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Welcome again to your number one source of conspiracies, UFOs, the paranormal, and everything else weird and strange. Is your local newspaper afraid to print the truth? Does your 6:00pm television news leave you bloated with nonsense about where Britney left her children or when Lindsey goes back into rehab? If you are tired of this kind of claptrap and want to know what is REALLY going on in the world, then Conspiracy Journal is the weekly news and informaton e-zine for you!

This week Conspiracy Journal brings you such eye-popping stories as:

U.S. Scientist Heralds "Artificial Life" Breakthrough -
- Mac Tonnies Illuminates MU on Mars’ “Seven Sisters” Caves -
Scientists Tackle Newport's Mystery Tower? -
- The Legend of Lake Erie Bessie -
AND:  The History Before History

All these exciting stories and MORE in this week's issue of
CONSPIRACY JOURNAL!

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- MODERN DAY PROMETHEUS DEPARTMENT -

U.S. Scientist Heralds "Artificial Life" Breakthrough


Controversial celebrity U.S. scientist Craig Venter has announced he is on the verge of creating the first ever artificial life form which he hails as a potential remedy to illness and global warming.

Venter told Britain's The Guardian newspaper that he has built a synthetic chromosome using chemicals made in a laboratory, and is set to announce the discovery within weeks, possibly as early as Monday.

The breakthrough, which Venter hopes could help develop new energy sources to combat the negative effects of climate change, would be "a very important philosophical step in the history of our species," he told the newspaper.

However the prospect of engineering artificial life forms is highly controversial and likely to arouse heated debate over the ethics and potential ramifications of such an advance.

Pat Mooney, director of the Canadian bioethics organization ETC Group, told the paper that Venter was creating "a chassis on which you could build almost anything.

"It could be a contribution to humanity such as new drugs or a huge threat to humanity such as bio-weapons."

The chromosome which Venter and his team has created is known as Mycoplasma laboratorium and, in the final step of the process, will be transplanted into a living cell where it should "take control," effectively becoming a new life form.

The single cell organism, which ETC has coined "Synthia," is piloted by a chromosome with just 381 genes, the limit necessary to sustain the life of the bacteria so it can feed and reproduce.

The new bacteria will therefore be largely artificial, though not entirely, because it is composed of building blocks from already existing organisms. The idea is to make it into a universal tool for biologists by according it the genes necessary to accomplish certain tasks.

The project, which Venter has been working on for five years along with a team of researchers, has been partially financed by the US Department of Energy in the hopes that it could lead to the creation of a new environmentally friendly fuel.

"We are going from reading our genetic code to the ability to write it. That gives us the hypothetical ability to do things never contemplated before," Venter said.

A Venter spokeswoman however declined to confirm any breakthrough.

"The Guardian is ahead of themselves on this," Venter spokeswoman Heather Kowalski told AFP.

"We have not achieved what some have speculated we have in synthetic life," Kowalski said. "When we do so there will be a scientific publication and we are likely months away from that."

Venter's laboratory, the J. Craig Venter Institute, filed in 2006 for a US patent on the organism, claiming exclusive ownership of a set of essential genes and a synthetic "free-living organism that can grow and replicate."

The ETC group publicized the patent application, which would apply in the United states and 100 or so other countries, in June.

"Venter and his colleagues have breached a societal boundary, and the public hasn't even had a chance to debate the far-reaching social, ethical and environmental implications of synthetic life," Mooney said in a statement at the time.

The group also added that "patent experts consulted by the ETC Group indicate that, based on the language used in the application, the Venter Institute researchers had probably not achieved a fully-functioning organism at the time of the filing."

Nevertheless, "many people think that Venter's company has the scientific expertise to do the job," Mooney added.

Source: Yahoo News
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20071006/ts_alt_afp/ussciencebiotech_071006195751;
_ylt=AlOBtwi_oCh8UCMgXOJBbnVrAlMA

- RED PLANET MARS DEPARTMENT -

Mac Tonnies Illuminates MU on Mars’ “Seven Sisters” Caves

They may not look like much to us, but these very dark, nearly circular features found in images taken by NASA’s Mars Odyssey and Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) orbiters are special. They are so special, in fact, that the scientists who discovered them have named the “Seven Sisters” after loved ones: Dena, Chloe, Wendy, Annie, Abbey, Nikki and Jeanne.

