The Ghost Ship Palatine

While some regard the Palatine as a legend, there is historical proof that she did exist. Her fiery phantom appears off of the isle. There is evidence that the Princess Augusta, a British ship, went aground on Block Island on December 26 or 27, 1738 or 1752 and broke up. Her crew was deposed and said provisions were scarce, half of the crew died and others were affected by the bitter cold. 150 surviving passengers from the Palatine region of Germany and Switzerland were aboard.A heavy snowstorm and strong winds caused the ship to ground herself on Sandy Point. The acting captain told survivors to salvage what cargo they could before and after she was destroyed.

Palatine Legends
There are two versions of what happened to the survivors. One is that the islanders nursed them back to health. The crew deliberately grounded the ship to hide their mistreatment of the immigrants and to hide their plundering.

The other legend is that the islanders lured the ship to run aground to salvage what they could. In some versions, they set the ship on fire to conceal what they did. A history book records that some of the locals lured ships ashore to plunder them during the new moon.

James Greenleaf Whittier wrote a poem about the ship and called her the Palatine. He stated islanders lured the ship to wreckage, then burned her. Samuel Livermore refuted Whittier’s version when he wrote about the island’s history in the late 1800s. The poet responded and wrote he did not intend to put the islanders in a bad light. He heard the story from a New Englander and said it was possible his source was wrong.

There are two versions of when the phantom ship appears. One is that she is seen around the anniversary of her being wrecked. The other is she is an omen of bad weather, appearing as a warning.

Palatine Phantom Ship
Benjamin Congdon, born in the late 1700s, wrote he saw the Palatine phantom about ten times. Many other New Englanders reported seeing the ghost ship in flames.

A woman, Kathy, reported she saw the ghost ship when she about seven. It was a hot summer day. She was playing with her two brothers and the large family dog. They saw a tall masted ship about a half mile off shore, ablaze and sails billowing. They saw the people and heard their cries for help. The dog reacted by barking with agitation. The children ran to tell their parents. One of the brothers was sent to the closest farmhouse to get help. The farmer was not surprised when told about the ship and gave the boy a history book for his father to read. The man had seen it twice. There is no information as to whether or not bad weather followed this sighting.

A marker on Sandy Point that tells of the Palatine graves and has the year, 1738. No wreckage has been found that positively identifies the ship as the Palatine. Often, legends are based on facts and get embellished as they are handed down. Such is the case here. There is historical documentation that the Princess Augusta was wrecked. There were many reliable eyewitnesses.

Via: Suite101

The Mystical Qualities of Crystal Skulls

Crystal skulls are fashioned from large pieces of crystal, usually from the mineral quartz. They are often life-sized and bear the same distinguishing characteristics as a human skull with eye sockets, a nasal cavity, and a rounded cranium. The most exquisite crystal skulls have finely crafted jaws with removable mandibles.

In addition to claims of paranormal activity, controversy concerning crystal skulls centers on their origins. More than a dozen of them were claimed to have been discovered in Mexico and Central America and are dated by their founders or those who currently possess them as being hundreds, perhaps even thousands of years old. Common methods for dating artifacts can neither confirm nor refute claims about when these crystal skulls were crafted, but, generally speaking, skulls sculpted with metal tools cannot be more than a few centuries old if they originated in Mexico and Central America.

One of archaeology’s most compelling mysteries is that of the 13 Crystal Skulls. Skulls have been one of the most powerful objects of symbolism in human history, all over the world. Several “perfect” crystal Skulls have been found in parts of Mexico, Central and South America. During early expeditions, archaeologists were told by locals that the skulls possessed magical powers and healing properties. However, people were unsure as to where they came from, or even why they existed. Some like to believe that these were remains from the lost civilization of Atlantis. Others like to believe these are fakes. And yet another group of psychics believe that these skulls have the capability to enable us to look into the past, present and future.

Historians and social anthropologists decided to find out more about the strange skulls. Very soon, they came across an ancient Indian legend saying that there had been thirteen crystal skulls of the Goddess of Death; they had been kept separately from each other under the strict control of pagan priests and special warriors.

