How did Zahi Hawass try to stop the Bosnian Pyramids project
With the fall of Hosny Mubarak’s regime in Egypt, numerous affairs of corrupted state officials came out. During decades of reign some ministers have managed to sling billions of dollars on their accounts. Undoubtedly, among the wealthiest is Dr. Zahi Hawass, who ruled for decades in the Supreme Council of Antiquities.
Though legally he had to retire three years ago, he succeeded, thanks to the friendship with the wife of Hosny Mubarak Suzanne, to preserve his stay at the most powerful position in the domain of archaeology. Finally, last year he succeeded in getting assignment as the State Minister for Antiquities and a lifelong position. At least, that’s what he hoped to be.
With the revolution in Egypt, it wasn’t possible to hide 1.600 documents that demonstrate that Dr. Zahi Hawass stole precious artifacts, falsified historical findings (making them appear younger than they really are, because they didn’t fit into official history), and fired archaeologists, Egyptologists, guides, and state officials, who spoke loudly about corruption of his office. (Source: Interview with the Egyptian Manager of Antiquity Locations)
Dr. Hawass is a recognized face from leading world scientific media programs: National Geographic, History Channel, Discovery, BBC, and others. He sits on their Boards, serves as their scientific advisors. More than decades, Zahi Hawass is the only one who announces all discoveries in Egypt, as if the real authors weren’t the teams of researchers from Poland, Hungary, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, USA, Japan, or Egypt. For decades, none of the documentaries about Egyptian pyramids or temples have been recorded without the permission of Hawass, his presence in the movies and financial benefits that are given to him.
In order to retain his position as an incontrovertible ruler in the domain of Egyptology, Pyramid Science, and archaeology, he even tried to patent the name “pyramid” as a unique Egyptian product.
He labeled all of those who had different ideas concerning the age, constructors, and purpose of the pyramids (Hancock, Davidovits, Bouval, Dunn, and many other experts). He would insult them, calling them names, and didn’t allow them to freely explore and to analyze samples. If by any chance researches with modern instruments (of Japanese, Germans, and Americans) would show that pyramids have unique electromagnetic properties and energetic anomalies, which would reject the idea of most superior pyramids being tombs, it was the end for those researchers and free and unobstructed scientific investigation in Egypt.
And when he thought he had everything under control, a series of pyramid discoveries appeared across the world: 250 pyramids in China, hundreds of pyramids in Peru, hundreds of new Mayan pyramids in Central America, tens of pyramids in the Canary Islands and Mauritius. Wrong considerations that pyramids were created as the product of local scenarios were crushed down. Pyramids were a worldwide concept.
The greatest shock came from the small Bosnia: discovery of the first European pyramids, the biggest in the world, and at the same time the oldest in the world!
The carefully nurtured idea of ancient Egypt being the most important cradle of civilization and the only home of the pyramids disappears forever.
Let us look at the things he had done to suppress scientific progress and recognition of Bosnian pyramids.
In October 2005, I announced to the world that I’ve discovered pyramids in Visoko, Bosnia-Herzegovina. In an interview with BBC, I spoke about the possibility that they were older than all known pyramids. That was later confirmed by the State Institute for Pedology. Right after me, in the program, Dr. Zahi Hawass spoke with a wobbly voice that it “is possible to discover new pyramids, but he doubted they were older than Egyptian ones”.
In April 2006, archaeological excavations at the Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun began, after our non-profit Foundation “Archaeological Park: Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun” receives all necessary permits, hired experts, acquired equipment and tools, carried out prior satellite, thermal, radar, and topographic recordings. Group of Bosnian historians, archaeologists, and geologists were against research and wrote a petition to stop the project. The Federal Government rejected the petition after Prime Minister Mr. Hadzipasic and the members of his Cabinet visited the archaeological locations and were convinced in their artificial character.
Afterwards, the upset Bosnian archaeologists and historians asked for help from the European Archaeological Association from London requesting their assistance in stopping research in Visoko. The president of the Association Dr. Anthony Harding and secretary Predrag Novakovic launched a new petition full of untruths in which they tried to stop the project.
