Secret History


Wreck of 2,000 year old Roman ship discovered near Sardinia

© Polizia di Stato

The well-preserved ancient Roman ship was found in the strait that separates Sardinia from Corsica
The wreck of a 2,000-year-old Roman ship has been discovered on the seabed off the coast of Sardinia with its cargo packed just as it was at the moment of departure.

Resting at a depth of 150 feet in the waters off Santa Teresa Gallura, the vessel is 60 feet long and 23 feet wide and dates to the first or second century A.D.

It was found by Italian police divers, working in collaboration with the Superintendent for Archaeological Heritage.

"The ship was loaded with terracotta roofing tiles, possibly produced in or around Rome," the Italian police said in a statement.

The police statement added the find is of "great scientific value," as the intact and well preserved cargo provides clues on how such vessels were loaded before they left ports.


Holodomor, Ukranian genocide under Stalin, orchestrated by the West

The theory of the Holodomor is reactivated in the media every time Ukraine is about to take a step back to Russia. Just to remind those who are not aware of the tragedy, in 1932-1933 there was a severe famine throughout the USSR that claimed an unprecedented number of lives (up to 7 million victims, according to some debatable estimates).

Paradoxically the famine mostly affected fertile areas in the North Caucasus, the Volga basin, the South Urals, Western Siberia, Ukraine, Belorussia and Kazakhstan. During the last decade several Western historians were recruited to elaborate on the theory that the famine tragedy was a deliberate act of genocide against Ukrainians carried out by Stalin's government. Let's consider the historical facts and try to get closer to the truth regarding the issue of the sources and circumstances of that horrible famine in the USSR.

First of all we have to recall something about the Gold, which surprisingly not always is a mean of payment...

In early 1920s the recently proclaimed Soviet Union was anxious about restoration of its industry totally destroyed after WWI and Civil War in Russia (1918-1921). The Soviets desperately needed modern machinery and industrial equipment. How could they pay it? Soviet government was able to offer to the international market three items: grain, minerals and gold.

Comment: Food as a weapon, sadly no shortage of examples:

Genocide by Other Means [link]
"the disappearance of the bison would be the easiest and quickest way to subdue the nomadic Indians of the Plains"
The Bengal Famine [link], [link]
Winston Churchill, the hallowed British War prime minister who saved Europe from a monster like Hitler was disturbingly callous about the roaring famine that was swallowing Bengal's population.
Irish Potato Famine [link], [link]
one of the earliest examples of food being used as a weapon of ethnic cleansing and genocide
Gaza agriculture decimated by Israeli offensive [link].
food production faces serious obstacles given the damage sustained

Bizarro Earth

The Americans who funded Hitler, Nazis, German economic miracle, and World War II

photo taken by Hugo Jager
Seventy years ago the greatest massacre in history began - with the financing from the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve System of the United States.

A recent resolution by the parliamentary assembly of the OSCE declared that the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany held equal roles in unleashing WWII. Furthermore, the resolution has the purely pragmatic goal of pumping Russian money into a few bankrupt economies while seeking to demonize Russia as the successor to the Soviet Union and prepare the legal groundwork for depriving Moscow from opposing this revisionist view the war. But if we are to debate the culpability for the war's outbreak, then we need to begin by answering this key question: who accommodated the Nazis' rise to power, who directed them towards global catastrophe? Germany's entire prewar history shows that the "necessary" policies were all provided for by guided financial turmoil - the same situation, by the way, that the world finds itself in today.

The key structures of the West's post-war strategy were the central financial institutions of the United States and Great Britain - the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve System - coupled with financial-industrial organizations, who set out to establish absolute control over the financial system in Germany to manage the politics of Central Europe. The implementation of this strategy included the following steps:

1st: 1919-1924 - Preparing the grounds for massive American financial investments in the German economy.
2nd: 1924-1929 - Establishing control over the financial system and funding the National-Socialist movement.
3rd: 1929-1933 - Inciting and unleashing a deep economic crisis ensuring the Nazis would rise to power.
4th: 1933-1939 - Financial cooperation with the Nazi government and support for its expansionist foreign policy, aimed at preparing and unleashing the new world war.