Searches for more skulls started; some of them were found in museums and some in private collections not only in the USA, but in Mexico, Brazil, France, Mongolia, and in Tibet. There were more than 13 skulls found. However, not all of them were as perfect as Mitchell-Hedges- was. Very likely, those were just later attempts to create something similar to the original skulls that were believed to have been gifts by God to the people.

Some crystal skulls are attributed to the Mayan culture that thrived in southern Mexico and Central America during the first millennium C.E. However, as established through studies of recurring symbols, artifacts, or references in hieroglyphics, there is no known cultural tradition among the Mayans that relate to crystal skulls or any kind of skull worship or fascination. There is some evidence of skulls being symbolically important in Aztec culture, which flourished earlier and further north than Mayan civilization, yet there are far fewer claims among crystal skull enthusiasts that connect the objects to Aztec culture. Radio-carbon testing is not applicable to crystal, because the method works only on previously animate objects.

Crystal skulls are credited by believers for having the ability to awaken or raise human consciousness to a higher level. Some people assert that they experience a psychic connection when viewing a crystal skull, and commonly declare that they were infused with positive energy. Skulls of quartz crystal, like other quartz objects, are believed by mystic crystal enthusiasts to have the ability to record events, thoughts, and emotions that occur in their presence.

Some of the believers of the mystical qualities of the crystals credit ancient peoples with having crafted crystal skulls. According to them, ancients used the skulls to predict the future, to control the weather, as healing devices, as oracles to receive cosmic wisdom, as receivers of universal knowledge, and as a tool meant for future use to gain divine knowledge.

There is a crystal skull on display at the London Museum of Mankind, and the Paris Crystal Skull is on display at the Trocadero Museum. Both skulls can be traced back to Mexico, where records show they were purchased in the 1890s. The London Museum acquired its skull through Tiffanys of New York in 1898. Tests conducted in 1995, revealed scratches from steel tools, perhaps a jeweler’s wheel, confirming the skull must be of modern origin. The origin date of the skull was moved from the ancient Aztec times to the more recent period after the Spanish conquest of Mexico in 1520. Night workers at the museum reportedly refuse to work near the skull unless it’s covered, citing vibrations, colors shifts appearing in the skull, or a simple association of skulls and death.

The Amethyst Crystal Skull and the Mayan Crystal Skull were found in Guatemala in the early 1900s. The latter skull received its name because it was found at the site of Mayan ruins. “Maya” is kept by a psychic who uses the skull to assist her in readings.

Two skulls exhibit particularly exquisite craftsmanship. The Rose Quartz Crystal Skull, found along the Guatemala-Honduras border, includes removable mandibles, as does the Mitchell-Hedges skull, the most famous and notorious of crystal skulls. Named after its founders and keepers, F. A. Mitchell-Hedges (1882–1959) and his daughter Anna (1910–2007 ), it is considered the finest example of a crystal skull. Fashioned from clear quartz, the Mitchell-Hedges Crystal Skull is realistic in size (the cranium approximates that of an average female adult), and its jaws were formed from the same piece of crystal as the skull. The jaws fit neatly into sockets and maintain a perfect balance with the skull.

The two biggest mysteries of the Mitchell-Hedges skull concern the craftsmanship used to make it and the story surrounding its discovery. The skull is believed to have been formed from a large block of crystal that was carved into a rough shape of a skull and then smoothed into its final shape with water and a solution of silicon-crystal sand or, perhaps, through some unknown technology. There are no scratches on the Mitchell-Hedges skull that would indicate the work of metal tools. Shafts within the skull are said to channel light from the base of the skull to the eye sockets in a manner similar to modern optic technology, and the sockets have concave forms that reflect light to the upper cranium. Internal prisms and light tunnels are believed to be the reason why objects are magnified and brightened when held beneath the skull.

