Detecting.org.uk Home >
Nazi Gold >
Spear Of Destiny
According to Christian texts, the
Spear of Destiny (also known as the Holy Lance,
Holy Spear, Lance of Longinus, or Spear of
Longinus) is the spear that is reported in the Gospel of
John (19:31-37) as having pierced the side of Jesus during
the oldest known references to the legend, in the Gospel of
Nicodemus (of uncertain date, possibly 5th or 6th century),
the soldier who pierced Christ's side is identified with a
centurion and called
Longinus (making the
spear's 'correct' Latin name Lancea Longini). Later
Christian tradition, harking back to the novel The Spear
by Louis de Wohl (1955), further identifies him as Gaius
There are many prototypes
and analogues of the spear in other legends, it can be
compared to the ancient Irish weapon, the Spear Luin, and is
similar to the Bleeding Lance of Grail mythology, which was
eventually claimed to be the Spear of Destiny.
There are several objects
that are reputed to be the Spear of Destiny or Holy Lance (Heilige
One such 'Holy Lance' was
allegedly unearthed by a Crusader named Peter Bartholomew in
Antioch in 1098 while the Crusaders were under siege from
the Seljuk Turks under Kerbogha. Peter Bartholomew reported
that he had had a vision in which St. Andrew told him that
the Holy Lance was buried in St. Peter's Cathedral in
Antioch. At the time some were skeptical, but others were
convinced. In any case, after much digging in the cathedral,
Peter Bartholomew took a hand and, in a few moments,
discovered the lance. For some of the Crusaders this was a
marvellous discovery. At the same time, dissension had begun
in the ranks of the Muslim army besieging the city. This
combination of factors resulted in the Christian army being
able to rout the Muslims a few days later when they joined
battle, allowing the Crusaders to decisively capture
Antioch. That object is now at
in Armenia. Scholars believe that it is not actually a Roman
lance but the head of a Roman standard.
Another of the many Spears
of Destiny is the one in The Vatican. The earliest reports
of that Spear were circa A.D. 570, described as having been
on display in the basilica of Mount Zion in Jerusalem
adjacent to the Crown of Thorns. The point of the spearhead
was alleged to have been snapped following the Persian
conquest of Jerusalem in A.D. 615. The point was set into an
icon, and found its way to the church of
Hagia Sophia in Constantinople.
It was later transported to France, where it remained in the
Sainte Chapelle until the 18th century. The icon was briefly
moved to the
Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris during the French
Revolution, but it subsequently disappeared. The lower
section of the spearhead was allegedly conveyed from
Jerusalem to Constantinople sometime in the 8th century. It
was sent by Sultan
Beyazid II as a gift to Pope Innocent VIII in 1492; Innocent
had the relic placed in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. It
still resides there. The Catholic Church makes no claim as
to its authenticity.
The holy spear that was used
by the Holy Roman Emperors (cited from Otto I, Holy Roman
Emperor on, the one most often referred to) as a part of
their imperial insignia found its way to Vienna, Austria,
where they are kept in a
Dr. Robert Feather, of England, a metallurgist and technical
engineering writer, tested that Holy Lance in January of
2003. He was given unprecedented permission not only to
examine the Spear in a laboratory environment, but was also
allowed to remove the delicate bands of gold and silver that
hold it together. The silver band bears the inscription
'Nail of Our Lord'. It was added to the Holy Lance by order
of Henry IV, the third German Holy Roman Emperor, in 1084.
Around 1350 King Charles IV Of Bohemia had a golden sleeve
put over the silver one, inscribed 'Lance and Nail of the
In 1411 Sigismund was made
Holy Roman Emperor. In 1424 he announced: 'It is the Will of
God that the Imperial Crown, Orb, Sceptre, Crosses, Sword
and Lance of the Holy Roman Empire must never leave the soil
of the Fatherland.' This collection of relics, known
collectively as the Reichkleinodien or Imperial
Regalia, were moved from his capitol in Prague to his birth
When the army of Napoleon
Bonaparte approached Nuremberg in the spring of 1796 many
were terrified that Napoleon would seize the Spear and rule
the world with it. The city councillors decided to remove
the Reichkleinodie to Vienna for safe keeping. The
collection of relics was entrusted to one
Baron von H�gel,
who promised to return the objects as soon as peace had been
restored and the safety of the collection assured.
The Holy Roman Empire was
officially dissolved in 1806. Baron von Hugel took advantage
of the confusion over who was the legal owner of the
Reichkleinodie and sold the entire collection, including the
Spear, to the Habsburgs. Baron von Hugel's perfidy did not
come to light until after Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo.
When the city councillors of Nuremberg asked for their
treasures back the Austrian authorities' response was a curt
rejection. And there they stayed until the Anschluss, when
Adolf Hitler claimed the Spear of Destiny as his own.
Another purported Holy Lance
has been in Krakow since at least the 1200s, though German
records indicate that the lance was a copy made from the
German lance under Henry II, Holy Roman Emperor, with a
small sliver of the original embedded. Another copy was
given to the Hungarian king at the same time.
