April 1972 -- An excavation of a site in the deserts of Iraq unearthed a ceramic artifact of mysterious origin. Carbon dating has shown the artifact to be approximately 5,000 years old, and it use is unknown. Cylindrical, it has two chambers, some flattened metal, and two spikes puncturing the cap of the vessel. "We have no idea what such a vase could have been used for and it doesn't match up with the kinds of crockery, vases, and utensils we are used to finding out here."," says Russel McCafferey, Ph.D., who lead the dig.
Did ancient man possess the secret of electricity?
Hassim Obajuan, a native Iraqi and a graduate professor at Oxford University
claims that the vessel could have been a primitive battery, capable of
creating a mild electric charge when the chambers were filled with simple
acidic compounds, such as lemon juice. "It wouldn't have been enough to
power much. The electricity might not have been used for power as it is
today, rather it might have taken a more ceremonial or magical use."
"There is no chance it is a battery of any kind," argues Abdul Ali, State's
official for Iraq. Mr. Ali holds a Masters Degree in Cultural Anthropology
from America's Harvard University. "The nomadic people didn't have any use
for such petty magic. There was no need for it, simply. They barely had
enough room for their crockery, and even that was often left behind for the
sake of room. The nomads of the time of Avram were superstitious, yes, but
not a sophisticated people."
The "Veloms-McCafferey Chalice" as its come to be known, sparked an
international incident of its own when McCafferey attempted to have it taken
out of Iraq to be studied by scientists in the American state of Maryland.
"First they want to rip Arrarat apart and now this. We let that artifact out
of the country and I don't care what treaty you sign, we'll never see it
again. That is property of our country and we will keep it." Says Ali.
"Until we get that artifact into the hands of scientists, it will be
impossible to know what it's design serves. I don't think that even Mister
Ali would argue that full knowledge of this artifact would serve to benefit
all of mankind." Says McCafferey.
Until such a time as the Iraqi government allows the mysterious device to be
delivered into the hands of scientists, it will likely remain in a Baghdad
museum (pictured, with its curators Hassan Haveth and Shimon Abdulan) for
public display. "We prefer it that way, and it remains here for our people."
"Iraq's Arcane Battery," Unexplainable magazine, Vol. 3 issue 12, 1973 Sion Press
photo courtesy of Sion Press