Entombed Animals Phenomenon

Entombed animal reports have faced as much disbelief and ridicule as wonder and excitement. This famous curiosity has excited people ever since its publication in 16th century. It is one of the few pieces of evidence, which gives credibility to the hundreds of myths and legends concerning the escape of living toads and frogs trapped in rocks and wood. References to entombed animals have appeared in the writings of William of Newburgh, J. G. Wood, Ambroise Paré, Robert Plot, André Marie Constant Duméril, John Wesley, and others. Even Charles Dickens mentioned the phenomena in his journal All the Year Round. According to the Fortean Times, about 210 entombed animal cases have been described in Europe, North America, Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. Because of its outrageousness the phenomenon of entombed toads, frogs, and other animals is seldom discussed in the scientific literature of our time, but it made frequent appearances in learned journals of the nineteenth and earlier centuries.

An early example is this account, related by a sixteenth-century figure, Ambroise Pare, chief surgeon to Henry III of France, and reprinted in the 1761 edition of the Annual Register : "Being at my seat near the village of Meudon, and overlooking a quarryman whom I had set to break some very large and hard stones, in the middle of one we found a huge toad, full of life and without any visible aperture by which it could get there. . . . The laborer told me it was not the first time he had met with a toad and the like creatures within huge blocks of stone.”

In September 1770,when a live toad was found encased in plaster in a castle wall that had stood for some forty years, scientist Jean Guettard investigated the incident personally. The following February he presented his findings to the French Academy of Sciences and also provided an extended overview of other cases preserved in academic and popular literature. Guettard’s work inspired other scientists and educated lay inquirers, some of whom conducted tests whose purpose was to determine whether toads could survive for long entombed. The results — negative — provided fuel for skeptics even now.

During the 1820s, English geologist William Buckland conducted an experiment to see how long a toad could remain alive while encased in stone. He placed toads of different sizes and ages into carved chambers within limestone and sandstone blocks, then buried the blocks in his garden. A year later, he dug up the blocks and found that most of the toads were dead and decayed. A few toads that had been in the limestone (which did contain small pores) were still living. However, Buckland found them all dead after reburying them in the limestone for another year. Buckland concluded that the entombed animal phenomenon was impossible, and most scientists agreed. Even so, the reports continued.

In 1890 a writer for Scientific American declared, “Many well authenticated stories of the finding of live toads and frogs in solid rock are on record.” The thing is absolutely impossible, and there are many well authenticated stories of it. Trying to reconcile these conflicting realities,William R. Corliss, probably the world’s leading authority on anomalies of nature, remarks, “If miracles do happen, then toads can be found in solid rocks. It may be that nature operates this way, violating the ‘logical’ laws we try to impose with some low frequency, after the fashion of the ‘forbidden transitions’ in quantum physics.”

At Hartlepool, England, on April 7, 1865, laborers doing excavation work found, twenty-five feet below the surface, a block of magnesium limestone. As they were breaking it up, it split open to reveal a cavity in which, to their astonishment, they saw a living toad. “The cavity was no larger than its body, and presented the appearance of being a cast of it.” On April 15 the Hartlepool Free Press reported. “The toad’s eyes shone with unusual brilliancy, and it was full of vivacity on its liberation.” It seemed at first to be experiencing difficulty breathing, probably because its mouth was sealed shut. At first a “barking” sound came out of its nostrils, possibly related to inhalation and exhalation problems. Soon this ceased, though it would emit a startled bark whenever it was touched. When discovered, the toad was of a pale color indistinguishable from that of the stone in which it had been embedded, but in short order it grew darker until it became olive-brown. “The claws of its fore feet are turned inwards,” the newspaper noted, “and its hind ones are of extraordinary length and unlike the present English toad.” S.Horner, president of the Natural History Society, took possession of it. The Zoologist reported that it had also been examined by a local clergyman and geologist, the Rev. Robert Taylor, who confirmed the strange circumstances of its recovery.

The Free Press appended this commentary to its original article: “The world now had another story of a toad in a hole. . . . Illustrations of the toad’s perilous passion for holes abound in our literature and, if we turn over the leaves of our local chronicles, numerous examples present themselves. We read of the discovery within the last hundred years of live toads in all sorts of possible and impossible situations; in the solid slate of a quarry in Barnard Castle, in a block of freestone at Blyth, in a limestone block at Saeham and at Ryhope, and in a seam of coal down a deep pit at Sunderland. Another of his race, profiting by repairs, emerged from the battlements of Flambard’s Bridge in 1828, and gave rise to unavailing speculation as to his antiquity. A beech tree at Shawdon and an American oak at Blyth fell into the hands of sawyers, when a “living toad” started out of each of them, and exchanged a life of solitude for the publicity of a paragraph in Sykes or Latimer.”

In 1901 two workmen in Lewes, Sussex, found it, according to reports England. There is no doubt that the toad is real, and that the flint nodule, empty of the fossil sponge it once contained, is also real. The find was publicised by Charles Dawson, the man believed by many to be the Piltdown Skull hoaxer. He is associated with many other extraordinary and doubtful objects. The toad has shrunk much more now than when it was first pictured, showing it cannot have been very old when published.

One example was made known to the eminent twentieth-century biologist-philosopher Sir Julian Huxley in a letter from gas fitter Eric G.Mackley of Barnstaple, Devonshire, England.Mackley wrote: “It became desirable to widen the Barnstaple-Ilfracombe road some years ago, taking in part of the long gardens in front of a row of bungalows which had gas meters housed just inside the front gates; these of course had to be moved back to the new front wall line. The meter-houses were brick-walled but rather massively concrete-floored, and the concrete had to be broken up to allow me to get at the pipes for extension.My mate was at work with a sledge hammer when he dropped it suddenly and said, “That looks like a frog’s leg.” We both bent down and there was the frog. . . . The sledge was set aside and I cut the rest of the block carefully.We released 23 perfectly formed but minute frogs which all hopped away to the flower garden.”

In 1719 embeddings have been reported not only in rocks but in trees. The Memoires of the French Academy of Sciences related that in the foot of an elm, of the bigness of a pretty corpulent man, three or four feet above the root and exactly in the center, has been found a live toad, middle-sized but lean and filling up the whole vacant space. In the fall of 1876, according to the South African newspaper Uitenhage Times of December 10, sawyers cutting a sixteen- foot trunk into lumber had just removed the bark and the first plank when a hole the size of a wine glass was uncovered. Inside this space were sixty-eight small toads, each the size of the upper joint of a human little finger. “They were . . . of a light brown, almost yellow color, and perfectly healthy, hopping about and away as if nothing had happened. All about them was solid yellow wood, with nothing to indicate how they could have got there, how long they had been there, or how they could have lived without food, drink or air."

Tilloch’s Philosophical Magazine told a lizard-in-stone story in 1821. In Scotland, David Virtue a mason, at Auchtertool ( a village four miles from Kirkaldy), was dressing a barley millstone from a large block, after cutting away a part, he found a lizard embedded in the stone. It was about an inch and a quarter long, of a brownish yellow color, and had a round head, with bright sparkling projecting eyes. It was apparently dead, but after being about five minutes exposed to the air it showed signs of life. One of the workmen, very cruelly, put snuff in its eyes,which seemed to cause it much pain. It soon after ran about with much celerity; and after half an hour was brushed off the stone and killed. When found, it was coiled up in a round cavity of its own form, being an exact impression of the animal. This stone is naturally a little damp; and about half an inch all round the lizard was a soft sand, the same color as the animal. There were about 14 feet of earth above the rock, and the block in which the lizard was found was seven or eight feet deep in the rock; so that the whole depth of the animal from the surface was 21 or 22 feet. The stone had no fissure, was quite hard, and one of the best to be got from the quarry of Cullaloe — reckoned perhaps the best in Scotland.

One account, from a World War II British soldier, has found two animals entombed together : “In Algeria in the early part of 1943, I was working with a team whose job it was to quarry stone that was then used for making roads and filling bomb craters. The method was used to set small charges of explosives into the rock face and crack open the rock, which we then prised away and broke down before it was used. One morning, we had set off the charges as usual and I started to prise away the rock away from the quarry face when I saw in a pocket in the rock a large toad, and beside it a lizard at least nine inches long. Both these animals were alive, and the amazing thing was that the cavity they were in was at least 20 feet from the top of the quarry face. Try as we might,we couldn’t find how it was possible for the two creatures to be where they were — there were no inlets, cracks or fissures leading to the cavity. In fact, it was quite a topic of conversation among us all for some days.”

