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

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The Rosetta Disk

The Rosetta Disk is the physical companion of the Rosetta Digital Language Archive, and a prototype of one facet of The Long Now Foundation’s 10,000-Year Library. The Rosetta Disk is intended to be a durable archive of human languages, as well as an aesthetic object that suggests a journey of the imagination across culture and history. The  foundation attempted to create a unique physical artifact which evokes the great diversity of human experience as well as the incredible variety of symbolic systems we have constructed to understand and communicate that experience.

The Rosetta Disk is one small answer to the riddle of longevity. An “iconic object” designed to last about 2,000 years, the disk itself is heavy nickel, 3 inches in diameter, and decorated with the words “Languages of the World” swirling around a core of 30,000 microetched pages. The pages contain a small bit of text — 27 pages from the biblical story of Genesis — and some basic phonetic and grammatical details, printed in at least 1,000 languages, legible only under a 1,000x microscope.

The Disk surface shown here, meant to be a guide to the contents, is etched with a central image of the earth and a message written in eight major world languages: “Languages of the World: This is an archive of over 1,500 human languages assembled in the year 02008 C.E. Magnify 1,000 times to find over 13,000 pages of language documentation.” The text begins at eye-readable scale and spirals down to nano-scale. This tapered ring of languages is intended to maximize the number of people that will be able to read something immediately upon picking up the Disk, as well as implying the directions for using it—‘get a magnifier and there is more.’

On the reverse side of the disk from the globe graphic are over 13,000 microetched pages of language documentation. Since each page is a physical rather than digital image, there is no platform or format dependency. Reading the Disk requires only optical magnification. Each page is .019 inches, or half a millimeter, across. This is about equal in width to 5 human hairs, and can be read with a 650X microscope (individual pages are clearly visible with 100X magnification).

The 13,000 pages in the collection contain documentation on over 1500 languages gathered from archives around the world. For each language there are several categories of data—descriptions of the speech community, maps of their location(s), and information on writing systems and literacy. Grammatical information including descriptions of the sounds of the language, how words and larger linguistic structures like sentences are formed, a basic vocabulary list (known as a “Swadesh List”), and whenever possible, texts are also included. Many of the texts are transcribed oral narratives. Others are translations such as the beginning chapters of the Book of Genesis or the UN Declaration of Human Rights.

The Rosetta Disk is held in a four inch spherical container that both protects the disk as well as provides additional functionality. The container is split into two hemispheres with the three inch Rosetta Disk sitting in an indent on the flat meeting surface of the two hemispheres. The upper hemisphere is made of optical glass and doubles as a 6X viewer, giving visual access deeper into the tapered text rings. The bottom hemisphere is high-grade stainless steel. A hollow cylinder has been machined into the bottom hemisphere that holds a stainless steel ribbon for disk caretakers to etch their names, locations, and dates – hopefully creating a unique pedigree for each Rosetta Disk as it travels through time and human hands. A small stylus tool is included for future caretakers to add additional information.

At the very least, the Rosetta Disk provides an informative overview of human linguistic diversity in the 21st century. However, it may do much more. The translations on the disk, for example, are a close analog to the Rosetta Stone, whose parallel texts (in this case unintentionally) enabled the decipherment of Egyptian Hieroglyphics. It isn’t a great stretch to imagine that the language information on this disk could provide the key to the (re)discovery of valuable society sustaining knowledge far into the future.

The Rosetta Disk is being designed and developed through the collaboration of artists, designers, linguists and archivists including Kurt Bollacker, Stewart Brand, Paul Donald, Jim Mason, Kevin Kelly, and Alexander Rose and Laura Welcher. Primary funding for the first Rosetta Disk and the project that grew out of it came from the generous support of Charles Butcher and the Lazy Eight Foundation.

“I don’t think it’s an apocalyptic object,” Mason says. The Disk might survive a nuclear winter, but planning for a total collapse of civilization isn’t the point of Long Now. “There’s a variety of purposes for the Disk, from the iconic to the actually functional.”

The Disk is already an icon, in fact, for a more awesome project — a massive effort to collect basic information about every existing language into a single online database, called the All-Language Archive. In some ways the Disk is beside the point: It has led to a practical, down-to-earth venture that may be more important than a bunch of microscopic Genesis translations. What started as a dreamy experiment by a handful of Buckminster Fuller-ish future theorists at a Presidio nonprofit has evolved into a serious effort to preserve the world’s dying tongues, and Mason — to his considerable surprise — finds himself in charge. Maybe that’s why he talks so stiffly sometimes, using a lingo one might call “visionary-bureaucrat.” He’s not an uptight guy, but he moves around the office with a stressed, intense concentration laid over his native bohemian looseness.

“We found ourselves in possession of a tool,” he says, “and a medium” —the Web —”that allowed for a collaborative creation of a very broad reference work, one that we’re now on the verge of recasting as an attempt to finish one of the [critical] data sets of humanity.” (The human genome map would be another major data set.) The goal, he explains, is to create “a record of human languages, tending towards All.”

Time is running short for this kind of work, because linguistic diversity is going the way of species diversity. Hundreds if not thousands of tongues are spoken only by a few isolated and elderly speakers, so linguists need to get to those speakers before they die —and take their rare words with them. The Rosetta Project wants to ease that problem, if it can.

The site lists 1,470 languages so far, out of about 4,000 worldwide that have paper documentation —either published in dusty books or “languishing away,” according to Mason, “in file cabinets and shoe boxes and closets,” where missionaries or far-flung researchers might have left it for posterity. The project’s goal for the next five years is to collect that written information on the rest of the world’s languages and put it online. This first step toward an All-Language Archive seems modest when compared to the company’s reallyambitious second step, though: collecting data on the remaining 2,000 or 3,000 languages that aren’t even documented. Of course, such a huge undertaking might not get funded by the Rosetta Project’s backer, the Lazy Eight Foundation, which supports unorthodox educational and scientific work.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/43530099″>Rosetta</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/scottoller”>Scott Oller</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>

The Legendary Tales of Atlantis

 More than 2,500 years ago, a legend first began to spread about a society of the past that enjoyed an abundance of natural resources, great military power, splendid building and engineering feats, and intellectual achievements far advanced over those of other lands. Called Atlantis, it was described as a continent-sized area with rich soil, plentiful pure water, abundant vegetation and animals, natural hot springs for health and vigor, and such mineral wealth that gold was inlaid in buildings and was among the precious metals and stones worn as jewelry. Slaves performed manual labor, allowing a large elite to pursue knowledge, enjoy sporting events, and continually improve upon an already thriving society.

