UFO Coverup
Hijacking the gods


Ancient Egypt, the Monuments of Mars, and Extraterrestrial Contact


Source: Templar Lodge

Exclusive extract from a lecture by LYNN PICKNETT and CLIVE PRINCE at the Templar Lodge Hotel, Gullane, near Edinburgh, Scotland 6th June 1999

It was very surprising set of circumstances that led us to write our new book, The Stargate Conspiracy. We did not set to write such a book. Rather, we intended to pursue certain lines of research following on from our last book, The Templar Revelation, in which we concluded that Christianity was an off-shoot of the Egyptian mystery religion of Isis and Osiris. In that book, we only took the story back to the Egypt of the first century. It was our intention to extend the research further back into the history of Egypt and the roots of its religion.

Our research led us back to the most ancient religion known from ancient Egypt, that of Heliopolis, whose beliefs and cosmology, which are encapsulated in the Pyramid Texts, inspired the builders of the Great Pyramid of Giza. Inevitably, we were drawn into considering the mysteries posed by the great monuments of the Pyramid Age. And, of course, we could not ignore the recent flood of high-profile books dealing with, and offering solutions to, those mysteries, which make up what has been called 'alternative Egyptology'.

Throughout the 1990s, many books, challenging the arrogance and complacency of academic Egyptology and opening our eyes to the wonders of that ancient culture, have reached a huge audience world-wide. In this field, two names stand out above the rest: Graham Hancock and Robert Bauval, authors - jointly and separately - of such books as The Orion Mystery, Fingerprints of the Gods, Keeper of Genesis and, most recently, The Mars Mystery.

It was looking at these new theories and ideas that led our research in a very unexpected direction, and which led ultimately to The Stargate Conspiracy.

We need to make a very important point at the outset. Much of what we are about to say is critical of some of these new ideas, and you may even begin to suspect that we are, in some way, sceptics. This is not so. We believe that there are genuine mysteries about ancient Egypt - such as how (and why) they built the pyramids, where their civilisation came from, and how they knew many of the things that they knew. We are not admirers of the obstinate arrogance of academic Egyptology, and have enormous reverence for ancient Egypt, its culture and religion, and the achievements of its people. It is precisely because we have such reverence that we feel so strongly about the way that the very real mysteries of Egypt have, effectively, been hijacked in order to serve other agendas.

Where there is a mystery there is the potential for exploitation, by offering apparent solutions that support particular systems of belief. This potential is even stronger when the mystery involves something as evocative as ancient Egypt, whose works, such as the pyramids and Sphinx, speak so powerfully to our imaginations.

The Alternative Egyptology tries to explain the enigma of the advanced technical knowledge of the ancient Egyptians - as displayed most obviously in the building of the Great Pyramid - by one of two theories (or sometimes a combination of the two). The first is that the ancient Egyptians were merely an off-shoot, or heirs, of a much older, advanced civilisation - such as Atlantis - which has been erased from history by some global catastrophe. The second is that the great monuments of the ancient world were either built by, or the skills to build them taught by, visitors from another world.

One of the most influential of books in this field is The Sirius Mystery by Robert Temple, which was first published in 1976 and in an extensively updated edition in 1998. As many of you will know, it homes in on the extraordinary knowledge of a West African tribe, the Dogon of Mali. The Dogon religion centres on the star Sirius. There is nothing unusual about that because, as Sirius is the brightest star in the sky, many cultures have incorporated it into their beliefs and mythology. However, what intrigued Temple - and many others - was that French anthropologists who studied the Dogon religion reported that they also believed that Sirius has a companion - a very small and very heavy star that is invisible to the naked eye.

We now know that this is true. Sirius is a binary star system, with a second, white dwarf star - very small, very heavy - in orbit around the main star. Sirius B, as it is called, was only discovered in 1842, and it was not photographed until the 1970s. How, then, could the Dogon have known about it?

