- Four years ago, Frank Albo was driving past the Manitoba
Legislature building when he looked up on its roof and spotted a pair of
stone sphinxes that stuck out in the bright blue Prairie sky.
- "They are a noted Egyptian motif," recalled
the 33-year-old Winnipeg native, who was studying Eastern religions. "I
thought: 'What on Earth are Egyptian sphinxes doing flanking a building
where laws are enacted in Manitoba?'"
- Since then, his tiny discovery has led to an exhaustive
investigation into the grand Winnipeg building, which he now calls "the
Da Vinci code in stone."
- Mr. Albo is convinced that the legislature building,
which was designed in 1912 by two English architects, holds "secret
encoded clues" that suggest it was built as a talisman to harness
energy and ward off evil -- a sort of beacon of the occult.
- From the Golden Boy statue, which famously glistens from
a dome atop the building, to the pair of large bison statues that guard
a massive staircase leading to the legislature, Mr. Albo said the building
was constructed to the specifications of the divine blueprints of ancient
- He said even the lieutenant-governor's reception room
was built exactly to dimensions that match those of King Solomon's inner
- "I haven't researched every legislative capital
in North America, but I doubt that you will find another one that is built
to Golden Mean proportions, . . . that has Hermes -- the father of all
occult sciences -- on the dome and is in the centre of North America,"
- While Mr. Albo said he received a small government grant
to pursue his research after the Premier's Office was contacted two years
ago about his discovery, there is a lot of skepticism about his findings.
- "The buffalo is the symbol of Manitoba -- that's
why there are buffaloes there," said a senior government official,
who didn't want to be identified.
- However, he said that the government has no problem with
people studying the Winnipeg landmark, which opened to the public in 1920
and is an example of Beaux-Arts architecture. "It's certainly open
to a variety of interpretations," he said.
- Mr. Albo, who has been known to walk around the building
wielding a tape measure, said he knows many people likely don't believe
him, but he's not deterred from continuing his investigation.
- "Almost every day, I'm uncovering a new clue that
is leading me further down this rabbit hole," the University of Winnipeg
research fellow said.
- "It started as a research paper, but has turned
into an Indiana Jones adventure," he said. He has been aided over
the years by blueprints, special access to Masonic archives and even a
person who could translate hieroglyphics that were eventually found on
the two sphinxes that set off his research in the first place.
- The young sleuth said that while the bestselling thriller
novel The Da Vinci Code "talks about things like the Golden Mean,
Masonic architecture, symbolism of secret societies -- those elements,
in true proportion, are incorporated in the architecture of this building."
- Mr. Albo said he's often asked why this type of symbolism
would be secretly encoded in a building constructed in Winnipeg.
- The fact that Manitoba's capital city is located almost
exactly in the middle of the continent is a likely explanation, he said.
- "What greater, more important place, to put the
beacon of energy that houses the blueprint of God in divine proportion
and has a representation of [the] Holy of Holies?"
- Mr. Albo, who wants to write a book about his unusual
discovery, is currently concentrating his research on the building's lead
architect, Frank Simon, to help him solve the "great mystery"
still facing him -- the all-consuming Why?
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