In the ensuing centuries, no conclusive evidence of Atlantis has been found, but its attributes have expanded to include additional engineering and technological feats that enhance its legendary status in the popular imagination. In 1882, Ignatius Donnelly published Atlantis: The Antediluvian World, arguing that all civilization is an inheritance from Atlantis. Listing numerous parallels between ancient cultures spaced far away from each other, Donnelly argued that their commonness resulted from contact with Atlanteans.

Similarities do indeed exist among various ancient cultures, as do significant differences. Flood myths and sun worship, for example, might be based on a shared teaching, or they might be separate reactions to beneficent and destructive elements of nature. Pyramids were built in Egypt and the Americas, but they are also significantly different in their structures. The walls of pyramids in the Americas did not converge to form a true point, as they did in Egypt; rather, the walls reached a certain level upon which a platform was built and often a temple erected. If Atlantis did indeed fall somewhere between 8500 and 9500 B.C.E., what accounts for the long time lag until the pyramids were erected in Egypt (generally dated around 2500 B.C.E.) and North America (generally dated after 200 C.E.)?

Since the 1800s, Atlanteans have been credited for having had the technology to generate electricity, build flying machines, and harness nuclear power for energy and war-fare—all developed more than 9,000 years before such things came into being in modern society. Other claims have Atlanteans knowledgeable about a formidable death ray, secrets for levitation, and pure forms of energy through crystals. Many Atlantis enthusiasts firmly believe that the inhabitants of the lost continent had cosmic connections with extraterrestrials and may actually have been a colony established on Earth by alien explorers.

Since Atlantis was first described, claims have been made that certain members of the civilization escaped destruction during its catastrophic final days and managed to impart their knowledge to other peoples of the world, helping civilize primitive societies, passing on the secret of written language, and supervising construction of some of the world’s most mysterious structures of the ancient world. The pyramids of Egypt and the Americas, the Sphinx in Egypt, and the megaliths of western Europe are among the structures attributed to the genius of Atlanteans.

According to most accounts, Atlantis was suddenly destroyed by a cataclysm of earthquakes and floods and swallowed up by the sea. No definitive remnants have ever been found, and the exact location of the “lost continent” remains debatable. The idea of Atlantis was first expressed in the works of Plato (c. 428–348 or 347 B.C.E.), the Greek philosopher, who stressed that a perfect world exists in ideas. For example, a shoe, according to Plato, exists as an idea before a craftsperson makes the material object identified as a shoe. The material world, then, is a reflection of ideas, never quite reaching the perfection of ideas, but which serve as models for which the adepts might strive.

While Plato used the model of Atlantis to represent a world of perfect order in contrast to all that was imperfect in the world around him, he labeled the story of Atlantis “literally true”—a significant declaration. For Plato was suspicious of fiction and art. If ideas are the primary reality, and the material world is a reflection of ideas, then art, as a reflection of the material world, is twice removed from reality, according to Plato. His claim that the Atlantis story is literally true helps sustain the continuing legend of Atlantis. It remains a legend, or an Idea, however, until some material proof shows that Atlantis existed in the material world. Aristotle (384–322 B.C.E.), another of the great Greek philosophers, viewed the Atlantis legend as fiction.

 Plato’s writings comprise several letters and 25 dialogues. His views and those of his mentor, Socrates (c. 470–399 B.C.E.), were presented as dramatic conversations exploring such topics as truth, the origin of the world and its composition, the purpose of humankind, and what an individual should choose as an aim of life. Atlantis is discussed in two of Plato’s dialogues, Timaeus and Critias. Timaeus provides a description of the island continent and how Atlanteans conquered all the known world except for the Athenians (Plato was an Athenian). Critias, named after the primary speaker in the dialogue, Plato’s great-grandfather, presents a history of Atlantean civilization and describes the ideal society that flourished there. Critias notes that the stories were originally passed on by an ancestor, Solon (638–558 B.C.E.), a politician and poet who traveled widely. Critias and Solon were both ancestors of Plato.

Solon, as the story goes, was informed by Egyptian priests in the city of Sais, located in the Nile delta, that there was once a land even older in history than Egypt, which the Greeks acknowledged as being centuries older than their own society. The priests described a large island continent called Atlantis that prospered some 8,000 years earlier, which dates Atlantis before 8500 B.C.E. The continent was located beyond “the Pillars of Hercules,” the Greek term for the rocks that form the Straits of Gibraltar, the westernmost point of the Mediterranean Ocean. Beyond the straits is the Atlantic Ocean.

 There were several cities on the continent. The primary city, also called Atlantis, was located in the center of a series of concentric rings that alternated between rings of water and land. The water rings served as canals for trade and helped form a series of natural defenses that made an invasion of Atlantis extremely difficult.

The city of Atlantis, in the innermost circle, had palaces and temples where wise and powerful rulers lived. The ruling coalition descended from Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea. Poseidon and Clieto had five sets of twin sons, according to Greek mythology, each of which was given a region of Atlantis.

Atlas, the firstborn son, was given the largest province, which became the city of Atlantis, a name that derives from Atlas. The finest structure on the island, the Temple of Poseidon, honored the god and served as the home of the primary ruler.

Atlantis had a powerful army of professional soldiers, as did each of the other nine regions of the continent. The culture of Atlantis promoted learning, through which advances in engineering and science made the land bountiful, beautiful, and powerful. In addition to magnificent architectural structures, a network of bridges and tunnels linked the rings of land, and clever uses of natural resources provided security and abundance. Many groves provided solitude and beauty, racetracks were used for athletic competitions, and irrigation systems ensured great harvests.

 In Plato’s account, the people of Atlantis eventually became corrupt and greedy, putting selfish pursuits above the greater good. They began invading other lands with the idea of world domination. Angered by these developments, Poseidon set about destroying the civilization, battering the continent with earthquakes and floods until Atlantis was swallowed up by the ocean.

 That description of the destruction of Atlantis has been linked by some to other cataclysmic events—stories of a great deluge in the Bible, the Epic of Gilgamesh, and flood myths in other societies. Some contend that the end of the Ice Age between 12,000 and 10,000 B.C.E. likely resulted in rises of water levels in various parts of the world and that earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and climate changes, either incidental or associated with the Ice Age, occurred during the time identified with the destruction of Atlantis.