Like other crystal skulls, the Mitchell-Hedges skull reportedly changes color, sometimes clouding up white, and other times growing from a small patch of black to intensely black. Many of those who have viewed it report strange visions when looking in, and some have detected a faint hum or a scent. Like other mystical crystal objects, the Mitchell-Hedges version has been reputed to have oracular and healing powers, to be able to accumulate natural magnetism, and to amplify and transmit energy. Its keeper and early publicist, F. A. Mitchell-Hedges, also claimed it had the power to kill, citing several of his enemies who died before he did.

Mitchell-Hedges was an explorer and gambler who wrote books about his searches for remnants of lost tribes and the lost continent of Atlantis (Lands of Wonder and Fear, 1931) as well as his encounters with sea monsters (Battles with Giant Fish, 1923, and Battles with Monsters of the Sea, 1937). In 1927, Mitchell-Hedges and his daughter Anna were clearing debris atop a temple in the ancient Mayan city of Lubaantum (modern-day Belize) when Anna discovered what became known as the Mitchell-Hedges Crystal Skull on her seventeenth birthday. Weeks later, near the same site, she found the jaw of the skull.

Mitchell-Hedges did not publicize the skull until 1943, when he began referring to it as the Skull of Doom and claimed it was 3,600 years old. Curiously, he barely mentioned the skull in his autobiography, Danger, My Ally (1954). After he died in 1959, daughter Anna became the keeper of the skull.

It is now generally accepted that Anna Mitchell-Hedges did not discover the fabled crystal skull in the ruins of a Mayan city in 1927, but Mitchell-Hedges bought the artifact at an auction at Sothebys in London in 1943. Such claims have been verified by records at the British Museum, which had bid against Mitchell-Hedges for ownership of the object.

In 1970, the Mitchell-Hedges skull was examined by art conservator and restorer Frank Dorland. He claimed to have seen a spirit after studying the skull late at night in his home. According to Dorland, tests conducted at Hewlitt-Packard laboratories in Santa Clara, California, vouched for its craftsmanship including an absence of scars that would indicate metal tool work, and evidence that it was cut against the crystal axis. The validity of the tests has been questioned, as has the whole story of how the Mitchell-Hedges Crystal Skull was found and how far back it dates.

Jo Ann and Carl Parks became owners of the famous Texas Crystal Skull, whom they affectionately call Max, in 1980 when a Tibetan healer bestowed the artifact on them in payment of a debt. Admittedly unaware at first of the significance of this object, Carl and Jo Ann, residents of Houston, placed the skull in a closet for the next seven years. Not until they came into contact with F. R. “Nick” Nocerino of Pinole, California, one of the world’s foremost authorities of crystal skulls and director of the Society of Crystal Skulls, did they learn what an important artifact it was. Nocerino had been searching for that skull since the 1940s. He knew of its existence, but its actual location had sent him on a quest that had led him around the world.

Of the 13 crystal skulls known to researchers that are the actual true size, Max is the largest, weighing 18 pounds compared to the others, which weigh nine to 11 pounds. Max was found in a Mayan tomb at a site in Guatemala, and it has been estimated that Max came from a 50-to-60-pound piece of crystal that was more than a half a million years old. Other than Max and the crystal skull owned by Anna Mitchell-Hedges of Canada, all the others, each differing somewhat in size and detail, are held in museums or private collections.

People claim that being in Max’s proximity provokes images and visions within them. They believe to see scenes from the past history of Earth, and frequently they perceive UFO-related scenes and messages. “Whether you believe any of that or not, if you simply look at the artifact on a scientific and archaeological level, you cannot help being over-whelmed and awed at the skilled worksmanship that was involved in creating him,” Jo Ann Parks has commented.

The British Crystal Skull on display at the London Museum of Mankind is considered to be a nineteenth-century artifact. Scientists, at least, are convinced that all evidence weighs toward recent origins of all crystal skulls. Until convincing evidence that a known civilization venerated such an object, or that crystal skulls are remnants of a vanished civilization, belief in special qualities of the skulls are in the minds of beholders of mysticism.

Via in Part: EncyclopediaOThefUnusualAndUnexplained

The Orion Alignments of the Giza Pyramids

Scott Creighton may have discovered a new dimension to the alignment between the pyramids at Giza and the constellation Orion.

