BBC Horizon Scandal

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Correspondence between Hancock, Bauval and Krupp concerning Giza-Orion Correlation and Kate Spence's Nature article

From: Graham Hancock (graham@grahamhancock.com)
To: Ed Krupp (eckrupp@earthlink.net)
Date: 18/11/00

Gear Ed and Garrett,

Do either of you think that Kate Spence's failure in her article in Nature to acknowledge Robert Bauval's much earlier published work dating the Great Pyramid to circa 2450 BC by using the north alignment of the Great Pyramid and the star Kochab is fair, good science, or ethical by any standards?

Read the article by Bauval on this -- linked below -- and then please be so good as to reply with your views. Unless you tell me otherwise I would like to publish your replies on my website.

http://www.grahamhancock.com/forum/BauvalR1-p1.htm

Hoping very much to hear back from you.

Warm regards, Graham

PS, Ed, in your last note you state -- re Horizon -- that you "never claimed to be broadcast-fair, just astronomically right and logically consistent." I have to tell you that, to me, this is just gobbledegook. Even if your were "astronomically right" (which is open to debate) and "logically consistent" (a matter of opinion)it is still wrong for you knowingly to stay silent about a manifest "broadcast unfairness" where you present your side of the case but your opponent is muzzled. If you had any ethics or any belief in a fair debate then you should have protested to the BBC about this unfairness even before we did. But instead you were happy to stay quiet and win a false victory against an opponent who was not allowed to defend himself. Fortunately the Broadcasting Standards Commission caught you and Horizon out on this one.


From: Ed Krupp (eckrupp@earthlink.net)
To: Graham Hancock (graham@grahamhancock.com)

Dear Graham,

Thank you for your e-mail message dated 18 November 2000. I appreciate your kind words.

Kate Spence's argument has little bearing on Robert Bauval's discussion of Kochab in _The Orion Mystery_. In fact, Bauval's interest in Kochab is linked to Rudolf Gantenbrink's initial estimate of the elevation angle of the north shaft of the Queen's Chamber. Bauval reports (_The Orion Mystery_, page 173, U.S. edition) that the shaft appears to be targeted on "the centre of the four stars forming the 'head' of Ursa Minor" and later asserts the intended target was Kochab. That alignment prompts Bauval to attempt a date with Kochab above the north celestial pole. Bauval references his publications in _Discussions of Egyptology_ in your website "Forum" and acknowledges that Mizar was not used in his calculations. Even though the geometry is similar, the fulcrum of the Bauval's argument differs significantly from Spence's approach.

Spence is interested in a plausible, practical observational method that will establish a north/south line, and she has developed a reasonable technique. While her suggestion is interesting, it is not supported by any textual evidence and may remain unverifiable. Her analysis of time-dependent error in pyramid orientation is her attempt to obtain indepedent circumstantial confirmation. Bauval, on the other hand, assigns uncertain symbolic value to Ursa Minor, finds architectural support in the north shaft of the Queen's Chamber for elevating the status of Ursa Minor when it is on the meridian, and uses that configuration to calculate a date.

While Bauval includes an illustration of Kochab and Mizar on the northern meridian (surely this must be a "modern convention," for it tells us you have to turn Egypt upside-down to get the Giza pyramids to match Orion's Belt), Bauval says nothing about Mizar's position with respect to Kochab in the illustration's caption or in the text of the book.

Bauval also discounts the well-established linguistic identification of Ursa Major (that is, the Big Dipper, or Plough) with the Bull, the Bull's Leg, and with the Opening of the Mouth Adze. This means Bauval's funereal interpretation of Ursa Minor, from which his astronomical arguments develop, is problematic. In fact, his discussion of these issues in the context of the Ptolemaic Dendera Zodiac (_The Orion Mystery_, pages 206-208, U.S. edition) is internally contradictory and also bypasses other conflicting evidence. Under the circumstances, Bauval's discussion about the symbolic meaning of the upper culmination of Kochab remains speculative and in any case has nothing to do with the observational process of establishing the meridian Kate Spence describes. Bauval's configuration does not support an instrumental acquisition of the meridian for surveying cardinal directions, but that is the primary objective of Spence's paper.

Certainly, this does not mean that Bauval is wrong to remind us of his earlier investigations and conclusions, but his challenge of Spence's personal and scholarly integrity are misplaced. In addition, Spence's failure to reference Bauval's papers in _Discussions in Egyptology_ is hardly a valid complaint. Well-established structures for the promulgation of research provide a vehicle for communication of work. When one operates outside these well-established structures, one can't assert one's work is ignored by the people that conform to them.