The location of Atlantis has been claimed on each of the seven continents, and in several spots in the world’s oceans and seas. Additionally, many of the ancient world’s wonders have been attributed to Atlanteans who, presumably, escaped the destruction of their homeland and spread their advanced engineering skills elsewhere.

The text of Plato’s dialogue suggests the Atlantic Ocean “beyond the pillars of Hercules” as the location of Atlantis. As late as the twentieth century, a belief persisted that a landbridge once existed in the ocean and ran between Europe and Africa and North and South America. Such a land-link concept helps explain similarities in flora and fauna existing on continents spread thousands of miles apart. The mid-Atlantic ridge, a series of undersea mountains, has been presented as a remnant of the land bridge, or as the remains of Atlantis.

Jacques Collina-Girard of the University of the Mediterranean in Aix-en-Provence had been studying patterns of human migration from Europe into North Africa at the height of the last Ice Age, 19,000 years ago, when his reconstruction of the area revealed an ancient archipelago with an island at the spot where Plato wrote Atlantis existed. The island was named Spartel, and it lay in front of the Pillars of Hercules to the west of the Strait of Gibraltar at a time when the sea level was 130 meters lower than it is today. According to Collina-Girard, the slow rise of post-glacial sea levels would gradually have engulfed the island and the archipelago 9,000 years before Plato.

 While the concept of an island being swallowed by the sea in the area before the Pillars of Hercules seems a viable theory, there is as yet no evidence discovered to prove that a continent existed in the mid-Atlantic Ocean. The shallow waters around the northwest coast of Africa and extending to the Canary Islands is an area that may have been above the ocean at one time and has been suggested as a location for Atlantis, but no physical remains of human habitation have been located there.

Alan F. Alford, a leading authority on ancient mythology, spent five years investigating Plato’s account of Atlantis, In December 2001, announced his conclusion that the myth of the lost continent took place only in Plato’s mind. In Alford’s theory, the Greek philosopher invented Atlantis as a metaphor for the ancient version of the contemporary “Big Bang Theory.” Atlantis, as a symbol for a lost paradise, represented a kind of cataclysm of all cataclysms that brought about the beginning of all time.

The discouraging theories of the skeptical do little to diminish the enthusiasm of those who earnestly believe in the physical reality of Atlantis. The Atlantic Ocean location for the lost continent received renewed attention in the late 1960s, specifically the region near Bimini Island in the Bahamas, an island chain off the coast of the United States. Fueling the excitement over what appeared to be discoveries of actual roadways, walls, and buildings under the water was the fact that they were found in the exact location and at the same point in time as prophesied by Edgar Cayce (1877–1945), a psychic, whose “life readings” for clients revealed that many of their present-life psychological traumas were being caused by a terrible incident that the sufferer had experienced in a past life. Many of the presentlife traumas of his clients, according to Cayce, were due to the sufferings they had experienced as people who lived in Atlantis in a previous life.

 Cayce helped popularize a modernized view of Atlantis as a superior civilization that had developed planes, submarines, x-ray, anti-gravity devices, crystals that harness energy from the sun, and powerful explosives. He theorized that an explosion in 50,000 B.C.E. blew Atlantis up into five islands; another occurred in 28,000 B.C.E.; and the third, the one described by Plato, occurred around 10,000 B.C.E. Cayce claimed that he had been an Atlantean priest from around 10,500 B.C.E. who had foreseen the coming destruction and sent some of his followers to Egypt. Those followers directed the building of the Sphinx and the pyramids.

 In 1940, Cayce predicted that remnants of Atlantis would rise again near the Bahamas in the late 1960s. In 1967, two pilots photographed a rectangular structure in the ocean off the coast of Andros, the largest island of the Bahamas. Another configuration of stone, in the shape of a “J,” was found by divers off the island of Bimini. The J-shaped formation was believed to be a road of stone. Extensive diving expeditions became common in the area, and some divers claimed to have seen remnants of temples, pillars, and pyramids. However, none were documented by extensive excavations.

 The J-shaped structure became popularly known as the Bimini Road and was a cause of celebration among enthusiasts of Atlantis and Cayce. Geological tests, however, show that the J shape is actually a limestone beachrock. Fractures in the formation give it the appearance of a construction of blocks, but the entire formation shows the same grains and microstructure—a quality difficult to replicate in a series of blocks. Radiocarbon testing of shells in the stone show that the formation is relatively young—about two or three thousand years old, some 9,000 years younger than the alleged final destruction of Atlantis. Finally, the curve of the J parallels the beachline of the nearby island, showing it has been shaped by the same currents affecting the island.

The rectangular structure off the coast of Andros, on the other hand, was indeed manmade—it was a storage facility built in the 1930s where sponges could be deposited after they were collected in the surrounding ocean. Despite these explanations, enthusiasm over the Bahama site continues among believers.

Another theory suggests that Antarctica was once located in the mid-Atlantic and had a more temperate climate where a civilization once thrived. Antarctica, thus, has been claimed as the site of Atlantis and of a similar type of advanced civilization.

The question of where Atlantis was located still persists. Among the many possible sites for Atlantis on the seven continents or under the seas, two popular locations are based on areas that, like Atlantic Ocean regions “beyond the pillars of Hercules,” can be related to Plato’s time. One site is the island of Crete, where the thriving Minoan civilization fell into disarray around 1400 B.C.E. The other site is in present-day Turkey, known in ancient times as Anatolia, where associations with Atlas and his descendants were strong.

Little was known about Minoan culture before the discovery in 1900 of a great palace at Knossos on the island of Crete by the British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans (1851–1941). He named the culture that created Knossos and thrived on Crete “Minoan civilization” after Minos, the legendary king of Crete. The palace at Knossos was probably damaged by an earthquake about 1700 B.C.E., a date that marked the end of one phase of the early history of Crete. Minoan civilization had regular contact and trade with ancient Egypt, which lies southeast, across the Mediterranean, from Crete. Crete, then, qualifies as a land far to the west (in those days) of Egypt where Atlantis was said to be by the Egyptian priests who spoke of the continent to Solon.

Archaeological excavations early in the twentieth century unearthed remarkable artifacts of Minoan civilization. Then, in 1939, Greek archaeologist Sypridon Marinatos (1901–1974) discovered pumice, volcanic ash, on Crete. Marinatos connected the ash to the tremendous eruption of a volcano on Thera, a nearby island. The eruption was reported in ancient histories. The explosion would have created havoc on Crete and perhaps a tidal wave that swept over the island. To illustrate that possibility, Marinatos likened the Thera explosion to the 1886 eruption of Mt. Krakatoa that could be heard a thousand miles away and created tidal waves that killed 36,000 people. The volcanic ash on Crete helped preserve excellent artifacts of Minoan civilization, including whole streets and houses as well as frescoes and pottery.