Temple's theory is that the knowledge of Sirius B originated from actual contact with extraterrestrials from a planet in the Sirius system. He argues that this contact took place, not in West Africa, but in the Middle East, among the ancient civlisations of Egypt and Sumer, and that the extraterrestrials were responsible for the development of those civilisations - and therefore, ultimately, of our own. The knowledge of that contact, and of Sirius B, was incorporated into Egyptian and Sumerian mythology, and the secret was passed on to the Greeks, and then to various other cultures, eventually reaching the Dogon.

Because of its apparently academic and scholarly approach, Temple's book received a level of critical acclaim and acceptance that set it apart from other 'ancient astronaut' theories, such as those of Erich von Daniken.

The anomalous knowledge of the Dogon - not just about Sirius, but many other things - does present a genuine mystery. However, Temple was keen to link this with ancient Egypt, and here, in our view, his case is less than persuasive, as major parts of his argument are based on factual errors, and are often contrived.

For example, one of the key points in his case involves the interpretation of myths connected with Anubis, the jackal-headed god of the dead. His justification for this is that Sirius is known as the 'Dog Star', so, by a process of ideas we go from dog to jackal to Anubis. Therefore, when the ancient Egyptians spoke about Anubis they were really talking about Sirius, or rather Sirius B.

But there is a major problem with this - the ancient Egyptians did not associate Sirius with Anubis. For them, Sirius was the star of the goddess Isis, and sometimes, by extension, her son Horus. It was the Greeks who called Sirius the Dog Star, because it was in the constellation that they named the Great Dog (Canis Major). The Egyptians never made a connection between Sirius and either Anubis or dogs. Therefore, Temple's use of legends connected with Anubis is based on an entirely false premise.

Another chain of associations followed by Temple relates to the Hermetic literature - the magical and philosophical texts ascribed to the legendary sage Hermes Trismegistus - which he believes incorporates references to the 'Sirius secret'. His justification for doing so is that - he says - the Greeks equated their god Hermes with Anubis.

Amazingly, Temple has (as far as we are aware) gone unchallenged on this point for more than twenty years - because it is just plain wrong. Hermes was the equivalent of the Egyptian Thoth, not Anubis. Once again, Temple has based an entire line of reasoning on a mistake. But such is his influence that many people have simply accepted it.

There are many similar examples in Temple's book, which in our view seriously undermine his attempt to trace the 'Sirius secret' - and therefore the visitation of beings from Sirius - back to ancient Egypt.

Temple makes another mistake in The Sirius Mystery, which is a small slip in itself, and of no particular significance to his argument, but which does - as we will see - have some very important ramifications in another context.

Temple gives as one of the ancient Egyptian names for the Sphinx of Giza the words arq ur. Many others, using Temple as their authority, have since repeated this as fact. Unfortunately, arq ur does not mean 'Sphinx'. It means 'silver'. The mistake arose because Temple misread the entry for arqur in Sir E.A. Wallis Budge's classic 1920 dictionary of Egyptian hieroglyphs.

Against the entry for arq ur, two English words appear after the hieroglyphs. One is 'silver', the correct definition. The other reads 'Sphinx, 2, 8'. This is not a definition, but a reference to Budge's source, a French Egyptological journal called Sphinx. The '2' refers to the volume, and '8' the page number. On page 8 of volume 2 are the hieroglyphs for 'silver' that Budge used in his dictionary.

This mistake does not carry any particular significance for Temple's overall argument, as he mentions it only in passing - but it does turn up in some very surprising places.

The revised edition of The Sirius Mystery, published last year, contains some significant new material.

In the original 1976 edition, Temple only argued the case for extraterrestrial contact in the ancient past. In the new edition he has extended his argument to the imminent return of these 'space-gods'. He now believes that they did not return home to the Sirius system, but placed themselves in suspended animation somewhere in our solar system, so that one day they would awaken and return to see how the civilisation that they created has developed. Temple suggests that their return is now imminent.

