Gordonvale scarab – 3

February 10, 2013

For the earlier parts of the Gordonvale scarab story go to Part 1 and Part 2.

A practical joke?

This leads me to propose that that finding of the scarab was a practical joke.  Not singling out Isaac Brown or any unnamed perpetrator, we have a well that needs re-digging on a property either immediately before, during or maybe even just after the Great War.  The standard process would be [1] hoaxer brings scarab in his pocket, [2] chucks it in hole when no one is looking, [3] innocent pulls up a spadeful of dirt and sees scarab, [4] hilarity ensues, [5] culprit confesses, [6] revenge plotted.  That would work anywhere in Australia.  In Gordonvale, however, the joke has added meaning and irresistibility, because it and Egypt are the only two places on Earth where you get money for digging up scarabs.

I would argue that the standard joke was given a much sharper edge in the Gordonvale area, precisely because farmers would have been aware of the double meaning of the scarab beetle.  For the joke to work the scarab has to be so out of place and incongruous that it cannot have been mistaken for a rock.  Therefore a fairly large one was required.  When it was dug up, the joke worked on three distinct levels. Read the rest of this entry »


Gordonvale scarab – 2

February 10, 2013

For the first part of this discussion go to Part 1.

Clive Morton’s account

Almost all mentions of the Gordonvale scarab say that it was found when digging a well in 1910, 1911 or 1912.  In a paper held by the Mulgrave Settlers Museum local historian and author Clive Morton offered a slightly different account.  He says

The Egyptian scarab beetle above was dug up at Napiers property at Packers Camp between 1912 and 1915.  The Napiers tried to draw water from nearby Mackeys Creek with a windmill and a pipe buried under the dirt road and into what came to be called the Pump Hole which was a favourite swimming hole up until the 1950s when it silted up.  Napiers found that the pump would not draw and they asked for expert advice. This came from either Muir chief engineer of Mulgrave Mill and later a water driller or a man called Ebrington. The advice was to lower the suction pipe under the mill to assist with drawing the water which they did and the scarab beetle came up with one shovel full of dirt.  Claims that Isaac Brown a local man brought a fake scarab beetle home from the Middle East during WW1 are wrong because he did not get to the Middle East as his troop ship returned to Sydney from a day or two on the way when the war ended.  [Morton no date]

Morton’s additional detail is important – it provides an exact find location, the property owner and clarifies that it took place when an existing windmill pump drawing water from Mackey’s Creek was being repaired.  The scarab came from what seems to have been the first spadeful of dirt.  The date is later than that usually cited, and there is an interesting, unprompted mention of Isaac Brown, who could not have planted it as a hoax. Read the rest of this entry »


Gordonvale scarab – 1

February 10, 2013

The Gordonvale scarab is one of two found in remote Australian locations that are frequently brought forward in support of secret visitor claims.  The other, the Daly River scarab from the Northern Territory, is much better known, and has already been discussed in the Secret Visitors Project.

While the Gordonvale scarab appears to have been known about in that part of northern Queensland for decades, it only achieved publicity from about 1985 through Marilyn Pye’s investigations of alleged Egyptian sites near Walsh’s Pyramid, a naturally pyramidal mountain near Gordonvale.  Since then it has been cited either in conjunction with Pye’s other claims or been picked up by others as demonstrating Egyptian presence in far north Queensland.

In this post, and the two following, I want to take a close look at the Gordonvale scarab and put forward what I think are the key elements of its discovery, and why it should not be considered as proof of Egyptian contact.

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Daly River scarab

July 22, 2012

In 1963 it was reported in a letter to People magazine that an Egyptian scarab had been discovered by some children while playing beside the road near the Daly River, in the Northern Territory of Australia.  This discovery soon featured in articles about secret visitors written by Michael Terry in the mid-late 1960s, was picked up and promoted by Rex Gilroy in the 1980s and 90s, and then perpetuated and spread by the internet in the 2000s.  Is it actual proof of Egyptian contact?  Is it an actual scarab?  Is it actual anything?  Read on for the story.

Read the rest of this entry »