However, while Plato’s text cites earth-quakes and floods as having destroyed Atlantis, there is no mention of a volcano. The date of the Thera volcano, around 1500 B.C.E., does not match the period of the downfall of Atlantis, which Egyptian priests told Solon had occurred 8,000 to 9,000 years earlier. The 1500 B.C.E. date does coincide if the claim of 8,000 years is reduced to 800 years. That tactic was suggested by Greek geologist Angelo Gelanpoulous in 1969: he theorized that all dates and measurements related by Solon were exaggerated and were actually one-tenth as large as claimed. Gelanpoulous’ theory provided some neat correlations, but they work only in a few circumstances.

Another problem with identifying the fall of Atlantis with the destruction of Minoan civilization is an inexact correlation between the eruption of Thera and the demise of ancient Crete, where Minoan civilization continued on for another century after the volcanic eruption. In fact, during twentieth-century excavations, some volcanic ash was found beneath an elaborate palace, showing that construction soon continued after the eruption. Furthermore, there was no apparent disruption in trade between the Minoans and Egyptians. The volcanic eruption caused havoc on Crete, but it did not destroy Minoan civilization.

The kings of Knossos attained their greatest power about 1600 B.C.E., when they controlled the entire Agean area and traded extensively with Egypt. The subsequent destruction of Knossos and the collapse of Minoan culture coincided with the beginning of the most flourishing period of Mycenae civilization in Greece; this coincidence suggests that it may have been the warlike Mycenae who attacked and destroyed Minoan civilization.

Lydia, an ancient country of Asia Minor (now Turkey), was located in the valleys of the Hermus and Cayster rivers (now the Gediz and Büyükmenderes rivers). Known earlier by the name Maeonia, it had fertile soil, rich deposits of gold and silver, and a magnificent capital, Sardis. Lydia prospered as a powerful dynasty beginning about 685 B.C.E. During the sixth century B.C.E., Lydia attained its greatest splendor under the rule of King Croessus. The empire ended when the Persian ruler Cyrus the Great (c. 585–c. 529 B.C.E.) captured Sardis about 546 B.C.E. After the defeat of Persia by Alexander III (c. 356–323 B.C.E.), king of Macedonia, Lydia was brought under Greco-Macedonian control, and then in 133 B.C.E. it became part of the Roman province of Asia.

 Lydia was across the Agean Sea from Greece. A legendary king of Lydia was named Tantalis: his name sounds similar to Atlantis, and he shared many mythic attributes among Lydians that the god Atlas had among Greeks. Like Atlas, Tantalis was a leader of the Titans, the group of gods who were overthrown by Zeus. In Greek mythology, Zeus punished Atlas by banishing him to the west and made to hold up the sky. A similar fate was shared by Tantalis in myths of Anatolia (an old name for the region in Asia Minor that includes Turkey).

According to that myth, Tantalis ruled over a fabulously wealthy city he founded on Mt. Sipylus in Lydia. His city was shattered by earthquake and flood and was reputed to have sunk when he lost the favor of the Olympian gods.

During the 1990s ruins were found on the northern slope of Mt. Sipylus. The area had undergone several phases of change through the centuries. Among the ruins was a statue of the goddess Cybele that was dated around 1400 B.C.E., a time when the Hittite rule over the area was overthrown by locals affiliated with the Mycenae civilization of Greece. The area of Tantalis had been conquered, and perhaps razed. Or, it subsequently was buried during an earthquake, and eventually submerged by a lake. The area is in a major fault zone, and heavy earthquake damage to the cities of Lydia was documented in 17 C.E. Among the hardest hit of twelve ancient Lydian cities was Magnesia at Sipylus, in the region where Tantalis was located.

Lake Saloe in Turkey has long been identified with the lost city of Tantalis. The lake was pumped out in modern times to provide more land for farming. It is now a fertile plain with nearby rivers. An old caravan route was found, certainly not a remnant of a mighty empire, but the tantalizing prospect that Tantalis was Atlantis remains.

Via: UnexplainedStuff

The Lost Continents of Lemuria and Mu

Lemuria and Mu are sometimes distinct and sometimes interchangeable names for a legendary lost continent, which, according to its proponents, existed in the Caribbean Ocean and had many of the attributes associated with Atlantis. The mysterious lost lands of Lemuria and Mu were conceived of during the nineteenth century, when the theory of evolution was introduced and was among the advances in the sciences that challenged conventional ways of understanding life. Archaeological discoveries among the ruins of the Egyptians, Mayans, and other societies were forcing new interpretations of history, and radical forms of mysticism, such as Theosophy, were becoming popular.

References to the lost continent of Mu can be traced back to 1864 and a French archaeologist named Charles-Etienne Brasseur de Bourbourg. He had become fascinated by hieroglyphics found on Mayan ruins that dated back several centuries. By the time Spanish explorers had reached the New World areas of Mexico and Central America in the 1500s, the great centers of Mayan civilization had long been abandoned and were being reclaimed by the rainforest.

Brasseur traveled to Spain to look at artifacts of Mayan civilization. In a library in Madrid he discovered a purported guide to Mayan hieroglyphics. Using the guide to decipher a rare Mayan manuscript, he learned about an ancient land that had sunk into the ocean after a volcanic eruption. Figures corresponding to letters “M” and “U” were connected with the lost land, and Brasseur determined that the lost continent was named Mu. Using that same guide, however, later scholars were unable to decipher such a story, or to even make sustained and meaningful text from the hieroglyphics. It was not until the mid-twentieth century that a thorough guide to interpreting Mayan hieroglyphics was established.

Nevertheless, Brasseur’s version of a lost continent won some favorable attention. An archaeologist named Augustus Plongeon (1825–1908) used a similar key to decipher hieroglyphics at one of the first excavations of Mayan sites. He allegedly uncovered a story about two brothers who vied for a queen named Moo. One of the brothers was killed, and the other took power just before a catastrophe struck Mu. Queen Moo fled before the catastrophe. Speculations quickly added that she had reached Egypt, became revered as the goddess Isis, founded Egyptian civilization, and directed the building of the Sphinx.

