Oak Island

In the summer of 1795 a young Nova Scotian boy called Daniel McGinnis landed on one of the many small islands in Mahone Bay. He found signs of human inhabitation and an aged ship’s tackle block dangling from an old oak tree. Under this tree a slight dip in the ground suggested a hole had been dug and refilled. McGinnis excitedly believed he had stumbled across the site of a buried treasure hoard. He raced home to request the help of his two best friends, John Smith and Anthony Vaughan, and the next day they began digging in the hollow. They discovered a shaft 13 feet wide, and four feet down they found a platform of foreign flagstones. Ten feet down they found a layer of supporting log beams, and at 20 and 30 feet they found further platforms made of oak.

The three friends realised they would need more manpower and better equipment, and returned home, eager to raise the funds needed for a more ambitious attempt. Initially they failed, but in 1803 a local doctor called Simeon Lynds heard of Smith’s discoveries on Oak Island and was suitably interested to raise funds from among his friends.

The new team dug in earnest and found platforms of logs and clay at ten-foot intervals. By the time they reached the 90- feet mark, the team was removing one bucket of water with every two buckets of mud. Late one evening they found what they thought was the last layer before the treasure. They had the next day off, and spent the time planning how to split their expected wealth. The next Monday morning, however, all but the top thirty feet of the shaft was filled with murky, muddy water. The group tried to bail the water out, but the level remained constant. They tried pumping the water out, but to no avail and abandoned that attempt.

In 1805, the group decided to dig another, parallel shaft 110 feet deep, and then tunnel towards the expected treasure chests. But they dug too close to the original shaft, and the wall between the two cracked, filling the new tunnel with hundreds of gallons of water. Out of funds, the work ceased. No subsequent attempt has been quite so close to rescuing the treasure, but more has become known about the shaft. It was discovered that a carefully constructed underground canal had been built. It ran from the beach, 500 feet away, and entered the shaft’s core. This meant that the logs and clay acted as an effective cork, which, once removed, allowed the water to rush into the chamber. Later efforts to drill into the shaft discovered wood from chest casings, loose metal such as coins, decorative metal chains, a layer of concrete, soft metal such as bullion, and even a piece of parchment with writing on it. This real, tangible evidence of treasure, and the obvious efforts of whoever hid it, has helped to promote and encourage continual efforts to raise the bounty.

The question of who owned the treasure has also baffled interested minds. The suggestion that it is Inca gold, hidden as the natives fled from Spanish settlers, has been mooted. There is the idea that it is a cache of British Army war chests, hidden as their forces retreated during the American War of Independence.

However, in 1937, a New England businessman, Gilbert D. Heddon, researched the possibility that the wealth belonged to the well-known privateer, Captain William Kidd. Heddon hoped that by reading Kidd’s history he would find clues leading to details of a shaft’s contents. Like all others, his efforts proved fruitless. By 1965 Oak Island had turned into a honeycomb of shafts and tunnels, so the American geologist, Bob Dunfield tried a method of brute force to find the treasure. He imported a 70-tonne crane and dug a hole 140 deep and 100 feet wide, but found nothing other than the remnants of earlier searches.

In 1970, a new investment group called the Triton Alliance commissioned a complete geological study of the island. The report’s findings have never been released to the public, but it enthused the Triton group enough to excavate the site. They began a project called Borehole 10-X, which found pieces of brass, china and wood cribbing 200 feet down, but the project has suffered numerous problems. Many locals claim that centuries of haphazard searching have left the island in such a mess that the hidden loot will never be found. Others still believe it might be possible to recover the hoard. But, for now at least, it looks as if the secret treasures of Oak Island are safely buried.

(Source : Strangest Mysteries)
21:34 | 0 komentar


Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi is a legendary Japanese sword as important to Japan's history as Excalibur is to Britain's, and is one of three Imperial Regalia of Japan. It was originally called Ama-no-Murakumo-no-Tsurugi ("Sword of the Gathering Clouds of Heaven") but its name was late changed to the more popular Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi. It is also called Tsumugari-no-Tachi. The history of the Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi extends into legend. According to Kojiki, the Japanese god Susa-no-o encountered a grieving family of kunitsukami ("gods of the land") headed by Ashinazuchi in Izumo province. When Susa-no-o inquired of Ashinazuchi, he told him that his family was being ravaged by the fearsome Yamata-no-Orochi, an eight-headed serpent of Koshi, who consumed seven of the family's eight daughters and that the creature was coming for his final daughter, Kushinada-hime.

Three Japanese Legendary Treasures Consisting of the Sacred Yata no Kagami, or Eight-Handed Mirror, the curved Yasakani no Magatama Jewel, and the Sword Kusanagi no Tsurugi

Susa-no-o investigated the creature, and after an abortive encounter he returned with a plan to defeat it. In return, he asked for Kushinada-hime's hand in marriage, which was agreed. Transforming her temporarily into a comb (one interpreter reads this section as "using a comb he turns into [masquerades as] Kushinada-hime") to have her company during battle, he detailed his plan into steps. He instructed the preparation of eight vats of sake (rice wine) to be put on individual platforms positioned behind a fence with eight gates. The monster took the bait and put each of its heads through each gate. With this distraction, Susa-no-o attacked and slew the beast. He chopped off each head and then proceeded to the tails. In the fourth tail, he discovered a great sword inside the body of the serpent which he called Ama-no-Murakumo-no-Tsurugi, which he presented to the goddess, Amaterasu to settle an old grievance.

Generations later, in the reign of the Twelfth Emperor, Keikō, the sword was given to the great warrior, Yamato Takeru as part of a pair of gifts given by his aunt, Yamatohime the Shrine Maiden of Ise Shrine, to protect her nephew in times of peril. These gifts came in handy when Yamato Takeru was lured onto an open grassland during a hunting expedition by a treacherous warlord. The lord had fiery arrows to ignite the grass and trap Yamato Takeru in the field so that he would burn to death. He also killed the warrior's horse to prevent his escape.

Desperately, Yamato Takeru used the Ama-no-Murakumo-no-Tsurugi to cut back the grass and remove fuel from the fire, but in doing so, he discovered that the sword enabled him to control the wind and cause it to move in the direction of his swing. Taking advantage of this magic, Yamato Takeru used his other gift, fire strikers, to enlarge the fire in the direction of the lord and his men, and he used the winds controlled by the sword to sweep the blaze toward them. In triumph, Yamato Takeru renamed the sword Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi (lit. "Grasscutter Sword") to commemorate his narrow escape and victory. Eventually, Yamato Takeru married and later fell in battle with a monster, after ignoring his wife's advice to take the Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi with him.

Although the sword is mentioned in the Kojiki, this book is a collection of Japanese myths and is not considered a historical document. The first reliable historical mention of the sword is in the Nihonshoki. Although the Nihonshiki also contains mythological stories that are not considered reliable history, it records some events that were contemporary or nearly contemporary to its writing, and these sections of the book are considered historical. In the Nihonshoki, the Kusanagi was removed from the Imperial palace in 688, and moved to Atsuta Shrine after the sword was blamed for causing Emperor Temmu to fall ill. Along with the jewel and the mirror, it is one of the three imperial regalia of Japan, the sword representing the virtue of valor.

Kusanagi is allegedly kept at Atsuta Shrine to this day, although it is not available for public display, and its existence cannot be confirmed. It is recorded that during the Edo period, a Shinto priest[who?] claimed to have seen the sword. According to him, the sword was about 84 cm long, shaped like calamus, fashioned in a white metallic color, and well maintained. Another record claims that this priest died from the curse and the power of the sword, but this is most likely a story that was spread to emphasize its power. In recent times, Japan's nationally run broadcasting station, NHK, went to Atsuta Shrine to videotape the sword but were turned away.

Although some sword may be held by the Atsuta shrine, it is somewhat unlikely to be the legendary Kusanagi. In The Tale of the Heike, a collection of oral stories transcribed in 1371, the sword is lost at sea after the defeat of the Heike clan in the Battle of Dan-no-ura, a naval battle that ended in the defeat of the Heike clan forces and the child Emperor Antoku at the hands of Minamoto no Yoshitsune. In the tale, upon hearing of the Navy's defeat, the Emperor's grandmother led the Emperor and his entourage to commit suicide by drowning in the waters of the strait along with the three imperal regalia, including Kusanagi. Although the Minamoto troops managed to stop a handful of them and recovered two of the three regalia, Kusanagi was said to have been lost forever. Although written about historical events, The Tale of the Heike is a collection of epic poetry passed down orally and written down nearly 200 years after the actual events, so its reliability as a historical document is questionable.

According to some records, the Tenth Emperor, Emperor Sujin, is reported to have ordered the fashioning of a replica of Kusanagi. However, this information was reportedly only made public after it was known that the sword had been stolen. The imperial household claimed that it was the replica which was stolen, but it is just as likely that the replica was made after the fact to replace the irrecoverable sword. It should be noted that Emperor Sujin is considered a "legendary Emperor" by historians, because of a lack of sufficient evidence to assign him to a historical period. Another story holds that the sword was reportedly stolen again in the sixth century by a Chinese monk.

