Egyptian relic curse solved by ITV's Mystery Map
TX: Wednesday 20 November at 8pm on ITV
The mystery of why an ancient Egyptian relic in Manchester Museum appeared to spin around by itself has been solved by new ITV programme Mystery Map.
The 4,000-year-old statuette of a man called Neb-Senu was caught on a time-lapse camera earlier this year rotating 180 degrees, despite being locked in a sturdy glass case. At the time the story generated headlines in national and international press.
Mystery Map, which investigates myths and mysterious stories, enlisted the help of consultants 24 Acoustics who demonstrated that vibration from traffic and footfall on the road outside the museum was causing the statuette to move.
Vibration expert Steve Gosling undertook a 24-hour test by placing a specialist three-axis sensor under the wall-mounted cabinet containing the relic, to record any vibrations present.
Beginning the test at 6pm in the evening, Steve found there was a peak in vibration level which correlated with movement at this time. Overnight the vibrations stopped and the statue stopped rotating. Movement began again at 7am the following day - at the same time the vibrations also started again.
Steve said: “The vibration is a combination of multiple sources so there’s buses outside on the busy road, there’s footfall activity. And it’s all of those things combined.”
Steve also explained to Mystery Map presenter Julia Bradbury why three other statues in the same glass case at the museum were not affected by the vibrations.
He said: “This statue has a convex base. There’s a lump at the bottom which makes it more susceptible to vibrations than the others which have a flat base. This is conclusive.”
Over the summer, there were a number of theories on why it was moving; one outlandish suggestion was it was the spirit of Michael Jackson moving it from beyond the grave. Others believed it was the spirit of Neb-Senu himself moving it.
Notes to Editors:
Mystery Map is presented by Ben Shephard and Julia Bradbury and is on ITV at 8pm on Wednesday 20 November.