In the mid-nineteenth century, Charles Darwin‘s (1809–1882) theory of evolution, Origin of the Species, was published. Although the theory became widely accepted among scientists, it was also extremely controversial. One point of contention concerned an animal and layers of sediment found in South Africa, the island of Madagascar, and India—all of which are in the same region but separated by expanses of water. The lemur, a predecessor of monkeys, had the same traits in each locale. According to Darwin’s theory, the animal should have developed some unique traits respective to the different environments. Similarities in sediments in each of the areas also raised questions. Scientists began to speculate that a land bridge once existed in the Indian Ocean that connected the three areas.

English zoologist Phillip L. Schlater proposed the name Lemuria after the lemur for this former land now sunk in the Indian Ocean. The land bridge idea was supported by noted scientists, including German naturalist Heinrich Haeckel (1834–1919) and Alfred Russell Wallace (1823–1913), who had developed a theory of evolution similar to Darwin’s. Seas and continents were thought to be immobile in those days before the theory of continental drift, and no fossils of early humans had yet been found. Haeckel used Lemuria, which had sunk into the sea, to explain the absence of early human fossils. Lemuria became a respected term among educated people in Europe and America.

Thus, the lost continent of Lemuria began with science, but its renown spread and has been sustained through mysticism. Science has since discounted the land bridge and lost continent theories, and evidence of early humans was found during the twentieth century in Africa.

James Churchward (1832–1936) was among the first mystics to promote Lemuria as the lost continent of an advanced human race. Beginning in the 1870s, Churchward said Lemuria was a paradise of 64 million people, and that it was destroyed around 10,000 B.C.E. According to Churchward, Lemurians developed homes with transparent roofs, lived to be hundreds of years old, and were capable of telepathy, astral travel, and teleportation. Lemuria, according to Churchward, was about 5,000 miles long and 3,000 miles wide and stretched to the Pacific Ocean, where islands of the present day are former mountain peaks of the lost continent.

In the 1880s, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (1831–1891) formed the Theosophical Society with psychic investigator Henry Steel Olcott. In her book The Secret Doctrine (1888), she claimed to have learned of Lemuria in The Book of Dzyan, which she said was composed in Atlantis and shown to her by survivors of that lost continent. Her source may have been Sanskrit legends that tell of the former continent of Rutas that sank beneath the sea.

Lemurians, according to Blavatsky, were the third of seven root races of humankind. They were hermaphrodites with psychic abilities and a third eye. Atlanteans, she stated, were the fourth root race. They evolved from Lemurians after much of Lemuria sank, and they lived on the edge of the continent in the northern Atlantic. Atlantis sank around 8,000 B.C.E., according to Blavatsky, and its inhabitants fled to central Asia.

Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925), who founded Anthroposophy, was another proponent of Lemuria. Other mystics have envisioned the Elders of Lemuria, known as the Thirteenth School, who moved to an uninhabited plateau of Central Asia now called Tibet before the catastrophe that wiped out their land. They established a library and a school of spiritual adepts known as the Great White Brotherhood.

Certain land masses on the planet are supposedly the last remains of Lemuria, from Pacific islands (Fiji, Hawaii, and Easter Island) to the west coast of the United States. According to some Lemurian enthusiasts, in 1972 the ruins of a submerged Lemurian city was found between Maui and Oahu in the Hawaiian island chain and was covered up in a top-secret project by U.S. Naval Intelligence.

Via: EncyclopediaOfTheUnusualAndUnexplained

Operation Majestic-12

According to UFO researcher and documentary filmmaker Jamie Shandera, in December 1984, he received an anonymous packet in the mail containing two rolls of undeveloped 35mm film. The film, once developed, revealed what appeared to be a briefing report to President-elect Dwight D. Eisenhower, which had been prepared by a group of 12 prestigious and top-secret investigators who worked under the code name of “Operation Majestic-12” (MJ-12). The document, which appeared to be authentic, described details of the recovery, analysis, and official cover-up of the 1947, UFO crash outside of Roswell, New Mexico. The report also described the recovery of the bodies of four humanlike beings that had been found near the wreckage of the downed extraterrestrial spacecraft.

According to these documents, all four of the entities were dead, and their corpses had been mutilated by desert scavengers and were badly decomposed due to exposure to the elements. Although the creatures were human-like in appearance, the secret report stated that the biological and evolutionary processes responsible for their development had apparently been quite different from those of humankind.

On June 14, 1987, at the 24th Annual National UFO Conference in Burbank, California, Shandera, together with Stanton Friedman and William Moore—the two prominent UFO researchers Shandera had enlisted to help him test the truth of the MJ-12 documents—made public their investigations into what purported to be documentary proof of a government cover-up of UFOs that began in 1947.

According to the documents leaked to Shandera, the members of Majestic-12 consisted of the following individuals:

Lloyd V. Berkner, known for scientific achievements in the fields of physics and electronics, special assistant to the secretary of state in charge of the Military Assistance Program, executive secretary of what is now known as the Research and Development Board of the National Military Establishment.

Detlev W. Bronk, a physiologist and biophysicist of international repute, chairman of the National Research Council, and a member of the Medical Advisory Board of the Atomic Energy Commission.

Vannevar Bush, a brilliant scientist who was, from 1947, to 1948, chairman of Research and Development for the National Military Establishment.

Gordon Gray, three times elected to the North Carolina Senate, succeeded Kenneth Royall as secretary of the Army in June 1949.

Dr. Jerome C. Hunsaker, an innovative aeronautical scientist and design engineer, who served as chairman of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics.

Robert M. Montague, Sandia base commander, Albuquerque, New Mexico, from July 1947, to February 1951.

General Nathan F. Twining, commander of the B-29 superfortresses that dropped the atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In December 1945, he was named commanding general of the Air Material Command headquartered at Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio. In October 1947, he was appointed commander in chief of the Alaskan Command, remaining in that position until May 1950, when he became acting deputy chief of staff for personnel at U.S. Air Force headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Donald H. Menzel, director of the Harvard Observatory at Cambridge, Massachusetts, a leading authority on the solar chromosphere, formulated (with Dr. Winfield W. Salisbury) the initial calculations that led to the first radio contact with the Moon in 1946.

James V. Forrestal served first as undersecretary, then secretary of the U.S. Navy for seven years. In September 1947, he became secretary of defense, responsible for coordinating the activities of all U.S. Armed Forces.

Sidney W. Souers, a rear admiral, who became deputy chief of Naval Intelligence before organizing the Central Intelligence Office in January 1946.

Hoyt S. Vandenberg, a much-decorated U.S. Air Force officer, rose to the rank of commanding general of the Ninth U.S. Air Force in France before he was named assistant chief of staff of G-2 (Intelligence) in 1946. In June 1946, he was appointed the director of Central Intelligence.

