AN amateur archaeologist believes he has located the Holy Grail — at a secret crypt under a river in Hounslow.
Barrie-Jon Bower, 40, is convinced the cup Jesus Christ drank from at the Last Supper has been hidden in suburban West London.
He has enlisted the help of the Environment Agency, which has agreed to divert the river so the bed can be surveyed with specialist equipment.
Today the would-be Indiana Jones was at the site doing preparatory work. He said of the mysterious goblet, sought after for more than 2,000 years: “When I find it, it’s going to be one of the greatest finds in history — the biggest discovery of mankind.
“Now I’ve been in the water it’s made me more certain. It feels hollow. It feels right. There’s something underneath. Why not Hounslow?”
Mr Bower, who is currently unemployed, has spent years studying the Grail’s links to the Knights Templar, an order of warrior monks.
He claims some trained on Hounslow Heath before their trips to the Holy Lands, and they built a secret crypt to hide relics seized in the Crusades.
Its entrance, he maintains, was later deliberately hidden near a weir at the man-made Duke of Northumberland’s River.
He has now invested £1,000 in hired specialist geophysical equipment to scour the ground once it is drained, hopefully early next year.
Mr Bower, of Cinderford, Gloucs, told The Sun: “Finally I am certain this is the right spot. I am certain there will be a vault beneath the surface, with the Grail inside and other treasures from the Crusades.
“I can’t wait to get started. There are some other reasons as to why I think the Holy Grail is here which I don’t want to reveal. I don’t want rival hunters to get that information. It needs to stay secret. All will be revealed.”
A scheduled visit from the Environment Agency was postponed today because of bad weather.
A spokesman said: “We are willing to review Mr Bower’s request and see if we are able to support him at another time. We have a statutory role to ensure that any works carried out on a Main River are done in a way that does not cause environmental damage or pose a flood risk.”
The last cuppa
COUNTLESS adventurers have set out on quests to find the Holy Grail, which is said to have magical healing powers.
According to legend, Christ drank from the cup at the Last Supper, and Joseph of Arimathea used it to collect his blood at the crucifixion.
More than 200 churches and other locations around the world have claimed to possess it. The knights of King Arthur believed it was kept in a castle guarded by the Fisher King. Adolf Hitler’s right-hand man, Heinrich Himmler tried to find it in Catalonia in 1940.
It was rumoured to be hidden at the Rosslyn Chapel in Midlothian, which features in 2003 Dan Brown book The Da Vinci Code. A relic believed by some to be the Grail was stolen from a Herefordshire home in 2014. It was returned after a Crimewatch appeal.
On the big screen, Indiana Jones used it to heal his dying father in 1989’s Last Crusade. In 1975’s Monty Python and the Holy Grail, King Arthur is repelled in his quest by a shower of manure.
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