The Genesis Secret by Thomas Knox (HarperCollins, 2009, and see also the website http://thegenesissecret .com) is a novel centered around the discovery in southeast Turkey of the proto-Neolithic megalithic complex of Gobekli Tepe, constructed ca. 10,000 BC by an unknown race of people at the end of the last Ice Age.
Thomas Knox is the nom-de-plume of British journalist Sean Thomas, who first contacted me back in 2007. He had become interested in Gobekli Tepe, which I’d written about extensively since visiting there and nearby Harran back in 2004. He wanted to know how to get to the megalithic complex, so Sue and I gave him the necessary instructions. A few months later, his article on the subject appeared in newspapers worldwide. It highlighted the fact that Dr. Klaus Schmidt, the German archaeologist in charge of excavations at the site, had unofficially admitted that the region was most probably the biblical Garden of Eden. This, of course, was the conclusion I made in From the Ashes of Angels, published in 1996, which provides ample evidence that Eden was located where the headwaters of the Tigris, Euphrates, and Greater Zab rivers converge, a region close to Lake Van in southeast Turkey (a brand new theory at that time). My book appeared four years before the first announcements regarding the discovery in 1994 of Gobekli Tepe, which is even now being uncovered by Schmidt and his team. What I stated also was that the heretical Jewish work known as the Book of Enoch, spoke of Eden—known also as “Paradise” or “Heaven”—as being the home of the Watchers, a race of mythical beings often identified as human-like angels. They are credited with having revealed the forbidden arts and sciences of Heaven to mortal kind, causing mankind’s fall from divine grace and his expulsion from the Garden of Eden.
The Story of the Watchers
In both the Book of Genesis and the Book of Enoch, the rebel Watchers are said also to have come upon the Daughters of Men, i.e. mortal women, who afterwards gave birth to giant offspring called Nephilim. For this transgression against the laws of Heaven, the renegades were incarcerated and punished by those Watchers who had remained loyal to Heaven. The rebel Watchers’ offspring, the Nephilim (a word meaning “those who fell”), were either killed outright or were afterwards destroyed in the flood of Noah. However, the Torah—the first five books of the Old Testament—makes it clear that some Nephilim survived and went on to become the ancestors of giant races named as the Anakim, Gibborim and Rapheim.
I wrote that the story of the Watchers is in fact the memory of a priestly or shamanic elite, a group of highly intelligent, human individuals, that entered the Upper Euphrates region from another part of the ancient world sometime around the end of the last Ice Age, ca. 11,000-10,000 BC. On their arrival in what became known as the land or kingdom of Eden (a term actually used in the Old Testament), they assumed control of the gradually emerging agrarian communities, who were tutored in a semi-rural life style centered around agriculture, metal working, and the rearing of animal livestock. More disconcertingly, these people were made to venerate their superiors; i.e. the Watchers, as living gods, or immortals.
The precise same region of the Near East, now thought to be the biblical Garden of Eden, has long been held to be the cradle of civilization. Here a number of “firsts” occurred at the beginning of the Neolithic revolution, which began ca. 10,000-9000 BC. It was in southeast Turkey, northern Syria, and northern Iraq, for example, that the first domestication of wild grasses took place, the first fired pottery and baked statues were produced, the first copper and lead were smelted, the first stone buildings and standing stones were erected, the first beautification of the eyes took place among woman, the first drilled beads in ultra hard stone were produced, the first alcohol was brewed and distilled, etc., etc. In fact, many of the arts and sciences of Heaven that the Watchers are said to have revealed to mortal kind were all reported first in this region of the globe, known to archaeologists as Upper Mesopotamia, and to the indigenous peoples of the region as Kurdistan.
Sean Thomas acknowledges my help at the beginning of the The Genesis Secret, which follows exactly the same themes as From the Ashes of Angels (and my later book Gods of Eden, published in 1998), including the fact that the Watchers and founders of Eden were bird men; i.e., proto-Neolithic shamans who wore cloaks of feathers, and that local angel worshipping cults in Kurdistan, such as the Yezidi, Yaresan, and Alevi, even today preserve some semblance of knowledge regarding the former existence of the Watchers or angels as the bringers of civilization. Their deity, for instance, known as Melek Taus (or Melek Tawas), the “Peacock Angel,” goes also by the name Azazel, one of the two leaders of the rebel Watchers (the other being Shemyaza) according to the Book of Enoch.
