Is the Supposed Correspondence Between Orion’s Belt and the Three Pyramids of Giza Genuine?

By Dr. Greg Little

Is the Supposed Correspondence Between Orion’s Belt and the Three Pyramids of Giza Genuine?

By Dr. Greg Little

Last issue of Alternate Perceptions, I wrote a brief article on one of Andrew Collins’ stunning new ideas put forth in his latest book The Cygnus Mystery. The article’s long title, “Has Andrew Collins Found the Entrance to the Hall of Records at Giza? Are The Three Pyramids at Giza Aligned to Orion or Cygnus?” expressed the jist of what is actually one of the less important aspects of The Cygnus Mystery. With a more-than-casual interest in Edgar Cayce’s many pronouncements about ancient Egypt, I found the well entrance Andrew found at Giza intriguing and even more-so when I understood how the main stars of Cygnus corresponded with the three large pyramids and the well.

The more critical aspects of The Cygnus Mystery include alignments of the constellation of Cygnus to a vast multitude of other important ancient sites including Newark’s Great Circle earthwork (Ohio), Cuzco, LaVenta and Maya sites, Avebury, Newgrange, sites in India, and many, many others. Not only is the astronomical alignment to Cygnus present at countless ancient sites, but evidence of a cult of the dead that viewed a northern celestial bird as the carrier of souls is present across cultures. Cygnus was venerated by the ancients as the place of prime importance—the primal cause. In addition, The Cygnus Mystery shows conclusive scientific evidence that powerful cosmic rays from Cygnus have been showering the earth for hundreds of thousands of years. Collins asserts that these cosmic rays served as a pivotal force that created several leaps in human evolution before 70,000 BC, 45,000 BC, and 17,000 BC. Collins’ idea is that the cosmic rays altered human DNA by mutating several parts of the links comprising the genetic code. Mainstream physics and genetics completely accept that cosmic rays alter DNA (they are radiation) and even Carl Sagan stated such in 1973. Of course, there are many more details in the overall idea, and the fact that Cygnus fits over the three main pyramids at Giza, even better than Orion’s Belt has been alleged to fit, is a minor point of interest in the totality of the theory.

I was surprised to learn that as a result of my article a lengthy dialogue was taking place on two message boards, the most relevant of which was on Graham Hancock’s site. I first noted that Andrew was being attacked on Hancock’s board partly because an illustration of Giza that I had produced to depict Cygnus was supposedly slightly inaccurate. Plus, many people were attacking the idea from several positions that had already been completely explained and addressed in the book. For example, several people mentioned that Cygnus wasn’t discussed in ancient Egyptian texts and that Egyptian astronomy didn’t have a swan as a constellation. But Cygnus was in Egyptian astronomy—they didn’t call it “Cygnus” and it wasn’t described as a swan—it was depicted as another prominent Egyptian figure. (The Native Americans didn’t call Cygnus Cygnus, either, but it was an important constellation of stars to them nonetheless.)

Andrew Collins began participation on the Hancock message board trying to answer all the questions and criticisms, but it seemed to me that he would have to reprint the entire 350-page book on the board to answer the sometimes quibbling questions. None of the individuals slinging criticism at the book had read it. Another individual wrote that he had been to Giza and hadn’t seen a well, so he questioned if it even existed. He wanted to see a picture of it. Of course, a color photo of the well is in the book and it is described as being in a closed and secured Muslim cemetery. It isn’t open to the public.

I immediately noticed a prominent link to a “review” of The Cygnus Mystery in one of the first messages on Hancock’s message board. The review was by an individual who likes to call himself “Marduk” (Marduk had been banned by the Hancock message board). Yet there was a link to a nasty and totally inaccurate “review” by Marduk.

I responded on Hancock’s board taking full responsibility for any inaccuracies of the Giza illustration with Cygnus depicted on it. I also addressed three specific things in the Marduk review of The Cygnus Mystery because the link to it featured so prominently on Hancock’s message board. Marduk’s review stated that Collins goes “on and on about the Sumerian Annukai being aliens,” the “idea that cygnus (sic) particles were responsible for human evolution at a set point in our history is just laughable,” and “Mr Collins was recently hired by the Edgar Cayce foundation (sic) to assist them in their search for Atlantis in the bahamas (sic).”