In August 1975 a turtle embedded in a concrete, as they broke up concrete that had been laid over a year earlier, Fort Worth, Texas, construction workers were startled to find a living green turtle within it, the smooth, body-shaped cavity in which it had resided during its imprisonment clearly visible. The animal’s rescue, alas, proved its undoing. It died within ninety-six hours of its liberation.

Unable to mock such things out of existence, critics have concocted “solutions” so patently inadequate as to make outright hoax accusations a more plausible alternative. It is not hard to imagine how animals could get embedded in concrete. An indulged imagination conceives of ways they could meet such a fate within trees. Rocks, however, are quite another matter. The animals’ survival, too, seems inexplicable. How could they have breathed, and what could they have eaten?

Amphibians, the most frequent embedding victims, have, at the outer extreme and under the best of circumstances, a lifespan of three decades. How old are embedded animals? Where rocks are concerned, we seem indeed to be dealing with an event not significantly short of miraculous, as Corliss says. Occasionally conventionalists have speculated that the animals were able to sustain themselves by drinking water that seeped through cracks. Even if we discard testimony that specifically denies the presence of such openings,we still leave unanswered the monumental question of how the animal got there in the first place. The implication, it need hardly be emphasized, is that it was there a long time. Nothing about this phenomenon makes any kind of sense.

Sources :
Unexplained! : “Strange Sightings, Incredible Occurences & Puzzling Physical Phenomena” by Jerome Clark;
Unsolved Mysteries : “An Exhibition of Unsolved Mysteries & Enigmatic Findings In The History of Humanity” by Reinhard Habbeck, Dr. Willibald Katzinger and listed authors;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entombed_animal

Pic Source :
Unexplained! By Jerome Clark page 165
05:53 | 3 komentar

The Disappearance of SS Waratah

The SS Waratah was a 500 foot steamer sometimes referred to as "Australia's Titanic", disappeared off South Africa late in July 1909, with the loss of all 211 persons on board—no bodies, lifeboats, wreckage, or shipboard items of any kind were ever found, making this one of the best-known examples of a ship lost entirely without trace. The disappearance of the ship remains one of the most baffling nautical mysteries of all time. The Waratah was a British cargo-passenger vessel, built by Barclay Curle & Co in Whiteinch, Glasgow (Scotland) and operated by the Blue Anchor line on the run between England and Australia by way of the Cape of Good Hope. That she was not fitted with wireless was not unusual for that time when radio was still very new, although no doubt the subsequent court of inquiry might have wished that a radio telegraphy facility had been installed.

This vessel was named from waratah, the Aboriginal word for the bright red flower of the shrub, genus Telopea, found in eastern Australia (the waratah is the floral emblem of New South Wales, not the national flower of Australia). On 5 November 1908, the Waratah began her maiden voyage from London, England, with 689 passengers in third class accommodation and 67 first class passengers. Her captain was Joshua E. Ilbery, a master with 30 years nautical experience. The subsequent inquiry into her sinking raised some disputed reports of instability on this voyage. On the ship's return to England there had been some discussion about stowage between the owners and the builders.

Under the same command of Captain Ilberry, the Waratah was on her second round-trip, having sailed from London in 27 April 1909, she set out on her second trip to Australia. When she reached Australia she landed her passengers at Sydney, loaded some 6,500 tons of cargo, then set out for Durban, South Africa, where she took on coal. This was uneventful, and on 1 July 1909 she set out from Melbourne on the return journey. She was bound for the South African ports of Durban and Cape Town and was then to return to London.

At Durban an interesting incident occurred. A businessman by the name of Claude G. Sawyer, who had booked his passage home from Australia to England, suddenly left the vessel. He took himself and his luggage ashore despite the fact that he had no business affairs to attend to in Durban. They had heard the reason for Mr. Sawyer’s departure. He said he had recurrent bad dreams. Night after night the vision that had come to him in his bunk had terrified him into wakefulness.

The ship then left for Cape Town, eight hundred miles away, on the evening of July 26 with 211 passengers and crew. On 27 July, it passed the Clan McIntyre. Later that day, the weather deteriorated quickly (as is common in that area). A wind gusting to 50 knots (90 km/h) combined against the tide and ocean swell to build waves up to 30 feet (9 m). That evening the Union-Castle Liner Guelph passed a ship and exchanged signals by lamp, but due to the bad weather and poor visibility was only able to identify the last three letters of her name as "T-A-H.”

The same evening, a ship called the Harlow saw a large steamer coming up eastern of her, working hard in the heavy seas and making a great deal of smoke, enough to make her captain wonder if the steamer was on fire. When darkness fell, the crew of the Harlow could see the steamer's running lights approaching, but still 10–12 miles behind them, when there were suddenly two bright flashes from the vicinity of the steamer and the lights vanished and that was the last time the Waratah was seen. The Waratah was expected to reach Cape Town on 29 July 1909. It never reached its destination, and no trace of the ship was ever found.

Two days later the Clan MacIntyre reported that the weather had been unusually bad, with fierce winds and “tremendous seas” (it was the Southern Hemisphere winter); nevertheless, she and other vessels in the area had come through safely. The master of the Clan MacIntyre told the board of inquiry that when she was sighted on July 27 the Waratah was not listing and neither was she rolling unduly in the heavy weather. The reason for her complete disappearance has never been satisfactorily explained, although there were persistent rumors that the vessel was unstable.

In September 1909, the Blue Anchor Line chartered the Union Castle ship Sabine to search for the Waratah. The search of the Sabine covered 14,000 miles, but yielded no result. In 1910 relatives of the Waratah passengers chartered the Wakefield and conducted a search for three months, which again proved unsuccessful. The official enquiry into the fate of the Waratah was held at London in December 1910. Among others, Claude Sawyer gave testimony on that occasion. When the Waratah was posted missing, Sawyer appeared at the inquiry and explained the nature of these dreams. In them he is leaning on the rail and staring out to sea. A blood-spattered knight dressed in armor and mounted on a horse suddenly rises out of the waves, holding aloft in one hand his sword and in the other a blood-soaked rag, all the while apparently trying to shout something to Sawyer. The message seems to be, “The Waratah ! The Waratah !,” then the phantom knight disappears. Nobody now laughed at Sawyer’s story—he was, after all, the only survivor, and that by inexplicable default.

In the “second half of the twentieth century” a pilot in the South African Air Force reported that while flying over the sea just off the coast he had seen, very clearly, the outline of a ship lying on the bottom, close in to the shore. The pilot claimed he “recognized” the wreck as the Waratah (it is not clear how he achieved this feat, the ship in question having already been submerged for more than fifty years), but subsequent efforts to locate it again failed.

Some thirty or forty years ago a popular writer of drama and mystery wrote a story about a cargo liner that ran into some of the very bad weather that often attends a passage through the Mozambique Channel, that strait of unruly water between Mozambique on the east coast of Africa and the island of Madagascar. The Agulhas Current sweeps south through this relatively shallow channel against the prevailing southerly winds, a confluence of events that can bring on mountainous waves. The author has his ship encounter seas so fiercely steep that an underwater mountain is momentarily revealed in the troughs, with a huge cavern in its side into which the vessel is driven headlong, to be immediately engulfed forever by the raging ocean.

Many years later, the story continues, an air force pilot, in search of the wreck of the ship in which his father had been an officer, discovers this very same underwater cavern during a terrible storm, brings his aircraft safely alongside the ship’s hulk that he discovers therein (exactly how he achieves this underwater miracle remains a mystery), and a meeting is thereby effected between long-lost father and lately landed offspring.

In 1977 a wreck was located off the Xora River Mouth. Several investigations into this wreck, in particular under the leadership of Emlyn Brown took place. It is however widely believed today that the wreck off the Xora River Mouth was that of one of many ships which had fallen victim to German U Boats during the Second World War. It has proven particularly difficult to explain why the Waratah should be found so far to the north of her estimated position. Further attempts to locate the Waratah took place in 1991, 1995 and 1997.

While in 1999 another reports reached the newspapers that the Waratah had been found 10 km off the eastern coast of South Africa (Addley). A sonar scan conducted by Emlyn Brown's team had indeed located a wreck whose outline seemed to match that of the Waratah. In 2001, however, a closer inspection revealed differences between the Waratah and the wreck. It appears that the team had in fact found the Nailsea Meadow, a ship which had been sunk in the Second World War.

