Petra : The Mysterious Hidden City

Petra ("petra-πέτρα" = cleft in the rock in Greek) is an archaeological site in the Arabah, Ma'an Governorate, Jordan, lies within a ring of forbidding sandstone mountains, in a basin among the mountains which form the eastern flank of Arabah (Wadi Araba), the large valley running from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba. It is renowned for its rock-cut architecture. Petra is also one of the new wonders of the world. It was famously described as "a rose-red city half as old as time" in a Newdigate prize-winning sonnet by John William Burgon. UNESCO has described it as "one of the most precious cultural properties of man's cultural heritage." In 1985, Petra was designated a World Heritage Site. Even today this spectacular complex of temples, tombs, and houses can only be accessed on foot or on horseback. Entrance to Petra is via a dark winding crevice in the rock, known as the siq (cleft in Arabic), which is in places as little as a few feet wide.

This great mystery of the desert contains nearly 1,000 monuments, and once possessed fountains, gardens, and a permanent water supply. But why was it carved out of the sandstone in such a secluded, arid location? Who built this majestic and what happened to its inhabitants?

The earliest known population of Petra was a Semitic-speaking tribe known as the Edomites, mentioned in the Bible as descendents of Esau. But it was a culture called Nabateans who were responsible for most of the incredible architecture at Petra. The Nabatenas were a nomadic Arabic origin, but by the fourth century B.C., had begun to settle down in various parts of Palestine and southern Jordan, and around this time they made Petra their capital city. The naturally fortified position of the site on a trade route between Arabian, Assyrian, Egyptian, Greek, and Roman cultures allowed the strength of the Nabateans to grow. Gaining control of the caravan route between Arabia and Syria, the Nabatenas soon developed a commercial empire that extended as far north as Syria, and the city of Petra became the center for the spice trade.

The siq, Entrance to Petra

The wealth accumulated by the Nabateans at Petra (through their commercial enterprise) allowed them to build and carve in a style that combined native traditions with Hellenistic (Greek) influence. One of the Nabateans most outstanding achievements at Petra sprang from necessity. Their city lay on the edge of the parchod desert, so a water supply was a prime concern. Consequently, they developed highly sophisticated dams, as well as water conservation and irrigation systems. But the wealth of the Nabateans brought the envy of their neighbors and they were forced to repel several attacks against their capital during the late fourth century B.C., by the Seleucid king Antigonus. The Seleucid Empire was founded in 312 B.C. by Seleucus I, one of Alexander the Great’s generals, and included much of the eastern part of Alexander’s Empire.

In 64-63 B.C., the Nabateans were conquered by the Roman general Pompey, and in A.D. 107, under the Emperor Trajan, the area became part of the Roman province of Arabia Petraea. Despite the conquest, Petra continued to thrive during the Roman period, and various structures, including a vast theatre, a colonnaded street, and a Triumphal Arch across the siq, were added to the city. It has been estimated that the population of Petra may have been as great as 20,000 to 30,000 at its height. However, as the importance of the city of Palmyra, in central Syria, grew on a trade route linking Persia, India, China, and the Roman Empire, Petra’s commercial activity began to decline.

In the fourth century, Petra became part of the Christian Byzantine Empire, but in A.D. 363 the free-standing parts of the city were destroyed in a devastating earthquake, and it is around this time that the Nabateans seem to have left the city. No one is sure exactly why they abandoned the site, but it seems unlikely they deserted their capital because of the earthquake, as very valuable finds have been unearthed at the site, indicating that their departure was not a sudden one. A further catastrophic earthquake in A.D. 551 practically ruined the city, and by the time of the Muslim conquest in the 7th century A.D., Petra was beginning to slip into obscurity.

There was another damaging earthquake in A.D. 747 that further structurally wakened the city, after which there was silence until the early 12th century and the arrival of the crusaders, who built a small fort inside the city. After the crusaders left in the 13th century, Petra was left in the hands of sandstorms and floods, which buried a large part of the once great city until even its ruins were forgotten. It was not until 1812 that an Anglo-Swiss explorer named Johann Ludwig Burckhardt rediscovered the lost city of Petra and brought it to the attention of the western world. Burckhardt had been travelling in the near east disguised as a Muslim trader (under the name of Sheiks Ibrahim Ibn Abdullah) in order to acquire knowledge and experience oriental life. While in Eiji, a small settlement just outside Petra, Burckhardt heard talk of a lost city hidden in the mountains of Wadi Mousa. Posing as a pilgrim wishing to make a sacrifice at the ancient site, he persuaded two of the Bedouin inhabitants of the village to guide him through the narrow siq. The explorer did, however manage to produce a map of the ruins and made an entry in his journal to the effect that he had rediscovered Petra.

Since the time of Burckhardt, the purpose of the rock-cut city of Petra, hidden away in such a secret location, has puzzled many a traveller, scholar, and archaeologist. The magnificent entrance to the site is the more than a mile-long siq, or narrow gorge that winds through the soaring golden-brown sandstone cliffs. There are many small nabateans tombs carved into the cliff walls of the siq, as well as evidence for the skill of the Nabateans as a hydraulic engineers, in the form of channels – once containing clay pipes – which originally carried drinking water into the city. A further example of the engineering abilities of the Nabateans can be seen at the right of the entrance to the siq.

The Monastery at Petra

Now, as 2,000 years ago, after heavy rain, water flows down the Wadi Mousa (Valley of Moses) into the siq and threatens to flood the site of the city. There was a catastrophic flood at petra in 1963, after which the government decided to construct a dam to redirect the flood water. During building, the excavators were astonished to discover that the Nabateans had already built a dam, probably around the 2nd century B.C., to redirect the flood water away from the entrance and to the north, via an ingenious system of tunnels, which eventually diverted the water back into the heart of the city for the use of the population.

The siq eventually opens out dramatically to reveal the best known and most impressive of the monuments of Petra, the classically influenced treasury (El-Khazneh in Arabic). The name Treasury originates from a Bedouin legend that pharaoh’s treasure was hidden inside a huge stone urn which stands at the top of the structure. The well-preserved façade of the Treasury, carved out of the solid sandstone rock, is decorated with beautiful columns and elaborate sculptures showing Nabateans deities and mythological characters, and stands 131 feet high and about 88 feet wide. The structure may have served as a royal tomb, perhaps with the king’s burial place in the small chamber at the back, and also seems to have been used as a temple, though to which specific god or gods it was dedicated is not known.

One of the few remaining free-standing buildings at Petra is the huge masonry-built Temple of Dushares, also known mysteriously as Qasr al-Bint Firaun (The Castle of Pharaoh’s daughter). This extensively restored large yellow sandstone temple stands upon a raised platform and has massive 75 feet high walls. The temple, built sometime between 30 B.C. and A.D. 40 was dedicated to dushares, the chief god of the Nabateans, and has the largest façade of any building in Petra. Inside, the building is separated into three rooms, the middle room serving as the sanctuary, or holy of holies. Facing this structure is the Temple of the Winged lions, named after two eroded lions carved on either side of the doorway. This tructure, the most important Nabatean temple ever discovered, has been the subject of more than 20 years of research and excavation by the American Expedition to Petra. The temple was founded in August A.D. 28 and was destroyed in the May A.D. 363 earthquake that brought down many of the city’s buildings.

The largest monument in Petra and one of the most striking is El-Deir (the Monastery), acquiring the name from its use as a church during the Byzantine period (A.D. 330 – A.D. 1453). The spectacularly situated structure, high up on the mountain, is 164 feet wide and 148 feet high, with its great doorway measuring around 26 feet in height. The structure is carved, as with the Treasury, into the side of a cliff face. In fact, the Monastery is similar to a larger, rougher, weather-beaten version of the more famous Petra monument. Archaeologists believe that construction of El-Deir began during the reign of Nabatean King Rabel II (A.D. 76 – 106), but was never completed.

But what exactly was the function of this strange place – was it a fortress, a commercial center, or a sacred city? There are many royal tombs throughout the site, as well as public tombs and shaft tombs (the latter places are apparently where criminals were buried alive). But evidence from archaeological investigations over the past decade or so suggests Petra may have had many different functions over the hundreds of years it was inhabited.

The picturesque site is a popular sight and featured in various works of art such as the movies Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), Passion in the Desert, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger, and the Sisters of Mercy music video "Dominion", and the upcoming Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. It was recreated for the video games Spy Hunter (2001), King's Quest V, Lego Indiana Jones and Sonic Unleashed and appeared in the novels "Left Behind", "Appointment with Death", "The Eagle in the Sand" and "The Red Sea Sharks", in The Adventures of Tintin. It also featured prominently in the Marcus Didius Falco mystery novel "Last Act in Palmyra".

