Skunk Ape

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Floridians began coming forward to make their encounters with their “Skunk Ape” known. Florida police received a torrent of reports claiming a similar creature was living in the state’s swamplands. Many witnesses described the beast as like an ape standing upright, seven feet tall and covered in light brown hair. In all it sounded like a Bigfoot clone, but there was one unique aspect to the Florida monster – it smelled like a strong mixture of rotten eggs, manure and an elephant’s cage. As with Bigfoot in the Northwestern United States and Sasquatch in Canada, legends of an apelike monster that haunts the more remote areas of Florida have been in circulation since the early days of that state’s history. And as with the legends of the hairy giants of the North, members of Native American tribes insisted the centuries-old tales were true. On December 5, 1966, Orlando Sentinel staff writer Elvis Lane wrote about two hunters who claimed to have wounded the monster.

Although it left a trail of blood, the creature—at that time dubbed the “Florida Sandman,” in contrast to the “Abominable Snowman”—seemed relatively unscathed by their volley, and the two men fled in the opposite direction. In another report, Lane described how the son of a ranch hand had gone to investigate the sounds of someone opening their garage and had surprised the hairy giant raising the door. When the young man shouted his alarm, the monster threw a heavy tire at him. One witness said it had the scent of a skunk that had just been rolling around inside a dustbin lorry. It was given the name the ‘Skunk Ape’. After the initial flurry of sightings, the Skunk Ape phenomenon waned. Some pictures, footprint casts and hair samples were collected, but appearances of the Skunk Ape came to an abrupt halt. There were suggestions it had been caught by the US Army and imprisoned at the Everglades National Park. Area residents also complained about the Sandman or Skunk Ape peeping in their windows at night. Others said that they had had garbage cans upset by a huge creature that retreated into the night when they clicked on yardlights.

Skunk Ape Sightings

The more observant eyewitnesses described the nocturnal marauder as standing between six and seven feet tall and weighing somewhere between 300 and 400 pounds. Nearly every witness mentioned the terrible stench that accompanied the giant intruder. According to some of its pursuers, the creature lives in muddy and abandoned alligator caves deep in the steamy Everglades swamp. The alligators leave the rotting remains of their kills behind to putrefy in the heat of their hideaways, and the Skunk Apes absorb the stench into their hair, thus accounting for their awful smell. Although the Skunk Ape is said to be primarily a vegetarian and often steals produce from area gardens, Everglades hunters claim to have seen the giant kill a deer and split open its belly to get at the liver and entrails. In 1980, large footprints, complete with the impression of toes, were found in the Ocala National Forest.

The sheriff’s department estimated that the unknown creature that had made the prints was about 10 feet tall and weighed around 1,000 pounds. On Monday evening, July 21, 1997, Vince Doerr, chief of the Ochopee Fire Central District, told the Miami Herald that he had seen “a brown-looking tall thing” run across the road ahead of him. He was certain that the thing was not a bear. Ochopee borders the Everglades, and a few days after Doerr’s sighting, a group of six British tourists and their guide, Dan Rowland, saw a Skunk Ape on Turner River Road, just north of the town.

According to Rowland’s statement in the Miami Herald (July 28, 1997), the unknown apelike creature was between six and seven feet tall, “flat-faced, broad-shouldered, covered with long brown hair or fur and reeking of skunk.” The seven witnesses observed the Skunk Ape “in a slough covered with bald cypress trees.” Rowland added that “…it loped along like a big monkey or gorilla, then it disappeared into the woods.” In February 2001, the Sarasota Sheriff’s Department received an anonymous letter containing some photographs of an apelike creature that had been taken by a woman who feared that an orangutan was running loose in the area of Myakka State Park and might harm members of her family. Cryptozoologist Loren Coleman, who examined the pictures along with animal welfare specialist David Barkasy, said that they appeared to be good graphic evidence for the unknown anthropoid known as the Florida Skunk Ape. According to Coleman, “The photographs clearly show a large, upright dark orangutan-like animal among the palmettos, showing eye-shine and typical anthropoid behavior of fright due to the woman’s flash camera.”

This urban myth said that the creature escaped by smashing through a concrete wall and returned to his swampland home. Some Skunk Ape watchers believe he has taken up residence at the Big Cypress National Preserve, but none of the 70 rangers who patrol the area have ever seen him. In the last few years however, new sightings have appeared in Ochapee, Florida. A group of tourists who were being shown round the Everglades saw a large ape-like creature moving around the edge of a nearby swamp. Later it was seen crossing the road outside the house of a local fire chief. The man found his camera and photographed the beast as it retreated into the swampland. The photo does show a large brown, hirsute monster, but even the man who took the photograph says he thinks the creature could well be a man in an ape-suit. With confidence like that from first-hand witnesses, what hope is there that the Skunk Ape really exists?

(Taken from many sources)
15:40 | 3 komentar

Black Helicopter

On May 7, 1994, a black helicopter pursued a teenage boy for forty-five minutes in Harrahan, Louisiana. Its exterior gave nothing away, bearing no mark of its origin or owners. The boy was terrified not as much by the sinister nature of the vehicle itself, but by the threatening stance of its occupants who had descended from the aircraft and pointed weapons at him. The boy has no idea to this day why the helicopter should have targeted him. The police chief was not forthcoming and intimated that the helicopters belonged to the American government, that in fact the matter was completely out of his hands. A week later, people traveling in a car near Washington were given similar treatment. They too were chased, the helicopter following the car for several miles. They were completely unable to help themselves at all; when the driver tried to escape from the road, a rope ladder was let down and men in black uniforms and carrying weapons started to climb out. There was no option but to do as the men in the aircraft wanted.

The driver counts himself lucky that the volume of traffic forced the aircraft to retreat in the end, but does not like to think what would have happened to him if the road had been deserted. Then in 1995, a black helicopter flew over a couple’s farm in Nevada. Spraying some unknown substance on the area, it had killed over a dozen of the animals by the next day, and months later, the surrounding vegetation was still clearly damaged. Official authorities denied any knowledge of the helicopter. Mysterious black helicopters seem to be constantly in evidence, pursuing and terrifying completely innocent victims. They often seem to have some link to cattle mutilations and are seen in immediate proximity before, while or after they have taken place. What is most alarming is that the occupants of the helicopters do not even pretend to have peaceable intentions and are quite prepared to use gunfire and other violent means to their advantage, all the time keeping their identity secret. The spraying of both urban and rural settings with unknown chemicals, and the killing of pets, plants and livestock for no apparent reason is more ominous still.

Who knows whether the helicopters could be linked to the mysterious men in black, but people who have dared to photograph the helicopters have allegedly been accosted by men wearing black uniforms. They have then been told to leave the area and have been forbidden to tell anyone what has happened on pain of death. The men have also confiscated the cameras and film. Whether the mysterious helicopters and their occupants are an alien phenomenon or whether they are in fact from hostile government departments we cannot know. But it seems certain that they do not come in peace and that they are not prepared to uphold fundamental democratic principles.

