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Amelia Earhart plane fragment identified

© Tighar
A piece of aluminum debris recovered in 1991 appears to belong to Earhart’s lost plane.
A fragment of Amelia Earhart's lost aircraft has been identified to a high degree of certainty for the first time ever since her plane vanished over the Pacific Ocean on July 2, 1937, in a record attempt to fly around the world at the equator.

New research strongly suggests that a piece of aluminum aircraft debris recovered in 1991 from Nikumaroro, an uninhabited atoll in the southwestern Pacific republic of Kiribati, does belong to Earhart's twin-engined Lockheed Electra.

According to researchers at The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR), which has long been investigating the last, fateful flight taken by Earhart 77 years ago, the aluminum sheet is a patch of metal installed on the Electra during the aviator's eight-day stay in Miami, which was the fourth stop on her attempt to circumnavigate the globe.

The patch replaced a navigational window: A Miami Herald photo shows the Electra departing for San Juan, Puerto Rico on the morning of Tuesday, June 1, 1937 with a shiny patch of metal where the window had been.
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We no longer see the funny side of clowns

Clown
© Rex Features
Clowns, such as this one in Stephen King's It, have always been figures of fear
Let's be honest, does anybody nowadays really like clowns? Certainly not in France. There has been a spate of reports this week of people dressed as clowns, some armed with pistols, knives and baseball bats, wreaking havoc in towns across the country. In Montpellier, a clown was arrested after attacking a pedestrian with an iron bar, and, in the nearby town of Agde, police arrested 14 teenagers dressed as clowns and carrying weapons.

The phenomenon has even prompted what has been described as "anti-clown vigilantism", and follows on the heels of reports of clowns stalking towns in California armed with knives and baseball bats. Nobody would pretend circus life is easy, but have things really got this bad?

Blame has been placed on everything from - inevitably - the internet to the popularity of a television series American Horror Story: Freak Show, featuring a serial killer called Twisty the Clown. As the actor Lon Chaney Jr, who spent a lifetime terrifying cinema audiences in the guise of various wolf men and monsters, once observed: "There is nothing laughable about a clown in the moonlight." And as these latest incidents suggest, if you wish to strike unease and terror into the hearts of people there is no more potent disguise than the garishly painted white face and fright wig of the clown.

In a sense, they always were figures of fear. The character of the clown - as jester, or fool - goes back to Roman times, a figure who was given license to poke fun at symbols of power and authority - the fool who is not a fool at all - but who also portended something more anarchic and subversive, if not malevolent.
Fireball

Two Swedish craters are the first evidence of binary asteroid hitting Earth

swedish Lockne crater
© Unknown
The Swedish Lockne crater, 7.5 km wide and Målingen, about 0.7 km, were caused both by the shock of a double asteroid, an object made up of about 600 m and a smaller 150 m . Both came after the explosion of a massive asteroid collision some 200 km in the main asteroid belt 470 million years ago. So suggests a study published this week in the open access journal Scientific Reports, a research team led by Jens Ormo, the Astrobiology Centre (INTA-CSIC).

"For the first time has been dated with high precision as a pair of craters of this type, both created 458 million years ago and are the only known example land that can no doubt be attributed to the impact of a binary asteroid" highlights Ormo to Sync. "All other potential candidates have ages with double periods of time not to be excluded that are formed separately."

The good condition of Lockne and Målingen, about 16 km away, has enabled very necessary to relate geological evidence.

"The double impact occurred in a shallow sea, and the two objects collided on the same rock stratigraphic setting beneath a water column of 500 meter" Ormo explains. The research highlights the value of such data "as a reference for numerical simulations of these events, and therefore, to assess the potential risks of asteroid impacts in the ocean."
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Preserved grains & trade goods unearthed in Indonesia

Liyangan archaeological site on the slope of Mount Sindoro in Temanggung regency, Central Java, has again proven its position as home to one of main archeological findings in Indonesia after archeologists from the Yogyakarta Archeology Agency found the fossilized remnants of staple foods, comprising maize and rice, still inside a bamboo basket at the site.

The archeologists said the finding indicated that Indonesia had long been part of an international agriculture network because maize was not endemic to Java and at the site they had also found many artifacts from other countries, especially China.

Head of the Yogyakarta Archeology Agency, Siswanto, said the findings proved that agricultural produce had been one of the primary commodities traded between Indonesia and its trade partners.

"The finding is also crucial to help us trace the history of food cultivation and technology in Indonesia, especially in Java," said Siswanto, who spoke during the opening of the 2014 General Soedirman University (Unsoed) Fair in Purwokerto, recently.
Blue Planet

500 year old map points to a very ancient human civilization

ancient map
If conventional wisdom on the history of the human race is correct, then human civilization is not old enough, nor was it advanced enough, to account for many of the mysterious monolithic and archeological sites around the world. Places like Gobekli Tepe in Turkey, the Bosnian Pyramids, and Adam's Calendar in South Africa, beg the same question: if human civilization is supposedly not old enough to have created all of these sites, then who, or what, had the capacity to create so many elaborate structures around the globe?

It is clear that our understanding of our own history is incomplete, and there is plenty of credible evidence pointing to the existence of intelligent and civilized cultures on Earth long before the first human cultures emerged from the Middle East around 4000BC. The Admiral Piri Reis world map of 1513 is part of the emerging more complete story of our history, one that challenges mainstream thinking in big ways.

Mapmaking is a complex and civilized task, thought to have emerged around 1000BC with the Babylonian clay tablets. Antarctica was officially first sighted by a Russian expedition in 1820 and is entirely covered in ice caps thought to have formed around 34-45 million years ago. Antarctica, therefore, should not be seen on any map prior to 1820, and all sighted maps of Antarctica should contain the polar ice caps, which are supposedly millions of years old.