First, there is no mention whatsoever of aliens in The Cygnus Mystery. An equivalent would be reviewing Hancock’s Underworld book and saying that “Hancock’s proposal that aliens from Saturn built all the archaeological sites on earth is laughable.” (Of course, nothing of the sort is in Underworld, which is a great book.) Secondly, the assertion that cosmic rays alter DNA is totally accepted in science and many prominent scientists now assert that cosmic rays from Cygnus probably did alter DNA. Third, while the assertion that Collins was “hired by the Edgar Cayce” group has nothing whatsoever to do with his book, it is an out-and-out fabrication by Marduk. (And I, more than anyone, know precisely what happened since I was the key individual involved in Collins’ trip to the US.) It was apparent Marduk had not actually read any of the book.

Curiously, as soon as I posted my brief comments on Hancock’s board, another message agreeing with me appeared. But suddenly, my message and the positive reply simply disappeared and I received an official email from Hancock’s board mamager stating that it had been removed essentially because Marduk couldn’t defend himself. (He had been banned from posting there.) Yet the link to the fabricated negative review of The Cygnus Mystery by a banned person was interesting.

The Giza Pyramid Alignment: Orion, Cygnus, or coincidence?

There is no doubt that the constellation of Orion, in particular Orion’s Belt, has a connection to the three pyramids of Giza. One of the stars of the Belt is targeted by an “air” shaft of the Great Pyramid. The major issue, however, is whether the three main pyramids at Giza were built to reflect the three stars of Orion’s Belt?

In Robert Bauval and Adrian Gilbert’s 1994 book, The Orion Mystery, the story is told how in 1983 Bauval was awake on a sand dune in Saudi Arabia when a friend explained to him how the three stars of Orion’s Belt weren’t “perfectly aligned” in a straight line. This lead to the instant realization by Bauval that the three pyramids at Giza were built to reflect Orion’s Belt. It was supposedly heaven on earth. This “Eureka!” experience is the basis for a host of books, lectures, and documentaries.

I recall seeing Hancock and Bauval at the (Cayce organization) ARE’s Ancient Egypt Conferences (renamed Annual Ancient Mysteries Conference) using the supposedly highly accurate Skyglobe computer program and showing how the three pyramids were perfectly aligned to reflect Orion’s Belt. The Edgar Cayce readings stated that astronomical alignments were present at Giza and since the important date that was being put forth by the British authors touting Orion was 10,450 BC—virtually the same date given in Cayce readings as the construction of the Atlantean Hall of Records and the Great Pyramid—it caused a great deal of excitement. In short, the idea has been about as completely accepted as fact in the ARE as it could be. But Cayce, of course, did not state that Orion’s Belt was the key. In an Appendix in The Orion Mystery, Bauval wrote that the Skyglobe program was “quite accurate for the work described in The Orion Mystery.” (p. 247) But that has turned out to not actually be the case, at least in the sense of a “perfect match.”

As the proposal about Giza and Orion became known in scientific circles, attacks were soon mounted on the idea. One of the arguments was that the “perfect placement” of the three stars of Orion onto the three pyramids was far from perfect. This argument had little effect on the multitude of people who immediately accepted the Bauval proposal. Significantly, it never took hold within the scientific community, but that hasn’t deterred believers—myself included.

Bauval now admits that Skyglobe “does not take into account the proper motion of the stars (nor any other factor such as nutation, aberration, refraction) but merely accounts for the circular motion of precession.” In short, what this means is that the Orion Skyglobe shows in 10,500 BC is based on the Orion seen in the present—only the precession (the Earth’s wobble) is adjusted for. In fact, Bauval has stated that the key Orion’s Belt measurement in 10,500 BC from his Skyglobe program is 11.5 degrees. But the actual measurement is almost 9 degrees. It might not seem like much, but his original 11.5 degrees is 28% higher than it should have been. In terms of a “perfect fit” of Orion’s Belt on top of the three pyramids at Giza, the net result is that there really isn’t a good fit. It might be close, but it couldn’t be described as perfect, near perfect, or perhaps even good. This seems to have been first pointed out by astronomers examining the Orion claims. For example, in a 1999 article in the Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society, astronomer Tony Fairall wrote:

“Bauval claims that going back to 10500 BC gives ‘a perfect match’.

