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Tue, 07 Dec 2021
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Secret History

Blue Planet

The unearthing of Ireland's mysterious sweathouses

sweathouse ireland
© Holmes Garden Photos/Alamy
Until the 1900s, when people in Ireland got sick, they would get naked and disappear into steamy saunas. Now, a new project is aiming to uncover these timeworn structures' secrets.N

Naked and sweaty, they laid inside grass-covered stone igloo-like structures in the remote fields of Ireland. Some were ill, others may have been having hallucinations, hatching plans to distil illegal alcohol or imagining they were the Vikings who once raided this country. By the time these addled folk emerged from the structures back into the fresh air of 19th-Century Ireland, they had been through a jarring mental and physical journey. One that still holds many mysteries.

"Some people reckoned the cure was worse than the disease," archaeologist Aidan Harte told me of this sweltering experience, as he stood atop a 150-year-old Irish sweathouse in Killadiskert, an isolated corner of County Leitrim. "Part of the reason there's crazy theories about hallucinations and making alcohol is because we just don't fully know the truth about sweathouses and all their uses. They're a bit of a riddle that we're now trying to work out."

Comment: See also: And check out SOTT radio's: Behind the Headlines: Who was Jesus? Examining the evidence that Christ may in fact have been Caesar!


Oldest footprints of pre-humans identified in Crete

Six million year old fossilized footprints on the island show the human foot had begun to develop.
Footprint in Crete

The oldest known footprints of pre-humans were found on the Mediterranean island of Crete and are at least six million years old, says an international team of researchers from Germany, Sweden, Greece, Egypt and England, led by Tübingen scientists Uwe Kirscher and Madelaine Böhme of the Senckenberg Center for Human Evolution and Palaeo-environment at the University of Tübingen. Their study has been published in the journal Scientific Reports.

The footprints from fossilized beach sediments were found near the west Cretan village of Trachilos and published in 2017. Using geophysical and micropaleontological methods, researchers have now dated them to 6.05 million years before the present day, making them the oldest direct evidence of a human-like foot used for walking. "The tracks are almost 2.5 million years older than the tracks attributed to Australopithecus afarensis (Lucy) from Laetoli in Tanzania," Uwe Kirscher says. This puts the Trachilos footprints at the same age as the fossils of the upright-walking Orrorin tugenensis from Kenya. Finds connected with this biped include femurs, but there are no foot bones or footprints.

The dating of the Cretan footprints therefore sheds new light on the early evolution of human perambulation more than six million years ago. "The oldest human foot used for upright walking had a ball, with a strong parallel big toe, and successively shorter side toes," Per Ahlberg, professor at Uppsala University and co-author of the study, explains. "The foot had a shorter sole than Australopithecus. An arch was not yet pronounced and the heel was narrower."


Breaking the News: How the first media moguls shaped history

Media Moguls
© Corbett Report
I'm sure you're familiar with the old adage that "you are what you eat." Well, here's a similarly important observation that you probably weren't told as a child: you are what you read. Or, to put it in terms that the "Netflix and chill" generation can understand: you are what you watch.

This should be a pretty obvious insight. Why do you think one of Jeff Bezos' first moves in his quest to become the real-life embodiment of a comic book supervillain was to buy The Washington Post? It's sometimes said that money is power, but Bezos' purchase of WaPo shows that owning a major press outlet is a way to leverage that power and stretch those dollars even further. Indeed, as I observed in How to Save the World (in One Easy Step!), narrative — the ability to shape people's understanding of the world through story — is the most powerful weapon in the world. It should go without saying that owning a major media entity is the most effective way of wielding that weapon.

I say "it should go without saying" because the history of mass media is the history of rich and powerful people trying to shape entire nations' understanding of the world. But, as usual, this is the type of history that is not taught in schools, so it's entirely possible that this observation in fact does not go without saying.

So today let's examine the story of some of the early media moguls and the effect that their control of the press had in shaping the history of the world in the 20th century.


Declassified CIA files raise further questions about US complicity in Colombian massacres

Carlos Mario Jimenez
Newly released files reveal the extent to which the US has long been aware of collusion between the Colombian government and paramilitary groups intent on wreaking havoc - and yet seemingly turned a blind eye to it.

On September 28, a US federal court in Miami, Florida found former Colombian paramilitary chief Carlos Mario Jiménez guilty of the 2001 murder of Bogotá community leader Eduardo Estrada.