The most popular theory advanced to explain the disappearance of the Waratah is an encounter with a 'freak wave', also known as a rogue wave, in the ocean off the South African coast. Such waves are known to be common in that area of the ocean. It is most likely that the Waratah, with what seems to be marginal stability and already ploughing through a severe storm, was hit by a giant wave. This either rolled the ship over outright or stove-in her cargo hatches, filling the holds with water and pulling the ship down almost instantly. If the ship capsized or rolled over completely, any buoyant debris would be trapped under the wreck, explaining the lack of any bodies or wreckage in the area. This theory was given credibility through a paper by Professor Mallory of the University of Cape Town (1973) which suggested that waves of up to 20 meters in height did occur between Richards Bay and Cape Agulhas. No evidence except the absence of the wreck supports this theory, however.

Several people have suggested that the Waratah was caught in a whirlpool created by a combination of winds, currents and a deep ocean trench, several of which are known to be off the southeast coast of Africa. This would explain the lack of wreckage, but there is no firm evidence that a whirlpool of sufficient strength to almost instantly suck down a 450-foot long ocean liner could be created as suggested.

Given the evidence from the officers of the Harlow, it has been speculated that the Waratah was destroyed by a sudden explosion in one of her coal bunkers. Coal dust can certainly self-combust and in the right proportions of air be explosive. However, no single bunker explosion would cause a ship the size of the Waratah to sink instantly, without anyone being able to launch a lifeboat or raft, and without leaving any wreckage.

Several supernatural theories were also put forward to explain the disappearance of the Waratah. One of them is the legend of Flying Dutchman that was reported by Clan MacIntyre’s chief officer, C. G. Phillips while exchanged signals with the Waratah when they sighted each other. This statement made to the English newspapers at the time (Phillips later became commodore of the Clan Line, an indication of his reputation for being capable and level-headed):
"A gale of hurricane force had been lashing the seas when the Waratah passed us. Some hours after I had sent the signal to the liner I was standing on the bridge when I sighted another ship, a sailing vessel. There was something strangely old-fashioned about her rig. I’m not a superstitious man, but I know my seafaring lore. The rig of the strange vessel immediately brought to mind the legend of the Flying Dutchman . . . the phantom ship held me spellbound. It disappeared in the direction taken by the Waratah, and I had a feeling it was a sign of disaster for the liner.”

And another one is Claude Sawyer’s vision that was reported to the London inquiry, he claimed he had seen on three occasions the vision of a man "with a long sword in a peculiar dress. He was holding the sword in his right hand and it was covered in blood." This vision was one of the reasons why he decided not to continue the voyage on the Waratah.

Sources :
Seafaring, Lore & Legend : “A Miscellany of Maritime Myth, Superstition, Fable, And Fact” by Peter D. Jeans;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Waratah.

Pic source :
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Waratah1909.jpg
06:38 | 5 komentar

Voronezh UFO Landing Case

In 1989 several city in Russia, experienced a wave of sightings involving many UFOs of different shapes and sizes. Starting on April 24, 1989, in Cherepovetsk, a man named Ivan Vesalova reported a craft of enormous size, bigger than any airplane, about a thousand feet above ground. On June 6, in Konantsevo, several children saw, or claimed they saw, a luminous sphere land in a meadow and a headless person climb out. On June 11, a woman in Volagda reported a fiery sphere crossing the sky, visible for 17 minutes. In one sighting, about 500 people watched an unidentified craft hovering over their neighborhood. Another craft flew over the nuclear power plant and sent down a ray of some sort, which left a burn mark in the ground. All that, however, was prologue to the Voronezh “landings”. On September that year, hundreds of citizens in Voronezh, saw a spaceship land in a public park. The witnesses claimed that the giant visitors had three eyes and that their craft and their uniforms were all marked with the X symbol.

On the afternoon of September 27, 1989, several children in Voronezh, an industrial center with a population of about one million, were playing soccer in a local park when a giant red sphere, 30 feet in diameter, landed right next to them. A huge crowd quickly gathered. Suddenly, a hatch opened in the craft and two creatures stepped out. One was a short robotic-looking figure, the other was a gigantic humanoids (12 to 14 feet tall) walked about the town, perhaps sightseeing. The alien appeared to have “three eyes,” was wearing a silver jumpsuit, bronze-colored boots, and a round disk on his chest.

Because there were so many witnesses, and because of the earlier wave of sightings, the event caused a huge sensation. The news agency TASS picked up the story, and before long, it was front-page news across the world. According to TASS, and a report in the newspaper Sovetskaya Kultura, two boys and a girl from a local school - Vasya Surin, Zhenya Blinov and Yuliya Sholokhova - were playing in a park on the warm evening of Sept. 27 when suddenly, at half past six, ''they saw a pink shining in the sky and then spotted a ball of deep red color'' about 10 yards in diameter. A crowd gathered, ''and they could clearly see a hatch opening in the lower part of the ball and a humanoid in the opening.”

The three-eyed creature, about over 10 feet tall and fashionably dressed in silvery overalls and bronze boots and with a disk on its chest, disappeared, then landed and came out for a promenade with a companion and a robot. The aliens seemed to communicate with each other, producing the mysterious appearance of a shining triangle, and activated the robot with a touch. Terrified, a boy began to scream, but with a stare of the alien's shining eyes, TASS said, the boy was silenced and paralyzed.

After a brief disappearance, the three returned, but this time one of the ''humanoids'' had ''what looked like a gun'' by his side - a tube about two feet long that it directed at a 16-year-old boy. The boy, whose name was not given in the report, promptly vanished, but reappeared. Immediately afterward, the aliens stepped back into the sphere, which took off straight up.

Residents of the city of Voronezh insisted that lanky, three-eyed extraterrestrial creatures had indeed landed in a local park and gone for a stroll and that a seemingly fantastic report about the event carried Monday by the official press agency TASS was absolutely true.

Lieutenant Sergei A. Matveyev confessed that he had not actually seen the aliens, but said he saw the spaceship and ''it was certainly a body flying in the sky,'' moving noiselessly at a very high speed and very low altitude. To be honest, Lieutenant Matveyev said, he was a little skeptical himself when he first saw the object. ''I thought I must be really tired,'' he said. ''but I rubbed my eyes and it didn't go away. Then I figured, in this day and age, anything is possible.''

Vladimir A. Moiseyev, director of the regional health department, said in a telephone interview that despite reports of widespread fear in the city, none of the witnesses had applied for medical help. But he said that ''certainly we are planning to examine the children.'' There was no explanation why, with the passing of two weeks, such an examination had not yet taken place.

Mr. Moiseyev, like other authorities in Voronezh, the editors of TASS, and indeed many of its readers, treated the report as a serious scientific phenomenon. No extra men are assigned to patrol the area because the department is short-handed, said the duty officer at the local Interior Ministry department, who identified himself only by his last name, Larin, but he said troops would be dispatched ''if they appear again.''

The TASS correspondent covering the case of the mysterious visitors to Voronezh, Vladimir V. Lebedev, seemed insulted that anyone would treat the story with anything but the full seriousness that it was given by the agency. In a telephone interview, Mr. Lebedev described conversations with dozens of witnesses and with experts who had examined the evidence and spoken to the children. He said there were about three landings of the U.F.O between Sept. 23 and Sept. 29.

In the latest development, not yet reported by TASS, Mr. Lebedev said that Genrikh M. Silanov, head of the Voronezh Geophysical Laboratory, asked the children to draw what they had seen. Drawings said to be similar. Though isolated from one another, he said, the children all drew a banana-shaped object that left behind in the sky the sign of the letter X.

Such descriptions, Mr. Silanov said, were reported as typical of U.F.O.'s in a 1976 article in the now defunct American magazine Saga. Mr. Silanov said that a rock that was reportedly found at the site and described as being not something found on earth was actually a form of hematite, which is found in various parts of the Soviet Union. While not a witness himself, Mr. Lebedev said he had visited the site. ''The traces were still seen,'' he said. ''I could see holes of a clear shape that resembled the footprints of an elephant.''