What makes these “ladies” so intriguing? “If there is life on Mars, there is a good chance you’d find it in caves,” Jut Wynne, an NAU graduate student in biological sciences and project leader for the USGS Earth-Mars Cave Detection Program, explained in an April Science Daily report.

More recently the Sisters have revealed hidden depths. Last week researchers hypothesized that they may be “windows into underground spaces.”

“Whether these are just deep vertical shafts or openings into spacious caverns, they are entries to the subsurface of Mars,” said co-author Tim Titus of the U.S. Geological Survey in Flagstaff. “Somewhere on Mars, caves might provide a protected niche for past or current life, or shelter for humans in the future.”

Past or current life on Mars? Now that is intriguing. It wasn’t so long ago that no “serious” scientist would have risked making such a claim.

In 1998, when the orbiter first sent back pictures that appeared to depict a structure bearing a human-looking face, the scientific community met speculation of life –ancient or otherwise–on the Red Planet with ridicule. Mac Tonnies, Posthuman Blues blogger, esoteric researcher, and author of the 2004 book After the Martian Apocalypse, was one of the first to enter the “face” fray in his journal Cydonia Imperative.

In 2000, he speculated that the large pyramid-type structures near the face might have the same protective use as scientists are now suggesting for the Seven Sisters caves.

“Assuming that the “Martians” were biological creatures with needs not unlike our own, what would we expect them to build in order to maintain their presence on an inhospitable world? This is a question of increasing relevance as plans to send our own crewed mission to Mars become more mature and practical,” Tonnies wrote in Thoughts on Extraterrestrial Archeology.

So, what does Tonnies think of the new cave “skylight” images, and the scientific community’s altered pro-life attitude? MU asked him in an email interview:

MU: Are these skylights and/or cave openings something that you’ve seen before?

Mac Tonnies: They’re new to me, but that’s not to say they haven’t been making the rounds among anomalists for years. That was certainly the case in the case of the “seeps,” which are apparently new to NASA but old news to anyone who’s been actively seeking out Mars findings since 2000 or so.

MU: The Science Daily story makes it sound as though these skylights could indicate some kind of underground habitat that has either been in use or perhaps could be used to protect life. Has your research turned up anything relating to or speculating upon an underground domain for Martian life?

Mac Tonnies: Given the vast amount of subsurface ice on Mars, I’d be willing to bet we could find extremophiles in the caves. If there was ever an intelligent civilization on Mars, it’s tempting to wonder if it migrated underground, perhaps using ready-made features like the skylights as entry-points. You could argue that the skylights themselves are artificial, but I think it’s more likely they’re geological.

MU: What’s your reaction to a story like this that suggests the scientific community has changed its mind about the possibility of life on Mars?

Mac Tonnies: I’m hardly surprised. I suspect NASA/JPL has been forced to entertain the possibility by the sheer number of discoveries made in the last several years. We know there’s liquid water on Mars and possible biomarkers in the atmosphere, so it’s politically sensible to at least pretend to be agreeable to the presence of life.

MU: Do you think they know more about this than they are telling us?

Mac Tonnies: Probably. They seem to deliberately release “discoveries” in piecemeal fashion. To me, this suggests an overarching agenda, even if they don’t know for a fact that there’s life on Mars.

We could be ancients ourselves before we are able to do first-hand Martian archeology, but thanks to a new project underway at the European Space Agency, we may learn within the next 10 years if the Seven Sisters have any further secrets to share.

Based on technology similar to that used in pregnancy test kits, the Mars “life chip” is designed to detect trace levels of biomarkers, which should be able to reveal if life currently is, or ever was, present on Mars. The ESA hopes to launch the kit with its Exo-Mars robotic mission in 2013.

Source: Mysterious Universe
http://mysteriousuniverse.org/?p=1614%20

- STRANGE LANDS DEPARTMENT -

The Canary Islands: Riddles of Light and Stone
by Scott Corrales

Whether they are the Isles of the Blest, Elysium, the Fortunate Isles or the surviving mountaintops of fabled Atlantis, the Canary Islands--an archipelago off the coast of northern Africa--remain enshrouded in mystery, a fact overlooked by its burgeoning tourist trade, more interested in the cloudless skies and fine beaches. The islands of Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Tenerife, Palma, Gomera and Hierro, which have belonged to Spain since the archipelago's conquest by Norman mercenaries in the 14th century, were a point of interest to all the chroniclers of antiquity and medieval Christianity. The religious and occult significance of the seven volcanic isles has been handed down from the earliest dynasties of Ancient Egypt to our own UFO-minded times.

