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Rare Amateur Video of Challenger Disaster Surfaces


A rare home video that captured the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger on Jan. 28, 1986, has been found. Bob Karman and his family were on a return trip from vacation to Disney World, and filmed the launch from the Orlando airport. This is thought to be only the second amateur video taken of the launch, back when home video cameras were just becoming popular.
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Secret Renaissance Letter Reveals Plan to Save England

Thomas Hobbes
© Georgios Kollidas | Shutterstock
Thomas Hobbes was one of Europe's most famous philosophers; now a new document discovered in a collection of papers in the British Library reveals that he put together a plan to win the English Civil War for the king.

A newly discovered document, written by one of Europe's most famous philosophers, Thomas Hobbes, reveals a plan that, if successful, could have turned the tide of one of England's bloodiest wars.

In the words of Hobbes, the plan would prevent the "ruine of the English nation." The document was written during the height of the English civil war, a series of conflicts between 1642 and 1651 that saw King Charles I (and later his son Charles II), pitted against his country's parliament.

Hobbes, whose work encompassed politics, history, law, physics and mathematics, was a strong supporter of the king. And in the newfound document, discovered among papers of English writer John Evelyn in the British Library, Hobbes proposes a plan to win the war by getting the head of the parliamentary navy, Earl of Warwick Robert Rich, to defect.

Hobbes had sent his document to Evelyn's father-in-law, Richard Browne, who acted effectively as the king's ambassador to France. The handwriting is identical to Hobbes',and the document itself is marked "Proposition. E. of Warwick &ct. T. H."

"We don't have any other document of this kind from Hobbes' pen," Noel Malcolm, a senior research fellow at All Souls College, University of Oxford, told LiveScience in an interview. Malcolm explained that Hobbes' political writing tended to be fairly abstract. "Here, you see him get his fingers dirty in real-life politics."

The document, and Malcolm's analysis of it, are published in the most recent issue of The Historical Journal.
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Stone Age Pebble Holds Mysterious Meaning

Ancient Engraving
© Riaan Rifkin
The engraving consisted of a more complex geometric pattern that looks like the letter “X” repeated in a connected series.

A colorful pebble bearing a sequence of linear incisions may be the world's oldest engraving.

The object, which will be described in the April issue of the Journal of Archaeology, dates back approximately 100,000 years ago and could also be the world's oldest known abstract art. It was recovered from Klasies River Cave in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa.

Associated human remains indicate that the engraved piece was certainly made by Homo sapiens," co-author Riaan Rifkin of the University of Witwatersrand's Institute for Human Evolution told Discovery News.

Rifkin and colleagues Francesco d'Errico and Renata Garcia Moreno performed extensive non-invasive analyses of the object. Methods like X-ray fluorescence and microscopic analysis enabled the researchers to examine every minute detail of the ochre pebble, which appears to have split off from a once larger piece.

The scientists conclude that humans intentionally made the sub-parallel linear incisions on the Middle Stone Age pebble.

"Upon engraving the piece with a sharp lithic implement, it is likely to have produced a markedly bright and dark red-maroon powder," Rifkin said. "The design may therefore have been strikingly visible shortly after it was produced."
Blackbox

Claim: 7,500-Year-Old Stone 'Toy Car' Found in Eastern Turkey

Toy Car_1
© Dateline Zero

The "toy car" is on display alongside toy dolls and whistles - all made out of stone - at the Mardin Museum [map]. Archaeologist Mesut Alp reports that the toy car is at least 7,500 years old - dating back to the late Stone Age.

When speaking with the Cihan news agency and reporters with Todays Zaman, Alp insisted that the item is a toy car.

Culture and Tourism Director of Mardin, Davut Beliktay, confirmed that the exhibit piece as a 7,500-year-old toy car.

Beliktay said that the car is "like a copy" of cars today; adding that it also resembles a tractor. However, he didn't explain how a toy car could be 7,500 years old.
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20,000-Year-Old Buildings Discovered in Jordan

A joint British, Danish, American and Jordanian team of archaeologists has discovered 20,000-year-old hut structures at the archaeological site of Kharaneh IV in eastern Jordan.

Ancient Ruins
© I. Ruben
An aerial view of Kharaneh IV site.
According to the University of Cambridge, the discovery suggests that the area was once intensively occupied and that the origins of architecture in the region date back twenty millennia, before the emergence of agriculture.

A paper, published in the journal PLoS-ONE, describes huts that hunter-gatherers used as long-term residences and suggests that many behaviors that have been associated with later cultures and communities, such as a growing attachment to a location and a far-reaching social network, existed up to 10,000 years earlier.

"What we witness at the site of Kharaneh IV in the Jordanian desert is an enormous concentration of people in one place," said Dr. Jay Stock from the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Cambridge, a co-author on the paper.

"People lived here for considerable periods of time when these huts were built. They exchanged objects with other groups in the region and even buried their dead at the site. These activities precede the settlements associated with the emergence of agriculture, which replaced hunting and gathering later on. At Kharaneh IV we have been able to document similar behavior a full 10,000 years before agriculture appears on the scene."
Pharoah

Egypt: Archaeologists begin restoring ancient boat near pyramids

© SCA
In the photo released by the SCA, archeologists work on restoring the ancient boat on site.
Cairo - Archaeologists on Monday began restoration on a 4,500-year-old wooden boat found next to the pyramids, one of Egypt's main tourist attractions. The boat is one of two that were buried next to the Pharaoh Khufu, spokesmen for a joint Egyptian-Japanese team of archeologists said. The boats are believed to have been intended to carry pharaohs into the afterlife.

