10/5/12  #691
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"I did not begin when I was born, nor when I was conceived. I have been growing, developing, through incalculable myriads of millenniums. All my previous selves have their voices, echoes, promptings in me. Oh, incalculable times again shall I be born." 

- Jack London, The Star Rover
This week Conspiracy Journal brings you such curtain-climbing tales as:

- Unusual Dallas Earthquakes Could Be Due to Fracking -
- Is Time Travel Possible? Scientists Say Maybe -
- The Koropokkuru-Did Pygmy Race Once Inhabit Japan? -
- Newton's Belief in Spirits May Have Led to the Theory of Gravity -
AND: Spidery Black Things On Mars

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

~ And Now, On With The Show! ~




The belief in strange beings coming down from the stars to intermingle with humanity can be traced back to the earliest days of mankind. While the scientific community maintains that the current notion of UFOs and their extraterrestrial pilots is simply a modern version of the myths and legends contained within almost every culture and civilization, Ancient Astronaut theorists maintain that we have been "tinkered with," and that someone - or "something" else - is keeping a watchful eye over mankind for their own purposes that can only be alluded to.

As early as the 1960s, Britain's 8th Earl of Clancarty, Brinsley Le Poer Trench, made an astounding revelation. He said that he was convinced that life on earth had originated on the planet Mars and that the first voyagers here had been the Biblical Adam and Even who had left their paradise of the Garden of Eden and arrived on earth in a space ark piloted by Noah. Thus the roots of the various Biblical stories from the Old Testament which are taught in every Sunday School today.

But the story told by British nobility and the other researchers in this book tell even a far
stranger tale about the secret history of our planet, a history that is "forbidden knowledge" to a handful of individuals who are now sharing their findings for the first time:

* Why has the CIA and the military shown an unprecedented interest in the remains of what many claims to be Noah's Ark that came to rest on Turkey's Mount Ararat? Is the anomalous structure a crashed space ship, something metallic as opposed to the gopher-wood of the Biblical tale, as researcher Nick Redfern insists could be true?

* Is there a distinction to be made between the ancient aliens and the true Creator God, and do these "visitors" have the same imponderable questions as we do about life, death and religion? Eric von Daniken spokesman Giorgio Tsoukalos has his own ideas on this concept?

* "We have met the Martians and they are us," suggests Brad Steiger. Is there new evidence to suggest that life on earth was first planted in South America and spread out from there?

* Is there a new race of humans being formed in these uncertain times? According to the Earl of Clancarty, some of us are rapidly reacquiring the telepathy and psychic we were originally created with.

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This weeks guest: Andrew D. Basiago



Unusual Dallas Earthquakes Could Be Due to Fracking

Three unusual earthquakes that shook a suburb west of Dallas recently appear to be connected to the past disposal of wastewater from local hydraulic fracturing operations, a geophysicist who has studied earthquakes in the region says.

Preliminary data from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) show the first quake, a magnitude 3.4, hit at 11:05 p.m. CDT on Saturday a few miles southeast of the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport. It was followed 4 minutes later by a 3.1-magnitude aftershock that originated nearby.

A third, magnitude-2.1 quake trailed Saturday's rumbles by just under 24 hours, touching off at 10:41 p.m. CDT on Sunday from an epicenter a couple miles east of the first, according to the USGS. The tremors set off a volley of 911 calls, according to Reuters, but no injuries have been reported.

Not a coincidence

Before a series of small quakes on Halloween 2008, the Dallas area had never recorded a magnitude-3 earthquake, said Cliff Frohlich, associate director and senior research scientist at the University of Texas at Austin's Institute for Geophysics. USGS data show that, since then, it has felt at least one quake at or above a magnitude 3 every year except 2010.

Frohlich said he doesn't think it's a coincidence that an intensification in seismic activity in the Dallas area came the year after a pocket of ground just south of (and thousands of feet below) the DFW airport began to be inundated with wastewater from hydraulic fracturing.

During hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," millions of gallons of high-pressure, chemical-laden water are pumped into an underground geologic formation (the Barnett Shale, in the case of northern Texas) to free up oil. But once fractures have been opened up in the rock and the water pressure is allowed to abate, internal pressure from the rock causes fracking fluids to rise back to the surface, becoming what the natural gas industry calls "flowback," according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

"That's dirty water you have to get rid of," said Frohlich. "One way people do that is to pump it back into the ground."

In a study he recently published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Frohlich analyzed 67 earthquakes recorded between November 2009 and September 2011 in a 43.5-mile (70 kilometers) grid covering northern Texas' Barnett Shale formation. He found that all 24 of the earthquakes with the most reliably located epicenters originated within 2 miles (3.2 km) of one or more injection wells for wastewater disposal.

The injection well just south of DFW airport has been out of use since September 2011, according to Frohlich, but he says that doesn't rule it out as a cause of the weekend's quakes. He explained that, though water is no longer being added, lingering pressure differences from wastewater injection could still be contributing to the lubrication of long-stuck faults.

"Faults are everywhere. A lot of them are stuck, but if you pump water in there, it reduces friction and the fault slips a little," Frohlich told Life's Little Mysteries. "I can't prove that that's what happened, but it's a plausible explanation."

Oliver Boyd, a USGS seismologist and an adjunct professor of geophysics at the University of Memphis, agrees that, in general, links between wastewater injection and seismic activity are plausible.

