Kariong Glyphs: Our Mistaken Censorship (Sarcasm Intended)

By Steven & Evan Strong


A few weeks ago, we received a written response providing details as to why the Kariong Glyphs were bogus and of no consequence, along with a request to join our Facebook group. Clearly the writer of the article sent this commentary to us in the hope we would post it up on our site and then allow him to participate through joining our group. Neither happened, the article was rejected as was his application to become a member. Upon further consideration it became clear the opinions expressed contain no threatening or unacceptable language, but the content was directly opposed to our research and long held findings. Nonetheless, in denying an avenue for what this person held to be true we were behaving like the censors and strident critics who ban, ridicule and challenge our research.

                In one respect that denial of publication makes us no better than those who actively work against us, and because of this lapse in judgment and standards, we now intend to publish the entire unedited critique. We will not change one word, but will only publish with a corresponding right of reply. He has the right to be heard regardless of how much we may feel he is incorrect, but equally, we also have the right to reply and contest.

                So first up, belated as it may be, here is what was sent to us in the hope we would publish.


According to the accredited official channels, there are five potential culprits. Some are limited in personnel to either an individual or perhaps one assistant, while other allegations are larger in number. The only firm binding truth here is irrespective of the variations in numbers, they do share one common trait: anonymity. Whoever is blamed there is no name, inverted commas, stat. dec., photograph or film of the perpetrator creating this mischief. At no stage have any potential offenders confessed or admitted their guilt or complicity.

                The current check list is five in number and includes a deranged Yugoslav/Czech exiting the walls in 1975 with a chisel in hand, a returned WW1 veteran who fought in Egypt and supposedly created this as memorial for fallen comrades, returned WW2 veterans who resided in an abandoned farm house that was positioned a little over a kilometre from the glyphs, a group of Sydney University students who concocted all of this in early 1960’s, and although the least presented excuse, there are claims of hippies and New Agers plying chisels and deceit on the walls in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Every one of these individuals/parties has at some stage been supplied through official channels.

                However, some photographs of the glyphs taken in the early 80’s were passed on to Vicky Burke in response to her constant phone calls and contact with NPWS, and what becomes immediately apparent is that these images automatically dismiss all these miscreants bar the deranged “old Yugoslavian man”(1) and to a lesser extent, the hippies and New Age do still remain in the mix. They sent the photos to her in an attempt to prove they are fake, but the reality is it does the opposite. Knowing that we have a large folder of official demands and threats of legal action and penalties, and that the photos were sent but no permission to publish accompanied, we will describe what has been photographed, but until we are given legal access to view and share, that is as far as we can safely tread.

                The cuts are fresh, yet very jagged and erratic in line, shallow in depth and in contradiction with the precision and symmetry on display now. As for this happening just after the First or Second World Wars, whether forty or sixty years earlier, that is clearly not a logical proposition as the oldest possible age for these scratchings barley reaches a decade. The mere idea of choosing such a remote location of which whether forty or sixty years ago there was not any residential housing anywhere within ten kilometres, is the worst possible location to carve any engravings and seems quite improbable. No less ridiculous is the notion that students from such a prestigious academic institution as Sydney University, which has never run any course in Egyptian hieroglyphs, would be encouraging students to create such mischief and be so deceitful, is a huge stretch. If they did, with all the arguments and angst since created, surely one of the ex-students would ‘step up to the plate’ and confess. Afterall, the story goes this course of action was initiated by the lecturers, and as such there would be no adverse legal actions taken on the students who were supposedly obeying orders. Equally this supposedly happened close to two decades before the photographs were taken in 1983.

                What cannot be verified is whether these recent crude scratches were merely recarvings cut into the pre-existing lines, symbols and shapes, or the first time the walls were engraved. Knowing that the person of alleged intellectual disabilities never exited with a hammer, ladder or manual, which means that since over half the glyphs were, until the recent carnage, metres above the floor-level, no-one whether deranged or a member of Mensa could reach or recarve them unless carrying a ladder. Even if these hurdles were resolved and it was a clean sheet, why would any person carve something that in 1975 literally no-one went anywhere near there? What needs to be processed into any claim that all panels were regraved is that there are no photos of the third wall, nor of the first wall outside the oft used photo of a huge half-life sized engraving of what may be Seth with an Ankh in hand. All other glyphs of ‘majesty’, ‘God’ and holy icons is depicted through the use of generic symbols, none are that specific, and this huge symbol is at least ten times larger than any other glyph, and this massive figure is also of the shallowest cut and clearly a very recent addition.

