Chasing the Dragon (Project)

Article published on 22 July 2011

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Over the past year, the extent to which Italian academics and researchers have been establishing a presence at Visoko has become more and more noticeable. This trend began last autumn with the advent of Ms. Sara Acconci, an archaeology graduate from the University of Milan, which seemed as if it might herald the introduction of a more professional and scientific approach - although not going quite so far as to actually question the fundamental validity of the whole project - in place of the lack of organization of the past few years, and the upheaval caused by the continually changing Foundation personnel. Also on site, of course, was Riccardo Brett, an archaeology graduate from the University of Venice with stimulating views on geology. But perhaps the most senior Italian academic to have come to prominence at Visoko during the past year must be Professor Paolo Debertolis, an odontologist from the University of Trieste. Although not officially attached to Mr. Osmanagic’s Bosnian Pyramid Foundation, Professor Debertolis and various academic and scientific colleagues, mainly Italian, have formed a group called the SBRG (It). This is an informal research group whose stated purpose is, not to displace Mr. Osmanagic’s Pyramid Foundation, but to work in complementary, or supplementary, fashion alongside it. Debertolis has now made it clear that the SBRG apparently receives some support from the University of Trieste itself; although quite what might happen to any future support during these uncertain economic times is difficult to gauge. Despite these uncertainties, however, a recent article (It) on the ‘Runa Bianca’ website (p.35-40) takes stock of the work and achievements of the SBRG over the past year and considers what might lie ahead.

The SBRG at Visoko

Debertolis begins with a view of the general area, and supposed archaeological context, in which the SBRG have been working:

“Spesso con piramidi di Bosnia si intende un numero notevoli di siti a diverso stadio di avanzamento degli scavi.”
“Quel che però appare sempre più evidente è che la Valle di Visoko ha ospitato una grande civiltà in Epoca Neolitica in grado di disporre della tecnologia e la forza di costruire strutture monumentali.”

(“The phrase ‘Bosnian pyramids’ is often taken to mean a significant number of sites at different stages of excavation.”
“But it seems increasingly evident that the Visoko Valley was in fact host to a great Neolithic Period civilization with the technical ability and resources to build monumental structures.”)

Debertolis notes recent carbon dating results which appear to support claims for the antiquity of the site:

“Per ora abbiamo un punto di riferimento dal punto di vista della datazione per quanto riguarda la Piramide della Luna che sembra risalire a 10.350 anni fa (+- 50 anni). Un campione di legno posto al di sotto della pavimentazione dello strato più profondo nel sondaggio di scavo n. 20 ha fornito questo risultato.”

(“We now have a reference point for the dating of the Pyramid of the Moon, which apparently dates back 10,350 years (+ - 50 years). This result came from a sample of wood found beneath the floor of the deepest layer in test hole No. 20.”)

The author now focuses on an aspect of the investigation to which he and his colleagues have devoted a great deal of time and resources during past months – research into ultrasound:

“Ma le strutture della Civiltà di Visoko non solo sono l’esempio di un’abile capacità costruttiva, ma anche rappresentative di una tecnologia la cui memoria è stata persa nel tempo. Ne è un esempio le ricerche che da oltre sei mesi eseguiamo nel campo degli ultrasuoni che sembrano permeare queste strutture e la cui origine per ora non ci è conosciuta.”

(“But the structures built by the Visoko civilization not only stand as a demonstration of their resourcefulness and intelligence; they also represent a technology whose memory is lost in the mists of time. One example is the research that we have been carrying out for over six months now into the field of ultrasound, which seems to permeate these structures, although its origin at the moment remains unknown.”)

Debertolis provides a detailed description of some of the phenomena encountered by him and his colleagues (one example of an SBRG field recording session is to be seen here):

“È abbastanza noto ormai che un fascio di ultrasuoni esca dalla Piramide del Sole e punti verso lo spazio con caratteristiche molto peculiari. Si tratta di una frequenza audio, ossia meccanica, nella banda degli ultrasuoni con una frequenza di circa 32.000 Hz di media. La frequenza di trasmissione è contraddistinta da una portante costante ed una modulazione sovrapposta con caratteristiche di irregolarità molto curiose, molto simili ad una trasmissione radio.”

(“It is now fairly well known that a beam of ultrasound with very specific characteristics emanates from the Pyramid of the Sun and points out into space. This is an audio frequency, i.e., mechanical, in the ultrasound band, at an average frequency of about 32,000 Hz. The frequency of transmission is characterized by a constant carrier and a superimposed modulation with very curious irregularities, very similar to a radio broadcast.”) [1]

The Professor also mentions investigations carried out at Visoko by other researchers, such as a Croatian team, led by Slobodan Mizdrak; and a Serbian investigator, Goran Marjanovich, primarily concerned with electromagnetism. The net result of this research leads Debertolis to conclude that that such phenomena are somehow connected with the lost ancient civilization of Visoko.