Several scientists investigated and failed to convince themselves that all this was hallucination. The landing was investigated by a wide variety of scientists including medical investigators, psychologists, criminologists, and more. It was discovered that numerous other people in the area had seen and even photographed the UFOs. Some of the witnesses suffered weird side effects such as insomnia. Others reported electromagnetic effects on their TVs and appliances.

Most exciting, however, was the analysis of the landing site. Depressions in the ground showed that the object weighed several tons. Radiation was found in the soil, as were unusually high levels of certain elements—in particular, phosphorus. The Voronezh landing remains one of the most famous UFO landings in Russian history, and as of yet, it is still unexplained.

Sources :
Everything Is Under Control : “Conspiracies, Cults & Cover-ups” by Robert Anton Wilson with Miriam Joan Hill;
Mysteries, Legends & Unexplained Phenomena : “UFOs & Aliens” by Preston Dennett;
http://www.nytimes.com/1989/10/11/world/ufo-landing-is-fact-not-fantasy-the-russians-insist.html?pagewanted=1

Pic Source :
Mysteries, Legends & Unexplained Phenomena : “UFOs & Aliens” by Preston Dennett page 61
06:34 | 2 komentar

The Iron Pillar of Delhi

In the southern district of New Delhi is the famed Iron Pillar, generally believed to date from the fourth century A.D., but said by some scholars to be over four thousand years old. It was built as a memorial to a king named Chandra. It is a solid shaft of iron sixteen inches in diameter and twentythree feet high. It has attracted the attention of both archaeologists and metallurgists, as it has withstood corrosion for over 1600 years in the open air. The pillar defies explanation, not only for not having rusted, but because it is apparently made of 98% pure wrought iron, and is a testament to the high level of skill achieved by ancient Indian ironsmiths, which can only be produced today in tiny quantities by electrolysis. The technique used to cast such a gigantic, solid iron pillar is also a mystery, as it would be difficult to construct another of this size even today.

The pillar—seven meters (23 feet) high and weighing more than six tons—is said to have been fashioned at the time of Chandragupta II Vikramaditya (375–413), though other authorities give dates as early as 912 BCE, initially stood in the centre of a Jain temple complex housing twenty-seven temples that were destroyed by Qutb-ud-din Aybak, and their material was used in building the Qutub Minar and Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque. Made up of 98% pure wrought iron, it is 7.21m (23 feet 8 inches) high, with 93 cm (36.6 inches) buried below the present floor level, and has a diameter of 41 cm (16 inches) at the bottom which tapers towards the upper end. The pillar was manufactured by forge welding. The temperatures required to form such a pillar by forge welding could only have been achieved by the combustion of coal.

The mystery of the use of iron in Asia especially in India is one that largely baffles modern metallurgists. It is assumed that these countries developed iron and other metallurgical skills after the west, but the evidence points otherwise. Nikolass van der Merwe gives the orthodox view: “Spreading east from the Mediterranean, iron was diffused throughout most of Asia before the Christian era. By 1100 B.C. it was in use in Persia, from where it spread to Pakistan and India. The date of the arrival of iron in India is still a matter of some dispute; until recently, iron was assumed to have reached Northern India around 500 B.C., where it appears at the sites of Taxila, Histinapura, and Ahichatra in association with the distinctive ‘Northern Black Polished’ pottery type.

To add to the evidence that ancient India had highly advanced smelting works, the monthly Motilal Banarsidass Newsletter from New Delhi, India reported in its July 1998 edition that findings by the State Archaeology Department after excavations in Sonebhadra district, Lucknow, India, may revolutionize history as regards to the antiquity of iron. The department has unearthed iron artifacts dated between 1200—1300 B.C. at the Raja Nal Ka Tila site in the Karmanasa river valley of north Sonebhadra. Said the newsletter, “Radio carbon dating of one of the samples done by the Birbal Sahani Institute of Palaeobotany has established that it belongs to 1300 B.C., taking the antiquity of iron at least 400 years back, even by conservative estimates. This date of iron is one of the earliest in the Indian subcontinent.” And, these are conservative estimates indeed. There is considerable evidence that mining and iron working have gone on long before 1300 B.C.

The pillar bears a Sanskrit inscription in Brahmi script which states that it was erected as a standard in honour of Lord Vishnu. It also praises the valor and qualities of a king referred to simply as Chandra, who has been identified with the Gupta King Chandragupta II Vikramaditya (375-413). The inscription reads (in the translation given in the tablets erected by Pandit Banke Rai in 1903):

Sanskrit Inscription

“He, on whose arm fame was inscribed by the sword, when, in battle in the Vanga countries (Bengal), he kneaded (and turned) back with (his) breast the enemies who, uniting together, came against (him);-he, by whom, having crossed in warfare the seven mouths of the (river) Sindhu, the Vahlikas were conquered;-he, by the breezes of whose prowess the southern ocean is even still perfumed;- (Line 3.)-He, the remnant of the great zeal of whose energy, which utterly destroyed (his) enemies, like (the remnant of the great glowing heat) of a burned-out fire in a great forest, even now leaves not the earth; though he, the king, as if wearied, has quit this earth, and has gone to the other world, moving in (bodily) from to the land (of paradise) won by (the merit of his) actions, (but) remaining on (this) earth by (the memory of his) fame;- (L. 5.)-By him, the king,-who attained sole supreme sovereignty in the world, acquired by his own arm and (enjoyed) for a very long time; (and) who, having the name of Chandra, carried a beauty of countenance like (the beauty of) the full-moon,-having in faith fixed his mind upon (the god) Vishnu, this lofty standard of the divine Vishnu was set up on the hill (called) Vishnupada.”

In a report published in the journal Current Science, R. Balasubramaniam of the IIT Kanpur try to explains how the pillar's resistance to corrosion is due to a passive protective film at the iron-rust interface. The presence of second phase particles (slag and unreduced iron oxides) in the microstructure of the iron, that of high amounts of phosphorus in the metal, and the alternate wetting and drying existing under atmospheric conditions, are the three main factors in the three-stages formation of that protective passive film.

Lepidocrocite and goethite are the first amorphous iron oxyhydroxides that appear upon oxidation of iron. High corrosion rates are initially observed. Then an essential chemical reaction intervenes: slag and unreduced iron oxides (second phase particles) in the iron microstructure alter the polarization characteristics and enrich the metal–scale interface with P, thus indirectly promoting passivation of the iron (cessation of rusting activity). The second phase particles act as a cathode, and the metal itself serves as anode, for a mini-galvanic corrosion reaction during environment exposure. Part of the initial iron oxyhydroxides is also transformed into magnetite, which somewhat slows down the process of corrosion.

But the ongoing reduction of lepidocrocite, and the diffusion of oxygen and complementary corrosion through the cracks and pores in the rust, should still contribute to the corrosion mechanism from atmospheric conditions. In fact the pillar has never rusted for centuries.

The pillar stands as mute testimony to the highly advanced scientific knowledge that was known in antiquity, and not duplicated until recent times. Yet still, there is no satisfactory explanation as to why the pillar has never rusted. A fence was erected around the pillar in 1997 in response to damage caused by visitors. There is a popular tradition that it was considered good luck if you could stand with your back to the pillar and make your hands meet behind it.

Sources :
Atlantis Rising Magazine volume 26 : “The Metals of the Gods – The Ancients Were Not Strangers to Sophisticated Sciences of Metallurgy” by David Hatcher Childress;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_pillar_of_Delhi

Pics sources :
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:QtubIronPillar.JPG;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:India-Qutb-Iron.jpg
07:06 | 5 komentar

Guest Post : Jesse James & The Mysterious Buried Treasure of The Wichita Mountains

This article is written by Rob Marsh, webcomic creator of December Sun, someone fascinated with the unexplained, and an amateur buried treasure seeker... The topic of Jesse James and his buried treasure in the Wichita Mountain range of Lawton, Oklahoma, is an interesting one to me personally, as I lived in Lawton for a number of years and frequently made trips to those particular mountains with some friends of mine back in high school, and there was always a mystique to those mountains, in terms of the legend of Jesse James who, legend had it, had hidden away his stash of gold somewhere in the mountains.

Jesse James

The Wichita mountains are breath-taking range of mountains that occupy 59,020 acres of southern Oklahoma near the Lawton/Fort Sill area. The mountains offer some magnificent parks and trails to hike, and while hiking these trails and exploring the vast mountain ranges, you can't help but speculate about where that stolen gold could have been hidden. The mountains are vast and scattered with rocky ledges and ravines. So spending many years in that particular area, the legends of the hidden gold of Jesse James is just one of those things you learn about as a fascinating and mysterious bit of Oklahoma lore.

