15 September, 2014

The Curse Of Tutankhamen's Trumpets: Did They Start World War II?

Tutankhamen's trumpets

While trawling through the archives of old newspapers, for another purpose, I came across a story about a largely unknown curse from Tutankhamen's tomb.

Back in 2011 I wrote a post, The Curse Of The Pharaohs, about how many of those associated with the opening of the tomb appeared to be cursed. The following story, however, tells of the curse of the Pharaoh's war trumpet.

It all started, it seems, with a producer working on the staff of Radio Cairo in 1939. He had the bright idea to celebrate the Mohammedan New Year: a blast from one of the silver trumpets found in Tutankhamen's tomb - the trumpeter to stand on top of the Pyramid of Tutankhamen!

Permission was given, and the two huge trumpets, each four or five feet long, were brought from the Cairo Museum.

From the first, it appeared that the proposed broadcast was under an evil star. No musician could get a note out of either trumpet. At last one man was discovered who claimed he could make the trumpets play.

He did. Watched by a group of fascinated Radio Cairo executives, he blew into one of the trumpets and produced a piercing, ghostly wail, which no human ear had heard for over 3000 years. He also cracked the priceless instrument.

All the same, he was permitted to try the other trumpet. It responded. Again came that high, unearthly wail. The producer was satisfied. His broadcast would be a sensation. However ...

The musician fell on the steps of the museum and sprainded an ankle. The programme had to be postponed. When, some time later, the musician was well enough, he was helped to the top of the pyramid. Microphones were rigged. All was ready. But interference hadn't ceased. Twice the crew failed to reach the pyramid - automobile accidents. Then came a breakdown at Radio Cairo. Atmospheric conditions grew steadily worse. But at last, it happened. The New Year had gone by, but all radio sets were tuned for the eagerly awaited event.

The trumpet sounded. It curdled the blood of frightened listeners - an eerie, sinister, fiercely menacing howl, a note not of this world.

And next day came the letters - thousands of them - for all Egypt had trembled. The ancient silver instrument was Pharaoh's war trumpet.

Six months after that eerie blast, World War II broke out!

Coincidence? Curse of the Pharaohs? Wisest are they who grant that they do not know.

Source: The Milwaukee Sentinel - Aug 29, 1954

Below is video of a 1939 BBC recording of the trumpets.


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6 comments:

  1. I have one superstition I won't waver on... leave Egyptian things alone, I haven't heard any good things coming from them...

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  2. Scary, there does appear to be some truth in curses.

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  3. Eerie story! But I agree with Suzie. There really does appear to be some truth in curses.

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    Replies
    1. Truth in curses? Most probably in some cases.

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  4. I believe in curses. Every culture have them.

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