The Winchester House

Located in San Jose, California, it once was the personal residence of Sarah Winchester, the widow of gun magnate William Wirt Winchester, but is now a tourist attraction., largely because it has unique architectural features. For example, it features secret passages to hidden rooms, windows backed by solid walls, and staircases that go nowhere. It is also rumored to be haunted by the ghost of its original owner, Sarah Winchester. Deeply saddened by the deaths of her daughter Annie in 1866, and her young husband in 1881, and seeking solace, Sarah Winchester consulted a medium on the advice of a psychic. The "Boston Medium" told Winchester that she believed there to be a curse upon the Winchester family because the guns they made had taken so many lives. The psychic told Winchester that "thousands of people have died because of it and their spirits are now seeking deep vengeance."

Another version of the story says that after the deaths of her daughter and later her husband, she consulted a medium who told her that she must build a house and never cease building it, otherwise the spirits that killed her family members would come after her, too. Winchester inherited more than $20.5 million upon her husband's death. She also received nearly 50 percent ownership of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, giving her an income of roughly $1,000 per day, none of which was taxable until 1913. This amount is roughly equivalent to about $22,000 a day in 2010. All of this gave her a tremendous amount of wealth to fund the ongoing construction. After that she began construction on the maze-like house full of twists, turns, and dead ends, so that the spirits would get lost and never be able to find her.

Winchester began construction on the 160-room mansion in 1884 and continued adding rooms until her death in 1922. Her compulsive building was based on her belief in spirits. As the daughter-in-law of the man who invented the Winchester rifle, she became convinced that her construction projects would in some way appease the ghosts of those killed by the rifle her father-in-law had invented and that if she did not appease them she would die. For most of her life she tried to contact the spirits at séances that she held at Winchester House, and she incorporated the number thirteen into her building projects because she thought that this number was naturally appealing to ghosts. Some of the house stairways, for example, have thirteen steps, and her chandeliers have thirteen lights. There are thirteen bathrooms in the house, and one room has thirteen windows.

In the years since Winchester’s death, visitors to the mansion have reported hearing mysterious footsteps and slamming doors. A tour guide reported hearing his name whispered in a room where no one else was present, and a caretaker heard breathing behind him when he was alone. Other people have felt cold spots in an otherwise warm room and have smelled soup cooking in a kitchen devoid of pots. Others who work at Winchester House have reported finding locked doors inexplicably unlocked and lights spontaneously turned on and off. One employee, the director of food and merchandizing, came to work to find his desk, chair, and the surrounding floor soaked with water, even though the room’s ceiling and walls were dry.

Sources :
The Greenhaven Encyclopedia of Paranormal Phenomena by Patricia D. Netzley;

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The Greeks, and the Romans, were also unsure how Homer composed the poems. “They say that . . . Homer did not leave behind his poems in writing,” wrote the Roman historian Josephus in the first century AD, “but that they were transmitted by memorization and put together out of the songs, and that therefore they contain many inconsistencies.” The date of Homer's existence was controversial in antiquity and is no less so today. Herodotus estimates that Homer lived 400 years before his own time, which would place him at around 850 BC; but other ancient sources gave dates much closer to the supposed time of the Trojan War, perhaps from 1194 to 1184 BC. There were indeed inconsistencies. In the Iliad, for example, a warrior is described as groaning, even though he’s already died. It was easy enough to see why Homer would have had trouble keeping track of everything in the poems: the Iliad has about 16,000 lines and the Odyssey 12,000. Moreover, and more amazingly, as Josephus noted, Homer apparently composed both without the aid of pen or paper.

