Saturday, 24 November 2012

Psychic Archaeology in Egypt

Leading on from my post about psychics and archaeology, I now turn to an example where the psychics' knowledge of the subject in question is so limited that it can't be considered a potential source of information.

In 1978 Stephan Schwartz arranged for some remote viewers to concentrate on the bay of Alexandria, before sending a team of divers along to check their findings. The bay was chosen because, despite it's obvious importance in the history of Egypt, it had not been extensively investigated by archaeologists.

At first the remote viewers were sent a map of the area (with names and identifiers removed) and asked to indicate locations relating to history. The example they give in the paper concerns questions about Cleopatra, which makes me wonder why they removed the names and identifiers from the map if they're going to include such overt references to Egypt. It appears that the remote viewers are unaware of the nature of the search, since most of the locations marked are on dry land.

After this, two remote viewers were also taken to Egypt in order that more accurate viewings could be carried out. And lastly, a new set of remote viewing was done with all viewers using maps as before. It's worth noting that between the first and second map sessions, some fieldwork was completed (in the Spring of 1979).

In the paper, A Preliminary Survey Of The Eastern Harbor, Alexandria, Egypt Including a Comparison of Side Scan Sonar and Remote Viewing, the abstract explains the aims of the experiment: "The location of the ancientshore line; the location and predictive description of several sites including: the island ofAntirrhodus and the Emporium/Poseidium/Timonium complex; a palace complex associatedwith Cleopatra; and, a further elaboration, both in terms of location and predictive description, ofthe Pharos lighthouse area." And it goes on to conclude that:

"This paper describes the probable location of the Emporium, the Poseidium, and the Timonium, the palace complex of Cleopatra, the island of Antirrhodus, a site at the tip of Fort Sisila (known previously as Point Lochias), new discoveries pertaining to the lighthouse, and an associated temple. The most important discovery though is the identification and location of the ancient seawall which extends some 65 meters further out into the harbor than was previously suspected, and whose location resolves a key piece in the puzzle of the ancient city’s layout. The discoveries reported were principally the result of Remote Viewing."

Because the area has been much more thoroughly examined since the paper was written in 1980, I thought I'd take a look to see how well their conclusions stood up to subsequent research.

With regards to the location of the Timonium and the island of Antirrhodus, a site of a palace connected to Cleopatra, and the Poseidium the results aren't good. Overlaying Schwartz's map with a more recent one detailing the findings, one can see that the targets fall outside the areas indicated by the remote viewers (site 8). Another remote viewer placed Cleopatra's palace in site 9, which ran along the eastern shore of the harbour. Below two maps from Schwartz's paper and another archaeological site are overlaid. (It should be noted that a little adjusting needed to be done to make the harbour outlines in the two maps coincide.)

Remote viewing results overlaid with later archaeological findings

It could be said that some of the areas chosen were very close to the eventual findings, but it is probably useful at this point to compare the areas chosen in session one with session two (see below, areas highlighted). After the initial results from the first dive in area 4, the main attention seems to have switched over to that side of the Eastern Harbour, and the areas are much larger in size.

Session one, left. Session two, right.

Perhaps the one success was the ancient sea wall, but that was found in a circular area that went from the modern sea wall into the bay by about 120 metres. In the paper's abstract, Schwartz says that "the ancient seawall which extends some 65 meters further out into the harbor than was previously suspected" but does not give any reference for previous estimates of the position of the seawall.

Comparing the reports of subsequent underwater archaeology from the Eastern Harbour, I have grave doubts about Schwartz's assertion that they had found "the location of [...] the Emporium and the Timonium, Mark Antony’s palace in Alexandria, the Ptolemaic Palace Complex of Cleopatra" (Schwartz's own website, Nov 2012). Other data from the paper remain difficult to judge, since I've not been able to find any further papers on those topics.

The success of remote viewing as a tool of archaeology can perhaps best be illustrated by returning to the initial areas marked out by the remote viewers when they had the least amount of information about the targets. You can see many places circled on land and, of the four areas marked in the Eastern Harbour, only one returned any decent results.


Schwartz, S. "A Preliminary Survey Of The Eastern Harbor, Alexandria, Egypt Including A Comparison Of Side Scan Sonar And Remote Viewing"
Jean-Daniel Stanley, "Submergence and burial of ancient coastal sites on the subsiding Nile delta margin, Egypt",
Méditerranée [En ligne], 104 | 2005, mis en ligne le 02 février 2009, consulté le 10 octobre 2012. URL : http://


Stephan A. Schwartz said...

This critique of my work is so flawed and shoddy that it would be my pleasure to take you apart. Almost too easy. But I don't believe for a minute that you have the integrity to post to your site what I would write. If you will give me your word, however, that you will let my response to yours stand I will undertake the effort. I doubt you will even let this comment remain long. Deniers like you are never really interested in facts.

-- Stephan A. Schwartz

Ersby said...

Please be my guest. This post is simply a comparison of what was written in your paper and what subsequent archaeologists have found. If you have anything to add regarding the bay at Alexandria, then I'd be interested to read it.

Steve A. Ray said...

Hello. Rather than argue, I thought to include extra pyschic archology info.

Consider Ann D. and C. Sagan's interest in Omn Sety...who was a pyschic archologist.
Sagan thought highly of it...perhaps you would enjoy the read.

