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Sitchin's Folly: Graffiti in the Pyramid


kmt_sesh

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. . . If there were letters from Humphries Brewer stating that he'd been witness to a fraud (although none have so far been produced), that might be of some help. . . .

It’s not even clear that Walter Allen claimed that such letters had been written. No such claim appears in the material directly attributable to him and nowhere in the disclosed material does he claim to have seen such letters.

On the contrary, the story he tells is one of Humphries Brewer leaving Egypt for the Holy Land, setting out for home in late 1837, being delayed at Beirut, travelling up through Austria and Prussia and then, on reaching home the following year, telling his father about his travels. It’s an oral tradition through and through.

M.

Edited by mstower
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It’s not even clear that Walter Allen claimed that such letters had been written. No such claim appears in the material directly attributable to him and nowhere in the disclosed material does he claim to have seen such letters.

On the contrary, the story he tells is one of Humphries Brewer leaving Egypt for the Holy Land, setting out for home in late 1837, being delayed at Beirut, travelling up through Austria and Prussia and then, on reaching home the following year, telling his father about his travels. It’s an oral tradition through and through.

M.

Related to Brewer, there's been discussion about the page of notes seen below (borrowed from a post of Scott's back on Page 11):

BrewerLetter.jpg

Scott had written in that post: "Humphries Brewer, a stonemason who worked with Howard-Vyse at Giza wrote this." But then the caption attributes the note to the "family record" of Walter Allen, Brewer's great-grandson.

I've been very busy the past week or so with other obligations and have missed a lot of the discussion as of late, so I'm probably behind in more ways than one with events here. So, my question is, is this page of notes supposed to have been written by Brewer himself, or is it something Allen is supposed to have written? If the latter, what was Allen's source? Given that the source of publication for the notes was Zecharia Sitchin, their validity is suspect on the face of it. Common sense reminds us that Sitchin cannot be trusted.

Where did these notes come from? Also, is there any validity to the idea that Brewer had indeed worked with Vyse in some capacity? I don't recall reading Brewer's name in Vyse's journal, but that may be my failing. An unpleasant disagreement between Vyse and Brewer would not have influenced Vyse to leave Brewer out of the journal, because Vyse mentions names and events where he had disagreements with other people.

Just looking for some clarification.

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~snip

Just looking for some clarification.

Hey there Boss ... long time no see ... the usual ? Shaken AND stirred ? :tu:

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So, my question is, is this page of notes supposed to have been written by Brewer himself, or is it something Allen is supposed to have written?

Yes, Allen is supposed to have written these notes in 1954 (the page is dated Sat. Oct. 9 1954) after a visit to his mother.

If the latter, what was Allen's source?

According to the notes themselves, 1° his mother, who visited 2° a relative named Nell, who is supposed to have "some of Humfreys letters and Wm Brewers letters from England" (these letters have never been produced anywhere), and who got them by 3° her own father "Wm Marchant Brewer"

Martin Stower seems to have put down the entire genealogy of the family.

Where did these notes come from?

They were published by Sitchin in his book "Journeys to the Mythical Past", page 31, see here. According to Sitchin he obtained the notes from Allen himself.

Also, is there any validity to the idea that Brewer had indeed worked with Vyse in some capacity? I don't recall reading Brewer's name in Vyse's journal, but that may be my failing. An unpleasant disagreement between Vyse and Brewer would not have influenced Vyse to leave Brewer out of the journal, because Vyse mentions names and events where he had disagreements with other people.

Brewer is not mentioned anywhere in Vyse's journal. As far as I know, there doesn't exist any source, independant of the family tradition, confirming Brewer's presence in Egypt, much less his working with Howard Vyse.

Hope this helps!

Edited by Irna
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I must add that there are other curious things in Sitchin's book, page 30:

- Sitchin says that there are "other entries" in Allen's notes, and "a letter from an uncle", but as far as I know he never produced these.

- He says that Allen "added a tidbit" that the egyptologist Lepsius "invited Humphreys to join him when he wanted to examine the 'marks' inside the pyramid - but both were refused permission by Vyse": as Martin noted here, "Lepsius makes no mention of Humphries Brewer either". What is more, as can be seen in Lepsius biography, he never was in Egypt before 1842, at a time when Howard Vyse was long back in England...

