The mystery of an Egyptian relic caught on CCTV spinning in its glass case has been solved once and for all - with the help of ITV’s new television series Mystery Map.
The relic came to the world’s attention after it was captured mysteriously turning in its display case at Manchester Museum over a period of time.
The time-lapse CCTV footage went viral and speculation was rife as to what was causing the 10-inch statue of Neb-Senu, dating back to 1800 BC, to move. Various theories were offered, including that it was cursed. The statue, which was an offering to the Egyptian God Osiris (the God of the dead), was found in a mummy’s tomb.
Now ITV programme Mystery Map has solved the mystery once and for all.
Acoustics expert Steve Gosling placed a 3-axis sensor under a walled cabinet to record vibrations in the room and correlated the vibrations with the movement of the statue. He discovered that they all tallied. The statue turned as the vibrations peaked.
Steve said: “The vibration is a combination of multiple sources so there are buses outside on the busy road, there’s footfall activity, all of things combined.” Steve explained that the statue of Neb-Senu had a convex base making it more susceptible to vibrations than other statues in the same display cabinet.
Eygyptologist Joyce Tyldesley said: “I think we’re almost pre-programmed to believe strange things about ancient Egypt. When you read about Tutankhamun it’s very difficult to break away from the idea that there’s a curse there.”
The programme also investigated the ‘Hampton Court ghost’ caught on camera in 2003. CCTV showed that three days in a row, fire doors at Hampton Court Palace burst open and on one of those days a mysterious figure dressed in a long cloak steps forward to close them.
Warder David Packer said: “When they open there’s nobody there and they are modern fire doors with a push bar. Whatever you use to get those doors open is going to be there in the first frame.” A visitor’s comment from the day in question also clearly states they saw a ghost.
However although the mystery of how the fire doors opened was never solved, an analysis of the combination of clothing the ‘ghost’ was wearing proved to be historically inaccurate pointing to the fact that the ‘ghost’ was perhaps the work of a visitor’s elaborate hoax.
Presenter of Mystery Map Julia Bradbury said: ““It's fair to say I'm a sceptic, but 30% of the nation does believe in ghosts. I think we're all very susceptible as human beings and the mind is a wonderful thing.”
A survey commissioned by the programme found that 44 per cent of men believed that aliens exist and 45 per cent of people thought the Government at some point had covered up evidence of paranormal or extra-terrestrial activity.
In the first episode of the two-part series co-presenter Ben Shepherd also investigates Britain’s most famous UFO sighting in Rendlesham Forest and spends a night in the supposedly haunted Guy Fawkes Inn in York. The series starts on Wednesday November 20th on ITV1.