The association with an earthly paradise is not difficult to understand. A spectacular landscape awaited the mariners of yore: the twelve-thousand-foot peak of Mount Teide presiding over a cobalt-blue ocean festooned with flying fish. Flowers, chestnut trees and rich green valleys covered the seaward landscape, while the landward side (facing Africa) revealed nightmarish vistas of lava flows and beaches of black volcanic sand. The Canaries offer surprises galore, with trees unique to the islands; giant lizards--now nearly extinct--that gave the Spanish conquistadores quite a surprise; enormous ravines and canyons that become raging rivers during the wet season, and arid plains where camels are used to pull the plough. Contrary to popular belief, the islands were not christened after the bird of that name, but due to the abundance of local dogs (canes) encountered by the Conquistadores.

Who were the Guanches?

The Guanches, the original inhabitants of the Canary Islands, were a warlike race, according to chroniclers. Tradition claims that Saint Avitus, an early Christian martyr, met death at the hands of the Guanches during his attempt to evangelize the islands.[i] The Guanches possessed no weapons or boats--the latter being a very unusual feature for island dwellers--wore goatskins, and were subdued by the European invaders' use of the horse, which was unknown to them. Ignatius Donnelly pointed out in his groundbreaking book on Atlantis that stones had been uncovered in the isles of Hierro and Palma that bore sculptured symbols closely resembling those found in archaeological digs near Lake Superior, prompting an association between the enigmatic Guanches and the cultures of North America.[ii]

The tall, fair-skinned Guanches, believed by many to be the last surviving specimens of the Cro-Magnon Man, employed a curious language consisting of whistles when communicating with one another across gorges or hilltops. They also practiced the art of mummification to an extent known only to the Incas and the Egyptians, believing in the immortality of the dead, and going as far as leaving dead rulers mummified and unburied to provide "assistance" to the living monarch. They lived in complete isolation from the rest of the world, and indeed, from one island to the other.[iii] Spanish chroniclers state that the Guanches presumed that the rest of humankind had been lost in the Flood, and that they were its only survivors.

Certain cultural aspects found in the modern Canaries are believed to be part of the Guanche legacy: cockfights, the agricultural methods which were later imported to the Spanish Caribbean and even a culinary contribution, gofio, a form of cereal that is still consumed today.[iv]

Ancient Seafarers

The Canary Islands were known to the Carthaginians and to other sea-faring peoples of the Mediterranean. The Roman chronicler Marcellus, describing the "land of the Aethiopians" mentions a cluster of seven islands in the Atlantic Ocean, whose inhabitants preserve memories of a much greater island which held sway over them for ages; They are the seven Hesperides made famous in mythology by the labors of Hercules, and described in the Book of Ezekiel as the isles of Elysium (Ezek. 27,7). In the 1st century B.C., an unsuccessful bid to conquer the island was made by King Juba II of Mauretania.[v]

But all evidence points to signs of an earlier occupation by unknown quantities. On the isle of Hierro, there exists a wall of basalt facing the ocean, far above sea level which is carved with a number of undeciphered glyphs, among which are prominently displayed discs, labyrinth-symbols and sunbursts. The gorges of Tejeleite and Candia also contain rock shelters with petroglyphs presumably etched into the rough basalt by the aboriginal occupants of the archipelago. Elaborate cave systems--like that of Belmaco, on Palma--are filled with the same insistent petroglyphs and images of discs and sunbursts. The Zonzama Stone, unearthed on Lanzarote, provides more intricately carved symbols: messages from a past we unable reconstruct.[vi] Who were the original carvers of these symbols, and what was their purpose? It is true that the oceans were being navigated by Neolithic mariners whose voyages may have well inspired those of the Phoenicians or the Cretans. They left no traces of their existence aside from the "cyclopean" stone walls, tumuli, fortresses and memorials can be found on the coasts of the continents bordering the Mediterranean and the Atlantic coast of Europe as well as on the Canary Islands and Malta, and perhaps even as far south and inland as Zimbabwe. Two German scholars,

Hermann and Georg Schreiber, have pointed to the existence of a "heliolithic" cultural sphere (borrowing a term coined by H.G. Wells), owing to the fact that solar worship, personified by the disk symbols, is common to all these sites).  The Canaries were important to them, following this line of thought, as an important center of solar worship. Or perhaps for other reasons...