In 1795, the German scholar Friedrich Wolf added scholarship to Josephus’s speculation. Wolf noted that, other than a passing and dubious reference in the Iliad to a tablet with “baneful signs,” there was nothing in the poems that indicated Homer even knew what writing was. Wolf concluded that Homer must have composed orally, and that the poems must have been passed on and revised for generations before some editor wrote them down. Wolf's work paralleled that of eighteenth-century scholars of the Old Testament who reached the conclusion that the first five books of the Bible were once a number of separate works that an editor had woven together. Just as Moses did not write the “Books of Moses,” Homer did not write the Iliad or the Odyssey, except perhaps in some much shorter and irretrievable early version. The inconsistencies were not a lapse on the part of an author but of an editor.

Even if Homer existed, Wolf argued, the Iliad or the Odyssey could just as reasonably be credited to generations of anonymous bards. “I find it impossible to accept the belief to which we have become accustomed,”Wolf wrote, “that these two works of a single genius burst forth suddenly from the darkness in all their brilliance, just as they are, with both the splendor of their parts and the many great virtues of the connected whole.”

But locating Homer in time merely underscored the problem: the poems were composed during an age when writing no longer existed in Greece. It seemed inconceivable that without writing, any single poet could have remembered, let alone created, such long and complex masterpieces. Most scholars agreed with Wolf that while someone named Homer might once have existed and might have written some ur-epic, he was at most a link in an evolutionary chain that only much later culminated in the Iliad and the Odyssey as we know it.

Nineteenth-century archaeologists, most notably Heinrich Schliemann, uncovered evidence that Troy existed and that the Trojan War of the Iliad was, at least in part, a real event. But the archaeological discoveries also revealed that the world of the Trojans and Mycenaeans was very different from Homer’s descriptions. Nowhere in the poems was there anything resembling the huge Mycenaean tombs or palaces, or the tablets with Mycenaean writing called Linear B, or the centralized, hierarchical society those tablets revealed. Nowhere amid the archaeological finds was there evidence of independent chieftains like Achilles living in small houses and acting independently of the king.

According to Gregory Nagy, the Homeric poems became fixed texts in only the 6th century. The question of the historicity of Homer himself is known as the "Homeric question" no reliable biographical information has been handed down from classical antiquity, and the poems themselves seem to represent the culmination of many centuries of oral story-telling and a well-developed formulaic system of poetic composition. While according to Martin West, "Homer" is "not the name of a historical poet, but a fictitious or constructed name."

Sources :
Mysteries In History From Prehistory to the Present by Paul D. Aron;

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Mysteries In History From Prehistory to the Present by Paul D. Aron page 56
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Giant Stone Eggs

Mysterious giant “stone eggs” discovered on 2007 at a construction site in Bandeng Hill and Zhanlong Hill, Gongxi Town of Hunan Province. According to The Epoch Times, the “eggs,” along with a large copper sword, were unearthed by highway construction workers while they were digging the foundation for a road. Some geologists have speculated the eggs are natural formations of carbonate rock which snowballed slowly in oscillating water, but no one is certain what they are, indeed, they are natural. The unique perfection of their shape suggests to some that they are of intelligent design.

Ranging from watermelon- to table-size, the eggs have been taken from many “nests” uncovered by the workers. The eggs are oval in shape, with a wide range of sizes; the smallest one being no bigger than a water melon, while the largest is reported as being the size of a big table. Upon closer examination they look like eggs from the outside, but are very shiny and black on the inside. The copper sword which the construction team had also discovered was found to weigh over 1,000 pounds. Unfortunately the sword disappeared later and there are no leads as to the identities of the people involved in the theft. The incident has been reported to the police.

The Chinese “eggs” remind some observers of the large and perfectly spherical stone balls found in many places in Costa Rica. Anthropologist George Erikson and his colleague Ivar Zapp in their book Atlantis in America: Navigators of the Ancient World argued that the mysterious Costa Rican balls are markers from a lost ancient navigation system. So far, though, no one has offered any such theory for the Chinese finds.