(Source : Hidden History by Brian Haughton and Wikipedia)

(Pics source : Pic 1 taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:PetraTreasury.JPG; pic 2 taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:PetraMonastery.JPG; pic 3 taken from http://z.about.com/d/cruises/1/0/O/V/3/petra016.JPG)
04:09 | 6 komentar

Vimana : Ancient Indian Aircraft

Vimāna (Sanskrit: विमान) is a Sanskrit word with several meanings ranging from temple or palace to mythological flying machines described in Sanskrit epics. Some modern UFO enthusiasts (like Desmond Leslie, co-author with George Adamski, in 1953, of one of the first books on UFOs entitled Flying Saucers Have Landed) have pointed to the Vimana as evidence for advanced technological civilizations in the distant past, or as support for ancient astronaut theories. Others have linked the flying machines to the legend of the Nine Unknown Men. Many researchers into the UFO enigma tend to overlook a very important fact. While it assumed that most flying saucers are of alien, or perhaps Governmental Military origin, another possible origin of UFOs is ancient India and Atlantis. Informations about Ancient Indian flying vehicles comes from ancient Indian sources; written texts that have come down to us through the centuries. There is no doubt that most of these texts are authentic; many are the well known ancient Indian Epics themselves, and there are literally hundreds of them. Most of them have not even been translated into English yet from the old Sanskrit.

The Indian Emperor Ashoka started a “Secret Society of the Nine Unknown Men”: great Indian scientists who were supposed to catalogue the many sciences. Ashoka kept their work secret because he was afraid that the advanced science catalogued by these men, culled from ancient Indian sources, would be used for the evil purpose of war, which Ashoka was strongly against, having been converted to Buddhism after defeating a rival army in a bloody battle. The “Nine Unknown Men” wrote a total of nine books, presumably one each. Book number one was “The Secrets of Gravitation!”. This book, known to historians, but not actually seen by them dealt chiefly with “gravity control.” It is presumably still around somewhere, kept in a secret library in India, Tibet or elsewhere (perhaps even in North America somewhere). One can certainly understand Ashoka’s reasoning for wanting to keep such knowledge a secret, assuming it exists. If the Nazis had such weapons at their disposal during World War II, Ashoka was also aware devastating wars using such advanced vehicles and other “futuristic weapons” that had destroyed the ancient Indian “Rama Empire” several thousand years before.


One of the relief on Hindu Temple that show God riding a Vimana

Few years ago, the Chinese discovered some Sanskrit documents in Lhasa, Tibet and sent them to the University of Chandrigarh to be translated. Dr. Ruth Reyna of the University said recently that the documents contain directions for building interstellar spaceships! Their method of propulsion, she said, was “anti-gravitational” and was based upon a system analogous to that of “laghima,” the unknown power of the ego existing in man’s physiological makeup, “a centrifugal force strong enough to counteract all gravitational pull.”

According to Hindu Yogis, it is this “laghima” which enables a person to levitate. Dr. Reyna said that on board these machines, which were called “Astras” by the text, the ancient Indians could have sent a detachment of men onto any planet, according to the document, which is thought to be thousands of years old. The manuscripts were also said to reveal the secret of “antima”, “the cap of invisibility” and “garima”, “how to become as heavy as a mountain of lead.”


Naturally, Indian scientists did not take the texts very seriously, but then became more positive about the value of them when the Chinese announced that they were including certain parts of the data for study in their space program! This was one of the first instances of a government admitting to be researching anti-gravity. The manuscripts did not say definitely that interplanetary travel was ever made but did mention, of all things, a planned trip to the Moon, though it is not clear whether this trip was actually carried out.

However, one of the great Indian epics, the Ramayana, does have a highly detailed story in it of a trip to the moon in a Vimana (or “Astra”), and in fact details a battle on the moon with an “Asvin” (or “Atlantean” airship.) This is but a small bit of recent evidence of anti-gravity and aerospace technology used by Indians. To really understand the technology, we must go much further back in time. The so-called “Rama Empire” of Northern India and Pakistan developed at least fifteen thousand years ago on the Indian sub-continent and was a nation of many large, sophisticated cities, many of which are still to be found in the deserts of Pakistan, northern, and western India. Rama existed, apparently, parallel to the Atlantean civilization in the mid-Atlantic Ocean, and was ruled by “enlightened Priest-Kings” who governed the cities,


Illustration of Vimana on Ancient Text

The seven greatest capital cities of Rama were known in classical Hindu texts as “The Seven Rishi Cities.” The Ramayana describes a Vimana as a double-deck, circular (cylindrical) aircraft with portholes and a dome. It flew with the speed of the wind and gave forth a melodious sound (a humming noise?). Ancient Indian texts on Vimanas are so numerous it would take several books to relate what they have to say. The ancient Indians themselves wrote entire flight manuals on the control of various types of Vimanas, of which there were basically four: the Shakuna Vimana, the Sundara Vimana, the Rukma Vimana and the Tripura Vimana.

The Samara Sutradhara is a scientific treatise dealing with every possible angle of air travel in a Vimana. There are 230 stanzas dealing with the construction, take-off, cruising for thousand of miles, normal and forced landings, and even possible collisions with birds. In 1875, the Vaimanika Sastra, a fourth century B.C. text written by Bharadvajy the Wise, using even older texts as his source, was rediscovered in a temple in India. It dealt with the operation of Vimanas and included information on the steering, precautions for long flights, protection of the airships from storms and lightening and how to switch the drive to “solar energy” from a free energy source which sounds like “anti-gravity.”

The Vaimanika Sastra (or Vymaanika-Shaastra) has eight chapters with diagrams, describing three types of aircraft, including apparatuses that could neither catch on fire nor break. It also mentions 31 essential parts of these vehicles and 16 materials from which they are constructed, which absorb light and heat; for which reason they were considered suitable for the construction of Vimanas.

This document has been translated into English : VYMAANIDASHAASTRA AERONAUTICS by Maharishi Bharadwaaja, translated into English and edited, printed and published by Mr. G. R. Josyer, Mysore, India, 1979 (sorry, no street address). Mr. Josyer is the director of the International Academy of Sanskrit Investigation located in Mysore. There seems to be no doubt that Vimanas were powered by some sort of “anti-gravity.” Vimanas took off vertically, and were capable of hovering in the sky, like a modern helicopter or dirigible. Bharadvajy the Wise refers to no less than 70 authorities and 10 experts of air travel in antiquity. These sources are now lost. Vimanas were kept in a Vimana Griha, a kind of hanger, and were sometimes said to be propelled by a yellowish-white liquid, and sometimes by some sort of mercury compound, though writers seem confused in this matter.

It is most likely that the later writers on Vimanas, wrote as observers and from earlier texts, and were understandably confused on the principle of their propulsion. The “yellowish-white liquid” sounds suspiciously like gasoline, and perhaps Vimanas had a number of different propulsion sources, including combustion engines and even “pulse-jet” engines. It is interesting to note, that the Nazis developed the first practical pulse-jet engines for their V-8 rocket “buzz bombs.” Hitler and the Nazi staff were exceptionally interested in ancient India and Tibet and sent expeditions to both these places yearly, starting in the 30’s, in order to gather esoteric evidence that they did so, and perhaps it was from these people that the Nazis gained some of their scientific information!

According to the Dronaparva, part of the Mahabarata, and the Ramayana, one Vimana described was shaped like a sphere and born along at great speed on a mighty wind generated by mercury. It moved like a UFO, going up, down, backwards and forwards as the pilot desired. In another Indian source, the Samar, Vimanas were, “iron machines, well-knit and smooth, with a charge of mercury that shot out of the back in the form of a roaring flame.”

Sanskrit texts are filled with references to Gods who fought battles in the sky using Vimanas equipped with weapons as deadly as any we can deploy in these more enlightened times. For example, there is a passage in the Ramayana which reads: The Puspaka car that resembles the Sun and belongs to my brother was brought by the powerful Ravan; that aerial and excellent car going everywhere at will.... that car resembling a bright cloud in the sky. ".. and the King [Rama] got in, and the excellent car at the command of the Raghira, rose up into the higher atmosphere."

In the Mahabharatra, an ancient Indian poem of enormous length, we learn that an individual named Asura Maya had a Vimana measuring twelve cubits in circumference, with four strong wheels. The poem is a veritable gold mine of information relating to conflicts between gods who settled their differences apparently using weapons as lethal as the ones we are capable of deploying.

Apart from 'blazing missiles', the poem records the use of other deadly weapons. 'Indra's Dart' operated via a circular 'reflector'. When switched on, it produced a 'shaft of light' which, when focused on any target, immediately 'consumed it with its power'.

In one particular exchange, the hero, Krishna, is pursuing his enemy, Salva, in the sky, when Salva's Vimana, the Saubha is made invisible in some way. Undeterred, Krishna immediately fires off a special weapon: 'I quickly laid on an arrow, which killed by seeking out sound'.

Many other terrible weapons are described, quite matter of factly, in the Mahabharata, but the most fearsome of all is the one used against the Vrishis. The narrative records: "Gurkha flying in his swift and powerful Vimana hurled against the three cities of the Vrishis and Andhakas a single projectile charged with all the power of the Universe. An incandescent column of smoke and fire, as brilliant as ten thousands suns, rose in all its splendor. It was the unknown weapon, the Iron Thunderbolt, a gigantic messenger of death which reduced to ashesthe entire race of the Vrishnis and Andhakas. " It is important to note, that these kinds of records are not isolated.