Rear Admiral Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter was summoned from the post of naval attache at the American Embassy in Paris to become the first director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), serving from May 1947, to September 1950.

Many UFO researchers agreed upon seeing the list of MJ-12s alleged personnel that if a UFO had crashed and been recovered in Roswell in 1947, this would have been the kind of panel that could have accomplished a thorough investigation of the craft. Each of these individuals had been at the top in their respective areas of expertise during the late 1940s, and had the added benefit of government experience behind them.

The more skeptical investigators agreed that “Document A,” which purported to be a letter dated September 24, 1947, from President Harry S Truman to Secretary of Defense Forrestal, appeared to be genuine; but even though Truman did refer to “Operation Majestic Twelve” in the letter, there was nothing clearly stated that linked the group to UFO investigations.

Others questioned why Hillenkoetter, head of the CIA, listed as the briefing officer on the MJ-12 document, would remain quiet about the crashed flying saucer and the alien bodies when he became active in civilian UFO research in 1957.

The biggest shocker to longtime UFO researchers was the discovery of the name of Donald Menzel, the Harvard astronomer, on the MJ-12 list. Menzel was well known as a passionate debunker of flying saucers and the author of three anti-UFO books.

In spite of its defenders in the UFO research field, the authenticity of the MJ-12 documents remains highly controversial. Skeptical researchers have labeled the documents as clearly false and fraudulent, pointing out that a thorough search of the records of the Truman administration reveals no executive order for such a UFO investigative group as MJ-12. Researchers who have served in the military have stated that the clearest indication of a hoax lies in the many incorrect military terms and language used in these alleged “official” documents, suggesting that the creators of the hoax have never served in the military.

Via: UnexplainedStuff

 

Winter Solstice

The December or Winter Solstice occurs when the sun reaches its most southerly declination of -23.5 degrees. In other words, it’s when the North Pole is tilted 23.5 degrees away from the sun. Depending on the Gregorian calendar, the winter solstice occurs annually on a day between December 20th and December 23rd. On this date, all places above a latitude of 66.5 degrees north (Arctic Polar Circle) are now in darkness, while locations below a latitude of 66.5 degrees south (Antarctic Polar Circle) receive 24 hours of daylight.You can use the Sunrise and Sunset calculator to find the number of daylight hours during the winter solstice in cities worldwide.

The sun is directly overhead on the Tropic of Capricorn in the Southern Hemisphere during the December solstice. It also marks the longest day of the year in terms of daylight hours for those living South of the equator. Those living or traveling South from the Antarctic Circle towards the South Pole will see the midnight sun during this time of the year.

On the contrary, for an observer in the Northern Hemisphere, the December solstice marks the day of the year with the least hours of daylight. Those living or traveling North of the Arctic Circle towards the North Pole will not be able to see the sun during this time of the year.

December 20th and December 23rd solstices occur less frequently than December 21st or December 22nd solstices in the Gregorian calendar. The last December 23rd solstice occurred in 1903, and will not occur again until the year 2303. A December 20th solstice has occurred very rarely, with the next one occurring in the year 2080.

 

Cloud Shadow of Mt. Rainier

Photo Via: Nick Lippert

Take a look at this: a phenomenal sunrise of Mt. Rainier in Washington state, where the volcano actually casts a sky shadow on the clouds!

From Seattle’s Komo News:

Mt. Rainier has quite a few tricks up its sleeve for adding additional beauty to the Pacific Northwest, from the majestic snow-capped peaks, to the mysterious lenticular cloud displays. Another trick it pulls off during the fall and winter is to cast a big shadow on a brilliant sunrise. It only happens when the sun rises farther to the south as we head toward the winter solstice and has to be in the exact position to where Rainier blocks the first rays of morning light.


Via: BadAstronomy

The Holy Lines and The Extersteine

About the same time ley lines were first introduced by Alfred Watkins (1855–1935) in the 1920s, a German evangelical parson named Wilhelm Teudt proposed a similar theory he called heilige linien (holy lines) that linked a number of standing stones, churches, crosses, and other objects of spiritual significance in Germany. Teudt’s holy line theory met the same fate as Watkins’s ley lines. There were so many possibilities for connecting a variety of objects on a landscape that the odds were better of finding alignments than not finding them.

Teudt made another observation that had more lasting significance. He noted that an ancient chamber constructed in the naturally formed megaliths called the Extersteine had a circular window that formed a point where rays of light at the midsummer solstice shone through, and where the moon was visible when it reached its northernmost position. He believed the Neolithic peoples (before 2000 B.C.E.) had used the site as an astronomical observatory and a calendar.

The Extersteine, which lies at the approximate latitude as Stonehenge in Great Britain, is a natural site of five sandstone pillars rising 120 feet above an area filled with caves and grottoes. It served as a ritual center for nomadic reindeer hunters, and later was the site of pagan rituals until the eighth century, when such rituals were forbidden by law. Christian monks took over the site and set up crosses and reliefs depicting biblical scenes. They abandoned it after about 1600. Many people continued to visit the Extersteine, claiming they were aware of its energy and that their physical ailments had been cured by walking among or rubbing against the stones.

Via: EncyclopediaOfTheUnusualAndUnexplained

The Art of Radioesthesia

Dowsing, scientifically known as radioesthesia, is the interaction of the mind of the dowser and the energy of the object of interest. Most dowsing is used to find water and minerals. It has been used to find lost objects, even people. The ability to find people, artifacts, or substances by use of maps, pictures, or physically being in a place are currently the most popular applications of dowsing.

Dowsing, sometimes called divining, doodlebugging (in the US), or (when searching specifically for water) water finding or water witching, is a practice that attempts to locate hidden water wells, buried metals or ores, gemstones, or other objects as well as currents of earth radiation without the use of scientific apparatus. A Y- or L-shaped twig or rod is sometimes used during dowsing, although some dowsers use other equipment or no equipment at all. Dowsing has been in use since ancient times and is still widely practiced although the scientific evidence for its efficacy is disputed.

The method of dowsers seldom varies. They grasp the ends of a forked twig (peach, apple, maple traditionally work best, though some modernists say a bent metal coat hanger works just as well) with palms upward. As they begin their search for water, they carry the butt of the stick pointed upward. When they near water, they can feel the pull as the butt end begins to dip downward. When the dowsers are over the water, the twig has been bent straight down, having turned through an arc of 180 degrees. A stick of brittle wood will break under the grip of a dowser as the butt moves downward. Pliable twigs will twist themselves downward despite an effort to hold them straight.

