Benandanti The Good Walkers

One of the strangest cases in the files of the Italian Inquisition is the case of the benandanti (Italian for “good walkers”), a secret society of peasant magicians in the region of Friuli, in the far northeast of Italy. The benandanti first came to the attention of the Catholic authorities in 1575, when a member of the society was brought before the Inquisition on an unrelated charge. The Benandanti claimed to travel out of their bodies while asleep to struggle against malevolent witches (streghe / malandanti) in order to ensure good crops for the season to come. The special powers of the benandanti gave them the ability to heal illnesses and lift curses, but their central duty was the nocturnal battle against the malandanti. The inquisitors were completely baffled by what they learned, as it did not match official portrayals of Satanism or pagan religion. Investigations continued in a desultory way for the next three-quarters of a century, with over a hundred benandanti finding themselves hauled before the Inquisition and grilled about their beliefs.

The Benandanti, who included both males and females, were individuals who believed that they ensured the protection of their community and its crops. According to their testimony, children born with a caul (a portion of the amniotic sac) on their head were destined to become benandanti. On the ember days – the days to either side of the solstices and equinoxes – they left their physical bodies behind and traveled in animal form to the Vale of Josaphat at the center of the world (similar with Werewolf). There, using fennel stalks as their weapons, they battled the malandanti or “evil walkers,” sorcerers armed with sorghum stalks. If the benandanti won, the harvest would be good; if the malandanti won, the crops would fail.

Location of the historical region Friuli in Italy

As historian of medieval culture Carlo Ginzburg has pointed out, the records of the benandanti are of high importance because they document one form of a tradition – found all over medieval Europe in various guises – of nocturnal journeys in animal form, often in the company of a goddess. Ginzburg noted that whether the benandanti were themselves witches or not was an area of confusion in the earliest records. Whilst they combated the malevolent witches and helped heal those who were believed to have been harmed through witchcraft, they also joined the witches on their nocturnal journeys, and the miller Pietro Rotaro was recorded as referring to them as "benandanti witches"; for this reason the priest Don Bartolomeo Sgabarizza, who recorded Rotaro's testimony, believed that while the benandanti were witches, they were 'good' witches who tried to protect their communities from the bad witches who would harm children. Ginzburg remarked that it was this contradiction in the relationship between the benandanti and the malevolent witches that ultimately heavily influenced their persecution at the hands of the Inquisition.

The Inquisition office in Friuli, as elsewhere in Italy, rejected the use of torture and gave accused persons certain legal rights rare north of the Alps. As a result, very few of the benandanti faced serious punishment; most were let off with penances and a stern warning to abandon their supposedly superstitious beliefs. The last trial involving benandanti was in 1644; after that time, faced with more serious threats to Catholic orthodoxy, the Friulian Inquisition abandoned the issue and no further investigations were ordered.

The Element Encyclopedia of Secret Societies: "The Ultimate A-Z of Ancient Mysteries, Lost Civilizations and Forgotten Wisdom" by John Michael Greer;

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Otzi the Mysterious Ice Man

On 19 September 1991, near the border between Italy and Austria, two German hikers named Helmut and Erika Simon made one of the most incredible discoveries of the 20th century. High in the desolate Otztal Alps, they saw a frozen body with face lying down in the ice. At first they thought they had found the remains of a mountaineer who had died in a fall, immediately the couple informed the authorities, who arranged to visit the site the following day. Next day, the Austrian police arrived at the site and began, somewhat clumsily, to remove the body from its frozen grave. During its extraction from the ice, some of the body's clothing was shredded, a hole was punched in the hip with a jackhammer, and its left arm was snapped while attempting to force the body into a coffin.

The mysterious body which later they called it Otzi, was transported to the University of Innsbruck, where a careful examination revealed that it was definitely not a modern mountaineer. Surprisingly, radiocarbon dating showed that the remains were of a man who had died around 3200 B.C. (in the Late Neolithic period) and was thus the oldest preserved human body ever discovered. Further examinations of Otzi, by current estimates, at the time of his death Ötzi was approximately 1.65 metres (5 ft 5 in) tall, weighed about 50 kg and was about 45 years of age. When his body was found, it weighed 13.750 kg. However, the cause of his death remained a mystery. Analysis of his stomach contents revealed the remains of two meals, the last eaten about eight hours before he died and consisting of a piece of unleavened bread made of einkorn wheat, some roots, and red deer meat. Analysis of extremely well-preserved pollen from the intestines revealed that Otzi died in late spring or early summer.

Otzi the Iceman

Otzi had a total of 57 tattoos on his body, comprising small parallel stripes and crosses, which were made with a charcoal-based pigment. The result was a series of lines and crosses mostly located on parts of the body that are prone to injury or pain, such as the joints and along the back. This has led some researchers to believe that the tattoos marked acupuncture points.