Where’s the Textbook or Elder’s Statements?

There is yet another obstacle for anyone first carving these glyphs, the engraved symbols and hieroglyphs have been identified by Dr. Abou Dhia Gazi,(2) in consultation with Ray Johnson, to be the earliest form of Egyptian writing they term as Proto-Egyptian. The manual they compiled in 1999, automatically rules out any post-Cook date until the twenty-first century. If any further evidence is needed that the very recent scratchings are just that, then the stat. dec signed by Nell Parker is the ‘final straw.’ Nell made a statement in regards to being taken to the glyphs in 1958, by her uncle who was the NSW Secretary of a government organization that eventually became the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Services. Her uncle made it clear that the visit to the three walls covered in very worn hieroglyphs was to be kept secret, as he believed they were genuine ancient Egyptian glyphs.

                What needs to be factored in is that on either side of this disagreement this is the only Stat. Dec. dated and signed, all the endorsed rebuttals are lacking in any name, date, witnesses or a filmed interview.  And when it comes to filmed interviews, surely the conversation we recorded with David Fitzgerald (Egyptians in Australia Part 2), who was the NPWS Aboriginal Sites Officer at Brisbane Waters, should be the final word in determining its authenticity.

                To begin with according to NPWS they first became aware of the hieroglyphs in 1983, that is incorrect, according to David it was 1978, and to begin with it was kept a secret from even David. He had to literally force them to show him the site. What he did was take photographs of another very sacred site and refuse to divulge its location unless first shown the walls with engraved hieroglyphs. He was taken there just before dusk under the condition that what he saw was not to be publicized or shared. It was made clear that if he did break this self-imposed ‘cone of silence’ his employment would cease. David was adamant that no-one was contesting its authenticity, what was the main reaction was solely based around how such talk of these ‘Egyptian’ symbols must be kept secret. At that stage there was no talk of returned veterans, students from any academic institution or even someone with reduced intellectual capacities being the sole creator of what was engraved into this rock gallery.

                What needs to be factored into the veracity of intentions of the NPWS denials beginning in 1983 is that Alan Dash, who was working for the Gosford City Council when he saw the so called “old Yugoslavian man … with a Sidchrome cold chisel”(3) exiting the walls with chisel in hand, officially recorded and dated this encounter happening in 1975. Not long after he left that posting and became a full-time employee for the local NPWS. Apparently for the next eight years while working for his new employer, he said nothing to the people directly responsible for all archaeology found within all National Parks.

                When it comes to engraved hieroglyphs many critics speak about them in derisive tones claiming they are the result of one culprit or in the case of unnamed students a collective. Never has any who contend addressed the fact there are at least three different styles and sizes of engravings. Half of the first wall, which has now had the overhanging stone protective plate totally removed, has engravings that are smaller and shallower. There is a match up to Proto-Egyptian script, and the square cartouche naming Defer-Te-Jseb, of about 90%. However, the second passage on that wall is much larger with a deeper cut and that style continues on throughout the second and third wall and the rate of matching drops to around 40%. In these sections inside what the Australian academics referred to as cartouches (but as they are rectangles the proper terminology is serekhs) the symbols and glyphs within are facing in the opposite direction to all glyphs outside the serekhs and also the figures inside the first Egyptian cartouche. If all faked by the same person the question could be asked why were the glyphs first depicted in the traditional fashion, then after getting it supposedly right the next eight times they or he repeated the same mistake? Then elsewhere a few hundred meters away is another set of glyphs detailing the burial of the son of the Pharoah Khufu, those glyphs are even smaller and shallower than the Prot-Egyptian passage on the first wall. In total there are three passages created by either three different stone scribes of ancient times, or by a person or persons very recently cleverly carving three different styles of a language undocumented until 1999.

The Glyphs photo by Ildi Budai

The Current Statements by Those in Control.

According to Kevin (Gavi) Duncan when speaking on the ABC National Radio, the glyphs are rubbish, in his opinion it is all merely “graffiti” which he wants to be removed immediately. Another member of the Duncan family declared that the Grandmother Tree is fake and a “tourist” attraction. Then to top it off, we have another Original spokesperson from the same family declaring that whatever remains will be destroyed by them.

