Urban legends about the Smithsonian

Published on September 14th, 2009 | by Admin


The Smithsonian website has posted a great article in which they dispel some  of the urban legends surrounding the institution.

Myth #4: The Smithsonian discovered Egyptian ruins in the Grand Canyon.

Fact: It didn’t.

Backstory: On April 5, 1909, the Arizona Gazette ran the following headline: “Explorations in Grand Canyon; Mysteries of Immense Rich Cavern Being Brought to Light; Jordan Is Enthused; Remarkable Find Indicates Ancient People Migrated from Orient.” The article includes testimony of one G. E. Kincaid who says that he, traveling solo down the Green and Colorado Rivers, discovered proof of an ancient civilization—possibly of Egyptian origin. The story also asserts that a Smithsonian archaeologist named S. A. Jordan returned with Kincaid to investigate the site. However, the Arizona Gazette appears to have been the only newspaper ever to have published the story. No records can confirm the existence of either Kincaid or Jordan.

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