By Bill Knell
In 1998 I unleashed a firestorm on the world wide web by meticulously
placing an article written about the Grand Canyon in 1909 on my
website. It generated more email on the subject then anyone else
I had ever chosen to comment on or cover. Thatï¿½s because the Phoenix
Gazette article revealed the existence of a grand secret in the
nationï¿½s most famous canyon.
The best way to describe the situation is to allow
it to describe itself. Here is the unabridged article just as it
appeared in the Phoenix Gazette on April 5, 1909:
Finds Indicate Ancient People Migrated From Orient:
The latest news of the progress of the explorations or what is
now regarded by scientists as not only the oldest archaeological
discovery in the United States, but one of the most valuable in
the world, which was mentioned some time ago in the Gazette (see
photo at left), was brought to the city yesterday by G.E. Kinkaid,
the explorer who found the great underground citadel of the Grand
Canyon during a trip from Green River, Wyoming, down the Colorado,
in a wooden boat, to Yuma, several months ago.
According to the story related to the Gazette by Mr. Kinkaid,
the archaeologists of the Smithsonian Institute, which is financing
the expeditions, have made discoveries which almost conclusively
prove that the race which inhabited this mysterious cavern, hewn
in solid rock by human hands, was of oriental origin, possibly from
Egypt, tracing back to Ramses. If their theories are borne out by
the translation of the tablets engraved with hieroglyphics, the
mystery of the prehistoric peoples of North America, their ancient
arts, who they were and whence they came will be solved.
Egypt and the Nile, and Arizona and the Colorado will be linked
by a historical chain running back to ages, which staggers the wildest
fancy of the fictionist. Under the direction of Professor S.A. Jordan,
the Smithsonian Institute is now prosecuting the most thorough explorations,
which will be continued until the last link in the chain is forged.
Nearly a mile underground, about 1480 feet below the surface,
the long main passage has been delved into, to find another mammoth
chamber from which radiates scores of passageways, like the spokes
of a wheel. Several hundred rooms have been discovered, reached
by passageways running from the main passage, one of them having
been explored are 854 feet and another 634 feet.
The recent finds include articles, which have never been known
as native to this country and doubtless they had their origin in
War weapons, copper instruments, sharp - edged and hard as steel,
indicate the high state of civilization reached by these strange
people. So interested have the scientists become that preparations
are being made to equip the camp for extensive studies, and the
force will be increased to thirty or forty persons.
"Before going further into the cavern, better facilities
for lighting will have to be installed, for the darkness is dense
and quite impenetrable for the average flashlight. In order to avoid
being lost, wires are being strung from the entrance to all passageways
leading directly to large chambers. How far this cavern extends
no one can guess, but it is now the belief of many that what has
already been explored is merely the "barracks", to use
an American term, for the soldiers, and that far into the underworld
will be found the main communal dwellings of the families. The perfect
ventilation of the cavern, the steady draught that blows through,
indicates that it has another outlet to the surface."
Mr. Kinkaid was the first white child born in Idaho and has been
an explorer and hunter all his life, thirty years having been in
the service of the Smithsonian Institute. Even briefly recounted,
his history sounds fabulous, almost grotesque:
"First, I would impress that the cavern is nearly inaccessible.
The entrance is 1,486 feet down the sheer canyon wall. It is located
on government land and no visitor will be allowed there under penalty
The scientist's wish to work unmolested, without fear of
the archaeological discoveries being disturbed by curio or relic
hunters. A trip there would be fruitless, and the visitor would
be sent on his way.
"The story of how I found the cavern has been related, but
in a paragraph: I was journeying down the Colorado River in a boat,
alone, looking for minerals. Some forty two miles up the river from
the El Tovar Crystal canyon, I saw on the east wall, stains in the
sedimentary formation about 2,000 feet above the river bed. There
was no trail to this point, but I finally reached it with great
difficulty. Above a shelf, which hid it from view from the river,
was the mouth of the cave."
"There are steps leading from this entrance some thirty
yards to what was, at the time the cavern was inhabited, the level
of the river. When I saw the chisel marks on the wall inside the
entrance, I became interested, securing my gun and went in."
"During that trip, I went back several hundred feet along
the main passage till I came to the crypt in which I discovered
the mummies. One of these I stood up and photographed by flashlight.
