Illinois’ Gold Pyramid, Iowa’s Grotto of Gems, and Tennessee’s Greek Temple
Drivers speeding along Highway 94, forty miles north of Chicago, occasionally catch a glimpse of a glittering anomaly in the otherwise ordinary suburb of Wadsworth, Illinois. Built in 1974, America’s own pyramid is the private home of the James Onan family, who, until the mid-1990s, opened their untypical domicile to the public each summer.
Visitors emerged from [the dazzling recreation of the tomb of Tutankhamun] through a south exit and followed the sidewalk to the Pyramid House. The house is surrounded by a moat, and its twelve thousand square feet of walls are covered with twenty-four-karat gold plate... At fifty-five feet in height, the Gold Pyramid is a 1/100th-scale replica of Egypt’s Great Pyramid on the Giza Plateau. Like the original, the six-story structure is oriented to true north. Its interior contains seventeen thousand feet of living space, featuring a full-sized re-creation of Tutankhamun’s ceremonial chariot covered entirely in gold.
The Chariot Room also displays some authentic Egyptian artifacts, many statues, another solid-gold coffin lid, and hundreds of marvelous objects. The Pyramid House is unquestionably an evolving sacred site, one of the latest in North America, although that is not the original intention of its builder and owner. Yet, from its very inception, it has evidenced many qualities typically identified with sacred centers.
As an experienced and successful contractor, James Onan knew not to build over an underground water source. Even so, weeks after the foundations of the Pyramid House were laid, a freshwater spring inexplicably bubbled forth at the very center of the construction. It grew so large that it completely surrounded the structure. Remarkably, archaeologists know that, during its civilized heyday, the Giza Plateau was likewise completely surrounded by water from the river Nile. Access to the Great Pyramid then was via a bridge, just as the Illinois Gold Pyramid is reached today.
What mysterious forces required that North America’s 20th-century version of the Great Pyramid be encircled by a moat like its ancient Egyptian counterpart? Tests of the spring surrounding the Gold Pyramid House reveal its excellent purity and high mineral content. Just before the unexpected arrival of the freshwater spring, a bulldozer broke its steel teeth against a large, immovable outcropping of black rock. Chunks of it were sent to the Colorado Assay Office in Denver for analysis.
Meanwhile, the spring continued to rise ever higher, eventually drowning the black rock lying just outside the perimeter of the foundation under twenty feet of water. It was then that the Colorado report arrived, informing the astounded Onan that the sample pieces were gold ore! He is the only person to have found gold in Illinois. So far, he has been unsuccessful in retrieving the submerged mass of gold at the bottom of the moat.
Claims that pyramid structures exert some kind of preservative influences are born out at Onan’s unusual home. He experimented with different kinds of food placed at various locations inside and in its immediate vicinity. They naturally spoiled over time, save one banana, which he left at the midpoint between the very center of the Gold Pyramid and its south wall, halfway up the structure, on its second floor. Incredibly, the fruit desiccated but refused to rot. To this day, more than twenty years later, Onan still shows visitors the dried banana, preserved through the unseen energy coursing through the Gold Pyramid House.
Indeed, the place [also] does seem to exert unusual influences on human behavior. Some years ago, I was fortunate enough to be an overnight guest at the Gold Pyramid House where I had a precognitive dream. The vivid psychodrama featured a small aircraft, which narrowly missed colliding with the structure to crash on the street just outside the main gate. Later that same month, a private pilot, while sightseeing over the Gold Pyramid, lost control of his single engine plane and crashed on the street out front, just as foreshadowed in the dream.
But humans are not the only creatures apparently affected by the Gold Pyramid House. Strange animal events are also known to have occurred there. For two summers running, beginning in 1986, hundreds of jellyfish suddenly appeared in the moat, an impossible event in the Midwest, according to experts at Chicago’s renowned Shedd Aquarium. As suddenly as they arrived, the creatures vanished and never returned. No similar occurrence has ever been reported in Illinois, or anywhere else. The Pyramid House has been home to other bizarre animal phenomena.
Families of vicious birds roost above its eaves outside the north exit of the Chariot Room, which is no longer usable, because the birds boldly swoop to attack anyone approaching its glass doors. Coincidentally, the Chariot Room contains the faithful replica of Pharaoh Tutankhamun’s coffin lid, its golden side panels illustrating his judgment and spiritual apotheosis. In ancient Egyptian religion, the king’s resting place was guarded at its northern end, the Pathway of the Soul, by Sokar, a bird that attacked anyone seeking entry to the royal burial chamber.
An ancient arcane principle states that the faithful re-creation of a sacred object or place infuses some energy of the original into the duplicate. This explanation accounts for the sacred power, say, of even a cheap, plastic crucifix, which nonetheless resonates with at least something of the power of the Cross it is meant to simulate. The same principle appears to be at work at Illinois’ Gold Pyramid House, whose faithful if downsized reproduction of the Great Pyramid has attracted to itself a portion of the mysterious power still in evidence at Egypt’s Giza Plateau.