Khufu, also known as Cheops, is credited with building the Great Pyramid of Giza, the largest of the pyramids. Khufu, son of Snefru, was the second ruler of the 4th Dynasty around 2680 B.C. and ruled Egypt for 23 years. Both boats, made from Lebanese cedar and Egyptian acacia trees, were originally discovered in 1954. One of the boats is on display at a museum near the pyramids.

The second boat, which is now undergoing the restoration, remained buried. It is thought to be smaller than its sister ship, which is about 140 feet (43 meters) long. The head of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, Mustafa Amin, said Egyptologists began taking samples of the wood for restoration on Monday. "The boat was found in a complete shape, intact and in place," he said, adding that the focus now is on taking samples of the wood.
Sherlock

Archaeologists Make Big Find at Aztec Temple in Mexico

A total of 23 pre-Columbian stone plaques dating back approximately 550 years, with carvings illustrating such Aztec myths as the birth of the god of war Huitzilopochtli, were discovered by archaeologists in front of the Great Temple of Tinochtitlan in downtown Mexico City, the National Anthropology and History Institute, or INAH, said.

Bas-relief sculptures on slabs of tezontle (volcanic rock) relate the mythological origins of the ancient Mexica culture through representations of serpents, captives, ornaments, warriors and other figures, the INAH said in a statement.

The pre-Columbian remains are of great archaeological value because this is the first time such pieces have been found within the sacred grounds of Tenochtitlan and can be read "as an iconographic document narrating certain myths of that ancient civilization," archaeologist Raul Barrera said.

Sherlock

US: Pyramids in Florida and Georgia Constructed by Mayans?

© Georgia Dept. of Economic Development
This massive earthen pyramid at Kolomoki Mounds is larger than a football field and over 6 stories tall! Similar pyramids exist in Florida.
Around 200 AD Indians in Florida and Georgia began the construction of enormous earthen pyramids. At the same time corn also arrived in Florida. Corn is a native crop of Mexico and archaeologist William Sears, who first discovered this evidence of corn agriculture in Florida, argued in his book that it must have come from Mexico or Central America.

One such earthen pyramid was constructed in the Florida panhandle at a site known today as the Letchworth-Love Mounds. This "mound," or more accurately "earthen pyramid," is the tallest such earthwork in Florida at over 46 feet high. Pottery collected from this site was mostly of a variety known as Weeden Island. Weeden Island pottery contains many designs and motifs which appear Mesoamerican in orign. Weeden Island pottery likely evolved from another type of pottery known as Swift Creek which was also decorated with a series of designs and symbols which several researchers have noted have a Mesoamerican-appearance.

Across the border in Georgia another huge earthen pyramid was also constructed at the same time as Letchworth. The site, known as Kolomoki Mounds, also features large collections of both Swift Creek and Weeden Island pottery. The archaeologist who recently studied the site noted in his book, Kolomoki: Settlement, Ceremony & Status in the Deep South, that Kolomoki was the most populated settlement north of Mexico during its time period. The large pyramid at Kolomoki has a base larger than a football field and rises 57 feet high.
Sherlock

Charlie Chaplin's Real Name a Mystery Says UK Spies

Charlie Chaplin
© unknown
The real name and birthplace of legendary silent-film star Charlie Chaplin is shrouded in mystery, Britain's domestic spy agency concluded after a probe into U.S. claims he was a communist sympathizer, documents released on Friday revealed.

British MI5 agents were asked in 1952 to investigate Chaplin's background by the FBI, which believed he was using an alias and that his real name was Israel Thornstein, over long-running U.S. suspicions about the actor's left-wing leanings.

Chaplin, one of Hollywood's first and greatest stars famed for his Little Tramp character, believed he was born on April 16, 1889, in south London.

But, an exhaustive search by MI5 found no record of his birth anywhere, nor anything to suggest he was any kind of security risk, declassified files from the spy agency revealed.

"It's very unusual, particularly after investigation by MI5, for the date and place of birth for such a well-known celebrity as Charlie Chaplin to remain so mysterious," said Professor Christopher Andrew, the official historian of MI5.
Attention

Hitler Had Son with French Teen

Adolf Hitler had a son with a French teenager while serving as a soldier during the First World War, according to new evidence.

© AP Photo
Hitler is said to have had an affair with Charlotte Lobjoie, 16, as he took a break from the trenches in June 1917
Jean-Marie Loret, who died in 1985 aged 67, never met his father, but went on to fight Nazi forces during the Second World War.

His extraordinary story has now been backed up by a range of compelling evidence, both in France and in Germany, which is published in the latest edition of Paris's Le Point magazine.

Hitler is said to have had an affair with Mr Loret's mother, Charlotte Lobjoie, 16, as he took a break from the trenches in June 1917.

Although he was fighting the French near Seboncourt, in the northern Picardy region, Hitler made his way to Fournes-in-Weppe, a small town west of Lille, for regular leave.

There he met Miss Lobjoie, who later told their son: "One day I was cutting hay with other women, when we saw a German soldier on the other side of the street.
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