Camelot logo An analysis of the
Mitchell-Hedges Crystal Skull



The Mitchell-Hedges Crystal Skull

The skull is made from a single block of clear quartz, and is a near-perfect depiction of a small human skull measuring five inches high by seven inches long and five inches wide.

Featured in The Mystery of the Crystal Skulls, by Chris Morton and Ceri Louise Thomas, is the account of the examination of the Mitchell-Hedges skull in 1970 by experts in quartz crystal at the Santa Clara laboratories of the computer and electronics giant, Hewlett-Packard.

The authors returned there nearly three decades later to interview the then principal scientist, Jack Kusters, and the former engineering manager for quartz devices, Charles Adams, who had been present during the tests in 1970. They confirmed that the study had produced the following results:

- The skull was made from a single piece of pure natural quartz, and these are very rare in that quality.
- The quartz block would have been three times the size of the current skull, and even with modern tools it would have taken a year to make.
- It was highly unlikely that it could have been made with power tools anyway, because the delicate, detachable lower jaw would have almost certainly shattered from the vibration, friction and heat.
- Under extreme magnification, there was no sign of machine tools being used.
- The skull had to have been made by hand or by some unknown technique.
- It would have taken 'several generations' to carve by hand; one estimate was '300 man-years'.
- It was impossible to say how old it was, as quartz crystal does not age.

The experts pointed out that an estimated 80% of the earth's surface contains quartz crystal, but large pieces of pure quartz like this one are very uncommon. They said that whoever made the skull would have had no way of knowing when they began if there were fractures or holes inside and if they made one mistake they would have had to start again with another piece of quartz. They also found that it was made from a particular type of crystal. The authors write:

The scientists at Hewlett-Packard were able to uncover one more potential clue to the mystery of the crystal skull. Other tests showed that the skull was not only made from a single piece of natural quartz, but from piezo-electric silicon dioxide, precisely the type of naturally occurring quartz that is so widely used in modern electronics.

The piezo-electric qualities of some quartz crystal were only discovered, in the modern world at least, by the husband of Marie Curie in the latter years of the 19th century. It means that the skull has a positive and negative polarity, like a battery, and is capable of generating electricity.

The experts also identified other extraordinary properties of the skull with regard to its interaction with electricity and light. The authors report:

The Hewlett-Packard team also examined the skull's unusual optical properties, such as its ability to channel light from below, so that it is focused out through the eye sockets. Apparently, this is only possible on account of the orientation of the skull's optical axis...

What this means is that light actually travels quicker through the skull in one direction than another. Jack explained that not only was the skull able to perform these incredible tricks with normal multi-directional light, but also that if you shine directional or polarized light at the skull, not only does the light pass along its optical axis quicker than in any other direction, but the skull also actually rotates that light as it travels along its axis.

Click here and here for the original February 1971 report in Hewlett-Packard's magazine, MEASURE

Click here for the introduction page
Click here for a transcript of the video
Click here for the Mitchell-Hedges website
Click here for an account of the discovery of the Crystal Orb


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Bill Ryan and Kerry Cassidy