Written by Kevin Jennings
The world of archaeology is full of fantastic treasures. Every year, more discoveries are found that gives us insight into the ancient world. After thousands of years of searching, it’s remarkable that new discoveries of ancient artifacts are still found with such frequency. Sometimes these discoveries are incredible treasure troves, rich with gold and jewels. Sometimes they are documents of great historical importance, giving us additional insight into civilizations gone by. And sometimes they are complete hoaxes, like the Cardiff Giant. Usually, it is obvious which category an item falls into, but sometimes a discovery is made that completely baffles the world’s top experts.
During the summer of 2015, a cemetery groundskeeper in Jerusalem was making his normal rounds when he came across an unusual package abandoned inside one of the graveyard’s old buildings. The groundskeeper immediately called the police rather than approach the box himself, fearing that it might contain a bomb. The police arrived and conducted a controlled explosion to make sure it wasn’t a bomb, which it was not, but what they found instead would leave them completely stumped.
Buried approximately a meter and a half below the site of the explosion was a plastic pipe. Inside that pipe, covered in cotton and an anti-oxidant preservative was a large gold artifact the likes of which none of the men involved had ever seen. Now that there was no threat of explosion or immolation, the police released the object to the Israel Antiquities Authority to do with as they pleased.
Old remains had been found in this cemetery before. Some dated back to the crusades, the Byzantine Empire, or even the Romans. The possibility that this was an ancient artifact could not be discounted, though it’s presentation inside plastic and cotton led many to believe that it was a much more modern device. In either case, it was a peculiar artifact and whether it was ancient or modern, they had no idea exactly what it was.
The golden artifact found appeared to be constructed of solid metal. It was about a foot in length with two round bulbs on either end as handles. The center was shaped like a football and had eight deep grooves separating seven large rings and the two handles on either side. It was something like an oddly shaped scepter, but it had no obvious purpose and bore no resemblance to any other ancient artifacts.
For the next six months, Israel’s top experts would debate the meaning of the 8 kg (17.6 pound) object and its origins. The odd scepter was sent to the Weizmann Institute of Science for testing. The scientists obviously had no idea what the device was for either. Their tests showed it was made from a single solid metal then plated with nickel gold, but that was as much as science could say.
Ultimately, this information did not help in identifying the object. The head of the Israel Antiquities Authority’s anti-theft unit, Amir Ganor, said, “At first we thought it was a military object, but then began to dream. I have been in this business for a long time and cannot recall such a mystery.” But this mystery was not going to last.
Frustrated that they couldn’t come up with any answers, the IAA took to their Facebook page and, for the first time since the item’s discovery roughly six months prior, showed the public images of the mysterious relic they had found. Answers, or rather guesses, as to what had been found came pouring in. Users though it was a rolling pin, an ancient massage device, a honey dripper, a sex toy, a device for artificial insemination of cattle. Hundreds of people incorrectly guessed what the device was, but within a few hours of posting, one user from Italy was able to tell the IAA what they had spent months wracking their brains to figure out.
The Absurd Truth
Italian Facebook user Micah Barak was the only one to correctly identify the true nature of the relic. As many within the IAA had suspected all along, it was not ancient in origin, but modern. Dare I say, it was New Age. The item in question was a Weber-Isis energy beamer produced by German online company Weber Bio-Energy Systems.
Rather than a beautiful or priceless ancient artifact, the discovery was that of a new age energy healing device. The energy beamer is sold in five different sizes and costs up to $350. The device gets its name from the Egyptian goddess Isis, the goddess of healing, particularly magical healing.
According to the company website, the energy beamer boasts some pretty fantastic properties. It can purportedly shield a home from 4G and 5G radiation, high voltage telephone wires, naturally occurring radiation on Earth, and a myriad of other forms of radiation. They do point out in the product description that they cannot offer any hard scientific evidence to back up any of their claims, but point out that they have sold over 55,000 units, so obviously it must work. It’s a wonder that the scientists who analyzed the energy beamer months earlier were unable to notice its remarkable anti-radiation properties.
The official response from the IAA said that “the wisdom of the masses has done its part”. They may have had their answer, but given all the possible alternatives it was more than a little disappointing.
There is still one question that remains unanswered, however: what the fuck was this doing in the cemetery in the first place? For the energy beamer to have been carefully protected and buried so deeply underground, it obviously could not have been an accident. But as for who did this and why, no one has stepped forward to claim responsibility and there are no leads. The IAA appealed to those involved to come forward, asking them to “contact us and inform us why it was buried in an ancient structure and to whom of the dead they wished to give positive energy.”
It may have been a bizarre mystery that took up experts’ time for six months as they searched for an answer, but we can all hope it really was just a benevolent but misguided endeavor to bring positive energy to the dead rather than some cruel or thoughtless hoax.