By Sean Casteel
*** Sometimes it seems like the “U” in “UFO” should stand for “ubiquitous,” meaning they can show up anywhere and anytime. They make frequent appearances in our time, but their presence is also undeniably spread across the sweep of human history – including among the Knights Templar. The medieval chivalric group’s many mysteries remain nearly as hidden as that of the flying saucer occupants, ultra-terrestrials who may have guided the Templars to their wealth and also stood guard over it down through the centuries.
*** Is there such a thing as uncountable, unknowable wealth? Does our concept of what it means to be rich simply collapse when talking about the medieval warrior-monks called the Knights Templar?
*** The Knights Templar enjoyed the blessings of the popes and European monarchs of their time – at least until they were accused of spitting on crucifixes and sacrificing babies to demons. Was it Satan who granted them their great wealth, as some of their critics claimed?
*** There is some evidence to indicate that the Knights Templar crossed the Atlantic Ocean and reached North America many years before Christopher Columbus. Oak Island in Nova Scotia is alleged to be where they buried some portion of their incalculable treasures. Will modern technology ever break through the many booby-traps and snares the Templars left behind to guard their trove on that spit of land in Canada?
The hidden treasures of the Knights Templar cannot be estimated in terms that are realistic or that we could readily understand. Today, we speak in terms of the Rockefeller Dynasty, the Rothschild banking family, Goldman Sachs, the Clinton Foundation . . . but, even if you merged all the vast wealth of these and many more conglomerates, you would get nowhere near the vast fortune of the Knights Templar.
Not only are we talking about tons of gold and silver and kingly jewels, but unimaginable treasures, such as the Holy Grail as well as the Ark of the Covenant. The Templars also organized the first banking system and many of their depositors were fabulously wealthy beyond one’s wildest dreams. They put their monetary weight behind kings, queens, and assorted nobility. They are also known to have sacked Greece and Rome of vast fortunes.
The newly released book from Timothy Green Beckley’s Inner Light-Global Communications, “Hidden Treasures of the Knights Templar: Secrets of Rennes-les-Chateau, Rosslyn Chapel, Oak Island and the Masonic Order” examines many questions concerning the whereabouts of their unique treasure trove and how it found its way to the New World long before Columbus or other explorers had set sail.
The new “Hidden Treasures” book is, like most books from Inner Light-Global Communications, very much a group effort. Beckley and I contributed chapters along with Scotsman Brian Allan, who has done hands-on research into the legendary Rosslyn Chapel in his native country for many years.
Author and television producer Rene Barnett writes about her visits to another house of worship with a mystical reputation, the Rennes-le-Chateau church in southwest France. Sometime in the late 1800s, the parish priest there became “inexplicably and suddenly wealthy” and set about making expensive improvements to the church. Was he the lucky finder of Templar treasure?
Hercules Invictus is a scholar of Greek mythology who goes by the adopted name of one of the great Olympian heroes. For the book, he takes on the Herculean task of connecting the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (commonly known for saying “God is dead), the Holy Grail and the long tradition of heroism that includes the Knights Templar.
WHO WERE THESE FABULOUSLY WEALTHY KNIGHTS?
The Knights Templar are one of those historical mysteries that has kept historians, conspiracy theorists and religious adepts looking for answers down through the many centuries since the order was allegedly dissolved by an angry pope.
In a book called “Knights Templar Encyclopedia,” by Karen Ralls, Ph.D., one reads that, “The Knights Templar – the famed ‘warrior monks’ of the late Middle Ages – still resonate in our memory today, some 700 years after their sudden arrests on Friday, October 13, 1307. Arguably the largest and most influential organization the medieval Western world had ever known, the Order of the Temple (1119-1312) was the first military-religious Order of the Western Church, a ‘new knighthood.’ Its members were not only powerful monastic warriors, but also international banking experts, agricultural land owners and developers, seasoned diplomats, businessmen, advisors to popes and kings, guardians of assets, ship owners and much more.”
But Ralls also laments the fact that “there is so much conflicting information available today” and that what we do know has been partially lost to history in the aftermath of the destruction in 1571 of the Templar archive when the Turks attacked Cyprus.
“This devastating loss to scholars,” Ralls writes, “has left a gap in history, which has often led to much speculation.”
Nevertheless, enough information has survived to give us a general idea of what the Knights Templar were all about – their origin, mission and later downfall.