A Wealth of UFO Sightings

Unexplained lights have soared above the volcanic peaks of the Canary Islands throughout history. Commercial airliners have been repeatedly intercepted over Lanzarote as they prepare to land on Gran Canary or Tenerife. Could these brilliant lights be the discs represented on the ancient Guanche stellae, and the reasons for the islands prominence not only in recorded history, but also in the days of lost Neolithic realms?

In 1975, coinciding with a global increase of UFO sightings, a group of contactees from Santa Cruz de Tenerife allegedly established contact (by means of an improvised Ouija board) with the occupants of the enormous flying craft which had hovered every night over their skies at La Tejita, a beach not far from the slopes of Mt. Teide. On one of these instances, the Canarian investigators were able to witness an enormous light some 1200 feet away from the beach. Double rows of windows emitting a purplish light could be made out through the use of binoculars. The spectators experienced a "missing time" interval during their sighting, and were assured later on by the light's "crew" that they had been brought aboard for an hour and a half.[vii]

A year later, a driver on a lonely stretch of road saw a perfectly round orb, silhouetted in a bluish light, which flew over his car at low altitude, causing the engine to stall. The witness was able to see two tall humanoids in attired in red garments through an aperture in the noiseless sphere, which landed on the roof of a nearby farmhouse before taking off again in the general direction of Tenerife. Shepherds had encounters of a grislier nature with a "robotic entity" that sliced a mountain lion to pieces and walked in a stilted, crab-like manner.

By 1979, UFOs had started to interfere with the regular operations of commercial airliners flying in Canarian airspace. A DC-9 flying between Lanzarote and Grand Canary was intercepted by an oval-shaped craft as it took off, flying over the airliner and "escorting" it for 20 minutes until it became lost in the clouds. A smaller commuter plane was equally intercepted and escorted for ten seconds at an altitude of 9000 feet by another object, which bathed the plane in a bluish-green light.[viii]

In a world where it is increasingly harder to keep a secret, particularly in the post Cold War era, surprisingly little coverage has been given to a recent "crash/retrieval" scenario which took place in 1992. Two Canarian youths and their friends claim that the Spanish military, in conjunction with unnamed foreign powers, retrieved a mysterious artifact that fell from the skies on the evening of October 12, 1992.

Sergio and Mario, whose surnames remain undisclosed, were on their way to Las Cañadas del Teide Park, an expanse of wilderness on the island of Tenerife, with another acquaintance and his girlfriend, when they found the narrow road leading to the natural landmark barricaded by armed personnel in yellow Jeeps with "ET" license plates (Ejército de Tierra, the infantry). The would-be tourists were told in no uncertain terms to turn around and not to attempt re-entering through the park's southern entrance, either. The officer in charge of the barricade told them that landslides had wiped out the roads ahead.

Their curiosity piqued by the suspicious roadblock, the foursome decided to park their vehicle and try to enter Las Cañadas on foot, finally managing to reach a hillside from which they were able to see another detachment of military vehicles. A powerful beam of light swept the sides of Mt. Teide, as if searching for a particular object. But what was it?

According to investigators, the Canaries Astrophysical Institute had placed a call earlier that evening to the Spanish Army, claiming that "an artifact" had crashed in the Ucanca Valley, at the feet of Mt. Teide. Whatever "it" was, it possessed a tremendous mass, having apparently snapped off a 450-ton lava projection jutting from an outcrop close to the summit of Mt. Teide itself, which can be reached by cable car from the ground.

Rescue helicopters from the Spanish Air Force base at Gando were dispatched to the area in question the following morning, unable to find anything at all after five separate sorties. The airbase's radar claimed not to have picked up anything unusual on the night of October 12 or the early hours of the 13th.

On the island of Grand Canaria, across the water from Tenerife, a couple in the village of Almatriche had witnessed the descent of strange lights, which they were unable to identify, and which appeared to be heading straight toward them. The lights changed course in mid-air and headed toward Tenerife. The time of the sighting was 10 p.m.--just prior to the Canarian youths' arrival at Las Cañadas.

