DeVos: Himmler seeking Superman |

DeVos: Himmler seeking Superman

Jon DeVos
Staff Photo |

The word “sidetracked” began as a railroad term for shunting one train onto a siding to let another pass. It’s come into common usage to mean a diversion from the main topic.

A similar term, “red herring” originally was a smelly fish dragged across game trails to distract the hounds. In Cold War spy novels, a red herring was the beautiful-but-duplicitous Russian “secretary” tossed in the protagonist’s path.

I got sidetracked the other day while I was trying to find out who built the Sphinx. For a long time nobody knew. It was just this giant lion’s head sticking out of the sands of the Sahara just a few hundred yards away from the pyramids. The Sphinx is notable if for no other reason than 4,000 years ago, somebody created what remains today as the largest carved thing on earth.

The likely answer to “who” is not as wild as some have imagined. The Sphinx was probably built by the Pharaoh Khafra around 2,500 BC at a time when the Sahara was rolling grassy hills with verdant green valleys. Egyptologists now believe the sculpture was carved as part of an excavation to provide the sandstone building blocks for the nearby city, temples and pyramids. There is a story that Napoleon stumbled across the behemoth in his flight across Egypt and shot the nose off the beast with a cannonball, but it’s not true. The damage was likely caused by religious fanatics much earlier.

And speaking of religious fanatics, here’s where I got sidetracked. Edgar Cayce was an American mystic in the 1930s who divined that the Sphinx guarded the “Hall of Records” that was buried deep beneath it. Here, says Cayce, lies the entire sum of knowledge from the highly advanced civilization of Atlantis, including plans for the giant solar crystals whose out-of-sync vibrations produced the earthquakes that caused the continent to subside beneath the ocean. Apparently the Atlanteans knew they were sunk (or would soon be) and furiously wrote everything down, hiding it under the Sphinx. Why anyone would want to save the plans that brought about their own destruction, I don’t know.

Cayce claimed Atlanteans had solved the clean energy problem by developing a crystal that, when activated by the sun, produced limitless energy allowing them to create things like . . . well, free Friends and Family Calling and Atlantis Got Talent. But things went awry and the crystal became unstable and the vibrations caused the earthquake that sank the whole continent. The Bimini Islands, according to Cayce, are the tops of Atlantis’ tallest mountain range.

But was the Sphinx really built by men? One theory speculates it was huge, man-like creatures from the North Pole who settled Atlantis. The only written reference to Atlantis comes from the writings of the Greek philosopher, Plato, who claimed Atlantis was the opposite of Athens. While Athenians pursued the peaceful pursuit of philosophy, the Atlanteans were nasty neighbors who conveniently sank into the ocean during an earthquake.

In the early 1930s, German writers, Julius Evola and Alfred Rosenberg speculated that Atlanteans were Hyperboreans, a race of Aryan Nordic supermen who originated far to the north on the island known as Ultima Thule and moved south to populate the idyllic island of Atlantis. The concept of Aryan supermen attracted Nazi theorists. In 1938, SS Officer Heinrich Himmler conducted a party into Tibet searching for origins of the Aryan super race.

He didn’t find his superman, but then of course, he got sidetracked when China invaded Tibet and chased him home.

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