Another person who comes to mind is Judith Orloff, a pyscholgist and clarivoyant...she
was one of those who worked with Steven on Mobuis. Rent her stuff at the library.

Perhaps the skeptic in you will wiggle and change a bit. Lol.

Good lessons to All...

Ersby said...

I had a quick look at the names you mentioned. Omm Sety looks like it needs a fair bit of research before I come to any real conclusions, but I was interested to note that Judith Orloff was part of the Leander project. I wrote about that here:

Enfant Terrible said...

Here is the map created by the viewers (the circles) overlain over the subsequent surveys by the French some years later. This overlay was checked and approved by the archaeologists in Alexandria.

Ersby said...

Thanks. This is pretty much identical to the map already in the article, although mine specifically focuses on one section. In case anyone's curious, I got the map of later findings from this page

Enfant Terrible said...

Ersby, have you seen The Alexandria Project video showing the discovery of the Timonium, the ancient seawall, and the Lighthouse of Pharos, as well as a requested buried building in the buried city of Marea?

Enfant Terrible said...

There is a video about the Project Deep Quest too:

Ersby said...

I have seen the video of the Alexandria Project. It's interesting, but I maintain that it doesn't show the discovery of Timonium since later archaeological work appears to put that outside the area where the remote viewers said to search.

This video is also interesting in that it show that the remote viewers were not completely blind to the target. The paper "A Preliminary Survey Of The Eastern Harbor, Alexandria, Egypt Including A Comparison Of Side Scan Sonar And Remote Viewing" says that the viewers were working from maps with any features and place names eliminated. But at around 03:38 in the video the viewer being film describes how he is looking for the burial place of Alexander. I believe that this was another project of the Mobius Society.

This indicates to me that the work in the bay seemed to be an offshoot of an attempt to locate the tomb of Alexander the Great which would, I imagine, provide a strong link to the city of Alexandria.

Enfant Terrible said...

I think it would be good to read the book "The Alexandria Project". Schwartz did the Eastern Harbor work because the viewers told him to.

The location of the Timonium is just where the viewers said it was and if you listen to the video [between 25m30s and 26min] you can hear Moustpha al Abidi, the chairman of the department of archaeology say so, which after more analysis was reconfirmed, by al Abidi and Daoud Abou Daoud, the Director of the Alexandria Archaeological Society and its museum, and Mieczyslaw Rodziewicz, Director of the University of Warsaw Archaeological Mission to Alexandria. This was further confirmed some years later by the French research, as the map confirms. And remember this was all done by viewers who had never been to Alexandria, and who were themselves in the U.S. Canada, and Italy months before the fieldwork.

Ersby said...

Thanks again for your contributions. The section at 25m 30s where a diver (it looks like Schwartz himself, but I’m not sure) describes al Abidi what they’ve found and al Abidi says it’s Timonium. Now, this gives us two options: either he is wrong in his assessment, or that the diving group were now searching outside the area defined by the remote viewers.

And this is where I have a question. The map you supplied and the one in my article both show quite clearly Timonium as being outside the areas that the remote viewers identify. I interpret this as meaning the remote viewers did not successfully locate the Timonium. If you could go into some detail as to how you think the map confirms the remote viewers’ success despite this, I’d appreciate it.

After a bit of searching, I notice that one of the people you mentioned, Daoud Abdu Daoud, wrote a book about Alexandria in 1993 which would be after the Mobius work and before the 1995 search that pinpointed Timonium. It’d be interesting to read that to see if it mentions Timonium and if so, does it include any data from the Mobius work.

Enfant Terrible said...

Dear Ersby,

the Timonium was a large complex of buildings, the exact extent and outline we do not know even to this day.

Daoud Abdu Daoud died in 1990. The reference you mentioned is: Alexandrian Studies in Memoriam Daoud abdu Daoud, Bulletin de la Société Archéologique d'Alexandrie (1993). It is online:

Enfant Terrible said...

Dear Ersby,

see the map that exists in the International Handbook of Underwater Archaeology (2002) here:, at page 526. If you prefer, I put only the map here:

There is a Palace in the place that Schwartz called Site 6. The remote viewers said about this site:

This appears to be a subsidence site associated with what had once been a palace or administrative structure.

So this map of the Handbook confirms this aspect of Schwartz's research.

Ersby said...

Thanks again for your contributions. I’m very impressed with the sources you’ve uncovered. Although the book Alexandrian Studies in Memorium is only 5% online (at least, to me) it does give access to the contents pages with some interesting things for me to search for.

As for the palace you mentioned, I should clarify that I don't believe remote viewers are wrong all the time, just that their successes aren't due to any purposeful psychic ability. This is especially the case when you have eleven people submitting data. The sites five, six, eight and nine in the Eastern Harbour cover an area over one kilometre in length and 200-300 metres in width.

I think that eleven people, told to generate descriptions of a location that they know to be an ancient city with royal connections, even if they don't know about the specific history or Alexandria itself, would contain aspects that correlate to the actual target. As such, the fact that site six contains the ruins of a palace as they predicted, this does not tell us that the predictions regarding the location of Timonium, Posiedion and the Island of Antirhodos must also be valid.

In re-reading the paper and watching the video again, it struck me that the paper does not specify exactly where they found the building with pillars. This is regrettable, since it would have been useful in comparing what they found in 1979 with what has been discovered since.

I've made another map overlaying the sites identified by the Mobius Society with the 2002 map, putting this new information into a clearer context.