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Written by:

Dr.sci. Sam Semir Osmanagić, Discoverer of Bosnian pyramids, Foreign Member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, Professor of Anthropology at the American University in Bosnia-Herzegovina



On May 24th 2006 I received an e-mail titled: “Dr. Robert M. Schoch - Geologist and colleague of mine”. Colett Dowell wrote to me, claiming to be a “doctor of naturopathology”. In the letter she explained that Robert Schoch, a doctorated geophysics teaching at Boston University, had earned praise writing about Egyptian sphinx and the underwater Yonaguni monuments at the bottom of the Pacific floor.  She further stated that he was known as a person confronting the official science dogma. She suggested that the Foundation invite him to Visoko and that if we covered the travel costs they would sleep in “tents on the ground”. 

The Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun Foundation has always been open to both mainstream and non-conventional researchers.  There are only two conditions we require from guests: only nondestructive methods are used and that the results of the research and analysis are shared with the Foundation to be made accessible to the public. 

Two months later, pair Schoch and his team arrived in Visoko.  

Dr. of Geophysics Robert Schoch and Dr. of Naturopathology Colett Dowell spent ten days in Visoko. That was our first archeological season and we had started with archaeological excavations at several locations. I was with them during their first week and after my departure from Visoko, they were guided by geologist Nađa Nukić. 

During our discussions, Schoch suggested we establish a “geological-archeological park” because of the many cultural layers and the wealth of geology in the valley. 

While escorting them on a visit to Sarajevo a great number of people approached me on the street with congratulation for the project and expressed their hopes that the discovery of the Bosnian pyramids would bring about a positive reversal in the country’s economy. Colett and Schoch were surprised at the great number of people who recognized me and they commented that “Schoch is also known in American cities”. 

During my three day absence geologist Nukić was telling Schoch about Dr. Smailbegović finding arrows at the top of Bosnian pyramid of the Sun and estimated their age at 5,000 years. She also shared with him that at newly found megalith K-1 in the underground tunnel “Ravne” workers carved symbols so that it would appear that we have had found remnants of very old literacy. This “important information” she represented to Schoch as a secret asking him not to say anything to me, because, allegedly, she would lose her job. 

After heading back to the US, Collet and Schoch sent me several e-mails asking me to send them additional money (for expenses and rent while they were absent from their apartments, for medicine, for honorarium, etc.). This wasn’t in any way part of our initial agreement and I did not agree to pay them any additional funds. 

From that moment attacks of the project, and I personally, began to show up on their websites. These attacks continued for years and Schoch used every opportunity to emphasize how “Osmanagich started the project because of his future engagement in politics” (?) and “desire to make money” (?) and that this project was “a fiasco” and also that there are only “geological phenomena” in Visoko.

As it turns out this in not the first time Schoch has taken this kind of stance. Graham Hancock, one of the world’s leading nonconventional researchers of ancient civilizations, had a similar experience.  Hancock researched for years some underwater ruins at the bottom of the Pacific between Japan, Taiwan and China and published a book “Underworld” on the subject.  

Schoch joined Graham on a dive to the Yonaguni underwater site, even though he had no experience in underwater diving.  Schoch was assisted by two Japanese divers and during the dive appeared to be more concerned about grasping for air than taking in the site at the bottom of the Pacific floor. He later, very confidently, said that there are no artificial monuments at the bottom of the Pacific and that it was only a natural formation.  He was able to make this determination even though, according to those on the dive with him, his only focus seemed to be his personal safety. 


Photograph: Yonaguni monuments at the bottom of thePacific. Hancock claims this is a very old megalithic culture and Robert Schochclaims this was created naturally

I began to realize what this Boston professor was doing--going from one archeological location to another with the intent of taking opposite views of the serious researchers at the sites.  He has built a career on this approach.  He does not produce any scientific evidence, sample analysis, or radiocarbon dating—just his opinions. 

Some examples of this include: 

1. In his articles written in 2006 and 2009 (and solely on the basis of that one visit at the beginning of our research in the summer of 2006) Robert Schoch claims there are “no pyramids” in Visoko. 