"Most, if not all, geophysicists expect induced earthquakes to be more likely from wastewater injection rather than hydrofracking," Boyd wrote in an email to Life's Little Mysteries. "This is because the wastewater injection tends to occur at greater depth where earthquakes are more likely to nucleate. I also agree [with Frohlich] that induced earthquakes are likely to persist for some time (months to years) after wastewater injection has ceased."

For past examples of likely human-induced earthquakes, Boyd points to the story of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal, a now-closed U.S. Army chemical weapons manufacturing center that operated just outside of Denver until the early '90s.

In 1961, the Rocky Mountain Arsenal drilled a 12,000-foot-deep (3,658 meters) waste fluid disposal well near Denver. According to the USGS, "an unusual series of earthquakes erupted in the area soon after."

Use of the well was discontinued in February 1966. A year and a half later, on Aug. 9, 1967, a 5.3-magnitude earthquake, the most powerful in Denver's history, struck. It was followed by a 5.2-magnitude quake in the region that November, according to the USGS.

On a related note, with reports only recently confirming that fracking is not, as long as its properly regulated, the earthquake-generating terror we thought it was, a U.S. geothermal company has decided it’s a great idea to extract clean energy from a dormant volcano by hydrofracking its hot underbelly to generate steam.

AltaRock Energy and Davenport Newberry, the companies behind the $43 million plan, have been granted a permit to hydrofrack the hot rocks flanking the Newberry volcano in Oregon, where Davenport Newberry has secured federal leases on 62 square miles of land. This will involve injecting water into a series of cracks in the rocks at a high enough pressure that it reaches three kilometres beneath the surface, fracturing connected veins of rock to access the heat beneath and creating a series of connected geothermal reservoirs in the process. Water will be introduced to these reservoirs, where heat from the rocks will turn it to steam, which then turns turbines at surface-level to generate electricity.

Susan Petty, president and founder of AltaRock Energy, said in a company blog post that “creating multiple reservoirs from a single injection multiplies the amount of energy that can be extracted from each production well,” and will “extend the life of the well and increase the energy recovery from each well, significantly improving the economics of enhanced geothermal system power generation.”

Fracking is a method typically used to extract fossil fuels, and one that has caused controversy in recent years because of its potential to trigger (albeit mild) earthquakes. According to a recent survey by the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering, however, earthquakes are unlikely if companies employ “best practice” and enforce strict regulatory procedures. With any risk factor at all, however, it seems odd that a volcano would be a first choice to set up shop. Especially when that volcano hasn’t erupted for 1,400 years and the U.S. Geological Survey says it “is certain to erupt again”.

If it’s successful, though, the system will be a huge step up from the standard geothermal energy extraction practice of using steam from convective hot water wells that occur naturally underground. Rather than looking for that water, this enhanced geothermal system (EGS) goes straight to the heat’s source — the hot rocks. According to a 2006 report by MIT into the benefits of EGS, a projected investment of $1 billion in the U.S. over a 15-year period could deliver more than 100,000 electric megawatts (MWe) of new capacity by 2050. As a comparison, France’s largest nuclear reactor produces 1,600 MWe.

Although messing with a geological structure where molten lava bubbles beneath the surface at temperatures of nearly 2,400 degrees Fahrenheit might not sound like the most sensible idea, the move could pave the way for a new kind of cost-effective geothermal energy extraction. It’s also been deemed safe by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, which granted the permit. According to the Bureau’s independent studies the project presents no risk of earthquake or water contamination.

The reservoirs are due to be set up this autumn, after which production wells will be drilled to connect the rock fractures. Testing will then be carried out to investigate how good a heat exchanger the spot will be, and an installed advanced microseismic array will provide seismologists with data to verify safety. This phase should be completed by 2014, by which time the team at AltaRock hope the efficacy and cost-efficiency of the method will have been proven.

According to a release from AltaRock, the purpose of the new technology is “to lower the cost of EGS, and thus allow economic extraction of heat from the earth in locations where high temperatures can be reached by conventional drilling techniques but there is no natural circulating geothermal system”.

Source: Life's Little Mystery and Wired

- The Past Inside the Present Department -

Is Time Travel Possible? Scientists Say Maybe

You can advance into future, but going backward is a problem — and may collapse universe.

Time travel is a staple of science fiction, with the latest rendition showing up in the film "Looper." And it turns out jumps through time are possible, according to the laws of physics, though traveling into the future looks to be much more feasible than traveling into the past.

"Looper" stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Joe, an assassin who kills targets sent back in time by the mob. Things get complicated when Joe is assigned to kill his future self, played by Bruce Willis. The movie, produced by TriStar Pictures, opened Friday.

In this imagining, time travel has been put to nefarious uses by people operating outside the law. But could such a thing ever happen in real life? [ Gallery: Time Travel in "Looper"]

"It's actually consistent with the laws of physics to change the rate at which clocks run," said Edward Farhi, director of the Center for Theoretical Physics at MIT. "There's no question that you can skip into the future."

However, Farhi told LiveScience, "most physicists think you can go forward, but coming back is much more problematic."

The roots of time travel stem from Einstein's theory of relativity, which revealed how the passage of time is relative, depending on how fast you are traveling. The faster you go, the more time seems to slow down, so that a person traveling on a very fast starship, for example, would experience a journey in two weeks that seemed to take 20 years to people left behind on Earth.

In this way, a person who wanted to travel to a period in the future need only board a fast enough vehicle to kill some time.

"That was a huge thing when Einstein realized the flow of time was not a constant thing," Farhi said.

However, this kind of manipulation only affects the rate at which time moves forward. No matter your speed, time will still progress toward the future, leaving scientists struggling to predict how one might travel to the past.

