The Grail Code 

Archive for the 'Real Grail?' Category

Maybe the Grail isn’t in Iceland after all

Monday, October 6th, 2008

Shhh! Be vewwy, vewwy quiet! I’m hunting Gwails!

I’m still going to talk more about Mrs. Lennox and the romances of Mlle de Scudery, but first a brief diversion.
Mr. Adrian Murdoch points us to the news of the latest Grail hunt, this time led by a cryptographer named Giancarlo Gianazza. He’s hunting Grails in Iceland, although so far without success.

Why Iceland?  Well, because the clues all point there.

In Botticelli’s “Primavera” a series of numeric symbols form the date March 14, 1319, which somehow supports Gianazza’s theory, and in da Vinci’s “Last Supper” Gianazza believes to have found outlines matching the landscape at Kjölur.

Further clues were found in Dante Alighieri’s “Divine Comedy” and an ancient Icelandic script states that poet and politician Snorri Sturluson was accompanied by “eighty armored Eastmen” at the Althingi parliament in 1217, who could have been the Knights Templars.

So, to sum up the evidence: A painting by Botticelli gives us a date, which of course means Iceland, and Da Vinci’s Last Supper, which we rather naively thought was a picture of the Last Supper, is actually a map of part of Iceland, and–here’s the clincher–the Knights Templars actually went to Iceland. Because who else would be both armed and from the “east”?

I must confess that, to my non-cryptographically-trained eye, this looks like a bunch of conspiracy-theory nonsense. Conspiracy theories work by confirmation bias. You get an idea in your head, and you start looking for evidence to support it. And sure enough it’s everywhere! Of course, your brain, rejoicing immoderately over the molehills of evidence you’ve dug up with such labor, ignores the mountains of evidence on the opposite side.

I think the Holy Grail is hidden in Pittsburgh. Why? Consider the evidence:

1. The city of Pittsburgh just celebrated its 250th anniversary this past weekend. 250 is a big, round number.

2. Leonardo’s Last Supper uses many triangular elements in its composition. Downtown Pittsburgh is built on the “Golden Triangle.” Coincidence? That’s what they’d like you to believe!

3.  St. Anthony’s Chapel in Troy Hill has the largest collection of relics in the world. Frankly, if you were looking for the Holy Grail, it would be hard to think of a better place to start.

4. The Knights of Columbus have a chapter in Pittsburgh. I always get the Knights of Columbus and the Knights Templars mixed up.

I see only one reasonable course of action: some Grail-lover with deep pockets needs to give me a grant to look for the Grail in Pittsburgh. Just make the check payable to Christopher Bailey. I’ll keep an eye out as I wander around here and there, and if I happen to see any Grails, I’ll let you know.

The Nazis’ Grail Wrangler

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008


Here is a very interesting article on Otto Rahn, the Grail-obsessed archaeologist who became Heinrich Himmler’s pet in the Nazi search for the Holy Grail. It portrays him as a kind of German Indiana Jones–except that, instead of fighting the Nazis, he was working for them, and instead of being a two-fisted he-man, he was a shy scholarly type, and instead of being a ladies’ man with a roving eye, his eye roved in the other direction. Otherwise it’s hard to tell him apart from Harrison Ford.

The article shows us how easy it is for simple studious types to be seduced by the lure of extravagant funding. Fortunately no one ever dangles extravagant funding in front of me, so I can confidently say that I have not fallen prey to that temptation.

(C) 2006 Mike Aquilina and Christopher Bailey