Secret History


Archeologists discover tomb of Attila the Hun - FAKE

© WorldNewsDailyReport
Budapest - Construction workers building the foundations of a new bridge over the Danube River in the Hungarian capitol, have unearthed a spectacular 6th century sepulchre. The analysis of the monument revealed that it was the burial chamber of a great hunnic leader, most likely that of King Attila himself.

"This site is absolutely incredible!" explains Albrecht Rümschtein, an historian from the Lorand Eötvös University in Budapest and member of the team of specialists investigating the tomb. "We found many horse skeletons, as well as various weapons and other artefacts, all traditionally associated with Huns. These objects include a large sword made of meteoric iron, which could certainly be Attila's legendary "Holy War Sword of the Scythians", allegedly given to him by the god Mars himself. In fact, this definitely seems to be the resting place of the almighty Attila, but further analysis needs to be done to confirm it."

Comment: One of our research forum members decided to look into this story; the following are his results and conclusions:

Reasons for questioning the validity of the article in chronological order:

1. No other sources
I did a search to try to find a Hungarian source to back this up, as if this investigation was actually taking place currently and taken as seriously as the article suggests, than it would be all over the Hungarian media. I couldn't find a single source. There have been many claims in the past that they have found Attila the Hun's grave in the past - the last one being in 2012 - but none of them in Budapest.

2. No bridges over the Danube are currently being built or planned to be built in Budapest.
The last bridge that was built in Budapest was in 2008
The last one that was built on the Danube south of Budapest was in 2007. The next one that they're planning on building is slated to start next year. This will also be outside Budapest, in Komarom.

3. No historian is at the Lorand Eotvos University of Budapest (ELTE) by the name of Albrecht Rümschtein.
Link to a list of the Historian faculty members HERE
His name was also a red flag as there's nothing Hungarian about it (though there are instances when this happens) but since I later found out that he doesn't exist, it fits.

4. The original posting website carries some rather questionable other news.
For example if we go to the Politics section, we'll find THIS
Which seems to be something totally made up about the uproar in India because of a new Oliver Stone movie that depicts Gandhi as the Indian Rambo.

Other headlines in the same section include:
- India: Gandhi's Loincloth Sold 85M$ at Auction link
- Last Active Unit of French Resistance Finally Surrenders Weapons link
- Ireland: Man Accused of Stealing Roads Finally Arrested link
- Missouri Squirrels Demand Right to Unionize link
- OBAMA: "School Crossing Guards Should Be Sexier" link
- New Right-Wing Party Triumphs in Legoland Elections link

With these in mind, I think it's pretty safe to say this worldnewsdailyreport is a satire 'news' website, similar to The Onion and not a real news site.

Top Secret

Enemies of America could destroy the CIA with FOIA - CIA director in 1975

Bella Abzug
In mid-1970s, feminist and peace movement activist Congresswoman Bella Abzug tore through the intel world, fearlessly taking on the CIA and the NSA for surveilling Americans. So I've been reading some of her hearings, and it turns out that the dynamics of the intelligence world (in this case the CIA) and its relationship with Congress and the public haven't changed at all. Today, journalist Jason Leopold is nicknamed a 'FOIA terrorist' by a 'certain government agency' because he files so many requests so effectively, and sues when they deny him the things to which he is entitled.

This was going on in the 1970s, right after FOIA was amended to allow requests to the intel community. Bella Abzug was one member who helped make that happen, with hearings and legislative initiatives to force various agencies to reveal who they were surveilling.

Abzug's tenure in Congress was short but incredibly influential - she was nearly redistricted out of her spot in 1972, and eventually was drummed out of politics in 1976. But wow did she leave a mark. Here's a hearing in 1975 during which she went after the CIA Director, William Colby, for keeping files on peace activists and members of Congress. It's a remarkable hearing, not just for the stunning and aggressive back and forth between Colby and Abzug, but also for the ass-kissing of the CIA by chief GOP ranking member Sam Steiger and how FOIA and information disclosure became the focal point of tension.