It is an honor for my work to be acknowledged in this manner by Sean Thomas, especially as The Genesis Secret has become a bestseller (as was From the Ashes of Angels in 1996). I won’t spoil the plot so will not reveal Sean’s conclusions, or indeed the climax of the book, although I must warn you that it is extremely gory in places!
A Clue in Albinism
I am sure people will ask me about some of Sean’s assumptions in his book regarding the origins of the Watchers.
All I can say is that in my opinion, accounts of the Watchers from so-called Enochian texts, the earliest forms of which have been found among the Dead Sea Scrolls, tend to suggest that at least some of their number bore physiological traits resembling those of albinos. Repeatedly, the Watchers are described as extremely tall, like trees, with long, viper-like faces, penetrating eyes, long wiry, white hair and skin as white as snow but also as red as a rose. It is even suggested that the Watchers covered their skin with oils, perhaps in order to protect themselves against the UV radiation from direct sunlight, another familiar trait of albinos.
In medical science albinism is the result of a recessive gene that effects only one in every two or more generations of offspring. In other words, if the gene exists in previous generations of a family line, then a couple with no obvious albino traits themselves can produce albinos as offspring. Such recessive genes cannot, in theory, produce whole families of albinos, even though extremely fair features in Caucasians can be classed as a form of mild albinism, and these traits can be passed on from one generation to the next. This said, if in the past, albinism was seen as a special or mystical trait in humans, whereby (as was the case in parts of Africa in the past) albino children were set aside at birth, removed from their parents and trained as priests or shamans, then it is possible that elite groups of shamans could have contained a high proportion of individuals with similar such traits. Today, in various African cultures, albinos are still seen as having magical powers, a belief that has degenerated in some regions into a macabre trade in albino body parts, which are used in spell potions by witch doctors, since they are believed to bring about good luck. In Tanzania in particular, albinos live in fear of being abducted, maimed, and killed in this sick trade, something that has only recently been exposed by the international news media.
It is possible that groups of shamans, including individuals with distinctive albino features, were forced to migrate from one part of the ancient world to another at the end of the last Ice Age due, perhaps, to severe climatic upheavals (caused perhaps by a comet fragmentation, ca. 11,000-10,000 BC, a matter I discuss in two books Gateway to Atlantis, 2000 and the new book Beneath the Pyramids). If so, then their entry into a foreign territory, such as Upper Mesopotamia where the Palaeolithic hunter-gatherers might have been, say, shorter with darker features and more rounded heads, could have led to this shamanistic group of individuals commanding instant recognition as social and/or religious leaders with virtual otherworldly qualities. An acceptance of their assigned rank among individual communities might have been compounded not simply by their strange appearance and apparent difference in height, but also by their existing knowledge of life skills, such as agriculture, metal working, beautification, and other forms of primitive technology, such as lapidary, ceramics, stone construction, and the manufacture of drugs and alcohol, beer in particular, from domesticated grasses such as emmer wheat. It is thus possible that the Watchers used this situation to their advantage, perpetuating the belief that they were quite literally divine beings, the same stance adopted by the first Europeans to encounter native peoples of the Americas. In this manner, the incoming Watchers, as they became known, were able to more easily control the emerging population of the Near East through a mixture of fear, respect, and total domination. In this manner, the memory of the Watchers has survived in ancient texts, such as the Book of Enoch, as the sudden appearance of a race of gods, angels or immortals that came out of nowhere and revealed to mortal kind the forbidden arts and science of Heaven.
It is remotely possible that the Watchers, as flesh and blood individuals with albino traits, represented the last strains of a former branch of humanity, perhaps an offshoot of the Neanderthals or even Homo Heidelbergensis, who were the precursors of Homo sapien sapiens. Yet such an idea must remain speculation until we find anatomical evidence for the former existence of the Watchers, whose descendents, I have long suspected, existed until the second millennium BC, when the last of their kind died out. This evidence will one day, hopefully, be located; yet until then, the origins of the Watchers must remain a mystery.
