BOB Bring out the Best Crystal Skull


The Eerie Crystal Skulls

Some people with a mystical bend credit them with strange, supernatural powers. Geologists marvel at their size. Archaeologists wonder who made them. And nobody denies that they possess an eerie, horrible beauty unmatched by almost any other objects. They are the crystal skulls.

There have been many replicas of human skulls that have been polished out of a single crystal of quartz rock. Some are ancient, some contemporary. A few have been made from pure quartz and are absolutely clear. A rare few are also life-sized.

Quartz, composed almost entirely of silicon dioxide, is found in almost every type of rock and can form huge crystals that weigh tons. While it is colorless and transparent when pure, when a tiny portion of the silicon atoms are replaced with iron, aluminum, manganese or titanium, the crystal can take on beautiful colors. Amethyst is violet quartz. Jasper is quartz with red, yellow, brown, gray or black coloring. Onyx and Agate are quartz with bans of color. Bloodstone is green with red spots. If a single streak runs through the quartz it might be called Cat's Eye, Tiger's Eye or Rutile.

All crystal is ancient and there are no good ways of guessing how long ago a skull shape was carved or polished out of the quartz. Scientists have examined some of the skulls whose history is not known looking for tiny marks that may tell what type of tools were used to carve them, but this may not always give a reliable age or origin. It does not eliminate contemporary artists using ancient methods.

Probably the two most famous clear crystal skulls are the "Mitchell-Hedges" skull and a skull owned by the British Museum.

The British Museum's skull was part of the exhibit at the The Museum of Mankind in London for many years. The skull sat in a case there labeled as "possibly of Aztec origin- the colonial period at the earliest." This was guesswork on the part of the museum staff. The museum itself obtained the skull from Tiffany's, the New York jewelers. Nobody is sure where Tiffany's obtained it, though there are rumors that it was part of a collection amassed by a mysterious soldier of fortune in Mexico. More recent examinations of the skull seem to indicate that the tools used to make it are most likely more modern than originally thought, placing the age of the skull at century at the most.

The skull is so strangely hypnotic that there is a story that the cleaning staff at the musem one time insisted that the object be covered with a black cloth before they worked around it at night.

The Mitchell-Hedges skull (right) has an even more checkered past than the Museum of Mankind Skull. F.A. Mitchell-Hedges was a self-proclaimed British adventurer during the early twentieth century. He told stories about how he gambled with the rich J.P. Morgan, roomed with Leon Trotsky and fought with Pancho Villa. All of these appear to be tall tales.

The skull itself is, of course, very real, but how it came into Mitchell-Hedges possession is an open question. We know for sure that he was in possession of it by 1944. That year a member of the staff of the British Museum had bid on the skull at an auction and made this note:

Bid at Sotheby's sale, lot 54, 15 x 43 up to 340 [pounds] (Fairfax). Brought in by Burney. Sold subsequently by Mr. Burney to Mr. Mitchell-Hedges for 400 [pounds].

Mr. Mitchell-Hedges had always indicated that he had found the skull in an ancient temple in British Honduras, though he seemed very reluctant to reveal the details, writing: "How it came into my possession I have reason for not revealing."

Some researchers believe the story about finding the skull in Honduras was just another tall tale and Mitchell-Hedges obtained it through Burney, an art dealer.

Mitchell-Hedges' adopted daughter, Anna Mitchell-Hedges, who inherited the skull when he died, supported her father's story. She explained her father placed the skull with Burney as collateral for a loan. When he realized Burney was trying to sell the stone, he bought it back.

Anna Mitchell-Hedges also claimed that it was she who discovered the skull on her 17th birthday while with her father in British Honduras. She found the skull, missing the jaw, under an ancient alter. Three months later she found the jaw in the same room.

The rock, probably the strangest gemstone in the world, weighs some 11 lb, 7 oz (5.19kg) and is carved out of a single quartz crystal. Mr. Mitchell-Hedges often referred to it as the "Skull of Doom." The separate jaw looks like it might have been wired to move, perhaps giving it the ability to appear to be speaking. It has been theorized the skull was used as an oracle, the jaw operating by remote control as a voice came from a hidden speaker tube. It isn't hard to picture the priest of some ancient religion dazzling his followers with such a display.

One scientist, Dr. G. M. Morant got to examine the Mitchell-Hedges skull and the skull at the Museum of Mankind together in 1936. He noted the skulls were very similar in many anatomical details and suggested that the one in the museum might be a slightly rougher copy of the Mitchell-Hedges skull.

Neither Morant was unable to definitely establish a time or place where either of these skulls were created. So they remain, along with many other crystal skulls, a beautiful, but puzzling enigma.


Pictures: Top left and right, Mitchell-Hedges skull. Bottom left: "Mayan" skull with hazy greenish color. Bottom right: "Sha-Na-Ra" skull.

The pictures on this page are the copyright of F.R. 'Nick' Nocerino. The Museum wishes to thank Mr. Nocerino and the The Society of Crystal Skulls, International for their use.

Copyright Lee Krystek 1998-2006. All Rights Reserved.


Crystal skull

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Crystal Skull" is also the name of an episode of the science fiction television series Stargate SG-1, which involve a crystal skull.
Some of the information in this article or section has not been verified and might not be reliable. It should be checked for inaccuracies and modified as needed, citing sources.

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.

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 supposed supernatural powers of the skulls has been the cornerstone of the Star Protist cult. Their founder and leader Jacob Jachowicz claims to be able to read the skulls and harness their powers.

Mitchell-Hedges skull

Perhaps the best-known crystal skull, the Mitchell-Hedges skull, is currently in the possession of Anna Mitchell-Hedges. Her father F.A. Mitchell-Hedges, was an adventurer who dabbled in amateur archaeology, as well as the ancient civilizations of Latin America and the study of Atlantis (a rumored sunken civilization thought mythical by most archaeologists).

F.A. Mitchell-Hedges claimed to have found the skull in a cave on one of his expeditions to Lubaantun, but his detractors insist that he bought it at an auction at Sotheby's. The salesmen at Sotheby's apparently got it from owners in Germany.

Mitchell-Hedges, and a few others, claim that the skull is too intricate and flawless a carving to have been made hurriedly in recent years, and insist that the skull must have been carved over decades in the distant past in Atlantis. One inspector of a skull reportedly estimated that this work of crystal would require 200 years for humans to make. Mitchell-Hedges himself declared that the skull took 150 years to make and was 3,600 years old, although he offered no sources or reasons for these dates.

Critics of Mitchell-Hedges's speculations reply that modern technology has provided many ways for skillful artisans to produce sculptures with relative ease: furthermore, as virtually all historians and scientists agree that there is no evidence of a lost Atlantean civilization, these critics denounce the suggestion that the skull was carved in Atlantis as wishful thinking.

Recent research on a possibly Aztec crystal skull held by the British Museum, has shown that the indented lines marking the teeth (for this skull has no separate jawbone, unlike the Mitchell-Hedges skull) were carved using jeweler's equipment developed in the 19th century, making a supposed pre-Columbian origin even more dubious.

Crystal skulls in fiction

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