The evening's excitement wasn't over for Sergio and Mario. Once back in their car and returning home, they were surprised to encounter a convoy of ten large military container trucks with balloon tires, darkened but for their intermittent hazard lights. The convoy moved slowly, and the onlookers were given the impression that materials of great weight were being carried aboard the sealed vehicles.

The allegations of the four witnesses aside, the fact remains that all approaches to Las Cañadas park were blockaded for two weeks until authorities announced that the "landslides" had been cleared. A hunter who had been spending the night of October 12 at El Refugio, a natural shelter on the slopes of Mt. Teide, claimed having seen "a brilliant cloud" come within six meters of the peak's summit and spin around it at tremendous speed, giving off bursts of energy before flying away. Local UFO researchers Asunción Sarais and Francisco Padrón initiated what promises to be months of research into this possible "crash/retrieval" incident, which is merely the most recent episode in a long history of sightings. In spite of official silence on the incident, it has since become known that employees from the Canaries Astrophysical Institute were threatened with the possible loss of their jobs if they discussed the incident.

In the U.S., increasingly greater attention has been paid to the folklore and traditions of our native peoples with regard to manifestations of the UFO phenomenon. The same is beginning to happen in Spain, where anthropologists have experienced a renewed interest in searching for Guanche artifacts and possibly even locating surviving Guanches in isolated communities on the smaller islands.

[i]. Atienza, Juan G. En busca de la historia perdida. Barcelona: Ediciones Martínez Roca, p. 207.

[ii]. Donnelly, Ignatius. Atlantis: Myths of the Antediluvian World,Chicago, 1882.

[iii]. Berlitz, Charles. Atlantis: The Eight Continent. New York: Fawcett, 1984.

[iv]. Llorens, W. El Habla Popular en Puerto Rico. Rio Piedras: Editorial Edil, 1981.

[v]. Bailey, James. The God Kings and the Titans. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1973.

[vi]. Atienza, Juan G. En busca de la historia perdida.

[vii]. Benítez, J.J. 100,000 kilómetros tras los ovnis. Barcelona: Plaza y Janés, 1978.

[viii]. Benítez, J.J. Encuentro en Montaña Roja. Barcelona: Plaza y Janés, 1981.

Source: Inexplicata

- BUILDINGS OF THE DAMNED DEPARTMENT -

Scientists Tackle Newport's Mystery Tower

Is it British Colonial? Norse? Chinese? Scottish? or Portuguese? It is a historical mystery for sure, and Ron and Jan Barstad of the Arizona based Chronognostic Research Foundation (CRF) have an intention of solving what they call, "merely a puzzle," once and for all, as they begin their second archeological dig on Oct. 9 in Touro Park.

"The tower was built by someone, at some time, for some purpose. It's a puzzle with missing pieces that has been argued about for almost two centuries." says Jan Barstad, an animated gal with a degree in botany and plant ecology. "It is a hole in Newport's history that we want to fill, and with the generous permission of the Newport City Council, we will begin this cerebral, physical and, I might add, very expensive digging and processing procedure."

There has never even been any hard evidence surrounding the historical explanation of the tower's origin, but the accepted one, is that it was a mill built in the mid 17th Century. Some historians agree that it could be older, giving evidence of a pre-Columbian settlement in Newport. However, the prevailing theory is that it was a mill built for Governor Benedict Arnold, great-grandfather of the patriot-traitor. He once owned the land on which the tower stood and there is a clear reference to it in his will dated in 1677. It was never stated that he built the tower, only that it belonged to him.

Philip Ainsworth Means, a specialist in Latin American archeology, was the first researcher to compile all the known evidence in his 1942 book "The Newport Tower." He concluded that the Norse of the 12th or 13th century had possibly built it, but his wish was for scientific excavation to be done to verify his belief.

William Godfrey headed a limited excavation project backed by The Preservation Society of Newport County in 1948. Finding nothing older than 17th century coins, glass bottles and clay pipes, he concluded that Gov. Arnold or one of his contemporaries had built the tower.

Arlington Mallery, an engineer and bridge designer, interested in Viking history, re-examined Godfrey's excavation concluding that the reason he had only found 17th century artifacts was because a trench had been dug around the Tower in the 17th century in order to repair and strength the columns.

