Secret History


Archaeologists find sunken Nazi sub in Indonesia with 17 skeletons

© AFP/National Archaeology Centre
Indonesian researchers said on Thursday they have discovered what is believed to be the wreck of a German submarine that was torpedoed off the main island of Java during World War II.

Indonesian researchers said Thursday they have discovered what is believed to be the wreck of a German submarine that was torpedoed off the main island of Java during World War II.

A team found the wreck - which contained at least 17 human skeletons - north of Java earlier this month after a tip-off from local divers.

Researchers believe it is submarine "U-168", which succeeded in sinking several allied vessels before itself being torpedoed by a Dutch submarine in 1944.

"This is the first time we have found a foreign submarine from the war in our waters," said Bambang Budi Utomo, head of the research team at the National Archaeology Centre that found the vessel.


Ancient neanderthal viruses discovered in modern human DNA


Ancient Neanderthal Viruses Discovered in Modern Human DNA
Traces of ancient Neanderthal viruses were discovered in modern human DNA by Oxford University and Plymouth University researchers.

Studies conducted on ancient Neanderthals have caught the fancy of many researchers worldwide. Not only are such studies interesting, they also reveal many unknown facts about the evolution of mankind. In one such study, researchers from Oxford University and Plymouth University discovered traces of ancient Neanderthal viruses in modern human DNA, reveals a press release.

For the study, researchers examined genetic data from fossils of Neanderthals and another group of ancient human ancestors called Denisovans and compared their findings to DNA data of modern-day cancer patients. The comparison led to the discovery that ancient Neanderthal viruses originated in our common ancestors more than half a million years ago.

Approximately 8 percent of a person's DNA is made up of endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) which are DNA sequences constructed from viruses that are passed from generation to generation. These DNA sequences are also part of the 90 percent human DNAs whose functions are not yet known, commonly referred to as "junk" DNA.

Comment: For more information on this topic, see our forum discussion The Neanderthal Legacy by Paul Mellars and
On viral 'junk' DNA, a DNA-enhancing Ketogenic diet, and cometary kicks


Israeli wine cellar predates the Bible

© Eric H. Cline, George Washington University
One of the world's oldest and largest wine cellars has just been unearthed in Israel, according to a presentation today at the annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research in Baltimore.

The cellar dates to approximately 1700 B.C., and was found at a site called Tel Kabri within the ruins of a northern Canaanite city. Its age predates both the Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls by hundreds of years.

The researchers christened a three-foot-long jar in the cellar "Bessie."

"We dug and dug, and all of a sudden, Bessie's friends started appearing - five, 10, 15, ultimately 40 jars packed in a 15-by-25-foot storage room," Eric Cline, chair of George Washington University's Department of Classical and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, said in a press release.


Origin of Stonehenge's blue stones revealed - but experts still don't know how they travelled 160 miles from South Wales

  • Stonehenge's outer ring is made up of 11 large dolerites called blue stones
  • A 1923 paper claimed the stones were from Carn Menyn in Pembrokeshire
  • For 90 years archaeologists have searched this location for human activity
  • Yet X-rays confirm the stones came from Carn Goedog - just a mile away
  • It's still not known how the stones travelled the 160 miles to Amesbury
Archaeologists trying to uncover the mystery of Stonehenge have been digging around the wrong hill for almost a century.

Teams of archaeologists have spent the past 90 years scouring the Preseli Hills in Pembrokeshire to find the source of the prehistoric monument's iconic 'blue stones'.

Scientists believed the 11 stones used to construct the ancient site came from a hill called Carn Menyn, but geologists have since discovered they actually came from another hill - just over a mile away - called Carn Goedog.


Scientists believed the 11 'bluestones' used to build the outer ring of Stonehenge, pictured, came from Carn Menyn in the Presili Hills of Pembrokeshire, South Wales. However, new X-rays confirm they actually came from Carn Goedog, a hill situated just a mile away
Now archaeologists are planning to move to the new site.

They can then start trying to discover if prehistoric man cut the 11 stone monoliths from the hill and transported them to the prehistoric site, or if they were carried there by glaciers during the last Ice Age.

Dr Richard Bevins from the National Museum of Wales is a leading authority on volcanic rocks and has been studying the Preseli Hills since he was a PhD student in the late 1970s.


Vatican unveils new frescoes in the Catacombs of Priscilla; possible evidence for women priests in early Christianity

The Vatican on Tuesday unveiled newly restored frescoes in the Catacombs of Priscilla, known for housing the earliest known image of the Madonna with Child - and frescoes said by some to show women priests in the early Christian church.

Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, the Vatican's culture minister, presided over the opening of the "Cubicle of Lazzaro," a tiny burial chamber featuring 4th century images of biblical scenes, the Apostles Peter and Paul, and one of the early Romans buried there in bunk-bed-like stacks as was common in antiquity.

The labyrinthine cemetery complex stretching for kilometers (miles) underneath northern Rome is known as the "Queen of the catacombs" because it features burial chambers of popes and a tiny, delicate fresco of the Madonna nursing Jesus dating from around 230-240 A.D., the earliest known image of the Madonna and Child.

More controversially, the catacomb tour features two scenes said by proponents of the women's ordination movement to show women priests: One in the ochre-hued Greek Chapel features a group of women celebrating a banquet, said to be the banquet of the Eucharist. Another fresco in a richly decorated burial chamber features a woman, dressed in a dalmatic - a cassock-like robe - with her hands up in the position used by priests for public worship.

