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Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Ketchum File III: Gog and Magog are Not Bigfoot

Warning:  Contains Ketchum Koolaid.  Please drink responsibly.

On her Facebook page, Dr. Melba Ketchum, DVM, posted a picture of a statue outside the Cathedral at Avila (Spain) and said, "Here's the door of the Cathedral of Avila, Spain with a Sasquatch to the right, carved in the wall."

Actually there are two statues, one on either side of the entrance.  I know, I've been there.  A visit to the Cathedral website (, which has pictures of the entrance, reveals that the statues, which are on the door jambs, are not of sasquatch at all:
"In the jambs are one of the many curiosities of the Cathedral of Avila.  The presence of two wild men that guard and protect the entrance to the sacred enclosure are known as Gog and Magog, there to intimidate visitors into maintaining a good and devout behavior after crossing the doors."  (translated from Spanish).

West entrance to the Cathedral of Avila (begun in 1107 AD) showing Gog and Magog "intimidating" my wife Arlene (2014).  My photo.  

In the Bible Gog and Magog appear as individuals, as places, and as peoples or nations, often apocalyptically.  For example: 

Revelation 20:8  (New King James Version)

"Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea."

In the Quran and other Islamic literature Gog and Magog are associated with peoples, e.g. Turkic and Mongol raiders, but also symbolized as demons.

Nice try, Melba, but the Cathedral of Avila does not validate your invalid study.  It's a great place to visit, however, next time you're in Spain.

Medieval wall of Avila, built around the Cathedral and inner city (11th - 14th Centuries).  My photo.       .

Roman tombstone from nearby cemetery incorporated into the wall around medieval Avila.  Circular shapes are faces of a husband and wife as was the custom, but their features have eroded with time.  These are not the eyes of a bigfoot or an ancient alien.   My photo.