(Source : Conspiracy Thoeries by Kate Tuckett)
15:29 | 3 komentar

Lost Library of Ivan The Great

Many famous ancient libraries that contain rare books, maps and other documents were destroyed. The library at Alexandria once held 500,000 volumes before it was destroyed by Julius Caesar, and the library at Carthage with 200,000 volumes met the same fate after war with Rome. The Chinese Emperor Shi-Hwang-ti had all his kingdom’s books burned in 214 B.C., and Mao revived this tradition in 1966. From ancient Pergamus to modern Germany, books and libraries have regularly come under attack. One of the greatest libraries, however, was saved at the last minute from destruction, only to be lost. In the middle of the fifteenth century the Ottoman Empire was spreading west, conquering everything in its path. It was only a matter of time before Constantinople itself would be invaded by the Asian hordes. Constantinople was nearly two thousand years old when the Turks threatened it. Founded by a Greek, Byzas, in 667 B.C., the city had survived an earlier catastrophe in 1204 when the Christian crusaders decided on looting the city as a dress rehearsal for conquering Jerusalem. The lesson, having been learned the hard way, was not forgotten.


Sultan Mahomet II

The greatest treasures of the city were to be protected at all costs. Sultan Mahomet II with an army of one hundred and fifty thousand men was on his way. Constantine XI had a force only one tenth of his enemy and this included his Genoese mercenaries. Defeat was just a matter of time. The niece of the emperor, Sophia Palaeologa, was hastily married to the young Ivan III who would soon become the ruler of Russia. Her entourage left the city and made it to Moscow via Rome. Her baggage included the treasures of the Byzantine and also the treasures of Constantinople’s library. This was no ordinary library, and it may have been the greatest library outside the Vatican at that time. Chronicles preserved in Moscow state one hundred carts of rare books traveled overland. Books from Asia, Africa and Europe written in Hebrew, Arabic, Greek, Latin and Egyptian were part of the library. Early editions of Pindar, Polybius, Tacitus and Cicero were also part of the library, as were the poems of Kalvos, the works of Virgil and the “Lives of the Twelve Caesars” by Suetonius. Many were written by hand and were considered one-of-a-kind. Seven hundred books were editions bound for the emperors themselves and encrusted in jewels.

The value of the library was then and now incalculable. Sophia (also known as Zoe) and her treasures made it to the safety of Moscow and her new husband via Rome. She also collected a handful of Italian artists and architects who would participate in the modernization of the Kremlin. One hope, that of uniting the Orthodox Church of Constantinople, the last vestige of the Roman Empire, with the Orthodox church of Russia was never achieved. There would be no theological union, and it would quickly be known there was no hope of a military union. And the fate of Constantinople was sealed. The troops of the Ottoman sultan would overwhelm the city’s walls with cannon and sheer numbers. The Ottoman navy surrounded the port. When chains were put across the harbor, Mahomet had his ships put on rollers, pulled overland and re-launched at a point past the blockade. When the ships reached the inner harbor, cannons brought down the walls, and the massive military contingent entered the city on May 29, 1453.


Seal of Ivan The Great

The culmination of a seven-week siege had the Ottoman leader hailed as Fatih (the Conqueror) as he rode on horseback into the Hagia Sophia, the greatest Church in the World. Massacre and pillage followed as Constantinople was “converted” into Istanbul, the capital of the Turkish Empire. The greatest church, one hundred and eighty feet tall, became a mosque and others were quickly constructed. The Eastern Roman Empire was no more. Moscow now became the head of the Orthodox Christian Church. A Russian Orthodox monk, Philotheos, declared Moscow “the Third Rome.” A New Home for Constantinople’s Treasures One of Ivan III’s most lasting achievements was to begin the building of the Kremlin into what it is today. In his time it was a three-hundred-year-old encampment built of wood. Standing tall it had turned back numerous assaults and the old-Russian word for “citadel,” kreml, served as the base of the modern word, kremlin. He took the 130-acre fortress and replaced wood with brick and stone. Much of the brick work that has survived until modern times is the original.

The reason for the upgrade from oak to stone was that Sophia requested of her husband that the books she had brought from Constantinople be safe from the fires that regularly plagued the fortress. Cathedrals of wood and barracks and homes would burn from normal affairs to Tartar attacks, and the library needed to be safe from that threat. Another threat, voiced by her uncle, was that he believed the library was coveted by Rome and the Vatican. They had offered to buy the complete collection, and the emperor had turned the offer down. Would Rome use force? For this reason Moscow was chosen. Ivan went a step further and built the vaults of the “Liberia” as the library came to be known, underground. The Italian architect Ridolfo (Aristotle) di Fioravanti had the job of constructing the vault deep under the Kremlin. There were once believed to be three hundred underground tributaries of the Muscovy River.

The architect would close off such waterways, then line the walls with brick. No one knows just how many rooms and tunnels exist in the labyrinth under the Kremlin. Meet the New Boss When Ivan III, (aka Ivan the Great) died, the rule of Russia passed to Ivan IV who is known to history as the Terrible. The word terrible actually once meant “awesome,” but Ivan was a terrible person even though his ability to rule was “awesome.” He detested the aristocracy of Russia called the boyars. For them he extended his underground city further. The labyrinth under the Kremlin now included prisons and torture chambers designed to break the power of these elite families. At first he targeted specific families that had “neglected” him. However, his cruelty went beyond the practical, and evil, growth of power. He even threw cats and dogs out of Kremlin windows. His secret police, the Oprichniks, grew more violent as their “Czar” became more unbalanced. Ivan was the first to take that title which is derived from Caesar. After stripping the boyars of their wealth he took to attacking his own population.

The Massacre of Novgorad saw over thirty thousand Russians killed and the city nearly depopulated. He beat his daughter-in-law until she miscarried and then killed his son who had tried to stop him. Ivan’s reign of terror did not end until his death. In his last three years he had suffered from a horrific disease that bloated his features and caused him to emit ghastly odors. Most likely it was the result of poisoning, and the last person to see him alive was his adversary in chess, Boris Godenov, who was suspected of finishing him off with more poison. While Ivan was losing his mind and finally his life, Russia was losing the knowledge of the library’s location. More important issues allowed the library to be nearly forgotten. Moscow itself would fall from importance when Peter the great czar and emperor modernized his country. Peter might have moved the library, if he found it, but despite a massive search the maze under the Kremlin defied even the Romanov emperor.

Joseph Stalin

The search for the lost library fast forward past the days of the czars to the time of the dictators and the library was still missing. Joseph Stalin wished to create one of the world’s greatest subway systems. The massive tunneling which is today evident in the endless escalators that seem to descend to the earth’s core was done with care in the hopes that one of the secret rooms of the library would be uncovered. Over one hundred subway stations, many decorated with artworks, are connected by miles of track stretching throughout the city. But none penetrated the “Liberia” of Ivan III as the library became known. Even a secret subway designed to protect the rulers and generals never uncovered the treasures of the Byzantines. As Moscow improved its infrastructure, numerous underground levels were built. While no one knows for sure, in some places it is believed there are as many as twelve. Subways, water tunnels, a sewage system, and the passageways that are long forgotten have never been mapped.

Nikita Khruschev

Nikita Khruschev, in the 1960s brought about even more development under the Kremlin. He further extended the subway system and may have merged the secret subway with the public metro, although not all of it. The Arbatskaya station is just under the ministry of Defense and secret doors are always under active guard. While many stations are beautifully designed and appointed with artwork, no photographs are allowed. Tourists are warned that even if they think they can sneak a photo or two, they will not get away unseen. Khruschev, too, wished to uncover the famed library. He instructed the project managers to take all steps necessary to locate and preserve with care the library of Ivan. But despite his instructions, all the dictator’s men could not uncover what the czar’s men covered. In the 1990s the mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov renewed the hunt for the library. One of the hopes of the search was possibly to open the underground for tourism.