The judgment marks the culmination of a legal battle lasting over a decade. Then-Colombian President Álvaro Uribe extradited Jiménez - nicknamed 'Macaco' by his subordinates - to Washington in 2008, whereupon he was convicted of drug trafficking and served 11 years of a 33-year sentence.

US prosecutors opted to focus exclusively on narco-related charges, meaning thousands of victims of Macaco's paramilitary group, Bloque Central Bolivar, were prevented from seeking justice for assassinations, massacres, and other acts of extreme violence perpetrated by him and his criminal fraternity over the course of their never-ending, blood-spattered war against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

Released in 2019 and repatriated to Colombia, Jiménez was immediately arrested on homicide and conspiracy charges. Now at last brought to justice, the presiding judge cited "an abundance of evidence" that Bloque Central Bolivar "operated in a symbiotic relationship with Colombian state actors," and moreover with protection from law enforcement, as the group committed countless hideous atrocities.


Zbigniew's Ghost: An Exorcism (A Book Review of Valediction: Three Nights of Desmond)

© Jim Young/Reuters
Zbigniew Brzezinski
The only difference between 2021 and 1981 is that today, a Multipolar Alliance led by the Russia and China has created a new paradigm, capable of challenging the dystopic unipolar hegemon that Brzezinski believed should govern the New World Order.

As a journalist, it is necessary to do my best not only to stay up-to-date on as many of the cutting edge developments as possible, but to also keep a flexible mind so that the buzzing myriad of facts emerging every day can be imbued with value such that my analysis can be useful to readers.

Over the past weeks, my mind processed such a dizzying array of information pertaining to the evolving situation surrounding Afghanistan that I ultimately had to shut myself off of reading any breaking news for a few days. It was during this short break that I took great pleasure reviewing the pre-release of a new novelized memoir entitled Valediction: Three Nights of Desmond, published by Trine Day Press and written by the husband and wife team of Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould.

Just when I was beginning to think that nothing new could be offered to the topic, I was happily surprised that this book provided an invaluable dimension to Afghanistan's story within the context of world history from the first-hand account of the only two American journalists permitted to enter the war-torn nation in 1981 and again in 1983. The two documentaries produced by the duo during that period went far to shatter the carefully-constructed narrative of a "Russian Vietnam" that had been built up for years by a western deep state.

Better Earth

Italian sailors knew of America 150 years before Christopher Columbus, new analysis of ancient documents suggests

ship columbus
© Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain
New analysis of ancient writings suggests that sailors from the Italian hometown of Christopher Columbus knew of America 150 years before its renowned 'discovery'.

Transcribing and detailing a, circa, 1345 document by a Milanese friar, Galvaneus Flamma, Medieval Latin literature expert Professor Paolo Chiesa has made an "astonishing" discovery of an "exceptional" passage referring to an area we know today as North America.

According to Chiesa, the ancient essay — first discovered in 2013 — suggests that sailors from Genoa were already aware of this land, recognizable as 'Markland'/ 'Marckalada' - mentioned by some Icelandic sources and identified by scholars as part of the Atlantic coast of North America (usually assumed to be Labrador or Newfoundland).

Comment: It's likely that North America was rediscovered by a number of different Europeans - with one of the stronger contenders being the Vikings - as well as peoples from other continents, it just so happens that the Columbus story is now best known and probably because it served some in Western society best: Also check out SOTT radio's: MindMatters: America Before: Comets, Catastrophes, Mounds and Mythology

Stock Down

Guterres and the Great Reset: How Capitalism Became a Time Bomb

puppet masters
During the 76 session of the United Nations General Assembly on September 20, 2021, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres lunged into a dire warning saying:
"I am here to sound the alarm. The world must wake up. We are on the edge of an abyss — and moving in the wrong direction. Our world has never been more threatened or more divided. We face the greatest cascade of crises in our lifetimes... A surplus in some countries. Empty shelves in others. This is a moral indictment of the state of our world."
While these words appear very truthful on the surface, sitting as we are upon a systemic meltdown of the world economy and potential collapse of population levels unseen since the days of the 14th century dark age, it is worth asking: What are the primary causes for the collapse into an abyss which Guterres is so concerned about?

Is it neocolonialism managed by a financier oligarchy which has kept the majority of the global south poor, indebted, starved, divided and at war?