Panoramic view of the mountain

They way I understand it, based on what I heard long ago and also based on some research, is that long ago, around the year 1876 in northern Mexico, Frank and Jesse James, along with members of their gang, attacked a detail of Mexican guardsmen with eighteen burros transporting gold bullion. Once they stole the gold jackpot, they lead the pack of mules across Texas and north into Indian Territory, a place safe for outlaws since there was little law enforcement at that time

Eventually they reached the Wichitas in souther Oklahoma and, in an unknown spot east of Cache Creek they buried their gold in a deep ravine. Once buried, Jesse made two signs pointing to the gold: he nailed a burro shoe into the bark of a Cottonwood tree, and he emptied both of his six-shooters for a second mark into a cottonwood tree. He also supposedly etched out the outlaws contract on the side of a brass bucket, binding the members of the gang to secrecy about the gold and where it was hidden. The location is rumored to be on Tarbone Mountain, a site to the north of the Wichitas, near a cottonwood tree. Frank and Jesse then buried the bucket somewhere on Tarbone Mountain, again near a Cottonwood tree.

Then six months later, Jesse James met up with his destiny as his gang was ambushed attempting to rob a bank in Minnesota. Jesse James escaped, but never was able to return to his hidden gold. April 3, 1882, he was shot and killed in Missouri by one of his own gang members.

The hidden gold has never been found, but most of the markers pointing to it's location have been found, including the brass bucket with the engraved names, along with a crude map. The mystery still surrounds what happened to the gold, was it ever reclaimed (by the remaining members of the James gang maybe?) or if its still hidden in the hills, waiting for someone to find it.

Regardless of what happened to the gold, the true treasure for me is that of the Wichita mountains and thinking back to good times hiking these trails and enjoying the beauty of the area. If you ever visit the Lawton area of Oklahoma be sure to take a trip to the Wichitas and, who knows, maybe you'll come across some of Jesse Jame's lost treasure.

Some sources:
- Memories of stories during my time in Oklahoma
- http://www.fws.gov/southwest/refuges/oklahoma/wichitamountains/
- http://hubpages.com/hub/RobbersCave
- http://ancientlosttreasures.yuku.com/topic/5733
- http://www.knightsofthegoldencircle-kgc.com/JessesHideout.htm
- http://books.google.com/books?id=KaR2VvAuk7UC&pg=PA129&lpg=PA129&dq=JESS+JAMES+WICHITA+MOUNTAINS+gold&source=bl&ots=NVOz9lcg_5&sig=xg6STTi0xVE7h5_SVi3XBvGUv_g&hl=en&ei=dNt0S8SuMJX7nAf06Li1CQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=8&ved=0CCkQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=&f=false
18:39 | 5 komentar

Draugr

A draugr or draug or draugen also known as aptrgangr in Viking belief (Norse mythology) is a corporeal revenant or an undead creature who wandered about the countryside, performing acts of great violence against former associates or against those whom it encountered. The original Norse meaning of the word is ghost, and in older literature one will find clear distinctions between sea-draugr and land-draugr. Draugr were believed to live in the graves of dead Vikings, being the body of the dead. As the centuries passed, these ancient terrors began to merge with perceptions of the angry and volatile dead from other cultures. Although many of the tales concerning draugr are thought to have originated in Iceland, they soon became known across the Nordic world and even further afield. There are accounts of them from Britain and France, recounted in both Latin and Anglo-Saxon script.

Many of these dead lay within tomb-like barrows which were scattered across the Scandinavian landscape. These resembled houses in which the dead might “live” and from which they would venture forth, during the hours of darkness, to engage in wicked acts. From these coffin mounds, the spectres hurled abuse at passers-by and often pelted them with stones. And they attached themselves to any house that had been erected nearby, terrorising the inhabitants by appearing in front of them as soon as it was dark. The Icelandic Laxdoela Saga, written around the 13th century (although the contents reflect much earlier fragmentary writings), includes the story the ghost of Hrapp, who wandered from his howe (tomb) each night, to create mayhem in the district and even to kill several of his former servants.

The Eyrbyggia Saga, written at the monastery of Helgalfel, around the middle of the 14th century, recounts the story of the vicious ghost of Thorolf Halt-foot who, together with a group of Undead companions, terrorized and devastated the country round about his burial chamber. Many of the stories concerning them reflected the earlier tales of the unquiet dead of Greece and Rome. Also in the Eyrbyggja Saga a shepherd is assaulted by a blue-black draugr. The shepherd's neck is broken during the ensuing scuffle. The shepherd rises the next night as a draugr.

In more recent folklore, the draugr is often identified with the spirits of mariners drowned at sea. In Scandinavian folklore, the creature is said to possess a distinctly human form, with the exception that its head is composed entirely of seaweed. In other tellings, the sea-draugr is described as being a headless fisherman, dressed in oilskin, sailing in half a boat. This trait is common in the northernmost part of Norway, where life and culture was based on the fish, more than anywhere else.

A recorded legend from Trøndelag tells how a corpse lying on a beach became the object of a quarrel between the two types of draug. A similar source even tells of a third type, the gleip, known to hitch themselves to sailors walking ashore and making them slip on the wet rocks. Norwegian folklore thus records a number of different draug-types. The connection between the draugr and the sea can be traced back to the author Jonas Lie and the story-teller Regine Nordmann, as well as the drawings of Theodor Kittelsen, who spent some years living in Svolvær. Up north, the tradition of sea-draugar is especially vivid.

Around 500 A.D., there is a record of a famous encounter in a haunted house by Bishop Germanus—a place frequented by a draugr who was especially violent. The account of this is given by Constantineus, a near contemporary of Germanus that hints back to the malicious ghosts of ancient Greece and Rome.

The Bishop of Auxerre in France, whilst on an important journey with his retinue, was overtaken by darkness and sought shelter in a rather disreputable hovel, which locals said was haunted. As the party settled down for the night, they were suddenly disturbed by a horrific and malevolent apparition that rose up out of the ground in front of them and proceeded to pelt them with stones. The Bishop begged the draugr to desist but it hurled abuse at them and began to pummel them with handfuls of earth. Germanus called on the ghost to stop in the Name of God and, at the mention of the holy name, it ceased its violence and became very humble. It revealed its true form: the spirit of an evil man who had been buried there without the proper rites of the Church. The Bishop asked it to show where its bones were buried and instructed a grave to be dug. The bones were interred; the Bishop said special prayers and the hovel was no longer haunted.

In fact, subsequent Christian folklore concerning the dead now increasingly emphasised the triumph of the forces of virtue over wandering cadavers. Those who died within the bosom of the Church were especially blessed, even though they were deceased and did not experience the anger or violence which beset those who had passed away unshriven.

Much was made of a popular tale recounted by the early Christian writer Evagrius Ponticus (345–399 A.D.). The story concerns a certain holy Anchorite named Thomas who died in a suburb of the city of Antioch. Being destitute and having no possessions, the hermit was buried in a portion of the city’s burying-grounds reserved for beggars and paupers. The following morning, however, it was found that the corpse had clawed its way through the earth and made its way to a mausoleum in the richest part of the cemetery. There it had laid itself down to rest. It was immediately removed and re-interred but the same thing happened on the following morning and it was noted that there were disturbances in several other graves around the area. The people summoned the patriarch Ephriam, who recommended that the body be carried in triumph to the city and placed in a shrine, with a special service to be held in honour of the Anchorite in the local church. Whether this was designed to exalt the hermit and to prevent him from walking about or to keep other cadavers in their graves is unclear.

Similar stories exist concerning the lives of other hermits, monks, bishops, and saints. St. Macarius of Egypt, for instance, is said to have raised a man from his grave to testify to the innocence of a monk accused of killing him. The History of the Franks, speculated to be written by a group of monks, states how St. Injurieux, a notable senator of Clermont in Auvergne, rose from his tomb and went to lie with his wife Scholastica in an adjoining grave.

Traditionally, a pair of open iron scissors were placed on the chest of the recently deceased while straws or twigs might be hidden among their clothes. The big toes were tied together or needles were driven through the soles of the feet in order to keep the dead from being able to walk. Tradition also held that the coffin be lifted and lowered in three different directions as it was carried from the house to confuse a possible draugr's sense of direction.

