Australian Government Media Caught In Censorship of Historical Archaeological Findings

18th December 2012

By  Andy Whiteley

Co-Founder of Wake Up World


Throughout 2012 Ryan and I (the founders of Wake Up World) worked closely with a group of Australian research colleagues to understand – and to help make public – the significance of a series of archaeological findings in bushlands of the Kariong/Gosford area on the Central Coast of NSW Australia. An area, I should add, that is under threat of being destroyed by large-scale commercial development.

Findings in and around this area  include 35 registered Aboriginal sites, countless unregistered sites,  8-foot stone carvings, ancient jewellery, ochre caves, early-Egyptian  hieroglyphs, and remarkably, a recently-discovered series of underground tunnels and chambers which have yet to be explored in their entirety.

The validity of these findings has been confirmed by tribal custodians and  Elders, while the “hoax” theories relating to the site have been thoroughly refuted – in the first instance by David Fitzgerald, an indigenous man who previously worked as a sites officer for the National Parks & Wildlife Service, and most recently,  by thorough translation of the ancient script completed  by Ancient Hieroglyphics experts from the Khemit School of Ancient Mysticism in Egypt.

Media Involvement

In an effort to share these new findings with the wider community, we took Mary-Louise Vince, a reporter from ABC News (the Government owned news outlet in Australia) to the historical  site and presented details of our findings.

Despite my skepticism of government-controlled media, at 6:00am on 10th  December 2012, ABC Radio National News featured a 40 second story which presented some of our findings. The story was also covered by the ABC’s affiliate station Triple J Radio, and at approximately 8:30am an accompanying online article was posted on the ABC News website.

Strangely, by the afternoon, something had changed. The story was not mentioned on either ABC National News or Triple J News that afternoon, and – in an unprecedented move – the accompanying written article was withdrawn from the ABC News website along with two earlier (less controversial) ABC articles that relate to the Kariong site.

Inquiries were made of the ABC following the article’s removal from the site, and we were advised that – in accordance with “ABC policy” – a “more balanced” approach was needed to the topic, and that a statement from the National Parks & Wildlife Service would therefore be sought before the article was re-published.

I understand the concept of due-diligence. What I don’t understand is why that “diligence” was not done before the article made it to local ABC radio… before it reached the national ABC network… or before an online  article was published on the ABC’s national news website.

Four more days passed, and our team wondered if our story would ever see the light of day. Eventually, on Friday 14th  December, a “revised article” appeared on the ABC News website… entitled “Egyptologist debunks new claims about ‘Gosford glyphs'”.


A  Balanced  Approach…?

Is this really ABC News’ concept a “balanced” approach?  Wouldn’t  “balanced” media seek an opposing opinion on the topic at hand – which in this case was “new discoveries” in Kariong? Or would “balanced” media entirely disregard the original story – a story of new archaeological discoveries – and instead drag out the same old rhetoric about the well-known hieroglyphs in an attempt to “debunk” our findings…. without even addressing any of the new evidence at hand?

Clearly, something more than “due diligence” transpired behind the doors of the ABC’s national offices between the 10th  and 14th  of December.

The purpose of the “revised” article is obvious; to stir up the old “hoax” rhetoric once more and undermine the site’s significance. Its intention is even stated in the title of the revised article: “Egyptologist debunks new claims…”

The fact is, the Egyptologist in question  didn’t  even respond to most of our “new claims”. In contrast to the first article (dated 10th December), the work of our “group of amateur researchers” is not even mentioned until the 8th  paragraph… before which “the reader” has been repeatedly “informed” that the Kariong site is a hoax.

By the 9th  paragraph, a brief comment from team  spokesperson Steven  Strong  was finally included, before the article diverts back to “rebuttal” mode, providing the final “debunking” word to Professor Boyo Ockinga from Macquarie University.

Tellingly, both ‘expert’ sources used to “de-bunk” our claims are employees of the Australian Government; Professor Ockinga is an employee of the public Macquarie University, and the other ‘source’ is a nameless representative of the Government department ‘National Parks & Wildlife Service’.

