ongoing projects

American Egypt, the book

By Evan J. Albright

It all began, innocently enough. I was a working on a sequel to my first book, Cape Cod Confidential: Trues Tales of Murder, Crime and Scandal from the Pilgrims to the Present, when I came across the curious tale of Edward Thompson.

Thompson, a Cape Cod man, was the subject of a newspaper clipping from the Boston Globe dated 1926. According to the article, the Mexican government claimed that Thompson had stolen valuable artifacts from something called the Sacred Cenote at a place called Chichen Itza. In addition to charging him with theft, the government also seized his hacienda in Mexico and sued him for more than a million dollars.

That was the summer of 2004. I had never heard of Chichen Itza, so I looked it up on the Internet. I learned that millions of Americans have visited the site, The more I researched, the more I got hooked. After a few days, I began to get an uneasy feeling, that I was becoming obsessed with Chichen Itza.

I was not the first.

Chichen Itza had been the obsession of some of the world's most famous--and infamous--archaeologists. At first I thought I could get a magazine article out of my research, but that quickly became several magazine articles, and finally, a book.

I've written a book proposal, and as I write this, I'm working on my second draft. Once finished, it will go to my agent. A few months ago I decided to build a Web site to support the book project. My research was turning up so much material, a lot was ending up on the cutting room floor. Rather than waste it, I figured I could post it for the world to see.