They can be cross-correlated with similiar reports in other ancient civilizations. The after-affects of this Iron Thunderbolt have an ominously recognizable ring. Apparently, those killed by it were so burnt that their corpses were unidentifiable. The survivors fared little better, as it caused their hair and nailsto fall out. Perhaps the most disturbing and challenging, information about these allegedly mythical Vihmanas in the ancient records is that there are some matter-of-fact records, describing how to build one. In their way, the instructions are quite precise.

In the Sanskrit Samarangana Sutradhara, it is written: Strong and durable must the body of the Vihmana be made, like a great flying bird of light material. Inside one must put the mercury engine with its iron heating apparatus underneath. By means of the power latent in the mercury which sets the driving whirlwind in motion, a man sitting inside may travel a great distance in the sky. The movements of the Vimana are such that it can vertically ascend, vertically descend, move slanting forwards and backwards. With the help of the machines human beings can fly in the air and heavenly beings can come down to earth. It is possible that mercury did have something to do with the propulsion, or more possibly, with the guidance system.

Curiously, Soviet scientists have discovered what they call “age-old instruments used in navigating cosmic vehicles” in caves in Turkestan and the Gobi Desert. The “devices” are hemispherical objects of glass or porcelain, ending in a cone with a drop of mercury inside. It is evident that ancient Indians flew around in these vehicles, all over Asia, to Atlantis presumably; and even, apparently, to South America. Writing found at Mohenjodaro in Pakistan (presumed to be one of the “Seven Rishi Cities of the Rama Empire”) and still undeciphered, has also been found in one other place in the world: Easter Island! Writing on Easter Island, called Rongo-Rongo writing, is also undeciphered, and is uncannily similar to the Mohenjodaro script. Was Easter Island an air base for the Rama Empire’s Vimana route?

In Tibet, no small distance, and speaks of the “fiery chariot” thusly: “Bhima flew along in his car, resplendent as the sun and loud as thunder… The flying chariot shone like a flame in the night sky of summer … it swept by like a comet… It was as if two suns were shining. Then the chariot rose up and all the heaven brightened.”

In the Mahavira of Bhavabhuti, a Jain text of the eighth century culled from older texts and traditions, we read: “An aerial chariot, the Pushpaka, conveys many people to the capital of Ayodhya. The sky is full of stupendous flying-machines, dark as night, but picked out by lights with a yellowish glare”

The Vedas, ancient Hindu poems, thought to be the oldest of all the Indian texts, describe Vimanas of various shapes and sizes: the “ahnihotra-vimana” with two engines, the “elephant-vimana” with more engines, and other types named after the kingfisher, ibis and other animals. Unfortunately, Vimanas, like most scientific discoveries, were ultimately used for war.

Atlanteans used their flying machines, “Vailixi,” a similar type of aircraft, to literally try and subjugate the world, it would seem, if Indian texts are to be believed. The Atlanteans, known as “Asvins” in the Indian writings, were apparently even more advanced technologically than the Indians, and certainly of a more war-like temperament. Although no ancient texts on Atlantean Vailixi are known to exist, some information has come down through esoteric, “occult” sources which describe their flying machines. Similar, if not identical to Vimanas, Vailixi were generally “cigar shaped” and had the capability of maneuvering underwater as well as in the atmosphere or even outer space.

Other vehicles, like Vimanas, were saucer shaped, and could apparently also be submerged. According to Eklal Kueshana, author of “The Ultimate Frontier,” in an article he wrote in 1966, Vailixi were first developed in Atlantis 20,000 years ago, and the most common ones are, “saucer-shaped of generally trapezoidal cross-section with three hemispherical engine pods on the underside.” “They use a mechanical antigravity device driven by engines developing approximately 80,000 horse power.”

The Hakatha (Laws of the Babylonians) states quite unambiguously: The privilege of operating a flying machine is great. The knowledge of flight is among the most ancient of our inheritances. A gift from 'those from upon high'. We received it from them as a means of saving many lives. More fantastic still is the information given in the ancient Chaldean work, The Sifrala, which contains over one hundred pages of technical details on building a flying machine. It contains words which translate as graphite rod,copper coils, crystal indicator, vibrating spheres, stable angles, etc.

The Ramayana, Mahabarata and other texts speak of the hideous war that took place, some ten or twelve thousand years ago between Atlantis and Rama using weapons of destruction that could not be imagined by readers until the second half of this century. The ancient Mahabharata, one of the sources on Vimanas, goes on to tell the awesome destructiveness of the war: “…(the weapon was)

"a single projectile charged with all the power of the Universe. An incandescent column of smoke and flame As bright as the thousand suns rose in all its splendor… An iron thunderbolt, A gigantic messenger of death, Which reduced to ashes The entire race of the Vrishnis And the Andhakas. … the corpses were so burned As to be unrecognizable. The hair and nails fell out; Pottery broke without apparent cause, And the birds turned white. … After a few hours All foodstuffs were infected… … to escape from this fire The soldiers threw themselves in streams To wash themselves and their equipment…”
It would seem that the Mahabharata is describing an atomic war! References like this one are not isolated; but battles, using a fantastic array of weapons and aerial vehicles are common in all the epic Indian books. One even describes a Vimana-Vailix battle on the Moon! The above section very accurately describes what an atomic explosion would look like and the effects of the radioactivity on the population. Jumping into water is the only respite.

When the Rishi City of Mohenjodaro was excavated by archeologists in the last century, they found skeletons just lying in the streets, some of them holding hands, as if some great doom had suddenly overtaken them. These skeletons are among the most radioactive ever found, on a par with those found at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Ancient cities whose brick and stone walls have literally been vitrified, that is-fused together, can be found in India, Ireland, Scotland, France, Turkey and other places.

There is no logical explanation for the vitrification of stone forts and cities, except from an atomic blast. Furthermore, at Mohenjo-Daro, a well planned city laid on a grid, with a plumbing system superior to those used in Pakistan and India today, the streets were littered with “black lumps of glass.” These globs of glass were discovered to be clay pots that had melted under intense heat! With the cataclysmic sinking of Atlantis and the wiping out of Rama with atomic weapons, the world collapsed into a “stone age” of sorts, and modern history picks up a few thousand years later. Yet, it would seem that not all the Vimanas and Vailixi of Rama and Atlantis were gone.

Built to last for thousands of of years, many of them would still be in use, as evidenced by Ashoka’s “Nine Unknown Men” and the Lhasa manuscript. That secret societies or “Brotherhoods” of exceptional, “enlightened” human beings would have preserved these inventions and the knowledge of science, history, etc., does not seem surprising.

Many well known historical personages including Jesus, Buddha, Lao Tzu, Confucius, Krishna, Zoroaster, Mahavira, Quetzalcoatl, Akhenaton, Moses, and more recent inventors and of course many other people who will probably remain anonymous, were probably members of such a secret organization. It is interesting to note that when Alexander the Great invaded India more than two thousand years ago, his historians chronicled that at one point they were attacked by “flying, fiery shields” that dove at his army and frightened the cavalry.

These “flying saucers” did not use any atomic bombs or beam weapons on Alexander’s army however, perhaps out of benevolence, and Alexander went on to conquer India. It has been suggested by many writers that these “Brotherhoods” keep some of their Vimanas and Vailixi in secret caverns in Tibet or some other place is Central Asia, and the Lop Nor Desert in western China is known to be the center of a great UFO mystery.

Perhaps it is here that many of the airships are still kept, in underground bases much as the Americans, British and Soviets have built around the world in the past few decades. Still, not all UFO activity can be accounted for by old Vimanas making trips to the Moon for some reason. Undoubtedly, some are from the Military Governments of the world, and possibly even from other planets.

(Source : Wikipedia; ‘Ancient Indian Aircraft Technology’ From The Anti-Gravity Handbook by D.Hatcher Childress; http://ea-int.eu/thelibrary/?p=66)

(Pics source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Vaimanika_Shastra_Shakuna_illustration.jpg; http://www.ufoevidence.org/Newsite/Pics/vimanas.jpg; http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Vault/9054/india.jpg)
06:04 | 3 komentar

The Bloody Countess

Countess Elizabeth Bathory, Elizabeth (Erzsebet) Bathory ( 7 August 1560 – 21 August 1614), was a Hungarian countess from the renowned Báthory family, has often been described as “Countess Dracula.” She is possibly the most prolific female serial killer in history and is remembered as the "Blood Countess" and as the "Bloody Lady of Čachtice", after the castle near Trencsén (Trenčín), in the Kingdom of Hungary, where she spent most of her adult life. The Báthory family defended Hungary against the Ottoman Turks. After her husband's death, she and four collaborators were accused of torturing and killing hundreds of girls and young women, with one witness attributing to them over 600 victims, though she was only convicted on 80 counts. In 1610, she was imprisoned in Čachtice Castle, where she remained bricked in a set of rooms until her death four years later. She was never formally tried in court. The case has led to legendary accounts of the Countess bathing in the blood of virgins in order to retain her youth. These stories have led to comparisons with Vlad III the Impaler of Wallachia, on whom the fictional Count Dracula is partly based, and to modern nicknames of the Blood Countess, Bloody Countess and Countess Dracula. The Bathory family was an old and illustrious one—one of the oldest in Transylvania in fact.

