Episode 75: Egyptian Medical Canyons

Jenn takes the guys tomb raiding in the ancient Egyptian caves of Arizona. Then Aaron gets his MD in BCE BS from St. Patreon Medical FTW!

Welcome to Interesting If True, the podcast that walks you like an Egyptian right into a nearby hospital temple!

I’m your host this week, Aaron, and with me are:

I’m Jenn, did you know the human stomach can digest a razor blade in about two hours?

I’m Shea and this week I learned that the only part of your reflection you can lick is your tongue?

Oh yeah, you know what time it is… it’s time for some more WEIRD HISTORY…ree etc

  • http://www.ancientpages.com/2014/11/19/mystery-lost-underground-city-grand-canyon/
  • https://mysteriousuniverse.org/2018/02/the-mysterious-lost-underground-civilization-of-the-grand-canyon/
  • https://history.howstuffworks.com/history-vs-myth/lost-civilization-in-grand-canyon-was-egyptian.htm
  • https://skeptoid.com/episodes/4556
  • https://io9.gizmodo.com/when-the-smithsonian-discovered-an-ancient-egyptian-col-5875252
  • https://www.eyeofthepsychic.com/egyptiancanyon/
  • http://www.reptoids.com/bio.htm
  • https://wexclub.com/

I know I said no more hoaxes for a while, but it’s my segment and I do what I want.

April 9th of this year will be the 111th anniversary of a really exciting news article. Moon batpeople exciting? No, not quite, but pretty cool, and about as factual.

So yes, in the April 9th, 1909 edition of the Arizona Gazette ran a front-page story entitled ‘Explorations In the Grand Canyon’. Now, while that’s not exactly the most thrilling of front-page news, it doesn’t exactly throw up any red flags that the following information would be early 20th-century looney tooney, either. (The subheadings are pretty good though.)

The article covers the recent adventures of Smithsonian Institute explorer G.E. Kincaid on an expedition headed by anthropologist Prof. S.A. Jordan, as they…well, made explorations in the Grand Canyon. But this was no run-of-the-mill, rim-to-rim through hike with maybe some talk of mule deer and desert lizards. Nope. It was a ‘the Cardiff Giant is obviously a fossilized man’ and blue moonicorns kinda story. It also has a bit of local flair for us Wyomingites.

The main gist of the story is the archaeologists have just sent back word that they have discovered, at the base of a sheer 1500ft cliff inside the Canyon, the entrance to a ginormous hidden cave city.

From the article:

“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, was brought to the city yesterday by G.E. Kinkaid, the explorer who found the great underground citadel of the Grand Canyon during a trip from Green River, Wyoming, down the Colorado, in a wooden boat, to Yuma, several months ago.”

Cool, cool. This was still a time period when a lot of the big western states were largely unexplored, so they definitely could be on an adventure full of derring do and actual scientific discovery. And who knows, there could have been a civilization that DID create a city in the GC.

Things get a little more…suspect however the deeper into the article you dive. Or spelunk, if you will. Did this vast newly discovered city show examples of the craftwork and lives of ancient American indigenous people? Not exactly.

The majority of the article and report is told from the perspective of Kincaid, who

“was the first white child born in Idaho and has been an explorer and hunter all his life, thirty years having been in the service of the Smithsonian Institute.” He recounted a bit of the trip, how the group discovered with a route to the cave (sheer cliffs remember), and other banal, ‘how we got there’ details. So let’s skip to where the good stuff starts. From ancientpages.com: “Above a shelf which hid it from view from the river, was the mouth of the cave. There are steps leading from this entrance some thirty yards to what was, at the time the cavern was inhabited, the level of the river. When I saw the chisel marks on the wall inside the entrance, I became interested, securing my gun and went in. During that trip I went back several hundred feet along the main passage till I came to the crypt in which I discovered the mummies.”

That’s right. MUMMIES. And not what sometimes happens in arid climates naturally, we’re talking honest to goodness, Bela Lugosi-looking, Brendan Fraser-fighting King Tut-type mummy. But I’m gonna get into more detail with them in just a bit.