Comment: See also:

New research reveals civilization is older than previously thought

Ancient Civilizations? Check out these mysterious structures found on the bottom of the ocean floor

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Unusual sacrifices unearthed in Peru

© John Verano
At an excavation site on the Peruvian coast, Tulane anthropology professor John Verano, right, and PhD student Brittany Dement examine the remains of a child who was sacrificed and buried 600 years ago.
Tulane University physical anthropologist John Verano has spent summers in Peru for the last 30 years, digging for ancient bones and solving their secrets. But his most recent work focuses on a unique archeological discovery: a ritual sacrifice of children and young llamas dating back 600 years.

"This is unusual, and not what we've seen before," Verano said, "especially on the coast of Peru."

In June he traveled to the Peruvian coastal village of Huanchaquito to assist with new excavations at the site where Gabriel Prieto, a Peruvian archeologist, in 2011 found the remains of 42 children who were sacrificed in a religious ceremony along with 76 llamas. The area was once part of the Chimú state, which dominated most of coastal Peru from about 1100 until 1470 A.D., when it was conquered by the Inca empire.

This year, Prieto and Verano expanded the dig and completed the study of children's remains excavated in 2011 with support from the National Geographic Society and the Stone Center for Latin American Studies at Tulane.
Cow Skull

72,000 year old mammoth skeleton discovered in Idaho reservoir

mammoth discovery
© Bureau of Reclamation Photo by Dave Walsh
The fossil was discovered by a volunteer with the Bureau of Reclamation who was scanning the reservoir beaches for freshly revealed fossils.
The skeleton of a mammoth was discovered this month on the banks of a reservoir in Idaho. Paleontologists have rescued part of its skull and a tusk, but there could be a lot more buried below the surface.

"We may even have a complete mammoth," said Mary Thompson, a vertebrate paleontologist and senior collections manager at the Idaho Museum of Natural History. "This is very unique for us."

Every year, when water levels drop in Idaho's American Falls Reservoir, teams of paleontologists and volunteers with the Bureau of Reclamation walk the beaches in search of fossils. The ancient bones of camels, bison latifrons, giant ground sloths, saber-toothed cats and other extinct Ice Age beasts sometimes poke out of the freshly eroded reservoir banks.
Question

Did a pope and an emperor team up to erase 300 years of history?

Erase History_1
© io9
Pope Sylvester II and Holy Roman Emperor Otto III were two powerful men and two ambitious friends. Just how ambitious? There is a (very controversial) theory that between them, they forcibly ushered in a new millennium... 300 years early.

Holy Roman Emperor Otto III was a man with a lot of power and a flair for self-aggrandizement. He had quite a bit to work with; the Holy Roman Empire was a huge amalgamation of what is now Germany, much of eastern Europe, northern Italy, and eastern France, and he was put in charge of it when he was three years old. He was crowned, famously, on Christmas day - the same day the original Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne was crowned. (More on that later.)

Like another famous person whose reign was ushered in on Christmas day, Otto was threatened by a mad king, his uncle, who coveted his power. The young boy emerged unscathed after some military maneuvers, and was returned to his mother, a Byzantine princess. She brought him up with the idea that he would civilize the barbarous kingdom she had married into.
Question

Were ancient auditory illusions reflected in prehistoric art?

Prehistoric painting
© Credit: S. Waller
Prehistoric paintings of hoofed animals in a cave with thunderous reverberations located in Bhimbetka, India.
Some of mankind's earliest and most mysterious artistic achievements - including prehistoric cave paintings, canyon petroglyphs and megalithic structures such as Stonehenge - may have been inspired by the behaviors of sound waves being misinterpreted as "supernatural."

During the 168th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA), to be held October 27-31, 2014 at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown Hotel, Steven J. Waller, of Rock Art Acoustics, will describe several ways virtual sound images and absorbers can appear supernatural.

"Ancient mythology explained echoes from the mouths of caves as replies from spirits, so our ancestors may have made cave paintings in response to these echoes and their belief that echo spirits inhabited rocky places such as caves or canyons," explained Waller.

Just as light reflection gives an illusion of seeing yourself duplicated in a mirror, sound waves reflecting off a surface are mathematically identical to sound waves emanating from a virtual sound source behind a reflecting plane such as a large cliff face. "This can result in an auditory illusion of somebody answering you from within the rock," Waller said.
Map

Anomalous Native American DNA: New tests show Middle East origins?

© Dr. Donald Yates
Participants in Dr. Donald Yates’s Cherokee Native American DNA testing. Top Left: Karen Worstell’s grandmother Odessa Shields Cox is shown with her husband William M. Cox and Worstell’s mother, Ethel, as a baby, ca. 1922. Bottom Left: Karen Worstell. Right: Jan Franz.
The universe is full of mysteries that challenge our current knowledge. In "Beyond Science" Epoch Times collects stories about these strange phenomena to stimulate the imagination and open up previously undreamed of possibilities. Are they true? You decide.

Geneticist Dr. Donald Yates has been studying Cherokee DNA, particularly genetic markers passed on only from a mother to her children, not passed on along paternal lines. Anomalies in Native American DNA are often dismissed as signs of racial admixture after colonization, the anomalies are not attributed to the origins of Native peoples.

Yates chose to focus on the maternal line to make it easier to filter out any colonial-era admixture. It was far more common for male colonists to mate with Native American women than it was for female colonists to mate with Native American men when the Old World first met the New.
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