Also in the new edition, Temple claims that The Sirius Mystery attracted the unwelcome interest of both the CIA and the British intelligence services. In fact, he says that the CIA tried to interfere with his research while he was writing the book, and that after it came out they persecuted him for the next 15 years.

The implication is that the CIA wanted to hinder Temple's research for The Sirius Mystery, which in turn implies that they wanted to stop him writing the book - which implies that, for some reason, they didn't want us to read it.

There is no doubt that Temple is being sincere, as he can by no means be called a paranaoic with a fear of persecution by the CIA. He tells the story of their harrassment with some indignation - since he is himself a staunch supporter and defender of that agency. For example, in a 1989 book about the 'uses and abuses' of hypnosis, he defends the CIA's excesses in their notorious mind control research of the 1950s and 60s, as exemplified most infamously in their MKULTRA project. In fact, Temple proudly proclaims that he refused even to read books exposing these experiment.

However, if the CIA did want to stop The Sirius Mystery from being published, this is hardly a good advertisement for their efficiency. Similarly, the implication that the CIA persecuted him for the next 15 years because he had written the book does not make much sense. What was the point, if the book was already out? Not only that, but they also failed to prevent him publishing a new, updated version - which includes the story of their interest in the book.

In fact, the knowledge of their interest in, and apparent opposition to, The Sirius Mystery only adds to its appeal. It actively encourages interest in the book, on the grounds that, if the CIA don't want us to read it, there must be something worth reading. We suspect that this was the CIA's real intention, in a classic example of reverse psychology.

The above examples of mistakes in Temple's book demonstrate the need for careful checking of such claims. As researchers, this is something that we always try to do. And it was something that we did when we looked into the work of the two major names in Alternative Egyptology, Robert Bauval and Graham Hancock.

As most of you will know, Hancock and Bauval's work centres on the importance of the year 10500 BC. Around this time, they argue, some cataclysm took place that destroyed an advanced, global civilisation. Some of its knowledge survived and formed the basis of the ancient Egyptian civilisation. They also argue that the survivors left us messages encoded in such monuments as the pyramids and Sphinx of Giza.

On the face of it, this seems an exciting and even reasonable idea. But let's examine their evidence more closely.

In The Orion Mystery (1993), Robert Bauval argues that the three pyramids of Giza were built to mirror the three stars of Orion's Belt. This, in itself, is fine - it seems to work. But Bauval uses his 'Giza-Orion Correlation Theory' to link the monuments to a much more ancient period.

His argument is this. The three pyramids form an angle of 45 degrees to the north-south meridian. To make the correlation perfect, when the stars cross the celestial meridian they should form the same angle. However, when the Great Pyramid was built - in approximately 2500 BC - they didn't. Because of the precession of the equinoxes, the position of the stars changes over time. Bauval reasoned that if he could find a period at which the stars formed the same angle as the pyramids, this would pinpoint a significant time - a time to which the pyramid-builders were trying to draw our attention. When he used computer simulations to wind back the precessional cycle, he found that Orion's Belt was in the 'Giza position' in 10500 BC.

However, when we decided to double check this, things took a rather surprising turn. We discovered that the geometrician Robin J. Cook, who actually produced the diagrams for The Orion Mystery, although agreeing with most of Bauval's theory, strongly disagreed with this part of Bauval's conclusions. We decided to check for ourselves to find out who was right.

We found that the Belt stars were not in the 'Giza position' in 10500 BC. To find the stars in this position - according to the same computer program used by Bauval - we have to go back to about 12000 BC at the earliest.

It seems that Bauval had simply made a mistake, and miscaculated by a couple of thousand years. However, we will come back to this...

Probably the most famous development concerning ancient Egypt in the last ten years has been the redating of the Sphinx by the erosion of the limestone out of which it has been carved.

According to conventional Egyptology, the Sphinx was carved out of the Giza plateau somewhere around 2500 BC. However, many - most notably leading alternative Egyptologist John Anthony West - maintained that it is, in reality, far older.