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Related to Brewer, there's been discussion about the page of notes seen below (borrowed from a post of Scott's back on Page 11):

Scott had written in that post:

"Humphries Brewer, a stonemason who worked with Howard-Vyse at Giza wrote this."

But then the caption attributes the note to the "family record" of Walter Allen, Brewer's great-grandson.

If you scroll down here, you'll find a transcription of Walter Allen's notes, dated 9th October 1954.

is this page of notes supposed to have been written by Brewer himself, or is it something Allen is supposed to have written?

No, not by Brewer - besides anything else, the handwriting is 20th century rather than 19th century. Allen stated that he wrote the notes, using blank pages in his ham-radio logbook.

If the latter, what was Allen's source?

The main source indicated in his notes from the October 1954 meeting was his elderly aunt, Nell, or Helen, Pattengill, the daughter of William Marchant Brewer, who was the elder of Humphries Brewer's two sons. He states that she claimed to have been in possession of some correspondence between William (Jones) Brewer, Humphries Brewer's father, and Humphries himself, although this correspondence has never come to light.

Where did these notes come from?

From Allen himself, who approached Sitchin after reading 'Stairway to Heaven' in the early 1980s.

Also, is there any validity to the idea that Brewer had indeed worked with Vyse in some capacity?

Some of the statements and suppositions in Allen's logbook might be worth looking at in more detail, especially the description of the circumstances under which Humphries Brewer came to find himself in Egypt. According to Allen's notes, he was supposed to have been employed by a Dr. Nayler, who was apparently working for the British Army Medical Service in Egypt. The intention seems to have been that Brewer should help Nayler build a hospital for patients with ophthalmia (endemic in Egypt at the time).

Vyse himself provides some corroborating evidence for some of these statements. Although he doesn't mention the British Army Medical Service as such, he does refer to Dr. Nayler, in the context of the problems caused by ophthalmia amongst his workers, some of whom he tried to send to Nayler for treatment - although, for one reason or another, this didn't work out.

Vyse also adds that Nayler had arrived from England. Taking this together with Allen's notes, the implication seems to be that Nayler must have engaged Humphries Brewer in England, and that they might even have come to Egypt together (although nothing is actually said about Humphries' journey to Egypt).

I don't recall reading Brewer's name in Vyse's journal, but that may be my failing

No - his name doesn't appear anywhere.

An unpleasant disagreement between Vyse and Brewer would not have influenced Vyse to leave Brewer out of the journal, because Vyse mentions names and events where he had disagreements with other people.

Caviglia, in particular. However, the argument in the Humphries Brewer case - if what Allen recorded in the logbook was accurate - would surely be that the alleged circumstances were so serious and so unpleasant that Vyse could not afford to have them publicised in any way.

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Thanks for the explanations, Irna and Windowpane. I should have more free time in my schedule after tomorrow, so I hope to return to posting more regularly.

In the meantime, I am underwhelmed by this page of note of Allen's. Consider first and foremost that it's publication to the world was in one of Zecharia Sitchin's books. Zecharia Sitchin, the guy who claims the pyramids were landing pads for spaceships and ancient aliens seeded human civilization. That lacks all conceivable common sense to begin with, so the veracity of Allen's notes is by necessity in question.

But even disregarding Sitchin, this page of notes seems odd to me. First, it seems to have come to Allen basically fourth-hand, through a great-aunt who was the daughter of the son of Humphries Brewer, all in the manner of family oral tradition. There is no proof that the original Brewer's notes and letters even exist. Second, in my own experience in research, I have to question how Allen knew such precise facts about stuff that occurred long before his time and in no written form but by word-of-mouth only—down to the very day when events were supposed to have occurred.

In other words, for what reason should anyone take this page of notes seriously?

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In the meantime, I am underwhelmed by this page of note of Allen's. Consider first and foremost that it's publication to the world was in one of Zecharia Sitchin's books. Zecharia Sitchin, the guy who claims the pyramids were landing pads for spaceships and ancient aliens seeded human civilization. That lacks all conceivable common sense to begin with, so the veracity of Allen's notes is by necessity in question.

I agree with you that most, if not all, of what Sitchin writes is nonsense.

