Magical Artifacts Or Man-Made Marvels?
Behold, the Crystal Skull of Doom (image, left). This fine piece of workmanship is shrouded in mystery – from its origin to its special powers. Some have said that it was handed down by extraterrestrials to the ancient Mayans. Others theorize that the crystal skull originated from lost a civilization with advanced technologies for their time – like the inhabitants of Atlantis.
Modern New Agers believe that the crystal skulls have supernatural abilities like healing or “visions of the past, present and future”. They also claim that at certain points on the Earth, the crystal skulls vibrate and project images similar to a hologram. Some say that, when placed close together, they will produce an audible hum.
“I personally feel that the Crystal Skulls are not only here to share ancient knowledge and wisdom, but to assist in awakening our race to higher spiritual laws and understanding of itself….If the Crystal Skulls were not brought by extraterrestrials then certainly we must conclude their [sic] have been civilizations much more technologically or spiritually advanced than our own today.” –Joshua “Illinois” Shapiro
“[The] crystal stimulates an unknown part of the brain, opening a psychic door to the absolute.” – Frank Dorland
Behold – The Skull of Doom!
Skulls have often been associated to the symbol of death in many different cultures. Crystal skulls entered the public eye around 1943 when the Mitchell-Hedges Skull, more affectionately known as the Skull of Doom, was allegedly found by archeological excavator F.A. Mitchell-Hedges’ daughter, Anna Mitchell-Hedges, during her father’s exhibition to discover Atlantis*.
According to F.A Mitchell, Anna was rummaging around while her father was working, and she stumbled upon an altar in a temple where she found a crystal skull. There’s no hard evidence for this claim, and there’s no evidence of Anna tagging along with her father to the Lubaatun exhibition. In fact, there is contradictory evidence in a 1936 journal which states that the Crystal Skull belonged to an art trader by the name of Sydney Burney. Interesting. Without going into the fine details, the skull traded hands a number of times before resting at the Smithsonian Institution today.
All Things Evil
Anna believed that the Skull of Doom embodied all things evil and that it was a piece of an important ritual. According to Anna, when an old priest was about to die, he would pass all of his knowledge to the younger priest through the crystal skull before passing.
Besides the Skull of Doom from Mitchell-Hedges, there are other discoveries of crystal skulls, like the British Crystal Skull, the Paris Crystal Skull, the Mayan crystal Skull, the Amethyst Crystal Skull, Max, ET Skull, Rose Quartz Skull, Brazilian Crystal Skull, and “Compassion” – the Atlantean Crystal Skull. According to avid new agers, there are 13 ‘master’ crystal skulls all together, if brought together would unveil secrets and knowledge beyond the world. Just like a scene out of an Indiana Jones movie.
Oops, a Contradiction
Now, scientists, researchers, and skeptics claim that the crystal skulls are frauds and made recently. Studies from a Hewlett Packard lab (there are no evidence or report that this took place!) states that some features of the crystal skull cannot be emulated even with modern technologies, like how it is carved against its axis, which would usually shatter the crystal. Trouble is, there actually no evidence for the study at HP.
What about a real study? Glad you asked.
Using real science like a microscopic analysis and newly discovered archival documents, Smithsonian anthropologist Jane Walsh has revealed the Mitchell-Hedges skull to be a modern creation about which a mythology was deliberately spun.
Just the Facts
In her article, “The Skull of Doom”, published on Archeology.org, author Jane MacLaren Walsh states:
“Analysis of the Mitchell-Hedges crystal skull using SEM (scanning electron microscopy) leaves little doubt that this object was carved and polished using modern, high-speed, diamond-coated, rotary, cutting and polishing tools of minute dimensions. This technology is certainly not pre-Columbian. I believe it is decidedly 20th century. The similarities between the Mitchell-Hedges skull and the British Museum skull suggest that the former is an improved copy of the latter. The recently published SEM study of the British Museum skull additionally suggests it was probably carved within a decade of the date it was first offered for sale in 1881 (Sax, Walsh, et al. 2008: p. 2759). It is not unreasonable to conclude that the Mitchell-Hedges skull, which first appeared in 1933, was also created within short time of its debut.”
The Less-Than-Exciting Conclusion
Frederick Mitchell-Hedges warned that the skull was “the embodiment of all evil” and that “several people who have cynically laughed at it have died, others have been stricken and become seriously ill” (1954: p. 240). Worry not – the Mitchell-Hedges crystal skull is not ancient, and not even very old. It was probably made in Europe in the 20th century, and was not polished for five generations. It is not powerful, not scary and not at all what it purports to be. It’s just a fine piece of workmanship, at best.
* They never found Atlantis… yet people today still attribute the skull’s fictional powers to the fictional island and fictional people of Atlantis.