Debertolis then returns to the subject of excavations on the pyramids themselves. Although operations at the Pyramid of the Sun are suspended for the moment, work on the Pyramid of the Moon is progressing. And, contrary to statements to the effect that excavations were originally set to cease in 2012, the Professor and his colleagues see them continuing indefinitely, possibly for centuries. Other activities in which the SBRG have been involved include research on the ‘megaliths’ in the Ravne tunnel, and artefacts said to have been discovered there. Amongst other things, Debertolis claims that there is evidence to show that the date when the tunnels were first inhabited must have been over 5,000 years ago:

“… i tunnel sono stati abitati fino a 5.000 anni fa come provato dai residui carboniosi al C14 presenti all’ingresso dei tunnel.”

(“ … the tunnels were inhabited until 5,000 years ago, as demonstrated by C14 carbon residues present at the entrance to the tunnels.”)

All in all, Debertolis and his colleagues believe that they can congratulate themselves on having made a significant contribution to the effort to throw more light on the vanished civilization of Visoko. This ancient civilization, as readers might recall, is claimed to have flourished millennia ago, before mysteriously disappearing and leaving few traces apart from enigmatic monumental structures and associated tunnels, and mysterious energy sources. So will the SBRG be amongst those who are on the verge of uncovering information about various forms of forgotten ancient technologies left by these people that will revolutionize our understanding of ancient history? Will the Italian initiative succeed where previous research initiatives have not?

Before we come to any conclusion about this, perhaps it might be as well to take another look at the evidence supporting the claims made in the article.

An ancient science?

Let us start with Debertolis’ announcement that Visoko, and its ‘pyramids’, were obviously home to an ancient civilization. But – just to run over some tired old ground yet again - reputable geologists who have studied, in some cases visited, the site have concluded that the so-called Pyramid of the Sun is natural in origin. Furthermore, there is no reliable archaeological evidence to show that small groups of hunter-gatherers, the only human communities known to have existed in the region of Bosnia 12,000 years ago, possessed the civil engineering expertise and resources that would have enabled them to build monumental constructions of the size and scale of the alleged ‘pyramid’, or even merely to re-shape even part of the top of the existing natural hill of Visocica into a pyramidal form [2]. Nor, contrary to this article on the Foundation website, or to Dr. Aly Barakat’s assertions, is there any evidence that any of the other pre-existing hills in the area was even re-shaped by human hand on a monumental scale, whether in 10,000 BC or at any more recent date [3].

But – insists Debertolis – there is evidence, radiocarbon dating evidence from the Pyramid of the Moon, that indicates that it dates back 10,350 years (+ - 50 years). 

Unfortunately, as this article has already made clear, the relevant sample from the Pyramid of the Moon has proved rather problematic, as has also the date attributed to it: so much so that, in the absence of further samples and archaeological evidence, it is quite unsafe to make statements to the effect that the supposed structure in question is over 10,000 years old – always supposing that it is an artificial construction in the first place. Connecting “Pyramid of the Moon” with an object dating back 10,350 years (+ - 50 years) implies that that is the date when the structure was built. But giving hills names like the “Pyramid of the Moon” or the “Pyramid of the Sun” does not actually make them into man-made structures. And, as past investigations have shown, the geological evidence in this landscape points simply to the existence of various natural hills. So the fact that ancient materials of organic origin untouched by human hand - whether from 8,000 BC, 10,000 BC, or any other date – are to be found within these naturally occurring structures is not necessarily any indication of any human presence or activity, and still less of the existence of a lost civilization. Not that this consideration prevents Debertolis from speaking of: “... la necessità di rivedere e perfezionare la cronologia delle strutture incontrate.” (“… the need to review and refine the chronology of the structures that are being uncovered”) - as if the proposition that these hills were artificial, and not natural, were already proven fact.

Signals from beyond the stars?