The most effective means of preventing the return of the dead was the corpse door. A special door was built on, through which the corpse was carried feet-first with people surrounding it so the corpse couldn't see where it was going. The door was then bricked up to prevent a return visit. It is speculated that this belief began in Denmark and spread throughout the Norse culture. The belief was founded on the idea that the dead only enter through the way they left.

Sources :
Encyclopedia of the Undead : “A Field Guide to the Creatures That Cannot Rest In Peace” by DR. Bob Curan;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Draugr

Pic Source :
Encyclopedia of the Undead by DR. Bob Curan page 205
06:18 | 0 komentar

The Hidden Treasure of Johnny Lang

The treasure of Johnny Lang and his death in a desert snow storm is a fading legend of Joshua Tree National Monument's mining era. Speculation still runs high that the gold Johnny Lang skimmed from the Lost Horse Mine is buried somewhere in the Park, possibly in the Lost Horse area. If Lang's gold ever is found, it will become the property of the United States government, as it is buried on Monument land. Bill Keys, who still remembers Lang and his gold, is the last survivor of mining in the monument still resides there. Closely associated with the historical characters who once roamed the high desert, Keys himself was a successful miner and prospector. Although Johnny Lang carried the exact location of his gold cache to his grave, Keys remembers enough of Lang's activities to piece together an approximate location. Lang himself was a strange man. The son of wealthy parents, he was educated in St. Louis and could have led a cultured life there. Instead, he came west and adopted the rough habits of a desert miner.

During the 1890s, Lang bought out a miner named “Dutch Frank” Diebolt who had a rich claim south of the present Ryan Mountain. Johnny Lang figures in every version of the mine's discovery, the common factor being that the legendary prospector found the mine while in pursuit of his wandering horse. In one version, Lang, while looking for his horse, had sat on a rock to dislodge a stone from his shoe when he looked down and saw the dull yellow of gold. A group of cattle-rustlers – the infamous McHaney Brothers among them – discovered Lang in their vicinity. They threatened him off. Another version holds that Lang found his straying animal, which was later taken at gun point. After Lang had footed it back to camp, he was encouraged to look for gold "in them thar hills." He found the Lost Horse strike, naming the mine after his long-gone companion.

The likeliest version, which Lang himself recounted to Bill Keys, holds that the miner stopped by the McHaney's encampment near Keys' Desert Queen Ranch and discovered that the gang had "confiscated" his missing horse. The cowboy gang directed Lang to "Dutch Frank" Diebolt's camp where Diebolt revealed that he had discovered a large gold strike but had been unable to claim it because of interference from the McHaneys. Lang purchased the claim rights from Diebolt for one thousand dollars, and he took on partners with enough clout to move on it. Eventually, Lang's partners sold off their shares to the Ryan brothers.

After talking it over with another partner named Ryan, the pair named the mine The Lost Horse. Immediately they established a small headquarters with a crude mill to process ore. The adobe building still stands near Ryan campgrounds on the west side of Ryan Mountain. It is on private property. As the partners prospered, they bought a giant 10-stamp mill from a Chicago foundry and had it hauled to the main mine site and erected over the shaft. It was this mill and the increased gold production it made possible that brought Lang to grief with his partner.

The pair decided to operate two shifts at the mill. Lang took the night shift and Ryan brother took the day crew. Gradually it became apparent that the day shift was turning out more raw amalgam than Lang's crew. The amalgam is a mixture of mercury and gold from which the pure gold is later separated – was commonly used to mine the raw ore. The mercury could be reused and the gold was formed into bricks. At first it was explained by the difficulty of working at night, but as each day the production differences between the two crews increased, Ryan decided it was a matter of theft and the only solution was to get rid of Lang. This he accomplished by buying out Lang and ordering him off the property.

The Lost Horse Mine continued producing until 1905, when the miners hit a fault line and forever lost the ore-bearing vein. The mine was leased to others or left dormant until 1931, when rising gold prices prompted the processing of 600 tons of tailings (unprocessed chunks of leftover ore) with cyanide, producing a few hundred ounces of gold.

During one of the mine’s dormant phases, Lang returned to the shuttered buildings to collect his stolen amalgam. Subsequent attempts to find another bonanza had met with little success, but now this didn't worry him. He had enough raw gold in secret caches at the Lost Horse Mine to support himself for the rest of his life.

Treks to recover portions of this horde began in 1917. Disposing of the melted bullion presented a problem at first, but that was solved by Bill Keys, who operated his own mine at the time and was always in the market for raw bullion. Lang started taking bullion to Keys twice a year; the same amount each time—about $980 worth. Keys estimates that Lang sold him close to $18,000 worth of gold between 1917 and 1926. It was during this latter year that greed finally got the best of Lang.

During January, a particularly cold month that year, Lang decided to pay a visit to his cache, even though at the time he was suffering with a cold. On his return home, a violent storm forced him to camp in the open desert. Weakened by his sickness and the cold weather, he fought death for several days before falling prey to it in his bed roll. When Lang didn’t reappear, three of his friends organized a search and found his body beside the trail. They dug a grave on the spot and buried the old prospector as they had found him, wrapped in his canvas sleeping bag. The men, Frank Riler, Jeff Peeden and Keys, were certain that Lang had several hundred dollars worth of amalgam in his pockets, but didn’t disturb it.

Johnny Lang’s Grave. Located next to the Salton View-Cap Rock Road in Joshua Tree National Monument.

Lang’s death strangely paralled that of his father, who also died in a snow storm, but in Alaska. Both men had money in their pockets at the time of death and both had been warned against making the trip because of weather conditions. As a tribute to his old friend, and to prevent the grave from becoming lost, Keys returned a few years later and carved a stone monument with the date of Lang’s death and the names of the men who discovered him. The spot is about three miles south of Cap Rock, on the right side of the road going to Salton View.

No one is sure how much of Lang’s gold still lies hidden at the Lost Horse Mine, but Keys has a few clues that might help someone locate it some day. Lang buried his amalgam at night near the cabin in which he lived. He placed a lump of amalgam in a clay crucible, put a rock over the mouth of the crucible, then buried it within sight of his cabin. The contents of each crucible would be worth about $1500 on 1968 market, and the value is still increasing on today’s market.

The cabins used at the mine around the turn of the century have long since disappeared and only the main stamp mill with one hammer poised in mid-motion and a few donkey engines are left. Below the main shaft and tower, only two clapboard buildings remain, so it is now impossible to determine where Lang had his cabin. A metal detector could narrow the search, but it would still be difficult to locate Johnny Lang’s amalgam horde.

The road leading to the Lost Horse is about 100 feet south of Lang’s grave. It cuts to the left and is easy to follow in an ordinary passenger car for the first mile. After that, only pickups with heavy duty tires, 4-wheelers, or hikers should try to reach the mine. From the Salton View road, the mine is about seven miles. Because of its relatively high altitude, it is generally cooler at the Lost Horse, which makes it a pleasant place to visit even in hot weather. In the early 1990's, however, heavy rains caused several of the park's mine shafts to cave in. Many hoped that Lang's treasure would be unearthed . It was never found.

While Johnny Lang’s treasure may never be found, its story is an exciting part of the mining adventures of the high desert.

Sources :
Desert Magazine, March 1968 : “The Lost Treasure of Lost Horse Mine” by Frank Taylor;
http://www.desertusa.com/mag00/jun/stories/Lang.html;
http://digital-desert.com/joshua-tree-national-park/lost-horse-mine/

Pics sources :
http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/files/storyphotos/JOTR-Lost_Horse_Mine_NPS.jpg;
Desert Magazine, March 1968 page 16
05:15 | 4 komentar

Kaimanawa Wall

Near the southern end of Lake Taupo, New Zealand there is enigmatic wall called Kaimanawa Wall. The wall is composed of megalithic blocks with symmetrical corners. The level top suggests it may have been a platform pyramid, similar to those found on several islands in the South Pacific. Until the jungle is cleared and a full excavation takes place, the Kaimanawa Wall remains a mystery. The conversations and speculations about the wall have simmered down. Centuryold trees growing through the structure predate it to prehistory and there is no evidence exists that the wall is manmade. Located immediately south of Lake Taupo, on New Zealand’s North Island, the stone structure is more probably a step pyramid or terraced, ceremonial platform of the kind found throughout ancient Polynesia, although among the very largest examples.