I gathered a number of relics, which I carried down the Colorado
to Yuma, from whence I shipped them to Washington with details of
the discovery. Following this, the explorations were undertaken."
"The main passageway is about 12 feet wide, narrowing to
nine feet toward the farther end. About 57 feet from the entrance,
the first side-passages branch off to the right and left, along
which, on both sides, are a number of rooms about the size of ordinary
living rooms of today, though some are 30 by 40 feet square. These
are entered by oval-shaped doors and are ventilated by round air
spaces through the walls into the passages. The walls are about
three feet six inches in thickness. The passages are chiseled or
hewn as straight as could be laid out by an engineer. The ceilings
of many of the rooms converge to a center."
"The side-passages near the entrance run at a sharp angle
from the main hall, but toward the rear, they gradually reach a
right angle in direction."
"Over a hundred feet from the entrance is the cross-hall,
several hundred feet long in which is found the idol, or image,
of the people's god, sitting cross-legged, with lotus flower
or lily in each hand. The cast of the face is oriental, the carving
shows a skillful hand, and the entire object is remarkably well
preserved, as is everything in this cavern."
"The idol almost resembles Buddha, though the scientists
are not certain as to what religious worship it represents. Taking
into consideration everything found thus far, it is possible that
this worship most resembles the ancient people of Tibet."
"Surrounding this idol are smaller images, some very beautiful
in form others crooked-necked and distorted shapes, symbolical probably,
of good and evil. There are two large cactus with protruding arms,
one on each side of the dais on which the God squats. All this is
carved out of hard rock resembling marble. In the opposite corner
of this cross-hall were found tools of all descriptions, made of
"These people undoubtedly knew the lost art of hardening
this metal, which has been sought by chemists for centuries without
result. On a bench running around the workroom was some charcoal
and other material probably used in the process. There is also slag
and stuff similar to matte, showing that these ancients smelted
ores, but so far, no trace of where or how this was done has been
discovered, nor the origin of the ore."
"Among the other finds are vases or urns and cups of copper
and gold, made very artistic in design. The pottery work includes
enameled ware and glazed vessels. Another passageway leads to granaries
such as are found in the oriental temples. They contain seeds of
various kinds. One very large storehouse has not yet been entered,
as it is twelve feet high and can be reached only from above. Two
copper hooks extend on the edge, which indicates that some sort
of ladder was attached. These grannies are rounded, as the materials
of which they are constructed, I think is a very hard cement. A
Gray metal is also found in this cavern, which puzzles the scientists,
for its identity has not been established. It resembles platinum."
"Strewn promiscuously over the floor everywhere are what
people call 'cats eyes,' a yellow stone of no great value.
Each one is engraved with the head of the Malay type."
"On all the urns, or walls over doorways, and tablets of
stone which were found by the image are the mysterious hieroglyphics,
the key to which the Smithsonian Institute hopes yet to discover.
The engraving on the tablets probably has something to do with the
religion of the people. Similar hieroglyphics have been found in
southern Arizona. Among the pictorial writings, only two animals
are found. One is of prehistoric type."
"The tomb or crypt in which the mummies were found is one
of the largest of the chambers, the walls slanting back at an angle
of about 35 degrees. On these are tiers of mummies, each one occupying
a separate hewn shelf. At the bead of each is a small bench, on
which is found copper cups and pieces of broken swords. Some of
the mummies are covered with clay, and all are wrapped in a bark
fabric. The urns or cups on the lower tiers are crude, while as
the higher shelves are reached, the urns are finer in design, showing
a later stage of civilization."
"It is worthy of note that all the mummies examined so far
have proved to be male, no children or females being buried here.
This leads to the belief that this exterior section was the warriors'
barracks. Among the discoveries, no bones of animals have been found,
no skins, no clothing, no bedding. Many of the rooms are bare but
for water vessels. One room, about 40 by 700 feet, was probably
the main dining hall, for cooking utensils are found here."
"What these people lived on is a problem, though it is presumed
that they came south in the winter and farmed in the valleys, going
back north in the summer. Upwards of 50,000 people could have lived
in the caverns comfortably. One theory is that the present Indian
tribes found in Arizona are descendants of the serfs or slaves of
the people, which inhabited the cave. Undoubtedly a good many thousand
of years before the Christian era a people lived here which reached
a high stage of civilization. The chronology of human history is
full of gaps."
