Copper Scroll Project

Copper Scroll Project


HostRichard Syrett

GuestsShelley Neese, Brad Meltzer

Just over fifty years ago, archaeologists were in a race to unearth the ancient papyrus documents known as the Dead Sea Scrolls. Shelley Neese, Vice President of the Jerusalem Connection International, joined guest host Richard Syrett to discuss how a French archaeologist discovered two brittle copper rolls on a shelf, in one of the Dead Sea caves, sparking the greatest treasure hunt in Judeo-Christian history while threatening the geopolitical status quo across the entire Middle East. This scroll was the only one of the famous scrolls to be made of copper, and proved to be nearly impossible to read at first, until a British man named John Allegro had it cut into 23 sections and began to translate the ancient Hebrew text.

What he found startled him. The scroll described an inventory of a vast treasure horde and detailed instructions on where each object was buried. Neese described the inventory appearing as if it was "someone’s personal record of note." The instructions even detailed how deep the objects were buried. In all, Neese said that the text on the scrolls indicated that all told, there were about "168 tons" of mostly precious metals hidden somewhere in Israel. Allegro tried to search for some of the treasure, but came up empty-handed, as did others who followed, including an American airline pilot and Israeli archaeologist.

In 2006, a retired firefighter named Jim Barfield became interested in the copper scroll saga and set out to learn as much as he could about the subject. Barfield became convinced that the objects were actually buried in the same area as the scrolls were found, an ancient settlement called Qumran. He received permission from the Israeli government to explore the area. Neese said that, after some detailed research, Barfield now believes that the Ark of the Covenant is hidden nearby "in a cave." In answer to a caller’s question, Neese described the Ark’s importance to the Jewish faith as "a material connection to an immaterial God."


In the first hour, author Brad Meltzer revealed the secret British plot to kill George Washington before the Revolutionary War had begun. Meltzer described what he called "America’s first conspiracy" as a plan that was to be carried out by those loyal to the British crown, and included some of Washington’s personal security detail, who were known as the "Lifeguards." Meltzer also painted a picture of Washington’s early days in the war as he tried to bring together many groups of men into the Continental Army, and after victory, simply went back to his Virginia farm, at least until called upon again to lead the country. In the end, said Meltzer, the plot to assassinate Washington was foiled by an "ordinary person in one of the most ordinary places" who overheard a secret conversation.



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