The story goes as thus: in 1987, Jim Caldwell brought his family to Saudi Arabia to work at the world’s largest oil refinery. In early December of 1991, he had an epiphany telling him that the Ark of the Covenant will be returned to where it was built. He, not having even known then the Ark was assembled at Sinai, began poring over Exodus. He and his family then took a trip to Egypt. On his way, it snowed at Haql, the snowflakes being similar to the Star of David due to slightly warmer temperatures of the lower atmosphere making their distinctions less noticeable. He then came to the traditional site, and, like most explorers (Robinson, Cornuke&Williams and numerous others), not reading the earliest Byzantine traditions in Egeria’s travelogue (read Section 7 of AJaL), concluded the traditional site did not match the biblical record (it does, if one considers the earliest traditions). In Sharm el-Sheikh (the Caldwells’ car was left behind at Customs), Penny Caldwell came upon Richard Burton’s “Gold Mines of Midian“, which she did not read, and Anati’s book on Har Karkom, exposing the Caldwells both to the fact Midian was east of the Gulf of Aqaba and that there is no definitive evidence Mount Sinai was in the South Sinai. Since they thought Exodus placed Mount Sinai in Midian (it doesn’t, see AJaL, Section 2), they went back to Saudi Arabia and began their seven-year long exploration of the area. The Caldwells discovered the Split Rock and made the most detailed records of the Maqla area, even though they were latecomers to the region (Cornuke, Williams and Wyatt all came before them). In their first year exploring the site, they gave Ron Wyatt the documentation he needed (for it was he who discovered the site) with no stipulations. Their novel conclusions are that Maqla (Black Peak, see AJaL, Section 4) and the highest peak of Lawz are, correspondingly, Sinai and Horeb. As for the others-see Section 5 of AJaL and here. Jim also came up with a column length-tribe size hypothesis to explain the columns at the foot of Maqla. Penny has about as far, far less biblical knowledge as the Pilgrim of Bordeaux (Bethel at Rephidim? Three Days in the desert before Rephidim?). The Caldwells also think Saudi Arabia is part of the Promised Land due to the footprint petroglyphs they found and Muslim traditions. Apparently, according to them, no pre-Islamic Arabian civilizations ever existed in the Arabian Peninsula (and the 1948 conquest was that of an empty land??). The Caldwells have no understanding of the Biblical geography whatsoever. They think guessing games with the Bible (no journey to Kadesh before wandering!!!) are superior to actually consulting archaeologists or the Biblical narrative (they quote verses quite a bit, but never even bother to understand their context). Truly, their ignorance (Paul wrote Galatians in Elijah’s cave!!! Jesus was transfigured at Sinai!!!)* is astounding. Truly, I now firmly believe Penny Caldwell is the stupidest woman in the world (Jack Chick is certainly the stupidest man).
*As anyone should know, Paul wrote Galatians in 56 AD at Corinth.