Professor Jordan much enthused over the discoveries and believes
that the find will prove of incalculable value in archaeological
"One thing I have not spoken of, may be of interest. There
is one chamber, the passageway to which is not ventilated, and when
we approached it a deadly, snaky smell struck us. Our light would
not penetrate the gloom, and until stronger ones are available,
we will not know what the chamber contains. Some say snakes, but
other boo-hoo'd this idea and think it may contain a deadly
gas or chemicals used by the ancients. No sounds are heard, but
it smells snaky just the same."
"The whole underground installation gives one of shaky nerves
the creeps. The gloom is like a weight on one's shoulders, and
our flashlights and candles only make the darkness blacker. Imagination
can revel in conjectures and ungodly daydreams back through the
ages that have elapsed till the mind reels dizzily in space."
AN INDIAN LEGEND
In connection with this story, it is notable that among the Hopi
Indians the tradition is told that their ancestors once lived in
an underworld in the Grand Canyon till dissension arose between
the good and the bad, the people of one heart and people of two
Machetto, who was their chief, counseled them to leave the under
world, but there was no way out. The chief then caused a tree to
grow up and pierce the roof of the underworld, and then the people
of one heart climbed out. They tarried by Paisisvai (Red River),
which is the Colorado, and grew grain and corn. They sent out a
message to the Temple of the Sun, asking the blessing of peace,
good will and rain for people of one heart. That messenger never
returned, but today at the Hopi villages at sundown can be seen
the old men of the tribe out on the housetops gazing toward the
sun, looking for the messenger. When he returns, their lands and
ancient dwelling place will be restored to them. That is the tradition.
Among the engravings of animals in the cave is seen the image
of a heart over the spot where it is located. The legend was learned
by W.E. Rollins the artist, during a year spent with the Hopi Indians.
There are two theories of the origin of the Egyptians. One is that
they came from Asia another that the racial cradle was in the upper
Nile region. Heeren, an Egyptologist, believed in the Indian origin
of the Egyptians. The discoveries in the Grand Canyon may throw
further light on human evolution and prehistoric ages.
At the start of the article a previous piece is mentioned. That
article has also been located and briefly describes Kincaidï¿½s arrival
in Yuma and his preparations for the expedition. Both articles have
long been a thorn in the side of the Smithsonian. They claim no
knowledge of the expedition or any materials retrieved from it.
In 1998 a spokesperson for the Smithsonian wrote me a letter in
response to my inquiry stating: ï¿½We know of no credible evidence
that supports the discovery of ancient Egyptian artifacts or hieroglyphs
anywhere in the Americas.ï¿½ But there are problems with their denials.
What are clearly rock carvings with distinctly Egyptian hieroglyphs
on them have been discovered in several areas of the Grand Canyon.
I have tried to get subsequent comments from the Smithsonian, but
have simply received an email stating that they stand by their original
Whenever any type of discovery seems to interfere with the scientific
status quo, itï¿½s ignored. Proof of this can be seen in the development
of Alexander Graham Bellï¿½s telephone. A number of serious scientists
and engineers of his day freely exclaimed their doubts that such
an invention would be feasible, or too complicated and expensive
to develop. Other prominent scientific figures worried about the
health effects of such a device, claiming it would likely lead to
deafness. Most of the exposing views came from people hired to render
them by telegraph companies and competitors. The same is true today.
Some of these scientists also stated that people traveling in mechanical
vehicles would probably die if the speeds reached surpassed sixty
miles per hour.
There are a number of prominent Archeologists who have lined
up against the gazette article and hieroglyphs as fakes. But there
are far more positives then negatives in terms of evidence. Although
the fabulous finds from the Grand Canyon caves were supposed to
be described and exhibited by the Smithsonian, it never happened.
Instead, further attempts to explore that part of the canyon were
stopped. Federal authorities decided to make it off limits to exploration.
Although conservation was given as one of the reasons, the restricted
area was suspiciously limited to the same where the cave was discovered.