The family traced its descendency from Vid Bathory, a legendary and mighty warrior who had allegedly slain a dragon with a mace in what is now eastern Romania. This may have created the motif for the Romanian Christian knight Iorgi—also said to have killed a dragon— who later became St. George, patron saint of England. They were also related by what looks to have been incestuous marriages amongst various other members of similar clans. Her mother, Anna Bathory, was the sister of King Stephen of Poland, and her father Iorgi (George—her mother’s third husband) was the ruler of several countries.

However, instances of inbreeding had led to rumours of madness and monstrous births in former years. Elizabeth Bathory was born into this troubled lineage in 1560. Her mother was a devout Calvinist and an exceptionally strong character, and her father, George, was a hard-working man who had held several administrative posts under the Hapsburgs. She had at least one elder brother, one of the many Stephens (a popular name among the male Bathorys) and two younger sisters, Klara and Sofia, who disappeared from history without trace. In 1571 at age 11, Elizabeth was promised in marriage to the fifteen yearold Count Ferenc (Francis) Nadasdy, fabulously wealthy and reckoned to be one of the most eligible bachelors in Hungary at that time.

Such young betrothals were not uncommon and were usually for political reasons rather than any sort of romantic notions. In order to acquire the notable family name, Francis changed his own to that of Bathory, giving him the tradition of that family, as well as its notoriety. Francis and Elizabeth waited four years to marry, finally doing so on 8th May 1575. Elizabeth was sent from the Bathory castle and into the care of her mother-in-law, the formidable Lady Ursula Kasnizsai. Whilst she was at the court of Lady Nadasdy, plagues and epidemics raged through Eastern Europe, carrying away the poor and wretched in the villages of Hungary.

The tides of illnesses and disease, however, simply lapped around the walls of the castle at Savarin, keeping everyone there confined. Elizabeth found herself increasingly under the control of her severe and dominant mother-in-law. It was around this time that she was, according to legend, visited by a “black stranger,” perhaps a forest demon to whom she is said to have given herself. What actually might have transpired is that she had an affair with one (or more) of the servants, leading to the supposition that she may very well have been sexually promiscuous. When her mother-in-law died, Elizabeth joined her husband at the remote Csejthe Castle.

By this time, the Muslim Turks were making advances and (as they had done in Vlad III’s time) the Christian forces were trying to limit their expansion. Count Francis was now a solider in the Hungarian army and had distinguished himself in battle becoming known as “The Black Hero of Hungary.” He was consequently away fighting against Turkish incursions for much of his time, leaving his wife alone in the gloomy fortress. It was now that Elizabeth fell under various influences. The servants at Csejthe, for the most part, were local people, steeped in local lore and legend. The area seemed to have been superstitious and filled with old tales and practices, many of which stretched back across the centuries. Certain servants appear to have initiated Elizabeth into rather unsavoury practices. Elizabeth may well have been attracted to lesbianism (she had an aunt who was renowned throughout Hungary in this respect) and this may have played a prominent role in some of the occurrences at Csejthe.

An old servant woman named Darvula—locally regarded as a witch—together with a maid named Dorottya Szentes, seem to have played a major part in the terrible acts that were to make Elizabeth Bathory’s name a by-word for evil and depravation. To these may be added the name Janos (or Johannes) Ujvary, who is described as Elizabeth’s majordomo. There seems little doubt that many of these “practices,” whilst reeking of dark witchcraft, also contained sexual elements.

In 1600, Count Francis was killed in battle against the Turks and it was now that the real period of Elizabeth’s atrocities began. She was now mistress of Csejthe and a formidable power in the locality. However, the depravity of her life was beginning to tell on her physically—she appeared to be growing old and haggard much more swiftly than she would have liked. It is here that legend takes over.

According to one popular tale, a young maidservant was brushing the Countess’s hair when she accidentally pulled it. Angered, Elizabeth struck her across the face, so sharply that she drew blood. Later, looking at the area on which the girl’s blood had fallen, the Countess imagined that the skin seemed younger and fresher than the skin around it. She consulted with the witch Darvula and learned that it was imagined in the countryside that the blood of a virgin, accompanied by certain abominable rites, had youth-giving properties.

This set Elizabeth off on a bloody and murderous trail. Together with her accomplices, she began to recruit young local girls from the villages round about, ostensibly to work as servants at Csethje, but in reality to be murdered within the castle walls. Each day, the Countess would bathe in their blood in the belief that it returned at least some of her youthful looks. There were accounts of her actually drinking the blood as a restorative medicine. Most of the girls whom Elizabeth and her cohorts murdered came from the Slovak population of Hungary—girls who were often considered of the “lower order” in society. For a while, the authorities did not overly worry about the disappearance of the girls.

The official story was that they had contracted illness and died. For a number of years—roughly between 1601 and 1611—the Countess murdered innumerable servant girls with impunity and without any official enquiry. Many people, particularly in the locality, either knew or suspected what was going on within the castle but none dared voice it. Once a Lutheran pastor spoke out against her, claiming that there was a great and horrific evil going on in Csethje, including cannibal feasts and blood-drinking orgies, and although initially his words fell on largely deaf ears, some people started to pay attention.

A legend says that one of the girls who the Countess was about to kill managed to escape and raised the alarm in the surrounding countryside, although this is not extremely likely. What is more likely is that the rumours surrounding the Countess continued to grow until they reached the ears of King Matthias II, who had no other option but to investigate. He planned his raid to happen over the Christmas holiday while the Hungarian Parliament was not in session. On December 29, 1610, Count Thurzo's raid on Castle Csejthe began. When they entered the castle they found a beaten body of a servant girl before the door. Inside the house they found two other dead female victims, of which Elizabeth and her cohorts had not yet disposed of.

In 1611, a series of trials conducted by the King himself were set up and the servants, Darvula and Dorottya Szentes, along with Janos Ujvary, were all found guilty of witchcraft and murder, and were executed. Elizabeth herself was not found guilty of any crime—indeed her noble rank saved her from criminal proceedings—but she was commanded to remain in Csejthe at the pleasure of the Hungarian king. To this end, stonemasons were brought in and Elizabeth was walled up in the apartments where she had committed the majority of her atrocities. Only a small aperture was left through which food could be passed into her. All the windows of that section of the castle were also bricked up, leaving her alone in the darkness. There she was to remain until she died.

Accusations

In 1610 and 1611 the notaries collected testimonies from more than 300 witness accounts. Trial records include testimonies of the four defendants, as well as 13 more witnesses. Priests, noblemen and commoners were questioned. Witnesses included the castellan and other personnel of Sárvár castle. According to these testimonies, her initial victims were local peasant girls, many of whom were lured to Čachtice by offers of well-paid work as maidservants in the castle. Later she is said to have begun to kill daughters of lower gentry, who were sent to her gynaeceum by their parents to learn courtly etiquette. Abductions were said to have occurred as well.

At the trial there were accusations of pagan practices and witchcraft. The trial did not follow modern judicial standards, but as was common at that time, the processes included torture and intimidation. The descriptions of torture that emerged during the trials were often based on hearsay. The atrocities described most consistently included:
*severe beatings over extended periods of time, often leading to death.
*burning or mutilation of hands, sometimes also of faces and genitalia.
*biting the flesh off the faces, arms and other bodily parts.
*freezing to death.surgery on victims, often fatal.
*starving of victims.
*sexual abuse.

The use of needles was also mentioned by the collaborators in court. Some witnesses named relatives who died while at the gynaeceum. Others reported having seen traces of torture on dead bodies, some of which were buried in graveyards, and others in unmarked locations.

According to testimonies by the defendants, Elizabeth Báthory tortured and killed her victims not only at Čachtice but also on her properties in Sárvár, Sopronkeresztúr, Bratislava, (then Pozsony, Pressburg), and Vienna, and even between these locations. In addition to the defendants, several people were named for supplying Elizabeth Báthory with young women. The girls had been procured either by deception or by force. A little-known figure named Anna Darvulia was rumored to have influenced Báthory but Darvulia died long before the trial.

The exact number of young women supposedly tortured and killed by Elizabeth Báthory is unknown, though it is often speculated to be as high as 650, between the years 1585 and 1610. The estimates differ greatly. During the trial and before their execution, Szentes and Ficko reported 36 and 37 respectively, during their periods of service. The other defendants estimated a number of 50 or higher. Many Sárvár castle personnel estimated the number of bodies removed from the castle at between 100 to 200. One witness who spoke at the trial mentioned a book in which a total of over 650 victims was supposed to have been listed by Báthory herself. This number became part of the legend surrounding Báthory. Reportedly, diaries in Báthory's hand are kept in the state archives in Budapest. Supposedly the diaries are difficult to read due to the condition of the material, the old language, the hand-writing and the horrific content. However, supposing such diaries exist, none of the many successive regimes which took power at Budapest during the following centuries had seen fit to publish them.