Visitors to the Kremlin are often rudely awakened to the city’s endless ability to charge admission to just about every building of interest. So the lost underground might prove another rich revenue source. Unfortunately for the mayor, the only new discovery was a tunnel filled with skeletons—the victims of Ivan IV’s secret police. Underground tourism so far has been confined to the underground shopping malls that contain Moscow’s most posh shops. Modern media in Russia is still emerging from the twentieth century during which any form of dissent or exposé could earn a one-way ticket to Siberia.

Stories of the secret subway have made their way into the tabloids and it is claimed that thousands are employed in both the secret transportation system and a secret city to which it connects six miles away. While the tabloid media is seldom reliable, a portion of the subway that connects the Kremlin to Moscow’s airport is no longer a secret. It is, however, open only to government officials. The people cynically regard this secret subway as “Metro 2,” although officials of the FSB (the successor to the KGB) are not amused. Journalists who have openly mentioned it have been subject to interrogation. Moscow’s Diggers Modern urban explorers, though, are braving the threat of government and are illegally transversing their city underground. They call themselves the “Diggers” and despite the military actively patrolling some of the complex tunnel system, they bravely risk arrest and subsequent consequences. Sewers, subway stations, and even the newly constructed underground shopping malls provide access to the subterranean world of catacombs, tunnels, bomb shelters and secret vaults. While the city has granted access to the tunnels to a handful of tour operators, the military is equally concerned with a terrorist group penetrating beneath the Kremlin.

In 1988 near the Spasskiye Gate of the Kremlin a construction project found a treasure hoard dating from the late Viking period. The works of both Scandinavian and Russian jewelers included items never found before in Russia, and most likely hidden during the Mongol invasions were part of the discovery. Must the world wait for another construction incident for the library to someday be unearthed? The founder of the Moscow Diggers, Vadim Mikhailov told the Ottawa Citizen that he firmly believes that the treasure will someday be found. He claims to have more information than anyone alive. His greatest source is a ninety-year-old nearlyblind man nicknamed Appolos who claims to have found it. His poor treatment at the hands of the government is his reason for depriving the government of the location of this literary treasure. Vadim and his group have broken through an underground brick wall directly into the Kremlin’s Palace basement, now moldy from the flowing waters.

They have found skulls, weapons, deserted passageways and dry water courses. They have even found radioactive material lying beneath the Moscow State University and alerted the government. They have also been threatened on occasion by the darker side of modern Russia: Gypsies, drug addicts, alcoholics, homeless families and ex-convicts. On one occasion the group aided police in recapturing three escaped murderers. On another they instructed Moscow’s elite Alpha unit on how to navigate the sewage tunnels to end a hostage crisis in the Dubrovka Theatre. Will Vadim and the Diggers someday uncover the secret vault of Ivan’s library, or will a future construction project uncover the priceless collection? Until now the Ivan's library remain secretly hidden.

Sources & Pic Sources:
Atlantis Rising Magazine: "The Lost Library of Ivan The Great" by Steven Sora
18:42 | 1 komentar

Hy Brasil The Mysterious Phantom Island

Hy Brasil the legendary sanctuary of the Irish gods, the Tuatha De Dannan (also known as Brasil, Brazil, Hi Brasil, Hy-Breasail, Hy Brazil, and Isle of Brazil) is another far-off island, this one circular, placed by knowing geographers in various parts of the Atlantic—sometimes attached to the Azores group in the North Atlantic, west of Portugal, where it was known as the Isle de Brazi (shown as such in the Venetian map of Andrea Bianco in 1436), at other times located hundreds of miles due west of Ireland. The word Brasil or Brazil is from the Portuguese braza, brassa, meaning heat, coals (the source of brazier, a pan for charcoal); this in turn refers to the red dye obtained from brazilwood (earlier Medieval Latin, brasilium), the wood brought from the East for making red dye.

Hy Brasil was the brainchild of Pliny the Elder (A.D. 23–79), Roman naturalist, encyclopedist, and writer. After their defeat by the Milesians, the Tuatha De Dannan left for this island utopia, widely believed to be off the west of Ireland. However, this was more than just local folklore. It was said to be a paradise, and explorers searched assiduously for it; so convinced were early geographers of its existence that the island was included in maps and charts for nearly two thousand years. J. Purdy’s chart of 1830 confidently advises the mariner that “Brazil Rock” can be found at 51°10' N and 15°50' W, and it appears on A. G. Findlay’s maritime chart of currents of 1853; in 1865, however, Findlay had rejected the notion of Brazil Island as well as some other legendary islands.

Hy Brasil Map

When the Portuguese navigator Pedro Alvares Cabral (about 1467–1520) discovered a large “island” in the southwest Atlantic on April 22 in the year 1500, he named it Tierra da Vera Cruz but this was later changed to Brasil, no doubt because cartographers thought that he had discovered the elusive island of that name (and, in any event, “Brazil” had long become familiar as a geographical place-name).

In 1636 Captain Rich and his crew spotted the island off the west coast of Ireland; they saw a harbour and headlands before it disappeared in the mist.

In 1644, Boullaye Le Gouz got as close as one mile from the island but he recorded seeing only trees and cattle there. However, some claimed to have seen the island at closer quarters, encountering more than just livestock.

In 1668 Morough Ley claimed to have been kidnapped and held on the island. He was returned, 2 days later, to Seapoint, County Galway, with a medical text given to him by his captors. He was instructed that the book, written in both Latin and Irish, was not to be opened for 7 years. Ley complied: at the end of this period he opened the book and received the gift of healing and practiced surgery without having trained in medicine. For m
any he was nothing more than a charlatan with a good story but the book, known as The Book of Hy Brasil, is still held by the library of the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin.

In 1674 a Scottish sea captain named Nisbet claimed that he had landed on Hy Brasil; it was, he said, inhabited by gigantic black rabbits and a magician in a castle; unfortunately for both science and maritime history, he was unable to produce any evidence of what he had seen.

Source :
Paranormal Magazine Issue 53, November 2010: “The Vanising Islands” written by Shane Cochrane;
Seafaring, Lore and Legends by Peter D. Jeans
19:26 | 5 komentar

Ogopogo

Between August 2000 and September 2001 three companies from around Lake Okanegan promised $2 million to anyone who could find definitive, living proof that the fabled Ogopogo monster did exist. The crime the creature committed is hard to say, although there are stories of it seizing and murdering helpless native people out on the lake. It cannot be denied that the Ogopogo is a serial offender at causing civil unrest. Lake Okanagan is in British Columbia, Canada. It is around 100 miles long and has areas almost 1000 feet deep. The native Salish tribe believed in a terrible serpent, which they called ‘N’ha-a-tik’, the ‘Lake Demon’. They said the beast had a cave dwelling near the middle of the lake, and they would often make sacrifices to please the monster. European settlers initially scoffed at the legends, but over the years the Ogopogo has established itself in the minds of many who live nearby.

