Recently in class we watched a film discussing, in some detail, Chauvet Cave. Obviously, the cave sparks a lot of romantic thoughts, as caves frequently do, with their murky interiors and relics preserved from the past. Indeed, Chauvet Cave is almost perfectly preserved, cave paintings and all, which is quite rare. Either way, curiosity got the better of me and so I was cruising the Internet, admiring caves around the world, and imagine my pleasure when I got back around to North American caves and saw the beauties here at home!
Scouring the caves of North America, I was fascinated by those in the Grand Canyon especially, since I hadn’t really hear of many caves in that region before (which, if you haven’t looked at pictures before, it’s worth taking some time to do! They truly are fantastic!). Anyway, I was innocently admiring caves in the Grand Canyon, when I was shocked to see an article about a hidden network of caves within the Canyon. Skeptical and curious, I followed up on it, and I think you’d be hard pressed to not find the results as amusing as I did!
On April 5, 1909, a newspaper in Phoenix, Arizona, called the Arizona Gazette, published an article in its evening addition. The story was titled “Explorations in the Grand Canyon”, and was posted anonymously. The account tells of project, under the direction of Professor S. A. Jordan, where Smithsonian-backed adventurer G. E. Kinkaid was traveling alone in a wooden boat in search of “mineral”. He claims to have seen “stains in the sediment”, whereupon he landed his boat, made his way up the side of the canyon, walked past “steps” and found the cave entrance. Upon entering the cave, the story tells of elaborate paths, mammoth sized rooms, an underground citadel, enough space to accommodate 50,000 people, idols, tablets, weapons, copper instruments, and, most shockingly… Egyptian Mummies??
The Pseudo-Archaeologists are at it again! And despite copious amounts of evidence pointing out how false the story is, the myth lives on, and in fact, there seems to be a growing paranoia that archaeologists are destroying the “truth” of man’s past.
To begin with, an unorthodox researcher (which ought to be quite suspicious all in itself) David Hatcher Childress published the newspaper article as fact in his book Lost Cities of North and Central America, and the story tumbles downhill from there when Stephen Mehler wrote a web article about a questionable archaeologist John Ora Kinnaman, who had, in the 1950’s, attempted to prove the Great Pyramid was 35,000 years old. He claimed that there was a huge crystal stored in a chamber 1,100 feet below the Giza Plateau, through which Egyptian priests could send telepathic messages around the world- one of these places was none other than the Grand Canyon! He concedes the point that Dr. Kinnaman had left no documentation to prove this, but claims that Kinnaman probably knew about the Grand Canyon in 1909, and even knew Professor S. A. Jordan. Kinnaman himself was rather a piece of work- he claimed to have found the Atlantean Hall of Records beneath the Sphinx, where the Ark of the Covenant rested. Edgar Cayce lives on!
And it gets weirder from there! David Icke, the author of The Biggest Secret, expanding from the data collected by Professor S. A. Jordan, claims that the city is actually from another dimension, the lower fourth dimension, in fact, and that, “reptilian control and manipulation is primarily orchestrated.” Funnily enough, his story is almost exactly the same as H. P. Lovecraft’s fictional story “The Nameless City”. It is hard to believe Icke, since he also believes that Princess Diana died as the result of an extraterrestrial cover up.
The story gained momentum with David Hatcher Childress- a man dedicated to proving that there’s a conspiracy to cover up Egyptian relics. It is hard to believe that anyone would take a man seriously who believes that the moon and nearby planets have pyramids, domes and spaceports visible by telescope and satellite, pterodactyls are still alive in Texas, and that Nikola Tesla invented anti-gravity, time-travel, the death-ray, and thought machines. These inventions were supposedly suppressed by the U. S. government to protect big business. Childress wrote a series of Lost Cities books that supposedly proved the existence of extraterrestrial in fluency on early man, which current governments are trying to hide. He took denials as proof of cover ups. Unfortunately, a chapter was published in Nexus magazine, and later (May 8, 1993) that article was posted online, and the story took off from there.
Finally, as recently as 2001, Jack Andrews also contributed to the conspiracy. Claiming he knew the location of the secret entrance to the cave, he wrote, “I have known of this location since 1972. I have held the secret since then. I feel it is the proper time to reveal the location.” In his essay, he carefully analyzes Kinkaid’s writing, and through some reductions, says the cave is located above an approximate six-mile stretch of the Colorado River in Marble Canyon, at the border of the Marble Canyon and the Navajo Nation.
Hilariously, the story continues to grow, despite the absurdity of the stories, and the fact that there is an outstanding amount of evidence disproving everything. First and foremost, it is vital to know that there is no evidence that a Professor S. A. Jordan even existed. No documents, no nothing. The Smithsonian Institution points out that neither an S. A. Jordan, nor a G. E. Kinkaid were ever employed or associated with them. The only evidence that Kinkaid exists comes from another article in the Arizona Gazette, where it mentions that he’s an avid photographer who carries high-end photography equipment with him everywhere. This makes the claim of the caves even more suspicious, since there is no photographic evidence, and if Mr. Kinkaid were a photographer, you would expect him, of all people, to take the most pictures!
Specialists who have worked in the Canyon for years, exploring, leading tours, and doing research, universally agree that the Lost City does not exist, reminding everyone that many a fortune hunter has met frustration trying to find they city!
It also seems highly questionable that the story would only be published in the Arizona Gazette, of all places, a publication the vast majority of the world doesn’t even know exists. Surely if the Smithsonian had found a lost city in the Grand Canyon, they would have published it widely in notable places like National Geographic, or something like that! News of that sort would most assuredly be widespread, not diminished into one short article in a no-name newspaper.
Although the idea of a secret city in the Grand Canyon is fantastic, and it does have a romantic spin to it, unfortunately, there isn’t a chance it could be true. Most likely the story was written to drive up sales of the newspaper. Maybe someday a Lost City really will be found to satisfy all the longing for the idealistic.