From the August, 1978 issue of High Times magazine comes Gary Stimeling’s investigation into the world’s pyramids, followed by a sidebar titled “The Secret of the Great Pyramid Revealed,” written by Dean Latimer.

Like the curse of the mummy’s tomb, the mysteries of the pyramids refuse to die. As if in a fun house mirror they proliferate endlessly every time the true solution is announced. And among pyramids, none is more elusive or omnipresent than the Great Pyramid of Giza. If everything attributed to it is real, this 12-billion-pound monster is literally God, a limestone cowboy galloping through trillions of words of speculation and controlling human destiny by its awesome emanations since long before the first syllable of recorded time. In the 1970s, its American worshipers have steadily spread from their original homes in Southern California, Arizona and New Mexico.

Now, from my Now York office, engulfed in many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore, with a pointy replica of the thing on my head just like the faithful, I hereby propose the Unified Pyramidal Theory of Life, Energy, History and the Universe:

In the beginning was the Pyramid. The Pyramid was with God, and the Pyramid was God. The etheric flux that underlies all outward forms of matter and energy takes the shape of a tetrahedron, a pyramid with three sides, whose base and sides are all equilateral triangles. Hence any tetrahedron-shaped structure acts as an accumulator or focusing system for the energy of the spheres, as does the better-known square-base pyramid if it is properly aligned with the earth’s magnetic field. Such an instrument not only performs a thousand and one useful household tasks—like sharpening razor blades, stimulating droopy plants, energizing water and mummifying bits of sirloin—it also relieves headaches, rejuvenates the body, cures insomnia and releases latent psychic and creative powers.

The ancient Egyptians knew all this, of course; otherwise why would they have bothered to pile up all those rocks? They built the Great Pyramid as a multipurpose bioplasmic energy generator and encoded their arcane knowledge in a geometrical allegory immune to the vicissitudes of conquest and language.

Their artificial mountain served as a sundial showing the hour and the day. In the winter when the sun is low, the shadow was measured against a scale north of the pyramid; the high summer sun was reflected from the polished limestone face on a scale to the south.

Before it was finished, the Grand Gallery was a precisely aligned astronomical observatory. With it one could, for example, mark the exact instant of the sun’s passage through zenith at the solstice. Such observations enabled the priests to correct the calendar to its precise value of 365.2422 days, a crucial accomplishment in a society that depended on advance warning of the annual Nile flood.

The entrance passage is pointed with hairline accuracy at the celestial north pole. To the Egyptian astronomers, the North Star, however, would have been Alpha Draconis instead of Polaris, due to the precession of the equinoxes, the 26,000-year cycle caused by the earth’s wobble as it spins. Precession makes the sun, as it moves through the constellations of the zodiac, appear to fall back one sign every 2,200 years. Since this celestial clockwork governs earthly fate and history, the sorcerers charted the equinoctial path into the future and foretold the next 5,000 years or so. Then they ingeniously designed the prophecies into the interior measurements of the passages that lead to the King’s Chamber, whose far wall culminates in the apocalypse—predicted for 1874, 1914, 1925 and 1953, now tentatively rescheduled for a few years hence.

For handy reverence, the pyramid builders planned their holy numbers into the dimensions of the outside. These included the value of pi, the solution for squaring a circle, phi (the Golden Section), the earth’s average distance from the sun, the speed of light, the circumference of the earth, the earth’s mass and the distance to Alpha Centauri.

All these arcana were embodied in the world’s heaviest slide rule by utilizing the sacred cubit and pyramid inch, variously defined by modern reconstructors. The closeness of the latter to the English inch and the fact that the ancient Hebrews’ sacred cubit was the same as the Egyptians’ prove that the English are the true descendants of the ten lost tribes of Israel and that they and their descendants (us) will inherit the earth and eventually purge it of godless metrical decimal points.

The Great Pyramid’s intricate system of passageways also forms an allegory of the journey of the soul (ka) from birth to the afterlife. Thus, depending on a person’s choices, he or she can descend throughout life to end up in the subterranean Chamber of Chaos, from which there is no exit except a tortuous passage up through the Well of Life. On the other hand, if the soul is ready to receive the divine light, it can climb the Hall of Faith in Darkness into the spacious Grand Gallery of Illumination, then stoop to pass several stone portcullises symbolizing the final trials on the path to knowledge, which ends in the Chamber of Resurrection.