The remains of the Ice Man's clothing were fairly well-preserved by the ice. When he died, Otzi was wearing shoes made from a combination of bearskin soles and a top of deer hide and tree bark, with soft grass stuffed inside for warmth. He also wore a woven grass cloak, which he probably also used as a blanket, and a leather vest and fur cap. Alongside the body, various articles, which the Ice Man had been carrying with him on his last journey, were also discovered. These items consisted of a copper axe with a yew handle, an unfinished yew longbow, a deerskin quiver with two flint-tipped arrows and 12 unfinished shafts, a flint knife and scabbord, a calfskin belt pouch, a medicine bag containing medicinal fungus, a flint and pyrite for creating sparks, a goat-fur rucksack, and a tassel with a stone bead. All of this was invaluable material for painting a picture of the life and death of the Ice Man. High levels of copper and arsenic also found in Otzi's hair show that he had taken part in copper smelting, probably making his own weapons and tools.

The first widely held theory as to why the Ice Man was travelling alone up in the Otztal Alps (and how he met his death) was that he was a shepherd who had been taking care of his flock in an upland pasture. The hypothesis was that he had been caught in an unseasonable storm and found shelter in the shallow gully where he was found. A variant on this theory, proposed by Dr. Konrad Spindler, leader of the scientific investigation into the Ice Man, was based on early x-rays of the body taken at Innsbruck. These x-rays appear to show broken ribs on the body's right side, which Spindler believed were the result of some kind of fight which Otzi had become involved in while returning to his home village with his sheep. Although Otzi had escaped the battle with his life, he eventually died of the injuries. But new examinations of the body in 2001 by scientists at a laboratory in Bolanzo showed that the ribs had been bent out of shape after death, due to snow and ice pressing against the ribcage.

Later it was speculated that Ötzi may have been a victim of a ritual sacrifice, perhaps for being a chieftain. This explanation was inspired by theories previously advanced for the first millennium BCE bodies recovered from peat bogs such as the Tollund Man and the Lindow Man.

A CAT scan of the body showed a foreign object located near the shoulder, in the shape of an arrow. Further examinations revealed that Otzi had a flint arrowhead lodged in his shoulder. The Ice Man had been murdered. A small tear discovered in Otzi's coat appears to be where the arrow entered the body. In June 2002, the same team of scientists discovered a deep wound on the Ice Man's hand, and further bruises and cuts on his wrists and chest, seemingly defensive wounds, all inflicted only hours before his death. Fascinatingly, DNA analysis shows traces of blood from four separate people on Otzi's clothes and weapons: one sequence from his knife blade, two different sequences from the same arrowhead, and a fourth from his goatskin coat.

According to Walter Leitner of the Institute for Ancient and Early History at the University of Innsbruck in Austria, Otzi may have been a Shaman. Leitner believes that, because copper was a scarce material in the Late Neolithic period, only someone of great importance in the community would have owned a copper axe. Shamans are also known to commune with the spirit world in remote locations, such as high mountains. Leitner thinks, he probably murdered by a rival group from the same community who wanted to assume power.

Lorenzo Dal Ri, director of the archaeological office of the Bolzano province, believes that the Ice Man's death may actually have been recorded on an ancient stone stela. The decorated stone, of roughly the same age as the Ice Man, had been used to build the altar of a church in Laces, a town close to the area where the discovery of Otzi was made. One of the many carvings on the stela shows an archer poised to fire an arrow into the back of another unarmed man who appears to be running away. Although there is no direct evidence to link the stone with the murder of the Ice Man, the resemblance between the carved image and the death of Otzi is uncanny.

In February 2006, further light was thrown on the Ice Man when Dr. Franco Rollo (of the University of Camerino in Italy) and colleagues examined mitochondrial DNA (DNA only inherited through the mother) taken from cells in the Ice Man's intestines. The team's conclusion was that Otzi may have been infertile. Dr. Rollo hypothesized that the social implications of his not being able to father offspring may have been a factor in the circumstances which led to his death.

There are still many unanswered questions about the life and death of Otzi. Since his discovery in 1991, Otzi has achieved such popularity that he even has his own version of the "Curse of Tutankhamun." The allegation revolves around the deaths of several people connected to the discovery, recovery and subsequent examination of Ötzi. Because they have died under mysterious circumstances. These persons include co-discoverer Helmut Simon, and Konrad Spindler who died in April 2005, apparently from complications arising from multiple sclerosis; and the Iceman's original discoverer, 67-year-old Helmut Simon, who plunged 300 feet to his death in the Austrian Alps, in October 2004. Incidentally Dieter Warnecke, one of the men who found Simon's frozen body, died of a heart attack shortly after Simon's funeral. To date, the deaths of seven people, of which four were the result of some violence in the form of accidents, have been attributed to the alleged curse. Apparently the latest victim was 63-year-old molecular archaeologist Tom Loy, the discoverer of the human blood on Otzi's clothes and weapons, who died in mysterious circumstances in Australia in October 2005.

However, sceptics argue that the death seven people associated with the Ice Man is not a particularly unusual amount, they also point out that mountaineers naturally have a high rate of mortality due to the dangers of their pursuit. Now Otzi's body and belongings are displayed in the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bozen Bolzano, Italy.