Is he concerned about the drive for full spectrum first strike nuclear hegemony by Anglo-American unipolarists?

Or is it the immanent collapse of the $1.2 quadrillion financial bubble masquerading as the western economy?

It is in fact none of those things.

Comment: See also:


Triceratops' 'lost relative' that lived in New Mexico is named after CNN founder Ted Turner

triceratops relative new mexico
© Sergey Krasovskiy
A new species of dinosaur with short, massive horns has been unearthed in New Mexico. It has been deemed the 'long lost' relative of the triceratops
A new species of horned dinosaur has been unearthed in New Mexico that is deemed the 'long lost' relative of the triceratops by a team of scientists led by the Univeresity of Bath.

The dinosaur, known as Sierraceratops turneri, roamed the area of Sierra County about 72 million year ago.

It was named after Ted Turner, founder of CNN, who owns the ranch where the fossils were discovered.

The fossils show the new species had short, but massive horns at the brow of its five-foot-long skull, and the extinct creature measured about 15 feet long.


Who really runs the Middle East?

Middle East bazaar
© cgma
The Bazaar
Afghanistan is on many people's minds lately, though the sentiment is rather mixed. Some think of it as a cause for celebration, others for deep concern, and then there are those who think it an utter disaster that justifies foreign re-entry.

Most of the western concern arises out of 9/11 and the Taliban's supposed connection to this through Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, however, as Scott Ritter (who was the lead analyst for the 7th Marine Amphibious Brigade on the Soviet war in Afghanistan) wrote:
"The entire Afghan conflict must be examined considering this reality - everything is a lie. Every battle, every campaign, every contract written and implemented - everything was founded in a lie...

Admiral McRaven, when speaking of the operation to kill Bin Laden, noted that there wasn't anything fundamentally special about that mission in terms of the tactics. 'I think that night we ran 11 or 12 [other] missions in Afghanistan,' McRaven noted. Clearly there was a military focus beyond simply killing Bin Laden. It was secretive work, reportedly involving the assassination of Taliban members, that often resulted in innocent civilians beings killed.

It should be noted that, as of 2019, McRaven believed that this kind of special operations activity should be continued in Afghanistan for years to come. So much for the US mission in Afghanistan being defined by the death of Bin Laden. The mission had become death, and the careers that were defined by those deaths.

The fact is the war in Afghanistan did not need to be fought. We could have ended the threat posed by Bin Laden simply by negotiating with the Taliban in the aftermath of 9/11, providing the evidence we claimed to have linking Bin Laden to the terrorist attacks on the United States. Any student of Afghanistan worth their salt knows the fundamental importance of honor that is enshrined in the concepts of Pashtunwali, the unwritten ethical code that defines the traditional lifestyle of the Pashtun people. If, as we claimed, Bin Laden carried out an attack on women and children while he was living under the protection of Pashtunwali, then his dishonor is that of the Pashtun tribes. To clear their honor, they would seek justice - in this case, evicting Bin Laden and his followers from Afghanistan.

In fact, the Taliban made precisely this offer.

For America, however, this would have been an unsatisfying result. We needed blood, not justice, and we sent our troops to Afghanistan to stack bodies, which they did, in prodigious numbers. Most of these bodies were Taliban. We excused this by claiming the Taliban were providing safe haven to Bin Laden, and as such were complicit in the 9/11 attacks.

Which was a lie."


The gradual discovery of eyeglasses

Nathaniel Olds, by Jeptha Homer Wade, 1837 painting eyeglasses
© The Cleveland Museum of Art
Nathaniel Olds, by Jeptha Homer Wade, 1837.
Considering the prehistory of spectacles.

As with many everyday objects, it is difficult to determine who invented glasses, or where and when they were first used. In fact, they were not really "invented" in the sense of being a great discovery, a unique inspiration that provided a solution to a hitherto unanswered problem. It was more of a gradual process that went hand in hand with other scientific and technical discoveries — accompanied by persistent speculation and questions. In prehistoric times the Inuit apparently used a sort of protective eyewear made of walrus ivory against snow blindness. And among the unanswered questions from those early times is the matter of Nero's emerald. Pliny the Elder wrote in his c. 77 Natural History that Emperor Nero held an emerald to his eye to observe gladiator contests: "The princeps Nero viewed the combats of the gladiators in a smaragdus." Pliny used the term smaragdus for a variety of green minerals and made several observations about the soothing effects of green gemstones.