From the mid 1800s white immigrants started seeing strange phenomena in the lake. One of the first stories told of a man crossing the lake with his two tethered horses swimming behind. Some strange force pulled the animals under, and the man only saved himself by cutting the horses loose. Witnesses say the creature is anything up to 50 feet long, with green skin, several humps and a huge horse-like head. Some people have managed to closely view it as it ate water vegetation; they said the Ogopogo also had small feet or fins.

Ogopogo Sightings

Susan Allison watched a 60-foot animal swimming against the wind off the western shore during a storm in 1872.

Lydia Hodgson, of Okanagan Landing, got a good view of Ogopogo on July 21, 1923, as she was riding a horse along the shore. It looked like an “upturned boat” at first, but as she got closer, she was able to see three humps and a head. The animal moved its head from side to side and moved its eyes. When Hodgson called to her son, Ogopogo immediately submerged and swam under water toward the center of the lake.

John L. Logie, his wife, and his driver, P. J. Dodwell, saw a 20-foot animal on July 19, 1926, as they were driving along the lake north of Peachland. It raced alongside their car, producing a foot-high swell.

Ogopogo made an appearance between Gellatly Point and Westbank during a baptism on November 18, 1926, where fifty or sixty people were gathered on the shore. Witnesses said it had a sheeplike head raised 2 feet above the water and several coils the size of automobile wheels.

On October 6, 1935, Edward Grahame, Jim Ripley, and Charles B. Grahame were fishing near the north end of the lake when they saw Ogopogo rise to the surface some 200 feet from their rowboat. The animal’s undulating humps were about 1 foot above the surface.

On February 26, 1948, bus driver Don Nourse saw four small animals 50 feet from the shore.

On the evening of July 2, 1949, the families of Leslie L. Kerry and W. F. Watson Jr. watched Ogopogo off Kelowna. It was 30 feet long, sinuous, and consisted of five undulations. They saw what appeared to be a forked tail.

Rev. W. S. Beames saw Ogopogo off Naramata on August 12, 1950. A disturbance described as being like a fire hose thrashing about was caused by several humps that submerged and left a large wake.

In mid-July 1974, Barbara Clark was swimming toward a diving platform off the southern shore of the lake when something large and heavy bumped her legs. After jumping on the platform, she was able to watch a serpentine animal moving through the clear water 20 feet away. One coil was 8 feet long and 4 feet above the water. She could also see a flukelike tail, 4–6 feet wide.

John Kirk, his son, and two members of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, Jim and Barbara Clark, were at Peach Orchard Beach on July 30, 1989, when they spotted a 35-foot, humped animal. One large hump was visible through a 40X telescope. On August 1, 1989, John Kirk again saw a 35-foot animal with three to six humps thrashing frenziedly near Green Bay.

On July 24, 1990, Mike Guzzi noticed an image at a depth of 350 feet on his fish-finding sonar near Bear Creek as he was taking Japanese reporter Masayuki Tamaki on an Ogopogo search for Nippon TV. It seemed to consist of a head, tail, and 30-foot-body, with bubbles coming up off the head.

In July 1993, from a hill 6 miles north of Penticton, John Moore watched an animal with a horse’s head protruding about 6 feet from the water and creating a wake. It moved in a straight line for about thirty minutes.

In mid-August 2000, Darryl Ellis, a cancer survivor, was swimming the entire length of the lake to raise funds for cancer research when he saw two Ogopogos pacing and swimming underneath him near Rattlesnake Island. One was at least 20 feet long. When he neared Okanagan Lake Bridge, a large, grayish animal flipped out of the water near him, and he saw an eye the size of a grapefruit.

Some cryptozoologists, individuals who study the possibility of such creatures as sea and lake monsters truly existing, have theorized that plesiosaurs, one of the giant reptiles of the Mesozoic Age, which ended about 70 million years ago, could have survived in the depths of the relatively unchanged environment of Earth’s oceans. Because some sea monster sightings occur in cold waters, other researchers favor the survival of an ancient species of mammals, such as the ancestor of the whale known as Zeuglodon or Basilosaurus. The Basilosaurus had a slim, elongated, snakelike body measuring more than 70 feet in length which the huge creature propelled by means of a single pair of fins at its forward end.

From an analysis of more than 200 reports compiled by Mary Moon, Roy P. Mackal gives this composite description of the Okanagan animals:

"The animals look most like a log, elongated, serpentine, no thickened body centrally, about 12 meters (40 feet) long, although a range of smaller sizes has been reported and a few larger, up to say 20 meters (70 feet). The skin is described as dark green to green-black or brown to black and dark brown. Occasionally the color is given as gray to blue-black or even a golden brown. Most often the skin is smooth with no scales, although part of the body must possess a few plates, scales or similar structures observed by close-up viewers and compared to the lateral scales of sturgeon. Most of the back is smooth, although a portion is saw-toothed, ragged-edged, or serrated. Sparse hair or hair-bristle structures are reported around the head, and in a few cases a mane or comblike structure has been observed at the back of the neck."

Mackal remarks that these characteristics 'fit one and only one known creature,' zeuglodons, and takes note of reports of identical animals off the coast of British Columbia and in other Canadian lakes. He suggests that the Ogopogos are freshwater-adapted versions of animals that originally lived in the oceans and that also exist at Lakes Manitoba (Manipogo),Winnipegosis (Winnipogo), and Dauphin.

British cryptozoologist Dr. Karl Shuker has categorized the Ogopogo as a 'many hump' variety of lake monster, and suggested it may be a kind of primitive serpentine whale such as Basilosaurus. However, because the physical evidence for the beast is limited to unclear photographs and film, it has also been suggested that the sightings are misidentifications of common animals, such as otters, and inanimate objects, such as floating logs.

Another suggestion is that the Ogopogo is a lake sturgeon. It could be the North American cousin of the Loch Ness Monster. Most sightings have come from around the city of Kelowna, near the centre of the lake, and many monster watchers now agree that it seems to live in the area originally indicated in native legend.

Sources & Pic Sources:
100 Strangest Mysteries by Matt Lamy;
Mysterious Creatures: "A Guide to Cryptozoology" by George M. Eberhart;
Unexplained:"Strange Sightings, Incredible Occurences & Puzzling Physical Phenomena" by Jerome Clark
13:30 | 0 komentar

Jack The Ripper

Jack the Ripper is an alias given to an unidentified serial killer active in the largely impoverished Whitechapel area and adjacent districts of London, England, in the autumn of 1888. The name originated in a letter sent to the London Central News Agency by someone claiming to be the murderer. The victims were women allegedly earning income as prostitutes, who were killed in public or semi-public places at night or in the early morning. Each victim's throat was cut, after which her body was mutilated. Theories suggest that the victims first were strangled, in order to silence them, which may explain the reported lack of blood at the crime scenes. The removal of internal organs from three of the victims led some officials at the time of the murders to propose that the killer possessed anatomical or surgical knowledge.

Newspapers, whose circulation had been growing during this era, bestowed widespread and enduring notoriety on the killer because of the attacks' savagery and the police's failure to capture the murderer (they sometimes missed him at the crime scenes by mere minutes). Because the killer's identity has never been confirmed, the legends surrounding the murders have become a combination of genuine historical research, folklore, and pseudohistory. Many authors, historians, and amateur detectives have proposed theories about the identity of the killer and his victims.

