Crystal Skulls

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A crystal skull
A crystal skull

A crystal skull is a model of a human skull made out of clear quartz crystal. A modern legend claims that there are 13 crystal skulls worldwide, of which five have actually been found, which have mystical powers and are of ancient origin. Such claims remain unproven. New skulls carved from crystal are made and sold regularly.

People who believe in the psychic power of crystal skulls say that the skulls are a center of radiant psychic energy and have the power to increase happiness and improve people's lives just by being held, handled and spoken with; others have suggested that crystal skulls can be used like crystal balls, to aid divination.

These are also said that once all 13 of them come together, they will speak and reveal secrets of the world.

The healing and supernatural powers of crystal skulls have never been scientifically established. The scientific community at large has found no evidence of any unusual phenomena associated with the skulls nor any reason for further investigation.

The crystal skulls have been found out to have been made in the late 1800's by the tools that were used to create it. Also the Boban, a collector, originally advertised that the skulls were art not ancient relics. Sorry but this case seems to have been cracked. Citation


[edit] Mitchell-Hedges skull

Perhaps the most famous and enigmatic skull was allegedly discovered in 1926 by Anna Le Guillon Mitchell-Hedges, adopted daughter of famed archeologist F.A. Mitchell-Hedges. However, because there is no documented evidence of this, some authorities prefer to hypothesise that the skull was actually purchased at auction by F.A. Mitchell-Hedges in 1943. In an affidavit from 1968 printed in Richard Garvin's "The Crystal Skull", Anna Hedges claims that she found the skull buried under a collapsed altar inside a temple in Lubaantun (Garvin, photo 25), in British Honduras, now Belize. In a letter to the author in 1970, she also stated that she was "told by the few remaining Maya, and was used by the high priest to will death" (Garvin 93). The artifact is sometimes referred to as "The Skull of Doom" because of its seemingly inexplicable properties and the supposed ill-luck of those who have handled it.

The skull was made from a block of clear quartz (although the jaw detaches), 5 inches (13 cm) high, 7 inches (18 cm) long and 5 inches wide. It is about the size of a small human cranium, with near perfect detail. In 1970, art restorer Frank Dorland claimed that he was given permission to submit the skull to tests at the internal Hewlett-Packard Laboratories. He claimed that the skull featured some anomalies. According to Dorland, the skull had been carved with total disregard to the natural crystal axis and no metal tools were used. Dorland claimed he was unable to find any tell-tale scratch marks, except for traces of mechanical grinding on the teeth. From tiny patterns near the carved surfaces, Dorland determined it was first chiseled into rough form, probably using diamonds (Original author used supposition here. This is a modification of the original document. Diamonds, while hard, are brittle and unsuited for chiseling. Even a diamond cutter uses a metal chisel or blade to shape the diamonds into their finished cut. It is far more likely that the implements were stone or bronze due to their location and time frame.). However, no evidence on this matter has been provided by Hewlett-Packard, so it is unknown whether these tests were ever carried out. The finer shaping, grinding and polishing, Frederick claimed, was done with sand over a period of 150 to 300 years. Norman Hammond later reported that holes, intended for support pegs, were drilled by metal. Although various claims have been made over the years regarding the skull's physical properties, such as an allegedly constant temperature of 70°F (21°C), Dorland reported that it was no different from other natural quartz crystals. Dorland also claimed that the skull's origin was Atlantis and that it had been carried around by the Knights Templar during the crusades. In an attempt to find out if the crystal was pure crystalline quartz and not glass or another mineral, Hewlett-Packard submerged the crystal in Benzyl alcohol, which has the same diffraction coefficient (Garvin 75). The skull became invisible inside the tank, showing that it was indeed pure crystalline quartz. By exposing the submerged skull to polarized light, the Hewlett-Packard team also showed that that the skull was made from a single left-handed growing crystal (Garvin 75-76).

Mitchell-Hedges mentioned the skull in the first edition of his autobiography, Danger My Ally (1954), without specifying where or by whom it was found. He merely stated that "it is at least 3,600 years old and according to legend was used by the High Priest of the Maya when performing esoteric rites. It is said that when he willed death with the help of the skull, death invariably followed". Later editions of Danger My Ally omitted the skull entirely.