No more research was undertaken until 1993 when Jan Heinemeier and Hogne Junger, two Danes, used a new C-14 technique to date the mortar of the Tower, again concluding that it was 17th century. There were objections, however, concerning faulty chemistry and flawed photogrammetry.

James Whittall, an archaeologist with the Early Sites Research Society, conducted two ground-penetrating radar surveys in Touro Park. He wrote that 181 anomalies were listed ranging from two to ten feet in depth and concluding that it opened "possibilities of some interesting archaeology relating to the tower and the surrounding area."

William Penhallow, an RI professor of astronomy, investigated in 1998, possible alignments for viewing celestial events through the Tower windows and Suzanne Carlson, a historical architect, published a monograph on the Tower in 2001. Her writings covered each facet of the Tower's architecture, describing the probable building process involved in erecting the structure, with a compendium of European church architecture of various periods that could relate to the Tower.

In October of 2006, CRF began an excavation in the park headed by archaeologist Ray Pasquariello and Joyce Clements. More than 2000 artifacts were removed, some dating to the 17th century and much of the data from that dig is still under analysis. This month the same team is back, digging at the site for most of October, and concluding with a symposium on October 27 where Sue Carlson and Jan Barstad will talk about the various theories.

"Fights and arguments have been exchanged in city council meetings, parties and scholarly journals." Barstad said. "One R.I. citizen claims that his channeler told him that he was a Viking in another life who had helped to build the Tower. I asked what her thoughts were about the date of the Tower. "It's a Papist building, that I know. We're taking a risk for sure, but nothing gets done without a risk, right?

The results of this dig will solve the puzzle of such a fundamental level of disagreement. But, how extraordinary it would be, to prove, scientifically, that the Tower is, maybe, just maybe, the oldest structure in the United States!

What is this curious structure?

The tower is circular, constructed of local stones set in mortar of different types due to repair over the years. At ground level there are 8 round columns of the same stone, connected by 8 round arches made of flat stones set on edge. It is 26 ft. high and 23 ft. in diameter. At the top of each column is a hole that once carried beams to support a second floor. Above the level of the first floor are four windows and five niches spaced along the wall. 6 holes that may have held wooden steps are spaced at intervals from just above the arch between pillars 1 and 3 into the first floor and again into the second floor. A fireplace is built into the east wall. For information on the 2006 and 2007 dig see www.chronognostic.org.

Source: Eastbayri.com
http://www.eastbayri.com/story/291836657929366.php

- DENIZENS OF THE DEEP DEPARTMENT -

The Legend of Bessie

Tales surface of monster living in Lake Erie.

PUT-IN-BAY -- When Bob Bartolotta sailed on Lake Erie, he often saw what appeared to be a long, thin creature swimming through the water.

Bartolotta, a student in the 1970s at Ohio State University Stone Laboratory on Gibraltar Island near Put-in-Bay, watched the object hopefully, waiting to see if the snakelike head of a sea monster would emerge.
    
"I never saw anything like that," said Bartolotta, Cleveland Museum of Natural History outdoor education coordinator. "It always turned out to be a dead tree."
Many who have seen similar phenomena on the lake, however, believe the undulating masses could be South Bass Bessie, also known as Lake Erie Bessie and Lake Erie Larry.

She is a Lake Erie legend, a possible cousin to the Loch Ness Monster. Some think she is a plesiosaurus, a Jurassic marine reptile that has survived thousands of years, said Len Tieman, owner of Prehistoric Forest dinosaur park in Danbury Township and creator a life-sized plesiosaurus featured at his park.

But Joe Hannibal, Cleveland Museum of Natural History paleontologist, said plesiosauruses never lived in this area. They were extinct 65 million years before Ice Age glaciers created Lake Erie, he said.

"If one were found, it would be a spectacular scientific find," Hannibal said.

Plesiosaurus fossils have been found in Kansas and other parts of western North America that were once covered in water, he said. The animals had long necks, a rounded body with flippers and sharply pointed teeth for eating fish.

But lack of scientific evidence hasn't hurt the story or dampened sightings throughout the decades. Sea monsters have been folklore around the world, he said.

"The early newspapers in the 1800s would have reports of sea serpents, even in Lake Erie," he said. "My theory is people need to think there is something wonderful and mysterious out there. It would be fun if there were one."