In 1888, the world's most famous serial killer stalked the dark, grimy streets of London’s East End. ‘Jack the Ripper’ was the original celebrity mass-murderer, and set a trend for homicidal maniacs which seems to grow with each year. The fear surrounding the recent Washington sniper incidents, for example, has many similarities with the terror created by this forefather of deathdealing criminals. In these types of cases, the impact of the crime is heightened by the mystery surrounding the actual killer’s identity. Unlike many of his modern age copyists, Jack the Ripper was not caught or even named, and to this day it has never been conclusively proven who he really was. London’s Whitechapel district was known as one of the poorest areas of the city, and at the time, was home to over a thousand prostitutes. It was also the area which would become the focus of the Ripper’s attacks.

His reign of terror officially began in the opening hours of 31st August 1888, when a market porter spotted a woman lying in a doorway on Buck’s Row in Whitechapel. Rather than approach the woman, the porter went to find the beat policeman. When he arrived, he found the woman’s throat had been deeply cut and a medical examination later revealed her body had been mutilated. Her identity was also discovered: she was Mary Ann Nichols, known as Polly, a 42-year-old prostitute. Barely a week later, at 6am on 8th September, the body of another woman was found in Hanbury Street, near Buck’s Row. She was Annie Chapman, a 45-year-old prostitute whose head had been almost entirely severed from her neck; she had also been disembowelled. Fear was beginning to spread throughout the community. For the first time in history, the people had a literate public and a scrutinising press, who were putting the police under a new sort of pressure.

Not only were the police there to protect the people of London, they also had to cope with the novel stress of proving their own competence. Just as in modern mass murder cases, the effect of supposition, myths and rumours in newspaper coverage led to a great deal of anxiety. By the time the Ripper struck again, the Whitechapel area was interested in only one thing. The Ripper did not disappoint. In the dark early hours of 30th September a costume jewellery salesman arrived home in Berners Street, where he discovered the body of Elizabeth Stride, a prostitute who had had her throat slit. As police rushed to the scene and searched the nearby streets, the Ripper made off to Mitre Square, in the City of London, and killed Catharine Eddowes. Although the earlier victim had not been mutilated, many believe the Ripper had been interrupted during this procedure. Eddowes’ remains were not so well preserved and she was found disembowelled. This night become known as the ‘double event’, and was the focus of many letters sent into the police.

Although most came from members of the public offering advice, some purported to come from the Ripper himself and were given more credence than others. One dated 28th September goaded and teased the police, and was the origin of the name Jack the Ripper, which was how the sender signed off. The second was a postcard dated 1st October and referred to the ‘double event’ of the night before. The third letter was posted a fortnight later and even included a section of a kidney allegedly removed from Catharine Eddowes. Although the police, as in modern times, had to suspect that these correspondences came from a crank or a hoaxer, the kidney included in the third letter was shrivelled and diseased. An interesting fact is that not only was Eddowes an alcoholic, she also suffered from Bright’s disease, and this organ displayed all the signs of being from such an afflicted body.

The police believed they had discovered a pattern to the killings the first occurred on 31st August, the second on 8th September, the third and fourth on 30th September. They believed the next would happen on the 8th of October, but in fact the Ripper did not strike for the whole of that month. His final official murder actually occurred on 9th November in Miller’s Court, a building close to where the other killings had taken place. Another prostitute, 24-year-old Mary Jane Kelly was found by her landlord with her body utterly mutilated. This time, the murder had taken place inside, and the killer had had all night to dissect the corpse. Although these five murders are all assigned to the Ripper, there is the possibility he may have killed two or three more woman in London around that time.

However, the police were at a loss to find the real name of the man behind the crimes and employed a policy of information suppression to try to reassure the public. Despite this, Londoners were fully aware that police work was proving fruitless at obtaining a clear picture of the Ripper’s identity. But some of those in the force did have their own theories, and many police doctors who examined the victims’ bodies suggested the Ripper was likely to be someone with medical training. In 1894 the Chief Constable of the Metropolitan Police Force, Sir Melville Macnaghten, wrote a report which named Montague John Druitt, a barrister who committed suicide shortly after the Kelly murder, as the most likely suspect. However, at the time Macnaghten believed Druitt to be a trained doctor, which subsequent research proved to be false. Macnaghten also named two more possible Rippers. One was Aaron Kosminski, a Polish Jew who lived in the Whitechapel area and was placed in an insane asylum in March 1889.

Although one of the chief investigating officers, Robert Anderson, had a great belief in Kosminski’s guilt, the Pole’s behavioural records from his time in the asylum contain nothing to suggest he was homicidal. Macnaghten’s final suspect, Michael Ostrog, was a Russian lunatic. Despite being a convicted criminal and possibly having some medical training, his behaviour under studied conditions also did not point to an ability for multiple murders. In recent years, Ripper investigators have considered Dr Francis Tumblety, an American doctor who fled London shortly after the murders. Despite thinking him a possible suspect, the Metropolitan Police at the time decided to rule him out of its enquires. As with many mysteries, the identity of the Ripper has become the domain of conspiracy theorists.

This has led to people from all walks of life – members of the monarchy, royal servants, high-ranking police officers, Russian spies and even crazed evangelists – being accused of holding the Ripper’s identity. However, in the last few of years a study has been conducted by the crime writer Patricia Cornwell. She used $4million of her own money to investigate if there is a link between the Ripper and Walter Sickert, an impressionist painter who may have had connections with Whitechapel around the dates of the murders.

Twenty years after the killings, he created a series of paintings that depicted dead and gruesomely mauled prostitutes. Cornwell has used modern technologies and intense examinations of his work, and is so convinced of Sickert’s guilt that she is staking her reputation on him being the Ripper. Modern Ripper investigators, just like the Victorian London police forces, fail to agree with each other. There were so many unsavoury characters roaming London at the time that almost any suspect could have been linked to the murders in some way. As the years blur the truth, so the plausibility of many different suspects increases, whilst the definitive proof needed to decide on one disappears in the fog of time.

(Taken from many sources)
17:23 | 1 komentar

Hollow Earth

The hypothesis of a Hollow Earth has long been contradicted by overwhelming evidence as well as by the modern understanding of planet formation, and the scientific community now dismisses the notion as pseudoscience. It has recurred as a premise for fantastic adventure fiction. Hollow Earth is a belief that the planet Earth has a hollow interior and, possibly, a habitable inner surface. Edmund Halley (1656–1742) is best known for having calculated the orbit of a comet that passes by Earth every 76 years. The comet known as Halley’s made its first appearance under that name in 1682. During the next decade, Halley turned his attention away from the celestial in favor of the subterranean. He claimed that the Earth was hollow and populated by humans and beasts. Halley’s Hollow Earth idea was developed further during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and sometimes backed by sound scientific reasoning.

None of the claims of Hollow Earth proponents have been substantiated, however. Those still holding to the belief in the twenty-first century are part of a long history of people who believe human life exists beneath the surface of the Earth. Halley’s theory was based on the fact that the earth’s magnetic field varies over time. Halley suggested that there were several magnetic fields, one of which emanated from a sphere within the earth. Halley eventually developed the idea that there were four concentric hollow spheres within the earth. He believed the inner earth was populated with life and had a luminous atmosphere. The aurora borealis, he concluded, was actually an emanation of radiant gases from within the earth that escaped through thin layers of crust at the poles.