Eugène Boban, main French dealer in pre-Columbian artefacts during the second half of the 19th century and possible source of many famous skulls
Eugène Boban, main French dealer in pre-Columbian artefacts during the second half of the 19th century and possible source of many famous skulls

The earliest published reference to the skull is the July 1936 issue of Man (a British anthropological journal), where it is described as in the possession of Mr. Sydney Burney, a London art dealer, who was said to have owned it since 1933. No mention was made of Mitchell-Hedges. There is documentary evidence that he bought it from Burney in 1944. The skull was in the custody of Anna Mitchell-Hedges, the adopted daughter of Frederick. She steadfastly refused to let it be examined by experts (making very doubtful that claim that it was reported on by R.Stansmore Nutting in 1962).

Research carried out on several crystal skulls by the British Museum in 1996 has shown that the indented lines marking the teeth (for these skulls had no separate jawbone, unlike the Mitchell-Hedges skull) were carved using jeweler's equipment (rotary tools) developed in the 19th century, making a supposed pre-Columbian origin even more dubious. The type of (rather poor quality) crystal is Brazilian, and unknown within the Aztec or Maya territories. The study concluded that the skulls were crafted in the 19th century in Germany.

The British Museum crystal skull and the one at Paris' Musée de l'Homme (half-sized) were both originally sold by Eugène Boban, a French collector of pre-Columbian artifacts and antiques dealer who ran his business in Mexico City between 1860 and 1880. The British Museum crystal skull transited through New York's Tiffany's, whilst the Musée de l'Homme's crystal skull was donated by a collector who had bought it from Boban. It is reasonable to speculate that the Mitchell-Hedges skull also came from Boban.

An investigation carried out by the Smithsonian Institution in 1992 on a crystal skull provided by an anonymous source who claimed to have purchased it in Mexico City in 1960 and that it was of Aztec origin concluded that it, too, was made in recent ages and that it originated with Boban. According to the Smithsonian, Boban acquired the crystal skulls he sold from sources in Germany; findings that are in keeping with those of the British Museum.

[edit] Crystal skulls in fiction

  • "Halo 3" and "Halo 2", games created by developer Bungie, both featured hidden skulls which affected the difficulty of the game. These were based on the Crystal Skulls
  • "Crystal Skull" a mystery novel by Rob MacGregor (author of several Indiana Jones novels), 1991
  • Max McCoy's four Indiana Jones novels feature segments on Indy's search for a Crystal Skull;

"Indiana Jones and the Philosopher's Stone", 1995 - "Indiana Jones and the Dinosaur Eggs", 1996 - "Indiana Jones and the Hollow Earth", 1997 - "Indiana Jones and the Secret of the Sphinx", 1999

