Great Pyramid “Scheme” Unfolds—Only $7 To See It All:
Has the shaft in the Queen’s Chamber been exposed?
Reality TV, Pyramidiots, & Ufology Combine with the Self-Esteem Movement
By Dr. Greg Little
It began in a simple way on November 16, 2011 with the quiet upload of a 3:05 video on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iM68NZ2vFHA
The caption on the video was brief: “I just want to sell my silence. You have 30 days to pay me $5,000,000 otherwise I will upload the full version of this video.” The individual who uploaded it called himself “Now-I-Know” and had a link to his website of the same name. The video was well made and shows a man’s hands assembling a radio-controlled (RC) car, actually a high-quality one that is a rock climber. He then attached a small, very light, wireless (dime-sized) video camera to it and clipped what is called an “Easy Cap” to the wireless receiver. An Easy Cap is essentially a thumb-drive with video input connections that captures remote video. I was intrigued partly because I have the exact same wireless video setup and Easy Cap. I bought them some years ago to use on a helium balloon that was intended to capture aerial footage while we were on a research boat filming a documentary for SyFy. And of course I wondered if this guy had actually gotten into the shaft in the Queen’s Chamber of the Great Pyramid, because that was the speculation on various website forums.
Know-I-Know’s YouTube film then shows him looking at video (displayed on a small laptop) from his RC car as it is moving on a desk. Then he shows himself driving a Mercedes in Russia, arriving at an airport, and getting on a Russian airliner. He lands in Egypt and gets on a bus and goes to a well-known, all-inclusive hotel. Soon he is at the Giza plateau and walking around the pyramids. On his arm is the wristband that all-inclusive hotels attach to guests. Then you see his small RC car apparently shooting film as it moves through a small, almost square shaft (seemingly a limestone shaft) toward a place where the shaft seemingly bends down. Then the film fades out with the message to pay the $5 million.
The filmmaker’s face was never shown nor was it ever stated precisely what shaft the RC car was inside. Nor did he say who was supposed to pay him. The information on the filmmaker was that he was a 28-year old male from Russia. His website (linked from YouTube) was available in 9 languages with Russian the 2nd one listed. His main website (www.now-i-know.com) had a timer in the center counting down the 30 days by days, hours, minutes, and seconds. Also linked to the site were Twitter, Digg, Facebook, and several more social media sites. All of these social media links were deleted at the end of the 30 days. But nowhere did the mysterious uploader say that the film was shot in the Great Pyramid—or in Egypt for that matter.
The initial 10 days or so saw relatively few views of the YouTube video, but perhaps predictably, views dramatically climbed after a few sites picked it up. As the “time remaining” on his counter dwindled down to only 1-2 days, views of his initial video were up to about 300,000. Speculation on websites and forums devoted to mysteries ran wild. Many people expressed that they couldn’t wait, were excited, and knew something incredible was there. Others screamed hoax and tried to look at every small detail on the video to decipher anything they could get from it. Some thought it was a teaser for a movie or video game. Did this mysterious guy actually get an RC car into one of the shafts in the Queen’s Chamber of the Great Pyramid? Did he reach the end? Did he discover a UFO hidden in a chamber, a crystalline energy source, or what? What could have been so important that (presumably) Egyptian officials would give him $5 million to NOT release his video? Before I try to answer what happened with this, we need to make what might seem like an odd detour to several places. But it is relevant.