We then come to the subjects of the electromagnetism and ultrasound research at Visoko. Recently, I wrote an article discussing, amongst other things, some early work in the field of ultrasound investigations in England (scroll down the page) by the English scientist, Don Robins, who, in the late 1970s, was part of a research team, the Dragon Project, that was carrying out research at the Rollright Stones in Oxfordshire. Debertolis, although of course interested in the work of the Dragon Project, states that the SBRG and other contemporary research teams have been using equipment that was state-of-the-art, whereas, in the late 1970s, the Dragon Project were using equipment that was out-of-the-Ark ... Consequently, the question was a no-brainer, and the 2010-2011 findings [4] were not only infinitely more sophisticated, but also infinitely more reliable. The SBRG’s findings were checked by other independent researchers. This article from the Foundation website on ultrasound research in Bosnia during 2011, for example, includes details of the investigation carried out by the SBRG themselves on 24-25 January at the summit of the “Pyramid of the Sun”; a brief description of research carried out the year before by the Croatian team led by the physicist, Slobodan Mizdrak, on 10-11 April 2010; a reference to later investigations performed by a team from the Schmidt Geophysical Institute of Moscow; and a mention of the English investigator, Harry Oldfield, who, coincidentally, had also participated in the original Dragon Project.

Given the sophistication of the equipment used in these investigations, how could the conclusions of the SBRG – for example, that, on 24th and 25th January at the summit of the “Pyramid of the Sun”, they succeeded in recording ultrasound at levels of 2,000 hz or 600hz, an average of 32,000 Hz, although on a narrowband 30kHz -34kHz – be contradicted? Surely they must far outweigh the much patchier and more primitive efforts of the Dragon Project?

Perhaps, however, we could just take a closer look at the work of the Dragon Project, and – despite the thirty years that separate the two investigations - see how it actually compares with that of the SBRG and their colleagues.

The Rollright Stones

In Robins’ book on the project, “Circles of Silence,” [5] he describes how, on a day in late October 1978, just before 8.00 am, accompanied by his three-year-old son and the family dog, he began his investigation after his initial visits to the Rollright Stones. This was a site consisting of three separate groups of megaliths – a stone circle (the Kingsmen), a collapsed dolmen (the Whispering Knights), and a single standing stone (the Kingstone, over the road from the Kingsmen). The apparatus he was using was, it appears, a fairly basic ultrasonic detector constructed by an electronics engineer, Mike Roberts; it was described as “sturdy, although very sensitive …[but] limited in performance and recording ability.” [6]. Using this ultrasonic detector within the Kingsmen circle, and recording for about half an hour, Robins noted only a “gentle background flicker.” He tried another part of the site, the Kingstone, where, in contrast to the Kingsmen, he noticed “a regular pulsing movement”, which he describes as: “ … really peculiar in that the pattern was spread over about a minute and then commenced again after about 10 seconds, endlessly repeated.” Readings at the neighbouring lay-by and road revealed the same phenomenon. Half an hour later, it could still be noted at the Kingstone; although there was nothing apart from the background flicker within the stone circle of Kingsmen itself. Later in the day, the pulsing had completely disappeared. [7]

During the winter of 1978-1979, Robins and his colleagues tried taking other early-morning measurements at other locations, as well as Rollright, but with largely disappointing results. However, in the February of 1979, Robins returned to Rollright, and there, shortly before dawn, by the Kingstone, recorded what he described as “frantic pulsing.” But this was – literally – a high point, for subsequent readings at the same place a few weeks later showed lower levels [8]. Further readings showed that, generally, at Rollright, ultrasound levels were lower around the times of the solstices, although, with the approach of the equinoxes, they tended to rise [9].

What is the cause of this phenomenon? At Visoko, Debertolis and his colleagues, with their superior equipment, came to the conclusion that the ultrasound was emanating from a “primary source” somewhere within the Pyramid of the Sun before being beamed out to space. Other readings had been taken on other hills in the area, but no comparable levels of ultrasound had been measured.

Photoshopped image of the ’energy beam’ on Visocica

Thirty years before, Robins had also puzzled over the reason for the phenomenon – until, as he was standing in his garden one morning, it suddenly dawned on him (if the reader will pardon the pun) precisely why it was that he had chosen to take readings at dawn as opposed to any other time of day. It was at that moment that he saw, if not an answer leading to a way forward, at least a step in that direction [10].

Like the teams in Bosnia, Robins had also tried taking other ultrasound measurements in the area around his home in NW London, locations such as the high point of Horsenden Hill. He found ’background flickering’ at these places, but not the pulsing that he had encountered at Rollright [11]. Dawn investigations were also carried out at Castlerigg, in Cumbria; in May, at Avebury, in Wiltshire; and in summer, at Moel-ty-Uchaf, in Denbighshire. Some faint pulsing, and other anomalous readings, were found, although, again, nothing on the scale found at Rollright [12].

