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Tuesday 29 March 2011

Damned Data

There are nearly as many theories about the enigmatic "Head" said to have been worshipped by the Knights Templar as there are about the Great Pyramid. Was it the disembodied head of John the Baptist? Was it a demon named Baphomet? Was it a mechanical head that foretold the future, like the one constructed by Roger Bacon? Just like Great Pyramid theories, the Templar Head theories are guaranteed to send your average academic into a blue-faced apoplectic rage. "There never was any Head", they say. "It was a false confession obtained under torture. Any sane person can see that."

In the Somerset village of Templecombe there is, rather inconveniently, a wooden panel-painting of a Head (pictured on the left), which has been carbon dated to 1280... a time when the Knights Templar had a preceptory in that very village! The panel is now displayed inside the church, but it was originally found in the 1940s in a lean-to shed... where it had been used as part of the building's fabric, and covered over by plaster. If the painting was simply a forgery designed to annoy academics, it was a very strange place to put it!

The Templecombe panel is a good example of what Charles Fort called "Damned Data" -- data that doesn't fit in with currently accepted academic theories. The Head is sometimes explained away as being that of Christ, and it's true that at first glance it has some resemblance to medieval icon-paintings... except that the latter always have a halo, and usually a body as well! To clinch matters, the gaping mouth and drooping eyelids of the Templecombe Head give it an unmistakeably decapitated appearance. Anyone without an agenda to debunk The Templar Revelation would have no hesitation in saying it was the Head of John the Baptist!


Anonymous said...

Perhaps this man was the owner of the head....


Andrew May said...

I hadn't seen that before. What does "killed in a rite of ancestral worship" mean? Was he the ancestor they wanted to worship? He looks quite relaxed about it all, anyway.