Reality TV Isn’t, Pyramidiots, Ufology, & The Self-Esteem Movement
A couple years ago I went through an expensive and intense filmmaking school at the Travel Channel headquarters. I discovered the school was more about making short “reality TV” films (which I was not interested in), but it was useful nonetheless. To some extent I have utilized some of the techniques that were taught but what’s relevant here aren’t the techniques. What we were shown in the beginning of the school were the statistics that are essentially the ONLY THING THAT MATTERS to TV executives: How many people are watching? Viewer numbers matter, nothing else. They will tell you that quality is important, but in truth whatever gets a lot of viewership is high quality to television execs. When there were just 3 networks and a couple minor national stations and networks, everybody had huge ratings and money poured in. That really wasn’t all that long ago. Now there are several thousand television “networks.” And there is the internet on top of that. And there is YouTube and similar-type video streaming sites. And copyrighted audio/video material is copied and uploaded everywhere by people who feel it’s their right to have free access to anything and share it with everyone for free. You can now watch shows, television, and movies from the large postage stamp sized screen on a cell phone. Almost every piece of music can be found and downloaded for free, but not legally. Everything has changed and changed fast.
The most interesting thing I learned at the Travel Channel was this: eventually there will be what amounts to some sort of video network for every human alive. We’ll have 7 billion channels competing for attention. That, of course, is a slight exaggeration, but how many YouTube videos are available? The main issue in this is that with dwindling viewer numbers, advertising revenue falls. That means there is less money for production. And music and video that was produced professionally will become immediately available for free, meaning that people who produce movies and music won’t get much in return. That translates into more crap being made. Why would anyone want to spend a lot of money to produce anything of quality in the audio/visual world—other than perhaps to simply draw attention to themselves? That means we’ll get more of what is called “Reality TV.” Basically, Reality TV is a way to get a couple cameramen with digital cameras to follow odd or unusual people who are loosely following a script and who are required to do outrageous things. The more outrageous and stupid they are, the better. Again, it’s all about getting numbers for advertising revenue (or for selling something)—but it has to be done cheaply. At the Travel Channel I actually saw several known network news people being trained to do 1-person news segments. (News teams are too costly because ad revenue is too low for them.) Each newscaster was trained to use a digital camera and a tripod. Then they were trained to upload it onto a MAC, do a voiceover, and edit it. They get paid per clip used. Just for a moment, let’s go back to the video made in Egypt by “Now-I-Know.” Kudos Mr. Know. A one-man show, a one-man edit, and one-man promotion scheme. It worked. You made no false promises, but of course, it angered a lot of people when the final version came out. Why this anger and rage emerged is more interesting that the actual video.
If you really think reality TV is “reality” you might be a danger to society. The same could be said if you think TV documentaries that “discover” something are “real.” I have participated in 12 different TV documentaries. Not a lot, really, but it’s something. Only one of them, one made by a British crew for a National Geographic documentary on the Bermuda Triangle, was actually unscripted. We did make on-film discoveries on it, perhaps by accident, but they were made. On some of the other shows—for Discovery, History, SyFy, Nat Geo, and others—we were asked to “pretend to discover” something we had actually discovered a few years earlier: “Pretend you are back there now,” one Producer encouraged us, as we were standing about 150 miles from the actual discovery site. I’m not complaining, it is what it is. They have time constraints and small budgets. And as I have found in making my own documentaries, now at 7 (close to 8), shows that actually depict things as they really happen don’t sell too well. And they are a LOT of work and cost a LOT of money. People want special effects, lots of action, suspense, and conflict. But they also want it for free. YouTube is now partnering with a lot of filmmakers and embedding advertising in the films, but the negative comments people make about having to endure an ad are frequent. At the end of this article I’ll link to two of my documentaries with the ads embedded. There are negative comments there—mainly about the ads.