According to Creighton the so-called queens’ pyramids, two sets of three small pyramids each, next to the largest and smallest of the main Giza pyramids, are aligned with the three belt stars of Orion at two precise points in time exactly 12,960 years apart. The group to the south of Menkaure’s pyramid were aligned, he says, with the belt stars in 10,948 B.C. and the other queens’ pyramids to the east of the Great pyramid will be aligned with those same stars in 2012 A.D. Interestingly enough the alignment of the two sets of small pyramids, in relation to each other, is exactly perpendicular.

Researchers Robert Bauval and Adrian Gilbert caused quite a stir in the mid-nineties with their book, The Orion Mystery, which argued that Giza was an attempt to reflect on earth the image of the constellation Orion. If Creighton is right, the arrangement would also seem to point to times important to the builders of the Giza complex. By suggesting that the pyramids of Giza also act as a kind of clock, tracking the progress of Orion through the heavens toward the 2012 date, a year to which the Mayan calendar and other ancient indicators also point, Creighton is calling attention to another indication of the astonishing ancient advancement on display at Giza.

To see an animation of Creighton’s Greater Orion Correlation Theory go to:

Via: Old Maps, Expeditions and Explorations

March 28, 1979: Three Mile Island

As the accounts and grim reports continue to pour in from Japan let’s take a look back at the worst nuclear disaster in the history of The United States.

Photo: A cooling tower of the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant looms behind an abandoned playground. (Barry Thumma/AP)

In 1979, Equipment malfunction and human error lead to a partial reactor meltdown at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant near Middleton, Pennsylvania. It is the most serious accident ever involving a U.S. commercial nuclear facility.

Things started going wrong at 4 a.m. when a malfunction caused the main feed-water pumps to stop running, leading to an overheating of the plant’s TMI-2 reactor. Although the reactor shut down automatically, a relief valve — which should have closed as the pressure decreased — failed to operate, causing coolant to leak out and the reactor’s core to overheat.

Operators were unaware of the leak and erroneously assumed that the core was properly cooled. They attempted to relieve the pressure on the core by reducing the flow of coolant — exactly the wrong thing to do. Overheating caused the zirconium tubes where the nuclear fuel pellets were stored to rupture, and the pellets began to melt.

Only the structural integrity of the containment building’s walls prevented Three Mile Island from becoming a Chernobyl-style catastrophe. There was no rupture, meaning all the damage was contained within the facility.

No deaths or injuries have ever been attributed to the Three Mile Island meltdown. But it did lead to tighter safety and design regulations and more rigorous oversight by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Source: U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Via: March 28, 2007.

The Sad Tale of The Lady Be Good

In 1943, after a mission in Italy, the American bomber Lady Be Good failed to return to its Libyan base. Apparently lost, the crew had called in for a bearing, but they never arrived. Eventually they were presumed to have crashed in the Mediterranean.

Almost 16 years later, in 1958, a team of British geologists found the plane’s wreckage hundreds of miles away in the Sahara, broken in two but mysteriously well preserved. That created a second mystery: Where were the crew?

Seven bodies were eventually found, far to the north. Low on fuel and thinking themselves over the sea, they had bailed out, landed in the desert, and watched as the unmanned bomber flew out of sight carrying supplies, water, and a working radio. Amazingly, they had stayed alive for eight days in the desert; one walked 109 miles before succumbing.

The plane’s mischief continued even after its destruction. When salvaged parts from the Lady Be Good were installed in other aircraft, they seemed to convey an odd curse. Some transmitters went into a C-54; it encountered propeller trouble and the crew saved themselves only by throwing cargo overboard. A radio receiver went into a C-47; it ditched in the Mediterranean. And an armrest went into a U.S. Army “Otter” airplane; it crashed into the Gulf of Sidra. The crew were never found, but the armrest washed quietly ashore.

2012 Doomsday: The End of the World According to the Mayan Calendar

Via: Environmental Graffiti Written by Gregory Johansson

MZPhoto: theilr

Keeping track of the future isn’t something that everyone does. We all go about our lives and are lucky to keep track of what we need to do next week. There have been many predictions of the world ending, whether from psychics, doomsayers, the quatrains of Nostradamus or the Bible, and now we are being told that the world will end in 2012. And not just any day in 2012; they even have it down to the month and day. Dec 21, 2012. Mark your calendar.