Some outlandish solutions to Einstein's equations do suggest that traveling backward in time might be possible, but to do so could require about half the mass of the universe in energy, and would likely destroy the universe in the process.

And even if science presented a method for backward time travel, there are troubling paradoxes involved.

"If you could go back in time, you could prevent your parents from getting together and making you," Farhi said. "I think some people might say it ends there." [ Video - Looper Time-Travel ]

Still, since physics doesn't forbid time travel in either direction, the door remains open for future solutions.

"I don't know of a definitive theorem that says it absolutely cannot happen, other than it leads to logical paradoxes and it can also cause the entire universe to collapse," Farhi said.

Source: MSNBC


'Too Holy' For Sex? The Problem of a Married Jesus

If a fourth-century fragment of papyrus that purportedly quotes Jesus telling his disciples about "my wife" is authenticated, it could upend the modern church’s understanding of the “son of God.”

“If Jesus is a normal human being and he’s sexual, that’s the real fear,” James Tabor, a biblical scholar at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and the co-author of books about Jesus and his family, told NBC News. “You can’t think of Jesus like that because he’s too holy.”

The Bible contains no explicit mentions of Jesus being either married or not married, but few churches have room for the idea of a sexual Jesus. The Catholic Church’s celibate priesthood is built on the belief that Jesus was not married. Eastern Orthodox priests are often married, but the church teachings don’t mention a married Jesus. Protestant ministers are allowed to marry, but there again, it is not common to teach that Jesus himself was married.

"I would say that the more conservative groups might be more inclined to be bothered by the idea of a married Jesus, and especially that he might have had a child, god forbid, since that would really raise questions about his 'divinity,' since they see him as fully human and fully God," Tabor subsequently explained in an email.

"Can God sleep with a woman and have a child? It just doesn't fit the concept they want for Jesus," he said.

The Unification Church, however, does believe that Jesus was supposed to get married, and some of the early teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints stated Jesus was married and even fathered children, although that belief is not widespread today.

The Mormon and the Unification Church’s beliefs, however, have more to do with their own theology of marriage rather than with scripture, Ben Witherington III, a New Testament professor at the Asbury Theological Seminary, told NBC News.

Unlike their modern counterparts, there is evidence that some early Christians -- the Valentinian Gnostics -- believed Jesus was married, according to April DeConick, a biblical scholar at Rice University. The recently discovered papyrus, she told NBC News, would be the second piece of evidence from an ancient Christian gospel that early Christians were not bothered by the idea of a married Jesus. The first piece of evidence -- which DeConick said comes from the Gospel of Philip -- identifies Mary Magdalene as Jesus' wife.

Karen L. King, the Harvard Divinity School professor who unveiled the papyrus, cautioned that the discovery does not serve as evidence that the historical Jesus was married.

"This new gospel doesn't prove that Jesus was married, but it tells us that the whole question only came up as part of vociferous debates about sexuality and marriage,” King said in a press release. “From the very beginning, Christians disagreed about whether it was better not to marry, but it was over a century after Jesus' death before they began appealing to Jesus' marital status to support their positions."

The Christians who eventually became dominant, DeConick said, believed celibacy was the route to heaven.

“Catholicism was deeply shaped by monasticism in its formative period,” Witherington said, adding that he thinks this belief brought about “a very deficient view of the goodness of human sexuality as a gift from god.”

“There’s just nothing biblical about that,” he argued. But Catholics couldn’t imagine Jesus as married, because that would have “tainted” his holy image, he said.

DeConick, who explored sex and gender in early Christianity in her book, “Holy Misogyny,” said that in the ancient world, the female body was considered weak, pitiful and wretched.

“We have so many hundreds of years of an understanding of sexuality that in some way sex is not divine, it’s not sacred,” she said. “It’s going to be a long hard road for people to see a figure that they think is god as being engaged in a sexual activity – even with a wife.”

Witherington believes most churches will likely be ambivalent about a married Jesus because the implications are unclear. But he said some liberal Protestants might even accept the idea that Jesus could have had children in the same way as some Protestant churches no longer teach the doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary.

“It doesn’t mean [the children]'d be as perfect as dad,” he said. “That would be a hard act to follow whether you’re a wife or a kid.”

The public, however, appears more open to the idea of a married Jesus. Ongoing for centuries, the debate about the possibility that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene was also the subject of author Dan Brown’s bestseller, “The Da Vinci Code.” Both the book and the recent discovery of the papyrus fragment that reignited the debate have garnered a positive reaction from the public.

“Maybe it makes him more human for us,” Tabor said.

Witherington, who wrote a book debunking some of the statements made in “The Da Vinci Code,” said he encountered the same “enormous positive reaction” on his book tour at the time.

“There was such a willingness to believe that what Dan Brown was saying was the gospel about Jesus,” he said.

“Jesus was an early Jew. I don’t think Jesus had any qualms about marriage,” Witherington added. “But [Jesus] also thinks it was perfectly viable for an able-bodied man to become single for the sake of [god’s] kingdom.”

Source: NBC News


The Forgotten Underworld of Japan

Graham Hancock explains his initial interest in prehistoric underwater archaeology in chapter 28 of Underworld, entitled “Maps of Japan and Taiwan 13,000 Years Ago?” In the opening paragraph he writes: “It was the submerged structures of Japan that first awakened me to the possibility that an underworld in history, unrecognized by archaeologists, could lie concealed and forgotten beneath the sea” (Hancock 2002). Since the book’s release, Hancock has become the world’s most outspoken proponent of investigating sunken ruins in an effort to learn more about possible lost civilizations.

