Taulas of Menorca

Written By Tripzibit on Oct 29, 2014 | 22:00

On the Balearic island of Menorca there is T-shaped stone monument called the Taulas of Menorca. This mysterious monument found scattered around the island. Taulas consist of a vertical pillar (a monolith or several smaller stones on top of each other) with a horizontal stone lying on it. Its heights can be up to 3.7 metres high and sometimes a U-shaped wall encloses the structure. It is thought that the taulas were erected by the ancient inhabitants of the island at some point after 2000 B.C., there is no concrete evidence as to why the structures were built or why they are found only on Menorca and not on neighboring islands. 

A taula from the archaeological site Talatì de Dalt

Their exact cultural meaning remains unknown, but they probably had religious and/or astronomical purposes. Waldemar Fenn, a German archaeologist, has pointed out that the taulas all faced south, leading him to speculate that they were erected as a religious monument to measure the movement of the moon. His theory became known as the Taula Moon Theory. Archaeologist Michael Hoskin has suggested the taulas may have been part of an ancient healing cult.

However, the sites were also home to a few intriguing bronze statues, including a bull, an Egyptian figurine with an inscription in hieroglyphics reading, "I am Imhotep the god of medicine" and horse hooves. The latter is particularly curious as there is no known horse god in ancient Mediterranean cultures.


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The Final Message of Star Dust

Written By Tripzibit on Oct 28, 2014 | 04:15

On August 2 1947, a British South American Airways (BSAA) Avro Lancastrian airliner "Star Dust" vanished without trace during a flight from Buenos Aires to Santiago, Chile. Star Dust never made it to Santiago. At that time comprehensive search of a wide area was fruitless, and the fate of the aircraft and occupants remained unknown for over 50 years. On early 2000 the plane 's wreckage suddenly reappeared on a glacier high up in the Andes, more than 50 km’s from the area where the plane was last reported. Although most of the mysteries surrounding Star Dust’s disappearance has been solved, one mystery still remains. Just before the plane disappeared, Chile’s Santiago airport received the Morse code transmission “ETA SANTIAGO 17.45 HRS STENDEC” four minutes before it was scheduled to land that day. The controller responded that he did not understand the acronym at the end of the message but “STENDEC” was never clarified by the pilot. Until now, final message has been a source of mystery, confusion and intrigue ever since. 

On its final flight, Star Dust carried a crew of 5 and 6 passengers. The captain, Reginald Cook, was an experienced Royal Air Force pilot with combat experience during World War II—as were his first officer, Norman Hilton Cook, and second officer, Donald Checklin.

The passengers were:
  • Jack Gooderham 
  • Harald Pagh, businessmen 
  • Peter Young, an agent for Dunlop 
  • Paul Simpson, a British civil servant. He was functioning as a King's Messenger with diplomatic documents destined for the British embassy in Santiago. 
  • Marta Limpert. She was bringing her dead husband's ashes with her. 
  • Casis Said Atalah, a Palestinian returning home to Chile from a visit to his dying mother. Atalah is said to have had a diamond with him (stitched into the lining of his suit).

BSAA Lancastrian 3 Star Dust

At 1.46 PM on 2 August, the flight left Buenos Aires and was apparently uneventful until the radio operator (Harmer) sent a routine message in Morse code to the airport in Santiago at 5.41 PM, announcing an expected arrival of 5.45 PM. However, Star Dust never arrived, no more radio transmissions were received by the airport. Five days intensive efforts by both Chilean and Argentine search teams, as well as by other BSAA pilots, failed to uncover any trace of the aircraft or of the people on board.

According to the official report in 1947, the 17.41 signal was received by Santiago only 4 minutes before the ETA. The Chilean radio operator at Santiago states that the reception of the signal was loud and clear but that it was given out very fast. Not understanding the word "STENDEC" he queried it and had the same word repeated by the aircraft twice in succession. A solution to the word "STENDEC" has not been found. From this time on nothing further was heard from the aircraft and no contact was made with the control tower at Santiago. All further calls were unanswered.

Before this message a series of entirely routine messages had been transmitted by the plane, reporting their position and intended course.

Over 50 years later, in 1998, two Argentine mountaineers climbing Mount Tupungato—about 97 km west-southwest of Mendoza City, and about 80 km east of Santiago—found the wreckage of a Rolls-Royce Merlin aircraft engine, along with twisted pieces of metal and shreds of clothing, in the Tupungato Glacier at an elevation of 4,600 m. Two years later, in February 2000 the Argentine army arranged a major expedition to visit the crash site beneath the massive Tupungato peak (6800m). The plane’s main wheels were discovered, one still fully blown up. One of Stardust’s Rolls Royce engines was lying on the ice, and nearby it’s propeller. Damage to the propeller indicated that the engine was working normally at the time of the crash. The wreckage offered no smoking gun to explain why the crash happened. Human remains were also recovered, including three torsos, a foot in an ankle boot and a manicured hand. By 2002, the bodies of five of the eight British victims had been identified through DNA testing.

Experts believe the plane crashed into the side of the mountain, likely causing an avalanche to bury the aircraft. The Argentine investigation needed to explain why a highly experienced crew could make such a massive error. They focused on a meteorological phenomenon that was virtually unknown in 1947 - the 'jetstream'. This high altitude wind can blow at more than one hundred miles an hour. But in 1947 very few planes flew high enough to encounter the jetstream. Stardust was one of the exceptions.