The Grandmother Tree

                What I do find puzzling is that all three critics rely solely on what the Government deems to be true, none quote from Aunty Beve, Collen or Tracy. The evidence they rely upon is lacking in anyone seeing or admitting to such untoward business, there is no photograph or film, no chisel, no stat. dec. and all that is constant is the shifting goal posts without one shred of empirical evidence. We have the Sydney University star chart giving a date of 2,500 BC, along with the month and day it is was charted (which makes it the oldest star map in the world), we have a piece of metal that has a metal content of which almost one quarter does not register on the Earthly Periodic Table, a piece of ancient femur bone that is ready and willing to have its genetic history and potential Egyptian ancestry analysed and another piece of metal that is almost pure zinc embedded in crystal. Throw in another set of glyphs some distance away from the three walls, and all the questions relating to its authenticity are resolved in the affirmative.

Star Marker Map
Ancient Femur Bone Photo by Samarah Wood
Metal Artefact Photo by Samarah Wood
Crystal in Zinc Artefact

                We also have an interview with two Elders, Aunty Beve and David Fitzgerald clearly and repeatedly insisting the site is legitimate. At the end of this article, we have attached a copy of the only stat. dec. given verifying its Egyptian connections. Despite all these truths the site is in the most dangerous and damaged state ever, the back shaft is lost in tonnes of rubble as is the case with the most important glyph of any wall, the Grandmother Tree has been defaced, all the glyphs are now more exposed to the elements, the wall where the second set of glyphs reside is seriously compromised and there are cameras strapped to trees. And the authorities insist this is all in the best interests of one of most important archaeological sites in the country.

                The saddest part of this charade was that the authorities have set up a procedure where the community can submit written objections or commendations relating to the proposed subdivision. They openly admitted over 3,000 submissions were received, but nearly all of them were lost in the system through a process unstated. To begin with no-one had set up any way to remediate their error and the first attempt to resolve this vacuum was fruitless. Eventually they conceded errors were made, then quietly announced a one-week extension, knowing full well a huge majority will not be aware there was even an issue to begin with, or the opportunity to resubmit.

                We do know that in 2019 the NSW Government sent a directive to every Lands Council urging them to subdivide and guaranteed that the red tape would be cut, and the applications assisted in every possible way. This site is the ‘tip of the iceberg’ and once formally approved all manner of sacred sites will be rezoned. If this site falls, it will merely be the first of many more. The real truth is if this development is approved the Darknijung Lands Council have many more plots of land to sell and develop, In fact, if Kariong falls into the money pit this Lands Council will be the largest commercial developer of residential land in the Central Coast.

In closing, when Gough Whitlam set up Lands Councils throughout the country, never, ever, did he envisage it would turn out so disastrously. The supporters of this development see land as a commodity to be sold at a profit, whether it is sacred, profound or unique is utterly irrelevant.  


(1): David Coltheart, “Debunking the Gosford Glyphs,” Archeological Diggings 10 no. 5, no. 58 (November 2003): 1.

(2): Dia’ Mahmoud Abou-Ghazi (Dr): “License in History & Doctor of Letters (Egyptology) Cairo University, and High Diploma (Egyptology) High Institute of Archaeology. “Library, Egyptian Museum, Cairo, 1950-1984; associate curator, Egyptian Museum, Cairo, 1954-1958; curator, Egyptian Museum, Cairo, 1958-1977; directress general, Egyptian Museum, Cairo, 1977-1978; directress of music’s service, Egyptian Antiques Organisation, Cairo, 1978-1984; establisher library, Mouktar Museum, Cairo, since 1985. Emeritic professor Faculty Arts, High Institute Ancient Near East Civilizations, 1978-1985. Consultant various universities.” From: https://prabook.com/web/dia_mahmoud.abou-ghazi/345943

(3): David Coltheart, “Debunking the Gosford Glyphs,” Archeological Diggings 10 no. 5, no. 58 (November 2003): 1.


  1. Regardless of their origin, they are now part of our Australian story and should be preserved. If it was egyptian, preserve it. If it was a WW1 soldier, preserve it. If it was a prank, preserve it and tell the story. None of these origins makes it “fake”, its what the carvings represent to the story that matters, something it seems NPWS don’t get. This is now part of our cultural history.

  2. It is an absolute disgrace that anyone could authorize the desecration of this most important pleadian site, offering these non sensical theories on why the glyphs are fake??? Yeah right / university students – instead of spray painting ‘Wazza was here 1973’ or something similar .. they carved perfect hieroglyphs which translate into a story!!??? The authorities know what they are going for in a coordinated destruction of all sites that demonstrate the ancient civilisations and connections to Egypt … its dusgraceful.

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