One of my earliest memories of the paranormal being given ‘prime time TV’ coverage regularly in the UK was the series “Arthur C Clarke’s – Mysterious World’, or was it “The Mysterious World of Arthur C Clarke’ – which ever, the series was superb and the image a ‘crystal skull’ featured in both the title sequence and on the cover of the book of the TV series. A haunting and memorable image.
There is so much to say on this topic and this evening we look at the proliferation of ‘crystal skull discoveries’ and the authenticity of the ‘original’ Mitchel Hedges ‘crystal skull’…..
BUT FIRST…. AHEAD OF THE NEWS ..
The story we told last week about the woman who received a tattoo of a pile of excrement after her tattoo artist boyfriend exacted revenge on her for cheating is probably not-true!The picture has been floating around the internet since 2009 apparently, appearing on failblog.com and a website dedicated to showcasing the world’s worst tattoos. Not only this, but it was sourced from Polish social network Nasza-klasa, which translates as ‘our class’, and the caption on the photo lists the month as being January, and the name of the recipient as ‘Ania’. Not to mention, a court official at Dayton Municipal Court, (where the lawsuit from Ms Brovent to her boyfriend would most likely have been filed) told MailOnline that they had no record of either Ms Brovent or Mr Fitzjerald ever being involved in a lawsuit.
So there you go … a reminder that its worth questioning sources no matter how entertaining the story may be!
AND NOW THE NEWS (some of which may be true!)
November 29th: A DARPA funded robot designed at Havard has gained quite a number of hits of Youtube recently. The robot, allegedly inspired by animals such as squid and starfish, has no internal ‘bone’ structure. That is to say, it is a soft robot, controlled by elastomer air muscles that inflate and deflate at 10psi to give it movement. The robot in question is particularly interesting for it’s gait, as it can ‘walk’ in several different styles that have yet to be seen in robots of this sort. It is currently capable of walking, crawling and slithering as well as being able to fit itself through small gaps and travel across a number of different materials, including, for some strange reason, jelly. You can watch the faintly creepy little critter here.
Brighton is playing host to an unusual hotel room designed by Kate Jenkins, dubbed the ‘Do Knit Disturb’ room. The room is, as the name suggests, entirely knitted or crocheted and includes a lamp, comforter, toothpaste and toothbrush, telephone cover with matching curtains, a traditional English breakfast and a do not disturb sign.
November 9th: Nuneaton and Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary has been the home of Tinsel the turkey for nine months, since she was a chick. She was found on the hard shoulder of a motorway having thought to have been thrown from a truck, which she was unlikely to survive. However, when she met Bramble, a resident roe deer at the sanctuary for two years, the odd couple struck up a friendship that staff believe helped her recover. Now Tinsel follows Bramble around the sanctuary, squawking if anyone comes near and affectionately pecking the deer before they turn in for the night, as they sleep in the same barn.
November 30th: Cries of a distressed cat from inside a recycled clothes bin prompted a 12 hour rescue operation. In a true display of the British love for their pets, Firefighters and the RSPCA were called to save the cat, but they also could not prise open the bin. Subsequently, it was taken 18 miles away to an engineering company who cut through the metal container with their specialized tech. After so much careful work to rescue the cat, it was something of a blow to discover that it wasn’t a cat after all, but a cuddly toy! Despite the slight embarrassment shared by all upon the discovery, Jasmine Hazelhurst who was involved in the rescue, pointed out that ‘I am also proud at the way everyone rallied round to try to save the cat. Local people did so much to save the cat and it shows what community spirit there is. We feared finding a dead cat in the clothes bank, so to find a stuffed toy was a relief.’ Sadly, there were hopes that it might have been Puss Puss, a local pregnant cat who had recently gone missing. If anybody has seen any trace of such a cat in the area, it can be posted on the Freetoagoodhome Anglesey Facebook page.
Let’s start with some ‘claims’ and ideas expressed by the ‘owner’ of the Mitchel Hedges skull
AND some ‘channeled information’ of the purpose of the 13 skulls..
So as usual, we turn the primer for this topic over to Catherine what can be found with some research on the net…
Crystal skulls are virtually swimming in myth and legend, from whispers of apocalyptic consequences should they all be discovered and united to rumours of healing and psychic ability.
The carvings are usually linked back to pre-Columbian Mesoamerican civilizations, though it is noted that no existing crystal skull in any known museum collection came from a recorded excavation.
Historians also point out that they don’t resemble pre-columbian illustrations of skulls, a significant and much documented symbol in their culture.
There have been many generations of crystal skulls, beginning with small carved beads and evolving into pieces larger than an actual skull.