Serious researchers have some scientific base to their claims. Why didn’t he explain how the regular shape of this “pyramidal hill” was made by nature? Which geological process created it? Unlike this Bostonian geophysicist and geologist, the Foundation produces analyses of corresponding scientific institutions. 


Aerial photo of the Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun

For instance: the Institute for Geodesy of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s analysis of the topographic maps of the Bosnian pyramids confirmed, without a doubt, that a regular geometric pyramid shape exists. 


Illustration: 3-D topographic map of Bosnian pyramid of the Sun in Visoko; isohipses show triangular sides of the pyramid, visible edges between isosceles sides, identical slope from the bottom to the top, access plateau and regular orientation towards cardinal points.

  1.  Schoch continues to claim that “so called pyramids are the result of geological processes”.
  2. Some geologists have claimed that the Bosnian pyramids were created by “tectonic movements”.  That claim should be based upon corresponding maps however the available maps of geological processes for the area clearly show that the orientation of the pyramid’s sides could not be created through the famous tectonic movements. This was a detail apparently overlooked by Dr. Robert Schoch.

Illustration: Map of tectonic movements in Visoko valley show different directions of movements (blue arrows) in comparison with regular orientation of sides of Bosnian pyramid of the Sun towards cardinal points (yellow arrows).

 3. Schoch justifies his claims of nature’s involvement into shaping of Bosnian pyramids as “nature creates regular shapes like mineral crystals”. 

It would be scientifically appropriate to substantiate that claim with examples of other pyramid exaltations in the world, created by nature, which have regular geometry and an orientation towards cardinal points. Since such a natural phenomenon does not exist Schoch used crystals as an example.  

4. Schoch claims that he “studied Egyptian pyramids” and he knows how “to differentiate what is a true pyramid”.

It would be interesting to hear an opinion of Dr. Schoch about 250 Chinese pyramids in Shaanxi province that are completely covered by soil and vegetation, just like the Bosnian pyramids. Are they also natural phenomena? How about the thousands of Mayan pyramids in the forests of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Salvador and Belize that are considerably damaged by root effects and natural disasters. It is interesting that the earth deposit coverage of all these pyramids is identical. 


Photograph: Han Yangling pyramid in Chinese province Shaanxi, completely covered by soil and vegetation 

The Egyptian pyramids are in a different climatic zone—a desert—and they are completely visible.  Of course Schoch can claim to know they “are real”.

5. Schoch claims that the Bosnian pyramids are “the result of modification processes carried out during excavations”.

This is one of the most interesting claims from Schoch—that the archeological teams of the Foundation “redesigned the landscape to make the pyramid shape”. This, of course, could sound possible to someone just reading his website. However, when one comes to Visoko and sees these great pyramids, one understands the absurdity of Schoch’s allegations. This particular claim, by Schoch, was in reference to the terraces at the Bosnian Pyramid of the Moon.



Photograph: One of paved terraces at Bosnian pyramid of the Moon. After removing 1m deposits of earth you come across the artificial terrace built out of processed sandstone blocks. This is one of the location Schoch claims the Foundation modified a natural hill into pyramid shape 

 6. Schoch says that variety of non-geologists were impressed with regularity in Visoko, but that “nature is full of regular shapes” and “periodic sedimentation”


Photograph: Section at the top of the Bosnian pyramid of the Moon. Blocks of sandstone are clearly visible and clay has been used to isolate the blocks to give the structure flexibility in case of an earthquake or other potentially damaging natural event.  This clay is also a waterproofing material and a binder for the blocks. 

Schoch claims that these “kinds of phenomena are common in nature.” 

 7. On his website Robert Schoch claimed that there are some “Egyptian experts” that claim there are “primitive pyramids in Bosnia”, but he goes on to explain that Dr. Zahi Hawass (until recently the head of Egyptian Antiquities) denied the validity of that claim. 