It was here that the ancient ones were wont to conduct the neophyte for initiation into the mysteries of Isis. The candidate was given powerful incantations and even more powerful drugs, ceremonially laid to rest in the huge granite sarcophagus still found there and conducted on a three-day astral journey in which the soul, unburdened of the body, traveled freely and learned the secrets of death, space and time.

Among those so trained were Moses, Sophocles, Plato, Pythagoras, Cicero and St. Paul. The lesser secrets survived in fragmentary form among the Knights Templar, who built a small pyramid in southern France in the thirteenth century, and in the rites of present-day Masons and Rosicrucians. The concentrated energies of the King’s Chamber were used by the priests themselves as an etheric transmitter for direct contact with the spirits of the departed and with the gods in their celestial chariots.

On the more mundane side, the system of chambers constituted an apparatus for collecting solar-magnetic energy. The sun’s rays were collected and focused by the now-missing quartz capstone, amplified by the four flat chambers above it acting as lenses and collected in the King’s Chamber. The stored power was then routed through the passages, which when filled with mercury formed a complete electric circuit, and was distributed where needed to the surrounding cities and farms. The stored forces of the King’s Chamber were also used to transmute base metals into precious ones, and vice versa.

The exquisite workmanship of the Great Pyramid, for which the facing stones were cut and polished with such accuracy that you can’t even stick a credit card between them, was also intended as a sign. Otherwise modern discoverers would not have been able to realize that the stones were cut with the aid of lasers. The impossible job of moving those massive blocks was then performed by psychokinesis, floating them through the air from quarry to site.

Clearly this perfect monument could not have been built by the simple Bronze Age technology of the Egyptians themselves; in fact there is good reason to believe that the Great Pyramid was erected many thousands of years before all the others. Surely the edifice was raised by wandering survivors of the great Atlantean deluge, who left it as a time capsule for discovery by future civilizations who could recognize their subtlety.

Many millennia later, the refugees arrived in Mexico and Peru and taught the natives how to build a different style of pyramid. The Atlanteans themselves, of course, learned at the feet of the Lemurians, survivors of an even older, vaster and wiser submerged continent in the Pacific, whose culture flourished, for 50,000 years during the last ice age. Who can deny that the Lemurians must have received their pyramid blueprints from the gods themselves, alien astronauts who bequeathed us all of civilization’s treasures and are now returning to check on our progress?

Alter all, do not the lines scored on the entranceway point directly to Alcyone, central sun of the Pleiades, of which our sun is also a part? The sun’s 24,000-year orbit around that star takes it twice through the Rings of Alcyone, a halo of hot dust and radiation belts that causes a 2,000-year age of genetic, geological and atmospheric upheaval every 12,000 years. Perhaps the UFOs are here to guide us through our next passage, which seems about to begin.

Even now, explorers have located at least three pyramids beneath the ocean and are preparing for the long task of excavating them from the sea floor’s mire and returning their legacy to humanity’s heritage. And the pyramid structures found on Mars and the moon can be nothing other than beacons to guide incoming saucers and lead humankind to the stars.

An article this length would hardly serve to list all the 20,000 titles of Egyptological writing, much less follow every strand of this gordian knot. Suffice it to say that some of the foregoing statements are definitely true, others probably are, and even the most outrageously unsupported fantasies have their champions. There are so many gaps in our knowledge of Egypt that the only certainty about the pyramids is that they are very old.

The mathematically oriented Pyramid quester finds, for example, enormous problems in measuring the pyramid to get at its numerical symbolism. Its base is buried in sand, almost all the polished outer casing was stolen by fourteenth century Arabs to build bridges and mosques, and the mysterious capstone, or pyramidion, vanished God knows when.