Many anomalous structures scattered around the world bear the signature of human design. In addition to the few we have discussed, other notable ones are the sunken city beneath the Gulf of Cambay off the southwest coast of India, the ruins found off Cuba, and finally, and most important, the underwater pyramids of Yonaguni, Japan. All of these structures, except those found off of Cuba, are known to have been above water within the past thirteen thousand years, during the last ice age.

In the earliest times, the prehistoric inhabitants of Japan, the Jomon, developed a sophisticated material culture. The Jomon were not of typical East Asian descent; they were proto-Caucasoids, fair-skinned with prominent noses and full, light-colored beards. Many other similarities link them to other primitive people in the Americas and ancient Northern Europe. Although their society was primitive by the standards of later times, they were the first culture on Earth to develop pottery, according to mainstream theorists. Examples of this technology date back to 16,000 BCE. This was a time when many of the submerged structures of Yonaguni would have been above water, and if they were in fact built by human hands, this would have been the time that their construction was underway. Some of the figurines from later in the Jomon period depict what appear to be humanoid creatures with space suits, including helmets, or even, in some cases, underwater breathing apparatuses.

Erich von Däniken noted this in a number of his books, including his most famous, Chariots of the Gods? His intent was to point directly to ancient aliens, but I’d rather think that in the distant past humans were more inventive than they are now, and that there were civilizations deep in antiquity, perhaps of terrestrial origin, whose technology and cultural sophistication far surpassed our own. The Jomon even possessed, though cruder in construction, megalithic technology; several stone circles built by them are known to exist.

Without a doubt, Japanese culture is graced with a rich mythological heritage. In 712 CE this wealth of myth and legend culminated in the first written chronicle of Japan, known as the Kojiki. Many stories in this manuscript told of horrendous earthquakes and conflagrations. There were entire ages when the world was ruled by the gods. During this mythical age of gods and empires, the Jomon were the dominant race of the Japanese islands.

The modern legacy of Japan’s underwater ruins dates back to 1987. On a clear and windy spring day, dive-master Kihachiro Aratake headed out to explore. Shortly after entering the sapphire blue water of the East China Sea, he began searching for unique formations that would prove interesting. Suddenly, he was confronted with an enigma. Right before him was what appeared to be a massive stone monument, rising some twelve meters from the ocean floor. Aratake said when he looked at it for the very first time he thought of the pyramids of Egypt, such as the stepped pyramid of Saqqarah, or those of ancient Mesopotamia. He felt that some noble race must have built these awesome ruins, for some divine reason. He called this initial site Iseki Point, or “Monument” Point.

Aratake’s initial discovery was 73 meters long, 27 meters wide, and 14 meters high (Joseph 2005, 172–77). But this wasn’t the only relevant discovery. Additional sites were also located from the small island of Yonaguni in the southwest, to Okinawa and a considerable swath of the surrounding territories. Two of these locations were Kerama and Aguni, approximately 500 kilometers away.

Graham Hancock had an opportunity to investigate these locations early on in his scuba-diving career. As Hancock reports, for a number of years the divers at the island of Aka, in the Kerama group some 40 kilometers west of Okinawa, have talked about a series of submerged stone circles at a depth of some 30 meters. Other structures very close by show evidence of being cut and worked by human hands. The preeminent structure at Kerama is the “Central Circle.” Resting at an approximate depth of 27 meters, it has a diameter of 20 meters. Other features include the “Small Center Circle” and the “Stone Circle,” the latter of which has an enormous diameter of about 150 meters (Hancock 2002, 10).

Off Aguni Island, they’ve discovered what appear to be stone shafts built by human hands. Hancock writes: “As they are lined with small blocks, there is little doubt that these shafts are man-made. The largest and deepest has a diameter of 3 meters and reached a maximum depth (below the summit of the sea-mount) of about 10 meters. Others are typically 2 to 3 meters in diameter with a depth of less than 7 meters. A few are narrower and shallower. One has a subsidiary chamber cut sideways into the wall of the main shaft” (Hancock 2002, 10).

In 1996, Ken Shindo, a local Okinawan dive-master, told Graham Hancock a fascinating story of an anomalous underwater structure near the tiny fishing community of Yonaguni, Japan, the southernmost island of the Japanese chain. Shindo explained that he had been working with Professor Masaaki Kimura, a marine seismologist of the University of the Rykyus. He outlined several basic points regarding direct human intervention in the formation of the site. These include “traces of marks that show that human beings worked the stone. There are holes made by wedge-like tools called kusabi in many locations” (Hancock 2002, 597).

The structure is continuous from under the water to land, and evidence of the use of fire is present. Stone tools are among the artifacts found underwater and on land. Some tablets with carving that appears to be letters of symbols, such as what we know as the plus mark “+” and a “V” shape, were retrieved from under the water” (Hancock 2002, 598). These findings exist amid a cultural and mythological backdrop that seems vast, imposing, and incalculable.

Frank Joseph is a scholar and author who has studied the matter of Japanese ruins extensively. In an article published in Atlantis Rising magazine in 1997, entitled “Japan’s Underwater Ruins,” he writes: “If, after all ongoing exploration here does indeed reveal more structures linking Yonaguni with Okinawa, the individual sites may be separate components of a huge city lying at the bottom of the Pacific” (Joseph 2005, 172). Frank Joseph wholeheartedly believes in the significance of this discovery. It is possible that in time his belief in a once-vast Pacific motherland will prevail. With the enormous advances in archaeology and independent research, confirmation may yet take place. However, the concept of a sophisticated civilization in the Pacific is in part a product of his hyperdiffusionism.