However, I don't really agree that the supposed historical truth of the page of notes is necessarily compromised by the mere fact of being reproduced in Sitchin's book. Allen dated the notes October 1954 - long before Sitchin's opus. So, as long as the notes in their entirety were made on about that particular date, and as long as they are accurate, then they should theoretically constitute a form of independent evidence corroborating Sitchin's theories. This isn't to say, of course, that it might not be worth examining the veracity of the notes on other grounds.

But even disregarding Sitchin, this page of notes seems odd to me. First, it seems to have come to Allen basically fourth-hand, through a great-aunt who was the daughter of the son of Humphries Brewer, all in the manner of family oral tradition. There is no proof that the original Brewer's notes and letters even exist.

I haven't seen any reference anywhere to Brewer making any notes as such. As Martin Stower said in a previous post, although Brewer might well have kept his father's letters to him, it was unlikely that he would have his own letters, unless his mother had brought them with her when she came to Pennsylvania a few years before his death.

In any case, it isn't very clear what subjects any correspondence, whether once existing, or actually surviving, might have covered. The implication is that there were letters in which Humphries described more fully the events at the Great Pyramid. The reader is left to speculate whether, even if there is any surviving correspondence at all, it might not turn out to discuss only family, domestic and professional matters.

Second, in my own experience in research, I have to question how Allen knew such precise facts about stuff that occurred long before his time and in no written form but by word-of-mouth only—down to the very day when events were supposed to have occurred.

But, as Allen presents it to us, he didn't know. The main information - oral family tradition, combined with a claim to be in possession of family correspondence - came from his grandmother's niece, Helen Brewer (Aunt Nell - Humphries being Aunt Nell's grandfather). Allen didn't note any of this until 1954.

So the story of Brewer's supposed witnessing of the forgery is coming principally from William Marchant Brewer's eldest daughter. The reader is presumably intended to infer that she obtained this information primarily from her father - and it is hinted (but never established) that there are more details in the letters (which, as we know, have never been produced).

However, Aunt Nell says nothing about a particular day when Humphries witnessed the forgery. The only date mentioned in the context of events in Egypt is 1837.

In other words, for what reason should anyone take this page of notes seriously?

For the reasons already described.

The question remains, though: can the material in Allen's logbook successfully withstand more searching scrutiny?

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. . . Second, in my own experience in research, I have to question how Allen knew such precise facts about stuff that occurred long before his time and in no written form but by word-of-mouth only—down to the very day when events were supposed to have occurred.

Something else to throw into the mix: an article by Harvey Hagman, based (it is stated) on interviews with Sitchin conducted before his death, reproduced here:

http://sumerianmytho...01_archive.html

Those with Questia access may get it here:

http://www.questia.c...t-pyramid-fraud

Note: I do not have Questia access. If anyone can get the more official version, I wouldn’t mind a copy . . .

Allen is quoted as follows:

“My mother had known about it for some time,” Allen wrote Sitchin. “I heard about it in the ’50s when we were doing a genealogic study. My mother had related it to us and I wrote it down in the logbook. Years later when I happened to read your book, I thought it was almost the same story. It didn’t reveal anything new. I just confirmed the conclusions that you have reached. My mother’s information fit in exactly with the books about the Vyse expeditions. I was surprised my mother’s information was so accurate.”

One wonders how so extensive a quotation was obtained in an interview with Sitchin—but taking it as is, there are several odditities. How detailed was the story? Reading this, we’d expect something far more detailed than the logbook notes disclosed—and if Allen’s mother’s information exactly matched that in Vyse and Perring, then it did not match Sitchin’s story: he can’t have it both ways. It’s as if Allen didn’t quite realise what he was saying.

So two considerations: the level of detail in the notes disclosed falls short of that claimed—and the level of detail claimed is implausible in an oral tradition.

M.

Edited by mstower
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I must add that there are other curious things in Sitchin's book, page 30:

- Sitchin says that there are "other entries" in Allen's notes, and "a letter from an uncle", but as far as I know he never produced these.

- He says that Allen "added a tidbit" that the egyptologist Lepsius "invited Humphreys to join him when he wanted to examine the 'marks' inside the pyramid - but both were refused permission by Vyse": as Martin noted here, "Lepsius makes no mention of Humphries Brewer either". What is more, as can be seen in Lepsius biography, he never was in Egypt before 1842, at a time when Howard Vyse was long back in England...

There is of course copious documentation on Lepsius, his expedition and his life in general.