Advocates of Edgar Cayce’s teleportation theory of rock hauling, though, have run up against some very clear tomb paintings of the Egyptians moving huge slabs on sleds pulled by teams of men yoked together, pulling in rhythm to a timekeeper while assistants grease the runners with oil. Erich von Daniken, with his racist contempt for anyone born before the Industrial Revolution, dreamed up the laser idea because he refused to believe that primitive people could cut stone without them, even though other paintings show the method: preliminary scoring with a rock or copper chisel, then insertion of wooden wedges that when soaked in water expand and split the rock.

Such discussion could go on, and has, for centuries, but there is one position amateur pyramid hunters agree on: their scorn for professional archaeologists, the “entrenched orthodoxy” blind to new discoveries who persist in throwing a wet blanket over the most rhapsodic theories.

To the unpersuaded, the Great Pyramid fits comfortably within the sequence of pyramid memorials raised to the pharaohs of the Third and Fourth dynasties, thought to have ruled about 2800 to 2600 B.C. They say the period began with the construction of the stepped pyramid of Zoser by a royal architect named Imhotep, the world’s first recorded genius. The reign of Zoser coincided with the end of a period of civil war after the first unification of the twin kingdoms of Upper and Lower Egypt. This explanation, as expounded by physicist Kurt Mendelssohn in The Riddle of the Pyramids, suggests that Imhotep had at least two brilliant ideas: He figured out how to construct enormous buildings by a series of inward-leaning buttress walls, and he realized that pyramids would be the perfect endless project to unite the realm, welding the world’s first nation-state. (Mendelssohn himself suggests space colonization to end nationalism by building the first world-state.)

Mendelssohn then follows the pyramid sequence as succeeding generations tried to make the structures with smooth sides. They learned that the angle of the sides and slight inward slope of the blocks is crucial. They found this out the hard way, he says, when the pyramid at Meidum collapsed, leaving the central walls surrounded by a mountain of rubble. The angle was abruptly changed in the next design, producing the Bent Pyramid at Dashur, which was already half finished, the enormous work crews being shifted to the new structure while a smaller gang finished off the top of the previous one. Architects continued to experiment with angles until 51° 52′ was chosen for the Great Pyramid of Khufu.

In Secrets of the Great Pyramid, author Peter Tompkins offers a fascinating account of how the Egyptians could have used the pyramid as the best observatory before telescopes. Finished only up to the 50th course, the Grand Gallery would have jutted upward, a huge graduated slot with which to observe exactly when any star within view passed across the meridian, or true north-south line. The magi then found it much easier to chart the irregular motion of the planets, giving them the basis for deducing the heliocentric solar system (beating Copernicus by 4,000 years) and inventing the structure of astrology pretty much as we know it today. This wonderful theory rests primarily on references to a pyramid observatory by Arab historians and by the Greek philosopher Proclus, whose commentary on Plato’s Timaeus states that observations were made before the heap could be completed.

The reasoning was elaborated around the turn of the century by astronomer Richard Proctor. He noted that the corbeled walls of the gallery would have been convenient markers by which to measure a star’s declination (distance from the celestial equator). By seating a series of observers on removable benches in the 27 pairs of socket holes lining the passage walls, the astronomers could make simultaneous observations necessary for keeping accurate sidereal time (kept by following rotation of the earth as revealed by the movement of the stars overhead) and for plotting the first star maps. By placing an opaque screen with a small hole in it over the Grand Gallery entranceway, the priests could have made direct observations of the sun, including the study of sunspots.

With an obsession as charged with yearning as is pyramidology, it’s hard to know what to believe. Pyramid literature is rife with contradictions about basic facts. Such include the cosmic ray measurements taken by Dr. Luis Alvarez inside the pyramid of Khafre, or Chephren (Khufu’s, or Cheops’s, neighbor), to see if there were any undiscovered passages. A controversy then allegedly developed between Alvarez, who claimed the results were normal and showed no secret chambers, and his assistant, Dr. Amr Gonein, who said that each time the data tapes were run through the computer a different pattern emerged. In other words, the interior cosmic ray picture wouldn’t sit still. “Either the geometry of the pyramid is in substantial error,” Gonein was quoted, “or there is some force that defies the laws of science at work in the pyramid.”

So, except for those whose passion is to believe anything—the fuzzier the better—there’s an understandable hesitance at the bandwagon.