Before that, let’s begin our walkthrough with Indiana Kincaid’s narration. There are the apparently requisite measurements and explanations of the cavern’s tunnels and ceilings, how there is the main chamber with branching walkways, but blah blah. Let’s talk about the relics, artifacts, and bling instead.

“Over a hundred feet from the entrance is the cross-hall, several hundred feet long, in which are found the idol, or image, of the people’s god, sitting cross-legged, with a lotus flower or lily in each hand. The cast of the face is oriental, and the carving this cavern. The idol almost resembles Buddha, though the scientists are not certain as to what religious worship it represents. Taking into consideration everything found thus far, it is possible that this worship most resembles the ancient people of Tibet.

Surrounding this idol are smaller images, some very beautiful in form; others crooked-necked and distorted shapes, symbolical, probably, of good and evil. There are two large cactus with protruding arms, one on each side of the dais on which the god squats. All this is carved out of hard rock resembling marble. In the opposite corner of this cross-hall were found tools of all descriptions, made of copper. These people undoubtedly knew the lost art of hardening this metal, which has been sought by chemicals for centuries without result.”

There are also granaries with the storage of seeds and grains, lots of artisan works, and metalcraft.

“A gray metal is also found in this cavern, which puzzles the scientists, for its identity has not been established. It resembles platinum. Strewn promiscuously over the floor everywhere are what people call “cats eyes”, a yellow stone of no great value. Each one is engraved with the head of the Malay type.”

(Maylay type: Autronesian ethnic group of areas such as Sumatra, Indonesia, Singapore, etc. And Arizona…?) In addition to that global influence, based on the hieroglyphics found throughout the caverns, and many of its relics, Jordan’s team concluded the residents were Egyptians.

The discovery

“almost conclusively proves that the race which inhabited this mysterious cavern, hewn in solid rock by human hands, was of oriental origin, possibly from Egypt, tracing back to Ramses. If their theories are borne out by the translation of the tablets engraved with hieroglyphics, the mystery of the prehistoric peoples of North America, their ancient arts, who they were and whence they came, will be solved. Egypt and the Nile, and Arizona and the Colorado will be linked by a historical chain running back to ages which staggers the wildest fancy of the fictionist.”

Did Conan Doyle write this thinking there were fairies?

Anyhow, it’s way down deep in the caverns that things start getting the spookies: “There is one chamber of the passageway which is not ventilated, and when we approached it a deadly, snaky smell struck us. Our light would not penetrate the gloom, and until stronger ones are available we will not know what the chamber contains. Some say snakes, but others boo-hoo this idea and think it may contain a deadly gas or chemicals used by the ancients. No sounds are heard, but it smells snaky just the same. The whole underground installation gives one of shaky nerves the creeps. The gloom is like a weight on one’s shoulders, and our flashlights and candles only make the darkness blacker. Imagination can revel in conjectures and ungodly daydreams back through the ages that have elapsed till the mind reels dizzily in space.”

It’s a good thing our wily adventurers braved the gas and snakes (“why does it always have to be snakes”) because it is in the lowest levels that they discover…the tombs.

“The tomb or crypt in which the mummies were found is one of the largest of the chambers, the walls slanting back at an angle of about 35 degrees. On these are tiers of mummies, each one occupying a separate hewn shelf. At the head of each is a small bench, on which is found copper cups and pieces of broken swords. Some of the mummies are covered with clay, and all are wrapped in a bark fabric.

The urns or cups on the lower tiers are crude, while as the higher shelves are reached, the urns are finer in design, showing a later stage of civilization. It is worthy of note that all the mummies examined so far have proved to be male, no children or females being buried here. This leads to the belief that this exterior section was the warriors’ barracks.”

The article peters out from here, but gosh dang, this is exciting! And it’s left with the promise of a continuation of the story and further explorations. Sadly, though, time passed and nothing new was published. Were the explorers all killed in a mass snaky gas explosion? Murdered by Orient-influenced mummies? Probably.