Many of you may recall several “live” tv documentaries where Zahi Hawass was supposed to enter a tomb, open a sarcophagus, or take a peek at what is behind a stone door in one shaft from the Queen’s Chamber of the Great Pyramid. The shows all touted that the viewers would be the first one’s to ever see it, as if Hawass and others had never looked before the show to determine what was about to be revealed. All of these “specials” were packed with ads. In one show the limestone “door” in the shaft from the Queen’s Chamber had been drilled before the show started. When the show came on there was a robot perfectly positioned with its camera aligned to poke through the hole to the other side. The moment it poked through, the host asked Hawass what he saw and he instantly replied, “another door.” Do you really believe that no one decided to look before the show started? Perhaps there was a bit of exaggeration in all of this? Then there was Hawass’ “reality TV” show titled Chasing Mummies. It was a (thankfully) short-lived, one-season series that gave us all a deep glimpse into the character of the man who controlled everything archaeological in Egypt; a man who called himself the “Pharaoh” and a man who acted the part. Those who questioned Hawass’ ideas or “his” countless “discoveries” were called Pyramidiots by him. The truth is that Hawass discovered nothing. His role was to take credit for everything others found and be the media star for everyone else’s discoveries. Of course all of his angry rants, deliberate deceits, and outright lies simply made a lot of people conclude he was hiding something. I do believe he was hiding something—a whole lot of money. But others suspect he hid evidence that the pyramids were much older than he said they were and that aliens had something to do with it. In fact, the Ancient Aliens series, on the same network as Hawass’ Chasing Mummies, relates flatly that aliens were involved in ancient Egypt. So some people think that “maybe a UFO really is hidden in there.” Why not? If aliens built it as the show strongly leads us to believe, there should be some sort of alien stuff in there, right?
The Ancient Aliens series actually makes everything that exists somehow related to aliens. Every mystery, every ancient site, every religious idea, every human ritual, every conspiracy theory, and even all life on Earth come from Ancient Aliens. To be fair though, every show contains a few dozen times where the question “What If” is posed right before another preposterous claim is made. For example, “What if George Washington and John Kennedy were both hybrids deliberately placed in their mother’s wombs by ancient aliens?” There is a running joke about the show’s main character that relates: “I’m not saying it was aliens, but it was aliens.”
Ufology, the study of UFOs and related phenomena, is one of those areas that attracts a lot of interesting types. During the 30-day countdown of Now-I-Know’s $5-million offer of silence, I saw an article on the questionable internet site “Examiner” on the death of ufology. The author appeared to be complaining that, because people who were making outrageous claims couldn’t stand to be criticized, the field was dying. I say that he “appeared” to be saying this because it was difficult to decipher what his ramblings actually meant. His article was riddled with missing words, incomplete sentences, missing punctuation, atrocious grammar, and incomprehensible meanings. The author’s bio said he had a BS in Communications. I wrote him a very brief message relating that I agreed with the major point about ufology but wrote that it was a bit difficult to understand what he was trying to say in many places. His reply was that he was only an “uneducamated [sic] vampire from Georgia” and that he didn’t care about missing words, incomplete sentences, or anything else but his own feelings, which he knew had to be expressed in his job as a reporter for the Examiner. People who did care about the nonsense of grammar and sentence structure he explained were “retentive.” Retentive of course refers to anal retentive (detail-oriented, careful, meticulous, etc.), but it’s seldom that you’ll hear much about its opposite—a type of person who might exist in greater numbers than those who are retentive. The opposite of retentive are messy people who spew their own insides over anyone who happens to be in the vicinity. It is their feelings that matter and screw you if you get hit with their spewing crap. There wasn’t any need to reply to the guy (what do you say to an “uneducamated vampire from Georgia” anyway?) but I did take a look at some of his other Examiner “articles,” which were more of the same. He wrote that he loved to “viciously attack” people in ufology who criticized others. One of his phrases was “if you can’t stand the heat get out of the ufology kitchen.” He can’t stand people who can’t take any criticism—or so he implies. To me, it actually seems to be classic “projection.” He also seems to have liked Whitley Strieber until Whitley wouldn’t do this guy’s weekly “radio” show. His “radio” show is on one of countless websites that host downloadable audio files and have a