One of the questions at the heart of “Circles of Silence” was whether, in the times between the Neolithic and Iron Age, people might somehow have been able to perceive the existence of ultrasound. Robins, like many later researchers, wondered if such sites, and the technical achievements that they demonstrated, were evidence for “ … the existence of an ancient science, wisdom or both?” [13]

For their part, Debertolis and his colleagues, as we have seen, argue that the evidence show that: “ … a beam of ultrasound with very specific characteristics emanates from the Pyramid of the Sun and points out into space”. In fact, there were three principal sites at Visoko that were believed to show high ultrasound readings. According to investigations carried out by a Croatian team at Visoko in April 2010, led by Slobodan Mizdrak, ultrasound readings of 28kHz (a little lower than the 32kHz found by other teams) were recorded at the peak of the “Pyramid of the Sun,” at the top of the Vratnica Mound, and in the Ravne tunnels.

If the Rollrights and the other ancient ancient English sites had been found to demonstrate the presence of even low levels of pulsing ultrasound, could this not tie in with the conclusions of the researchers at Visoko, who believed that they had found consistent ultrasound readings at sites also believed to be ancient?

The Rollright Stones are, of course, a recognized ancient site. The Kingstone is believed to date somewhere between 1800 -1500 BC; the main circle of megaliths, the Kingsmen, between 2500–2000 BC; and the dolmen of the Whispering Knights is dated c. 4000–3500 BC. Castlerigg is dated to c. 3200 BC, the giant outer circle of Avebury to c. 2600 BC, and Moel-ty-Uchaf to the Iron Age or early mediaeval.

But, as mentioned earlier, can the same be said of the relevant sites in Visoko? The “Pyramid of the Sun” is actually the hill of Visočica, home to the mediaeval fortress of Visoki. The “Pyramid of the Moon” is, less fancifully, Pljesevica Hill, an interesting geological site, but, despite claims to the contrary, not one recognized as being particularly associated with any ancient or even mediaeval settlement. The Ravne tunnels certainly present a more perplexing question; but, since antiquity, the whole area of Bosnia has been well known for its mineral wealth, and there are many examples of mines to be found all over the country. The presence of the tunnels at Ravne might therefore have some connection with this fact. But Osmanagic, Debertolis and others argue that they are really the work of the mysterious lost civilization of Visoko.

It has been suggested in the past that the tunnels could be over 30,000 years old; but, unfortunately, when subjected to close scrutiny, these claims do not stand up. Debertolis now claims that there is evidence to show that the tunnels must have been inhabited at some time preceding 3000 BC – “i tunnel sono stati abitati fino a 5.000 anni fa come provato dai residui carboniosi al C14 presenti all’ingresso dei tunnel” (“the tunnels were inhabited until 5,000 years ago, as demonstrated by C14 carbon residues present at the entrance to the tunnels”).

So what is the evidence in support of this claim?

The Professor is probably referring to this article on the Foundation website describing how some stalagmites and stalactites formed after the collapse of tunnel roofs; the people who built the tunnels were believed to have gone by the time this collapse took place. So, in theory, dates associated with post-collapse stalagmites and stalactites ought to be able to indicate a time before the builders were working there – as, obviously, construction activities would disturb and/or prevent the formation of these objects. Samples of stalagmite 25 metres from the entrance were sent to the Silesian University of Technology (Dr. Anna Pazdur), and gave results of 5,080 years BP (+/- 75 years); while samples of stalactite gave results of 3,560 years BP (+/- 65 years).

Surely, therefore, this must show that the tunnels must have been built before 3000 BC or thereabouts?

Irna writes:

More information on this subject appears on the Foundation website, here and especially here. This document, in particular, contains photographs, and graphics of the dating results, as stated above:

- Visoko 5, taken from a ‘stalagmite’, dated to 5080 +- 75
- Visoko 4, taken from a ‘stalactite’, dated to 3560 +- 60 (there is a graphic within the document)

Photographs of the original locations of the two samples appear in this document (Bs) (slightly more detailed than the English version):
- Visoko 5: pages 4, 5 and 6
- Visoko 4: page 9.

First, and most importantly, it should be noted that these ‘stalactites’ and ‘stalagmites’ aren’t really stalactites and stalagmites at all, as we can see from the photographs. The one on page 9 (Visoko 4) shows a surface deposit of calcite between two blocks, which may well have formed before the digging of the tunnel. Within the conglomerate, there is nothing that would have prevented the formation of small natural cavities in which calcite can be deposited - and bear in mind that there are obviously sizeable water flows within the conglomerate mass. This is even more striking in the case of Visoko 5, where, rather than a ‘stalagmite’, what we are clearly dealing with is a layer of calcite deposited by an internal water flow in a fracture within the mass of conglomerate. The photos on pages 4 and 6 I think show other calcite ‘veins’ underneath the principal layer. If this is the case, it is clear that the calcite deposits in question were not formed by exposure to air, but actually within the conglomerate itself.