Hidden History: "Lost Civilizations, Secret Knowledge and Ancient Mysteries" by Brian Haughton;

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The Haunted Store in Crawley

The Asda store in Crawley, West Sussex, built in 2003 on the site of the demolished St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church is said by staff and customers to be haunted, because there was also an old graveyard nearby the church which already been removed. Before the store was open 24 hours, the night staff often spoke of other-worldly occurrences after closing time. Items have also been seen flying off shelves. Unexplained phenomena experienced ranges from strange noises, dramatic drops in temperature, flickering lights, and ghostly figures. Workers have reported numerous ghoulish going-ons including a man in a black cape walking around the aisles.

Store manager Mark Winterflood said: "Some very spooky happenings are reported in here on a regular basis. "One of the most common is a tall man who wears a massive black coat and black hat strolling through the centre aisles of the store before disappearing.

The Haunted Asda Store
"We never used to be a 24-hour store, and when the store shut up for the night, that's when the majority of the sightings would happen. It would really freak the overnight workers out.

"When the site was a church, the graveyard was situated near where the bakery and warehouses are, and that is where the majority of things have been reported."

A staff member said: "there is something weird going on. Things seem to happen especially when staff are on their own in a room. They say they feel like they are being watched, then a heavy safety door will randomly shut."

Later, the store managers called in a Pagan priest in order to try and exorcise the ghosts, one of whom is believed to be a serial killer buried in the old church's graveyard.

Paranormal Magazine Issue 55 January 2011: "Sightings - Trouble In Store";
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The Thirsty UFOs

A number of UFOs have been noted hovering over bodies of water and apparently lowering a tube down to the water and “sucking it up.” These so-called “thirsty UFOs” may be using water to power their craft, may simply need to replenish the on-board water supply much as a commercial jetliner, or, it has been speculated, may be taking water to UFO bases on the Moon.

On July 25, 1952 in Vico, Italy, a man who was fishing in the Serchio River saw a disk hovering for 10 min. From it hung a hose that plunged into the water. The object was 20 m in diameter, with five propellers in the rear and a dome with something like blades on top. An orange glow could be seen through slits along the deck.

A man wearing a diving helmet looked at the witness through a window, and he received a kind of electric shock as a "green ray" hit him. He looked up with difficulty, in time to see the object fly away toward the east. Six days later, a stranger with a foreign accent contacted the witness and intimidated him.

In 1960, another sighting occurred in Syracuse New York when an electronics engineer was fishing, suddenly he heard a shrill, whirring sound and saw a round object, with a rotating light on top, land on the shore.

The sound gradually stopped, an opening became visible, and two dwarfs with oversized heads came out with a hose and pumped water from the river. Their bodies glowed with lights of changing colors.

On the sunny July morning in 1965, John Hembling, geologist and exploration manager for a mining company, and a companion geologist stepped from a helicopter atop a mountain ridge in north-central British Columbia they expected it would be another routine day of reconnaissance and survey. But on this particular day they were to have the unexpected opportunity of making a study of a much different sort. "It was about 10 o'clock and we had just set up our equipment after the helicopter left," said Hembling, "when we saw a silvery object, shining in the sun, appear over a small ridge below us. It had a flattened-out look and our first reaction was that it was some kind of delta-wing aircraft. We soon realized it was not."

Facing west away from the sun, with the object below them about half a mile away, they had a clear view of what was happening.

"The object was about 50 ft. in diameter," he said. "On top of its dome there was a little knob, and around the base of the dome there were circular markings. They might have been some kind of riveting, or even windows. They were a bit too small to tell.

"Below these, on the face of the disc itself, there were larger rectangular markings which could have been glass or metallic. Our impression was that they were windows. As far as we could see, there were three of them."

UFO lowers transparent tube to water
            (computer art by Darklanser).
As the two men watched in astonishment, the object moved slowly across the ridge until it was above a small glacial lake, barely more than a pond. Hovering there an instant, it then descended to less than 50ft. above the water. Again it hovered and, to the men's further amazement, lowered a pipe-like instrument from its underside into the water. "At first we thought it was something like a rope-ladder," Hembling said, "but it didn't just drop down. It came out smoothly and steadily as if under mechanical control."

During this procedure the observers were conscious of a humming sound from the object "like a quiet electric motor." With its appendage in the lake, the disc then rotated slowly like a water-borne top until its "windows" faced the two men.

After remaining in that position for about eight minutes---as the men judged it--the object withdrew its "pipe" as carefully as it had lowered it.

"It climbed slowly, then all of a sudden it was off," Hembling said. "It shot over the ridge, made a sharp turn without skidding and was out of sight in about 20 seconds. We figured it had gone 20 or 25 miles by the time it disappeared." That would give it a speed of at least 3,600 m.p.h.