At the same time, they asked that every national archaeological organization in Europe boycott the project and openly threatened that all archaeologists who engage in Visoko research will no longer work in their vocation-profession once they return to their countries.
Under pressure of European boycott, Foundation turned to the Government of Egypt asking that it sends three experts. Upon recommendation of Dr. Zahi Hawass, the experienced geologist Dr. Ali Barakat arrive in Visoko in May 2006. After 42 days of research, at the press conference in Sarajevo on 23rd June, he stated in his written report that the Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun was a “man-made pyramid”. (More: Unearthing Europe’s oldest Pyramid Complex)
The same day, the custodian of the National Museum in Sarajevo and an opponent of the project who never came to see the pyramids herself, Zilka Vejzagic-Kujundzic, writes a letter to Dr. Zahi Hawass asking him to react and to confute Dr. Barakat.
Two days later, Dr. Zahi Hawass convenes an urgent meeting in Cairo: between the Ministry of Tourism of Egypt, Ministry of Culture, and his Supreme Council of Antiquities. They have just one agenda: “Influence of the Bosnian Pyramids discovery on tourism in Egypt.” Considering that tourism and pyramids are the main Egyptian industry earning $15,5 billion dollars per year, fear that they could lose, let’s say 20% (or more than 3 billion dollars) because of the discovery of Bosnian Pyramids, disgusted them.
After the meeting on 25th June, at noon time, Zahi Hawass holds a press conference during which he says: “There aren’t pyramids in Bosnia, just a pile of stones. Blocks weighing 30 tons are natural. Barakat is no pyramid expert and Osmanagich is hallucinating.” Hawass writes a letter to the Institute of Minerals of the Egyptian Government, where Dr. Barakat works, and asks his boss to fire Dr. Barakat.
Part of Sarajevo’s, Zagreb’s, and Belgrade’s cultural establishment, who opposed the Bosnian Pyramid project, is exulting. Several reporters, archaeologists, historians, even writers thought this was the end of the project. They weren’t aware that their complex of low self-esteem deceived them. The Project was just getting started.
The Foundation intensively continue with its works in which 90 full-time workers and hundreds of volunteers were involved. The Government of Egypt sends another requested expert, Egyptologist Lamia El Hadidi. She discovered that the Bosnian Pyramid of the Moon had rectangular structures, vertical walls, and paved terraces. Excitingly, she calls Dr. Hawass in front of me and invites him to come to Bosnia. After the phone conversation, she asked me to send him an official invitation to his personal fax number, which I did. However, Hawass didn’t come, he ignored.
Discoveries in the Bosnian Valley of the Pyramids continued. Hawass sent to Visoko his most loyal man and personal friend: Dr. Mohamed Ibrahim Ali, an Egyptologist from Ein Shams University in Cairo. During his visit that lasted eight days, Dr. Ibrahim Ali couldn’t hide his enthusiasm with what he had seen and claims it is obvious that a human hand built these structures, and it is yet to be determined whether it is a pyramid, a temple, or something third. There again, no signs of Hawass, because the news he hears do not suit him.
During 2007, I was holding a lecture about Bosnian Pyramids in Cairo which was organized by the Egyptian Ministry of Culture. At the lecture were the leading figures of Egyptian science and archaeology: vice minister, assistants to the minister, ambassadors, leading archaeologists and Egyptologists, deans, vice-deans, professors. Dr. Zahi Hawass’s absence is flaring.
That same year more Egyptian experts come to Visoko: distinguished Egyptologist, PhD in Archaeology and finder of four pyramids in Egyptian deserts Dr. Nabil Sawelim, vice-dean of Faculty of Archaeology at the Cairo University Mona Fawad Ali, an Egyptologist Dr. Soliman Hammed, and geologist Dr. Ali Barakat. After seeing all locations many times, this team sends messages to the Bosnian and international public that the greatest pyramids in the world are discovered here. Silence appeared in the region. Mouths were closed to opponents such as Govedarica, Imamovic, Vejzagic, Lovernovic, Novakovic, Vrabac on the local level or people like Harding, Schoch, and others on the international level. Even though these opponents were trying to continue with their game of labeling the discoverer, they were not bringing any scientific arguments to the table.