No word is ever heard again from Kincaid, Jordan, or any other member of Operation Western Orient. In fact, there is zip evidence other than this write up of their ever existing. When a Smithsonian representative was asked by, I’m not kidding, The World Explorers Club, she replied,

“The Smithsonian’s Department of Anthropology, has searched its files without finding any mention of a Professor Jordan, Kincaid, or a lost Egyptian civilization in Arizona. Nevertheless, the story continues to be repeated in books and articles.”

(I’m taking a quick moment to address The World Explorers Club, or Wexclub, because I have discovered a new story topic for a future time. What is Wexclub? Well, it’s founder and leader is David Hatcher Childress, a man whose bona fides include

“a recognized expert not only on ancient civilizations and technology, but also on free energy, anti-gravity and UFOs. His books on these subjects include: The Anti-Gravity Handbook; Anti-Gravity & the World Grid; Anti-Gravity and the Unified Field; Extraterrestrial Archeology; Vimana Aircraft of Ancient India & Atlantis; A Hitchhikers Guide To Armageddon The Free-Energy Device Handbook, Man-Made UFOs, The Time Travel Handbook, Atlantis & the Power System of the Gods and others.” So get ready for THAT.)

Now from the information I have relayed from the article and the brief glimpse from David Childress, we have had over a century of…embellishment, as I’m sure you can imagine. Well, you won’t have to imagine them all because I’m going to share a couple.

John Rhodes, the self-proclaimed “world’s foremost authority on Reptilian-Humanoids, or Reptilian Aliens.” In fact,

“his pioneering work investigating claims of reptilian alien contact eventually resulted in the birth of an entirely new genre of study in the UFO community.” He happens to know exactly where the cave is located, but you can’t get in bc it “is guarded today by a lone soldier carrying an M-16” and is considered a museum of human history for the Illuminati.

Speaking of Reptilian Humanoids, you can’t bring them up without mentioning the king of all things alien reptilian, David Icke. He gets the last word bc of course he does!

Here is what he wrote about the underground Egyptian Grand Canyon City in his 1999 book ‘The Biggest Secret’:

“In 1909 a subterranean city which was built with the precision of the Great Pyramid was found by G. E. Kincaid near the Grand Canyon in Arizona. It was big enough to accommodate 50,000 people and mummified bodies found were of oriental or possibly Egyptian origin, according to the expedition leader Professor S. A. Jordan. My own research suggests that it is from another dimension, the lower fourth dimension, that the reptilian control and manipulation is primarily orchestrated.”

You’re welcome.

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Patron Medical… Something

It’s time for another yee-oldie medical qwest!

And to celebrate Jenn’s return to the show and good health, it’s vagoo based.

Generally, these stories are us laughing at the ridiculousness of long-dead quacks — and this will certainly be that — but it’s also worth noting that like ancient China, the early Egyptians were actually well ahead of the medical curve. Sure, they had their fair share of witchcraft mixed in for good measure but they had an official, state-run healthcare system (yeah, let that since in – we’re actually worse off from a medical administration standpoint that 4000-year-old Egyptians.) They had official institutions of medical education called Per-Ankh, the House of Life, a kind of library/school attached to a temple. Students were scribes for years, transcribing and duplicating medical texts until they graduated and became swnw (swu-nu), or doctors.

The earliest recorded physician in the world, Hesy-Ra, practiced in ancient Egypt. He was “Chief of Dentists and Physicians” to King Djoser, who ruled in the 27th century BC. There are some ideas about older Sumerian medical practitioners but they were decentralized and unregulated, so we’re going with Hesy-Ra.

The lady Peseshet (2400 BC) may be the first recorded female doctor: she was possibly the mother of Akhethotep, and on a stela dedicated to her in his tomb she is referred to as imy-r swnwt, which has been translated as “Lady Overseer of the Lady Physicians” (swnwt is the feminine of swnw).