The legend of the spear
Several popular new age and
conspiracy theory books have popularised the legend of the
Ravenscroft's The Spear
Trevor Ravenscroft's 1973
bestseller The Spear of Destiny has fixed his version
of the legend in the minds of many today. He claims that
Adolf Hitler started World War II to capture the spear,
hypothesizing that Hitler's interest in the relic probably
originated with his interest in the 1882 opera
- by Hitler's favorite composer, Richard Wagner which
concerns a group of knights and their guardianship of the
Holy Grail, as well as the recovery of the Spear. Though a
number of historians cast doubt on Hitler's obsession with
the Spear as it was reported by Trevor Ravenscroft et al,
recent work by researcher and author Alec MacLellan has
unearthed material from Ravenscroft's original source that
seems to validate some of the stranger assertions.
Ravenscroft maintained that
the spear came into the possession of the United States of
America on April 30, 1945; specifically, under the control
of the 3rd Army led by General George Patton. Later that
day, supposedly in fulfilment of the legend that to lose the
Spear meant death, Hitler committed suicide. Patton became
fascinated by the ancient weapon and had its authenticity
verified. Patton did not go on to use the spear, as orders
came down from General Dwight Eisenhower that the complete
Habsburg regalia including the Spear of Longinus were to be
returned to the Hofburg Palace, where it remains today. It
is interesting to note that George Patton, in his poem
Through a Glass Darkly, curiously posits himself as
Longinus in a previous lifetime.
attempted to define the mysterious 'powers' that the legend
says the Spear serves. He found it to be a hostile and evil
spirit, which he variously referred to as the Antichrist and
the Spirit of the Age. Smith and Piccard similarly attempt
to identify what they too perceive as a malignant spirit
reaching through the Spear. In a mishmash of quantum
physics, Christianity, and the New Age they offer a handful
of ideas, from the Spear
the 'angry God of the Old Testament' (Jehovah) to it somehow
transferring a part of The Crucifixion to the Spear, with
the Spear becoming a
Doppelg�nger for the
Holy Spirit, becoming, as they put it, an Unholy Spirit.
Dr. Howard A. Buechner, M.D.,
professor of medicine at Tulane and then
L.S.U., added a strange chapter
to the tale in his two books on the Spear. He claims he was
contacted by a former U-boat submariner who in turn claimed
to have helped take the Spear of Destiny to Antarctica in
1945 and to have helped to recover it in 1979. Buechner was
a retired Colonel with the U.S. Army who served in World War
II, and had written a book on the
Dachau massacre as a witness to
the event. He was presented by the pseudonymous 'Capt.
Wilhelm Bernhart' with the log of the 1979 Hartmann
Expedition and photos of some of the objects recovered.
According to Buechner, the
Spear currently on display in the
in Vienna is a fake. He claims that he had evidence that
Heinrich Himmler, head of the Occult Bureau of the SS, had
formed a circle of Knights dedicated to the Holy Lance and
further, had Japan's greatest swordsmaker create an exact
duplicate of the lance. Buechner claimed that the duplicate
went on display in Nuremberg while the real one was used in
arcane black magic ceremonies in a specially appointed
castle in Wewelsburg,
Germany. Even wilder, he wrote that Hitler personally had
selected Col. Maximilian Hartmann to send several of his
most prized possessions, including the Spear of Destiny, and
Hitler and Eva Braun's ashes to Antarctica. According to him
Col. Hartmann recovered the Spear of Destiny from the ice in
1979 and it is now in hiding somewhere in Europe, in the
possession of the Knights of the Holy Lance.
After contacting most of the
members of the alleged expedition and others involved,
including senior Nazi officials and close associates of
Adolf Hitler, like Hitler Youth Leader
Artur Axmann, Col. Buechner
became convinced the claims were true and that he was either
the victim of an elaborate hoax, or the Spear of Destiny
really did reside for a while in Antarctica and may well be
in the hands of one or more individuals who believe, as Col
Hartmann may have said 'the Holy Lance points ever towards
our eternal Deutschland.'
Smith and Piccard's version
Col. Buechner's story is
examined and partially corroborated by both Alec Maclellan
and the research/writing team of Jerry E. Smith and George
Piccard. These writers focus on the mysterious surrenders of
two U-boats to Argentine authorities months after the war's
end and how they may have been part of the 'Fuehrer Convoy'
taking high ranking Nazis and maybe treasure, to Argentina
Spear legend meets Urban
legend in the writings of the two conspiracy theory authors,
Smith and Piccard. Their retelling of the Spear myth
stretches from its purported creation in 3061 B.C. by
Tubal-Cain, seventh generation
grandson of Adam (the Spear was forged from a meteorite at
the same time that he made the sword Excalibur), to Admiral
Byrd's battle (Operation Highjump) in the Antarctic against
Nazis in their underground fortress in
Their version is replete with Nazi UFOs and the search for
Atlantis. They connect Nazi secret societies to the Yale
Skull and Bones fraternity and the horrific events of
September 11, 2001.
