Following the surprise discovery of the unblemished tomb of the ancient Egyptian king, Tutankhamun, mysterious deaths occurred. Were persons who had violated the royal burial chamber punished by the curse of King Tut?
Sometime between Tuesday, November 28, 1922, and Thursday, November 30, 1922, Howard Carter, the discoverer, and his patron the fifth Earl of Carnarvon secretly entered Tutankhamun’s chamber. They removed souvenirs for themselves, along with a sheaf of papyri documents.
George Edward Stanhope Molyneux Herbert – Lord Carnarvon – had previously consulted “Cheiro” (Count Louis le Warner Hamon, 1866-1936), a palmist and fortune teller. Following desecration of Tut’s Tomb, Cheiro sent a psychic warning to the Earl. Cheiro had been in occult communication with one Meketaten, daughter of Akhenaten, who may have been the father of Tutankhamun. “No relics must be removed! Otherwise the Earl would die!”
But it was too late. Lord Carnarvon had already sequestered some items. In April 1923, he sickened and died. Egyptian newspapers quickly spread the story that the Earl had been killed by the spirit of King Tut. A panic ensued amongst collectors of Egyptian antiquities. In droves, packages were sent anonymously to various museums. Tutankhamun Terror spread worldwide.
A Madame Fraya warned: “The science of the ancient Egyptians was quite advanced.” Carnarvon, she intimated, had most assuredly been killed by the pharoah’s “Ka” – his ghost.
There followed more mysterious deaths. In September 1923, the Earl’s half-brother died unexpectedly. Jay Gould, railroad magnate, fell dead soon after visiting Tut’s tomb. A French Egyptologist, Georges Benedite, died not long after violating the burial chamber. The Egyptian Bey, Ali Kemel Fahmy, was shot dead by his wife soon after daring to touch Tutankhamun’s treasures.
The list of eerie Tut deaths is long. A profound fear gripped the world. Movies dealing with the “curse of the mummy” began to appear.
Howard Carter and his aristocratic patron removed priceless objects from the tomb. What is not so well known is that among the wonderful treasures Carter and Lord Carnarvon unearthed were also rumored to be papyri that held the “true account” of the biblical Exodus from Egypt. Why did Carter threaten to reveal this volatile information to the public at a meeting with a British official in Cairo shortly after the discovery of the tomb? At a time when Arab hostility towards Britain’s support for the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine was spilling on to the streets of Jerusalem and Jaffa, such actions on the part of the hot-headed Englishman could have caused untold chaos across the Middle East. The existence of the controversial papyri and the background to their explosive contents is the subject of Tutankhamun: The Exodus Conspiracy, by Andrew Collins & Chris Ogilvie-Herald. (London: Virgin Books, 2002.)
What is this Israel? Sixty-five years ago, such a country did not exist. Yet for persons born after May 14, 1948, Israel seemingly has always been there. It hasn’t. A chapter in Tutankhamun: The Exodus Conspiracy provides a thumbnail sketch of the birth of modern Israel.
Great Britain had been obsessed with scriptural prophecy, at least since Puritan times. Holy Scriptures (e.g. Luke 21: 24) were understood to foretell the return of the Jews to Zion.
“And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”
To fulfill prophecy, nineteenth-century religiously-inspired elites conspired for the return of the Jews to Palestine. Also considered were advantages of a Jewish homeland under the control of the British empire.
In the 1880s, European Jews began immigrating to Palestine. Succeeding waves increased the population. They experienced growing financial difficulties. Luckily for them, Baron Edmond de Rothschild, head of the French branch of the Rothschild banking empire, stepped in to assist. “Along with key Jewish bankers, he established the Jewish Colonial Trust, the first Zionist funded bank, through which he started purchasing extensive territories in Palestine.” (Collins & Ogilvie-Herald, op. cit.)
The emerging Israel and the Great Britain were intertwined. When began the First World War, the United States at first opted to remain neutral. As the war unfolded, things weren’t going so well for Britain. If only the United States were to somehow join their side! That would tilt the scales.
A plot went into motion. James A. Malcolm, an Oxford-educated Armenian Russian, advised the British government on a way to entice America into the “Great War.” Malcolm proposed enlisting the aid of prominent Jews in the United States. Said Malcolm, “You can win the sympathy of certain politically-minded Jews everywhere, and especially in the United States, in one way only, and that is, by offering to try and secure Palestine for them.”
A “gentleman’s agreement” between leading Zionists and Great Britain promised a “Programme for a New Administration of Palestine in Accordance with the Aspirations of the Zionist Movement.” In return, Zionist leaders were encouraged to “communicate the glad tidings to their friends and organisations in America and elsewhere, and the change in official and public opinion as reflected in the American press in favour of joining the Allies in the War…” (ibid.)
The Balfour Declaration, signed on November 2, 1917, solemnized the “gentleman’s agreement.”
Muddying the waters however was a promise given by the British to leaders of the Arab Revolt. Guided by Lt. Col. T. E. Lawrence (“Lawrence of Arabia”), they had fought against the Turks in return for the establishment of an Arabian state, which was to have included Palestine.
(A version of the above first appeared at my old Conspiracy Nation web site on June 12th and July 1st, 2006.)