Secret History


100 years later: The Armenian genocide of 1915 (VIDEO)

© Agence France Presse
An image from 1915. Turkey deported two thirds of the Armenian population; many were either killed or died of starvation during the journey
In remembrance of the Armenian genocide, here are three videos depicting the history of this mass atrocity - still denied by many today. The first is a silent film, Ravished Armenia, produced in the US in 1919, based on the book by Aurora Mardiganian, who witnessed many of the events depicted, and who also starred in the film. The second, The Armenian Journey, tells the story of survivor Margaret Garabedian Der Manuelian and narrated by her 21-year-old great-granddaughter. And the third, The Hidden Holocaust, was produced in 1992 by Michael Jones for Channel 4.

Fireball 2

Did a meteor fireball change the course of Christianity?


Paul converted to Christianity after experiencing a bright light and a divine voice while he traveled on a road towards Damascus in Syria, as depicted in this painting by Michelangelo, but it may have been a meteor
It was a vision that apparently led the biblical Paul to become one of the most influential figures in early Christianity by helping to spread the religion around the world.

But now astronomers believe the bright light in the sky that triggered the conversion of Paul the Apostle may have actually been a falling meteor 2,000 years ago.

They say descriptions of Paul's experience - in which he was blinded for three days after seeing a bright light - match accounts of the fireball that streaked across the sky above Chelyabinsk in Russia in 2013.

Dr William Hartmann, co-founder of the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona, examined three accounts of Paul's conversion in the Bible.

Comment: This is SOOO bogus. Paul himself NEVER says he had such a vision and HIS evidence is to the contrary. It was a fairy tale made up by the author of the book of Acts.


The mysterious sunken 'pyramid' of Japan

A mysterious underwater structure off the coast of Japan causes historical controversy. This megalithic structure is commonly referred to as the "Yonaguni Pyramid."

Though it is not an actual pyramid, this massive structure looks like a small mountain, which was carved to suit the needs of an unknown ancient civilization.

In 1986, a diver near the island of Yonaguni Jima, off the southern tip of Japan (around Okinawa) came across some strange structures about 25 metres (82 feet) below the sea level.


How ancient peoples populated the Pacific islands

© Thinkstock
Between 3,500 and 900 years ago, people first settled the islands of the vast Pacific Ocean in double-hulled and outrigger canoes. Many scientists have tried to explain just what made these epic journeys possible. University of Utah anthropologist Adrian Bell tackled the problem from a completely new perspective. He used statistics that describe how an infectious disease spreads and applied them to computer simulations of the colonization of 24 major island groups.

"We model ocean migrants as 'infecting' uninhabited islands," he said in a statement.

If the results of the analysis are correct, the colonizers didn't just hop to the nearest islands or drift around hopefully. The study, published in this month's issue of the journal American Antiquity , suggests that those early Pacific seafarers "had a strategy for the best way to discover new places: movement across the ocean in a less risky fashion - often meaning into the wind - and moving to places that were more easily visible."


Oldest DNA extracted from Neanderthal who fell down sinkhole 150,000 years ago, starved to death, fused with walls

Scientists have found that the Neanderthal fell down into the cave thousands of years ago - believing the person starved to death
© Redazione Research Italy
Caveman: The body became fused with the walls
It was a gruesome death that is the stuff of most people's nightmares. Now scientists have identified the unfortunate individual whose bones were found fused to the walls of a cave in Lamalunga, near Altamura, in southern Italy.

Using analysis of DNA extracted from the bones sticking out from the limestone rock, researchers have found he was a Neanderthal who fell down a sinkhole around 150,000 years ago. Genetic analysis of the bones (above) of 'Altamura Man', found entombed in limestone in a cave in Altamura, Italy, has revealed that they belong to a Neanderthal who fell into the cave 128,000 to 187,000 years ago

Wedged in the narrow space and probably badly injured, he is thought to have starved to death.
Over the thousands of years that followed, the body decayed and the remaining bones gradually became incorporated into the stalactites left behind by water dribbling down the cave walls.

The DNA is the oldest to ever be extracted from a Neanderthal and the researchers now hope to further analyse the genetic information from the skeleton.