Or does it? My own investigation showed that, while the line of the two outer pyramids is set 38 degrees from north, the angle of Orion's Belt to north in 10500 BC is close on 50 degrees! Hardy an exact match. I calculate that circular precessional motion would give 47 degrees, whereas including nutational terms makes it slightly higher. Measurements in the planetarium agree.”

Since The Orion Mystery was published in 1994, a long series of book have been published by Bauval, Hancock, and others utilizing the supposed correspondence between Orion and Giza. These include: Keepers of the Genesis, The Secret Chamber, The Message of the Sphinx, Heaven's Mirror, Fingerprints of the Gods, and The Egypt Code. The latter book, recently published, is essentially completely based on the idea that Giza was built to represent Orion’s Belt. The key thing to grasp here is that the lack of a good fit between Orion in 10,500 BC with the three pyramids at Giza hasn’t really stopped the writing of books that completely rely on the (non-existent) perfect fit. But such scientific arguments against Orion are beyond most peoples’ grasp. And I confess that it was a bit too difficult for me to try to do the calculations myself, besides, I liked the idea of Orion.

When I first read a draft of The Cygnus Mystery over 6 months ago, it became immediately apparent to me that a massive “fly was in the ‘Orion Correspondence’ ointment.” Not only did the three main stars of Cygnus fit onto the three pyramids at Giza at the conventionally accepted date of 2600 BC, they actually fit better than the three stars of Orion’s Belt—in either 2600 BC or the 10,500 BC date. In addition, the other stars of Cygnus fell into key places at Giza—unlike Orion. This was truly impressive. I immediately wondered if the ARE—and countless believers in Bauval and Hancock’s 12-year-long, frequently made assertion—had been seduced by an overly simplified and inaccurate astronomical alignment. It seemed to me, with substantial training and qualifications in psychology, that the Orion correspondence was pleasing to believers in an unrecognized Egyptian history (myself included). The lack of a real fit didn’t matter once so many believers jumped onto the Orion bandwagon. But it also was apparent that the nonbelievers only argument was that it didn’t fit perfectly. (They had their own misguided bandwagon touting “coincidence.”)

As I mentioned in the beginning of this article, the Cygnus-Giza correspondence is only a minor point in The Cygnus Mystery. In The Cygnus Mystery, Collins briefly discusses the correspondence between the three stars of Cygnus with Giza stating it was an “unexpected insight.” (p. 154) It is related that engineer Rodney Hale had utilized the Skyglobe program in vain to see the highly touted correspondence between Orion’s Belt and the three pyramids. Nor could he see the supposed correspondence between the Orion constellation with other pyramids and Egyptian sites alleged to exist. It was frustrating for Hale. In January 2005 Hale decided to see if Cygnus might show some correspondence to Giza. He found, to his amazement, that Skyglobe showed the three inner stars of Cygnus fit perfectly onto the three pyramids. Much to his credit, Collins wrote that it is possible the correspondence is only coincidence. In short, he did not want to enter the Orion debate as the fundamental points of his book were far larger than the simplistic Giza alignment. And he has steadfastly maintained that he really doesn’t know if the Cygnus or Orion alignments are coincidence or not. But because of the definite correspondence between Cygnus and Giza, Collins theorizes that Giza possibly reflects Sokar, “ancient Egypt’s oldest funeral deity.” (p. 161) In brief, Sokar is a carrier of the soul, exactly as other ancient cultures believed about Cygnus.