Here are two excerpts.

Medieval compass guided Vikings after sunset

Viking Suncompass
© Copyright Proceedings of the Royal Society A; Balazs Bernath; Alexandra Farkas; Denes Szaz; Miklos Blaho; Adam Egri; Andras Barta; Susanne Akesson; and Gabor Horvath
The Uunartoq disc was discovered in an 11th century convent in Greenland in 1948. It is thought to have been used as a compass by the Vikings as they traversed the North Atlantic Ocean from Norway to Greenland.
Often regarded as ruthless robbers, the Vikings were also impressive mariners capable of traversing the North Atlantic along a nearly straight line.

Now, new interpretations of a medieval compass suggest the sea robbers may have skillfully used the sun to operate the compass even when the sun had set below the horizon.

The remains of the supposed compass - known as the Uunartoq disc - were found in Greenland in 1948 in an 11th-century convent. Though some researchers originally argued it was simply a decorative object, other researchers have suggested the disc was an important navigational tool that the Vikings would have used in their roughly 1,600-mile-long (2,500 kilometers) trek from Norway to Greenland.

Though only half of the wooden disc remains, it is estimated to have been roughly 2.8 inches (7 centimeters) in diameter with a now-lost central pin that would have cast a shadow from the sun indicative of a cardinal direction.

Researchers based at Eötvös Loránd University in Hungary have studied the fragment in detail.

They concluded that although the disc could have functioned as a single entity, it was more likely used in conjunction with other tools - including a pair of crystals and a flat, wooden slab - to help navigate when the sun was low in the sky or even below the horizon.

"When the sun is low above the horizon, even the shadow of a small item can fall off the board, and such situations are frequent in the northern seas," said study co-author Balázs Bernáth.

Bernáth and colleagues think that, to help solve this long-shadow problem, the Vikings may have used a low-lying, domed object in the middle of the compass to create a wider, shorter shadow than a more typical sundial spike would. A wide hole within the center of the disk - previously interpreted as a place to grip the compass - could have served as a holding spot for this so-called central gnomon, the team suggests.
Bizarro Earth

Atmospheric history captured in sunset colors of old paintings

© WikiPaintings via European Geosciences Union
Old World artists captured the state of the climate in their paintings of the world centuries ago, according to a new study. Pictured is "The Lake, Petworth: Sunset, Fighting Bucks", by J. M. W. Turner (c. 1829)
Old World artists captured the state of the climate in their paintings of sunsets centuries ago, according to a new study.

Writing in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, a team of Greek and German researchers report that the colors of sunsets painted by artists in centuries past can be used to estimate pollution levels in Earth's past atmosphere.

The researchers cite the 1815 eruption of Tambora volcano in Indonesia, the largest volcanic eruption in recorded history. The event sent a huge plume of volcanic ash and smoke into the air, and the particulate matter ejected by the volcano scattered sunlight in a particular way, making sunsets appear more bright red and orange in Europe for a number of years.

"Nature speaks to the hearts and souls of great artists," said lead study author Christos Zerefos, a professor of atmospheric physics at the Academy of Athens in Greece. "But we have found that, when coloring sunsets, it is the way their brains perceive greens and reds that contains important environmental information."

For their study, Zerefos and his team studied high-resolution photographs of paintings of the sunset made between the years 1500 and 2000. In this 500-year period, the world saw more than 50 large volcanic eruptions.

Comment: More food for thought: Reassessing the Mystery Cloud of AD 536


Black Death found to be Ebola

Nutritionally deficient foods, plus widespread cereal consumption, added to the overwhelming toxicity of our environment (heavy metals, fluoride, toxic additives in foods, etc), have prepared us as the perfect population for destruction by the return of the Black Death.
History textbooks have got it wrong about the Plague, also known as the Black Death, which they say was caused by bubonic plague spread by rats and their fleas. A new study suggests that it was in fact caused by an Ebola-like virus transmitted directly from person to person.

