Laboratory Tests

THE FIRST STUDIES

In 1936, the eminent anthropologist G. M. Morant and the future Keeper of the Department of Ethnology at the British Museum Adrian Digby, analyzed the MitchellHedges Skull, and argued that it is not of modern workmanship.

Digby wrote: “[…] in neither case (they analysed the British Museum Skull as well) is there any trace of identifiable tool marks, and it is certain that neither specimen was made with steel tools. On the teeth there is no trace of a lapidary’s wheel which would betray one or both specimens as being of comparatively recent origin”.

Writing in the journal “Man” in July 1936 (vol. 36), they both commented that the skull’s detachable lower jaw would have been an impossible task, and would have had no reason to accomplish this.

In 1964, Anna Mitchell-Hedges lent the skull to Frank and Mabel Dorland, famous art experts and restorers. The Dorlands commenced their study by taking many photographs from various angles. They also used a binocular microscope to create a three-dimensional image of the skull.  This led them to discover that the artifact was carved to create remarkable optical effects when placed in front of a light source.

The couple also discovered two holes at the bottom of the skull. They formulated the hypothesis that, with the proper support, the skull could be swung without falling over. Together with the detachable jaw, this was a further indication that this skull was used for religious rituals during which it performed specific functions.

THE HEWLETT-PACKARD TESTS

In December 1970, the Dorlands took the skull to the laboratories of HewlettPackard in Santa Clara, California, at the time one of the world’s most advanced centers for computers and electronics. The laboratories specialized in the production of precision quartz crystals, which were used in various high-tech instruments. It meant that they were perfectly suited to investigate this particular crystal object. One test revealed that the skull was made out of a single piece of quartz, with the separate jawbone coming from the same piece. The laboratory technicians stated that they were unable to create a skull like that with the technology available to them at the time. Hewlett-Packard comment was: “This object should not exist”, because it was impossible to explain how it was made.

F.A. Mitchell-Hedges himself was firmly convinced that the skull he had found was tangible evidence of skills once possessed by humankind and then forgotten, and perhaps the work of lost civilizations such as the legendary Atlantis.

Larry LaBarre was one of the testers at Hewlett-Packard in 1970. The results were extremely interesting. Firstly, he noted that the quartz was very hard, measuring seven out of a possible 10 on Mohs’s scale.  The quartz, though of one piece, was furthermore composed of three or four growth phases, each with a different axis. Cutting it would have been extremely difficult, as hitting upon a new axis might shatter the crystal if the cutter was not careful. (This is why larger diamonds are so very valuable; the larger they are, the more difficult it is to cut them, and consequently they are extremely valuable if they remain intact).

As for the origin of the quartz, LaBarre suggests Calaveras County in California. However, another expert, Allan Jobbins, maintains that the likely origin of the crystal is Brazil.

Larry LaBarre was one of the testers at Hewlett-Packard in 1970. The results were extremely interesting. Firstly, he noted that the quartz was very hard, measuring seven out of a possible 10 on Mohs’s scale.  The quartz, though of one piece, was furthermore composed of three or four growth phases, each with a different axis. Cutting it would have been extremely difficult, as hitting upon a new axis might shatter the crystal if the cutter was not careful. (This is why larger diamonds are so very valuable; the larger they are, the more difficult it is to cut them, and consequently they are extremely valuable if they remain intact).

As for the origin of the quartz, LaBarre suggests Calaveras County in California. However, another expert, Allan Jobbins, maintains that the likely origin of the crystal is Brazil.