Few manifestations of so-called psychic ability have been more hotly debated than that of dowsing. On the one hand is the pronouncement of the scientific community which declares that locating water by means of a forked stick is utter nonsense, and on the other side of the argument are those men and women who go ahead and locate water with their forked maple twigs, completely impervious to the ridicule visited upon them by the skeptics. They could not care less whether or not a laboratory technician believes that water cannot be found in such a manner. All they know is that it works and that they have been finding water in just that way for years.

Novelist Kenneth Roberts stated in his book, Henry Gross and His Dowsing Rod (1951): “Not all the derision of all the geologists in the world can in any way alter the unfailing accuracy of the dowsing rod in Henry Gross’s hands. Not all the cries of ‘hokum,’ ‘fanciful delusion,’ ‘hoax,’ ‘pseudoscience’ can destroy or even lessen the value of Henry’s dowsing.…”

In 1953, UNESCO sponsored a committee of prominent European scientists in their study of radioesthiesa. Their carefully considered consensus was that “there can be no doubt that it is a fact.” The Academie des Sciences of Paris has commented that “it is impossible to deny the existence of the power, although its nature cannot be determined.” Five Nobel Prize winners have endorsed dowsing, and so has the Institute of Technical Physics of the Dutch National Research Council.

In Germany in 1987 and 1988, more than 500 dowsers participated in more than 10,000 double-blind tests conducted by physicists in a barn near Munich. The researchers who held the so-called “Barn” experiments claimed that they had empirically proved that dowsing was a real phenomenon. However, subsequent analysis of the data by other scientists raise the argument that the results could reasonably be attributed to chance, rather than any kind of unknown psychic ability to find water or hidden objects.

Via: UnexplainedStuff

The Dropa Stones

On the border of China and Tibet in the remote mountains of Bayan-Kara-Ula a truly amazing discovery was made in the 1930’s during the exploration of  the interlinked tunnels. A team lead by Chinese archaeologist, Professor Chu Pu Tei had been exploring the caves when they came upon a series of very unusual but neatly arranged burial sites containing the skeletons of creatures with spindly bodies and disproportionally huge skulls and were originally thought to have been the remains of the a Tibetan Ape. But that explanation was quickly ruled out by the fact that Ape’s do not bury their dead. After further more modern techniques of  testing, it has led experts to believe that these skeletal remains belong to an ancient unknown race of a humanoids.

They also went on to find cave paintings portraying beings wearing round helmets along with the Sun, Moon, Earth and stars all being connected by small dots. It became quickly obvious the paintings were some sort of map, undoubtedly made by intelligent beings. The carbon dating tests reviled that the findings were around 12,000 years old and the fact that the cranial cavity of these beings were so large would indicate that these beings were extremely intelligent and had very large brains but the skeletons were a little more than three feet tall.

This is where the mystery just begins. In addition to finding a new species of humanoid unknown to the world, while examining the surrounding caves Yei and his men also discovered what might be the most incredible, tangible artifacts in human history. 716 stone disks ranging anywhere from 9 inches to 3 feet in diameter and 3/4 to 3 inches thick with an engraved spiral going from the outside edge to the hole in the center of the disk. After close examination of the disks it was realized that the engraved spirals were actually code for something, a type of language unknown to any one on the planet. The disks came to be known as The Dropa Stones.

The strange new unknown written language dates back to 10,000 BC. Our earliest written language that’s recorded in the history books dates back to 3500 BC in Sumeria and the first Chinese inscriptions date to about 1200 BC.

The Dropa Stones were sent to a variety of scholars for investigation. One of them, Professor Tsum Um Nui of the Beijing Academy for Ancient Studies, found that the spiral grooves were actually a line of characters written in an unknown language. In 1962, he announced that he had managed to translate the language. For a long time, the Peking Academy of Prehistory forbade the professor from publishing anything about the Dropa Stones. However, after many years of debate he published his hypothesis.

Here is one of the translations made by Nui:

An alien spacecraft crashed in the Bayan Har Shan region 12,000 years ago. The occupants were aliens called Dropa or Dzopa. The Dropa could not repair their craft, so they tried to adapt to the conditions on Earth. Meanwhile, the local Ham tribesmen hunted down and killed most of the aliens. Supposedly, the aliens had intermarried with the locals, making identification of the origins of the skeletons more difficult.

Another translation described how the Ham tribe showed remorse and regret that their spaceship crash-landed in such a remote mountain range having no way to repair their ship and that the Dropa would be stuck on earth forever never being able to return to their home planet. Since this incredible discovery, archeologists and anthropologists have learned much more then what was known about the isolated Bayan-Kara-Ula mountains and the people that inhabited them. An old legend still told by locals speak of small, gaunt, yellow faced men who came from the stars, long, long ago.

In 1968, a Russian scientist named W. Saitsew published a paper on the subject of extraterrestrials visiting earth throughout story and some of the information was gathered from the works of Nui. The Russians became very interested in the stone disks and later had some of the disks examined in a Moscow laboratory where two extraordinary discoveries were made. One, is that the disks contained traces of metal, mostly cobalt. Two, is the fact that when the disks were placed on a special turntable, they hummed in a very unusual rhythm as if they had an electrical charge going through them.

After that, nothing was heard of the disk for years, until a Austrian engineer by the name of Ernst Wegener in 1974, spotted the disks in Xian at the Banpo Museum, although the director of the museum could tell him nothing about the disks, he was aloud to take some photographs and hold them in his hands. All he had was a Polaroid camera and many of the photo’s circulating today are the one’s Wegner took.

Hartwig Hausdorf who is author of many book covering UFO’s, the Chinese Pyramids and other X-file conspiracy’s, once he heard the disks went to the museum in Xian he decided to examine the disks for himself in 1994.  When he contacted the director of the museum, he was told that the disks had disappeared with no explanation to their whereabouts.

Then in 1995 a special news report was released by Chinese government:

“In the province of Sichuan, which lies on the eastern border of the Baian-Kara-Ula mountains, 120 people of a previously ethnologically unclassified tribe have been discovered. The most important aspect of this new tribe is the size of its people: No taller than 3 ft. 10 in., the smallest adult measuring only 2 ft. 1 in! This discovery might be the first hard evidence on the existence of the Dropa/Dzopa – a people whose predecessors are said to have come from the stars.”