West believed that the erosion of the Sphinx was not caused by the action of wind-blown sand, but by water. He believed that this was due to a great flood - the flood that drowned Atlantis - and argued that if this could be proven scientifically, this would be an important step in not only establishing the true age of the Egyptian civilisation, but also the existence of Atlantis. Eventually, he succeeded in getting American geologist Robert Schoch to take a look.

Shoch concluded that the erosion was due to water - centuries of exposure to rain water. But, as he pointed out, if this was the case, the Sphinx must have been there during the last period of substantial rainfall in Egypt, which occurred between about 7000 and 5000 BC. This means that the Sphinx must be at least 2,500, and perhaps as much as 5,000, years older than Egyptologists will admit.

John Anthony West claims that Schoch's work vindicates his ideas. However, it needs to be pointed out that West believed that a flood was reponsible for the erosion - and that, by finding that it was actually due to prolonged exposure to rainwater, Schoch has proven him just as wrong as he has the academic Egyptologists.

Schoch concluded that the Sphinx could have been built as long ago as 7000 BC. However, both West and Graham Hancock have used his work in support of a much earlier date - 10500 BC. They have been so succesful in this that many people now regard this as virtually proven.

West and Hancock argue that the wet period pinpointed by Schoch was not long enough to cause the erosion we see on the Sphinx. Instead, they point to a wet period that, they say, happened in the eleventh millennium BC - that is, around 10500 BC. Graham Hancock writes in Fingerprints of the Gods that at this time 'it rained and rained and rained.'

Imagine our surprise when we checked the sources on the climate of ancient and prehistoric Egypt - including the source cited by Hancock himself - and found that there was no wet period in the eleventh millennium BC.

Like Robert Bauval, Hancock and West appear to have made a simple mistake - but one that also happens to come out at the date of 10500 BC.

In his recent book Heaven's Mirror, co-authored with his wife Santha Faiia, and in the accompanying Channel 4 television series, Hancock has extended his argument in favour of that date to other ancient monuments around the world - for example, the complex of Hindu temples at Angkor in Cambodia. (Although these do not really qualify as ancient, as the earliest was built in the eleventh century AD.)

Hancock argues that these temples were laid out to represent the constellation of Draco - in the position in which it was found in 10500 BC. However, when we looked into this we found that there really is no correlation between the temples and the stars. There are temples which do not correspond to any of the stars of Draco, stars for which there is no corresponding temple - and, in any case, the pattern formed by the temples, as reconstructed by Hancock, bears very little resemblance to Draco.

It seems that Hancock, Bauval and West are, for some reason, keen to make sure that their research pinpoints the year 10500 BC - whether or not the data actually fits.

But why 10500 BC?

Perhaps it is connected with the prophecies of the American psychic Edgar Cayce - for whom Hancock and Bauval seem to have a great deal of respect.

Edgar Cayce, known as the 'Sleeping Prophet', who died in 1945, is widely believed to be a simple, uneducated Kentucky man, who entered a trance state and made pronouncements about the ancient past as well as giving predictions for the future. According to Cayce, the Great Pyramid and Sphinx were built by survivors from Atlantis - in 10500 BC. He said that the Atlanteans had built an underground 'Hall of Records' that contains the collected wisdom of their race and which, he said, would be discovered in 1998. This would somehow trigger a New Age, and the emergence of a new race.

We spent a lot of time looking at Cayce's predictions - and found that, despite the fact that his followers claim that he was 'close to one hundred per cent accurate', you would be hard pressed to find even one of his prophecies that has come true.

For example, recently someone told us that Cayce was a brilliant prophet because, in the early 1940s, he predicted that China would become Communist by 1968. Of course, if true, that would be impressive. Unfortunately, what Cayce actually said was that China would become Christian by 1968.