Even more telling, their testimonies are in direct contradiction of each other. Professor Ockinga speculates at the conclusion of the ABC’s article that “it is likely” the known hieroglyphs were carved in the 1920s by Australian soldiers returning from military service in Egypt, and compared them to Sphynx and Pyramid carvings in Kurringai National Park near Sydney. But realistically, there can be no legitimate comparison made between the two sites. The Sphinx and the Pyramids are both physical structures which can be replicated without an understanding of proto-Egyptian hieroglyphics. The ‘glyphs in Kariong however have been shown to contain accurate ancient Egyptian script. So unless our returning soldiers were educated in ancient Egyptian scripture during their deployment, Professor Ockinga’s correlation doesn’t hold water.

Furthermore, the “official” story of the ABC’s other source, National Parks & Wildlife Service, is that the hieroglyphs were carved in the 1980s. Upon inspecting the ‘glyphs in 1983, David Lambert of National Parks & Wildlife Service determined that the ‘glyph carvings were (then) “no more than 12 months old”. But even more conflicting “evidence” comes from Allan Dash, an NP&WS surveyor who claims to have seen the ‘glyphs as early as 1975, and claims they were “added to” over the following 5 years. But this tale doesn’t add up either, particularly given David Fitzgerald’s testimony that the National Parks team worked for 2 days uncover the ‘glyphs by excavating of masses of rock and debris from between the two stone walls… 3 years later, in 1978.

So which of the hoax theorists are we to believe? The ABC – in its “balanced” approach to this issue – conveniently seems to have forgotten that NP&WS had previously dismissed the authenticity of the ‘glyphs based on their assessment that the carvings were “new” in appearance. Now NP&WS is inexplicably being used as an expert source by the ABC to discredit my team’s assumptions about the site, and to pave the way for speculation that the ‘glyphs were carved almost a century ago. This just doesn’t add up.

While my team still has questions to answer about the site’s significance, and much more work to do, it is clear that the Australian Government’s news outlet just can’t get its facts straight.

It is also clear that the lore and culture of the Indigenous people is once again being disregarded by the Australian Government and its media.

Is This Another Example of Government  Propaganda?

From the tone of the “revised” article, it is apparent that those in control of ABC News only view the “hoax” theory as news-worthy.  So let’s look at this in more detail.

Two popular hoax theories have circulated since the 1970s, but they relate only to the hieroglyphs carved on two rock walls in the area. The other more recent discoveries – underground tunnels, ancient jewellery, star-markers and new rock carvings – have never been claimed as part of any hoax theory… the simple reason being that no-one in Government knew know about them!

One popular hoax theory suggests  that a “deranged Yugoslav” was seen leaving the site in 1978 with a chisel (but no hammer) firmly in hand. The second theory suggests that a group of Sydney University students created the carvings in 1983. And now The ABC has provided the vehicle for the introduction of a third hoax theory, courtesy of Professor Ockinga. But there are too many inconsistencies between the testimonies of each hoax theorist.

In the absence of a workable hoax theory, our “new findings” were presented to the media in a ‘press release’, and were the focus of the original ABC article. But they were, of course, not even mentioned in the “revised” article on December 14th. Rather, The ABC invited its readers only to consider the portion of the Kariong site around which a “hoax” theory has already circulated. Call me a skeptic but this appears to be a very convenient dismissal of a very inconvenient subject.

Some Facts About The Hieroglyphs

Before I go any further, here are some facts about the “controversial” hieroglyphs.