On 31st July 1614, Elizabeth (then reputedly age fifty-four) dictated her last will and testament to two priests from the Estergom bishopric. What remained of her family holdings were to be divided between her children, with her son Paul and his descendants receiving the main portion. Shortly afterwards, two of her guards decided that they would try to look at her through the aperture through which she was fed—she was supposedly still the most beautiful woman in all of Hungary. When they looked through, however, they saw only the body of the Countess, lying face down on the floor.

The bloody Countess was dead in her lonely, lightless world. The records concerning Elizabeth Bathory were sealed for one hundred years and her name was forbidden to be mentioned throughout Hungary. The name “Csejthe” became a swear word in the Hungarian tongue and the Slovaks within the borders of the country referred to the Countess obliquely as “the Hungarian whore.” The shadow of Elizabeth Bathory fell darkly across her lands for many centuries after her death. Although there is no real evidence that Bram Stoker used the idea of the “Countess Dracula” in his vampire novel, there is no reason why he should not have known about her.

In fact, she may well have served as the template for another Irish writer’s vampiric tale. This was Carmilla written by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, originally published in 1871 in the magazine The Dark Blue. In this tale, a vampiric older girl subtly and evilly influences the impressionable mind of her younger companion. There are, of course, undertones of lesbianism and bloodlust in the story that provide a tangible link with the “Blood Countess.” In her own way, Elizabeth Bathory was as influential to the vampire myth as Vlad Tepes. The dark and sinister figure of the vampire has proved to be one of the most enduring motifs of horror across the centuries. And this most enduring of monsters looks set to continue its haunting of the minds of men and women for many years to come.

Sources :
Encyclopedia of the Undead by DR. Bob Curran;
Vampire or Megalomaniac Serial Killer?: The Bloody Countess Elizabeth Bathory by Cristina Santos;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Bathory;
http://www.angelfire.com/ks/tepelus/bathory.html

(Pic source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Erzs%C3%A9betB%C3%A1thory.jpg)
13:18 | 6 komentar

Hongshan Mysterious Artifacts

The Hongshan Culture was discovered in 1935 and covers an area from the Wuerjimulun River valley of Chifeng, Inner Mongolia in the north to Chaoyang, Lingyuan and the northern part of Hebei Province in the south, and extends eastward to cover Tongliao and Jinzhou. This Culture dates from 4500-2250 and is one of the earliest most advanced civilizations discovered to date in China. The Hongshan were temple builders and city builders who created some of the earliest nephrite jade carvings. Their sophisticated Jade carving techniques employed technologies that exceeded simple explanations. Many of the Hongshan Jade artifacts are well persevered due to the fact that Hongshan culture utilized slab burial tombs and because of the dry arid climate of Inner Mongolia.

Perhaps the more famous known Hongshan Jade artifact is the Coiled Dragon Fetus. It has recently been discovered that the Hongshan possessed the knowledge of metallurgy and employed the use of copper (possible iron) metal tools to work their Jade masterpieces. Many Hongshan artifacts express the use of saw blades and drill instruments reflecting the fact that they were a highly technologically advanced civilization. Currently there is no known artifact evidence from other Neolithic cultures that show evidence of metal tools usage to shape jade during this very early period.
Timeline of Ancient China's Culture

Recently Chinese archaeologists have discovered a Hongshan pyramid-shaped building dating back more than 5,000 years in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, in north China. According to Guo Dashun, a renowned Chinese archaeologist, the "pyramid structure", located on a mountain ridge one kilometer north of Sijiazi Township in the Aohan Banner (county), is a three-storied stepped pyramid building that is 30 meters long and 15 meters wide. This discovery sheds light on the fact that these ancient people were one of the first known people to build pyramid structures. In addition, 7 tombs and a goddess temple were unearthed on the top of the "pyramid". There are many shattered statue pieces, including female head, shoulder, hands, breast pieces. The face of the goddess was painted with red color, and her two eyes were embedded with green jade pieces. There are a lot of scattered pottery pieces with "mi (rice)" character carved on the inner wall of pottery. In addition, a palm-long male genital is also unearthed .

Material: Jade nephrite.
Item: Goddess mother, "Nuwa" from chinese mitology. Dating: 4000 BC, Chinese Neolithic period.
Excavation: Inner Mongolia.
Gift of Mr Hamada Kosaku to Captain A. B. Zalvidar, 1937.
Ex-collection A. B. Zaldivar (1875-1948), transmitted to their descendants and now in G. Perera Collections (owner and great-grandson)

A unique characteristic of Hongshan culture is the coexistence of pottery and stone and jade ware. There are very diverse classes of jade ware, which have different sizes from small ornament to huge ritual ware and can have usage in every aspect of the social functions. Hongshan culture jade article can be categorized into five classes: tool class, such as axe, spin, rod, etc.; ornament class, such as ring, bracelet, pin, tube, etc.; ritual ware class, such as bell, battel-axe, sei-annular pendant, Pei, etc; animal class, such as dragon, pig dragon, bird, turtule, silkworm, etc.; and statue class. The most representative pieces are "C"-shaped dragon and pig dragon. The manufacturing process of Hongshan jade articles utilized mill and polishing technique, such that there is no carving marks on the jade articles.

The processing technique of Hongshan culture is quite different from that of Liangzhu culture. It was a general belief of Chinese archeologist that the process of Liangzhu Jade articles utilized teeth from shark, agate, and crystal. Japanese archaeologist think diamond was used for processing. These very early Neolithic Hongshan people were transient living in a region that falls between steppe and agricultural climate zones. In the middle period of Hongshan culture it becomes evident that a husbandry and agricultural based society emerges that leads to advancement in social structure.

Discoveries from Hongshan burial sites show that they had class structure and interesting is the fact that they cultivated millet and did not grow rice. Animal husbandry appears to have been highly advanced with the domestication of pigs and ducks. There is existing Jade artifact evidence that points to the possibility that they were one of the earliest people to domestic the horse. Archeological evidence shows that with the emergence of social stratification and a ruling class a large handicraft industry of jade workers flourished.

Hongshan Jade ritual and art objects were created for a period of more than 2,000 years. Contrary to what Western arm chair archaeologist have stated, Hongshan jades have been discovered in large quantities with over 52 different types of Jade objects in various shapes and forms. The most remarkable discoveries have been very recent in areas that are much further south of where the Hongshan Civilization was thought to have been centered.

Niuheliang archaeological site

Recent finds from a tomb at Niuheliang and two smaller mound tombs excavated in the same area were the discoveries of metal-casting technologies that were disclosed by small copper rings unearthed at these sites. The use of kilns to produce highly advanced painted and non painted pottery gave the Hongshan the power of intense heat to explore metallurgy.

According to Wong Tien Chung, these ancient people extracted iron ore/nickel alloys from meteorites to make ritual jade shaping tools. In the first place, archeological studies show that Hongshan Culture was developed on the basis of Xinglongwa Culture and Zhaobaogou Culture, and the inheritance and development in religious traditions between the three cultures are evident. No sites devoted exclusively to sacrificial rites have been found so far in Xinglongwa Culture and Zhaobaogou Culture. The discovery of Niuheliang Relics in the 1970s indicates that large-scaled centers for sacrificial rites had shown up by the end of Hongshan Culture. This is not only a breakthrough in the study of Hongshan Culture, but a discovery of great significance to the exploration of the origin of the Chinese civilization.

Secondly, Hongshan Culture is credited with remarkable achievements in architecture, pottery-making, jade-carving and pottery sculptures which are at higher levels than those of Xinglongwa Culture and Zhaobaogou Culture. The duet of square pottery molds unearthed at the relics of a house of Hongshan Culture at Xitai, Aohan Banner,which is the earliest mold for metal casting, shows that the early people of Hongshan Culture had mastered the technology of bronze casting.

Based on artifact evidence and 30 years of study that the Hongshan employed advanced jade shaping and carving tools that may have been made from meteorite iron. One fascinating study is the evidence of high content iron found in black jades used for ritual objects by the early Hongshan. Many of these artifacts are magnetic and express the possibility that the Hongshan were aware of magnetic earth forces.

Another fascinating observation through the study of Hongshan jade artifacts is the abundance of "Alien" like motifs and figurines that are completely unexplainable as they are not found in other Neolithic Cultures. It is obvious from the study of Hongshan artifacts that a highly sophisticated knowledge of mathematics and Astronomy become evident. The extensive employment of ritual jades in China by the Hongshan during its late prehistory must certainly demonstrate to the world of archeology that these people were not "Neolithic Age" but rather "Jade Age" people. More great discoveries wait under the earth of China. The Hongshan were actually the Xinglongwa people who migrated into China from Mongolia when global weather conditions turned their rich forested world into desert.