Sources :
Atlantis Rising Magazine vol. 69;

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Atlantis Rising Magazine vol. 69 page 11
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Genetic Disk

This disk from South America is one of the most interesting and confusing finds of archaeology. The unique relic is made of black stone and measures about 22 cm in diameter. It weights about 2 kg. It was not made of artificial materials like cement but of lydite. It was dated in a prehistoric epoch, and assigned to the Muisca-culture. On the disk there are carvings that describes the astonishing knowledge of our ancestors. The object has been examined in the Museum of Natural History, Vienna, Austria. Dr. Vera M. F. Hammer, expert for precious stones and minerals, analysed the object.

The symbols on the disk are very impressive. The obverse and reverse side are decorated with carvings and ornaments, separated with single vertical stripes. On the edge of the disk there is a symbol of a snake. In the middle the disk shows a hole, maybe a hint that the disc originally was fixed on a stick and then turned around. One side shows biological details like male sperms, female egg cell and the genitals, the fertilized egg, foetus and the growing embryo. The other side shows scenes that could be interpreted as the cell division and depiction of frog creatures in different stages.

Dr. Algund Eemboom MD, and his colleges analysed the different segments of the disk. His result was that it is possible to recognize the phases of evolution of human life on the disk. Very significant are the distant lying eyes and the broad nose. This is a characteristic of the embryonic structure of the head.

Prof. Dr. Rudolf Distelberger, internationally recognized expert for precious stones and director of the Schatzkammer, Vienna, said that the disk has a very complex content. That is the reason why many scientists cried fraud as the disk appeared. It cannot be classified in the known South American system of cultures.

Sources :
Unsolved Mysteries : “An Exhibition of Unsolved Mysteries and Enigmatic Findings in the History of Humanity" by Reinhard Habeck, Dr. Willibald Katzinger and listed authors;

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Michigan UFO Sightings

On March 18, 1966, 50 or more witnesses (including a dozen police officers) observed a large, disk-shaped craft hovering low over the marshlands outside of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Several witnesses reported seeing four other smaller objects escorting the larger one. Over the next three days, dozens of other residents and more police officers also viewed the object as it hovered over the marshes.The Air Force was alerted, but denied any knowledge of the case. The next day, on March 22, 1966, more than 80 students at Hillsdale College observed a large, unknown glowing object move in darting patterns over the Ann Arbor swamplands. Also present were civil defense authority William Van Horn and Kelly Hearn, journalist and dean of Hillsdale College.

When the UFO refused to leave, the police were called and officers viewed the craft. As the crowd watched, the UFO seemed to show off its ability to maneuver quickly around the area. Van Horn observed the object through binoculars and told reporters, “It was definitely some kind of vehicle.”

By now, the Michigan sightings had become front-page news across the nation. The Air Force could no longer safely ignore the situation and sent their astronomical consultant, J. Allen Hynek, to investigate. Hynek is known for his participation during the 1950s and 1960s in the U.S. Air Force’s Project Blue Book, a government attempt to convince the American public that UFO sightings were due to mass hysteria, hallucinations, or the misidentification of ordinary phenomena such as meteors. Hynek was asked to work on Project Blue Book with the goal of finding an astronomical explanation for apparent UFOs.

Hynek concluded that what the witnesses had seen was a large cloud of methane, or swamp gas, caused by rotting vegetation. This conclusion seemed so ridiculous to the public that it convinced many people the government was trying to cover up evidence that UFOs really were alien spacecraft. As a result, Congress ordered the Air Force to study the UFO phenomenon more seriously.

J. Allen Hynek, who had previously sided with the Air Force, began to wonder if perhaps he had made a mistake. He later left the Air Force and wrote two best-selling books about the UFO phenomenon, criticizing the Air Force’s policy of debunking good cases, and stating without any doubt that UFOs are real.

Sources :
Mysteries, Legends and Unexplained Phenomena : “UFO and Aliens” by Preston Dennett;
The Greenhaven Encyclopedia of Paranormal Phenomena by Patricia D. Netzley

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