Shattering the Crystal Skull?

Last week Channel 5 in the UK ran a special feature titled “Legend of the Crystal Skulls Revealed”. Emps gave a rundown of the show over at Cabinet of Wonders under the heading “Death of a Crystal Skull“, so titled on account of the documentary’s dismissal of the Mitchell-Hedges crystal skull as a modern forgery:

In it, the skull was subjected to the kinds of study that have revealed the British Museum and Smithsonian skulls to be fakes, and they found the same kind of tool marks. The people running the tests were pretty clear – they are from cutting machines that only appeared at the end of the 19th century.

However, the official Mitchell-Hedges website posted a prompt response to the Channel 5 feature, calling into question the motives of the producers, and in particular calling out a few dubious lines of reasoning:

[I]t is particularly annoying to see how throughout the length of the documentary, there were dozens of inaccuracies and false claims.

…The gravest of errors committed by the documentary is that it accepted the false premise that pre-Columbian cultures did not have any tools to make the skulls. It is none other than Michael Coe who has said this statement should not be taken as dogma, yet it is precisely that which several researchers, whether Jane Walsh, Margaret Sax, or television producers such as those making this documentary, hold…

Furthermore, the full verdict of the Hewlett-Packard and British Museum claims – both of whom did extensive testing on the skulls, unlike the few hours Walsh has spent with the skull – were not all fully put together and explained, as if they did not matter.

Perhaps the strangest piece of sleight-of-hand though is the removal of Thomas Gann from a photo of Mitchell-Hedges and his co-explorer in Lubaantun – and the photoshopping required to make the image look natural again.

Emps has since posted another entry looking at the Mitchell-Hedges critique, though finding much of it wanting. Also worth noting is that he has also posted YouTube videos of the actual documentary, so you can check it out for yourself.

  1. It is certainly odd
    It is certainly odd Photoshopping someone out of a photo – they can’t have thought no one would notice and it has such negative connotations these days. Also there didn’t seem much point.

    The scary thing is that while it was never going to win any awards (and clearly drops the ball a few times) it was one of the better documentaries released to cash in on the Indiana Jones film – which is a sad state of affairs.

    Although they do look to have some legitimate complaints their response either reinforces the two core points (Mitchell-Hedges never found the skull but bought it) or is wrong (the tools were available decades before the skull first appeared – it looks, on reflection, like they confused the results for the British Museum skull, which does pin that down to a date around 1950, with the M-H results but the video is clear).

    I’m sure there will be some more minor back-and-forth over the documentary but, unless Jane Walsh says they somehow edited her results (although it seems quite clear what she says – everyone can watch it for themselves – they can even skip the bulk of the documentary as the end of video 4 and the start of 5 are the key bits), the next big test are the results of the British Museum and Smithsonian tests – it seems to have been overlooked in the wave of press about it but we haven’t seen the paper yet. The tests are covered in the documentary and it looks solid (they use a number of techniques which seems to pretty much nail their case down) but there is many a slip betwixt cup and lip and it could be, if they have managed to badly fumble the ball, we are back to square one. I’d be very surprised if the JAS would print it if there were gaping holes in the argument, but stranger things have happened.

    So plenty more left to say about this story and I will be keeping an eye on the twists and turns in the tail.

    1. There was a point
      [quote=Emperor]It is certainly odd Photoshopping someone out of a photo – they can’t have thought no one would notice and it has such negative connotations these days. Also there didn’t seem much point.[/quote]

      I disagree: there was a big point: it made it appear as if Mitchell-Hedges and his partner had “carte blanche” and just dynamited at liberty. That is definitely not the case. It’s creating a bogus framework, so that the main accussation will go down easier.
      The presence of Gann there means there was a genuine scientist present on site… so even IF (and he didn’t) Mitchell-Hedges used dynamite, it’s clear Gann was partly responsible, being the leader of the dig. But by airbrushing him out…

      Also, the person owing the copyright to these images, Jim Honey, has made it absolutely clear the documentary makers have illegally tampered with material they had no legal right to alter – merely show on TV.

  2. Smithsonian attitudes
    I would like to point out two additional bits of information as to what the Smithsonian is doing, and it should be seen in the larger framework of “big science meets anomalous evidence”.

    But first: It is a known – and documented – fact that Mitchell-Hedges gave 3000 objects from various expeditions to the Smithsonian, which were received with the most gracious of notes by the then directors. In 1995, the Smithsonian wrote that they had 800 artefacts of these in their collection. So where have the other 2200 gone to? Vanished? Abducted by aliens? Or “lost”?

    Finally, I would like to point out that during the few hours of testing the M-H skull underwent at the Smithsonian, the Smithsonians argued the detachable jaw was “glass”, and “definitely not crystal”. They then did a very quick test (after someone had repeated about 4-5 times it “definitely wasn’t crystal”)… to find out it was definitely not glass – and likely crystal (I note Hewlett Packard and the British Museum had previously stated the jaw definitely was crystal). But the “resident expert” was both unaware of these conclusions, and throughout the testing, simply did not want to accept the jaw was crystal (for whatever personal reason he will have had).

    It highlights how totally unscientific this “testing” was executed and you can clearly see how Walsh at no point even considered the tiniest of possibilities this skull might be genuine. The case was long closed before anything got tested. to paraphrase Nick Pope’s book: “Open Skulls, Closed Minds.” 😉

  3. skullduggery
    I have yet to see the documentary BUT I have seen a documentary about he MH skull ,the man who married Anna MH, MH’s atlantean theories, and the Mayans of Lubantuun. Tie this all together with the 13 Crystal skulls and 2012 prophecy… (its a REAL mayan legend many native american tribes know of earth cyles and changes, The Hopi Prophecy much well known for years before the mayan calendar end dat was translated in teh 1970’s) Well there are supposed to be a circle of 12 skulls of crystal and a central one makes 13 and they are involved with the fate of humanity in the coming years.


    I wish I still had my copy of Arthur C Clarkes MYSTERIOUS WORLD that had a full color photo of a crystal skull on the glossy cover. I got that book almost 30 years ago. Which brings up the subject of another old book, The Bermuda Triangle, Charles Berlitz.
    In this book, is a photo of a Mayan stelae at Coba where history was chronicled. This photo shows a a temple collapsing into the sea- a volcano, heavy winds and a man drowning while another is in a boat. This stone carving has since been damaged and there are just a few old photos of it. ( I had seen a recent photo on the interweb and I IMMEDIATELY thought that it looked like it was purposely smashed…)

    In the scifi doc. this was not shown I wonder did they not know because they seemed to be trying to prove the mayan-atlantis theory… hmmm… or some other factor?

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