On the day of the flight bad weather over the Andes persuaded the crew to fly close to the plane’s maximum altitude, so they could fly over the top of the weather… and the mountains. Stardust’s superior performance should have guaranteed it’s safety. But in fact it was the decision to fly high that was at the root of the disaster. Unknown to the crew, they were flying straight into the jetstream. And because of the bad weather, they couldn’t see the ground, so they had no way of knowing that the jetstream was dramatically slowing them down. It meant that although the crew’s calculations showed they had crossed the Andes, in fact the jetstream’s powerful wind meant they were still on the wrong side of the mountains. So when Stardust began it’s descent, rather than being above Santiago airport, it was on a collision course with Mount Tupangato.

The jetstream finally explained the reason for the massive navigation error, and therefore the crash. But the investigators were unable to explain one final mystery, the last radio message - Stendec - sent by Stardust just before the crash. Many explanations have been advanced, but to this day none has convincingly explained what the message meant.

Many people wrote pointing out that STENDEC is an anagram of descent. Variations suggested that the crew might have been suffering from hypoxia (lack of oxygen) as the Lancastrian was unpressurised and the plane was flying at 24000 feet, which would have led the radio operator to scramble the message. Other explanations for the appearance of an anagram in an otherwise routine message included a dyxlexic radio operator and/or receiver in Santiago, and playfulness on behalf of Stardust’s radio operator.

Whilst it’s true that the Lancastrian was unpressurised, the crew were all supplied with oxygen. A faulty oxygen system can’t be ruled out, but seems unlikely. Furthermore, whilst it is relatively easy to imagine STENDEC being scrambled into descent in English, it is much harder in Morse code.
-.. / . / ... / -.-. / . / -. / - (Descent)
... / - / . / -. / -.. / . / -.-. (STENDEC)

And even less likely that the same morse dyslexia would be repeated three times.


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Masuda No Iwafune The Mysterious Rock Ship of Masuda

Written By Tripzibit on Oct 24, 2014 | 06:17

In several parts of the Asuka region of Japan there are unusual carved granite stones and the largest of which is known as Masuda no iwafune (The Rock Ship of Masuda). This large granite stone has 2 openings on its top surface. Theories that it is Masuda Pond Monument's pedestal, or it was a tool for astronomical observation, or it was an Imperial Mausoleum's stone cellar exist, but there is no positive evidence for its actual use. This mysterious carved stone is located on top of a hill just a few hundred meters west of Okadera Station. How or why this colossal stone and others was carved remains a mystery. Apparently, they appear to be a different style than later Buddhist sculptures. 

This large stone structure approximately 11 meters in length, 8 meters in width, and 4.7 meters In height. The upper surface is flat, with a shallow trough and two square holes. 

The Rock Ship of Masuda

Interestingly, the Masuda Stone Ship has some similarities with Ishi-no-Hōden (huge rock with a concave band) in Hyōgo prefecture and Kengoshi-zuka Kofun tumulus (2 chambers in 1 rock) just 500m away and some have suggested that Musada-no-iwafone may be a failed attempt at a Kofun entrance boulder, but this explanation doesn’t sit well with many researchers, mainly because it’s so massive.


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Mystery of the Shugborough Inscription

Written By Tripzibit on Oct 23, 2014 | 02:07

The eight-letter Shugborough Inscription on the Shepherd's Monument in Staffordshire has baffled historians for 250 years and is considered one of the world's top uncracked text carvings. Its mysterious etchings were thought by some to contain clues as to the location of the Holy Grail. The inscription became widely known after being mentioned in the book entitled "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail" written by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln which published in 1982. Charles Darwin and Charles Dickens are both attempted to crack the Shugborough Hall code and failed.

The inscription is D  O.U.O.S.V.A.V.V.  M - carved below a mirror image of Nicolas Poussin's painting, the Shepherds of Arcadia, on the 18th-century Shepherd's Monument of Shugborough Hall in Staffordshire, England.
The mysterious Shugborough Inscription
History buff A J Morton says he cracked the code in a matter of weeks, something he attributes to his experience of researching gravestones and monuments around the world. Morton's solution allocates each of the letters - O.U.O.S.V.A.V.V & D.M. - on the monument to people and places associated with the Shugborough estate. And he admits that his findings will not be popular. 'People are rightly suspicious at first,' he explains. 'There have been hundreds of attempted explanations, none of which have turned out to be terribly convincing.'

'It is very likely that Mary Venables-Vernon of Sudbury Hall, the Baron Vernon of Derbyshire, the Honourable Edward Vernon-Harcourt and the 1st Viscount Anson of Orgreave and Shugborough were involved in the creation of the original "Shugborough Code",' he says.

'The Code has brought a lot of attention to Shugborough Hall over the years because people believed it to hold the key to the location of the Holy Grail.

The Holy Grail theory originated from the conviction that the Anson family who lived at Shugborough were in the Priory of Sion, the secret society suspected as the successors to the Knights Templar and the guardians of the relics recovered from the Holy Grail, including the cup used by Christ at the Last Supper.

Other theories came from Bletchley Park. At Bletchley, experts has short listed two theories as follows:

The first theory, according to the Veteran World War II cryptanalyst Sheila Lawn, she believes it's an ancient love note, and the code is an ancient Latin phrase. She says “I'm a romantic at heart so maybe the Holy Grail Cup is just a cup of love.”

Her husband Oliver prefers a more mystical solution connected to the Knights Templar, keepers of the Holy Grail.

Second theory came from an unnamed professional code breaker. He came up with a Knight's Templar message: Jesus H Defy.

The “H” is believed to stand for the Greek letter “Chi” meaning Christ and is thought to relate to Templar belief that Jesus was an earthly body rather than celestial.

Until now, several other theories has been proposed to crack the code included suggestions a Biblical verse from Ecclesiastes, and a memorial.


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