I have received a few references to letters or articles (but
not the original documents) in private collections by people who
have attended my seminars in Phoenix that claim a late 1930ï¿½s attempt
was made to re-visit the cave. It seems that a man named Johnson
located one of the original expedition members who was still alive
and living in Phoenix. The un-named man drew maps and helped Johnson
to locate the cave area which, at that time, was not known to be
in a restricted location. Johnson found that tons of rock had been
dumped or placed at three possible entrances to the cave and seemed
to extend well into it. Lacking the manpower, machines or funding
necessary to go further, he gave up his quest but was sure he had
located the cave.
One of the most interesting stories that came from the un-named
member of the original expedition was that twenty ceremonial daggers
were discovered in the cave. The daggers are not mentioned in the
article because Kincaid feared their value might be such that serious
attempts would be made to steal them. The weapons seemed very light
and unusually sharp. The man was given one by Kincaid in lieu of
his share of the discoveries. Others received some as well. He kept
the dagger for years and marveled how it never seemed to corrode
or loose sharpness. Finally, he sold it to an area collector for
what he said was ï¿½a goodly sumï¿½ and lost track of the man. One wonders
what the dagger was made of?
What was found in that cave that so disturbed the government?
Surely the mere existence of proof that Egyptians or Phoenicians
may have visited the ancient Americas would not be reason enough
to cover up such a monumental discovery? But there may have been
other forces at work. Like Utah and other parts of the Southwest,
Arizona has always had a large population of people that follow
the Mormon Faith. The Latter-Day Saints have long claimed that a
great ancient civilization predated and existed before the Native
Americans of North America. Considering the long-standing animosity
between Mormons and the Government, it would not be impossible to
believe that federal authorities would go out of their way to help
deny these people physical evidence that might help support their
point of view. But thatï¿½s not the only possible reason for an archeological
A short re-reading of the people of one and two hearts mentioned
in the 1909 article reveals more things that might concern the Government.
Many southwestern native peoples believe their ancestors came here
from the skies or that they are somehow related to the stars. Many
Hopiï¿½s believe this. Itï¿½s possible that some unique material or
technology was discovered in those caves of unknown origin that
federal authorities did not want to have to share or explain until
some future date. And what about the territorial considerations?
Always a matter of contention between various tribes and federal
authorities, a good case for land claims might have been made by
any one or all parties involved based on the cave discoveries.
Although not enough of the hieroglyphic writing has been discovered
for a translation, similar writing was discovered at a remote location
in Australia around the same time that the 1909 Grand Canyon Expedition
occurred. Like what was seen in America, the writing was the earliest
form of Egyptian Hieroglyphs used by Egyptians, Phoenicians and
others. The rock carvings are located in the National Park forest
of the Hunter Valley, 100 kilometers north of Sydney in New South
Wales. A rough translation of the 250 rock carvings reveals a story
of Egyptians that were ship wrecked in Australia between 1779 and
2748 BC, based on the language used and references to King Khufu.
A cave where the glyphs were found was likely the gravesite of the
groupï¿½s leader or commander, whose death is described in the translation.
Like the Grand Canyon carvings, many have taken sides against
the Aussie glyphs as being fake. This seems odd when you consider
the fact that any glyphs found in places where archeologists expect
to find them are rarely questioned, despite some often questionable
or odd content. In 1991, a weathered tablet discovered by archeologists
in the Valley of the Kings was immediately touted as an ï¿½important
piece of the ancient Egyptian puzzle.ï¿½ A year later it was exposed
as a complete hoax planted there in the early part of this century
by mischievous and bored archeology students angry at their over-bearing
professor in charge of a dig in the valley.
Like the Grand Canyon cave discovery, the Aussie hieroglyphs
would tend to fuel the fire of claims that Phoenicians or Egyptians
may have walked the Americas at a time during or even before Native
Americans arrived from the orient over the suspected Siberian Land
Bridge. This would create all kinds of political and social problems,
perhaps more then governments want to be bothered with.
Now itï¿½s my turn! I will not be foolish enough to claim absolutes
with evidence that seems good, but very eclectic. Instead, I will
play the guessing game with the wildest theory of all. Suppose there
is more then one history? Sound crazy? Before you judge, consider
the march of scientific discovery.
