found - by them - in order to activate a global grid of pyramids that will defend the human race from destruction by extraterrestrial forces come December 21, 2012. These same individuals believe that the truth is already known to Dr Zahi Hawass, and that he is part of a grand cover up to hide the facts. They have been urging people to bombard Hawass with petitions calling for him to recognise their legitimacy in the investigation of Giza's monuments. So much has this malicious campaign rattled Dr Hawass's cage that he was forced recently to publicly denounce these individuals' outrageous claims.

So the spin is this - get the general public to accept that at least one leading Egyptologist now believes that alien technology was involved in the building of the Pyramids of Giza, and then imply that this includes something "out of this world" awaiting discovery inside the Great Pyramid. In doing so, a campaign can then be launched to call upon Dr Hawass and the Egyptian authorities to allow a new investigation of the Great Pyramid as well as other monuments in order to hunt for Atlantean and/or alien artefacts, including the super crystal.

Yet the whole thing is pure spin - a very clever con at the expense of Dr Shaheen.

Dr Shaheen's response

And what of Dr Shaheen? What has he to say about the matter, especially since this alleged news report, which could well tarnish his good reputation in the eyes of his contemporaries?

I received the follow email from Dr Shaheen on December 1, 2010:

"Kindly be informed that I did not gave such stupid statement[s] about aliens and Pyramids. As [I am] Egyptologist I could [not] say such stupid words and ideas."

So there you have it. New age fundie spin, again.

One last thing. I would love it if a super crystal of Atlantean or alien origin were to be found inside the Great Pyramid, or anywhere else on the plateau for that matter. I have dreamt of such a discovery! The problem is this: firstly, there is nothing to directly link Plato's concept of Atlantis with Egypt; secondly, there is currently no proof that aliens have visited the earth, and, lastly, there is as yet no evidence that any such super crystal exists. Believe me, I wish the evidence was there, what a revelation that would be! All I can say is that when a crystal of this order is discovered, I'll let you know.

Many thanks to those who have helped me put this together, particularly Nigel Skinner Simpson, Greg Little, Rodney Hale, Filip Coppens and Dr Alaaeldin Shaheen.