The Number Stations

Numbers stations are mysterious shortwave radio channels of indiscernible origin that exist in countries all across the world and have been reported since World War 1. They are identifiable by the unusual contents of their broadcasts: seemingly random sequences of numbers, words, letters, tunes, and Morse code, usually spoken by artificially generated voices of women and children.

The most common theory regarding the purpose of these bizarre stations is that they’re used by governments the world over to secretly transmit encrypted commands and messages to spies. That said, even though numbers stations have been discovered all over the globe and in any number of different languages, no government has ever officially acknowledged their existence. While the espionage theory is a logical one, with no official confirmation of their purpose the jury is still out.

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One particularly odd station, UVB-76, has existed since the late 1970s and has broadcast a simple, repetitive buzzing tone 24 hours a day ever since. On very rare occasions, however, listeners have reported a Russian voice interrupting the buzz to read out sequences of numbers and words, always in a consistent format — this happened once in 1997, once in 2002, once in 2006, 56 times in 2010, and 14 in 2011. As with all numbers stations, its true purpose is and will probably remain unknown, but the increase in frequency of whatever it’s doing is certainly odd.

You can listen to well over 100 recordings of numbers stations for free on archive.org but be forewarned that they’re all kind of, well, eerie. They feel like something you shouldn’t be listening to, which stands to reason since apparently you’re not supposed to know they exist.

Via: NowYourAfraidoftheDark

The Mystery of the Lost Colony of Roanoke and the “Dare Stones”

The origins of one of the America’s oldest unsolved mysteries can be traced to August 1587, when a group of about 115 English settlers arrived on Roanoke Island, off the coast of what is now North Carolina. Later that year, it was decided that John White, governor of the new colony, would sail back to England in order to gather a fresh load of supplies. But just as he arrived, a major naval war broke out between England and Spain, and Queen Elizabeth I called on every available ship to confront the mighty Spanish Armada. In August 1590, White finally returned to Roanoke, where he had left his wife and daughter, his infant granddaughter (Virginia Dare, the first English child born in the Americas) and the other settlers three long years before. He found no trace of the colony or its inhabitants, and few clues to what might have happened, apart from a single word—“Croatan”—carved into a wooden post.

The “Dare Stones”

In 1937, a twenty-one-pound quartz stone was found in a swamp 60 miles west of Roanoke. On one side was a cross and the instruction “Ananias Dare & Virginia went hence Unto Heaven 1591.” On the other were carvings that, when deciphered by faculty at Emory University, were a message from Eleanor Dare to her father, John White, that the colony had fled inland after an Indian attack.

The story told by the stones matched some of the details of Strachey’s account, and a number of academics believed them. During the next three years, nearly forty more stones were found in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. Together, they told a story of the colonists’ journey through the southeast, ending in the death of Eleanor Dare in 1599.

The timing of the discovery, exactly 350 years after the English settlement of Roanoke, made the “Virginia Dare Stones” a perfect story, and the media jumped on it. In 1941, though, an article in The Saturday Evening Post revealed the “discoverers” of the stones to have staged an elaborate hoax. The stones were quickly forgotten by most people, although there are others that state that the article in the Post was biased for “tourist” reasons. There are many scholars that still believe the first stone found to be authentic. But the other forty stones, conveniently “found” after the fact, are definitely suspect and most likely a hoax.

Via: CuriousHistory
See the related Circa71 posting: Two of the Most Mysterious Sites in the U.S.

The Lead Masks Case

The Lead Masks Case refers to the discovery of the bodies of two electronic technicians in Brazil in 1966. The bodies were found in a field wearing impermeable coats and lead masks (usually used to protect against radiation – pictured above).