The point that I want to emphasise is that, if a speleothem is to give an indication of the age of a cavity, it must have developed in a place where it is exposed to the air. This is the case for the examples seen in this photo, or in this one.


There is no doubt that those particular stalactites have developed within a void, and it is therefore those stalactites that should be dated – although, given their small size, I doubt that they would prove to be of any very great age ... If the rate of growth is taken to be 1 cm per century (0.1 mm per year), the examples here would prove to be little more than a few hundred years old at the very most – which makes the probable construction date of the tunnels a very different matter from the pre-3,000 BC terminus ante quem claimed by the Foundation.

Abacus resumes:

Now that evidence concerning proposed very ancient dates for the Ravne tunnels has been found wanting, we are left only with the Vratnice Mound, briefly discussed in one of Irna’s articles. Vratnice is a village a few miles away from Visoko, near a location known as Toprakalia Hill, the site of the Vratnice Mound (which the SBRG compare with Silbury Hill). Could the Vratnice Mound have been an ancient site? But, as explained in the article, contrary to statements from Mr. Osmanagic about its role as the burial place of kings, it does not appear at the moment to have any particular historical connection, and is merely an interesting geological example of a hill formed of layers of sandstone, marl and clay.

Despite the claims of Messrs. Osmanagic, Debertolis et al., therefore, what we are left with is one mediaeval fortress [14], some tunnels of uncertain age, and a sandstone hill. Yet various research teams have recently recorded the presence of ultrasound, at levels varying between 28kHz and 32kHz, in these locations – and a rather baffling absence of such phenomena at other hill locations in the area. But, if the presence of ultrasound is an indication of the possible antiquity of a particular site or sites, surely this means that the three sites could in fact be very old after all, as claimed by the Foundation and others?

The Rollright Stones

Let us at this point return to the England of 1979, where Don Robins and his colleagues were checking ultrasound readings at various sites of acknowledged antiquity, dating from 4000 BC to the early mediaeval, such as the Rollright Stones themselves, Avebury, Castlerigg, and Moel-ty-Fach. But the members of the Dragon Project did not confine their recordings to ancient sites alone. They also measured readings at the Rollrights lay-by, roads and lanes nearby, and parts of NW London, including Horsenden Hill. There were generally some background murmurs and flutterings in the sites in the vicinity of Rollright itself – except near dawn in October and February, when regular pulsing could be measured in the lay-by and surrounding roads, even at times when, in the Kingsmen circle itself, there were only background readings. At the end of February 1979, from dawn until two hours after sunrise, it was a different matter: the whole site - megaliths, lay-by, roads and all - was suffused, as we have already seen, with “frantic pulsing” [15].

What about the non-ancient sites visited by the Dragon Project team? Horsenden Hill, for example, with its golf courses and reservoirs. Robins explains that, on several occasions, he took dawn readings near the trig point there, but never recorded anything other than random background fluctuations [16]. Surely, however, if it was not an ancient site, nothing else was to be expected?

But, although Robins does not mention it, the trig point at Horsenden Hill is in fact situated very close to an ancient earthwork, a hillfort (undated, although many such earthworks are generally dated to the Iron Age). Yet no ultrasound pulsing was ever recorded there by the Dragon Project – although, of course, it could be argued that this might be the result of the fact that there is no group of megalithic stones at Horsenden Hillfort.

So what do these findings show? They demonstrate that ultrasound phenomena, though largely absent from non-ancient sites, can nevertheless be registered, in varying degrees, at some ancient sites, as long as some form of stone is present or prominent. Ultrasound phenomena can also sometimes be found at non-ancient locations if adjacent to an ancient site – roads, a neighbouring lay-by, etc. But, at the same time, not every ancient site necessarily demonstrates a strong association with ultrasound phenomena: there was only faint pulsing at Castlerigg, just a few fluctuations (and a little pulsing) at Avebury, and, of course, nothing more than background at Horsenden Hill.

Given the differences in equipment and methodology, comparing the Dragon Project results with those at Visoko is far from easy. Nevertheless, as we have seen, at the three Visoko sites where researchers recorded ultrasound phenomena, only one is of proven antiquity, dating only to the mediaeval. Back in England, meanwhile, we have seen that, whilst ultrasound is not necessarily present at all ancient sites all the time or even some of the time, it does not appear to be present at all in any modern locations, unless they are in the immediate vicinity of an ancient site.