Recent discoveries reveal that the Xinglongwa people had sophisticated jade carving techniques over 8,500 years ago! Archeologists believe that the discovery of these relics, as well as of the pyramid itself, will be crucial in learning more about both the spiritual and earthbound life of the peoples of the Hongshan culture. The long lost historic trails of these great people who were called the Hongshan are waiting to be discovered. The greatest discoveries of the origins of human civilization await us in China. Perhaps, it may be discovered that they are indeed descendents from a long lost advanced civilization.

Sources : 
Encyclopedia of Unusual and Unexplained Things; 
http://www.thejaderoad.com/hongshan.html; 
http://english.nmgnews.com.cn/eng/article/20050110/450_1.html; 
Inner Mongolia News 2005-01-10

Pics source : 
pic 1 taken from http://www.thejaderoad.com/hongshan.html; 
pic 2 taken from http://www.shunyadragon.com/contents/jadesilk/images/jade_age_table.gif;
pic 3 image belongs to Dr. Jesus G. Perera (the current owner of Goddess Mother Nuwa)
pic 4 taken from http://www.liaoning-gateway.com/74599725050888192/20050901/1069570.jpg
16:51 | 3 komentar

Stigmata Phenomena

Stigmata, the term originates from the line at the end of Saint Paul's Letter to the Galatians where he says, "I bear on my body the stígmata of Jesus" - stigmata is the plural of the Greek word στίγμα, stígma, a mark or brand such as might have been used for identification of an animal or slave. An individual bearing stigmata is referred to as a stigmatic. The causes of stigmata may vary from case to case, though supernatural causes have never been proven. Stigmata are primarily associated with the Roman Catholic faith. Many reported stigmatics are members of Catholic religious orders. The majority of reported stigmatics are female. This historical phenomena have been such well-documented, that many sceptics have been forced to accept their legitimacy. The affliction creates marks on the hands, feet, side and brow which reflect the wounds Christ suffered on the cross.

The marks often bleed or secrete a liquid, and can appear and disappear in a matter of hours. It is usually only saints and the most devoutly religious who experience stigmata. It not only leaves a physical representation of Christ’s wounds, but stigmatics often feel pain near the marks, and many report a lifelong sense of despair and suffering. Some even feel the lashing of whips across their backs. Religious followers believe that the pain is an integral part of stigmata.

The first celebrated stigmatic was Saint Francis of Assisi. His holy marks appeared in 1222 and were of an extent never subsequently equalled. The skin on his hands and feet actually grew out of the wounds to form calluses in the shape of nails. Since his time, there have been over three hundred reported stigmatics, sixty-two of which were saints. Georgio Bongiavani is one of the most well known recent sufferers of stigmata. In his case, wounds on his hands and forehead seem to appear and disappear almost at will. The explanation for stigmata is still a mystery. Doctors have recorded that blood secreted by the wounds is a different type to the stigmatic’s blood group or is an unknown liquid, or even exudes a perfume.

In 1275, a Cistercian nun named Elizabeth received stigmata on her forehead, representing Christ’s crown of thorns, after she witnessed a vision of the Crucifixion. Church tradition has it that St. Catherine of Siena (1347–1380) was visited with the marks of Christ’s suffering, but through her great humility she prayed that they might become invisible, and, though the pain of the wounds remained, her entreaty was granted and the blood no longer flowed. The Catholic Encyclopedia states that the suffering that stigmatics endure is the “essential part of visible stigmata; the substance of this grace consists of pity for Christ, participation in his sufferings, sorrows, and for the same end—the expiation of the sins unceasingly committed in the world.” If the stigmatics did not suffer, the wounds would be “but an empty symbol, theatrical representation, conducing to pride.” And if the stigmata truly issue from God, it would be unworthy of his wisdom to participate in such futility, “and to do so by a miracle.” While not yet blessed with sainthood, Padre Pio (1887–1968), one of the most wellknown stigmatics of the twentieth century, saw a vision of a mysterious person whose hands, feet, and side were dripping blood on August 20, 1918.

After Padre Pio was delivered from such a terrifying sight, the priest suffered the first of the stigmata which would cause his wounds to bleed daily for 50 years. Therese Neumann (1898–1962) was also a stigmatic who became familiar to the general public. Born between Good Friday and Easter at Konnersreuth, Bavaria, Neumann suffered a series of serious accidents that brought blindness, convulsions, and paralysis. Her eyesight was restored on the day of the beatification of St. Therese of Lisieux (1873–1897), April 29, 1923, and on the day of St. Therese’s canonization on May 17, 1925, her mobility returned. Then, after a vision of Jesus on March 4, 1926, the stigmata began, and she would suffer bleeding from all the wounds, including shoulders and knees, on Fridays, especially during the church season of Lent. It is claimed that from Christmas 1926 until her death in 1962, Neumann didn’t eat or drink anything except daily Communion.

For those saints who were also stigmatics or for those stigmatics who may be authentic, the church has issued three qualifications regarding the production of the phenomena on their bodies:
1. Physicians could not succeed in curing the wounds with their remedies.
2. Unlike long-lasting wounds in others, those of stigmatics give off no foul or fetid odor.
3. Sometimes the wounds of the stigmatics emit the odor of perfumes.

In April 1998, various media carried the story of a priest who began to manifest stigmata in his side, hands, and feet while serving a parish in Antigua, West Indies. Reverend Gerard Critch was flown to New York to be treated by medical specialists. Dr. Joseph John was quoted as saying that no treatment he had given Critch had worked or been effective. According to Critch’s parishioners, they were thrown to the floor by an invisible force or felt their injuries healed when he blessed them. R. Allen Stanford, a banker from the United States who flew Critch to New York City on his private jet, said that oil was oozing from the marks on the priest’s feet, as it did from Jesus. “The wounds were real,” Stanford said (Evening Telegram, April 11, 1998).

The Roman Catholic Church does not see the onset of stigmata as bringing with it any increase of holiness, so its clergy recognizes the real possibility of conscious or unconscious fraud in some of the cases of stigmata reported almost annually. The church also acknowledges the role that psychosomatic medicine might play in explaining many instances of the spontaneous wounds that mimic those of Christ’s Crucifixion. A popular theory is that stigmata are psychosomatic afflictions brought on by extreme levels of worship. Some believe stigmatics unconsciously bring about these wounds by their devotion to Christ. Many stigmatics have reported their wounds appearing in their greatest intensity around the holy days of Easter, when sufferers are most engrossed by religious events. Similarly, each stigmatic’s wounds generally correspond to the marks on the statue of the person they most often worship. If the statue is nailed through the wrist and ankles, their wounds appear in the wrist and ankles. But of course, there is another theory: that stigmata are sent by God as a gift to only the most holy.

(Source : Wikipedia; The Most Strangest Mysteries; Encyclopedia of Unusual and Unexplained Things)
(Pic source : http://www.artchive.com/artchive/v/van_eyck/eyck_stigmata.jpg)
16:20 | 2 komentar

Mystery of Bruce Lee's Death

Bruce Lee (27 November 1940 – 20 July 1973) was born in San Francisco, California, and raised in Hong Kong until his late teens. His Hong Kong and Hollywood-produced films elevated the traditional Hong Kong martial arts film to a new level of popularity and acclaim, and sparked the first major surge of interest in Chinese martial arts in the West. The direction and tone of his films changed and influenced martial arts and martial arts films in Hong Kong and the rest of the world as well. Lee became an iconic figure particularly to the Chinese, as he portrayed Chinese national pride and Chinese nationalism in his movies. He primarily practiced Chinese martial arts (Kung fu), particularly Wing Chun. On 20 July 1973, Lee was in Hong Kong, due to have dinner with former James Bond star George Lazenby, with whom he intended to make a film. According to Lee's wife Linda, Lee met producer Raymond Chow at 2 p.m. at home to discuss the making of the movie Game of Death. They worked until 4 p.m. and then drove together to the home of Lee's colleague Betty Ting, a Taiwanese actress. The three went over the script at Ting's home, and then Chow left to attend a dinner meeting.

A short time later, Lee complained of a headache, and Ting gave him an analgesic (painkiller), Equagesic, which contained both aspirin and a muscle relaxant. Around 7:30 p.m., he went to lie down for a nap. After Lee did not turn up for dinner, Chow came to the apartment but could not wake Lee up. A doctor was summoned, who spent ten minutes attempting to revive him before sending him by ambulance to Queen Elizabeth Hospital. However, Lee was dead by the time he reached the hospital. There was no visible external injury; however, his brain had swollen considerably, from 1,400 to 1,575 grams (a 13% increase). Lee was 32 years old. The only two substances found during the autopsy were Equagesic and trace amounts of cannabis. On 15 October 2005, Chow stated in an interview that Lee died from a hypersensitivity to the muscle relaxant in Equagesic, which he described as a common ingredient in painkillers.