Even stranger was the discovery of a small notebook beside the bodies with signs and numbers, and a letter in which was written: “16:30 be at the agreed place. 18:30 swallow capsules, after effect protect metals wait for the mask sign”. A waitress who was the last to see them alive said that one of them looked very nervous and kept glancing at his watch. There were no obvious injuries on the bodies. Gracinda Barbosa Cortino de Souza and her children, who lived next to the hill where the men died, claimed that they had seen a UFO flying over the spot at the exact moment the detectives believed the two men must have died.

Via: ACuriousHistory

The Frederick Valentich Disappearance

The Frederick Valentich Disappearance is an event that occurred on October 21, 1978, in which 20-year-old Frederick Valentich disappeared in unexplained circumstances while piloting a Cessna 182L light aircraft over the Bass Strait to King Island, Australia. Prior to his disappearance, Valentich reported via radio that he had encountered an unidentified craft which was moving at the same speed of his plane, and which hovered over him. No trace of Valentich or his aircraft was ever found.

Shortly before Valentich’s last reported contact, plumber Roy Manifold set up a time lapse camera and tripod on the shoreline in order to photograph the sun setting over the water. When his pictures were developed they appeared to show a fast moving object exiting the water. Manifold gave the time that the pictures were taken as being approximately 6:47 pm (18:47 hrs), or 20 minutes before Valentich reported having difficulties. Moments before a strange noise terminated Valentich’s communications, he said: “My intentions are – ah – to go to King Island – ah – Melbourne. That strange aircraft is hovering on top of me again (open microphone for two seconds). It is hovering and it’s not an aircraft.

Via: ACuriousHistory

The Dashka Stone: Map of the Creator

In 1999, a professor at Bashkir State University in Russia named Alexander Chuvyrov made a remarkable archeological discovery. He was called to the house of Vladimir Krainov, who reported a strange slab buried in his backyard. Chuvyrov was instantly intrigued, as he had been searching for similar slabs that have been cited in various historical manuscripts. The slab was so heavy that it took over a week to unearth. The discovery was named the Dashka stone and later titled the Map of the Creator. The artifact is approximately 5 feet high, 3.5 feet wide, .5 feet thick, and weighs at least one ton. The stone was investigated and determined to be some sort of three-dimensional relief map of the Ural Region. Today the military uses similar maps to measure elevation and terrain. The Dashka stone reportedly contains representations of civil engineering work, weirs, an irrigation system, and powerful dams. To date, the ancient technology used to make the map is unknown and extremely advanced.

The map also contains numerous inscriptions. At first, the scientists thought that it was an Old Chinese language, although it was later reported that the inscriptions were done in a hieroglyphic-syllabic language of unknown origin. A group of Russian and Chinese specialists in the fields of cartography, physics, mathematics, geology, chemistry, and Old Chinese language researched the artifact and were the ones that identified it as a map of Ural region, with rivers Belya, Ufimka, and Sutolka listed.

Dating of the slab was reported to be over 100 million years old, but no reliable resources citing evidence of what type of test were used or the exact results could be found. If the Map of the Creator is genuine then it would suggest the existence of an ancient highly developed civilization. Researchers have claimed that a three-dimensional map of this order could have only been used for navigational purposes. Many websites claim that the slab is proof of ancient flight. Recent discoveries indicate that the slab is a piece of a larger artifact.

The Dashka stone continues to undergo scientific testing and is not available for public viewing.

http://www.toptenz.net/top-10-bizarre-a … veries.php
http://english.pravda.ru/main/2002/04/30/28149.html
http://www.itogi.ru/paper2002.nsf/Artic … _0237.html

Missing: Where Did The Residents of An Entire Eskimo Village Go?

An individual that vanishes is one thing, but how about an entire village of 2,000 men, women and children?

In November, 1930, a fur trapper named Joe Labelle made his way on snow shoes to an Eskimo village on the shores of Lake Anjikuni in northern Canada. Labelle was familiar with the village, which he knew as a thriving fishing community of about 2,000 residents.