Sea monsters were the predecessor to UFOs, he said.

"The sightings went down when flying saucers started being sighted (in the 1950s, '60s and '70s)," he said. "They became a craze."

In the late '80s and early '90s, people again began reporting spotting Bessie. Bartolotta attributes the spike to an increase in the number recreational boaters on the lake as Port Clinton became known as the Walleye Capital of the World.

The Put-in-Bay Gazette, South Bass Island's monthly newspaper, helped fuel the story when editor Kendra Koehler took a photo of a log and presented it in the paper as a sea monster.

"It was hilarious," Koehler said. "It was kind of a little hoax. Newspapers and TV crews went on with it for about six months."

Since then, sightings have dwindled. Koehler, Put-in-Bay Chamber of Commerce Director Maggie Beckford and Ottawa County Visitors Bureau Director Larry Fletcher said they often hear people talk about the monster, but no one has reported seeing her recently.

"People do love the monster story," Koehler said.

The U.S. Coast Guard, Marblehead Station, has not received any Bessie reports since Commander J. Franklin took over 14 months ago, Franklin said. The station does not keep records of sea monster sightings, so he did not know when the last report occurred.

"I'm sure a few people have claimed to see Lake Erie Larry," Beckford said. "I just don't know if they were sober at the time."

Source: Central Ohio
http://www.centralohio.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/BC/20071003/
NEWS01/710030301/1002

- DAYS OF FUTURE PAST DEPARTMENT -

The History Before History


It was a hot night so a man decided to take a walk along the beach. Soon after setting out, he felt a soft crunch under his foot. He stopped to inspect the soles of his shoes in the moonlight, and scraped off the remains of the unfortunate creature he had squashed. Unconcerned, he continued his stroll, unaware that the footprint had immortalized the end of that tiny life. After all, what's so strange about stepping on a trilobite?

Approximately 320 million years ago, a species of small lobed creatures began to populate Earth's seas. These relatives of sea arachnids—similar to lobsters and crabs—once flourished but became completely extinct 280 million years ago. We are talking, of course, about the trilobite.

The human being, as it is currently accepted by the majority of scientists, appeared as a species no more than 2 or 3 million years ago. And the history of man such as he is known today does not exceed 10,000 years.

With these dates in mind, we can conclude that the story of the human stepping on a trilobite belongs to the category of science fiction. A human being could never have squashed a creature that became extinct millions of years ago, and even less so a person with shoes—an unequivocal indication of civilization. This is evidence which defies history—an impossible fossil.

In June of 1968, amateur fossil collector William J. Meister found a rock 2 inches thick in Antelope Spring, Utah. With a blow of his hammer, he exposed the fossil of a human footprint. But this footprint had a special feature—a squashed trilobite. It wasn't long before the news spread across the world, and several investigators made their way to Antelope Spring, finding more marks made by modern-style footwear in a geological stratum corresponding to extremely remote ages. What strange joke is seemingly being played on history?

Other Prior Discoveries

In 1852 a giant rock mass in Dorchester, Massachusetts, was dynamited. After the explosion, workers found a curious metallic artifact among the debris, which was broken in two. Upon joining the two pieces together, they revealed a vessel in the shape of a bell with a base of 6.5 inches and height of 4.5 inches. Later they discovered that the vessel was made from a silver alloy. Curiously, this artifact, seemingly constructed with a high level of technology, appears to have been trapped in the rock while it was forming several millions years ago—when humans did not even exist.

Discoveries of this kind are not few. In fact, because of their ability to call in to question modern understandings of humankind's origins, archeological sites have at times hidden various problematic objects.

Eight years before the discovery of the Dorchester vase, a perfect iron nail was found in a 24-inch slab of rock in a quarry in Kingoodie, Scotland. The point of this nail was sticking out of the rock, while an inch of it, including the head, was sealed inside. It is estimated that such a rock would have formed roughly 60 million years ago.

In the 1880s, a Colorado rancher extracted pieces of carbon from a mineral vein 300 feet below the surface. Later at his house, as he was breaking up the extracted pieces, he found a strange-looking iron thimble. News of the discovery known as the "Thimble of Eve" spread quickly, but due to its state of corrosion and people's over-handling, it disintegrated.