In 1969, Voronov, Russia, Heinrich Ivanovich was driving his motorcycle along the Kama River near a wooded area. On the side of the road he noticed a man who suddenly raised his hand as if saluting.

Ivanovich slowed his motorbike and approached the stranger. As he approached he noticed a strange disc-shaped object on the ground close to the stranger. The stranger wore a grayish-metallic overall with thick-soled boots. The man did not wear a hat and had a short haircut. On his left hand he held a hose-like implement, which was apparently extracting water from the Kama River.

He approached the stranger and both conversed in the Russian language mostly about the propulsion of the object. They also spoke about space constellations. At the end of the encounter the stranger asked Ivanovich to stay back from the object and to just observe it take off. The object had a semi-transparent green colored globular dome on top.

As the stranger approached the object a door appeared on the dome and he entered it, then shut the door. The external disc immediately began to revolve and its outer rim became invisible. The object then rose into the sky and instantly disappeared into thin air.

On May 22, 1973, Japanese student Masaaki Kudou had taken a summer job as a security guard at Tomakomai, on the island of Hokkaido (Japan), at a timber yard near the sea. After a routine patrol around the site that clear, starry night he parked his patrol car, turned off its lights and looked over the lumberyard and the bay beyond.

What seemed at first to be a shooting star coming down toward the bay, suddenly stopped in its tracks, vanished, reappeared, and began to gyrate slowly down over the bay. It stopped about 70 feet (21m) above the water and then lowered a transparent tube toward the water with a soft sound (described as “min-min-min”). When the tube reached the water, it began to glow. The tube was withdrawn, and the UFO moved to hover over Kudou’s car. Everything around the car was lit up like day. Kudou was afraid the UFO would attack or even kill him.

Leaning over to watch through his windshield, Kudou saw that the UFO was perfectly smooth and glowing white, with windows around it. He could see the shape of humanoid figures through the windows. More brightly lit UFOs and a large, brown cylinder now joined the first. The spheres maneuvered and vanished into the cylinder, which then sped north. Kudou, who felt as if he had been bound hand and foot, regained his senses. His car radio was making static and he had a severe headache. The entire event lasted about 12 minutes.

Another thirsty UFO popped up on September 30, 1980 at the White Acres Ranch, near Rosedale, Victoria, Australia. The White Acres Ranch is a cattle station of about 600 acres with several large water tanks. On that night, George Blackwell, a station hand and caretaker, awoke about 1 A.M. to the sound of the farm’s cattle going wild. He could hear a “strange screeching whistling” as well, and got up to investigate. The moon was out on that night and there was no wind at all. Blackwell saw a domed object about 15 feet tall and 25 feet broad with white top and blue and orange lights. For a while it hovered over a water tank made of concrete about 450 yards from the house. It then came to rest on the ground 20 yards further on.

Blackwell drove a motorcycle to within 50 feet of the craft. There was no effect on his motorcycle, but the whistling from the UFO suddenly rose to deafening heights, and suddenly there was a loud bang and the craft lifted off. At the same time, a blast of hot air nearly knocked Blackwell over. The UFO dropped some debris as it flew away eastward at the low altitude of only about 100 feet. Blackwell examined the site early the next day and found a ring of blackened grass, flattened in a counter-clockwise direction. Inside the ring was green grass, but the flowers had disappeared. In a line to the east was a trail of debris which comprised some small rocks, weeds and cow dung.

For days afterward Blackwell suffered headaches and nausea, and his watch refused to work normally. Most importantly, Blackwell had discovered the water tank that the UFO had been hovering over had been completely emptied of the 10,000 gallons of water that it had originally held!

In the last 30 years, new sightings have occurred and new information on old sightings has come forth through the Freedom of Information Acts in the U.S., Britain and Australia. “Experts,” as usual, were baffled, especially that high-tech “aliens” would need to slurp up sea water in a Japanese bay. Why do aliens, or their craft, need something so plentiful as water? Could their craft actually be powered by water?

Atlantis Rising Magazine vol. 55 : "Underwater Bases and Alien Civiliation-Is the Answer to the UFO Enigma to Be Found Deep Beneath the Sea? by David H. Childress";;;;

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Atlantis Rising Magazine vol. 55 page 59
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The Mysterious Solway Spaceman

On 23 May 1964, Cumbrian fireman named Jim Templeteon took his wife and daughter for a picnic on the shores of the Solway Firth which separates part of Scotland from England. It was a bright spring day and he took several photographs. After the film was developed, Jim was surprised to find an anomalous figure on just one of the snaps, apparently floating in mid-air behind his daughter's shoulder. The Cumberland News published the image, dubbed it as the 'Solway Spaceman' or also known as 'Solway Firth Spaceman', and Templeton achieved notoriety, with his photo appearing in numerous books, magazines and TV documentaries to the present day.