When he arrived, however, he found a deserted village. All of the huts and storehouses were vacant. He found one smoldering fire with a pot of blackened stew. Labelle notified the authorities and an investigation began, soon after some bizarre findings were reported: no footprints of any of the residents were found, if they had vacated the village; all of the Eskimos’ sled dogs were found buried under a 12-foot-high snow drift – they had all starved to death; all of the Eskimos’ food and provisions were found undisturbed in their huts. Maybe the most intriguing detail was that the Eskimos’ ancestral graves had all been emptied.

The Mysterious Coffins of Arthur’s Seat

In 1836, five boys were hunting rabbits on the north-eastern slopes of Arthur’s Seat, the main peak in the group of hills in the center of Edinburgh. In a small cave in the crags of the hill they stumbled across seventeen miniature coffins carved in pine and decorated with tinned iron. Carefully arranged in a three-tiered stack, each coffin contained a small wooden figure with painted black boots and individually crafted clothing.

At the time of their discovery, some speculated that they were implements of witchcraft; others suggested they were charms used by sailors to ward off death or even mimic burials for those lost at sea. There is also a provocative theory that the little figures are tributes to the seventeen victims of famed Edinburgh serial killers Burke and Hare, as the figures were found just seven years after Burke’s execution. However, all of the figures are dressed in male attire, whereas twelve of Burke and Hare’s victims were female.

Interestingly, some of the figures have arms while others have had theirs removed to fit in their coffins, perhaps suggesting they were not originally made to be buried. Allen Simpson and Samuel Menefee (of the University of Edinburgh and the University of Virginia, respectively) carried out a detailed study of the figures in 1994, and have suggested they were adapted from a set of wooden toy soldiers manufactured around the 1790s, but not re-clothed or buried in the cave until the 1830s. But this is really the extent of knowledge about them.

Only eight of the original seventeen coffins and figures still survive today: several disintegrated with age, while others were “destroyed by the boys pelting them at each other as unmeaning and contemptible trifles” (according to The Scotsman, 16 July 1836). These remarkable objects still remain a mystery today, but with the recent digitization of 19th century newspapers like The Scotsman, Mike Dash suggests there might be potential for new revelations if anyone can match them to an obscure report of a shipwreck or accident with seventeen male victims.

The Undying Mystery of Count St Germain

In 1745, one of the most intriguing people in history visited London; a man who was said to be over two thousand years old! Some said he was in league with the Devil, others thought he was a Himalayan yogi of the highest order; all that we know is that, according to written historical references, a Count St Germain was apparently on the European scene from 1651 to 1896 – a period of 245 years.

Unable to explain the incredible lifespan of this man, the historians either omitted him from the history books or claimed several impostors in different time periods were responsible for the myth. But if we face the unadulterated facts about the count as they were written, they paint a very perplexing picture of a phenomenal man. Here then, is the story. When the English soldiers returned from the Holy Land after the third Crusade came to a disastrous end in the twelfth century, they brought back with them many fabulous tales of the mysterious Orient.

One particular story the crusaders often told was of a man known in the East as the Wandering Jew. The story went as follows. In the Judgement Hall of Pontius Pilate, there was a Jewish doorkeeper named Cartaphilus, who had actually been present at the trial of Jesus of Nazareth. When Christ was dragging his cross through the streets on the way to Calvary, he halted for a moment to rest, and at this point, Cartaphilus stepped out from the large crowd lining the route and told Jesus to hurry up. Jesus looked at Cartaphilus and said, “I will go now, but thou shall wait until I return.”

The Roman soldiers escorting Christ to the crucifixion site pushed Cartaphilus back into the crowd, and Jesus continued on his way.

What did Jesus mean? thought Cartaphilus, and many years later, the doorkeeper gradually realized that all his friends were dying of old age, while he had not aged at all. Cartaphilus remembered Christ’s words and shuddered. He would wander the earth without ageing until Christ’s Second Coming.