  • The fourth Indiana Jones film has been titled Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
  • A crystal skull is one of the Twenty Treasures of Zork from the Infocom interactive fiction|text adventure Zork I.
  • The comic strip The Phantom has made use of the Crystal Skulls in several stories. The plot of the 1990s movie The Phantom, based on the comic strip, revolved around skulls with magic powers —however these were of jade, gold, and silver, and not crystal.
  • An Crystal Skull episode of the television series Stargate SG-1 dealt with crystal skulls, in which the crystal skull was an artifact left behind from an ancient alien civilization that transported people between earth and the homeworld of the ancient aliens that created the skull. It also allowed people to be sent to another dimension (out of phase) when the teleportation was interrupted before it was finished
  • In the horror-comedy film House 2, the Crystal Skull is a mystical artifact that is sought after by ghosts and other supernatural creatures.
  • In the PlayStation role playing game Persona 2: Innocent Sin, Crystal Skulls play a significant role in the plot, being used by the villains to steal humans' dreams and bring about the apocalypse. One also appears in the sequel, Persona 2: Eternal Punishment.
  • In the Playstation 2 game Devil May Cry 3, a crystal skull is used to advance in Mission 7.
  • In the PlayStation 2 role playing game Shadow Hearts: From the New World, Crystal Skulls play a role in the puzzles at [[Chichen Itza}}.
  • The manga Spriggan shows a crystal skull that can destroy a location or a structure if power is applied to it properly.
  • In an episode of the animated television series M.A.S.K., a Mayan crystal skull gives its owner the power to see through objects.
  • In the PlayStation survival horror game Parasite Eve II, the crystal skull is used as a support accessory benefitting the character in some way.
  • Two releases by Raja Ram, a 2001 album entitled The Mystery of the Thirteen Crystal Skulls, and another 2003 album entitled The Secret of the Thirteen Crystal Skulls, are both direct references to the modern legend. They are compilations of psychedelic trance artists on Tip.World records.
  • Crystal Skull is the name of a song by the metal band Mastodon from their 2006 release Blood Mountain, and the whole album is based on the concept of finding a crystal skull.
  • In the webcomic The Adventures of Fifine, Fifine is searching for a crystal skull, one of the artifacts left behind by the mysterious human race.
  • In American Dragon Jake Long, the Huntsclan is attempting to gather the thirteen crystal skulls to achieve their goal of destroying all magical creatures. However, in the end, the skulls end up destroying the Huntsclan.
  • A possible replica of a crystal skull can be seen briefly in the office of a scientist in an episode of the series Transformers: Cybertron.
  • In "Sidekicks Don't Kiss", an episode of the animated series The Tick, the episode's lead villain briefly frightened the Tick by claiming to have a crystal skull. However, it was actually just a baseball.
  • A crystal skull is one of the central objects in L.J. Smith's literary series, The Secret Circle. It was a Master Tool of the original New Salem Coven and is magickally transformed in the last book to become the villain's actual (inside his head) skull.
  • A crystal skull appears in several Jack Flanders radio adventures.
  • Maxis produced a PC game called the Crystal Skull.
  • In the science fiction series Atlantis by Greg Donegan (Bob Mayer), the crystal skulls are created during battle against the shadow where the psychic energies released were too much for the flesh of the priestess of atlantis (and their descendents) to endure, and crystalized the living bone of their skulls.
  • In the movie The Librarian: Return to King Solomon's Mines, the Librarian can be seen presenting a crystal skull to the library of artifacts.
  • In the video game Return to Castle Wolfenstein, one of the secret "treasure" items that can be found by the player is a crystal skull.
  • In the video game Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Jack Sparrow the protoagonists Jack Sparrow and Will Turner are captured in Panama while trying to steal a crystal skull.
  • In the novel "The Fifth Horseman" by Gregg Gonzales, a crystal skull plays an important role in the defeat of the Headless Horseman, being used as a prison for its soul and later being hidden away to hopefully prevent the Horseman from ever rising again.
  • The third episode of Veritas: The Quest uses one of the crystal skulls as its major plot point.
  • In an Nancy Drew PC Adventure Game released in October 2007 the young sleuth will be traveling to New Orleans with her friend Bess to uncover a murder having to deal with the Crystal Skulls in Nancy Drew: Legend of the Crystal Skull
  • An Indiana Jones-themed attraction at Tokyo DisneySea, is titled Indiana Jones Adventure|Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull. However, the ride is not officially related to the fourth film with the similar name, entitled Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
  • The 90's adventure game Flight of the Amazon Queen features a crystal skull as a major quest item.
  • 'Crystal Skull' is a salvage item in the online game City of Heroes.
  • 'Crystal Skulls' is the title of a song off the album Shpongle Remixed.
  • In episode "Mayans Ruined" of the first season of the animated television series Delilah and Julius, they recover a mystical crystal skull.
  • "Crystal Skull" is a song on metal band Mastodon's new album, "Blood Mountain".

[edit] External links

[edit] Books

[edit] Bibliography

  • 1997 "Crystal Skulls and Other Problems". In Exhibiting Dilemmas, Issues of Representation at the Smithsonian. Amy Henderson & Adrienne Kaeppler, eds., Washington, D.C.:Smithsonian Institution Press
  • 1998 "Strange Mysteries From Around the World" . In 'The Crystal Skull' Seymour Simon Beech Tree Books.
  • Garvin, Richard. "The Crystal Skull". New York: Doubleday, 1973.
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