But even so Cayce is extremely interesting. Far from being a virtual simpleton, he was extremely widely read, and as a young man worked in several bookstores. He was also entrusted with setting up new lodges for his fellow Freemasons. But more significant than that were his contacts.

We discovered that, just after the First World War, Cayce was called in to advise President Woodrow Wilson. The person who arranged this was a close friend of Cayce's, Colonel Edmond Starling, who was head of the US Secret Service.

Cayce was best known for the cures that he prescribed while in trance, which were often genuinely impressive. This is what hooked his admirers, who made the fatal error of assuming that all his psychic abilities were just as good. However, as we have seen, it turns out that this is not the case. But people at the time did not know that his predictions would fail, and he was feted by leading industrialists, top politicians - including at least one President - senior Army commanders, and members of the intelligence services.

Cayce, as we have seen, predicted the finding of the Hall of Records at Giza. It is interesting that there have been many attempts to find the Hall of Records there in the last 25 years. It needs to be pointed out that the ancient Egyptians themselves never mentioned any such thing in the context of Giza, nor is there any archaeological evidence for it. The concept of the Hall of Records comes entirely from Edgar Cayce.

As we would expect, the prime movers in the search for the Hall of Records have been the Association for Research and Enlightenment (ARE), which was formed by Cayce in the 1930s and continues to promote his work.

Other key players on the Giza plateau (sometimes working in collaboration with ARE) have been a team from a very interesting organisation called SRI International. This is one of the world's biggest private scientific research institutes, and it has a reputation - which we discovered is justified - for working closely with the American military and intelligence community. Around 75 per cent of SRI's income comes from contracts with the Pentagon and other US government agencies, including the CIA.

SRI made many expeditions to Egypt during the 1970s, taking with it state-of-the-art equipment designed to locate hidden chambers. The team was led by physicist Dr Lambert Dolphin Jr. But it is interesting that they gave up looking at Giza in 1979, apparently without having found anything. However, since then the mystique of the Hall of Records has continued to be built up, so that there is an expectation of revelations coming from Egypt in the near future.

Now that 1998 - when Cayce said the Hall of Records would be found - has passed, rumours are beginning to circulate that it was found in the form of the so-called Tomb of Osiris. This is a chamber at the bottom of a shaft some 120 feet beneath the Giza plateau not far from the Sphinx, which was re-excavated last year. It has no records of any kind in it, and yet attempts are being made to pass this off as somehow confirming Cayce's prophecy. In any case, it was first excavated in the 1930s.

The point is that, if any of these people find something that might be a Hall of Records, it will be taken as proof that Cayce was right not only about his version of ancient history, but also in his predictions of imminent global transformation. But you can be sure that, if the year 2000 comes and goes without any Hall of Records, the same people will continue to exploit the increasingly fervent longing for it to be found.

Make no mistake: Egypt itself is a very potent symbol. This has not escaped those that deal in the exploitation of belief systems - such as the intelligence agencies.

Another emotive issue is the whole question of life on other planets, and recently we have seen a concerted effort to connect ancient Egypt with a putative lost civilisation on Mars, as for example, in Hancock and Bauval's 1998 book The Mars Mystery.

Everybody will be familiar with the so-called Face on Mars and Pyramids of Mars, features of an area of known as Cydonia that some argue can only be artificial. They were discovered in photographs taken by the Viking mission in 1976.

Their most enthusiastic exponent is science writer Richard C. Hoagland. Since the early 1980s, Hoagland has run a well-funded group which is currently called the Enterprise Mission. Although there are other, more cautious, researchers in this field whose work deserves serious consideration, Hoagland and his team's primary aim is not simply to promote the idea of artificial structures on Mars, but to extrapolate from their existence a message for Earth today - and for our immediate future. They also try to link the alleged monuments of Cydonia to ancient Egypt. Hoagland's own message is that the Martian monuments were built by an extraterrestrial civilisation that came from outside our solar system, who also visited ancient Egypt and influenced the development of that civilisation - and who are about to return.