Kaimanawa Wall wasn’t much of a mystery when it was first discovered. Before the 1990s, locals in the area knew of the “wall”. Most of them had dismissed it as natural, weather and water-eroded rock outcropping. However as trails and roads opened the area to tourists, and more human traffic came through, many visitors were struck by the seemingly smooth blocks stacked atop of each other. B. Brailsford, of Christchurch, has been the chief investigator of the Kaimanawa wall, aided by American D.H. Childress, and others. Childress, who investigated the site in 1996 when it came to the attention of the outside world, wrote (in A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Armageddon) that:
“...the blocks seem to be a standard one point-eight meters long by one point-five meters high. The bottom block runs straight down to one point-seven meters and beyond. The stone is local ignimbrite, a soft volcanic stone made of compressed sand and ash. The nearest outcrop of such stone is five kilometers away. The blocks run for twenty five meters in a straight line from east to west, and the wall faces due north. The wall consists of approximately ten regular blocks that are seemingly cut and fitted together without mortar.”

The wall is topped by a red beech tree 2.9 meters in circumference and over a meter of accumulated humus. According to Brailsford, who was interviewed by the Listener:
"There was no doubt that the stones had been cut. In one place he could insert his arm into a root-ridden cavity and feel the back face -- and the front face of the next tier. The faces were uncannily smooth, with no saw or adze marks. The interstices where the blocks join were knife-blade thin. Further up the hill, the tops of other stones protruded, suggesting a more extensive structure was buried in the hill."

For lack of any datable material, the Kaimanawa Wall’s age is elusive, but the Maori, who arrived in New Zealand 700 years ago, were not its builders, because they never erected monumental structures. It may have been raised more than 2,000 years ago by the Waitahanui, whose elders apparently preserve some knowledge of the ramparts. The Kaimanawa Wall is almost certainly a Lemurian ruin, part of a ceremonial center created by missionaries or survivors from Mu.

Supporting the contention that a pre-Maori people lived in New Zealand are the bones of the kiore, a type of rat alien to New Zealand, which was likely introduced by the first settlers. Some kiore bones have been dated as 2,000 years old -- centuries before the first Maoris arrived.

Needless to say, New Zealand archeologists and anthropologists are not anxious to drastically revise their fundamental paradigm assigning the discovery and colonization of New Zealand to the Maoris. But Brailsford and Childress are even more iconoclastic: They suggest links to a pre-Polynesian culture; a culture that left similar megalithic structures elsewhere in the Pacific and along the west coast of South America.

The New Zealand Department of Conservation asked Geologist Phillip Andrews to make an assessment of the wall. The department wrote:
“He identified the rocks as the 330,000-year-old Rangitaiki Ignimbrite….he revealed a system of joints and fractures natural to the cooling process in ignimbrite sheets. What Brailsford had taken to be manmade cut, stacked blocks were no more than a type of natural rock formation.”

But to many observers, the blocks in the wall appeared to be too perfect for nature to create. Until now Kaimanawa Wall remains a mystery since there is no satisfied explanations about who built it, and for what purpose?

Sources :
Sacred Places Around The World : 108 Destinations by Brad Olsen;
The Atlantis Encyclopedia by Frank Joseph;
http://www.helium.com/knowledge/top_item/289537-kaimanawa-wall;
http://www.science-frontiers.com/sf107/sf107p00.htm

Pic Source :
http://www.science-frontiers.com/sf107/sf107p00.htm
05:45 | 3 komentar

The Last Flight of Amelia Earhart

Possibly one of the most famous mysteries is the disappearance of Amelia Earhart, an intrepid and ambitious woman pilot. She set several records for woman pilots and was to culminate her achievements with a circumnavigation of the globe in her specially equipped twin-engine plane, called the Electra. Howland Island, a tiny speck in the middle of the South Pacific was to be one of the final stops. But Earhart never reached Howland Island. On 2 July 1937, Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan went missing over the Pacific as they began the last leg of an attempted aerial circumnavigation of the world. The unresolved circumstances of Amelia Earhart's disappearance, along with her fame, attracted many theories relating to her last flight. Amelia Mary Earhart (born July 24, 1897; missing July 2, 1937; declared legally dead January 5, 1939), daughter of Samuel "Edwin" Stanton Earhart and Amelia "Amy" Otis Earhart was born in Atchison, Kansas.

On December 28, 1920, she and her father visited an airfield where Frank Hawks (who later gained fame as an air racer) gave her a ride that would forever change Earhart's life. "By the time I had got two or three hundred feet off the ground," she said, "I knew I had to fly." After that 10-minute flight (that cost her father $10), she immediately became determined to learn to fly. Working at a variety of jobs, as a photographer, truck driver and stenographer at the local telephone company, she managed to save $1,000 for flying lessons. Earhart had her first lessons, beginning on January 3, 1921, at Kinner Field near Long Beach.

While at work one afternoon in April 1928, Earhart got a phone call from Capt. Hilton H. Railey, who asked her, "Would you like to fly the Atlantic?" The project coordinators (including book publisher and publicist George P. Putnam) interviewed Amelia and asked her to accompany pilot Wilmer Stultz and co-pilot/mechanic Louis Gordon on the flight, nominally as a passenger, but with the added duty of keeping the flight log. The team departed Trepassey Harbor, Newfoundland in a Fokker F.VIIb/3m on June 17, 1928, landing at Burry Port (near Llanelli), Wales, United Kingdom, exactly 20 hours and 40 minutes later.

At the age of 34, on the morning of May 20, 1932 Earhart set off from Harbour Grace, Newfoundland with the latest copy of a local newspaper (the dated copy was intended to confirm the date of the flight). She intended to fly to Paris in her single engine Lockheed Vega 5b to emulate Charles Lindbergh's solo flight.

Earhart joined the faculty of the world-famous Purdue University aviation department in 1935 as a visiting faculty member to counsel women on careers and help inspire others with her love for aviation. On January 11, 1935, Earhart became the first person to fly solo from Honolulu, Hawaii to Oakland, California.

In July 1936, she took delivery of a Lockheed Electra 10E financed by Purdue and started planning a round-the-world flight. Not the first to circle the globe, it would be the longest at 29,000 miles (47,000 km), following a grueling equatorial route. Through contacts in the Los Angeles aviation community, Fred Noonan was subsequently chosen as a second navigator because there were significant additional factors which had to be dealt with while using celestial navigation for aircraft. He had vast experience in both marine (he was a licensed ship's captain) and flight navigation.

From Left to Right : Paul Mantz, Amelia Earhart, Harry Manning and Fred Noonan, with Lockheed Electra 10E as their background picture. March 17, 1937, Oakland, California.

On St. Patrick's Day, March 17, 1937, they flew the first leg from Oakland, California to Honolulu, Hawaii. In addition to Earhart and Noonan, Harry Manning and Hollywood stunt pilot Paul Mantz (who was acting as Earhart's technical advisor) were on board. Due to lubrication and galling problems with the propeller hubs' variable pitch mechanisms, the aircraft needed servicing in Hawaii. Ultimately, the Electra ended up at the United States Navy's Luke Field on Ford Island in Pearl Harbor. The flight resumed three days later from Luke Field with Earhart, Noonan and Manning on board and during the takeoff run, Earhart ground-looped. While the Electra was being repaired Earhart and Putnam secured additional funds and prepared for a second attempt. This time flying west to east, the second attempt began with an unpublicized flight from Oakland to Miami, Florida and after arriving there Earhart publicly announced her plans to circumnavigate the globe. For the second flight, Fred Noonan was Earhart's only crew member.

On June 1, 1937, she and co-pilot Fred Noonan departed from Miami, after touching down in Florida, Brazil, West Africa, India, Burma, Singapore and Australia, successfully reached Lae, New Guinea on June 29, 1937. This was to be the longest stretch with no land in between Lae and tiny Howland Island in the central Pacific and so their next hop--to Howland Island--was by far the most challenging. Every unessential item was removed from the plane to make room for additional fuel, which gave Earhart approximately 274 extra miles.

Howland Island located 2,556 miles from Lae in the mid-Pacific, is a tiny coral island in the Pacific that had been converted into a landing strip, with a mile and a half long and a half mile wide. The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Itasca stationed at Howland, assigned to refuel the plane, and also to act as a radio beacon to help guide her in. Three other U.S. ships, ordered to burn every light on board, were positioned along the flight route as markers. "Howland is such a small spot in the Pacific that every aid to locating it must be available," Earhart said.