These two tribes still exist today in the isolated area between Tibet and China, though the two tribes now live in harmony with each other. Anthropologists have been unable to categorize either tribe into any known race of humans.  These tribes are neither Chinese nor Tibetan. These people are of pygmy stature with adults measuring between 3’6″ and 4’7″ with an average height of 4’2″, and an average body weight of 40 pounds. Their skin is a pale yellow, their body’s are very thin and their head’s are disproportionately large. Directly corresponding with the skeletal remains found in the caves back in the 1930’s. Oddly enough the Dropa and the Han tribe’s people have very little hair on their bodies if any, very large blue eyes, which is not at all common in that area of the world.

One other interesting fact is the similarity’s between the Dropa stones and the UFO’s that NASA caught on tape during their tether incident back in 96′. Many people have challenged these claims and Tsum Um Nui was forced to resign from the Beijing Academy. The Dropa Stones have been rapidly disappearing all over the world and are currently not available for public viewing at any museum. However, pictures of the artifacts do exist.

England’s Hill Figures, Part 3: The Cherhill White Horse

The Cherhill White Horse is a hill figure on Cherhill Down, 3.5 miles east of Calne in the county of Wiltshire, England. Dating from the late 18th century, it is the third oldest of several such white horses to be seen around Great Britain, with only the Uffington White Horse and the Westbury White Horse being older. The figure is also sometimes called the Oldbury White Horse.

Facing towards the north-east, the Cherhill White Horse lies on a steep slope of Cherhill down, a little below the earthwork known as Oldbury Castle.  Near the Horse is an obelisk called the Lansdowne Monument, visible in some photographs of the White Horse.This is a 38-metre stone structure, erected in 1845, by the 3rd Marquess of Lansdowne to commemorate his ancestor Sir William Petty.

The Cherhill horse may have been inspired by the first such Wiltshire horse, at Westbury, which had just been remodelled. The origins of the Westbury horse are more obscure. Unlike the Uffington White Horse in Oxfordshire, which has been shown to date from the Bronze Age, the earliest evidence of the existence of the Westbury horse is in a paper published by the Rev. Francis Wise in 1742. A bold theory for the origin of the first Wiltshire horse is that it commemorates Alfred the Great‘s victory over Guthrum and the Danes at the Battle of Ethandun, in 878.

Another is that it was carved in the early 18th century as a show of loyalty to the new royal house, the House of Hanover, the white horse being an heraldic symbol of the Electorate of Hanover. One writer on the subject has commented “…the hillside white horse can be a slippery creature, and the origins of some are impossible to establish with any certainty.”

The figure at Cherhill was first cut in 1780 by a Dr Christopher Alsop, of Calne, and was created by stripping away the turf to expose the chalk hillside beneath. Its original size was 165 feet (50 m) by 220 feet (67 m).  Dr Alsop, who was Guild Steward of the Borough of Calne, has been called “the mad doctor”, and is reported to have directed the making of the horse from a distance, shouting from below Labour-in-Vain Hill.

Since 1780, the horse has been ‘scoured’ several times. In 1935, it was dressed with a mixture of concrete and chalk, and it was cleaned up again in 1994. A major restoration was carried out in 2002 by the Cherhill White Horse Restoration Group, when the horse was resurfaced with one hundred and sixty tonnes of new chalk, the outline was re-cut, and shuttering was added to hold the chalk in place. This work was supported by a grant of £18,000 from the National Trust. The present surface is thus made of compacted chalk, and the edges of the figure are well defined.

In the 19th century, the horse had a glittering glass eye, formed from bottles pressed neck-first into the ground. The bottles had been added by a Farmer and his wife, but by the late 19th century they were gone, perhaps taken as souvenirs. During the 1970s, a local youth centre project added a new eye made of glass bottles, but these also disappeared. The eye now consists of stone and concrete and stands proud of the chalk surface.

In 1922, Oldfield Howey noted that “At the time of writing this horse is sadly in need of scouring, as due to the Great War all such things have had to be neglected, but we understand that a local lady, formerly the Lord of the Manor has come to its rescue and asked permission to restore it.

In the week of the coronation of King George VI in 1937, the horse was floodlit and the letters GE (for the king and his queen, Elizabeth) were picked out in red lights above it, with the power coming from a generator at the foot of the hill. The red letters were lit up for five seconds, followed by the floodlights for ten seconds, in a repeating pattern.

Thirteen such white horses are known to have existed in Wiltshire. Of these, eight can still be seen, while the others have grown over.The Cherhill White Horse is maintained and saved from this fate by the Cherhill parish council. Perhaps most notable out of the eight, along with the Cherill white horse, is Westbury White Horse.

Via Wikipedia

England’s Hill Figures, Part 2: The Westbury White Horse

The Westbury or Bratton White Horse is a hill figure on the escarpment of Salisbury Plain, approximately 1.6 mi east of Westbury in England. Located on the edge of Bratton Downs and lying just below an Iron Age hill fort, it is the second oldest of several white horses carved in the Wiltshire hillsides. It was restored in 1778, an action which may have obliterated a previous horse which had occupied the same slope. A contemporary engraving of the 1760s appears to show a horse facing in the opposite direction, and also rather smaller than the present figure. However, there is at present no other evidence for the existence of a chalk horse at Westbury before the year 1742.

The origin of the Westbury White Horse is obscure. It is often claimed to commemorate King Alfred‘s victory at the Battle of Eðandun in 878, and while this is not impossible, there is no trace of such a legend before the second half of the eighteenth century. It should also be noted that the battle of Eðandun has only tentatively been identified with Edington in Wiltshire.

Another white horse, that of Uffington, featured in King Alfred’s earlier life. He was born in the Vale of White Horse, not far from Uffington. Unlike Westbury, documents as early as the 11th century refer to the “White Horse Hill” at Uffington (“mons albi equi”), and archaeological evidence has dated the Uffington White Horse to the Bronze Age, although it is not certain that it was originally intended to represent a horse.

A white horse war standard was associated with the continental Saxons in the Dark Ages, and the figures of Hengest and Horsa who, according to legend, led the first Anglo-Saxon invaders into England. They are said to have fought under a white horse standard, a claim recalled in the heraldic badge of the county of Kent.

During the 18th century, the white horse was a heraldic symbol associated with the new British Royal Family, the House of Hanover, and it’s argued by some scholars that the Westbury White Horse may have first been carved in the early 18th century as a symbol of loyalty to the new Protestant reigning house.

In the 1950s, the horse was vandalized. It was repaired, but the damage could still be seen. The horse was fully restored in late 2006.

Via: Wikipedia