In fact geologist Dr. Ali Barakat, who has decades of experience in archaeology and in explaining the construction of Egyptian pyramids, came to Visoko several times. After his first visit in 2006, when he researched the Bosnian pyramids for 42 days, Dr. Barakat concluded in a written report that Bosnian pyramid of the Sun is a “man-made pyramid” and that it probably represents a “primitive pyramid”. 

Subsequently, Dr. Zahi Hawass did everything possible to see that Dr. Ali Barakat lost his job because he dared, without Hawass’ approval, to claim there are pyramids in Bosnia. The motivation of Hawass is clear: he didn’t want millions of tourists to come to Bosnia instead of in Egypt. 

With all due respect to geologist Schoch, who has not done any analysis in the area, geologist Barakat analyzed retrieved material concluding that these are cast blocks with a binding medium similar to the Egyptian pyramids. 


Photograph: Egyptian geologist Dr. Ali Barakat spent two archeological seasons in Visoko proving that Bosnian pyramid of the Sun is artificial structure.

 8. Schoch continues that “if someone is an expert in the domain of pyramids it is Dr. Zahi Hawass” and that “Hawass claims that on the basis of available data, Bosnia has no artificial entities”. 

Robert Schoch became world famous by claiming that the sphinx and pyramids in Giza are more than 12,000 years old.  He was attacked by Egyptologists. Later Schoch withdrew his opinion regarding the Egyptian pyramids and gained Hawass as an ally. This series of events lead to Schoch’s later claim that Hawass is the world expert on pyramids. Hawass claims that pharaohs of the 4th dynasty built the pyramids in Giza with primitive copper tools, and that the oldest and the greatest Egyptian pyramids served as tombs. For such claims evidences are needed.

Hawass consistently refused invitations to visit the Bosnian pyramids and attacked all Egyptian experts who came to Visoko and claimed it is an artificial construction above and underground.  These experts included: Dr. Nabil Swelim, Dr. Mona Ali, Dr. Mona Haggag, and Dr. Soliman Hammed. 

A scientist bases his opinions on scientific facts, and a politician upon interests.  Hawass is a politician with a big ego.  He could not possibly base his opinion of the Bosnian site on facts because he never visited the site himself and refused to acknowledge other expert’s data and opinions.  

9. Schoch says he has seen “the same rocks as Egyptian experts” and that he simply ascribe them to “natural geological phenomena”.  

The Foundation’s team uses methods of sample testing in independent scientific institutions. Samples from the “rocks”, as Dr. Schoch calls them, apropos, rectangular blocks, have been analyzed in six different institutes. The Institute for Construction in Tuzla confirmed this is an artificial casted material (concrete), just like IKM of Sarajevo University, Institute for Materials of Zenica University, Politecnico di Torino in Italy and the Institute for Geopolymers in France. So, at one side we have scientific institutions that have analyzed samples, and on the other we have Robert Schoch who, on the basis of cursory perspective of blocks, claims they are natural. Should we believe in scientific analysis or in an assumption?



Photograph: Rectangular concrete blocks laid out one upon another on the northern side of the Bosnian pyramid of the Sun

Picture 149

Photograph: The sample of a concrete block from the Bosnian pyramid of the Sun showed presence of binding material, extreme hardness and low absorption of water

 10. After returning to Boston in August 2006, Schoch and Dowell claimed that the “goal of Osmanagich is to politically engage”.

Schoch said this in the summer of 2006, just before the elections in Bosnia-Herzegovina in October 2006. He thought that I used this project as a part of political campaign. The facts tell the opposite to his assumptions. Elections came in October 2006 and I didn’t engage politically. Elections came in 2008 and in 2010 and it will come in 2012, and I still do not intend to engage myself politically. We can all help our countries in various ways, and I do it through pyramid research, protection of cultural heritage, development of archaeological tourism and volunteer work. 

11. On many occasions Schoch confidently claimed “he’s doing this for the money, of course” (quotation from documentary movie “Pyramid of Truth”). 