When the doctors announced Lee's death officially, it was ruled a "death by misadventure." Dr. Langford, who treated Lee for his first collapse, stated after his death that, "There's not a question in my mind that cannabis should have been named as the presumptive cause of death. "He also believed that, "Equagesic was not at all involved in Bruce's first collapse."Professor R.D. Teare, who had overseen over 100,000 autopsies, was the top expert assigned to the Lee case. Dr. Teare declared that the presence of cannabis was mere coincidence, and added that it would be "irresponsible and irrational" to say that it might have triggered Lee's death.

His conclusion was that the death was caused by an acute cerebral edema due to a reaction to compounds present in the prescription pain killing drug Equagesic. Another doctor, Peter Wu's preliminary opinion was that the cause of death could have been a reaction to cannabis and Equagesic. Dr. Wu would later back off from this position however: "Professor Teare was a forensic scientist recommended by Scotland Yard; he was brought in as an expert on cannabis and we can't contradict his testimony. The dosage of cannabis is neither precise nor predictable, but I've never known of anyone dying simply from taking it."

The exact details of Lee's death are a subject of controversy. But long before his sudden and tragic death at the age of thirty-two, rumors were rife throughout Asia that he had been dead for months. According to one source, Hong Kong Triads had killed Lee because he had refused to pay them protection money. Another claimed that he had been drugged by a former sensei who resented the fact that he taught martial arts to foreigners.

Many Chinese people believe that Lee was the victim of his own rigorous training regime, while others cite drug abuse as the cause of his demise. It is even claimed by some cynics that Lee faked his death and that he is merely waiting for the right time to return to society. The most popular story printed in the Hong Kong press suggested that the American Mafia had killed Lee. After completing the film The Green Hornet, Lee was approached by Mafia agents who wanted him to become the first Asian star in Hollywood. Bravely, Lee refused and returned home to Hong Kong.

Bruce Lee buried next to his son Brandon in Lake View Cemetery, Seattle U.S.A

In the aftermath, it is alleged that humiliated Mafia bosses signed Lee’s death warrant and hired a professional assassin. An interesting postscript to this story claims that Lee’s son (Brandon Lee), also a martial arts actor, was “accidentally” shot dead after he had found vital information about his father’s killer. Perhaps the most outrageous theory regarding Lee’s death is that a prostitute killed him in a fit of panic. If the story is to be believed, Lee had taken a powerful aphrodisiac which had caused him to become very violent during sex. Fearing for her life, the prostitute reached out for the nearest heavy object—a glass ashtray—and struck Lee on the skull. He would never wake from the resulting coma.

Countless documentaries, books and magazines have purported to tell the “true” story of Bruce Lee’s death. As far as the people of Hong Kong are concerned, the full facts surrounding Lee’s passing have never been revealed, and probably never will be.

(Source : Wikipedia & Conspiracy Theories by Kate Tuckett)
(Pics source : pic1 taken from http://www.bruce-lee.com/bruce-lee-picture-large.jpg; pic2 taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bruce_Lee_1.JPG)
15:43 | 4 komentar

Roger Bacon

Roger Bacon was a great polymath whose mind seems unfettered by the time he lived in. He was frequently accused of sorcery, and endured a period of imprisonment. His work stands at the meeting place of Mediaeval and Modern Europe, and his ideas anticipated both the Renaissance and the Enlightenment; he was lauded as a scientist and thinker yet branded a wizard. Some of his inventions had to wait centuries for realisation. Bacon recognized that there were mysterious forces that appeared to be magical, such as those that moved the stars and the planets; but he argued that all knowledge that existed on Earth depended upon the power of mathematics. The friar also admitted the difficulties in discerning between the natural magic of science and the black arts. He was convinced, though, that natural magic was good and black magic was evil.

This thirteenth-century alchemist seemed to have powers of prediction when he told his contemporaries that physics, not magic, would produce huge vessels that would be able to navigate the oceans and rivers without sails or oars, cars without horses that would be able to move at tremendous speed, flying machines that would soar across the skies guided by a single man seated at centrally located controls, submarine machines that could dive to the bottom of the sea without danger to its crew, and great bridges without pillars that could span rivers. Bacon has been credited with dozens of inventions, such as the telescope, eye glasses, gunpowder—all derived through his science, rather than his magic.

Although seen as the first champion of the scientific method, he was also rumoured to have performed alchemical transmutations, and remains an enigmatic character, still steeped in mystery and legend. Like Pope Sylvester II, he was rumoured to have a talking head made of brass, and it was said that he gained his extraordinary learning from the Devil. He is supposed to have drawn up plans for flying machines and machines that enabled a man to breathe at the bottom of the ocean, and to have constructed a mirror that enabled him to see far-off events. He is also said to have invented a microscope, a tank and a pontoon bridge.When he died, his books were nailed to the shelves they sat on and left to rot, such was the conviction felt by his fellow Franciscans that he had been in league with the forces of darkness.

Bacon was born at Ilchester in Somerset around the year 1214 to a wealthy family who supported Henry III in the war against the Barons (a position that would later drive them to ruin). He was probably sent up to Oxford at the traditional age of ten or twelve, and there proved himself to be an exceptional student, being taught by the most learned men of the day, including Robert Grosseteste, Bishop of Lincoln and the leading mathematician of the time. Perhaps while an undergraduate, Bacon became a Franciscan. After Oxford, Bacon went to Paris, which boasted the greatest university of the day.

Bacon’s tutor at Paris, unlike Oxford, was an obscure solitary by the name of Master Peter, a shadowy figure who has escaped the history books almost completely. Whereas, in Oxford, Bacon had received the standard university education of the time, in Paris, he was instructed in Peter’s own unique style. He learnt alchemy and astrology, but was also instructed in the empirical observation of nature: Bacon was to refer to Master Peter as the ‘Lord of Experimentation’. Bacon had already been introduced to this method by Grosseteste, and would later develop the work of both his masters and, in doing so, lay the foundation for modern science. Bacon came to believe that through studying Nature, Man could come to have knowledge of the Creator. He returned to Oxford a Doctor of Divinity, and began to undertake a series of experiments.

For most of the 1250s, he seems to have been engaged in diverse works, including astronomy (his celebrated observation tower survived well into the eighteenth century), botany, chemistry, medicine, optics and mathematics. He gathered a small group of students around him – including Friar Bungay, another doctor of Divinity and supposed sorcerer – and set rumourmongers into overdrive with his stargazing and strange instruments. This period seems to have been the most settled and productive of Bacon’s career.

Bacon’s belief that the principles of mathematics and number underlined everything in the world led to his discovery that the calendar was in need of reform; his suggestions were finally accepted in 1582 when the Gregorian system, as it was known, was finally adopted. It also led to his creating one of the earliest maps of the world. (Now rumoured to be in the Vatican library.) But this was not all. Bacon saw abuse and ignorance everywhere, and railed against fellow scholars (including Thomas Aquinas and Albertus Magnus).

Heretically, he judged the world of Classical Antiquity to be morally superior to that of the Christians, and called for greater stringency in universities. He himself learned Hebrew, Chaldean and Greek in an attempt to try to get both the Bible and the Classical authors translated properly. Corrupt texts, he reasoned, would lead to corrupt students. He also believed that great secrets were contained in words: if, as the Fourth Gospel asserts,‘In the Beginning was the Word’, then a greater knowledge of linguistics would lead to a greater knowledge of God. Bacon must therefore have studied what alchemists have called the Language of the Birds, the derivation of occult secrets through the use of etymology and wordplay.

Bacon’s outbursts, which would continue unabated into old age, together with the popular perception that he was a necromancer, led to his summons to a Franciscan kangaroo court in 1257. It is said that he was placed under house arrest for ten years, although he himself claimed that he withdrew from Oxford life for some years due to ill health. Perhaps Bacon realised that he was sailing close to the wind, and should lie low until either his reputation improved, or a powerful patron should appear. In 1263, that is precisely what happened. The newly appointed Papal legate to England, Guido Fulcode, heard of Bacon through an intermediary, one Raymond de Laon. The monk of Oxford, Fulcode learned, was possessed of wonderful secrets, and the legate determined to correspond with him.

By the time the two made contact, Fulcode had become Pope Clement IV and, once he deemed it safe to do so, had Bacon released in 1267 on the condition that he wrote all his discoveries down into one book. Bacon did not write one book for the Pope. He was to write four. The Opus Majus was the first of these, and it is his masterpiece. In it, he followed the fashion of the time for trying to encapsulate all human knowledge in one book. It is a vast compendium surveying the sciences as they stood in 1267, and as they stood according to Bacon, who believed that all branches of science were connected; in effect, it is a mediaeval quest for a ‘Theory of Everything’. (Another, later alchemist, Sir Isaac Newton, also dreamed of such a theory.) Bacon hoped that in producing the Opus Majus, he could persuade the Pope into both offering him protection from his persecutors, and into introducing reforms in both Church and Society.