THE EARLY BEGINNINGS OF THE TEMPLARS
As bestselling paranormal authors Brad and Sherry Steiger explain, in their book “Conspiracies and Secret Societies,” the Knights Templar were part of a longer tradition of “religious-chivalric” orders, being preceded by the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem, who later became the Knights of Malta. The combination of monasticism with military chivalry permitted the vow of religion and the vow of war to be united in a single effort – to free the Holy Land from the Muslims.
Two French knights, Hugues de Payens and Geoffrey of Saint-Omer, “had observed the hardships endured by Christian pilgrims en route to Jerusalem and decided to serve as guides and protectors for the defenseless travelers.”
The two Frenchmen had only one horse between them, but soon gained some notoriety for their service to helpless wayfarers, which inspired seven other nights to join them. The group was then known as the “Poor Soldiers of the Holy City,” having bound themselves to the traditional vows of obedience, chastity and poverty. They added oaths to defend the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem and to protect the pilgrims who journeyed there.
“Baldwin I, King of Jerusalem, granted the humble knights quarters on the site of Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem,” the Steigers write, “and it was because of this location that they became known as the Knights of the Temple of Solomon and later as the Knights Templar or the Knights of the Red Cross. According to tradition, it was also amidst the ruins of Solomon’s Temple that the knights uncovered the holy relics that would transform their order of poverty and humility into one of the wealthiest and most powerful organizations in Europe.”
THE DECAPITATED JESUS SPEAKS
It is claimed that the Templars, while being sheltered in Jerusalem, unearthed the Holy Grail of the Last Supper along with ancient documents proving that, prior to the crucifixion, Jesus and Mary Magdalene were husband and wife.
Even stranger is this story: the Templars excavated an underground chamber that contained the head of Jesus. According to legend, because of the virtue and bravery of the Templars in defending Christian pilgrims, the head spoke and prophesied to them. There are differing versions of this “severed head” legend; some claim that the Templars spoke to the head of John the Baptist, who was in fact beheaded by King Herod in the Gospel narrative.
The Templars eventually achieved a wealth and overall power that had come to rival that of the current monarch, King Philip of France, who greedily maneuvered to take their riches for himself. The king sought the help of Pope Clement V, who was reluctant at first to move against the Templars. The Knights had been under the wing of papal blessings for a long time.
But charges against the Templars were made. They were accused by the mysterious Esquire de Floyran, who claimed to have been a member, of having degenerated into a monstrous blood cult who worshiped the three-headed demon of a heretical Muslim sect.
“De Floyran swore that he had seen initiates in the order spitting upon crucifixes,” the Steigers write, “participating in vile rites, even sacrificing babies to demons.”
Clement bowed to pressure and gave his approval for a judicial inquiry, and the knights were charged with heresy and immorality. In 1307, 900 knights were arrested and their properties and holdings seized. The prosecution was often forced to use torture to obtain confessions. The grand master of the Templars, Jacques de Molay, pleaded the innocence of the order against all charges but was nevertheless tortured, along with 140 other knights, by the rack, the thumbscrew, the pincers, the branding iron and fire. Thirty-six died under torture without speaking while the remainder confessed to every charge leveled against them.
As the Steigers report: “In 1314, as he was being burned to death on a scaffold erected for the occasion in front of Notre Dame, Jacques de Molay recanted the confession he had given under torture and proclaimed his innocence to Pope Clement V and King Philip – and he invited them to meet him at heaven’s gate. When both dignitaries died soon after de Molay’s execution, it seemed to the public at large that the grand master and the Knights Templar had been innocent of the charges of heresy.”
Meanwhile, in todays’ “politically correct” climate, the Templars are still sometimes demonized for:
*** The death and destruction they caused in the Crusades.
*** Supposedly occult or pagan rituals (based on hearsay from anti-Templar material promulgated by the Catholic Church as it sought to bring the Templars “to heel,” fearing that their power and the respect in which they were held by the populace would ultimately bring down the papacy.)
*** Confessions made by Templars, given while being tortured, or the later “revealed” confessions made public by the Inquisition.
*** The complete and total disappearance without a trace of the medieval organization, which fuels speculation and conspiracy theories, still rampant some 700 years later, that assume the organization had a huge membership, unlike the reality of barely a couple of hundred.