The Spear of Destiny in
The broad-based recognition
factor enjoyed by the Spear of Destiny has helped to make it
a prominent feature in contemporary culture, from movies and
TV to video games. A long list of such appearances may be
Spear of Destiny in popular
- Spear Of Christ,
TV special for BBC/Discovery Channel, narrated by Cherie
Lunghi, written and directed by Shaun Trevisick.
Atlantic Productions, aired 31 March 2002. Their website
says about it: 'In the
Museum in Vienna, Austria, lies a metal spearhead said
to have been used to pierce the side of Christ during
his crucifixion. For the first time, scientific testing
will establish if this ancient relic really is the Spear
of Christ.' The scientific points made in this article
about the work of Dr. Robert Feather are also made in
Books in English
- Brown, Arthur Charles
Lewis. Bleeding Lance. Modern Language
Association of America, 1910
- Buechner, Howard A.
Col. and Bernhart, Wilhelm Capt. Adolf Hitler And The
Secrets Of The Holy Lance. Thunderbird Press, 1988.
- Buechner, Howard A.
Col. and Bernhart, Wilhelm Capt. Hitler's Ashes -
Seeds Of A New Reich. Thunderbird Press, 1989.
- Childress, David
Hatcher. Pirates and the Lost Templar Fleet: The
Secret Naval War Between the Knights Templar and the
Vatican. Adventures Unlimited Press, 2003.
- Crowley, Cornelius
Joseph. The Legend Of The Wanderings Of The Spear Of
Longinus. Heartland Book, 1972.
- Hone, William. The
Lost Books of the Bible. Bell Publishing Co., 1979.
- Macllellan, Alec.
The Secret of the Spear: The Mystery of The Spear of
Longinus. Souvenir Press, 2004
- Prioli, Carmine A.
The Poems of
George S. Patton,
Jr.: Lines of Fire, by George S. Patton, Jr.
Edwin Mellen Press, 1991.
- Ravenscroft, Trevor.
The Spear of Destiny, the Occult Power Behind the Spear
Which Pierced the Side of Christ. Samuel Weiser,
- Ravenscroft, Trevor and
Wallace-Murphy, Tim. The Mark of the Beast: The
Continuing Story of the Spear of Destiny. Weiser
Books; Reprint edition, 1997.
- Rutman, Leo. Spear
Of Destiny A Novel. Pinnacle Books, 1989.
- Sheffy, Lester Fields.
Use Of The Holy Lance In The First Crusade. L.F.
- Smith, Jerry E., and
Secrets Of The Holy Lance: The Spear of Destiny in
History & Legend. Adventures Unlimited Press, 2005.
should be noted that there is a historical figure named
Gaius Cassius Longinus, one of the conspirators
responsible for the death of Gaius Julius Caesar (died
March 15, 44 BC). Another 'Longinus' is credited with
the authorship of the treatise On the Sublime.
Roman names held little variety, especially among
members of the same family.
History of The
Spear of Destiny
A page from a site 'Hitler the occult Messiah'
Hitler and The
Spear of Destiny
is a page from a site devoted to the authentication of a
previously unknown work by Picasso. This page has an
article by Mark Harris on Dr. Stein's revelations about
Hitler and the Spear.
Solving the mystery of a Christian relic by Maryann Bird
is an article in the European Edition of TIME Magazine
on British metallurgist Robert Feather's scientific
examination of the Spear in Vienna.
The Holy Lance
has a detailed history of the Spear's legend taken from
Ravenscroft. Begins with a quote from Raiders of the
Lost Ark and includes the statement made by Hitler
to newspaper reporters of his first viewing of the Holy
Lance and how he felt he'd possessed it before in a
previous life. Good image of Hitler before the Eiffel
Tower and a painting of the Crucifixion showing a
centurion and the spear in the foreground.
Secrets of the
Holy Lance is a
website devoted to the book Secrets of the Holy
Lance: The Spear Of Destiny In History & Legend by
Jerry E. Smith and George Piccard. Includes extensive
excerpts from the book and a gallery of Spear related
The Spear that
Pierced the Side of Christ
by J. R. Church. Very detailed history of the Spear,
with interesting material on Mauritius (St. Maurice),
the Merovingians, Napoleon, Kaiser Wilhelm, Archduke
Ferdinand, and Hitler.
The Spear Of
Longinus has a
good article on the several different Spears and the
many differing legends around Longinus.
The Holy Lance
is a page from the online Catholic Encyclopedia and was
the basis for the other Wikipedia page on this subject.
Search for the
real Holy Lance
has a long and scholarly treatise on all the reputed
Spears of Destiny and their various legends, with
several good illustrations including: the Crucifixion,
the Holy Lance on display at St Peters in Antioch, and
El Greco's painting The Martyrdom of Maurice and the
The Spear of
Destiny a.k.a. The Holy Lance
a short but concise article by Randy Van Dyke stating
the main elements of Ravencroft's version of the legend.