Ancient human with 10 percent Neanderthal genes found

© Wikimedia Commons
A recreation of a Neanderthal.

DNA from a man who lived 40,000 years ago in Romania reveals that up to 11 percent of his genome came from Neanderthals.

Because large segments of the individual's chromosomes are of Neanderthal origin, a Neanderthal was among the man's ancestors as recently as four generations back in his family tree, reports a study published in the latest issue of the journal Nature.

The finding reveals that some of the first members of our species who came to Europe interbred with the local Neanderthals.

To this day, individuals of European and Asian heritage retain Neanderthal DNA in their genomes, but whether or not Neanderthals went extinct or simply were absorbed into the modern human population remains a matter of definition, senior author Svante Pääbo told Discovery News.

"Some Neanderthals clearly became incorporated in modern human societies," said Pääbo, director of the Department of Evolutionary Genetics at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. "It is still unclear exactly how much of the complete Neanderthal genome exists today in people, but it seems to approach something like 40 percent."

"But, of course, the Neanderthals are clearly extinct in the sense that they do not exist as an independent, separate group since some 30,000 or 40,000 years."

David Reich from Harvard Medical School coordinated the population genetic analysis of the study, which was an international effort. At the center of the research were the remains of the man, named "Oase 1," unearthed at a cave system called Peștera cu Oase in Romania.

The researchers believe that the man derived from the same expansion out of Africa as other modern people, but was likely to have been part of an early "pioneer foray into Europe," ahead of other migrations that were to come later.

Under what conditions his relatives, and those of other early Neanderthal-human hybrids, interbred is a big question.

Top Secret

WWII: Minority troops used in chemical experiments

© Shutterstock
The Pentagon admitted decades ago to using American troops to conduct experiments with mustard gas, but a recent investigative report revealed the military grouped subjects by race and compared the results against "normal" whites.

The military tested mustard gas and other chemical agents with about 60,000 enlisted men serving as proxies for enemy troops, reported NPR.

Those troops were broken into racial groups, with white soldiers used as scientific control groups to establish what a "normal" reaction would be, and those results were compared to the reactions of other ethnicities.

"They said we were being tested to see what effect these gases would have on black skins," said Rollins Edwards, a 93-year-old black veteran who took part in the experiments.


World's most inaccessible art found in the heart of the Colombian jungle could be 20,000 years old

© Francisco Forero Bonell/Ecoplanet
Images of rock art that could be 20,000 years old, found in Chiribiquete national park, Colombia.
A British wildlife film-maker has returned from one of the most inaccessible parts of the world with extraordinary footage of ancient rock art that has never been filmed or photographed before.

In an area of Colombia so vast and remote that contact has still not been made with some tribes thought to live there, Mike Slee used a helicopter to film hundreds of paintings depicting hunters and animals believed to have been created thousands of years ago. He said: "We had crews all over the place and helicopters filming all over Colombia. As a photographer, Francisco Forero Bonell discovered and took the pictures for my movie."

The extraordinary art includes images of jaguar, crocodiles and deer. They are painted in red, on vertical rock faces in Chiribiquete national park, a 12,000 square kilometre Unesco world heritage site that is largely unexplored. There are also paintings of warriors or hunters dancing or celebrating. "It is the land that time forgot," Slee told the Observer.

There had previously been only vague reports of rock art in the area, which is known as Cerro Campana, he said: "There's no information, maps or communication. It's such a massive central part of Colombia." Though some paintings had previously been found and photographed elsewhere in Chiribiquete, this Cerro Campana art has never been filmed or photographed, Slee said: "It was an absolutely stunning moment to be able to get the footage."


Are we able to do the right thing?

