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Grand Canyon and ancient Egypt #fb

July 12, 2010
The Grand Canyon and its connection with ancient Egypt

On April 5, 1909, the Arizona Gazette published an article detailing the discovery of a great underground citadel located in the Grand Canyon. The discovery was purportedly made by G. E Kinkaid (or Kincaid as both spellings are used), while he was traveling down the Colorado River.

The southwest is home to many ancient ruins from cultures such as the Hopi, the Chumash and the Anasazi, but the city described in the Gazette article is clearly different. The article states that the race who once inhabited the cavern were of oriental origin, possibly from Egypt.

Upon entering the cave, Kinkaid describes finding mummies as well as a shrine containing: "Šthe idol, or image, of the peoples god, sitting cross-legged, with a Lotus flower or Lily in each hand. The cast of the face is Oriental, and the carving shows a skillful hand, and the entire is remarkably well preserved, as is everything in this cavern. The idol most resembles BuddhaŠ"

Kinkaid also finds what he believes to be hieroglyphic writing similar to that found in the peninsula of Yucatan. Two animals are depicted in the pictorial writing. Curiously, one is of prehistoric type.

An idea of the scale of the discovery can be determined by Kinkaid¹s estimate that upwards of 50,000 people could have once lived in this system of tunnels and caves.

Was the story faked?

The article mentions two people by name: G. E Kinkaid/Kincaid and Professor S. A. Jordon from the Smithsonian Institution. Smithsonian records from 1900 to 1914 do not mention either individual. Inquiries posed directly to the Smithsonian by other researchers have yielded consistent denials of any records of a G. E. Kinkaid or a professor S. A. Jordan ever having worked for the Smithsonian.

The 1909 article also describes G. E. Kinkaid as ³the first white child born in Idaho.² I followed up on this lead with the Idaho State Historical Society and received the following response: "Regrettably, we find no word of a G E Kincaid in any of the pre-1900 federal, state (Idaho) or local (Idaho) records we consulted. There appears to be some confusion about Mr. Kincaid’s status as the first European American child born in Idaho. That distinction belongs to Eliza Spaulding, the daughter of missionaries Henry Harmon Spaulding and Narcissa Spaulding, who was born at Lapwai, Idaho, in 1837."

It is possible that Kinkaid believed he was the first Caucasian child born in Idaho and he was merely mistaken. It is also possible that further research will reveal additional details of Kinkaid¹s past, but so far this lead has turned into a dead end.

Could the Story be True? There are a few points that would seem to indicate that the 1909 article describes a genuine discovery. If the article were a late April Fool¹s joke or merely a fictitious article created to fill space on an otherwise slow news day, one would assume that the mention of the story would be a one time occurrence.

The article begins: "The latest news of the progress of the explorations of what is now regarded by scientists as not only the oldest archaeological discovery in the United States, but one of the most valuable in the world, which was mentioned some time ago in the Gazette."

There was a previous story printed in the Gazette about the explorations of G. E. Kincaid. On March 12, 1909 a short, mundane description of Kincaid’s journey is given. Only the last sentence, "Some interesting archaeological discoveries were unearthed…" gives any indication of the fantastic discoveries made on his trip. It seems unlikely that such a short, straightforward article would have been fabricated to set up a fictional story that would not be printed for another three weeks.


The March 12 article states that Kincaid traveled the entire length of the Colorado River and that he was the second man to make this journey. So what of the first man to make this journey? That honor goes to John Wesley Powell who explored the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon from 1869 to 1872.

In his book Exploration of the Colorado River and its Canyons, Powell describes his journey through the Grand Canyon. As he is passing through an area known as Marble Canyon, Powell sees in the canyon walls great numbers of caves that are hollowed out, and carvings are seen which suggest architectural forms, though on a scale so grand that architectural terms belittle them.²Powell may be using the term architectural forms to describe the beauty of the natural formations, but the fact that he includes mention of a great number of caves in the same sentence is certainly curious when viewed in the context of the 1909 Gazette article.

Later on, Powell describes a curious discovery. He wrote

"I walk down the gorge to the left at the foot of the cliff, climb to a bench, and discover a trail deeply worn into the rock. Where it crosses the side gulches in some places steps have been cut. I can see no evidence of its having been traveled for a long time. It was doubtless a path used by the people who inhabited this country anterior to the present Indian races-the people who built the communal houses of which mention has been made. I returned to camp about three o’clock and find that some of the men have discovered ruins and many fragments of pottery; also etchings and hieroglyphics on the rocks."

Compare Powell’s discovery to the entrance described by G. E. Kinkaid:

"There are steps leading from this entrance some thirty yards from what was at the time the cavern was inhabited, the level of the river."

Both accounts describe stone steps carved into the rocks. The Gazette article also describes Kinkaid’s discovery of ‘tablets engraved with hieroglyphics.’

Powell also speculates that the creators of the steps he found were a race of people who came before the Indian races. He does not speculate on their origin, but it appears possible that both Powell and Kinkaid are describing discoveries that point to the same culture.

Photo taken by Michelle Emerson

The Smithsonian

The 1909 article clearly states that the Smithsonian is involved with studying and excavating the site. However, the Smithsonian denies that any such discovery ever occurred. This brings up the larger question that if this was a true story, why would the Smithsonian have covered up what certainly would be one of the most significant archeological finds of the twentieth century? Believe it or not, there is precedence for the Smithsonian losing information about discoveries that are deemed to not fit in with currently accepted dogma about the history of America and its interaction or lack thereof with other ancient civilizations.

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