Today, we went to a local science museum for the opening day of an Egyptian afterlife exhibit. This intriguing exhibit has been seen by more than 4.5 million people worldwide since it first came to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 2004.
According to the Palm Beach Post, the exhibit was revamped in 2010 and now has more than 200 new artifacts, some of which are at least 5,000 years old and came from several British museums. The updated exhibit was most recently in Taipei, Taiwan, where nearly a million and a half people waited up to six hours to see it.
I’m happy to say that we didn’t have to wait at all. Rob, Lynn and Bruce Gernon and I breezed right in. The celebrity of the exhibit is a 3,000-year-old mummy believed to be the son of Ramses II, the Egyptian pharaoh known as Ramses the Great. Now here’s the interesting thing about Ramses. Museums that have housed the mummy all claim to have had “some sort of unexplained phenomena,” as the Post put it.
In Taipei, sixty seconds after the mummy was placed at its location, an earthquake hit Taipei that knocked out all the lights in the museum- except the one shining down on Ramses’ son. The young woman who was telling visitors about the mummy mentioned this story, so I asked her if anything had happened since the mummy had arrived at the science museum.
She lowered her voice and said, “Actually, yes, there have been some strange reports.” The night after the exhibit had arrived, two employees had returned to the museum after hours and were gathering up their belongings when they heard moaning. “The museum was closed, okay? No visitors were here, no employees except them.”
“What’d they do?” I asked.
“One of them said, ‘Do you hear that? I think the moaning is coming from the exhibit. The moment he said that word, moaning, the sound stopped.”
“Has anything else happened?” Lynn asked.
“Some visitors have reported that the mummy’s eyes move.”
By then, Lynn and I had our phones out, with our Ghost Radar apps up and running. Anomalies kept appearing on the screen and every so often a word appeared on her screen or mine that seemed connected to what we were doing. Pretty soon, a couple more employees came over to take a look at our apps and wanted to know what it was called and was it a free download? We were probably the oddest group of visitors today!
The other mummy that intrigued us was that of a young girl who was supposedly between four and eight when she died. But the mummy was so small – maybe two feet long – that we were confused about her supposed age. The girl’s mummy recently had a CT scan at a local children’s hospital to determine her cause of death. That will be revealed on October 16. When we used our ghost radar apps around the container in which she lay, our screens really lit up.
The mummies were laid out in a room that supposedly resembled a burial chamber. They are inside plastic cases that are regulated for temperature and humidity in order to preserve the mummies. And they travel in these cases I asked the young woman who had told us about the male mummy if the images on the walls were the original ones. She said the images had been replicated by archeologists – a daunting task that certainly looks like it could have taken decades to do!
We even saw pets and animals that had been preserved. Here, a falcon:
Here, an alligator or crocodile and cow’s eyes…Not sure why those would be preserved.
It was a fascinating exhibit and somehow, when you see something as old as these mummies and artifacts, you can’t help but feel a sense of wonderment and awe. And I’m sure some of the employees will be downloading the Ghost Radar app to use after dark, when the museum is empty of visitors.