The plan was scuppered in 1269 with Clement’s death. Back in Oxford and reunited with his students, Bacon produced three more works, the Opus Minus, the Opus Tertium and a treatise whose title has been lost, for the new Pope, Gregory X, before falling foul of the Franciscan hierarchies again. Bacon’s supporters tried to save him, but in 1278 he was imprisoned for fourteen years. It is said that he was only released when he revealed certain alchemical secrets to the head of the Franciscans, Raymond Gaufredi. If his opponents had hoped that jail and old age would have mellowed Bacon, they were to hope in vain. Upon his release, Bacon immediately set to work on another book, the Compendium Theologiae, an attack on what he saw as the theological errors of the time.

(Source : Alchemy & Alchemists by Sean Martin; Encyclopedia of Unusual & Unexplained Things)
(Pic source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Roger-bacon-statue.jpg)
16:35 | 5 komentar

Zeta Reticuli Incident

The case of Betty and Barney Hill, commonly called the Hill Abduction, and occasionally the Zeta Reticuli Incident, was that they were victims of a UFO abduction. Theirs was the first widely-publicized claim of alien abduction, adapted into the best-selling 1966 book The Interrupted Journey and a made for television movie. The classic case of humans abducted and examined by aliens from another world. Their story was covered extensively by John G. Fuller in the book Interrupted Journey (1966), and there was even a made-for-television movie (1975) with James Earl Jones and Estelle Parsons playing Barney and Betty. On September 19, 1961, Betty, a social worker, and Barney, a mail carrier, then in their 40s, were returning to their home in New Hampshire from a short Canadian vacation when they noticed a bright object in the night sky. Barney stopped the car and used a pair of binoculars to get a better look at it. As he studied the object, its own illumination showed a well-defined disklike shape, moving in an irregular pattern across the moonlit sky.

Fascinated, Barney walked into a nearby field where from that perspective he could perceive what appeared to be windows—and, in the windows, beings—looking back at him. The feeling that he was being watched frightened Barney, and he ran back to the car, got in, and began to race down the road. Then, as if obeying some internal directive, he drove down a side road—where the Hills found five humanoid aliens standing in their path. Suddenly unable to control their movements, Betty and Barney were taken from their car and, in a trancelike condition, led to the UFO by the humanoids. The sensational details of the Hills’ story were recalled later while under hypnosis, for the couple had a complete loss of memory concerning the nearly two hours that they were abducted by the UFOnauts.

According to information later retrieved under hypnosis, Betty and Barney were returned unharmed to their car with the mental command that they would forget all about their abduction experience. The UFO then rose into the air and disappeared from sight, leaving the Hills to continue their journey home, oblivious to the whole event. Perhaps the remarkable encounter would never have been brought to light except for two factors: they began to experience strange and disconcerting dreams that they could not understand, and they could not explain the unaccountable two missing hours in their journey home from Canada. Betty decided to seek the help of a psychiatrist friend, who suggested that the memory of those lost hours would return in time, perhaps in only a few months.

But the details of that unexplained “interruption” remained in a troubled limbo of fragmented memories until the Hills began weekly hypnosis sessions with Dr. Benjamin Simon, a Boston psychiatrist. Under Simon’s guidance, the couple revealed an astonishing pastiche of bizarre physical and mental examinations at the hands of an extraordinary group of extraterrestrial medical technicians. The individual accounts of Betty and Barney agreed in most respects, although neither was made aware of what the other had disclosed until later. In essence, both told of being treated by aliens from space in much the same manner as human scientists might examine laboratory animals.

Although the couple had been given hypnotic suggestions by the aliens that they would forget their experience, their induced amnesia was apparently penetrated when they were rehypnotized by Simon. Much has been made of the Hills alien medical examinations, and their much-publicized experience may have provided the prototype for thousands of other individuals who have claimed alien abductions with their requisite physical and sexual exams. However, the single aspect that may be most essential in giving the Hills’ story credibility is the star map that Betty said she was shown by the extraterrestrials while on board the UFO.

Under hypnosis in 1964, three years after their alleged alien abduction, Betty, with little or no understanding of astronomy, drew her impressions of the map with a remarkable expertise that concurred with other, professionally drawn, star maps. As an important bonus, Betty’s map showed the location of two stars called Zeta I and Zeta II Reticuli, allegedly the home base of the space travelers who abducted them.

Map of Zeta Reticuli, according to Betty Hill and Fish's description

"Deciphering" the star map

In 1968, Marjorie Fish of Oak Harbor, Ohio read Fuller's Interrupted Journey. She was an elementary school teacher and amateur astronomer. Intrigued by the "star map", Fish wondered if it might be "deciphered" to determine which star system the UFO came from. Assuming that one of the fifteen stars on the map must represent the Earth's sun, Fish constructed a 3-dimensional model of nearby sun-like stars using thread and beads, basing stellar distances on those published in the 1969 Gliese Star Catalog. Studying thousands of vantage points over several years, the only one that seemed to match the Hill map was from the viewpoint of the double star system of Zeta Reticuli. Therefore she concluded that the UFO might have come from planets orbiting Zeta Reticuli.

As a result of Fish's hypothesis, some have dubbed the Hills' account The Zeta Reticuli Incident. Most so-called Ufologists, however, continue to prefer the Hill Abduction or some similar term. Distance information needed to match three stars, forming the distinctive triangle Hill said she remembered, was not generally available until the 1969 Gliese Catalog came out. Fish also was the first to note that all the stars on the map connected by lines (which Betty Hill said she was told were trade or frequently-traveled routes) fell in a plane, with Zeta Reticuli acting as a hub. Thus the displayed routes would be the most logical and efficient way of exploring the nearby stellar neighborhood for a civilization located in Zeta Reticuli.

These points played critical roles in the subsequent debates over the validity of the Fish match to the Hill map. Fish sent her analysis to Webb. Agreeing with her conclusions, Webb sent the map to Terrence Dickinson, editor of the popular magazine Astronomy. Dickinson did not endorse Fish and Webb's conclusions, but he was intrigued, and, for the first time in the journal's history, Astronomy invited comments and debate on a UFO report, starting with an opening article in the December 1974 issue. For about a year afterwards, the opinions page of Astronomy carried arguments for and against Fish's star map.

Notable was an argument made by Carl Sagan and Stephen Soter, arguing that the seeming "star map" was little more than a random alignment of chance points. In contrast, those more favorable to the map, such as Dr. David Saunders, a statistician who had been on the Condon UFO study, argued that unusual alignment of key sun-like stars in a plane centered around Zeta Reticuli (first described by Fish) was statistically improbable to have happened by chance from a random group of stars in our immediate neighborhood.

It was also pointed out that Zeta Reticuli is highly unusual in being the only known example of a wide double star system consisting of two stars very similar to the sun. One of the articles in the Astronomy magazine debate, on the ages of the stars in the Hill/Fish map, said evidence pointed to the Reticulan system being 1 to 3 billion years older than our own, with the suggestion that this would have permitted another intelligence race to have evolved long before we did and thus be considerably more advanced.

Furthermore, it was noted the two stars are very close together (now believed to be only 1/8 light year apart), whereas the nearest star similar to the sun, Tau Ceti, is 12 light years away. It was argued that the closeness of the two sun-like stars would likely have acted as a considerable spur to developing interstellar travel. However, it was also noted that the Zeta Reticulan stars are metal poor compared to the sun, raising questions as to whether a solar system like our own would have developed, whether sufficient carbon existed for life to have even arisen, or whether sufficient quantities of such metals would have been available to create a technological civilization even if there was an earthlike planet and advanced life in the Reticulan system.

Skeptic Robert Sheaffer in an accompanying article said that a map devised by Charles W. Atterberg, about the same time as Fish, was an even better match to Hill's map and made more sense. The base stars, Epsilon Indi and Epsilon Eridani plus the others were also closer to the sun than the Hill map. Fish counterargued that the base stars in the Atterberg map were considered much less likely to harbor life than Zeta Reticuli and the map lacked a consistent grouping of sun-like stars along the lined routes, unlike her map.

Interestingly, the existence of the two stars was not confirmed by astronomers until 1969—eight years after the Hills’ abduction experience and five years after Betty remembered seeing the star map aboard an alien spaceship. As an added bit of data to support Betty Hill’s claim that her recollection of the map was an actual memory of having been shown an artifact created by an extraterrestrial intelligence, the two fifth-magnitude stars, Zeta I and Zeta II Reticuli, are invisible to observers north of the latitude of Mexico City.

In 1993, a new theory with regard to the map in question was proposed. Two German crop circle researchers, Joachim Koch and Hans-Jürgen Kyborg, proposed that the map was, in reality, drawn from the perspective of the alien spacecraft as it was positioned to the eyes of the Hills in the solar system on September 16, 1961 along U.S. Route 3 near Lincoln, NH

(Source : Encyclopedia of Unusual and Unexplained Things & Wikipedia)
(Pics source : Pic 1 Betty and Barney Hill taken from Encyclopedia of Unusual and Unexplained Things page 275; Pic 2 taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Zeta_reticuli.png)
16:49 | 6 komentar

Recent Post

Recent Posts Widget

Chapters

Popular Posts