My Grandparents were part of a generation of people that thought
the idea of manned flight impossible or impractical. Bishop Wright,
Orville and Wilbur Wrightï¿½s father, said that if God had meant for
man to fly, he would have given him wings! But science, engineering
and discovery won out the day. My parents used to laugh at the idea
of people flying in space. It was all ï¿½Buck Rogers stuffï¿½ that belonged
strictly in the science fiction realm. In 1969, Neil Armstrong bridged
the gap between science fiction and science fact by being the first
man to set foot on the moon. Since then, at least half of what we
thought we knew about our planets, solar system and universe has
changed based on new discoveries.
As a kid growing up in the 1960ï¿½s, I read books, watched TV shows
and went to movies about Time Travel. Like the previously wild ideas
of manned flight and trips into space, time travel was a subject
relegated to the sci-fi genre, despite impressive suggestions by
Einstein and other great minds that it might be possible. Once I
started to consider the idea of time travel as a possible reality,
I had to settle on a methodology and theoretical explanation.
I decided that while time always seems to move forward, that
view of things came from a one-sided position of existence experienced
by people trapped in a linear time environment. Based on various
theories and evidences, I now believe that time is like a circle.
Anyone with the technology to do so might choose to visit any part
of that circle. That would allow not for the recreation of the past,
but the co-existence of it with any point in the future.
The problem with visiting any part of the circle is the impact
that visit might have on other parts. People visiting the past will
impact the future. Whether that impact is preordained or not, it
will cause a change. The question is will the change be noticeable
to some or all living it, or just equal things out? I have spoke
to a number of people through the years that have noticed subtle
changes. A house was remembered where there was none. A friend that
every one knew was suddenly recalled by just one person. This could
be an argument for the existence of multiple histories within the
Is time travel mental or physical? One canï¿½t help but read the
interpretation of the writings that Nostradamus left us and wonder
what window of the future he was able to see through. Others may
have had access to that same window. General Billy Mitchell was
a strong advocate for the development of military air power by the
USA after World War I, despite general disbelief in it as a viable
military weapon prior to World War II. Over twenty years before
the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor he told superiors that Nippon
interest in air power might cause them to attack Pearl Harbor ï¿½early
one fine Sunday Morning.ï¿½ He also predicted that one day unmanned
drones could replace some manned aircraft for dangerous reconnaissance
work. We are seeing this today as the war on terrorism has featured
the use of many unmanned aircrafts.
If time travel is as physically possible as it may be mentally,
anyone with the ability to travel through time would know the risks.
The biggest would be to cause enough change so that their own existence
would be wiped out or terribly altered. One would assume that time
travelers would be extremely careful, no matter what their motivation
might be. For this reason, little evidence would be allowed to exist
for their journey. But some might just survive.
The 1990ï¿½s brought attention to an Egyptian bas relief in the
Abydos Temple. The relief seems to clearly show a helicopter, jet
plane, space craft and dome or house with a microwave antenna on
it. The previous characters on the panel show a royal cartouche
and the mark of the sun god, along with a designation for the king
of upper and lower Egypt. Was this the story of a future time told
to a Pharaoh by visitors from that time? Nay Sayers claim the figures
exist because of a re-carving of the stone for the purpose of correction,
but I see no evidence of that to the extent that it could account
for all the modern devices depicted on the relief.
I have many other proofs that time travel may exist at some point
in the near future, but will not take the space needed to cover
those here. Instead, I will ask you to consider that more may have
been found in the Grand Canyon then first suspected. It seems strange
that Egyptian explorers (if thatï¿½s who they were) would end up so
far from any coast in a most inhospitable section of a huge canyon?
Unless they ended up or were purposely placed there, by people with
the power to do so and for reasons not immediately clear. Has partial
eradication of the event already been accomplished by time travelers
who might have caused it? If not, where are the artifacts, what
ever happened to Kincaid who vanished after the discovery and why
is the Smithsonian so adamant about their denials?
Although any evidence of the 1909 cave appears to have been effectively
dealt with by the government, exploration in caves along the Grand
Canyon is still discouraged under the banner of environmentalism
and cultural respect. Concerns about disturbing bat populations
and native burial sites are the latest excuse used to keep people
out. Of course the government makes a nice buck from allowing people
from all over the world to walk right over the graves and sacred
places of Native Americans at plenty of other Southwest locations
and regularly works to clear bats of out various caves needed for