Joseph writes:

Okinawa’s drowned structures find possible counterparts at the eastern limits of the Pacific Ocean, along Peruvian coasts. The most striking similarities occur at ancient Pachacamac, a sprawling religious city a few miles south of the modern capital at Lima. Although functioning into Inca times, as late as the sixteenth century, it pre-dated the Incas by at least 1,500 years and was the seat of South America’s foremost oracle. Pilgrims visited Pachacamac from all over Tawantinsuyu, the Inca Empire, until it was sacked and desecrated by the Spaniards under Francisco Pizarro’s high-spirited brother, Hernando, with 22 heavily armed conquistadors. Enough of the sun-dried, mud-brick city remains, with its sweeping staircases and broad plazas, to suggest parallels with the sunken buildings around Okinawa. Two other pre-Inca sites in the north, just outside Trujillo, likewise share some leading elements in common with the overseas, undersea structures. The so-called Temple of the Sun is a terraced pyramid built two thousand years ago by a people known as the Moche. More than 100 feet high and 684 feet long, the irregularly stepped platform of unfired adobe bricks was formerly the colossal centerpiece of a city sheltering thirty thousand inhabitants. Its resemblance to the structure found at Yonaguni is remarkable (Joseph 2005, 174).

Others such as my good friend Robert Schoch—although open to differing theories of civilizations that are now submerged—consider at least a few of the known examples, including Yonaguni, to be naturally formed. Regarding Yonaguni, Schoch writes:

As far as I could determine, [the monument was] composed entirely of solid “living” bedrock. No part of the monument is constructed of separate blocks of rock that have been placed into position. This is an important point, for carved and arranged rock blocks would definitively indicate a man-made origin for the structure—yet I could find no such evidence. During my initial two dives of September 1997 I was unable to determine, even in a general way, the stone of which the Yonaguni Monument is composed. This was due to the fact that the surfaces of the rocks are covered by various organisms (algae, corals, sponges, and so forth) that obscure the actual surfaces. I believe that this coating of organic material tends to make the surfaces of the Yonaguni Monument appear more regular and homogeneous than they actually are. This, in part, enhances the impression that this must be an artificial, man-made structure (Schoch 1999).

Schoch has often suggested that such natural geologic formations could have been utilized or modified by humans during that above-water period. He says in Voices of the Rocks:

Possibly the choice between natural and human-made isn’t simply either/or. Yonaguni Island contains a number of old tombs whose exact age is uncertain, but that are clearly very old. Curiously the architecture of the tombs is much like that of the monument. It is possible that humans were imitating the monument in designing the tombs, and it is equally possible that the monument was itself somehow modified by human hands. That is, the ancient inhabitants of the island may have partially reshaped or enhanced a natural structure to give it the form they wished, either as a structure on its own or as the foundation of a timber, mud or stone building that has since been destroyed. It is also possible that the monument served as a quarry from which blocks were cut, following the natural bedding, joint and fracture planes of the rock, then removed to construct buildings that are now long gone (Hancock 2002, 599–600).

Schoch offers compelling, practical, and engaging arguments, with a fair dose of common sense. But I don’t feel we can measure structures like Yonaguni with any practical measuring systems. The ruins of Yonaguni, or whatever they are, have passed away from our normal realm of existence, into the shadowy underworld of the unusual and unexplained. We must view the ruins with an open mind and must not be afraid to ask strange or absurd questions, because that devotion to curious inquiry is truly the root of all human knowledge.

Conclusive evidence must and will be found regarding the artificiality of anomalous underwater structures such as those found at Yonaguni and off the coast of Cuba. Furthermore, ruins such as those found near India and beneath the waters of Lake Titicaca offer further evidence for the existence of a vast underwater world containing structures stretching back to the dimmest chapters of human antiquity. Contrary to Plato’s vision of the existence and destruction of Atlantis, is it becoming clear that there may in fact be more than one Atlantis—whether it be near Tartessos, Helike; or Palvoperti in Greece; Dwarka, off the coast of India; or the sunken pyramids at Rock Lake, Wisconsin. We are learning more with every discovery, and through independent research and investigation and the implementation of the latest in investigative technology we are cracking the code of the underwater worlds with regard to how they relate to our ancient past.

Excerpted from "Forgotten Worlds: From Atlantis to the X-Woman of Siberia and the Hobbits of Flores", published by Inner Traditions, Bear & Company.

Source: Reality Sandwich


The Koropokkuru-Did Pygmy Race Once Inhabit Japan?

A commonly occurring phenomenon seen in the folklore and myth of a wide range of cultures throughout the world is the existence of miniature humanoid creatures. Faeries, dwarves, leprechauns, or by whatever other names they are known, mysterious little people of various types have consistently emerged as important elements of folklore across the globe since time unremembered.

On the island of Hokkaido, in the cold northern reaches of the Japanese archipelago, the indigenous Ainu people too have their long traditions of an ancient race of dwarf-like people thought to have inhabited the land long before humans arrived.

The Ainu knew these creatures as the Koropokkuru, also often written in other ways such as Kor-pok-un-kur, Koro-pok-guru, and Koro Pokunguru. They are also sometimes referred to as the Tsuchigumo. The name Koropokkuru is most commonly translated as “the people who live under the burdock leaves,” and implies the diminutive size of the creatures. In some stories a whole family was said to be able to fit underneath one burdock leaf, with one such leaf measuring about 4 feet across. The size reported for the Koropokkuru, however, actually varies from tradition to tradition, and they were said to be anywhere from 2 or 3 feet in height all the way down to only mere inches in height.

