Smithsonian’s Enigmatic Prof. Jordan, Linked to 1909 Arizona Newspaper Article, Identified
A 1909 Phoenix Gazette article related that a Prof. Jordan found a system of underground chambers in the Grand Canyon filled with Egyptian artifacts sent to the Smithsonian. Jordan has been said to never have existed, but oddly, he did.
The April 1991 meeting of the Society for American Archaeology included a presentation on the discovery of totally unique, complex of underground catacombs found at a ruins site in Arizona. The “Arizona Daily Sun” published a long article on the discovery on April 27, 1991.
David Childress has been accused of creating the “Smithsonian Conspiracy,” the idea that the Smithsonian Institution has been hiding and witholding evidence that contradicts accepted archaeological history. In 1993 Childress published a widely-cited article that included a front page story from an April 1909 issue of the “Phoenix Gazette.” The article related that a Professor Jordan and G. E. Kinkaid had found a hidden complex of catacombs filled with oriental and Egyptian artifacts. The Smithsonian has denied repeatedly that a Professor Jordan had ever worked with them or been affiliated with them. The consistent official statement from the Institution has been: “The Smithsonian’s Department of Anthropology, has searched its files without finding any mention of a Professor Jordan, Kincaid, or a lost Egyptian civilization in Arizona.” Virtually all archaeologists assert that the story was a hoax perpetrated by the newspaper. A mainstream archaeology textbook relates: “As to Professor Jordan, there is no record of any such person actually working for or with the Smithsonian Institution.”
However, Professor David Starr Jordan was affiliated with the Smithsonian over a 30-year period, from the 1880’s until about 1910. Jordan also made an expedition down the Grand Canyon in 1898 and it is now known that he was even accompanied by T. Kincaid on an expedition to Alaska. In 1906 Jordan was offered the top job at the Smithsonian. He is also prominently found in many Smithsonian publications from the 1800s. Recently the Smithsonian quietly issued a page on him on their website.
While the 1909 article appears to have been a hoax, it possible that another Arizona site, Casa Malpais, was the source of the story. Casa Malpais has underground catacombs that are essentially identical to the description in the 1909 article.For more information, go to: www.apmagazine.info