A day in the life of an Egyptian doctor – Ted-Ed

It’s worth noting that Hesy-Ra was the “Chief of Dentists and Physicians,” his specialties. Swnws were divided into specialties. For example, the career-minded swnw might eventually achieve the lofty title of “neru pehut” or Shepherd of the Royal Anus. The God-Kings, of course, had the best medical coverage, also not unlike today, often with individual doctors for specific body parts such as the Royal Keeper of the Pharaoh’s Left Eye, Royal Keeper of the Pharaoh’s Right Eye, or Shepherd of the Royal Anus. The last one is especially noteworthy as he was the only one allowed to prescribe Phero with medicines taken rectally, which was most of them.

Anyway, I promised you vagoo stuff.

The medical histories of Egypt are old, like way old, and we only know about them because of the various papyrus’ left behind. For example, the Edwin Smith Papyrus is the world’s oldest guide to trauma surgery. It is also the earliest known documentation of the circulatory system. Yep. Because of the tedious, organ-based processes of mummification, the Egyptians knew a great deal about the inner workings of the body. The Edwin Smith Papyrus shows the heart, liver, spleen, kidneys, ureters, and bladder in detail, along with the fact that the blood vessels were connected to the heart. And like many of these works the entire translation of available glyphs is online.

Obviously time has worn many of these but the areas with text have all been translated. For example, the Kahun Papyrus is the oldest known gynecological text, dating back to 1800BCE. The text is divided into thirty-four sections, each section dealing with a specific problem and containing diagnosis and treatment. Treatments are non-surgical, comprising applying medicines to the affected body part or swallowing them.

Given that the entire translation is online… I read it.

Column 2, 18-20

Examination of a woman thirsting […]
[You should say of it ‘…’.]
You should treat it with a measure of fermented hesa-liquid, and […] of hesa-liquid of awyt […] on form (?)

Column 1, 20-22

Examination of a woman all of whose limbs are ill, aching in the socket of her eyes
You should say of it ‘it is deprivation of the womb; no beer-drinking (?) has been allowed it for the condition of a fresh birth (?)’.water
You should treat it with 1 portion (?) of dough (?) and
Drink 1[+x] mornings

Column 1, 15-20

Examination of a woman aching in her teeth and molars to the point that she cannot […] her mouth
You should say of it ‘it is toothache of the womb’.
You should treat it then by fumigating her with incense and oil in 1 jar
Pour over her [..] the urine of an ass that has created its like the day it passed it
If she aches in her front from her navel to her buttocks, it is worm
Ohh… don’t nobody want ancient Egyptian crotch worms…

Column 2, 25-30

Examination of a woman bleeding […] human mother, aching in her head, her mouth and the palm of her hand
You should say of it [‘…’.]
You should treat it by smearing for her ground and placing on it dregs of sweet beer […]
[If] nothing emerges for her, you should place dates in .. (?) on the upper side of [these] dregs […]
[…] upper of it, causing her to sit on it;
[if] nothing emerges for her, you should have […] boiled […]
[…] cooled, for [her] to drink [it];
[if], though, blood or bodily fluid emerges for her, […]


Many would assume that tampons are a modern advancement that gives a woman on her period freedom. It is true that tampons were not used until recently in many Western cultures. There were even advertising campaigns as late as the 1980s touting the benefits of tampons and trying to convince American women that they were safe. These campaigns even referred to the ancient Egyptians’ use of them as proof that they are ancient and natural.

Often referred to as a Tyet or an Isis knot, cloth tampons were made by using scrap fabric, often cotton, rolling it up, and tying a string around the center. The name “Isis knot” refers to the goddess Isis, who according to legend, used a tampon while pregnant with Horus to protect him while in the womb from attacks by the god Seth. Ancient Egyptians also used other cloths similar to today’s pads, which was common throughout many early cultures. Yet the benefits of the supposedly modern tampon may be something that Egyptian women knew all about.


I’m Shea, and this week I learned that out of all the inventions in the last 100 years the dry erase board is probably the most remarkable, and a special thanks to our newest patron, Charles!

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