In addition to their small size, the Koropokkuru were said to be rather rough and primitive looking, with large heads, prominent brows, and short, squashed noses. They were sometimes said to have reddish skinned faces. Most commonly Koropokkuru are described as being rather hairy and odiferous. The non-Ainu Japanese of the time, and even early western explorers, already regarded the indigenous Ainu people as hairy brutes, and those who were acquainted with the Koropokkuru as well described these creatures as even more so.

Despite this brutish appearance, the Koropokkuru had some signs of sophistication. They were said to use flint or stone knives, scrapers, and other simple implements, and were also known for their ability in the art of pottery, which the Aiunu were not known to practice. Also unlike the Ainu, the Korropokkuru were said to dwell in pit dwellings, basically huts built over round holes in the earth, and this led them to sometimes be referred to as “the pit dwellers.”

The Koropokkuru were also known to be capable of speech, and were able to communicate with the Ainu in this manner.

According to Ainu lore, this dwarf race was exceedingly shy and did not like to be seen. Nevertheless, they were known to trade with the Ainu on occasion, although such transactions were brief and typically done under the cover of night. For the most part, the Koropokkuru were only fleetingly seen, and kept their distance from Ainu affairs.

The Koropokkuru and Ainu were said to have peacefully shared the land like this until a war broke out between them and the Koropokkuru were subsequently wiped out or driven away. After this disappearance and with the ever greater presence of mankind in Hokkaido, this mysterious race of ancient little people seemed to have vanished forever.

Was there any truth to any of these stories of small, humanoid creatures living in the wilds of Hokkaido, and if so what were they?

There has been some scattered evidence proposed over the years for such a non-Ainu race living in Hokkaido. Archeologists have found evidence of strange pit dwellings all over Japan that are consistent with the stories of the Koropokkuru dwellings, but not consistent with the Ainu, who have always lived in thatched houses. These pits have often been found to contain stone implements not typical of the Ainu, as well as mysterious tools that seem too small to be comfortable or efficient for normal human-sized hands.

Another archeological find that has been used in the past to support the existence of the Koropokkuru was made in 1877 by Edward S. Morse, one of the first to conduct proper archeological investigations in Japan. At a site known as the O-mori shell mound, Morse found an array of anthropologically significant pottery in that it did not fit in with what was known about Ainu culture. The pottery conflicted with the lack of such a craft among Ainu, and the mystery deepened with Ainu denial that their ancestors had ever practiced it. Morse found this odd, and by the time he published his find in 1879, he had come to the conclusion that the O-mori site was not an Ainu one, but rather that of some Neolithic race that predated the Ainu.

Morse’s paper on the matter, entitled Shell Mounds of O-mori, was actually quite significant in its time, and is widely regarded as marking the birth of Japanese anthropology and archeology.

Tsuboi Sho-goro-, a student of Morse as well as a founding member of the Anthropological Society and a later professor of anthropology at the Tokyo Imperial University, looked at the pottery and was mostly responsible for formulating a connection between these hypothetical ancient people and the dwarf-like Koropukkuru.

Tsuboi uncovered the Ainu stories of the Koropokkuru and was struck by the affinity for pottery that they were said to display, something that was not associated with the Ainu. He used this information to further support Morse’s claims and to build that into a case for the existence of these creatures. Based on the pottery, pit dwellings, and stone implements, all inconsistent with Ainu, Tsuboi hypothesized that these objects were not made by Ainu, but rather by the Koropokkuru.

Other anthropologists and scholars also came to similar conclusions, furthering the introduction of the Koropokkuru into academic discourse, however these ideas were highly controversial and fiercely debated at the time.

If there was indeed some sort of Stone Age race of half sized, tool using, pit dwelling humanoids in Japan, what were they and where did they come from?

One possibility is that the Koropokkuru were some type of race of pygmy humans. Pygmies are various ethnic groups around the world that are known for their small statures. These peoples are defined as pygmies if their average height is less than 150cm (4 feet 11 inches). Pygmies can be found in Africa, the Malay Peninsula, the Andaman Islands, New Guinea, and the Philippines. Many of these far flung pygmy groups share similar characteristics such as certain physical traits and social customs, which seems to suggest that they were perhaps more common in the past and may have shared a common ancestry.

If pygmies have been able to spread out over such distances and inhabit various islands and continents, it seems at least feasible that one such group of people could have at some point made its way to Japan. Although a lost tribe of Japanese pygmies may be behind stories of the Koropokkuru, the rough, brutish physical characteristics described by the Ainu seem to suggest that these dwarves may be something else entirely.

Many cultures around the world have long reported the existence of half-sized, hairy hominids lurking in the wilds of the world. These undersize hominids are known to many cryptozoologists as “Proto-Pygmies,” a term coined by the cryptozoologist Ivan T. Sanderson, originally as “proto-pigmies.” Proto-Pygmies are typically described as being bipedal and very human-like, only covered with hair, which is sometimes of differing lengths, and possessing rough features such as prominent brows and short, thick noses.

The possible existence of such seemingly fantastical creatures got a shot in the arm with the discovery of remains of a race of miniature hominids found on Flores Island in the Indonesian archipelago. The skeletal remains and other artifacts were found in Liang Bau Cave, on the Indonesian island of Flores, in 2003, and were first described in 2004. The creatures came to be known as Homo floresiensis, and are sometimes referred to as the “Hobbits of Flores.”