Before trying to reach some sort of conclusion, there is also one other factor to be taken into account. To many people who have no sound-engineering expertise or knowledge of ultrasound and infrasound, this video of the recording at the three Visoko sites seems to convey a sound that is continuous. Here, in an article dated 28th January 2011, the ultrasound at the ‘Pyramid of the Sun’ is described as a “continuous whistle”; in a subsequent article dated 25th February 2011, Debertolis and his team describe how the phenomenon seemed anyway to have grown weaker.

The Dragon Project also recorded variations of ultrasound signal strength. But late February – at dawn - was the very time when the Dragon Project noted the “frantic pulsing” at Rollright, the pulsing that, to repeat Robins’ words, was: “ … really peculiar in that the pattern was spread over about a minute and then commenced again after about 10 seconds, endlessly repeated.” Yet – to an untrained perception, at least - no such repetition seems to be taking place in any of the Visoko recordings. This, for instance, is Part 1 of three videos on the SBRG’s ultrasound research, with footage of their January expedition to Visoko. The video text says:

“Il fascio di ultrasuoni appariva a gennaio 2011 molto potente posto in un cerchio di circa 15-20 metri di diametro ed al di fuori della fortezza medievale posta sulla cima della piramide.” (“The ultrasound beam in January 2011 appeared particularly concentrated in a circle about 15-20 metres in diameter, outside the medieval fortress located on top of the pyramid.”)

During another trip in February, the expedition’s instruments seemed to show that the circle had reduced in size to about 10-15 metres, while the signal was weaker. The fact of an alteration in the signal’s intensity and duration could be compared with the ultrasound alterations found by the Dragon Project at Rollright [17]; although, again - at least to the untrained ear - the SBRG recording does not appear to register what could be described as “pulsing,” still less, “frantic pulsing.”

But could the absence of “pulsing” at Visoko be connected with the fact that these recordings were apparently not made at dawn? But, in that case, as far as ultrasound is concerned, what is the significance of dawn anyway?

We shall return to this question shortly. In the meantime, let us look at the conclusions of the Croatian research team. According to Mizdrak, the presence of the ultrasound could possibly be explained by one of the following:

  • forces of nature (28kHz means a radiation of 28,000 beats in a second);
  • electro-magnetic induction (therefore either electronic or magnetic technology); or
  • the pressing of quartz crystal (piezoelectric technology).

Similar factors are also discussed by Robins: electrons, electron spin resonance (a phenomenon about which he and various researchers had written many articles), transduction, piezoelectricity, and the possible connection of these phenomena with megaliths and stone [18]; finally, he also mentions the well known connection between frictional slipping of crustal faults and ultrasound [19].

For his part, Mr. Mizdrak’s conclusion is as follows: “The question is raised as to which of these technologies produces the continual ultrasound inside the Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun and the Mound in Vratnica, and which thereby with a focus move through their peaks? For now, only one thing is clear: This does not concern a natural phenomenon.”

So is Mr. Mizdrak right?

Back in England, Don Robins had come to an altogether different conclusion. He eventually realized why his subconscious mind had forced him to drive through cold winter mornings to visit the various ancient sites at dawn. The reason was the sun: the dawn sun, a source of electromagnetic radiation. During the relatively short time that the sun is on the horizon, we see it as red. It is red because longer-wavelength light [20] –together with microwaves - are effectively being beamed straight at the earth. Microwaves can be transduced through a piezoelectric material; eventually, through a combination of factors – wavelength and pressure waves – they can become ultrasound. Although the limestone of Rollright was not a recognized piezoelectric material, the effects of the dawn sun – and especially of the dawn sun near the equinox – were still very marked, much more so than if Robins had simply conducted investigations during Sunday afternoon trips [21].

Let us now return to the perplexed question of the three Visoko sites (Ravne, Vratnice, Visocica). As we know, neither Vratnice nor Visocica has any groups of megalithic stones – although there is the question of the presence of the megaliths in the Ravne tunnel (which Irna has considered in detail here). These particular megaliths are blocks of sandstone; the sandstone is probably several million years old, part of the original Lasva conglomerate.

Geology and ultrasound

This brings us to the question: to what extent might geology play a part in the apparent presence of ultrasound at these European sites? Rollright is a largely limestone landscape, the megaliths themselves also being formed of limestone. Castlerigg, where some faint pulsing was noted by the Dragon Project, is formed of local metamorphic slate. Avebury, where some anomalies, fluctuations and pulsing were measured, is formed of Eocene sandstone. At Visoko, sandy limestone is frequently to be found; and, as we have just noted, there are sandstone blocks in the Ravne tunnels [22].