Watcher Origins on the Nile
So where did the Watchers as the bringers of civilization come from in the first place? I have always maintained that prior to their appearance in Upper Mesopotamia, the original Garden of Eden, sometime around the end of the last Ice Age, the ancestors of the Watchers thrived among the advanced Palaeolithic communities of Sudan and Upper Egypt. If so, then perhaps they were the social and religious motivators behind Palaeolithic groups such as the Isnan and Qadan, who thrived ca. 13,500-10,500 BC, and possessed a superior form of microblade technology, unequalled anywhere else in either Europe or Western Asia. The Isnan and Qadan also lived in organized settlements, unlike anything else existing in the ancient world until the coming of the earliest Pre-Pottery Neolithic communities of Upper Mesopotamia, the builders of Gobekli Tepe, and would seem even to have developed a form of proto-agriculture, the first anywhere in the world. Did the ancestors of the Watchers leave the Upper Nile for new territories at the end of the last Ice Age, ca. 10,500 BC, when the advanced life style of the Isnan and Qadan vanished virtually over night? Was such a move prompted by climatic upheavels, instigated perhaps by some kind of global cataclysm, such as the aforementioned comet fragmentation, a subject much debated among scientists today? Others have seen fit to explain the sudden appearance of the Watchers as the bringers of civilization in Upper Mesopotamia around the end of the last Ice Age in different ways. For instance, anthropological writer and physician Stephen Oppenheimer in his essential book East in the East (1998) saw the original homeland of the long-faced founders of civilization as the drowned regions of Southeast Asia. Some have seen the Watchers as having come down from the cold wastes of Siberia, where albinism might have thrived in low temperatures, giving rise to legends of the frost giants (or Northmen) of Nefilheim. Still others see the Watchers as having come from outer space, after the sensationalist books of Zecharia Sitchin, a theory I find untenable.
The Watchmen of Gobekli Tepe
That the Watchers might have been behind the creation of Gobekli Tepe, now officially the “oldest temple in the world,” and the oldest known megalithic (great stone) complex anywhere, is almost beyond question, as is their role in the genesis of civilization. As to where their advanced knowledge and wisdom might have come from, the answer is, I suspect, otherworldly journeys using shamanic flight, something clearly indicated by the astral nature of the art found at these proto-Neolithic cult centers, which is predominantly avian in nature. Yet in addition to reliefs and carvings of birds, including the vulture and ostrich, many other examples of relief and sculpture have been found at Gobekli Tepe. These show felines, boars, spiders, ants, reptiles, and composite creatures. They also show abstract humans, which head excavator Dr. Klaus Schmidt from the DAI (German Archaeological Institute) sees in terms of the “watchman (sic) of the period,” a term he uses for those responsible for the construction of these strange, dark monuments of stone. The word “watchman” is so close to “Watcher” that this cannot be coincidence.
That Gobekli Tepe was constructed a full 7,000 years before either the Great Pyramid or Stonehenge is mind numbing in its implications for the history of human capability. More disturbing still is that the descendents of those Watchmen, or Watchers, who built Gobekli Tepe went on to construct further megalithic complexes. As these went on, they became cruder and cruder, until the early Neolithic peoples of southeast Turkey were simply erecting uncut standing stones or slabs either in circles or in lines. Much of the finesse of Gobekli Tepe and its contemporaries (Karahan Tepe and Nevali Cori, for instance) was lost, tending to suggest that these people were losing the impetus to create more complex structures. Despite this, we can see here the foundation of the megalithic culture, which then spread, ca. 7000-5000 BC, from Upper Mesopotamia carrying with it the technologies and sciences of the Neolithic age, including an understanding of plant domestication in order that the world could settle into a more sedentary lifestyle, away from its previous course of constant hunter-gathering. Yet it is clear that those who first emerged on the scene in southeast Turkey, ca. 10,000 BC, and built Gobekli Tepe, were the ones who possessed the advanced capabilities that kick-started the Neolithic revolution. This is the story told in veiled form within the Book of Enoch, unravelled by me in From the Ashes of Angels and Gods of Eden, and novelized in The Genesis Secret by Sean Thomas, writing as Thom Knox.