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A response to the "Formal Letter of Complaint" addressed to BBC Horizon, from Graham Hancock and Robert Bauval by astronomer Professor Tony Fairall
First concerning the "bending" of Orion's Belt:
I still maintain that the tilt of Orion in 10500 BC is some 10 degrees different to the layout on the ground, and therefore the term "precisely matched" is inappropriate.
I was shown, and commented on, copies of the emails that Robert Bauval sent to the BBC in July, but they give a different explanation to that included now with the letter of complaint. I would have liked to have seen Robert Bauval publish those previous explanations!
I have, in my letter to "Astronomy and Geophysics", made it clear as to how I measure the angles. If, as Robert Bauval now argues, one rather takes the two larger pyramids, then a rough match could only be achieved by discarding the one of the three pyramids (Menkaure) and one of the three stars (Alnitak), and working with only two pyramids and two stars, I find that even more unconvincing.
However, in general, I do support the association of the star shafts in the Great Pyramid of Khufu with star patterns, and Orion in particular. It is the claim regarding the 10500 BC date that I dispute on astronomical grounds. While I cannot say I approve of the manner in which this material has been conveyed to a public audience, I do recognise that it has brought about considerable interest in both pyramids and stars.
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