Having already completed nearly three-quarters of their epic journey in a Lockheed L-10E Electra twin-engine plane, Earhart and Noonan preparing to set out from Lae, New Guinea to fly 4,113 kilometres (2,556 miles) to Howland Island. At 12:30 P.M. on July 2, the pair took off. Despite favorable weather reports, they flew into overcast skies and intermittent rain showers. This made Noonan's premier method of tracking, celestial navigation, impossible. As dawn neared, Earhart called chief radioman on the Itasca and asked for Itasca's location. She failed to report at the next scheduled time, and afterward her radio transmissions, irregular through most of the flight, were faint or interrupted with static.

At 7:42 A.M., the Itasca picked up the message, "We must be on you, but we cannot see you. Fuel is running low. Been unable to reach you by radio. We are flying at 1,000 feet." The ship tried to reply, but the plane seemed not to hear.

In her last known transmission at 8:43 a.m. Earhart broadcast "We are on the line 157 337. We will repeat this message. We will repeat this on 6210 kilocycles. Wait…"

However, a few moments later at 8:45 a.m. she was back on the same frequency (3105 kHz) with a transmission which was logged as a "questionable": "We are running on line north and south." After that nothing further was heard from Earhart. They never arrived.

American Coast Guard cutter Itasca, was able to pick up garbled transmissions from Earhart, but it was frustratingly obvious that she could neither hear them, nor find the island. The last known transmission at 8.45 AM local time seemed to indicate she and Noonan believed they had reached Howland's charted position, which was incorrect by about five nautical miles (10 km). The Itasca used her oil-fired boilers to generate smoke for a period of time but the fliers apparently did not see it. The many scattered clouds in the area around Howland Island have also been cited as a problem: their dark shadows on the ocean surface may have been almost indistinguishable from the island's subdued and very flat profile.

It is now thought that conditions and a faulty chart conspired against Earhart and Noonan – the island was actually 10 kilometres further east than the position marked on their chart, while the rising sun and broken cloud cover casting island-like shadows on the water must have hindered their search.

Whether any post-loss radio signals were received from Earhart and Noonan remains controversial. If transmissions were received from the Electra, most if not all were weak and hopelessly garbled. Earhart's voice transmissions to Howland were on 3105 kHz, a frequency restricted to aviation use in the United States by the FCC. This frequency was not thought to be fit for broadcasts over great distances. When Earhart was at cruising altitude and midway between Lae and Howland (over 1,000 miles (1,600 km) from each) neither station heard her scheduled transmission at 0815 GCT. Moreover, the 50-watt transmitter used by Earhart was attached to a less-than-optimum-length V-type antenna.

A rescue attempt commenced immediately and became the most extensive air and sea search in U.S. naval history thus far. Over the next two weeks Navy planes criss-crossed the area but saw no evidence of life. One pilot reported what appeared to be ‘signs of recent habitation’ on Gardner Island, one of the Phoenix Islands, but although he buzzed the island several times no one made themselves known and there was no trace of aircraft or wreckage.

The search widened to include the Gilbert Islands, a populated group that Earhart had flown over on her way to Howland, on the assumption that she might have tried to reverse her course. But there was no sign of the missing plane or aviators, and on July 19, after spending $4 million and scouring 250,000 square miles of ocean, the United States government reluctantly called off the operation. The official verdict: Earhart had ditched at sea and the Electra had sunk without a trace, carrying pilot and navigator to a watery grave. In 1938, a lighthouse was constructed on Howland Island in her memory.

Earhart’s loss was a tragedy and an international news phenomenon. It also quickly gave rise to a clutch of conspiracy theories. An Australian tabloid newspaper alleged that the American Navy had used the search for Earhart as a pretext to overfly the Marshall Islands, a Japanese mandate zone where it was suspected they were illegally building military bases. It was theorized that Earhart was on a reconnaissance mission and was held and executed by the Japanese, but this couldn’t ever be verified. Later this theory inspired a successful 1943 movie, Flight For Freedom, starring Rosalind Russell as a famous aviator named Tonie Carter and Fred MacMurray as the navigator she falls in love with. They plan to get lost over the Pacific to give the navy a pretext for searching the area and checking out Japanese fortifications. Just before taking off on the last leg of the journey, Carter learns that the Japanese are on to her, and that they plan to take her prisoner. So she takes off alone and ditches the plane in the ocean, sacrificing her life so the search can go on. By 1949, both the United Press and U.S. Army Intelligence had concluded this rumor was groundless. Jackie Cochran, a pioneer aviatrix and one of Earhart's friends, made a postwar search of numerous files in Japan and was convinced the Japanese were not involved in Earhart's disappearance.

For serious Earhart researchers the conspiracy theories are simply a diversion from the two most likely scenarios: that Earhart ditched in the open ocean, in which case the wreck of the Electra may still be resting on the seabed, or that she made it to one of the Phoenix Islands but was never rescued and died there. Both theories have been the subject of recent expeditions. The most straightforward explanation for Earhart’s disappearance is the original one formulated by the captain of the Coast Guard cutter. Howland Island was at the limit of the Electra’s range, and after circling for hours in a fruitless search for the island Earhart and Noonan must have run out of fuel and ditched the plane, hoping to make it out in one piece in their life raft and get rescued. Either they didn’t survive the open water landing, or they perished in their life raft – either way, the wreck of the plane might still be intact on the sea bottom, 5 kilometres (3 miles) down.

In 2002 a Nauticos exploration vessel equipped with sophisticated seabed imaging equipment scanned 2,160 square kilometers (834 square miles) of an area near Howland Island pinpointed as the most promising spot by detailed study of Earhart’s final radio transmissions. Unfortunately a blown hydraulic hose meant that they almost lost several millions worth of scanning equipment and the expedition was aborted two-thirds of the way through, having failed to find any sign of the downed aircraft. Although Nauticos claims to remain optimistic about its prospects, it is noteworthy that a planned 2004 follow-up expedition never took place.

Perhaps the most convincing explanation of Earhart and Noonan’s fate is the one advanced by The International Group for Historical Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR). Their detailed research and analysis have led them to conduct extensive exploration and excavation on the tiny Pacific island of Nikumaroro, formerly known as Gardner Island. Previously it was thought that the Electra did not have enough fuel to make it this far, but TIGHAR have discovered that the plane was fitted with extra fuel tanks that would have allowed Earhart and Noonan several more hours in the air than formerly believed. Assuming that they were proceeding south-east on the 337° bearing Earhart reported in her last transmission, they could easily have reached Nikumaroro, which was within visual range of this course.

TIGHAR have accumulated an impressive array of circumstantial and suggestive evidence to back up their theory. In 1938 there was an attempt to colonise the island and the colonists reported finding evidence that someone had previously camped out on the island, and even claimed to have found a set of human bones, a sextant case and the sole of a woman’s shoe. Excavation on the island itself has revealed evidence of aeroplane parts that had been scavenged and recycled as tools. Many of these undoubtedly came from other aircraft and were the work of the colonists or later visitors, but some may well be from Earhart’s plane.

So far the definitive evidence that would finally confirm the TIGHAR theory has been elusive. Divers have searched the reef and the shoreline for wreckage that can be matched to the Electra but have yet to find it. A search of colonial records appears to confirm the tale about finding the human bones, and the description of the remains recorded at the time matches what would be expected of a Caucasian female of Earhart’s size, but so far efforts to find the bones themselves have not been successful.

Hundreds of articles and scores of books have been written about her life which is often cited as a motivational tale, especially for girls. Earhart is generally regarded as a feminist icon. The home where Earhart was born is now the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum and is maintained by the Ninety-Nines, an international group of female pilots of whom Amelia was the first elected president.

Sources :
Cross Culture :“Unexplained Mysteries Special” Summer 2007, edited by Rishi Khar;
Lost Histories : “Exploring The World’s Most Famous Mysteries” by Joel Levy;
Mysteries in History : “From Prehistory to the Present” by Paul D. Aron;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amelia_Earhart

Pics sources :
Cross Culture : “Unexplained Mysteries Special” Summer 2007, edited by Rishi Khar page 9;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mantz,_Ae,Manning,_Noonan.jpg
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