This tale was dismissed by the religious authorities of the day as an apocryphal yarn, and the legend of the Wandering Jew was later interpreted by the Christians as an allegorical story, symbolizing the global wanderings and persecutions of the Jewish race because of their refusal to accept Jesus as the long-awaited Messiah. The tale gradually passed into European folklore and joined the other fairy tales of the Middle Ages.

Then, in the 13th century, a number of travellers returning to England from the Continent spoke of meeting and hearing of a strange blasphemous man who claimed he had been around when Christ was on earth. These curious reports were later strengthened in 1228 when an Armenian archbishop visited St. Albans. The archbishop told his astonished audience that he had recently dined with an unusual man who confessed to being Cartaphilus, the man who mocked Christ.

Many more encounters with Cartaphilus were reported in the following centuries, and each meeting seemed to be taking place nearer and nearer to Western Europe. Then one day in the year 1740, a mysterious man dressed in black arrived in Paris.

The gaudily-dressed fashion-conscious Parisians instantly noticed the sinister stranger, and admired the dazzling collection of diamond rings on each of his fingers. The man in Black also wore diamond-encrusted shoe-buckles, a display of wealth that obviously suggested that he was an aristocrat, yet nobody in Paris could identify him. From the Jewish cast of his handsome countenance, some of the superstitious citizens of Paris believed he was Cartaphilus, the Wandering Jew.

The man of mystery later identified himself as the Count of St. Germain, and he was quickly welcomed by the nobility into the fashionable circles of Parisian life.

In the distinguished company of writers, philosophers, scientists, freemasons and aristocrats, the Count displayed a veritable plethora of talents. He was an accomplished pianist, a gifted singer and violinist, a linguist who spoke fluent Spanish, Greek, Italian, Russian, Portugese, Chinese, Arabic, Sanskrit, English, and of courese, French. The Count of St Germain was also a fine artist, an historian, and a brilliant alchemist. He maintained that he had travelled widely, and recounted his many visits to the court of the Shah of Persia, where he had learned the closely-guarded science of improving and enlarging gemstones. The Count also hinted that he had learned many other arcane lessons of the occult.

But what stunned his awestruck listeners most was his insinuation that he was over a thousand years old. This came about one evening when the course of conversation turned to religious matters. When the Count was invited to comment on the subject, he movingly described Christ as if he had personally known him, and talked in detail of the miraculous water-into-wine event at the marriage feast of Cana as if he were describing a party-trick. After his peculiar anecdote, the Count became tearful, and in a broken, uncharacteristically sombre voice, he said, “I had always known that Christ would meet a bad end.”

The Count of St Germain also spoke of other historical celebrities such as Cleopatra and Henry VIII and as if he had known them personally. Whenever sceptical historians would try to trip the Count up by questioning him about trivial historical details that were not widely known, the Count would always reply with astonishing accuracy, leaving the questioner quite perplexed.

The Count’s claim to be much older than he looked was reinforced one day when the old Countess von Georgy met him. She immediately recognized the enigmatic nobleman as the same individual she had met fifty years previously in Venice, where she had been the ambassadress. But she was amazed that the Count still looked the same age now as he did then, which was about forty-five. The Countess was naturally confused by this, and asked the Count St Germain if his father had been in Venice at that time. The Count shook his head and told her that it had been himself, and he baffled the Countess by telling her how beautiful she had looked as a young woman  and how he had enjoyed playing her favourite musical piece on the violin. The Countess recoiled in disbelief and told him, “Why, you must be almost one hundred years old.”

“That is not impossible.” replied the Count.

“You are a most extraordinary man!” exclaimed the old Countess, “A devil!”

The comparison to a demon touched a sore point in the Count, and in a raised voice, he replied, “For pity’s sake! No such names!”

He turned his back on the shocked Countess and stormed out of the room.

The King of France, Louis XV was intrigued by the stories of the mysterious Count St Germain. He sought him out and offered him an invitation to attend the royal court. The Count accepted the invitation, and succeeded in captivating the king and his courtiers, as well as Madame de Pompadour, the king’s mistress.