A few weeks later after the photograph was published, Jim Templeton received two mysterious visitors who claimed to be from the government, and they refused to show their identification to him. He had never heard of Men In Black (the subject was almost unknown in Britain then). But the two men who came to his house in a large Jaguar car wore dark suits and otherwise looked normal. The weird thing about them was their behavior. They only referred to one another by numbers and asked the most unusual questions as they drove Jim out to the marshes. They wanted to know in minute detail about the weather on the day of the photograph, the activities of local bird life and odd asides like that.

Then they tried to make him admit that he had just photographed an ordinary man walking past. Jim responded politely, but nevertheless rejected their idea, at which they became irrationally angry and hustled themselves into the car, driving off and leaving him.

Jim Templeton's Photograph
(Solway Firth Spaceman, 1964)
Kodak's laboratories tested the negative and claimed the image was of a solid object external to the camera. Although nothing was seen in the sky, tales of 'Men in Black' visitations led the 'Solway Spaceman' to become part of UFO-lore. Templeton always claimed that he could see no one else in the viewfinder of his camera when he took the photograph, emphasizing the anomalous nature of the image. But a new theory suggests this way because the camera he used, a Pentacon F SLR, only revealed 70% of what the lens was capturing. This being the case, he failed to notice Annie, his wife walking briefly into shot, and making her mark in history. At that time the photo was taken, Annie was wearing a pale blue dress on the day in question, which was overexposed as white in the other photos taken that day. She also had dark, bobbed hair. Using photo software to darken the image and straighten the horizon, the spaceman increasingly appears to be the figure of a normal person viewed from behind. This is a vaguely plausible, scientific-theory.

Interestingly, in a BBC Look North interview and a letter to The Daily Mail, Templeton also claimed that a Blue Streak missile launch at the Woomera Test Range in South Australia had been aborted because the figures of two large men were seen on the firing range. Templeton alleged that technicians later saw his photograph in an Australian newspaper and found the figures to be exactly the same.

Jim died in 2011, but the mystery of his photo has survived him. Numerous explanations have been put forward over the years from hoaxing to an alien astronaut.

Fortean Times Magazine vol. 305: "Solway Spaceman Solved?" by Andy Roberts & David Clarke;

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Mystery of the Wheels of Light

On May 15, 1879, on a clear night, the captain of the H.M.S.Vulture recorded an extraordinary phenomenon called the "Wheels of light", which was observed in the Persian Gulf:

"I noticed luminous waves or pulsations in the water, moving at great speed and passing under the ship from the south-south-west. On looking towards the east, the appearance was that of a revolving wheel with center on that bearing, and whose spokes were illuminated, and looking towards the west a similar wheel appeared to be revolving, but in the opposite direction. I then went to the top (fifty feet above water) with the first lieutenant, and saw that the luminous waves or pulsations were really traveling parallel to each other, and that their apparently rotatory motion, as seen from the deck, was caused by their high speed and the greater angular motion of the nearer than the more remote part of the waves. The light of these waves looked homogeneous, and lighter, but not so sparkling, as phosphorescent appearances at sea usually are, and extended from the surface well under water; they lit up the white bottoms of the quarter-boats in passing. I judged them to be twenty-five feet broad, with dark intervals of about seventy-five between each, or 100 from crest to crest, and their period was seventy-four to seventy-five per minute, giving a speed roughly of eighty-four English miles an hour.

From this height of fifty feet, looking with or against their direction, I could only distinguish six or seven waves; but, looking along them as they passed under the ship, the luminosity showed much further. The phenomenon was beautiful and striking, commencing at about 6h. 3m. Greenwich mean time [9:40 p.m. local time], and lasting some thirty-five minutes. The direction from which the luminous waves traveled changed from south-south-west by degrees to south-east and to east. During the last five minutes concentric waves appeared to emanate from a spot about 200 yards east, and these meeting the parallel waves from south-east did not cross, but appeared to obliterate each other at the moving point of contact, and approached the ship, inclosing an angle about 90 degrees."
One year later, passing between Oyster Reed and Pigeon Island in the Indian Ocean late on a calm, starlit January evening in 1880, Commander R. E.Harris and other crew members of the steamship Shahihehan saw a similar phenomenon. Harris’ account was published in the Calcutta Englishman on January 21:

"I . . . observed a streak of white matter on the horizon bearing south-south-west. I then went to the bridge and drew the third officer’s attention to it. In a few minutes it had assumed the shape of a segment of a circle measuring about 45 degrees in length and several degrees in altitude about its center...We were steaming to the southward, and as the bank of light extended, one of its arms crossed our path. The whole thing appeared so foreign to anything I had ever seen, and so wonderful, that I stopped the ship just on its outskirts, so that I might try to form a true and just conception of what it really was. By this time all the officers and engineers had assembled on deck to witness the scene, and were all equally astonished and interested. Some little time before the first body of light reached the ship I was enabled, with my night glasses, to resolve in a measure what appeared, to the unassisted eye, a huge mass of nebulous matter. I distinctly saw spaces between what again appeared to be waves of light of great luster. These came rolling on with ever-increasing rapidity till they reached the ship, and in a short time the ship was completely surrounded with one great body of undulating light, which soon extended to the horizon on all sides.