However, his ship allegedly sank at sea, allowing the sword to wash ashore at Ise, where it was recovered by Shinto priests. Given the somewhat fantastic nature of this story, its historical accuracy is questionable. Due to the refusal of Shinto priests to show the sword, and the rather sketchy nature of its historical references, the current state of or even the existence at all of the sword as a historical artifact cannot be confirmed. The last appearance of the sword was in 1989 when Emperor Akihito ascended to the throne, the sword (including the jewel and the Emperor's two seals) were shrouded in packages.

(Source : Wikipedia)
22:13 | 0 komentar

The Underground Army

An old Chinese saying says, “treat death as life.” In China, rulers took this saying very seriously. After death they were buried with lavish supplies of dishes, food, silk and musical instruments. In earlier times living things such as wives, servants, or pets were also buried with the Emperor, often still alive. The afterlife was so important to people because it was believed to be a prolongation of life. Everything that was buried in the tomb was thought to be a necessity for one who wanted to be prepared for a grand afterlife. In Lintong County, thirty-five kilometers east of the Chinese city Xi’an, a tomb was found that contained a whole army, armed and ready for battle. This army was created for burial complex of the first Emperor of China, Emperor Qin Shihuang .

Qin Shihuang was the first emperor of the Qin dynasty. He was known as a great leader and a conqueror of many lands. He was a destroyer, a builder, and an unforgiving tyrant. Qin Shihuang's accomplishments turned China into a great empire. He formed a centralized government, standardized the Chinese currency and script, and set up a code of laws. He also uniformed the system of measures and built many roads.

The Terra-Cotta Army

One of his greatest accomplishments is considered to be constructing and building one half of what today is the Great Wall of China. While the pits with Qin Shihuangs imperial army has been dug up, the actual tomb has not. The supposed contents of the mausoleum are by the tellings of the grand historian, Sima Qian.

In his historical records dated 1 B.C Sima Qian described how the tomb was made and what was put inside it. A project to uncover the tomb though, was started a few years ago but because of a lack of funds, it came to a screeching halt. Yuan Zhongyi is the head of a small group of archaeologists working on the site of the tomb. So far, only a fifth of the fifty-one square mile tomb has been uncovered. Scientific know-how and reliable technology are scarce making it even harder to fund the excavation of the mausoleum.

One of the Horse-chariots Army

Many perishable items such as silk and wood have remained inside the tomb for almost two thousand years. The tomb would answer many questions formed by the mysterious terra-cotta army. The army was actually not meant to be seen. It was made to be a “spirit army” and was not intended for display. Inside the pits it was noticed that all the figures face east. They were thought to be this way because Qin had many armies in the east that he had conquered and could have been suspicious of them. He would have wanted to be ready for battle, even in death. All the pits put together represent Qin Shihaung’s actual imperial guards that were stationed at the east of the capitol. The layout of the soldiers and horses were a replica of what Qin’s Imperial army looked like during his reign from 221—210 BC.

The first pit is thought to be the right-wing infantry division. The second was the left-wing cavalry division. Pit number three was the command unit and the fourth pit was thought to be the central force. The first life-size terra-cotta figure was discovered in the 1920’s. A Chinese peasant was digging a well and came upon it. The water disappeared suddenly from the well and the peasant, thinking this was a sign of evil, quickly re-covered what he had dug. The soldier, once again, was buried. It wasn't found again until the 1970’s when archeologists dug up what was soon to be the first actual pit discovered.

The first pit was discovered in 1974. It is the largest of the four pits and covers almost four acres. It is five meters deep and contains eleven parallel corridors and nine access ramps on the sides. There are nearly 6,000 military men inside the first pit. They make up all parts of the army such as bowmen, archers, charioteers, men with arms, and men without arms. They stand in a contemporary military formation made up of 4 parts; the vanguard, the main force, the outer flanks, and the rear guard. The main force contains six horse-drawn wooden chariots with charioteers. Horses that are about 1.5 meters high and 2 meters long lead these chariots. Over the first pit is the exhibition hall of the museum for Qin Shihuang’s terra-cotta warriors. It is about 230 meters long and has a roof made of glass to allow the sunlight to illuminate the army and horses.

The second pit was discovered in 1976 about twenty miles northeast of the first. It was slightly smaller than the first pit, about sixty-four thousand square feet in area, and shaped like an inverted “L”. It contains about eighty chariot units and so far about 300 horses have been uncovered as well. Its one thousand support groups are made up of four groups of archers, infantry, crossbowmen, and Calvary. The calvaries are dismounted from their horses and stand beside their left bridal. This army stands in a Chinese military formation known as “ Concentric Deployment.” In this formation the men are ready to fight independently or as a whole.

The third pit was discovered in 1977 and was smaller than both the first and second. It is 520 square meters wide and is irregularly shaped like a “W”. So far sixty-eight terra-cotta figures have been found, most of who are officers. It also contains one chariot drawn by four horses. Although the third pit is thought to be the command unit, the commander-in-chief has not been found. Historians and military experts believe this to be the commanding room for many reasons. The one chariot found is a war chariot. The weapons found are ceremonial and identified with a commander in chief’s ceremonies. The soldiers stand guard as to protect their absent leader. Their armor is bronze and has overlapping scales of lacquered leather to allow fast movement. This skill was identified with soldiers under the commander-in-chief. Because the third pit is the command unit, the fourth pit discovered in 1977 supposedly held the central force. Unfortunately this can not be proven because the fourth pit was found empty. It was probably unfinished because Qin Shihuang died suddenly in 210 BC. There were many rebel troops advancing towards the kingdom so the pit was sealed, empty.

Emperor Qin Shi Huang

All the pits were made with ensured quality. Qin Shihuang was very strict with the materials used and said that all goods had to carry the makers name so the supplier could be punished if his goods proved unsatisfying. Many bricks that line each pit’s floor have been found with markings of a maker’s name. Arthur Cotterell describes how the pits were made: “ The subterranean chambers were skillfully built; the rammed earth surrounding the corridors and galleries prevented the walls from sliding down. Each chamber was paved with bricks and its wooden roof was supported by stout timber pillars and crossbeams. To prevent moisture from seeping down from the surface, the roof was covered by woven matting and then a layer of clay.” Unfortunately the pits were not made perfectly. The roofs of some of the chambers have caved in and shattered many figures. Fires that were set by rebel troops damaged the first and second pits. The third pit managed to cave in by itself. Many grave robbers have gotten into the pits and destroyed the armies and other artifacts inside. Scientists have had to piece the soldiers’ back together and in the process discovered the way that they were made in the first place.

The figures were made out of terra-cotta because it was heavy enough to form life size warriors and sculptures. First the body was made followed by the head, arms and then hands. The hollow body was then attached to legs that were solid. While the clay was still soft, details like the face and clothes were carved. Extra pieces like the ears, armor, and beards were molded separately and added later. The whole figure, once finished, was fired and later colored with vegetable dyes. What is apparent from the color left on the soldiers is that originally there were two main color schemes.

According to General Meng Tian one group had short red coats with light blue patterned collars and cuffs. Their armor was dark brown plates with red or light green rivets and orange cords. The other group had bright green tunics with purple-edged collar and cuffs under black armor. The armor had white studs, gold buttons, purple straps and yellow buckles with dark blue trousers. They wore black shoes with orange cord. Unfortunately many of the colors have faded. Although, the dry weather of China has kept the terra-cotta warriors and horses from eroding too much, nothing could protect them once the tombs were opened. When the tombs were finally excavated the once bright soldiers and horses became dull after being exposed to the air after hundreds of years.

In 1992 two chemical engineers, Zhang Zhijun and Zhou Tie, took a piece of a terra-cotta soldier to be researched. German researches studied the piece and discovered the chemical make-up of the dye used on the warriors and horses. By knowing what the coloring was made of scientists were able to develop a coating that would shield the terra-cotta and help retain its color. Still, the exhibition halls poor condition and the lack of climate control will end up contributing to the figures cracking. Many figures are taken out of the pits and put in airtight cases. Tourism is also a contributor to the figures eroding. The fact that millions of people visit the Terra-cotta Soldiers annually is contributing to the breaking down of the terra-cotta. But, it is also bringing in billions of dollars. Unfortunately, this money is still not enough to cover the special and expensive care the terra-cotta figures must receive. "It is not a problem of technology," says Zhang Zhijun." It's a problem of a lack of information, equipment, and funds."

Different Face Types of Terra-Cotta Army

In the Chinese emperors imperial Army, no two warrior faces are alike. They could differ in age or personal character like bravery, confidence, or thoughtfulness. The theories of the variety of faces can be split into two categories. One category insists that faces were based on actual soldiers in Qin Shihuang's army. Another theory states that they were a product of the workers’ imagination or were faces of the workers. It was apparent that an effort was made to include soldiers of different minorities.