© Wikimedia Commons
Does anyone want to make the world a better place? Do you know anyone who does? Have you known of anyone who has? Think carefully about these questions, because things are not always as they seem.

In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued an Executive Order as a wartime measure freeing the slaves in the ten states that were in rebellion. It freed about three quarters of the four million slaves in the United States at the time. The remainder were not freed until the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution was ratified in 1865. The order did not outlaw slavery and did not confer citizenship on those freed. It was merely a strategic measure, not a humanitarian gesture. Nevertheless, Lincoln has become known in American history as the Great Emancipator.

The war during which the order was issued resulted in the deaths of approximately three quarters of a million people, and the freedmen, as the former slaves were called, were left to fend for themselves. Many joined the army and after the war were sent West to fulfill America's Manifest Destiny by killing Indians. What a magnificent event the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation was. Men were freed from slavery so they could become Indian slayers. What a great contribution to the improvement of the human condition that was!


The glorious imbecility of war

© Painting by Paul De La Roche, 1814
Napoleon Bonaparte, born in Ajaccio, Corsica, later emperor of France and famous (and usually victorious) general, and later still, pensioner on the island of St. Helena.
The U.S. stock market continues to lollygag along...

Nothing much has changed so far this summer... bar another new panic over Greece. (More on this in Market Insight below...)

Today, on the eve of the bicentennial of the Battle of Waterloo, we do not celebrate war. Only a fool would celebrate something so horrible. But we pay our respects to the glorious imbecility of it.

War may be dreadful, little more than a racket in many ways, but it is also a magnificent undertaking. It engages the heart and the brain at once and exposes both the genius of our race and its incredible stupidity.

Bad Guys

The seeds of fascism in America

© National Archives of Norway
In 1937 Hitler was at the very peak of his power. Ordinary Germans were content and opposition was being ruthlessly crushed.

I have in my library dozens of books that were written about the history of fascism and its politics, economics, religious affiliations and psychology that makes it succeed so often.

That includes the varieties of fascism that were studied in Italy, Germany, Spain, Japan, Britain and America, among others. To my recollection, none of the lessons I learned from my books had been even mentioned during my high school education or even my college careers. I don't recall hearing any of my teachers talk about American-style fascism. And none of my teachers led me to doubt the validity of the anti-democratic, pro-fascist and very unethical Monroe Doctrine, Manifest Destiny, Laissez Faire capitalism, the Dred Scott decision or any of the wartime atrocities that were so commonly perpetrated by American troops in any of its wars (ex: inventing water-boarding on innocent Filipinos and then massacring them during the Spanish-American War).


DNA links 8,500-year-old Kennewick Man to native tribes

© Brittney Tatchell, Smithsonian Institution
This sculpted bust of Kennewick Man by StudioEIS is based on forensic facial reconstruction by sculptor Amanda Danning.
Kennewick Man, one of the oldest and best-preserved skeletons ever found in North America, is closely related to Native Americans, says a year-long genetic study on the 8,500-year-old bones.

The international study, published in the journal Nature, is likely to reignite a bitter legal and scientific battle over the ultimate fate of the skeleton.

"Kennewick Man's genome sequence is closer to that of Native Americans than any other contemporary people's including the Ainu and Polynesians," senior author Eske Willerslev, from the University of Copenhagen's Centre for GeoGenetics, told Discovery News.

The researchers from the University of Copenhagen and Stanford University School of Medicine used the latest in DNA isolation and sequencing techniques to analyze the genetic material in the ancient bones.

"Although the exterior preservation of the skeleton was pristine, the DNA in the sample was highly degraded and dominated by DNA from soil bacteria and other environmental sources," lead author Morten Rasmussen said.

"With the little material we had available, we applied the newest methods to squeeze every piece of information out of the bone," he added.

Willerslev, Rasmussen and colleagues compared the DNA sequences from the skeleton with those of modern Native Americans.

They concluded that, although it is impossible to assign Kennewick Man to a particular tribe, he is closely related to members of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation in Washington.