In interpretation of others, people simply begin from their own situation. In that way Robert Schoch thought there must be an inner financial motive to my enthusiastic involvement with the project in Visoko. Many people, Schoch included it seems, cannot imagine there are people ready to sacrifice everything for an idea or what they consider a noble cause with no aspirations to benefit financially from that idea or cause.  The fact is that since my discovery in 2005 I have utilized all of my knowledge, energy and savings toward this project because it holds the potential for a different, better future for Bosnia and Herzegovina, and for the world. I shall continue as long as I am able.

12. Schoch also claimed on his website that he had “found out from reliable sources that symbols at one of the stone blocks were counterfeit.”

“The reliable source” for Schoch was geologist Nađa Nukić that led the Foundation’s geological work in 2006 when he visited. At that time Nukić employed her son at the site and also wanted her husband to become general manager of works. She asked for astronomical fees for her daily reports and in August 2006 the board of the Foundation suspended her from the project.  It was at this time that she told Schoch the story about workers of the Foundation who allegedly “carved a couple of symbols at megalith K-1” and that several unknown artifacts were found. 

In fact, the Foundation’s team, led by Egyptian geologist Dr. Ali Barakat discovered the megalith K-1 in the underground labyrinth along with the carved symbols. 




Megalith K-1 with carved symbols discovered in 2006 

 13. For the underground labyrinth “Ravne” Schoch confirmed that he was “disappointed” because according to some stories he had heard “the Yugoslavian army had storehouses” there and that the “graffiti are recent with tiered ceilings and walls”.

Such comments can stop a research project so we were lucky that Schoch did not lead the research in the Bosnian Valley of the pyramids.  Research, of course, has continued with radiocarbon dating in laboratories in Kiel (Germany), Upsala (Sweden) and Gliwice (Poland).  Results confirm this site is a prehistoric engineering complex with multi-ton ceramic blocks and sculptures and tunnels spread out for kilometers. In the summer and fall of 2010 three underground chambers were discovered as well as of free sections of the tunnels--places that a human foot has not walked for thousands of years. 


14. Robert Schoch has frequently called the research project at the Bosnian Valley of the Pyramids a “fiasco”. 

A fiasco is a finished, failed project.  Since Robert Schoch’s visit to Visoko, the Bosnian pyramids have become one of the most active archaeological projects in the world with more than 340.000 working hours spent on archaeological excavations, sample analysis, and radiocarbon dating. In the summer of 2010, 500 volunteers came to Visoko from 30 countries along with 45 archaeologists from Malaysia, the USA, Italy, Spain, Hungary, Croatia and the United Kingdom. 

This year volunteers applied from 42 countries from six continents. Notable American archaeologist Dr. Ezra Zubrow was visiting the Bosnian Valley of the Pyramids in the summer of 2010 and concluded further investigation should explore the questions of  “who built the Bosnian pyramids, when they were constructed, and what the connection between tunnels and pyramids truly is”. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqiqCgjQxlA) 

A leading Egyptologist and scientist who catalogued all 138 pyramids in Egypt, Dr. Nabil Swelim confirmed that the “pyramids in Bosnia are an amazing and genius construction attempt for which a lot of time is needed to conclude who built these amazing structures and when”.


Leading Russian geophysicists of the Schmits Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Dr. Oleg Khavroshkin and Dr. Vladislav Tsyplakov, after two years of researching in Visoko, concluded that according to form, shape and characteristics the Bosnian pyramids are artificial pyramid constructions with a network of tunnels underneath them.” (http://www.piramidasunca.ba/en/index.php/professor/-dr.-oleg-b.-khavroshkin-the-seismic-waves-and-the.html)  

Of course, people like Dr. Robert Schoch can continue to close their eyes before the facts, to feed their ego with unargumented statements and claim to their friends (John Anthony West and others) that there are no pyramids in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Really, how many times Dr. Robert Schoch get away with being wrong?



Last modified on Sunday, 22 May 2011 04:32







Video clip from Visit to Bosnian Valley of the Pyramids 2014

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