An art critic from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, Fu Tianchou, analyzed the warriors’ faces and categorized them into 8 groups. The groups were: You, Jia, Shen, Tian, Guo, Feng, Riand, and Mu. The different face type varied in things like thin or thick lips, cheekbones, pointed or flat chins, face shapes that are square or that are round. Some faces like they Guo are made to look slightly elegant. The workers used tools like thickening the eyebrows or making deeper set eyes to change the look from a mighty warrior to a general deep in thought. The hair of the warriors, like the faces, was all different. It was so delicately created that every strand is visible. Infantrymen have their hair on top of their head in a tight bun leaning to the right. Cavalrymen wore caps with chinstraps and officers and charioteers wore coarse bonnets

Qin Shihuang’s terra-cotta army and figurines give historians and spectators a look into Chinese war tactics, warriors, rulers, and art history. They show just how devoted emperor’s followers were. The figures represent a small part of the Qin Dynasty, but have come to be known as the main symbol of it. Later in the Qin dynasty, emperors tried to copy what was done for Emperor Qin Shuhuang. Many had soldiers made for them: none of these however, were as amazing as the originals. The army also tells how great of a leader Qin Shihuang was.

The mysteries of the army like missing commanders, other hidden pits, and the biggest mystery of all, where the body of Emperor Qin Shihuang is, yet to be discovered. For now the soldiers will be a reminder of the past; a mirror into the period of twenty-nine years when Qin Shihuang ruled, army’s fought, battles were won, and 7,000 terra-cotta men stood ready to protect and honor.
Sources and Pic Sources:
Terracotta Armies by Hadley Griffin;
The Terracotta Army of the First Emperor of China by William Lindesay and Guo Baofu

20:44 | 0 komentar


Through the hazy black and white footage, the relaxed shape of a bloated, swollen-headed, six-fingered humanoid figure can just be viewed. The grainy scene is a bizarre image of death as the pathologist cuts into the alien skin. Could this be the most incredible evidence ever uncovered to prove that something out of this world really did land at Roswell over fifty years ago? On 7th July 1947 the wreckage of a strange vehicle and some non-human bodies was found on the Foster ranch just outside Roswell. The next day, a press officer from the Roswell Army Air Fields was happy to announce to the Roswell Daily Record that the 509th Bomb Group, an elite section of the Air Force, had salvaged an alien vessel. Immediately his words were refuted.

The US 8th Air Force’s commanding officer, General Roger Ramey, said they had actually recovered an experimental balloon. Ramey’s explanation was quickly adopted as the official line throughout the following years, and this technique of outright denial would continue to be championed by governments questioned about flying saucer stories. Although the public initially accepted the official version of events, this episode sparked a consistent stream of UFO sightings, particularly around remote US Air Force bases.

In June, Bond Johnson asked if we would examine the Roswell crash photographs using high-tech computer technology. Scanning photographs made from the original negatives and then magnifying them revealed the photograph's 50 year old secret -- symbols of unknown origin sequentially lined up and down the beams.

What a revelation! But who made the symbols and what do they represent? If the symbols were of Earthly origin, we would expect them to be familiar to us, but they are not. Today we use symbols in public places such as airports, hotels, and restaurants to communicate information to people who do not speak our language. We have standard symbols representing things such as eating, sleeping and transportation. What then, do these unknown symbols represent? Were they made by people on Earth? Or alien beings from somewhere else?

Sites such as Area 51 in Nevada, and the government’s denial of its existence, led to suspicion and conspiracy theories. The 1947 ‘Roswell Incident’ itself has also never quite left the public consciousness. In 1994 a New Mexico congressman instigated an inquiry into the affair. The investigative department of the US Congress, known as the General Accounting Office, discovered that many relevant US Air Force documents had gone missing or had been destroyed. However, the GAO also came to the conclusion that it was, indeed, a weather balloon that had been recovered from the Foster ranch, and the bodies there were infact anthropomorphic dummies. Case closed. Little did US officials realise that the ‘Roswell Incident’ was about to dramatically appear on television screens across the globe. In 1992, a British media businessman, Ray Santilli was in Cleveland, Ohio to meet a retired cameraman. Santilli wanted to buy some vintage 1955 Elvis footage from the man, who revealed he also had some interesting alien autopsy film from his time in the military.

Alien corpse that found inside the crashed flying saucer

Santilli purchased the film in November 1994 and agreed to show it at the British UFO Research Association annual conference on 19th August 1995. However, by March 1995 news of the film had been released to the media, and a serious world premier of the footage was needed. It took place in front of invited guests at the Museum of London on 5th May. By the end of August 1995, millions of people around the world had seen moving pictures from a supposed alien autopsy. Although this was compelling evidence, doubters immediately began voicing their theories about the film. The most obvious suspicion was that the autopsy had been created by movie special effects processes.

Many experts believe the film is fake, but they also believe it is very high quality. The Hollywood effects industry is a closed shop, with insiders having friends and contacts across the range of companies, but so far noone has an inkling as to who created the Roswell film. Other experts in the field of biology are less convinced that the body is entirely man-made, and some suspect that it may be a human being adapted to look otherworldly. There is a whole host of further questions about the Roswell autopsy. Whoever captured the footage has never been revealed, although a bizarre film was released where someone purporting to be the cameraman attempted to explain his involvement. Santilli has never uncovered the footage he has of another alien autopsy and has never really allowed any of his films to be subjected to proper scrutiny.

Most importantly, the aliens in the footage look nothing like the bodies witnesses saw recovered from the New Mexico desert floor. All experts who view the autopsy film agree that it is a fake. Santilli has made a great deal of money from the Roswell autopsy footage, and he still maintains that it is genuine. The rest of us will probably never know. The public’s natural instinct is to question governmental denials, but the other options here are also so unreliable that it is very hard to determine the truth.

(Taken from many sources)
20:34 | 0 komentar

Raining Animals

For nearly 2,000 years, and from nearly every part of the world, there have been reports of showers of rain which contained large quantities of live frogs, fish, or other creatures, and the reports still occur with quite startling regularity. An early reference to Weymouth in The Travels of Peter Mundy in Europe and Asia, Volume 3 part 1: 1634-1637 ((1919), 10-11) concerns, unusually, small snails, and implies that it was a regular occurrence and that the people found them in their hats because they ‘dropp out of the ayre’, and Reginald Scot (1584: book 13, chapter 18) provides another early English reference. Raining animals is a relatively rare meteorological phenomenon, although occurrences have been reported from many countries throughout history. One hypothesis that has been furthered to explain this phenomenon is that strong winds travelling over water sometimes pick up debris such as fish or frogs, and carry them for up to several miles.

Fishes falling From The Sky in Singapore

However, this primary aspect of the phenomenon has never been witnessed or scientifically tested. The animals most likely to drop from the sky in a rainfall are fish and frogs, with birds coming third.

Sometimes the animals survive the fall, especially fish, suggesting a small time gap between the extraction and the actual drop. Several witnesses of raining frogs describe the animals as startled, though healthy, and exhibiting relatively normal behavior shortly after the event. In some incidents, however, the animals are frozen to death or even completely encased in ice. These occurrences may be evidence for the transport of the victims to high altitudes, where the temperature is below zero, and they show how powerful meteorological forces can be.

The potential violence of this phenomenon is shown by examples where the product of the rain is not intact animals, but shredded body parts. Some cases are caused just after storms having strong winds especially during tornadoes. However, there have been numerous cases in which rainfalls of animals have occurred in fair weather and in the absence of strong winds or waterspouts.Various explanations have been put forward, including an early belief that the sun draws up frogspawn, which then hatches in the clouds.

Modern theories usually involve some sort of localized waterspout or whirlwind which sucks up the contents of a pond or other body of water and deposits them at a distance, but this still leaves many questions unanswered. Forteans revel in this type of phenomenon: widely reported, suitably mysterious, on the edge of science but not (yet) accepted by the scientific establishment. We can thus claim fish falls, and related phenomena, as still in the realms of folklore, at least for the time being.

(Source : Wikipedia)
22:07 | 0 komentar

Pudu Prison

The Pudu Prison was built in 1895 as a prison in Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur area. As such, it was used to house criminals including drug offenders and was a location for administering corporal punishment through rotan caning. After the fall of Singapore, during World war II, the Japanese occupation forces incarcerated many English, Australian and New Zealand prisoners there. The prison was closed for several years following the 1986 execution of Kevin Barlow and Brian Chambers, both Australian nationals, for the drug trafficking of heroin. It was reopened in early 2004 for a short time as a museum. The cells were horrific, each equipped with a window only the size of a shoebox. Ironically, the prison also features murals painted on the walls circling the compound, depicting scenes of nature. These murals were painted by the prisoners who used over 2,000 litres of paint to accomplish the task.

Aerial View of Pudu Prison

There are very few sentient beings depicted in the murals, though. It is no longer used as a prison and while it was once open as a museum, it is currently a police station and can be viewed only from the outside. (A clear view is obtained from the monorail train between Imbi and Hang Tuah stations.)

Map of Pudu Prison

Currently, it serves as a day-holding facility for prisoners attending court hearings. It is proposed to build a low security prison on the site for drug abusers in the future. Eight supports of the Hindu Rights Action Force were arrested and incarcerated in Pudu Prison following the 2007 HINDRAF rally. They were later released due to lack of evidence. There are rumours that Pudu Prison is haunted.

There have been reports of a strange Indian man walking the halls of the prison and disappearing around the corner. Screams have been heard from rooms where hangings have taken place, and there are certain areas of the prison that are far colder than others. Russell Lee, the author of the book series True Singapore Ghost Stories included a story of a prisoner in Pudu Prison in one of his books. The prisoner reported hearing screaming from the rotan caning area, and he also heard the story that one prisoner committed suicide in order to avoid being caned.

