By HOWARD FRANK
Pocono Record Writer
September 28, 2008
A real secret message discovered by a local man among Egypt's ancient ruins could be stranger than the fictional stories we love involving Indiana Jones or "The DaVinci Code."
East Stroudsburg-born Edward Nightingale says he has unraveled the most famous of ancient Egyptian riddles.
And he believes his discovery has uncovered a collection of advanced mathematical principles that could change our understanding of matter and the universe.
But that's not all.
Now, hold on to your seats. He also believes this information was intentionally embedded in the blueprint of the ancient ruins, for future generations to discover.
Nightingale, who lives in Upper Mount Bethel Township in Northampton County, has studied the Giza plateau in Egypt for almost 20 years. He even traveled there with famed Egyptologist John Anthony West to study the ruins.
The Giza plateau lies on the outskirts of Cairo and contains the Great Pyramid, the Great Sphinx and many other historically significant structures. A total of nine pyramids stand on the site.
The construction and layout of the complex, about one square mile in area, has been the subject of scholarly study and adventurer exploits — think Indiana Jones — for centuries.
The most well-known of the mysteries is how the actual structures were built. The pyramids include massive blocks of granite and stone, machined to amazing tolerances, and too heavy to move without modern equipment.
"There are 2.5 million blocks of stone in the Great Pyramid that cover 13 acres in the footprint and stands 480 feet tall, with blocks of granite in the interior that are up to 70 tons. They are machined to tolerances that you can't slip a dollar bill into," Nightingale said.
"That tells me they (the builders) knew something we don't, because we sure can't do it. As a craftsperson, I had to figure out how they did that."
But the larger, greater mystery is why the pyramids and other structures are arranged the way they are. Is it haphazard? Surely not, since some of the elements, constructed in different dynasties, were in perfect alignment. There seems to have been some enduring plan.
Three pyramids dominate the Giza complex: the Great Pyramid, or Pyramid of Khufru, the Pyramid of Kahfre and the the Pyramid of Menkaure. The sides of all three pyramids are astronomically oriented to be north-south and east-west, within a small fraction of a degree. Quite a feat, considering the pyramids were built thousand of years ago.
|Abstract of Nightingale's Paper
"Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler."Albert Einstein
The geometry used in the layout of the Giza Plateau encompassing the nine pyramids, temples, causeways and Sphinx has been discovered. Based on the simple proportions of a circle, dividing the diameter by ¼, 1/3 and ½ then dividing these diameters and radii by factors of nine, one is able to place and explain the geometrical reasons for proportion and placement of all elements.
Assigning a factor of 1 to the Pyramid of Khafre, plotting out the geometry using AutoCAD in full scale, renders a circle diameter of 6,345 ft. or 1.2 miles.
After plotting, then overlaying the geometry to aerial photographs and survey maps result in a near perfect match. The implications of this data will have an effect on many different areas of research and study.
Musical proportions, sophisticated mathematics and a celestial clock may be found encoded in The Giza Template. If these studies are confirmed they should lead to a new approach to the Egyptian architectural and artistic accomplishment.
"If you only knew the magnificence of the 3, 6 and 9, then you would have the key to the universe." Nicola Tesla
Researchers have been looking into this for centuries. There have been many theories over the years, but none have explained how to take into account all the architectural aspects of the plateau.
"Everybody who was studying this was using the Fibernachi series, and they were coming up with little snippets of what was occurring. But I wanted to allow an open mind without putting myself in that box," Nightingale said. (Fibernachi numbers are a series of figures built by adding the two prior numbers in the series, for example, 1,1,2,3,5,8.)
Other theories have been proposed. A fairly recent and now dominant one by researcher Robert Bauval suggested the arrangement of the three pyramids matched the Belt of Orion, three stars in the midsection of the Orion constellation. A shaft in one of the pyramids points to the spot in the sky Orion occupied thousands of years ago when the pyramid was built.
Ed Nightingale was born at Pocono Hospital in East Stroudsburg but lived in Hope, N.J. "East Stroudsburg was our local hospital, the closest one to us," he said.
A master wood-carver by trade, he creates architectural elements for high-end clientele. He's worked with Dennis Collier on projects for the National Marine Museum in Washington, D.C., and Trinity Church in New York City. Nightingale also did a project for singer/actor David Bowie.
Nightingale approached the design of the Giza complex as an architect would, by creating a drawing. The complexity of the site was apparent. "They had to have a pretty good plan," he said.
To begin his journey to understanding, Nightingale back-engineered the site. "I examined it as an 'as-built blueprint,'" he said. With laser-accurate surveys, he applied his drafting and design skills.
"As a craftsman, I've been a woodworker all my life, a fussy one at that. I had an interest that these things were placed here with an incredible accuracy that we can't even accomplish," he said.
Nightingale works with geometric shapes when he plans a sculpture, and so he began to see geometrical relationships between elements in the plateau.
Armed with a compass, ruler and an aerial photograph of the Giza plateau, Nightingale began to create an overlay, or template, for the complex.
"As an artist, when I start a project I begin with three things. I establish a center line, a horizontal and a reference point," he said.
Nightingale located the center point by drawing a line off the western face of the Great Pyramid and a bisecting line through the Pyramid of Kahfre.
After locating a center point, he drew a series of related circles and subdivisions, based on the location of a causeway at the site. Based on the simple proportions of a circle, he drew four, dividing the diameter by one-quarter, one-third and one-half, then divided these diameters and radiuses by factors of nine. He then drew lines through intersecting points of the circles and significant elements of the plateau.
