by Virginia Carraway Stark
The mystery of the ‘ever burning lamps’ is a difficult one to prove since it seems that all of the reputed lamps have been plundered and destroyed long before they could be examined scientifically or documented. All we have is a plethora of stories that tell a similar tale: Lamps that are left to burn in sealed tombs that are still burning hundreds of years after the tombs are opened once more.
When researching this topic, it’s important to take everything with a grain of salt because there is no physical evidence to prove that they ever existed. The circumstantial evidence, however, is overwhelming.
Not only is there a lot of people who claim to have seen the lamps but many of the sources who write about it are generally considered to be highly reputable and many of the others had nothing to gain from their stories of the ever burning lamps and considered them to be manifestations of the devil. Many tombs were plundered in the medieval era and it the lamps, once smashed, were reported to stop burning.
Plutarch and Eliphas Levi, both noted historical and occult writers both wrote about the lamps. Eliphas Levi was convinced that they were an ancient technology that harnessed the power of electricity in a way that is beyond our comprehension even now. They were said to contain no oil or wick but a bolt of blue lightning that would cause extreme pain should someone touch it. People who touched the blue lightning reportedly cried out and doubled over in pain, much like receiving a substantial shock.
The large numbers of these reported lamps and the fact that they were reported to have been found in China, South America, North America, Egypt Greece, Italy, the United Kingdom, Ireland, France and many other countries as well is the main thing that makes them a possible reality. It seems difficult to believe that so many witnesses across the world would report the same phenomenon without there being some truth to it. Yet not a single one of these lamps was preserved and no modern archeologist has ever uncovered a tomb where one of these lamps still burns.
Theories on these lamps vary from tricks done by pagan priests (the main reason that they were considered to be the work of the devil and so many were destroyed in the medieval era), to works of ancient alien technology. There are many questions left unanswered. Why were they only ever found in tombs? Although many religions left symbolic lamps for their dead to light their way in the underworld it seems strange that such a useful technology wouldn’t be used amongst the living as well.
Scouring documents for information and second or third hand information at that is the only way to find out anything about these lamps that some allege burned for as long as 2000 years. Unless we find one today and can document its secrets it will remain an unsolved ancient mystery.