If the findings are correct it could mean that a modern form of the Black Death can emerge without requiring the unsanitary conditions of the Middle Ages. Generations of students have been taught that the plague bacteria transmitted by flea bites caused the depopulation of medieval Europe. The Plague first appeared in the 14th century and killed at least 25 million people - more than a quarter of the entire population - over a 300-year period. But two infectious disease specialists who have analyzed the Black Death have concluded that it bears a closer resemblance to modern outbreaks of the Ebola virus.

Intuitively, the Black Death has all the hallmarks of a viral disease rather than one caused by plague bacteria, says Christopher Duncan of the University of Liverpool. The history books are wrong, there's little doubt about that.

Comment: Don't miss our research in this topic: New Light on the Black Death: The Viral and Cosmic Connection

Worthy of keeping it in mind, in view of the recent Ebola-like outbreak...

Canada: suspected Ebola in returning traveler


Roman Emperor dressed as Egyptian pharaoh in newfound carving

Egyptian Stone Carving
© Marleen De Meyer, line drawing by Troy Sagrillo
A newfound stone carving reveals Roman Emperor Claudius dressed as an Egyptian pharaoh while wearing an elaborate crown. The hieroglyphs say Claudius is raising the pole of the cult chapel of Egyptian fertility god Min and suggests a ritual like this took place around the summertime.
An ancient stone carving on the walls of an Egyptian temple depicts the Roman emperor Claudius dressed as an Egyptian pharaoh, wearing an elaborate crown, a team of researchers has discovered.

In the carving, Emperor Claudius, who reigned from A.D. 41 to 54, is shown erecting a giant pole with a lunar crescent at the top. Eight men, each wearing two feathers, are shown climbing the supporting poles, with their legs dangling in midair.

Egyptian hieroglyphs in the carving call Claudius the "Son of Ra, Lord of the Crowns," and say he is "King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Lord of the Two Lands." The hieroglyphs say he is raising the pole of the tent (or cult chapel) of Min (an ancient Egyptian god of fertility and power) and notes a date indicating a ritual like this took place around the summertime researchers say. It would have taken place even though Claudius never visited Egypt. A cult chapel is a place of worship and a tent could also be used for this purpose.

The elaborate crown on Claudius consists of three rushes (plants) set on ram horns with three falcons sitting on top. Three solar discs representing the sun (one for each plant) are shown in front of the rushes. Egyptian rulers are shown wearing crowns like this relatively late in ancient Egyptian history, mainly after 332 B.C., and they were worn only in Egypt. The Roman Empire took over Egypt in 30 B.C., and while the Roman emperors were not Egyptian, they were still depicted as pharaohs Egyptologists have noted.
Cow Skull

Humans have always been diminutive monsters of death and destruction

© Aaron Ufumeli/EPA
A dead elephant in the Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe, thought to have died after poachers poisoned a salt lick with cyanide.
New research suggests that there was never a state of grace. We have always been the nemesis of the planet's wildlife

You want to know who we are? Really? You think you do, but you will regret it. This article, if you have any love for the world, will inject you with a venom - a soul-scraping sadness - without an obvious antidote.

The Anthropocene, now a popular term among scientists, is the epoch in which we live: one dominated by human impacts on the living world. Most date it from the beginning of the industrial revolution. But it might have begun much earlier, with a killing spree that commenced two million years ago. What rose onto its hind legs on the African savannahs was, from the outset, death: the destroyer of worlds.

Before Homo erectus, perhaps our first recognisably human ancestor, emerged in Africa, the continent abounded with monsters. There were several species of elephants. There were sabretooths and false sabretooths, giant hyenas and creatures like those released in The Hunger Games: amphicyonids, or bear dogs, vast predators with an enormous bite.