His more “chatty” account of the expedition was published as Briefe aus Aegypten, Aethiopien und der Halbinsel des Sinai. The letters collected had been published during the expedition in the Prussian press and some of them not long after (in translation) in The Athenaeum. There were, curiously, two English translations in book form, some indication of the level of interest. I quote from the second of these.

In a letter dated “On board the Oriental Steamer, the 5th of September, 1842.”:

. . . In London, I acquired two additional excellent travelling companions—Bonomi and Wild, who had lately determined to share in the expedition on an independent footing. The former, already well known as a traveller in Egypt and Ethiopia, not only has a thorough practical acquaintance with the mode of life in those parts, but also possesses a critical knowledge of Egyptian art, and is a master in Egyptian drawing; the latter, a young architect, full of genius, seeks with enthusiasm in the East a new field for the exercise of the rich and various gifts with which he is endowed. . . .

In the Preliminary Account of the Expedition and its Results:

. . . Two English artists, also, J. Bonomi, who, from the interest he took in the journey, became attached to our party while we were in London, and the architect J. Wild, who joined us of his own accord, took an active part in the expedition as long as it remained in Lower Egypt. . . .

We have here two things: a precedent for the idea of Lepsius inviting an Englishman to join the expedition and an indication of how easy it was to do so. The usual reading is that Joseph Bonomi was invited and James William Wild invited himself. There was no general proscription on joining a foreign archaeological venture. Note also that the expedition set out for Egypt from England. Plenty of opportunity for Humphries Brewer to jump on board, warn Lepsius that the inscriptions were bogus etc. etc. etc.

What we do not find is Lepsius lamenting the absence of Humphries Brewer.

Also in the Preliminary Account of the Expedition and its Results:

. . . If we except the celebrated and well-known examination of the Pyramids in the year 1887, by Colonel Howard Vyse, assisted by the accomplished architect Perring, little had been done to promote a more minute investigation of this remarkable spot; . . .

An odd thing to say if Lepsius had had a bruising encounter with Vyse.

We may note that the ghost of Vyse departed did not stop Lepsius from celebrating Christmas in the Great Pyramid—and that the firman readily granted to an expedition under (Prussian) royal patronage covered all requirements.

We may note also that Lepsius was in England (and Wales!) in 1838; he seems, oddly, not to have sought out Humphries Brewer, but he did take the time to examine the Hill facsimiles in the British Museum. (Which is more than some people have done.)

M.

Edited by mstower
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Martin Stower seems to have put down the entire genealogy of the family.

Credit where credit is due:

  1. Walter M. Allen put down a version of the Brewer family tree.
  2. I am in continued contact with one of Allen’s former correspondents.
  3. Another Person has contributed considerable input in checking and documenting the genealogical details.

M.

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As far as I can ascertain, the Humphries Brewer “eyewitness” story had its first outing in Ancient Skies, July/August 1983. It is of some interest to revisit it now.

In April, 1983, Walter M. Allen of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, prompted by an article he read which summarized Sitchin’s forgery conclusions, wrote to Sitchin and told him that the forgery was actually witnessed by Allen’s great-grandfather, Humphries Brewer. Mr. Brewer was born in Box, Wiltshire, England on February 28, 1817. He studied at the University of Berlin and became a leading quarry master and tunnel builder.

In 1837, Humphries Brewer was recruited by the British Medical Service to go to Egypt to assist in the construction of an eye hospital. The project was abandoned, and Brewer joined the team of Col. Vyse, who was then excavating, measuring and stone-blasting at the Giza Pyramids.

While working for Vyse, Brewer had a dispute with Vyse’s assistants, Raven and Hill, about the painted marks inside the Great Pyramid. He said that faint marks had been repainted, and that some were new. He had words with Hill and Vyse and he was barred from the site.

In 1842, Humphries Brewer was invited by the University of Berlin to return to Egypt on a project, but Col. Vyse would not permit him to do so.

Humphries Brewer reported all of these facts in letters to his father, who was disturbed by them.

The Brewer letters were kept in the family and in 1954 the information was given to Walter M. Allen’s mother, who told it to Walter. He then recorded the information in his ham-radio logbook in which he was preparing a history of the family.

The piece is uncredited. It may have been written by the editor, Gene M. Phillips, as a summary of information provided (presumably by Sitchin).

Observant readers will note definite parallels with the “logbook” material, as well as claims which have not appeared elsewhere (at least in the public domain).

