Further to research findings that famed archaeologist Howard Carter would not have discovered Tutankhamun’s tomb in time due to dying twenty years earlier than he actually did if Florence Nightingale had not been around with her health reforms, more information has come to light.
The Omphalos has thrown up the intriguing possibility that the famous Cottingley Fairies incident of 1918 in which two schoolgirls managed to convince Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes adventures, that fairies had visited the elder of the girls back garden, could have been combined with Howard Carter’s drastic attempts to locate King Tutankhamun’s whereabouts. Here follows the narrative of this strange twist in history’s woven tapestry:
THE COTTINGLEY PHARAOHS
May 1917 – The archaeologist Howard Carter approaches Sir Arthur Conan Doyle*, author of Sherlock Holmes, and asks how the world’s greatest detective would set about the task of finding Tutankhamun.
July, 1917 – Sir Arthur lets it be publicly known that he is looking for the pharaohs.
August, 1917 – Conan Doyle receives letters informing him that the Pharaohs can be found halfway between Iceland and Norway,
September, 1917 – Thutmose II from the 18th Dynasty writes to Sir Arthur in Hieroglyphics. Problem is Conan Doyle is staying in Hemel Hempstead so doesn’t receive it.
November, 1917 – In Cottingley, West Yorkshire, Elsie Wright, 16, and her 9 year old cousin, Frances Griffiths, take photographs of ancient pharaohs visiting the former’s garden and send them to Sir Arthur who immediately believes them to be authentic.
January, 1918 – Sir Arthur visits the girls and views Elsie’s garden where he sees evidence of pharaoh activity, namely a discarded packet of Camel cigarettes. He provides the girls with a state of the art camera to take more photographs of the ancient visitors.
March, 1918 – The girls provide more photographs of the pharaohs playing in their garden. Sir Arthur sits on the startling pictures for a couple of years while debate among academics rages and it also allows him time to save up for a comfy chair from B & Q.
December, 1920 – Sir Arthur publishes the pictures of the Cottingley Pharaohs making the girls famous around the world. But Conan-Doyle’s reputation as a man of intellect takes a nosedive.
April, 1983 – Elsie and Francis admit that the famous photographs were fabricated and that they have never encountered a genuine pharaoh in their entire lives. Although, some people don’t believe them and think it’s a cynical ploy to enable Francis to annul her 65 year marriage to Thutmose II.
*Sir Arthur Conan Doyle died on July 7, 1930, so applying the same criteria of living twenty fewer years due to Florence Nightingale no longer having done her thing, he wouldn’t have been around when Elsie and Francis were fooling the world with their garden shenanigans.
Prime Minister/Appeasement Operative
Actual Death Date: 9 November, 1940.
Famous For: Being the British Prime Minister who gave away parts of Czechoslovakia (The Sudetenland) to Germany in the 1938 Munich Agreement to secure ‘Peace For Our Time’.
Death Date in a world without Miss Nightingale’s Health Reforms: 9 November, 1920.
Dying a good 18 years before the Munich Agreement would mean that Neville Chamberlain would have to find other means to find ‘Peace For Our Time’.
From The London Evening News May 15, 1919
BIG BEN HAMMER FITTED WITH SILENCER
‘Peace For Our Time’ Declares MP Neville Chamberlain
From The Guardian, September 29, 1919
GREENS TO REPLACE HERBS IN PARLIAMENT MENUS
‘Peas For Our Thyme’ Declares MP Neville Chamberlain
From The Times, December 12, 1919
MPs GIVEN SLICE OF XMAS CAKE FOR SERVICE TO NATION
‘Piece For Our Time’ Declares MP Neville Chamberlain
From The London Illustrated News, January 21, 1920
SCROOGE TO SOUNDPROOF CRATCHITT HOME
‘Peace For Our Tim’ Declares MP Neville Chamberlain
The following advert would also have appeared in The Exchange & Mart sometime in 1919.
FREE to any Germans looking for extra living space due to putting on weight recently….The Sudetenland. Apply to Neville Chamberlain MP at The House of Commons forthwith.