few “live” shows. I listened to a couple of his downloads after reading that he claimed he had 110,000 live listeners for a particular show—in which he attacked “retentive” people for mentioning his problematic writing. (That’s a LOT of listeners in case you don’t know.) The actual counter on the host’s website showed that he had about 700 downloads in a week on that show and all of 28 on his most recent one (after one day). The site relates that it averages about 6,000 people somewhere on the site within a given hour and stats from Alexa and Statbrain support that number. Of course all 6,000 people aren’t listening to the same thing. (After listening to two shows I concluded that his “radio” show isn’t as good as his writing.) The bigger point in this relates to feelings and a bit of unconscious exaggeration. Back in the early 1980’s American educators learned that teaching kids such things as reading, writing, math, science, history, and critical thinking was hard work. And they reasoned that when children were told that 2+2 didn’t equal anything but 4, the children who answered numbers other than 4 had their feelings hurt. In short, giving any grade other than A was harmful, flunking school children was harmful, and grading papers was harmful. By contrast, making them feel good about themselves was a far easier thing to do than teach actual facts. Thus, the self-esteem movement took hold and trapped a generation. Lots of victims of this self-esteem movement have an inflated and exaggerated sense of their own knowledge and feel as if they are entitled to things simply because they think so highly of themselves. A lot of people are surprised that high self-esteem can be a negative thing, but research consistently shows that high self-esteem directly links to violence and a lot of other undesirable characteristics—a sense of entitlement being only one of them. The most recent evidence regarding this self-esteem generation, now in their teens to early 30’s, is that about one-third of them of have been arrested for one thing or another—an astonishing percentage that’s far higher than any other generational group in our history. Coincidentally, the self-esteem movement took hold right when the internet emerged when everyone could become a “reporter,” everyone could be an opinionated expert on everything on website forums or comments sections, and everyone could have their own radio show as well as their own tv channel (on YouTube or another similar venue). At the same time these technological advances made stealing audio/visual performances very easy. People who have an inflated sense of self-esteem and a sense of entitlement will readily steal such things because they reason they deserve it for free. At this point I’d like to refer whatever readers are left reading this to the Facebook page of Now-I-Know, but unfortunately it has disappeared, obviously part of the guy’s marketing plan. The comments he received on it, before he so thoughtfully deleted it, are examples of every point I’ve been trying to make here, not that it will make one iota of difference anywhere. Misinformation, deliberate deceit, utter stupidity, and feelings spewed forth from hundreds of people toward him. We live in an age where there is instantaneous content, more than anyone can ever read, but it is filled with misinformation and feelings expressed as fact. Not that one can take the side of “mainstream believers,” either, who also really believe they are on the side of truth. Science has often betrayed us all as well. Archaeology has betrayed us in many ways. Hawass has betrayed everyone. And I will add it won‘t get better. It can’t. Welcome to the 2012 apocalypse.
Now-I-Know Releases His Film
At midnight (Dec 16) Now-I-Know put the last part of his plan into action. His main page related: “THE TIME IS UP.” Below it was a link to download the full video. Click on it and you go to a Paypal order page where you can get the full video for only $7.00 or sections of it from $3 to $5. Shortly after a few messages announcing it, all of the social media pages disappeared. Meanwhile, on the dozens of forums where people had been discussing it intensely for a couple weeks, an incredible amount of acrimony was spewed forth. People were complaining that the guy was a scammer, a hoaxer, and far, far worse. He had supposedly tricked them, misled them, lied to them, and worse. But some people did buy. And predictably, they started uploading the full video (4:17 in length) on YouTube and other sites. “Screw the guy,” some said, “he scammed us, he lied, he perpetrated a hoax.” One of these links had over 50,000 free views by Monday (Dec. 19). I saw another dozen or so places where people had downloaded Now-I-Know’s video and posted it. Adding all of the free views up totaled to around 100,000. One popular web site forum actually had one of the moderators, acting in an official capacity for the site, load the entire video for all to see because it “was a scam.” Now-I-Know seems to have anticipated all of this because he had YouTube delete most of them as copyright violations. But as each of the illegally uploaded videos was deleted, another took its place.