During the spectacular banquets that were held at the court, the Count would abstain from food and wine, but would sometimes sip mineral water instead. Furthermore, when the Count did dine, it was always in private, and precisely what he did consume is not known, although some of the courtiers claimed he was a vegetarian.

Count St Germain arrived in London in 1743 and lodged at a house in St Martin’s Street. He stayed in the capital for two years, and during that time he set up a laboratory and carried out mysterious experiments in it that seem to have been of an alchemical nature. His work was closely guarded, but seems to have involved attempts at manufacturing artificial diamonds. During his stay in London, the count was a frequent guest at the Kit-Kat club, where he mingled with members of the highest nobility. At this prestigious club, the Count once astounded members by talking of two inventions he was working on; the steam train and steamboat. This was twenty years before James Watt put together his crude prototype of the steam engine, and 84 years before George Stephenson‘s Rocket steam train of 1829.

In 1745, the year of the Jacobite Rebellion in Britain, the Count St Germain was arrested at a coffee house in Paternoster Row and charged with spying. Horace Walpole, the son of Sir Robert Walpole, Britain’s first Prime Minister, mentioned the incident in a letter to his lifelong correspondent, Sir Horace Mann. Walpole wrote:

“The other day they seized an odd man who goes by the name of the Count St Germain. He has been here these two years, and will not tell who he is or whence, but professes that he does not go by his right name. He sings and plays on the violin wonderfully, is mad and not very sensible.”

At a time when English xenophobia was at an all-time high because many foreigners, especially Frenchmen were known to be sympathetic to the Jacobite cause, the Count should have been imprisoned. But instead, he was released. Just why this occurred is still a mystery. One curious report that circulated at the time claimed that the Count used hypnotic suggestion to ‘persuade’ his detainers that he was innocent. This is a real possibility, because, true enough, Anton Mesmer, who is credited with the discovery of hypnotism, stated years before that the Count possessed a ‘vast understanding of the workings of the human mind’ and had been directly responsible for teaching him the art of hypnosis.

In 1756, the Count was spotted by Sir Robert Clive in India, and in 1760, history records that King Louis XV sent Monsieur St Germain to The Hague to help settle the peace treaty between Prussia and Austria. In 1762, the Count took part in the deposition of Peter III of Russia and took an active role in bringing Catherine the Great to the throne.

Count St Germain opened a mass-production factory in Venice in 1769 where he developed a synthetic form of silk. During this period he also executed several magnificent sculptures in the tradition of the classical Greeks. A year later he was again active in interfering in the politics of other nations; this time he was seen in the uniform of a Russian General with Prince Alexei Orloff in Leghorn!

After the death of Louis XV in 1774, the man from nowhere turned up unexpectedly in Paris and warned the new monarch, King Louis XVI and his Queen, Marie Antoinette of the approaching danger of the French Revolution, which he described as a ‘gigantic conspiracy’ that would overthrow the order of things. Of course, the warning went unheeded, and among the final entries in her diary, Marie Antoinette recorded her regret at not taking the Count’s advice.

In February 1784, Prince Charles of Hesse-Cassel, Germany, announced the news that the Count was dead, and was to be buried at the local church in Eckenforde. Among the crowds that attended the fueneral service were many prominent occultists, including Count Cagliostro, Anton Mesmer, and the philosopher Louis St Martin. The coffin was lowered into the grave, and many of the mourners sobbed at what seemed so unbelievable; the death of the immortal count. But that is not the end of the story.

A year later, in 1785 a congress of Freemasons was held in Paris. Among the Rosicrucians, Kabbalists and Illuminati was the supposedly dead Count St Germain.

Thirty-six years after his funeral, the Count was seen by scores of people in in Paris. These included the diarist Mademoiselle d’Adhemar, and the educationalist Madame de Genlis. Both women said the Count still looked like a forty-five year-old.