Supposedly his ghost stops the last stroke of the cane being given, and the prisoner personally reported this experience happening to him. According to several websites, the reason that Pudu Prison is being turned back into a prison for low-security prisoners is because no-one would buy it as for commercial property because of the hauntings.

(Source : Wikipedia)
20:49 | 0 komentar

Amityville House

The most famous and horrific ghost story of the last century must be that of 112 Ocean Avenue, in Amityville, New York. The terrifying tale has been turned into a best-selling book and successful film, and captured the public’s attention like no other haunting. Indeed, such is its place in the American consciousness that most people assume that it is a real story – and that is certainly how it was publicised. There is no doubt that some awful events did take place in the building, but were they really caused by ghostly actions? The now infamous three-storey Dutch colonial house was built in 1924. The owners lived happily in the building for many years, raising a family and leaving the house to their daughter who had such fond memories of her childhood home that she moved her own family into it.

In 1960 the building left the care of the original owners’ descendants and was bought by a couple who lived in the house until they sold it following their divorce in 1965. In June 1965 the DeFeo family bought the house. They were an unhappy family and the father, Ronald DeFeo Sr., was known to be abusive. Over a period of nine years the family was not said to experience any type of frightening event other than those inflicted by paternal forces. However that all changed on the night of the 18th of November 1974 when one son, Ronald DeFeo Jr., shot and killed his mother, father, two brothers and two sisters.

Victim's position at the crime scene

Just over a year later, in December 1975, a young couple bought the house. George and Kathy Lutz, and her three children moved in, knowing the building’s terrible history. Almost immediately they began experiencing strange phenomena. Doors and windows would open by themselves, bizarre noises were heard, and a Catholic priest who had come to exorcise the house was ordered to get out by a devilish voice. Things rapidly grew worse. Blood and sticky goo oozed from the walls, clouds of flies appeared on windows, ghostly hooded apparitions manifested, and one of the children started communicating with a demonic pig called Jodie. One night Kathy Lutz was even thrown from her bed by a supernatural force, and it was famouslyclaimed that the face of the devil appeared in the brickwork of the fireplace. After 28 days of this horror, the Lutzes moved out. They soon went to the media with their story.

In February 1976 two of America’s most famous celebrity paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren, were filmed by a television news team whilst conducting séances at the house. The Warrens stated the house was indeed haunted with evil spirits, but other investigators were not convinced. Dr Stephen Kaplan, the executive director of the Parapsychology Institute of America, based in New York, initially had great doubts about the story, and discovered some very interesting facts about the Lutzes. However, his studies were ignored, and it transpired that the couple had already collaborated with an author, Jay Anson, and had written a book, The Amityville Horror – A True Story. An instant best-seller on its release in 1977, a blockbusting movie version of the tale was released in 1979. As Kaplan suspected, there were some dubious actions and motives behind the Amityville tale.

It was revealed that Ronald DeFeo Jr’s defence lawyer had met with the Lutzes before their story was released. Kaplan found no evidence to support many of the claims written in their book, but he did discover that the Lutzes were able to return to the house to hold a garage sale only a couple of weeks after apparently fleeing in terror. Similarly, many investigators noticed that the Lutzes were holding contracts for book and film rights as soon as they decided to publicise their account. Since the Lutzes left, three different families have lived in the house with no reports of ghostly experiences.

Dr Stephen Kaplan’s in-depth report and its subsequent revelations about the house were never viewed with as much interest as the dramatic original story, but his book, The Amityville Horror Conspiracy, was eventually published some years after his death. Many investigators and cynics have been led to conclude that the whole case really revolved around money, rather than the popular perception of paranormal influences. It seems the evil forces in this story have less to do with supernatural unknowns, and more with all too common, base human instincts.

(Source : 100 Most Strangest Mysteries by Matt Lamy)
20:28 | 1 komentar

Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace on the banks of the River Thames, just outside London, is said to be the most haunted royal building in Britain. Most palaces and castles are known to house a few mythical spectres, but the special quality about Hampton Court is the sheer range of apparitions. From wives of King Henry VIII, to Cavalier soldiers, to a ghostly dog, the palace is plagued by over a dozen unexplained phenomena. Hampton Court was originally bought by Cardinal Wolsey, but Henry VIII liked the building and took it as his own. Henry was the first person to report seeing the decapitated head of his second wife, Anne Boleyn, who was executed for treasonous adultery in 1536. Subsequent sightings of her have described her with, without and even carrying her head. Witnesses say she appears in blue or black, walking slowly, looking angry or upset, and is said to pervade a sense of grief or despair.

Henry’s third wife, Jane Seymour, reportedly the love of his life, was the only wife to be buried alongside him in his death vault. She died giving birth to his only son, Edward, in 1537 and was the only one of his queens to die of natural causes before Henry. It is said that on the anniversary of Edward’s birth, 12th October, Lady Jane appears from the Queen’s Apartments and walks round to the Silver Stick Gallery.

Witnesses say the apparition wears a white robe and carries a lit candle. With Jane’s death, Henry’s new-born son was entrusted to the care of a nursemaid, Sibell Penn. Penn died of smallpox in 1562 and was buried in St Mary’s Church, not far from the palace in Hampton. Her spirit was not seen or heard from until the 1820s when St Mary’s Church was stuck by lightning and during the rebuilding, Penn’s remains were removed to another grave. Since then there have been reports of a tall, hooded figure known as the ‘Grey Lady’ walking the corridors of the palace at the same time as a strange spinning noise was heard in the west wing of the building. The whirring sound seemed to be coming from an odd wall of a corridor, so during investigations the wall was knocked down. Behind it they found a previously unknown room, along with Sibell Penn’s old spinning wheel.

Hampton Court Palace's Map

Undoubtedly the most celebrated ghost in Hampton Court can be found in what is called the Haunted Gallery. The ghost is that of Henry’s fifth wife, Catherine Howard, whowas beheaded in 1542 for infidelity with younger men. Legend has it that the moments following the ordering of her execution can be seen played out by spectres in the gallery. Witnesses say Catherine’s figure appears screaming for her life, until guards seize her and drag her away. Some people have also seen her trying to find sanctuary in the palace chapel, whilst a palace warder once reported seeing a ghostly hand wearing one of Catherine’s heavily jewelled rings knocking on the chapel door. Not all the restless spirits that wander the hallways of the palace are of royal lineage. Palace staff have seen a strange grey mist floating along the kitchen floor, and a guard reported seeing a dark, male figure wearing a top hat who just disappeared into the wine cellar.

There are also tales of a ghostly dog being seen entering the King’s Apartments. Many people have reported seeing two noisy figures fighting in the main courtyard. During renovation work in the yard, the skeletons of two English Civil War Cavalier soldiers were found and given a proper burial. There have been no sightings of the figures since. A group of seven women and two men dressed in old-fashioned clothing are also said to wander Hampton Court. In 1917 a police officer even opened a door for these apparitions, before they simply disappeared into thin air. Nowadays, visitors to the palace should not be concerned if they see some strange characters in period dress, for many of the specialist guides giving tours of the building now appear in costume. If people do see a ghost there, it seems that none of them are harmful. That said, one lady warder at the palace was standing on duty when she felt something flick her underwear elastic. Perhaps the spirit of Henry is lurking somewhere – and it would seem entirely possible that he has not changed his ways.

(Source : 100 Most Strangest Mysteries by Matt Lamy)
20:12 | 0 komentar

Mayan Calendar

Strange as it may seem, the Mayan calendar may have played an influential role in the culture’s decline. The calendar was used for prophecy, as well as marking the date. The Mayan calendar begins with a date relative to 3114 B.C.E., when, according to the Mayans, the world began and the first Great Cycle got underway. Thirteen future cycles were recognized, and bad things often happened at the end of such cycles. For example, one cycle ended during the 500s, at about the same time that the city of Tikal went into decline. Another decline occurred in Tikal 256 years later, also at the end of a Great Cycle, and the city was all but abandoned. Whatever happened to the Mayans was an event of such magnitude that it caused a fracture in the long-standing practices and social order of the entire culture.

The great cities continued to be occupied for decades after the hieroglyphics stopped reporting triumphs, and then the majestic temples, stately pyramids, and massive edifices were abandoned completely to the surrounding jungle.

Translation of Mayan Calendar

Whether or not the unknown dire events were prophesied or became self-fulfilling prophecies by the belief of a superstitious people accepting their fate is not known. According to Mayan prophecy, the end of the most current Great Cycle —2012— will end with a cataclysmic flood.

(Source : Encyclopedia of Unusual and Unexplained Things)
22:51 | 1 komentar

Giant Skeleton

Recent gas exploration activity in the south east region of the Arabian desert uncovered a skeletal remains of a human of phenomenal size. This region of the Arabian desert 'Rab-Ul-Khalee'. The discovery was made by the Aramco Exploration team. As God states in the Quran that He had created people of phenomenal size the like of which He has not created since. These were the people of Aad where Prophet Hud was sent. Later these people, who were given all the power, turned against God and the Prophet and transgressed beyond all boundaries set by God. As a result they were destroyed. Ulema's of Saudi Arabia believe these to be the remains of the people of Aad.

