When I first read this I had to double check the calendar and make sure it wasn’t April Fool’s Day … it wasn’t, but apparently it was a very slow news day for the ABC folks … or perhaps it was a very busy day for something so freakin’ bizarre to make it past the editors’ desks … whatever the case, my mailbox is being filled with this thing and the incipit should be enough … gentlemen (and ladies), start your gag reflexes:
Alexander the Great, whose tomb has been missing for nearly 2,000 years, could be buried in Broome in Western Australia, a Perth man says.
Macedonian-born Tim Tutungis told ABC Kimberley that he first heard the ‘Broomer’ from his old mate, Lou Batalis.
“We just got onto the subject of Alexander The Great’s tomb, and he said, ‘They’ll never ever find it, no matter where they look, because Alexander the Great is buried in Broome, in Western Australia’,” Mr Tutungis said.
“Approximately 50 years ago, some guy went into a cave in Broome and he saw some inscriptions in there and they looked like ancient Greek.
“He reported it to the government, then the government went and saw it and they confirmed there were some inscriptions there.
“They went to the Greek community and they asked the community, ‘Is there anyone here who can read ancient Greek?’
“Naturally Louis Batalis put his hand up and said, ‘Yes, I went to school in Egypt, I got educated, I can read it’. So they took him up there and he defined the inscriptions as saying, in ancient Greek, ‘Alexander the Great’.
“The government did say to him at that time, ‘You didn’t see this, OK, this never happened’.”
I don’t know what’s more bizarre here: that a Macedonian’s bona fides for reading ancient Greek is that he went to school in Egypt or the implication that the Australian government is involved in some sort of coverup of the ‘true’ location of Alexander’s burial … Oh what the heck, here’s the conclusion to the piece (I’ve skipped the bit where they give some traditional “stories” about what happened to Alexander’s body):
Mr Tutungis says he is 99 per cent convinced Mr Batalis told him the truth, because people “have looked everywhere” for Alexander’s grave, to no avail.
He says his friend is a very old man now and has virtually lost his memory, and others who heard the story had dismissed it.
But he says Mr Batalis was “a man of substance” who was very educated, and the story stuck with him.
“I drew my own conclusion because the war of the Macedonians ended up in India and I assumed that some of the soldiers went back to Macedonia on foot,” Mr Tutungis said.
“Some of the soldiers must have caught a ship. Why can’t we say that Alexander did catch a ship; they lost their way in the treacherous ways up there.
“Look where India is, look where Broome is; a ship could easily get wrecked in Broome.”
Mr Tutungis says a new documentary suggests that when the war ended, Alexander the Great ordered thousands of ships to built.
He takes that as further evidence to support his theory and has written to a detective from Scotland Yard who is looking for Alexander’s grave.
“Nobody ever, ever suspected that Alexander could have died in Broome,” he said.
The sound you hear is the minds of hundreds of rogueclassicism readers’ minds boggling …