In 1870 the Emperor Napoleon III was so fascinated by the reports of ‘The Undying Count’ he ordered a special commission to be set up at the Hotel de Ville to investigate the nobleman. But the findings of the commission never came to a conclusion, because in 1871, an mysterious fire of unknown origin gutted the Hotel de Ville, destroying every document that related to the self-styled count.

The Count St Germain was briefly seen in Milan in 1877, attending a meeting of the Grand Lodge of Freemasons.

In 1896, the theosophist Annie Besant said she had met the Count, and around the same year, Russian theosophist Madame Blavatsky said the Count had been in contact with her, and she proclaimed that he belonged to a race of immortals who lived in an subterranean country called Shambhala, north of the Himalayas.

In 1897, the French singer Emma Calve also claimed that the Count St Germain had paid her a visit, and she called him a ‘great chiromancer’ who had told her many truths.

The story of the immortal count went out of vogue at the beginning of the Twentieth century – until August 1914, in the early days of World War One. Two Bavarian soldiers captured a Jewish-looking Frenchman in Alsace. During the all-night interrogation, the prisoner of war stubbornly refused to give his name. Suddenly, in the early hours of the morning, the unidentified Frenchman got very irritable and started to rant about the futility of the war. He told his captors, “Throw down your guns! The war will end in 1918 with defeat for the German nation and her allies!”

One of the soldiers, Andreas Rill, laughed at the prisoner’s words. He thought that the man was merely expressing the hopes of every Frenchman, but he was intrigued by the prisoner’s other prophecies…

“Everyone will be a millionaire after the war! There will be so much money in circulation, people will throw it from windows and no one will bother to pick it up. You will need to carry it around in wheelbarrows to buy a loaf!” the Frenchman predicted. Was he referring to the rampant inflation of post-WWI Germany?

The soldiers scoffed at the prediction. They let the prophet ramble on. He gave them more future-history lessons: “After the confetti money will come the Antichrist. A tyrant from the lower classes who will wear an ancient symbol. He will lead Germany into another global war in 1939, but will be defeated six years on after doing inhuman, unspeakable things.

The Frenchman then started to become incoherent. He started to sing, then began to sob. Thinking he was mad, the soldiers decided to let him go, and he disappeared back into obscurity. His identity is stil unknown. Could he have been the Count St Germain?

Today, most historians regard the Count St Germain as nothing more than a silver-tongued charlatan. But there are so many unanswered questions. What was the source of the Count’s wealth? How can we possibly explain his longevity? For that matter, where did he come from? If he had been an impostor, surely someone would have recognized him.

The only surviving manuscript written by the Count, entitled, “La Tres Sainte Trinosophie” is in the library at Troyes, France, and to date, it has resisted every attempt to be fully deciphered, but one decoded section of the text states:

“We moved through space at a speed that can only be compared with nothing but itself. Within a fraction of a second the plains below us were out of sight and the Earth had become a faint nebula.”

What does this signify? Could it be that the Count St Germain was some type of traveller in the realms of space and time? A renegade timelord from the future who liked to meddle with history? If this were so, perhaps he really had talked with Christ and the kings of bygone days.

La Tres Sainte Trinosophie can be viewed in it’s entirety here.

Via: Dark-Stories

Source: http://www.slemen.com  © Copyright 2004 by Tom Slemen.

The Mysterious Stone Spheres of Costa Rica

The stone spheres of Costa Rica, one of the strangest mysteries in archaeology, are a collection of some three hundred polished stone orbs, the first of which were discovered in the Diquis Delta of Costa Rica during the 1930s. The spheres range in size from a few centimeters to over two meters in diameter, and weigh up to 16 tons. Their precise date of construction is uncertain, but they are believed to have been carved between 200 BC and 1600 CE.

The stone spheres came to light during early cultivation of the farmland. Most were discovered by workmen as they cleared and burned the jungle in preparation for planting.