  • Our team has already presented substantial  evidence  that disproves  the “hoax” theories on this topic.  We provided this information to the ABC reporter before her first article was published on December 10th… and before Professor Ockinga advocated a third “hoax” theory on December 14th.
  • Even after Professor Ockinga’s hoax claim was made, the ABC’s “balanced” approach did not include asking our team for a response. Rather the good Professor’s speculation is used to conclude the article. Full stop.
  • The reported “hoax” theory  doesn’t  address even a quarter of the  artefacts  that were described in our team’s initial press release – only the controversial hieroglyph walls.
  • NPWS claim the ‘glyphs are too “new” to be legitimate. However testimony from Elder ‘Auntie’ Beve indicates that the ‘glyph walls were protected for centuries by rock ceiling which we believe later became the “rubble” removed by NPWS in 1978 (there is still a large portion of the rock ceiling in tact at the site). She also revealed that the ‘glyphs were treated with the urine of Indigenous women to preserve the carvings.
  • Collaborators Dr. Abu Dhia Ghazi, the Director General of the Cairo Museum, and Ray Johnson, author of the proto-Egyptian dictionary “Basic Hieroglyphica”, both agree that that much of the script on the walls in Kariong is in fact accurate early Egyptian text.
  • Despite this, our team has acknowledged in its published works that some of the wall carvings are fake! It is unfortunate that, when a significant indigenous site becomes well known to ‘white-fellas’, it is never long before at least one leaves his disrespectful mark on it. Several fake  scratchings  have appeared since this site became known to locals. We have always acknowledged that.
  • Most importantly, the hoax theory contradicts the stories the indigenous people tell us of the area’s history; stories that should be respected, not spurned by government and its “balanced media”.
  • UPDATED OCTOBER 2014: The Bambara hieroglyphs have recently been translated by a team of Egyptologists, which verifies absolutely the accurate use of ancient (and extremely complex) ‘glyphs. The form of Egyptian hieroglyphs that appear on the Bambara walls can be dated back to  at least 500 BC. A video documentary of their translations and methodologies can be viewed here.

So…Who Do You Believe?

I am not so naà¯ve as to believe the ABC’s rhetoric; that the story being revoked and entirely re-written was simply the media performing its “due-diligence”. Media is heavily regulated in Australia. Checks and balances are implemented at all levels of media, to ensure that what is published meets media regulation… before it is published… locally, nationally or otherwise. But in this case – and only in this case – the ABC expects us to believe that their normal publication processes  weren’t  followed until our story has already gone national??

This just doesn’t make sense. And in my experience, if it  doesn’t  make sense, it simply  isn’t  true.

The physical evidence, and  the indigenous people of the area all  tell a history of Australian/Egyptian contact dating back over 4,500 years. They provide for our consideration a new perspective on the history of world travel and discovery, and of the development of the written language. And most importantly, if translated correctly, they provide a possible insight into the genesis of humankind.

But the media device of the Australian Government doesn’t consider this news-worthy??? Surely these possibilities at least warrant debate in the public arena.

In the “free speech” Australian media, censorship is meant to be limited only to a process of content classification. But I believe the ABC’s behaviour falls well outside the bounds of simple content “classification” or obtaining a “balanced” view. The story passed all classification protocols locally, and made it to the national ABC News feed. It was only then that The ABC revoked the story. Apparently the Government-owned media  in Australia would rather be caught in a clumsy display of censorship than to have this story of “new discoveries” discussed in the wider community.

The question remains: WHY??  Why is the Australian Government so keen to ensure this site is not viewed as significant?  Does the Australian Government know something we don’t?  Or do they know something we’re just starting to find out??

Whatever their motives, the Australian Government’s sloppy attempt to censor our work – and undermine the Lore of the Original people of this land – has simply added fuel to the fire.

About the author:

Andy.bioAndy Whiteley  is a former corporate manager  turned writer, editor and co-founder of  Wake Up World. An advocate of peaceful revolution, Andy  believes we are on a necessary path (albeit bumpy) to a renewed social model grounded in love, transparency, individuality, sustainability and spirit. Through his role at Wake Up World,  he hopes to have a positive influence on  that transition.

Andy lives  in  the NSW Central Coast region (Australia) with his partner of 13 years,  WuW co-founder Ryan Mullins, and  spends his (scarce)  free time keeping fit and enjoying  the beautiful nature  reserves that sit, undisturbed, at their  back door.

“Wake Up World, it’s Time to Rise and  Shine!”  


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