Along with the dazzling portents of pyramids, science has its Piltdown man (the “missing link”) and its patchwork mouse (cancer cure forgery), and computer analysis has recently shown that Claudius Ptolemy, whose geocentric view of the solar system held back astronomy for 1,500 years, faked his most important calculations. Thus there’s hope that, however late, the truth will out.

Here are some of the more or less verifiable pyramysteries we can look forward to solving in the next decade or two:

• Photos of Mars taken by Mariner 9 disclosed four odd-looking mountains, almost 5,000 feet tall and vaguely resembling pyramids with one side weathered away by the winds. There also are claims of strange obelisk shapes photographed on the moon by U.S. and Russian probes.

• Lots of good scientific work can check out the claims of pyramid energizers. Up to now, electron photomicrographs of razor blades have shown no renewal of sharpness, though pyramid powerists claim it occurs from the dispersion of residual water on the edge. Many independent researchers claim to have proved the pyramid’s powers to their own satisfaction, but the only published controlled scientific study I know of—by Iris M. Owen and coworkers at the New Horizons Research Foundation, in Toronto—showed no change in the sharpness of a razor’s edge, no mummification effect and no clear-cut advantage in preserving vases of flowers. Owen reported that the participants’ most common reaction was “Too bad you couldn’t get your pyramids to work” and observed, “Neither buyer nor seller in this market appears to be overly critical.”

• James Gaussman, a crewman aboard an army C-47 flying over the Himalaya hump in World War II, claims he was only one of many airmen to glimpse a dazzling white pyramid with a crystal capstone nestled in the unexplored mountains, and another flyboy photographed one in China’s Shensi Province.

• Divers have reported discovering two pyramids, about 100 miles apart, on the ocean floor in the Devil’s Triangle area off the coast of Florida. From one of these, undersea treasure hunter Dr. Ray Brown claims to have recovered a unique crystal ball when he swam into a passageway near the apex. The crystal was poised in the center of the chamber on a sort of stand. It often shows reflections of a pyramid within it, once developed a perfectly formed human eye and later emitted light for hours before one of Dr. Brown’s lecture audiences.

• A group in Louisiana is preparing to explore a spot in the Gulf of Mexico south of Chandeleur Island, where they have a “psychic fix” on another pyramid.

• And last but not least, a Japanese company plans to build a one-sixth-size scale model beside the Great Pyramid to find out how to transistorize them.

The Secret of the Great Pyramid Revealed: It Was Made in Japan

Although it was erected according to the most precise specifications, my pyramid doesn’t work. I cut four identical triangles out of cardboard, 12 inches long at the base with 11 1/2-inch diagonals, and taped them into a pyramid; I oriented it toward true North with the aid of a Boy Scout compass and a New York Times almanac and set it on the floor of my office cubicle, safe from electromagnetic interference and the meddling of the idly curious. Eric McLuhan. Marshall’s pyramid-powerful son, will be distressed to hear about this, I know, but the raw egg I left in there last Friday stank so bad by Monday that I’m lucky to still have an office. And after only a dozen or so shaves the expensive steel razor blade that rested each night inside the pyramid on its own north-south axis cut me badly.

Of course there is one thing I have not yet tried with my pyramid. Susan Sarandon told johnny Carson on the “Tonight Show” that a cat that had been raised in the Great Pyramid at Giza turned out to be a vegetarian. But I am basically a carnivore myself and would not put a kitten to such an indignity.

Of course, my pyramid cannot really have proven anything about pyramids one way or the other. The instruments with which I measured the thing were ignoble metal, which alters microscopically with the weather; the almanac was for 1971, and the pole may have shifted a trace since then; and who’s to say some ignorant fellah of a janitor didn’t nudge the thing slightly one night, sweeping around it? Most of all, though, in dealing with anything as attenuated and mysterious as the bioplasmic properties of a pyramid, surely subtle considerations of karma and attitude are brought into play; I am a belligerently antimystical person, and I never expected the damn thing to work, so that may have fouled my egg and razor blade from the start. Truth to tell, I didn’t want it to work. If it had, I would have suppressed the project and never written about pyramid power at all.—Dean Latimer

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