Research done on the relatively complete remains of a female specimen referred to as LB1, or the “Little Lady of Flores,” has shown that this full grown adult stood at a height of just 106cm (3 ft 11inches). It has also been established that these creatures were not merely dwarfed regular humans, but rather representatives of a completely new species of diminutive hominins.

Perhaps just as surprising as the existence of these creatures is that specimens found thus far have been dated as being 90,000 to 18,000 years old, which makes them contemporaneous with modern humans. It is thought that these “Hobbits” may have existed as little as 12,000 years ago, and maybe even beyond.

These creatures seem to have had a high level of intelligence and relatively sophisticated technology. Among the skeletal remains of Homo floresiensis found in the cave, there were stone tools, including advanced types such as flaked points and evidence of fire use, marking them as being probably at least as intelligent as the humans of the time.

Having such a wonderfully unique creature living contemporary to humans is exciting enough, but it also has far reaching implications for the various accounts of little hairy humanoids reported in modern times. If something like Homo floresiensis has managed to survive into the present day, it gives us a realistic basis upon which to base accounts of similar creatures throughout the region.

Already there are relatively contemporary accounts of pygmy hominids in the immediate area that survived until as recently as the 19th century. Among the local people, the creatures were known as the Ebu Gogo, which were said to be small, hairy, cave dwellers. Indonesia also has its stories of the Orang Pendek, a small hairy hominid that is often likened to Homo floresiensis. Stories such as these suggest that perhaps these Flores Hobbits have retained remnant populations in the region.

It would perhaps not be too unusual to find Homo floresiensis, or at least relatives of them, on other Indonesian islands. Stone tools linked to Homo floresiensis have been found on Flores that date back to 840,000 to 750,000 years ago, far predating the arrival of modern humans some 40,000 years ago. The question is how did they get there? Flores Island has long remained isolated, with no land bridges for such creatures to cross. Even when sea levels were at their lowest, Flores was still separated from the mainland by 24 km (15 miles) of water. This suggests that in addition to their tool use and ability to utilize fire, Homo floresiensis, or their ancestors, were able to cross sea barriers as well, perhaps by using some sort of primitive rafts.

The idea of sea going ancestors of Homo floresiensis opens up a whole world of possibilities regarding Proto-Pygmies beyond Flores Island and even Indonesia. In fact, stories of hairy little people are scattered throughout Oceania.

Hawaii has its Menehune, 2 to 3 foot tall hominids with stout, muscular bodies, low foreheads, and reddish faces. Interestingly the Koropokkuru similarly are described as having red faces. Ceylon has a type of 3 foot tall hairy hominid known as the Nittaewo. Fiji too has stories of tiny, 2 foot tall hairy dwarves. On the island of Palau, remains were found of an “insular dwarf” that dated to a mere 900 – 2,800 years ago. The northern mountains of Queensland, Australia have long been thought to be the haunt of a race of miniature hairy humanoids known as the Junjdy. These beings were said to be half the size of the native Aborigines.

Is it possible that Homo floresiensis, or their ancestors, possibly Homo erectus, spread out throughout Oceania and evolved in isolation into the many kinds of Proto-Pygmies reported today from these far flung places?

If so, could such creatures not have made it to other parts of the Pacific as well, including Japan?

Certainly if these creatures did cross sea barriers and manage to inhabit a place as far from Indonesia as Hawaii, the idea that they could have reached Japan should not be too entirely far-fetched.

A Proto-Pygmy related to the Flores hobbits would fit in quite well with the stories of the Koropokkuru. The appearance seems to bear a resemblance, as does the use of stone tools present in both of these creatures. It is thought that Homo floresiensis was quite possibly capable of speech, although to what extent is not well understood. This ability to speak could possibly explain why the Koropokkuru had the ability to interact and trade with the Ainu, at least in some rudimentary manner. Indeed the vocalizations often reported with Proto-Pygmies in other parts of the Pacific could also be explained by this ability to produce speech.

A remnant population of an ancestor of Homo floresiensis, evolved in isolation on the island of Hokkaido, Japan, does not seem to be a completely impossible notion especially when considering what we know of these “Flores Hobbits” and the amount of Proto-Pygmy accounts scattered throughout the Pacific region. Maybe the presence of these early hominids was more far-reaching than is currently suspected.

It is also possible that these creatures may even be remnant populations of some early early human ancestor such as Homo erectus, possibly displaying island dwarfism and other adaptations due to the geographical isolation on the island of Hokkaido.

Although there are no modern accounts of the Koropokkuru, the mystery remains. Did these Japanese Proto- Pygmies exist? Was there ever a race of ancient, miniature hominids that lived contemporaneously with human beings in Japan? If so, what could they have been? Were they a population of pygmy hominids or merely folkloric shadow creatures from another time?

These are questions for which we have no answers at this point. Yet perhaps the answers are somewhere out there right now in the cold, expansive wilderness of Hokkaido.

Source: Cryptomundo


Newton's Belief in Spirits May Have Led to the Theory of Gravity

Isaac Newton's belief in spirits and alchemy may have been essential to achieving his towering scientific achievement.

Hot on the heels of Isaac Newton's apple appearing at the Paralympics comes a new celebration of his life and achievements. The Gravity Fields Festival begins on Friday in Grantham, Lincolnshire. For eight days, Newton's life and times will be commemorated by more than 100 events around the town, during what could become a biennial event.