Saudi Military has secured the whole area and no one is allowed to enter except the ARAMCO personnel. It has been kept in secrecy, but a military helicopter took some pictures from the air and one of the pictures leaked out into the internet in Saudi Arabia. See the attachment and note the size of the two men standing in the picture in comparison to the size of the skeleton !!

Another skeleton was found in India the exploration team also found tablets with inscriptions that stated that our Gods of Indian mythologicalyore, Brahma, had created people of phenomenal size the like of which He has not created since. They were very tall, big, and very powerful, such that they could put their arms around a tree trunk and uproot it. They were created to bring order among us since we were always fighting with each other.

One of his sons of Bhima of the Pandava brothers is also thought of to have been carrying these genes. The Geo Exploration team believes these to be the remains of those people.

This picture below, taken from news helicopter, shows an immense skeleton, of an
unknown creature to science, washed up on an Indian Ocean beach after the tsunami of 2004. Further inspection showed the skeleton to be of great age -- possibly thousands of years old.

Is it real or it's just a hoax, many skeptical think that those pictures was a skeleton of a Mastodon manipulated by a computer.

(Taken from many sources)
20:43 | 6 komentar

Mayan Empires

When the Spanish conquistadors claimed areas of Central America and Mexico in the sixteenth century, they discovered the ruins of a great civilization, that of the Mayans, who had vanished and left evidence of their lost grandeur in massive structures that had been overwhelmed by the surrounding rain forest. The native people could not explain the significance of the sprawling, vacant cities to the conquistadors. Unlike the great Incan cities, the Mayan centers had long been abandoned. The ruins of the Mayans did not begin to reveal their secrets for 300 years. Since the nineteenth century, enough information has been gathered about the Mayan structures to sketch a history of their development, but the reasons why the great structures were suddenly abandoned, and the exact purposes of the massive and elaborate buildings, continue to remain trapped in the past.

The Mayan empire stretched south from the present-day Mexican states of Veracruz, Yucatán, Campeche, Tabasco, and Chiapas to almost all of Guatemala and parts of Belize and Honduras. Ruins in the Guatemalan highlands include Copán, a typical Mayan center with plazas, pyramids, a court for ball games, and blocks of stone inscribed with hieroglyphics.

Tikal Temples

Tikal, another Mayan center in Guatemala, had more than 3,000 structures in a six-square-mile area. Vast palaces with hundreds of rooms, rows and rows of wooden huts, and increasingly larger buildings approaching the center of Tikal accommodated a surrounding community that may have numbered as many as 90,000 people. Palenque is among the centers in the middle area of the Mayan region, where the rain forest is thickest. Among the finds there is the Temple of Inscriptions, a 65-foot-high pyramid. A secret passageway was found by archaeologists in 1952 that led to an elaborate tomb. Riches of jade, finely carved, life sized statues, and an elaborately sculpted sarcophagus were discovered. When modern archaeologists finally mastered Mayan hieroglyphics in the 1970s, inscriptions on the wall of the temple were deciphered. They identified the corpse as Sun Lord Pacal and described his life. Tracing references of dates with the Mayan calendar, another example of Mayan achievement, archaeologists were able to determine that Sun Lord Pacal wasborn in 603, ascended to the throne in 614, and died in 683. The 69 steps that run up the front of the temple each represent a year of his reign.

The Yucatan peninsula along the Gulf of Mexico forms the northernmost region of Mayan settlement. Among the ruins there are Chichen Itza, which feature a collection of pyramids, temples, and other common Mayan structures as well as an observatory where the movements of the Sun and Moon and the planets Mars, Venus, and Jupiter were charted. Further inland lies Uxmal, site of two temple pyramids, a complex of four buildings around a courtyard, and the Palace of Governors with magnificent terraces and a stone mosaic frieze more than 300 feet long (a mosaic consists of small, inlaid materials of various colors that form a pattern or a picture, and a frieze is a richly ornamented band or line on a building).

Belize Temple

The various ruins were not excavated and examined until the latter half of the nineteenth century. They show that Mayans developed systems of mathematics, writing, and astronomy and erected monumental forms of architecture. Subsequent discoveries showed their calendar recorded dates as far back as 600 B.C.E. By the first century B.C.E., they specifically used a calendar that had 18 20-day months—matching the Mayan base- 20 mathematical system (the contemporary mathematical system used in the West is base-10). Because of the state of decline in which the conquistadors found Native Americans of the region, and fueled by cultural bias that made Europeans skeptical that less-advanced people could create such monumental structures, many early explorers believed that the engineering feats of the Mayans had been directed by peoples from the eastern Mediterranean region.

Phoenicians and Egyptians had been seafaring people in ancient times. Perhaps they had sailed across the Atlantic Ocean. Those who believed such theories speculated that the Mediterranean seafarers had directed the Mayans to build pyramids, taught them hieroglyphics, and brought them social order. Variations on the theme of an external influence on the ancient Mayans continued to develop. Instead of Egyptians or Phoenicians, however, it was advanced Asians who first reached the Mayans and taught them secrets of architecture and mathematics, written language and astronomy. Or perhaps inhabitants of the legendary continent of Atlantis spread their knowledge to various peoples of the world, including the Mayans.

Excavations helped clarify some of the mysteries involving the Mayans. They had distinctive cultural traits evident in similarities of architecture—including pyramids, terraces, and ball courts—and artistic styles of paintings and pottery spread throughout their empire. When modern archaeologists learned how to read Mayan hieroglyphics by establishing meanings and patterns in the images, a history emerged that showed the Mayan centers were not occupied by peaceful astronomers and the large structures did not serve specifically as ceremonial sites.

Instead, the hieroglyphics boasted of the accomplishments of a war-like elite. Many of the great Mayan buildings were monuments to great military leaders. Settlements with large structures served as centers for trade, but primarily for the accumulation of riches for the elite of Mayan society. Those who contributed to culture, artisans and astronomers among them, were highly esteemed, but a ruling elite held the riches and the power.

The Mayans learned to grow maize, beans, squash, and cacao. They raised cotton and developed a textile industry for spinning, dyeing, and weaving cloth, but they did not develop metal tools, domesticate large beasts of burden, and, in spite of building an elaborate system of roads, did not develop the wheel. Over the centuries, the Mayans domesticated the dog and the turkey, and they discovered how to mine copper, gold, silver, and jade, creating valuable and prized items. From 800 to 500 B.C.E., the Mayans began erecting modest burial monuments, which bycirca 400 B.C.E. to 250 C.E. had evolved into terraced, pyramidal shapes. The Mayan pyramids differ from those in Egypt, where the sides of the structures converge to form a pointed top. The pyramidal structures of the Mayans reach a certain height, then level off to form a flat platform on which temples were built.

Mayan civilization thrived until around 800 when a decline began. Tikal was abandoned, and the process of recording events stopped there by 900. Building began in another center, Seibal, in the southern lowlands in 830 but ended abruptly around 900. Uxmal showed more development around 850, but it was abandoned around 925. Chichen Itza was abandoned around 987. It was subsequently occupied, like some of the other centers, but new massive structures were not built and the old temples did not serve the same functions as they had in the past.

In 2000, near the present-day village of Cancuen, Guatemala, a Mayan palace was discovered in a long-abandoned city named the Place of Serpents that is estimated to cover an area as large as two football fields. With 170 high-ceiling rooms and 11 courtyards, the palace was revealed to have been a prosperous center of commerce and crafts. Inscriptions on the palace walls showed that it was completed by a leader named Tah ak Chaan, who ruled over Cancuen from 740 to around 790. Unlike other Mayan centers, there are as yet no indications that the rulers of the area engaged in warfare. There are no pyramids in the area, or outdoor plazas, and there appears to be a complete absence of religious symbols or any indications of the ceremonies evident in other Mayan centers.

Rulers of the city appeared to specialize in commerce, not warfare, and a larger working-class group of people seemed to live in the Place of Serpents than at other Mayan centers. Hundreds of workshops where artisans plied their crafts were found. What factors caused the demise of the Mayan empire remains a mystery. Destruction from earthquakes is evident in some Mayan centers, but not all, and earthquakes are not believed to have leveled any of the major centers. There is no evidence of mass burials thatwould indicate an epidemic, such as plague, small pox, or other infectious diseases that swept through Europe during the same time as the Mayan’s golden era and downfall. An isolated disruption caused by conquerors from the north, a natural catastrophe, or war among leaders of Mayan centers would have affected trade routes that ran through the interior.

Tikal, a major inland center dependent on trade, would certainly have been affected by such a disruption. Twice, in the sixth and ninth centuries, Tikal seems to have undergone some form of chaos. The great success of the Mayan culture may be a plausible reason for their downfall. As the population grew, the stress on agriculture became greater, for an expanding population requires consistently more food production. Soil erosion or drought would have greatly affected the large settlements. A decrease in production would have led to malnutrition, increasing the likeliness of disease. Some human skeletal remains from the period show signs of malnutrition, but no conclusive evidence has been found to determine a sudden, widespread catastrophe.