A fresco from the Catacombs of Priscilla
The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, which includes women who have been excommunicated by the Vatican for participating in purported ordination ceremonies, holds the images up as evidence that there were women priests in the early Christian church - and that therefore there should be women priests today.


Ancient Siberian skeletons confirm Native American origins

© Thomas W Stafford, Jr
A cross-section of a humerus bone from the 24,000-year-old skeleton found in Siberia. Researchers managed to extract DNA from the bones and trace the ancient individual's genetic lineage.
The DNA gleaned from two ancient Siberian skeletons is related to that of modern-day Native Americans and western Eurasians, new research suggests.

The genetic material from the ancient Siberians provides additional evidence that the ancestors of Native Americans made the arduous trek from Siberia across the Bering Strait into the Americas.

But it also reveals there were multiple waves of migrations in Asia around this time, said Mark Hubbe, a biological anthropologist at The Ohio State University who was not involved in the study.

"This brings a new level of complexity to what we think happened in Asia," Hubbe told LiveScience.


24,000 year-old skeleton in Siberia raises new questions about First Americans

Results from a DNA study of a young boy's skeletal remains believed to be 24,000 years old could turn the archaeological world upside down - it's been proven that nearly 30 percent of modern Native American's ancestry came from this youngster's gene pool, suggesting First Americans came directly from Siberia, according to a research team that includes a Texas A&M University professor.

Kelly Graf, assistant professor in the Center for the Study of First Americans and Department of Anthropology at Texas A&M, is part of an international team spearheaded by Eske Willerslev and Maanasa Raghaven from the Centre for GeoGenetics at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark and additional researchers from Sweden, Russia, United Kingdom, University of Chicago and University of California-Berkeley. Their work, funded by the Danish National Science Foundation, Lundbeck Foundation, and the National Science Foundation, is published in the current issue of Nature magazine.


Mystery humans spiced up ancients' rampant sex lives

An excavation in Denisova cave in Siberia, Russia, where remains of Denisovan hominins were first discovered.
New genome sequences from two extinct human relatives suggest that these 'archaic' groups bred with humans and with each other more extensively than was previously known.

The ancient genomes, one from a Neanderthal and one from a different archaic human group, the Denisovans, were presented on 18 November at a meeting at the Royal Society in London. They suggest that interbreeding went on between the members of several ancient human-like groups living in Europe and Asia more than 30,000 years ago, including an as-yet unknown human ancestor from Asia.

"What it begins to suggest is that we're looking at a 'Lord of the Rings'-type world - that there were many hominid populations," says Mark Thomas, an evolutionary geneticist at University College London who was at the meeting but was not involved in the work.

The first Neanderthal1 and the Denisovan2 genome sequences revolutionized the study of ancient human history, not least because they showed that these groups interbred with anatomically modern humans, contributing to the genetic diversity of many people alive today.


Disappearing witnesses: Over 100 murders, suicides and mysterious deaths - the strange fate of those who saw Kennedy shot


Everyone remembers Oswald being eliminated , but he was just the first of over 100 people who were taken out to maintain the cover-up of the high-level conspiracy behind JFK's assassination
Shortly after dark on Sunday night November 24, 1963, after Ruby had killed Lee Harvey Oswald, a meeting took place in Jack Ruby's apartment in Oak Cliff, a suburb of Dallas, Texas. Five persons were present. George Senator and Attorney Tom Howard were present and having a drink in the apartment when two newsmen arrived. The newsmen were Bill Hunter of the Long Beach California Press Telegram, and Jim Koethe of the Dallas Times Herald. Attorney C.A. Droby of Dallas arranged the meeting for the two newsmen. Jim Martin, a close friend of George Senator's, was also present at the apartment meeting.

This writer asked Martin if he thought it was unusual for Senator to forget the meeting while testifying in Washington on April 22, 1964, since Bill Hunter, who was a newsman present at the meeting, was shot to death that very night. Martin grinned and said: "Oh, you're looking for a conspiracy."

I nodded yes and he grinned and said, "You will never find it."

I asked soberly, "Never find it, or not there?"

He added soberly, "Not there."

Bill Hunter, a native of Dallas and an award winning newsman in Long Beach, was on duty and reading a book in the police station called "Public Safety Building." Two policemen going off duty came into the press room, and one policeman shot Hunter through the heart at a range officially ruled to be "no more than three feet." The policeman said he dropped his gun, and it fired as he picked it up, but the angle of the bullet caused him to change his story. He finally said he was playing a game of quick draw with his fellow officer. The other officer testified he had his back turned when the shooting took place.


The mysterious sunken ruins of Nan Madol

© Wikimedia/CT Snow
Nan Madol is the only known ancient city ever built on top of a coral reef. Construction is thought to have started 1,500 years ago and the Saudeleur people built 92 islands in the water next to Pohnpei, which is today part of the Federated States of Micronesia.
Off the shores of a tiny island in the middle of the vast Pacific Ocean are the ruins of an ancient civilization. The remains of Nan Madol are the only standing monument of a civilization built entirely over open water, on a coral reef.

The eerie abandoned stone structures are said to have inspired science-fiction writer H. P. Lovecraft to create a similar sunken city that was home to the monster Cthulhu, says Atlas Obscura.

In reality, Nan Madol was once home to the Saudeleur, who ruled the island of Pohnpei for more than a millennium, reported Smithsonian Magazine. The 92 artificial islands of Nan Madol are thought to have been constructed over the course of several centuries, and then eventually abandoned after 1,000 years of habitation.

Rufino Mauricio, Pohnpei's only archaeologist, has dedicated his life to studying and preserving the ruins, which are built of 750,000 tons of black basaltic rock.