During the eighteenth century, Halley’s Hollow Earth theory was adapted by two other famed mathematicians, Leonhard Euler (1707–1783), a Swiss, and John Leslie (1766– 1832), a Scotsman. Euler abandoned Halley’s concentric spheres idea. He postulated that a glowing core some six hundred miles wide warmed and illuminated the inner earth, where an advanced population thrived. Leslie, on the other hand, believed there were two concentric spheres within the earth each with their own sun, which he named Pluto and Proserpine after the Greek god of the underworld and his mate.

Perhaps the most enthusiastic proponent of the Hollow Earth idea was John Cleves Symmes, who was born in 1780 in New Jersey. He was named after an uncle who fought in the American Revolutionary War. Symmes fought in the War of 1812, after which he moved to St. Louis, Missouri, and established a trading post. He immersed himself in reading books in the natural sciences. By 1818 he was publicizing his version of the Hollow Earth, which had concentric spheres and received light and warmth from the sun through large holes in the planet open at each of the poles. Symmes proved relentless in publicizing his views: he was a prolific lecturer and writer of letters and articles; wrote fictional accounts of the Hollow Earth, including Symzonia: Voyage of Discovery (1820), which he published under the pseudonym Adam Seaborn; and advocated expeditions to the poles. His Hollow Earth illuminated by openings at the poles became the most popularly known version, and one that would be tested as humans began struggling to reach the poles. Symmes was able to impress two influential men who would take his cause further.

James McBride, a wealthy Ohio man, wrote articles supporting the concentric spheres version of the Hollow Earth. He lobbied a U.S. senator from Kentucky to support a bill funding a proposed expedition to explore trade routes in the southern hemisphere (where McBride hoped the expedition would continue on to the open pole). The senator he had lobbied, Richard M. Johnson (1790–1850), later became vice president of the United States under Martin Van Buren (1782–1862).

In 1828, President John Quincy Adams (1767–1848) indicated that he would approve funding for the expedition. However, when Adams left office in 1829, his successor, Andrew Jackson (1767–1845), stifled a bill funding the proposed expedition. Symmes died in 1829, but his cause was continued by Jeremiah Reynolds, an Ohio newspaper editor. After the failure to get government funding for the expedition in 1829, Reynolds joined a crew sailing to the south seas to hunts seals, but seven years later in 1836, he helped renew efforts for funding of a Southern Hemisphere expedition. Reynolds spoke before Congress, emphasizing the national glory that would accompany scientific discoveries and expanded foreign relations, but he became so impatient with the methodical planning and a series of delays that he was fired from the crew. What became known as the Wilkes expedition, named after its commander, Charles Wilkes (1798–1877), launched in 1838. When the expedition was completed in 1842, they had effectively mapped a landmass where Symmes had envisioned a large hole in the earth. The world’s seventh continent, Antarctica, was officially recognized for the first time.

The open poles theory promoted by Symmes had been effectively undermined, but the belief in the Hollow Earth would only grow more popular. In 1846, the remains of a woolly mammoth, a creature long extinct, were discovered perfectly preserved in ice in Siberia. So suddenly had it been frozen, that the mammoth had not yet digested pine cones it had recently eaten. It was theorized that the animal had been caught by a climate change, but many questioned that such a change could have happened so quickly and thoroughly. Some people believed the animal had wandered out from the Hollow Earth through a hole at the North Pole. As late as 1913, even after the North Pole had been reached, Marshall Gardner published A Journey to the Earth’s Interior, or Have the Poles Really Been Discovered? which claimed that many creatures thought to be extinct were still thriving within the earth. Gardner theorized that the interior earth was warmed by materials still spinning since earth’s creation.

Based on the law of centrifugal force, Gardner argued that earth was originally a spinning mass of matter. An outer layer of matter had hardened and continued to revolve around a central axis, while an inner layer also hardened and was warmed by heat continually generated by the earth’s spinning. That same year, William Reed published The Phantom of the Poles (1906), in which he promoted the idea that a ship can pass from outer Earth to inner Earth. The effect of gravity pulls a ship against the interior in the same manner as it works on the exterior. He claimed that some sailors had already passed into inner Earth without knowing it. Gravity had pulled them to the interior side, where a 600 mile-long sun continued to keep them warm, as the outer sun had done. In between the woolly mammoth find and those publications of 1913, fascination in the Hollow Earth was exhibited by scientists and science fiction writers.

Jules Verne (1828– 1905) published Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864), in which characters enter the Earth’s interior through the chimney of an inactive volcano in Iceland. In 1873, The Coming Race, a novel by the occultist Edward Bulwer-Lytton (1831–1891), was set in the Earth’s interior, where an advanced civilization of giants thrived. In this story, the giants had built a paradise and discovered a form of energy so powerful that they outlawed its use as a potential weapon. The paradise is threatened, nevertheless; not by weapons, but by a lack of conflict that has resulted in general boredom. One of the more interesting variations on the Hollow Earth theory during the late nineteenth century was expounded by Cyrus Read Teed (1830–1908).

In The Cellular Cosmogony, or The Earth, A Concave Sphere, Teed claimed a civilization inhabited the concave inner surface of Earth. Dense atmosphere prevents viewing across the surface. The Moon, according to Teed, reflects the larger, uninhabitable surface of Earth. Teed made a religion of his discoveries and changed his name to Koresh, the Hebrew equivalent of his given name, Cyrus. As the messiah of Koreshanity, he formed a church, started a magazine, The Flaming Cross, which continued to be published regularly into the 1940s, and founded a community on a 300-acre tract in Florida in 1894. He lived there with about 250 followers until 1908. Upon his death, his followers waited for him to rise again, as he had prophesied. After four days, health officials appeared on the scene and ordered his burial.

Hollow Earth theories continued to be promoted by enthusiasts even as explorers reached the North and South Poles during the first decade of the twentieth century. The open poles theory was further undermined when aviator Richard E. Byrd (1888–1957) became the first to fly over the North Pole. In February 1947, about the time when Admiral Byrd made his great discovery of land beyond the North Pole, another remarkable discovery was made in the continent of Antarctica, the discovery of "Bunger's Oasis."

This discovery was made by Lt. Commander David Bunger who was at the controls of one of six large transport planes used by Admiral Byrd for the U. S. Navy's `Operation Highjump' (1946-1947). Bunger was flying inland from the Shackleton Ice Shelf near Queen Mary Coast of Wilkes Land. He and his crew were about four miles from the coastline where open water lies. The land Bunger discovered was ice-free. The lakes were of many different colors, ranging from rusty red, green to deep blue. Each of the lakes was more than three miles long. The water was warmer than the ocean, as Bunger found by landing his seaplane on one of the lakes. Each lake had a gently sloping beach. Around the four edges of the oasis, which was roughly square in shape, Bunger saw endless and eternal white snow and ice. Two sides of the oasis rose nearly a hundred feet high, and consisted of great ice walls. The other two sides had a more gradual and gentle slope.

The existence of such an oasis in the far Antarctic, a land of perpetual ice, would indicate warmer conditions there, which would exist if the oasis was in the south polar opening, leading to the warmer interior of the earth, as was the case with the warmer territory, with land and lakes, that Admiral Byrd discovered beyond the North Pole, which was probably within the north polar opening. Otherwise one cannot explain the existence of such an oasis of unfrozen territory in the midst of the continent of Antarctica with ice miles thick. The oasis could not result from volcanic activity below the Earth's surface, for, since the land area of the oasis covered three hundred square miles, it was too big to be affected by volcanic heat supply. Warm wind currents from the Earth's interior are a better explanation. Thus Byrd in the Arctic and Bunger in the Antarctic both made similar discoveries of warmer land areas beyond the Poles at about the same time, early in 1947. But they were not the only ones to make such a discovery.