On looking into the water it was seen to be studded with patches of faint, luminous, inanimate matter, measuring about two feet in diameter. Although these emitted a certain amount of light, it was most insignificant when compared with the great waves of light that were floating on the surface of the water, and which were at this time converging upon the ship. The waves stood many degrees above the water, like a highly luminous mist, and obscured by their intensity the distant horizon; and as wave succeeded wave in rapid succession, one of the most grand and brilliant, yet solemn, spectacles that one could ever think of was here witnessed. In speaking of waves of light I do not wish to convey the idea that they were mere ripplings, which are sometimes caused by fish passing through a phosphorescent sea, but waves of great length and breadth, or in other words, great bodies of light. If the sea could be converted into a huge mirror and thousands of powerful electric lights were made to throw their rays across it, it would convey no adequate idea of this strange yet grand phenomenon.

As the waves of light converged upon the ship from all sides they appeared higher than her hull, and looked as if they were about to envelop her, and as they impinged upon her, her sides seemed to collapse and expand.

Whilst this was going on the ship was perfectly at rest, and the water was like a millpond. After about half an hour had elapsed the brilliance of the light somewhat abated, and there was a great paucity of faint lustrous patches which I have before referred to, but still the body of light was gone, and, if emanating from these patches, was out of all proportion to their number. This light I do not think could have been produced without the agency of electro-magnetic currents exercising their exciting influence upon some organic animal or vegetable substance; and one thing I wish to point out is, that whilst the ship was stopped and the light yet some distance away, nothing was discernible in the water, but so soon as the light reached the ship a number of luminous patches presented themselves, and as these were equally as motionless as the ship at the time, it is only natural to assume that they existed and were actually in our vicinity before the light reached us, only they were not made visible till they became the transmitting media for the electro-magnetic currents. This hypothesis is borne out by the fact that each wave of light in its passage was distinctly seen to pass over them in succession, and as the light became gradually less brilliant, they also became less distinct, and had actually disappeared so soon as the waves of light ceased to exist."

This illustration depicts a display of light seen by Captain Gabe of the steamer Bintang on the surface of the Strait of Malacca in June 1909. (Courtesy Fortean Picture Library.)
Such unexplained phenomena continue to be seen to the present day, mostly (though not exclusively) in the Indian Ocean. Sometimes they appear in association with luminous parallel bars, as in this September 27, 1959, incident from the East Indian Archipelago. This account appeared in the journal Marine Observer in 1960:

"The first indication of anything unusual was the appearance of white caps on the sea here and there,which made me think that the wind had freshened, but I could feel that this was not so. Then flashing beams appeared over the water,which made the Officer on watch think that the fishing boats were using powerful flashlights. These beams of light became more intense and appeared absolutely parallel, about 8 ft wide, and could be seen coming from right ahead at about 1/2 sec intervals. At this time, I thought I could hear a swish as they passed, but decided that this was imagination. They did not appear like rings or arcs of a circle, unless it was a circle so big as to make them appear as straight lines. It was like the pedestrian’s angle of a huge zebra crossing passing under him whilst he is standing still. While this part of the phenomenon was at its height it looked as if huge seas were dashing towards the vessel, and the sea surface appeared to be boiling, but it was more or less normal around a fishing vessel which we passed fairly close. 
The lights of various fishing vessels were visible through the beams of light, though dimmed by the brightness of the latter. The character of the flashes changed and took on the appearance of beams from a lighthouse situated about two miles on the starboard bow, or as if the center of a giant wheel was somewhere on the starboard bow with the beams as its spokes. As the beams from the vessel on the starboard bow weakened, the same pattern appeared on the port bow at the same distance and regularity. The wheel on the starboard bow revolved anticlockwise and the one on the port bow revolved clockwise, i.e. both wheels were revolving towards the ship. The wheel on the starboard bow diminished as the one on the port bow increased; when the latter was at its peak the one on the starboard bow had disappeared. The next change was that the beams appeared to be travelling in the exact course of the ship, i.e., the beams now seen were a reversal of those seen at first.

More than a hundred well-attested sightings like these have been recorded in the last century and a half. To the extent that scientists have paid attention, they have been forced to acknowledge that these phenomena seem to defy explanation. Nearly all witnesses and commentators agree that the glow comes from bioluminescent organisms in the sea. The problem is explaining what triggers the luminescence and what causes the organisms to manifest in long-lasting, fast-moving, stable, complex geometric patterns. 
Not surprisingly, these marine apparitions have inspired speculation about “vast wheel-like super-constructions,” in the words of Charles Fort. Fort’s disciple Ivan T. Sanderson theorized that “some source of energy starts broadcasting some invisible ‘waves’ on the electromagnetic (or other) spectrum which stimulate or activate the light-producing mechanisms of the Noctiluca [single-celled bioluminescent sea creatures]. . . . [This] energy is broadcast in the form of a series of radiating bands whose source of origin is revolving; we would then have a progressive and, to our eyes, instantaneous turning on and off of the Noctiluca as the beams swept by them.”

