Cairo Bulletin Information on Carlysle Expedition

Nigel Wassif, Egyptian editor of the Cairo Bulletin, assembled the following information the newspaper had on the Carlysle Expedition:

The best item is a photo showing Sir Aubrey Penhew, Roger Carlyle, Hypatia Masters, and Dr. Robert Huston emerging from the Turf Club, two days after their arrival in Cairo. Carlysle is blonde and handsome; Huston is darker and plumper; Sir Aubrey is white-haired, tall, and distinguished; Hypatia Masters is blonde and beautifully gowned. A man in a tight tuxedo in the background may be Jack Brady, but as a mere employee he is unidentified in the caption.

Bits of data in the society and new sections of the Bulletin weave a single story. The expedition arrives in Cairo in May of 1919, avowedly to survey for and excavate concerning the Third Dynasty of Egypt, a shadowy period in Egyptian history. After investigations near Giza, work shifted first to a Saqqara site and then to Dhashur. Since the specific digs seemed unrelated to known Third Dynasty locations, speculation arose about secret purposes of the expedition, and the Black Pharoah was mentioned several times. Later, rumor persistently maintained that the expedition had made an astonishing find.

In July of 1919, the expedition suddenly embarked for Mombasa, ostensibly on holiday, and in fact Roger Carlysle was frequently reported to be sick just before this time. As spokesman, Sir Aubrey indicated the summer was too hot for Carlysle, and also implied that the impending seasonal flood of the Nile would cover an important site for several months. Several photos show Hypatia Masters with her camera (caption “Miss Masters prepares fora Camera Safari in Kenya”), but Charles noticed a calendar in the background said May (not July). Wassif said it was probably a stock photo taken from the archives for the article. Miss Masters also “fell ill” in June, Wassif did not know if she had recovered before their departure for Mombasa. Wassif did remember that the Carlysle “was simply horrid” in keeping visitors from their sites, including the press, so he had not much direct knowledge.

Wassif also recalled that the principals of the expedition had dinner several times with Omar Shakti, a wealthy cotton plantation ownere whom Wassif finds repellant and whose private reputation is unsavory. He suggested they not associate with Shakti.

Incidentally, Wassif added that another Penhew Foundation expedition is in Egypt, the Clive party is excavating at Memphis and they recently unearthed a mummy of an unknown female from a secret chamber in the Saqarra pyramid. He showed them articles on the Clive Expedition and their find. Several authorities have speculated that it is Queen Nitocris, a mysterious figure of the Sixth Dynasty. Before tests could be carried out or the mummy unwrapped, the sarchophagus and contents disappeared, to the bewilderment of all concerned. Considerable efforts by the police turned up no leads. The site was well guarded, and only one entrance to the secret chamber existed.

Timeline of Carlysle Expedition from Cairo Bulletin Articles:

5/4/1919: Expedition arrives in Cairo
5/11/1919 to 5/21/1919: Digs at Giza
5/23/1919 to 5/31/1919: Digs at Saqqara
6/1/1919 to 6/30/1919: Digs at Dhashur
7/3/1919: Carlysle Expedition plans holiday to Kenya
7/18/1919: Carlysle Expedition leaves for Mombassa, Kenya

Cairo Bulletin Information on Carlysle Expedition

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