Some time ago a newspaper in Toronto, Canada, "The Globe and Mail," published a photo of a green valley taken by an aviator in the Arctic region. Evidently the aviator took the picture from the air and did not attempt to land. It was a beautiful valley and contained rolling green hills. The aviator must have gone beyond the North Pole into the same warmer territory that Admiral Byrd visited, which lies inside the polar opening. This picture was published in 1960. An American writer on flying saucers, Michael X, was impressed by Byrd's discoveries, and came to the conclusion that flying saucers must come from an advanced civilization in the Earth's interior, whose outer fringes Byrd visited. He describes Byrd's trip as follows:
"There was a strange valley below them. For some strange reason the valley Byrd saw was not ice-covered, as it should have been. It was green and luxuriant. There were mountains with thick forests of trees on them, and there was lush grass and underbrush. Most amazingly, a huge animal was observed moving through the underbrush. In a land of ice, snow and almost perpetual `deep freeze,' this was a stupendous mystery."

When Admiral Byrd went into this unknown country, into `the center of the great unknown,' where was he? In the light of the theory of Marshall Gardner, he was at the very doorway that leads to the earth's interior and which lies beyond the Pole.

"Both Alaska and Canada have had much more of their share of sightings of flying saucers in recent months. Why? Is there some connection with the `land beyond the Pole' - that unknown territory inside the earth? "There must be a connection.

If the flying saucers enter and leave the earth's interior by way of the polar openings, it is natural that they would be seen by Alaskans and Canadians much more frequently than they would be by people in other parts of the world. Alaska is close to the North Pole and so is Canada."

The theory that flying saucers came from the Earth's interior and not from other planets originated in Brazil and only later was it taken up by American flying saucer experts. In 1957, while browsing in a Sao Paulo, Brazil, bookstore, the author came across a book that struck his attention, entitled, "From the Subterranean World to the Sky: Flying Saucers". The book was devoted to the thesis that flying saucers were not space ships from other planets but were of terrestrial origin and came from a subterranean race dwelling inside the earth. At first, the author could not accept this strange, unorthodox theory concerning the origin of the flying saucers, which seemed improbable and impossible, since it would require the existence of a cavity of tremendous size inside the earth in which they could fly, in view of their tremendous speed. In fact, this cavity would have to be so large that it would make the earth a hollow sphere.

At this time the author had not come across the remarkable books of two American scientists, William Reed and Marshall B. Gardner, proving, on basis of evidence from Arctic explorers, that the earth is hollow with openings at the Poles, with a diameter of 5,800 miles in its hollow interior, large enough for flying saucers to fly in. Huguenin's theory of the subterranean origin of the flying saucers, however, was not original.

The idea was first put forward by Professor Henruique Jose de Souza, president of the Brazilian Theosophical Society, which has its headquarters in Sao Lourenco in the State of Minas Gerais, where there is an immense temple in Greek style dedicated to "Agharta," the Buddhist name for the Subterranean World. Among the professor's students at Sao Lourenco were Mr. Huguenin and Commander Paulo Justino Strauss, officer of the Brazilian Navy and member of the Diretoria of the Brazilian Theosophical Society, From him they learned about the Subterranean World, and also the idea that flying saucers come from the Earth's interior. It was for this reason that Mr. Huguenin dedicated his book to Prof. de Souza and his wife, D. Helena Jefferson de Souza.

While Huguenin incorporated the idea of the subterranean origin of the flying saucers in a book, Commander Strauss presented it in a series of lectures which he held in Rio de Janeiro, in which he affirmed that the flying saucers are of terrestrial origin, but do not come from any known nation on the earth's surface. They originate, he believes, in the Subterranean World, the World of Agharta, whose capital city is known as Shamballah. One of the most puzzling facts of Arctic exploration is that while the area is oceanic, covered with water, which is variously frozen over or partially open, depending on the time of the year, many explorers remarked, however, paradoxically, that the open water exists in greater measure at the points nearest to the Pole, while further south there is more ice.

In fact, some explorers found it very hot going at times, and were forced to shed their Arctic clothing. There is even one record of an encounter with naked Eskimos. In fact, the origin of the Eskimo race is believed to be in the extreme north, from where they migrated southward to their present habitat. Their original more northern home was probably warmer than their present more southern one.

This is following conclusions confirmed by many Arctic explorers :
  • There is really no North or South Pole. Where they are supposed to exist there are really wide openings to the hollow interior of the Earth.
  • Flying saucers come from the hollow interior of the Earth through these polar openings.
  • The hollow interior of the earth, warmed by its central sun (the source of Aurora Borealis) has an ideal subtropical climate of about 76 degrees in temperature, neither too hot nor too cold.
  • Arctic explorers found the temperature to rise as they traveled far north; they found more open seas; they found animals traveling north in winter, seeking food and warmth, when they should have gone south; they found the compass needle to assume a vertical position instead of a horizontal one and to become extremely eccentric; they saw tropical birds and more animal life the further north they went; they saw butterflies, mosquitoes and other insects in the extreme north, when they were not found until one is as far south as Alaska and Canada; they found the snow discolored by colored pollen and black dust, which became worse the further north they went. The only explanation is that this dust came from active volcanoes in the polar opening.
  • There is a large population inhabiting the inner concave surface of the Earth's crust, composing a civilization far in advance of our own in its scientific achievements, which probably descended from the sunken continents of Lemuria and Atlantis. Flying saucers are only one of their many achievements. It would be to our advantage to contact these Elder Brothers of the human race, learn from them and receive their advice and aid.
  • The existence of a polar opening and land beyond the Poles is probably known to the U.S. Navy in whose employ Admiral Byrd made his two historic flights and which is probably a top international secret.
Hollow Earth enthusiasts continue to believe. Teed’s Concave Earth theory, for example, was tested during World War II (1939–1945) by a Nazi scientist. He aimed a camera at a 45-degree angle into the sky from an island in the Baltic Sea, hoping to catch an image of a British fleet on the other side of the concave Earth. The experiment was unsuccessful. In 1959, a U.S. submarine journeyed beneath the polar ice cap and actually surfaced at the North Pole, based on precise calculations. Since then, year-round research stations have been built on several sites at both poles. No large holes have been found.

(Taken from many sources)
19:22 | 3 komentar

Tiahuanaco

Tiahuanaco (Tiawanaku) is an important Pre-Columbian archaeological site in western Bolivia. This site is recognized by Andean scholars as one of the most important precursors to the Inca Empire, flourishing as the ritual and administrative capital of a major state power for approximately five hundred years. The ruins of the ancient city state are near the south-eastern shore of Lake Titicaca, about 72 km (44 miles) west of La Paz, Bolivia. The site was first recorded in written history by Spanish conquistador and self-acclaimed “first chronicler of the Indies” Cieza de Leon. Leon stumbled upon the remains of Tiahuanaco in 1549 while searching for the Inca capital Collasuyu.

