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Mon, 23 Oct 2017
The World for People who Think

Secret History

Post-It Note

Historians baffled by cryptic note left by Antarctic explorer

Shackleton and the Endurance, the ship the explorer took on his attempt to make the first Trans-Atlantic Expedition in 1914. The ship became stuck in the ice and was slowly crushed before sinking three years later.
Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton is today regarded as one of the principal explorers responsible for the so-called "Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration." During this time, close to twenty expeditions were launched to explore and survey the then-mysterious continent on the underside of our planet. These expeditions are called 'heroic' due to the near-superhuman levels of mental and physical fortitude required to survive for months on the Antarctic ice.

Shackleton led several groundbreaking treks in Antarctica, including two that broke records for the farthest southern latitude reached. For his efforts, Shackleton received numerous royal commendations and is widely regarded in as one of the world's most notable explorers.

Comet 2

How ancient Aztec chroniclers recorded Venus: Smoke without fire

Part 1

The planet Venus 'smoking', as seen in 1535 CE and depicted in the Codex Telleriano-Remensis (1553-1563 CE), fol. 45 recto.
From a study of ancient sources, the catastrophist polymath Immanuel Velikovsky (1895-1979) famously concluded that the planet Venus had presented a comet-like appearance just a few millennia ago.

Instead of a puerile response of outright condemnation and censorship, the academic world ought to have invested its energy in a careful and dispassionate evaluation of Velikovsky's individual sources.

Velikovsky's evidence for the 'comet Venus' included the claim that "the peoples of Mexico" passed on "early traditions ..., written down in pre-Columbian days" according to which "Venus smoked". The savant does not appear to have consulted the single primary source he adduced, misspelling the name of an early editor of it. This is the Aztec Codex Telleriano-Remensis annotated by Spanish friars (1553-1563 CE), which contains several illustrations of Venus' 'smoking' as a hemispheric, oval or circular "patch of sky ... with a large central star and smoke volutes arising from the form." The accompanying Spanish text records a series of puzzling contemporary observations of Venus. In the translation of Eloise Quiñones Keber:
"Year of two houses [2 House] and 1533 there was an earthquake. And they show smoke coming from the star they called citlal choloha, which is the one we call Venus, a star they considered to be very important."

"Year of three rabbits [3 Rabbit] and 1534 don Antonio de Mendoza came as viceroy of New Spain. They say that the star was smoking."

"In this year of four reeds [4 Reed] and 1535 the star was smoking."

"This year of six houses [6 House] and 1537 the blacks tried to rebel; in the city of Mexico the instigators were hanged. The star was smoking and there was an earthquake, the worst I have seen, even though I saw many of them in these lands."

Grey Alien

Connections between Wright-Patterson AFB, Ray Szymanski and hidden aliens

Here's a well-known mystery: many people believe that aliens and their spacecraft from the Roswell incident are hidden in special tunnels at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. Here's a little-known fact: Raymond Szymanski worked at Wright-Patterson for 39 years and wrote a book published in 2016 called 50 Shades of Greys about what he saw there. Here's a new mystery: why is the book suddenly back in the news? Is someone getting us ready for full disclosure?

A number of media outlets revisited (or visited) 50 Shades of Greys recently after its author was interviewed by Sun Online. In the book, published in January 2016, Szymanski begins with details of his first days on the job at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in 1973 when a mentor named Al introduced him to the Avionics Laboratory's Management Operations Office by asking, "Have you heard about our aliens?"
He said that in 1947 there was a crash down in Roswell and they brought the machines and the aliens here for inspection and said they keep them in secret tunnels under the base. When I asked him how he came to know about the secret, he responded, 'Everybody who works on base knows'. I was stunned. Me, a young co-op student barely into his first week, was now initiated into a small select group of 10,000 people and given their most incredible secret ever - that we have aliens and their craft in our tunnels on our base.'


Vindija Cave, Croatia: Refined analysis shows there was no Human-Neanderthal interaction

© Ancient Origins
Researchers have used a more refined screening method in conjunction with radiocarbon dating on a popular collection of Neanderthal remains found at Vindija Cave in Croatia. Their results show that the remains are much older than previously found and negate the common belief that genetically modern humans interacted with Neanderthals at the major research site.

According to Phys.org, these remains have been dated various times since they were found in the cave almost 40 years ago. The earlier dates for the Neanderthal remains range from 28,000 to 29,000 years ago and more recent tests suggested they are 32,000 to 34,000 years old. However, the present test has used a new process called ZooMS screening to identify collagen from a previously unrecognized Neanderthal bone. Their results indicate the remains are approximately 40,000 years old.

Microscope 1

Jawbone reveals 40K years ago Modern Human had Neanderthal great-great grandfather

© Ancient Origins
The mysterious history of Neanderthals, and their relationship with the first modern humans eludes scientists, but current research is quickly filling in gaps, showing that Neanderthals were, and continue to be, an integral part of modern humanity. Our prehistoric cousins didn't completely vanish from the earth, as their presence can still be identified within modern DNA. A study published this week in the journal Nature has revealed the highest percentage of Neanderthal DNA in any modern human ever studied.

A jawbone from a man who lived 40,000 years ago reveals that six to nine percent (up to 11 percent) of his genome is Neanderthal, the highest amount ever found in a modern human specimen, reports Discovery News . This amazing find indicates that a Neanderthal was in his family as close as four generations back in his family tree-potentially his Great-Great Grandfather.