ROSSLYN CHAPEL AND THE KNIGHTS TEMPLAR
When studying subjects like UFOs and occult phenomena, one tends to continually rediscover the interrelatedness of things. For instance, a modern gray alien is closely related to ancient descriptions of both angels and demons, and all three types of those paranormal entities often spill over into encounters with ghosts and other manifestations of communication from the departed. Some researchers, like Raymond Fowler and Dr. Kenneth Ring, make a definite connection between alien abduction and Near-Death-Experiences, arguing that the same otherworldly beings are present in both kinds of encounters and represent contact with creatures that exert a hopefully benevolent power over our very souls.
So it is with sacred sites as well. Some locations on this planet seem to radiate a kind of energy that transcends the limits of space and time and opens doorways for discerning mortals to step through into planes of existence that vibrate at a much higher frequency than everyday life on this planet allows for. It’s similar to that familiar catchphrase from real estate: Location, location, location.
In this instance, we take up the study of Rosslyn Chapel, located in the Midlothia section of Scotland. Longtime paranormal researcher Brian J. Allan, in his book “Rosslyn Chapel: Occult Secrets and Esoteric Treasures Revealed,” published by Global Communications, offers his conclusions after many years of inquiry. If ever a particular place on Earth served as a “hot contact” with the strange, Rosslyn Chapel should certainly qualify.
“Over the years, especially in recent times” Allan writes, “much as been written about this small, ornate, 15th century place of worship, some of it justified and some not. It has been described as various things, e.g. a place of piety and worship, the retro-choir of a cathedral that was never built, a spiritual machine of sorts, the hiding placed of a dimensional portal, a stone library of Masonic secrets and also an enduring tribute to the iconic warrior monks, The Knights Templar. There is some legitimacy to all these claims, even the dimensional portal aspect, because the means to unlock this strange artefact (a set of frequencies) are also said to be displayed in the stonework, almost literally hidden in plain sight.
“Unfortunately,” he continues, “the guides who take parties of visitors round the building pointing out its many unique features are unlikely to mention this, simply because it is not in their frame of reference. Why? Because besides risking ridicule from mainstream media, the implications of this revelation are staggering and might even start to unpick the legitimacy of the religion the Chapel apparently venerates. It is easier to take one of the other, perhaps more acceptable connections associated with the building, and that is the claimed link of the Sinclair family with the Knights Templar, although even this has been disputed. The link came about through the political and religious affiliations of Sir William Sinclair, who paid for the construction of the building, which was originally called the Collegiate Church of St Matthew,
“The Sinclair family were assumed to have had strong links with the Templars,” Allan goes on, “and built the chapel, not as a place of worship, but to honor them and their cause. There is certainly a considerable amount of Templar and other mystical imagery carved into the decoration. In fact, it is claimed that the Chapel vaults contain, along with the Ark of the Covenant, the treasures of the Temple of Solomon that were taken by the Templars during their time in the Holy Lands. However, none of this is proven. That said, there is little doubt that the chapel has powerful resonances with Templar traditions. It has also been claimed that, rather than the Knights Templar, the Sinclair’s connection originated in the possibility that they helped found Scottish Freemasonry and the Templar orders associated with that. Whatever the truth, it can never be denied that this beautiful building will continue to hide its secrets from the profane, which was probably the original intention.”
THE GHOST AND FLYING SAUCER CONNECTION
In what has become his persistent theme, publisher and author Timothy Green Beckley continues to argue for a paradigm of the paranormal that brings everything together into a cohesive whole.
“Somewhere along the twisting path of the paranormal,” Beckley writes, “I discovered that UFOs and ghosts seemed to be attracted to buried treasure – either to guard it or lead to its discovery. Both phenomena have supposedly led prospectors directly to the proverbial ‘motherlode,’ or hovered so damn near it as to be beyond mere coincidence. I guess you could say they functioned as a sort of sign as to where to dig or dive – if the ultimate prize is underwater. Other times you better get your pistol or pick axe ready to protect yourself from the walking dead, though, come to think of it, neither instrument can wound or kill something that has already turned to dust. So it’s better to hope you’re light on your feet and can hightail it a safe distance away.
“I have no statistics on any of these paranormal declamations,” he continues, “but I’ve heard an assortment of rumors. Now, in the case of UFOs, we’re not talking about spaceships with humanoid pilots on board, but more likely ornery spook or ghost lights that seem to be under ‘intelligent control’ but not piloted by ‘aliens’ as we’ve come to imagine them – at least that is what I would assume.