Such speculations would be more compelling if, for one thing, witnesses reported the kind of water displacement one would expect from the rapid passage, not far under the surface, of a vast structure. Instead witnesses insist on the sea’s placidity during the sighting.

In September 1961, near Leba, Poland, a resort on the Baltic Sea coast. Late one evening a vacationer, Czeslaw Kawecki, on a walk through the sand dunes that separate the sea from an inland lake, stopped to look out on the Baltic. After a short time he turned to go, only to hear a sound of rushing waters. He whirled around in time to see something rising out of the water 100 yards away. “It looked like a round hill — pushed up from beneath,” he said. “Then splashes of water gushed from the top and [something] like fountain jets fell around the ‘hole’ in the waves. From this opening in the water emerged an object which at first I took to be an elongated triangle. . . .

[T]he object rose a few meters and hovered above the same spot, and there was now a whirlpool of water rushing inwards with a loud sucking and gurgling noise. The object itself was black and silent.”

Leonard G. Cramp gives this account in his Piece for a Jig-Saw (1966):

"Suddenly there appeared a belt of steady white light segmented by a number of convex dark streaks. This light made glowing reflections on the lower rim of the object. It also lighted considerably the upper rim and all the rest. Now it became apparent that “the thing” had the shape of a huge funnel with two rims, separated by a belt of segmented light. About half way up the upper part was a thin strip of something whiter than the rest, of a rather dark body. The slim end of this “funnel” had a rounded top, from which protruded a stump, thinning upwards, and bent in the middle on one side.

The stillness of this object lasted about a minute . . . then, there appeared the glow of a second light under the object. Also a white one, but much stronger and sharper than that emitted by the segmented belt and almost immediately the “funnel” tilted slowly northwards revealing the bottom. After remaining in this position for about half a minute without changing, it glided about 50 meters eastwards, stopped but soon glided back and stopped again. All the time the bottom of the object was visible and consisted of a dark circular perimeter corresponding to the lower (and wider) rim of the “funnel.” Towards the center was a wide ring of strong white light, with a number of dark, hook-shaped streaks upon it. Next was a dark ring with three evenly spaced triangular spokes, which protruded over half the width of the lit, streaky ring. Finally, there was a central disc which looked as if it was made of highly polished silver or crystal."

It reflected the light with great brilliance. “There was some rotating movement involved,” Kawecki reported. “I could not make out whether the spikes were moving or the dark streaks gyrated under them. But I had no doubt that one or the other rotated. The light now became bluish and more intense. Then the object moved towards the north and upwards at an angle of about 45 degrees, with a speed not exceeding that of a jet. It became just a diminishing spot of light until it finally disappeared. There was no sound. The entire observation lasted not more than four to five minutes.” The object was about eighteen feet wide and twenty feet high. After the UFO’s departure he noticed several other persons who had also witnessed the bizarre sight.

On the whole, however, it must be said that wheels of light are probably not the marine equivalent of unidentified sky objects. What they are, on the other hand, is far from clear.

Unexplained: "Strange Sightings, Incredible Occurences & Puzzling Physical Phenomena" by Jerome Clark
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Unexplained: "Strange Sightings, Incredible Occurences & Puzzling Physical Phenomena" by Jerome Clark page 206
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Mysterious Yellow Spheres Under Ancient Temple of the Feathered Serpent

On April 2013, hundreds of enigmatic metallic spheres have been found buried deep beneath an ancient pyramid called the Temple of the Feathered Serpent also known as the Temple of Quetzalcoatl (a six-level pyramid decorated with snake-like creatures) in Mexico City. "They look like yellow spheres, but we do not know their meaning. It's an unprecedented discovery," said Jorge Zavala, an archaeologist at Mexico's National Anthropology and History Institute. The pyramid is one of the most important buildings in the pre-Hispanic city of Teotihuacan, believed to have been established around 100 BC. It had more than 100,000 inhabitants at its peak, but was abandoned for unknown reasons around AD 700.

The excavation focused on a 330ft (100m) tunnel running under the structure, discovered in 2003 when heavy rain uncovered a hole a few feet from the pyramid. Researchers explored the tunnel with a remote-controlled robot called Tlaloc II-TC, equipped with an infrared camera and a laser scanner. A few months ago, the robot found two side chambers at 236ft (72m) and 242ft (74m) from the entrance, both containing the mysterious spheres.

Ranging from 1.5in to 5in (38-127mm), they have a core of clay and are covered with a yellow material called jarosite, formed by the oxidation of pyrite, a metallic ore.

Mysterious Yellow Spheres

George Cowgill, professor emeritus at Arizona State University, told Discovery News the find was “unique”. He said: “Pyrite was certainly used by the Teotihuacans and other ancient Mesoamerican societies. Originally the spheres would have shown brilliantly. They are indeed unique, but I have no idea what they mean.”