The first scientific investigation of the spheres was undertaken shortly after their discovery by Doris Stone, a daughter of a United Fruit Co. executive. These were published in 1943 in American Antiquity, attracting the attention of Dr. Samuel Lothrop from Harvard University. Lothrop’s findings were published in Archaeology of the Diquís Delta, Costa Rica 1963.

Numerous myths surround the stones, such as they came from Atlantis, or that they were made as such by nature. Some local legends state that the native inhabitants had access to a potion able to soften the rock. Another calls for the center of the spheres to contain a single coffee bean.

The stones have a surprisingly smooth surface. According to laser measurements by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, the spheres were 96% perfect.

The stone spheres have been found in clusters of up to twenty, and often in geometric patterns such as triangles, rectangles or straight lines. Such alignments often point to the earth’s magnetic north. Archaeologists have been able to date the stones by the artifacts that have been found lying alongside them. Some of them have, thus, been dated as far back as 400 B.C.E.

Via: ACuriousHistory

California’s Mysterious Blythe Intaglios: America’s Nazca Lines

The Blythe Intaglios or Blythe Geoglyphs are a group of gigantic figures found on the ground near Blythe, California. The intaglios are found about 15 miles (24 km) north of downtown Blythe, just west of U.S. Highway 95. The largest human figure is 171 feet (52 m) long. The intaglios are best viewed from the air.

The figures are so immense that they were not observed by non-Indians until the 1930s.  The set of geoglyphs includes several dozen figures and a labrynth, thought to be ceremonial in nature. They are believed to date from 1000 AD but could range from 450 to 10,000 years old. Although most think they were created by Mojave and Quechan Indians, their true origin is unknown. Many believe, due to their similarities of the Nazca Lines in Peru, that they are extraterrestrial in origin.

The (re)discovery of the Blythe Intaglios: In 1932, a pilot flying between Las Vegas and Blythe noticed the Blythe geoglyphs as they are only truly visible by air.

The labyrinth, known as The Topock Maze, covers 18 acres (73,000 m2) and consists of a series of parallel windrows (a row of trimmed crops) about five feet apart. A late 19th century unpublished ethnographic report states that the Mojave people used to put some of their men into the center of the maze, leaving them to find their way out without crossing the windrows.

Edward Curtis wrote in 1908 that, “It is believed that by running in and out through one of these immense labyrinths, one haunted with a dread [ghost] may bewilder the spirit occasioning it, and thus elude them.”  In other words, a way to ditch a ghost.

Via: ACuriousHistory

Göbekli Tepe: The World’s Oldest Temple

A wall in an ancient temple displays an incredibly high level of sophistication in a Stone Age culture. Photo credit: Berthold Steinhilber.

The re-discovery of an intricately built ancient temple called Göbekli Tepe (Potbelly Hill in the native Turkish), in southern Turkey, is regarded as an archaeological discovery of the greatest importance.

The temple, which was built 8,000 years before the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egpyt, places our roots as a modern civilization much deeper than ever guessed at by any scholar or historian who had previously believed the first modern human societies formed around 9,000 B.C. in the Fertile Crescent near an area encompassing Jordan, Israel, and Iraq. With the shocking discovery of Gobekli Tepe, created by a culture that had clearly mastered masonry and developed a sophisticated culture prior to that within the Fertile Crescent, it places human society’s beginnings nearer to 10,000 B.C. or 12,000 years ago in Turkey.

This discovery single-handedly and profoundly revolutionizes our understanding of a crucial stage in the development of human society in the Neolithic Era by predating the Fertile Crescent by a full thousand years and originating outside of it.

The prehistoric temple of Göbekli Tepe (pronounced Guh-behk-LEE TEH-peh) is large, intricately adorned – with sculpture and carved stone fashioned in a time when mankind was traditionally assumed to be nothing more than a handful of nomads with no great religious inclination with little to no education and no skilled trades abilities at all.