“Though I must say that one scribe pointed out to me that if the ancient astronauts known as the Anunnaki were really coming here from Planet X thousands of years ago to create human slaves in order to mine for gold, perhaps they are still searching for this valuable substance – or perchance the slaves themselves are returning from the realm of spirits to haunt these particular locales as a form of retribution to their slave owners. It’s all assuredly conjuncture. Pure speculation. But something uncommonly bizarre does seem to be going on that connects some lost treasures with the eerie sector of the phantasmal.”
UFOS, GHOSTS AND THE DREADED CURSE OF OAK ISLAND – WHAT ROLE DID THE TEMPLARS PLAY?
As is true of most paranormal researchers, years of study have left Beckley with far more questions than answers. For example, he asks, “Is it possible the Knights Templar buried their vast treasures and Biblical memorabilia, including the Holy Grail, in the swampy waters of Oak Island? Has that legendary hoard been kept hidden by an underground series of booby traps that prevents anyone from getting near the treasure?”
Beckley also seeks answers to these Oak Island-related questions: Did the lights of low-hanging flying saucers lead a teenage boy to the possible location of one of the world’s richest buried treasure troves over two hundreds ago? And are apparitions of one type or another “camping out” to make sure no one is successful in finding whatever is buried on this isolated, windswept locale? And, furthermore, did this same supernatural force at play here put a curse on that treasure that has doomed so many seekers after its hidden hoard?
“Oak Island,” Beckley writes, “is a 140-acre tree-covered spit of an island on the south shore of Nova Scotia, Canada, one of over 350 islands in Mahone Bay. Rising to a height of only 36 feet above sea level, it is situated 660 feet from shore and connected to the mainland by a modern causeway. It is currently privately owned, though several teams of treasure hunters make their home there, trying to figure out ingenious ways to get to the source of all this drama, which has become known as North America’s most infamous treasure trove.
“Some say it’s a conventional swashbuckler’s horde,” Beckley recounts. “Others insist the Knights Templar sailed the mighty seas to bury the likes of gold crosses, spectacular jewels, and perhaps even the Holy Grail and/or the mighty Ark of the Covenant. And if that isn’t enough to blow your ever-loving treasure-hunting mind, some proclaim that Shakespeare’s ‘lost sonnets’ could be sealed in a vault deep underground.
[Of course, in this account, Shakespeare isn’t really Shakespeare but the likes of Francis Bacon, First Viscount of Saint Alban, who was an English philosopher, statesman, scientist, jurist, orator, essayist and author. He served both as Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of England. And since the Bard was really illiterate and could only just about sign his name, someone else had to be responsible for his penmanship. But that’s another story, one which we have covered previously in our published tract by Sean Casteel, called “Shakespeare’s Confidential Dossier: To Be Or Not To Be?”]
“Regardless of what is buried on Oak Island,” Beckley adds, “it has to be more valuable than the Queen’s Jewels as no one in their right bloody mind would go to the extreme efforts that were made to render the treasure inaccessible by an elaborate series of booby traps that have kept the treasure out of the hands of dozens and dozens of treasure seekers and killed a half dozen individuals in the process.”
But what exactly is the story behind the curse of Oak Island?
“It all started one dark night way back in 1795 when a teenage boy named Daniel McGinnis witnessed ethereal nocturnal lights winding their way amongst the trees on a little island across the water from his family’s home in Nova Scotia. His interest aroused, he rowed out to the island the next day to try to figure out the source of the lights,” says a posting on “The Witching Hour” website.
McGinnis most likely never found out the mystery of what we might today identify as “spook lights” or “ghost lights,” but he did find a circular impression in the ground about a dozen feet across. One’s first thought is that the circular impression might have been the familiar landing traces sometimes left behind by a UFO, but the mystery is a little different here.
It was generally known that pirates in the 1600s often chose the scantily populated shores of eastern Canada to hide their illicit treasures. With that idea in mind, McGinnis and some friends began to dig on Oak Island, becoming the first people seduced by the location’s lure of gold and whatever other riches might lie beneath their feet.
But was the fabled hidden hoard really left behind by the Knights Templar, who deposited incalculable wealth at the bottom of a sophisticated, multiple booby-trapped hiding place that even our modern technology has still never managed to penetrate in order to get to the actual loot? Beckley is quite the fan of the History Channel’s long-running program “Curse of Oak Island,” and he awaits the answer to the mystery along with his fellow viewers.
And if the truth they uncover leads us all back to the Knights Templar and their slippery path through human history, we shouldn’t be too surprised.
SUGGESTED READING, ALL TITLES AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM: