Raiders of the Hidden Ark

The story of the Parker expedition to Jerusalem
  • Author:Graham Addison
  • Publisher:Edgcumbe Press
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Where is the Ark of the Covenant? In 1908 a European syndicate believed they had uncovered the hiding place of one of the Bible’s most sacred and powerful objects missing for over 2,500 years.

The Parker expedition is an extraordinary story seeming stranger stranger than fiction. It includes secret biblical cyphers, a deadly curse, bribery, gun-running, riots, and madness. It may sounds unbelievable but the Parker expedition is real. Rudyard Kipling, who knew several expedition members, wrote ‘Talk of fiction! Fiction isn’t in it’.

A Finnish scholar had convinced a group of young Englishmen from wealthy and titled families he had uncovered secret cyphers in the Bible showing where the Ark was hidden. The young men were educated at Eton, had fought in elite units of the British military and socialised with European royalty and rich Americans. One had thwarted an assassination attempt on Queen Victoria, another had helped spark the Boer War and most of the funding came from the family of one of the richest men to have lived in Australia. They headed for Jerusalem on a private yacht to dig for the Ark. With them were a Swiss psychic, a Finnish poet, and a Swedish captain who had experienced the darkest heart of colonial madness.

During the course of their years of digging for the Ark the Parker expedition caused riots and disorder by unwittingly ‘scattered sparks in the religious tinder-heap’ that is Jerusalem. They created headlines around the world:

  • ‘Have Englishmen Found the Ark of the Covenant?’ – New York Times 7th May 1911
  • ‘Englishmen Are Said To Have Looted the Sacred Mosque at Jerusalem’ – Chicago Tribune 4th May 1911
  • ‘A Treasure Hunt in Jerusalem. British Explorers’ Alleged Sacrilege’ – The Guardian 4th May 1911
  • ‘Theft of Relics in the Jerusalem Mosque of Omar’ – Vossische Zeitung 2nd May 1911
  • ‘The Parker expedition, Excitement in Jerusalem, Allegations against the explorers’ – Sydney Morning Herald 6th May 1911

Previously untold in English in its entirety, Graham Addison’s research has uncovered many new details. He skilfully weaves these together in the amazing story of the individuals who sailed on a private yacht bound for Jerusalem in 1909 to retrieve the Ark. He tells who were the adventurers, what really happened while they were in Jerusalem and what happened to them afterwards?