(Source : Encyclopedia of Unusual and Unexplained Things)
20:21 | 0 komentar

The Big Bang

The greatest, most fundamental mystery in the history of the world and the universe is; how did this all begin? Man now knows a lot about the different stages of Earth’s development, but he still has no definite answers for how our world came to be here or even how the universe came to be formed. Religion provides us with one theory – the idea that God created the planets by hand, but that does not tally with the few pieces of scientific evidence that we do possess. For, although we are still largely ignorant, science has begun to reveal some of the secrets of the cosmos. We do not know much, but we do know it all started with a bang. About 15 billion years ago there was an enormous explosion. Incredible, trilliondegree heat, matter and anti-matter were created in a dense expanding cloud.

In less than 1000th of a second, the universe had doubled in size over 100 times. More matter than anti-matter was produced, and basic particles began to form. The universe remained a thick, plasmatic substance, made up mainly of radiation at an extreme, but cooling, heat. After a second, the universe had a temperature of ten billion degrees Kelvin.

The process continued, with simple particles gradually slowing in speed, allowing for more complex reactions to take place. About three minutes after the initial explosion, the temperature was down to abillion degrees. Nucleosynthesis was beginning to take place, and deuterium, an isotope known as heavy hydrogen, was being created. Deuterium then formed into tritium, which then became a helium nucleus. With slightly more cooling, hydrogen atoms were created.

Over the next 300,000 years, helium atoms were formed, and the universe dropped to a temperature of 10,000 degrees Celsius as it expanded. Radiation gradually became less dense and it, light and matter were able to separate. Eventually, after 15 billion years, the universe became what we know today. Although the Big Bang theory is based on the guesswork of many eminent cosmologists and astronomers, it is supported by a scientific basis. Recent discoveries have also helped to provide proof. NASA’s COBE satellite has detected cosmic microwaves produced at the distant edges of the universe. The fact that these microwaves followed a similar rigid structure suggested the universe developed in a verifiable pattern. Slight temperature differences at three far-off points have also helped to prove scientists’ earlier theories about what happened as the cosmos cooled. The different stages in development between areas of different heat give a good indication of what happened following the Big Bang.

Expansion Timeline

In June 1995, scientists working on NASA’s Astro-2 observatory were able to detect deuterium in the distant corners of the cosmos. This suggests such elements really did exist soon after the Big Bang. Similarly, the Hubble telescope has allowed astronomers to look deep into the universe and discover what substances are predominant in older features. These new discoveries often lead to new questions, and reworkings of old theories. What we can be certain of is that the universe continues to expand, so the Big Bang phenomenon is still in progress. The fact that these procedures are still in effect at the far reaches of the universe provides hope that, as our observational techniques improve, we will definitely be able to learn how the universe initially expanded

As an intelligent life form, we may feel confident enough to scientifically state the conditions at the very dawn of time and space. However, no scientist would dare to suggest exactly what existed before the Big Bang. Religious philosophers have stated that everything has a cause, and have used our ignorance of the subject as proof of God. Others state that not all happenings necessarily have a catalyst, and as we are entering a completely new realm of the unknown, the normal rules of the universe may not apply. In either case, it is a subject for philosophy, rather than physics or chemistry. What science can say is that everything around us is made up of particles that burst from an origin smaller than an atom, 15 billion years ago. Anything else remains a mystery.

(Taken from many sources)
16:17 | 1 komentar

Malin Kundang

A long time ago, in a small village near the beach in West Sumatera, lived a woman and her son, Malin Kundang. Malin Kundang's father had passed away when he was a baby, and he had to live hard with his mother. Malin Kundang was a healthy, dilligent, and strong child. He usually went to the sea to catch fish, and brought it to his mother, or sold it in the town. One day, when Malin Kundang was sailing as usual, he saw a merchant's ship which was being raided by a small band of pirates. With his brave and power, Malin Kundang defeated the pirates. The merchant was so happy and asked Malin Kundang to sail with him. Malin Kundang agreed. Many years later, Malin Kundang became a wealthty merchant, with a huge ship, loads of trading goods, many ship crews, and a beautiful wife. In his journey, his ship landed on a beach. The villagers reconigzed him, and the news ran fast in the town: Malin Kundang became a rich man and now he is here. His mother, in deepful sadnees after years of loneliness, ran to the beach to meet her beloved son again.

The Cursed Malin Kundang

When the mother came, Malin Kundang, in front of his well dressed wife, his crews and his own gloriness, denied to meet that old, poor and dirty woman. For three times she begged Malin Kundang and for three times yelled at him. At last Malin Kundang said to her "Enough, old woman! I have never had a mother like you, a dirty and ugly peasant!" Then he ordered his crews to set sail. Enraged, she cursed Malin Kundang that he would turn into a stone if he didn't apologize.

Malin Kundang just laughed and set sail. In the quiet sea, suddenly a thunderstorm came. His huge ship was wrecked and it was too late for Malin Kundang to apologized. He was thrown by the wave out of his ship, fell on a small island, and suddenly turned into stone.

Another version the legendary story is said to be originated here in Padang where the remains of "Batu Malin Kundang" is located. Malin Kundang who hails from a poor family. Just like any other Minang men, Malin Kundang decided to travel elsewhere to seek good fortune, leaving behind his old mother. His life changed when he married the daughter of a rich man in Siam. Soon after achieving success and gaining great fortune he sailed back homeward on his own ship to Padang together with his wife and crews.

Upon hearing of Malin Kundang's return, his mother rushed to the beach to meet her long lost son. Unfortunately, Malin Kundang felt ashamed upon looking at his old and poor mother - he was a rich man with fine clothing and a beautiful wife while his mother was looking ragged and poor as she was. In his undisguised disgust he ignored his mother, refused to greet her and returned to his ship. Humiliated and heartbroken by her arrogant son's behavior, his mother fell to her knees in desperation and prayed to God asking that her son be punished for what he did. Soon a terrible storm rose up and Malin Kundang's ship was wrecked upon the rocks. Realising his mistake and sin for ignoring his mother, the badly injured Malin Kundang tried to get ashore to seek forgiveness from his mother but as he crawled on his hands and knees he was suddenly turned into stone.

Until today, a stone that from a certain angle resembles the figure of a man on his hands and knees with his head seemingly buried in the rock can still be found here in Pantai Air Manis. It is said that Malin Kundang has been forced to stay on the beach forever, begging for forgiveness from his mother. Around this rocky figure barrels and ropes have been carved into the stone to represent the shipwreck washed up on the shore. The tale of an ungratefull son makes the tranquil Pantai Air Manis a legendary location to visit that may offer some lesson in life.

(Taken from many sources)
11:58 | 0 komentar

Machu Picchu

At its height during the 1400s, the Incan empire was the largest in the world, stretching 2,500 miles north to south and supporting a population of more than ten million people. The temples, extensive roads, elaborate masonry, and treasures of gold and silver associated with the Incas date from around 1200 through the 1400s. The city of Cuzco became the powerful center of an empire that spread to encompass more than 100 small nations. Roads were built to criss-cross the entire empire, running through valleys and along the sides of mountains. The Incas never developed the wheel, but the roads provided the means to move large amounts of stone and goods used to build and sustain great cities. Trained runners were used to communicate messages throughout the empire. The Inca cultivated maize and potatoes, domesticated the llama as a beast of burden, crafted boats of balsa wood to travel on rivers and streams, and built suspension bridges of rope, among their many accomplishments.

The empire was primarily expanded by three emperors, Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui and his descendants Topa Inca Yapanqui (ruled 1438–1471) and Huayna Capac (ruled 1493–1525). The latter’s sudden death in 1525 came before he named a successor, and the nation became bitterly divided, a situation that still raged when the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro (c. 1475–1541) and his army of about 400 men arriv
ed in 1532. Lured by vast amounts of gold they found in Inca cities, the conquistadors kidnapped an Inca leader and held him for ransom. The ransom, estimated at about $50 million in gold and silver, was paid, but the leader was executed anyway. Diseases such as smallpox, previously unknown in the New World, had begun spreading as early as the 1520s.

The combination of disease, estimated to have killed two-thirds of the Incan population, and military reinforcements from Spain after Pizarro showed off the great treasures he had found, allowed the Spaniards to subdue the Incan empire, systematically sweeping through and plundering all the great Incan centers. They missed one, however, and it would remain lost to the world until 1912. The majestic site is called Machu Picchu, a city in the clouds that rests at 8,000 feet in altitude between two mountains, Huayana Picchu (“young mountain”) and Machu Picchu (“ancient mountain”), and overlooks a sacred river and valley called Urubamba.

Map of Machu Picchu

In 1911, Hiram Bingham (1875–1956), a historian from Yale University who was per-forming research in Peru, was alerted by a local farmer, Melchior Artega, about ancient ruins high up in the mountains. Bingham followed the lead and rediscovered the site of Machu Picchu. He publicized his findings in 1912, and in April of 1913 National Geographic magazine devoted an entire issue to the site. Even though many mysteries abound about Machu Picchu, what has been discovered about the site since 1911 has led some to call it “the eighth wonder of the ancient world.” Machu Picchu features religious shrines and temples, baths and water systems, plazas, fountains, and elaborate masonry work. Stones are fitted so tightly in structures that they have withstood almost five hundred years of weathering and the lush growth of vegetation.