Unfortunately for Hoagland, the so-called Face was re-imaged by the Mars Global Surveyor last year, and shown to be nothing more than a featureless rocky outcrop. Dismissing the new pictures as 'crap', Hoagland is unrepentant and continues to maintain the Egypt-Mars connection.

And in this Hancock and Bauval agree. To them also there is a link between Mars and Egypt. Those authors use many of the same arguments as Hoagland to try to prove the link. (Robert Temple, in the new edition of The Sirius Mystery, has also endorsed the Face on Mars, believing it to be connected with beings from Sirius.)

We ourselves think that the Mars story is by no means clear-cut. For example, the Pyramids of Cydonia do seem strange for natural formations. On the data currently available, it would be arrogant to dismiss the case for them being artificial. However, we do disagree when it comes to extrapolating messages from these features and trying to link them with ancient Egypt. Here, we find that the arguments put forward simply do not stand up.

Essentially the argument is this - and it's not much: there are pyramids on Mars and there are pyramids in Egypt. But, of course, there are pyramids in many places on Earth, and the Martian pyramids are different in shape - the most prominent one, for example, is five-sided - and size from those in Egypt.

Hoagland, Hancock and Bauval also argue that Giza and Mars do not only have pyramids in common - but both also have a Sphinx! This depends on whether you consider the Martian Face to be a Sphinx. Well, they both have faces...

Then they fall back on linguistics - or rather, as we have discovered, pseudo-linguistics. For example, Hoagland, Hancock and Bauval make much of one of the ancient Egyptian names of the Sphinx, Horakhti, which means 'Horus of the Horizon'. They claim that there are two ancient Egyptian words, one meaning 'Horus' and the other meaning 'face', that sound exactly alike: heru. So Horakhti, they say, can be translated as 'Face of the Horizon'. Could this be a description of the Face on Mars, which would be on the horizon when viewed from some of the other features?

Well. no. For a start, the thing that none of these authors tell us is that heru is a plural form of the word for 'face', so it actually means 'faces'. Besides, the hieroglyphs for the two words are completely different. In any case, because hieroglyphs don't include vowels, which therefore have to be largely guessed at, how can anybody say that any two ancient Egyptian words sounded alike?

Another linguistic loophole involves the Arab name for Cairo - Al Qahira. This is also an Arab name for Mars. Not only is this fact used to link Giza and Cydonia, but Hancock and Bauval actually say that this is 'inexplicable'. But far from being inexplicable, the reason that Cairo was given this name is, in fact, very well known. Al Qahira literally means 'the Conqueror'. The city of Cairo did not exist before 969 AD, when it was founded by an Arab general who had just conquered that part of Egypt. True, Mars does come into it, but only because at the time the city was founded the planet was in a particularly auspicious position astrologically - especially for a city built in honour of a conqueror. There is no mystery about it - but Hoagland, Hancock and Bauval have made one.

There appears to be a genuine mystery about Mars. Perhaps there really are pyramids or other artificial structures there. However, attempts to link Cydonia with ancient Egypt simply don't work and have been contrived. But for what purpose?

Perhaps a clue lies in the fact that Richard Hoagland was working at SRI International when he first became interested in the Martian enigmas in 1982. He formed a research group to study them further, which was funded by SRI. The co-founder of this group was Dr Lambert Dolphin, who a few years earlier had led the SRI teams at Giza.

In case you think that we are overly paranoid about SRI's intimate involvement with the Pentagon and CIA, it is as well to take on board the initial reaction of one social scientist who attended Hoagland's first lecture on the Face on Mars. What he said was:

'At first I thought it was some kind of joke, or maybe a complex social experiment being conducted by the CIA - to study psychological reactions to such a hypothetical discovery. I mean - SRI involvement, 'Faces' on Mars... what would you think?... Was this an elaborate psychological experiment sponsored by the defense community?'