Book 2

Helen Keller: Radical activist

Here's what they don't teach: When the blind-deaf visionary learned that poor people were more likely to be blind than others, she set off down a pacifist, socialist path that broke the boundaries of her time—and continues to challenge ours today.
© Los Angeles Times
Helen Keller sitting holding a magnolia flower, circa 1920.
"So long as I confine my activities to social service and the blind, they compliment me extravagantly, calling me 'arch priestess of the sightless,' 'wonder woman,' and a 'modern miracle.' But when it comes to a discussion of poverty, and I maintain that it is the result of wrong economics—that the industrial system under which we live is at the root of much of the physical deafness and blindness in the world—that is a different matter! It is laudable to give aid to the handicapped. Superficial charities make smooth the way of the prosperous; but to advocate that all human beings should have leisure and comfort, the decencies and refinements of life, is a Utopian dream, and one who seriously contemplates its realization indeed must be deaf, dumb, and blind." —Helen Keller (letter to Senator Robert La Follette, 1924)


Clock based on a 300 year old design keeps accurate to a second for 100 days

The Martin Burgess Clock B, which is based on a design by carpenter John Harrison from 300 years ago, has stunned experts by keeping accurate to a second for 100 days
A clock based on a design from 300 years ago has stunned experts by keeping accurate to a second for 100 days.

The modern-day Martin Burgess Clock B is based on John Harrison's 18th century clock, which he thought up to solve the problem of determining longitude at sea.

It has been part of a 100-day trial at the Royal Observatory, in Greenwich, to see if the claim - that the clock would neither lose nor gain more than a second in 100 days - was true.

The clock, which was built using modern materials, was initially set ticking a year ago after being strapped to one of the Observatory's supporting pillars.

But it quickly became apparent the trial would be a success and wax seals were placed on its case so its accuracy could be verified, the Independent on Sunday reported.

The time was measured using a radio-controlled clock, which received the national time signal, and the BT speaking clock.


Tools found near Lake Turkana in Kenya are world's oldest

© The Independent, UK
They are about 700,000 years older than the previous record holder and are likely to have been made by Australopithecus, an ape-like ancestor of Homo sapiens.
The world's oldest tools - made by ancestors of modern humans some 3.3 million years ago - have been found in Kenya.

Stones had been deliberately "knapped" or flaked to make a sharp cutting edge, researchers said, according to Science magazine.

They are about 700,000 years older than the previous record holder and are likely to have been made by Australopithecus, an ape-like ancestor of Homo sapiens, or another species, Kenyanthropus.

Archaeologist Sonia Harmand, of New York's Stony Brook University, told the annual meeting of the US Paleoanthropology Society: "The artefacts were clearly knapped and not the result of accidental fracture of rocks."


Evidence of pre-Columbus trade found in Alaska house

© University of Colorado
Archaeologists working at the Rising Whale site at Cape Espenberg, Alaska, have discovered several artifacts that were imported from East Asia.
Bronze artifacts discovered in a 1,000-year-old house in Alaska suggest trade was occurring between East Asia and the New World centuries before the voyages of Columbus.

Archaeologists found the artifacts at the "Rising Whale" site at Cape Espenberg.

"When you're looking at the site from a little ways away, it looks like a bowhead [whale] coming to the surface," said Owen Mason, a research associate at the University of Colorado, who is part of a team excavating the site.

The new discoveries, combined with other finds made over the past 100 years, suggest trade items and ideas were reaching Alaska from East Asian civilizations well before Christopher Columbus arrived in the Caribbean Sea in 1492 archaeologists said. [See Images of the New Discoveries at the Rising Whale Site]

"We're seeing the interactions, indirect as they are, with these so-called 'high civilizations' of China, Korea or Yakutia," a region in Russia, Mason said.


Julius Caesar suffered from mini-strokes, not epilepsy says new study

Roman emperor Julius Caesar may have suffered a series of mini-strokes, explaining his dark mood in later life, according to doctors at London's Imperial College.

Caesar, who lived from 100 to 44 BC, has long been the focus of medical debate, with the common assumption being that he suffered from epilepsy.

But medical experts from the London university have reexamined his symptoms, which included vertigo, dizziness and limb weakness, and concluded that he may have in fact suffered from a cardiovascular complaint.

"To date, possible cardiovascular explanations have always been ruled out on the grounds that until his death he was supposedly otherwise physically well during both private and stately affairs," said an excerpt of the study written by Francesco Galassi and Hutan Ashrafian.