The question of whether geology might be one of the factors behind ultrasound was also one to which, back in the late 1970s, Don Robins devoted a great deal of thought. Could the pulsing at Rollright be the result of the sun’s reaction with the stones, or the sun’s reaction with the site? [23]

Unfortunately, fascinating though the question is, no satisfactory answer has ever really emerged. And, as we have seen, there are, anyway, probably too many differences between the methods and findings at the Dragon Project sites, and those at the Visoko sites, to draw up a proper comparison: recognized ancient sites – complete with megaliths – as opposed to sites whose origins are somewhat more difficult to determine; pulsing ultrasound, as opposed to continuous ultrasound; ultrasound recordings carried out at dawn (especially in October and February) as opposed to ultrasound recordings carried out at indeterminate times of day and at various times of the year that have produced results that, though intriguing, do not seem comparable with some of the more spectacular findings of the Dragon Project [24].

The way ahead

So, finally, what conclusions should we draw from Professor Debertolis’ review of the SBRG’s activities during the past year? He believes that he and his group have done valuable – not to say invaluable – work; places much emphasis on the group’s “multi-disciplinary” character, and insists that, no matter what was said in previous years, excavations are in fact set to continue beyond 2012. This is an interesting assertion, given that, back in 2006, Mr. Osmanagic claimed that:

“Mi razbijamo negativni energijski oblak. To mora biti narejeno pred letom 2012, da bi lahko sprejeli zgodovinski vpliv vesoljne energije iz koz-mičnega centra naše galaksi-je.” (“We are breaking a cloud of negative energy. This must be done before 2012, in order to receive the historical influence of the universal energy from the cosmic center of our galaxy”) [25]

What, then, does Mr. Osmanagic think of the Professor’s statement? With the approach of 2012, has the Foundation quietly abandoned its views on the cosmic significance of that year? Are we to see the SBRG, and other Italian academics, playing an increasingly important role at Visoko in the months, and years, to come?

One thing is for sure. To be considered credible, any future research carried out at Visoko has to be effected by reputable researchers working on a proper scientific, geological and archaeological basis. The introduction of “multi-disciplinary” groups might sound attractive, but, unless the individual members – though co-operating on one particular project - remain largely within their own areas of expertise, it might present pitfalls for the unwary. Many of the problems that have arisen over the past six years have been the result of non-scientists making pronouncements about science, non-geologists making pronouncements about geology, and non-archaeologists making pronouncements about archaeology. Professor Debertolis himself, for instance, despite his scientific credentials, recently wrote an article on an historical subject, stecci (although there is no mention of it in his annual review). Unfortunately, the article contained many errors – but, when these mistakes were pointed out, Debertolis failed to respond in the manner that one would expect of any serious academic, whether historian or scientist. In a recent thread on a discussion forum (It), he has stated that he does not intend to reply to people whom he terms “debunkers”: that is, those who continue to scrutinise, query and question the details, basis and validity of the work carried out on the ‘pyramids’. What he, and others like him, do not seem to appreciate is that, unless and until all such questions are squarely faced, and fully and honestly answered, whether by the Italian academics and scientists associated with Visoko, or by anyone else, the ‘Bosnian Pyramids’, and the nexus of pseudo-scientific ideas associated with them, will never gain acceptance within the wider academic community.

Notes :

[1This Wiki article contains some explanation of the technical terms used here.

[2Anthony Harding “The great Bosnian pyramid scheme”, British Archaeology November/December 2006. Colette Dowell & Robert Schoch: “Pyramid No More”, Sub Rosa, Issue 6, Oct 2006: pp. 6-9. John Bohannon, “Mad About Pyramids”, Science Magazine, 22 September 2006.

[3Take, for instance, Silbury Hill, in Wiltshire, England, with which Visocica Hill is sometimes compared. Silbury Hill is only 37 metres high, yet it is estimated that it required 248,000 cubic metres of earth to be moved into place over a natural hill, which took an enormous quantity of man-hours and organization to put in place. Visocica Hill itself is 213 metres high (220 metres, according to Semir Osmanagic) – nearly six times the height of Silbury Hill. Even if, several thousand years ago, there had been a culture, or a civilization capable of moving large quantities of earth on top of an existing hill, the effort and resources involved in such an exercise would have had to be proportionately more than the 18,000,000 man hours required in the case of Silbury Hill. Yet still no convincing evidence has come to light that activities of this sort and scale ever took place at Visocica.

[4Some detailed descriptions are to be found here.

[51985, Souvenir Press, London.

[6Robins 1985: 38, 75.

[7Robins 1985: 39-43. See also 44.

[8Robins 1985: 68-71.

[9Robins 1985:75.

[10Robins 1985: 68-70.

[11Robins 1985: 45.