The walls and ceiling on both chambers were covered with a mineral powder composed of magnetite, pyrite and hematite, which provided a special brightness to the place. The archaeologists believe that priests or even rulers went down to the tunnel to perform rituals. Indeed, they found many offerings, including pottery and wooden masks covered with inlaid rock crystal, jade and quartz - all dating from around AD 100.

Fortean Times Magazine vol.305 September 2013: "Archaeology - Golden Balls";
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Wisconsin's Giant Skeletons

In May of 1912, an archeological dig overseen by Beloit College of more than two hundred effigy burial mounds near Lake Delavan on Lake Lawn farm unearthed eighteen bizarre skeletal remains of what appeared to be a lost race of giants. According to The New York Times May 4, 1912 news article: "Today, 18 skeletons of a “hitherto Unknown race were found in a mound at Lake Delavan in southern Wisconsin. The skulls of the skeletons (those which were presumed to be the males) were unusually large. The various lengths of the skeletons uncovered were not revealed." As originally reported in the May 4th, 1912 edition of the New York Times, the skulls of these seven to nine-foot skeletons were elongated, with protruding nasal bones and long, pointed jaw bones. They were enormous. These were not average human beings. Their heights ranged between 7.6ft and 10 feet and their skulls “presumably those of men, are much larger than the heads of any race which inhabit America today. They tend to have a double row of teeth, 6 fingers, 6 toes and like humans came in different races. The teeth in the front of the jaw are regular molars. Heads usually found are elongated believed due to longer than normal life span.

Why have so many giant remains been found in Wisconsin? It is noteworthy that the Sioux Indians have legends which claim that ages ago their forefathers slaughtered a race of giants in a battle in Minnesota. In fact many Indian legends throughout America recount how, before their people inhabited this land, a race of giants lived here, whom the Indians overwhelmed and wiped out in a war of genocide. The Indian stories find confirmation in Greek, Hindu, Chinese and Incan literature.

Interestingly there is another giant skeleton which has been unearthed nearly eight decade before, in 1833 a work party of soldiers was ordered to dig a foundation for a powder magazine at an army outpost on Lompock Ranchero, in California. Their spades barely broke the surface when suddenly the soldiers came upon a layer of carefully placed stone and gravel. Breaking through this with bars and picks, the workers came upon an astounding sight. Below was a stone coffin surrounded by carved shells, a massive stone axe, large flint spear points, and several tablets of porphyry covered with an unknown script. But what the soldiers could not believe is what was lying in the coffin: the skeleton of a man who in life would have stood over 12 feet tall. A priest from a local Spanish mission was summoned by the commanding officer, to see if he could read the stones with writing, and determine the giant's origin. Though versed in several European languages and Church Latin, the padre found the script alien, and could only repeat the Bible passages concerning the days of old when "giants were in the earth" when he examined the bones.

The Indians in a nearby settlement, heard of the find, and the shaman or "medicine man" of the tribe try to explain the mystery of the giant's origin. The bones, he said, were that of an "Alhegewi", a race of titans who according to their legends had occupied the land before the Indians, and who the Indians wiped out in a war of extermination. The shaman demanded that the bones be turned over to his tribe, for the spirit of great strength and cunning were still in them, to be worshiped and rekindled by his people. But a potential uprising was the last thing the commander of the outpost wanted, so-as one of the officers who witnessed the events later recorded—the commander gave the bones and artifacts to the priest at the local mission, and he reburied them in a secret place. They have yet to be rediscovered today.

The Indian legend which the shaman told is not just an isolated story, but is a tradition found among many Indian nations across North America. The Piutes of Nevada still speak today with strong distaste about a race of red-haired giants called by them the Sitecah, with whom their forefathers once fought. Finding no land to expand for their people, and constantly harassed by roving bands of these giants, the Piute of long ago allied with other inter-mountain tribes, and attacked the Sitecah. A long and bloody war ensued, with great casualties on both sides.

Eventually the large numbers of Indians outweighed the superior strength and cunning of the giants, and the Sitecan were driven into the Pit River area near Shasta Lake and Mount Shasta-where they disappeared from history.

Other Indian legends, of the mid-west and east, record a war of even greater intensity. What is most interesting is that the Indians identify the ruins of the Mound Builders--those tens of thousands of mysterious earthworks found scattered throughout the Mississippi-Missouri-Ohio river valleys, from Georgia to Minnesota and from Nebraska to West Virginia-as having belonged to the giants. This contradicts modern conservative opinion which theorizes that the mound constructions were done by the ancestors of the Indians themselves. Some Indians say yes, their forefathers did indeed work on the earthworks--but as slaves to the giants, who were the real masterminds, while other Indians, especially the Sioux, Deleware and Iroquois, claim it was their ancestral peoples who defeated the giants and ended their mound-building projects. In fact it has been in many of the ancient mounds found in Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, New York and Minnesota that giant skeletons and artifacts were unearthed.

There Were Giants on the Earth compiled by Glen W. Chapman

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