Before summarizing the actual video a few more comments are necessary. Now-I-Know neither scammed nor deceived anyone. He never wrote what shaft the film was taken in, where any of the film was taken, never wrote that it was about aliens, or crystals, or UFOs, or any other of the rampant speculative comments people made on a lot of places on the internet. He didn’t even say it was in any way “real.” He simply took advantage of the high-self esteem a lot of people have as well as relying on the strength of people’s belief systems about ancient Egypt. I hope he made some money, but the truth is he was robbed by a pack of thieves who sadly do not even recognize that they stole anything. The people who stole the guy’s video have a sense of “entitlement” but sadly they do not even know why they feel this way—and they don’t care. (Sociopaths, by definition, do not care.) Now-I-Know does have a copyright infringement lawsuit case against them and, if he was willing to pursue it, he’d win—but in the end he’d probably get nothing at all because, as lawyers relate, “you can’t bleed a stone.” Nevertheless what this unknown person (Now-I-Know) did is close to brilliant—at least as far as video marketing goes. He scammed no one; he just allowed other’s pre-conceived beliefs about Egypt to run wild. He didn’t lie about anything as far as I can tell, and didn’t perpetrate a hoax—because he made no claims. All the people who cursed (literally) at Now-I-Know and called him a scammer simply have their anger misplaced. It was their own stupidity, gullibility, and exaggerated sense of self-esteem that was used against them.
What’s On The Film: What is actually important on the final film starts at 2:54. This is where the RC car is in something that appears to be a shaft, and it does in fact, look a lot like the shaft from the Queen’s Chamber. Of course I’ve seen all the film from others’ attempts to send robots up the shaft. And I have been inside the Queen’s Chamber several times and have great photos of the shaft. The RC car would have fit inside it easily. And since the shaft is clear of debris the car would have made it to the end (except for one crucial issue). At 3:29 on the film the RC car reaches a critical point, a place where the shaft bends down. As the car starts down this shaft (at 3:54) the film breaks up because the signal from the small wireless video antennae on the car cannot penetrate the rock. A second later it is obvious that the car cannot receive radio signals well at this point, either. We then see a loss of signal until 4:03 when everything oddly comes back into view. For the next few seconds the shaft appears slightly different, but still “looks” like a stone shaft. At 4:04 it is clear that the RC car has reached an opening that is elevated a bit and you can see into a darkened space. There are two figures visible for no more than 4 seconds. Despite some people asserting that the figures “move,” a frame-by-frame analysis shows they are stationary—like statues or figurines. It is a scene where one figure is turned away from the camera looking at a second, illuminated figure. It’s easy to “imagine” that the illuminated figure is holding a light and has a baseball cap on. Some people say they are in containment suits. A contrast and enhancement shows that they are in a small, boxy space. But their actual size is impossible to discern. It is likely a fabricated scene, of course, and could be done with a bit of work and using action figures. In summary it’s impossible to say if the initial film was made in the shaft of the Queen’s Chamber. Quite honestly, it looks like it was, but the downward bend in the shaft makes me doubt it. But I just don’t know. I do not believe the last few seconds are “real” in the sense that what was shown on the video was actually a scene shot somewhere at Giza. But analyzing the possibilities requires answering a few questions.
Could a visitor to Giza in the past few months have gotten into the Queen’s Chamber (which has been secured by a locked gate) and have some private time there? Could a person get an RC car onto the Giza Plateau with the recording equipment he displayed? Would the RC car shown fit into the shaft and manage to traverse it? The answer to all of these questions is yes. Since the Egyptian revolution it is possible to do just about anything at Egyptian sites—you can get in anywhere and film anything. BUT, and it’s a big “but,” you must have a paid contact who will accept and arrange the necessary bribes. In Egypt these aren’t called “bribes,” but in reality that is what they are. We are likely to see numerous copycat efforts made during 2012. And I suspect that we haven’t heard the last of Now-I-Know.
For the few of you who actually made it this far, here are two of my video documentaries on YouTube. If you decide to watch, take a look at the comments on advertising.
The Cygnus Mystery: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhgNXbahNrA
The Secret Caves of Giza: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTEVvkL-l3Q