[12Robins 1985: 76.

[13Robins 1985: 94.

[14The Neolithic remains on Visocica are associated with the slopes of the hill, rather than the mediaeval fortress on the summit.

[15Robins 1985: 71.

[16Robins 1985: 45, 62.

[17See in particular Robins 1985: 34, fig. 9; 42, fig. 13; 63, fig. 21.

[18Robins 1985: 52-60.

[19Robins 1985: 68.

[20That is, red light. As explained here: “... blue light is at the short wavelength end of the visible spectrum, [and] it is more strongly scattered in the atmosphere than long wavelength red light.”

[21Robins 1985: 68-69.

[22Furthermore, any questions concerning geology-related, or megalith-related, ultrasound in the Ravne tunnels must surely be complicated by the fact that the SBRG believe that the megaliths are actually “giant bivalves.”

[23Robins 1985: 75.

[24Although the Debertolis team made recordings on Visocica in the February of this year, they did not do so at dawn. Further ultrasound research was carried out on several more occasions during the first half of 2011 at Visoko by the SBRG, including April, and also June (It).

[25From Wikipedia: Bosnian Pyramids: Osmanagić, Semir (July 2006). “Energijsko središče sveta - The energy center of the world” (in Slovenian). Misteriji. pp. 5. Archived from the original on 2009-05-08. Retrieved 2009-11-20.

Comment on this article
Chasing the Dragon (Project)
jerome - on 24 July 2011

Excellent article ! Quoique tout ceci soit bien décevant ...

Ce qui me frappe , en dehors des élucubrations des uns et des autres, c ’ est surtout le fait
d’ un sommeil patent sur le site de la fondation : à part des reprises d’ articles de presse et
des photos de réunions de touristes, rien, mais alors rien de rien, sur des trouvailles interessantes.
On a même l’ impression que les fouilles ... bafouillent : pas de photos des excavations, des équipes
de volontaires, rien ...
On a vraiment l’ impression d ’ être au bout du bout d ’ une grosse supercherie bien rentable
pour le commerce local ( ce qui n ’ a rien de répréhensible en soi ), même si au départ
Osmanagic était sincère, ce qui est son droit le plus strict.
Il semble ne plus trop savoir quelle route emprunter pour se sortir honorablement de ce bourbier !

C ’ est bien dommage, mais au moins il nous aura tous fait rêver un peu ! et ça, on peut pas
le lui enlever !

Aller Semir : des preuves, des photos, des artefacts, ou alors une bon interview disant :
je me suis fourvoyé, désolé, j’ étais persuadé au départ, mais là je n’ ai plus rien ...

Chasing the Dragon (Project)
Abacus - on 25 July 2011

Thank you for your comments, Jerome! (I hope you don’t mind if I reply in English).

As you say, there doesn’t seem to be an awful lot to show for six years’ work. However, there does appear to be some work going on at Visoko this summer, as can be seen from these photographs taken by Richard Hoyle. As I understand it, excavation on the "Pyramid of the Sun" is still not permitted, but attempts are apparently being made to remove some of the topsoil and vegetation in a way that doesn’t contravene the ruling. The people in the photographs are presumably volunteers from the 2011 summer camp, under the direction of the site archaeologist, Sara Acconci (although, according to Professor Debertolis, she sometimes finds it rather difficult to keep the students in line).

Given the continuing lack of convincing evidence for a so-called lost ancient civilization, however, one cannot but wonder how long the Foundation can go on for ...



Chasing the Dragon (Project)
irna - on 28 July 2011

Bonjour Jérôme,

rassurez-vous, nous n’en avons pas fini avec les révélations fracassantes sur les pyramides de Bosnie :-)

Un écho radar un peu énigmatique dans le sous-sol du tunnel de Ravne, et c’est reparti !

Pour une fois, le site de la Fondation est exceptionnellement prudent et se refuse à toute interprétation, M. Osmanagic est peut-être échaudé par quelques interprétations aventureuses du passé (par exemple une cabane en pierre interprétée comme "la porte d’entrée" de la pyramide !) ; ou alors il est peut-être jaloux de la façon dont "l’équipe italienne" se fait mousser :-)

Par contre, certains de ses comparses italiens s’en donnent à coeur joie : tombeau royal, pilleurs de tombes, victimes enterrées vivantes dans un labyrinthe souterrain, culte de la déesse mère... Voir en particulier, ou le fil de discussion

A suivre :-)


Chasing the Dragon (Project)
Abacus - on 4 August 2011

Hi Irna,

By way of a postscript, I thought that some readers might find this article on cosmic microwave background radiation to be of interest.



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