Nightingale expressed the proportions of the circles as 4, 3 and 2.
The proportions were important, as they had other references in nature, Nightingale said. Among other things, 4-3-2 is the tuning of an "A" note in the musical scale of the ancients of that era. In music, the first three harmonics are produced at two, three and four times the original note's frequency.
If you square 432, you arrive at the speed of light in miles per second. And when you square the speed of light, you get the basic component of Einstein's theory of the relationship between energy and matter.
Nightingale said the template describes more than just the two-dimensional layout of the plateau. His theory applies to the elevation plans of the complex as well.
"The geometry explains the interiors of the pyramids, where objects like the sarcophagus are located using an elevation view." A sarcophagus is the case in where the mummy is placed at burial.
Nightingale's quest goes back to the mid-1990s.
"I had a 'life event' in 1996, and it was time to re-evaluate, look for the truth, what is really going on here," he said.
Nightingale traveled to Egypt in 1997 with Egyptologist West. "I had a few ideas when I started. But I promised myself I'd look at what's really going on," he said.
West is known for his Emmy-winning 1993 NBC documentary with Charlton Heston called "The Mystery of the Sphinx." West showed evidence that the Great Sphinx is thousands of years older than conventionally thought.
West discovered water erosion on the Sphinx. Rain capable of causing that kind of erosion stopped falling on the area thousands of years before the Sphinx was previously thought to have been built.
Nightingale presented his findings to West.
"As Ed will have explained, I'm pretty well convinced that he's solved a major aspect of a puzzle that has intrigued and eluded dozens of ardent researchers for many decades: the geometry upon which the Giza plateau is based. This has many important ramifications/implications for ancient Egypt specifically but also for the history of the ancient world in general," West said.
When Nightingale realized the implications of his discovery, he was overwhelmed.
"I spent months trying to decide what to do about it," he said.
Nightingale said his template doesn't just relate to Giza. He has applied it to other ancient ruins. And he said it provides a mathematical framework to describe things as diverse as the structure of spiral constellations, DNA and music.
Nightingale used a nine-based system of numbers to divide the radius and diameters of his circles to determine his template. "That's how nature operates. The nine-based formula is more how nature assembles things," he said.
Nightingale found explanations of music in his theory. "There are sophisticated mathematics, musical proportions that are just stunning. Harmonics if you want to call it that," he said. He also refers to his theory as a harmonic view of nature.
Later, Nightingale and another craftsman were commissioned to do some carvings for Pope Benedict XVI. That led him to study religious symbolism. He found his Giza Template explained the geometry of these symbols.
He even applied it to the Great Seal of the United Sates, made famous in the movie "National Treasure." The template shows eerie alignments on both sides of the seal — as if the template predicts where objects are placed.
So why was this information coded into the Giza plateau?
"Ancient Egypt, the Greek and Roman empires, the Megalithic and Mesopotamian civilizations all collapsed, and their knowledge was lost," author and Egyptologist Walter Cruttenden of the Binary Research Institute said.
Nightingale asks what important items would a civilization want to preserve for future generations besides life? Knowledge, he answers.
"Like Noah's Ark, they created a vessel to store knowledge. It has to last 10,000 years to be read. Since languages change over time, they had to encode it," he said.
They would have had to use geometry, Nightingale said. "I think they are encoding science there," he said.
"They postulate straight-line type civilizations. Using that as a paradigm, everything that came earlier can't be as refined as what we have now, and everything in the future is going to improve. But obviously, if we look into the records, we see that that is not true," according to Brother Anandamoy, senior monk at the Self Realization Fellowship Order, headquartered in Los Angeles. He's served the order, founded by Paramahansa Yogananda, for 43 years.
So how does a craftsman, with no formal training in physics or mathematics, develop such an astonishing premise?
It's happened before. Surfer dude Garrett Lisi, an American physicist, dropped out of academia to chase his love of sports. He moved to Maui, learned to windsurf, and worked on ideas that culminated with a precedent-setting theory of particle physics.
Lisi had something in common with Albert Einstein. They both began their quest in theoretical physics from outside the mainstream of the scientific community. The basis of Einstein's discoveries came while he worked as a Swiss patent official, not as an academic researcher.
Nightingale believes academia forces mathematicians and physicists to think inside a box. New, outlandish theories could jeopardize tenure, government funding and stature. So they are not always encouraged.
Nightingale will present his theory, formally, at The Conference on Precession and Ancient Knowledge at the University of California at San Diego on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 4-5. The conference includes some of the field's greatest experts. Nightingale wants his ideas out in the scientific community, subjected to peer review.
The geometry of the Giza template suggests other places for exploration on the plateau, according to Nightingale.
He plans to expand the application of his theory to other architectural mysteries that have baffled researchers. He's already begun on Stonehenge, which he said his theory explains, and is considering publishing a paper on that as well.
How did the ancients develop this advanced mathematical thinking? And how did they build the pyramids? Did they come from somewhere else?
"I don't have the answer to that. I'm just showing you the blueprint," Nightingale said. "I think it was us, but I think we've forgotten some things. Humanity's legacy is right there, in stone, and we've been looking at it for thousands of years without noticing it.
"I'm not discovering this. I'm just rediscovering what is there," he said.
Ultimately, if Nightingale's ideas are studied and verified by the scientific community, it could take years or even decades before they produce any technological advances. Still, the possibility of that is awe-inspiring. Asked about the potential enormity of his discovery, Nightingale said, "How do you think I feel? I'm just a woodcarver."
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