Medieval males were treated for infertility using ground up pig testicles

© University of Aberdeen
Medieval illustration of a man being given medicine
A recent study of medical and religious texts suggests that men were diagnosed with infertility as far back as Medieval times, and indeed may be held responsible for the inability to have children. Treatment regimes, at times bizarre and unpalatable, included eating ground up pig testicles.

New Study Shows that Men Were Blamed for Infertility too

For medieval men, success meant succession. Heredity was at the center of law and order, from the king down through the ranks of society. As a result, the moment children reached marriageable age everyone's focus was on their fertility. Even though it is believed that women in medieval England were blamed for childlessness most of the time, a new analysis of popular medical and religious books by the University of Exeter shows that from the 13th century, many of these medical texts acknowledged the possibility of male infertility, including sterility and "unsuitable seed" as Phys Org reports.


Bone fragments attributed to Saint Peter and three early popes found in 1,000-year-old church in Rome

© Codice/Rai Uno
The bones were found in clay pots in the historic church of Santa Maria in Cappella
Bones attributed to St Peter have been found by chance in a church in Rome during routine restoration work, 2,000 years after the apostle's death.

The relics of the saint, who is regarded as the first Pope, were found in clay pots in the 1,000-year-old Church of Santa Maria in Cappella in the district of Trastevere, a medieval warren of cobbled lanes on the banks of the Tiber River.

The bones were discovered when a worker lifted up a large marble slab near the medieval altar of the church, which has been closed to the public for 35 years because of structural problems.

He came across two Roman-era pots with inscriptions on their lids indicating that inside were not only bone fragments from St Peter but also three early popes - Cornelius, Callixtus and Felix - as well as four early Christian martyrs.

Eye 1

Google: Created and nurtured by the CIA

© Isaac Lopez and Sarah Feinsmith
Inside the secret network behind mass surveillance, endless war, and Skynet - Part 1

In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, western governments are moving fast to legitimize expanded powers of mass surveillance and controls on the internet, all in the name of fighting terrorism.

US and European politicians have called to protect NSA-style snooping, and to advance the capacity to intrude on internet privacy by outlawing encryption. One idea is to establish a telecoms partnership that would unilaterally delete content deemed to "fuel hatred and violence" in situations considered "appropriate." Heated discussions are going on at government and parliamentary level to explore cracking down on lawyer-client confidentiality.

What any of this would have done to prevent the Charlie Hebdo attacks remains a mystery, especially given that we already know the terrorists were on the radar of French intelligence for up to a decade.

There is little new in this story. The 9/11 atrocity was the first of many terrorist attacks, each succeeded by the dramatic extension of draconian state powers at the expense of civil liberties, backed up with the projection of military force in regions identified as hotspots harbouring terrorists. Yet there is little indication that this tried and tested formula has done anything to reduce the danger. If anything, we appear to be locked into a deepening cycle of violence with no clear end in sight.

As our governments push to increase their powers, INSURGE INTELLIGENCE can now reveal the vast extent to which the US intelligence community is implicated in nurturing the web platforms we know today, for the precise purpose of utilizing the technology as a mechanism to fight global 'information war' - a war to legitimize the power of the few over the rest of us. The lynchpin of this story is the corporation that in many ways defines the 21st century with its unobtrusive omnipresence: Google.

Ice Cube

Black Monday: The 14th century hailstorm that killed over 1000 soldiers and 6000 horses during the Hundred Years' War

On Easter Monday, 13 th April 1360, a freak hail storm broke over English troops as they were preparing for battle with the French during the Hundred Years' War. So brutal was the storm that over 1,000 men and 6,000 horses lost their lives that night. Convinced it was a sign from God, King Edward rushed to pursue peace with the French, marking the end of the first phase of the Hundred Years' War.

Inheritance Dispute Results in 116 Years of War

The Hundred Years' War was a series of military conflicts between France and England which began in 1337 due to an inheritance dispute over the French throne, and only truly ended in 1453. The 116 years of the war saw the rise and fall of several kings and nobles.

During the course of the war, King Edward III of England was actively attempting to conquer France. In October 1359, he led an invading force of 10,000 men across the English Channel to France. The French avoided direct conflicts and remained sheltered behind protective walls, while Edward's army sacked and burned the countryside.


How Postmodernism left art empty and meaningless

Andy Warhol was and still is arguably the most recognisable face of modern art. His pieces sell for hundreds of millions, and to find one of his works at a garage sale or flea market would set you up for a very comfortable retirement. With his thick retro glasses and lustrous platinum wigs the man was the epitome of the avant-garde. The central function of his work and the work of his contemporaries was to jumble together high and low culture, to claim them as equal to each other, and to challenge our notion of what really was "worthwhile art." Building on the work of the early conceptual artists from the turn of the last century, he tore asunder the old ideas of traditional aesthetic value, stating through his pieces that there can only be interpretation and that all works are of equivalent value.

However, when he died in February 1987 the world got a real look at Andy Warhol and what he really considered to be "worthwhile art." Behind the doors of his neo-classical townhouse the rooms were not furnished by piles of Brillo boxes or indeed stacks of soup cans but objects of a rather different style. Classical busts sat on mahogany tables, portraits lined the walls, and on many surfaces sat fine antiques. Warhol had chosen to adorn his house with pieces that had stood the test of time, pieces that followed the old rules on aesthetic value, but most importantly pieces that would have been shunned in the art world he had created and dominated.

"The destruction of art is not due merely to chance. The psychopathic elites want to exert total control over every one of us. To achieve their goal they need us to be as ignorant and isolated as possible, hence the concerted annihilation of cultural references like true art, good education, objective history and open-minded science, and the eradication of what infuses a sense of community: religion, ethnicity, nation-state, and family."