That same year, I visited Cairo again. In the most read Arabic daily “Al Ahram”, we arranged our projects to be regularly followed at their pages. However, after my visit to Cairo, the leading journalist of Al Ahram (Alaa Sabet) consulted Zahi Hawass and changed the arranged plan and hasn’t published any of the affirmative articles.
The Foundation was preparing The First International Scientific Conference on the Bosnian Pyramids in September of 2008. Dr. Zahi Hawass was invited among 55 participants. In the early phase of preparations, he was offered to preside over the Conference. We could witness that he opened all received e-mails, but answered none. One month before the Conference, Dr. Hawass published an article in “Al Ahram” where he harshly attacked the project and me. The Egyptian delegation of 20 members that was preparing to come to Bosnia was given a new role. Leading members of the delegation were given the role to shatter the Conference. Several participants who visited the site in Bosnia before (taking samples) and had scientific papers about the artificial character of blocks, binding materials, purposes of underground tunnels and parallels with the Egyptian underground tunnels, had to change their papers and talks and throw out everything affirmative for Bosnian Pyramids. It was shameful! During the Conference, those who were willing to speak their mind and confirmed the existence of pyramids in Bosnia (Dr. Swelim, Dr. Barakat) received open threats during their presentations that “they will be punished once they return to Cairo.” Younger participants from Cairo and Alexandria confessed to me the last day of the Conference (just before they left) that they knew that Bosnian Pyramids represent an archaeological phenomenon, but they were afraid for their jobs. So much about the scientific dignity and civil courage.
In winter that year, at one reception in Cairo, longtime acquaintances Dr. Swelim and Dr. Hawass met. Swellim asked him why he refused to join in the Conference. Hawass angrily asked why he supports the projects of Bosnian Pyramids. Swelim told Hawass that he should not be speaking about the Bosnian Pyramids phenomenon when he knows nothing about it nor did he visit Bosnia, unlike Swelim. Hawass angrily said: “Do you know who you are talking to? Do you know who I am? I am Zahi Hawass!” Swelim calmly answered: “Nice to meet you. I am Nabil Swelim.” Hawass turned and said this was the last conversation in their life.
In 2009, I signed an exclusive contract with a Canadian producer for the project about the documentary and a series for the History Channel and Discovery. After the director’s visit to Visoko, that left her impressed, everything was ready for the big project. They have signed their preliminary contract with the world’s most watched scientific TV programs. However, they needed confirmation of scientific consultants on these TV productions. Suddenly, everything stopped. Instead of the project’s affirmation and the affirmation of the country of Bosnian and Herzegovina to the entire world, standstill came up. It wasn’t a surprise, because the name of the scientific consultant was: Zahi Hawass.
After several lectures in Houston’s branch of ARE center, organizers urged their home office in Virginia’s Beach to invite me to their annual conference in the autumn of 2011. Polite refusal-rejection happened. The reason: Dr. Zahi Hawass will be among the speakers this year and they didn’t want to upset him with my appearance.
By summing up the relation of Zahi Hawass, as one of the world’s leading figures in archaeology, towards the Bosnian Pyramids project, I can notice the following:
- Zahi Hawass wasn’t capable of raising above the political role which he played and behaving as a real scientist who cares about scientific progress
- Careerism of most of the people around him overcame scientific dignity and citizen’s courage
Precisely because of his enormous desire to impose and sometimes to falsify scientific achievements with strength of his political position, he will soon be forgotten. And this will happen the moment he no longer holds a political position.
It’s been happening so many times in history, it will happen now as well.
Despite everything, true values, like discoveries in the Bosnian Valley of the Pyramids, continue to live on.
This text has been reprinted from the book Pyramids around the World & Lost Pyramids of Bosnia with permission from author Dr. Semir Sam Osmanagich, the discoverer of Bosnian Pyramids.