Machu Picchu, situated on a long, narrow strip between mountains and above a valley, has a series of open plazas, and was divided into three sections— agricultural, urban, and religious. The agricultural section comprises a series of terraces bordered with irrigation channels. Crops were cultivated on levels above the channels to avoid erosion. The farm area is dotted with small buildings believed to be lookout huts. The urban area is on the part of the ridge that descends abruptly into the valley. A 67-step staircase rises up from the valley to the largest urban sector. Most of the structures have one room with solid walls of intricately fitted stones. The finest structures are believed to have housed high-ranking teachers. Many of the walls have niches the size of adult humans sculpted into them; the purpose of the niches is unknown. A plaza with a large rock in the center separates the urban and religious areas.

Intihuatana Shrine

Among the structures in the religious center is the Intihuantana Shrine, a temple carved from granite. The temple is considered a shrine to sun and stone, both of which were worshipped by Incas, and is also believed to have served as an astronomical observatory. Some of the buildings in the religious center are threewalled structures, including what is called the Great Central Temple and the Temple of the Three Windows. The latter building is believed to be associated with an Incan legend that their original ancestors emerged from a cave that had three windows. Also located in the religious center is the Temple of the Sun, a circular tower believed to have an astronomical orientation. The most accepted view of Machu Picchu portrays it as a religious sanctuary serving high priests and “virgins of the sun.”

More than 80 percent of the graves found on the site contain the bones of females, considered to have been “chosen women.” Machu Picchu was thought to have been visited by selected members of Incan royalty who were transported along special roads that could only be used with their permission. Since the roads were seldom used, few Inca knew about them. The conquistadors never found the way, nor did they find Incas who could lead them to the site. The reason why Machu Picchu was abandoned remains a secret lost to time.

(Taken from many sources)
08:23 | 1 komentar

Hindu Statues Drinking Milk

On 21st September 1995, reports started to come out of New Delhi of Hindu statues drinking milk. Worshippers were offering spoonfuls of the substance as a sacred gift, and the symbolic carvings of Lord Shiva and Ganesha were actually consuming it. Queues built up around temples, and the local authorities had to increase the city’s milk supply by 100,000 litres because of a shortage. Sceptics immediately suggested it was a case of mass hallucination, or that the porous quality of the statues that created thephenomenon. Others said the milk was just being spilt, but the ground around the statues did not hold anywhere near the amount of milk that was being offered. Certainly, those who came had no doubts that it was a true miracle, and as Indian communities heard about the phenomenon, other reports about similar events appeared across the world.

By the next day, Hindu worshipers were standing in long lines outside London temples, eager to offer the statues milk. Anila Premji was one lady who waited during the night to attend the Vishwa temple in Southall, west London, to offer a spoonful to a marble figure of Nandi, a bull ridden by Shiva. ‘I held the spoon out level, and the milk just disappeared,’ she said. At the main Swaminarayan temple in London, the situation was so busy that authorities were refusing entry to people bringing their own milk cartons.

In Canada, Germany and the United States the miracles were continued. Hindu worshipers at Chatsworth Hindu Temple in California also reported milk being accepted by their idols. Stories were run by Reuters, CNN, the BBC and most of the world’s major newspapers. Despite sceptics giving scientific explanations, the devoutly religious said it was a sign of God.
Even those Hindu worshippers who did not regularly attend the temples witnessed the events and said they felt a reassured sense of an almighty power protecting them. Perhaps that is the point. No matter what practical explanations are advanced, sometimes a resurgent faith in a divine presence is a great comfort for those who want to believe.

(Source : 100 Most Strangest Mysteries by Matt Lamy)
05:57 | 2 komentar


Avalon is the place where the legendary King Arthur was taken after receiving mortal wounds in battle. Although it is a mythical place, there are sites on which Avalon may well have been based. Avalon is mentioned in a widely read text in History of the Kings of Britain (1138), written by Geoffrey of Monmouth (c. 1100–1154). Part fiction, part history, and partly based on Celtic folktales, Geoffrey’s work was the first popular source to depict the exploits of King Arthur, a leader believed to have ruled in Britain during the fifth or sixth century. That era falls within the Dark Ages, a period after the Roman Empire retreated from northwestern Europe and the area was assailed by invaders from eastern Europe and Scandinavia. Not much is known about the history of that period.

Geoffrey’s work helped bring attention to myths of the Celtic people, who were overwhelm
ed by Romans and then other invaders during the first six centuries. His recounting of the exploits of King Arthur inspired a trend of tales written and told about Arthur and his knights. The tales were especially popular in the courts of Europe from about 1150 to 1250, and have enjoyed several revivals since. After Arthur received mortal wounds in battle, he was tended to by a maiden and placed aboard a boat bound for Avalon.

The Last Sleep of Arthur In Avalon

The location of Avalon, usually called an island, varies according to which of the many Arthurian tales is being read. Some sources suggest Avalon lies off the coast of Great Britain, or “across the sea,” a term some have interpreted as the Atlantic Ocean, with Avalon possibly being the island of Greenland or a location in North America. Geoffrey likely took the name from “Avallon,” a Celtic term equivalent to “apple place.” Celtic myths had identified a paradise in terms that translate to an “island of apples.”
The old Welsh language, where the word “Avallach” referred to a mythical island, is another possible source. Arran, an island off the coast of Scotland, has been considered a possible model for Avalon. The name Arran derived from “Emhain of the Apple Trees.” Another popular claim for the site of Avalon is Glastonbury, a longtime apple-growing area in England.

(Source : Encyclopedia of Unexplained and Unusual Things)
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Stone Circles At Castlerigg

If Stonehenge is most famous stone circle in Britain, the Castlerigg Stone Circle, near Keswick in the Lake District, must be the most atmospheric. Situated in an open bowl between rolling hills, this Megalithic construction appears as a perfect picture postcard. This is the land of Wordsworth, oleridge and Romantic poetry; but many millennia before, it was home to an equally creative race. The Castlerigg Stone Circle, also known as Keswick Carle or Druid’s Circle, is one of the oldest in Britain. It was built in around 3,000 BC and comprises 38 stones of various heights placed in a slightly oval shape. The largest stone is over 8 feet tall, but the majority of them are less than 5 feet high. Although five of the stones have collapsed, it is a site in remarkably good condition.

It has a feature unique among stone circles in Britain. Inside the ring of rocks, ten smaller stones are placed in a rectangle in anarrangement called ‘The Cave’. There i
s also a slight mound in the centre, which, it has been suggested, is a burial chamber. However, the site has never been properly excavated, and perfunctory archaeological studies have only ever uncovered charcoal deposits.

Like Stonehenge, the site has qualities which make it suitable for use as an astronomical observatory, although an unpolished stone blade found near the circle suggests it may have been used as a centre of trade for the area’s Neolithic axe industry.
There is also a local legend that says the stones were never built to any design, but were actually men turned to rock by fear of a local monster. In all likelihood, it probably formed a focal point for the local community, and may have been used for a combination of commercial, religious and tribal purposes. For now, we can only admire the stunning sight of this early man-made structure placed in an area of unique natural beauty.

(Source : 100 Most Strangest Mysteries by Matt Lamy)
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The Borley Rectory

The haunting phenomena usually began each night in Borley Rectory shortly after Reverend and Mrs. Smith had retired for the evening. They would be lying in bed, and they would hear the sound of heavy footsteps walking past their door. Reverend G. E. Smith soon took to crouching in the darkness outside of their room with a hockey stick gripped firmly in his hands. Several nights he lunged at “something” that passed their door—always without result. Bells began to ring at all hours and became an intolerable nuisance. Hoarse, inaudible whispers sounded over their heads. Small pebbles appeared from nowhere to pelt them. A woman’s voice began to moan from the center of an arch leading to the chapel. Keys popped from their locks and were found several feetfrom their doors.

The Smiths found themselves living in what Dr. Harry Price would soon come to call “the most haunted house in England.” In the summer of 1929, Price answered the plea of the haunted rector and his wife. Leaving London, Price and an assistant drove to the small village of Borley, reviewing what they already knew about the eerie rectory. The building, though constructed in modern times, stood on the site of a medieval monastery whose gloomy old vaults still lay beneath it. Close at hand had been a nunnery, whose rui
ns were much in evidence. About a quarter of a mile away stood a castle where many tragic events had occurred, ending with a siege by Oliver Cromwell.

There was a persistent legend about a nun who had been walled up alive in the nunnery for eloping with a lay brother who had been employed at the monastery. The lay brother, who received the punishment meted out for such sins, was hanged. Inhabitants of the rectory, and severa
l villagers, had reported seeing the veiled nun walking through the grounds. A headless nobleman and a black coach pursued by armed men had also been listed as a frequent phenomenon. The rectory had been built in 1863 by the Reverend Henry Bull (sometimes called Martin in the literature of psychical research). He had fathered 14 children and had wanted a large rectory. He died in the Blue Room in 1892 and was succeeded in occupancy by his son, Harry, who died at the rectory in 1927.

The building was vacant for a few months— while a dozen clergymen refused to take up residence there because of the eerie tales they had heard—until Reverend G. E. Smith and his family accepted the call in 1928. Price, the well-known psychical researcher, did not have to wait long for the phenomena to put on a show for him. Price and his assistant had just shared a lunch with Mr. and Mrs. Smith when a glass candlestick struck an iron stove near the investigator’s head and splashed him with splinters. A mothball came tumbling down the stairwell, followed by a number of pebbles. Price busied himself for the next several days with interviewing the surviving daughters of Henry Bull, the builder of the rectory, and as many former servants as had remained in the village.