It is known that thimbles have been used by humans as far back as thousands of years ago. However, a curious detail in this case is that the carbon in which the thimble was found formed 70 million years ago, between the Cretaceous and Tertiary eras. According to modern understanding, the ancestors of human beings at this time were not even monkeys, but a different kind of small mammal, with protruding eyes, swinging between tree branches.

The "Cube of Salzburg" is another challenge to history. It was revealed to the public when in 1885 an Austrian iron smelter broke apart pieces of carbon and uncovered a cube-shaped iron artifact. "The edges of this strange object were already perfectly straight and defined; four of the sides were planes, while the two remaining sides, situated in front of each other, were convex. Halfway up was a deep slot," wrote René Noorbergen, a specialist in these types of cases.

Chemical analysis later determined that the object did not contain any chrome, nickel, or cobalt, but instead was composed of a kind of forged iron. This composition seemed to rule out the hypothesis that the "cube" was a meteorite, as some had suggested.

Another archeological treasure hidden in a carbon deposit was found in 1891 by S.W. Culp, a woman from Illinois. While she was extracting the black material, she accidentally broke a fragment, and a very thin gold chain was knocked loose. It had been lodged inside a bow-shaped cavity in the carbon.

Another case, published in 1831 by the American Journal of Science, deals with a block of marble extracted from a depth of about 60 feet, which was later cut into pieces. The marble, believed to have formed millions of years ago, revealed precise cuts 2 inches by 0.5 inch—the shapes of the very similar modern letters "u" and "i." The regularity of the symbols gave the impression of having been engraved by human hands.

A similar case was brought to light in 2002 in China's Guizhou Province, where a broken rock was found to have, at first glance, perfect Chinese characters of inexplicable origin, considering that the rock dated back to 200 million years ago! This relic is known as "The Stone of Hidden Words."

Contemporary Fossils

In 1976, a spoon that was first unearthed in 1937 inside a chunk of Pennsylvania soft coal was brought to public attention.

To rule out that such findings could be interpreted as a random occurrence, consider the 1967 discovery inside a Colorado silver mine: human bones alongside a 10-inch copper-pointed arrow. According to general estimates, the mineral deposit in which these were discovered is millions of years older than the human race.

While genetics and biology present us with new studies each day intending to validate the common origin of all species, new fossils continue to appear—more signs of a highly advanced distant past. Over time, these findings contribute to an understanding that human origins are far more remote than what is widely believed.

Perhaps the most controversial fossil in recent years was the one discovered by a geologist from the University of Jadaypur in Calcutta, India. A 1,100-million-year-old, reddish colored rock found in Madhya Pradesh, Chorhat, astonished scientists. It presents zigzag marks similar to those made by a worm.

The oldest known fossils of this kind are from Namibia and China, and the marks are understood to be from multicellular organisms, which made their appearance in the course of evolution approximately 600 million years ago. If the finding in India is properly interpreted, it would call for a serious reconsideration of the basis of evolution, giving a giant jump (400 or 500 million years) between this fossil and those found in Namibia and China.

"If you see centimeter-scale organisms and then don't see them for 400 million years, you have a lot to explain," remarks Harvard University paleontologist Andrew Knoll.

After new marks were found in similar rocks, many incredulous scientists were forced to analyze the age of the rocks again. But these specimens (zirconium crystals) continued to point to the impossible, making the issue "even more exciting and more improbable," according to paleontologist Adolph Seilacher from Yale University.

Seilacher believes that, according to what is commonly accepted, it is impossible for these fossilized traces to be from animals. However, he adds: "At the same time, I must accept the evidence. I have not found, nor heard from another person, another explanation. Is there any non-biological explanation for these marks?" The study appears in the October 2, 1998 issue of Science.

In fact, there exist many fossils that challenge our modern understanding of history. An impression of a perfect human hand (with fingernail marks) was discovered in 110-million-year-old limestone in Glen Rose, Texas; a 100-million year-old petrified finger (fossil identified as DM93-083), which had its bone structure revealed through radiography, was found on Axel Heiberg Island in Canada; there is the well-known discovery of giant human footprints beside those of a dinosaur in Rìo Paluxy, Texas; and there are many more. The apparent soundness of our current theories is shaken each time an "impossible fossil" comes to light.

Source: Epoch Times
http://en.epochtimes.com/news/7-10-9/60546.html

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