Graham Hancock

graham hancock by nelson blake

Graham Hancock (b. 1950) is a British writer and journalist specializing in unconventional theories involving ancient civilizations, stone monuments or megaliths, altered states of consciousness, ancient myths and astronomical/astrological data from the past.

One of the main themes running through many of his books is the possible global connection with a ‘mother culture’ from which he believes all ancient historical civilizations sprang. Although his books have sold more than five million copies worldwide and have been translated into twenty-seven languages, his methods and conclusions have found little support among academics, his work being labelled ‘pseudoarchaeology.’

Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, Hancock’s formative years were spent in India, where his father worked as a surgeon. Having returned to the UK, he graduated from Durham University in 1973, receiving a First Class Honors degree in Sociology. As a journalist, Hancock worked for many British papers, such as ‘The Times, ‘The Independent,’ and ‘The Guardian.’ He was co-editor of ‘New Internationalist’ magazine from 1976–1979, and the East Africa correspondent of ‘The Economist’ from 1981-1983. Hancock sees himself as someone who provides a counterbalance to the ‘unquestioned’ acceptance and support given to orthodox views by the education system, the media, and by society at large. Prior to 1990 his works dealt mainly with problems of economic and social development. Since 1990 his works have focused mainly on the possible connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena.

In Hancock’s book ‘Talisman: Sacred Cities, Secret Faith,’ co-authored with Pyramidology expert Robert Bauval, the two put forward ‘a version of the old Jewish-Masonic plot so beloved by ultra-right-wing conspiracy theorists.’ They suggest a connection between the pillars of Solomon’s Temple and the Twin Towers, and between the Star of David and The Pentagon. Hancock’s most recent non-fiction book, ‘Supernatural: Meetings With the Ancient Teachers of Mankind,’ was published in 2005. In it, Hancock examines paleolithic cave art in the light of David Lewis-Williams’ neuropsychological model, exploring its relation to the development of the fully modern human mind. He also wrote a fantasy novel in 2010, ‘Entangled: The Eater of Souls.’ The novel makes use of Hancock’s prior research interests and as he has noted, ‘What was there to lose, I asked myself, when my critics already described my factual books as fiction?’

One of the many recurring themes in several of Hancock’s works has been an exposition on the ‘Orion Correlation Theory’ (or OCT), first put forward by Belgian writer Robert Bauval and then further expounded in collaborative works with Hancock, as well as in their separate publications. BBC 2’s ‘Horizon’ TV series broadcast a program, ‘Atlantis Reborn,’ in 1999 that challenged the ideas presented by Hancock. It detailed one of his claims that the arrangement of an ancient temple complex was designed to mirror astronomical features and attempted to demonstrate that the same thing could be done with perhaps equal justification using famous landmarks in New York. It also alleged that Hancock had selectively moved or ignored the locations of some of the temples to fit his own theories .

Hancock claimed he was misrepresented by the show, and he and Robert Bauval made complaints to the Broadcasting Standards Commission. Hancock argued that the show created the impression that he was an intellectual fraudster who had put forward half baked theories and ideas in bad faith, and that he was incompetent to defend his own arguments. The BSC dismissed all but one of the complaints. Overall, the BSC concluded that ‘the program makers acted in good faith in their examination of the theories of Mr Hancock and Mr Bauval.’ The complaint which was upheld was that: ‘The program unfairly omitted one of their arguments in rebuttal of a speaker who criticized the theory of a significant correlation between the Giza pyramids and the belt stars of the constellation Orion (the ‘correlation theory’),’ which the Commission did find to be unfair.

That speaker was the astronomer Edwin Krupp who had accused Bauval of fudging the maps of Orion and the Pyramids by placing them upside down in order to make the theory work. In interviews filmed in the later and modified ‘Horizon’ documentary, ‘Atlantis Reborn Again’ shown in December 2000, Hancock and Bauval provided detailed rebuttals to Krupp and argued that the ancient Egyptians had made the Pyramids correlate in the most obvious and intuitive manner with the three stars of Orion’s Belt, that Orion could only be seen at the highest point in the sky by the Egyptians looking in a southward direction and a work of symbolic and religious art.

In 2009, Roland Emmerich released his blockbuster disaster movie ‘2012’ citing Graham’s ‘Fingerprints of the Gods’ in the credits as an inspiration for the film, stating: ‘I always wanted to do a biblical flood movie, but I never felt I had the hook. I first read about the Earth’s Crust Displacement Theory in Graham Hancock’s ‘Fingerprints of the Gods.”

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