The eldest of the three surviving daughters told of seeing the nun appear at a lawn party on a sunny July afternoon. She had approached the phantom and tried to engage it in conversation, but it had disappeared as she had drawn near to it. The sisters swore that the entire family had often seen the nun and that their brother had said that, when dead, he would attempt to manifest himself in the same way. It was their father, Henry Bull, who had bricked up the dining room window so that the family might eat in peace and not be disturbed by the spectral nun peeping in at them. A man who had served as gardener for the Bull family told Price that every night for eight months he and his wife heard footsteps in their rooms over the stables.

Several former maids or grooms testified that they had remained in the employ of the Bulls for only one or two days before they were driven away by the strange occurrences which manifested themselves on the premises. Mrs. Smith was not at all reluctant to admit that she, too, had seen the shadowy figure of a nun walking about the grounds of the rectory. On several occasions, she had hurried to confront the phantom, but it had always disappeared at the sound of her approach. The Smiths left the rectory shortly after Price’s visit. They had both begun to suffer the ill effects of the lack of sleep and the enormous mental strain that had been placed on each of them. Borley Rectory presents an interesting combination of a “haunting” and the phenomenon of poltergeistic activity.

Harry Price maintained that approximately one-half of all hauntings include some type of poltergeistic disturbance. Henry Bull had 14 children who lived in the rectory. Phenomena began to become active about 10 years after he had moved into the rectory with his family. It is also interesting to record that the phenomena reached new heights of activity when the Reverend Lionel Algernon Foyster, a cousin of the Bull family, took up residence in the Rectory on October 16, 1930. The reverend brought with him his wife, Marianne, and his four-year-old daughter Adelaide. (Many accounts of Borley Rectory refer to the Foysters as Rev. B. and Marianne Morrison.) The Foysters had lived there only a few days when Mrs. Foyster heard a voice softly calling, “Marianne, dear.” The words were repeated many times, and, thinking her husband was summoning her, she ran upstairs. Foyster had not spoken a word, he told her, but he, too, had heard the calling voice. Once, Mrs. Foyster laid her wristwatch by her side as she prepared to wash herself in the bathroom. When she completed her washing, she reached for the watch and discovered that the band had been removed. It was never returned.

Reverend Foyster was quick to realize that the weird tales that he had heard about Borley Rectory had all been true. He could hardly deny them in view of such dramatic evidence. He was not frightened, however, as he felt protected by his Christian faith. He used a holy relic to quiet the disturbances when they became particularly violent and remained calm enough to keep a detailed journal of the phenomena that he and his family witnessed. Marianne Foyster received the full fury of the haunting’s attack from the beginning of their occupancy. One night, while carrying a candle on the way to their bedroom, she received such a violent blow in the eye that it produced a cut and a black bruise that was visible for several days.

A hammerhead was thrown at her one night as she prepared for bed. She received a blow from a piece of metal that was hurled down a flight of stairs. Another time, she narrowly missed being struck by a flat iron, which smashed the chimney of the lamp that she was carrying. In addition to persecuting Mrs. Foyster, the entity seemed determined to establish contact with her. Messages were found scrawled on the walls: “Marianne…please… get help.” (See picture below)

The entity may or may not have been suggesting that the Foysters once again bring Dr. Harry Price upon the scene. At any rate, that is exactly what they did. Advised by the Bull sisters of the famed investigator’s interest in the Borley phenomena, Reverend Foyster wrote to London to inform Price of renewed activity in the rectory.

Price gained permission to stay in the rectory with two friends, and upon arrival, the researcher and his party once again examined the house from attic to cellar. The haunting wasted no time in welcoming the returning investigator. While he was examining an upstairs room, an empty wine bottle hurled itself through the air, narrowly missing him. The party was brought back down to the kitchen by the screams of their chauffeur, who had remained behind to enjoy a leisurely smoke. The distraught man insisted that he had seen a large, black hand crawl across the kitchen floor. During conversation, Mrs. Foyster disclosed that she had seen the “monster” that had been causing all the eerie disturbances. Reverend Foyster showed Price the entry that he had made in his journal on March 28 when his wife had confronted the entity while ascending a staircase. She had described it as a monstrosity—black, ugly, and ape-like. It had reached out and touched her on the shoulder. Price later learned that others had seen the creature on different occasions.

The Foysters also told Price and his team that the phenomena had begun to produce items that they had never seen before. A small tin trunk had appeared in the kitchen when the family was eating supper. A powder box and a wedding ring materialized in the bathroom, and, after they had been put away in a drawer, the ring disappeared overnight. Stonethrowing had become common, and Reverend Foyster complained of finding stones in their bed and under their pillows as well. Although Reverend Foyster was a brave man, he had never enjoyed good health nor the kind of stamina necessary to outlast a full-scale haunting.

The Foysters endured the phenomena at the rectory for five years before leaving in October of 1935. After the Foysters left, the bishop decreed that the place was for sale. In May of 1937, Harry Price learned that the rectory was empty and offered to lease the place for a year as a kind of ghost laboratory. His sum was accepted, and the investigator enlisted a crew of 40 assistants, mostly men, who would take turns living in the rectory for a period of one year. Price outfitted the place and issued a booklet that told his army of researchers how to correctly observe and record any phenomena that might manifest themselves. Shortly after the investigators began to arrive, strange pencil-like writings began to appear on the walls. Each time a new marking was discovered, it would be carefully circled and dated. Two researchers reported seeing new writing form while they were busy ringing and dating another. It appeared that the entity missed Mrs. Foyster. “Marianne…Marianne… ” it wrote over and over again. “Marianne… prayers…please help.”

The organized investigators were quick to discover a phenomenon that had not been noted by any of the rectors who had lived in Borley. This was the location of a “cold spot” in one of the upstairs passages. Certain people began to shiver and feel faint whenever they passed through it. Another “cold spot” was discovered on the landing outside of the Blue Room. Thermometers indicated the temperature of these areas to be fixed at about 48 degrees, regardless of what the temperature of the rest of the house may have been. The phantom nun was seen three times in one evening by one observer, but was not noticed at all by any of the other investigators. A strange old cloak kept the researchers baffled by continually appearing and disappearing. Several of Price’s crew reported being touched by unseen hands.

On the last day of Harry Price’s tenancy on May 19, 1938, Marianne Foyster’s missing wedding ring once again materialized. The investigator snatched it up, lest it disappear, and brought it home to London with him. In late 1938, the Borley Rectory was purchased by a Captain W. H. Gregson, who renamed it “The Priory.” He was not at all disturbed by warnings that the place was haunted, but he was upset when his faithful old dog went wild with terror on the day they moved in and ran away, never to be seen again. He was also mildly concerned with the strange track of unidentified footprints that circled the house in fresh fallen snow. The tracks were not caused by any known animal, the captain swore, nor had any human made them. He followed the tracks for a time until they mysteriously disappeared into nothingness. Captain Gregson did not have long to puzzle out the enigma of Borley. At midnight on February 27, 1939, the “most haunted house in England” was completely gutted by flames. Gregson testified later that a number of books had flown from their places on the shelves and knocked over a lamp, which had immediately exploded into flame.

Borley Rectory has remained one of the most haunted houses in Britain, but in December 2000, Louis Mayerling, who claimed Borley was a second home to him until it burned in 1939, wrote a book entitled We Faked the Ghosts of Borley Rectory in which he claimed that Harry Price and the world had been taken in by hoaxsters. Mayerling states that he first arrived at Borley in 1918 to find Rev. Harry Bull and his family taking great delight in perpetuating local folklore about a phantom nun and other paranormal activity. According to the author, the Foysters were also in on the hoax, encouraging Mayerling, a teenager at the time, to walk around the gardens at dusk in a black cape.Mayerling admits that there was one incident he was unable to explain. On Easter in 1935, the acclaimed playwright George Bernard Shaw; T. E. Lawrence, the famous “Lawrence of Arabia”; Sir Montagu Norman, Governor of the Bank of England; and Bernard Spilsbury, the Home Office criminal forensic scientist—all believers in the haunting phenomena at Borley—joined Mayerling and Marianne Foyster for a seance at the rectory. All at once, Mayerling recalls, all the kitchen bells clanged as one and a brilliant silver-blue light seemed to implode around them from the walls and the ceilings.

From his previous experience creating eerie sounds and noises in the rectory, Mayerling knew that it was impossible to make all the bells sound at once and he had no idea what had caused the lightning-like flash around them. He was, in fact, blinded by the phenomenon and eventually recovered sight in only one eye. Shaw and Norman refused to stay the night after such a violent display of the paranormal, and Mayerling confesses in his book that memory of the experience still set his spine to tingling. Mayerling’s confession of pranks during the occupancy of the Bull and Foyster families does not explain the extensive phenomena reported by Price’s team of researchers during its year-long observation of the rectory nor the manifestations noted by Gregson after he assumed ownership of Borley. Since the admitted pranksters were not present at the rectory during those years, the authenticity of the haunting of Borley will remain a controversial subject among psychical researchers.

(Source : Encyclopedia of the Unusual and Unexplained Things)
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