Does this put people into a panic? No one may be panicking yet, but it could be in the back of many minds these days. Natural disasters seem to be happening all over the world at a faster rate than we are used too, and movies portraying such events only serve to remind us more.

mayan jadePhoto: John Hill

The Mayan Calendar comes from what is called the ‘Long Count Calendar’. There are definitely enough books about it as well as information being passed around the internet. The calendar starts over every 5000 years, and exactly this event is coming up in our time on December 21, 2012.

mayan ruinsPhoto: chensiyuan

So people believe the world will end or at least have this huge apocalypse on or around that date. Scientists get in on this act, saying that the sun will be closer to the earth and the gravitational pull could bring larger sun spots. Some say the world will tip over and the North Pole will be the South Pole. Thanks for keeping us calm, scientists.

mayan statuePhoto: Peter Andersen

Of course, one might question the predictive powers of a people who couldn’t see the fall of their own empire coming. the Aztecs, for comparison, predicted the return of the Mesoamerican deity Quetzalcoatl on a certain date, which Cortez showed up on, bringing the cataclysm the priest had predicted.

Interesting, but I’m not holding my breath.

The Door to Hell

While drilling for natural gas near the Turkmen village of Derweze in 1971, geologists watched their rig fall through the surface into a huge underground cavern.

The opening was full of gas, so they ignited it, hoping it would burn off in a few days.

That was 39 years ago. Presumably it will still burn out eventually, but the locals have given up waiting — they now call it “the door to hell.”

A Heartbreaking Disaster

Below are two videos that BP demanded be removed from the Australian version of the television program 60 Minute’s web-site. These videos offer a heartbreaking look at the current conditions and the expansive damage that has been done by the negligent oil company. Their irresponsible actions will effect the gulf coast of the United States and it’s inhabitants for generations to come. And it all could have been avoided if the giant oil company hadn’t been more worried about their massive profits.

BP should be ashamed and held responsible for not only what they’ve allowed to happen but also for the underhanded and shady strong-arm tactics they’ve employed to help try to stem the negative publicity through social and traditional media outlets.

The Lake Peigneur Disaster


Prior to 1980, Lake Peigneur in Louisiana was a sleepy 11 feet shallow fresh-water lake. On the morning of November 20, 1980 the oil conglomerate Texaco made a major drilling error while exploring the lake for oil deposits. Below the lake rested the Jefferson Island Salt Mine, owned by the Diamond Crystal Salt Company. Although not proven because all evidence was washed away in the ensuing maelstrom the disaster is generally attributed to a miscalculation by the Texaco drilling team, which resulted in the drilling of a small hole through the salt mine ceiling, causing a violent chain reaction as the fresh water lake began rapidly draining into the mine, which soaked up the water almost as fast as it drained in. On the surface of the lake, a violent whirlpool formed which caused several barges, many trees and large portions of the surrounding terrain to be sucked into the mine.


The mine was actually so large that it sucked the lake water in completely, which actually caused the flow reversal of the Delcambre canal, which drained to the Gulf of Mexico. The lake began refilling with salt-water, temporarily creating the largest waterfall in Louisiana (at 100-150 feet) and drastically changing the lake’s biology by introducing new species of brackish plants and marine life to fill the now 1,300 feet deep salt-water lake.

Remarkably, there there were no injuries and no human lives lost in this dramatic event – all 55 employees down in the salt mine at the time of the accident were able to escape, some through heroic efforts by co-workers, and the staff of the drilling rig escaped the platform before it was sucked down into the new depths of the lake – though three dogs were reported killed. Days after the disaster, nine of the eleven sunken barges popped out of the whirlpool and re-floated on the lake’s surface.

The drilling company, Texaco and Wilson Brothers paid $32 million (USD) to Diamond Crystal and $12.8 million to nearby Live Oak Gardens in out-of-court settlements to compensate for the damage caused.