Eugene Boban played a significant part in the history of the peculiar artifacts, having procured and sold many of them from Brazil himself.
It was rumoured, though it cannot be said for certain, that he got them from rural hamlet Idar-Oberstein, a place where craftsmen had quartz crystals shipped to them from Brazil in the 1870′s for carving. The rumours go as far as to say that Boban obtained over ten skulls made from Brazilian quartz and thusly links could be drawn between the two events.
Furthermore, Brian Dunning of Skeptoid points out that while the British Museum displayed the skull as their skull as being of pre-Columbian Aztec origin, as they were told by Boban when he sold it to them, studies in the 90′s revealed modern tool marks suggesting 19th century rotary cutting tools, like those used in Idar-Oberstein during that period. The British Museum now list it as being ‘probably European, 19th century.’
A life-size skull first appeared in 1881 in Boban’s shop in Paris, with no details as to where he found it and additional comments from Boban that it was a ‘masterpiece of lapidary technology’, and ‘unique in the world.’
Boban exhibited the skull in his ‘Museo Cientifico’ in Mexico City in 1885 after he failed to sell it, both at auction and later to Mexico’s National Museum, whose partner declared Boban to be a fraud and a smuggler.
In 1886, Boban moved to New York City and attempted to auction off the skull again, this time succeeding and passing it to Tiffany & Co for $950. Interestingly, this auction also sold a different crystal skull which was described as being smaller than it’s aforementioned counterpart and in the same lot as a crystal hand listed as being Aztec. However, neither of these items have been heard of since this auction.
Tiffany’s went on to sell the skull to the British Museum.
It is the generation of skulls subsequent to this one that developed the Mayan myth, when a replica of the one in the British museum was bought by Sidney Burney, who went on to sell it to Frederick Arthur Mitchell-Hedges in 1943, though again, where it came from is unknown.
This skull had a separate jawbone, setting it apart from previous skulls.
Hedges was an English fisherman and explorer, also rumoured to be quite the story-teller.
He went on to write about the skull in his memoir Danger My Ally, and it was here that he spoke of the Mayan legend. He said that the skull was 3,600 years old and was used by Mayan priests to kill people by pure will-power.
When he died, it came into the care of his daughter, Anna Mitchell-Hedges, who sometimes allowed a select group of visitors to view it for a fee.
The story went that Anna found it under an altar in a temple in Belize in 1926 and it was not mentioned again for 30 years until the publication of Danger my Ally. In truth it wasn’t mentioned for this length of time because they hadn’t heard of it until it was bought from Burney in 1943 (At a Sotheby’s auction). Documentation from Burney and Sotheby’s confirm that this auction was how the skull came into the Hedges’ posession.
It is still in the family, now owned by her widower and sought after by several relatives.
The ‘Skull of Doom’ as it has come to be known (Although it has also been nicknamed the Skull of Love, or, understandably, the Mitchell-Hedges Skull) is rumoured to have crashed computers and issue forth peculiar blue light from its empty eye sockets.
This skull was subjected to tests in 2008 and results confirmed that its polishing was achieved using modern tools. Not only this, but particle accelerator tests discovered traces of water (used during the cutting and polishing), that henceforth date the carving to sometime between 1867 and 1886.
Another skull of mystery origin was brought into the Smithsonian Museum in the last couple of decades, and is, by comparison to its predecessors, enormous, at 31 pounds and 10 inches high.
The mystery benefactor (They are still anonymous to this day) said that they acquired it Mexico in 1960. However, it has since been revealed that it was carved using carborundum and has been displayed as a fake at the National Museum of Natural History.
The myth of crystal skulls is still widely used in modern culture, having appeared as part of LeKay’s work and henceforth Damien Hirst’s work (Hirst was accused of having ripped the idea from LeKay).
LeKay was inspired by the Mayan skulls he’d seen in museums carved from turquoise.
They’ve also appeared in episodes of Stargate SG-1 and as part of the mythology in the Assassin’s Creed games. The most obvious recent appearance of the skulls is in the latest installment of the Indiana Jones films, whereby the whip-wielding archaeologist hunts for and discovers the crystal skull and an Atlantean world connected to them.
It is perhaps faintly ridiculous of critics to point out the historical inaccuracy of this related film (Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) given that it ends with a spaceship disappearing off into space. Most fans of the series agree that historical accuracy was probably not Spielberg’s point.
Additionally, there are hundreds of crystal skulls of every size, hue and style available to buy on eBay!
…. so that’s a start, let’s get on with the show…
Music on tonights show can be found on www.musicalley.com