The Temple Twelve

Inspired by Ior Bock’s fabled telling of The Bock Saga, ‘The Temple Twelve’, an eclectic group of amateur archeologists, historians, truth seekers and treasure hunters set out to discover the Temple of Lemminkäinen, sort fact from fiction – and hopefully find £millions in lost riches!

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The search for the Lemminkäinen Hoard

Who are The Temple Twelve?

Following Ior Bock’s revelations, news of the so-called ‘Bock Saga’ spread worldwide and the possibility of finding the ‘truth’ attracted the attention of historians, corporate sponsors, and professional archaeologists. It also captured the imagination of amateur treasure hunters, who flocked to the site in search of gold and glory – the fabled Lemminkäinen Hoard.

Among them was a group of 24 “like-minded strangers”—12 men and 12 women—who joined forces with Ior Bock to become the site’s first and only permanent, self-funded excavation team. Since that time, most of the original party have left or died, including Bock himself, who was murdered by a personal assistant in 2010.

Their number has been maintained across the years with new members from Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Holland, Germany, Australia, and the United States.

The “Temple Twelve”, as they have become known, camp nearby and spend each summer hunting for proof that Bock’s claims of an undiscovered ancient civilisation were true. They may now only be months away from finding the temple’s entrance…and from locating its priceless treasure.

The Lemminkäinen Hoard, which is described as the “Holy Grail of Holy Grails” by historians, would represent the largest and most valuable trove ever discovered. But to the team, which have no archaeological training, the true value of proving the Saga real lies in the fact that it will show the world that it once lived in a ‘Paradise Time’ where people lived in harmony with nature, and each other, and can do so again. 

Historian and author Carl Borgen, the world’s leading authority on the Lemminkäinen Hoard, has chronicled the lives of the Temple Twelve and their search for truth and treasure in his memoir Temporarily Insane.

He has been in regular contact with the group since excavations began in 1987, and is one of only a handful of ‘outsiders’ they confide in.

Original members of the Temple Twelve at the cave entrance
Original members of the Temple Twelve at the cave entrance
More digging for treasure at the Temple of Lemminkäinen
Excavations at the temple site take place every summer
Digging at the Temple of Lemminkäinen
Digging for the truth at the Sibbosberg cave system

Digging takes place at the Temple day and night

The Temple Twelve at cave
Some of the current group outside the Temple
Inside the Temple
Inside the cave, which the Twelve are excavating
Bockists at the Temple Entrance
"Bockists" gather outside the temple.
Inside the flooded Temple of Lemminkäinen
The Temple Twelve have to pump out more than 1.5million litres of water annually from the cave entrance

What next for the Temple Twelve?

From Temple Twelve to Temple Twelve-hundred

Over the last 34 years, the members of the Temple Twelve have each dedicated up to six hours-a-day, seven days-a-week, removing hundreds of tonnes of rock and clay in an attempt to uncover the entrance of the Temple.

While no hard evidence of the hoard has been found as yet, the Temple Twelve believe they have the tenacity and, thanks to a donation of dynamite, the necessary explosives to locate and remove the huge granite slabs from the temple door, which is said to lie 50ft below the surface and more than 150ft from the cave entrance.

Using rudimentary tools including spades and buckets, the group has so far removed several four-tonne blocks from the cave’s entrance and have excavated around 400 tonnes of sediment below it.

But the inclement Finnish weather means the digging season is confined to the summer months before the cave starts filling with freezing rainwater and the group pumps out more than 1.5million litres of water annually at the start of every season.

When digging resumes in May, the team is confident that they will reach the temple entrance – if it exists.

The efforts of the Temple Twelve hit the headlines last year when it was revealed they could be just metres away from reaching the fabled temple door.

The group has since received thousands of enquiries from people wanting to join its ranks or to lend a hand.

A small army of people from a variety of countries including the United States, the UK, Australia, Canada, France and Finland have been in touch asking if and how they can help with the dig and with the multitude of preliminary activities.

Extra helpers would substantially increase the Temple Twelve’s chances of reaching the jackpot – if it exists – this year.

Follow Carl’s Blog for the latest news and updates from the Temple Twelve. You can also follow the Temple Twelve on Twitter, or find them on Facebook.

Author Carl Borgen

If only a handful of those people turn up then the Twelve believe strongly that this season could be the big one and that the cave will finally give up her secrets, whatever they may be…

Carl Borgen

Author of Temporarily Insane

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