Yet, these ruins are amazing – the result of a highly sophisticated culture. The temple is made up of colossal T-shaped limestone pillars that are 10 to 20 feet tall each and weigh upwards of 40-60 tons. To put that into perspective, the largest standing stones at Stonehenge weigh in at 25 tons and are 24 feet tall – making the Göbekli Tepe’s monolithic pillars twice as heavy and nearly as tall. And, like Stonehenge, the creation of the temple is lost to history.

Two teams of archeological researchers remain hard at work at the site today uncovering this historical find and attempting to understand how the temple was built and what became of it’s builders.

Notes:
Gobekli Tepe is located in an arid, dry region 9 miles northeast of the town of Şanlıurfa, Turkey.
Video of the actual site can be found here at YouTube.

Via: FleshyBones

References:
Wikipedia,Göbekli Tepe
National GeographicGöbekli Tepe Excavation
Göbekli TepeArcheological Site Info
Worlds First TempleMovie/Gallery

The Treasure of Lima

Shaun Whitehead is leading an archaeological expedition to Cocos Island, the supposed hiding place of the “Treasure of Lima” – one of the world’s most fabled missing treasures.
The haul – said to be worth in excess of $200 million – was stolen by a British trader, Captain William Thompson, in 1820 after he was entrusted to transport it from Peru to Mexico…The team plan to use a small, unmanned helicopter, fitted with specialist cameras, to fly above the nine mile square island, which will enable them to make a computer-generated 3D map of the landscape.

They will then use a snakelike robot that can be dragged across the parts of island and, using ground penetrating radar, detect voids and cavities up to a depth of around 60ft. This data will be added to the 3D map to identify any likely concealed caves. After this, a team will use a specialist “keyhole” drill, which can reach more than 100ft, to dig down into the cave. A probe camera can be sent down through the 1in diameter.

An original inventory showed 113 gold religious statues, one a life-size Virgin Mary, 200 chests of jewels, 273 swords with jewelled hilts, 1,000 diamonds, solid gold crowns, 150 chalices and hundreds of gold and silver bars. The most famous Cocos hoard of all is the “Great Treasure of Lima.” In 1820, as the revolutionary José de San Martín advanced on Lima, the Spanish Viceroy realized he had better remove the stores of gold and silver under his command. Officials of the more than 50 Spanish churches in the city came to the same conclusion about their ecclesiastical riches, which included a solid-gold, gem-encrusted, life-size image of the Virgin Mary.

Figuring that hiding this wealth anywhere near Lima would be foolish, the Viceroy entrusted it to a British sea captain named William Thompson, a known and respected trader in the region. The Viceroy’s plan was to have Thompson sail around for several months, with the treasure stowed aboard his merchantman, the Mary Dear, until the political situation improved. Big mistake. A load of such value—at the time, Spanish officials deemed it worth between $12 and $60 million—proved too great a temptation to Thompson and his men. Once out of sight of land, they cut the throats of the Viceroy’s appointed guard, tossed their bodies overboard, and made haste to Cocos, where they duly buried the treasure.made haste to Cocos, where they duly buried the treasure.

Thompson and his crew decided to split up until things simmered down, then reconnoiter to divvy up the spoils. But not long after leaving Cocos, the Mary Dear was picked up by a Spanish man-of-war. The crew was put on trial for piracy, convicted, and hung—all except for Thompson and his first mate, who agreed to lead their captors to the stolen goods if their lives were spared. Soon after they stepped on Cocos under an armed guard, however, Thompson and the mate suddenly hotfooted it into the jungle. Despite a protracted search, they were never found, and their frustrated captors finally left the island. According to some versions of the story, the pair were later picked up by a whaler and taken to Puntarenas, in Costa Rica, where the mate contracted yellow fever and died. For his part, William Thompson seems to have vanished from the pages of history shortly thereafter, and there is no indication that he ever returned to Cocos Island.

Via: TYWKIWDBI