Earliest evidence of gigantism-like disease found in 3,800-year-old California skeleton

Ancient Skull
© Eric Bartelink/Phoebe Hearst Museum
The skull of the man found in the site known as Burial 37 bears the distinct marks of acromegaly, new research finds. The black arrow indicates where the man’s right eye tooth erupted just below his nose.
The remains of a man buried 3,800 years ago in a richly decorated California grave bear some unusual but unmistakable features - a protruding brow, a lantern jaw, thick leg and arm bones, and teeth so crowded together that at one point they erupt in rows three deep.

According to a new study of the ancient skeleton, they are signs of acromegaly, a rare disorder of the endocrine system that's similar to gigantism.

The California man is among the very few examples of acromegaly ever found in the archaeological record, and it's the oldest ever identified, according to Dr. Eric Bartelink, a physical anthropologist at California State University, Chico.

"It is the earliest evidence of this condition in humans, the only documented case from prehistoric California, [and] one of the more complete skeletons documented with this condition," he said in an interview.

Acromegaly has only been identified definitively at two other archaeological sites in North America, Bartelink said: in the remains of a male buried in New Mexico about 600 years ago, and an unsexed 1,100-year-old skull found in Illinois.

The newly found case in California adds to the scant literature of the disorder, he said, potentially improving how acromegaly may be diagnosed in other remains, and also shedding light on the history of the disease, perhaps even how it was interpreted in the ancient past.

The man, believed to have been in his mid-30s at the time of his death, was found in a burial mound with 176 other bodies near the Central Valley town of Elk Grove.

Labeled as Burial 37, the grave was originally excavated in the 1930s and dated to 3,750 to 3,950 years old.

The man was part of a hunter-gatherer culture known as the Windmiller, one of the earliest sedentary societies in the Central Valley, usually identified by its distinct burial practices, Bartelink said.

Windmillers typically buried their dead laying flat and face-down, rather than in a flexed position, with the heads pointing west. The deceased were also often sent off with a fine complement of grave goods, Bartelink said.

The fate of teenagers in medieval Europe

medieval europe
Today, there's often a perception that Asian children are given a hard time by their parents. But a few hundred years ago northern Europe took a particularly harsh line, sending children away to live and work in someone else's home. Not surprisingly, the children didn't always like it.

Around the year 1500, an assistant to the Venetian ambassador to England was struck by the strange attitude to parenting that he had encountered on his travels.

He wrote to his masters in Venice that the English kept their children at home "till the age of seven or nine at the utmost" but then "put them out, both males and females, to hard service in the houses of other people, binding them generally for another seven or nine years". The unfortunate children were sent away regardless of their class, "for everyone, however rich he may be, sends away his children into the houses of others, whilst he, in return, receives those of strangers into his own".

It was for the children's own good, he was told - but he suspected the English preferred having other people's children in the household because they could feed them less and work them harder.

Newly discovered document reveals former President Nixon wanted 'dirty tricks' to cover up My Lai Massacre

© AP
One of the most shameful chapters in American military history, the 1968 massacre of unarmed Vietnamese civilians by U.S. troops, just got worse

This past week marked the 46th anniversary of the My Lai massacre, in which 504 unarmed Vietnamese civilians were massacred by U.S. troops in 1968. It's one of the most shameful chapters in American military history, and now documents held at the Nixon Presidential Library paint a disturbing picture of what happened inside the Nixon administration after news of the massacre was leaked.

The documents, mostly hand-written notes from Nixon's meetings with his chief of staff H.R. "Bob" Haldeman, lead some historians to conclude that President Richard Nixon was behind the attempt to sabotage the My Lai court-martial trials and cover up what was becoming a public-relations disaster for his administration.

One document, scribbled by Haldeman during his Dec. 1, 1969, meeting with Nixon, reads like a threatening to-do list under the headline "Task force - My Lai." Haldeman wrote "dirty tricks" (with the clarification that those tricks be "not too high a level") and "discredit one witness," in order to "keep working on the problem."