In fact, Hoagland's work has always received active encouragement by members of the intelligence community, and most of the key members of his research groups have connections with either intelligence agencies or the Pentagon.

All of this is really, in a sense, just setting the scene for the 'stargate conspiracy', at the heart of which are revelations about a very interesting group of people.

Nearly fifty years ago, this American group believed that they had established contact with powerful extraterrestrial beings. Not physical contact, but psychic or telepathic communication. Over a period of many years these entities made many revelations about themselves - including that they had been the gods worshipped in ancient Egypt.

Let's make this clear. We are not talking about a little New Age channelling group. From the very beginning - half a century ago - it reached the very top levels of American society, even involving a former Vice President. Since then its influence has grown, and it now has followers across the world, including in Britain. And it still whispers in the ear of the Presidency.

So what do these entities, or intelligences, claim?

They claim that they come from Sirius. They built the 'monuments' of Mars (although, significantly, these claims only appeared after the first NASA images of Cydonia.) They created the human race, and taught it the arts of civilisation, and have guided us from behind the scenes throughout history.

And they are now about to return to preside over a great 'cleansing'.

They claim to have been responsible for the destruction of Atlantis, after which survivors founded the Egyptian civilisation and built the Great Pyramid - around the year 10500 BC. They claim that the Sphinx was built in honour of them - and that there are hidden chambers that can be accessed from beneath it.

Some of those who claim to be in contact with these extraterrestrials also claim to have been in contact with Edgar Cayce's spirit guide, and that Cayce's pronouncements came from essentially the same source.

In its fifty-year history, the 'contact group' in touch with these entities have had some very interesting dealings. During the early 1970s, it was intimately involved with SRI International - interestingly, at the same time that SRI first became interested in Giza. In fact, one of the leaders of this group worked alongside Lambert Dolphin's team.

Key members of this group have been behind the promotion of the Face on Mars - and its connection with Egypt - from the very beginning. In fact, Richard Hoagland's so-called Message of Cydonia comes directly from these 'space-gods'.

Throughout its long history, many eminent names have been connected with this group - names from the fields of politics, high finance, entertainment, and even science.

Among those present at the 'first contact' with these alleged extraterrestrials in 1952 was the philosopher and inventor Arthur M. Young - who was later to become the mentor of Robert Temple, and who directly inspired him to write The Sirius Mystery.

Put like this it all sounds very exciting. Has contact with the gods of ancient Egypt been re-established? Are they, as they promise, about to return?

Of course, many would consider their claims to have been backed up by independent research: the connection between Sirius and ancient Egypt; the importance of the year 10500 BC; the connection between Egypt and Mars. But we have seen that all this 'evidence' is not only flawed but highly contrived.

It must be pointed out that these allegedly all-knowing entities not only make mistakes when dealing with ancient history, but sometimes come out with downright howlers. They even give the ancient Egyptian name for the Sphinx as arq ur - which, as we have seen, comes from a misreading of a particular dictionary.

But the whole story takes on a much darker hue. We have discovered that military and intelligence agencies, mainly the CIA, were involved with this group right from the beginning. In fact, the research institute where the entities first made their appearance was actually a front for Pentagon psychological warfare and parapsychological experiments.

The person who formed and led the 'contact group', and who first established contact with the entities, was - at the very same time - working for both the Pentagon and the CIA on various techniques of psychological manipulation. This included the use of hallucinogenic drugs, hypnosis and electromagnetic influence. He was working specifically on ways to induce apparent mental contact with non-human entities - and, much more disturbingly, this was part of the CIA's MKULTRA mind control project.

We have seen the involvement of the CIA in much of this story. But how far does it go?

Did they create this scenario from the beginning, as part of a long-term programme of psychological and sociological manipulation?

Or could it really be that some non-human entities - but not necessarily who they claim to be - are either running the show or are partners in its stage management?

Either way, it should scare the hell out of us...

Release date 1st July 1999, 320pp, ISBN 0 316 64861 2