Grantham lies close to Newton's birthplace, Woolsthorpe Manor, and contains the King's School, which the young Isaac attended. On Saturday at 3pm a blue plaque in his honour will be unveiled by the Astronomer Royal, Sir Martin Rees.

Often wrongly portrayed as a cold rationalist, Isaac Newton is one of history's most compelling figures. It is true that he was capable of the most precise and logical thought it is possible for a human to achieve: his three years of obsessive work that gave birth to the Principia, containing his theory of gravity, stand as the greatest achievement in science.

Just as certainly, though, he was also consumed with what we would now view as completely unscientific pursuits: alchemy and biblical prophesy.

Alchemy was a major passion of Newton's. In a footnote on page 21 of Richard Westfall's meticulous biography, Never at Rest, the author states: "My modes of thought are so far removed from those of alchemy that I am constantly uneasy in writing on the subject … [Nevertheless] my personal preferences cannot make more than a million words he wrote in the study of alchemy disappear."

Historian and novelist Rebecca Stott wrote in her novel Ghostwalk that with those words, "Westfall admitted to wishing that he could make those million words disappear." That may be stretching it somewhat but clearly Newton's alchemy is a bit of an embarrassment to modern scholars.

Then there was Newton's biblical prophesy. In almost the same years that he was working on the Principia, he also wrote a treatise on Revelation in which he talked about souls burning in lakes of fire. With talk like that, he could have been the lyricist for Iron Maiden. (He had the hair too.)

Tempting as it is to dismiss all of this as somehow removed from Newton's science, his belief in spirits and what the alchemists called active principles almost certainly allowed him to conceive gravity in the mathematical form that we still use today.

In Newton's time, the natural philosophers had turned their backs on astrology and with it, the idea that influences could simply leap across empty space. Instead impulses had to be transmitted through things touching one another. So, if there was a force coming from the Sun that moved the planets, then it had to do so through a medium.

Perhaps it was a fluid, driven to circulate by the rotation of the sun, which carried the planets around. This was the thinking of French philosopher René Descartes.

Yet Newton could not make the mechanical solution of Descartes work. The vortices simply could not reproduce the changes in speed of the planets as they approached the sun.

Alchemy offered a way out by having as a philosophical underpinning that non-material influences – spirits – existed. These needed no physical contact and could induce transformations or movement through the triggering of "active principles" within an object.

Primed to believe in these ideas, Newton discovered a simple, elegant mathematical equation that described the behaviour of gravity without the need for an intervening fluid. Gravity apparently worked across empty space. He called this principle "action at a distance" and instead of "spirit" began using the word "force" to better reflect its mathematical character.

His equation also reveals the "active principle" that governs an object's response to gravity. It is mass. With such direct analogies to spirits and active principles, Newton must surely have felt some sort of vindication for his alchemical beliefs.

The theory of gravity was so successful that it became one of the triggers for the Age of Enlightenment. Although hardly anyone now believes in the concept of alchemy, we do still believe that gravity can exert an influence across empty space. Engineers still use Newton's maths to launch satellites and send spacecraft to distant planets.

So was Sir Isaac a scientist or a sorcerer? In truth, he was a bit of both. And that was why he could succeed where others had failed.

Source: The Guardian


Spidery Black Things On Mars

You are 200 miles directly above the Martian surface — looking down. This image was taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on Jan. 27, 2010. (The color was added later.) What do we see? Well, sand, mostly. As you scroll down, there's a ridge crossing through the image, then a plain, then dunes, but keep looking. You will notice, when you get to the dunes, there are little black flecks dotting the ridges, mostly on the sunny side, like sunbathing spiders sitting in rows.

What are those things? They were first seen in 1998; they don't look like anything we have here on Earth. To this day, no one is sure what they are, but we now know this: They come, then they go. Every Martian spring, they appear out of nowhere, showing up — 70 percent of the time — where they were the year before. They pop up suddenly, sometimes overnight. When winter comes, they vanish.

As the sun gets hotter, they get more spidery. Here's a closer image — like the one above, this gorgeous print was created by the photographer Michael Benson, just published in his new book, Planetfall. It shows two mounds of sand. The spidery thingies, you'll notice, stay on the rises, not on the flat sandy plains.

What could they be? Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey, from Hungary, from the European Space Agency have all proposed explanations; the leading one is so weird, it's transformed my idea of what it's like to be on Mars. For 20 years, I've thought the planet to be magnificently desolate, a dead zone, painted rouge. But imagine this: Every spring, the sun beats down on a southern region of Mars, morning light melts the surface, warms up the ground below, and a thin, underground layer of frozen CO2 turns suddenly into a roaring gas, expands, and carrying rock and ice, rushes up through breaks in the rock, exploding into the Martian air. Geysers shoot up in odd places. It feels random, like being surprise attacked by a monstrous, underground fountain.

"If you were there," says Phil Christensen of Arizona State University, "you'd be standing on a slab of carbon dioxide ice. All around you, roaring jets of carbon dioxide gas are throwing sand and dust a couple hundred feet into the air." The ground below would be rumbling. You'd feel it in your space boots.

That, anyway, is the leading explanation. The spidery traces that you see in Michael's two prints might be clumps of dark, basaltic sand thrown from the geysers. Or — say a group of Hungarian scientists — they might be colonies of photosynthetic Martian microorganisms, warmed from the sun, now sunbathing in plain view. We still don't know for sure.We've been watching those spider patches come and go for the last decade or so, and for a little while longer, we will have to guess why they're there, or what they're telling us.

We'll have to keep looking.

Source: NPR

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