Thu, 26 June 2014
Cleopatra's Needle is the name given to the ancient Egyptian obelisk that sits in Central Park, right behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This is the bizarre tale of how it arrived in New York and the unusual forces that went behind its transportation from Alexandra to a hill called Greywacke Hill.
The weathered but elegant monolith was created thousands of years ago by the pharaoh Thutmose III. Thanks to the great interest in Egyptian objects in the 19th century -- sometimes called Egyptomania -- major cities soon wanted obelisks for their own, acquired as though they were trophies of world conquest. France and England scooped up a couple but -- at least in the case of the ill-fated vessel headed to London -- not without great cost.
One group was especially fascinated in the Alexandrian obelisks. The Freemasons have been a mysterious and controversial fraternity who have been involved in several critical moments in American history (including the inauguration of fellow Freemason George Washington.) A Freemason engineer and adventurer named Henry Honeychurch Gorringe discovered an incredible secret on the remaining Alexandria obelisk, a secret that might link the secretive organization to the beginnings of human civilization.
But how do you get a 240 ton object, the length of a 7-story building, across the Atlantic Ocean and propped up in New York's premier park which had just opened a few years before?
We let you in on Gorringe's technique and the curious Freemasons ceremony that accompanied the debut of the obelisk's cornerstone.
PLUS: We have a secret or two to reveal ourselves in this episode. This is a must-listen podcast!
Direct download: 167_Cleopatras_Needle_and_the_Freemasons_Secret.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:26pm EDT