Of course, your renewed interest in the circumpolar stars offers this helpful corollary to my evaluation of the Orion Belt "match" at Giza. Just look north.

You may post this message on your website provided you precede it directly with the complete text, including post script, of your 18 November 2000 message to me and provided you post it in entirety, through this final paragraph. The only unfairness I am committed to eradicate is unfairness to the facts.

Best wishes,
Ed

***********************************************************
Dr. E.C. Krupp, Director              eckrupp@earthlink.net
Griffith Observatory                  phone: (323) 664-1181
2800 East Observatory Road   fax:      (323) 663-4323
Los Angeles, California 90027    http://www.GriffithObs.org
***********************************************************

From: Robert Bauval
To: Percy Seymour, UK astronomer who supports Robert

Dear Percy,

You might be interested to read some of the recent correspondence I had with Ed Krupp re: BBC Horizon. [Below]

I look forward to read you rebuttal to Ed Krupp's arguments.

Warm regards
Robert


From: Robert G. Bauval
To Ed Krupp

Dear Ed,

I hope all is well with you.

The wheels of fortune have pitted us as 'opponents' in the debate of the Great Pyramid, but I hope you feel, as I do, that all this should be seen in good spirit and that we can be civil towards each other and --why not-- even friendly.

The BBC Horizon, as you may know by now, has been tagged with a label of "Unfair" adjudication by the Broadcasting Standards Commission here in the UK. This was on account of the "Upside Down" argument that you presented in Horizon's Atlantis Reborn programme. I am sure that it was not you who intended to be unfair in this matter but that all the blame rests on the BBC for not sticking to rules. At any rate, the outcome is causing the BBC to re-broadcast the programme on the 14 December 2000 with slight alterations taking into account the BSC's adjudication. I need you help and support to press the BBC to make this re-broadcast as fair as possible. There are three well-known astronomers in Britain --Dr. Archie Roy of Glasgow University; Dr. Percy Seymour of Plymouth University and Dr. Mary Bruck of Edinburgh University-- who have given an opposing view to you "Upside Down" argument i.e. they support my view of how the ancient Egyptians correlated Orion with Giza towards a southwards orientation both on the ground and in the sky. The question is not whether you feel they are wrong or right, but whether you agree that the BBC has to allow at least one of them to appear on the programme in order to present both sides of the argument.

If you do, please let me know and I shall pass you comments to the BBC. Or alternatively please let the BBC know directly.

I look forwards to hear from you.

All the best
Robert G. Bauval


From: Ed Krupp
To: Robert Bauval
Date: 22/11/00

Dear Robert,

Thank you for your e-mail message dated 19 November 2000 and for your generosity of spirit. I certainly don't regard you or Graham Hancock as personal "opponents," but I am persuaded that that some of your conclusions about the layout of Giza cannot be supported by rigorous logic and uncompromising facts.

Submission of your initial concerns to the Broadcasting Standards Commission properly and effectively removed personal preferences and subjective viewpoints from the review, adjudication, and remedy. Now that this process has taken place, I believe any additional interference with it qualifies as inappropriate tampering. I believe the Commission and the BBC are in the best position to judge what would be fair to you. Because I am interested in fairness to the facts, I cannot agree that my endorsement of inclusion of a fallacious argument fulfills the Commission's intent.

Just facing north,
Ed

***********************************************************
Dr. E.C. Krupp, Director              eckrupp@earthlink.net
Griffith Observatory                  phone: (323) 664-1181
2800 East Observatory Road   fax:      (323) 663-4323
Los Angeles, California 90027    http://www.GriffithObs.org
***********************************************************

From: Robert Bauval
To: Ed Krupp
Date: 22.11.2000

Dear Ed,

Obviously the BBC is NOT in the best position to judge this matter, otherwise there wouldn't have been this problem in the first place. The matter ended with an "unfair" adjudication from the Broadcasting Standards Commission, and now everyone --and surely also yourself as an unbiased academic-- want to see fairness done. I am, therefore, much dismayed that you will not support my motion to have a reputable British astronomer give a counterview to you comments on the new BBC Horizon Atlantis Reborn.

Furthermore, how can you keep on insisting that the orientation southwards regarding the Giza-Orion's belt correlation is "fallacious" considering that it has received full support in wirtting from at least three very senior astronomers (not to mention many other professionals and a very wide general public) who have dismissed your "Upside down" argument as unfounded, wrong, invalid and unfair?

Knowing of this (I could email you their written rebuttals if you wish), is it possible that you feel that only your view should be heard in the BBC programme? Would it not be scientific --let alone fair play-- to support my motion to have another astronomer voice his views?

Yours, Facing South
Robert

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