Back To The Giza Alignments

On Hancock’s message board as well as on a skeptical message board, I noted that everything depicting Giza—maps, surveys, photos from the air and satellites, and illustrations—was characterized as being unusable (each has certain flaws) as an actual template to try to fit any stars onto. In addition, the Skyglobe program being used was unacceptable as a computer program that could give accurate and precise placements of stars far back in time. The reason is simple. Recall Bauval’s statement that Skyglobe doesn’t account for “proper motion” of stars. To understand what this means, all you have to do is remember when you were told that the universe is expanding. Everything in the universe is moving, but not in the exact same direction at the exact same speed. Over time, the actual position of one star in relation to another changes. The greater the time, the greater the change tends to be. The program Starry Night Pro supposedly adjusts for proper motion. In truth, I doubt it, because that would mean that every visible star has been measured in speed and direction and the program has embedded code that adjusts for each star. On the other hand, major stars or important stars could be more accurate. At least I hope so.

With these two thoughts in mind, I decided to make—as accurate as possible—a comparison between how well Orion and Cygnus fit onto the pyramids. I utilized Starry Night Pro and calculated Cygnus at 2600 BC (as seen from Giza) as well as Orion’s Belt at both 2600 BC and 10,500 BC. The Giza map I utilized was from the 1990s-2000’s Giza Mapping Project, considered to be the most accurate survey of the plateau and pyramids ever made. Rather than measuring the constellation stars on the screen (which is also derided in many commentaries) I actually took the constellation star “picture” from Starry Night Pro and overlaid it so that the center star of both Cygnus and Orion’s Belt would lay at the center of the middle pyramid. I placed colored dots on the key stars as they fell onto the Giza survey map.

I found that the 10,500 BC alignment of Orion’s Belt fit much more poorly onto the three pyramids than did the 2600 BC alignment. (Actually, the closer you get to present time, the better Orion seems to fit, but it’s only a slight difference.) It is clear that Cygnus, although it isn’t a “perfect fit,” is a much better fit than is Orion. I’m sure that someone will fault my method, perhaps the placement of the colored dots where the stars fall, but when every method has flaws, one does the best that can be done.

However, after this article was published, Andrew Collins and several others presented additional evidence that Cygnus did, in fact fit Giza perfectly—far better than Orion.

Is The Alleged Orion Correspondence To Giza Genuine?

Obviously there is a lot of appeal in a star pattern correspondence at Giza to many people. Knowing more of Native American archaeoastronomy, I am certain that stars and constellations played an important role in how many mound sites were constructed. I am drawn to the idea that Giza had some sort of star pattern in mind by its builders. It is an intuitively satisfying idea—at least to me. But the truth is that Cygnus fits the three pyramids at Giza far better than Orion does. Does that mean that Cygnus is correct? No, not really. It means that there is a lot more investigation has to be done. It also means that we may never know. I’m sure that somewhere in the night sky there are three stars that can be fit rather precisely onto Giza. The key thing involved in finding the correct correspondence (assuming it exists) is in a good match as well as other evidence supporting the match. But what Collins has done in The Cygnus Mystery is what all good authors should do: Dig into what’s known and dig in places where no one else has; Challenge the status quo when evidence to the contrary emerges. And Collins has done his work in making a massive and impressive case that Cygnus was extremely important to the ancients for many, many reasons.

The Orion-Giza correspondence became the status quo among the masses almost as soon as it was proposed. It was a new and interesting idea that resulted from an “Eureka!” on a Saudi desert. It sounded good and the desert scene certainly was intriguing. But some “eurekas” are simply wrong, no matter if they come in a great backdrop and get good press. The weight of the star alignment evidence clearly tells us the Orion correspondence is wrong. But so many have so much invested into it. Thousands of websites tout the Orion-Giza "fit" as precise and exact. Yet it isn't so. That’s the underlying psychology of the situation, and that is unlikely to go away or ever be addressed by the Orion proponents. So what is left is for individuals to make their own choices. Some will choose based on preconceived ideas and professional commitments—whether it is to choose Orion or to decide it is coincidence as skeptics have done. On the other hand, there is the choice to let the cards fall where they will—and seek the truth—no matter how badly one wishes to be right about an idea. No matter where one falls on this, Andrew Collins deserves a lot of credit for saying that it all might be a coincidence.