"Will This Tunnel lead Us To The Treasure Of The Pharaoh?"

The following article first appeared in the London Dail Mail in the edition dated 18th April 1998 and is reproduced here with their kind permission. The article remains the copyright of The Daily Mail. The picture is taken from the accompanying graphic. Click on it to display the full graphic (100k) then use Back to return to this article. Simon Cox subsequently issued a rebuttal which is also reproduced in full below, used with permission.

graphic thumbnailBritish researchers claim the 'discovery of the century' has been made at the Great Pyramid of Giza.The team believes the Egyptian authorities are carrying out secret excavations on a tunnel which may lead to three previously unknown chambers.They say they have taken video footage inside the pyramid which backs up their claim.

The day after they did their filming, the authorities closed the pyramid for an eight-month 'renovation project'. The team claims this is simply a cover for the excavation. "It is the discovery of the century," Simon Cox, one of the researchers said yesterday. "This find could solve the greatest mystery of all time. The scale of it is just amazing."

"We have been told by three independent sources that the tunnel leads to three new chambers. Who knows what is inside them. It could be the real burial chamber, treasure troves full of gold coins or just empty rooms."

Mr Cox, 31, who studied Egyptology at University College London, found evidence of the tunnel on April 1 during one of his regular monthly visits to the pyramids.With researchers Clive Prince, 38, and Lynn Picknett, 51, he came across a metal grille in a wall inside the antechamber leading to the King's Chamber. "I'd never seen it before," explained Mr Cox. "The grille was rusty but the mortar holding it into the wall was new."

Shining their torches inside the 3.6ft by 2.5ft gap, they saw a tunnel high enough to stand up in with two stairs leading up. Electric cables ran along the ceiling, indicating that lighting or machinery was being used. Because filming is forbidden, the team used a hidden video camera to record their find.Sources have since told them workers found the tunnel using sonar equipment then discovered the three chambers. "It is no coincidence the pyramid has closed down now," said Mr Cox. "It gives them an opportunity to explore these new areas without anyone knowing."Work on the pyramids is kept low profile to avoid experts descending from around the world and treasure hunters trying to steal artefacts.

The Great Pyramid, the largest of the structures, was built for Pharoah Khufu 4,500 years ago. It stands 480ft high and took 4,000 men 30 years to build.Previously, the only features documented were the Subterranean Chamber, King's Chamber and Queen's Chamber. Speculation has raged about hidden chambers, which may contain artefacts or even the lost treasures of the Pharoahs.

Four years ago, a German team used a miniature robot equipped with a camera to discover what appeared to be a stone door at the end of a passageway leading off the Queen's Chamber. It was believed this could be the entrance to a hidden chamber but Egypt refused all offers to fund a project to open the door."There are a lot of rumours in Egypt but nobody can get inside the pyramid to verify it," said Mr Prince, who is writing a book about the mysteries of Egypt with Lynn Picknett. Three years ago, they co-wrote a book suggesting Leonardo da Vinci faked the Turin Shroud.

Experts remained unconvinced when told about the tunnel. Vivian Davis, Egyptologist at the British Museum, said: "It may be a ventilation shaft or some such thing. It is pure fantasy to think about chambers full of hidden treasure."

Rebuttal By Simon Cox

I would like to reply to the comments about the Daily Mail Report of 18 April 1998. Firstly, the report came about via a chance meeting with a friend from the Daily Mail, it contains within it several errors and misquotes which I feel should be corrected.

Firstly, let me say that I was of course aware that the tunnel mentioned was not a new tunnel but was one which both Captain Caviglia and Howard Vyse had explored and possibly excavated in the 1830 - 1840's. As I say, at no time did I state this tunnel was new. Although it is interesting to read in Vyse Volume I, Page 153 that he believed further chambers were to be found via this excavation.

Also let me state that at no point did Clive, Lynn or myself claim that there was any "treasure" to be found within the pyramid, this I am afraid is a usual fabrication. Neither did the three of us claim to be "experts" as was stated in the report. However, I myself have studied Egyptology at University College London and indeed my researcher, Jacqueline Pegg, is a masters (with distinction) Post-Graduate in Egyptology, so we do come from a more academic background than most modern writers on the pyramids.

The whole point of the report was obviously not to highlight some previously known tunnel, it was to highlight the fact that possible workings are going on within the fabric of the Great Pyramid. I myself can confirm that within Davison's Chamber the old workings of Caviglia seem to have been re-opened on the south granite wall and also that as of last month, there seems to be fresh activity in the subterranean chamber. I intended to highlight these facts and also to ask the question as to why this "tunnel" near the King's Chamber, seems to appear intermittently; by this I mean that the metal grille is sometimes there and is sometimes not. This would suggest activity (for whatever reason) in this area, again I make no claims of any lost treasure or any incredible secret.

It does seem interesting that rumours have abounded lately of the discovery of new chambers, rumours not only on the ruomourmill that is the internet, but also within Egypt itself. As was stated in the report, I am a regular visitor to Egypt and have many Egyptian friends, these rumours are certainly well known in Cairo. The report was also intended to highlight the closing of the World's greatest archaeological monument at precisely the time when Egypt needs it open. You will be well aware that the second pyramid was recently closed for one year for "renovations" however, I challenge anybody to find these said "renovations", the power still intermittently works and the lighting is still very poor.

As a researcher (authors worked for include Graham Hancock,Robert Bauval, David Rohl, Andrew Collins, Graham Phillips) and a writer, I just wanted to highlight the above facts. It was never my, nor indeed our intention to report a sensational story where one simply does not exist. We only intended to highlight certain discrepancies and possible goings on at Giza. This whole episode has been an abject lesson in how newspapers deal with such subjects and I for one will think long and hard before talking to a reporter again.

Yours Simon Cox

On A Personal Note...

plan thumbnail

I consulted Maragioglio and Rinaldi's "L'Architettura" in one volume of which they document an exhaustive survey of the Great Pyramid. Click on the graphic to see a large plan of the relevant area. For those interested in the monuments at Giza etc, this publication is a "must see" item. Unfortunately, it is not generally available other than in specialist institutions and national libraries. In the U.K. I am aware of copies in the library of the Egypt Exploration Society, 3, Doughty Mews, London WC1N 2PG (tel. 0171 242 1880, fax 0171 404 6118) and at the Ashmolean Library, Oxford. Membership (cost £10 to £45 per annum depending on membership category) is generally required for access to the Egypt Exploration Society library.

I trust that the above will clarify the situation at this time. Please mail me if you have any further questions on this matter.

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