Some have hypothesized that Tiahuanaco's modern name is related to the Aymara term taypiqala, meaning "stone in the center", alluding to the belief that it lay at the center of the world. However, the name by which Tiahuanaco was known to its inhabitants has been lost, as the people of Tiahuanaco had no written language.

The story began in 1549, when Cieza de Leon (1518–1560) heading inland from Lake Titicaca, which separates Peru from the land-locked nation of Bolivia, he found the remains of the fabled city of Tiahuanaco, which were far greater than he had expected. The site of the ancient city features large artificial mounds and massive, carved stones, including an enormous entrance called the Gateway of the Sun. Carved from a single block of stone weighing 10 tons, the Gateway features intricate decorations, including a god-figure often identified as Viracocha, who figured prominently in the mythology of the region. A terraced monument called Akapana, measuring 650 by 600 feet and rising 50 feet high, has a pyramidal shape that levels off to form a high platform. Within that platform are sunken courtyards. Seen throughout Tiahuanaco are skillful examples of masonry and the brilliant use of metals, including copper clamps that hold massive blocks of stones together.

Gateway of The Sun

The Gateway of the Sun stands on the northwest corner of a platform temple called Kalasasaya, which is adjacent to a semi-underground temple; the temples form part of an astronomical observatory. Some standing stones placed on the site weigh up to 100 tons. Among other remarkable feats, the residents of Tiahuanaco devised a drainage and sewer system. At 12,500 feet of elevation, Tiahuanaco was the highest city of the ancient world. As soon as Cieza de Leon reported the remarkable discovery, Tiahuanaco became one of the world’s great mysteries, for the local Aymara Indians insisted that the ruins were there long before the great Inca civilization came to the area and conquered it around 1450. Christian missionaries followed Cieza de Leon to the ruins, and these men of learning soon doubted whether the Aymara people could ever have been capable of the craftsmanship and engineering such massive structures required.

Tiahuanaco Sitemap

Legends began to be spread by the missionaries that the structures had been erected in the distant past by giants. Scientists date the civilization that occupied Tiahuanaco to 300—when a community first began to settle in the area—to 900, when some kind of disruption occurred and Tiahuanaco was abandoned. Those dates match the claim of the Aymara Indians that Tiahuanaco was built and lay in ruins before the Incas came. Other theorists blend scientific finds and local myths, perpetuating the notion that a white race, perhaps Egyptians or Phoenicians, brought civilization to the high plain.

Temple Ruins at Tiahuanaco

The argument that Tiahuanaco thrived more than 10 thousand years before the dates established by scientific testing was fostered by Arthur Posnansky in his book, Tiahuanaco: The Cradle of American Man (1945). Noting that the platform temple Kalasasaya was used as an astronomical observatory, Posnansky determined that it pointed precisely to solstice alignments in 15,000 B.C.E. Taking into account the very gradual shifting of Earth’s axis, Posnansky postulated that arid plain was once below water, part of Lake Titicaca, and that Tiahuanaco was once a major port city. The ancient citizens of Tiahuanaco were members of a superior culture who had introduced a golden age to the area.

The founders of Tiahuanaco were taller and had distinctive facial characteristics quite apart from the high-cheekboned visages of today’s dwellers of the high plateau. In Posnanksy’s view, the most startling tale told by the few artifacts left in the city was of a New World civilization that was amazingly similar to that of ancient Egypt. The Calassassayax (house of worship), he believed, was so similar to the Egyptian temple of Karnak in design and layout that its relative dimensions made it almost a scale model of the Old World structure.

The stones used in the temple at Tiahuanaco are fitted and joined with their joints and facing parts polished to make a nearly perfect match. The Incas did not build in such a manner, but the ancient Egyptians did. And then there were the buildings constructed of massive, polished stones, many tons in weight, that had been placed in such a manner that only a people with advanced engineering methods could have designed and transported them. If this were not enough of an impossible situation, the particular andesite used in much of the Tiahuanacan construction can only be found in a quarry that lies 50 miles away in the mountains. The surgeons of Tiahuanaco were skilled in trepanning the brain, as were the Egyptian physicians. Posnansky uncovered skulls with well-healed bone grafts, which offered silent testimony to the skill of the ancient doctors and their knowledge of anatomy.

Some archaeologists receptive to Posnansky’s theories argue that the credibility of cultural coincidence is stretched considerably when related to brain operations. It is possible to accept the fact that two widely separated cultures, such as the Egyptians and the unknown people of Tiahuanaco, may have developed a form of brain operation, but that both cultures used identical instruments and methods, seems unusual to say the least. The instruments are of high-grade copper and include drills and chisels. In themselves they indicate an advanced degree of metallurgy, knowledge of simple machinery, and development of surgical practices far more detailed than can be expected in primitive societies. Posnansky’s theories won a popular readership, but were not widely accepted among scientists. At sunrise on dates of the equinox, for example, the Sun appears on the staircase of Kakassasaya. There is no need to believe that it was built at a precise time to point to a precise astronomical alignment. The port city idea was also quickly disputed.

Areas that would have been submerged included neighborhoods of dwellings that share similar dates with the larger structures, and the surrounding countryside where farms were located also would have been underwater. Radiocarbon dating suggests instead that Tiahuanaco was founded around 400, and after three centuries of gradual settlement, the city was abandoned around 1000. In the interim, the settlement had grown from a ceremonial center to a major city inhabited by 40,000 to 80,000 people. Regular archaeological excavations have been underway in Tiahuanaco since 1877. The semi-subterranean temple next to the Akapana yielded a 24-foot tall monolith in 1932. That find and the generally arid climate helped sustain the idea that Tiahuanaco served primarily as a ceremonial center. Later finds, however, showed that it had been a thriving city, and dates for the time settlement and abandonment were established.

Why the place was abandoned, however, remains a mystery to conventional archaeologists. However, according to Posnansky, it was the climactic changes at the end of the Ice Age that contributed to flooding and the destruction of Tiahuanaco, wiping out its inhabitants and leaving the great structures in ruins. Posnansky died in 1946, convinced that he had traced the influence of Tiahuanaco on the native culture as far north as the coastal deserts of Peru and as far south as Argentina. Most other archaeologists take much more conservative views. As with the Mayans, they argue, the ancient Indians of Tiahuanaco might have had too much of a good thing. There is evidence that they were victims of a natural catastrophe, but it was a prolonged drought, rather than Posnansky’s great flood, that probably overwhelmed them. Drought conditions set in for an extended period, and the Aymara could no longer support a massive population and large-scale construction projects.

People began abandoning the city around 1000. The Incas conquered communities remaining in the area around 1450. Then the Spanish came to Tiahuanaco about one hundred years after the Incas had moved in. Still the questions remain: just who were the natives that thrived at Tiahuanaco and how did they construct such elaborate structures? The Aymara, meanwhile, still live in the region. They outlasted the early Spanish settlers around Tiahuanaco, who never quite mastered the area’s harsh conditions. The plain became a desert again after the Spanish farmed it, for they never learned to use a technique of the ancient dwellers of Tiahuanaco. The mysterious unknown people farmed on raised fields, which were filled and built up with soil from surrounding areas. Canals between the fields kept them watered, and by farming on raised fields the crops were kept safe from the danger of frost and erosion by water.

(Taken from many sources)
17:00 | 5 komentar

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