As noted, much of this follows the “logbook”—but what about this?

“Humphries Brewer reported all of these facts in letters to his father, who was disturbed by them.”

That’s not what Allen wrote. On a natural reading of what Allen wrote, Humphries Brewer’s father was disturbed by the trip as a whole, (especially) when Humphries told him the details face-to-face, while mother Jane (Jennie) was happy he went. (Was she happy about the forgery? Humphries getting fired?)

Note also the claims about the University of Berlin.

M.

Edited by mstower
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It's all a bit convenient, if not contrived. I hadn't heard of the part about the University of Berlin before, but this notion that Vyse could keep someone out of Egypt is rather ridiculous. It's unlikely Vyse could've kept anyone out of Giza, or even the Great Pyramid.

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It's all a bit convenient, if not contrived. I hadn't heard of the part about the University of Berlin before, but this notion that Vyse could keep someone out of Egypt is rather ridiculous. It's unlikely Vyse could've kept anyone out of Giza, or even the Great Pyramid.

Lepsius was operating under (Prussian) royal patronage. He was pals with Bunsen, the Prussian ambassador, at a time when Prussia was popular in England and Bunsen himself was popular at the court of Queen Victoria.

Lepsius had other powerful friends in England, such as the Duke of Sutherland.

Vyse was a former royal equerry. He knew protocol. He surely would have known better (if only on prudential grounds) than to interfere.

The story is riddled with implausibilities.

A little more on Bonomi from Oxford DNB:

. . . In 1842 he was asked to provide designs for an Egyptian façade for John Marshall's Temple Mills at Leeds. This monumental façade, based on the temple of Edfu, might have established Bonomi's architectural reputation. (Indeed, his designs for the mill later formed his chief claim to be an architect.) He decided, however, to join the Prussian government's expedition to Egypt led by Dr Karl Richard Lepsius. The invitation was the result of a chance meeting with the Prussian crown prince, Alexander von Humboldt, the Prussian ambassador Baron von Bunsen, and Lepsius in the British Museum, and Bonomi had only two days to prepare to sail, leaving Ignatius, his more prudent brother, to negotiate the details of his contract and remuneration. . . .

To complete my point . . .

The life and activities of Lepsius are copiously documented. Where is the documentation of his inviting Humphries Brewer to join the expedition?

M.

Edited by mstower
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Opposing the invitation would surely attract precisely the unwanted attention which Vyse qua forger would wish to avoid.

Ex hypothesi, Vyse was afraid even to mention Humphries Brewer in his book. (That, or the accusers need to find some other explanation for his absence from the book.)

If Lepsius had any contact at all with Humphries Brewer, why didn’t Brewer tip him off to the forgery?

M.

Edited by mstower
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When I mentioned the Duke of Sutherland, perhaps I should have specified England and Scotland. But the family was English.

M.

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  • 3 months later...

Here for documentation, courtesy of Pennsylvania State University, is the obituary of Humphries Brewer, as it appeared in The Tioga County Agitator, a fortnight after he died (image, pdf). I dare say it was written before (and not after) it was published.

On close examination, I find some minor differences of wording between this version and the one which appeared eight days later in the Watkins Express.

M.

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We may note in passing that some worthless excuse for a human being has vandalised Humphries Brewer’s monument in Fall Brook Cemetery, visible at about 0:42 here. The obelisk has been toppled. Compare here (and also visible intact here and

).

M.

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Fall Brook is a ghost town and nobody is tending the graves. Looks like someone is mowing though. Probably some preservationist group.

The obelisk might have fallen over by itself.

Harte

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There’s precedent for this being vandalism:

http://pictures.insanart.com/v/ghosttowns/fallbrook/cemvandalism/

Which (in a sense) is where I came in: I contacted the photographer in 2009 and suggested she look for the monuments of Brewer and his brother-in-law Orton.

Told her about this development and she is to contact the Rangers. She thinks the Orton monument (first in the cemetery) may have been damaged as well.

At least we have her record of the monuments when intact.

M.

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  • 7 months later...

Moderator's note:

My apologies to the posters who replied to the new member who necroposted this thread today. Given the uncivil and inflammatory nature of his post, his post has been removed. That necessitated the removal of subsequent posts.

Thanks for understanding.

kmt_sesh

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